Showing posts from August, 2014

Why I Took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

One of the greatest diseases is to be nobody to anybody. -Mother Teresa
At first it was fun.  It went viral.  Everyone was doing it.

And then the backlash.

People began to post on Facebook: is there a point to throwing water over your head?  How is that really helping anyone?  Is it over yet? 

Memes began to surface.  One I saw had children from Africa and stated "Do you know how far we would have to walk for that bucket?"  Or asking why we are dumping all that water during a drought (I am guessing there is a drought going on somewhere). Or simply making fun of the phenomenon that began to take over everyone's news feeds-Facebook, Twitter, even the local news and sports sections of the newspaper. 
Social media commentators began challenging the challenge takers: do you even know WHY you are doing that?

Well, yes.  I do.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known simply as ALS, or sometimes Lou Gehrig's disease, is a progressive (it gets worse), degenerative (breakin…

Armchair QB: What Day is it For You?

As a Catholic, I wore a crucifix.  Contrary to what many evangelicals guessed when they talked to me about it, I was not crucifying Jesus again.  I was remembering the sacrifice of Jesus.  As an evangelical, I wear a simple cross.  Again, for no reason in particular.   (Except that my husband bought it for me to honor my faith and I honor his love.) It concerns me that we can focus on a piece of jewelry as a point of contention regarding where our focus is, but we don't seem to pay attention to where our minds are. I was a child in the Baptist church with a fire and brimstone, turn or burn, yell & pound the pulpit for emphasis kind of preaching.  That preacher happened to be my grandfather so I knew his heart, but I didn't understand his preaching.  Maybe I would now, but I heard the cross preached again and again.  How many in that small church had never heard the Gospel?  I don't know.  What I do know, is that Jesus wasn't just crucified.  He didn't just die…

Prayer Date

The plans of mice and men do often go awry, or something like that was penned by Steinbeck.
Well, so do those plans of women. I had a plan today. 
I had confided in a few friends about this odd desire to pray in community that had been growing within me. Frankly, it makes no rational sense, and I have been trying to ignore it. While I pray privately and frequently, praying with others can often be boring or embarrassing. Still, in these last months that I tried to shake this, or wait to see if something cropped up that I could join in but not lead, I couldn't get rid of this nudging. Finally I gave up, sending an email to invite a few friends to join me-friends who would not laugh in my face, though perhaps snicker to each other.  It makes no difference, anyway.  I had already begun fretting about what this should look like. How does one prepare to pray with others?  Is there an app for that?  Are candles appropriate or too religious?  Music?  Structure or free flowing?  As the q…

Enter In

I work in a church and a prison.  It still makes me chuckle how similar they are and how they complement each other.  Both are very male driven & led institutions.  Both share the contrast between captivity and liberty.  Both are places that echo God for me.

Of course they are very different.  The church works to make its environment comfortable and welcoming to all.  The prison is stark with empty halls and clanging steel doors that separate each segment and people.  It takes a little getting used to.  Security officers manage the movements through the building by watching activity on monitors.  Each door also has a buzzer to ask for entrance.

Moving through the prison can be challenging at times, but there is another side to these doors that echo God to me.

As I walk through the hallways I come to a locked door, at the end of every hallway, at every housing block.  Sometimes I have to buzz and request entrance.  More often than not, the officers are watching.  As I approach a d…