Tuesday, February 16, 2010

most wonderful time of the year

Tomorrow begins my favorite time of the year. I look forward to Lent because I usually feel I need some spiritual renewal about now. I believe we all need a marker in our life, on our calendar, to stop and evaluate how things are going. A time to ask ourselves: what do I want my relationship to God, my family, and others to look like? If we wait for things to just happen, things will; but probably not the things we really want for our lives.
I've decided to give something up for Lent again this year. Last year, if you remember, I didn't give anything up, but planned to add things into my life. That didn't work out so well. So, this year I'm doing both. As a family we are going to unplug on Sundays (no TV or computers). I shared this with the kids and Spencer said, "Mom, why do you have to ruin everything!" I think they will be glad in the end because they will get more of our attention. Like, right now, Spencer really wants me to get off this computer and help him with something :)
Check out these family prayers and this Lent guide for some simple ideas.
Family Lent Ideas
Family Prayers for Lent

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Join Me

I'm hosting a Not for Sale Book/Bible study starting Feb. 25, that lasts for 8 weeks. It will be at my house and go from 7:00-8:30p.m. Please let me know if you are interested in joining me. Here is more information about the study.
The Church and people of faith have a special role to play when it comes to the work
of abolition: freeing slaves and creating a world where survivors can thrive. Human
trafficking is a crime that exists on the fringes, in the darkness, making its full breath and depth challenging to fully comprehend. Victims and survivors are devastated physically,emotionally, mentally, and, often times, spiritually overlooked. It is for this reason that the Not For Sale Campaign presents “Set the Captives Free.” This eight-week study is a tool to enhance our Biblical understanding of human trafficking and our mandated response to fight for freedom and justice. The study utilizes two texts: the Bible and Not For Sale: The Return of the Global Slave Trade & How We Can Fight It. Each week you will be reading a chapter from Not For Sale to provide the context for the discussion. You will then dig into God’s Word to learn His Truth. When we are confronted with evil, we must respond with Truth. It is essential that we are grounded in God’s Word and understand God’s heart. We desire the outcome of your eight- week study to equip and inspire you to advance the abolitionist movement in your church and community.
Each week is broken into seven distinct study periods: six you will complete individually before coming together as a group to discuss the week’s experience.
In addition to the Biblical underpinning provided through this study, we encourage you and/or your group to partake in some of the practical steps for action provided throughout the study. By bridging our spiritual growth with hands-on action, we will see freedom prevail in our world. The engagement opportunities should serve as guides to turn knowledge into action, but we encourage you to seek God’s instruction for innovative, creative ways to engage your community in the fight against slavery.
Welcome to the abolitionist movement.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

rapunzel-a children's story?

There once was a women who loved radishes, who couldn't have children. She really fancied the radishes in her neighbor's yard, so she sent her husband out after them. Her neighbor was a witch. One day, while gathering the stolen radishes, the husband ran into the witch. The witch asked for the couple's first born child in exchange for the small, bitter veggies (my own commentary). The husband thought that was a fine deal, since they couldn't conceive. Well, they did. The witch named the baby Rapunzel and locked her up in a high tower to keep her away from the world. Rapunzel had a lovely voice, which attracted a young prince. The prince found a way to reach Rapunzel (you know...Rapunzel, let down your hair). Well, to make this story short. The witch cut Rapunzel's hair and banished her to a desert, the prince threw himself out of the tower and fell into thorns which "pierced his eyes", making him blind. He wandered the desert and heard Rapunzel's voice singing to two young children (his children apparently...oh, yeah, by the way children, Rapunzel and the Prince had special tower visits). Rapunzel's tears healed his eyes and they lived happily ever after in the Prince's kingdom. When the witch heard of their happiness she was so enraged that she exploded.
I checked this book out from the library and read it to myself last night because I forgot the story. I guess there are many strange tales I read when I was young that involved people giving their first born to witches (Sleeping Beauty) and trolls (Rumpelstiltskin), or children being enticed by goodies in order to be eaten (Hansel and Gretel and Little Red Riding Hood). Ah, the classics!!