Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thanksgiving Day Family Feud

For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. For in fact the body is not one member but many.—1 Corinthians 12:12-14
It seemed a little unorthodox to me—to watch anything on TV other than football while the Thanksgiving turkey roasted.  But the laughter erupting from the den drew me to a comfy spot between my daughter Emma and her husband Ricky’s cousin who I just met that afternoon.  It seemed Family Feud was a family favorite among my newfound family.  Everyone was shouting out answers left and right.  Before I knew it, I was adding my own to the mix.  I guess I fit in just fine.
I glanced around the room at all the smiling faces and couldn’t help but notice how diverse the group was – white, black, Hispanic, young, old.  Not the traditional family I was used to.  Nor the traditional Thanksgiving.  But things were changing in my biological family.  My aging parents were no longer up to hosting a celebration for 50 family members.  It was time for something different.  So I invited them to a celebration with my children and their families on Wednesday.  That left Thursday open for me to accept the invitation to tag along with Emma and Ricky to celebrate with his family. So here I was—now part of another family.  Truly. For Hispanics mean it when they say, “Mi casa es su casa” (My house is your house).
“Name something that is wasted,” boomed Steve Harvey, host of the Family Feud.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Pack a Heart-Healthy Lunch

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped.—Psalm 28:7
After three straight classes, I need this time to relax and refresh—before the next group arrives in 45 minutes. It’s called a planning period, but I find myself doing every other thing but planning—I'm grading papers, writing discipline referrals, reporting on students with special needs, and answering emails from parents.  My desk is littered with paper and my electronic inbox is bursting at the seams. How will I ever get it all done?  And what can I do with my most challenging class—soon to arrive? Just thinking about makes my heart palpitate--despite rhythm-regulating medicine.

Friday, November 8, 2013

True Colors

Now the Lord had said to Abram:
“Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you."Genesis 12:1

I couldn’t quite put a finger on it.  Why the tightness in my throat? I felt like I was on the verge of tears.   My steps were heavy as I crunched the gravel on the farm road.  A walk should do me good. But it didn’t seem like it was working.
Winter is on its way, I thought, noticing the migrant Canada geese gliding along the placid pond.  I pulled my jacket a little tighter and returned my gaze to my feet, watching every step, being ever so careful to avoid holes and obstacles that could cause a slip—and a fall.  Dry, coffee-colored leaves lined the lane and crackled beneath my feet.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Never Clueless

But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.—1 Peter 2:9 

“I’m surprised you didn’t find the crest,” said high school student Mariah, referencing the pendant necklace borrowed from my colleague for the after-school murder mystery.
“What crest?  Where was it?” cried the students who had just completed the clue-finding circuit.
As leader of the campus ministry, Mariah had orchestrated every last detail of the outreach event and recalled where she had placed it. “In the garbage can in the ladies restroom.”
“The only thing we found in the garbage can was the journal.”
I knew that was true, for I was the one who had RE-placed it there, having rescued it earlier from the custodian’s trash hopper.
A quick check in the restroom confirmed our fears.  The crest was gone.