Monday, April 19, 2010

Monday Shuffle

Mondays find me hard to get inspired. Weary from Sunday, it takes awhile to get going. So, it is essential that the perfect tunes find their way to my ears to get me jumpstarted! Here is what Itunes shuffle brought this AM:

Bone China- Mother Love Bone
Summersong- The Decemberists
Tourette's- Nirvana
Crazy- Ray LaMontagne
Wake Up- The Arcade Fire
Reputation- Derek Webb
Said Too Much- needtobreathe
Billie Jean- Michael Jackson
Am I Only?- Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Unemployable- Pearl Jam
Asssasin- Muse
The Sun Maid- Soul Asylum
Biko- Peter Gabriel
Communication Breakdown- Led Zeppelin
Mystery- Phil Wickham

Friday, April 16, 2010

Jesus vs "Obamacare"

Yesterday across this great nation, groups of impassioned folks gathered around our country in protest of big government and deficit spending. The large gathering I passed here in Medford (which looked more like a Nascar rally) seemed to be protesting what they called “Obamacare”. It got me thinking.
Most of you know me and know that my political views are often considered more liberal than my peers. But I REALLY try to think for myself and look at things with open eyes and through the lens of Christ. The last few years this has forced me to rethink many things.
I struggle with the open rebellion, especially by folks of faith against health care reform. It seems to me that any system which leaves MILLIONS without healthcare needs to be reconsidered….ESPECIALLY by folks of faith. So I was hoping we could have an intelligent conversation about health care here. Here are some thoughts top start the talk:
Regardless of what you think...this issue IS a moral issue! Christians should be concerned about the good of all individuals. Good health is something we should want everyone to have and health care is one of the ways we maintain good health. And when we look at the world around us, it is also a scarce good—the demand very much exceeds the supply. So figuring out how best to see to it that people get quality health care is a legitimate moral concern, and a real concern for Christians. The way I see it...UNIVERSAL care is the only answer.
No person of good will opposes health care. So, the real issues are MUCH more specific: Who is primarily responsible for the health care of individuals and families? How ought laws and institutions be arranged to make quality health care available to people? How do we encourage innovation in health care? How ought tax and economic policy be arranged to achieve the goal of quality, affordable health care for all who want it?
The argument I hear the most is that it is not the governments job to pay for this! The church should do more! While I agree this would be awesome, it is not happening. The only organization large enough to really make a difference here is our Federal government! Why the sudden uproar? Both parties support Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security without nationwide rallies and revolts??? So they must agree that it is appropriate for the government to play a role in providing for the fundamental needs of its citizens in certain situations, and health care seems to be one of them. In fact, providing health care for citizens who cannot afford it is not only the morally right thing to do, it is the economically smart thing to do since numerous studies and economists have proven that emergency room care and other care for non-insured individuals costs the average American about $1,000 in insurance costs per year. Churches play a role in caring for the needy—but they can only provide charity to the extent that they can and it is a limited role for churches. Yet, I truly believe the government should be a “giver of justice” and providing health care for all Americans seems the right thing to do.
Obviously the new plan is not perfect. There are flaws. As a person of faith, I ALWAYS have to be concerned with the right to life, and the issue of abortion. In the current health care plan, this is a HUGE issue! Is life going to be protected? I think that from what I can tell......this is an area where there has been tremendous misinformation and even deliberate distortion of what is REALLY in the bill. This bill provides for the strict segregation of funds that cover abortions from federal funds. It also requires insurance companies to have an annual audit of this segregation of funds that is overseen by the state Commissioner of Insurance. Our taxes are not really going to be pouring into a thriving abortion culture! In many ways it seems (and I am NOT an expert here) that the dreaded “Obamacare” actually goes further than current law by offering positive economic supports to vulnerable pregnant women so that they may more easily be able to choose life for their unborn children and know that they will have the help they need when their child is born!!!! I believe this will actually DECREASE abortion rates.
This is a divisive issue I know. And it is a BIG DEAL. But let’s at least try and find common ground here. There are some things we can ALL agree on! I assume that all Christians agree that health care is a good thing, and that we should want as many people to be able to have as much of it as they need. All Christians, I think, would agree that there’s a difference between that goal, and a particular political policy intended to achieve that goal. We should want policies that help give rise to more access to good health care for more people, without violating other important Christian principles and creating worse problems. And if we follow two thousand years of Christian teaching, Christians should agree that any law that creates positive incentives for abortion and forces people to (effectively) fund abortion for others, while pretending to do otherwise, is unjust.

p.s. (thanks to the latest Relevant Magazine in providing many of these quotes and stats for me)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Reading Roar

We like to read in our home. My youngest, Haddie, is really in to "reading aloud" right now! So, I took this amazingly cute video! Sorry it is sideways. She is reading "How to Train Your Dragon", which I'd just read to her older siblings.....hence the BIG voice and roars....


Thursday, April 8, 2010

From the Mouth of Babes.......

I recently read an amazing story in the news about a brave young man in Chicago named Luis Reteguin, who saved his mom from a dangerous attacker. One evening, at 1 a.m., a man armed with a knife entered their home. Luis and his mother happened to be awake (why??????), while his younger sister and older brother were asleep (pbviously the smart ones). At the time, Luis thought it was his father since he usually arrived home at that hour from a graveyard shift. The intruder even opened the door to Luis's room, something his father usually did at that hour, but did not come in, most likely due to the lamp that was turned on. It wasn't until his mother began screaming that Luis realized something was wrong. Courageously, and without even thinking about it, he ran to his mother's room and saw a man attacking his mom with a knife. What fear he must have felt! Luis immediately jumped on the man and began punching him. What a kid! The man of course, began to fight back, and turned his rage on the boy . Breaking free, Luis ran to the kitchen and called the police. At this point, the attacker became scared and fled the house. Everyone was scarred, scared and quite shaken up, but this young mans courage, strength, and quick-thinking saved his mom's life!
We love stories like this. I am sure you will hear it soon on Oprah, or the made for TV version starring Chad Lowe and Rick Scroeder……But, these stories do capture our imaginatiosn and hearts. This inspirational story reminded me of a lesson I easily forget, despite learning it over and over. It reminded me just how much our kids are capable of! While it is often easy to shrug off their ideas, or their interruptions into our “adult conversations”, I have found that some of the deepest and soul stirring theological discussions I have ever been involved in often involve my kids! I am reminded that we need to remember, God uses EVERYTHING to teach us…..including our young people! KIDS TEACH US A LOT ABOUT LIFE.

I believe God gave us children to help us know Him better. They are newer to this world and are not weighed down by race, greed, materialism, politics, or other belief systems. In their innocence they are uncorrupted by the world. We on the other hand, are scarred and dirtied, and have forgotten many important things that dwell in the shadows of such purity and innocence. It is the purity of children that enables us to clearly see the blessings and wonder of the world. I was reminded of this on Tuesday as me and my kids had the best hour we’d had in weeks as we chased bubbles outside on a sunny day! We didn’t need the XBOX, or fancy toys. We needed a $.99 bottle of bubbles and happy and pure souls! Jesus understood this, chastising his friends for trying to dismiss children trying to see Him as a nuisance or a bother. It is so true that “out of the mouth of babes come gems”.

If you are not yet doing so, get plugged in to learn from the kiddos here at West Main. Volunteer in Children’ Worship. Teach a class or work the nursery. Sign up to work VBS or Camp. I can promise you that you’ll be blessed, and not only will you teach….you will learn.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Irish Crackhead????

Sometimes we just need to laugh......

Ipod Shuffle

It has been a while since I bored you all with boring tales of my Ipod mix. My hope of course is that some of you may hear of a song you never knew and be turned on to some great new music! Today, with the sun out, I was in need of some happy jams.....not too bad Itunes shuffle:

3 MC's and 1 DJ- Beastie Boys
Love Isn't Made- Jon Foreman
Walking on the Moon- The Police
From a Whisper to a Scream- Elvis Costello
Spies- Coldplay
Lilac Wine- Jeff Buckley
Purple Rain- Prince
Swing on This- Alice in Chains
Take a Bow- Muse
Jesus Christ- Big Star
Buddy Holly- Weezer
Make You Feel My Love- Adele
Always Love- Nada Surf
Lovestoned- Justin Timberlake
Pennyroyal Tea- Nirvana
Do You Realize?- The Flaming Lips
Eet- Regina Spektor
Steady as She Goes- The Racentours
Earth Angel- Death Cab for Cutie

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Britt Blues

Sorry to my beloved back in the Dirty….but I don’t miss a THING about living in the South. I only miss my family and the music of Memphis. The ONLY thing I can possibly complain about living here in God’s country, aka Oregon, is that our town has not had the most vivacious live music scene (though over the years it has gotten MUCH better. The one shining light in that is what is called the BRITT FESTIVAL. It is a summer music series that brings all kinds of acts to our little valley. It is a small outdoor theatre, on a hill that is LOVELY. The GREATEST part of it is they let you bring in your own picnic! Nothing like live tunes while everyone is stretched out on blankets drinking wine and chilling! Every year we wait anxiously for the newest acts announced. Some of them are throw away and/or country acts (I’ll pass Mr. Paisley)….no thanks. Others are has-beens fighting off the county fair circuit …no thanks Michael McDonald (although Huey Lewis was actually good!). But every year, thrown in there are some pretty awesome acts as well. Over the years we’ve been able to see: Natalie Merchant, Jewel, Willie Nelson, Wilco, Les Claypool, Elvis Costello, Pink martini, Gov’t Mule, Son Volt, the Black Crowes, Nickel Creek, Michael Franti & Spearhead, G Love, Andrew Bird, the Devil makes Three and The Avett Brothers.
So last week I was PUMPED for the announcement of the 2010 lineup. A leak that She & Him were scheduled had me excited (sadly, it was false). All I can say is that it is OKAY. Just nowhere good as seasons past, but maybe a good show or four hidden in there! Tell me what you guys think! Here are the few I am possibly interested in: Brandi Carlisle, Steve Earle with Allison Moorer & the Carolina Chocolate Drops, The New Pornographers, The Barenaked Ladies, Jamie Cullum, and the Swell Season.

What would you pick?

Easter 2010

Yesterday was a really REALLY nice day! We started off with a visit from the elusive Easter bunny. That was cool, complete with candies, coloring books and bubbles. Sunday service was a quiet reflective hour of nothing but songs and scriptures. I really liked that. For lunch we spent it with some of the best folks we know: Teh McCords, Scotts and Fairs. We feasted and had blast. It was awesome. After lunch and fellowship, despite the urge for a nap......we had a HUGE easter egg hunt in the rain...OREGON STYLE!

It was a blessed day. I hope yours was as well. Here are some pics you may enjoy from it:

Ladykiller Photobucket
Sibling lovePhotobucket
Making the perfect egg
"best eggs ever!" Photobucket
Hard work being so lovely Photobucket
But oh SO worth it! Photobucket
Another beauty queen Photobucket
"mirror mirror on the wall" Photobucket
Dad's treasure Photobucket
My precious Photobucket
"I found some!" Photobucket
"I found one too!" Photobucket

Life is full of blessings and trials. but days liek today remind us all....Life is beautiful and God is good

Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday

i wrote this one a few years bacK

Good Friday
A question I can’t fully grasp, too deep to comprehend
That one man gave it all away to bring true life to men

A thought that I can’t wrap around, a love that can’t be real
That one mans blood would always serve as my salvations seal

So pain won’t last forever and hope comes when we’ve cried
Just one of many reasons that my savior died

So no man shall be lonely and all shall know a bride
Just another reason that my savior died

To help me run this race of life, to help us turn the tide
While I was still a sinner, yes my savior died

To give me light in darkness, to give my soul a guide
That is one more reason why my savior died

To save the world…to save the lost
To help the helpless, He took the cross

And still I cannot tell you
Can’t explain it if I tried
But God, my God I thank you……….. that my savior died

BP 2006

Free Music Friday

Well.....since today is GOOD FRIDAY, I will give you a song called GOOD FRIDAY. It is of course by the Black Crowes. It has ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with the religious holiday, but it is a great song. I hope you enjoy