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Tuesday, July 31, 2007
I usually begin thinking about God as creator. This is the primary way I relate to God; I feel closest to God when I, too, am in the midst of a creation -- a painting, embroidery, stained-glass window, mosaic, quilt, room design, song, poem, what-have-you. When we create, we are participating with God. God created order out of chaos (Gen 1) and when ever I impose a little order onto my personal chaos, I literally feel better about the world. That is why I like to pick rooms up and put them in order. It is a soothing activity; putting things back in their own place. I think that's why I like to design rooms -- it's putting beautiful objects together in harmony so that each object is shown to best advantage and each item can be celebrated for its beauty.
It's also being a good steward of the good and beautiful gifts that God has given us; both the item and the ability to make beautiful things. I wonder sometimes if God didn't back away from the earth to admire God's own handiwork and say "Isn't that pretty?" (or maybe that is what is implied when God found the earth to be good.) To maintain that beauty is to be a good steward of this earth.
And it's sacramental. A sacrament is an outward and visible sign of an inward working of Grace. When we set things in order in our spiritual, emotional and inner life, it can show on the outside as well, in both our bodies and our environments (ecologies). Tillach said something about this -- as well as Jung. In the West, we tend to (falsely) separate body from mind and spirit; in reality, they are one. We are BOTH physical and spiritual. To deny one over the other is to fall into heresy (really, look at all the Gnostic stuff in the 3rd century).
So I am working on my "house" -- both literally and metaphorically. I'm cleaning corners that have needed to be cleaned for years; I'm purging unnecessary things; I'm giving away things I'm not using in order to be a better steward of what I've been entrusted with. This task is going to take a while. And once I have cleaned and purged, we will all, in this family of mine, have to develop new habits and skills to keep it that way. (FlyLady, anyone?)
What are you thinking today? How else is "Space" spiritual? What am I missing?
Monday, July 30, 2007
Goofing off with Photoshop. I've been watching the tutorials on a great website: Photoshop Quick Tips. I'm pretty familiar with Photoshop -- I started a long time ago with Aldus PhotoStyler. (L0-o-ong time ago.) I miss some of the tools in Photostyler, but am picking up some new tricks from Photoshop Quick Tips. He does it in small little bites, one technique at a time. I can flip back and forth from the video to Photoshop -- much easier than a book, in my opinion.
I did want a black phone for this, but couldn't find one I like. It would have made the humor better... oh well.
Sunday, July 29, 2007
One of my favorite things to do is to play with Photoshop. Of course, there are so many people so much better than I, but it's fun.
Here's two pictures -- I thought that the kids got lost in the top one -- they are so small in the frame. So I created a "frame" so that they would pop a little. I like the effect.
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Also, there is strong evidence that Anesthesia can trigger depression and cause other cognitive problems that can take a long time to resolve. (look here.)
I have noticed that since my appendectomy, I've been unusually blue. I've also had all the things that can be inflamed become inflamed -- headaches, joint pain where I've had arthritis, muscle soreness and now my Bell's palsy is flaring up. I had no idea that Anesthesia could do this -- I knew the bits about not lifting more than 6 pounds and that Anesthesia could take days to clear out of your system, but I had no idea there were so many long-term effects. I'm going to work with my Doctor to get this inflammation down and determine if my feeling "blue" is something we need to treat as well.
So, if you go in for surgery, be aware of this -- I certainly wasn't and this has been a rude awakening.
Friday, July 27, 2007
Her blood levels are showing that her kidneys are shutting down. She's lost 2 pounds and weights less than 5 pounds now. She's severely dehydrated but cannot take fluids on rapidly, as she is anemic as well. They are going to try an IV fluid therapy for a day and hope for improvement. If not, the kitty is well into kidney failure and has entered a condition "not compatible with life."
Monday, July 23, 2007
Margaret's second marriage was to a strong and wealthy merchant; she learned her brewing skills from her stepmother, Anne; she didn't give birth to multiple children, she midwifed them. Yet there are echoes of Margery's story in Margaret's.
I also found echos of history in the way that Margaret's father married the Widow Anne and Margaret's ease of shifting "allegiance" from her natural mother to Mother Anne. As few as 200 years ago, when life expectancies were much shorter, diary records, wills and other ephemera testify to such shifts of allegiance. It makes me reflect of the nature of "Motherhood" -- what is it that makes a mother, but her love and care for the child? The authenticity of the love that Mother Anne and Mother Hilde, the midwife each have for Margaret cannot be denied. Perhaps the idea of parenthood and family we have today is more rigid and does not leave for the flexibility that is inherent in true love. (And by extension, I can see applications here for the household of God....)
I really enjoyed these books (and yes, I've read BOTH of the sequels already! They are addictive!) In fact, these books rekindled my interest in Margery of Kempe as well as the Letters of Egeria. These texts though, are not for the faint of heart. Margery's depth of devotion and turn of phrase have caused for many scholars to regard her as a madwoman. Yet they were appropriate for the time -- and worth a gander.
(Note: I've the world's flakiest internet connection -- I can POST but I can't COMMENT (or email either reliably). If anyone can, could you please link this posting to the RevGal's discussion? Thanks.)
Saturday, July 21, 2007
But not exactly. I am going with the blue because the green looked awful -- reminded me of the color they painted my 1st grade classroom.
I want the lamp to be square crystal pieces, not spheres. I want the bed to be darker and with blue undertones. The seaglass pieces here almost look grey -- they need to be blues and greens. And more polished silver. And I am wondering if the Fenton is too frilly for the space. Maybe sticking to Blenko would be a better choice. It's coming along...
I keep thinking about dark polished wood -- deep mahogany with no gold but almost blue overtones. Most pieces almost stark in lack of ornamentation; only one or two pieces that are old Chippendale or Sheraton (no Queen Anne, no curves). Colors -- Robin's egg blue on the wall and for the accessories -- with a crystal bowl of seaglass. All white upholstery, curtains and bedding (with only a couple of green to blue pillows). Alternately, mint green instead of the Robin's egg blue, with riffs off the seaglass. I want a rhythm of squares -- I want the crystal bowl with the seaglass to be a Blenko, clear rectangular vase. Other elements: polished silver (not necessarily "dresser pieces" but other pieces used in a whimsical way) and calla lilies. Good paintings.
Curtains -- cotton, either plain sheeting, starched or a tone on tone woven pattern that incorporates squares or stripes. Bedding; ditto, as well as the upholstery.
I want it to look like a Peppermint Patty tastes.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
"Take this rule: whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, or takes off your relish of spiritual things; in short, whatever increases the strength and authority of your body over your mind, that thing is sin to you, however innocent it may be in itself."
-- Susanna Wesley (Letter, June 8, 1725)
General Rules of the UMC:
First: By doing no harm, by avoiding evil of every kind, especially that which is most generally practiced;
Secondly: By doing good; by being in every kind merciful after their power; as they have opportunity, doing good of every possible sort, and, as far as possible, to all [persons];
Thirdly: By attending upon all the ordinances of God.
Romans 14: 13-21
13 Let us therefore no longer pass judgement on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling-block or hindrance in the way of another. 14I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. 15If your brother or sister is being injured by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. Do not let what you eat cause the ruin of one for whom Christ died. 16So do not let your good be spoken of as evil. 17For the kingdom of God is not food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18The one who thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and has human approval. 19Let us then pursue what makes for peace and for mutual edification. 20Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for you to make others fall by what you eat; 21it is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that makes your brother or sister stumble.
I struggle with what is sin and what is not sin. I struggle that we Methodists allow all sorts of sin to prosper within our gatherings. Yet, did not Jesus eat with sinners? And how better for a sinner to understand the commands and ordinances of God than to listen to the Word proclaimed and to live in community with Godly people?
We Methodists have this understanding of moving on to perfection -- that we are looking to live in Holiness of Heart and Life. How can a person understand what that perfection is if they are cast out of the fellowship? On the other hand, how can the fellowship survive intact if sin continues in its midst? Ah, a conundrum.
We must allow the sinners to remain in our midst but reprove them in love (Rev 3). We must speak truth in love (Eph 4). How can it be loving to allow a sister or brother to continue in sin? But we also must lead with grace and not judgment, for we a no longer judged as unrighteous, but as righteous.
My 2 cents worth.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
The B-52s are going to be at Chastian 1st week of August, but I don't think we will go -- not at almost $22 per ticket. But it sure would be fun. It surprises me when people know who the B52s are -- I think of them as an Atlanta group.
Not only am I looking at Yacht World finding things like this gorgeous cutter but also this grand old lady but I'm looking at other things.
Tumbleweed Tiny House Company has teeny tiny houses on wheels. I don't know why they appeal to me so much except that they look wonderful as a real "get away."
So do Gypsy Vardos, much for the same reason. And Circus Wagons! Who could resist Circus Wagons!
Or these cypress-cabins on wheels?
Being able to float or roll along is not necessary -- camping under the wing is OK for a couple of days, but I do like 1) modern plumbing 2) natural wood.
I have Wanderlust.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
The cat has been unusually active recently. She actually is moving quite a bit for an old kitty. She perched like this for about a half an hour. It sure didn't look comfy to me and sure enough, she moved.
Monday, July 16, 2007
Leftover from earlier in the year -- the Pelican Patrol
We are going to St. Simons (well, Epworth by the Sea) for Pastor's School week after next (or there abouts) and I'm looking forward to time on the beach!
I'm only what, 7 pictures behind now?
I love to cruise to Yacht World. I love all sorts of boats. I'll daydream about all of them. I recently found this. It's a schooner built in 1898 named Atalanta (close... I'd leave out an "a".) It's not too pricey (heh, yeah, RiGHT.) But what is puzzling me -- it has 10 cabins and 20 heads... why? Why would you need 20 heads for 10 cabins? Maybe there is a men's and ladies room with 5 additional heads each? Gorgeous galley; sparse salon.
My favorite are early 20th century Trumpys. Beautiful. But fuel hogs.
A nice ChrisCraft from the 1950's restored -- a Constellation or a Corsair. Plus the money to fuel it.
Thus, I look at sailboats. Off to daydream for a while.
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups sour cream
3/4 cup Mayo
1 1/2 cups Vidalia onions, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Carmelize the onions in the olive oil. They should be nice and brown. Add the garlic just before you remove the onions from the heat. Set aside and let cool throughly. Combine remaining ingredients with the cooled onions, salt and pepper to taste (I like a lot of pepper). Refrigerate. Serve cold with potato chips, topped sprinkled with green onions and diced red pepper. This dip has a very delicate flavor, so beware of adding strongly flavored additions like beef broth crystals -- they are not needed.
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Spider Pig -- so very random -- utterly inexplicable
Saturday, July 14, 2007
I love the water. The attraction is mysterious and visceral. I love the mountains of NGa and Tenn, too. The ideal place for me is a spot on the Tenn River -- you can cruise down the rivers to the oceans if you get wanderlust, but you are surrounded by beautiful mountains.
I want to be there now.
Friday, July 13, 2007
Thursday, July 12, 2007
your own gift of this new 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.
|1||I love you, O LORD my strength, *|
O LORD my stronghold, my crag, and my haven.
|2||My God, my rock in whom I put my trust, *|
my shield, the horn of my salvation, and my refuge;
you are worthy of praise.
|3||I will call upon the LORD, *|
and so shall I be saved from my enemies.
Luke 24:36-4336And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. 37But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. 38And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? 39Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. 40And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet. 41And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat? 42And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. 43And he took it, and did eat before them.
Sometimes Communion feels so much like Last Supper
That I want to celebrate First Breakfast with you -- eating fish and honeycomb.
Let me not dwell on things past,
But on thing here and now and
Hope with expectant heart for those things to come.
I pray in your Son's Holy Name,
(note: my husband and I often joke about start a new church called "The Church of the First Breakfast" and eat together broiled fish and honeycomb.)
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Wrap of Big Event Committee
Questing Parson (without whom this event would have been much harder) is going to shuttle people to the airport about 11:30 and then I get to go do some errand type things.
I'll post a few pictures this afternoon -- I had filled my hard drive and had to archive some folders; then the battery on the camera was dead. Later....
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Dinner at Dominick's is next!
QG, MaryBeth are delightful -- Questing Parson is acting as general dogsbody (he's doing a lot of fetching and carrying) and St. Casserole is charming. Songbird came in last night after I went home; Cheesehead is arriving this morning and we are expecting RevAbi sometime this afternoon. Questing Parson is cooking us a gourmet lunch.
I'm still puny after the appendectomy and "hit a wall" last night. I'm moving slow this morning. The doctor told me it would be a full two months, and I guess it will! I am going to pace myself to see make sure that I can stay with this until the end. Sometimes I wonder about God's timing. I had a friend who once described me as a red rubber ball -- give me a little energy and I keep going and going. I can't do that right now and I get frustrated. I've got to give that over to God and let God just handle it. Chaos has some sort of anemia and so perhaps it's time to take a season to rest (can you say sabbath?) That's what I'm thinking about right now....
Monday, July 09, 2007
I didn't get a haircut or buy new clothing.
I lost my makeup bag on the lake on the 4th.
The house is still a mess.
I need to go get some snicky snacks.
The car needs to be detailed.
The laundry isn't finished.
Ack! Ack! Ack!
Oh why didn't we just Rapture last week!?!
And yet, I am reminded of that Erma Bombeck essay -- life is never going to be perfect; enjoy your friends while you can, no matter that the carpet is stained and you are wearing mis-matched socks.
Sunday, July 08, 2007
Saturday, July 07, 2007
Amen! I can now tell the kids at the dinner table that's it is in the Bible. No more short order cook for this momma! Yee Ha!
Edit: It's really Luke 10:8b. Nothing like not citing your references correctly.... Ooops -- There goes a double negative. I think I'll stop while I'm ahead. Oh no! Cliches!
Time for the post-sermon nap.
Friday, July 06, 2007
It seems that there those who are predicting the Rapture for tomorrow. It we all Rapture tomorrow, why bother with a sermon?
Then again, they may be wrong....
(mood: befuddled. Imagine eyes wide open and eyebrows fully raised.)
Thursday, July 05, 2007
1 lb Cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup Mayonnaise
1 cup Pecan pieces
dash of salt, pepper
1 jar of Strawberry jam
Mix cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, pecans, salt and pepper. Place in ring mold or mold into a ring on an 8 inch plate. Refrigerate. To serve, place the jam in middle of the ring. Serve with crackers (Townhouse or Ritz).
1/4 cup butter
2 c. grated Swiss cheese
1 1/2 c. mayonnaise
dash salt, paprika
Chop Vidalia onions coarsely and sauté until transparent in butter. Combine with cheese, mayonnaise, salt and paprika. Place in a ovenproof casserole dish and bake at 350 for about 50 minutes or until browned and bubbly. Serve with olive oil and cracked pepper triscuits. Yum.
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
Sowing in the morning, sowing seeds of kindness,
Sowing in the noontide and the dewy eve;
Waiting for the harvest, and the time of reaping,
We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.
Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves,
We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves,
Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves,
We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves,
Sowing in the sunshine, sowing in the shadows,
Fearing neither clouds nor winter’s chilling breeze;
By and by the harvest, and the labor ended,
We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.
Going forth with weeping, sowing for the Master,
Though the loss sustained our spirit often grieves;
When our weeping’s over, He will bid us welcome,
We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.
This is a hymn I remember from childhood that my Dad remembered from his childhood. It was one of the songs he would sing and whistle as he worked around the house, which is a habit that I adpoted. One of my children was really little and thought I was singing "Bringing in the Cheese." That tickled me.
Even though it's not in the Hymnal, but in the Cokesbury, I'm thinking about singing it in worship this week. The text is Luke 10:
After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. He said to them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.
It's the story of the seventy, sent to 35 towns to proclaim the Kingdom.
I think I'll also select "Almost Persuaded" and "All to Jesus."
Monday, July 02, 2007
A mother may forget her child,
When stirred by passions fierce and wild,
But God will not forget his own;
Faith rests on this foundation stone.
No greater love a friend can give,
Than die to let his comrade live.
But God his love doth thus commend,
He died for foe as well as friend.
Oh matchless love, oh love divine,
Come dwell in this glad heart of mine.
Thyself reveal, thyself bestow,
In flood-tide waves my soul o'er flow.
Could I thy deepest depths explore,
I know that I should love thee more.
If I thy highest heights could climb,
I'd love Thee with a love sublime.
Could I but know the breadth and length,
And Thou thyself would give me strength,
I'd cease to sing "more love to thee,"
For I should Love as thou lovest me.
(I was caught by the very first line -- I actually cannot imagine how I would forget my children. It made me think.)
Sunday, July 01, 2007
Old Church all decked out for the 4th of July. Every year, Oxford has a big parade that ends with a community picnic on the grounds of Old Church. More about Old Church from the Historical Marker in the park.
"Old Church," central section built in 1841 (two wings added 1878), more than any other building represents the ties between Oxford, Emory and methodism. Commencement exercises were first held here in 1843 and thereafter this was the scene of great commencements, orations and sermons. Here during the great religious awakening of the 1850's, Young J. Allen, Class of '58, whom the Chinese called Lin Lo Chih and the Church called "The Man Who Seeded China," decided to become a foreign missionary. On Thanksgiving Day 1880, Dr. Atticus G. Haygood delivered his famous sermon, "The New South."
More about Kitty's Cottage from the Historical Marker in the park:
"Kitty's Cottage" location. Kitty was a mulatto slave girl willed to Bishop James O. Andrew, President of the Board of Trustees of Emory College, with the stipulation that at age nineteen she was either to go to Liberia or remain as free as the law and society of Georgia would permit; her decision to remain in Oxford, technically the slave of a Methodist Bishop, partly brought about the organization in 1845 of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Kitty's Cottage was moved in 1938 to Salem Campground near Covington.I'm attending Pastor's School at Epworth by the Sea later this month (Lord willing) and I hope to get some photographs of more Methodist historical sites in Georgia.
Seney Hall from inside Williams Hall at Emory at Oxford.
I love this campus. It was "hot as a blister" yesterday, but the campus is charming.
A little bit about Seney Hall, from the Historical Marker in the park at Oxford:
Seney Hall is a Victorian Gothic, three-story brick Administration building built in 1881 on the foundations of the first Administration Building, a Greek Revival structure erected between 1852-53 and torn down in 1872. Seney Hall was constructed during the progressive post-Civil War administration (1875-84) of Atticus G. Haygood (b. 1839 - d. 1896), graduate of Emory College in 1859 and Methodist minister. Haygood increased the college endowment from $13,000 to $97,000, and increased the number of degrees granted from 14 to 1876, to 25 in 1883. His liberal New South philosophy was expressed in numerous sermons, lectures and books. His 1880 Thanksgiving Day sermon (see no. 1), which came to the attention of George I. Seney, a Methodist layman of New York City, resulted in Seney's giving Emory College $130,000, of which $50,000 built Seney Hall. The Seney Hall tower bell was given to the college by Dr. Alexander Means to whom it had been presented about 1855 by Queen Victoria of England.
The Chapel at Emory at Oxford. The first part of the Music Camp program was in the chapel. There used to be a huge chandelier in this old chapel, but it came down sometime ago. It's small and plain and a wonderful place to pray.
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 cup olive oil
3 cans of chickpeas sometimes called garbanzo beans
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 teaspoon salt
Liberal dash of pepper
Put all ingredients in a food processor or blender and puree.
Serve on triangles of Pita bread or those new Olive Oil and Cracked Pepper Triscuits with pitted olives, strips of roasted red pepper and chunks of feta cheese.
Keeps about a week in the refrigerator.
I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that I think that I am following your will
does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you
does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this,
You will lead me by the right road.
Though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always
though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me.
And you will never leave me to face my struggles alone.
-- Thomas Merton
(Note: I've had a dream. I'm thinking about the dream right now, but I may post bits and pieces of it one day. The last bit of my dream was the last two lines of this prayer. Beautiful, eh?)