We celebrated Clay's graduation last night. Lots of good food, laughter and fun.
Adam and Jared. Jared will be entering the military in August.
On the front porch, the guys were discussing past escapades and planning future ones. There was some mention of jumping off bridges....I gave them the "evil eye" and reminded them of Darwin's law. My heart always skips a beat when I hear these stories....
Zach and Grayson.
..but I'm truly grateful that my boys have good friends. Tried and true friends who stick beside each other. They have strong values and are remarkable young men.
Cage and Colton were fascinated with this pretty young lady.
I realize we all say that the years fly by and babies grow up overnight. Looking at the memory board that I had made for Clay really brought home this fact. Lots of great memories. It seems like only last week I was stressing over a four-year old thumb-sucker....I remember being so worried that he would suck his thumb forever :)
While his dad gave the blessing for dinner last night, he thanked God for protecting Clay all these years and blessing us with a fine young man.
Congratulations Clay! May your future be filled with love, opportunities, and adventures.
End of year standardized testing (thank you NCLB- you big stupid piece of legislation), graduation commitments, a graduation party to plan for, a house that refuses to clean itself, and a laundry pile that seems to grow overnight.
Two more days with students, lots of cooking today after school, graduation cards/presents to purchase, and a million little errands to run.
Top it all off with a possible move at work....which means boxing up all my stuff and moving classrooms....again.
Please disregard the slice of cake that is missing in the back...I couldn't help myself.
I baked a Sour Cream Pound Cake today in honor of Mother's Day. The recipe came from a treasured cookbook given to me several years ago as a Mother's Day gift.
Adam made the book in 2nd grade. He was so proud of the cookbook. The week before Mother's Day, he kept hinting about a "special" gift he was making at school.
The one recipe from the book that he really wanted me to make was the Sour Cream Pound Cake. I'm not sure why that particular recipe was the one he wanted me to make first but it does make a delicious cake.
So today, in honor of Mother's Day, I followed the carefully handwritten recipe of a seven year old boy.
Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did - 1 John 2:6
This weekend I am reading "The Hole in Our Gospel" by Richard Stearns. Richard is president of World Vision U.S. The book was loaned to me by a good friend. She and I were talking one evening about church and the purpose of church....and the possibility that maybe, just maybe, somewhere along the way....church in America has veered into waters God never intended.
I've only read through Part One - The Hole in My Gospel-and Maybe Yours. Here are a few snippets from the book that are filling my thoughts on this Sunday afternoon:
"Christ has no body on earth but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours. Yours are the eyes through which Christ's compassion for the world is to look out; yours are the feet with which He is to go about doing good; and yours are the hands with which He is to bless us now." - Saint Teresa of Avila
"Kindess has converted more sinners than zeal, eloquence, or learning." -Frederick W. Faber
"More and more, our view of the gospel has been narrowed to a simple transaction, marked by checking a box on a bingo card at some prayer breakfast, registering a decision for Christ, or coming forward during an altar call. I have to admit that my own view of evangelism, based on the Great Commission, amounted to just that for many years. It was about saving as many people from hell as possible-for the next life. It minimized any concern for those same people in this life. It wasn't as important that they were poor or hungry or persecuted, or perhaps rich, greedy, and arrogant; we just had to get them to pray the "sinner's prayer" and then move on to the next potential convert." Richard Stearns p. 17
"Luke 4 is not the only place in the Bible that speaks to issues of poverty and justice. God's Word is replete with such passages, from Genesis to Revelation - but do we heed them?" -Richard Stearns p. 23
Richard tells the story of Jim Wallis a seminary student. Jim and some of his classmates did a little experiment. They went through all sixty-six books of the Bible and underlined every passage and verse that dealt with poverty, wealth, justice, and oppression. Then one of the students took a pair of scissors and cut out those passages. What was left was a volume in tatters that barely held together. From Genesis to Revelation these themes are central to Scripture.
As believers, shouldn't these themes be central to our lives?
Richard uses Isaiah 58 and Matthew 25 to illustrate this point. He then goes on to paraphrase Matthew 25 (in the RESV-Richard E. Stearns Version) This hit me right between the eyes.
"For I was hungry, while you had all you needed. I was thirsty, but you drank bottled water. I was a stranger, and you wanted me deported. I needed clothes, but you needed more clothes. I was sick, and you pointed out the behaviors that led to my sickness. I was in prison, and you said I was getting what I deserved."
Richard acknowledges that this is an irreverent version but he goes on to say that we have to face the clear implications that no matter how disquieting...God has clear expectations for His followers.
So this Sunday I'm thinking about what steps of faith can I take to demonstrate my own concern for "the least of these." What does that look like in my life? How is it manifested?