Monday, April 30, 2007

Rounding Third Base

And fixin' to slide into home -- 4 papers due, 1 final. I've done all the exit interviews, I've got the invitations done, the LH is mailing them today. I've got the academic regalia and I'm cleaning the house for out of town company.

I know the next thing is the "post-semester" torpor -- but this will be the "post-MDiv" torpor. It will probably resemble "post-CPE" torpor. I've got to get a new application in for CPE, as well, to start either September or January. Still don't know 100 percent about new appointment, so mums the word.

Today, I've a sore throat, ookie stuff in my sinuses and I'm a little short of breath. There's been a cold floating around and it just may be my turn.

WHY did God make the cold virus? Was it before or after the Fall? Is it a result of original sin? What is the purpose in nature/creation for colds?

Nonetheless, even with stuffed up sinuses, there were times where we could smell the fires in South Georgia this week. They look as if the fires are contained at least 70%, but all of Georgia, Florida and parts of Alabama are at risk for wildfires right now. The drought this year is going to be BAD. The peach and pecan crops are ruined (said "ruint") first because of the late freeze and now from the drought. It's not going to be a good year for agriculture in Georgia. There are people just east of here still dependent on cotton; a little north is cabbage; only stable produce from Georgia may be chickens and granite.

In other news...
I've found my camera. It was in the dining room. Who knew? I'll catch up on the Project 365 -- the expenditure of creative energy will help me write those papers.

I added Bubbles (the game) to my sidebar. This game is so very addictive!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

RevMommy's Graduation Party

I was going to try to make this an amusing javascript based thing, but I ran out of time.
The Loving Husband is going to give me a surprise Graduation party -- he wanted me to give him the invitations that were to include the party. All I know is that the venue has a limit of about 100 people, there is going to food and entertainment. So here are my guesses:

New Hope or Grayson UMC's Fellowship Hall
Gwinnett Arena or Turner Field
The living room
Someone else's living room
The High Museum of Art
St. Philip's Cathedral
a fav resturant: Provino's, Sydney's, Nikko's, Nagoya, or many others
Piedmont Park or Chastain Park
The Shakespeare Festival
A Tea Room (Magnolia Tea Room, The Vines, Little Gardens)
Chateau Elan
The Hanger at the Airport or the Downwind or the Flying Machine
The Varsity in Athens
The Varsity near Tech
The big room at the local Holiday Inn (or similar)

Barbeque (Chicken, Beef, Pork or Rabbit -- who knows?)
Varsity Chili Dogs
$100 Hamburgers
Moe's Southwestern Grill
Finger Foods
Hotel Food

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
Brad Sherrill doing a one man "Murder in the Cathedral"
Grayson UMC's Praise Band
Casting Crowns or Third Day
Green Day or a Hard Rock Band
Elvis Impersonator
The girls singing "You are my Sunshine" with the LH on the kazoo
Cello girl (or Yo Yo Coleman as she's know around here)
Nickel Creek or Bluegrass
Rascal Flatts or Country Music
Video games on Laptops

Academic Cap and Gowns
Full Formalwear
Casual officewear
Cassock and Surplice

The game goes like this:
The Living Room with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra eating Greek! in Albs.
A restaurant with an Elvis Impersonator eating Varsity Chili Dogs in Swimsuits.
The Varsity with Karaoke! eating Thai! in Academic Cap and Gowns.

What would you choose?

YouTube Video of the Day

Yes! Social Justice! Oh yeah!

This is one of those "I wish" kind of videos.

Friday, April 27, 2007

YouTube Video of the Day

An example of the understanding of "native" cultures. These are obviously "immigrants" to this culture; that is what makes this funny.

The conversations about "digital native" and "digital immigrant" started in 2001 or so with Markc Prensky. I think of myself is a digital native because of my ease of using digital mediums, but I'm probably a transitional. Any way, funny commercial.

United Methodist Distinctives.

I grew up Presbyterian/Episcopalian/Baptist and recently I've realized that I am now Methodist to the very bone. Which makes me think a lot about what makes a Methodist or a United Methodist distinctive – what exactly is it that makes us who we are?

I know that the Book of Discipline states it as our theology of grace: From the 2004 BOD:

Although Wesley shared with many other Christians a belief in grace, justification, assurance, and sanctification, he combined them in a powerful manner to create distinctive emphases for living the full Christian life. The Evangelical United Brethren tradition, particularly as expressed by Phillip William Otterbein from a Reformed background, gave similar distinctive emphases.

Grace pervades our understanding of Christian faith and life. By grace we mean the undeserved, unmerited, and loving action of God in human existence through the ever-present Holy Spirit. While the grace of God is undivided, it precedes salvation as "prevenient grace," continues in "justifying grace," and is brought to fruition in "sanctifying grace."

We assert that God's grace is manifest in all creation even though suffering, violence, and evil are everywhere present. The goodness of creation is fulfilled in human beings, who are called to covenant partnership with God. God has endowed us with dignity and freedom and has summoned us to responsibility for our lives and the life of the world.

In God's self-revelation, Jesus Christ, we see the splendor of our true humanity. Even our sin, with its destructive consequences for all creation, does not alter God's intention for us—holiness and happiness of heart. Nor does it diminish our accountability for the way we live.

Despite our brokenness, we remain creatures brought into being by a just and merciful God. The restoration of God's image in our lives requires divine grace to renew our fallen nature.

Grace: prevenient, justifying and sanctifying. Grace AND Responsibility. Works AND faith. Nurture AND mission. Justification AND regeneration. Worship AND service. (This is what Rex Matthews likes to call Methodist Conjunctivitis.) But also backsliding -- a falling from grace. A commitment to the Kingdom of God that is in this world, causing a particular form of Social Gospel that is held hand in hand with individual salvation.

John Cobb in his book Grace and Responsibility states he believes the Methodist distinctive is four fold:
1. There is a transformation of heart and life by God; it is God’s continual work in us, that is a continual process.
2. There are teachings about the work of God in our lives, some support the transformation of life and others block it. Those teachings that block transformation of life are forbidden. (Salvation by works alone, for example.)
3. Yet there are those doctrines and theologies with which we disagree, but that does not mean that they cannot be held by authentic believers (real Christians): for Wesley and most Methodists an example would be predestination.
4. There are many teachings which we subscribe to that do not make much difference with regard of how we live our life (for Wesley, one example would be the Trinity). These teachings are indifferent.

With all this in mind, I wonder if what makes us distinctive is first our seemingly single-minded and rather stubborn insistence on being united. In talking with Dr. Rex Matthews yesterday, he expressed the opinion that it is our willingness to live in the tensions between our theological extremes that makes us distinctive – or stated in the way I would view it, our inclusivity. I hold strongly in the belief that only where there is tension is there real and substantive growth. Holding our extremes together only can make us stronger. The large majority of us (as the GC2004 vote on unity would show) don’t mind the extremes existing together; it is those very extremes that make us fruitful and strong.

Secondly, I think it is our method (hence Methodist). The extreme inclusivity with which we welcome anyone and everyone to the table (my shorthand for all of church, btw) for this very table is a powerful means of grace; prevenient, justifying and sanctifying. We exclude NONE. All are welcome to worship and commune with us; even if they do not believe as we do, even if they do not live as we do, even if they have committed civil crimes or criminal crimes. All are welcome into the presence of the Living and Redeeming God. If God cannot redeem the forger, the murderer, the abuser then who can? We cannot (that’s Donatism). Only by God’s grace are any of us welcome at his table.

Of course, it the person were an embezzler, we wouldn’t let him near the money. If she were a child abuser, we wouldn’t let her near the children. Wary as serpents and innocents as doves. (Matthew 10:16). But they are welcome to worship with us. Nor would we want them to continue in their sin; but we will not consign them automatically to hell. We are to be as Christ to those who sin; to proclaim a gospel of repentance and redemption – and then to hold them accountable in real love -- Christian love, agape love -- for their response to this gospel. How can they hear this message if we exclude them from our very presence? Will their reputation "rub off" on us? Why would this matter to us?

This is really more of an ethic – an ethos. I’ve been in discussions at Candler recently that have made me realize this radical form of inclusivity is an important part of the Methodist distinctive and rather chafing against it, let us rejoice in it.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Gorgeous Tiny Chicken Machine Show

The kids and I love this video. I don't know why. We just do.

Wheel o' Fun!

Poll in Barbeque Doctrine in UMC

Mom Jeans!

hat tip to: Cathy

Sick Kids

They are not really sick, just a bit under the weather and Entropy was complaining about an earache. I wouldn't be really concerned, except that my pediatrician retired earlier in the month.

He was wonderful -- a tad old fashioned and not dictated to by managed care. If you called in the morning, you could make an appointment for later in the afternoon -- sick appointments stared at 2:00 or so, just after lunch. I cannot ever remember sitting in the waiting room more than about 5 minutes before the nurse would say, "Y'all can come on back."

He's seen Chaos since she was about 18 hours old, and Entropy since she was about 30 hours old. He saw us through two tonsillectomies, orthopedic surgery on Chaos' foot and Entropy's bout of rheumatic fever.

He believed in preventive care and old fashioned remedies like salt water nasal lavage and cleaning scrapes with hydrogen peroxide. But he was also "up" on all the current trends in medicine, as well. He served as the president of the Georgia AMA a couple of years back.

He's the president of the Alumni association at my University and he will be speaking at my commencement. But he's not practicing medicine anymore (I personally think that he SHOULD retire so that he can enjoy his kids/grandkids etc.) but dern it -- I'm going to miss him.

I didn't realize how much I counted on him as one of those "anchor points" in my life. Just hit me today, when the kids are just a little "under the weather." Dern it.

Monday, April 23, 2007

One paper DONE

One paper done, all that's left is the printing of said verbage.
One paper getting done rapidly. I may actually get to SLEEP tonight.

Woo Hoo!

Morning Prayer -- Drake's Prayer; Now Thank We All Our God; Psalm 25

Now thank we all our God, with heart and hands and voices,
Who wondrous things has done, in Whom this world rejoices;
Who from our parents' arms has blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.
-- Martin Rinckart (17thC), tr. Catherine Winkworth (19thC)

Psalm 25 Ad te, Domine, levavi
1 To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul;
my God, I put my trust in you;
let me not be humiliated,
nor let my enemies triumph over me.
2 Let none who look to you be put to shame;
let the treacherous be disappointed in their schemes.
3 Show me your ways, O LORD,
and teach me your paths.
4 Lead me in your truth and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
in you have I trusted all the day long.
5 Remember, O LORD, your compassion and love,
for they are from everlasting.
6 Remember not the sins of my youth and my transgressions;
remember me according to your love
and for the sake of your goodness, O LORD.

1 John 3: 19-24

19 And by this we will know that we are from the truth and will reassure our hearts before him 20 whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 21 Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have boldness before God; 22 and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we obey his commandments and do what pleases him.

23 And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. 24 All who obey his commandments abide in him, and he abides in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit that he has given us.

When thou givest to thy servants
to endeavour any great matter
Grant us also to know that it is not the beginning
but the continuing of the same unto the end
until it be thoroughly finished.

Disturb us, Lord, when
We are too pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, Lord, when
with the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life,
We have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.

Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wilder seas
Where storms will show Your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,
We shall find the stars.

We ask you to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push back the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.

This we ask in the name of our Captain,
Who is Jesus Christ.
-- Drake's Prayer

Sunday, April 22, 2007

I have a headache

I have a headache and two papers to finish. One final page for one class and the entire paper for the other. Including reading the book the paper is supposed to be about. Due Tuesday. I've been at it since about 9:00 this morning starting with worship and what-not, Admin Council meeting until 1:30 and writing papers since 2:00. It.s now 9:40. I had a 14 hour day yesterday. Is it ethical to offer to pay someone to finish my ethics paper?



Picture 96/365

The hair before brushing. If it stays in braids, it's not too bad. There's just something about these braids that makes me want to yank on them (gently, of course). And note: she's doing the dishes. Yeah!

Picture 95/365

It's a family effort to contain THE HAIR. She's going away for a camping trip in a month and I am already imagining what's going to come back with her in THE HAIR.

It's the top of the Eighth

Bases are loaded. The respite from the 7th inning stretch is gone and we are now hot into the game. I'm just praying I don't have to go extra innings.

Translation: I'm hard at it: papers and reading books. Two papers due on Tuesday and they are hard going. I had an eight hour class in Greenville yesterday -- drove there and back, as well, making for a nice 14 hour day. My brains are oatmeal, and I STILL have to write two papers. Bleh. The family is going to the lake after church and I have to write two papers. Poo-poo.

I don't want an incomplete in anything -- I don't want to delay the papers. I just want it OVER. Now.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

OK, I took it again and yes, I am myself.

You scored as Theresa Coleman. You are Theresa Coleman! No this is not a picture of her, but I couldn't find one online. You are a warm-hearted, nurturing, pastoral caregiver who can fly airplanes.

Theresa Coleman


John the Methodist


Lorna Koskela


Gavin Richardson


Jonathon Norman


Allan Bevere


Keith McIlwain


Art Ruch


Abi Carlisle-Wilke


Which Methoblogger Are You?
created with

Which Methoblogger are you?

You scored as Art Ruch. You are Art Ruch! You're the only person to score as "Modern Liberal" in the Theological Worldview Quiz. Your prize is a new Volvo.

Art Ruch


Theresa Coleman


Allan Bevere


John the Methodist


Lorna Koskela


Keith McIlwain


Jonathon Norman


Abi Carlisle-Wilke


Gavin Richardson


Which Methoblogger Are You?
created with

I can't believe it! I'm Art! (I thought I was myself, but I must have been mistaken!)

Picture 94/365

Chaos trying on my mortarboard. Looks good on her.

Picture 93/365

The Living Room -- you can see elements of my original design here -- the mission oak coffee table, the breakfront, the peacock feathers, the lamp and so on, but you can see also some of my paintings -- two moths, a fish print and two seashells.

Picture 92/365

The Easter Bunny overdid it.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

It's a difficult day

I found myself tearing up on the drive into the University today. The dispassionate tone of the press conferences at 9:20 this morning and the descriptions of the horror at Virginia Tech got to me. I'm not the only twitchy one today. The University parking lot is unusually empty and I noticed more of the University vehicles in conspicuous spaces.

I'm twitchy also because my husband's place of business got shot up in 1999 and I realize how close to home some of this is. He recalled a suicide that occurred when he was at Tech and how it's memory still haunts him after more than 20 years.

I wonder what kind of pushbars the Norris building had. The really old fashioned ones are so easy to chain shut; newer ones are much harder. However, that doesn't prevent the exterior from being chained shut.

I wonder how destructive 20 terrorists would be, armed like this young man, on 20 different institutes of higher education and how effective they could be on taking out the "brain trust" of America.

This young man was described as a loner -- how many of the other shooters have been described as such?

I can't blame the police -- they thought the original shooting was a domestic dispute. Personally, I would think that as well. We have heard all the cries for gun control. I would agree that they need to be regulated more, but I fear gun control that stems from mass hysteria. Reactionary rule-making doesn't take into account unforeseen consequences.

I remember my first year of teaching, oh so long ago. There was a standing rule about having safety glasses for all lab classes. The computers were in a "lab" hence, I was issued safety glasses and told that all students were to wear them during "lab." The rule had been reactionary when made and did not, could not foresee all possible interpretations of "lab."

I'm just in shock and full of sadness.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Morning Prayer -- Psalm 13, How Long O Lord?

1 How long, O LORD ? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?

2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and every day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?

3 Look on me and answer, O LORD my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death;

4 my enemy will say, "I have overcome him,"
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

5 But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.

6 I will sing to the LORD,
for he has been good to me.

Prayers after a shooting

Now I say to you in conclusion,
life is hard,
at times as hard as crucible steel.

It has its bleak and difficult moments.
Like the ever-flowing waters of the river,
life has its moments of drought and its moments of flood.

Like the ever-changing cycle of the seasons,
life has the soothing warmth of its summers
and the piercing chill of its winters.

But if one will hold on,
he will discover that God walks with him,
and that God is able

to lift you from the fatigue of despair
to the buoyancy of hope
and transform dark and desolate valleys
into sunlit paths of inner peace.

eulogy for the martyred children - martin luther king jr. - 1963

Lord, hear our prayers for the parents of children
Parents who feel the sting of death today.
Comfort those who mourn
And may your justice roll down like a stream.
May your peace fill emptyness
May your comfort be as soothing water.

Death and Taxes in Carlton Georgia, Chapter One

The Reverend Fiona Marie Tolliver Claiborne Anderson stood at the mirror in her office bunching her hair this way and then that. What she needed was a haircut, but with another kid on the way, expensive hair cuts were out of the question. Besides, no one in this teeny town knew how to cut her incredibly fine dirty blond hair. Straight and stubborn, it refused to take any curl with out expensive perms and without a good cut, it just looked messy until it was long enough to make into a pony tail or a bun. Right now, in the “in between” stage, she was tempted to take scissors to it herself, but prayed for God to put some patience into her soul. Just wait. Another month and it won’t look like a stubby little paintbrush stuck on the back of her head, but an elegant little ponytail. Or so she hoped.

It was the second Sunday of Lent and she sighed to herself as she pulled the purple stole out of the closet to place over her black robe. Since she was in the 8th month, the robe wouldn’t zip, but she would hide the gap with a surplice. It was hot already, as Easter was going to be late this year and another layer of fabric so late in the pregnancy was sure to make her sweat gallons, but she’d be damned if she was going to buy a “maternity cassock.” As if they even made such a thing!

There was a knock at the door. "Yes?"

It was her usher chair, Tom. "Fiona, the air-conditioning isn't working. It's almost 82 in the sanctuary. I've gone ahead and opened all the windows and put out the fans."

She sighed. She and her board of Trustees had an uneasy alliance. At least she still didn't call them the Board of Dis-trustees. They were supposed to get that condenser unit fixed. Instead they took the easy way out and did it themselves and now, of course, it was broken again.

She leaned forward scrunching her eyes at her reflection. She had already begun to perspire. Her face was particularly blotchy this time around. Well, 42 was reaching the limit of when a woman should get pregnant and she really was uncomfortable this time. There was a another knock on the door.

“Mom! Mom! They are waiting for you!” It was Josh, her first born. At 24, he was a graduate of that fine institution called by some “The North Avenue Trade School” or Georgia Tech by others and had just started seminary in Atlanta, at Candler School of Theology. She was so proud of him. His Dad and her Dad were proud of him as well. Of course, her Dad though that her brother Greg was going to be the minister in the family, but he instead pursued architecture, earning quite a good living designing churches in the booming Atlanta area. And Josh’s Dad was proud, although he admitted it was going to be strange to have a grandfather, a father, a son and an ex-wife serving as pastors in the same conference.

Josh was going to assist today in worship, helping his increasingly uncomfortable mother finish out this last couple of months and then helping the substitute pastor who would take over the charge so she would have time with the baby. She opened the door and lumbered out. Her ankles were swelling so badly and she had bought a pair of slip-on Birkenstocks to help support her failing arches. Josh took her arm and they traveled around the building to the front door to meet up with the acolyte and process down the center aisle. The acolyte was one of the Jones’ twins – thankfully not the one with ADHD, but the one who thought he was “Goth.” Today he was wearing eyeliner, ankle high Converse All-Stars and tight black jeans with the Acolyte robe, but at least they weren’t the flashing athletic shoes his twin preferred. Or those Wheelies! She would never forget the Sunday he skated down the aisle before worship. It somehow reminded her of that little “Jesus on Wheels” she got during seminary. Who would put wheels in the heels of shoes anyway??

She heard the pianist and the organist playing ever so slightly out of sync and she signed again. Miss Maude didn’t like the new pianist Jane and was making Jane’s life miserable. Miss Maude studied for a couple of months at Julliard back in the 1960’s and never let you forget it! Miss Maude really was very good; this out of sync playing was her way of protesting the new pianist – who was selected by the Music Minister over her niece Darlene. Fiona closed her eyes and prayed one of those “arrow prayers” – “God save me from passive aggressive little old ladies!” She breathed deeply and began to sing “O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing” as she processed down the aisle. Porro! As her favorite seminary prof would say – Onward!


After the final hymn and the procession to the parking lot, she turned back to go the church to get out of the robe. She was convinced that the robe would be dripping wet by this time and by the time she finished shaking the hand of the last parishioner in line, she felt quite “moist” as her grandmother would say. She grabbed the handrail firmly to heave her bulk up the steps and greeted the Tom and the altar ladies who were cleaning up after the service. She had just turned to go back to her office when she heard a tremendous commotion.

“He’s daid! Bubba! He just up and died! He daid! Do you hear me, daid!”

The tenant of the parsonage next door, John Austin Boudreaux had run into the sanctuary. John Austin had been on a bender the night before and it showed. Thin and as sharp faced as a possum, his shirt was open and flapping, stained with unknown substances and the confederate flag tattooed on his chest waved as he gasped for breath.

“Well, aren’t you gonna do somfin’?” He ran back out of the sanctuary and down the gravel driveway to the parsonage. Those in the sanctuary stood in stunned silence for a moment and then Fiona rushed into action.

“I’m on it! Tom!” she shouted, “Call 9-1-1 and get the first responder team out here! Josh, you’re with me!”

“Fiona! It’ll be 20 minutes before they are here!”

“Tom! Just do it!”

Fiona didn’t know it but her world was a fixin’ to change.

Copyright 2007, Theresa P. Coleman
All rights preserved. Like in Formaldehyde.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

My Last Class as an MDiv Student at Erskine

I'm currently in my last class EVER at Erskine as an MDiv student.

I rushed out the door yesterday and so I didn't remember my camera. Of course, since I don't have my camera, there are dozens of things I want to take pictures of. There is an antique car show in Abbeville today and I loved the look of all the hoods lifted up -- and there was a pair of Little Old Ladies with blue hair and gloves sitting in a powder yellow 1937 Buick, the driver just peeking over the steering wheel. I would have LOVED a picture of that.

And the campus today is beautiful -- there are flowers everywhere and fresh green grass. Erskine's campus is just stunning. I love it here. Its too much like Mayberry and I'm sure that my idealistic and rosy-colored glasses are casting this place into the realm of "this sure would be nice."

I would love to stay here for a while....


29 days to graduation!
There are things I need to do.... I need to get a move on!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

I am a cruel person

I purchased a water squirt bottle years ago to try to train the cat not to (fill in the blank). It worked ... after a fashion. I could always make sure that the cat behaved when I was in the room, but after I left the room... well. It doesn't work for the long run.

So when I was teaching confirmation last year, I taught a lesson on Baptism. We watched lots of clips of the Baptism of Jesus from my DVD collection and that funny video on Youtube where the kid cannonballs into the font.

We also discussed believer baptism and infant baptism, sprinkling and dunking... I like to always give a "bad example" and have the kids discuss why the example is bad. So I made the squirt bottle into the "Bapto-Matic" and added the label "Fill to this line with Holy Water." I would squirt the kid and say, "Repent! And remember the Gospel!" or "Repent and remember your Baptism!" We all agreed that for a real baptism, the Bapto-Matic was a really bad idea and they actually could list some reasons.

Tonight the Bapto-Matic made a comeback. Chaos likes to say bad things to her little sister to make her unhappy -- and then they fight. So (at the dinner table) I pulled out the Bapto-Matic and squirted her every time she said something cruel to her sister. I told her that it would burn if she had done something really evil, like the witch in the Wizard of Oz.... Of course, they thought of it as funny and by the end Entropy kept saying, "Squirt me, mommy!" It may have lost its effectiveness.

The good thing is she won't need a shower tonight. Does this make me a cruel person?

Picture 91/365

Easter Morning -- the New Hope Chamber Ensemble. They played:
"Christ Jesus lay in death's strong bands" Martin Luther as arranged by J.S. Bach
"Christ the Lord is Risen Today" Charles Wesley
"Up From the Grave He Arose"
"Praise the Lord Our God Forever" by Mozart.

They were wonderful.

Picture 90/365

The New Hope Chamber Orchestra at practice (in the Dining Room that's never used to dine.)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


I had a wonderful office at my last church -- this church is still in the middle of renovating a bunch of rooms under the Sunday School rooms -- it's considered the basement, but it's full daylight, so it's really nice and full of sunlight.

It's the old kitchen with bunches of interesting cabinets, room for my HUGE old oak desk (it's a double desk where people can sit across from each other), there are a couple of old mission style cabinets and I can hang all my Last Supper stuff. This is what I would like it to look like. Oh, and I want to get a Karastan pattern 717 for the floor. Still looking for that piece....

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Sitting Room

Big Decisions: Purple or Gold??

Easter Morning -- The Time of the Cups

The time of the cups is passed --
I have drunk the cup of Elijah -- His time is come and gone
And I want to know if truth will penetrate my soul
As the truth of His being has intensified my longing.

I have drunk the cup of our last meal -- Dark and sweet was the wine
He fed us with affliction, he slaked our thirst with abandonment
Bitter was the betrayal of one who loved Him.
His skin purpled with rage as he bent over to kiss.

I have drunk the cup in the garden -- it tasted of gall
A deep dark drought. The will of God!
It tasted of ashes -- Harsh medicine
For a creation overwhelmed with brokenness.

I have drunk the cup of the cross -- the blood and tears
Misery and suffering streamed out and
Ran down the rough wood. I gathered
It in the cup of my flesh as the blood stained my hands.

I have drunk the cup of sorrows -- the cup weightless
Strange was its’ color and
Filled with vapor that evanesced into a melancholy nothingness
It reeked with a miasma of the grave.

For three days I drank nothing -- for three days it were if I were dead
It was a fast, yet the time passed slowly
Never had a Sabbath existed with such conflicting tensions


On Sunday, I taste the cup of holiness
The cup of salvation is lifted up and I drink deeply of it.
The cup overflows with light and
It fills the void in my soul
I lift my heart in thanksgiving to the God who gave it
Precious was the night of cups, the day of sorrows
Precious in the sight of God is the death of His faithful son
Yet more precious still is the life
For through His pain can we begin to be healed,
Through His sacrifice can we be made pure and
Through His rising we can be made complete.
Hallelujah! Come Lord Jesus!

-- Theresa Coleman

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Random Thoughts

Lawyer firms I would NOT use:
Dewey, Cheatham and Howe
Steele and Cheatham

Services that send the wrong message or should NOT go together:
UMW Prayer and Fasting Breakfast (The b'fast was HUGE)
Divorce Recovery Ministry Dinner catered by An Affair to Remember (it happened)
Chili Cook-off followed by a Healing Service (ditto)
Blessing of the Animals followed by the UMM Barbeque

How about you?

Friday, April 06, 2007

It is Friday -- An invocation and poem for Good Friday

It is Friday
And I stand at the foot of the cross.

Nothing can be said, nothing can be done.
Action is futile – hebel.
I can hold the other's hands and weep, but I cannot be comforted.

It is Friday
And I stand at the foot of the cross.

The air is heavy still with waiting and longing.
Waiting for the inevitable, longing for the impossible.
Can this cup pass from me?
I look around me – all the colors are muted.
Dusty browns and grays – Cold and metallic.
Rolling black clouds cover the brilliant blue of the sky
As my soul is occluded by pain.
All that remains is the red of the blood
Running down the weathered wood of the cross.

It is Friday
And I stand at the foot of the cross.

I reach out and touch the raised grain of the wood.
It is rough against my fingertips.
The pong of unwashed wool and bodies crowds my nose.
I smell fear, pain, death. I taste it at the back of my throat.
I hear the labored breathing from the cross.
Death is near.

It is Friday
And I stand at the foot of the cross.

Remember Him!
Remember Him as the silver cord is severed, as the golden bowl is broken.
Remember Him as the pitcher is shattered at the spring and the wheel broken at the well.
Remember Him as the dust returns to the ground it came from and
His spirit returns to the God who gave it.

It is Friday
And I stand at the foot of the cross.

On Good Friday

If the lost word is lost, if the spent word is spent
If the unheard, unspoken
Word is unspoken, unheard;
Still is the unspoken word, the Word unheard,
The Word without a word, the Word within
The world and for the world;
And the light shone in darkness and
Against the Word the unstilled world still whirled
About the centre of the silent Word.

O my people, what have I done unto thee.

Where shall the word be found, where will the word
Resound? Not here, there is not enough silence
Not on the sea or on the islands, not
On the mainland, in the desert or the rain land,
For those who walk in darkness
Both in the day time and in the night time
The right time and the right place are not here
No place of grace for those who avoid the face
No time to rejoice for those who walk among noise and deny the voice

Will the veiled sister pray for
Those who walk in darkness, who chose thee and oppose thee,
Those who are torn on the horn between season and season, time and time, between
Hour and hour, word and word, power and power, those who wait
In darkness? Will the veiled sister pray
For children at the gate
Who will not go away and cannot pray:
Pray for those who chose and oppose

O my people, what have I done unto thee.

Will the veiled sister between the slender
Yew trees pray for those who offend her
And are terrified and cannot surrender
And affirm before the world and deny between the rocks
In the last desert before the last blue rocks
The desert in the garden the garden in the desert
Of drouth, spitting from the mouth the withered apple-seed.

O my people.

--T.S. Eliot

Thou detestable maw, thou womb of death,
Gorged with the dearest morsel of the earth,
Thus I enforce thy rotten jaws to open,
And, in despite, I'll cram thee with more food!
A glooming peace this morning with it brings;
The sun, for sorrow, will not show his head:
Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things;
Some shall be pardon'd, and some punished.

--Wm. Shakespeare

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Picture 89/365

For John. This is a sort of 'art project.'
I design interiors with lots of pictures and Photoshop. Here's what my design looked like for the living room. I'm post pictures of the real thing later.

I did my bedroom the same way and am working on my sewing room. You can change upholstery color/pattern almost instantly as well as wall color. I must say that I have quite a bit of fun doing this.

It usually doesn't come from an urge that is inherently materialistic, but a searching for order and "space." I get a measure of satisfaction from setting a place in order in my house. It's probably related to many things, but is definitely related to my inner life and my search for order and "setting to rights" things that are out of balance.

And the kids can't mess it up.

Just a Note

It's Holy Week, just in case you hadn't noticed.
Lots to do.

BUT also, I think that my appointment "stuff" (OK, I'll get rid if that word later...) is working out in ways I could never imagine. It's most wonderful -- but tentative. Yahoo! Yipee! Praise God and Hallelujah! As it becomes more definite, more details will emerge....

That prayer stuff works, huh?

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Picture 88/365

I didn't know that "Old Dan Tucker" could be a real person ...

There is a story that "Old Dan Tucker" was written about a man named Daniel Tucker who lived in Elbert County, Georgia. Tucker was a farmer, ferryman, and minister who appears in records from the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The story tells that Tucker became quite well liked by the slaves in his area through his ministry to them.

According to this interpretation, the lyrics address Tucker directly. The chorus, "You're too late to get your supper" is gentle teasing to a minister who often arrived after dark, forcing his hosts to scrap up a meal for him.

Daniel Tucker was buried in Elbert County in 1818.

I find this plaque to be a form of whitewashing history again -- or turning a blind eye. I wonder what the real story is and if we will ever know it.

I'm off to school and I must say I have senior-itis pretty dern bad. I'm having a hard time doing more than going through the motions. I'm ready to graduate. I'll get the papers done and what not, but I'm taking the classes with minimal effort.

Monday, April 02, 2007

What I Will Do When I Graduate

Lorna asked what I am going to do when I graduate. I'll tell you, it won't be much different than what I'm doing now.
  • Be a little more present for my family. Help Entropy transition to Middle School.
  • Blog more.
  • I'll continue at New Hope UMC, hopefully being able to put in more hours. I am enjoying having the music program under my area... I also want to start teaching Bible studies again.
  • I'm going to write papers for the Board of Ordained Ministry and finish preparing all that stuff.
  • I'm going to work on the house, which has been neglected for a while, sorting each and every closet and drawer. I'm going to sell all the ebay stuff I've been collecting.
  • I'm going to help my loving husband with his grandfather's estate and ebay more stuff (keeping two different accounts for accounting purposes.)
  • I'm going to do some artwork -- a little graphic design stuff, movies, stained glass, watercolors, quilting, embroidery and more.
  • I'm going to do some music stuff -- I now have Sibelius to work with and I LOVE IT.
  • I'm going to work on the weight and diet. I'm going to have more time to think about cooking and I want to cook every night for a while. I love cooking.
  • I'm helping my cousin to format a couple of books for publication and I'm thinking about writing a prayerbook/liturgy book.
  • Apply for grad school, maybe a ThM next year at Candler, maybe a DMin at United, maybe apply for the PhD program at Duke. Don't know yet.
  • CPE hopefully in January. I'm going to take it slow with CPE, I want 6 months to rest and recover first.
  • I want to buy a boat and spend some time on the water. I want to get my pilot's license updated -- I need a biannual.
  • I want to learn to weld and fuse glass.
  • Reform some of my language. Stop using the word "stuff." Stop saying, "I know" when people are trying to tell me something, because it's not if I know, it's all about them having to tell. Stop asking after giving instructions "Do you understand." It's seen as patronizing.

Ear Worms

are songs that run over and over in your head. I have an ear worm right now -- appropriately from the band Arrogant Worms. My kids introduced me to this song:

I am Cow
Hear me moo
I weigh twice as much as you
And I look good on the barbecue

Yogurt, curd, cream cheese, and butter's
Made from liquid from my udders
I am cow,
I am cow, hear me moo!

The next verse is much worse. I think I'll start screaming....