Tuesday, September 29, 2009


At our last church, the associate pastor did a really interesting class on world religions that involved field trips to different sacred sites. One Saturday morning, about a dozen of us found ourselves gathered in a downtown mosque, looking around, waiting for the tour to start. My friend and I were gazing appreciatively at the ornately carved wooden ceiling, admiring its intricacy and beauty, remembering that we learned in class that Muslims don't create art of images of people or animals or other created things but that their art tends to be geometric or symbolic. We thought that the mosque's ceiling was a perfect example of how lovely that kind of art can be. During the tour, I raised my hand and said, "Please tell us more about the carving of this beautiful ceiling." The tour guide looked at me, perplexed, glanced up, and shrugged. "I dunno; this building used to be a bank."

Friday, September 25, 2009

Writer's block

I may have run out of things to say.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Made me laugh right out loud

We have a rare free night tonight and C suggested that we do something fun. I, on the other hand, wanted to stay home.

Me: Thanks, sweetie, for being a good sport about me not wanting to do anything tonight.
C: No problem; I understand you wanting to stay home.
Me: But I'm afraid that if the tables were turned--if you wanted to stay home when I wanted to go out--I would probably pout and roll my eyes.
C: (eyes twinkling) That's okay; I've had a lot more practice being mature than you have.

Friday, September 11, 2009


I love Date Night! Love, love, love it! I worked all day today and wasn't feeling well at all, but when Date Night was over, I was feeling great. I love the idea of it, I love the couples, I love the possibilities, I love the energy.

Date Night was born when Steve Capper at Mission Houston asked a group of us at a luncheon: "What is your part in changing the future?" (That's the short version of what I heard--I have no idea what he actually said!) We know that children do better in almost every way when their parents are reasonably happy in their marriages and healthy in their relationship skills. We also know that most couples can improve their marriages significantly by learning and practicing those skills and by paying attention to their relationships. So, that's my passion.

Date Night is one attempt to deliver marriage education in a way that is accessible, affordable and nonthreatening. So far, I've done 4 with a total attendance of about 100 couples. I have 3 more on the calendar between now and November. When the room is full of people who don't know each other and don't know me, when people are bringing their friends and family, when half of the couples don't attend church, when we figure out a way to include couples who are poor or marginalized, that's my dream come true.

Tonight wasn't my best night--I was very distracted, got my note cards out of order, had a couple of brain freezes--but the best thing about it is that it doesn't all depend on me. Somehow the energy of the event itself takes care of itself and everyone has fun, laughs a lot, and most people stay late. I love it.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Baptist pastor Steven Anderson was on all the networks yesterday (and all over the internet), spewing his hatred of Barack Obama and praying and wishing for his death. As an aside, you know the video of the young black man you've seen over and over, carrying an automatic weapon over his shoulder outside an Obama speech? Attends Anderson's church.)

Anyway, Anderson and other like-minded people object to the idea that Christians are not supposed to hate. They point out that Scripture teaches that God hates and that we should hate what and who God hates. Whether they have it right regarding what and who God actually hates is another subject. The point is that they're right: Scripture indicates that God does hate.

Which is exactly as it should be. I trust God to handle hate. I trust that he always gets it right. I trust that since God is love, his hate must be very different from mine. Human hate is devoid of love; God's can't be. So whatever it means that God hates, I am absolutely confident that it doesn't mean what I mean when I hate something or someone. I'm also confident that, whatever it is, God can be trusted with it.

I don't trust human beings with hate any more than I would trust a three-year-old with a chain saw. Surely God knew that when he told us not to do it, when he told us that hatred is at least as bad as murder, when he told us to always, always, always reserve vengeance and judgment for him. I know that I can't be trusted with hate. I don't want to hurt your feelings, but you can't be trusted either. And neither can Steven Anderson.