Author: Carla Alvarez

Thankful for Teamwork

Today I am thankful for teamwork. We just finished VBS at Second and over 1900 kids came. I was in a first grade class last year where we had 20 kids assigned and we ran 25 to 30 every day.  We didn’t have enough seats, so some kids sat on the floor and it was LOUD. There were also these fish we had to prepare every day.  I’m not going to get into it, but there was major drama over those fish.  By the end of the week I was seeing them in my dreams. I would have to take...

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Renting Lacy Summary

One part of the Holocaust March of Remembrance memorial service, at least here in Houston, is the testimony of Nazi descendants telling the story of what their parents or grandparents did, expressing their repentance, and seeking forgiveness from Holocaust survivors and their descendants.  It is a very powerful moment. It is also one that gets some people a little agitated.  The concept of identificational repentance really bothers some Christians who think that we’re saved by grace that we don’t have to deal with any other baggage. Not only is the testimony of the Germans one of forgiveness, but there story is also one of how exposing and repenting of those actions not only set them free personally, but it has transformed their city.  (Here is an article on the power of identificational repentance.)

Unclean Hands

So what does this have to do with this book? This past year, we had seven marches in two days in Houston.  Six on Saturday in communities around the city in the formation of the Star of David and one in Central Houston on Sunday.  Eleven Nazi descendants flew in on Friday to speak at the different locations.  On Saturday night, the planning team had dinner with the Germans. We know their story.  They are warring for change in their community by breaking the silence, exposing what really happened, and repenting. One of them asked Mitch, “So what does your city have to repent of?” He replied, “Well, we have the largest abortion mill in the nation, we are a major hub for human and sex trafficking . . . ” and went on with a list of other things.

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It Starts With Me

I go through kicks where I’ll listen to certain songs over and over, and “It Starts With Me” by Tim Timmons is one of them.

Part of what I love about it is that it is really what the Christian life is about. It’s so easy to read directives in the Bible and think about how other people need to change. But really, God is talking to us.

One of my favorite passages is Psalm 51:10-13:

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Thankful for Normal

What I am really thankful for this week is normalcy.

Someone contacted me that I hadn’t spoken to in years. My memory of them and the situation surrounding them is not positive. But I had worked through forgiving them for their actions. I didn’t feel that my response had anything in it that would be throwing the situation up in their face.

However unbeknownst to me, during the intervening years, this person has created this alternate version of reality in their head about what happened and their role in it. Something I said in my response was not in line with their story, and it ticked them off. I guess that’s what it was. I also told them that I had forgiven them, because they had said a couple of times, “I know you can never forgive me.”

I thought they’d want to know that I had.

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What Are You Really Saying?

I’ll be honest.  I haven’t been watching the Zimmerman trial.  When the tragedy first happened, the details were obscured and it seemed like the media was more interested in inciting a race war than in what actually happened.  I knew that regardless of what the facts of the case were,  opinion heads would be giving their opinion, whether they knew anything about it or were adding anything of value to the discussion. It seems like they have even less concern for the impact of their words.  They have to fill time and attract eyeballs and it seems the majority...

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