Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Happy 36th Anniversary, Mom and Dad

My parents were married when they were teenagers.
They came to know the Lord in their adulthood.
My sisters and I grew to love God through their influence and for that, I am eternally thankful.
Mom and Dad are still together, beating odds and stats as if they wrote the book on marriage.

My folks took on the responsibility of raising one of their grandchildren.
They raise him as if he was their son. They love him as if he was their son.
In fact, his name has the word SON in it.

I love you, Mom and Dad.
God loves you.
Mason loves you.

Happy Anniversary.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

She wasn't the paperazzi

The other day I took my kids to the Children's museum for a field trip.

You know...gotta socialize these homeschoolers, and all. {snicker snicker}

I was actually noticing to myself the diversity in the CM goers and was happy to see many children of many different races and ethnicity. Chinese girls pouring water on Guatemalan boys... African-American boys knocking over clay structures delicately made by pretty Indian girls. Oh the loveliness! :)

I sat at the top of the carpeted risers in front of the stage and watched my and other children put on a "show". Is it really a show if there's no rhyme or reason to the production? It was cute trying to watch the older kids give directions to toddlers who just ran off stage.

Anyway, a few rows in front of me were two white moms (sisters, I think). One of them had a couple blond boys, and the other had a white daughter and an absolutely adorable brown-skinned baby. She was super cute and I knew without a doubt this baby was Ethiopian. I knew this because I read a blog of someone on the East coast who adopted an Ethiopian princess and this baby looked exactly like her.

After a few minutes, my kids and I leave the stage area and head towards the Kids Kitchen where they can push a cart and load up fake groceries and be checked out by other kids. While standing there thinking about a facebook status, the mom of the Ethiopian baby came up to me and I for sure thought she was going to strike up a discussion about bi-racial know, since we both had one. It's the inevitable conversation starter now that I've entered into the world of adoption. I love it.

But no! Her pick-up line was this:

Her: Hi, there, I recognize your girls. I read your blog!

Me: (face reddening, stutter forming) feel a little famous right now.

I feel famous? That is my response? Sheesh.
Oh well. I don't do well under pressure. The pressure of responding politely and correctly, apparently.

Her: Yes, I was watching them on stage and I knew they looked familiar and it just dawned on me where I've seen them before. I didn't know you lived in the Portland area. I, myself, don't live around here. I'm visiting.

Me: (I think to myself, I know, your sister, right? I've already figured it out.) Oh, do you comment on my blog? Maybe I've read yours.

...we chit chat for a while and I attempt to wow her with my other-country-identification powers and ask her:

Me: Now, she's from Ethiopia, right?

Her: No. She's from the states. Her father is African-American and her mother is Haitian.

WHAT? I didn't even recognize a Haitian face! I soooo got it wrong. That probably wasn't even her sister. My people watching/facial feature/assessing skilz are weak.

We chit-chat some more and oddly, I did more talking that she did. I normally find it easy and comfortable to allow people to do most of the talking while I do the listening, but for some reason, I was all gabby gabby with this mom. But that's okay. She has my blog site and as soon as she comments (or emails) I'll get an opportunity to know more about her. Right Cathy? :)

There's a neat set of circumstances that led up to even going to the children's museum that day. It was a last minute decision, we had chores to do before hand but had to exit the house at a specific time, we said a prayer that the cultural pass would be available so I didn't have to pay the high admittance fee, the front row parking spots at both library and CM that we got... it was quite amazing the events that led up to getting there. Ordained?

So after Cathy left, I had the perfect FB status update and walked away pleased with having met another Haitian adoptive mom and blog buddy. Did I just say blog buddy?

Looking forward to getting to know you better. You know who you are.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday - It Really Happenend

It Really Happened
By Peter J. Leithart
Thursday, 01 April 2010 08:36
It really happened.

Some 2000 years ago, Jesus of Nazareth died on a Roman cross outside Jerusalem and was placed in a nearby tomb. On the third day after His death, women came to the tomb to dress the body and found the tomb empty, heard from angels that Jesus had risen from the dead, and shortly after encountered Jesus Himself. Then Jesus appeared to His disciples, and to many others.

It really happened.

Romans and Jews conspired to give alternative explanations of the empty tomb from the first, and alternative explanations keep coming. None of the alternative explanations works. None of them can explain the rise of early Christian belief in the resurrection of Jesus, the persistence of belief in Jesus in the face of massive murderous threats, the dramatic change in the disciples that took place after Easter and Pentecost.

The only plausible explanation is that Jesus rose from the dead. The only explanation that fits the evidence is that it really happened.

And if it really happened, then the world is a very different place than we might have thought.

If it really happened, then the world is the kind of place where there is not only life after death, a disembodied existence in heaven, but what N.T. Wright calls “life after life after death,” embodied life in a new heavens and new earth.

If it really happened, then the post-Enlightenment effort to explain the world by scientific naturalism will never be successful. Things have happened that our science cannot explain, and there is more in heaven and earth than are dreamed of in philosophy.

If it really happened, then the power of tyrants is shattered. The worst the tyrant can do is kill. The power of tyranny is the power of death. But if death is reversible, if dead people do come back to life after life after death, then the tyrant’s sword is finally useless and certainly not fearsome.

If it really happened, then Jesus is who He always said He was, the Son of God, the King who would sit on the throne of David.

If it really happened, Jesus is sitting on that throne right now, ruling all things. He is the new kurios, the new world ruler, the new emperor, to whom all principalities and powers are called to submit.

If it really happened, then the universe is being governed by Jesus, and there is no corner of the globe, no edge of the universe, where He is not king. Nothing is outside His rule, and we have nothing to fear.

If it really happened, we have been given a preview of the end of the age. Jews believed that resurrection was an event of the end, which it is. But the end has already begun. Jesus has been raised, the firstfruits of the resurrection, and that means that the end has come. The end will be resurrection, restoration, a new creation. The end will not be disembodied spirits in a disembodied world. The end will be this world transfigured into the new creation, into a new heavens and new earth.

If it really happened, then no situation and no person are hopeless. No marriage is beyond repair, no child beyond recovery, no pagan beyond the reach of the gospel, no sin beyond forgiveness, no womb permanently sealed, no one and nothing beyond restoration.

If it really happened, giving up is simply not an option, because if bodily death is reversible, so are all the other little deaths that we suffer in life. If it really happened, hope is not a delusion, but the driving power of abundant life.

If it really happened, then we've got a load of work, because not everyone has heard the news that God has conquered death. Jesus is King and Lord, and He sends us out to announce that He rule. He establishes the church to be the first form and bearer of His kingdom. He intends to overcome all evil and sin, all injustice and wickedness, and calls us in the power of His resurrection to share in His war against all that damages His good creation.

Go to the darkest shanty town of the darkest city on the darkest continent, and there too the Risen Jesus is king. Wade into the waste of the most ruined life, and there too Jesus is the Living Lord. Sort through the wreckage your own sin has caused in your own life, face it in faith and hope, and you will see resurrection life at work through the Spirit, and the liberating power of God's forgiveness.

Because it happened. It really happened.