Monday, January 30, 2012

In My Culture ... by Cheryl Allen


In my culture
We get skinned knees
and sunburn
and we have plenty of time to play outside
as long as we’re home by supper
We mostly eat meat, potatoes and
one green vegetable
and we drink sweet tea with lemon
We say “Yes maam” and “No maam”
but not “ain’t”
or bad words like “stupid”
We know our neighbors
and we borrow sugar from them sometimes
We have little gardens in back of our house
and we hang laundry out to dry in summer
Our dogs run wild and get so dirty
that we can only pet them with our feet
We all help clean the house on Saturday mornings
and stay for potluck meals after Sunday church
We try not to get sick during the week
because someone will have to stay home from work
to take care of us
We go to high school football games on Friday nights
and learn to drive stick shift when we’re teenagers
We still get spankings when we’re bad
and no one really tucks us in
because everyone is real tired by that time
Under cotton sheets and homemade quilts
we whisper silent prayers
as we drift off to sleep

Mama, baby Cheryl, and Benay.

Monday, January 23, 2012

After the Potluck


The kids gather in the auditorium after the potluck meal.  It’s dark, but there’s still enough light to see.

They decide to play church.

Who will do the announcements?  Who will lead the singing?  Who will preach?

The kids divide into two groups, boys in one and girls in the other.  The girls move over to sit on the front pew.

The boys argue for awhile over who will do the announcements.  This appears to be the most coveted position.

And the church service begins.

The boys sit on the stage and the girls remain quietly in their pew.

The oldest boy makes the announcements, and there are scattered giggles from the audience.  He’s a funny guy.

Another boy leads a couple of songs, and the girls all sing loudly.  Beautifully.  They certainly know how to carry a tune.

Two boys serve communion, and everyone pretends to break off pieces of the bread and eat them.  Even the kids who haven’t been baptized are allowed to participate.

The sermon is a short one, and then the group heads back into the fellowship hall to meet up with families.

The boys and the girls mix together on their way out of the auditorium.  Equals again.



Monday, January 16, 2012

Best of Twitter by @growingupcofc


I joined Twitter in September and have since come to realize that I tweet like a middle-aged government employee.  I cannot change this about myself.  I yam what I yam.

One thing has surprised me about Twitter, though.  I like it—or maybe a better way of putting it—I’m strangely fascinated by it.  People say the darndest things, and I think it’s mostly because they don’t believe anyone’s paying attention.  Like these tiny messages are being projected out into cyberspace and then slowly evaporating into outer space.  There’s a freedom in Twitter.  A freedom to say exactly what’s on one’s mind, without thinking much about it.  Where else can you do that?  Okay, prayer or with a super-duper-close friend, but where else? 

So here are a few of my favorite people.  Check them out, if you like.  Or not.  I’m guessing they won’t mind too much one way or another.



Al Yankovic@alyankovic … You know... the Eat It guy.

Weird Al has won three Grammy Awards.  Three.  I’m not kidding.  My personal favorite Weird Al song is White & Nerdy (2006).  LOL is way overused … but Al is truly LOL-funny.  Here are a couple of samples:
“I personally know a lot of nerds, and I’ve NEVER seen one with tape on the bridge of their glasses. #NoteToHollywood
 “72 Days is now an official unit of time known as a Kardash.”

Gary Haugen@garyhaugen … President & CEO of International Justice Mission.

If you haven’t checked out this charity … you should check it out.  Now!  www.ijm.org

Gary spoke at our church a few years ago.  The word “inspiring” is an understatement.  Two tweets from GH:
I wrote 2,084 on a whiteboard at HQ today- the # of individuals (w/ names) IJM has rescued from violent abuse so far this year.”
“Amount Americans spend on Halloween costumes for their PETS ($300 million) equals national budget of Burundi. Just sayin.”

Rick Atchley@RickAtchley … Wanting to be better husband, father, preacher, and golfer.

I may be the only person I know who’s never heard Rick Atchley speak.  I can tell you, he’s got so many good tweets; it’s difficult to choose the best.  They are mostly funny …
“On Halloween … You would think these little kids coming to my door would be more grateful for the classic sermon tapes I am handing out.”
“Four stages of a man: 1) you believe in Santa, 2) you don't believe in Santa, 3) you are Santa, 4) you look like Santa.”
And yet, sometimes poignant …
“God will never haunt you with the memory of a sin He has forgiven.”
“I need to remember that the Bible says to mourn with those who mourn. It doesn't say to fix them.”

George Stuart Benson@drgeorgebenson … President, Harding College (1936-1965).

A spoof account (obviously).  Funny and sometimes a little irreverent.  Buckle your seatbelt:

“RT @ouachita: International Awareness Chapel //I'll have 500 Harding College students in Zambia before your closing prayer. #chapeltweet”

“I'm normally an optimist but whenever I lose a follower on Twitter, I assume they've either died or become a communist.”

Rachel Held Evans@rachelheldevans … living, learning, writing, and evolving in Monkey Town.

I haven’t read her book (yet), but I like her ‘tude:
Dear Haters, Thanks for motivating me to work harder, for teaching me to seek true peace, and for weaning me off my addiction to approval.”

Desmond Tutu Peace Center@ThePeaceCentre … The Desmond Tutu Peace Centre -Creating a home for sustainable peace.

How can you not like Desmond Tutu (a Nobel Peace Prize awardee)?  One of the world's good guys:
How can we create a culture of peace? #tutu: ‘Let women take over!’”

Well said Brother Tutu.

***

Now how about u?  What do u say?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Baptism Blurbs


At a church staff meeting in Boston, a minister begins his speech by saying:
"Baptism.
All I want to talk about today is baptism.  That’s the most important thing.
Baptism.  Baptism.  Baptism."

***

One day around lunchtime, an older Christian and I chat in the food court of an Alabama mall.  I mention something about baptism.  He replies, “Maybe we should place less emphasis on baptism and more emphasis on loving God with all our hearts.”
 
***

Baptism of my wife Cheryl’s friend.   




 ***

Mary writes:
Sometimes preachers would encourage people to be baptized, saying, “The clothes are prepared, the water is warm, come while we stand together and sing.”