Friday, November 30, 2007

Why do we pray at meals?

There has long been a list if the funny things kids say about God. I've got a couple to add:

To the bishop who held the wine chalice for my then two-year-old son at communion: "I no yike dat". Same son, now 8, can't wait for communion!

To the Seminary President who asked in a children's sermon, "Why do we pray before meals?" middle son answered ,"So the food has time to cool down." This does help explain the belief that one need not pray over cold food.

Noah, the one in the middle of the photo, sees God's hand in everything. He usual prayer at bedtime thanks God for "Everything you have created and everything you will create." Sort of paints God who Was, who Is and who Shall Be in full color. Noah finds the story of Jesus in most of his books, and loves to tell the story.

Jonah, on the right, considers God to be as real as Grandma. Heaven is someplace not too far away and full of good food, because God might get hungry. Jonah's God gets sad, and happy, and hungry. After discovering that he came from mommy's baby belly, and mommy came from Grandma's baby belly, Jonah stated that the very first people must have come from God's baby belly. This dovetails very neatly into his belief that God gives all babies hearts so they can love God.

Miriam, the little one on the right, is hanging on every word her brothers say. She joins in prayers at mealtimes, with her "Jesus, Amen" and sings Hale, Hale, Hale, Luiah, in the car on the way home from wherever. It won't be long before her precious sayings are gracing this blog.

I wish I could say it was because we are pastor/parents that our kids are like this, but I don't think so. I'm not even as good as my parents were at getting our kids around the table for Advent devotions. I remember listening to a little devotion at breakfast in the morning as a kid, and we're lucky to pray over breakfast. (It's usually cold food, you know!)

I think it's because we talk about God as one of the family. Sure, this member of the family created the world and all that is in it, but Jesus shows up at the dinner table and back-seat conversations. We have several bible story books at home, but we also read Dr. Suess and the Berenstine Bears.

In other words, don't think it's only the Pastors Kids who say this sort of stuff, it's the ones who ride in the back seat of your minivan. It a good reminder to remember that whatever you say, they hear!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

When Pigs Fly

I didn't grow up on a farm, but my Dad did, so we got all sorts of wonderful phrases out of him, from "Hay is for Horses, " "Dirt is just soil in the wrong place," and "When pigs fly." The last one, I believe, was uttered when I suggested that I might need a new car when I turned 16.

The thing is, I don't think Dad did much in the way of raising pigs. Or at least he wasn't looking when momma pig was trying to wean particularly persistent piglets. My middle son got caught in the middle when the pig did fly, right into the side of his face. Apparently weaning piglets are pretty big, and pretty dirty. Jonah came home from the farm with mud on his cheek, in his hair and down the front of his shirt. Ouch!! and Uugh!!

Along with "once in a blue moon" and "when pigs fly", "God only knows" is one of those times that's never really supposed to happen, so don't even think about getting ready for it, or even getting excited about the possibility of, say, a brand new car.

Jesus gives the same answer when the disciples ask about the when the end of the world is coming. God only knows when the Son of Man will come again.

Matthew 24:37-42

“When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. In those days before the flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat. People didn’t realize what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes.
Two men will be working together in the field; one will be taken, the other left. Two women will be grinding flour at the mill; one will be taken, the other left.
So you, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know what day your Lord is coming."

This time, Jesus reminds us that God Does know! God just isn't telling anyone else. It's a secret, but it will happen, so wake up and be ready.

People will be eating and sleeping, working and slacking off, right up until the moment Jesus returns. I remember being sure that Jesus would appear in the corner of my third grade classroom, as well as my brother's 1st grade classroom, and at home with mom, all at the same time. We'd better be ready!

We pray for it each week, and especially in Advent.

Stir up your power, oh Lord, and Come!


Friday, November 09, 2007

We are sooo lucky!

Some days we take so many of our blessings for granted. But we are all so lucky!

Jonah declared that we are the luckiest because we have two bathrooms in our house! And we have three sinks, and so many windows!

Matthew 6:26
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

We are so valuable to God, and sometimes we forget. It is good to be reminded just how lucky we are.

Thanks be to God for two bathrooms, three kids, lots of windows, and enough food for at least a week.


Monday, November 05, 2007

For All the Saints

..Who from their labors rest.

For Melanie and Fred and Lynn,
For Bonnie and Brian and Lyle,
For Ina and Arnold,
For Dorothy and Stanley,
For (insert names here of your Saints)

We remember this week, all those who have completed thier baptisms and gone home to Jesus.

Thanks be to God for their guidance and wisdom and strenght.

Thanks be to God for the promise of Eternal Life, and for memories.

Be with all those who are still here, and hurting because there are holes in our hearts where friends and family used to be.


Thursday, November 01, 2007

Happy Haloween

Yesterday was October 31st. The spookiest night of the year, right?
Ok, my in-house kids are 2 and 4 so the whole trick-or-treat thing is still a mystery so we can get away with 3 (yes three) homes this year.
#1 is Great Grandma and Grandpa Morlock: in the nursing home, two boxes of raisins for three costumed cousins. Hey, it's always good to go to a nursing home!
#2 is Grandma's neighbor who is still raking leaves when we actually arrive. Tow small bags of M&M's for being the first of the night.
#3 is Alice the Gorilla. Alice appears for two hours each year and will provides scares and a Recees or two if, and only if, you bring canned food. Luckily Alice can tell the difference between a ten year old and an 2 year old and was just a little surprising, not scary.

So what did my kids learn? That dressing up and giving away food is better than getting a bunch of candy that mom won't let you eat anyway! We gave a washer and dryer away this afternoon, so reinforced the lesson.

I apologize if you don't celebrate Haloween, but it's hard to be in the world, not of the world, without dressing up one night a year.

I'd rather focus on giving (like the UNICEF boxes) and remembering those who have gone before. (latino Day of the Dead does this really well)

Jesus knew all about dressing up like a mummy and walking around: first his friend Lazarus, and then he did the same trick! He knows we need to just have fun sometimes, and that we do need to remember those who have died.

So, On this All Saitnt's Day, give, love and keep on Living!