Sunday, April 24, 2011

When I love church...

Sometimes I love going to church.  Sometimes I don't, but sometimes I do.  On the days when I love it here are some of the things I love...

I love that it doesn't matter what you wear.  You can have on jeans and a raggedy shirt, a three piece suit, or pajamas and it matters not.  God doesn't care at all what you have on...and in most churches (the good ones in my opinion) the people don't care either.  I usually enjoy getting dressed up for church, but if I didn't feel like doing that it would be fine.

I love that when you are in a church it really doesn't matter what the room looks like.  There could be plain white walls or walls donned with banners and decorations but it doesn't matter.  It could be in a building meant to be a church, an old warehouse that has been converted or a house.  It doesn't matter. 

I love that you can be the best singer or (in my case) the worst singer.  When you sing, God thinks it's beautiful.

And MOST of all...the very BEST thing about church is...are you ready for this...EVERYONE there needs Jesus.  Everyone.  From the preacher giving the message, to the man with his hands raised in worship, to the girl hanging her head in shame.  Every single person in there is in need of Jesus.  EVERY SINGLE PERSON.  Wow.  That blows my mind.  We all need Jesus so much.  It's a beautiful thing really.  Crazy, yes.  Confusing, you bet.  But beautiful. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

National Library Week

This is National Library Week.  Did you know that?  Yesterday was actually National Library Worker Appreciation Day.  My students and I made a poster and cards for our school librarian and we nominated her to be a "Star Librarian" at some Library Association web page.  I love the library.  You know how some movies have scenes that are filmed in libraries?  Well I could watch those scenes over and over.  Not even really because of what's happening in the movie at that point in time, but because I am just in awe of the library it's being filmed in.  National Treasure, Skulls, The Prince and Me, City of Angels, Legally Blonde, The Breakfast Club.  Those are all the ones I can think of right this second, but that might be because I'm in a slight hurry.  There is a book I read to my classes called The Boy Who Was Raised By Librarians by Carla Morris.  It was a Show-Me book if you are a teacher (like me) or a nerd (also like me) and are familiar with what that means.  It is about a little boy named Melvin who loves the library.  The three librarians who work at his public library are his favorite people.  The books goes through different things they help him with as he is growing up.  From story hour, to researching science projects, to winning a game show and finally becoming a librarian himself.  It's a phenomenal book.  In the book it talks about how they have a "spend the night in the library" party with snacks and LOTS of storytime.  (In my mind I imagine this as being a night full of reading books and having literacy activities as an extension of reading those books.)  The line that gets me every time is "surrounded by books he felt happy and rich".  Whoa dang!!  I mean, even I can't really say it better than that.  When I am surrounded by books I do feel happy and rich.  I feel like I can truly get lost in a book or find answers in a book or escape for awhile into a book.  I have never loved anything academic as much as I love reading.  I talk to my students about books I am reading and encourage them to read for fun as much as I can.  When they get old I want them to read for fun and not stop reading when they leave school.  I think reading keeps you educated and increases your vocabulary.  I could go on and on about the joys of reading.  But back on track...  When I was little my mom used to take us to the library on Saturday mornings sometimes.  There was a librarian there whose name was Mrs. Roegge.  I'm not actually sure if that's how it's spelled but I lack the time to look it up.  Anyways, I thought the library was a fascinating place and I thought the librarian's job was to help me "shop" for books.  While I'm sure she had many things to do, she always helped me.  I never remember her not having time to help me look for books.  I read all the Boxcar Children books and the Babysitter Club books and several others.  This time in my childhood is what helped me to love reading and love books and love libraries.  So, on this National Library Week, I just want to say that I appreicate all the libraries (and ESPECIALLY librarians) in my life.  I am thankful for the gift of literacy and I pray that ending illiteracy is a trend that will soon sweep the nation. 

Now it's off to Bible study...which will require me to locate a very specific Bible.  Hmmm...wonder where it is??!!