November 14, 2011

Presidential Candidates Using God?

While Herman Cain seems besieged by women claiming harassment, his comment about God may have gone without much notice. In an interview about why he is running for president, he said that God wanted him to. Then he compared his "conversation" with God to Moses'. Presumably, God had to convince a reluctant Cain just like God had to convince a reluctant Moses.

I'm really not sure how I feel about a presidential candidate announcing this. It feels unsettling. While I am glad that Cain is a person of faith and that he has a close relationship with God, it troubles me that he would use God to bolster his appeal. Perhaps I'm just too skeptical, but I've heard too many people justify their position by saying that it was God's will. But I also suppose that just because God wants Cain to run, doesn't mean God wants him to be president?! What if Cain says that God wants him to lead us where we don't want to go? Is a vote against Cain a vote against God? I don't think so.

Please do not misunderstand. I pray for our leaders and I pray that God will lead them in righteousness, but like Martin Luther said, "I'd rather be governed by a smart Turk than a dumb Christian."

What do you think?


Free UM Discipline Online

The 2008 edition of the Book of Discipline, The United Methodist Church’s official lawbook, is now available online without charge in a read and search version only. General Conference, the denomination’s top legislative body, revises and approves the Book of Discipline every four years. The Book of Discipline will be revised next at the 2012 General Conference, making the 2008 edition obsolete.

Here is the cokesbury link to find it:


November 9, 2011

Picture This: No Hungry Children

No hungry children? Is that possible? I'm here to tell you that in our county, thanks to F.U.E.L., we are helping feed hungry elementary school children on weekends. And here's our goal: no hungry children, period.

What if there were no more hungry children anywhere? But where to start?

After an Emmaus weekend and reading about children having free lunches in school and then not having any food on the weekend, Denise Skidmore found her answer. She began at home, then her home church, and then her home community. She simply started. F.U.E.L. stands for “Full Uv Emmaus Love.” In addition to her full-time job and family responsibilities, she began. This meant developing networks to coordinate with school administrators, community and business leaders, and a host of volunteers. It still means giving up family time, nights, and weekends to speak and advocate for FUEL in communities and in churches across the region. Denise Skidmore is an extraordinary Christian woman with a passion to care for hungry children. She saw a need and put a plan in motion to meet that need, and she's inspired many others to join her.

F.U.E.L. is now not just in our county, but more and more counties across our state and in some other states as well.

Denise's dream is also God's dream. God wants no hungry children too.

If you want information about started a similar program in your community, please contact me and I'll connect you with Denise.

Grace, Kathy

November 4, 2011

Other People Discipling Your Kids at Church

Of all the things about raising clergy kids, this is one of the most sensitive. How do you handle other people disciplining your kids at church?

Because our kids thought of church (even the sanctuary) as a second home, I let them run and play there. Many times, especially during the early years, we would be there with with Dad to unlock the doors and then we were often the last to leave--locking the doors of the church behind us. One of our churches was a very large, old, downtown church with lots of nooks and crannies. It even had a "secret" storage space where my husband kept some books. Needless to say, my child loved playing hide-and-seek in the church, in part because she knew all the best hiding places. So bottom line, my kids ran around, even in the sanctuary, which was fine with me. But it was not so fine with some other church members.

More than once, I heard a person call out to my children and admonish them not to run in the sanctuary. Most of the time, the kids complied, mainly because they respected authority, not because they thought it was fair. And sometimes, when I saw it happen, I would use the opportunity to remind whomever of the fact that I thought it was important to love being at the church even if that meant not being quiet all the time.

But I still didn't like the whole situation. I didn't want other people to think my kids were trouble makers and I didn't want my kids (or me) to get pushed around. And I certainly didn't want others disciplining my kids, especially when I thought the reasons were so off-based.

What do you do? What happens when other people discipline your kids, especially at church?


20-20-20 Rule for Computer Use

Dear Friends, If you or your kids are on the computer a lot, here is a new guideline. As you may know there is worry about what too much computer time can do to your eyes. So here is an easy way to maintain eye health. After 20 minutes of working on the computer, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This should also help prevent undue eye strain as well.


November 3, 2011

Does Biology Trump Responsibility or My Brain Made Me Do It

Ever wonder where we get the concept of right brain/left brain? Here's a link to find out.

Now, why does it matter? Dr. Gazzaniga, the scientist behind right brain/left brain research, argues that ultimately, responsibility is a contract between two people rather than a property of the brain, and determinism has no meaning in this context. Further social constructs like good judgment and free will are even further removed, and trying to define them in terms of biological processes is, in the end, a "fool’s game."

So yes, learning responsibility is best done in a nurturing environment as are the meanings of good judgment and free will.

Thought this was interesting and that you might enjoy it.