Sunday, March 23, 2008
There are so many points to compare from....but I've decided to describe my own view from the pew....or auditorium chair.
Let's begin with a view from the church I grew up in..in Mississippi. First...I sit next to people I have known probably for several years....and I am on a pew...a pew with the wooden slightly sloped backs and velvet 3 inch thick cushion. In front of me, on the back of the pew before me is are Baptist Hymnals and a King James Version of the Bible...just in case you forgot yours. As I look around me at all the people....I see mostly middle aged and older adults. The women are dressed in nice dress pants or dresses, men in khakis, button up shirts, and some in wranglers. They are all white, middle class, conservative people. Their faces clean shaven, their hair well groomed. They are good people...most of them have watched me grow up. The service begins...we stand, grab our hymnals and sing songs whose page numbers were already printed in the bulletin. While standing and sometimes singing we sing things such as Blessed Assurance, Holy Holy Holy, etc. The choir director leads us while being accompanied by an organ and a piano.We sing and we sit. We then have childrens church....which was one of my vary favorite parts...all of the children go down while the most amazing children's minister leads them in a clever....really neat mini lesson...and then the children return the pew with their parents. The offering takes place...and the wooden circular plate with the reddish velvet bottom is passed from pew to pew....person to person. Then the pastor stands..sometimes at the big wooden podium but usually dressed in a suit...there he stands and delivers his message. There is an alter call at the end of the service. Sometimes people go down to pray, to join the church, and sometimes to give their lives to Christ....but the majority of people in the church have been going for years...and are already believers.
Now, the contrast....sit with me through a few moments in Mosaic. I am not sitting in a pew this time...nor am I even in a church building. I am at the Beverly Hills high school auditorium. No hymnals or Bibles in front of me...afterall this is a high school in California and that might just be a tad bit illegal. As I look around now, I cannot help but think of heaven....because the diversity within this one room is amazing. I am sitting beside an African American man whom has come to become one of dearest friends. In front of me I see Asians, Hispanics, Filipinos, Caucasians, Middle Easterners, and the list could go on and on and on. They are dressed...well....no one is dressed the same. There are men and women with shorts on, flip flops, dresses of all lengths, clothes of all sorts.....all colors....all styles...many pairs of jeans (unfortunately, not so many wranglers). They are mostly young adults.....20's and 30's would be the majority. It's like playing where's waldo to find an elderly person (i miss the the elderly). Some not so clean shaven...many not even what some would say well groomed. I see mohawks, red streaked hair, blue streaked hair....bleach blonde hair....and ofcourse your normal shades too. I don't know very many of these people....probably have real relationships with only about 20 of them. The service begins ...sometimes with drama, other times with improv, or even a dance. Then we worship...and boy do we worship. On stage we have 2 vocalists, a drummer, a keyboard player, a violinist, some electric guitarist, and occasionally someone spinning records! The neat thing is....it is never a performance....it is true worship of everyone on the stage and most of us in our seats. The songs are great...many written by our own staff, people are actively participating and loving singing to our Lord...many raised hands, joyful dancing, etc. No children's church, in fact I have never really seen a child in the actual service part. The offering is not passed until the end...and no offering plates....rather paint buckets are passed! When are pastor comes to share....he is not wearing a suit....quite the contrary....he is in jeans...sometimes a tshirt (my favorite is a gray one with pink machine guns and a guitar on it)...other times in a button up...but always untucked and comfortable. And...there is no podium. He does not even stand alot of the time. He has a stool and he sits and just talks....like he is in a conversation...many times just with me it seems. There is rarely an official alter call....but the neat thing is the majority of the people in this service have not been in church their whole life...going to church is not the common thing to do in LA. Most of these people are here because they crave this, they want this....they are seeking Christ. And...that is so neat.
I think one of the only common factors between the two churches is that they are both Southern Baptist.
Now, I am not saying one way of church is right and the other is wrong. There are so many different things about every church. Alot of it is because of the culture and location that the church is in. Some people desire the traditional way of church....some people would never be able to stay awake in the traditional way. And....I am only comparing the view from the pew...not the mission of the church or the core values....just my little view and the differences! I will say both blessed my life....but I will also say that for me personally, now that I have experienced worship so intimate and so full of Christ and fun at the same time...I never want anything less!
If you are still reading this....sorry, it was long...and it was just something that I have been thinking about for a while, and decided to put it into words. Feel free to check out our amazing church at www.mosaic.org .
Monday, March 17, 2008
It will be 6 more years before we can even send off a completed dossier (adoption paperwork) to China. But....wow...somedays I am overwhelmed with such emotions just thinking about MeiLing. I can't wait to see her little almond eyes, olive skin, and straight black hair in contrast to her cousins whom have blond hair, curly hair, etc. I know MeiLing won't even be born for several years. But I pray often for her birth mother....who at this very moment will need to develop the courage not to abort her(if she finds out that she's a girl) or the courage to take her to a safe haven when she is filled with pain and disappointment after birth when she finds out that she did not have a boy...and will be filled with grief as she gives up the baby she's carried for nine months. She will have to be courageous!
Lately I have been flooded with thoughts of how neat it will be that God will hand choose a daughter for us. I know the thought of God creating a baby in the womb out of a husband and wife's genes must be similar. But for me....the thought that when we get her, God will have chosen her from all the babies...to be our baby......WOW....tears just flow and flow and flow. I just went on the adoption website...and as I looked at pictures of "Gotcha Day" and saw these parents being handed their babies, I sobbed! It is just such a reflection of God's grace and mercy...and how he has adopted us into his family!
Anyway, by the time Ryan and I get Meiling I will have wanted her for 10 years! She will be well worth the wait and when we get her....I have to find an outfit like this little one is wearing in the photo above!
Me: My name is Mrs. Webb....and when I grow up...(I am usually interrupted by a student here)
Student: You are grown up!
Me: Well, that's okay...grown ups can change their mind about what they want to do. ...(then I continue) Ahemm....When I grow up I want to.....well actually I want to do a few things (which I am now completely breaking the rule of the game...since I told each student that he/she could only choose 1 thing, but since I am the teacher I can break the rules).....I want to either move to China and work in an orphanage, be a child life specialist, own my own boutique or gift shop, design my own stationary, design t-shirts, work at a store called Swoozies (www.swoozies.com), be a nanny, etc. etc.....
As a child my list of things I wanted to be when I grew up went something like this (as best as I can recall):
A cheerleader (can't convince Ryan that I should try out for a professional team..haha)
A scientist (very briefly....I just liked rocks a lot)
An office worker (I looove office supplies like pens, sticky notes, those carbon copy message pads, paper clips, and I even love answering the phone for businesses....and taking messages, answering easy questions, and transferring phone calls.)
An interior decorator
A child life specialist
....teacher was never even an option....
So....the point of this blog is to admit that I still have no idea what I really want to do for a living. I never once said...when I grow up...I want to be a substitute teacher! Please don't get me wrong....I love my job...I get to be off basically whenever I desire, I get to meet and teach and love soooo many kids and form amazing relationships...and it is relatively easy...not to mention it has pretty good pay! However, I find it a little odd that I am 24....have a degree...have been married for nearly 4 years...and have no idea what I want to do career wise. Did I mention that I was voted "Most Likely To Succeed" my senior year of high school? I guess success can be measured in different ways. I am not stressed out by this.....I am not even really worried....just slightly perplexed by the thought.
When will I ever decide?
Monday, March 10, 2008
If you could own one type of store, what would it be?
A gift shop that sold my own line of stationary, cute purses, bags, invitations, frames, art, and monogrammed stuff.
What is something that you are allergic to?
Pond or Lake Water
What is the first thing you do when you get out of bed?
Find my house shoes, moccasins, flip flops or something for my feet. I cannot stand to be bare footed.
If you were on a deserted island, what cd would you want with you?
A Jack Johnson CD
What is the first thing you notice when you meet someone?
Eyes and Smile
If you wake up in the middle of the night, what do you usually end up doing before you fall back asleep?
PRAY....I specifically pray for whomever comes to my mind...and often wonder if God did not wake me up just to cover that person in prayer for that moment...but then I worry if that person is okay.
What is your favorite thing to buy at a convenience store?
Diet Dr. Pepper and some kind of chips...like sun chips, funions, Cheetos....oh or beef jerky or corn nuts...haha.
If you could live during a specific time in American history, when would you choose?
The time of Pride and Prejudice...whenever that was. Oh, but wait, that may not have been American History.
What is your favorite greasy appetizer?
Cheese Sticks from pizza hut
If you could change your mind about one thing you did today, what would it be?
I would not have eaten a 2nd cookie!
What is the best thing about having children?
haha...well, Since I don't have any or want any for a long time, I can't answer this question. I am positive that there are joys in having children that I won't understand until that day.....but today I will answer this question..."What is the best thing about not having children?"
-Just going to the store whenever I want.
-Running whenever I want.
-Eating whenever I want.
-Sleeping whenever I want...and waking up when I want to. So, Basically....I am just way to selfish!
What was the last movie that made your eyes tear up?
"Becoming Jane" and "The Other Boelyn Girl"
What word best describes the outfit you are wearing right now?
Hideous or Eclectic (I am wearing running clothes which consists of blue capri running pants, one long white tank...a periwinkle tank....a long pink apron, and tennis shoes with holes in them)....wouldn't you agree hideous is correct?
Sunday, March 9, 2008
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Romea: But what are they?
This is Romea (pronounced Row-May-Uh)
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
And he waits for Cliff to hit it over.
Jessica, Me, and Cathy.....