Saturday, May 30, 2009

I've been a bad blogger


I've been a bad blogger and I apologize. However, I received an email from Nablopomo about their theme for June--Heroes and I can't resist!

A month of heroes, what could be better? So for the month of June I'm hoping to be faithful to the theme and at least blog about one of my heroes each day. I have lots of real life heroes and love comic book heroes as well, so there is plenty to talk about!

Here's hoping that this help me to get my blog on!

Blog on my friends, blog on!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Taken


I just finished watching the movie, Taken, with Liam Neeson. I LOVED it! It's violent, totally unbelievable, but man oh man, Liam kicks some booty!


So what is that about? In real life, I attempt to be a peaceful person and avoid violence as much as possible. Yet, I love crazy unbelievable action movies--Taken, Face Off, Fight Club, Sin City, Pulp Fiction. What is up with that? It seems like a complete break with who I think I am.


What is it about us, humans, that seem to almost crave violence and carnage? Is that simply part of our brokeness or is it more complicated than that?

Saturday, May 16, 2009

It's been a while since I've posted. My mom was visiting and things have just been busy. Since I've began writing the daily devotionals for our church, I find it difficult to find time, energy, or simply something to say on the blog.

This past week, I found out that I need to start taking B-12 (or B vitamin) shots. I look forward to having some energy again but it was a shock to find out that I even needed them. It's always a blessing and a curse recieving news like that. One the one hand, it's nice to know that there is something that can be done

The girls have 1.5 days of school left. It's difficult to beleive, especially when it was rather chilly all day today! Don't get me wrong I'm greatly enjoying the weather but it's just unreal. By this time of the year we're usually hot and muggy. I'll take cool breezes any days!

Not much else to say. Just thought I should check in!

Oh yeah! Merkin is now a cheerleader! Wowsers! I'm a cheeleader mom! Who'd of thunk it?

Monday, May 4, 2009

Blessings

This weekend has been full of blessings.

Saturday afternoon I presided over my first baptism and other than my nerves it couldn't have been better. I had the privilege of baptising a precious 3 year old boy. He looked absolutely in awe of the water as I sprinkled it on his head and when I let him dip his hands into it. He held my hand as we walked down the isle and presented him to everyone and I told him that these were the folks he'd call at 3am when he's 16 and too afraid to call his parents (thanks E-dogg!). It was a wonderful afternoon and I was blessed to be a part of it.

Yesterday at the town church we had a full house as we celebrated all of our graduates--college, high school, jr. high, and preschool. We also promoted our 2nd graders and gave them their 3rd grade Bibles. I don't know what is behind the tradition but every UMC I've been to gives out "3rd grade Bibles." I'd love to know, if you have a clue why 3rd grade is so special in the UMC.

Almost all of our folks who travel south for the winter are back. It's lovely to have them home.

I was especially blessed by someone who came up to me after church and said they loved that the church was hopping again. The service was pretty crazy--my microphone wasn't working for the first part of the service, during the children's sermon some folks moved things around for Communion that had been missed earlier, and then giving out Bibles to all of the graduates and 3rd graders was hectic, it was wonderful to hear this person be glad that we were "hopping" because s/he could have easily have been disgruntled by all of the chaos.

Last night we did something we rarely do--the whole family drove to Maryville and had dinner at Paligia's (polly-eyes) which is a great pizza and spaghetti place. It was fun to be a family out having dinner together. Often it is just me and the girls (usually) at some fast food place, if Joel's home we might grab some sub sandwiches and bring them home, or on rare occasions Joel and I will have a date/dinner out night. It was simply a lovely day and evening. We even went grocery shopping together without much fuss!

I'm thankful for this "boring" life in a small town--who'd ever guess? Certainly not me! I'm so glad that God knows best!

Blessings for you this coming week!

Friday, May 1, 2009

RevGal Friday 5: Seasons and Rituals of Life

Sally writes
It is the first of May, or as I have been concentrating
on dialogue with folk interested in the new spirituality movement this last
week, it is Beltane, a time to celebrate the beginning of summer.


The BBC web-site tells us that:
Beltane is a Celtic
word which means 'fires of Bel' (Bel was a Celtic deity). It is a fire festival
that celebrates of the coming of summer and the fertility of the coming
year.Celtic festivals often tied in with the needs of the community. In spring
time, at the beginning of the farming calendar, everybody would be hoping for a
fruitful year for their families and fields.Beltane rituals would often include
courting: for example, young men and women collecting blossoms in the woods and
lighting fires in the evening. These rituals would often lead to matches and
marriages, either immediately in the coming summer or autumn.

Another advert for a TV programme that has caught my
eye on the UK's Channel 4 this weekend is called Love, Life and leaving; and is
a look at the importance of celebrating the seasons of life through ritual and
in the public eye, hence marriages, baptisms and funerals.
I believe that we
live in a ritually impoverished culture, where we have few reasons for real
celebration, and marking the passages of life;


1. Are ritual markings of birth marriage and death important to you?
I love rituals but unfortunately I cannot say that I've participated much in rituals for birth, marriage, and death. Yes, there are the baptisms/blessings, marriages, and funerals but for whatever reasons they do not fully represent or embrace what I consider rituals. Perhaps that is because they vary so much, there might be one or two pieces that are the same.
2. Share a favourite liturgy/ practice.
This past year one of our members was voted Sheriff and officially starting the job on Jan. 1. The Sunday before we blessed him at church and while looking for materials I came across John Wesley's Covenent Renewal Service (UMC BOW 288-294). It is often used on New Year's Eve or Day but can be used at any time of the year. We used it as part of our service the Sunday before Jan. 1. I loved it. One of the focal points is Wesley's Covenent Prayer which I love:
I am no longer my own, but thine.
Put me to what thou
wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed for thee or laid aside for thee,
exalted for thee or
brought low for thee.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all
things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things to thy
pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and
Holy Spirit,
thou art mine, and I am thine.
So be it.
And the
covenant which I have made on earth,
let it be ratified in heaven.
Amen.

3. If you could invent ( or have invented) a ritual what is it for?
Oh, there are many I'd love to work on! Loss of a pregnancy, divorce, pre and/or post abortion, a ritual for birth you'd do in the hospital or home right after the birth, the celebration of beginning and ending the teen years, a better ritual for the celebration of life/death and ressurrection/funerals, onset of menstration and menopause.
4. What do you think of making connections with neo-pagan / ancient festivals? Have you done this and how? I think many of our festivals in the church are already connected to ancient and pagan festivals whether we admit to it or not. I think there is richness in many of these ancient festivals but I'm not ready to begin incorporating them into churchlife. As an aside, my daughter's best friend went to a neo-pagan celebration of another friend's onset of menstration. Part of that included the girl wearing a white dress and her guests "painting" her with their hands dipped in red paint. I'm torn between this been over the top or wonderful. They had red-velvet cake and everything centered on red. Interesting if nothing else!
5. Celebrating is important, what and where would your ideal celebration be?
Hmmm...that is an extraordinarily difficult question. My ideal celebration for our 15th wedding anniversary would be for Joel and I to be whale watching in Alaska. My ideal celebration for each of my girls' 16th birthdays would be to take them each to NYC and do things specific to their interests--visiting the art museums for my artist and taking an art class, taking my writer to the main branch of the NYC library and absorb all of those writers who have gone before us and write at least one story/poem while we are there, for my drama queen taking her to an acting class and a show. Those are just a few ideas I have for wonderful celebrations.