Tuesday, March 25, 2008

While We are on the Subject...

My Easter article on crosswalk.com encouraged readers to consider the benefits of the church calendar and similar "tradition" as a way to deepen their worship experiences. Apparently the topic of liturgy--its pros and cons--has become a centerpiece of discussion in recent months among Protestants in both low and high church traditions.

Anglicans/Episcopalians argue that liturgy teaches the scripture in greater breadth--every 3 years the Bible is read aloud in its entirety--whereas in non-liturgical churches the pastor picks his favorite verses and much of the Bible is never taught. Of course, the low church protestants complain that too often "tradition" overrules or supercedes the authority of scripture, and the Bible is interpreted through tradition too much.

That's just a taste of the discussion. The disagreements between the two views are too innumerable to cite here. But I believe the discussion is worth the work, worth the potential conflict. Some old Bible church friends from college have become Anglicans since last I saw them 12 years ago. We recently discussed their "switch." As a former Catholic, I'm intrigued. So when I read Scot McKinght's discussion on Jesus Creed about a new book on the topic, I perked up. Beyond Bells and Smells is written by Mark Galli, senior managing editor at Christianity Today and an evangelical Anglican, a member at the Church of the Resurrection in Glen Ellyn, Illinois.

Check out Scot's summary of the book, and the interesting dialogue that ensued amongst his readers. What do you think about the whole idea of liturgy? Is it from the devil? Does it lead you closer to God? Somewhere in between?

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Salvation is Here

My church has been singing this new song (to us) for the last few weeks to prepare for Easter. It's upbeat, fast, full of energy and hope. Read the words below and listen here:

God above all the world in motion
God above all my hopes and fears
And I don't care what the world throws at me now
I'm gonna be alright

Hear the sounds of the generations
Making loud our freedom song
All in all that the world would know Your name
We're gonna be alright

Cause I know my God saved the day
And I know His word never fails
And I know my God made a way for me
Salvation is here
Salvation is here...

Salvation is here and He lives in me
Salvation is here...
Salvation that died just to set me free
Salvation is here...
Salvation is here and He lives in me
Salvation is here...
Cause You are alive and You live in me
(Hillsong United, 2005)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

New Article about Easter

Easter is almost upon us. I was able to meditate on its life-altering significance and begin my own mini-celebration a few weeks ago as I wrote an article about letting tradition influence worship, especially as we celebrate the Resurrection. Take a look: http://www.crosswalk.com/special/easter/11570584/

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Real Reason Some Denominations Don't Baptize By Immersion

This child is, of course, the one we all hope isn't ours!


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Tooth Fairy Economics

Hey you moms out there! Check out this article on the common conundrum of how much the Tooth Fairy is giving kids these days. Parents--and yes, I could have been interviewed for this--can't seem to figure out the going rate. You'll love some of the creative decision-making processes different moms and dads go through. My favorite: the dad and step-dad who decided together, so one wouldn't make the other look bad, to price each tooth according to size! LOL!

So how does your child's rate of return compare to your own when you were losing your baby teeth?

I remember quarters for "important" ones like molars, and dimes for others. If I got 75 cents total for any one tooth, I was a happy girl that day. My son: $5 (from Grandma!) for the first one--she set the bar high--and between 75 cents and a buck for others since. He thinks he's getting ripped off if it's less than $1. Kids these days...

Monday, March 10, 2008

Seeking Bible Study Materials

My mission trip to the women's shelter near Lancaster, PA, is fast approaching. We are currently gathering gift material, donated girly stuff like lotions, bath gels, makeup, etc., plus--get this--zebra-themed items at random. Pencils, sunglasses, bandanas...you get the idea. So if any of you readers has a source for things like this, let me know!

More importantly, and more difficult to find, for these women are some study books their director has indicated are important for them. It is a faith-based program, so bible study is part of their curriculum. If any of you can help point me towards any of the following items, post a comment ASAP. Think of churches or people who went through these years ago or who might have an extra copy, or your old friend who works for Lifeway Publishers...that sort of thing. Thanks!

Experiencing God – by Henry Blackaway – DVD series, 18 workbooks
Big Girls Don’t Whine by Jan Silvious: 18 paperbacks
Captivating by John Elderidge, DVD study with 18 workbooks.
Beth Moore studies, with 18 workbooks:
  • The Patriarchs in DVD form,
  • Living Beyond Yourself – DVD series

Friday, March 07, 2008

Winter Wonderland

When last I posted, my area of the metroplex (Dallas/Ft.Worth) was getting some solid snowfall. This phenomenon is a rarity--we average less than one snow day per year, and only 2 out of every 5 Marches does it fall here--so we generally acted like goofs and took pictures of almost anything with snow on it. We ended up with six inches! That's quite a lot for us.

The kids spent hours outside, and inside, and out and in, out and in...they could only stand so much hand freezing at once. But once their little paws defrosted, out they went again! I had my fun as well (see the message spelled out on the car).

And fun as all that was, it melted quickly. Here today, gone today.

But two days later, the impossible happened. It snowed again! Forecasters promised that the entire area would get up to 4 inches this time, including the previously left out eastern suburbs (where my family and friends mostly reside). Uh, not so much. Their hopes of pretty white stuff were washed away in the cold, bitter rain that fell all day. I hear it never changed over to anything frozen.

But my dad, in Denton (west of me), got about seven inches! We ended up with another 3 inches, still plenty to play in and admire across the neighborhood. It's nice to see the world from a new perspective.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Primary Day

A big Howdy to all you Texans out there...don't forget to vote today. The Democratic and Republican primaries are all in the news, and today is our opportunity to make an actual difference in the race--at least the Democratic one. You North Texans will have to brave the snow and slush(yes, I said "snow"-- more on that later), but come on, you've seen worse. Get on out there and make a difference.

Notable info: Texas has open primaries, which means that any voter can vote for a candidate from either party. You are not limited to the party in which you are registered. Anyone out there considering switching your vote today?

Sunday, March 02, 2008

A Writers' Conference That Comes to You

If you're an aspiring writer and want to get a writers' conference in your inbox, consider joining The Writers' View. It's free. It's amazing. And, seriously, you'll learn everything you'd learn at a writer's conference (sans meeting cool people face to face), only you don't have to pay airfare.

How they work: Each Monday and Thursday a panelist poses a question about the publishing industry, the craft of writing, or anything related to the writing journey. These panelists are agents, editors, writers who are well known in the Christian writing industry. Then, panelists and members write posts about the question raised. I still learn new things every week. Some of the topics I've found most useful, and eye-opening, discuss how to find or when to change agents, fine print concerns in contracts, marketing tips, how to improve your fiction-writing skills, and others. It's fantastic.

It's a moderated loop, so there's no blatant self promotion. Word counts are limited to 250 per post.

For beginning to intermediate writers, the group to join is TWV 2. Click here.

For advanced, published writers, join The Writers View. Click here.

You will be asked to fill out an application that you then send to the group's leadership. You'll receive an email letting you know whether you've been accepted.