1. Share, if you wish, the biggest change you experienced last year.
2006 was a year with no drastic changes, that I can recall. I'm at a point in my life where that feels like a good thing! I am making some changes in my practice because of the frustration of fighting with managed care companies, the stress level, and the general boom-or-bust nature of a small solo practice, especially for an introvert who would rather eat a bug than have to develop a "marketing plan" and "market" myself to doctors, etc. I've been here long enough that word of mouth referrals can keep me busy one or two days a week, and with my regular (and less stressful) half-time job, that's all I need. I have friends who work their butts off to develop a full-time private practice, but that has never been my goal.
2. Talk about a time you changed your mind about something, important or not.
Well, I changed my mind about blogging! I couldn't imagine putting my meanderings out on the Internet for anyone to see, but here they are. Most of the time it's been fun.
3. Bishop John Shelby Spong wrote a controversial book called "Why Christianity Must Change or Die." Setting aside his ideas--what kind of changes would you like to see in the Church?
The Church, at its basic level, is the community made up of individuals who are in relationship with Jesus Christ. For it to grow, each individual within the Church has to pray for help to get serious about that and to be open to what the Holy Spirit is telling her or him to do in at least three arenas--personal life, as a member of the faith community, and out in the larger society. The only way for me to do that is to seek the Spirit's guidance through prayer, Scripture, and the counsel of people who know me well and whose godly judgment I trust. If following God, and becoming more like Christ, is truly the desire of an individual's heart, God will honor that desire. And then a church full of people who are dedicated to Jesus and who really understand that that involves serving one another and seeking to meet the needs of the community, is going to grow.
So understand I am not just talking about a personal or pietistic thing, but that is where it begins. Sometimes church feels like a little club where we go to make business and social contacts, and act nice. It's not about acting nice, it's not even about doing good deeds (in our own strength). It's about the power of the Holy Spirit, and unless the church is made up of people who love God and seek to know and follow God, it will go nowhere.
4. Have you changed your hairstyle/hair color in the last five years? If so, how many times?
Not at all! Boring, huh? Sometimes I tell my stylist friend, "A little shorter this time", but I don't tell him that's just so I won't have to come back so soon. I stopped coloring my gray hair years ago, because really, once you start, when do you stop? It's OK. I have earned every strand. And maybe some day my hair will look like Emmylou Harris's (snort, guffaw).
5. What WERE they thinking with that New Coke thing?
No idea. It tasted way too much like Pepsi for this Southern gal. Classic Coke forever!
Thank you so much for your prayers and good wishes. I feel fine now, but believe me, it was rough sailing for a while. The Scientist is fine too.