Tag Archives: sue schlesman

What I’m thinking about this Memorial Day

Most people I know are happy about Memorial Day, There’s no school, no work, and probably some beach or pool time. They throw burgers on the grill and spend time in the sun.

But that’s not what I’m thinking about on Memorial Day.

I think about a naval surveillance aircraft, the Lockheed SP2E-Neptune, that takes off for a mission through the Santa Ana Mountains of California one rainy February night in 1969.

Seven crew from the nation’s heartland miss their wives and children back home, yet they are tense with anticipation.

These aviators crave flight. The thrust, the power, the roar of four engines and the spinning propeller course in their veins like an electric current.

The controller sends the coordinates, and the heavy Neptune lifts into the furious dark. Rain assaults the aircraft like driving sheets of metal hammering against its flanks. Walls of water hedge the aircraft as it steers through the black of night.

The coordinates lead the Neptune into Modeskja Canyon at an altitude of 3,000 feet.

But aviators don’t fly into canyons. They navigate from high to low, not low to high. This canyon is no place for a huge aircraft. Somehow, the coordinates are wrong. Continue reading

Till We Have Faces

Or in this case, Till We Have Facials. Yes, my book club discussed the book Till We Have Faces under facial masks. (They would not let me post a picture of us!) No surprise: while tight and awkward, the masks restricted movement but not our ability to interrupt one another, talk at the same time, and laugh at each other. And they made us feel a bit like the book’s main character Orual, who wears an emotional and physical mask for most of the story. Sort of a modern Phantom of the Opera.

And our skin felt great afterward.

This month, we read C. S. Lewis’ last novel, an allegorical fantasy re-telling of the myth of Cupid and Psyche. The book was un-stereotypical Lewis, told in first person narrative, from the eldest sister Orual’s perspective. Orual is the cunning, obsessive, conflicted child of an abusive king, with an ugly face and massive insecurities and control issues. She grows up with the knowledge that she is too ugly to be a woman, that she will never marry, and that her two beautiful sisters deserve admiration as much as she deserves to stay hidden.

Psyche, Orual’s youngest and favorite sister, is angelic in face, form, and personality. She garners everyone’s attention, admiration, and love. Oral is especially protective and caring of her–Psyche is almost her alter-ego, even though Orual is a character who transforms into a self-aware and charitable leader. Continue reading

8 ways to transfer faith to your kids

I doubt if any Christian parent wants to “shove religion down the throat” of his child. But sometimes, we’re not sure how to get our kids to want to go to church or read their Bibles or have spiritually-stimulating conversations. We take them regularly, we buy them Bibles, and yet . . . . nothing.

What’s a Christian parent to do?

Try a new church? This may solve the problem or it may instigate a routine of church-shopping or staying home on Sunday. I don’t know. Every situation and family is different, but always looking for a new church or better youth group might just give your child a consumer mentality. Regardless of your church, all Christian parents can begin reaching the heart of their children for the Lord at home, on a regular basis.

God must have expected parents to do this because He commanded the Israelites with these instructions: “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” (Deut. 6:7)

God instructed his people to passionately and earnestly appeal to the hearts of the children, to talk about God–who He is, and what He does. he asked them to make their relationship with Him the center of their lifestyle. Not an add-on. Not a Sunday thing. The center. The source for everything else.

So how do we “impress” our kids without forcing outward obedience and inward rebellion? We teach them to love God and love what He loves. Kids’ hearts are soft and moldable, and they respond to love. Expose their hearts to the real power of God at work–to authentic believers and humble servants of God. Then let the Holy Spirit woo them. He’s really good at that. Put your kids in a place to hear, and let God speak to them (they’re so much better at hearing His voice that adults are!). And be careful not to overload their lives with so much activity that they can’t hear God speak and don’t have time to go someplace where He will speak. Continue reading