Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Not to us, but to Your Name

Bram's birthday is on Friday. My baby is going to be 3. Each year as we give him his cake, we remind him and ourselves that we're celebrating because we managed to keep him alive another year! Somedays that's more of a feat than others.

We met with a local community group called "Solidaria de Denia" this morning. It is our hope to find out more information regarding the needs of our community before we can really make any kind of decision as to what kinds of programs The Salvation Army should be offering. We are seeking for the best ways to engage our community and become a part of it, rather than simply a spectator. Through the community group we'll be able to network with other community agencies also serving the needs of our town.

We have been diligently working on clearing out rooms in our building in order to assess what resources we have at our disposal, make room for programs, as well as throw away garbage. (I found juice boxes over 2 years old!) As we go through the rooms we find all kinds of books, music, games, and even a tent. It at least helps in deciding what kind of items could be used for other things.

I have been reading Brian McClaren's "A New Kind of Christian" series (I highly recommend it!). The second book speaks a lot about creation and God's story as it is woven through time and the events of history as well as our present day. It inspired me to read through the book of Genesis (bit by it goes with toddlers who get up at 5:00 am (stupid time change) ). Yesterday I read the portion about the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11). The part that stuck out to me about the story this time was the reason God decides to confuse the language:

But the Lord came down to look at the city and the tower the people were building. “Look!” he said. “The people are united, and they all speak the same language. After this, nothing they set out to do will be impossible for them! (vs. 5 - 6)

Well, I always thought being united was a good thing? So I decided to keep reading the story for some clue as to why it was not a good thing now. And it hit me! Look at these verses:

Then they said, “Come, let’s build a great city for ourselves with a tower that reaches into the sky. This will make us famous and keep us from being scattered all over the world.” (vs. 4)

Unity is a good thing. It makes you unstoppable. (God says so in verse 6.) The problem is these people were doing it all for their own consideration of God. So God scatters them over the world to basically show them Who's in control.

So it leads me to think of the new page turned in our country's (US) history last night. It doesn't matter who's president, it matter who's God. Christians could continue to argue of what the outcome of the election means, or they can choose to focus on God and change the world together. It makes me ask myself, am I seeking glory of God in all my personal endeavours? Or am I focused on how this is going to affect me and me only?......


Edie said...

I was listening to a Christian radio program tonight and someone that called in said something in tandem with this. The idea was that difficulties (threat, loss of power, etc) are what bring people together. So the positive result of this election is that we will likely see Christians become more united as we work together to make our voices heard.

Very insightful Valerie.

Edie said...

Oh hey - I forgot to say happy birthday to Bram. Happy Birthday! Does he have health issues?

Jeff and Valerie Carr said...

No, Bram has no health issues. He's a normal, badly behaved, lovable, exciting 3 year old. The part about "keeping him alive" is that we as parents haven't screwed up too badly if he makes it to November 7th every year, right??

Edie said...

LOL!! Well I'm glad for that! :D
My B-day is the 8th, my brother's the 3rd, daughter the 2nd, sister the 24th, cousin the 17th.

Sue J. said...


Couldn't agree with you more about everything, except that I'm sure you and Jeff are fantastic parents!! And, God is working through you to "keep Bram alive" even when you question that!

We've been talking about unity in the church (in fact, I think our pastoral staff is reading this same book, or did earlier this year), and how true it is that the church could be so powerful if we did it all for God. (Why would Satan so vigorously attack the church otherwise....which he IS doing!)

Great commentary!

My ADHD Me said...

I think what alot of us are afraid of is nor how it will affect "me and me only", but how it will affect the world.
Yesterday my son came home from high school and said there were big groups of kids running around yelling Obama. My middle schooler came home saying the same thing. The part that bothers me, though, is that when a middle school asked my son who he would have voted for, my son replied McCain, the other child immediately called him a racist.
It brings back those feelings of "black verses white" that happened during the OJ Simpson trial. And that scares me.

Happy Birthday Bram!!