Sunday, July 29, 2007


So, for the past few weeks, we have been making several announcements at our church. We are shaking things up at Mill Creek! I am so excited about what God is doing. I can't wait to see it all come to pass. First, we are moving. We will no longer be meeting at the Mall of Georgia Regal Theaters. Beginning August 12, we'll be meeting at North Gwinnett High School in Suwannee. Now, back when I was in high school, we gathered in a boring old auditorium. Some of you are probably old enough to have had stages built into the cafeteria when you were in high school. Well, those days are long gone. This high school has a $5 million theater that we'll be using, with intelligent lighting, a sound system, and a lot of other cool, high-tech things I don't fully understand. August 5 is our last day at the MOG. I am really looking forward to the move. So, if you ever find yourself in Suwannee, swing by. Our services are at 9:30 and 11:00, starting on August 12.

Also, the above picture is not just some random hip, cool name for a church. It's OUR new name. Yep. As of today, we are no longer Mill Creek Community Church. We are calling ourselves Fusion Church. Yeah, I said it. Jealous? I bet you wish you were going to a church called Fusion Church. I do. Oh wait...I do go to that church!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Go Simpsonize Yourself

So, I saw this on my friend Doug's site. Too much fun. I knew too many Simpsons fans that would appreciate this, so I had to share it. Apparently, you too can be a Simpson. This is what I would look like if I were a resident of Springfield:

I must admit, it doesn't really look like me. I think it's actually a bit too flattering. I'm really not this hot in real life.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

More on Tolerance

In light of recent musings on Sinead and whatnot, this post by Nancy Beach really echoed a lot of what I was trying to say, albeit not quite as eloquent! For those of you that don't know her, Nancy serves at Willow Creek in Barrington, Illinois. She's a pretty impressive woman, in my book, and I really respect her ideas on faith, the Church, and art in the church. I hope you enjoy the post as much as I did.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Bane of My Existence

Here it is, folks. My couch. I have this hate/hate relationship with my sofa. It bothers me like nothing else does. I try not to look at it anymore. I pretend it doesn't exist. I refuse to even sit on it. I try to avoid it at all costs. But there it sits. Staring at me. Taunting me with its hideousness.

Allow me to vent a little bit about this piece of crap that we own. Yes, that's how strongly I feel about this...this...thing that graces my living room. One of the first things that people see when they walk into my this beauty. First of all, I married into this couch, okay. I didn't select it for myself. It belonged to my husband and his sister first. Now, I am sure that when they chose it--11 blasted years ago--it had at least some semblance of a shape. Now, it reminds me of a dirty pair of crumpled gray and black socks that sits in the middle of my living room. It sits really low to the ground, so your knees sort of come up to your ears--reminiscent of the birthing position. And 3/4 of your leg is hanging off the seat. Also, the back cushions have absolutely no shape to them, so I am constantly trying to fluff them or beat them into submission. And when I say "beat" I'm not exaggerating. It always starts innocent enough. I walk--daily, I might add--over to the couch to merely fluff a cushion or two...Then minutes later I find myself crying, speaking in unknown tongues, sweating profusely, fists pounding in a fury, with my daughters looking on in complete astonishment. Now you understand why I avoid it like the plague.

I told Ren just tonight that I believe our couch is affecting our marriage. I don't sit with him on it anymore. I take the recliner, and he suffers--alone--on the couch. It looks like something that would belong in a frat house. Seriously. Do I deserve this?

So, if you feel so inclined to contribute to the Buckland Family Couch Fund, feel free to email me, leave me comments, etc. We take checks, cash, and credit cards. Heck, I'll even trade sofas with you. Your sofa can't be as ugly as mine.

Do you remember...

This is a modern day portrait of the Samaritan woman at the well. All I can say about this video is, "Wow."

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

For Sinead

I couldn't thank U in ten thousand years/If I had cried ten thousand rivers of tears/Ah, but U know the soul and U know what makes it gold/U who give life through blood—from "Something Beautiful" by Sinead O'Connor

Sinead O’Connor. I bet just reading that name sets off a firestorm of emotional responses in various readers. Many of you probably thought, or hoped, she’d disappeared. Nope, she’s still around. And she’s just released a new CD. I’ve heard bits and pieces of it, and it’s pretty good. It’s called Theology, and it’s a collection of songs that she’s written containing mostly Scripture, predominantly from the Psalms and the Prophets of the Old Testament. Christianity Today did an album review and an interview with Sinead. I was very impressed with and proud of CT for doing the interview and getting her to open up about her beliefs. Well, apparently, I am one of 5 Christians who feels this way. She has some unconventional beliefs that have offended many readers over at CT. I’ve read both the review, the interview, and some of the comments, and I have some thoughts I'd like to share.

First of all, I’m not necessarily the biggest Sinead fan in the world, but I have a couple of friends that would probably contend for that title! I do, however, think she’s incredibly talented and I have enjoyed many of her songs and CDs. I welcome Sinead’s thoughts on God and could maybe learn a thing or two from her. I don’t agree with all her ideas, but they certainly don’t scare me either. We often react in fear to ideas that are different than our own. Here’s why I think that is: We are deathly afraid of being wrong. Seriously. What would happen if you woke up one day and everything you built your life on proved to be a lie? That’s what happens when you place your trust in a belief system over the person of God. Oswald Chambers said, “When we become simply a promoter or a defender of a particular belief, something within us dies. That is not believing God — it is only believing our belief about Him.” I love that. Let God be true, and every man a liar. We love that verse when we’re talking about other people. But that even applies to me. And even to you. Let my convictions be damned. If they’re not from God, then I don’t want them anyway. Chambers also says, “My goal is God Himself, not joy nor peace nor even blessing, but Himself, my God.” That is all I endeavor to know in this life. And with that involves continually laying down the dearly beloved white-washed belief systems that have made me feel so safe in the past, when they block my view from seeing Him more clearly, knowing Him more intimately, and touching His heart.

I disagree with Sinead on several counts. I do believe God is perfect. And I do believe that He is perfect love and perfect justice, and therefore pronounces judgment, at the same time. He is God, after all! Her “theology” has always been a little bit muddy for me, but that’s okay. Mine maybe for her and even for some of you. I would even challenge her and encourage her to explore the greater depths of His personality and character, even those parts that might make her uncomfortable, as I do the same. It's usually in the wrestling and in the pushing through to God that we catch our greatest glimpses of Him. At the same time, I truly believe that she knows Jesus, and has for a long time. This isn’t the first album she’s ever made about Him. When she talks about Him, and sings about Him, she’s singing about the God that I know and love. No, she doesn’t go to church, so she doesn’t use the same church-y language that we do. When she talks about Jesus being “like an energy” it reminds me of Jesus as a Spirit. That’s how I think of Him and relate to Him. That’s what the Bible says that He is. It’s not THAT different of a concept really. People have never been comfortable with that whole idea anyway. Following a bunch of written-down rules is a whole lot easier, and safer, than a Spirit. But a whole lot more boring and binding.

Our God is a crazy God. At what point in the Bible does He ever do anything that’s safe, conventional, or predictable? He commands His most devoted follower to slay his own son. He tells a prophet to marry a whore. He impregnates a virgin. He’s certainly a lot more exciting, creative, passionate, and unpredictable than we ever give Him credit for. We all have heard the saying, “You can’t put God in a box.” Well, it’s true. And that unfortunately, like Sinead, makes us uncomfortable.

Here’s my point: Let the poor woman speak. Welcome her into the God conversation. She’s been ostracized enough. Let’s not shun her simply because her ideas don’t line up with our own. And let’s remember to have some grace.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Today's date

So, I know people are probably well aware of this--buying lottery tickets and whatnot--but I thought that it was interesting to note that today is 07-07-07. You'll never see that again in your lifetime.

Friday, July 6, 2007

More Beach Fun

Just got some more awesome photos of our beach trip from my friend, Shannon. See, I really AM in beach denial! Had to share three of my favorites. The first one is of all the crazy, wonderful people that were there. I love and miss each and every one of you! Conspicuously missing from this photo is the Whitener Family. There were some excuses about cabinets, flooring, and flying with toddlers that kept them from coming. In their defense, they did have the furthest distance to travel. But if they miss out again next year, I will be suspicious!

In our family photo, I especially love Ren's "beach hair"! He's got the beach bum look down! I can't believe we're all looking at the camera in this one. This is now my new desktop background.

This one of Nora (Shannon's oldest), Isabel, and JoJo is a work of art. Thanks for the great photos, Shannon!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Hope You All Had a Happy 4th!

We did. We've been celebrating the 4th every year with these crazy cats for the last three years. And I must say, we always have a great time. The food is great, the fireworks are great, and everyone's still alive to talk about it the next day. Thanks, Mike & Suzanne, as always for a great 4th of July!

Monday, July 2, 2007

Back From the Beach

Alright. I'm back. And I'm so sad. I think I've been in denial a bit. I've tried to pretend that I'm still at the beach. But there's just something about Winder, GA that doesn't really lend itself to a beach state of mind. Seriously. That was one of the best vacations we've ever had. Now, I am scheming to figure out ways to be on a permanent vacation on Isle of Palms! If you've never been to Isle of Palms, SC then you owe it to yourself to go. It's about 30 minutes from Charleston. Typically, I am a Gulf girl. But the beach where we were staying was incredible. Very warm water. High afternoon waves. Sandy white beaches. Very family friendly, and not touristy at all. I could honestly make this a yearly beach destination. It'd been two years since our last beach trip. Hopefully it won't be so long the next time we go.

We went with a bunch of old friends. It was great catching up and meeting the newest additions. Going with a group of friends and splitting the cost is definitely the way to go. Very affordable and a great way to go on vacation and not feel guilty about it afterwards.

My kids were great. Really the hardest aspect of the trip was the travel to and fro. But they absolutely loved everything about the beach. Definitely a requirement for a Buckland!

Most of all, I am so impressed with my husband. He has such amazing patience with the kids. More than I do, I'm afraid. These were my friends that we were vacationing with, and he fit right in and was such a trooper the whole time. The best part of the whole trip was getting to spend so much time with him and my sweet kids. And the best part about coming home was knowing that I get to keep them and bring them home with me!