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I do. All the time. So I googled her.

She sells eyewear.

Why? (I mean, why do I wonder whatever happened to Lisa Loeb so much? I have no idea why she sells eyewear. I hope it’s not a sad story.)

Because every three days since 1994, this song gets stuck in my head on repeat.

Bread and Fish For 5000

March 24, 2011

A Melodrama (Luke 9:10-17)

(A note about spontaneous melodrama: one person reads the script and the “actors” repeat lines and act out their parts. Ad-libbing on the part of the reader is allowed and the actors being dramatic and hamming it up is encouraged. The script reader needs to remember to pause and wait for actors to deliver their lines.)

Actors: Jesus, James, Peter, Andrew, Phillip, The Crowd, The other Disciples

Props: Sunglasses for the disciples; crackers; tuna fish

Jesus and his Disciples were having an exhausting week. They had spent some time preaching the Good News, healing sick people and travelling from town to town. They even heard rumors that King Herod, who was not a fan, was looking for them.

Do you know who was a fan? Everyone else! Everywhere Jesus and the Disciples went, they were followed by a huge crowd.

Now, the disciples sometimes were a little irritated by the crowd and sometimes tried to shoo them away.

But Jesus welcomed the people to follow him and enjoyed talking to them about the Kingdom of God. If one of the people in the crowd came to him because he needed healing—say because he had a broken leg…and a stomach ache…and a paper cut on his tongue—Jesus would heal him.

One day, Jesus wanted to take his tired disciples to Bethsaida to rest. But the crowd caught wind of this plan and followed. The disciples were a bit annoyed. Jesus was glad to see the people and healed the ones who needed to be healed. Even the girl who came up to Jesus because she couldn’t stop sneezing. She took of her shoe and showed Jesus that her pinky toe had turned purple. And then she gave him a strand of her hair that kept falling out. Jesus gently touched her forehead and she stopped sneezing and was healed.

As the day wore on, the disciples became more tired. And a little bit cranky. And very hungry. You could hear their stomachs growling. And you could hear them arguing with each other a little bit.

Andrew said to Peter: You ask him.

Peter said to Andrew: No, you ask him.

This argument continued for a few more seconds.

Phillip said: I’ll ask him. Hey, Jesus? Think it’s time to eat?

Jesus answered, “Sure!”

The disciples were glad about this news. They were really, really hungry by this time. James even fainted because he was so hungry.

Phillip had an idea: Just send the crowd away, Jesus. They can get something to eat and we can go hang out at that new pizza place in Bethsaida.

But Jesus had a different idea. He said, “You feed them.”

James woke up, rose to his feet and said, “But we’re in the middle of nowhere!” and then fainted again.

Andrew took a quick survey of the crowd and told Jesus that he had found 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish.

The disciples started checking their pockets for money. They found all kinds of things in their pockets, but no money. One of the disciples took Jesus one of the things he had found in his pocket. “We don’t have money to buy anymore food. Do you think we could sell this?”

Jesus examined the object. Jesus shook the object. Jesus held the object upside down and examined it some more. Finally, Jesus shook his head.

Then he took the loaves and the fish and had the crowd sit down on the ground. Jesus took the bread and the fish and he lifted it up toward the sky. Jesus prayed. Jesus blessed the bread. Jesus broke the bread. Jesus gave the bread and the fish to the disciples to hand out to the crowd.

The disciples passed out the food and the crowd began to eat. They loved the food. It was so tasty. They started talking to each other about how good it was. One member of the crowd asked Jesus for his recipe.

The amazing thing was that even though 5000 people had shared the small amount of food, there was food left! The disciples remembered how hungry they were and began to eat the leftovers.

Then they all gave Jesus a hug and apologized for being so grumpy.


The end

Com-motion

March 23, 2011

I love serving a church that cares about the community we live in and serve. Not only is the building used for all sorts of community and non-profit events, but every Wednesday night when we gather for dinner, we learn together about something happening in our community.

Sure, church goers from other churches sometimes scratch their heads–“You don’t have a service on Wednesday night?” and possibly others think we’re a little too unspiritual or secular, but this is an important thing that happens in our church and I think it’s an important part of serving a community.

We may hear about the ministry happening at Matthew 25 or Habitat for Humanity or have the Mayer come speak about something happening in our community. Maybe we’re learning about Emergency Preparedness with Larry Koerber or Nature Myths and Mysteries with Audubon Park Naturalist Julie McDonald (that one’s happening tonight).

Last Wednesday night? ZUMBA!

By far one of my favorite Wednesday night programs ever! And possibly many of our church members who hung in the back and watched a couple of the braver members and I shake our hips and dance up a sweat possibly agree for the wrong reasons.

I may be addicted. I haven’t been able to take a class yet–with Mom going into the hospital and full schedules the last few nights, I haven’t had a chance–but I will. I use my Zumba moves at home. I use them in the car (you know, just the arm ones). A song with an appropriate beat came on the kitchen radio in the church kitchen this morning and I started moving my hips.

One day, I might be good at it. And someone will ask me, “where did you learn to move like that?”

And of course, I’ll have to reply: “At church!”

Material

March 22, 2011

So, when I first became a youth director/minister/educator/whatever the heck it is I’m doing here for the last 11 years, I wrote my own curriculum. I was fresh out of college, the proud owner of a degree in religion and a focus in Biblical Studies and I liked to write and study and plan and create. So every week at youth group, we used my original material.

Usually the studies were inductive (the best kind of Bible Studies for any group and age, I think) and focused on the what, the why and the what now. I took my first youth group through the Gospels this way and then through Genesis. I tried to come up with games and activities that were original.

I’m not saying it was great, but it fit our group a lot better than a lot of the material on my bookshelves at the time and it worked for us. And it was fun and I was engaged in our Scripture each week and had spent a lot of time considering it from lots of angles.

And then, I’m not sure what happened, but it was probably a combination of the following: I attended conferences where curriculum was presented, shared and pushed; my schedule got a lot more busy; more kids were coming to youth group; I got more comfortable using my budget; I worried too much about what other groups were teaching and doing and was afraid I wasn’t keeping up (whatever that means); I got lazy…

Lately, I’ve been writing youth group material again. It’s all because of my youth group.

When they launched their 1K Challenge project, called Kids’ Club, they made a great decision. Rather than use anything pre-packaged for curriculum, they wanted to create their own program. Using the knowledge gleaned from their time in Sunday School, our children’s ministry, Vacation Bible School and especially their own awesome gifts and creativity, they’ve done just that. The result has been inspiring, exciting and sometimes funny (the snack in February included “banana shingles” which became a favorite thing to say over and over again).

In order for us to be able to plan and teach the lesson each time, I always use the Scripture at Youth Group a couple of weeks before Kids Club. This Sunday night, we’ll study Luke 9:10-17 and learn about Jesus feeding the 5000. Because I’m’ following our made up Kids’ Club curriculum, I don’t have any curriculum to consistently follow to teach the Kids’ Club text at Youth Group. So I’ve been creating these lessons. Currently, I’m working on writing a Spontaneous Melodrama on the passage to use Sunday night because I try to use elements and activities as we’re learning that might help the youth better teach the children. Maybe if they like my melodrama, they’ll tweak it and use it at Kids’ Club.

All that to say: I remember now that writing material for Youth Group is fun. And I’m struck by the simplicity of it and how well the group responds to it. It’s a good reminder for me that our students don’t come to youth group for anything flashy or complicated. They come to be together, talk about God and God’s plan for them and God’s world and to grow in their faith and figure out how to share that faith with the world.

I pray that God will give me clarity and direction as I prepare to teach the youth group. I pray that they, in turn, will have clarity and direction as they share God’s word and love with the children they lead.

Sunday Morning Mashup

March 20, 2011

Some things I’m thinking about this morning:

I’m trying to catch up on my news out of Libya–I’ve been a bit distracted. Hearing that we bombed another country yesterday pretty much ruined my morning coffee.

Jason and Jonas have been camping all weekend. I want them to get home.

Spring Break travel has started. I’m trying not to be jealous of all of you who are heading to warmer, beachier locations, but it’s hard! I’m dreaming about sand between my toes and an umbrella drink in my hand right now.

I miss my church family. I don’t miss the stress that comes along with Sunday mornings.

My dog is weird. Not sure if it’s because he’s been lacking regular attention and his walks with Jason, the full moon or the new Spring smells outside. When he’s outside, he spends a lot of time pacing the deck and inhaling the buds that have fallen from the trees. Right now, he’s facing the wall, staring at the outlet where my phone is plugged in. He looks like he’s about to pounce.

I’ve been doing a lot of texting lately. Since Thursday afternoon, I’ve sent and received 326 text messages. For some of you, that doesn’t seem like a lot. For me, it’s a lot. Thank goodness that Deaconess has free wifi throughout the ER and hospital or I probably would have blown my data plan this month (AT&T limits all data plans now, if you still happen to be blessed enough to be on your old AT&T plan. Watch out for the upgrade!).

Speaking of my phone (we kind of were), I added the free All Recipes App, which has this cool spinner thing where you can choose your meal, your ingredient and the length of time you want to spend on cooking and (clickclickclick–that’s it spinning), it comes up with recipes for you. That’s been entertaining for me in the last couple of days.

I had lunch with Nibby and Kathy on Thursday, right before everything became temporarily abnormal. I love those two people. They always encourage me and challenge me and make me laugh.

I’m watching CNN this morning and I saw a really cheesy commercial for a Christian singles site: “Sometimes we wait for God to make the next move when God is saying, ‘it’s your time to act.'” Also, God is probably saying, “pay this company a lot of money to help you out.”

I just looked over at my husband’s laptop and there’s a Victoria’s Secret catalog sitting on top of it. Pretty sure it came in the mail on Friday before he left and pretty sure it has my name on it (also pretty sure I’m not sure how I got on that list, but whatever), but it still made me laugh.

I’m getting notices and announcements this morning about my high school class’ 15 year reunion this summer. That does not seem possible. Because I’ll be traveling back and forth from NWIndiana so much starting in May because my brother and Stefanie are getting married in August, I probably won’t make a trip for the reunion in July.

This morning’s Gospel Lectionary is about Nicodemus. This past Wednesday, people flooded my facebook and twitter streams with John 3:16 (because 3/16 is John 3:16 day?), which is part of the Nicodemus story. I’m doing some thinking this morning about how we cling to that one verse that is actually part of a larger conversation and I wonder if we don’t usually take it out of context.

As I finish this, I check the clock. Sunday School at Pres Church Henderson is almost over and I can hopefully assume that everything’s running normally over there. That’s good for my (sometimes inflated) sense of who I am and how necessary I am to the workings of the church I serve. I think they can handle it without me and that’s a good thing.

Have a wonderful Sunday, however you’re spending it!

Home

March 19, 2011

Mom came home this afternoon. Thanks for praying for her (and me). Please continue.

I appreciate all the messages, texts and caring words that have come our way. I also appreciate my church family understanding that I’m planning to use a personal day tomorrow (I’ve only ever done that on a Sunday one other time. But I gotta know when to hold ’em. Right, Kenny?)

Just Keep Swimming

March 18, 2011

After a frustrating day at Deaconness, I find myself chilling by the big fish tank by the elevators. Nothing new to report. I’m tired. The bridge home is closed. I’m just waiting some more…


Someone, do/say/post/text something entertaining–stat!

Hospital

March 17, 2011

I’m not really a post all my business online kind of girl, so I kind of struggle with this. I knew I wasn’t going to go facebook with it, but I think of my blog readers as a community of beloved, loving friends (there aren’t that many of you) who do sometimes pray for me and usually encourage me.

After about 8 very difficult hours in the Deaconess Gateway ER this afternoon, my mom’s been admitted to Deaconess Hospital. I left her in her new room about 10:00 tonight and came back home. I’ll return there tomorrow.

Pray for her, her doctors and her daughter, please.

I’m grateful for Rev. John and Pam, who arrived when I was just about to lose it to provide coffee, a warm jacket (for me–it was freezing in the ER) and some humor and prayer. I’m also grateful for Jason, Carly, Jeff, Jeff’s fiance (Stefanie) and Jenny, who got a barrage of random text updates and phone calls all day because I really just needed someone to tell things to.

I’ll update here tomorrow. Thanks for praying.

UPDATE: (2:30 pm). Still in hospital. No improvement. No news. Unleashed my assertive side and spoke up about trouble with hospital staff and they stepped up their game.

Seeing some of the ugly side of our broken healthcare system, by the way, crappy hospital staff aside.

Thank goodness for 5th grade Riley’s artwork yesterday afternoon:

“peace, love, happiness…Your great and FULL of fun! Thanks for everything…if I got a penny for every time you made me laugh I would be rich! (sic)”

Love that girl!

Spring

March 16, 2011

Sidewalk chalk is my artistic medium. Obviously.