Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter Traditions

After a wonderful Taize Good Friday service with the area churches last night, we went home to a Taylor tradition, dying eggs. For 24 years we have dyed or painted emptied eggs and kept a few each year. They aren't amazing eggs, but their ours, and reflect the changes of the years. Even our dog, Cooper, got into the act, adding his special touch to one egg. Now the Big Basket holds over 150 eggs, and this year another dozen is added. I suggested this might be the last year, but of course, was voted down.



Thursday, April 9, 2009

Hit and Run or Not

"We saw your car get hit," were the words that greeted me at the church's Family Night Supper. I had just come out of a meeting and immediately I envisioned my Nitro, which I'd left parked on the street, rear-ended, and felt the adrenaline rush into my blood stream.

Turns out that the couple greeting me with such kindness were nursery workers this past Sunday and watched out the window as an elderly gent pulled in front of my parked car, and backed right into it. He didn't hit it hard, they said, but he never looked back. After he bumped into my front bumper, he pulled forward a bit, parked, got out and went on his way.

It's hard to keep from rushing ahead of the facts when you're hit with the unexpected, but I sure am glad I waited for the rest of the story before dashing out of the Fellowship Hall to "see the damage." Now, if I can just remember to do that when I have hit and runs with personalities!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

March Madness

March Madness usually refers to the excitement and insanity of college basketball tournaments, and the people who are fervently devoted to keeping up with it all. All that was settled last night with North Carolina reclaiming the national championship in a commanding win over Michigan State.

But there’s another March Madness I just learned about, done by some folks fervently devoted to a whole different value system. A friend came to me Sunday and handed me some money which he wanted to go to help feed the hungry. He didn’t win his family’s March Challenge, but he had $179 to contribute.

The Challenge? Feed yourself for the month of March on $10 a day. At the beginning of the month, each family member got $310. Everything you ate for the month had to come from that: meals, snacks, drinks, whatever. Family members could “pool” their resources for shared meals, but each person had to keep up with their own money. Anything left over was to go to a mission of their own choosing, and the one with the largest gift won.

Here are the figures for a family of four, assuming the $179 was the average: $524 given to charity and $716 spent on food – an average food cost of $5.80 a day per person. What kind of madness it this?

By the way, the 2009 domestic meal per diem rate, set by the US General Services Administration ranges from $36 to $61 a day, depending on which section of the country you’re in.

What a great “Lenten” focus, a family challenge that makes each person conscious of what it actually takes to eat and what can be done when we “plan” to give. But I don’t recommend you try it, not unless you’re crazy enough to believe in a whole different value system that claims:

Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.. (Matthew 6).