People everywhere are chanting the Chicago late summer mantra…
“Better do (ABC) cuz you just don’t know how much longer we’ll be able to do (DEF)”…
IT’S STILL AUGUST PEOPLE!
Summer lasts until September 21st and I’m sticking to it. Potentially, we can have gorgeous weather until mid October. I chastised Bruce this week for falling into the Mid West Mantra Mode–he took it well.
It’s been a hectic, busy, warmish, active and medically managed summer for us. Kids Week of Adventure wrapped on the 4th and we had our after party on the 13th. It was a blast. We almost didn’t go because Bruce had his knee surgery on the 11th but a cane and some Alleve gave him the freedom to participate.
The party was held alongside the church building outside while the sun traveled down and the evening lights began their twinkle. We played games (Puerto Rican Dominos for me) and we ate food. There was a big double bouncy slide for adults and kids, along with a small house for the wee ones. Photos of the week played inside on the lobby monitors, a photo backdrop was set up for personal and group pics. And hugs, lots and lots of hugging at our events…
I have to inject a little bit about the dominos. I’ve played in the past but forgot the rules. Didn’t matter, at the 3 tables were various levels of play and Puerto Ricans to instruct. I was told that dominos are Puerto Rican’s version of chess, it’s their deliciously wicked pastime and they play for keeps. Taijan and I were innocent bystanders, trying to decipher the rules from a tiny, minuscule, miniature, print piece of paper that came with the domino box. As I was using my magnification device to decipher these mini print instructions 2 of our finest sat down and said “Put that away, we’ll teach you the REAL way to play”. I did. We did. And the fun began.
We have a large Puerto Rican population in our church, everywhere I turn I find another one, two or three! Many have never even been to their native land, 3rd and 4th generations of Puerto Ricans live amongst us. In many ways they identify as Puerto Rican over American. They are warm, friendly, huggers, lovers of native foods and killer domino players. Talk at our table was fun, we all agreed that though we’d all come from various churches that were of our own nationality (Spanish speaking, Black and White) now we were enjoying the blessings of a multi-cultural church and the fact that it wasn’t only multi-cultural for one of us, but for all of us.
Then we had to joke, talk a little smack and play to win
There was a recap later with funny stories of stage trap door snafus and testimonies about people being healed and children finding Jesus. 160 children raised their hands to accept the Lord over the course of the week. Some of them may have done it every night! We love that, it means that God has his hand on their life at an earlier age and the chances of them actually living out their faith will be astronomically higher than someone finding Jesus in their 50’s. Plus, they bring their parents who also find Jesus and entire families are changed.
It was a wonderful church family time
On another topic I ran across something today that sums up how I’m feeling politically, it goes like this:
“When we view our presidents as either messiahs or anti-Christs, and when we believe that election results will yield either utopia or Armageddon, politics has become our religion, our preferred parties have become our creed, and those of different persuasions have become the heretics whose blasphemy must not be tolerated.”
(Hans Fiene, 8.16.2017; The Federalist)
For the record, racism is evil and must not be tolerated
What I find so utterly frustrating is the amount of energy we spend vilifying each other, shoring up our self-righteous attitudes and lambasting our President, on both sides of the aisle I might add! Admittedly, I struggle to feel kindly toward our President or to even pray for him, which is something Scripture commands (ouch!).
I am duty bound to keep in mind that I’m merely passing through this world. My life is about something different than what my natural eyes can see. The disconnect happens when I spend too much of my energy focused on the things that only Jesus can heal and transform. Taking my eyes off him and placing them on the institutions that offer Band Aids (when surgery is needed) is a certain path to discouragement and defeat.
It doesn’t mean that I abandon my obligation as an American citizen, or that I walk away from politics, or that I quit paying my taxes or stop speaking out on behalf of freedom and Democracy. It just means that I put it in perspective and rank it where it “ought” to be. Behind…back…maybe even 5th or 6th place after a lot of other things in life…
Like my best friend who is battling cancer
My husband and his hectic, busy and complicated job
A daughter’s new job
Another’s clinical work on her Nurse Practitioner’s license
My sons and their career paths
Bills, bills, bills….
And the new family God keeps adding to our lives here in Chicago
Here’s another quote:
“We are a group of people addicted to and obsessed with the work of the Kingdom, with little to no idea how to be with the King” (Mike Breen, ‘Why the Missional Movement Will Fail’)
When you think about it, it’s radical that we even get to BE with the King! It’s only because he made the ultimate sacrifice that we can sit at his feet. I’ll take it, any way I can get it. And the more I sit at his feet the more I have to offer the ones who fear coming close.
So today, right now, I’ll focus on what he passes to me from his throne, strive for the things I can affect, behave the way he wants me to, leaving the other things in his more than capable hands.
Because really, it’s all there anyway…