Saturday, July 24, 2010

Missionary's Kid

I grew up an MK. Actually the moniker would be VDMK (Vocational Domestic Missionary's Kid). When I was six, my parents lived in Northwest Tennessee, a hotbed of conservative religion, when they heard about a place in Western Colorado that had no church of Christ in the entire county. Actually, there had been one there in the 40's and 50's but had closed its door for about 10 years. So, within two months of finding that out, we moved to Delta County.

My mom and dad made a five year commitment to the Paonia church. They worked hard in the tiny town and brought many people to Christ by meeting people's needs for friendship, partnership, and compassion. My dad ran orchards, raised cows, worked in the coal mine, farmed and bartered to be able to stay there (they are still there). It took at least 20 years for my parents to accepted in the community, to stop being outsiders.

But what happens when you stop being a missionary but you are still where God sent you? How long does one have to be someplace before you can be called a towny, where you actually become part of the community?

PKs and MKs and EKs don't have it easy. They grow with their parents given to loving God first and doing his will first. I wasn't neglected as a kid, I just knew I was second behind God. I knew that being involved in God's work was a higher calling, a more important calling. I was not the center of my parent's world, my family were more like planets revolving around God's will. We all did it together.

Are you a MK, PK or EK? What was your experience?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Going Back to School

Today, I enrolled in culinary school at El Centro College in Downtown Dallas. I am taking Basics of Cooking, Sanitation and Safety, and Introduction to Hospitality Services. I am really excited about taking this step although I am not looking forward to driving to Downtown Dallas for two years. Although with tuition comes a DART rail pass so I won't have to look for a parking space in the center of downtown.

I forgot about the joys of standing in line, and sitting around waiting for academic advisers to put me in classes...but it was very easy. I was the oldest person in the room, even the registrar and all the advisers were younger than me. Oh well. I look forward to being able to learn more about being a chef and operating a restaurant or food establishment. Along with books, I have to get a chef's hat and coat and all the knives and utensils for the kitchen. there anything you have been putting off than you need to get on with? You ever wish you could be or do something but never got around to it? Carpe diem! Take the first step. Stop wishing and dreaming about it and take your first step. If I can do it, so can you.


Friday, July 9, 2010

Squeaky Wheel Gets the Grease

Have you noticed that authority reacts to whining?

As a parent of three boys, I tend to let them have freedom until they start a ruckus then I intervene. When they start arguing or hitting each other past a certain point, I step in and try to de-escalate the situation. Most of the time, I have to initially get louder and stronger in order for there to be some peace.

Churches do the same thing. Churches chug along at a complacent clip until people start grumbling or arguing. Then the authorities of the church step in to mediate and moderate the problem until there is peace or someone leaves.

Governments do the same thing. Citizens go along with status quo until someone gets their panties in a wad and then government steps in, makes a law that gets everyone back into the status quo. The biggest complainers cause the most laws to be passed, which in turn, causes a new norm to be established that everyone has to live by.

Equilibrium is the balance we have in any social system that are seen as normal. It is not always good (like when injustice or discrimination are the norm) nor is it always bad (driving on the correct side of the road is an agreed upon norm). Every social system from families to the global community has equilibrium. Some society's equilibrium is constant war, injustice and oppression (like most Muslim countries) while others are based on individual freedom and justice (like what our constitution espouses).

So why do whiners and complainers always get their way while the rest of us suffer? Until we take matters into our own hands (learn how to solve problems ourselves) we will have to turn to whatever authority is out there to solve problems for us.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Midstream Career Change

I am thinking seriously about going to culinary school in Dallas. I love to cook...actually, I have a passion for cooking. Cooking a meal taps into my creative side (sometimes a little too creative) and, most of the time, people really like what I cook.

My Grandmother Helen started a home cookin' (no "g"..."g's were too refined) restaurant after she retired in Palmersville, Tennessee. She used every country fried, gravy covered, sugar glazed recipe in her arsenal and she could pack the place at night. I think I got her cookin' DNA.

But what I want to know is God is calling me to be a chef? Can I serve Him well cooking food and serving others? I am praying about it.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Life Like Gardening

I like well tended gardens. I like gardens where there are no weeds and all the flowers bloom. I like gardens that have flowers blooming, birds singing, and neat rows of flowers and plants. I love gardens like that....but mine is nothing like that.

My garden looks like a Mega-Gardening Center threw up. I have plants everywhere and thanks to a "plant-buying" addiction, I have plants in pots that need to be planted. I have difficulty curbing this addiction. For example, I went to Lowes and they had Wax Myrtles on sale for 4 dollars....4 dollars! So I bought one. It now sits with two upright yews and a couple of fringe flowers waiting to be planted. Keep me away from Nicholson and Hardie, Calloways and Jacksons (three places I score my addiction) until I plant what I have.

Plants need to come with warning labels. My root beer plant that I bought two years ago has now taken over half my back yard and is now trying to take over two other flower beds. The warning label should have read, "Plant in a pot only. This plant will utterly take over your back yard." Same should go for Monkey grass (which should be renamed "ground cover from hell") and Asiatic Jasmine (I hope the person who planted this at my house years ago suffers from a really bad case of hemorrhoids). Why can't petunias or Japanese maples take over? That, I would enjoy.

Weeding is a whole 'nother issue? I have a bind weed problem. My vegetable garden (which has only produced 7 tomatoes in the past ten years) seems to attract bind weeds. If I don't pull weeds at least every other day, I would not be able to find my tomato plants. I wonder what would happen if there was a smack down between bind weed and root beer plant. Now that would be a pay-per-view event.

But life is like gardening. We all have weeds. We all have something in our lives that "goes rogue" and tries to take over. And we all have beautiful spots in our lives that bloom and bring joy despite the best attempts of the weeds to ruin it. God gives us all a gift that, when planted, watered and cultivated brings joy to his heart and ministers to those around us. Yeah, we have weeds but the beauty of what God has planted surpasses the chaos in our lives. Have a great weekend.