Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Read Marcus Borg's Newest Book

"Putting Away Childish Things."  He note in the foreword that no one would publish this book if he had not already been an established author; and to that, I agree.  It doesn't flow like a novel ought.  When his heroine is in the classroom and discusses an article, he puts the WHOLE THING in the narrative.  Not a nice little bit of it -- the WHOLE THING.  And the conflict that develops with the heroine -- if she will or will not accept a temporary chair at a liberal seminary felt undeveloped.  Too passive somehow.

And I'm sure he infused the entire book with the things he likes; I am sure that he drinks PG Tips, smokes a pipe and eats Saltimbocca. I liked it, but I'm sure it's like Saltimbocca -- something that not it not to everyone's taste.

Actually, I ended up with an extra copy (I think) and I am having a hard time thinking of who to give it to. It's not like "Poet of Tolstoy Park" or "The Heart of Christianity"; it's not a book that will change my life.  But I'll hang onto a copy nonetheless.


In other news: inspired by "Putting Away Childish Things," I have (yet again) started to journal my dreams.  Maybe there will be a pattern.  So far, it's a bunch of anxiety about foundational stuff and sharing my "house."

I've also decided that this new year I will:

  • Not Diet but stay on WW as much as possible.  I view "diet" with "depravation." 
  • Move More -- using my new stationary bike, I am hoping.
  • Learn to play my cello and Theremin.
  • Continue to clean house.  Getting rid of my excess is easy compared with helping the rest of the family get rid of theirs.  Example: in my bedroom, Bill has an entire laundry basket full of tee shirts that won't fit into the chest of drawers.  This tells me that there are too many tee shirts.
  • Today: the pantry.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Watching "Driving Miss Daisy"

It makes me uncomfortable at times; it makes me cry at others.  I feel an affinity to Alfred Uhry; for 13 years, I worked in the house he grew up in.  He once came and visited the house and I had absolutely no idea who he was.

Watching tonight, I paid particular attention to the mill scene at the beginning of the movie.  Mill towns and mill workers used to be a dime a dozen around here.  Nowadays, no one remembers them, except those of us who work around the fringes of their decay.  There are scads of Methodist churches who used to be affiliated with a mill.  Most of them are in decline now from the death of the associated mill.

Monday, December 13, 2010


I enjoy reading almost as much as I enjoy chocolate. Both give my spirits a lift and both are things I don't indulge in often enough. Well, reading at least.

I've picked up a couple of books to read over Christmas: Missy Tippens "His Forever Love" and "A Forever Christmas." I met Missy a couple of years ago at a District Christmas party and I must say I've enjoyed her work very much.

I've also picked up a Father Tim book by Jan Karon, some Kelley Armstrong (yes, Witchy/Vampire stuff -- another secret pleasure!) but the book I'm looking most forward to is Marcus Borg's new novel, "Putting Away Childish Things."

Now he admits in the foreword that he's not a novelist; but he is a good writer and a clear thinker. I believe the book that resonated the most to me in the previous decade was "The Heart of Christianity." (sidebar: the last couple of years that book would be Sonny Brewer's "Poet of Tolstoy Park.")  I'm on page 20 or so and already I am thinking.

I suppose books that I enjoy the most do one of two things: either they make me think more, or I can forget about thinking and just enjoy the ride.  Balance in all things!

Thursday, December 09, 2010


I've struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember. I joined Weight Watchers for the first time when I was 15 years old; I joined again shortly after Bill and I were married; I joined again about 8 weeks ago. I've lost maybe about 9 pounds since July -- only a handful on WW.

Of course I didn't gain the weight all in a day; the last 32 pounds came on in the last 3 years. Slowly my weight crept up; why should I expect it to leave me any faster?

Anyway, although I've had some success, I still haven't made my first goal -- and it's been since July. I'm discouraged. I'm not going to count anything as success until I lose that weight I've most recently gained. I know that's not very realistic, but there it is.

So I'm going to stay on the diet today; I'm making a goal to just *move* around a bit more every hour for a few minutes and I think I will make a goal of climbing the stairs two more times today than I did yesterday. Slow and steady wins the race, BUT STILL. The challenge is to stick to the program even though I don't feel any success. To do it ANYWAY.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Morning Prayer -- Christians, Awake!

I've had a very persistant headache for the last few days; that along with a persistant nose bleed has keep me down. I even had a coughing fit and nosebleed while I was reading the Bible in the pulpit on Sunday. That was a new and exciting event I would never want to repeat!

The Christmas rush is on. I had hoped to avoid this -- I had hoped to enjoy the Christmas season. But I have decided to enjoy what I can of it. This week at church is particularly busy: UMW party, UMW brunch, Breakfast with Santa and the Cantata. Lots to do this week!

In the busy-ness of the season, perhaps it is more important than ever to remember to pray. Here is my offering for the day.

Christians, awake! salute the happy morn,
whereon the Savior of the world was born;
rise to adore the mystery of love,
which hosts of angels chanted from above:
with them the joyful tidings first begun
of God incarnate and the Virgin's Son.

O may we keep and ponder in our mind
God's wondrous love in saving lost mankind;
trace we the Babe, who hath retrieved our loss,
from his poor manger to his bitter cross;
tread in his steps, assisted by his grace,
till man's first heavenly state again takes place.

Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer.

God, the author of peace and lover of concord, to know you is eternal life and to serve you is perfect freedom: Defend us, your humble servants, in all assaults of our enemies; that we, surely trusting in your defense, may not fear the power of any adversaries; through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Friday, December 03, 2010


Yesterday NASA announced that they have discovered a form of life that is not poisoned by arsenic. In fact, the bacteria they found uses arsenic in it's DNA and other biological structures instead of phosphorous. The lake in which they found this bacteria is rich in arsenic. To survive, the bacteria had to take the poison into itself and transmute it into something useful. The scientists showed though that the bacteria thrives better with phosphorous; it just has adapted to the environment.

I've been thinking about the current obsession with zombies. Movies, TV show and games all showing an end of the world that is being called the Zombie Apocalypse. One of the TV shows that I've watched is filmed here in Atlanta (sidebar: why do we still call it "filmed" when there is probably no real film involved anymore?). I've watched it just to see familiar places on the small screen, really, no other reason. K and I discussed some of these things yesterday; First, is this a real poison and if it is I wonder how much of this poison we are taking into ourselves and allowing it to become a part of our DNA.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

At the Risk

of sounding like "did this, did this" and so forth, I did try to stick to the diet yesterday. I did fall down a bit and ate a couple of coconut macaroons -- but I stuck to the diet otherwise. I'm also doing better at the "move around more" -- flitting around the house picking stuff up, straightening and just not sitting on the sofa. I remember reading somewhere that if you just move for a few minutes every hour, it helps boost your metabolism.

We had a scare last night with Alyx the cat. He dragged himself in last night quite literally as he couldn't move his hind legs or tail. An emergency trip to the vet and $90 later, he seems much recovered, but I think he had a blood clot. Poor cat! He's not allowed outside for a while so that we can watch him and make sure he doesn't have a relapse.

I'm getting zapped by phone calls all day asking for financial help. About 4 yesterday and 2 already today. We just don't have much to give. I refer them to FISH but I wish there was indeed more that I could do. As it is, money everywhere is tight.

More tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Another Day

Another ... I don't know what.

My resolution to keep Christmas is going OK. I managed to clean a the living room in a manner it has not been cleaned in at least a year. I've got more than half way through a box from the garage and the house is clean.

I can (of course) make a list of things I want done: fix the siding and the roof. Reupholster some chairs, purchase a new recliner for the Living Room. Re-do the downstairs bathroom (paint would go a long way.) I want a new exercise bike and the garage cleaned (which will probably involve an outbuilding.)

I have noticed this year as I make my "list" that most things cost too much money or are very impersonal (or so they seem.) But I want my house to be in order very badly. Almost as badly as I want to lose some weight. I enjoy going to the parsonage because it's so very nice and picked up. That counts for a lot in my book.

So, off to the parsonage to meet the bug guy. The girls will hopefully do schoolwork while I'm gone (wishful thinking?) and then lunch with the pastor.

If I can finished 1/2 a room a day, downstairs will take less than a week. Then I will have room to do creative type things -- the things that recharge up my batteries -- my soul.

Later, gator.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Christmas future is far away, Christmas past is past.
Christmas present is here today bringing joy that may last.

Have yourself a merry little Christmas, may your heart be light.
In a year our troubles will be out of sight.

From now on, have yourself a merry little Christmas, make the yuletide gay.
In a year our troubles will be miles away.

Here we are as in olden days, happy golden days of yore.
Precious friends who are dear to us gather near to us once more.

I know that in a year we all will be together, if the Fates allow.
Until then, we'll just have to muddle through somehow.
And have ourselves a merry little Christmas now.

Cause everybody knows...

For years now, I've not really enjoyed Christmas. Too much to do in too little time; rush and bother. And I miss the people who I love who are no longer here.

I think I'm making a decision to today to live in the present. As the song says, "Christmas future is far away, Christmas past is past. Christmas present is here today bringing joy that may last." I need to live for the joy to be found in today. I think every day, I am going to participate in one "self-care" activity, so that I can discover that joy.

The self-care may take the form of diet and exercise; most days it will definitely take the form of something creative.

Let's see how I'll do...

Friday, October 15, 2010

Thought for the day

Everyone in the past -- EVERYONE -- who consumed Dihydrogen Oxide is now dead.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Ministry as Knowledge Work

Knowledge workers in today's workforce are individuals who are valued for their ability to interpret information within a specific subject area. For the minister, these include such as church administration, biblical exegesis and theology. They will often advance the overall understanding of that subject through focused analysis (biblical exegesis, sermon writing, theology), design and/or development (bible studies, mission statements, visioning). They use research skills to define problems and to identify alternatives. Fueled by their expertise and insight, they work to solve those problems, in an effort to influence decisions, priorities and strategies.

From Wikipedia, adapted to ministry.

Pastoral Integrity

In order, in other words, as I
heard him, to be a person in Harlem, in order that my life and
work there should have integrity, I had to be and to remain
whoever I had become as a person before coming there. To be
accepted by others, I must first of all know myself and accept
myself and be myself wherever I happen to be. In that way,
others are also freed to be themselves.
- William Stringfellow, My People Is the Enemy, 1964

(Found at

Saturday, October 02, 2010

New Planet -- New Theologies?

This last week, astronomers found a planet that could be seen as within the habitable zone. Close enough for liquid water and plenty of energy from it's sun. Also within the last couple of weeks was an announcement from the Pope's astronomer about the baptism of alien souls.

What interesting sychronicity! To find a planet a week or so after this announcement by the Pope's astronomer. Of course, I have watched Science Fiction TV programs all my life and I've read all sorts of speculative hard Science Fiction. I watched "Stargate Universe" just last night and they (yet again) gated to a habitable planet, complete with caves and a huge thunderstorm. I've also watched how many Science Fiction programs deal with faith and religion -- from the character Book on "Firefly" to the Ferangi Rules of Aquisition. I've also read "The Sparrow" and "Children of God" by Mary Doria Russell where the concepts of alien culture and religion crash together head on.

I suppose there are several areas for discussion: What makes a race sentient? What are their creation stories? How do they know of God? Is theirs a "fallen race" like humanity? Or (like the People in Zenna Henderson's works) have they always stayed close to the heart of God? If they are not a fallen race, what would baptism into covenant with Jesus Christ mean? Would a non-fallen race be capable of sin? Would we be able even to communicate with them?

It is interesting that so much of our pathos and ethos for new technology is approached in our Science Fiction long before the tech is actualized. Can we explore these concepts within our Sci Fi and get a grasp on them?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Musings on Weird Biblical Passages

Just for Andy Woodworth
"Where it gets confusing is that testis also meant testicle in Latin. The English word testicle comes from Latin testiculus, a diminutive of testis, and first appeared in the fifteenth century. If testis meaning 'witness' and testis meaning 'testicle' are indeed the same word, then the etymology could be that the testicles are 'witness' or evidence of virility."

This really makes some Biblical passages easier to understand. Really.

To wit:
In the book of Genesis there are several passages in which a man who is taking an oath puts his hand "under the thigh" of the man to whom he is swearing: "And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house...Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh: And I will make thee swear by the Lord...." The Hebrew word in this passage is yarek, which means 'thigh' throughout the Old Testament. My Biblical expert says that this ritual seems to come from the idea that the thigh is the locus of power, probably because it's near the genitals. He also notes that some modern interpreters of the Bible envision it as a swearing on the genitals, with "under the thigh" being a euphemism which goes all the way back to the Hebrew.

Ah, Biblical Scholarship is so exciting!

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Sermon for September 5, 2010

In today’s text, Jesus talks about the true cost of discipleship.

Luke 14:25-33

25Now large crowds were traveling with him; and he turned and said to them, 26“Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple. 27Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. 28For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not first sit down and estimate the cost, to see whether he has enough to complete it? 29Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it will begin to ridicule him, 30saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31Or what king, going out to wage war against another king, will not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to oppose the one who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32If he cannot, then, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for the terms of peace. 33So therefore, none of you can become my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions.

Most of us don’t consider the “real costs” of anything.
Jesus uses the examples of building a tower and waging a war:
How about the real costs of owning a home?
  • One time expenses:
  • Recurring costs:
  • Maintenance costs.
  • House goods; lawn mowers; ladders; tools; you can go on and on.
  • Personal example: I didn’t realize all the costs of keeping our home in Loganville and setting up house in Monroe. I easily spent twice what I thought it would cost.
If you google “hidden costs,” you get 100 million hits (or more) around everything from home owning and having a job to commuting and health care, pet ownership, fossil fuels, car rental, War.

I think it might be human nature to not consider those “hidden costs” because the thing that we desire we feel is worth it "whatever the costs."

Nothing comes free – or as they say “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.”

Relationships for instance aren’t free; a good relationship costs you something. You give up your independence for something greater than you could ever have alone.

Even our relationship with Jesus costs something: According to the book of Luke, it’s going to costs you your family, your life and your possessions. Are you ready for that kind of cost?

The first in this passage that Jesus tells us, "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters-yes, even his own life-he cannot be my disciple."

Hate! Hate is a strong word. Does he really really mean HATE?

Now if you look at the Greek, you notice a couple of things. First, you will notice that the Greek word “Hate” is not exactly what we mean by hate – it’s a comparative word meaning more like “love much less than.” Eugene Peterson in “The Message” translates it much more like this: "Anyone who comes to me but refuses to let go of father, mother, spouse, children, brothers, sisters—yes, even one's own self!—can't be my disciple.”
That’s a little easier to understand.

Jesus is telling us that we can’t get our identity from our family; used to be everyone got a certain amount of their identity from who their family was.

"Are you one of the Devereux-Jones? Or the Claiborne-Jones?"

We must give up that identity and take on the identity of "Christian."

"Anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple."

Now, this is before Jesus’ very public execution on a cross. What on earth would this have meant to the original hearers? It certainly would not be what they wanted to hear – most wanted freedom from Rome, freedom from oppression – not words like this:

Anyone who won't shoulder his own cross and follow behind me can't be my disciple.

It sounds like he wants US to bend under the weight of a heavy burden to follow him; to bear the instrument of our own persecution and death. And yes, that is what he is asking. It means boldness and no shrinking before a hard task. Does he mean extraordinary things? I don’t think so; I think he means the little hard things of everyday life. It’s not hard major spiritual sufferings here – it’s a lot more everyday than that.

As Alan Culpepper, "Luke", in The New Interpreter's Bible phrases it: "The language of cross bearing has been corrupted by overuse. Bearing a cross has nothing to do with chronic illness, painful physical conditions, or trying family relationships. It is instead what we do voluntarily as a consequence of our commitment to Jesus Christ." (p. 236)

We are to have our life as “Christian” (our new identity) to be shaped by our willingness to do these hard tasks. And it may put us “cross-wise” to this world, for the world does not understand the cross. We are all becoming more like Christ (little Christs = Christian), transformed in his image:
(Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:1-2)

We do this anywhere, anytime doing whatever it is that we do. For instance: if you are a plumber, do it for the glory of God, accepting his will, accepting whatever daily sufferings you encounter – that quarrelsome customer, that irritating customer service person, that arrogant driver in the other land – and do it all for the Glory of God.

If you are an insurance salesperson, an electrician, a programmer, a postal worker, a lab technician – whatever it is that you do for a living, do it for the Glory of God. Live out your vocation a little cross-ways to this world, doing the will of your Father in heaven.

Let the people you encounter know that you dedicate your work to God – what a powerful message on this Labor Day weekend! For your average Joe to hear a representative of God – a little Christ – a Christian – say that what he or she does at home and work, while volunteering or being a good friend – matters to God and makes a difference in the world.... How different this world could be!

First, we take on a new family – Christian. Second, we give up our life in service to Christ and live cross-ways to this world, doing all things for the Glory of Go.

What is the third things we need to give up? Our Stuff.

Yes, he says it: So therefore, none of you can become my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions.

You have to give up all your stuff. Sez so here in the Bible.

Clear as day, eh? Clear as MUD!
  • First: remember he’s already talking to people that are already poor. This is just as much a liberating thing than a limiting thing.
  • Second: people used to see money and possessions as a “proof” of God’s blessing.
If we compare it to Jesus other teachings maybe we can bring it into focus:
We know that the “rich young ruler” story was more about greed than about the actual money. We know that it is the LOVE of money that is evil, not money itself.

Let’s look again at “The Message” -- "Simply put, if you're not willing to take what is dearest to you, whether plans or people, and kiss it good-bye, you can't be my disciple.”

Put THAT way, Jesus, I think I would rather give up my stuff – how about you?

What a demand is this! As Detrich Bonhoffer said, the cost of following Jesus is not “cheap” because it cost Jesus His life. Jesus doesn’t call us into a comfortable easy faith that is so common among American Christians. He tells us to “count the cost”, “take up our cross”, “give up our possessions” and that we (like Him) may “have no place to lay our head.”

What a cost!

The passage states: "Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple." Seriously, Jesus?

Yes, seriously. Because following Jesus is serious business.

And here is the grace y'all -- you don't do it alone. You get to ask for help. And if you don't do so well one day, you can try again tomorrow. We are not left here to do this all alone.
‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ Matthew 11:28,29

He is here to help us.

Can we go by a new family name – Christian? Can we live crossways to the world? Can we let go of all we hold dear? With Jesus' help -- we can.

Let us pray.
Dearest and most Gracious God, help us live every day as Christians -- little Christs, bearing our crosses with you and loving you more than just our possessions. Help us to participate in your work in the world. Help us choose each day be your people -- always remind us of who and whose we are. Amen.

Saturday, August 28, 2010


1. A confusing and difficult problem or question.
2. A question asked for amusement, typically one with a pun in its answer; a riddle.

Caught in a conundrum, a sticky wicket, a wicked problem. I'm preaching this week about hospitality and humility; specifically the text is Luke 14: 1, 7-14:
On one occasion when Jesus was going to the house of a leader of the Pharisees to eat a meal on the sabbath, they were watching him closely.

When he noticed how the guests chose the places of honor, he told them a parable. “When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not sit down at the place of honor, in case someone more distinguished than you has been invited by your host; and the host who invited both of you may come and say to you, ‘Give this person your place,’ and then in disgrace you would start to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit down at the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher’; then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at the table with you. For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” He said also to the one who had invited him, “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.
Specifically the condrum hit me this morning when I was composing my children's sermon. I suppose the word was blithely composing my children's sermon. It's titled "Were You Invited to the Party." I'm riffing off of Sermons4Kids -- the one for this week is "Left Out." It's going to be about how one feels when they get left off of a party list. It's a little more than that: I'm going to have a fake invitation for "Big Important People" to a party and ask the kids if they got one too. When they say no, I'm going to ask them how they feel.

Almost immediately after I solidified this (along with the fake invitation), the loving husband calls me and asks if we got invited to XYZ's party on Labor day. It seems it's the talk of our group of friends. All were asked but us. Gee! All of a sudden this theoretical question I was posing for the children's sermon got a Real World Twist and I felt myself get twisted up inside.

As an adult, I know there are a million reasons why we might not have been invited: they might be inviting boys only, there might be just a limited number of spots, they might not be happy with us for some reason. But all I know is that it stings.

In the past, I've had to talk to the kids about "not being invited" to parties. For the most part my answers have been unsatisfactory for both them and myself. I know I've hurt other people's feeling by "leaving them out" (specifically I am thinking of a person I *know* we invited to my post-gradation party, but somehow the invitation got lost. That relationship is now broken.)

I think today's gospel is talking directly to ME. How many groups of people are represented here? 1) The Pharisees (the hosts) 2) The "interesting" guests 3) the ones being left out.

My revelation is that Jesus UN-invites the "interesting people." 'Don't invite them,' he says. I suppose the thought is that they have enough. Not much solace, there. Maybe we need to take away a lesson from the first part of this gospel: For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. Dern. Why does this "moving onto perfection" and "working through your salvation with fear and trembling" have to be so dang hard?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Martin Luther's Morning Prayer

I thank you, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your dear Son, that You have kept me this night from all harm and danger; and I pray that You would keep me this day also from sin and every evil, that all my doings and life may please You. For into Your hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Your holy angel be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me. Amen.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Evening Prayer from Martin Luther

I thank you, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your dear Son, that You have graciously kept me this day; and I pray that You would forgive me all my sins where I have done wrong, and graciously keep me this night. For into Your hands, I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Your holy angel be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me. Amen. --Martin Luther

Monday, August 23, 2010

Evening Prayer From the BCP

Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love’s sake. Amen

Saturday, August 21, 2010


I spend a lot of my life thinking about sermons. It takes me a long time (most of the time) to build a sermon. A lot of it is subconscious -- perking in my brain, dreaming, thinking, meditating. It just can't be rushed.

This week the text is Luke 13:10-17:
Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. And just then there appeared a woman with a spirit that had crippled her for eighteen years. She was bent over and was quite unable to stand up straight. When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said, "Woman, you are set free from your ailment." When he laid his hands on her, immediately she stood up straight and began praising God.

But the leader of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had cured on the sabbath, kept saying to the crowd, "There are six days on which work ought to be done; come on those days and be cured, and not on the sabbath day." But the Lord answered him and said, "You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger, and lead it away to give it water? And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen long years, be set free from this bondage on the sabbath day?" When he said this, all his opponents were put to shame; and the entire crowd was rejoicing at all the wonderful things that he was doing.

This text comes around every three years; hundreds of thousands of sermons have been written about it. I have spent time reading the text, taking it apart, reading it in different translations, looking for a preaching "handle", doing word studies of the Greek. I try to understand the text before I crack open any commentaries, steeping myself into the text and seeing where it might connect to myself and my congregation. Only after I've done that do I open up any commentaries (that is, if I open up ANY commentaries.)

Then I look to see where the themes intersect today's society. This week I came up with a tagline that I want to use as the title of the sermon: "Bent Out of Shape." The woman is bent out of her shape physically and the powers that be are bent out of shape that Jesus healed on the sabbath. I thought it was a brilliant title. Then I googled the phrase and the word "sermon." Well, there must be a couple of dozen sermons on this text with that title.


I thought I was bringing something fresh and new to the text, but no. Then I realized that my three points: Bent Over, Bent Out of Shape and Bent to Our Own Purpose (how we twist the Law to suit ourselves) are the SAME three points several others have used (if not in those words.)


Is it conceit that I believe I can bring something fresh and new? I suppose it's horribly arrogant to think that for the first time in two thousand years *I* would have this brilliant flash of insight and bring something new into the world.

May the Lord save me from conceit and arrogance. Lord, have mercy.

Sidebar: I suppose what I am afraid of now is being accused of plagiarism. With many of the discussions on facebook, blogs and in the magazines about plagiarism, I guess I'm just scared. I use the Psalm of the week for my call to worship; I use phrases from the texts in my pastoral prayer. I suppose all I can do is just be true to my method and if I come up with a "common" title or structure, I just can't worry about it.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Thinking about Radio Spots

My current appointment comes with an added benefit -- our service is transmitted on the local AM Radio Station, WKUN, 1490 AM. The owner of the radio station goes to our church. I've asked if I can do a few radio spots. This is my first attempt at writing what is basically a sermon in a minute.

This week’s text in Luke 13 concerns a woman who has been suffering with a crippling spirit for 18 years. With the touch of Jesus’ hand, she is healed. This is not the first time we hear of Jesus healing people with long term sufferings – he healed a woman with a 12 year hemorrhage in Luke 8. And again, by the pool of Siloam, he heals a man with 38 years of suffering. Are you suffering from physical illnesses? Spiritual malaise? It is never too late to turn to Jesus for healing and wholeness. Although he might not heal us in the body, healing of the spirit is available with just a single prayer. Are you weary? Are you heavy laden? Tell it to Jesus.
Is it long enough? Too long? Bad theology? Good theology? I feel that it's just the beginning of a conversation about the topic.


Wow! I got a mention in the Circuit Rider!

I'm honored to be on the same short list as Bishop Willimon and Bishop Schnase. Wow!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

New Source for Bulletin Material

Cool Biblical Art Website.

Parsonage Picture

Only two Last Supper Pictures here!

The "branch" is a set of reusable stickers.

Newly cleaned curtains, Hatfield House chairs, the end tables are the church's.

New lampshades. New throw pillows.

Ready for the Parsonage Open House.

Lots of goodies for all to enjoy.

Chaos' room. She wanted "that shade of orange no one likes."

The master bedroom.

Blue glass from Fenton and Blue Boy and Pinkie.

Morning Prayer -- From Augustine

Breathe in me, inspire, O Holy Spirit,
that my thoughts may all be holy.
Act in me, shape my will, O Holy Spirit,
that my work, too, may be holy.
Draw my heart closer to you, O Holy Spirit,
that I love but what is holy.
Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit,
to defend all that is holy.
Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit,
that I always may be holy.

(From a prayer of St. Augustine)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


It's been a long time since I blogged. I used to blog once (or even twice!) a day. Facebook and Twitter seem to take care of the need to "post something RIGHT NOW" and have sucked up a bunch of my blogging energy and motivation. It's really not quite enough; I always have blogging ideas, usually right at midnight, but they never come to fruition.

The long and the short of my life right now: I've been appointed to a different church -- Pleasant Valley UMC in Monroe. I miss the people of Glade and Burts something terrible, but I'm loving the people of Pleasant Valley. We've about halfway moved into the parsonage at Pleasant Valley and I'm having fun decorating.

I see this as a real opportunity to go through the home we own in Loganville and get it ready to sell. However, the selling part isn't something I really see happening. The housing market around here has really bottomed out and I am NOT going to sell this house for less than we owe on the mortgage. So in the mean time, we are bi-locational. Literally. I'm spending time at the parsonage and Bill is spending time at the house in Loganville. We have split the cats for most of the week, reuniting them on Tuesday night or Wednesday and splitting them up on Thursday or Saturday. Minnie P, Barney and Alyx make OK "traveling cats." At one point this week, we had split the family almost evenly between the two residences. Bill's commute is easier from Loganville than Monroe.

I also have started a diet in the last three weeks and lost 15 pounds. I've had to go off it for a week or so because of a GI bug (among other things) but I'm picking it back up after tomorrow. I'm not really excited about the weight loss because it's all weight that I gained since the first of the year. My MD put me on some meds for FM that worked, but are also given to Anorexics for weight gain. (Doh!) Needless to say, I've gone off those meds.

My spiritual life is not as it should be -- until the moving is over and life settles down, I'm having a hard time finding the time to do anything other than sermon prep; and I miss it.

So, that's my life. Pictures later.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

When the Sheep are Loving, Little Lambs are Made

The lectionary text this week was from John 13, starting with the 31st verse.
When he had gone out, Jesus said, ‘Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. 32If God has been glorified in him,* God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. 33Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, “Where I am going, you cannot come.” 34I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. 35By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.’
A beautiful passage. The only NEW commandment that Jesus gives us. I carefully prepared my sermon; thought about "And they will know we are Christians by our love, by our love..."; was amused by the title of this posting (When the Sheep are Loving, Little Lambs are Made); researched illustrations and so forth.

What really hit me in the head this week, however, was the events of Monday Past. You see, I "sit in chairs" while my homeschool kids are doing the homeschool Orchestra thing. It's a Christian organization, but not militantly so. No statement of faith; just gentle reminders. I have a certain comfort level in this group; most are Lutherans or Methodists; we understand each other. I have a number of good friends in this mommy group and it's a group where I don't have to be the pastor all the time.

Monday Past, I was typing on this very laptop, doing some statistical research (yes, I do it for the fun of it) and paying attention to the group conversation with about half my brain. Most of the mommies (and a daddy) were arranging a backboard to be used at teh Homeschool conference that weekend. I love putting together things like that, but there seemed to be plenty of people to help and spread opinion around -- they didn't need my opinion. But my ears perked up when the conversation turned to "Baptist are different than Presbyterians because ...." My ears perked up because I have a seminary degree in "Know It All." I just HAD to make sure they had their facts straight.

What I didn't know -- that the daddy present was a minister in the Lutheran Confessing Movement. I later discovered that they make the Missouri Synod and Wisconsin Synod look moderate. I later discovered that their church does not allow women to hold ANY position in their church, nor do they allow the women to vote.

So I pull out my "Know It All" (a position that I'm sorta comfortable with, after all, I am paid to be a theologian in my congregation) and I begin to enter into the conversation. Somehow the conversation turned to my call (an innocent question from a bystander) and IT BEGAN. I started my testimony of how God called me and Rev. Conservative Lutheran started to interrupt; and I began to block and feint. Now, I'm not going to put it all on him. After the first few volleys, I was a willing participant in the battle. I put on my Theological Tank and began to lob handgrenades and shoot mortar shells. He hit me with 1 Cor 14 -- I parried with Galatians. He hit me with the Timothy Verses, I shot back the Rich Young Ruler. (I actually thought I got a good hit -- I argued that the Corinthian verse and Timothy verses were to specific congregations with specific questions; he claimed that the verses were inspired; then hit him with the Rich Young Ruler and asked it he had give away all his possessions and given the money to the poor; he said that it was a specific response by Jesus to a specific individual; I asked how could he used that argument here but not there? He could not come up with a reasonable response. SCORE!)

What I didn't notice until later is that my friends that I had built relationships with over the last year had trickled out, one by one, until only one was left. She asked to be excused and left after 10 or 15 minutes of this -- and I realized there were no winners to this argument; only losers. I had lost my loving Christian witness to so many of my friends. I wasn't loving people into the kingdom; I was more concerned with winning. At that point, I finished my business in the room, shut my laptop and left. I found myself crying in the parking lot, not out of shame or fear or anything but a horrible gnawing sadness that people who call themselves Christian were not known by their love that day, but by the labels they put on their hand grenades. I had instigated or participated in a Theological Tank Battle in a residential part of town and there was collateral damage. Little Lambs were not Made; but slain.

"Daily I crucify Christ and Daily He rises again." I don't know exactly where this quote comes from, but it is so very true. Daily. I confessed my sin; I know that I am forgiven but I am going to learn from this. There are battles worth fighting and battles that are not. I was not going to change Rev. Conservative Lutheran's mind; he was not going to change mine.

This week, I am going to concentration on Loving the Sheep. How about you?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Coke, Rural Boredom and Drugs

I'm reading again "Secret Formula: How Brilliant Marketing and Relentless Salesmanship Made Coca-Cola the Best-Known Product in the World" by Fredrick Allen. I've skimmed it before, but have picked it up again, now that I've graduated from the University That Coke Built.

In fact, Southern Methodism and Coca Cola are intimately intertwined. Asa Candler, one of the first big-wigs of Coke was the brother of Warren Candler who was the first President of Candler Seminary. That's Warren's grave pictured above, in the same cemetary that holds Bishop Andrews, who originally caused the separation of the Methodist Episcopal Church and the Methodist Episcopal Church South way back before the Civil War.

Robert Woodruff, another big-wig of Coke, is the benefactor that allowed for part of my education and the education of my peers in the UMC. Intimately intertwined.

So I'm reading the book again, and I was struck by a couple of things: First Pemberton, the man who created the Formula, was involved in all sorts of experimenting. One of the ones mentioned was the creation of an artificial food that would be a complete meal and provide all the nutrients that the body would need. I find this interesting, see that Bill and I are currently discussing "Diet in America" -- how we need to eat things that our great grandmothers would recognize as food and to move away from talking about nutrients and talk more about FOOD. The very beverage that people label as the cause of so many problems in America, cola or soda, being invented by a man who was looking for artificial food: That's funny. Ironic.

Secondly, I was pulled into this paragraph:
"The postwar, sharecropper South was a region desperate for remedies of every sort....[widespread disease, malnutrition, lack of sanitation, veterans returning with aching, lingering wounds and maladies]...On top of it all, the region's poverty and rural isolation led to a grinding, dispiriting boredom that made many Southerners susceptible to the relief found in little brown bottles that contained alcohol or laudanum and other opiates."
Well, what else is new? (That is sarcasm for the uninformed.) Very truly I tell you, there is nothing new under the sun. The rural south is still poor; I have been doing some statistical analysis of my district and I am shocked over and over again about how incredibly poor rural Georgia really is. And the fact of the matter is: they've been poor for generations, there is little to no relief agencies for them, they have lack of transportation that makes their poverty even more grinding. Instead of doping up with patent medicines today, it's meth. Easy to obtain the basic ingredients and easy to cook.

The meth problem is endemic in the rural south; the stories are heartbreaking. The damage the drug does to people, to their families and to the society in the rural south is incalculable. And it's not going to go away without real and substantive work; real and substantive change.

It is definitely not a problem that can be solved with a Coke and a smile.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sit with it

I don't think I ever realized how important it is to just "sit with it" until I started to preach every Sunday. You just can't rush thinking. You can rush through laundry, cleaning the house; you can put the pedal to the metal and speed along in your car; you can dance faster -- but you can't think faster.

I start the week with reading the text and looking for illustrative material. I exegete, I research, I read, I study some more. By Wednesday, though, I still don't have a sermon. I can't have a sermon until I have some sit and think and pray time.

And this time is not just given to me -- I have to squeeze it out of the week; taking every moment I have to just think. Sure, there is some small amount of multi-tasking that I can do; I can shower and think or fold laundry and think, but I can't homeschool and think.

If I don't sit with it during the week, it shows on Sunday....

Friday, April 09, 2010

I've been online and doing "Social Networking" for 30 years now. In fact, I was assigned my first email address at Georgia State in 1980 -- and I was given my first computer sometime in either 1981 or 1982 (Apple II). It was shortly followed by an Apple II+, Apple IIe, Apple IIc, IBM PC, IBM AT and IBM XT. It was also accompanied by an acoustic modem, which I very shortly replaced with a Hayes Apple Modem which went all of 300 baud. The day after I received the computer and set it up in the basement, I was online -- checking email and joining BBSs. My first "handle" was SchizoBlonde (yes, hard to believe, I know.) I encountered my first flame-war that year too, on the Atlanta Computer Club BBS. In 1984, I received a relatively permanent email addy I kept this email address until, well 1996 or so.

I typed my first paper in ALL CAPS in 1981 and thought that word processing was a Gift From God. I found a kludge to let the Apple II do both upper case and lower case and I was in heaven. I haven't done a paper in 30 years the old fashioned way. In fact, I don't know that ANYONE does papers the old fashioned way anymore.

I could both type and read at 300 baud -- pretty slow it was. I updated the first couple of years to a 1200 baud modem (Hayes, of course!) By the time I was married in 1986, we had an Apple Mac in the living room with a 2400 or 9600 baud modem -- and I was on several mailing lists, USENET, and several email services. Believe it or not, I met my husband online at GT's forum and we exchanged multiple emails that were unbelievably smushy. The party at which we first met was a FUG -- a Forum Users Gathering. So, you might say that I met my husband online.

In 1993-4 we had a big leap online -- the advent of the World Wide Web. I used a text based browser called "Lynks" or something like that, until I downloaded a real browser. I could get to all sorts of information! It was wonderful. Things move fast online -- by the time I had kids, people were putting up pages with dynamic content; things we might call a "blog." In 2002, I started a blog, but I suppose there just wasn't enough interest and until I hit Blogger did I become a Blogger. Now it's Second Life, Meebo, ChatRoulette, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and so on and so on.

What I've learned it this: because I was exposed to computers at such an early age, all of this came easily to me. (My mom would sit me down in the front of her terminal when I was about 6 to just hit random keys and made "patterns." In later years, I played "Adventure" on the PDP-10 or 11 in 1976.) It is even easier to my kids. The technology changes and morphs; our uses do as well. There is always going to be the "flavor of the moment" -- I don't think that will ever change. What makes this generation different is the fact they EXPECT the change. They understand flavor of the minute.

It's interesting to me that "Business Computers" in our high schools are very program specific. The questions on the tests are usually something like, "What keystroke do you use to do so-and-so?" What a sham! By the time the kids learn these programs, they are already out of date. What to do instead? I don't know -- but I do know it is a different paradigm of learning for our kids. They know how silly it is to memorize keystrokes, especially seeing that the flavor of the moment is soon to change. What we need to start teaching is just "how do I pick up this program?" and "where can I go to find the answers?"

I consider myself a digital native because of the way I have almost always been surrounded by the technology. However, few of my age group are so immersed. We need to realize that what is changing are the paradigms of learning and the paradigms of information transfer. Until that happens...

Trailer Decor

Too much help. The "Art Critics" kept making catty remarks.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

To Collar or Not

I have been thinking about clerical collars all week -- since I met a delightful retired Methodist minister who wears one. She has an educational therapy center in Loganville and although she's been retired for several years, she wears one to the center every day.

Now, I think she's been clergy for a very long time. In fact, I think she's one of the first in our conference. I can understand wearing one to be set apart -- to signal to people who and what she is, especially seeing that many years ago, women clergy were an odd beast. It would be rather like a college prof wearing a tweed jacket with leather elbow patches, a little bow tie and smoking a pipe. Or like the receptionist at a doctor's office wearing scrubs. A sort of "unofficial" uniform.

I purchased one on a whim a couple of years ago. The shirt fit like a tent, so I have altered it a bit. I wore it once to the hospital (a Catholic one, at that -- and on purpose as a "statement") and I've worn it at a funeral where I needed to set myself apart without wearing robes. I found it grotesquely uncomfortable. I've noticed some Methodists wearing them. I will admit that at first I found it an affectation. We are not terribly a formal institution; more "fellowship-y" than that.

But meeting that clergywoman last week had me thinking -- I did indeed unconsciously view her somehow *differently* because she was wearing that collar. It was a comfort to me, oddly enough. Otherwise, I would have just viewed her as another LOL (little old lady). Perhaps that is the reason I've seen so many women wear the collar in my denomination. I know I acted differently and people re-acted differently to me as I wore one. In a way, I didn't like it -- I didn't LIKE being set apart. I like being "one of the guys." But ... I am indeed set apart. Perhaps it would be a good reminder to me of that. And the uncomfortableness would be a part of it.

Just thinking....

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

We have a new trailer!!

The kitchen -- pretty spacious, compared to our old one.

The buffet and table.

The entertainment center.

The main bedroom.

The basement.

The grill.

The exterior of trailer sweet trailer.

The living room.

The second bedroom -- 4 twin bunks, wardrobe and place for TV for the kids.

And it's absolutely lovely.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Taj-Mahal of Homeless Carts

Found here.

The Joy of Homeownership and Other Ways to Spend Money

We have had a record week of spending. Girls' clothing = lots of money. New transmission = lots of money. New dryer = some money (not as much as the clothing cost!) New refrigerator = 1/2 the cost of the transmission.

And we aren't finished yet. We are looking to upgrade the trailer to one that I can manage all on my own and one that is easier to winterproof and is more secure safety-wise. That's going to cost as much as I've already spent, plus more.

We've discussed how to manage all this spending; it's going to take a little buckling down on "going out to eat," managing how much we spend at the Rainforest (online, people, think), cutting down on groceries a bit, cutting down on the kid's acquisition of gaming paraphernalia. I really need to sell the books in the garage and dispose of the dead (and dying) appliances.

And (of course) I can think of more ways to spend!
  • new sofa and recliner (almost getting to the "necessary" stage)
  • new drop-in stove (ditto)
  • new back-splash in kitchen (the old one is getting "swollen" with repeated dousings of water from the sink -- I thought it was supposed to "splash it back" not absorb it!)
  • repair woodpecker holes in siding when the babies grow up. (Thank you Woody!)
  • remove yucky wallpaper in half bath and replace with something more durable.
  • cat door in laundry room wall to outside. (We have 7 cats -- need I say more?)
  • carpet the stairs and hall; maybe our bedroom. (15 year old builder grade carpet -- it's getting really bad; there's actually a couple of holes.)
And then there are the things I just want:
  • new handles on kitchen cabinets
  • new faucet in kitchen
  • new faucet in 1/2 bath
  • remove wallpaper in kitchen and paint
  • new countertops in kitchen
  • new microwave to match new fridge and new stove
  • new dishwasher (ditto)
  • new outside deck (actually, almost to the "necessary" stage)
  • new shrubs outside
  • desktop computer with huge monitor
Ah, the ways I could stimulate the economy!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Theology and Homeschooling

In January 2009, I began to homeschool my children. It was not a hasty decision; but one I did make rapidly. My reasons are varied. I was concerned about the increase of gang activity in the area. I was concerned about my children’s health (both mental and physical). The final straw was a real and substantive concern about the Mathematics curriculum in Gwinnett County and the resistance I felt from the administration when I voiced my concerns.

Therefore, I began to homeschool on Jan 20, 2009. I shortly discovered that there were homeschool associations around in my area and I tried a couple of them out. I decided to join one and attended a couple of meetings. When I was given the application, I decided that I could not sign their affirmation of faith in good conscience. I submitted to them the Articles of Faith from the UMC Discipline and they decided that I was not a suitable match for their group. I would have to agree at this point.
We Believe: The Bible is the inspired and infallible Word of God and is the completed and final revelation. Nothing has been added to it and it is the only source of divine truth. The Bible, in its original form, is without error in whole and in part, including theological concepts as well as geographical and historical detail. (2 Tim. 3:16, Rev. 22:18-19) God has existed from all eternity in three persons: God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ was God come in human flesh, being fully God and fully man, except without sin. (John 1:1-18) All men are in violation of God’s righteous requirements and His holy character, both by nature and act; and are therefore under His wrath and just condemnation. The central purpose of the coming of Jesus Christ was to pay the penalty for man’s sin through His substitutionary death on the cross – the successful accomplishment of which was attested to by His subsequent visible bodily resurrection. (Romans 3:10, 23 – Romans 6:23)
Salvation is offered as a free gift; free to the sinner. This gift must be responded to in individual faith, not trusting in any personal works, but the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ alone! (Ephesians 2:8-9)

My Problems with this statement are not huge. There is more here that we agree on than where we differ. But to enumerate the problems: First, their stance on the Bible is usually called Biblical Literalism. I am not a Biblical Literalist: I take the Bible very seriously and it is my primary source, but see that revelation of God can also occur through reason, experience and tradition. Secondly, they believe in substitutionary atonement, whereas I subscribe to an atonement theology better described as the moral government theory. (The governmental theory teaches that Christ suffered for humankind so that God could forgive humans apart from punishment while still maintaining divine justice.) This statement of belief is a very common one for Christian Homeschool Associations.

My bigger problem is putting a definition on the word "Christian." If I say I am a Christian, why is that testimony not good enough? I have a problem saying that I will hangout with THIS group but not THAT group, because they aren't "Christian enough." As a Methodist, I will NOT turn anyone away from fellowship; not because of personal creed, how they dress, how they smell, their race or national origin. I will NOT turn them away and disallow the shear grace that can be found in Christian Conferencing. We have open arms and will greet ALL. In fact, I even welcome to my church those who don't call themselves Christian: the least, the last and the lost are those who need God the most. Can I get an Amen?

THEREFORE, I want to start a group of Methodist and Moderate Christian Homeschoolers. This will be a Christian group in that we follow Jesus' example. We will eat with sinners and rub elbow with tax collectors. Anyone who wants to join can join. And we will welcome them with open arms and say Hallelujah! AND there is no "minimum" statement of belief AND we won't make you read Chick Tracts and whap you over the head with big 10 pound Bibles. But we will do prayer and devotionals. What do you think?

Lectionary this last week

Was John 12:1-9, where Mary "wasted" a jar of perfume worth a year's wages on Jesus feet.

This morning I ran across this story World's Tallest Treehouse where a minister built this enormous treehouse as a devotion to God. It's an incredible structure; I just want to go and explore every nook and cranny. Then I read this comment lower on the page:

RosyCheeks Says:
November 2nd, 2009 at 1:29 pm

Did his god tell him that he is acting selfishly with this monstrosity? Does the minister house the homeless / orphans / etc. in this place? He could have used the resources more appropriately and made smaller dwellings at ground level for those in need. It looks like the landscape architect (I’d like to see his portfolio) needs to come back down to earth and get real. Because this thing, well, it just isn’t.

I would love to tell RosyCheeks that the extravagance is the entire POINT. Yes, he could have built little houses for the homeless. Yes, he could have donated his $12,000 worth of nails to Habitat for Humanity. But...

Thursday, March 04, 2010


The girls and I are suffering from a lingering deep cough. We tend to not take care of little illnesses until they become big illnesses; however the "slow-down" of this week did cause a change in perspective.

What are indeed the things that are important in life? I know all the "things" people answer -- you can name them probably as well as I can. However, in the end, it's all about relationships. Period.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Ponderings on Evangelism

Wonderful video diary entry from Penn of Penn and Teller fame. Great question he asks (paraphrased): How much must you hate me to not share the gospel with me?

I've also watched Morgan Spurlock's "30 Days" where an atheist lives with a Christian family for 30 days. It reinforced my belief about forging relationship -- prompting me to ask one of my favorite questions: How can I be an agent for change if I am not in relationship?

BUT how long must that relationship be in place before you share the good news of the gospel?

Things to think about.

Time Waster #256

Rooster Teeth.

I blame the kids.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Long time, No blog.

Between the two churches, the kids, the homeschooling, cello lessons, violin lessons, homeschool academies, orchestras, doctor appointments, karate, Tai Chi and all the other things I fill my time with, it's not too surprising....

I've started knitting. I'm getting great pleasure from it. I'm using looms and am looking forward to the two needle version.

I've purchased my own cello. I have had a couple of lessons. I find it calming. I'm also practicing some jazz piano; mostly the blues.

I'm working on the decluttering projects; I consider them more of "life improvement" projects. There has been progress made; much still needs to be done. I'm considering giving away my entire fabric stash. Yes, the whole thing. I may keep one milk crate because that seems so very radical -- a quilter who is giving away 25 years of stash... but if I haven't used it in 25 years, it's time to go. I'm still working on the book sale idea; it is getting closer to realization. The more of this clutter that I give away, the more liberating it feels.

Perhaps that is what is happening with the blogging as well. I wrote a long time ago about how some of my life changes are like moving the deck chairs of the Titanic -- just moving the furniture around -- not real systemic change.* Life is changing on a different level now. Where things will settle down, I don't really know.

*Wow. That was like, 5 plus years ago. Wow.