Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2010

RevGal Friday 5: Pie-ola!!!

Songbird asked these five questions about pie:
1) Are pies an important part of a holiday meal? Absolutely!  It's about the only time (other than Ainsley's birthday as she hates cake!) we eat pie!
2) Men prefer pie; women prefer cake. Discuss.
Never heard that one before...I prefer not to make generalizations based on sex regarding cake and pie.

3) Cherries--do they belong in a pie?
In a cherry pie, of course!

4) Meringue--if you have to choose, is it best on lemon or chocolate?
LEMON!  I LOVE lemon mergingue!  LOVE it!

5) In a chicken pie, what are the most compatible vegetables? Anything you don't like to find in a chicken pie?
Compatible--carrots, & peas (my family would highly disagree)
NEVER appropriate--lima beans! ICK!

RevGal Friday 5: Unexpected Thanks

Janwrites: With the American holiday of Thanksgiving being less than a week away, I tried to think of some questions for Friday Five that could be connected to this, but in a new way. So here is my one try:


Name five things that were unexpected in your life that you are now grateful for.
Merkin & Ainsley were complete surprises and I can't imagine my life without them!  Valerie was hoped for and planned and I'm just as grateful for her (can't mention just one of my girls!)!CPE & the preaching group I've been "ordered/suggested" to take by the conference ordination board.  It was terribly hurtful in the way they instructed me to take CPE and the "preaching coach" (have you ever heard of such a thing?  my DS hadn't!) but CPE & the preaching group my DS helped to get started so I could have a "preaching coach" have been very helpful to my personal and professional development as a human being and as a pastor.Getting moved to Nort…

A Conundrum of Preaching

Preaching is a mystery to me.  I've been blessed to find that I actually enjoy it.  In the beginning it was terrifying, truly terrifying to me.  Now that I've come to enjoy it I've discovered (developed?) a bit of a conundrum.

It seems that those days in which I leave the pulpit feeling distraught and frustrated because I had been vague, speaking in platitudes, missing the meat of what I needed to say...those days are ones in which folks tell me after the service it was nice and they enjoyed it and even a few folks will come up days later and tell me how much that sermon  meant to them or spoke to them.  Then there are days like today in which I felt as those I spoke the Gospel, that the Holy Spirit was with me and I came close to saying what was placed before me and everyone in the church looks at me with dead eyes, Joel says I couldn't follow you, I couldn't pay attention and yet I feel like I've actually preached or said something meaningful.

On one hand I a…

RevGal Friday Friday: Winter's on it's way

Singing Owl asks: When it is cold outside:


1. What is your favorite movie for watching when curled up under a wooly blanket?
Depends on who's curled up with me...if it's my eldest it will be something scary; if it's my youngest it will be something silly; if it's my middlest it will be something short as she's most like her father and he doesn't care too much for movies.  All that said, if it was cold and dreary right now I (and my eldest and middlest) would settle in for a Harry Potter marathon!  Oh, why do we have to have such a busy weekend?

2. Likewise, what book?
Given the "now" it would be HP & The Deathly Hallows, otherwise you'd probably find our entire family sitting around reading To Kill A Mockingbird to one another.  We started it on our last road trip--added an extra 1.5 hours to our trip cuz I was more absorbed in listening to the book than in taking the correct turn.  Unbelievably, we've not sat down and finished it--however, …

Hello Stranger!

Hello!

It's been quite a while, 4 weeks since I had my carpal tunnel surgery and I guess it's about time I start typing with my right hand again.  I'm still recovering, at 2.5 weeks the dr. released me (he was going on vacation) and told me to start using my hand.  Unfortunately, I used it a bit much and split the area open--OUCH!  It's not healing quite the way  it should be but it is slowly getting better.  I'm ready to be healed and using my hand freely.  Yes, I am a huge whiner!

CPE has been very good.  During my first overnight at the hospital there were 3 deaths, 4 code alerts, and 2 calls from families that wanted to talk with a chaplain.  I took my first break at 3am (I started at 4:30pm).  It was insane and it took me several days to recover from the lack of sleep.  The powers that be assure me that my first night was not the norm.  I hope that when I go in this coming Friday night things will be much slower!

I hope to be back and blogging a bit more regul…

Vacation

Whew!  It's been a long time since I've blogged! 

Now that I'm on "vacation" it seems appropriate that I spend some time here.  It's been a long day!

Last night we returned from a weekend at "home" (Manitou Springs) with most of our family.  It was great except now I have the itch to return.  For the past few years I've been fine with living in MO but Joel and I were both a mess of tears because we didn't want to leave.

I came up with a plan for our return but I'm hesitant to get to far ahead of myself since our last "plan" to move was squashed by God being such a prankster and inviting me into ministry.  I'm hesitant to see what God has in mind next!  Even if God approves of my plan it will be sometime before we can put it into effect.  For now, I'll check out Iliff's Dmin and PhD programs for fun.  I've got a few things to finish up in MO before jumping that hurdle. 

Today was my first chance to shadow at th…

21

21 years ago today I gave birth to a little boy named Christopher Thomas.  Christopher never took a breath outside of my womb but I miss him just the same.  He lived and grew within me for 6 months.  Even though I was 16 and scared to death I loved him, was in love with him from early on.  Laughing when he first had the hiccups and then thinking he would become a kick-boxer or soccer player the way he moved all the time. 

Christopher would be 21 this year.  Had he been healthy and born on time I would likely still be in mourning today, wondering what he'd be like, if he went to college or had a special someone.  We planned to give him to a wonderful family who would love and take care of him better than a 16 year old girl and boyfriend who'd probably not last another year together, let alone be good parents.  He was never going to be mine.  But he's always been mine, he's always been near. 

I used to get glimpses of him as a 5 year old boy, dark hair, brown eyes and …

Merkin's Birth-day--Happy Birthday Merkin!

Today is a wonderful and beautiful day, my Merkin's 15th birthday!  It's hard to believe that 15 years ago today she was born. 

I had been in labor for nearly 24 hours.  For the most part it was a pretty good 24 hours.  Phil (my father-in-law) still talks about it as the party room.  I was 23 and thrilled to meet my little girl.  My roommate Jenn and my best-friend Valerie took care of me the whole time.  We began with helium balloons and music playing, more friends and family dropping in to say hello. 

Joel (then a friend) dropped in to check on us.  He sat there reading the chart paper telling me when I was having a contraction and how big it was.  I laughed because in the birthing class they warned the dads not to get absorbed in the machines, "That's exactly what they said the dad's would do!"  It seemed hilarious at the time--if we had only known!

Of course, about 12 hours in the hours got longer and the pain began to kick in.  I tried to be good, to a…

RevGal Friday 5: Dorm Life Edition

1) What was the hardest thing to leave behind when you went away to school for the first time?
The city.  I went from a large town/city (Colorado Springs) to a small rural town (Durango, CO) in the mountains.  For the most part I grew up in small rural towns but I had fallen in love with city life (don't laugh--the Springs was city-life to me!). 

My mom and I moved around a lot.  I went to 3 high schools in 4 years so there wasn't much to tie me down to any of them, nor the towns we had lived in.  I was excited and ready for college (so I thought). 

2) We live in the era of helicopter parents. How much fuss did your parents make when you first left home?
Not much.  It wasn't a big deal leaving home-- at the end of my junior year my mom moved to Colorado and left me in Manhattan, KS to complete the last few weeks/month of school.  Then my senior year she moved at semester to another town (she found some crazy old lady and her yappy little dog to live with and "watch ov…

Jesus Camp

As I type I'm watching the documentary, Jesus Camp, with my eldest daughter Merkin.  I am keenly aware that I live in the Bible Belt.  Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church is in our backyard and the folks of Jesus Camp are here as well.

I would love to watch a follow-up to Jesus Camp and see what those kids are doing now.  It was rather spooky for me as I attended a few camps that didn't look so very different.  The biggest difference I noted was that everyone at Jesus Camp spoke in tongues while only a few kids at the camps I attended did. 

Another difference is that the Jesus Camp kids were allowed to listen to Christian rock.  I still remember one of our pastors telling us "Those same drum beats in those Christian bands are the same drum beats of those pagans in Africa."  He told us that one of the African men he saved asked him why their native music was evil when those same drums and rhythms were in the music he listened to at the church.  When I got hom…

dew drops & spiderwebs

Withdrawl

I've been struggling with depression for much of my summer.  I've withdrawn from blogging--reading and writing.  I've withdrawn from friends and the general pursuit of simply enjoying life and having fun.  I've been a less-than-stellar pastor (to say the least).  I've been an uber grumpy mother.  I've not been good.

I confess this here because I can't do so anywhere else.  While this blog is not private, it's also not well-read, so I'm not overly concerned.  Additionally,  I know that I'm not alone in struggling with depression.  I don't need to be ashamed.

So, today I promise, to and for myself, that I will call and make an appointment with a shrink--hopefully through my health insurance.  Something has got to change.  Today is the first step.

This is the day

This is the day.

This is the day that our life truly begins anew.  Each day offers ample opportunity for renewal, redemption, and rededication.  This is our family's day.

It's Monday morning and there is no crying as my girls wave their daddy off to work.  Instead, an early morning argument between mother and teenage daughter.  The house is now quiet with a sleeping spouse and sleeping daughters.  No early morning tears.  No early morning rush scuttlebutting Joel out the door and on the road.  No early morning Monday morose.

This is the day that the Lord has made and I will rejoice and be glad in it!

I write like James Joyce?

Over at Quantum Theology I followed this interesting link.  Supposedly, Margaret Atwood put her info in the application and found that she wrote like Stephen King.  After recently reading his book, On Writing, I'd find that more a compliment than previously thought. 


I write like
James Joyce I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!
James Joyce is pretty high praise.  I didn't expect that at all.  I don't know what or how the application works.  An interesting little toy nonetheless.

more blogging than i thought

it appears that i will be able to do more blogging than i first thought.  there were some blips on my ekg that need to get further checked out before i'm cleared for surgery on friday.  no big whoop but the anethesiologist wants to be sure.

the good news is that i'll be able to use my right hand a while longer.

thank you for your support and prayers!
I've been a bad blogger. I've been pondering taking down the blog permenantly. I rarely post these days and haven't even been in the blogosphere much at all.

As someone told me last week that they wished I'd finally get my stuff together, it hit hard. I feel the same way. I want to have my stuff together. Some days it feels as though for the past two years all I've offered is excuses and apologies for not being on time, forgetting appointments, not making enough pastoral visits,not being in the office, having crappy sermons, etc. It's not just for the church either, it's friends and family. I've been a half-ass pastor and parent and wife and friend and sister.

I've avoided blogging and the blogosphere in hopes of not being distracted, of getting focused. But as I went to visit the RevGals for a final time, before closing my blog, i saw this picture: I recognized my foot.  I also realized how this circle of friends has made my life and ministry bette…

Hosea?

We've been following the Colossians lectionary texts the past 2 weeks. Initially, I'd planned on going through the entire book of Colossians but as I peeked at the lectionary today the Hosea passage caught my eye. I'm just not sure how I could use whore in worship. We have plenty of kids.

I feel a bit hypocritical since I'm the one constantly arguing for reading and dealing with difficult texts in church. Seriously though, when we have a lot of kids then what do you do?

I'd love to hear what you do!

Please do tell!

My Thanksgiving "Good Samaritan"

One year I was driving 6oo miles, from Colorado Springs, CO to Waverly, KS to see my father, step-mother, and sisters for Thanksgiving weekend.

It's an excruciatingly long and boring drive; one that I had made several times. This time I opted to go a new way, away from the major highways. 3 hours away from home, around 6pm, I drove through a little town and as I looked away to adjust my radio I must have hit something in the road and the car spun and flew off the road into a ditch.

I tried not to panic though I was scared to deathand alone on a back road in the middle of "nowhere" (all before the days of cell phones). I gathered myself together, stepped out of the car and began to inspect the damage. The accident shredded one of my tires. Luckily I was just on the outskirts of a small town.

At the edge of town was a farmer's co-op, it looked pretty deserted but thankfully a man was there closing up the shop. The man was very kind and came out to help me get…

Assignment #2: Sentence series

6 years ago my Introduction to Bible professor, Warren, gave me new eyes to see, new ears to hear, and new pages to touch, and new words to read. For 6 long years I have waited to read Solomon’s words of Wisdom; I have waited to hear my name called at the city gates; I have waited to breathe in new breaths of life that I now know will sustain me in the desert and nourish me in the wilderness of life.

Sure, I’ve heard Wisdom cry from the city gates: I was with God in the beginning, helping with creation, and was his daily delight; my words may seem crooked but they are straight; take my words of instruction rather than silver and take my knowledge rather than gold; those who seek will find me; whoever finds me finds life.

I know that words like hers echo and reverberate through the good news of the gospel. In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. I speak in parables, so that looking they may not perceive and listening they may not understand. …

Assignment 1: balanced sentences (I tried)

For 42 weeks she nested in the safe darkness of my womb but on her third day in the scary sunshine world time stopped and spun forward all at once. He walked upstairs to find her swaddled in my arms while I weeping had been stripped to my core. She safely sleeping, I nervously nearing a breakdown.

Time stopped while my life raced forward. I could see her clearly—she was walking, going to her first day of kindergarten, 3rd grade, junior high, and then walking in her cap and gown, all the while we stood still, unchanged except for some extra pounds and a few gray hairs. Her life had just begun, but I could see my life with her would end. I had already lost her to the future.

In 42 weeks she grew from a dot of a zygote to the writhing crying waking creature in my arms, exponentially growing in size and form, never stopping except on that 3rd day of the world outside my womb.

After hearing his laughter at this time stopping—time spinning nonsense the spell was broken for nearly 15 …

PoP: Day 2

I am getting my butt kicked! There are some amazingly gifted writers and thinkers in our group. I had no idea how much I did not know about writing!

Our first day one of the directors told us there were 3 things they assumed and/or wanted us to know:

1. We are all good writers--we could not have graduated from seminary without being able to string sentences together and be clear.

2. This is NOT a competition.

3. We are all in differing places with our writing abilities and we all have improvements to make and stuff to learn.

I've been chanting those three things to myself today. I am quite humbled by the writers that are here with me. Please do not chide me about self-esteem and the like--it's not about that. I've thought of myself as a writer most of my life. I've loved writing for a very long time. I would even say I'm a good writer.

I thought I knew and understood the basics of writing. How hard could it be? I've been writing complete sentences (…

Godde

I've noticed that a few bloggers have started using Godde rather than God. It makes the point that the use of "God" still tends to imply that God is masculine whereas Godde makes the point that Godde is more than simply mascualine and feminine (definately more than a being with a penis!).

I like using Godde--I wonder how my congregation will feel about seeing that in print?

PS. Thanks Shawna!

Putting It One Paper

I'm here! I'm actually here in Collegeville, MN at the Collegeville Ecumenical Institute and just had my introduction to a bit of what I'll be learning and working on in my writing! And do I have a LOT to learn!

As I explored my apartment I sensed just how much God has guided my life. I'm a girl who is more familiar with a trailor than a house with a big back yard and landscaping. Just the other day a good friend of mine pointed out that it doesn't take much to impress me--more than donuts at a hotel breakfast--awesome! I'm low-maintenence like that. I get a haircut every 4 to 6 months or so. I get my eyebrows waxed once a month or so. I have worn the same sandals nearly everyday for the past 4 years (Birkenstocks rock!). I wear jeans to church almost every Sunday. I'm a simple girl.

Today I walked into a small two bedroom apartment. It's nice and clean, simple and looks out over a lake with green trees lining the shore. It's breathta…

Day 6:AC

Today was the first day since Thursday that I did not log at least 300 miles on my car. I've enjoyed and appreciated not driving from Mound City to Springfield this day! It amazes me how exhausting driving can be. Tomorrow I will be driving back to Mound City. I will be glad to be home for the day but I'm not looking towards teh drive.

Earlier tonight we attended the CCYM (Conference Council Youth Ministry) worship. It was awesome! We are blessed by some talented and brave youth (definately brave! I'd be scared to be up on the stage at AC). A group of 7th & 8th graders played and sang! Amazing!

Hopefully I'll have some pictures to post soon!

A first

I had a first today.  It was pretty amusing.

As I watched a young man say good-bye to his family after we celebrated his grandfather's life I noticed that we have the same tattoo!  Slighty different and in different places yet we both have Kokopelli tattooed on our bodies and on the same leg!  His Kokopelli is on his right calf muscle while mine is on my thigh (and thus I did not approach him and show him mine).  After he left I told his mother that her son and I had matching tattoos.  We shared a laughed about it.  I look forward to hearing his response. 

His mom is moving to our town for a while.  I don't know, she doesn't know for how long.  I'm thrilled that she will be around.  She's pretty amazing, funny, witty, and definately someone I'd be good friends with and while I have friends in our area, I don't have any close friends and I have the distinct feeling we'd be close.  I'm glad to know that she'll be around even if only for a short w…

Day 4 & 5

4 days is all it took to break the challenge!  that is true with just about anything i take on--or so it seems.  to be fair to myself, the past 2 days have had at least 5 hours of drive time in them and when i finally got to the hotel and then home i was not up to sitting at a computer.

i'm preparing for a funeral at 2pm.  folks will be here around 1pm for visitation.  i really shouldn't be blogging right now but i'm nervous and still worried about it.

the funeral is for a wonderful man who was pivotal to our church.  i barely knew him.  thankfully his pastor from florida (they were snowbirds) is doing the eulogy and sermon.  i'm essentially the mc.  i'm glad the other pastor came all this way--it says oodles about the pastor and the man whose life we are celebrating.

i hope to see my youngest for a few hours before heading back to annual conference.  otherwise i won't see her for a total of 3 weeks.  i don't think i can do that!  i think i may have to teac…

Day 3, 2nd Take

Weird!  I came back to make a quick post about Phyllis Tickle's book, The Words of Jesus: A Gospel of the Sayings of Our Lord, and noticed that the post I had made a bit earlier tonight never posted!  It has been eaten up by the internet!

I'm taking it as a sign that what I was posting didn't really need to be read. I'll take it as a hint from the fates that it's better not to say such things in this forum.  Now, you're curious aren't you? Ok, so maybe not!

I'm thoroughly enjoying Tickle's writing.  I think this is the first time I've read her.  Last year at the Christianity 21 Conference she stole my heart.  She was witty, sharp, on target, and sweet.  It was a real pleasure to listen to her speak--especially with Sarcastic Lutheran!

I'm not even a third of the way through so I'm not offering a book review--rather I'm encouraging you to pick it up and read it for yourself. 

So here is what I fell in love with yesterday afternoon:
..…

Cause we all need one

Thanks kathrynzj!

Day 2: What's your favorite poem?

It sorta feels like cheating blogging so early.  I have a feeling that my night owlishness is getting a bit extreme!

Hmm...favorite poem?  Just one?  It's by Rod McKuen.  He's known more as a song writer but my senior year of high school I somehow ended up with one of his books, Stanyon Street and Other Sorrows, and fell in love.  I painted this on the back of my denim jacket:

Do not tell me your name
why you came to town
what you do on Sunday
your favorite poet
                    movie
                    comic strip
your age and next of kin
         in case of  accident.

Say instead that I am warm
let your touch talk
let the motion in the darkness speak
then go away if you must
but not while I'm looking.

It was exactly right at that time.  It was the first time that I read a poem and my world felt complete because of it.  It fit.

It doesn't fit quite the same these days but neither does the jacket!  I still have my jacket.  It's one of those items that I will ke…

Day 1

The thing that drew me in to this month's NaBloPoMo's quest to post each day in June was that they are offering daily writing prompts.  I love writing prompts--you never know where they will take you!

I've altered my office hours for the summer.  I don't go in until 10am!  I know it's crazy late but it's summer and it seems that with the girls and it simply being summer, my nights go rather late.  During the summer we rarely have dinner before 9, the evenings are just packed!  I am amazingly blessed to have such flexibility in my career!  It is my hope that I can dedicate this extra morning time to blogging and writing more regularly--hooray!

Today's writing prompt:  When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

The first thing I remember wanting to be was a Sunday School teacher--I didn't have a clue that I could grow up  and be a pastor!  I'm honored to stand behind the pulpit and preach almost every Sunday.  It also thrills me …

Great day at the K!

It was a glorious day at the K!  The sun was shining, we had a great breeze for most of the afternoon.  We were with great friends and even ran into a few by surprise.  The people watching was fierce!  Crazy drunken men and women making fools of themselves and their friends.  We were relieved when we realized that they were not a family--or at least we hope they were not!

My girls didn't fight!  In fact, they got along wonderfully!  On our way home, they even talked about how great it was to just hang out and get along--they talked about how much they enjoyed being with each other!  I began to worry that perhaps this was my gift before wrecking the car and taking us out in a horrific car crash!  Thankfully, we all arrived safe at home tonight!

I wish I had a picture of the kid's face who sat in front of Merkin.  The Royals' announcer began playing an instrumental version of Lil' Mama's "Lip Gloss."  Merkin made a crack about me being old and asked if I kn…

My youngest...

My youngest is a bit silly and has a pretty wicked sense of humor. 

Today when I walked into the house after my middle daughter's softball practice, Ains greeted me as Lady Gaga in her big (est) sister's snow boots, crazy hair, and a skirt used as a shirt/mini-dress singing "Rah-rah-ra-ra-ra" with some crazy dance moves.  It was pretty darn cute.

Like most 8 year olds she still stalls when it's time for bed.  Tonight she brought me a note from her teacher.  I then proceeded to read it out loud "Ainsley is getting one of the special awards...she does not know she gets one."  She burst out laughing.  I asked if her teacher had told her not to read the note.  Her face lit up as she said, "No!  She didn't say a word!"  She had already read it.  Too funny!  It wasn't taped together or anything.  I guess she'll have to act suprised on Friday!

Another

This morning I found out that another member of our church has passed away.  This will be 4 funerals in 2 weeks.  That's a new record for me.  One I'd rather not have.  I realize I need to stop being whiny.  I'll work on that!

Another wonderful person has left this world for a better place, place where everyone is whole and in the direct presence of God.  That's a beautiful thing but it's a bit much for those of us who are still here.  I was looking forward to this person's return and getting a hard time from them and some direction with my preaching.  This person really listened and gave me real feedback--not just, "that was  a nice sermon, pastor."

They were well loved by our community and their family and will continue to be loved through stories and memories.

Peace be with you B.  Say hello to Jesus for us!

I pushed the button

I pushed the hot-button issue today in church--I cowardly did not take "a stand" but said that we are a church and that as a church we welcome all people no-matter what.  Really not very radical at all but in our little corner of the world saying homosexuality in church might be enough to get in hot water.  I say that all the time--church is for everyone--no matter what, today I just mentioned homosexuality with it.  At the small church it was fine--heads nodded right along with me.  At the city church it was pretty quiet and no one even mentioned it.  I'm not quite sure what that means.

On a completely different topic--I bought a fabulous new luggage bag!  FABULOUS!  It's a Heys USA Exotic in Black and White Zebra stripes, 26in and so it will have to get checked but that's ok. 

RevGal Friday 5: Family Tree Edition

1. Do you have any interest in geneaology?  Yes, I like getting the stories behind birthdates, weddings, and deaths.

2. Which countries did your ancestors come from? Holland, Germany, Scotland, & England (there are some rumors about American Indian bloodlines but I haven't seen that verified)

3. Who is the farthest back ancestor whose name you know?
Off the top of my head it's my great-grandfather, Casper Yockey (now, my hubby could probably name off someone much further back in my family cuz he's the one who does the research!)

4. Any favorite saints or sinners in the group?
Daisy Belle Yockey--my grandmother who is definately both saint and sinner!

5. What would you want your descendants to remember about you? I hope to live a life worthy of the names Christian and pastor.  I hope that people can honestly say that I loved like Christ.

Liturgical Snobbery

I am a liturgical snob.

We buried my grandfather today.  The pastor used the time to do an expanded altar call rather than celebrate the life of my grandfather or to offer any words of comfort whatsoever.

I thought that surely he would offer some traditional prayers at the burial--you know, some ashes to ashes, dust to dust, recieve this man into your open and loving arms, comfort this family, something!  I must admit--he did ask God to comfort us but that was it.  I wanted to hear about my grandfather being received/admitted into heaven, being made whole through Christ Jesus.

I did not want to hear that it was the time to decide whether or not to accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior.  I did not need to hear that  going to church, belonging to a church or denomination did not guarantee me admitance to the afterlife or that heaven is a litural place somewhere in the sky/up above. 

I've been to one other funeral that totally upset me as much as this one did.  That was for my cousin, …

welcome to ministry

this week has been one of those "welcome to ministry" weeks.  it seems as if there are certain events/times/whatever that one "truly" gets introduced into ministry--sometimes they are wonderful and beautiful like when i was honored to baptize a little guy on Easter morning.  more often it/they are the moments that sear with pain and confusion or insane business.

yesterday was a very emotional day.  this week has been a heavy one. 

a wonderful and beautiful man passed away on Sunday, we'd been waiting for him to let go for some time.  he was also a man of devout and inspiring faith so while it was sad to lose it, it wasn't a horrible shock to the system.  he had a long and good life filled with faith and love.  i hope to die like that too.  his wife has been amazing and strong--she is an inspiration.  her faith is immense and beautiful to see.

this week begun with a mix of sorrow and inspiration.  then my grandfather had a stroke.  my grandfather who chewed…

check it out: Baxter's Ongoing Thoughts

I've decided to make an effort to read more blogs and get back into blogging on a consistant basis.  Over at Baxter's Ongoing Thoughts is a great article on our thoughts about ourselves and our thoughts about God.  It's a great read and I highly reccomend it.

Baxter asks about our "I am nots..."  For example, I am not...
brilliantamazingdeservingsmart enoughpretty enoughholy enoughthin enoughgenerous enoughmusicalhealthy...you get the picture. Whar are you not?

He goes on to talk about what people think of God, a few examples
God is:
judgingangrydemandingdissatisfied with humansetc.He points out that we often project our own negative aspects onto god.  God is so much more than anything we can projectonto  God-either postive or negative.  Why is this so easy to forget?  Why is it so diffcult to to recognize the ?Christ within us, I am like God.  I am...we are...
LovingKindCompassionesensitive to the needs and desires of othersrespectfulcreativebeautifulWhat/how are y…
It's been a while since I've blogged.  I hope to do better at blogging regularly.  This past week I was reminded just how important it is and has been in my life.  I was blessed to spend 5 days with some amazing RevGals! 

We were also blessed by the teachings of Nanette Sawyer and she directed us in the areas of spiritual discipline, hospitality to God, self, enemies, family, and creation.  I especially appreciated the times in which we named and shared those places and/or activitites in which we are especially awakened to the presence of God in our lives.  I remembered how good it feels to just write with pen and paper--not for any purpose, just to write.  I remembered that photography helps me to witness the beauty of this wondrous creation and to offer thanksgiving to God.  I remembered how wonderful it is just to pray with my girls and listen to their thoughts and prayers.  I was reminded how the laughter of good friends heals the rough spots of our lives.  I was reminded…

Does this sound right to you?

As I looked upon my Yahoo page this caught my attention, "Medical Rights for Gays."  Now, when I clicked on the link it led to an article called, "Obama extends medical rights to gay partners."  I was relieved to find a better headline but I found it troublesome to read "Medical Rights for Gays."  I am thrilled that finally partners/signficant others of anyone will be able to see their beloved when they are in ill condition or at their last in the hospital.  I've heard heart breaking stories from friends not being able to say good-bye because parents didn't approve of "their lifestyle."

When we say "gays" or "lifestyle" it totally takes the human reality of the relationship of love out of the equation.  Gays sounds like "the gays" or someother bizarro it/thing.  Lifestyle implies there is some other way of living--something other than breathing, eating, and loving.  It sounds as if "the gays", thos…

A Glorious Easter!

Last week was a difficult week for me.  We lost a beloved woman, one especially close to my heart.  Her husband then fell and broke his hip, another man returned to the hospital possibly with an additional stroke (he regressed quite a bit in just a few days) and it was Holy Week with extra services and preparations. 

Quite truthfully, I was feeling a bit sorry for myself and struggled with some depression.  Then I read an email from another pastor in this area about his Easter experience which was wonderful.  As I emailed him back, thanking him for sharing his story I shared a bit of mine and it hit me just how wonderful and blessed I was by our Easter and how blessed I am in general, so I thought I'd share some good news for a change!

Within my first few months there was a crisis with a family that hit really close to home for me.  A couple lost a child far along in the pregnancy.  The doctors told them it was unlikely they could ever have one.  It was devastating.  Then they lo…

A day with the Spirit

I was concerned about worship this morning.  Not so much worship but my sermon.  I did my research but hadn't made a preaching plan.  However, thanks be to God!  Worship was awesome!  Sometimes I wonder if I should ever make a worship plan, outline, manuscript because sometimes when I don't have a clue what I'm going to say, God provides the words and it's way better than what I could have come up with!  I know this morning the Spirit was with me because I could not have done that own my own. 

I napped the afternoon away which is both good and bad.  I'll stick with good.  We had a small but good youth group tonight.  I had a wonderful visit with a great couple who demonstrate with their lives what it is to be Christian not just in word but in deed as well.

As I stepped into the house and began to switch into sweats Joel told me to stop that someone had come by and needed me to visit their mother because she has refused to take any of her meds and is "ready.&q…

RevGal Friday 5: Redo, Refresh, Restore

Songbird writes: We're in the thick of it in church life as we approach the end of Lent. Palm Sunday and Holy Week await. In the midst of this busy-ness, I undertook a little redecorating here at RevGalBlogPals and found a new template for us.
It's the sort of task I like in the middle of chaos, a chance to redo something, to refresh the way I feel, to restore some sense of order.

Please share with us five ways you redo or refresh or restore your body, your space, your blog, anything in your life that needs perking up this week.EVERYTHING needs perking up this week!  So it feels anyway.  Funny how just one or two things can make it feel as if everything is unraveling.  Thank goodness it is just one or two things!
Redo:  Often when I get stressed I need to "order" something so I will rearrange furniture in my house and/or office.  I, like Songbird, also redesign my blog.  Sometimes I have only enough energy to rearange the bookshelves in the living room.  Yesterday I to…

It's a start!

I've been reading Rev. Debbie Blue's From Stone to Living Word--Letting the Bible Live Again (I know, I've mentioned it at least once before!) and in her endnotes I found a great resource to something I began thinking about last week.  As I was working on an entry for Feminist Theology in an Age of Fear and Hope I began thinking about God's love being like that of an abused child. 

While I have read lots of stuff about the suffering servant, this seemed a bit different.  I doubted that I was the first one to think of this and emailed some folks looking for resources.  I'm still waiting to get a response from one of my profs from seminary (hopefully there will be one).

Lo and behold, in Rev. Blue's notes was a reference to an article by James Allison in 2006!  Needless to say I'm a bit excited!  I can't wait to come back after I've read it! 

I better get to it so I can read it, let it rest, work on other stuff I need to be working on and come back …

Good-bye D, you are already missed

This evening the world lost a wonderful man.  I am blessed to have had him in my life for a year and a half.  He came home from the hospital in November of 2008.  The doctors had given him a week at most to finish out his life and say good-bye to his family and friends. 

He has lived fully until a few days ago.  He had some bad days but for the most part he lived, loved, laughed, and squeezed every drop of life there was for him to have.  He knew how to live and how to die.  I am honored to have known him and to have been his pastor.

Good-bye D and give Jesus a big hug from me.
I'll always love you and never forget you!

Sunday Services

This morning we had worship for the first time in several weeks at the small country church I serve.  It was only our 2nd service since Dec. 13, 2009!  The weather has been that crazy! 

It felt so good to be back at the small church.  There were 6 of us in attendence and it was a wonderful worship.  One of my favorite things about this church is its honesty.  When we gather it's ok to say I used to have an alcohol problem or I have an alcohol problem, I was abused, I was a pregnant teenager, I've been to jail, I cheated on my spouse or I got straight A's this week, I had a great week at work and helped to save 2 people's lives.   Whatever is going on is what these folks want to know about.  If there are appearances to be kept I don't know what they are and that's what I love about it.  I had forgotten how good it feels to be at a church in which we are who we are and that is ok and God loves us in our brokenness and offers a better way.

This morning there was …

Finally, I've decided!

Lent came upon us especially quick this year.  I've been struggline to decide what to do or take on as a Lenten devotion/discipline,  I wanted it to be meaningful and that would truly pull me closer to God.  Merkin gives up meat every Lent and she's very disciplined about it.  Another friend and her family gave up fast food--that seems impossible and I applaud them!  A different friend gave  up cheeseburgers.  Several people I know gave up pop/sodas/Cokes. 

I've finally decided what it will be, on Fridays I will fast from television and the computer.  This will be quite challenging for me and open up much of my day for prayer and thanksgiving, time  to be quiet with God.  It could also bring me closer to my family.  While I'm a bit late, I'm happy to have finally decided!

RevGal Friday 5: Spring Cleaning Edition

Sally writes: 
I have been thinking about spring, although it is still ver cold here the snow has almost gone and the sun is shining. Here and there spring bulbs are bravely pushing their way through the earth and Tim and I are thinking about planting the first of the years veggies in the garden!
Then I read:  The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We're Christ's representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God's work of making things right between them. We're speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he's already a friend with you. (2 Corninthians 5: 17-20 The M…