Sunday, March 30, 2008

Friday, March 28, 2008

Theological Question of the Day

Entropy has been studying the Sumerians and (of course) their study turned to beer, as the Sumerians have been honored with the invention of that tasty beverage. She said that the nutritional value in a beer makes it like "liquid bread." Then she got quiet and asked, "Mama, if we used beer for communion, would it be the BODY or the BLOOD?"

Good question. What do you think?

Johnny Cat, Cat in Black

The other night, the loving husband asked, "Why is Johnny outside?" Well, he wasn't. It was another cat that looked very much like Johnny, especially in the dark. Now we have a regular Midnight Visitor -- a little female who looks a lot like Johnny, even down to the little patch of white on her chest. Her patch is larger, her tail is fluffier and she's smaller. I think we will call her June Cat. I think she has a home, but they put her out for the night. She's come around for the last three nights. We will see what develops....

Thursday, March 27, 2008

As I sit with the flu....

I am remodeling the SL church. It looked like this:

Nice, but bland.

I am trying to get it to look like this (Lovely Lane Chapel at Epworth by the Sea):

Currently, it looks like this:

I think the steeple turned out well, even if I did it in wood shingles instead of verdigris copper. I did add a little Carpenter Gothic touch with a bracket directly off the photo I took last year. I am working on windows and siding today -- trying to get the textures right. The roofline of the narthex needs to be lowered and I need a pair of doors with a Gothic Arch. I'm having fun....

Flu Kitteh

Humorous Pictures
see more crazy cat pics

Jack Sparrow Goes Green

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Tuesday Bullets

  • This flu in our area is really vicious. I've been sick for quite a while (seems like a lo-o-o-ong time.) I think our congregation started to pass it around before Christmas and that almost every member of the congregation has had a taste of it. It's put a few in the hospital; one or two in Intensive care. I've also a friend of a friend who has died of it -- he was 38 years old. He felt like he was coming down with something; ignored it for a day or two; went to work in the cold. By the time he went to the hospital, it was too late.
  • It seems too soon for Easter to be over already. What to do with the rest of the spring? Odd.
  • The yellow season is starting. Pollen is falling everywhere and the pine trees are a fixin' to bust open and let out their flood of pollen. It's the pine pollen that's so invasive. Everything will be covered with a fine yellow grit. Unless you have seen it, it's pretty hard to believe.
  • I need to list more books. Since I've been sick, I've slacked off. I want to continue on the house stuff-reduction. I would like to get rid of about half of what we own right now. It's just slow going.
  • And the weight reduction is slow too -- karate when you have the flu is just not do-able. I've decided to NOT eat any more Girl Scout cookies -- I did the oatmeal thing this morning. Tomorrow will be my first day back at karate in two weeks....
  • Johnny cat is amusing. He decided he was a big bumblebee. He keeps nibbling on the Easter lilies. He licks the nectar off and gets Easter lily pollen all over his face. It really shows up on all that black fur. Then he sticks his head into another bloom. He's pollinating the Easter lilies -- Just like a big black feline bumblebee. I do love to watch him explore his world.
  • I'm doing some architectural changed to the church in Second Life. I'll post pics when I'm finished.
  • Major errands today. The 8th grade orchestra concert is tonight and last night (after 10:00 pm) Chaos' bow broke. Yes, the $795 bow. She finished practicing with the cheap bow I purchased for a backup ($19.95, fiberglass). It sounded ... Ok. Even I can tell the difference between the good bow and the cheapo bow. So, I'm off to the violin shop to get an emergency bow repair ... It somehow reminds me of the Loving Husband's front tooth disintegrating late the night before Easter -- when he had to play the trombone for worship. I fixed the tooth with superglue -- I don't dare use superglue on the bow.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Sunday

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!

Friday, March 21, 2008

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.

I wrote this when I was in the discipline of doing imaginative prayer. After beginning prayer and doing the getting centered exercise, I imagined what it would be to experience what Mary the mother did at the foot of the cross. This was before Mel Gibson's movie.
The images at the end of the poem are not some sort a New-Aged freaky thing -- as a reader once emailed me. They are directly from Scripture:

Ecc 12:1-7
Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come, and the years draw nigh, when you will say, "I have no pleasure in them";
before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars are darkened and the clouds return after the rain; the day when the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men are bent, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look through the windows are dimmed, and the doors on the street are shut; when the sound of the grinding is low, and one rises up at the voice of a bird, and all the daughters of song are brought low; they are afraid also of what is high, and terrors are in the way; the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper drags itself along and desire fails; because man goes to his eternal home, and the mourners go about the streets; before the silver cord is snapped, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher is broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern, and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.
A beautiful passage, poetic. And one to dwell within on this Good Friday. Blessings.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Nerd God

I am a Nerd God says I'm a Nerd God.  What are you?  Click here!

The Loving Husband? A Slightly Dorky Nerd God. Hoo ya! says I'm a Slightly Dorky Nerd God.  What are you?  Click here!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Tuesday, Museday

Humorous Pictures
see more crazy cat pics

I have the flu and am on various and sundry medications. It makes for interesting conversations and dreams. I've been involved with a few conversations about the inspiration of scripture. We Christians are truly a "people of the Book." It is no doubt a powerful document -- I was reading a book recently that compared it to a "Holy Hand Grenade" -- this Book has the power to blow all our preconceptions apart at the seams.

I think most Christians would agree that the Bible, the witness as contained by the Old and New Testaments, is God-breathed. In 2 Tim 3.16-17 we read: "All scripture is given by inspiration of God [theopneustos], and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." I like the translation "God-breathed." Some like the word "inspiration." Theopneustos is translated in the Vulgate with the Latin divinitus inspirata ("divinely breathed into"), but some modern English translations opt for "God-breathed" (NIV) or "breathed out by God" (ESV) and avoid inspiration altogether, since its connotation, unlike its Latin root, leans toward breathing in instead of breathing out. Or maybe we should see this as both an "in-breathing" and "out-breathing?" Perhaps we then are tending to split hairs....

I don't get horribly involved with discussions about the inspiration of scripture. For a lot of people, this discussion is their "jumping off point" for theological debates. For me, not so much. I get more into discussions about, "well, Jesus said X and told us to do Y. How well are we doing?" I take scripture very seriously. It is my norma normans or "norming norm" (to use the words of Richard Hays.) It is the lens by which I view all my waking moments. In other words, I suppose my theology is more informed by my praxis.

In the UMC,our official position is elaborated as thus:
United Methodists share with other Christians the conviction that Scripture is the primary source and criterion for Christian doctrine. Through Scripture the living Christ meets us in the experience of redeeming grace. We are convinced that Jesus Christ is the living Word of God in our midst whom we trust in life and death.

The biblical authors, illumined by the Holy Spirit, bear witness that in Christ the world is reconciled to God. The Bible bears authentic testimony to God's self-disclosure in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ as well as in God's work of creation, in the pilgrimage of Israel, and in the Holy Spirit's ongoing activity in human history.

As we open our minds and hearts to the Word of God through the words of human beings inspired by the Holy Spirit, faith is born and nourished, our understanding is deepened, and the possibilities for transforming the world become apparent to us.

I like this. No arguments about what it IS -- just a simple statement, beautifully worded, about what it DOES. 'Nough said.

Monday, March 17, 2008

It's been a long time since I had a kitten....

So long that I had forgotten how playful and destructive they can be. I'm posting this using a very old computer (slow too ... can't keep up with my typing. I watch the letters appear one at a time. So distracting...) The reason I'm posting this using an ancient computer? The kitten decided to chew on the end of my charger for the MacBook and I didn't notice -- until it started to smoke and spark little flames. Now I have a shorted out charger and a dead battery on the MacBook. A replacement charger is on order.

He also likes to carry stuff around with him. Right now, he's chewing on a potholder he fetched out of the kitchen. It must smell good to him. He's also fond of dirty socks, washclothes, various and sundry stick-like objects (pencils!) and will just carry around with him most anything that he can pick up or drag after himself. I follow him around like a large benevolant God-like entity, trying to make sure that he doesn't hurt himself. On occasion, I just let him learn his lessons the hard way: don't lick the hot-sauce bottle, it will burn your tongue. Don't get to close to the grumpy old lady cat; she will clean your clock.

I can suppose God can feel this way: why would those silly human want to do x? I'll just let them learn the lesson the hard way....

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Atlanta Storms

The damage from the tornadoes that ripped through Atlanta in the last couple of days is reaching $200 million dollars. Downtown Atlanta including the CNN Center , Centennial Park, and the Georgia Dome were heavily damaged. The mayor has declared a state of emergency. The Georgia Dome was so damaged that the SECC will finish their play at Georgia Tech's Alexander Memorial Coliseum. Many people were injured, but so far no reported fatalities in Atlanta, although these storms have caused fatalities in other areas.

Chaos had intended to attend MoMoCon and she and her friend made it downtown today -- the website reported that the convention was still open. She made it OK, but new storms came through the area and they were sent to the basement -- and waited out the storm in the basement of Ga Tech's student center.

Here's video from the Weather Channel.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Friday Bullets

  • I have a few friend who keep sending me email via their iPhone. I don't have an iPhone and I will admit to the sin of envy. I really think the "virus" that would display a cracked iPhone screen with the sound of breaking glass is sort of cool....
  • I've had a disappointment this week. It is a struggle to not succumb to this disappointment; I repeat to myself the words given to Dame Julian -- "All will be well; all will be well and all manner of thing will be well." It is a thing I truly believe -- yet I still process the disappointment.
  • I have managed to schedule the family into a right pickle. Two kids need to be in two different places at the same time; Chaos is playing the Cello in the school system's Festival; Entropy is to be selling GS Cookies. Then we all have Karate. The next morning Chaos has Festival from 7:15 am to 1:00 pm, then wants to go to MoMoCon the rest of the day. She's going to be exhausted. Thankfully, Entropy and I aren't quite so busy...
  • I'm still wondering how they are going to fit the "Cello Coffin" onto the school bus. I insisted on the hard case this morning; that Cello costs as much (or more) than my first car. I'm not going to have it damaged in transit. It's actually kinda funny to watch Chaos roll the Cello Coffin behind her with a fully loaded backpack on her back and other various and assorted bags tied to her body.
  • I feel that I feed the cats continually. They fight; they hiss; they eat. They fight; they hiss; they eat. I pull Johnny fur out of Doodle's claws... They fight; they hiss; they eat. I'm just a Cat Cop.
  • I had a friend from RL come visit my Second Life church. That was cool. I've probably done enough SL for this week, though. I think I'll go back to my other "comfort activity"....
  • Watching HBO's "In Treatment." Powerful stuff and just as facinating to watch as "Intervention" on A&E. I believe the fact I like these programs says as much about me as anything.
  • I could do with a retreat; but probably won't get one. I'm going to have to go back to my Theology of Space and revisit -- I'm going to have to make my own space: a "Hermitage" as it were.

The Cello Coffin is like the black one right behind the hardshell red one. It really is coffin shaped. It's getting quite beat up too -- I'm told that is "cool." Ooooo.... I need to get her a skeleton hand to "peek out" of the coffin when it's zipped open.... Hmm... I wonder where I can get such a thing?

Theological Question of the Day

Jesus was a tecton, a builder. He probably worked with wood as a carpenter. Today on home improvement shows, we are told to measure twice, cut once. If Jesus cut a piece of wood too short, could he make it longer?

Discuss among yourselves.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Interesting places

  • Those in hospice care are usually not mobile -- there is no way for them to leave their room or bed and encounter the world. They don't have many opportunities to interact with the world. In Second Life, there is now a place for them to go -- The Healing Hands Hospice center.
  • Also, if you are a SL resident, you now have the opportunity to get a real live person to help you with your taxes at the H & R Block Party.
  • And my husband and I have been theatre-goers for a long time, including the Georgia Shakespeare Festival. Here is the SL Globe theatre, for those who wish to get their theatre fix.
  • There is a small group of us building a Methodist church. The picture is the church as it exists today. (You may note that there is no room for parking -- wait! No one here has cars!) We are continuing to build and discuss what Methodist involvement might mean in SL. We have, of course, started a blog.
  • If you are interested in knowing more, or if you have an avatar in SL, just drop me a comment or email. We are looking to add a couple of people to the projects on the West Coast, Australia and other areas around the world.
I am no longer my own, but yours.
Put met to what you will, rank me with whom you will;
put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed by you or laid aside by you,
enabled for you or brought low by you.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things
to your pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
you are mine, and I am yours. So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
let it be ratified in heaven.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Friday Bullets

Humorous Pictures
Enter the ICHC online Poker Cats Contest!

  • I'm sure that's what my cats thought of the kids, too.
  • Old lady kitty is getting ... older. She's so very frail. Not keeping food down, losing weight. But still Alpha Kitty - there is black Johnny fur stuck in her claws every single day.
  • Johnny is dense. He doesn't learn that Alpha Cat is mean. I'm also having the dickens of a time teaching him to come when called. Usually it means food -- and usually he's hungry, but the neurons are just not firing. Time and patience will help. And Greenies.
  • Tuesday I go before the Board of Ordained Ministry. I'm not really stressed -- and I'm not stressed about being not stressed. I may go shopping for a new outfit, though.
  • Still making progress on the house. Several more drawers organized; things washed and either put away, given away or made ready to sell. I'm going to put eBay stuff back on after the Board interview. I didn't think this process would take so long; at my current rate of speed it will be another year before it's all done.
  • Karate is going well -- I haven't lost lots of weight, but I can tell the difference in my stamina. It's a good thing.
  • Chaos has made it into all Advanced Placement classes for High School. It will be more work, but also will be more challenging. I'm proud of her!
  • I'm enjoying Second Life more that I thought I would. There is a small group of us getting ready to build a Methodist Chapel modeled after some famous one -- either Wesley's Chapel or New Room Bristol. I'm also helping John re-organize his blog for a fresh start in October -- new pictures and materials. I've actually put dozens of hours into it. If anyone has any ideas of helping John publicize it, let me know and I'll pass it on to Rev. Wesley.
  • It's raining (yeah!) and I'm feeling sinus pressure.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

John Wesley is Blogging Again

He's so very confused ... he thinks it's still August 1736. I imagine he was in a sort of time-warp where he lost several month, eh, years, uh, centuries.

You will find his musings here, interspersed with other interesting and historical tidbits.

In fact, I believe that Mr. Wesley will be starting that fate-filled year of 1735 all over again, starting on October 17, 2008 -- so that the October 17, 2008 entry will actually be the October 17, 1735 entry -- the day that he began his trip on the Simmonds to Georgia. The entries will continue apace until that point, but the editors of aforesaid blog have found MUCH interesting information, including the full Diary of John Wesley without all the juicy part being edited out.

Therefore, major restructuring will be occuring. Shortly.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Prayer for Peace

Dearest Lord,
Lead me from death to life,
Lead me from falsehood to truth,
Lead me from despair to hope,
Lead me from fear to trust,
Lead me from hate to love,
Lead me from war to peace,

Let Peace fill me
Let Peace fill my heart,
Let Peace fill my home,
Let Peace fill the church,
Let Peace fill our world.

This Amuses Me

As an avid eBayer, this amuses me. How many times have I received an item "not as described?" Heh.
Humorous Pictures
Enter the ICHC online Poker Cats Contest!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Mystery Quote

And I quote:

I should rejoice (so little ambitious am I to be at the head of any sect or party) if the very name might never be mentioned more, but be buried in eternal oblivion. But if that cannot be, at least let those who will use it, know the meaning of the word they use. Let us not always be fighting in the dark. Come, and let us look one another in the face. And perhaps some of you who hate what I am called, may love what I am by the grace of God; or rather, what "I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus."

Any guesses?

That's right! John Wesley!
The name he wished buried? Methodist!

I really like the next part -- Let us not always be fighting in the dark. Come, and let us look one another in the face. And perhaps some of you who hate what I am called, may love what I am by the grace of God.

As we move to General Conference, I pray that all those gathered will look each other in the face and love what each other are made into by the Grace of God.