Thursday, November 30, 2006

Sermon Spice

I'm submitting my very first video to Sermon Spice dot Com.
I've uploaded a Quicktime version here. I need to sell a few before I can buy the QT plugin to translate it to *.avi.

What do you think?

Somehow this reminds me of Gavin

Tyson the Skateboarding Bulldog

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

My Kind of Commercial

After All, Even Cowboys Buy Nothing

I'm at home

with Viral Gastroenteritis (goody) and a sinus infection. I have zero energy. None. I don't even have the energy to eat. I'm just watching TV and I have come to a conclusion.

I am buying NOTHING for Christmas. Nothing. Except for food. No new decorations. No presents, except for the kids or those important to me. Nothing. When did Christmas get to be all about what you buy? When did it get to be all about Greed??

I like this site (Buy Nothing for Christmas).
and Buy Nothing Christmas
and Rev Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping
and of course The Church of Immaculate Consumption/

I know someone else posted this, but the commercials are getting to the point I can't STAND it.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Well, Duh.

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm

You're probably in the final stages of a Ph.D. or otherwise finding a way to make your living out of reading. You are one of the literati. Other people's grammatical mistakes make you insane.

Dedicated Reader
Book Snob
Literate Good Citizen
Fad Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz

A post just to say

that I'm still alive.
The LH was too sick with a GI bug to drive, so I drove the complete 12 hours from WVa. Then he gave me the bug (on top of this sinus infections.)
So, we are home alive. And I'm grateful for it, but could do without the bug.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Thanksgiving at Grandaddy and Elizabeth's House

The menfolk roasting the turkeys over an open fire. This seems to involve: fire, power-tools and shooting the bull.

Entropy looking out over the mountains. No civilization in sight. However, she and her sister got nervous when the deer-hunters got a little closer to the house and they stopped wandering around in the woods.

The chickens. Entropy didn't eat the eggs this morning when she realized where EXACTLY the eggs came from. She's facinated by the whole process and told me it seemed really "organic." Yep. That it is.

Chaos is too cool to be sucked into the whole farm thing. She did like shopping at Fenton Glass and at Prickett's Fort today. She also likes the fact that Daddy got the WiFi working.

Friday, November 24, 2006


Labeling the cat.

Perhaps a label other than "Theology" is needed, as I now have 10 shelves labeled "Theology."

My Mouse in the school variety show

Entropy chasing chickens. Great fun for her, stress for the chickens. She ate fresh eggs for the first time this week.

Clyde who thinks he is a dog. He loves to be petted and will butt you if you stop.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I've Spent Two Days

In DeLurking fun -- and now it's time to get ready for Thanksgiving.
I'm meeting a RevGal IRL (exciting!)
I've had the kids to the doctor's today (both with sinus infections, ugh.)
I've had my teeth cleaned.
I've gone grocery shopping.
I've done laundry.
I've tried to take a picture of the cat and now I have a question:
How come when I DON'T want the cat in the picture, she won't go away, but when I WANT a picture of the cat I can't find her?

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Thanksgiving Delurking Week

There are so very many things in our lives that we can be thankful for. I personally, am thankful for such a wonderful group people represented by the RevGals and BlogPals and our community here online. At Bits and Odd Pieces of Mindy's Kingdom recently, some of us were noticing that there has been a drop in commenting recently. So, in honor of Mindy, Princess of Everything, we are having a Thanksgiving Delurking week! (Please notice the cow; that's for Mindy).

Place this image on your blog and announce Delurking Week, starting today and running until the 26th. When you visit a blog, you can either just say "Thank for for blogging" or place a blogstone (o) (The invention of PPB of The Ice Floe) or whatever the Spirit moves you.

Let the Delurking begin!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Full Plate

How come when you have a full plate more things happen?
This is my last Sunday at my home church (home for 10 years) and my first Sunday at my new church (at 11:00) -- end of the semester, final projects to work on, finals to prepare for, trip coming up for Thanksgiving so...
I now have a strained muscle in my back -- hurts to move and I've taken a muscle relaxant.
And then Chaos steps on the cat -- she made a muffled squeaky meow and had problems breathing (the cat, not Chaos). One trip to the emergancy vet. Little Kitty is OK, just bruised. The only thing that's hurting now is my wallet, which has a smoking hole in it.
Oh and Chaos? Now renamed "Leadboot Catcrusher."

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

OK, I snorted Iced Tea Out My Nose.

This is so true!! I think I'll post it on my blog. That my Brother-in-law reads. And maybe his neighbor.

Having Fun

New Toy

I'm having fun labeling things. One day I WILL be organized. I WILL. Right now, I'm going to be disorganized with really cool labels on things. I think I'll label the cat.


Because of my own poor planning, sick babysitters, babysitter's sick dad, rain, etc. I'm going to have to go home instead of stay at school today and I'm going to miss Lunch and Lecture with BBT.


Monday, November 13, 2006

Evening Prayer

Hushed was the evening hymn,
The temple courts were dark;
The lamp was burning dim
Before the sacred ark;
When suddenly a voice divine
Rang through the silence of the shrine.

The old man, meek and mild,
The priest of Israel, slept;
His watch the temple child,
The little Levite, kept;
And what from Eli's sense was sealed
The Lord to Hannah's child revealed.

O give me Samuel's ear,
The open ear, O God,
Alive and quick to hear
Each whisper of your Word,
Like him to answer at your call,
And to obey you first of all.

O give me Samuel's heart,
A lowly heart, that waits
Where in your house you are,
Or watches at your gates;
By day and night, a heart that still
Moves at the breathing of your will.

O give me Samuel's mind,
A sweet unmurm'ring faith,
Obedient and resigned
To you in life and death,
That I may read with child-like eyes
Truths that are hidden from the wise.

-- James Drummond Burns

Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us all our sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life.

Gracious and Everlasting God,
You made this universe
You created order out of chaos, and gave it marvelous order,
Its atoms, worlds, and galaxies, and the infinite complexity of all living creatures:
As we explore the mysteries of your creation,
May we know You better and
May we come to know how best to serve you to Your eternal will.

In the stillness, let us hear You.
In our newness, let us hear You.
In the quietness of the night, let us hear You.
In our sleeping and in our waking, let us hear You.

Dearest and Gracious God,
Your loving hand has given us all that we possess:
Pour on me your grace so that I may honor you with all that I am and all that I have.
Make me a faithful steward of your bounty.
I give to you but Thine own.

Found at

St. John's Rev Abi, and sticking in my mind right now -- perhaps because I am building a literal sacred space in my house right now.... Even if I know that real sacred spaces are not literal or physical -- they are beyond.

Inside of sacred space you are indestructible, even though you feel quite vulnerable and unsure of yourself in many ways. Inside of sacred space you can love America and critique America at the same time. Inside of sacred space you can weep for the bigger evil of which both sides are victims. Inside of sacred space you can imagine an alternative universe because you have now been there yourself. Inside of sacred space you can - if you can dare imagine it - hear God.
- Richard Rohr

The Strengths and Weaknesses of the UMC

Strengths of the UMC

As I reflect upon the Discipline of the UMC and my experience in the denomination, I would say that the major strength of the UMC lies in its connectional system. Rev. George Cookman in 1839 in a speech in celebrating achievements at Centennial says, when pressed “with the question, ‘What is the grand characteristic, the distinctive peculiarity of Methodism?’ I would answer, It is to be found in one single word, ITINERANCY. Yes, sir, this, under God, is the mighty spring of our motive power, the true secret of our unparalleled success. Stop the itinerancy, let congregationalism prevail for only twelve months, -- Samson is shorn of his locks, and we become as other men” (Richey, 246).

It is the heart and soul, the distinctive mark of the Methodist system. Thomas Frank says, “Like breathing in and breathing out, the local churches of United Methodism and the connection through which they are linked together are both vital expressions of the church. Each local church is gifted in its own way for worship, fellowship, education, and care – breathing in deeply the life of Christian community. Each is drawn into mission in company with churches of a broader connection, breathing out the witness and service of the church in the world” (Frank, 38). The connectional system is a beautiful reminder of the unity in and of the body of Christ. Each member is just a small part; the sum is larger than any of us could imagine. With our connectional system we are able to do things that smaller denominations and independent churches cannot. We are able to pool resources in times of trouble through organizations like UMCOR. We are able to operate a publishing house so that we are not dependent on a secular house deciding on doctrinal issues. We are able to create powerful resources like the General Board of Discipleship. We are able to better support congregations by insuring that they will always have a minister. This connectional system also allows for series of checks and balances in order that power not be mismanaged and abused. The connectional system is the crowning achievement of Methodism in America.

Weaknesses of the UMC

The largest weakness of the UMC is the connectional system. “The United Methodist Church must seem an immensely complicated mechanism” (Tuell, 162). It is a large cumbersome machine, at that. Like any other large organization, there is a lot of bureaucracy and wasted effort. Like any other large organization, there can be a lot of strife and infighting among small groups. There is emotional distance between the laity and the clergy of the church. The itinerant system is seen to be outdated. The church’s position on some modern issues is outdated. The denomination is shrinking in membership as the numbers of people attending independent churches is growing. Our own congregations do not understand the value of the itinerate system.

But all these types of problems have been seen in the past. In the 1820’s to the 1840’s, the MEC was swept into arguments about their young, mostly single men preachers moving from the circuit to a “station” or being “located” in one place. In an article from the Christian Advocate on October 27, 1841, editor Thomas Bond writes cogently about the dangers of locating. He claims that it is onerous to the churches because of the large debt that they could incur. He talks about the “unfriendly influence” on the spiritual state of the churches and how if a minister were located, he would not be able to proclaim a message of deliverance and repentance. He is concerned about the country people and the small village churches (Richey, 248-250.) However, locating did not cause the death of itinerancy. More than 150 years later, when there is tremendous debate about the future of the itinerancy, the current arguments against the reformation of the system reverb with this same rhetoric.

To continue Thomas Frank’s analogy, we must allow the church to breathe in the wind of the Holy Spirit and breathe out the witness of Christ upon our communities. Any living breathing organism has need to grow and evolve. Our opportunity is before us -- to change and to reform our connection in order to better suit the needs of our people, society and congregations, as has been done throughout the history of Methodism in America. Our threat is our own lethargy and entropy.

Change can be threatening. Our task is to carefully evaluate our needs and our strengths and deliberately, one step at a time reform our system to meet those needs. “The United Methodist connection has always been a challenge to maintain. To meet and make decisions in conference requires deep commitment, energy and attention. To assign pastors where they are most needed and best able to serve is exceedingly complex. To worship and serve as a congregation means continually swimming against the tide of American privatism and consumerism. And no ecclesial role is more daunting than trying to be a bishop of integrity” (Frank, 319). We have the means for reform in our hands – our Book of Discipline. It has teeth. It has methods developed over generations to help us along in this modern world. We need leaders willing to use it – from the laity to the episcopacy. We need leaders that will boldly take Methodism into this next century, reforming the itinerancy system, as it has been reformed and reshaped in the past. We need leaders that will identify waste and bureaucracy. We need leaders that ask themselves have I “been oiling the machinery of what exists while failing to employ a tough mind and tender heart, pastoral soul and a prophet’s conscience for the kind of radical transformation that is conducive to the gospel and creates a Church that is a harbinger of God’s kingdom/reign” (Sprague, 112). How can we become leaders that can affect this kind of radical transformation.


The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church 2000, (The United Methodist Publishing House: Nashville, TN), 2000.

Thomas Edward Frank, Polity, Practice, and the Mission of The United Methodist Church, Updated Edition, (Abingdon Press: Nashville, TN), 2002.

Russell E. Richey, Kenneth E. Rowe and Jean Miller Schmidt, The Methodist Experience in America: A Sourcebook, Vol. II, (Abingdon Press: Nashville, TN), 2000.

C. Joseph Sprague, Affirmations of a Dissenter, (Abingdon Press: Nashville, TN), 2002.

Jack M. Tuell, The Organization of The United Methodist Church, 2002 edition, (Abingdon Press: Nashville, TN), 2002.

Working On My Bedroom Retreat

I had "help" with the laundry.

I purchased on of those "Bed-In-A-Bag" things. I like the green color.

My dresser with lots of candles, but without the new green draperies. The green tray I rescued is on the dresser with candles on it.

And I conceded to the fact if I wanted to watch something "mommy" oriented, I needed a TV in the bedroom. I resisted this for years, but caved in. This is the old TV from the Living Room.

I've set up a desk in the corner and it's being used by myself and the kids on occasion for their homework. I've put special treasures on the desk -- that old silver bowl with pillar candle, a mirror tray and pencil cups, my upstairs hard-drive, a picture of my children, a paperweight, an old Fenton "Peach crest" vase from the 1940's. I'll take a picture soon -- right now I'm cleaning out the closet.....

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Broken Dish and Rescued Treasures

This broken dish that I am trying to repair. It was painted by the Loving Husband's grandmother and broken about 50 years ago (well, I don't know how long it was broken...) There are a few missing pieces, so the repair will be interesting. Also a few "Jelly Jars" (I think that they were actually shrimp cocktail sauce jars) that I am going to make into votive holders and an old mirror that was so very dirty that I couldn't tell it WAS a mirror until I cleaned it up. I thought it might have been a framed picture -- it was so very covered with grime and dirt. It cleaned up OK -- I'm going to hang it in my bedroom retreat.

There is something very satisfactory about cleaning up things that are dirty and broken.

A Short Evening Prayer

But heartfelt.

At your feet, O Christ, we lay
your own gift of this full day;
Doubt of what it holds in store
Makes us crave your aid the more;
Even in a time of loss,
Mark, it Savior, with your Cross.

Yes, we would your Word embrace,
Live each moment on your grace,
All ourselves to you consign,
Fold up all our wills in yours,
Think, and speak, and do, and be
Simply that which pleases you.

Hear us, Christ, O, hear our prayer;
Hear, and bless our deepest care.
May your love to us impart,
Loyal singleness of heart;
So shall this and all our days,
Christ and God, show forth your praise.

Words: William Bright (19thC) adapted

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

We look and we really don't see

Today I saw:
* a semi-truck with a whimsey on the back bumper -- a 18 inch tall rubber mouse. With really big ears.
* the ribbon of the centerline fading into the soft grey of the horizon, exactly matching the yellow of the turning leaves.
* a little girl skipping alongside an older man, running ahead, lagging behind for a reassuring touch on the head. She was wearing rainbow striped stockings and red sparkley Mary Janes.
* my two children's heads bowed together with their arms around each other as they read a book.
* a couple kiss each other and hold hands after 60 plus years of marriage.
* a pattern of red maple leaves against a robin's egg blue sky
* the flame of a candle shining through 100 year old glass
* the dark curl of my husband's hair
* a flickering ginger tail under my desk. Just the tail was showing.
* a tree hung with old CDs at sunset

Evening Prayer

Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

I need Thy presence every passing hour.
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.
--Words: Henry Lyte, 1847

89 O LORD, your word is everlasting; *
it stands firm in the heavens.
90 Your faithfulness remains from one generation to another; *
you established the earth, and it abides.
91 By your decree these continue to this day, *
for all things are your servants.
92 If my delight had not been in your law, *
I should have perished in my affliction.
93 I will never forget your commandments, *
because by them you give me life.
94 I am yours; oh, that you would save me! *
for I study your commandments.
95 Though the wicked lie in wait for me to destroy me, *
I will apply my mind to your decrees.
96 I see that all things come to an end, *
but your commandment has no bounds.

-- Psalm 119

Luke 13:10-17 (NRSV)

10 Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. 11 And just then there appeared a woman with a spirit that had crippled her for eighteen years. She was bent over and was quite unable to stand up straight. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said, 'Woman, you are set free from your ailment.' 13 When he laid his hands on her, immediately she stood up straight and began praising God.
-- Luke 13

Almighty and most merciful God,
it is only by your faithfulness that your people know of faithfulness
It is only by your service that your people know of service.
It is only by your example that we know fullness of life.
It is only by your touch that we know of true healing.

You are an almighty and everlasting God,
Your Spirit is our advocate and help.
Help us stand straight and tall, for your sake.
Hear our prayers, not just for ourselves but for the whole body of your people, for your sake
Help us find our vocation and passion so that we may truly serve you, for your sake.

God of peace,
You have taught us that in returning and rest our hope in your presence we will be saved
In resting we will be healed,
In resting we will become straight and tall,
In resting we will be renewed,
In resting we will know You in the stillness of the night.
In stillness and in quietness You will be our strength:
By the might of your Spirit lift us -- raise us up, we pray, to your presence, where we may be still and know that you are God; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

I am no longer my own, but thine.
Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed by thee or laid aside for thee,
exalted for thee or brought low for thee.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God,
thou art mine, and I am thine.
So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
let it be ratified in heaven.
(A Prayer of John Wesley)

Attention all Methodists

Please check out:

This is an attempt for open and honest conversations within Methodism. WesleyBlog is defunct; Blogging Methodist never really took off. This is a fresh new try.


Three weeks and 2 days of classes left.
One Systematic Paper (Dec 8)
One Evangelism Project (Dec 7)
One Systematic Journal (Nov 17)
Three William James Reading interactions after today (one a week)
Three Evanglism Reading Interactions (Ditto)
Reading Week then
One ORAL final in Systematics (Dec 17)

It's the home stretch....

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

All the Cool Revs are doing it

'What will your obituary say?' at

Just some pictures

The bowl that St. Casserole gave me advice about. It was black with grime/tarnish. It had been classified as "trash." I almost threw it away. It had 30 year old silver polish dried in all the crevices and grooves. It polished up OK.

But there is definite pitting and corrosion in the inside part of the bowl that will NOT go away so...

I made a candle holder out of it with the help of some marbles. It now sits on my desk along with...

My lamp and hard drive. And organic hard drive warmer. It tends to shed.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Danger Danger Will Robinson!

Major Time Suck!!

But fun!

I think it will be useful for video projects to science fair projects.*

*Chaos has joined the "nerd club" at school -- that is, the science fair club. It's her, a friend and then lots and lots of "nerds."

Morning Prayer

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, *
the moon and the stars you have set in their courses,

What is man that you should be mindful of him? *
the son of man that you should seek him out?

You have made him but little lower than the angels; *
you adorn him with glory and honor;

You give him mastery over the works of your hands; *
you put all things under his feet:

All sheep and oxen, *
even the wild beasts of the field,

The birds of the air, the fish of the sea, *
and whatsoever walks in the paths of the sea.

O LORD our Governor, *
how exalted is your Name in all the world!
-- Psalm 8:5-10 BCP

22He said to his disciples, 'Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your
body, what you will wear. 23For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. 24Consider the
ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how
much more value are you than the birds! 25And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of
life? 26If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest? 27Consider the
lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like
one of these. 28But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the
oven, how much more will he clothe you-you of little faith! 29And do not keep striving for what you are to eat
and what you are to drink, and do not keep worrying. 30For it is the nations of the world that strive after all
these things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31Instead, strive for his kingdom, and these things
will be given to you as well.
-- Luke 7:22- 31

O God the Father,
Have mercy.
O God the Son,
Have mercy.
O God the Holy Ghost,
Have mercy.

Remember not, Lord, our offences.
Spare us, Good Lord.
From all evil and sin,
Good Lord, deliver him.
From the assaults of the devil,
Good Lord, deliver him.
From thy wrath, and from everlasting damnation,
Good Lord, deliver him.
In time hour of death,
Good Lord, deliver him.
In the day of judgement,
Good Lord, deliver him.

By the mystery of thine Incarnation,
Save him, O Lord.
By thy Cross and Passion,
Save him, O Lord.
thy thy Resurrection and final Triumph,
Save him, O Lord.

That it may please thee to grant him relief in pain
We beseech thee to hear us.
To give him such health as is agreeable to thy will
We beseech thee to hear us.
That it may please thee to deliver his soul
We beseech thee to hear us.
To cleanse him from his sin
We beseech thee to hear us.
That it may please thee to receive him to thyself;
We beseech thee to hear us.
To set him in a place of light and peace
We beseech thee to hear us.
To number him with thy saints and thine elect
We beseech thee to hear us.

Son of God;
We beseech thee to hear us.
O Lamb of God;
Have mercy upon us.
O Lamb of God;
Grant him thy peace.

-- 1928, BCP