Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Interesting article by John Ortberg

One-size-fits-all discipleship programs are killing the church.
Imagine a doctors office where every patient was told, “Take two aspirin and call me in the morning.” It would be fine for headache sufferers. But if my appendix had burst, when I called back the next morning, I’d be dead. A good
doctor prescribes first, and diagnoses second.

Imagine a parent saying, “My kids are blank slates that I can mold however I want. They will each be motivated by the same rewards, impacted by punishment the same way, attracted by the same activities.” what happens to obliterate these ideas in a parents mind? Reality.
The birth of actual children, all of whom come with intensely unique wiring.

Why do churches not understand this?

What would grow an orchid would drown a cactus. What would feed a mouse would starve an elephant. There are certain similarities: they all need light, food, air, water-but in different amounts and conditions. The key is not treating
every creature alike. Its finding the unique conditions that help each creature grow.

Our great model for this is God Himself. He always knows just what each person needs.

He had Abraham take a walk, Elijah take a nap, Joshua take a lap, Adam take the rap; He gave Moses a forty year time out, He gave David a harp and a dance, He gave Paul a pen and a scroll, He wrestled with Jacob, argued with Job, whispered to Elijah, warned Cain, and comforted Hagar. He gave Aaron an altar, Miriam a song, Gideon a fleece, Peter a name, and Elisha a mantle.
Jesus was stern with the rich young ruler, tender with the woman caught in adultery, patient with the disciples, blistering with the scribes, gentle with the children, and gracious with the thief on the cross.

God never grows two people the same way.

God is a hand-crafter, not a mass-producer.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving Dinner Quotes

Isaac: (pointing at cranberry sauce, referring to pilgrims:)

"Why did the tambourines call it stuffing?"

Isaac: (again referring to the pilgrims, groaning a bit:)

"How could they eat so much?"

Janie: (referring to, you can guess!) ;)

"Are you going to get some smashed potatoes, Katie?"

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Thanksgiving Funny

Nooo, this is not my personal story. I just thought it was funny!

NAPKINS...ahhhhh...the joys of having girls...

My mother taught me to read when I was four years old (her first mistake)....

One day, I was in the bathroom and noticed one of the cabinet doors was ajar. I read the box in the cabinet. I then asked my mother why she was keeping 'napkins' in the bathroom. Didn't they belong in the kitchen?

Not wanting to burden me with unnecessary facts, she told me that those were for "special occasions" (her second mistake)...

Now, fast forward a few months....It's Thanksgiving Day, and my folks are leaving to pick up my uncle and his wife for dinner. Mom had assignments for all of us while they were gone. Mine was to set the table.

When they returned, my uncle came in first and immediately burst into laughter.

Next, in came his wife who gasped, then began giggling.

Next, in came my father, who roared with laughter.

Then in came Mom, who almost died of embarrassment when she saw each place setting on the table with a "special occasion" napkin at each plate, with the fork carefully arranged on top. I had even tucked the little tail in so they didn't hang off the edge!!

My mother asked me why I used these and, of course, my response sent the other adults into further fits of laughter.

"But, Mom, you SAID they were for special occasions!!!" Isn't it easier to just tell the truth and be careful who you ask to set the table for you!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


I had a moment around September when I thought I was becoming overwhelmed. I had many, many things on my plate. I thought....

Just having a child with a life threatening illness is enough.
Just having a learning disabled child is enough.
Just being a pastor's wife is enough.
Just having six children is enough.
Just homeschooling is enough.
Just cooking and cleaning is enough.
Did I mention laundry?

I thought I should be overwhelmed.

So... God gave me 3 more children.
Lot's of exciting behavior issues.
I learned how to treat pediculus humanus.
I had more laundry.
And they all got sick. Three times.
They all slept through the night...maybe three times.

Now that I am back to just 7, it seems quite manageable.
I thought God's little lesson was pretty ingenious.
It worked for me. I should not have wavered in my faith.
God NEVER gives us more than we can handle.

I learned I have to be wise and disciplined with my sleep and time.

It's hard to go to bed at night...the house is finally quiet! Yet I pay a great price the next day if I do not! Remember my quote from Ben Franklin? I forgot it over the summer..."early to bed, early to rise..."

Well. There's my great epiphany.

Monday, December 31, 2007

Back to 7

We transitioned the twins to their permanent foster home on Sat. I knew this day would come. There were times we wondered if we should just keep the twins for the duration of how long they would be in 'the system.' Watching them change and thrive here was amazing. It was hard to let them go.

I wanted to write a book for the new foster mom of what I thought they needed. How B-bird needs to talk at night to unwind while I hold her hand and rub her back. How J-bear needs her head rubbed and reassurance as she shares her heart before she sleeps. Would she tell them how special they are and how loved they are? There were so many other little things...

It was hard to leave them there and come back home knowing my job was done. This is what I signed up for. Emergency shelter care. I love them, clean them up, love them, get them stable and move them to their permanent foster home. The day before we knew they were leaving, J-bear came to me wrapped her arms around me and said, "I wish I had been born in your tummy. I wish you were my mom. Can I stay here forever?" I am still sewing my heart back together...

I can't keep them all. I can't do 20 children. The state won't let me. What I can do is hope 20 other wonderful families will each sign up and make a difference in a child's life. Together we can save them all!

I still see all the teenagers in the system that I cannot house yet. It will be 10 more years before our children are old enough to do teens. Maybe we can house one sooner...we are open to the idea. No child will go unconsidered.

House is awfully quiet with just 7.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Detasseling Corn

Growing up in SE Indiana, detasseling corn was one of the few summer jobs available and I did it for several summers.

For all of you city folk who have no idea what I am talking about:

Corn detasseling is the crucial last step in producing hybrid corn seed. It involves removing the pollen-producing top part of the plant, the tassel, so the corn can't pollinate itself. Instead, pollen from another variety of corn grown in the same field is carried by the wind, pollinating the detasseled corn. The result is corn that bears the genetic characteristics of both varieties and can produce healthier crops with higher yields. Despite technological advances in agriculture, detasseling is still a task that for the most part is done by hand.

Detasselers all wear pretty much the same uniform at work. Gloves protect the hands, hats guard against sunburn (though I wore a visor so my hair would bleach in the sun). And despite the heat, nearly everyone wears a bandana around the neck, a long-sleeved shirt and long pants, all to avoid getting cut up by the corn leaves and corn rash.

You get up before the sun comes up, meet and get on the yellow school bus that takes you to the field. You know that your first 10 steps into the corn are going to be anything but pleasant because it's full of dew. You're wet head-to-toe no matter what you're wearing. The corn is tall, you're walking through mud or dry deep ridges and engaged in repetitive physical exertion for the next 10 hours. In the morning, it's wet and chilly. By 10 a.m., steam is rising from the field. By noon it's hot, and by three, it's extremely hot and you're exhausted.

It's hard, sweaty work that requires you to keep your head looking up for hours at a time. It's lonely work if you're ahead of or behind your co-workers. All you hear is chirping and screeching of bugs and birds, and all you see are rows of corn above your head, and you begin to panic and think they've all left. It's just you and the corn.

I remember saying over and over, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me…I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Just to get to the end of the row and get a little cup of cool water.
My boss was also my high school counselor and I respected him greatly. I wanted to do a good job to please him. I wanted him to look good for his boss…the owner of the field. I worked hard not to leave behind a single tassel.

As horribly hard as this job was, I still got up the next day before dawn to do it all over. And then I would still do it again the next year.

To this day, it is the hardest job I ever had. Housework and cleaning toilets seem like a promotion by comparison.

What does all of this talk of detasseling corn have to do with anything? I had the same thoughts and experience these last 4 weeks. Taking in 2 more children bringing the number to 9 ages 11 and under was quite hard. The children themselves were behaviorally challenged. Add to that lice, sickness and then Neil and I getting sick Christmas Eve…sometimes all I could say was, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” over and over!

Yet I didn’t want to let Jesus down. I wanted to hug these children for Him. I wanted to love and teach them well. One step at a time. He always had a cool cup of water waiting for me at the end of the row…uhh day. ☺

It was hard and yet I will probably do it again. The children heard the story of Christmas for the first time in their lives. They experienced love and stability and safety. Maybe this is what Christmas is supposed to be about.

Maybe it’s not about me. Me sitting with eggnog looking at the tree in quiet…me being able to listen to Christmas music to my heart’s content…me not doing 5 loads of laundry a day…me not being sick…me not getting enough rest…me me me me me…

It was about the children. Making lots of cookies. Teaching them to sing the Christmas Carols about Jesus. Lighting Advent candles every night and reading the Christmas story…one door at a time. (We have a great Advent book!) Praying.

I talked a lot more to my Father. Had a lot of deep heart and soul searching late at night and early in the morning. Doing the next thing. Doing it for my God. He is so worthy and glorious. What in this life compares?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Happy Birthday

Today is John David's birthday. Just thinking about him. Happy Birthday to you John David! He is part of a family who is very special to Neil and me.