Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Life and Times of Michaela Kasselman

No, I did not omit her middle name -- she does not have one. Nor do I.
May 1st 1996 I gave birth to Michaela. That makes her 12. Wow.

I thought I would tell you a little about her as a way of celebrating her life and the fact that I get to be her Mom. Wow again.

Michaela has a head of gorgeous dark brown wavy hair - it is just beautiful. It compliments her bright smile and lively eyes.
She has been blessed with a beautiful singing voice and enjoys being in choir at school and the Amarillo Youth Choir. She loves being on the junior praise team that leads worship for ABC Express (Kids church). Seeing her gifts used to the glory of God makes my heart feel so full.
She is smart, logical and analytical (yes, that is from her Dad).
She has great comedic timing for a child her age and routinely cracks us up.
She is a loyal and good friend. If you are her friend, you are her friend for life.
She struggles to get going in the morning, but manages to be on time for school everyday.
She is very comfortable with leaving her shoes next to her shoe rack instead of placing them on the rack, therein giving me something to remind her about.
With equal ease is the ability to accumulate random pieces of gum and candy in every purse she owns -- like a chipmunk storing things for the Winter.
Her clothes tend to gather around her chair in her room until the parentals suggest they get put up.
She is into no-fuss clothing. Shorts, T's, Jeans, hoodies, flip flops - she owns one skirt and 2 dresses.
She is a fun big sister to Spencer.

And some of her favorites are: Webkinz; Youtube; Drake and Josh; Wizards of Waverly Place; iCarly; The Books Pretties, Uglies etc; Harry Potter; American Idol especially DAVID COOK; Apples to Apples; Vitamin Water; Cinnamon Rolls; Becky's Cookies; Buffalo Wild Wings; Lettuce Wraps at Pei Wei; hanging out with friends; Ascension Academy; ACU Camps; Hidden Falls Camp; Music - lots of kinds; her phone; brownies; milk tart; poppyseed chicken -- oh lots of things.

Just a window into the world of my baby girl, oh, I mean 12 year old daughter.

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Message of the Gospel?

It is not uncommon around church circles, for people to have various takes on "what is the gospel." We can all answer, Good News. But what does that mean? I believe, the gospel is this:
God, the creator, sent His son, Jesus, in the flesh to redeem humanity back to Himself through his death and resurrection in order for us to live in intimate community with Him.

I can nuance the phrases and add more meat to it, but bottom line, that is where I stand on the gospel. Incarnation. Redemption. Reconciliation.

But what about hope? You like me have heard the lessons and have taught them. So often I have thought "if only those people knew Christ, their life would be hopeful and fulfilled." Interesting. I am beginning to think that is not as true as I would like it to be. If knowing Christ brings fulfilled lives, then our churches would be full of people who would circle "fulfilled" on the great survey of life. And, the flip side is that non-believers would be desperate in their hopelessness and unfulfillment. Not exactly true. Take Oprah. She is intensely spiritual, not a Christian in my estimation, but a God lover for sure. Do you think she sees her life as hopeless and unfulfilled. What about Katie Couric, Diane Sawyer, Barbara Walters - none of them known Christians and none of them wailing in their own hopelessness or unfulfillment either. What about the guy across the road from me. Nice guy. Friendly. Kind. Non-Christian. Happy. Hopeful. Fulfilled.

Now it would be naive to believe this to be the case in every situation. The world is full of hopelessness and lack of fulfillment. But here is my point. I think if we are going to spread the good news about Christ, it needs to be about what life looks like with Christ. It needs to be about community, about serving something other than ourselves, about sacrifice, about joy and about the kind of hope that comes from Christ. We can not assume that all people who do not know Christ are unhappy, miserable, unfulfilled and hopeless. Many have dandy lives. Our job is to help them see that when our stories merge with the great story of God, something happens. Something bigger than ourselves, something transformational, something more than happiness.

You may agree or disagree. These are just my musings on a Monday morning. I just wonder if what we sometimes spread as good news, is underwhelming to people. If all we are promising is fulfillment and God as the ultimate vending machine, that may not be that attractive to a people who are already quite happy with life. However, if our good news calls them to something more in life, we may have some takers.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Thanks for the Input...paper completed....i've been tagged

1. Thank you so much for the insights you shared on my last post.  For those who commented and emailed I appreciate it all!!!

2. I am breathing a little easier today as my final two assignments for the semester are now out of my hands and I can check that off the to-do-list.

3.  My friend Gena has tagged me.  I will answer those questions below.  
I have tagged several of you previously, so I am going to break the rules and just respond to being tagged but not tag anyone else...sorry Gena!

Here are 7 random facts about myself:
1. I am allergic to most dairy products and shellfish
2. I have ridden an ostrich, with help....
3.I am not an outdoorsy person...I am so afraid of bugs, grasshoppers especially, that it is no fun
4. I would buy a necklace over a pair of shoes any day
5. I believe that most of life is more tolerable with a cup of hot tea, British style, in one's hand
6. Just being close to the ocean lowers my anxiety theory is that if you are born by the ocean you long for it in a deeply spiritual way
7. I love organizing things: drawers, cabinets, closets, projects, etc.  It takes me to my happy place.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Blog Post 200! - Accountability groups

I am finishing up a paper and would like a little feedback if any of you readers have a moment.
If you have been in an accountability group or spiritual formation group, what size do you prefer? 2 or 3 or even 4 people?
Have you used specific questions when meeting, like renovare's or some other resource?
Do you meet weekly?
How has/did this experience shape you more into the image of Christ?
What are the landmines?
If you have not been in one is this by choosing or circumstance?

If you do not comment usually, would you mind doing it this time. Or, if you are not registered on blogger, would you mind doing that and just dropping me a comment? Thank you.
I really appreciate this!!!!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

King of Kings and Lord of Lords

Someone is always telling you to go and listen to a sermon online and you may think about it and never do it, or you may think the suggestion is ludicrous to begin with.

However, indulge me. If you have 25 minutes or so go to and listen to Dan Bouchelle's sermon from today, April 6th. I think the title is "Take me to your leader." It may only be up there tomorrow, I am not sure. Either way do it.

During times like these when politics feels like it is going to choke the life out of us, Dan brings a word from God that is convicting, uplifting, prophetic and hard.