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Monday, June 30, 2008
Yes, this is an EXCITING post. Oatmeal. Yes, indeed.
Steel Cut Oats. I'm working on getting this to cook in the rice-cooker. They are delicious. Lots of fiber, a little chewy and a rich nutty taste. This fiber thing isn't all bad.
I've been eating more fiber and -- I've gained weight. I need to figure out how to eat enough fiber AND reduce calories. Oatmeal isn't bad -- I think this is about 200 calories with the brown sugar. I also ate a piece of fruit -- that's about 100 more calories. But I need lots more fiber today; this was about 6 grams of fiber and was about a fifth of what I need today. No matter how I add and subtract, recombine foods and so forth, the FIBER ALONE is about 1500 calories. Then I also need some protein and whatnot -- how do I get all this fiber and hold the calories to 1000 to 1250 a day??
Well, yesterday worked. It was a long drive but we can do it. The people are lovely, the buildings are very nice and beautifully kept. The services were wonderful. It worked.
In other news, one of our airplane partners pranged the prop on our Cessna 172. It's nice and bent and he's stuck in Bowling Green Kentucky. Another wreck to deal with -- two in two weeks. Again, I'm glad that no one was hurt...
Saturday, June 28, 2008
- About 43% of American families spend more than they earn each year.
- Average households carry some $8,000 in credit card debt. (2004)
- Personal bankruptcies have doubled in the past decade.
- Revolving Credit debt is up 167% (1990 to 2004) (From MSN Money)
78% of Baby Boomers have mortgage debt, 59% have credit card debt, and 56% have car payments. (Dave Ramsey)
According to information gathered by the US Census bureau, there were approximately 164 million credit card holders in the United States in 2003 and that number is projected to grow to 176 million Americans by 2008. These people hold 1.5 billion cards - an average of nearly nine credit cards each.
Americans charged approximately $1,735 billion dollars to their credit cards in 2003 - that's just over $10,500 in charges. This is just revolving debt -- not mortgages, school loan or cars.
The US Census bureau also tells us that Americans carried approximately $786 billion in credit card debt and that number is expected to grow to $965 billion by the year 2008. This works out to nearly $4,800 in credit card debt per card (not household) and that number is expected to increase to nearly $5,500 by 2008. This is debt carried, not charged.
That's a lot of debt.
Friday, June 27, 2008
Doesn't look too bad. But because the cost of the repairs is MORE than the value of the car, it's totaled. There is damage on all 4 sides of the car... all 4 quarter panels, the hood, the liftgate, the bumpers. And you can't really tell it from the picture, but the back tire isn't exactly lined up with the rest of the tires meaning that there is frame damage. I'm having a hard time replacing it; yes, Expeditions are a dime a dozen now-a-days, but this one had a unusual set of options. I need (more than comfort stuff) the big engine (5.4 L) and low differential reduction (more torque). I also need a Class III or Class IV hitch with the electric brake controller.
I don't like car shopping. Sigh.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
I've heard of Church on Wheels -- I know of a few churches who have done this.
Well, my churches are not on wheels -- I'm looking to have a portable parsonage. I believe we are going to park our camper a month at a time behind each church. As soon as we get a car that can tow it.
I'll be a traveling preacher-woman.
Option two is to rent a condo in the college town nearby -- but it's still 30 miles away. I like option number one better.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
I have talked with three (four?) people who are either parishioners or former parishioners who are getting home-equity loans to pay for their homeowners insurance, property taxes and food. I suggested that if they do indeed do this, that they consider really restructuring their life-styles so that the loan can be paid off ASAP. It reminded me of a snake trying to swallow its own tail.... and about as futile.
To borrow money for consumables -- it is indeed a snake swallowing its own tail.
Update on the car search: I have an ex-parishioner who is retired from the car-selling business who is going to help me navigate these waters. Thank you God. The high-pressure sales tactics are overwhelming.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
So little run-about cars -- a Honda Fit, a Ford Focus -- whatever. Boy howdy! They are climbing in price! I went to my local Ford dealer (which whom I've dealt before) because I had found an Expedition that would be a good replacement for the lost and much lamented Expedition. I also found an OK Ford Taurus. It was more than I wanted to spend; that's life.
However the salesman and sales manager could not believe that I was going to pay CASH. That's right -- CASH. I believe that if Satan is at work in our society, you can find his fingerprints all over that thing called "revolving credit." The origins of the word "usury" are from the Medieval Latin word usuria, "interest" or "excessive interest", from the Latin usura "interest") originally meant the charging of interest on loans. In the 12th century ANY charging of any interest was usury. Now-a-days we only call it "usury" if the interest rates are considered high. But I believe we should not take advantage of any credit whatsoever.
Now I know that we are "beyond" the Old Testament -- that the law is no longer hanging above my head like a sword but I will also say that there is much wisdom to be found in the OT (or Hebrew Bible). In Leviticus 25 we read:
35 " 'If one of your countrymen becomes poor and is unable to support himself among you, help him as you would an alien or a temporary resident, so he can continue to live among you. 36 Do not take interest of any kind from him, but fear your God, so that your countryman may continue to live among you. 37 You must not lend him money at interest or sell him food at a profit. 38 I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt to give you the land of Canaan and to be your God.And also from Exodus 22
"If you lend money to my people, to any of the down-and-out among you, don't come down hard on them and gouge them with interest.Usury is NOT GOOD. Likewise, to take advantage in revolving credit -- that is NOT GOOD either.
Aquinas, "the leading theologian of the Catholic Church, argued charging of interest is wrong because it amounts to "double charging", charging for both the thing and the use of the thing. Aquinas said this would be morally wrong in the same way as if one sold a bottle of wine, charged for the bottle of wine, and then charged for the person using the wine to actually drink it. Similarly, one cannot charge for a piece of cake and for the eating of the piece of cake. Yet this, said Aquinas, is what usury does. Money is exchange-medium. It is used up when it is spent. To charge for the money and for its use (by spending) is to charge for the money twice." (Wikipedia)
In other words, Aquinas would argue that it is sinful to charge for the cake and then the eating of that cake. I do believe this is the origin of the phrase, "You can't have your cake and eat it too." True, it shows up in proverbial speech a couple of centuries later -- and it changes meaning to "you can't have it both ways." But to see it as an extension of Aquinas' argument make more sense to me.
Aquinas would claim that usury was a violation of natural moral law and thus ethically corrupt. Money is not an end but a means of buying goods and services. Putting money out for the generation of more money is an evil unto itself. When we participate in a system of revolving credit, we share in that evil and thus share the weight of the sin.
My 2 cents worth. You may slice it differently -- perhaps I am asking for my cake and the eating of that cake as well. However my conscious lays more lightly to NOT put a car on credit. I feel that I am a better steward of what God has blessed me with. And yes, that means no flashy rides. Sorry, Chaos.
Monday, June 23, 2008
Brit shrinks, meanwhile, have previously claimed "between five and 10 per cent of online users are internet addicts".
A US psychiatrist has declared internet addiction a "clinical disorder" with some sufferers so hooked on cyberspace they "required medication or even hospital treatment to curb the time they spent on the web".
Dr Jerald Block, of the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, describes in an editorial in the American Journal of Psychiatry the four symptoms of hopeless addiction: victims "forget to eat and sleep"; they crave more advanced tech and more time online as they're numbed by "resistance" to the kicks they get from their current system; prising them away from their computer results in "genuine withdrawal symptoms"; and they begin to become more argumentative, more fatigued, more isolated from society, and perform worse in tests.
I can quit anytime. I swear. =o)
(serious time now) I am doing what I call "Internet Fasts." John Wesley would ask us to attend to the ordinances of God and to attend first to our journey toward perfection -- to seek to live a Christian life, growing in love for God and neighbor by acts of piety (prayer, worship, Scripture reading, Communion, Christian conferencing, fasting) and acts of mercy (outward acts of care and love towards others).
Thus, some of you may have noticed, that I am not actively reading blogs as I was wont, nor am I participating in my online communities as oft as I was. If there is another person in the room with me who is not absorbed in their own task, it is my responsibility to interact with them with actions of love and care. Pure and simple. So don't look for MORE blogging or Second Life-ing or Facebooking or Twittering (or anything else!) from me.
And that's the way it is on June 23, 2008. Good Blogging and Good Morning.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
edited: I WAS on bed-rest until Monday -- then I did indeed try to take it easy at conference. I was very laid back. The accident was Expedition vs. Expedition. I was stopped at a red light a full car length behind another car and WHAM, I was hit by another Expedition. The police officer estimated that he was going 45 to 50 mph. He employed his brakes way too late, but did slow down a bit from the speed limit. The impact shoved me into the car in front of me, who was shoved into the little truck in front of her. Three cars totaled. The Expedition weights literally a ton -- about 2000 pounds. He was really moving fast to have shoved me that far and with enough force to total the car in front of me as well. I think if I had been in my husband sedan, I would have more than a couple of bruises....
We rented a car yesterday b/c the kids are off to Music Camp and the LH's car will NOT hold all four of us, suitcases, a violin, a viola AND a cello. I'm going to go look for cars (plural) on Monday. I figure to get another Expedition and another very small car that has air conditioning and really good gas mileage. We had discussed a third car to save on gas and to keep the Expedition just for when all four of us are in the car and to haul the trailer. We are going to use this as an opportunity....
Friday, June 20, 2008
- Today was the end of Annual Conference. Moving Day is June 26th for the Conference. I have been officially appointed to Oglethorpe Circuit which consists of Glade UMC and Burt's UMC in Oglethorpe County.
- If you will remember, I stated a novel a while back "Death and Taxes in Carlton, Georgia." I selected the title because I was traveling through Carlton to go back and forth to Erskine Seminary for a few classes. I really loved the looks of Carlton, but never thought I would even know anyone who would be there. After all, Carlton is east of -- well --east of everything. On the edge of my world, as it were. One of the churches has an address of -- you guessed it -- Carlton. That God -- such a sense of humor.
- So today I went to do a dry run of driving routes -- Hwy 78 to the Outer Loop to Hwy 72 to Lexington Carlton Road to Glade UMC and then to Sandy Cross and then some some fancy work around Veribest Enterprise Road (haven't worked that all out) to Burt's then one mile or so to Hwy 77 to Hwy 78 to one of three ways: Inner Loop, Outer Loop or Business 78. I took Business 78 so that I could go to the Varsity and then to look at a condo in Athens.
- I never made it to the condo. About 2 block away at a stop light I was rear-ended so hard that it sheared the driver's seat off the track, crumpled up the back, the front and most stuff in between. The glass from my rear window was all over my hood.
- I really liked that car. RIP my sweet Expedition.
- We are now in the market for one or maybe two cars. Sigh. This was not on the agenda.
- And NO this is NOT punishment for breaking my diet with Varsity food. I don't think that God operates that way. Mostly.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
Annual Conference is this week. Starts tomorrow. I'll wander over tomorrow afternoon for the kick-off and then the Clergywoman' dinner. I have to go to Karate tonight and Wednesday because there is a belt test on Friday night, so I will not stay for evening activities.
If all goes as planned, I will be appointed to Glade UMC and Burt's UMC in Oglethorpe County on Friday morning. It's a 60 mile commute and the churches are aware of it. I have been trying to think of an inventive way to get closer to the churches every weekend -- we DO have a travel trailer. There is a State Park within 5 miles, but they don't allow for long stays. There is a "fish camp" kind of place about 25 miles PAST the church where we can leave the trailer all year round; but that's 85 miles from here. I have cousins in Athens which is a little more than half-way were I might beg a room on occasion. I'm still looking for a more optimal solution.
The two churches have about 75 in worship on Sunday morning. Neither have a choir. I think I would like to start a choir. It will depend on what they want, of course.
I suppose it's time to shut some applications...
Goodbye! Goodbye! Parting is such sweet sorrow....
Saturday, June 14, 2008
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to [b] me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake,
I am still with you.
19 If only you would slay the wicked, O God!
Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD,
and abhor those who rise up against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
That's 10 grams of fiber every meal --
an apple is 4 grams (6 grams to go)
1 cup steel cut oats is 4 to 5 grams.
Benefiber is 3 grams.
OK, I'm a couple of grams ahead!
Lunch: Beats me at this point. I don't think this far ahead. I can do with some Benefiber. Another apple and maybe some carrots?
Dinner: Maybe Split Peas soup -- 12 grams of fiber and some more Benefiber.
I think this is going to take some thinking about and some time....
Friday, June 13, 2008
Thursday, June 12, 2008
My Grandparents, Russell Allgood DeLay and Gladys Marie McGarity DeLay in their Touring Car in 1928 on a road trip to Toledo, OH. They would have been 22 and 19 years old at the time. I believe that this is the trip on which my Grandmother hit a very large pig (a 600 pound one) on the road and nearly wrecked the car. The pig escaped without injury (or so family lore would have it.)
This is my Grandfather's lineman's truck in 1928.
A Floating Line Gang -- taken in 1928.
From Left to Right -- Mr. Glazier, Pete Donaldson, Charlie Giles, J.R. Hill, (we think) Tom Worley, R.D. Potter, R.A. DeLay and Bill Leggett. My Grandfather worked for the Bell Telephone System for 45 years; I have his 45 year pin. He retired in 1968 or there about and died shortly after. My Grandmother worked as an operator for about 10 years; my other grandmother worked during the war. My mom worked for Southern Bell for 35 years and I did 2 summers as an intern. The LH's Grandfather was also a Bell man -- he worked for 45 years and retired in 1971 a vice president. Deep and strong ties to the Bell System.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Is real. It is very real. However, there are notes of hope on the journey. If you will look, there is an EMPTY SHELF. Yes, a cleared shelf where I can place sorted books. Yeah!
Note: Of course, I am using my "child labor" to do this, as I am still recovering. They sure complain a lot.
Sunday, June 08, 2008
In Dante’s Inferno there is a circle of Hell reserved wildly differing groups of people, engaged in eternal war -- the Hoarders and the Wasters. They spend all of eternity rolling huge weights at each other on a hot and scorched plain. The weights are actually diamonds and represent the things they had such unhealthy relationships with. They scream out “Why keepest?” and "Why squanderest thou?" They do their roundelay -- forever and ever. This is the 4th circle of hell.
The LH and I sorted some of his clothing last weekend and were busy getting ready for an estate sale this weekend at his grandfather's house. I don't think that anyone is 100 percent a hoarder or a waster: we contain both. I think there are multitudes of reasons we hoard and/or waste. We hoard out of fear, out of a primal urge to collect our sticks and stones in our caves to fight off other cavemen, we hoard precious things to remind us of moments of happiness, of relationship.
Saturday, June 07, 2008
Friday, June 06, 2008
The other Good/Bad News is that I'm not feeling like cooking. We are going to eat whatever the Loving Husband can fix. The jury is out on if this is good news or bad.
P.S. My Tuesday prayer included one for persons in the hospital. Wednesday I WAS in the hospital. I hope this is not setting a precedent. I wouldn't want to pray for those in debt or suffering from scabby knees if that is so.
If it weren't for modern medicine, I think I probably would be dead about 4 times over by now; childbirth, pneumonia, appendicitis and now diverticulitis. I cannot help but be grateful for this; I thank God for this. Whilst I was researching my new appointment, I found interesting things. Some of which was the 1870 Mortality schedule for Oglethorpe County, GA. What strikes me is the number of people who died of things that are so easy to treat today -- and the number of children. So many children. One guy died of a "conniption fit." So many died of things that we commonly treat now: "dropsy", pneumonia, an 18 year old and a 19 year old who died of childbed fever, rheumey, typhoid, diptheria, pertussis -- and the one that gets to me today -- bowels. Just that one word -- bowels. I had a g'g'grandfather who died of "bowels" while his wife was pregnant with their first child. My g'grandmother grew up in her mother's second husband's house -- not exactly treated as a child of that household (according to family legend) so much so that she married at age 14 to get out of that house.
We do indeed live in a different world; and for that I am grateful. But I also felt the dehumanizing and rather demoralizing effects of being in the hospital. It's one thing to discuss in a comfy CPE group (yes, I used the word comfy) or in ethics class the dehumanizing effects of our current medical system and another thing to experience it. You become your disease. Well, first -- you are a wallet. Before I could be treated in the ER, I had to fill out forms. I didn't feel like filling out a form -- my husband was out parking the car. Then you sit. And sit and sit. Until your name is called and they realize that you have a life threatening situation.
I know it's different when you come in an ambulance. Perhaps (if I ever do this again) next time I'll arrange for an ambulance. I hate the feeling of being in a cattle chute and being "herded" from one holding pen to another. And as soon as you get labeled with your disease, you get culled from the herd and put in a holding pen for your particular symptoms. I was actually placed in a trauma room for a while. I don't know what would have happened if there were a real trauma -- I might have been shoved off into the pile of medical supplies in the corners.
I hate hospitals; I hate emergency rooms especially. There is a different ethos in the ER -- rightly so, I imagine in most places. However a little room for human dignity would be so very welcome. At one point, I also was "abandoned" in a wheelchair in the hall as the radiology techs chatted about their weekend. Just a hunk of meat. I know that the techs meant no harm -- however they were not left without their clothing or their personal possessions; they were not draped with ill-fitting hospital gowns and abandoned in the hall.
There was a regular ward nurse in the ER -- she reported for duty, but as there was fewer people in the hospital than anticipated, she came down and assisted the overworked ER nurses. I could tell the difference. She had a listening attitude; she was the one who brought me ice chips, a blanket from the warmer, a pillow for my head. It takes a different kind of nurse for the ER, I suppose. This hospital also had no chaplaincy program. I felt that lack; I now know why parents and patients clung to me so hard in the ED. The Chaplain gives that humanizing presence; the Chaplain is incarnational. I will never take my role as Chaplain for granted again (when that is the role I am cast).
Yes -- that is a difference. The ER nurse ministered to my flesh; the regular ward nurse to both my flesh and my dignity, my spirit. She ministered to the image of God that lies within -- and it is as much as a calling as mine.
So, I'm home, I'm better and I appreciate the prayers. Keep them coming!
(P.S. I should thank Chaos for pointing out to me the dangers of the "remember me" check box.....)
Thursday, June 05, 2008
The problem is, we were SUPPOSED to be in St. George by now, but have to postpone until she gets better. Something about not wanting her to die. Prayer is good. Lots and lots of it. I WANT TO GO ON VACATION. And I want my mom to get better, too.
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
However, without those limitations would there even be blog postings to post? If life were completely comfortable all the time, would there be anything to discuss?
I wonder sometimes where all those thoughts end up. Is there a "dead letter" department in my head like the one at the Post Office? If these thoughts aren't expressed, will my head eventually explode? Or will they just gently fade away?
I had two or three postings in mind this morning, but they are gone. I was going say something about rice. And there is one I really want to write about cats/church. I sometimes start a posting with really brief little notes, so that I can write it up later. But when I go back, I end up wondering "What has bread to do with the making of earthen tiles?"
Does a blog post make sound if it falls down in the forest?
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
thanks be giving to the Source of life and day
Sunlight comes and gone confusion,
night's illusion, like the starlight
Cry for help, when griefs assail you,
good friends fail you, life seems hopeless, death appears.
One whose child knew deep affliction,
ever waits to dry your tears.
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us, but if we confess our sins, God, who is faithful and just, will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:8, 9
In you, O LORD, have I taken refuge;
let me never be ashamed.
In your righteousness, deliver me and set me free;
incline your ear to me and save me.
Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe;
you are my crag and my stronghold.
Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked,
from of the clutches of the evildoer and the oppressor.
For you are my hope, O LORD God,
my confidence since I was young.
I have been sustained by you ever since I was born;
from my mother's womb you have been my strength;
my praise shall be always of you.
-- Psalm 71:1-7
Your own Son had nowhere to lay his head:
Be with those who live alone today so that they may not be lonely in their solitude,
Help them live according to your example and follow in your steps,
May they find fulfillment in loving you and
May they find fulfillment in the love of their neighbors.
For those in the hospital today
Be with us and be the strength of the weak and the comfort of sufferers:
Mercifully accept our prayers,
And give to those suffering the help of your power,
that their sickness may be turned into health,
and our sorrow into joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Sanctify those whom you have called to the study and practice of the arts of healing,
and to the prevention of disease and pain.
Strengthen them by your life-giving Spirit,
that by their ministries
the health of the community may be promoted
and your creation glorified; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Monday, June 02, 2008
see more crazy cat pics
I find Physics a nice place to discover analogies that ring true to life. According to Wikipedia, "Physics is the science of matter and its motion as well as space and time - the science that deals with concepts such as force, energy, mass, and charge. Physics is an experimental science;it is the general analysis of nature. Its purpose is to understand how the world around us behaves."
Personally, I think we are always looking to understand how the world behaves. The Laws of Physics can help, even with people. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. True? When someone "acts" upon us, we tend to "react." Just watch two kids fight. It can become a perpetual motion machine. "She hit me!" "She hit me first!" And so on. I don't think I have to spell it all out.
I am always looking to make sense of this world; I am always looking to analyze. I don't know if that's a part of us all or just a part of my personality, but I am always striving to understand.
I've wanted to know how churches work; what makes them tick. I am now solidly of the opinion that 1) it's all about the relationships and 2) it's all about power/control. Part of this is good; part is very bad. It should be about God and God is all about the relationships. But it ends up being about US -- about having power and control over each other.
But there is freedom when one lets go of power and control. I don't know where I want to go with this -- I can't determine my direction when I control my speed; I don't know if the cat is dead or alive. I suppose what's important is the possibility of either. Can one measure health of a congregation without influencing that health? Can you determine the speed and velocity of the church? Can you measure direction?
Sunday, June 01, 2008
and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.
Give us the joy of your saving help
and sustain us with your life-giving Spirit.
Jesus says, 'Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is close at hand.'
So let us turn away from our sin and turn to Christ,
confessing our sins in penitence and faith.
My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart. In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good, I have sinned against You whom I should love above all things. I firmly intend, with Your help, to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Your Son, Jesus Christ, suffered and died for us. In His name, my God, have mercy. Amen.
Blessed are you, Lord our God,
creator and redeemer of all;
to you be glory and praise for ever.
From the waters of chaos you drew forth the world
and in your great love fashioned us in your image.
Now, through the deep waters of death,
you have brought your people to new birth
by raising your Son to life in triumph.
May Christ your light ever dawn in our hearts
as we offer you our sacrifice of thanks and praise.
Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit:
Awake, Jerusalem, awake!
No longer in thy sins lie down;
The garment of salvation take,
Thy beauty and thy strength put on.
Shake off the dust that blinds thy sight,
And hides the promise from thine eyes;
Arise, and struggle into light,
The great Deliverer calls: Arise!
Shake off the bands of sad despair;
Zion, assert thy liberty;
Look up, thy broken heart prepare,
And God shall set the captive free.
Vessels of mercy, sons of grace,
Be purged from every sinful stain,
Be like your Lord, His Word embrace,
Nor bear His hallowed Name in vain.