Since I missed last week’s update, I thought I’d compensate and be early this week. If you want to participate in this meme, please visit Carol at ThreeLittleLadies, and be sure to link your post to her Mr. Linky so that we can all see what life has in store for you. From where I sat this past week,
As an individual, I…
am fighting this looming sense of angst and frustration with the allegedly “new and improved” church model that we find ourselves once again having to face within our children’s and youth ministries. We meet tomorrow with our newest Sunday School co-teacher, who is, in her own words, “feeling lost” because she feels alone in wanting to have fun with the kids and get them energized about class. So far her energy has been poured into a room redecoration, and I’m struggling to marry that in my mind with what I think is the most primary need these kids have—the Word of God. I’m all about creativity and engagement, but I believe that fundamentally we owe these kids something on Sunday that will carry them through the week, and it’s not a logo (another of her ideas). We have too many kids who are divorce victims, foster children, children who come to church on the bus because their parents don’t come, etc., to let our focus be scattered. Moreover, a significant population of the kids fit all the stereotypes of inner city children—they don’t read at grade level, they mumble and look down when they speak to you, and the list goes on. We do these children a disservice in thinking that we’ll cover up those rough edges with a coat of paint. Without the ability to read well, all painting is for them is a career option because there are few opportunities for people without basic skills. My passion has been for them to have God-confidence and self-confidence, and I would have hoped the added skill set of a drama teacher would have been the perfect blend of Word with an atmosphere of wonder. Well, maybe there isn’t a place where we can partner, and that’s sad. I know we wouldn’t be the first to have a disagreement with someone else in church; even Paul broke off with John Mark in carrying the early gospel. Yet, I can’t help but think, is it time to go? The thought has crossed my mind more than once when, almost too coincidently to be a coincidence, I recently ran into a pastor’s wife of a church we’ve visited that is less than ten minutes from home (we’re currently driving 1 hr round-trip). In any case, I’m dreading tomorrow, which is normally one of my favorite days.
I am increasingly and adamantly against this seeker-friendly model that more churches are going toward. There are some fundamental aspects of church that make it what it is—it’s not the club, it’s not the skate park, it’s not another social hangout to get your network on. It is the church, the house of God. The numbers that come for the programs, the good times, and the other socioeconomic benefits are great, but at what cost? It’s far too much to talk about in a weekly wrap-up, but I recently saw a YouTube video on Pastor Rick Warren’s latest assertion that preaching and sermons won’t grow a church. If the Word doesn’t work, then what does? Are we really so twisted as to think that the Bible needs our feeble attempts at embellishment?
I’ve been overwhelmed with work, school, and the business, so the Wii has dust collecting on it. I plan to give it some attention right after I finish this entry.
As a wife and homemaker, I…
am thankful for a like-minded husband who can join hands in agreement with me spiritually, and who leads in the things of Christ. Outside of this meeting on tomorrow, it would have been a Sunday to sit in the sanctuary the entire service. We agree that we don’t get enough of those. Yet, we were asked instead to lead the class of 11-12 year old boys. Their normal teacher has a granddaughter with swine flu; in fact, her school was shut down two weeks into the school year. The flu bug threw the family’s plans to move into their new home off a week, so they won’t be with us this week. Maybe that’s what I needed—to feel valued after 16 years of volunteerism.
I sit amongst loads of clothes that need to be folded, and I need to go room-by-room, beginning with our bedroom, and just pick up and put away. I sometimes look at the numbers of papers that our six-year-old writer/artist creates, all my books, papers, and organizers, and all my husband’s business cards, etc., and I think that this house could use one more wife (smile). I’m happy for a 3-day weekend in order to make some headway.
As a mom and homeschooling parent, I…
am quickly becoming a prisoner of my early success. The youngest comes to me saying, “What are we going to do today?” with so much excitement until I feel bad if I don’t have something more elaborate to do than her normal reading and workbooks. This week we continued to work on ancient Egypt, and I found this neat Egyptian name translator (see here), which was a great addition to the reading on cuneiform, hieroglyphs, and the transition from cuneiform and hieroglyphs to papyrus. It occurs to me in our reading this why there is such a wealth of information available on Egypt, and so much less on other African cultures and Asian cultures. I haven’t really thought about the power of written language, and especially written language on stone rather than degradable paper, as it pertains to our education on history and historical civilizations. As the oldest and I wrap up the Epic of Gilgamesh, I see a part of the reason that his story is considered so important—written on clay tablets, it was one of the oldest stories to still remain complete. Almost makes me wonder what people will think of us from our records, thousands of years from now, assuming Jesus tarries that long.
The older two are performing well and enjoying their books. Our son has again relocated himself so that he can be closer to the reading of Mr. Popper’s Penguins, a story that I’m totally enjoying with his younger sister. I’m amazed at the impact of technology on the way we educate when watching the oldest in her science class. There are kids in the class from Maine to Hawaii, and this class meets at 9:30 CST! The lessons are taped and available for a second (or third or…) viewing as needed during the week, and there is a sign-off for parents to verify that the student is doing the work. At least from the early stages, it looks as if we picked a winner.
Dance starts this week on the day after Labor Day. Prayerfully I’ll have as joyful a report on next week. I’m excited about being able to help out a neighbor whose oldest daughter made the Performance Team with our oldest. She has a brand new baby and is struggling to work in town and get home in time to get her oldest to the required practices. I remember well that season in my life with one at 8, one at 5, and one nursing; it was the year I came home. So I was happy to offer to grab up her oldest on our way to practice. With one competing, one performing (non-competition level) and the youngest working it out with a little hip-hop/ jazz, this should be another exciting year.
As a business owner, I…
am finished editing the Christian Character series, and am beginning to edit the elementary series. I submitted all the articles I wanted to share for this month, and I’ll prayerfully get an affiliate program going soon to bless others as they bless me. I will continue in prayer about how to go about the next project. Phew!
May the Lord bless your week as well.