Showing posts from September, 2012

Not about the Money

I used to want to be famous. I wanted to see my name printed on the front of a book as I browsed Barnes & Noble. I wanted the interview on the national television network, and the occasional recognition of my name or face at the local coffee house or grocery store. I knew it was a silly dream: not unattainable, but not necessarily a worthy goal.

I have a new goal now. I want to be like Becky. I didn't know I wanted to be like Becky, until I attended her memorial service yesterday.

I knew Becky through the church choir. I didn't know her well; I knew she worked in a school, that she was a seasoned vocalist, and had a strong faith in God. She died a few weeks ago, in her early sixties, after a 6-month bout with an aggressive cancer.

There was an amazing variety of people at the service. I dare not say funeral, because it really wasn't a time of mourning. It was truly a celebration of one woman's life. Staff and children from the school where she taught music for 16 y…

Children as Canvas

I've never been much of an artist. I can sketch well enough that the object is recognizable, but my drawings of people and my playdoh figurines probably haven't changed much since 4th grade. I appreciate art- color, contrast, texture... but I would never consider myself an artist.

I prefer a different kind of canvas. Every day I get to read stories to elementary-aged students. Those faces, and the minds behind them, are my canvas. I'm not a teacher, per se, but I know that connecting children to characters, to stories, to books, to reading... provides building blocks for education and intellectual curiosity. I believe advancing literacy is more important than achieving high scores on standardized tests, although there certainly is a correlation.

Working as a librarian, even temporarily, is like spending time with my childhood friends. From Green Eggs and Ham to The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, the whole Nancy Drew series, the amazing illustrations of Eric Carle, Tomi…

Legacy and Leadership

I'm not sure what the Sunday school lesson was supposed to be about (forgive me, Debie), although it was something about leaving a legacy.
Our discussion came around to leadership, and whether it is a leader's responsibility if the followers don't follow. 
"Yes!" said my brother-in-law emphatically, the regional manager for a cell-phone company. "If they can't get the job done, they're gone."
Yet, time and time again, the Bible draws a picture of leaders who encouraged, warned, used word pictures and metaphors, put their own lives and lifestyles at risk, to lead people in God's ways. The people they were supposed to lead were often outright defiant, worshiping other gods and pursuing pagan lifestyles. 
A pastoral mentor told me once, "if you want to know if you're a good leader, turn around and see who's following you."
So which is it? Is a leader measured by his or her principles, or by the number of people who are charmed…