26 April 2005

To Potter or not to Potter

I have spent some time this week talking with friends about the latest installment in the Harry Potter series due out this summer. Most of us, old and young alike, are eagerly awaiting it's release. A few have come forward to say they are taking a lot of flack from various family members for allowing their children to read such "satanically evil" prose. They have been told they are risking their child's soul for letting them read anything that mentions witchcraft. In this instance I think silence would have been a better choice for those offering opinions.

C.S. Lewis wrote a children's series full of mythology and supernatural happenings (it even had a witch). I find it peculiar that many Christian parents have no trouble allowing their children to read The Chronicles of Narnia yet they will flee from Harry Potter.

It is a well written tale. It deals with the issues of good and evil. The struggles of growing up. The difficulty in feeling different from others. The blessings of true friends. The value of teamwork. Finding out that things are not always what they seem to be. Using your mistakes to learn to do better.

Fables and faerie tales have been used for hundreds of years to impart wisdom to young minds. There is no more to fear in Cinderella's faerie godmother than there is at Hogwarts. (Boarding school for young wizards and witches)

Read it or not.

If you don't, you are missing out on a fantastic tale.

25 April 2005

Minimum daily requirements of fun

I think everyone should schedule a certain portion of their day to having fun. If you cannot devote the whole day to it there should be some sort of mandatory minimums.

I was on the phone with a friend at lunch and she was giving me all the latest details of her life. Lately she has been having some health problems and stress at work. She made the comment that she didn't know what was wrong but she just felt off-kilter.

I asked her to recall the last fun thing she had done. It took her a while but she finally remembered something from two weeks ago. I told her she needed to be having fun more often.

One of the things that has kept me sane this past crazy year has been remembering to take time to have fun. I like to be sure that each day I make time to either find or create joy. It has truly been a lifesaver.

Last Friday I spent the evening in the company of two little joy makers. At three years old, everything is wondrous. Spend some time with them and you find yourself appreciating many things you would ordinarily overlook. We didn't do anything special. Just dinner, playtime, tubbies in the sink, story time and the usual trying to delay bedtime. Each phase had it's own share of laughter.

I shared with Vickie that she has probably just forgotten that laughter is where you want to find it and happiness is a choice we make. She'll be feeling better soon.

19 April 2005


I found out there was a new Pope when the customer I was checking out hung up her cell phone and told me there was white smoke. Since I was at work today, I had to wait until the late shift came in and gave us the news.

I was talking with a friend as he brought me up to date with the latest news. As we were chatting he asked me where my parish was. I explained that I am Presbyterian and not Catholic. His look of surprise was priceless. He said, "You know so much about Catholicism, I just assumed you were Catholic." I then had to explain that as an active participant in the pro-life movement I work often with many Catholics. There are several Catholic children who call me their godmother. When I told him that a guy I used to date is now a Bishop, I thought I would need to put my CPR skills to use.

FYI He wasn't a priest when I dated him. I told him I didn't want to see him any more as he was not serious about his faith. He left, got serious; came back a priest. He loves to tell everyone I drove him to the priesthood.

So why all the interest in the Pope from a Presbyterian? Well, he affects more people on earth than any other person. The Catholic church is seeing more growth in third world countries that any other Christian church. In my battles to preserve the sanctity of human life I will have more allies in the Catholic church than in all the others combined.

I have friends and family who will tell me that Catholicism is a false religion. I may be wrong but I don't think that it is so. I am close to too many people who are Catholic and seem to have a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ. To me that is the touch point. When they talk about their faith it is that relationship to which they attribute their claim to Christianity. Not someone other than Christ. Not someone in addition to Christ as the LDS do.

As previously noted I may be wrong, I often am. Until I can ask the Lord in person, I think I'll keep things the way they are. So I'll say a prayer for the new Pope as he takes his stand in Peter's place. He's got a tough act to follow and a difficult time to get his people through.

11 April 2005

Catching up

The last few weeks have seemed to fly by faster than I could keep up with them. The abridged version includes the following. Finally got my Aunt Carol to come stay with me a few days. She and my Aunt Novele were in Houston for a conference held at my church. I was glad to spend time with them. The week they came had been a hard one filled with the passing of a friend and dental emergencies. Following their visit was some unhappy time with a repair shop that didn't fix the problem and misled me about their practices. Shortly thereafter I caught the virus that wouldn't quit. Ended up spending five days in bed. Still coughing occasionally.

That being the synopsis of my recent life, there have been a few moments which have stood out.

Dave gave a sermon during Lent that caused me to think of something in a whole new way. I have always thought the words "It is finished" as uttered by Christ on the cross as the fitting end to the beyond horrible day He had endured. Now I can see that it was so much more. With His sacrifice came the end to so many things. It was the end of the law. No longer was adherence to rather strict and complicated rules a means to seeking God's grace. Never again would there be a need to offer up sacrifices. From that moment on, God's grace was given to all who would believe in His Son. He was the only sacrifice that could cover and cleanse our sins. When Christ said those words all of life was changed. Nothing is like it was before. So often we associate Christ's life on earth as a pivotal time. In fact, it can all be traced to the instant those words fell from His lips.

I had never considered this before. It has caused me to ponder many things. I have often thought how my life can change in a instant. In an instant I became an aunt. One moment I had no nieces or nephews, now I have eleven. In an instant I lost a love. One drunk driver taking a wrong turn altered my life. In an instant I have found many friends. When you come down to it my life is constantly modifying as these instances are all strung together. But these words forever changed everyone's life. This thought is still impacting my life and I am excited about the change.

If you haven't felt the power of the change these words have wrought, let me know. I would love to tell you of it.

02 April 2005

John Paul II

I feel as though a friend has gone and I can't seem to find the words to explain why it seems so. I loved this man I never met. Loved him for his defense of life, all life. Loved him for his firm stand on what he believed right. Loved him for the compassion and forgiveness he gave, even to his enemies. Loved him for his willingness to seek forgiveness and admit wrongs. Loved him for the way he reached out to everyone with God's love. Loved the way he could cause me to stop and think with his words.

What really matters in life is that we are loved by Christ, and that we love Him in return. In comparison to the love of Jesus, everything else is secondary. And without the love of Jesus, everything else is useless. Prayer 1979 Philadelphia

The goal and target of our life is He, the Christ who awaits us - each one singly and all together - to lead us across the boundaries of time to the eternal embrace of the God who loves us. Address World Youth Day 1996

Goodbye dear friend, you will be well missed. I'll see you when I meet our Lord.