Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Nashville Skyline

This week, JC's sisters Konni and Kassi taught our class for us, because we were in Nashville, visiting Katie (aka "the third weird sister"). Thanks, guys!

Konni reports that the kids (wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles) remembered what we talked about last week. This sounds like a small thing, but I'm excited. She continued the story, teaching about Saul's anointing. "I basically hammered on the message, 'Sometimes what you think you want is not actually good for you, and if you're unlucky, God (or your parents) will give it to you to teach you a lesson,'" she told us. That's a pretty good moral--not just for a ten-year-old, but for any of us, really.

On our trip, we couchsurfed for the first time. You might think we're out of our minds for doing this, but couch surfing is a seriously Christian way to travel. It works like this: Someone, in this case Josh and Tiff, put a notice on this website that said that they welcomed random travelers. Someone else, in this case, us, searched for people in Nashville who had advertised their willingness to put us up for the weekend. I would probably not couch surf alone, but JC was with me, so I felt totally safe. Josh and Tiff are Christians ("In Nashville, people look at you weird if you're not one," Josh said), and beyond that, just good friendly people. Their home was lovely and their hospitality went beyond the call of duty. Couch surfing meant that we automatically had a friend in town, someone who could recommend a mechanic and a good pancake place. We were welcomed into someone's home, where we stayed for free in a room that was going unused anyway. The other alternative would have been to spend a few hundred dollars staying at a hotel or hostel and have a much less personal experience--but a door that locked. I'll take trusting in the goodness of humanity any day, thank you. My mom has couch surfed a few times, and she's never had a bad experience.

Nashville stunned me. We drove past houses as big as churches, and churches as big as malls. The malls, of course, where roughly the size of airports. We didn't see any airports, so the chain of similes ends there. Churches stood on every street corner; I've never been somewhere like that before. I don't know that Nashville was any more Christian than most places. Maybe it just had a lot of churches. There's certainly more money there than I had imagined. Several ladies at church had full-length fur coats (I'm not sure I've ever seen any one wear one of those!), round fur hats, and fur trim on their suits. All the females ages 3 to 35 wore Ugg boots. Several high-end cars cut us off in traffic.

As if by a crazy stroke of luck (or what Elizabeth calls "God-incidences"), Tiff and her friend Heather both work for LifeWay, which is a Christian publishing company in Nashville. They have a *giant* building downtown, with a massive cross built into it, and apparently a statue of Billy Graham on the sidewalk. Although Tiff and Heather both work in the Young Adult division, they knew a bit about the Sunday school curricula and seemed to feel pretty positive about it. I think that I'm going to put them first in my review of curricula.

That's all I have to say for now, but JC and I are teaching the 3rd and 4th graders on Wednesday, so I'm sure to have a more interesting update then. We'll be teaching out of the 21st Century Christian book, since that's what they do on Wednesday nights...here's praying for a good attitude.

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