Category Archives: Fun

I Cannot Resist

I remember watching this performance by Dolly Parton in 1989 and feeling the thrill of shared faith. I mean, there she was in her fancy dress and long nails standing on a huge stage singing about something that I totally identified with. I think later, when she presents the next award, she says, “lordy” when she can’t get the envelope open and then worries, “I don’t know, can you say ‘lordy’ on this show?”

Don Francisco is the writer of this Easter classic and his version on YouTube is great also, but this is the one I remember connecting with. Today is Good Friday, and I haven’t been very good at exploring the quiet somberness of it yet. I’m kind of stuck on getting to Sunday! However, this song is kind of long – the “Sunday” stuff doesn’t show up until around the 4 minute mark. But, like waiting through Friday and Saturday, the wait is worth it. If you try to skip to the end without listening to the reflective, repetitive verses, the end won’t mean as much. So, I guess I do get it a little.

Enjoy “He’s Alive” – one of my favorite Easter songs. And don’t skip anything – ’cause Sunday’s comin’!

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Let’s Play Again!

I enjoyed last week’s Seven Word Wisdom challenge so much that I thought we’d try it again this week.makeup1

Remember, the rules are to condense your best wisdom on the given topic into seven words using a two-word, three-word, two-word sentence pattern. For example: Play now. Use seven words. Tell friends.

Today’s topic: Make-up! Last week everyone came up with such great wisdom for my girls concerning fashion and clothes. This week I wonder what you’ve got when it comes to make-up. Since Ada, my five year-old, showed up at the breakfast table this week in eye shadow and lip gloss, I think I’m going to need your help!

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A Writing Game

Ever played the Seven Word Wisdom challenge? I read about it this week in some homework but found an old contest explaining the rules here.

For example, the author of a book on proper diet and nutrition writes, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

To play, you simply condense your wisdom into seven words using a 2-3-2 word sequence. Three short sentences. Here’s another one concerning food: “Eat pie. Very good pie. Not often.”

My challenge to you is to write a Seven Word Wisdom on the topic of fashion. Remember the mini-conference for teenage girls I mentioned earlier this week? Think of them as your audience and describe in seven words your philosophy on clothes and fashion.

Here’s my entry: Stay current. Keep it simple. Be modest.

Come on! Everyone play; I need the material!

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And also March Madness

I mentioned last year my love for Fantasy Football. For all the same reasons, I also love March Madness – the NCAA Tournament! This year my team, Missouri, actually is something to be proud of, but even when they are not, I love this season. Right now we are in the middle of the busiest four days of the tournament with games on TV almost every time you check. It is a good time for a Spring Break – lucky me.

I think, in part, my interest in writing is related to my interest in sports. When I was in middle school, my dad’s office used to get several magazine subscriptions sent to our house. He would later take them to his waiting room for patients to read. Sports Illustrated was one of those magazines, and I started flipping through its pages looking for pictures of teams I liked. What I found were stories – stories of people who happen to play sports. I especially learned to look forward to the very back page of the magazine. Rick Reilly wrote a short essay on the final page. He has to be one of the best writers ever. I probably ought to blame him for my interest in all kinds of sports and the people who play them.

I hope you enjoy your March Madness. Even if you don’t find the sport interesting, if you watch a game I think you can find a human interest story or two. And if the one on TV doesn’t work for you, maybe the best story is sitting in his recliner in front of that TV. Dad, brother, son – at least enjoy that story!

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St. Patrick’s Day Fun

Can you tell I’m on Spring Break? I’m not actually doing anything spring-y or break-y, but I’m also not doing homework every night! That is something.

This is a cute Veggie Tales short about St. Patrick. It is actually quite informative and funny.

I have to say that I’m struck today by how we have managed to take the celebration of a spiritual, influential man and reduced it to a color scheme and painful, punishing invasions of personal boundaries. I’m not saying there is anything to do about this … just something to consider.

For a semi-serious look at St. Patrick check out Jason Boyett’s excerpt from his upcoming book Pocket Guide to Sainthood. You might call it the young adult version of this felt-board spoof. I enjoyed it.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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America’s Church and My New Obsession With It

Maybe it is the fact that I’ve been going to church in a school gym for the last 8 years, but I’ve recently found myself drawn to several classic elements of traditional churches. I find myself craving stained glass windows, hymnals, and arched ceilings with murals! And on that note, I think I have a new mini-obsession with our National Cathedral.

Tonight my husband brought home a link he knew I’d love. It is Donald Miller’s blog entry on his experiences at President Obama’s Inauguration. I love Miller’s writing and his take on this historic event is compelling. It is a little long, so check it out when you have time. In the meantime, here is a clip similar to the one Miller uses of the song “Amazing Grace” at the Inaugural Prayer Service. Let’s just say, you have probably never heard anyone hum like this (watch it all – the end is the best part):

The Inaugural Prayer Service, of course, is held in the National Cathedral, and earlier in the day I was researching an author and found out that the National Cathedral website posts video clips of many of their guest speakers. Talk about a who’s who of spiritual leaders (not all Christian, by the way). And while they talk you can gaze longingly at the columns and ornate decorations. Well, anyway, that’s what I’m doing.

I’m enjoying this traditonal phase almost as much as my big hair phase in high school. I just hope this one has more eternal value!

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You Can Do It!

I’ve been thinking about developing new habits lately. Good habits, the kind that make you healthy, wealthy, and wise! This year the resolutions in our home have to do with getting fit – spiritually and physically – and I know accomplishing these goals is just a matter of changing my habits.

In my Disciplines of Life class I use an analogy from John Ortberg about the difference between TRAINING and TRYING. Ortberg says running a marathon is a great goal, but if you only TRY to run it, perhaps by getting the right outfit and faking some warm-ups at the starting line, you will never suceed. Instead, you must TRAIN for that marathon. The TRAINING is inevitably hard and time-consuming, but as you progress in your abilities you will eventually reach your goal. Many of us approach our spiritual growth in the same unwise manner. We decide to be different and so we start a regimen of daily prayer for two hours and a rigorus Bible study. Inevitably we will fail when we simply TRY but do not TRAIN.

Training means working up to a goal. You start with small steps and persevere. Trying usually means you have good intentions but no follow through.

A couple of years ago we took Jesse to a special football camp at Truman. He loved it and I love looking at the pictures of his smallness up against those big college players. They were so gentle and sweet with the boys.

football

Practicing physical or spiritual disciplines may seem daunting – kind of like a 5 year-old up against a collegiate athlete – but don’t forget where your strength comes from. There are major promises involved and much grace.

If we train faithfully, someday we will taste the sweetness of victory. It will probably feel something like this:

football2

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