Showing posts from November, 2013

Holiday Jesus Freaks

Black Friday took on new meaning as a group of street preachers carried signs proclaiming hell fire and damnation to unrepentant holiday shoppers. And just in case people couldn’t read the signs, several in the group preached to passing pedestrians. A disgusted bystander yelled, “Get off the street Jesus freaks!”
The faithful, sign-waving contingent were mostly ignored by the very people they were desperately trying to save. Apparently, braving the cold and occasional verbal attack was worth it if even one soul was saved.

But I wondered about the collateral damage. For some, this confirms that Christians are just a bunch of crazy, sign-waving fanatics. Personally, it’s easier for me to share my faith over a cup of coffee.
However, a few centuries back, thousands lined the streets to listen to firebrand Jesus “freaks” like George Whitefield, Charles Spurgeon and William Booth.
But as I observed today’s street preachers on the busy sidewalk, no one seemed interested in any revival m…

Cold Turkey and Little Kid Thanks

If you’re around little ones then you’re familiar with their refreshing insights. They’re too young to be into politics or concerned with much beyond the playground.

So, needing some heartfelt inspiration, I visited with some fresh young faces.  Their encouraging words left me smiling.
I asked them: 
What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

Mom makes chocolate cake, pie, AND fudge. Age 5
Smashed potatoes. Age 4
It’s cold, so my dog gets to be inside now. Age 6
The table gets bigger and we play games on it. Age 7
The next day I get to eat cold turkey. Age 8
Lots of people are in my house and they laugh loud. Age 7
Grandma is here. Age 5 (my favorite!)
Being home with my mom and dad and not going to school. Age 9

There was no mention of gas prices or food costs. No thoughts beyond family, togetherness, and good food. Thanksgiving is about the blessings we have, but even more, it’s about sharing it with those we love. Enjoy making new memories today.
Happy Thanksgiving.

Give Thanks Regardless

Living about fifty acres up a dirt road gave me ample time to see our rural Avon lady’s Cadillac swirling dust, making her way towards hopeful sales. She always stopped at my house first, even though she knew I had no money to spend.
Tall, bleached blond, and wafting Avon’s perfume-of-the-month, she bustled in with her large make-up case and the most encouraging smile. I smiled back, but if anyone had asked me, this was the most pitiful time in my life. Here it was a week before Thanksgiving and I barely had enough money to get through the month, much less be thankful.
Of course the Avon lady knew this. She knew everyone’s business along these country roads. Opening her case she pulled out the latest catalog filled with trinkets I could ill afford and special gifts I’d never purchase for me or anyone else. Glancing at the newest eye shadow colors modeled by lovely ladies with perfectly arched eyebrows, I could only wish.
Thanksgiving was supposed to be a time for thanks. What did I …

High School Death Panels

As the bell rang, the students slid into their seats. Within seconds it was quiet as the social studies teacher wrote the day’s discussion points.
Ten people share the same disease.Each one needs a dialysis machine to live.The hospital only has six machines. Four people will not be treated.Rank the patients from the most deserving to the least.

The teacher listed the patients: HousewifeMale doctorMale lawyerDisabled womanPolicemanFemale teacherMinister (male)Male college studentMale Ex-convictFemale Prostitute
Discussion followed. The class made their choices based on the patient’s age and contribution they could make to society. The students evaluated the merits of each patient and delivered their verdict. The first three chosen for treatment: doctor, lawyer, and teacher. The first three eliminated: ex-convict, prostitute, and the college student. The disabled woman rounded out their reject list.

Freshmen and sophomore students at St. Joseph-Ogden High School in Illinois completed th…

Second Chance Dance

She suggested a coffee shop knowing my penchant for caffeine; but she chose chamomile tea. We carried our steaming mugs to the tiny table in the window alcove. The steady flow of traffic outside made up for the pauses in our conversation.
Sometimes it’s hard to be the “mature” Christian. There are never enough answers as to why God does what He does. 
And no matter how many times I’m asked, or how many times I’ve heard varying story lines with the same theme, I always seem to respond the same: God knew where you’d be today.

Yet, there are times when life is just plain hard. That’s when it’s easy to play melancholy music in our head and move ever so slowly to the Second Chance Dance. As the dirge endlessly repeats, we speculate where we’d be if only we’d made different choices.

Today’s version of the story is a young mother of two. She wondered if she’d left her “real” life behind, several years ago—before she’d taken a left turn and found herself pregnant and alone. Add a failed marr…

Dreaming the Dream

Dreaming big dreams about the future is easy for kids. The only thing standing in the way is time. Kid’s dreams are not about skills, or opportunities, or even practicality. Those things come much later. 

My grandson hopes to be professional soccer player when he grows up. This week, a small piece of his dream came true when his Boys and Girls Club was invited to participate in pre-game activities with the Seattle Sounders Football Club. 
He got to suit up in a real jersey and walk on the field with a real pro player. Imagine a young soccer player looking up to who he hopes to be one day.

If you haven’t taken the time to talk to a child about their future dreams—you should. 
They believe. As we get older we sometimes forget that dreams fuel our hopes—and that's something we all need.

So, do you still dream? Or have you left those childhood thoughts behind? Spending time with children will inspire you to believe again. We’re never too old to dream, even if our dreams change over time. A…