Saturday, September 30, 2006

What I Accomplished Today

All I have managed to finish today is a brushing of THE HAIR.
It took a couple of hours, but it is now completely and throughly brushed. I can't wait untils she decideds it's OK to cut it and give it to Locks of Love. I'm sure by this time tomorrow, it will be tangled again.

Friday, September 29, 2006

The Autumnal Cold

has arrived. No, it's not colder here, I have a cold. A cold that started out as the sniffles, moved into my sinuses and now is bronchitis. I get two or three of these a year -- I wish I could avoid them for the rest of my life.

I know that stress doesn't help; I need to build up my immune system. I have been taking vitamins everyday as well as a Dannactive yogert thingy. I believe if I get a little more exercise and a little more sleep, it couldn't hurt.

Anyway, I have been entertaining myself by imagining myself on something like this:

A beautiful mahogany boat -- vintage ChrisCraft or the ilk, with a gorgeous hunk (like in the previous pictures) with curly dark brown hair. Crisp white linen outfits, of course, the girls in sailor collars and a flag whipping in the wind in the back. Ah, well, I can dream.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Yeah! It's the day after my birthday!

For my birthday I got:
a big box of books from Pitts Theology Library.
a HUGE basket of Mums from the LH (the kids are calling it a "shrub" it's so big).
Final Cut Express (software)
"Prayer" by Karl Barth, edited by Don Saliers (I'm going to get Don to sign it during class next week).
Communion in the Chapel with Don being the celebrant (OK, he didn't do this for my birthday, but anyway....)
Lunch with a good friend
dinner at the Japanese steakhouse
I didn't answer my cell phone all day.
I didn't answer email all day.
I may not do them again today.

What I did do yesterday is that I have contemplated is my ancient and advanced age. Sigh.

Ancient, am I. Of course I formed my opinion of ancient when I was 20 and 40 was ancient. I may have to reform my concept of ancient.....

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Woo Hoo!

Pitts Theology Library is holding a book sale today!!
Woo Hoo!
I picked up a 1912 1st edition book written by Warren Candler -- that he gave to Pitts. For those who don't know, Bishop Candler was integral in moving Emory from Oxford to Decatur Georgia.
I also picked up 3 Books of Worship from 1964 that are imprinted with "Durham Chapel" -- Durham Chapel is now Pitts Library -- we dedicated Cannon Chapel in 1981. I think that when the new buildings are built, they will rededicate a "teaching chapel" and perhaps they will call it Durham Chapel.
I picked up also a 1874 copy of Milton's Poems.
Woo Hoo!

Note: I write this as I sit and listen to Don Saliers speak of the sovereingity of God. I better stop now and pay attention. Who ever put wireless in this building was EVIL.

Just in case you MIGHT be interested

The paper of the day: the first two lectures in William James' Varieties of Religious Experience.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

A run-on sentence

I have a paper due at 8:00 tomorrow morning and I don't think I'm going to finish because for the first time in SEVERAL days I have a stable internet connection and I can't stop reading BLOGS and boy am I going to regret that in the morning because the silly paper comparing circumcisions and baptisms won't be finished in time because I am reading BLOGS and so I may have to turn off the brand new router so that I can finish my paper instead of reading BLOGS BUT I will develop willpower and stop reading BLOGS until the silly paper is finished.

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Sunday, September 10, 2006

I've done a video

for this morning -- a prayer meditation for 9/11. I'll post it later on my video blog. If you want the URL, just let me know in the comments or email me.

It's actually good, if I do say so myself.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Seminary Corrupts the Mind


Statement of the day:  "So Dr. Saliers, what you are saying is that Caputo's take on Deconstructuralism and Phenomonology takes Postmodernity further -- past reductionism and realitivism into a sort of nihilism? Or perhaps what he is looking for through his deconstruction is for that which cannot be deconstructed -- and with that hope he can enter into a second naivete, as espoused by Barth and Ricoeur? In other words, postmodern thought, even though taken to its logical extremes becomes this reductionistic realitivism and even nihilism, is the ultimate search for the Absolute?"

Yes, I actually said that.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Your basic half-baked thought

I've been able today to spend some time thinking and meditating and praying. I really missed that during the summer. I enjoy a quiet house in the morning, a cup of coffee, no music or sound around, lighting some candles and sitting and praying.

I've been watching a lot of video clips for a project I'm working on for Monday -- one was a vintage science film about Brownian Motion. I was mesmerized by watching the little particles move around. It actually reminded me of the toddler room a the church.... But I realized that it represents my life. Nothing stays the same, everything shifts and moves. I'm always looking for stuff that sprouts legs and moves. Today it was the Elmer's glue.

I'm always surprised when I drive down a street for the first time in a couple of months at "instant subdivision." Just add water and stir.

Things are always in motion.

But in this film, the stirring rod was the constant. It never moved. Of course, I know it did move... eventually, but it was stable in that environment. It provided a point of reference in a ever changing world.

I wonder if God is the ultimate expression of stillness. God can be our point of reference in an ever-changing world. Maybe we cannot know God because we don't understand stillness. My stillness in the morning is my greatest expression of true Religious Experience. I only can hear God in this stillness.

So I think I'll just sit a while. Will you join me?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

It's time for school...

for me as well as the kids. I've been in school for a very long time, or so it seems.

The United Methodist Church is different than other denominations, in some ways. When I was Baptist (oh so long ago), to become an ordained pastor, the only authority you had to appeal to was your own congregation. No education, no Board of Ordained Ministry, no nothing. Of course, it was expected that you would continue to grow and learn and what not. But few (if any) hoops to jump through.

The Lutherans have strictly defined hoops. Three years of seminary, field ed and then an internship year. Very structured. Thats beginning to appeal to me.

The UMC most definitely has hoops. Although to get started on the path to pastorhood, it really doesn't take very many jumps. I went to License to Preach school with some very fine people -- some of which hadn't even finished college, much less seminary. They became Local Pastors and the LPs of our church do a lot of good. They take churches in the rural areas that just simply couldn't afford a seminary trained pastor. They take churches that a seminary trained pastor probably WOULDN'T take. Most of them really know where the rubber hits the road. I hear that there are conferences that are 70 percent (or higher) Local Pastors.

Then there are the Student Pastors -- I think that's what I'm considered at the moment, although I've been appointed as a Local Pastor to my church. They are the seminary students -- most of them will become full Elders, in due time. They take churches and either go to school during the week and drive home to their church on the weekend, or they have a longish commute.

After that, we have the Deacons. This is a "terminal ordination" (as I heard it described one day.) It's a seminary trained person who feels the call to serve as a bridge between the laity and the clergy -- called to Word perhaps but not to Sacrament.

Then there are Elders. To become an elder, you must have a seminary education. You go through a discernment process with a mentor, you become certified as a candidate by the District Board of Ordained Ministry. You write bunches of papers and record a sermon or two for the Board to examine. You write some Bible studies. You have long interviews by the Board -- very long for some, just a couple of days for others. If you pass muster, you become a Probitionary Member -- you have 3 years to serve as a minister before you get ordained. Once you become ordained in a conference, you are guaranteed an appointment until you retire.

I am currently a Local Pastor and a Student Pastor. I've done the basic interviews. I'm writing the papers. I'm doing the school work. I have taken it really slow, but I'm getting tired of school. I have learned so very much by serving a church at the same time I have gone to school. But I'm getting tired of school. This is my 6th (or 7th??) year of school past my undergrad work -- my 5th at Candler. I just feel ready to move on.

So I've prayed (imagine that!) and contemplated what to do this semester. If I take a full load this semester and next, I can graduate. I may not get the grades I'm used to getting -- but I can graduate. I may not finish all the ordination papers this year, but I can graduate. I will have to really cut back the hours I do at church (which has already happened b/c of CPE), but I can graduate.

My first class today had 8 (eight) books of required reading -- over 1200 pages. If the other classes are the same, I'm going to be reading a lot, but I can graduate.

Y'all pray for me. I need it. The next few months will be grueling, but I will be able to graduate.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Birthday zOOm

to Stacey of
The Almond Branch.
Stacey is:
Never boring to be around
Beautifully sarcastic (when she wishes)
A Punk Young Pastor
Amused by my youngest child
and yesterday

Happy Birthday Stacey! My life is richer by knowing you!

and another Birthday zOOM to Hugh of
Standing Room Only
Hugh is:
owned by Polly
Beloved by Gordon
Funny and tall
deliciously wicked (when he wants)
and missed in the chatroom.

Happy Birthday Hugh! And I pray for many happy returns!