Friday, May 28, 2010

Why I Love Potlucks

I love potlucks… at least the kind we have here in Louisiana because folks down here really like to cook and like to eat.  Last night we had a potluck at the church so folks could come together, eat, hang out, and discuss the direction of the church in the coming months.  Everyone left the meeting feeling full, not just with food, but spiritually, which got me to thinking about why I love potlucks.  So here are a few thoughts on why I love potlucks:

 Everyone contributes – If I have people over to my house for dinner I provide the food but at a potluck everyone brings something to share.
Communal Hospitality – at a potluck everyone is there to serve one another.  There is no distinction between hosts and guests because we all end up playing both of those roles at a potluck.
Bringing out the best – At our potlucks I find that most people who at least have time and resources to prepare some food before they show up really bring some good food.  They take time and thought to prepare something that will bless others.  There is a sense of people showing up wanting to be a blessing in a very practical way to others.
The real action is at the table – I heard a guy on a podcast talking about how the cake part of a cup cake is really just a frosting delivery mechanism because the frosting is the best part.  A potluck is a community delivery mechanism.  Sure the food is great but it is the conversations around the table with new friends old friends and people you just met that really infuses the potluck with life.
A potluck is a simple picture of church – I love all of the stories in the New Testament of Jesus eating at people’s houses, celebrating the Passover meal with his disciples the night before he was crucified, and how even after the resurrection that he cooked a breakfast of fish and bread for his disciples by the sea.  A potluck feels good because it has its roots in the beginning of the church.  When we each come together and bring our best to share with others as we gather around the person and purposes of Jesus it is a simple picture of what church is about. 

So there you have it, my apologetic for potlucks!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Jack Bauer or Jack Shepherd?

This last week saw the series finales of both 24 and Lost, shows that challenged the status quo in the television industry through their creative story telling.  Both shows offer a picture of the struggle between good and evil but they have answered the questions of enemies and confronting enemies in completely different ways.

I became a fan of 24 about a year after Katrina when a friend loaned me the first 2 seasons.  I was immediately hooked by the drama and intrigue of this show centered around Jack Bauer’s quest to save the world from terrorist threats.  At that time in my life 24 was a much-needed escape.  At the end of a hard day of relief work in the community I could come home, drink a cold one and watch Jack Bauer do his thing.  The world of 24 wasn’t like the world I was living in.  In the universe of 24 things were very black and white – good guys and bad guys, problems and solutions (even if they seemed rather extreme like torturing a bad guy with electricity).

In post Katrina New Orleans things were nearly so cut and dry.  There was no clear-cut enemy to focus our anger towards like the Taliban or Al Qaeda.  Instead there was this simmering sense of loss and anger without any one person or institution on which to affix the blame.  The truth is everyone shared some of the blame in the issues that lead to Katrina being such a huge calamity for New Orleans – the government response, the oil companies who dug channels that eroded the wetlands, the corruption in the city and police departments, the average citizen who was indifferent to the cause of hurricane protection, and the Army Core of Engineers whose levees were breeched by the surge etc.  As much as we wanted one enemy it wasn’t going to happen.  This was no 9/11.  But at least I had 24 because at the end of the day after hearing folks blaming the Army Core of Engineers, and the president, and FEMA I could retreat into a world where terrorists were bad, Jack Bauer was good and no matter how bad things might look it would be all worked out in 24 hours.

After losing several months of my life to a 24 addiction I ran out of episodes.  What made matters worse was that I had developed my addiction while watching the episodes on DVD instead of TV without all of those commercials.  I was in a place of having to wait around for another season of 24 and I needed something to get me through because withdrawal was beginning to set in.  Someone recommended watching Lost and in a moment of weakness I said why not.  I didn’t really know what I was getting into with Lost, for all I knew it was just a dramatized version of survival… boy was I wrong.  Once I got hooked on Lost I never went back to 24.

Lost had a completely different rhythm than 24 and was much less black and white.  There was certainly conflict non-stop but there was no clear enemy.  Unlike 24 where everything would find resolve at the end of a season Lost had a way of leaving one with many more questions than answers—gnawing questions that would linger for days and weeks and many times until the next season. 

One of the central themes on lost was “Live together or die alone.”  In the world of Lost we saw all of these characters of different races and walks of life with different goals, different ways of dealing with conflict, and certainly different personalities—folks who would normally have no reason to do anything together yet it was the very crucible of community that put these characters on the path to redemption.  The characters of Lost had to come to terms with their differences and learn how to work together for something bigger than any individual.  For all of its sci-fi elements Lost seemed to strike me as more like the real world – we all have issues and baggage and different ways of dealing with things but we must learn how to live together and to overcome these differences and to see ourselves in a larger story.  In the end the characters of Lost finally found redemption after 6 seasons but that redemption came in and through their connections with each other – typified in the final episode by Jack Shepherd laying down his life for his friends.
I found it interesting that when Lost finally concluded the other night I didn’t quite know how I felt about it.  I think this was a feeling shared by many.  But over the last few days I have come to feel that ending was brilliant and that the implications for the spiritual life are very profound.  As much as I have wanted to see myself over the years as a Jack Bauer, the good guy, fighting obvious enemies I have come to learn that what we see in Lost is a little more accurate picture of how transformation and redemption happens.  In life there is rarely ever one simple enemy or one hero who will save the day.  We all share a part in the blame and can all share in the healing.  Each one of us has the potential, as the characters on Lost, to be both a hero and a villain.  But be assured transformation and redemption are never a solo endeavors.  There are always others with which our individual stories are interconnected, fellow sojourners looking for truth, freedom and healing even though at times they may even appear as our enemies.  We can fight against this reality or try to insulate ourselves in a reality of our own making but ultimately we will either “live together or die alone”.
  • So if you have watched Lost and/or 24 why do the show(s) appeal to you? 
  • Do you identify more with Jack Bauer or Jack Shepherd?
  • What did you come away with after the season finales?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Reflections on 5 Years of Blogging

In June My Life as a Wrestler celebrates its 5 year birthday so I thought it would be interesting to reflect over what I’ve learned in 5 years of blogging.

How it all started…
Back in June 2005 I launched this blog as Crispytunes News.  It was originally launched in conjunction with my last CD Move which had just come out.  The blog was going to be mainly a place to post gigs, pictures and some thoughts on music and spirituality.  The first phase of this blog lasted until Aug 29, 2005 when Katrina hit. 

Diary of disaster…
For the year after Katrina Crispytunes News began to be a place where I mainly posted blogs about life after Katrina—the destruction, the loss, and the efforts to see things restored in the New Orleans area.  This phase of the blog didn’t feature much in the way of really good writing but was a way for me to process issues of faith and hardship.  Something began to change a bit in 2006 as the blog turned into a bit more of a forum to wrestle with issues.

Less is More
In August of 2006 I published a blog called Hell is a Walmart Checkout Line.  This blog post marked a bit of a transition in the blog as I began to take writing a bit more seriously and kicked things up a notch.  I was starting to feel that simply putting opinions and facts on the blog wasn’t enough.  I needed to take writing for the blog as seriously as I took songwriting.  This meant that I would frequently spend several days working and reworking some of my posts and then pass them by my friend Susie who would edit the grammar and punctuation as well as give me feedback on how it all flowed and communicated the ideas that I was trying to get across.  Another interesting factor at this time was that I was really beginning to wrestle with theology in a major way in a post-Katrina world where many of the typical ideas on ministry and church were getting really tweaked.  I felt compelled to think deeply on God and culture and church so as to sort through the things that were worth keeping and those that could simply be discarded.  This combination of wrestling with theology and a desire to put out a higher quality of writing resulted in significantly fewer blog posts (2007 actually saw the fewest blog posts of any of the years that this blog has been in existence though the quality was getting better).

I have noticed over the years of recording music that sometimes I have gone in the studio to make one kind of album and then once the creative process gets going something else emerges.  This is what began to happen with the blog.  The blog was changing as changes were happening in me.  I was beginning to feel that writing wasn’t simply a side thing for me any more but that it was part of my vocation and calling.  The truth is I could look back to high school and see how this had been a thread in my life for years from writing for the high school newspaper to publishing my own underground newspaper (Purple Haze) to the three years of publishing a newsletter called The Lamp with my band Mary’s Den.  This all lead me to doing something that a person should never do on December 31, 2007—I made a resolution that I wanted to write a book by the end of the year.  I would name the book My Life as a Wrestler because it was becoming clear to me that wrestling with ideas had become one of the main themes of the blog.  Well, the book never came out and instead I changed the name of this blog from Crispytunes News to My Life as a Wrestler.

Recent History
Where am I today with this blog?  Over the past year I have tried to keep the content creative and engaging striking a balance between the longer essays that I put a lot of work into and shorter pieces to get the conversation rolling.  I am also trying to be more disciplined as a blogger taking blogging seriously as part of my calling.  This means that I am not simply waiting for inspiration but trying to live a more consistently inspired life.  A few years ago I would only write when inspiration hit but now I am trying to keep a folder of 5-10 ideas that I am consistently wrestling with which has in led to a more consistent flow of writing.  I have also begun to allow more time in my life for writing because I see it as something God created me to do.  I can honestly say that pursuing this path has really helped in so many other areas of my life particularly as I have embarked on church planting.  I am finding that I am a better pastor, teacher, and musician as I blog because my writing spills over into all of these areas. Will any of this wrestling ever turn into a book?  Maybe.  But for now I am content to simply wrestle with life, theology, and creativity openly with anyone who chooses to join me in the conversation.  I thank all of you who have joined me in this journey whether years ago or just in the last month.  Thanks for reading and thanks for your input.

Here’s to five years of wrestling and hopefully many more years of wrestling to come.  Happy Birthday Blog!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

My Name is Crispin... I’m a Judgaholic

Last weekend I gave a message at Northshore Vineyard on our human tendency to judge people.  Every since Adam and Eve ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil every human since has been obsessed with figuring out right and wrong, good and evil and yet ironically estranged from truth that could set us free.  I related that this obsession with good and evil has manifested itself in the human tendency to judge others.

Why do we judge so much?  Because it makes us feel alive.  But judging is not really life but artificial life.  Judging is an addiction for which every human has a propensity.  When we judge we feel high, we feel righteous, we feel like we are living passionately but it is an artificial high much as the high one would get from doing drugs.  As judging addicts we have plenty of places available to get our fix in a moment from cable news commentators to radio talk shows to blogs.  We get high on this stuff because it stirs a real passion in us for making a difference in the world.  But unlike really doing something to change the world judging creates distance between us and the problems.  We can listen to a commentator and walk away feeling stirred up and euphoric, even feeling as if we have been empowered but the reality is that judgment doesn’t heal the world or make things right any more than a drug addiction helps someone function better in their job or family. 

As long as I stand pointing my finger I am incapable embracing someone with the love of God.  Jesus talks of taking the plank out of our eyes before we try to address the speck in other’s eyes.  As long as we are judging and judgmental we can’t truly see others or ourselves as we truly are because our vision is obscured by a giant two by four embedded in our eye sockets.  We need eye surgery.  We need to encounter God’s love for us in all of our failures and shortcomings.  We need to truly see where we stand in need of God’s mercy. 

The first step of walking out of any addiction is getting out of denial, of coming to terms with our own inability to change ourselves or the world around us.  I have realized over the years that I am a judgaholic.  I now consider myself in recovery from this addiction and am trying to live in response to the amazing love and generosity that God has shown me.  I don’t think I will ever be healed of this addiction this side of the Lord’s return but I want to stay aware of my fallen condition so that I can be open to the very mercy and grace that can truly heal me within and heal my eyes so I can see with the light of truth and love.

Is viewing judging as an addiction perhaps a helpful way for you to look at things?

Are you in recovery?

Any thoughts?

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Role of Money in the Christian Life

This week there have been several investigative reports on some prominent local Christian leaders who appear to be using their position for questionable personal financial gains.  This all comes the week that I have finally decided to do my first public message on the role of money in the Christian faith (which has upped the tension a bit for me).  I have never spoken on money in public before but not because I don’t have strong views on the subject but mainly because I have seen so many abuses in the church when it comes to the subject of how we are supposed to steward our resources. 

In my early years as a Christian I frequently attended churches that ranged from promoting an all out prosperity gospel to a more tame version of the prosperity gospel but the emphasis was always on giving to God to get blessed or to not get cursed.   I have found very few things in my Christian experience as destructive to genuine simple faith in God as this type of theology. 

As a church planter I have been very deliberate thus far to not even talk about money much at all because I have felt it of utmost importance to establish why the church is here.  So in the past few weeks I have summed up a big theological emphasis of what we’re trying to do as Northshore Vineyard in the statement “You are not the point but a point.”  The underlying idea is that whenever you or I think we are the whole point of everything that Jesus did then we detach from the mission of God that he started back with Abraham when he said “I will bless you so that all the nations of the world will be blessed through you” (paraphrased a bit).  One of the fundamental issues that I have with the prosperity gospel is that it makes you and me the point and the end of God’s blessing and thus turns Christianity into simply being blessed with more money and stuff as evidence of our faith in God.  But I just can’t see this in scripture or in reality.  The truth is I have met many Christians in third world countries whose faith in God and simple devotion to the purposes of Jesus would put most American Christians to shame.  Yet they live in conditions that are far below what we would consider the worst forms of poverty in America.  Are they not blessed?  Are they not people of faith?  Or perhaps maybe we’ve become blind to true riches.

Money is no doubt an indicator of what we value and how we think about God just as any other resources which God has entrusted to us including our time, health, emotional availability, and other material possessions.  When I look at the early church in the book of Acts I see a people who lived in utterly extravagant generosity.  They took care of the needs of one another.  They entrusted money to the apostles to finance the ministry.  They helped feed widows and offered relief for struggling churches.  They did this all as a response to their encounter with Jesus and his kingdom.  For the early church there was no sense of how much they should set aside to give to God.  On the contrary they lived in such a way that they viewed everything as being God’s already.  They were marked by a love that wasn’t sappy or sentimental but that actually made a difference in meeting real needs around them. 

Jesus once told a parable about a man who found a treasure in a field and then sold everything he had to purchase that field.  This to me is a picture of our response to the kingdom of God.  When we find it, we find an amazing treasure that is worth sinking everything into.  We are ruined for anything else because we have glimpsed a treasure far, far greater. 

Needless to say I have a lot of thoughts on this subject which I have wrestled with for years that I will likely share more of in future blogs but for now I just ask for your prayers to communicate these things in a way that sets people free to participate fully in kingdom life.  

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Milestone! Mmmm Fresh Cooked Squash From the Garden

Gardening Video Blog #4 - Staking the Tomato Plants

So I invited my friend Paul Tufaro over to help me with my tomato plants.  In the last few weeks the tomato plants have been growing like crazy but have just started flopping over on the ground a bit.  Paul has been gardening for a few years and had some practical wisdom on how to give the plants the appropriate structure to facilitate healthy life in the plants.  On this day we staked up the plants and then put cages around them to provide structure.

stakes and cages to help the tomato plants grow - photo by Tevia

Nature is Not as Romantic as We'd Like to Think

Photo by Crispin Schroeder 

A couple of weeks ago my son spotted a bird’s nest up in a tree.  He became obsessed with wanting to see it up close so finally I let him stand on my shoulders to see inside.   What awaited him was a few blue eggs and one speckled egg.  I thought the combination a bit odd but then again what do I know about birds.  So I snapped a few pictures of this treasure of eggs and printed them out so he could tell his class about his very cool find. 

In the weeks the few weeks since we first found the nest Dina has been looking out our bedroom window several times a day to see if the momma bird is around.  The reality is that momma bird isn’t around very often but still Dina has no doubt envisioned stories of a momma working hard to take care of these eggs and the baby chicks which will be hatching shortly.  However a funny thing happened the other night.  I posted the latest picture on Facebook (seen here) of the nest which I took a few days ago and all sorts of people began speculating on the kind of eggs in the nest.  Many thought they were a type of bluebird or robin eggs but this didn’t match the bird we had seen.  So I did a little digging around and found a picture and bird profile online that looked almost exactly like the one I had taken. 
It seemed we had found a match… it was a cowbird.

This is where the story gets a little funny because as I began reading about cowbirds an interesting profile began to emerge.  Cowbirds are basically parasites.  They don’t build their own nests but they have good taste in nests usually opting for the well-crafted nests of robins or bluebirds.  A mother cowbird will fly around looking for a good nest and when she finds one, will wait for the blue bird or robin to lay a few eggs.  Then she will sneak up to the nest and lay her own egg in there and leave.  This, in and of itself, often runs off the blue birds.  Over time the cowbird will begin spending more and more time in the nest until she makes it her own at which point she will break the eggs of the robin or blue bird by pecking them with her beak or throwing them out of the nest. 

Well… so much for the romantic story of the hard working momma cowbird who is trying to raise up her young.  The real story is of a lazy momma bird who is a cold-blooded and opportunistic.  So we are going to try and rescue the blue eggs this week and bring them to the local feed and seed which I was told will incubate them until they hatch.  

Friday, May 07, 2010

A Bad Case of Holy Heartburn

photo by Crispin Schroeder - Swamps of Southeast Louisiana

There is a story in the Gospel of Luke  of a couple of disappointed disciples on the road to Emmaus a just days after the crucifixion of Jesus.  The mood of disciples is that of despair because they had put all their hopes in Jesus that he was the one who was going to set things right.  But everything just looked all wrong from their perspective.  It looked like evil had won and that the movement they had thought would change the world would simply end up like all of the other failed messianic movements before them.  But while they were walking they were joined by another person in the journey, one who began to tell them the story of what God was doing from the beginning, a story of love and redemption, a story of the overthrow of darkness and the liberation of creation from the tyranny of sin and death.  They heard these words as they journeyed and all of the sudden the deep despair and depression they had been feeling began to be broken like rays of sunshine breaking through the clouds.  They finally reached their destination and invited this wise mystic-of-a-stranger in to the house with them.  Later that evening they found themselves gathered around a table for a meal and this stranger broke some bread to share with them and in that moment their eyes were opened to who this stranger was.  It was Jesus!  And then he disappeared as mysteriously as he had appeared to them.  In that moment all heaven broke loose in their midst and they said, “did not our hearts burn within us as he spoke to us!” 

This is one of my favorite stories in the New Testament for several reasons.  I love the way that Jesus, almost playfully, reveals himself.  He meets them in their longing, in their failed dreams and brings hope in such an amazing and caring way, a way that just oozes love and compassion… and mystery.  I like this story because it seems so true to the ways that I have encountered God myself.  Sometimes in my most confusing moments when I have become disillusioned, stressed out, or burned out, in moments when I am doing nothing overtly spiritual, sometimes even when I am doing everything I can to run away from life or God even, I bump right into Jesus.  And when I do I am left saying the same thing, “Did not my heart burn with in me!” 

Sometimes I find myself bumping into God when I am camping with my kids and doing the ordinary stuff that comes with camping like chopping wood or hiking only to find that in the middle of it all God has revealed himself to me.  Sometimes it happens in a conversation with someone when all of the sudden I realize that God was speaking to me through this other person.  The funny thing is that sometimes it’s a conversation with someone who isn’t even a Christ-follower but someone who in that moment reveals something to me of the truth and beauty of Jesus.  There have been times when I have bumped into Jesus at a concert in a dimly lit club and I realize, usually later that Jesus was moving in my heart to reveal himself.  Other times I have heard Jesus in a melody, or a lyric of a song or even see him in a scene of a movie.  How do I know these things are revelations of Jesus and not just mere inspiration?  Because like the early disciples on that road to Emmaus, I get a bad case of holy heartburn—the kind of heartburn you don’t want to cure at all but that you want desperately to continue to invade every aspect of your life. 

  • When was the last time you had holy heartburn?
  • When was the last time you bumped into Jesus in the most unexpected place?

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

The Transition From Church Staff to Church Plant

Looking through the window at one of our Saturday Night Services
So, I am about 5 months into doing this church planting thing full time.  One thing I had not anticipated was just how different planting a church was going to be from being on staff at a large church.  While I am very thankful for my years that I spent at The Vineyard Church in Kenner and all of the preparation that it gave me for my current place in life, I am finding that being a church plant is a completely different story all together.  So I thought it might be cool and maybe even helpful to those who are thinking of church-planting to highlight a few big adjustments I have had to make in moving from a large congregation to a church plant.  So here goes:

1.         MESSAGE PREP:  When I was on staff at the Vineyard Church in Kenner, I would speak on the weekends every 6-8 weeks.  This meant that I could put a whole lot of time into studying and crafting my message and even practicing it.  By the time the weekend came around when I was supposed to speak I had had huge amounts of time to think of illustrations, movie clips and even songs that would help drive home a point.  My last message at the Kenner Vineyard even had me dancing to Gwyn Stephanie (you had to be there to understand). 

Now that I am having to speak every week, I have found that I am really having to be disciplined to keep up with both study and inspiration because Sundays come quick.  Speaking on a weekly basis has also whittled down the amount of stuff that I communicate on Sundays.  When I was in Kenner my typical message would come in at seventeen pages of notes and a delivery time of around 40 minutes.  Part of this was no doubt due to the fact that I had 6-8 weeks to prepare for my messages.  When I stared speaking every week at Northshore Vineyard I realized that since I was going to be doing this for the foreseeable future, then maybe I didn’t need to say as much on the weekends.  So my messages have gone from 17 pages of speaking notes and 40 minutes of delivery to 5-6 pages notes and 25-30 minutes of speaking.

2.         SPEAKING: It took me a long time to get used to speaking in front of hundreds of people at multiple weekend services in Kenner but after a while it got to feel more natural, normal even.  I remember one of the first weekend services we did in Covington.  I came in ready to speak as if I was going to be talking to hundreds of people.  The problem is that we had at tops 20 people.  And because the room was small and things felt more intimate folks started chiming in with their thoughts as I was talking.  Maybe they did this in Kenner, but I just couldn’t hear them from the stage, but it through off my rhythm a bit.  Then I noticed something that I wasn’t prepared for—just how awkward it feels to be looking at pages of notes when you only have 20 people in a room.  So my speaking style has changed a whole lot in the past few months.  It’s more conversational and less looking at notes (though I still have notes so I don’t head on too many rabbit trails and end up sticking my foot in my mouth).

3.         WE CAN’T OFFER EVERYTHING: When we started getting ready to do our weekend service I was determined that we needed to do really put our heart and creativity into what we are doing.

      I’ve seen bands play small clubs that treat the gig as if it’s a small club and kind of do a half-ass version of their set.  On the other hand I have seen bands play small clubs and they treat it as if they were playing a stadium.  Well, I wanted to make sure that we took the latter approach and that if only 15 people showed up for our weekend service they would see that we cared about them in every detail from the fresh-ground, fresh-brewed coffee, to the lighting, the sound, and the general vibe of everything.

       But somewhere in all of my wanting to do things with heart and excellence I really wanted to be able to offer all of the things that a bigger church would offer, or at least some of them.  One unrealistic expectation that I had was that we would be able to offer children’s ministry, fully-staffed for several different age groups.  This was kind of silly for a couple of reasons: First, we only had two other available rooms for children 0-18 (I forgot how different a 4 year old is from say an 8 year old).  Secondly, we just didn’t have the people to adequately staff more than one room.  So what we have currently landed on is a staffed children’s church service for 4-6 year olds, a room with an audio feed for folks with infants and toddlers, and activity bags for kids 7 and older who sit in our service.  We have also decided to do an all ages service one a month which seemed to work out well when we did it on Easter.  What I am finding is that it is not the end of the world for a whole family to actually attend the same service together (Actually some families have told me that they are really digging that aspect of it).  I’m sure some day we will be able to offer more things for youth and children but for now I am doing my best to make folks of all ages feel welcome in our regular service.  So this is another stretch for my communications skills because I am having to communicate with people of all different ages but I like the challenge.

4.         THE OFFICE SURE IS QUIET… LONELY EVEN: Years ago I read a book that had a chapter talking about the way that certain people process ideas.  One group is internal processors.  Internal processors mull things over inwardly and can seem very introverted when they are in the midst of processing ideas.  Outward processors, on the other hand, like to bounce ideas off of others and actually come to conclusions through dialogue and interaction with others.  I realized back when I read the book that I was definitely an outward processor.  So, when I was in Kenner I would frequently sit down with coworkers or folks on the worship team and dialogue about ideas. 

I wasn’t prepared for just how weird it was going to feel showing up to an office where no one else was around (this would be a dream scenario for inward processor friends of mine but a bit of hell for me.)  Trying to do message prep or study in a quiet office was… well, not easy, nor fun.  So what have I done to help remedy this?  I dialogue with other pastors via the internet quite a bit, I visit my friends on the South Shore whenever I can, and I do a lot of blogging and talking to myself.  It seems to work and things are getting less awkward. 

Well these are a few of the interesting transitions that I have been going through for the past few months.  There are a whole lot more, but I’ll save those for another time.  In spite of all the changes I can truly say that I absolutely love what I am doing and am looking forward to where this crazy thing is going. 

So if you have planted a church or have considered it chime in with your thoughts or experiences on the subject.

Awesomest Moments in Motherhood!

Ezra, after losing his first tooth.
Yesterday I posted on Facebook about how Ezra, my 6 year old boy, came up with a plan to bless his mother on Mother's Day.  His plan was to make a necklace out of his baby teeth (totaling 4 at the moment) for Dina, because nothing says "happy mother's day" like a necklace made of human baby teeth!

But this got me thinking that it would be cool as we approach Mother's Day to get the best quotes, stories, and ideas from your kids concerning their mom.  So, the deep question for today--What is one of the funniest quotes or stories from your little ones to about mommy (you could even include a story from your own childhood).  The top quotes/stories will be featured in our Celebrating Mom service at Northshore Vineyard this Sunday Morning (when you throw that in with being featured on this very blog that is a whole lot of fame and recognition in one week!  You will be micro-legendary in no time.)

Okay, to sweeten the deal a little... for the mom who submits the awesomest quote/story I will send a free copy of The Coffee Mom's Devotional , which I have not personally read, but I hear it is a very inspiring read for mothers.