Saturday, January 23, 2010

Dear Parents, Students and Staff: Haiti is the 51st state

A friend of Christina's who lives in New Jersey received a notice this week from her child's school regarding donations for Haiti.

The notice reads (emphasis added):
"Dear Parents, Students and Staff:

Haiti was hit by one of the powerful earthquakes in United States history. In order to raise money for the millions of people who were subject to the widespread destruction and devastation, we would appreciate if you would donate at least $1.00. Donations will be given to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.

Please place your donation in an envelope. Have your child give it to their teacher. They will be given a pink hibiscus flower cut-out to place on our Rogers cafeteria wall. The pink flower is symbolic because the hibiscus is the state flower for Haiti.

We will kindly be accepting donations from Monday January 25th - Friday January 29th.
The parent's reaction? "Wow, I did not realize that Haiti was part of the US and became one of our states. I am trusting my children's education to these people?!?!? UGHHHHHHHHH."

Monday, January 18, 2010

Happy Birthday, Selah Girl!!

So, you've been practicing for months, and now you've finally made it. You're two. And we couldn't love you more.

You're such a delightful part of our family, Sweet Selah. Your rambunctious personality... your twinkling eyes and mischievous grin. Your generous hugs and kisses... your sweet voice when you joyfully sing and the fact that when asked if you are Daddy's girl, you defiantly respond, "No! Mommy's girl!" (Okay. So Mommy likes that last part more than anyone else.)

And your big sister loves that fact that you are turning into a real girl -- eager to try all your clothes on at the same time. (Layers upon layers upon layers are still in, right?)

We love you and we're so glad that God gave you to us. We pray for you, that you would use all that cuteness for His glory... and that you would delight in Jesus. That He would protect you from the evil one and that you would have wisdom and love beyond your years.

Happy, happy birthday, Selah Joy!

What kind of people worship here?

Food for thought. From the "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" by Martin Luther King, Jr.:

When I was suddenly catapulted into the leadership of the bus protest in Montgomery, Alabama, a few years ago, I felt we would be supported by the white church felt that the white ministers, priests and rabbis of the South would be among our strongest allies. Instead, some have been outright opponents, refusing to understand the freedom movement and misrepresenting its leader era; an too many others have been more cautious than courageous and have remained silent behind the anesthetizing security of stained-glass windows.

In spite of my shattered dreams, I came to Birmingham with the hope that the white religious leadership of this community would see the justice of our cause and, with deep moral concern, would serve as the channel through which our just grievances could reach the power structure. I had hoped that each of you would understand. But again I have been disappointed.

I have heard numerous southern religious leaders admonish their worshipers to comply with a desegregation decision because it is the law, but I have longed to hear white ministers declare: "Follow this decree because integration is morally right and because the Negro is your brother." In the midst of blatant injustices inflicted upon the Negro, I have watched white churchmen stand on the sideline and mouth pious. irrelevancies and sanctimonious trivialities. In the midst of a mighty struggle to rid our nation of racial and economic injustice, I have heard many ministers say: "Those are social issues, with which the gospel has no real concern." And I have watched many churches commit themselves to a completely other worldly religion which makes a strange, on Biblical distinction between body and soul, between the sacred and the secular.

I have traveled the length and breadth of Alabama, Mississippi and all the other southern states. On sweltering summer days and crisp autumn mornings I have looked at the South's beautiful churches with their lofty spires pointing heavenward. I have beheld the impressive outlines of her massive religious-education buildings. Over and over I have found myself asking: "What kind of people worship here? Who is their God? Where were their voices when the lips of Governor Barnett dripped with words of interposition and nullification? Where were they when Governor Wallace gave a clarion call for defiance and hatred? Where were their voices of support when bruised and weary Negro men and women decided to rise from the dark dungeons of complacency to the bright hills of creative protest?"

Yes, these questions are still in my mind. In deep disappointment I have wept over the laxity of the church. But be assured that my tears have been tears of love. There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love. Yes, I love the church. How could I do otherwise? l am in the rather unique position of being the son, the grandson and the great-grandson of preachers. Yes, I see the church as the body of Christ. But, oh! How we have blemished and scarred that body through social neglect and through fear of being nonconformists.

Friday, January 8, 2010