Sunday, December 30, 2007

Sunday Morning


I got up early...
cleaned the kitchen, fed one dog and several cats...
checked my email, a couple of favorite blogs...
I really got up early to meditate...and then tweak the words on the paper written for the reflection this morning in worship.
I am tired, God...
and feel quite uninspired...it has been a juggle this past week...a houseguest since before Christmas..everybody else "off" and me not really "off" but trying to do it all...and January is going to be busy...and full of a lot of decisions--family or work...every weekend.
But for now, I will stop complaining...It's good to name my apprehensions...and to lay them at Your feet...because I know you won't forget or ignore them...and I might.
I pray for your grace and mercy to drape round my shoulders today...
I pray for your light to gently shine and touch us all...
and may these words of my mouth, and meditations of my heart
offer what needs to be offered today.
In your love, I rest and pray,
Amen.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Reasons Why Beer is Better than Being a Christian

10. No one will kill you for not drinking Beer.

9. Beer doesn't tell you how to have sex.

8. Beer has never caused a major war.

7. They don't force Beer on minors who can't
think for themselves.

6. When you have a Beer, you don't knock on
people's doors trying to give it away.

5. Nobody's ever been burned at the stake,
hanged, or tortured over his brand of Beer.

4. You don't have to wait 2000+ years for a
second Beer.

3. There are laws saying Beer labels can't lie
to you.

2. You can prove you have a Beer.

1. If you've devoted your life to Beer, there are
groups to help you stop.

cold and homeless and I don't feel safe to help....

So, I am sitting in my office at church and am the only one here. I am working on my sermon and other things...and the doors are locked--to my office, and outside. The church, although in a nice part of town, is at the intersection of many bus stops and through routes, and next to a park, so we get some traffic from people seeking assistance. It is also a bitter cold rainy wintery day. This young man, outside my window, is trying to get into the door that really isn't ever open. So we talked through my window. He said he was looking for help...and I said I couldn't help him right now. I told him he could come back for AA later on. He wanted the "preacher" (obviously I WASNT the preacher, b/c I wouldn't let him in). He asked if there was a library, or if he could at least come in. He was cold, and I don't blame him. I pointed him to the public library. As the only person here, and as a woman, I just didn't feel safe. I know that most transient people are not dangerous, but I just couldn't let him in to hang out. I feel guilty...in spite of knowing it was the right thing to do--I have done this in the past, but this was the worst weather ever I have had to turn someone away. It feels even hypocritical to offer a prayer for him...but God, please...forgive me...and help him find warmth on this day.
Amen.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Auld Lang Syne Friday Five


So, it's time to reflect and ponder...for RGBP Friday Five. So...for 2007, five memorable moments. Bonus points for God sightings.
1. Getting offered two positions in one day, while walking a labyrinth in a cold and icy parking lot. CRazy.

2. Visting the vortexes in Sedona. Thought they would be more mystical, but the heat was pretty unbearable. Still pretty happy to have been there. Also, getting to go to Durango at Thanksgiving was cool too. LOVE the west.

3. Recently, (this is going to sound nuts, I know), I was so very, very restless. I couldn't do anything until I restrung some strings on my harp and found the damn tuner. The tuning key didn't turn up til a day later, and I was practically crawling the walls...it was like the harp was calling, calling, calling to be played. (please understand, I have been on hiatus from harp playing for like, five years). When I finally got it strung and tuned, I played over and over for hours over several days. My restlessness turned to calm....now, my harp stays close, next to my desk, so I can play whenever she calls. Or when I am restless. There is a God-sighting in there, I believe. A lil' being like the HOLY SPIRIT?

4. Learning to knit from my 93 year old friend Miriam. She is really good at knitting and teaching. She rocks my world! I also learned to make beaded crochet rope necklace from a woman named Lillian who owns a beadshop a town over. Man, that place is just like a little church--people come everyday to bead, and they share their troubles, their joys, their hopes....something to be said about the crafting community.

5. The death of Annie, our adopted retired guide dog, was memorable, becaues she made such an impact on our lives for the six months she lived with us, and she died so gracefully. I wrote about that earlier in the blog, but I don't know how to link that. What a gift she was!


6. I think the RevGalBlogPal community is pretty memorable. Haven't been able to dig in as much as I would like, but there is a lot of amazing folks in this community.

Peaceful blessings to all this New Year. With our world in so much tumult, people we know in places of danger and war, with a sense of powerlessness and being overwhelmed, may we all push ourselves and those we love and serve to step out and shout out and wage peace for those who know none.

sometimes...


you just want to stand at the window and howl.
I'm just sayin'

Friday, December 21, 2007

Friday Five...for RGBP


RevHROD shares this Friday Five. I haven't played in a long time...so I am taking time out from shoveling the white stuff to have some fun!
1.What was one of your favorite childhood gifts that you gave? I remember saving up to buy my mom this bottle of perfume at the drugstore that had a little black velvet cat for the top. I just loved it...not so sure mom did!

2.What is one of your favorite Christmas recipes? Bonus points if you share the recipe with us. Lefse, lefse, lefse. It is a Norwegian bread--sort of like a potatoe flat soft tortilla that you slather with butter and brown sugar and roll it up. I don't have a recipe, and I have never made it--you need a special griddle. Maybe next Christmas.....

3.What is a tradition that your family can't do without? (And by family, I mean family of origin, family of adulthood, or that bunch of cool people that just feel like family.)Growing up, we always went to church at 5:30, then home for lutefisk (codfish soaked in lye, then you boil the hell out of it til it looks like a flaky mass of wiggly white gel and then you pour clarified butter and salt and pepper and let it slide down your throat when you eat it.)and lefse and other wondrous white norwegian foods. After supper, we would have to wash every dish, and wait for my mom to freshen up in the bathroom. Then we would read the nativity story and sing Silent Night (I don't know why we did this. We weren't all that religious, just lutheran! It was the only time of the year we opened the bible at home!) and then we would open presents. After presents we would gorge on christmas cookies and milk.

My family of adulthood makes every effort NOT to have lutefisk on Christmas eve.


4.Pastors and other church folk often have very strange traditions dictated by the "work" of the holidays. What happens at your place? So far I haven't found anything strange...my colleague was cleaning wax out of the candlelabra and made a big mess in the kitchen to the chagrin of the church administrator. I laid low for that one. Don't know if that is an annual thing or not, but I am pretty sure he had more urgent things to do....

5.If you could just ditch all the traditions and do something unexpected... what would it be? One year I made an alternative advent wreath that actually was really beautiful. It started out with giant pillar candles at different heights on blocks of wood surrounded with twigs and stones on top of this lovely iridescent bluey-purply fabric that I bought in the fabric districtin NYC. Each week I added different greens, more interesting stones, culminating in a lush, fresh Advent wreath garden. The liturgy was pretty cool, too. It was my first year of ministry, and my colleague let me go for it...even though we didn't use the traditional wreath on the stand, people really seemed to appreciate something different. I would love to do that again....

On a personal level, a trip to Hawaii is sounding pretty good right now....

Thursday, December 06, 2007

taking charge....


I am really cranky and unsettled these days. I wish it had everything to do with hormones, but it doesn't. I am too busy, I am doing to much administrivia, and I am not creating. I am not doing what I am good at in my work; and after I finish what is expected, there isn't much energy left to muse, to wonder, to connect to Spirit...
and that is wrong. I am not unhappy, but I am not necessarily fulfilled.

It occurs to me, though, that things might not change much. But I don't have to adapt so much in such a way that it kills my spirit. That's wrong, and not good for anyone.

I have to take charge of what I have to offer. And find ways that reflect some room for movement and growth in all of us. No one is going to make that space...I just have to start the carving it out of some of the minutiae (minutia?)(sp? is that even a word? I think I have heard it, just not seen it....hmmm.)

So, last night, I took some time to play my harp. Today, I am going to visit my 93 year old friend, and we are going to knit together. Then, I am going to visit baby C and her five week old self. And then, only then, if I have time, will I do administrivia. If not, it can wait.

Take charge, girl! No one is going to do that for ya! Listen for the Spirit leading you to exactly where you are. Listen for the wisdom, the strength, the challenge, and the grace.
Amen.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

homage to my '95 hippie honda




wow. I have known you for over seven years...paid cash for you in North Dakota and drove you down to North Carolina for my first call. You played hours of Harry Potter on the cd player so I wouldn't fall asleep. On my ordinatin weekend, Yeong Mee blessed you with her brand of backing up which was accidentally going forward and ripping up your front bumper on a mountain boulder. In a couple of months, I dented your door in a hospital parking lot running into a safety pole. You didn't seem to mind.

We have gone everywhere. You have carried all kinds of stuff in your handy hatchback~`my harp, my djembe, my dogs, my cats, my family, my friends..... You have been my travelling office and the family u-haul from NC to Boston.

You didn't mind it when I put all kinds of bumper stickers that revealed MY political leanings, my love for the rainbow and outdoors. You even didn't mind having Jesus on your dashboard for the past year.

But now, it is time...you have trouble starting sometimes, and your airbag status is iffy, at best. Please don't take it as betrayal. I know someone will love you as much as you have been loved by me...and it is just time.

I will miss you, my dear champagne hippie honda wagon. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your faithful service. Go in peace.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

it is cave time...


Jan Richardson writes about advent being "cave time" in one of her brilliantly illustrated books.

I feel like I am in a cave, somewhat....not really gestating anything, though...but more just waiting in the dark for some kind of light to flicker, or an ember to glow so that I can be more illumined, enlightened.
Cave time is good,I suppose,
but in this dormant stage
I don't feel all that creative...
or energized.
I suppose that's because I am in the cave...and all I need to do is be here for awhile.
just breathe,
give in to the cave time
and let it speak to me...
rather than me trying to control it or make is something that it isn't.

Visit me, O Holy One...
I wait for your coming in the shadows.
Amen.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

a thousand splendid suns

...big exhale.
I just finished this book..and it was hard, hard, hard read...even more so than kiterunner. It was beautiful, wrenching, convicting, revealing...and hard.
I just am glad to have finished it...
and realize how much we need to be thinking of the human side of war...of the women and children and weak who are the helpless victims....
sigh.
quiet inside my heart this day.
lead me God.
amen.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

rainy days and tuesdays and life, randomly

*Today is raining, raining, raining--a Gray Day in November here in Beantown.

*A phone line, power line or some kind of line was down on my car in the driveway as I dashed out the door to make an appointment at 10:30 across town. I decided to live on the edge and back the car away from it, praying that I didnt' get zapped. Obviously, I didn't. I called the power company, but they said it wasn't a power line. I asked them to check, anyway.

*I have done "yogamazing" podcasts the last four days in a row. I love that Chaz and his Tennesee accent coaxing his viewers into "downward dog"--your best friend. My body is feeling more loose, thank God.

*Yesterday, I had PMS depression from hell. It hit me like a brick. Totally gone today. Weird.

*A saint died this morning. He was 96, and a member of this church for 62 years. I didn't really know him all that well, but there is a great collective sadness and gratitude for his life around here. I know there is great celebrating in the heavens today for the humility and beauty of his good life.

*I received a gift of three hours today. The bible study I was going to cover for my colleague was cancelled. I am secretly (not so secret, since I am blogging about it) relieved. I have a few things I need to focus upon.

*My beloved and I are thinking to buy a new house. Across the street. But we don't want to get ripped off on the selling price. Our financial advisor says, be careful.
The house is just like ours, except very beautiful. I don't know what we will do. We could live there forever; but it will bind me even more geographically--not that I am going anywhere, soon...my beloved will retire from where she is employed. I will definitely NOT retire from my present situation. Just sayin'.

*Venus Las Vegas, my border collie sheltie wants her own blog. I think she sees it as an activity to keep her occupied til spring when the squirrels come back out again and she can resume chasing them. I told her she needed to pass a typing test, first.
She said, "Bring it On!"

*Lunch is over. 6 points. (yes, I signed up for WW AGAIN!)

*So, time to put my newfound time to use.

*It's still raining. raining. raining.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Newsflash! Big, Fat, Black Hole!















This just in from the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

(My thoughts: 1)Who knew black holes were thought to be so gorgeous, and 2) There is a sermon in here some where, and 3) I don't understand about 3/5 of below, but it sounds cool...)

Massive Black Hole Smashes RecordCambridge, MA - Using two NASA satellites, astronomers have discovered a black hole that obliterates a record announced just two weeks ago. The new black hole, with a mass 24 to 33 times that of our Sun, is the heftiest known black hole that orbits another star.
The record-breaker belongs to the category of "stellar-mass" black holes. Formed in the death throes of massive stars, they are smaller than the monster black holes found in galactic cores. The previous record holder for largest stellar-mass black hole is a 16-solar-mass black hole in the galaxy M33, announced on October 17.

"We weren’t expecting to find a stellar-mass black hole this massive," says Andrea Prestwich of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass., lead author of the discovery paper in the November 1 Astrophysical Journal Letters. "We now know that black holes that form from dying stars can be much larger than we had realized."

The black hole is located in the nearby dwarf galaxy IC 10, 1.8 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Cassiopeia. Prestwich’s team could measure the black hole’s mass because it has an orbiting companion: a hot, highly evolved star. The star is ejecting gas in the form of a wind. Some of this material spirals toward the black hole, heats up, and gives off powerful X-rays before crossing the point of no return.

In November 2006, Prestwich and her colleagues observed the dwarf galaxy with NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. The group discovered that the galaxy’s brightest X-ray source, IC 10 X-1, exhibits sharp changes in X-ray brightness. Such behavior suggests a star periodically passing in front of a companion black hole and blocking the X-rays, creating an eclipse. In late November, NASA’s Swift satellite confirmed the eclipses and revealed details about the star’s orbit. The star in IC 10 X-1 appears to orbit in a plane that lies nearly edge-on to Earth’s line of sight, so a simple application of Kepler’s Laws show that the companion black hole has a mass of at least 24 Suns.

There are still some uncertainties in the black hole’s mass estimate, but as Prestwich notes, ”Future optical observations will provide a final check. Any refinements in the IC 10 X-1 measurement are likely to increase the black hole’s mass rather than reduce it.”

The black hole’s large mass is surprising because massive stars generate powerful winds that blow off many Suns worth of gas before the stars explode. Calculations suggest massive stars in our galaxy leave behind black holes no heavier than about 15 Suns.

The IC 10 X-1 black hole has gained mass since its birth by gobbling up gas from its companion star, but the rate is so slow that the black hole would have gained no more than 1 or 2 solar masses. "This black hole was born fat; it didn’t grow fat," says astrophysicist Richard Mushotzky of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., who is not a member of the discovery team.

The progenitor star probably started its life with 60 or more solar masses. Like its host galaxy, it was probably deficient in elements heavier than hydrogen and helium. In massive, luminous stars with a high fraction of heavy elements, the extra electrons of elements such as carbon and oxygen “feel” the outward pressure of light and are more susceptible to being swept away in stellar winds. But with its low fraction of heavy elements, the IC 10 X-1 progenitor shed comparatively little mass before it exploded, so it could leave behind a heavier black hole.

"Massive stars in our galaxy today are probably not producing very heavy stellar-mass black holes like this one," says coauthor Roy Kilgard of Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn. "But there could be millions of heavy stellar-mass black holes lurking out there that were produced early in the Milky Way’s history, before it had a chance to build up heavy elements."

This release is being issued jointly with NASA


Image 1:This artist's conception shows the biggest stellar-mass black hole (upper left), which weighs 24 to 33 times as much as the Sun. It is pulling gas from a companion Wolf-Rayet star (lower right). Experts say the black hole was "born fat, it didn't grow fat." Credit: Aurore Simonnet/Sonoma State
Image 2: This close-up from the artist's conception shows gas spiraling into the heftiest known solar-mass black hole. The gas heats up and emits X-rays, which allows astronomers to deduce the black hole's presence. Credit: Aurore Simonnet/Sonoma State University/NASA

Friday, November 02, 2007

Daisy and Tikvah


These poodles want their own blog, since Tanner got his own and is a revgalpetpal. Maybe when they wake up I will teach them to use the computer. See how nice they are being to Barley? Sharing the blanket? That happens about once every 232 days.

Friday Five Interviews....

Over at RevGals, Mother Laura has posted an intriguing Friday Five, "Interviews". Here is my play:

1. What was the most memorable interview you ever had? Two come to mind. First, several years ago, I was interviewing at an institution for a chaplaincy position. I wasn't out at the time, but had progressive views on GLBT ordination, rights, etc. The interviewer, trying to intimidate me, asked me point blank if "I was one" Shocked, I said, "are you asking me if I am a lesbian?" The person smugly sat back and said, "yes". I was flabbergasted, so much so, when my escorts picked me up, and asked me how it went, I just blurted out the experience. As I went off to my next appointment with a group of people, they went straight to the CEO of the institution. Of course there were profuse apologies, and I think they were skeered I would sue. I was outrageously and deeply shocked at the interviewer's hate and sense of control and power

The second was for my present ministry. It was my second interview, they asked for several presentations. It was pretty rigorous...but in the two hours we were together, the experience was grounding, real, honest--for me, and the committee. It felt like communion. Driving home, I felt so integrated, and it was the turning point in the process for all of us. It was pretty amazing.


2. Have you ever been the interviewer rather than the interviewee? If so, are you a tiger, a creampuff, or somewhere in between? I am friendly, pointed, clear....I try to listen alot and then poke between the lines to get a sense if the job and the person are a good fit. I like interviewing people....

3. Do phone interviews make you more or less nervous than in-person ones? I don't get nervous, and I don't mind a phone interview to figure out if the next step in the process is one to take or leap into.

4. What was the best advice you ever got to prepare for an interview? How about the worst? hmmm. Best? Dress for success baby! Look as fabulous as you ARE! Can't think of bad advice....

5. Do you have any pre-interview rituals that give you confidence? Praying, singing, and mediating works for me!

Monday, October 29, 2007

oh YEAH!!!!!!


Doing the Papelbon jig today!
whoo hooo!!!

(pic from boston.com)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

word wrangler


Sometimes, writing sermons feels like I am on a wild ride on a bucking bronco. I never know what is going to happen....I am holding on to my hat, swinging my lasso of study, preparation, and the horse is the wild Holy Spirit taking me for a ride as I try to wrangle something that is at least articulate. The process is unbridled, breathtaking, and frustrating. I often get thrown off, and have to dust off my chaps and get back on. My sermon for tomorrow? I am inbetween rides right now, but I will have to jump back on that bucking bronco Sophia at least one or two more times tonight! (my butt is sore!)

Friday, October 26, 2007

I should be writing my sermon on prayer, but...



Every night this week, on my way home from my church, I drive through Boston on the pike and I-93. I love passing by Fenway, and I LOVE the message on the Prudential building.

I have GOT to finish (start?) my sermon today. All I can think about is baseball.

God, be merciful!

Pumpkin/Apple Friday Five (Six!)


Over at RevGals, Singing Owl came up with this FF, which is really six. Here is my play!
1. How did you celebrate this time of year when you were a child? By carving pumpkins, planning my Halloween strategy for trick-or-treating with my friends. How much of the town can a nine year old realistically cover in three hours of gathering free candy? Is a plastic bucket or pillow case better to hold it all? Should we plan drop-offs in the night, so as not to be lugging giant loads of snickers and sweet-tarts and risk dropping them all over the sidewalk?

2. Do you and/or your family “celebrate” Halloween? Why or why not? And if you do, has it changed from what you used to do? It seems there aren't as many trick-or-treaters in our new neighborhood, but we will have the porch light on, a bowl of kitkats and m and m's to share with baby ghouls, and of course, maybe a pumpkin beer or two to celebrate the evening.....
2. Candy apples: Do you prefer red cinnamon or caramel covered? Or something else?
CARAMEL. with nuts. and chocolate.

3. Pumpkins: Do you make Jack O’ Lanterns? Any ideas of what else to do with them?
I love pumpkin soup and pumpkin ravioli, but I would probably used canned for both.

4. Do you decorate your home for fall or Halloween? If so, what do you do? Bonus points for pictures. Do frozen, dead mums count? Or a fake potted plant of unidentifiable golden blooms I got for 75% off at Michaels? Devil ears on the poodles?

5. Do you like pretending to be something different? Does a costume bring our an alternate personality? Yes. and yes. It is fun to dress up and just bring out a part of ourselves that sometimes we don't know is even there. One time I played a fortune teller, and had so much fun telling fortunes, I wished I could do it full time. However, there is that piece of actually knowing how to do it, or being called to that, which...well, I will stick to my present call of pastoring!

Bonus: Share your favorite recipe for an autumn food, particularly apple or pumpkin ones. I don't have a recipe, but again, I might say that fresh pumpkin ravioli with marinara sauce is a delicacy one shouldn't miss!

holy sister half-way around the world!


This is my holy sister, Yeong Mee....
When I was doing my MDIV, she was working on her doctorate in hebrew bible with Phyllis Trible at Union.
We, Yeong Mee, and I were best of friends. She got me through Hebrew, Greek; and the footnotes of my thesis (God Bless her). We would walk dogs together in Riverside Park and spend our $1 for a bagel and coffee at the stand on the corner and have breakfast together most mornings. We would study all day, and then order in pizza or go out for Indian food. She gave me bim bim bop, and a love for the spicy taste of kimchee. We had LOTS of fun shopping for shoes--at Tops and Harry's and Aerosoles, all on the upper West Side of Manhattan. I had the privilege of participating in her ordination, and she honored me with her words at my ordination. I have lived through her crazy driving--she was the first to baptize my 1995 Honda Wagon with its first dent/rip in the front bumper, accidentally going forward instead of reverse. I love seeing it, because it reminds me of my dear friend, now living in Seoul, and living as a successful academic in a very, very, patriarchal system. Only woman in the department! Yikes. She writes amazing papers and books; she teaches her nephew English; she sends me beautiful fans and paper from Korea. When we talk, it is like we are next door. What a blessing. We encourage one another...always.
I am grateful that time and distance have not diminished the strength of our holy sisterhood. I am grateful that we have an amazing friendship that transcends the pragmatic here and now and rests in the sacred here and now.
Thank you God,
for my holy sister.
Bless her today...and infuse her with your grace, your hope, your courage, your love.
Amen.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

ticker

Sometimes,
When I sign on to my blog,
I get distracted by the counter on how much is spent on the Iraq war. That durn thing goes by the thousands.
I just go bonkers.
BONKERS.

Speaking of bonkers, I hate it when people send emails where they capitalize multiple phrases to make a point...too much shouting, and most of the time, I don't THINK THAT IS WHAT THEY MEAN TO RELAY. I dunno. I have a headache from a recent email I just read.

A Saturday nap sounds good right now.

gettin' ready for sunday

so...have a children's time to write, an invocation, a children's worship to plan, for tomorrow. not much, but enough. I have a godly play story to memorize for the children's worship...and it will be fine.

I was struck last week, in collegial meeting, when one person said, I did the associate pastor thing for a few years and hated it, so I started looking to be a solo in a congregation...and am so happy doing this.

whoah. I realize how little credit I give myself sometimes. I always think I need to learn one more thing to be truly prepared to be the solo leader of a flock, but I have to stop and say--wait! I have literally twenty years of experience as a church professional, and seven of those are in sacramental ministry. shoot! I mean dang! What else am I waiting for?

Don't get me wrong. I really, really, really love the work I get to do with children. I loved teaching bible/religion for eight years before seminary, and I loved the four years of youth ministry I did before that. I loved my three years of seminary, focusing on worship and arts and ministry and children's spirituality. my seven years of ministry in three...well, now on my fourth, but two were simultaneous (lest you think I am a short timer) and I really love this work in my new congregation, but I totally know what my colleague meant, too. I think I have been very deliberate in listening to where I have been called...and each place, congregation/campus, chaplaincy, new church start, and now established traditional NE church has been the right place for me. I don't think anyone could be more fortunate than me in the amazing places of ministry I have landed. I have to be honest, though, the part I miss...and have missed in all of them is more involvement in worship, aka preaching, planning the whole of a service. It is funny, ironic, even, the most involved in worship was in my first congregation. In any case, that doesn't mean that can't happen where I am now...I will just need to find my place in all of it.

huh. who knew I was thinking about that this morning? when I sat down to the computer, I was really thinking about the RED SOX and how they pulled it out last night!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Thankful Friday Five...for RGBP


Welcome to the Friday Five!
RGBP writes
This one is going to be veeeery simple: List at least five things (people, places, graces, miracles...) for which you are thankful. You may elaborate as you wish, or keep it simple.

I am grateful for my beloved, and the amazing life we have together....our home, our love, our many critters that make us laugh....

I am grateful for post-season baseball playoffs, which so far are going grrreeat!!

I am grateful for my morning coffee, which was especially tasty this morning.

I am grateful for my dear friend, Yeong Mee, who is an amazing scholar and pastor in South Korea...and for our enduring sister-friendship across the continents. She is a treasure.

I am grateful for all the sounds I hear outside...the traffic, cars starting, birds singing...I love my neighborhood.

I feel especially full of thankfulness, this morning.

Monday, October 01, 2007

out of the park!

this weekend was amazing.
I wrote most of my sermon on Friday, as we had a denominational event all day Saturday. What I wrote wasn't really what I planned on, but I read it to my beloved and she thought it was pretty good, so I kept it. I had not idea, though, where it was going to lead me--the writing, the Spirit, the muse of God!

So, Saturday was so fun because I got to pull out my dusty djembe and drum with a group for the worship service. It was fabulous and delirious. If you have never had the opportunity to learn drumming, and always wanted to, you should. It really sinks into your body and raises your energy....and our leader was terrific. Very gifted in creating community (none of knew each other) and pastorally leading a group of gifted and experienced drummers with those of us that weren't as confident. I just loved it.

Then, I got home around 8, and tried to sit down to write, but my hands and fingers were numb--I sort of overdid it, and it was hard to type. I worked until 10 or so,and I wrote about six sentences...and couldn't go on. I went to bed, quite nervous about not having an end to my sermon, but I was depleted--physically and mentally. So I got up at 4 to finish things up, which it just came together...and I had time to edit it a couple of times, and I felt good.

The passage was Luke 16:19-29--The rich man and Lazarus. Not something easy to preach on--privilege, affluence, the Great Chasm.

So, Sunday was typically busy before worship, greeting people, making coffee for my CE staff, the youth and committed adults were in the large kitchen making 150 lunches for the Common Cathedral (outdoor church for people who are homeless on the Boston Common, my coffee maker broke, things were crazy! I managed ten minutes before service to sling on my robe and stole, but missed the prayers with the choir, OOPS!

The service was great, the music, the liturgy, the announcements..but right before I got up to preach, I got really nervous. I wasn't sure why, the part of preaching I love is the preaching part! But I got up, and started, and realized that the sermon was much more prophetic than pastoral, and it was huge. It was a little scarey! They were with me the whole time, but I really have never felt God's power/spirit as strongly within as I did yesterday. When I finished, I was a little dazed, and after the call to prayer, I was still sort of not ready for the transition, and I couldn't remember how to lead the prayers of the people (someone makes a request, I repeat it in the mike, I say "For this we pray", and the congregation says "Gracious God, receive our prayer"). I was still feeling like either I had hit a home run, or struck out hugely, or just had done a 15 mile hike in New Hampshire White Mountains.

It was sort of funny, because I had to ask my colleague what to do , as I didnt' have my bulletin (Note. To. Self: even if you have done it thousands of times, still have it in your worship folder, printed and BIG)

After the service, I was inundated with people thanking me for the sermon, for prickling their consciousness...it was extraordinary.... retired seminary professors and working moms and pillars of the congregation.....and so I just throw that feedback to the Spirit. Thank you for blessing the words that we wrote together. Thank you for helping me be open. Thank you.

and there is more, because then we went down to the common cathedral, and worshipped there, in the crux of tourists and people who are homeless and people who lived in the neighborhood. We talked about the experience....with the youth...and then back to the church at 4:00 for this great concert of lute, voice and piano--selections from Purcell, Rodrigo, Hayden, and African-American Spirituals.

God is good.

Friday, September 28, 2007

2:17

and word count for my sermon is ZERO.
I have to write it today.
I have done a ton of reading, I have a title, but no words.

Venus got a lovely walk, and now I think I might just need to exercise more to try and work it out of me.

I would like to have a healthy draft in two hours.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Tired.

How can it be Tuesday, and I am already tired...the week is just beginning! This makes no sense whatsoever to me. I slept last night, I exercised this morning, I planted trees today...well, it was hot, so maybe that is why I am feeling a little fatigued--too much time in the sun.
In any case,
I just don't have time right now to be tired.
Maybe I just need to hydrate some more.
Sigh.

Monday, September 17, 2007

hands

last week, a 93 year old woman in my congregation taught me to knit. I am so excited...I have wanted to learn knitting for some time now, and I am thrilled-da-dilled. I know crocheting, which I love--I even learned how to crochet beaded bangle bracelets...and pottery is my love, although I feel like I have backslid somewhat in that area...

I just find that when I am doing something with my hands, creating with my hands, I am most happy. I need to find a way to integrate this into my current ministry setting, as I haven't found the place or way yet...I pray that it will emerge.

Ministry of art, of creating, is important to me..and it is definitely a part of my calling......

Friday, September 14, 2007

a meeting? meetings???

Today's Friday five is about meetings, which I certainly have STRONG feelings about...
1. What's your view of meetings? Choose one or more, or make up your own:
a) When they're good, they're good. I love the feeling of people working well together on a common goal.
b) I don't seek them out, but I recognize them as a necessary part of life.
c) The only good meeting is a canceled meeting.
d) Meetings have three requirements for me: chocolate, an agenda, and time limit. Chocolate is negotiable, but the other two are essential....

2. Do you like some amount of community building or conversation, or are you all business? I like community building, especially in church meetings. All of our commissions begin with a ritual that the chair coordinates...it is either prayer, a reflection, sharing...yesterday, at a Mass conference task force meeting, we sang a song. It reminds us of why we are doing the work we are doing....

3. How do you feel about leading meetings? Share any particular strengths or weaknesses you have in this area. Even though I don't LOVE meetings, I do like to lead them. HOW weird is that? I just think that people volunteer precious time in the church, so if I am responsible for convening and facilitating a meeting, it should be an experience, and not drudgery...and respectful of people's time and energy and gifts.

4. Have you ever participated in a virtual meeting? (conference call, IM, chat, etc.) What do you think of this format? Conference calls. When living in NC, I was on a board of a state-wide non-profit, so every meeting there were people that couldn't be there in person, so we always had the option of being present by phone. Last winter/spring I participated in the planning of the worship for Christian Peace Witness
at the National Cathedral in DC, and that whole event/march was planned on conference calls, because the leadership was gleaned from across the country. At first it was a little weird, b/c you have to keep identifying yourself, but work was efficient.


5. Share a story of a memorable meeting you attended. This week we had our first coordinating council meeting for the program year. My colleague led an amazing reflection which invited people to share where they experienced the holy this summer. People were amazingly sincere, vulnerable, and reflective. It was a spiritually moving experience in the midst of going over budgets, scheduling, etc. I found it very moving and energizing and bonding.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Rico's Bounty


Today I such a lovely encounter in the midst of the CRAZINESS of work right now. Note to self: In one's first fall in a new congregation in the midst of a construction project, do NOT, do not, do not do not PLAN a membership/community event on Friday night when Teacher orientation and opening of Sunday School is on Saturday and Sunday. Do not believe construction people on Monday who say everything will be fine, because inevitably, on Wednesday at noon, they will tell you half of your rooms will be inaccessible. This will take some time to Sort Out, and you don't have to be running around finding ice cream scoops and blowing up balloons for the community event, which will be fun and wondrous, when it finally happens....Do not, either, allow for scheduling a funeral on same Saturday at same time of Teacher Orientation (there are times that this cannot be helped, but....)where all (teachers, funeral goers will have to use the same entrance. This will cause more Shifting and Sorting on your part, thus leaving Precious Little Time to get at the meat of everything, e.g. content of curriculum, because you are wondering if the fridge that you counted on in the kitchen is even working, and you wonder how the heck you are going to keep that ice cream from melting while you are trying to learn the church database system to make your life more streamlined but instead complicates A Lot. But I digress.

My lovely encounter. In the midst of craziness, Buster, our wondercat, has taken up strange behaviour. The last couple of days he will rub up against us and beg to be scratched and then get all close, and then squat and pee exactly two drops...on your shoe; or this morning, on the bed (ylech). Clearly there is a message in this and upon calling the Vet, it appears it could be an emergency (crystals, urinary tract blockage, and all Horrors such as this.) So it fell to me to have to leave the office to take Bussy to the doctor. Well, Bussy, being a Kentucky horse farm barn cat rescue, prefers to be outside during the day, against our wishes. I was calling and calling for him (he has a hiding place) and the old Italian man, sitting on his stoop across the street yelled at me, "Who are you looking for"

So I walked across the street to talk to him to tell him I was looking for the black and white cat without a tail. He nodded and in his thick accent said he hadn't seen him, but he knew the cat. Then he said, "you want some cucumbers? I give you some tomatoes, too" And we walked over to his voluptuous garden and he gave me cukes, roma tomatoes, celery, basil...and we talked about his medical emergency the other night (This is our first conversation ever, although I do wave at him when we walk the dogs)...and he taught me "come here with me" in Italian. He asked my name, and said, "oh is beautiful name" and I asked him his, and he said "Rico" I tried to roll my r the way he did when I repeated it, and he said, "It is really Enrico, but they call me Rico"...so I asked, "is it o.k. if I call you Rico, too?" and he smiled and patted me on the back, and he said, "it would be a pleasure to me."

So, I hadn't found Bussy yet, so I took my booty home and arranged it on a plate just to look at it and smell the basil and tomatoes. I went back out, and a lost car driver was wandering down our dead end, so I gave him some directions, and as he sped off, Rico was yelling to me from across the way, "Kar-La , Kar-La" and pointing with his cane to my neighbor's yard. It was Bussy, hiding in the bushes. I went over, scooped his little tuxedo tail-less self up, and turned around and gave a thumbs up to Rico, who made a circle with his finger and thumb and gave me a nod and wink.

Awww. I made a friend today with my neighbor.
And....
I went and bought a ball of fresh mozarella to make a nice fresh tomato basil salad tonight. Yum.
Life is rich with bounty and produce and neighbors like Rico.
Amen.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

this is the gig....


I totally don't have time to write right now...
I totally don't have time to walk Venus right now....
I totally don't have time to exercise right now...

but I totally won't have time later, either...
and since this is the first day of the program year in my congregation, and next weekend is the big hurrah...
I am not going to let myself get swallowed by it.

It would be oh so easy (after I have already scrubbed the kitchen and done several work emails) just to jump in the shower, and rush off to the office and be there for 13 hours working, working, working.

But I know better. And I love myself better.

So, Venus, get your leash!
We are off to the park....TOTALLY.

How are you lovin' yourself this fall?

Dear Sweet Lord,
infuse Your breath of peace, Your fullness of presence, and Your heart of compassion within the work and love you call me to be and do today. Amen.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Season's Change Friday Five...


RevGalBlogPal's are celebrating Summer's Last Hurrah....Here is how I am celebrating with Friday Five...

1. Share a highlight from this summer. (If you please, don't just say "our vacation to the Canadian Rockies." Give us a little detail or image. Help us live vicariously through you!) Hiking the Red Rocks in Sedona. One day, I planned mini-hikes to the four vortexes. At each vortex, we created our own ritual. At one, I did the yoga pose of the Tree for a few minutes, at another, we built a cairn, at the third, I did meditative breathing, and by the fourth, it was so durn hot (100 plus degrees) I just hugged a twisted juniper tree.

2. Are you glad to see this summer end? Why or why not? When I was teaching and a college chaplain, I was on ten month contracts. Oh, how wonderful. I was more in touch with the transition of the seasons, then. This has been an acutely busy summer, (aside from a few days away), so I am neither glad or sad to see the summer end. It has been full, it has been rich...I would have loved to hike more, bike more, throw more bowls and mugs....but today, I just feel grateful. For the cooler breeze coming in the window, and the warmth that will spread in the afternoon.


3. Name one or two things you're looking forward to this fall.
It is my first fall with my congregation, so professionally, it is all new. We have some age old events that people gather for--a fall fair, thanksgiving dinner, spiritual life retreat...so I look forward to those experiences of community. I also very much look forward to hiking some weekends surrounded by the burst of light and color held in the trees, and of course, apple picking!

4. Do you have any special preparations or activities to mark the transition from one season to another? (Cleaning of house, putting away summer clothes, one last trip to the beach) My birthday always falls around Labor Day, and I was also ordained on my birthday, so it is a special time. Celebrating my birthday and remembering my ordination pulls me through the liminal space. It is fabulous to honor transition with celebration and cake, don't you think?

5. I'll know that fall is really here when: It's all about the clothes!!! When I can't get away with not wearing socks anymore because my feet get cold! I also love wearing chunky sweaters and tights with skirts and not getting hot.

quiet....

My inside voice has been very quiet the the last couple of weeks.
After vacation,
I haven't been led to articulate the unformed thoughts and unfinished prayers in my soul.
It is still and full and Much Within.
Perhaps, because things are so busy and articulate and communicative in my work right now that what my heartplace needs is to
be silent.
be still.
ponder quietly within.

Come, Spirit, Come...and join me here.
OR maybe I am finally joining YOU here.
Amen.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

goin' on VACA-TION


At my house, tonight we are all doin' the happy vacation dance and song!!!
even though we haven't started packing, our flight leaves at 6:00 a.m.
we are going to SEDONA. I have never been to the Southwest before, in spite of growing up in the upper midwest. And, I am especially excited about Sedona because of all the spiritual energy there. I am going to soak it all up!

Last year, we didn't take vacation, because we were busy moving to New England...and then I didn't work for seven months, except for temping, and then I started in this new parish in April, and I really haven't had much time off--except for the quick trip to Cleveland to watch the Sox play the Indians, but we spent two of the three days stuck in airports. The games were fun, but not the traveling!!!

I am ready...just to be away from everything except my beloved for ten straight days. How lovely is that? I am taking books and crocheting and hiking boots and beads and hang out comfy clothes.

I am so excited!

Monday, August 06, 2007

That durn dream again....


I keep having that dream that I never dropped the class that I never went to, and missed writing all the papers and it was a required class but I couldn't possibly finish the papers if I wanted and I am going to get an F because I never tied up the loose ends and every time I go to find my advisor she is always NOT in her office but I see her on campus busy doing wonderful things and I am going to get "found out" and in spite of having my degree and graduating, I keep thinking this loose end is going to topple down the house. All in my dream. It shifts time and space and is very agitating.

Think I need a vacation?????

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Finally!


Due to my minds proclivity to wandering, I find when I go to a baseball game, that my thoughts stray to watching and wondering about the other fans there, the murmurs and cheers of the crowd, and general daydreaming. So, I don't always fixate on the game, or keep track of it. Because of this, I seem to always, ALWAYS miss the great plays. Especially seeing Big Papi hit one out of the park...I have been to five games in person this season, and watched a good many on t.v., but I always seem to miss Big Papi! Last night, we were sitting in incredible seats, right at home plate. I missed Papi's first slug out of the park, because I was enjoying such nice conversation with the people who invited us to the game. I cried, "I MISSED IT!!" The next time around, everybody reminded me to focus...and yahoo! I TOTALLY FINALLY SAW BIG PAPI HIT IT STRAIGHT OUT OF THE PARK, VIA CENTER FIELD...it was beautiful!
My life is complete!

Monday, July 30, 2007

my brain, part two..this was my strong second choice

Your Brain's Pattern

Your mind is a creative hotbed of artistic talent.
You're always making pictures in your mind, especially when you're bored.
You are easily inspired to think colorful, interesting thoughts.
And although it may be hard to express these thoughts, it won't always be.

(you had to choose the one you were most drawn to..the red/orange one caught my eye immediately, so first choice...but this one I really, really, really liked....

my brain, compliments of

Your Brain's Pattern

Your mind is a firestorm - full of intensity and drama.
Your thoughts may seem scattered to you most of the time...
But they often seem strong and passionate to those around you.
You are a natural influencer. The thoughts you share are very powerful and persuading.

Processing Counselor, a new member of revgalblogpals had these fun brain pattern quizzes on her blog. Thanks!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

babies, babies, babies, oh baby!



The past few weeks, my mind and heart have been obsessed with babies. I see pregnant women everywhere. Parenting and children are the center of storyline and plots of the books and magazines I have been reading. Baby, baby, baby, oh baby! I got babies on my mind. However, I have consciously made a decision to NOT have children, for multiple reasons, one being that I am a month shy of 44, and even if I did have a baby, through adoption or by giving birth, I would be of retirement age when s/he was in college. Not for me, perhaps for some.

My partner and I decided that if we had met ten years ago, things would be different. But in the five years we have been together, it is only in very recent history that we could even realistically ponder the question. Frankly,it just seems too late to even try (my partner is six years longer down the journey of life than I am). In spite of all the clarity, and feeling good about our decision, it is still hard for me. Especially in my perimenopausal state of mind.

I honestly never really thought that I wouldn't have a baby...or that I would choose NOT to have a child...come to think of it, I have never even conceived through, oh, say, an accident.
I often wonder what it would feel like to be pregnant...to actually give birth...and what my little girl or boy might have looked like. I am a TLC Baby Story nut. I cry every time a loving couple gives birth.

I love birth.

The truth is I love babies...and I love children. I am blessed to be in ministry with children and families, and to have many friends with delightful children in whom I celebrate and cherish.

The truth is, I could really be an awful parent...I can be pretty self-absorbed.

The truth is, having a child has not been a priority for me, and I certainly have a full life without children.

The truth is, it is the right decision for us.

The truth is, I still wonder if....

The truth is, it makes me a little sad sometimes...missing out on being a mom, missing out on that part of life....with all its challenges, heartaches, frustrations, and wonderments.

I think I need a ritual...to connect my mind and heart and body to the reality of the good and wise decision of my spouse and I. To simply be able to let go any residual longings I have...to let go of my baby thoughts, and channel that loving energy somewhere else.

So...what about this? Am I alone in my mid-life crisis, non-motherhood status? What do other people do, when they find themselves where I find myself today?

Friday, July 27, 2007

Green Friday Five



RevGals are pondering global warming, extreme weather patterns, and wondering where/what/how the prophetic voice of faith fits in all of it. Here is the Friday Five, living lightly, faithfully, and greenly in our Creation home.

1. Have you experienced living through an extreme weather event- what was it and how did you cope? Although I lived in coastal states for almost twenty years, I can't say I experienced a terrifying extreme weather event. That being said, there was an ice storm that pretty much knocked out power in a major metropolitan area for almost a week near Christmas. I just packed up my dogs and stayed with a friend. Another freaky thing was a snowstorm that turned to complete ice, and someone from my congregation asked me to see if I could get to the school where several of children of the congregation were, because parents couldn't get there. I had no idea the level of iciness, and having grown up in upper midwest, figured this would be no problem at all....until I turned out of the driveway and slid a full length of block down the street. I called them back and said it wasn't safe, AT ALL. It took my beloved six hours to get home from a normal 30 minute commute--it was nuts.


2. How important is it that we wake up to issues such as global warming? I don't even consider global warming an issue--it is a fact. In fact, I heard Rabbi Arthur Waskow call it global scorching. It is up to us to do whatever we can, politically and personally to contribute to stopping, or slowing its effects. It is a sin to hand this on to our children.

3. The Christian message needs to include stewardship of the earths resources agree/ disagree? Agree! Isn't that one of the instructions God gives in the garden of Eden? To be stewards of all that is created?


And because it is summer- on a brighter note....



4. What is your favourite season and why? Fall, fall, fall fall.....it used to be spring when I lived in the south; but New England springs not so...abundant? But fall--oh my, apple picking and beautiful trees turning glorious shades from holding all that light and crisp evening walks with shorts and sweaters....I just love it.



5. Describe your perfect vacation weather....It's funny, but I like a mix of weather. A little bit of rain slows one down, to snuggle in and read all day, and the sunny weather pulls you out to hike. (Most of my vacations center around where we can be outside...and hike!)

Sunday, July 22, 2007

a Sunday prayer....


for being open
to letting go...
and allowing You,
sweet breeze of Spirit
to infuse
to restore
to renew
my heart, body, soul, and mind.
Amen.

Personality Quiz, Harry Potter Style

PeaceBang had this quiz over on her site and so I took it. I thought all the Harry Potter RevGirl's would like it, especially when they emerge from the reading of The Last Book. I can't get the width right on the screen, but I scored Hermione Granger, hands over hands!
You scored as Hermione Granger, You're one intelligent witch, but you have a hard time believing it and require constant reassurance. You are a very supportive friend who would do anything and everything to help her friends out.

Hermione Granger

80%

Albus Dumbledore

70%

Draco Malfoy

65%

Ron Weasley

65%

Remus Lupin

55%

Sirius Black

50%

Harry Potter

40%

Severus Snape

30%

Lord Voldemort

25%

Ginny Weasley

25%

Your Harry Potter Alter Ego Is...?
created with QuizFarm.com

Friday, July 20, 2007

Friday Five...for RGBP

1. Share a moment/ time of real encouragement in your journey of faith Encouragement comes to me in connections with people....and it seems that even just this week, there have been several moments of real, honest connections in the most random places--a restaurant, the pottery studio, and a note from a friend.

2. Do you have a current vision / dream for your work/ family/ministry? yup. Rainbows of dreams. In my current position, I simply want to be faithful to the work set before me, and help my congregation grow in vibrant and healthy ways. Personally, I want to do an advanced degree in clay, pastoral care, and spiritual practise. I dream of being a pet chaplain. In my family, we are not dreaming but working hard on living more healthy.

3.Money is no object and so you will.....
Just play in clay a little more, and travel a little more, but I would still be in ministry, No question.

4. How do you see your way through the disappointments? What keeps you going? Breathing. stopping. And talking with my beloved.

5. How important are your roots? Are you talking hair?
My spiritual and cultural roots anchor me, help ground me in who I am. Pretty important, especially as I wade into the perimenopausal phase of my precious life.

6. Bonus= what would you like to add I am going to go to Cleveland next week to see the Sox play Cleveland. I CAN'T WAIT!!!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Terra Cotta carved bowl

 

 

 

 


This is a bowl from the spring. I shaped it over a form, and then carved it. It is my first hand-built bowl. It was really hard for me to do, because throwing is so much faster, and in carving/handbuilding, you have to think about so many different things, and it never gets the balanced, centered look of a thrown pot. Which is fine, of course. I learned from this bowl that when carving/decorating, you have to keep looking at it from different angles, and especially the angle from which it will eventually rest. You can tell I carved this upside down, and forgot to flip it back and forth. The funky flowers are more easily viewed upside down! The low fire glazes are painted on...and because they are low fire, they can be bright. I like the turquoise and the blues; the dark background of the bowl I am not thrilled with, but in all, it was an interesting process for me.
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bowl

 

 

 


This is a bowl I made earlier this summer, and it is the first time I have used the hi-fire reduction glazes in this studio. It is granny smith over a matte white, which you can see made the whole bowl sort of a greeny yellow. My camera isn't good enough to catch the streaks, but I am pleased with the shape, weight, volume of the bowl, and the look of the yummy reduction glazes. There is more depth to them rather than in a regular electric kiln. I haven't had much time for this class I am in now, but everytime I go, I sink back into the clay. I really need to do a better job of focusing on my style (and getting the focus right on the camera!) and taking the time to create. It is such healing, restoring, nurturing, growing, spiritual work for me, my hands deep in clay...
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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Releasing the Imagination

Releasing the Imagination is a book on my shelf. In it is a set of essays written about education, the arts, and social change by the renowned professor of philosophy and education Maxine Greene (Teachers College at Columbia U). It is a wonderful, inspiring read, if you are into educational philosophy and changing the world. It is also one of my favorite books just to glance at on my shelf...the jacket is muted reds/oranges/warm toasty yellows with a spot of blue for contrast. The title reminds me to "release" and "imagine"
Release my imagination.
Wonder about the possibility.
Embrace the hidden potential.
Dare, be bold, live big
but in a giving over, releasing, relaxed kind of way.
I have an image of releasing like a fountain and then just watching where the drops of water might fall...
watching their random patterns,
seeing the natural beauty.

It seems these days, it is hard for me to release anything at all. I breathe, I walk, I try to focus, and then get caught up in minutia (sp?)...then I breathe , I sing, I walk some more.
Breathe
Walk
Release
Imagine (just gently imagine...)
O Holy Spirit,
Breathing in, I breathe in awareness of the moment
Breathing out, I release that which I need to let go
Breathing in awareness,
Breathing out release...
in the in between, I pray for your help and guidance and trust....
Breathing awareness
Release...
Awareness,
Release,
Imagine.
amen

Friday, July 13, 2007

Random Friday Five

Since I am NOT up on the Harry Potter crazy, although I have read all the books, and will read the last, I read the last one the summer it came out and my middle age mind just doesn't seem to retain any magical reading details. So, random is the way for me today!

1. Former U.S. First Lady "Lady Bird" Johnson died this week. In honor of her love of the land and the environment, share your favorite flower or wildflower.
The Wild Prairie Rose, North Dakota's State Flower

2. A man flew almost 200 miles in a lawn chair, held aloft by helium balloons. Share something zany you'd like to try someday.
It's not zany, but I would love to go to outerspace and fly around in a little space car like George Jetson had.

3. Do you have an iPhone? If not, would you want one?
Nope, don't have one. Yes, definitely on my wish list. Hoping they go to Verizon, since my contract with them is about 100 years.

4. Speaking of which, Blendtec Blenders put an iPhone in one of their super-duper blenders as part of their "Will It Blend?" series. What would YOU like to see ground up, whizzed up or otherwise pulverized in a blender?
hmmm. Rude Boston drivers? Plastic Santa yard ornaments?

5.According to News of the Weird, a jury in Weld County, Colo., declined to hold Kathleen Ensz accountable for leaving a flier containing her dog's droppings on the doorstep of U.S. Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, apparently agreeing with Ensz that she was merely exercising free speech. What do you think? Is doggy doo-doo protected by the First Amendment?
I think using a human using doggy doody to express herself is showing that she lacks decent vocabulary of her own and clearly bad manners. Venus, Daisy, and Wiggs agree.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

hiking mt. percival!




Hiking in New England is soooooo different than anywhere I have hiked. The trails are much more steep, rocky, and you have to be good at scrambling over boulders. However, the reward is great once you get to the top! Yahoo!

Monday, July 09, 2007

cats, cats, and more cats







Some of the cats at my house were a little ticked off when they realized their pictures weren't posted yet on the blog.

Cali loves her bling, especially pearls. Lucy... and Barley(pictured twice in a row
because he is so cute and perhaps sort of because I can't figure out how to delete one)are a little camera shy...or maybe just sleepy lazy bones...hmmm....whoops!!!
these last two aren't cats! They Are Very Important Imperial Poodles!
Shhh, don't wake them...they bark like crazy at the wind!!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Ultimate Procrastination! Friday Five!

In honor of doing NOT what I should be, but that what I WANT, I am going to play the RevGalBlogPals Friday Five special!

So, today, I am...
1. Wearing...office clothes~~my favorite chico's traveler's gauchos, tank, and floaty asian silk jacket. Feels like jammies, but looks unbelievably professional and I will be ready for dinner out after work!

2. Reading...blogs about church, ministry, lectionary texts and a pottery magazine.

3. Eating...very healthy. Spinach salad with mandarin oranges, cucumbers, raw peas, and a few slivered almonds; roasted spaghetti squash; and red and yellow peppers for munchies in the afternoon.

4. Doing...lots of writing. Earlier, however, I got to walk my dog Venus along the Mystic River where we saw lots of squirrels, rabbits, her friend Finnegan...we listened to the birdsong in the breeze and enjoyed the fragrance of whatever the wildflowers are now that are blooming. Ahhhhh.

5. Pondering...sermon for Sunday, memorial for next week; and the front page news of the Boston Globe. The lead story was about a three year old girl abused (allegedly, I guess one has to say) by her mother's live in boyfriend. He hit her with a belt and bit her repeatedly, so that her hearing is impaired and she has had multiple surgeries and plastic surgeries to repair her ear and lips. The quote from the little girl is "He bited me and hit me. He broke my lip." WTF?? What kind of mother covers up for a LIVE IN BOYFRIEND that way? I know, I know, people are messed up, but the guy was BITING the child? Where was DSS, you ask? They believed the mom's stories--in spite of several professionals (e.g. doctors) saying they were suspicious of abuse. I know their hands are tied and everybody probably did their best to the ability/extent of the law that was allowed, to do everything they could to protect this little girl, but how could this have happened? It is embarrassing and a travesty. When animals bite humans, in some areas, the animal will be humanely euthanized, because it poses a threat to others. What do we do with biting humans?

Saturday, June 30, 2007

who-oah

It is real.
It is true.
I am ....truly middle-aged.
This totally freaks me out in many ways.
I HAVE to wear glasses to read.
I can't lose weight, in spite of whole wheat fettucini and zero fat dressing and exercising 3X weekly.
I have wrinkles all over my face.
I don't qualify for the under 40 conferences for pastors and preaching women, even though I feel like I do.
I am too old to really entertain the thought of having a baby, even though some women at 44 successfully do.
It is real.
It is true.
I am...truly middle-aged.
oyooyoyoyoyoyo!!!!!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Venus at Work


So, one day I had Venus at the office with me...it was her first day at work with me. I had to leave for a few minutes, to go to another part of the building, but she was asleep on the floor. When I came back, she had settled down at my desk. I think she secretly wants to preach someday, and was consulting Textweek for helps on the lectionary!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

miss your happy pants tail waggin' smile.

The house is empty without you (in spite of the 3 other dogs and 7 cats living here.) Sigh.

restless waters


Got up early this a.m. because my mind won't turn off...yesterday was a busy day, and I suppose I am still processing it. I got up early yesterday to form goals and a work plan for the upcoming program year; which then left me wondering where in the world there would be room for spontaneous, creative, improvisational, imaginative ministry in the midst of budget plans for publicity, coalescing volunteers, and a capital campaign....
We then had a staff retreat which was lovely and good and very intrapersonal....and then there was preparation for my CE commission meeting which had no less than 11 agenda items, with a few extra thrown in at the end.
This particular ministry place I am in is textured, layered, and will have a tendency to fall into administrivia....
I am going to have to be clearly intentional about leaving space for the waters to flow, where I can wade in deeply with all of me, to leave room where I can sense and connect to the One who troubles the waters with surprise and love and edgy calling.
At my installation, my sisterpastor friend charged me with words from Catherine Henderson's new book, (can't remember the name) to wade in the water, and to be a "troublemaker" with God...which I took to mean to be engaged in ministry with my congregation that is challenging and real....not administrivia or the same old same old.
I am reaching for your Hand, Holy One....as I wade in these waters.
Amen

Monday, June 18, 2007

this is the day


This is the day that God has made...
may we rejoice...in your life and service,dear Annie,
may we have the strength, to help you be released from your suffering....
it is hard to understand how you have so much life and grace and joy that can mask the great pain you are in,
but when you walk away from food in any form,
oh You Who Loves Apples and Sidewalk Crud and Dog Cookies and Kibble...
it is obvious that you are in deep physical anguish.
Sigh.
This is the day that God has made.
We love you, dear sister dog friend, buddha creature of service, amazing happy pants girl, we love you.