Friday, October 28
They'll know we are Christians by our fish?

That was the title of the featured article by Russ Breimeier, Christianity Today, I received via email this week. I tried to link it here...but can't figure out how to do that with an email (as opposed to something I see on a website). I'm learning. Be patient.

He expressed well the reason I won't put a "Jesus fish" on my car.

Probably woulda been something I blogged about, he saved me the trouble. Since I can't link it (grrrrrrrr >:( ), I've copied the gist of it. The point that mattered to me was the last sentence...if you wanna skip everything else, jump down to there.

I was driving in downtown Chicago last week, where traffic seems to be our No. 1 pastime—even ahead of baseball (go Sox!). In my mind-numbed auto stupor, I noticed that the car ahead of me had that little fish on the back (you know, the ichthus?) Really, I couldn't help but notice, not because I'm automatically drawn to Christian symbolism, but because the driver rudely cut me off in traffic without using a turn signal.

Don't get me wrong. I'm sure my driving habits have offended others at some point too. None of us are perfect. But the car fish is one of those everyday cultural items that stir mixed feelings in me. At time I'm filled with good cheer when I see it—"Ah, there goes a brother or sister in Christ. God bless!" And admit it: When a driver with a fish on his car is courteous in traffic, you conclude that they were nice because they were a Christian, as "proven" by the fish, right?

If that's true, then we need to accept the downside of the fish. It brands us as a Christian, and that means when we pull a fast one in traffic, another driver may think, There goes another rude and arrogant Christian. There's great responsibility in wearing the fish, and from my driving experiences, not enough Christians take it seriously.

Should that be any different from wearing the name "Christian" in our everyday living? This directly relates to the whole secular vs. sacred debate. I think some Christian artists are reluctant to be called "Christian artists" because they're afraid that in the spotlight, they will occasionally slip up and misrepresent Christ. It's easy to think, Yes, but we're all family in Christian music—we show grace to each other when we make mistakes—whether in traffic or in the mainstream. Right? Tell that to artists like Amy Grant, P.O.D., Sixpence None the Richer, and Switchfoot.

It's something to consider, the responsibility of being labeled for Christ. As it pertains to music, I can see it either way. Whether or not artists are publicly identified as "Christian artists," I can't stress enough that the emphasis be on their conduct, and not on their label. Personally, I'm not the type who calls much attention to myself with symbols and such. I'd rather be labeled a Christian by my words and actions—that people know me as a Christian by my love, not my shortcomings or my advertising.

  Into the pensieve on Friday, October 28, 2005
  Your thoughts, please (3)

Monday, October 24
My D.C. Top Ten
Our Nation's Capitol has got to be one of the world's greatest cities. The whole city is designed with intent--the architecture, momuments and views combine for an unforgettable FEAST of history! I LOVE it and every time I visit, I leave wanting more. There's never enough time to get it all done. I think you could live there for years and never get it all done.

This was the first visit with our family. We've talked about taking the children for years, and the timing seemed right--they're at the ages where they'll enjoy memories of their own from the trip. Thomas had just completed a study of the Civil War, so he was particularly engaged (probably one of his favorite stops was Ford's Theatre and seeing EXACTLY where Lincoln was shot and just how far Booth jumped when he bolted from the balcony).

During the thousand hours on the road coming and going and in between, lots of memories were made. Here are some of my favorites, with #1 being my favoritist favorite.

10. The Smithsonian. Everyone knows it's not just "one museum", but not everyone may realize it's a collection of 18 museums, 9 research centers and over a hundred affiliates around the world. Two museums I had never visited before are my new favorites--the American History Museum and the American Indian Museum. Three words--A MAZE ZING! I just wanted to "hold class" in the AHM, and it was a cheap thrill that my kids enjoyed it as much as Tad and I did. The AIM tells a story from beginning to end (even the architecture of the building is intentionally designed to communicate history) and will give you a higher regard for native Americans. I was a bit surprised our kids didn't prefer my former favs--Air & Space or Natural History. We were all disappointed in the National Zoo which was under major renovation/construction, although I suspect one of the more memorable (educational???) sights was a pair of amourous orangutans!!!
9. Sharing a hotel room with my children. EVERYONE should experience this (with your own children, of course), even if you're gazillionaires. After days FULL of pounding the pavement, when we were soooo wiped out all we could do was fall into bed, my boys still found energy to giggle after lights out. I wanted to hurt them.
8. I learned to always pack air freshener or candles in the future...hairspray is a poor substitute for both. It does little to mask or neutralize the foul odors the afore-mentioned children can emit after a day eating nothing but junk.
7. The White House means it when they tell you not to bring cameras (Tad almost missed our tour because we brought ours--"we" meaning me). They will NOT hold your camera during your visit. And the "guides" stationed in each room are "packing"--they're all Secret Service personnel on active duty.
6. It's worth whatever it costs to take a night-time trolley ride though the city; we visited many of the momuments at night, most are well-lit, and the drivers are a WEALTH of information.
5. They also mean it when they tell you not to bring food along on your Capitol tour. Ours was scheduled the last morning of our trip, so we packed ALL our remaining snacks in our backpack. While standing in line, we were reminded of this rule. There's a nice, large trash receptical for would-be offenders. I asked, incredulously, "You mean even sealed water bottles? Capri Suns?? Crackers??? Granola bars???? CHOCOLATE?????! :-O The officer said "Everything...we don't know what could be in those containers." Evidently, post 9-11 they're a little edgy in those parts. Also with the Antrax scare (I guess terrorists could disguise themselves as a typical American family). I think I shed a few tears when I dropped the Hershey bars in. BUT, lol, we kept a water bottle or two. When we got to the second check point, just prior to entering the Capitol, for the umpteenth time we went through metal detectors (I had set them off earlier in our trip with gum wrappers, lipstick and other objectionable weapons.). This time I was clear. However, our bookbag did NOT clear--stupid water bottle contraband. They detained Tad while the kids and I went in. Seemed like FOREVER before they let him back, we wondered if we might have to post bail or something. An exciting start to an amazing piece of architecture and history.
4. Riding the elevator to the top of the Washington Monument. I'm not sure what my kids thought was cooler--the view from this amazing treasure, or their mom having an acrophobic, claustrophobic meltdown.
3. The FDR Monument. This was new since our last visit to the nation's capitol; you must look at all the pages of the link--! We LOVED this tributed to Franklin Roosevelt and realize why he held office longer than any other president in our nation's history. The National WWII Memorial, also new since our last visit was beautiful...and perennial favorites remain the Lincoln Memorial and the Jefferson Memorial.
2. Tad and I realizing, after driving thru a "foreign city" after dark, that we needed glasses (dang it!)! We could NOT read the freakin' atlas!!! The type seemed to get bigger in the day light.

... and the number one AMAZING memory from our family's trip to D.C....

1. Tad has a "chemical reaction" when he looks at me!

(I was napping during the thousand hours home, and when I woke up, Tad told me when he looked at me sleeping, he had a "chemical reaction", his body reacted to me. He looked away, then looked at me again, and the same thing happened. How FORTUNATE am I that my husband, after over 18 years, "reacts" to the very site of me. Mmmmmmmmmm, I refuse to take this for granted!)

  Into the pensieve on Monday, October 24, 2005
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Married to my college sweet-heart :)...three GREAT kids I'm not selling to the circus today...I LOVE to laugh (& smile often) to read & cook, hate to shop (unless the store is very small and doesn't leave me dazed and confused). I'm scared of flying so although I'd like to travel more, I don't.

I've been pleasantly surprised to find life in my 40s to be an amazing time of transformation & discovery--of self, others, creation and the Creator.

Here's a partial explanation for my Blog title. I think it'd be cool if they really existed.

A Pensieve is a stone basin.... [One] can extract his or her own memories and place them in the Pensieve, especially to relieve the mind when it becomes too flooded with information. Anyone can examine the memories in the Pensieve, which also allows viewers to fully immerse themselves in the memories stored within...

A Pensieve first appears in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire...

For the complete explanation, see
my 2/17/06 post.

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