Saturday, December 17, 2005

my 2 cents

** DISCLAIMER: I am not advocating the canceling of church on a regular basis, and I strongly feel that the body is important to the growth of the individual. When I originally wrote this post, I was trying to present the other side of the issue to people who automatically thought ill of the churches that did cancel. If you want more explanation, please read the comments section. Thanks!

it seems as though everyone (well, in a church office anyway...) has an opinion on it, so i thought i'd post mine... feel free to post yours in the comments section.

with christmas falling on a sunday, several mega-churches have decided to cancel services, sparking national debate. (this is one of the numerous news articles on the subject.) these churches are being accused of going too far in trying to fit into "today's culture." my church is having services, and i will be there... both on christmas eve AND on christmas day... but i will certainly not criticize those who don't.

growing up, my family had several christmas-oriented traditions. some for christmas eve, some for christmas day. and though we always were flexible (like post-poning christmas eve events until my brother could make it up from fort benning on christmas morning), and things have changed over the years (3 spouses and 4 grandkids require such), these things will always remain a part of my perception of christmas. but this year... well, this year nothing is the same. why? because we all must be at church on christmas morning. now, don't get me wrong. i as well will be at church. if i had a family, i'm sure we would go to church. but my question to you is... why is it such a big deal? please don't even try to tell me that it's to "put Christ first." to me, that is nothing more than a christian cliche. i don't know, maybe it's just because of my perception as a pastor's kid... but to me, putting myself in the shoes of a parent- let alone a pastor's wife- getting the kids up and ready to go to church on Christmas morning doesn't demonstrate putting CHRIST first... it demonstrates putting CHURCH first. because gosh darnit, if the church doors are open, we'll be there. and even better, we'll probably be the ones there early to unlock them and stay late to lock them back up. i'm not saying we shouldn't go to church, i'm not saying there's anything wrong with having services, please don't misunderstand me. but what i am saying is that what happens in the home is a million times more important in the life of a child than being forced to go to church 18 times a week. the role my parents played in my faith was not because they exposed me to church, but because i saw them live it in their lives. if these churches want to cancel services to be with their family, let them.

npr also had an interesting brief report on it. i'll admit, they have some idiots speaking on both sides of the issue. (i think my personal favorite was the suggestion to have a "pajama service"- everyone wear pjs and bring their gifts TO CHURCH so everyone can open them at church together. are you kidding me??)

i think that throughout this whole debate, the best way i can sum it up is to agree with one of the pastors interviewed in the npr report. he serves at a church in colorado springs that IS having services... but he is obviously fed up with the fact that the whole thing has become such a big deal. regarding churches' decision to cancel- and the debate that ensued- his attitude is one i absolutely agree with: "the sky is not falling, the kingdom of God will move forward, and life will go on."

in the words of dr. stowell.... "amen, and amen."

Thursday, December 15, 2005

smelling like lilies

these were delivered to me earlier this week,
sent from jon for no reason other than to brighten my office.
and indeed they have...
i smile every time i look at them...

Monday, December 12, 2005

here's another one!


well, this is it. after many many roadblocks, i finally have the tree decorated to my standards. though i must admit... this picture does not do its glory proper justice. even now, i sit, admiring its beauty... the beauty of my own tree...

Sunday, December 11, 2005

it's a small world after all....

i was out and about tonight, and after hitting target, i had about 20 minutes to kill. i wandered over to tj maxx...i was just wandering around, casually perusing christmas decorations, and out of the corner of my eye i saw a guy dressed in ACUs (ACUs are the digital military uniforms- as opposed to the traditional camouflage- not the whole army has them yet, but jon's brigade does)...and at the same time, i heard the word "georgia." i turned around and said, "excuse me, are you in the 48th brigade?" he was rather taken aback, and said, "well...yeah.." i smiled and said, "my husband is too." ... "oh really? who's your husband?" i answered (though i had to think about it a moment...i've never introduced myself to anyone who knows him as this) "chaplain fisher." his eyes got really big, and his friend exclaimed "dude, you KNOW fisher!" through conversation, we realized that he and i graduated from the same high school- him 4 years before me! he is home for his 2 week leave right now. especially considering they're with the GEORGIA army national guard, this truly proves the smallness of our world!

his eyes got all watery as soon as he heard i was jon's wife. he went on to tell me how much he means to all the guys... "he's done more for us than you could ever know" he said. he spoke of how jon is with them before missions, and how he was there through the fatalities. he told me about an article in the brigade newspaper that was a bit anti-chaplain, and how after that some of them made sure to talk to jon to tell him how much they like him! ... it made me feel so good to stand there, the wife of someone who is thought of so highly and means so much to these soldiers. he didn't have to say those things. he could have said, "yeah, i know him" and it would have sufficed. but through his red and watery eyes he looked right into mine and told me of all these things that jonathan has done.

i'm still kinda recovering from the absurdity of this encounter... the number of coincidences that aligned our meeting (one of which was that the airline left his bag in he had to stop at the store on his way home from the airport to buy clothes!) is amazing! wow... i think i'll be humming that hated yet familiar disney tune for days...

Friday, December 09, 2005


this is some art done by my 6-year-old niece, iris. her teacher uses a website that allows you to see kids' creations online!

great pic, iris!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

christmas trees and movies i hate

i finally put up my christmas tree tonight. it has been in pieces on my living room floor for the past's been a long time coming! i tried for about an hour last saturday to get the base put together...i ended up having to have amy do it...she's the woman! so tonight, after assembling the color-coded branches, i ended up with my first very own christmas tree. i excitedly started draping the lights...i have white and blue. much to my chagrin, i realized that i should have made sure they had green wiring! the blue look fantastic...but the white, eh, not so much, with wires of the same color. i shall go tomorrow to find better lights. so, i haven't finished decorating yet, since i'm going to change the lights. i'm rather excited for this...having your own christmas tree ranks right up their with having your own kitchen. not quite, but close.

on a completely unrelated note, what is it with stressful movies? ugh. i like happy movies where there are no bad guys and no stressful situations. apparently i should stick with disney... i watched the war of the worlds a few nights ago. i thought it was good...and it's not like i got scared or freaked out...but it was SO stressful! my heart was racing the entire time. and my other recent view...millions. if you have never seen it, it's definitely worth a trip to the video store on a bored night. it's rated pg (though has some scenes that i definitely would rate at a pg-13), and is about two little boys who find millions of pounds only days before england changes to the euro. really, it's not the plot that's's the way it is filmed. it is fantastic. the aerial shots, the scene transitions...all very interesting. so as i was watching it, i thought to myself, "you know, this is really great. a cute movie about two little boys who are having the time of their lives spending money." then, i hear it. the sound i hate. dramatic music. it's normally either a lower bass note held out, or a minor chord. either way, i hate it. though i have to admit, i do appreciate being fore-warned. and i heed its call...last night, i immediately closed my eyes and turned the other way...a position i would hold for much of the movie, come to find out. what is it with me? ah, there are the reasons i don't like to think about...having been robbed (for starters) at gunpoint in a parking lot, having a husband at war...these probably factor in. come to think of it, before these things happened i could handle movies much better. ah, but maybe i'm just getting wimpier in my old age. in many ways, i'd like to think the latter.

so am i destined for a life of elf and finding nemo? i sure hope not. ah, alas, maybe it will be more tolerable when i can watch these movies in my husband's arms...and if that doesn't even help, well, then we'll all know i'm just a wimp. hey, there's worse things to be, right?