Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Entries from February 1, 2009 - March 1, 2009

Entries from February 1, 2009 - March 1, 2009


One Test of a Growing Church: Parking

There are some elements all thriving churches have in common: 1) Preachers who accurately (and hopefully engaging) teach the truths God has reveled in the Bible 2) The opportunity for members to serve one another and the surrounding community in love.

How a church body is organized, how big or small, the type of music used in worship, choir or worship team, Sunday schools or home groups, kids programs, Pope, no pope, tats or not (I am of tats)….all those other considerations while important, become meaningless if a local body hasn’t nailed the first two.

If you want to know how much the members of a growing church are willing to serve one another, check out the parking lot before and after the service(s). Our church has 3 services; I know where of I speak.

Are people patient? Will members willing park in less desirable spaces to leave the ones nearest to the doors for visitors? Do they waving one another on, so everyone gets out safely or does the exodus after the final service resemble trying to get out of the parking lot after losing the big game? Do we see people in the cars or just the cars in our way?

I thought about this because I was grouchy and ungracious while parking last Sunday, muttering something about parking Nazis’ under my breath, but loudly enough my kids heard, as the helpful parking attendant waved me to a spot farther from the door than I wanted to park. My boorish behavior was made all the more evident by the kindness of others all trying to park and get to service at the same time.

While my kids delighted in catching me acting badly, I was ashamed. I am sure there were a few other graceless parkers last week but as a whole the church body I worship with would easily pass the parking test.

This coming Sunday so will I.

1If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Phillippians 2


Parenting Teens: Game On My Son: Let The Loop Holing Begin

Teens are experts at finding seeming loop holes in parenting expectations. What seems clear to the parent, for example: If you want the car on the weekends, you have to go to school 5 consecutive days that week, is the fuel for some of the greatest teen creativity.

The teen overslept on Friday. I woke him up. He got to school late. He expected the car this weekend because I didn’t say he had to be in school on time for 5 consecutive days, just that he had to go to school.

Impressive….not going to work…

Did work with Dad, sort of (He is more grace giving than I): new rule: If you are late once a week, you can have the car on Sunday. If you stay home for any reason short of a trip the ER, no car period.

Sometimes I can see them male bonding when faced with the precieved unreasonable female….sigh.



Parenting Teens: Game On My Son

Our public school system allows for 10 excused absences a semester. That is 20 days off per school year. And that is exactly how my kids think about excused absences, 10 days a semester off that their personal discretion. I don’t think I missed 10 days of school the entire 4 years I was in high school, let along 20 days a year.

With the older two, this attitude was a concern but not a problem. They both did reasonably well grade wise in high school. Not get into Yale brilliant but get into a good college well. We had no specified rules about taking days off from school except, if you choose not to go, there was no TV, video games during school hours and you were not going anywhere after school either. While the rules were pronounced cruel and unusual, the kids rested and went back to school.

Not child #3. He seems to think the whole concept of showing up for school should be optional and if he wants to stay home, he should be allowed to do so in peace. It is his life after all. His grades are not good. He is performing well below his abilities. A good college is not in his immediate after high school future, although he seems to think any college he applies to should welcome him with open arms.

This attitude has cost him the opportunity to continue playing hockey. He has had to get a job to pay for his social life. Now we are pulling out the big guns. In order to have the opportunity to use a car on the weekends, it’s 5 days of school per week! He is not being grounded if he chooses to stay home one day but he will not have access to the cars for the weekend except for work and his Upward commitments.

I can’t physically make him go to school. He is taller and stronger than I am. My husband, bless him, is already at work 2, sometimes 3 hours, before it is time for this child to be rolling out of bed. I am the on deck parent.

No more Mister Nice Mom, no more arguing, just consequences…..just consequences for short term thinking that will have long term results.

It is game on my son, and I am playing for your future.

You get to decide if we are on the same team or not.

I play to win.

Any one have a reluctent student that turned out fab? I can use the encouragement.


Products I Would Buy: Laser Car Keyer

Here is a free idea for a product I, a mom van driving woman who is tired of the dangerous disrespect I endure on the road, would love to be able to purchase

The Laser Car Keyer. This product once installed on my mom van, would automatically key the front of the car of anyone who is driving so close to me on the highway that I can see the color of their eyes in my back mirror. It would key the car of anyone who careless pulls out into traffic while on a cell phone. It would key the side of the car of anyone who tries to pass on the two lanes, no passing road and will puncture the car’s tires if a school bus is the reason the rest of us have to drive so slow and inconveniently. If The Laser Car Keyer were standard safety equipment on all cars, think what would happen to that “person’s” shiny new sports car that is weaving in and out of traffic at 65 miles an hour. Perhaps he would think twice about treating others lives so lightly.

I have noticed that sometimes it is people with expensive cars and some trucks that are careless of other drivers. I live in an area where nice shiny cars are the norm. There are not enough police available to catch these thoughtless drivers. They seem to take care of their cars. Perhaps the Laser Keyer will encourage them to be as careful of other drivers as they are of their cars.

Anyone else have a product they would like to see developed?


Parenting Semi-Adults: Mom You Can Try My Computer

You can still comment for a change to win an iPod Touch here!!! Contest ends the 22nd, don't delay!

In her mission to persuade me that Mac is the only viable option in my laptop quest, my 19 year old offered to lend me her computer to try out.

I played around with it . I will still buy a laptop operating Windows for political reasons but it was nice of her to allow me to use her computer. All her life in on that computer and since it is hers none of it is pass worded.

How many 19 year olds would hand over their computers to their mom, walk away, and allow their mother free access to whatever is on there?

My daughter either is very trusting or has nothing to hide. Knowing her, she is both.

Alternatively, she might be very certain I will not be able to figure out how to use her laptop on my own.

Did I mention she is smart?

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