Sunday, May 27, 2007

(baby) Step of Faith

On the twenty seventh of May in the year of our Lord two thousand and seven, Samuel Cooksey Johnson was baptized in both water and Spirit at LaSalle Street Church in Chicago, Illinois. Pretty impressive, huh? Well, Frederick Buechner is perhaps the most quoted author in the Johnson household, and the following represent his thoughts on baptism from "Wishful Thinking: A Seeker's ABC":

Baptism consists of getting dunked or sprinkled. Which technique is used matters aboutas much as whether you pray kneeling or standing on your head. Dunking is a better symbol, however. Going under symbolizes the end of everything about your life that is less than human. Coming up again symbolizes the beginning in you of something strange and new and hopeful. You can breathe again.

Question: How about infant baptism? Shouldn't you wait until the child grows up enough to know what's going on?
Answer: If you don't think there is as much of the less-than-human in an infant as there is in anybody else, you have lost touch with reality.

When it comes to the forgiving and transforming love of God, one wonders if the six-week-old screecher knows all that much less than the Archbishop of Canterbury about what's going on.

Sam seemed to know very little of what was going on on May 27, 2007. Still, we believe he received some measure of grace and love...perhaps just enough to begin something strange and new and hopeful within Sam and within our family.

- Cliff

Monday, May 14, 2007

Johnson Family Vacation

For the first time ever, last week's family vacation involved three participants. In commemoration of this momentous occasion, each family member will offer his/her unique perspective on our days visiting Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon. If these photos aren't enough, you should check out our photo album!

Amber: Las Vegas was more enjoyable for its warm weather than its atmosphere. We had fun seeing the excess of the hotels, watching the fountains at the Bellagio and walking the strip, but everything got pretty old after a couple days. The Grand Canyon was quite the opposite, though. We could have stood at the south rim for weeks and never grown tired of the view. Of course, Sam seemed fairly sleepy no matter where we were.

I lost $8 total in Las Vegas. From what I could observe, this amounted to a successful couple of days. I spent much of last week reading a book about some MIT whiz kids who took the Vegas casinos for millions; that book was enough to convince me that I was neither smart enough nor daring enough to play for big stakes. And I kept looking for penny ante poker, but such games were strangely absent. Oh well. The Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon more than made up for any Vegas disappointments.
Of course, Sam seemed fairly sleepy no matter where we were.

Sam: Mom and Dad keep going on and on about this Grand Canyon. You know what? It's a big hole in the ground. Period. But Vegas was pretty sweet. We're talking bright shiny lights, lots of pretty ladies, plenty of nobs and levers, and enough pavement for me to cruise in the stroller 24-7. Vegas was totally made for people my age...that's why my parents just don't get it.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

Here are the thoughts of some 2nd grade school children regarding their mothers:

Why did God make mothers?
1. She's the only one who knows where the scotch tape is.
2. Mostly to clean the house.
3. To help us out of there when we were getting born.

How did God make mothers?
1. He used dirt, just like for the rest of us.
2. Magic plus super powers and a lot of stirring.
3. God made my Mom just the same like he made me. He just used bigger parts.

What ingredients are mothers made of?
1. God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the world and one dab of mean.
2. They had to get their start from men's bones. Then they mostly use string, I think.

Why did God give you your mother and not some other mom?
1. We're related.
2. God knew she likes me a lot more than other people's moms like me.

What kind of little girl was your mom?
1. My Mom has always been my mom and none of that other stuff.
2. I don't know because I wasn't there, but my guess would be pretty bossy.
3. They say she used to be nice.

What did mom need to know about dad before she married him?
1. His last name.
2. She had to know his background. Like is he a crook? Does he get drunk on beer?
3. Does he make at least $800 a year? Did he say NO to drugs and YES to chores?

Why did your mom marry your dad?
1. My dad makes the best spaghetti in the world. And my Mom eats a lot.
2. She got too old to do anything else with him.
3. My grandma says that Mom didn't have her thinking cap on.

Who's the boss at your house?
1. Mom doesn't want to be boss, but she has to because dad's such a goof ball.
2. Mom. You can tell by room inspection. She sees the stuff under the bed.
3. I guess Mom is, but only because she has a lot more to do than dad.

What's the difference between moms and dads?
1. Moms work at work and work at home and dads just go to work at work.
2. Moms know how to talk to teachers without scaring them.
3. Dads are taller & stronger, but moms have all the real power cause that's who you got to ask if you want to sleep over at your friend's.
4. Moms have magic, they make you feel better without medicine.

What does your mom do in her spare time?
1. Mothers don't do spare time.
2. To hear her tell it, she pays bills all day long.

What would it take to make your mom perfect?
1. On the inside, she's already perfect. Outside, I think some kind of plastic surgery.
2. Diet. You know, her hair. I'd diet, maybe blue.

If you could change one thing about your mom, what would it be?
1. She has this weird thing about me keeping my room clean. I'd get rid of that.
2. I'd make my mom smarter. Then she would know it was my sister who did it and not me.
3. I would like for her to get rid of those invisible eyes on the back of her head.