Thursday, December 14, 2006

a REAL book meme

saw this on ysmarko's blog

The rules are:

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next four sentences on your blog, along with these instructions.
5. Don’t you dare dig for that “cool” or “intellectual” book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest!

1. Skipping Christmas by John Grisham

2., 3., & 4. He entered the Trogdon home through the side door of the garage, and felt like a burglar for the first time in memory. When he opened the door to the house, an alarm beeped for a few seconds, very long seconds in which Luther's heart froze and his entire life and career flashed before him. Caught, arrested, convicted, his license revoked, banished by Wiley & Beck, disgraced. Then it stopped, and he waited another few seconds before he could breathe.

This is SO much better than the APA manual!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Remembering baby Jesus

I became an accidental collector of nativity sets. I mean, I didn’t intentionally collect them, but I have several. Among the collection is a ceramic one made by my Grandmother for me when I was in elementary school. One is handmade from County Tipperary, Ireland each piece signed by its maker. One is carved from olive wood purchased in Bethlehem.

When The Entertainer was 2 or 3, the olive wood nativity was on a large round end table that was the perfect height for her to see and move the figures. The figures changed position often depending on which girl had been in the room last. If The SportsQueen, who was 5 or 6, had been there last, all of the figures would be in a circle around baby Jesus.

One afternoon, I happened to notice that baby Jesus was missing. I looked on the floor, under the couches, in between the cushions, I couldn’t find baby Jesus. I finally asked the girls if they knew where baby Jesus was. The Entertainer did.

She took me to her room where baby Jesus was laying in her crib. I think she took the words of “Away in a Manger” to heart. Baby Jesus had “no crib for his head,” so she gave him a crib – her crib.

I gently explained to The Entertainer that baby Jesus needed to stay on the table with his momma. More than once I told her that baby Jesus wants to be with his momma.

The next time I noticed baby Jesus was MIA I went her crib to retrieve baby Jesus . Sure enough there was baby Jesus ... and his momma.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Fa-la-la-la-la, La Friday Five from RevGalBlogPals

Fa-la-la-la-la, La Friday Five

Reverendmother here... those of you who read my blog know I have a love-hate relationship with the 24/7 Christmas music we're subjected treated to in stores and radio (in the U.S. at least). It gets too sentimentally sticky-sweet sometimes, yet I find myself unable to resist it. Nothing says "it's Christmas" to me like John Denver and Rolf the Dog singing "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." So...

1. A favorite 'secular' Christmas song. Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth duet by Bing Crosby and David Bowie

2. Christmas song that chokes you up (maybe even in spite of yourself--the cheesier the better) Breath of Heaven by Amy Grant

3. Christmas song that makes you want to stuff your ears with chestnuts roasted on an open fire. Grandma got run over by a reindeer

4. The Twelve Days of Christmas: is there *any* redeeming value to that song? Discuss. It's the last vestige of the real season of Christmas in popular culture -- not that anyone knows the 12 days of Christmas are after Christmas. And its better than "99 bottles of beer on the wall" during road trips

5. A favorite Christmas album A Charlie Brown Christmas by Vince Guaraldi

Bonus Christmas Songs that crack me up: St Stephen's Day murders by Elvis Costello and the Chieftans and Veggie Tale's Christmas

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Christmas meme from SpookyRach

1. Eggnog or Hot Chocolate? Hot chocolate mmm
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? usually unwrapped, if wrapped, wrapped in special Santa paper
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? color, the more the better
4. Do you hang mistletoe? we have one grownup and two kids -- all girls -- the only boy is the dog. We love him but we're not kissin' him. No mistletoe.
5. When do you put your decorations up? Whenever there is a break in the madness. The tree etc are still in the attic. The only thing "up" is the Advent wreath
6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Spinach dip with water chesnuts, little smokies, crunchy chocolate peanut butter balls, "chicken stuff"
7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child? the elves delivering a bike while I was taking a bath when I was 6 and turning off the room lights to watch the bubble lights on the tree

8. When or how did you learn the truth about Santa? I recognized my mom's handwriting (that's why Santa doesn't wrap gifts at our house)
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Sometimes they are all already opened. When the girls were very little, I thought it was not right for Santa to deliver and 2 hours later they had to leave the gifts and go to dad's. So we called Santa to see if he would mind coming a little early. He has been very accomodating over the years. So Christmas Eve really is about Jesus and church stuff. And this preacher gets to sleep in on Christmas Day morning and so do the girls.
10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? Every year the girls get an ornament each and I get a Peanuts ornament. They each put their's on the tree, I put a few of mine on the tree. When they grow up and move out, their ornaments go with them and I'll have all Peanuts.
11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? I really don't like snow. I get too cold. Cold hurts my bones. Of course, the girls love it.
12. Can you ice skate? Barely. But I choose not to any more, too cold and hurts my knees.
13.Have you ever fallen on the ice? yep.
14. Do you remember your favorite gift? A Snoopy phone, Vince Guaraldi's Jazz Mass at Grace Cathedral CD, and football autographed by Steve Largent (Go Seahawks!)

15. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you? 11 pm Christmas Eve service, good story for sermon, presents for the girls
16. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Chocolate Cheesecake
17. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Candles, carols, and communion on Christmas Eve
18. What tops your tree? a beautiful angel
19. Which do you prefer giving or receiving? giving, slightly more, but I squeal for the perfect gift
20. What is your favorite Christmas Song? Breath of Heaven by Amy Grant; Still, Still, Still; Christmastime is here; Away in a manger with cradle song tune; Happy Birthday Jesus sung by the Entertainer
21. CANDY CANES!! YUCK OR YUM?? mint of any kind, yuck! other flavors, yum!
22.What is your favorite Christmas movie? The Bells of St Mary's (just dial O for O'Malley), Holliday Inn, White Christmas, and A Christmas without Snow
23. Rudolph, Frosty the Snowman or Charlie Brown? Charlie Brown. I always get goose bumps when Linus says, "Lights please" and then recites Luke 2

book meme

saw this on ysmarko's blog

The rules are:

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next four sentences on your blog, along with these instructions.
5. Don’t you dare dig for that “cool” or “intellectual” book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest!

1. Since I'm finishing my last paper (due by 6 pm 12/06), the book is the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 5th edition.

2., 3., & 4. in the 2nd and 11th grades ... the 2nd-grade students
on 2 trials ... on the remaind 18 trials
4 of the 40 stimulus words
in 7 blocks ... in 12 blocks
the 6th group ... 12 groups

Okay, so I'm doing this again AFTER the paper ... watch for Cornwell or Meltzer

Saturday, December 02, 2006

RevGalBlogPals Friday Five Adventually

riday Five: Adventually

From Songbird: Although it comes as late as it can this year, Advent is upon us. Some of us grew up observing it, while to others (including this childhood Baptist) it was even more foreign than Lent! Over the past twenty years, I have grown to love Advent as a season of preparation, although as a pastor I find it harder to practice it at home than at church, even when the church might prefer I make it the other way 'round.

Here are five questions about Advent for this first of December:

1) Do you observe Advent in your church? Yes. Went to Cokesbury today to purchase a new Christ candle just for the Advent wreath.

2) How about at home? We attempt to observe Advent at home. We have seasonal prayers that follow the church seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, and ordinary time. This year our Advent wreath is out for the first time in years. The Entertainer doesn't remember the last time we had it out. We are substituting tea lights for the tapers because we couldn't find any small enough to fit.

3) Do you have a favorite Advent text or hymn? O Come O Come Emmanuel. The O Antiphons are copywrited by the Benedictine sisters. I learned O Come O Come Emmanuel at Benedictine College with the antiphons in the "nuns" chapels that had seats facing each other instead of facing the altar. I didn't know about Advent until BC. For me Advent starts with O Come O Come Emmanuel. I especially like Manheim Steamroller's version.

4) Why is one of the candles in the Advent wreath pink? (You may tell the truth, but I'll like your answer better if it's funny.) Because someone washed the red Walmart Christmas candles with the white Christmas Eve church candles ...

5) What's the funniest/kitschiest Advent calendar you've ever seen? A house with many windows and one door. There were cats for each opening. It had cat treats. Yes, that would put a whole different understanding to presents at the cat house.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

first grade mumps

A long time ago, when I was a first grader, I got the mumps from the MMR. Not bad, but bad enough to be home. Gran'ma was in the kitchen. I was on the couch.

I might have been watching TV or I might have been just there on the couch. The Christmas tree was decorated and standing at the end of the couch. I made Gran'ma leave the lights on all day.

We had bubble lights. They were so cool to watch all day. And even when the TV was on for cartoons, the bubble lights had to stay on because they were so cool.

At some point, the cat decided that the real live Cedar Christmas tree was fair game for her claws. The tree fell over on the couch. On me. I could just barely see above the top of the tree but I couldn't move.

Gran'ma rescued me.

And threw the cat out.

I wasn't hurt at all. Can't vouch for the cat.

Christmas memories.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

so many books so little time

What this really means is that I have other books (Cornwell, already started, and Meltzer) to read after I finish the last thing for class.

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm

You're probably in the final stages of a Ph.D. or otherwise finding a way to make your living out of reading. You are one of the literati. Other people's grammatical mistakes make you insane.

Dedicated Reader
Literate Good Citizen
Book Snob
Fad Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz

Friday, November 24, 2006

Black Friday Five from RevGalBlogPals

Black Friday Five

1. Would you ever/have you ever stood in line for something--tickets, good deals on electronics, Tickle Me Elmo? I stood in line for about 30 minutes for concert tickets but not ever for "speical" sales event or item. I've never camped out for anything except a camping trip.

2. Do you enjoy shopping as a recreational activity? Not so much. Online works really well for me.

3. Your favorite place to browse without necessarily buying anything. Any bookstore, except I usually end up buying something, or Home Depot.

4. Gift cards: handy gifts for the loved one who has everything, or cold impersonal symbol of all that is wrong in our culture? Gift cards are great because they don't tend to break during shipping, the cost of delivery is low, and the satisfaction is generally high. I do want to purchase meaningful gifts for those I love and care about but sometimes the practicality of delivery is horrible. But then again with online shopping, there's "ship to" which cuts down on the delivery problems.

5. Discuss the spiritual and theological issues inherent in people coming to blows over a Playstation 3. "For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God" Instant gratification meets scaricity that will be abundance in a few months. The fruits of the spirit applied to shopping might be a good idea, especially the patience, kindness, and self-control part.

Bonus questions related to video games since I'm not a shopping queen or princess:
And what's your high score on your favorite game?
How long did it take for you to get there?

When I had time to play more video games (right now it's hit and miss), I played a Star Wars Podracer game on our Nintendo 64.

Tangent: I spent so much time playing that I aggravated my arthritis in my thumb. when my dr. asked how I was doing and I told her my thumb hurt, she asked what was going on with that? I told her I'd been playing Nintendo and she just looked at me. not a typical complaint in her office, I'm sure.

It took me three weeks to figure out that I would never be a good podracer so I became a terrific podcrasher. I learned to crash in spectacular ways. The goal turned into the number of spectacular crashes before running out of time or crossing the finish line ordinary, still on the track crashes didn't count.

I also like the Harry Potter games and wish I had time to play more. Since I only have one final and one project left for the semester, Harry and I may get to spend some time together ... or maybe Super Monkey Ball but it should be Mario Dance Revolution.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Whats the word

Yourself: enthusiastic
Your partner: nonexistent
Your hair: short
Your Mother: narcissistic
Your Father: dead
Your Favorite Item: book
Your dream last night: friends
Your Favorite Drink: DietMtDew
Your Dream Car: 4Runner
Your Dream Home: owned
The Room You Are In: den
Your Ex: unprintable
Your fear: asthma
Where you Want to be in Ten Years? home
Who you hung out with last night: dog
What You're Not: froufrou
Muffins: chocolate
One of Your Wish List Items: timeshare
Time: late
The Last Thing You Did: comment
What You Are Wearing: sweats
Your favorite weather: spring
Your Favorite Book: Potter
Last thing you ate?: brownie
Your Life: full
Your mood: content
Your Best Friends: busy
What are you thinking about right now?: football
Your car: comfortable
What are you doing at the moment: typing
Your summer: hot
Relationship status: what???
What is on your tv?: NFL
What is the weather like: warm
When is the last time you laughed: today

i told you

Take this quiz at

Happy Thanksgiving

thanksgiving dinner's sad and thankless

christmas dinner's dark and blue

when you stop and try to see it

from a turkey's point of view.

Shel Siverstein

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

From RevGalBlogPals

All three of you who read, be sure to post!

Thanksgiving Delurking Week

There are so very many things in our lives that we can be thankful for. I personally, am thankful for such a wonderful group people represented by the RevGals and BlogPals and our community here online. At Bits and Odd Pieces of Mindy's Kingdom recently, some of us were noticing that there has been a drop in commenting recently. So, in honor of Mindy, Princess of Everything, we are having a Thanksgiving Delurking week! (Please notice the cow; that's for Mindy).

Place this image on your blog and announce Delurking Week, starting today and going until November 26th. When you visit a blog, you can either just say "Thank you for blogging" or place a blogstone (o) (The invention of PPB of The Ice Floe) or whatever verbage the Spirit moves you to leave.

Let the Delurking begin!

boomer sooner

I am not a Sooner fan. But sometimes the Sooners bring my college roommate close enough to eat together. I like it when we get to see each other. She grew up an Okie and I love her anyway.

She travels to a lot of OU games. Most of the time she says, "Watch for me on TV. I'll be the one wearing red." She is the reason I know about Carl Pendleton.

Carl Pendleton is giving up his last year of eligibilty in football. He is a starter for OU. Unlike most guys with one year left, he's not giving up to go pro. He's giving up to raise his 10 year old brother. Part of the story is here.

Sports Illustrated has an article in the
Nov 13 issue about Carl.

Carl is the President of FCA at OU.

He even teaches Sunday School.

Because of the NCAA rules regarding gifts for athletes, people who would like to help Carl with money to raise his brother can't.

Carl turned down an honorarium for speaking and his brother said, "But we're broke!"

Carl kept telling his brother that God would take care of them.

Carl has been awarded an $18,000 scholarship for Draddy Trophy finalists.

Carl's little brother said, "You're right!"
Carl asked, "About what?"
"God does take care of us!"

Thanks be to God.
Boomer Sooner.

it's 2 am do you know where your sleep is?

I'm awake because I just finished a project for a class.

I had church conference on Sunday with an "interesting" section. i don't like interesting church conferences. boring is much better. no. really. boring means no one had an agenda.

Anyway, I was up until 4 am finishing sermon, pastor's report, and making sure the right forms with the right number of copies were in the right folders. I think this year's experience may have convinced the secretary that 3 weeks in advance to start the paperwork is not too much.

And then, on Monday at 6 pm, I had a final due. And due at midnight, a short but well researched paper and major project. All of that is completed. So even though I am actually finished with all that, my brain is still on. Where is that off switch? I'm really not uptight about anything in particular, I just can't get shut down.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


I am working on a project (well really I'm stalling) for class on gratitude. I'm watching reruns of The Amazing Race. I am facinated by the interaction of the teams. The bickering vs. the blessing. The griping vs. the gratitude. The class, the show, the sermon for Sunday are all swirling around in my head, kinda like stew, flavoring one another while retaining their own distinctiveness.

Amazingly, this Sunday, that has lost her sermon, is Committment Sunday, all church Thanksgiving Luncheon, and Charge Conference. We'll have all of that in less than four hours. Now that I 've been reading the academic stuff about gratitude, I feel a sermon coming on. I just need a scripture to back up my preconceived notions ...

To be honest the whole prep thing for charge conference does not really lend itself toward gratitude. I have scheduled the Lay Leadership (nominations) committee and had only ONE out of NINE show up. twice.

And there's this whole mess with utilities for the parsonage.

I've got all the understanding I need of Bowen Family Systems and/or Heifetz's adaptive change to put the utility thing into perspective. However, in the face of personalized attacks couched in language that does not take ownership for the damage, gratitude is most assuredly a choice.

And I choose gratitude. There are so many things for which I am grateful at this church.

  • I have had so many folks who express support on a regular basis.
  • We have visitors in worship 3 out of 4 Sundays a month.
  • Sunday when I did not feel well at all, church members took my girls home with them, fed them, took one to a birthday party, and brought the other home about 2:30. Another church member delivered party girl after the party was over.
  • While we are not rolling in money, we are SO much better than we were last year at this time. Last year we needed about $40,000 to pay back savings and pay out our apportionments. We didn't pay apportionments. This year, we are on track to pay out apportionments. Our pledges recieved are within $1000 of the pledged amount.
  • We sold some land and paid off the debt for the Family Life Center. That reduced next year's budget significantly. And our apportionments went down, by a bunch, due to cuts in 2005. So the proposed 2007 budget is about $18,000 less than 2006 without cutting programs or staff.
  • In a span of less than three weeks, I had three different (not even related) people tell me a specific thing about a sermon that made a difference in their week.
  • Sunday, when I preached about committment, and felt horrid, God knocked it out of the park! I have a church member who regularly crosses paths with "big deal" preachers and told me how great the sermon was.
  • We will deliver thousands of shoeboxes for Operation Christmas child after the Thanksgiving Luncheon. The girls and I bought the items for our boxes today.
  • Enough people responded so we are having "A Christmas Carol" Bible study.
And not related to church
  • my sister is really cool. She is significantly younger than I am so we didn't really grow up together. She has grown up to be someone I want to be around. We don't agree on lots of things and it doesn't matter.
  • my kids have their own talents and I cherish them. The Entertainer was switched to another part (solo instead of trio) for the class musical program because she could hit the notes and had the right rhythm. The SportsQueen was such a go getter that the ref who was parked next to us said, "Hey, I remember you. You're a good hustler. You keep at it." High praise for both of them. And I get to be their mom!
  • I am weeks from having only 3 classes left for the PhD, of course there's this gratitude project in my way
  • I have a wireless laptop so I can sit on the couch working (or not) and watch tv with my kids right here
  • we have a smart dog with a big bark (and big body to go with the bark)
  • we have food in the freezer and in the kitchen and diet Mt Dew in the frig
  • Out of 3 fantasy football teams, one is in first place, one is in second place, the other one ... well there's always one to make you grateful for the others
  • the Seahawks won, even without Alexander and Hasselbeck. Go Josh Brown! and how about that return by Nate Burleson. Wish I was there, but I got to see it on NFL replay.
  • I've got health insurance to cover the really expensive meds that keep me moving so well that most people can't tell there's anything wrong
I am quite sure there's more, but there's the project that I need to quit writing about and start writing.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

and what does the Lord require of you?

“The Gospel of Christ knows no religion but social, no holiness but social holiness.
You cannot be holy except as you are engaged in making the world a better place. You do not become holy by keeping yourself pure and clean from the world but by plunging into ministry on behalf of the world’s hurting ones.” - John Wesley

Friday, November 10, 2006

Friday Five: What's Red and Blue and Purple All Over?

Those of us who are in the United States have just been through quite a topsy-turvy election. During the campaign we heard a fair amount about red states and blue states, when in fact most of us live in some shade of purple. And so... a lighter look at those confounding colors:

1. Favorite red food Has to be steak. My step-dad makes sure the freezer here has "home grown" beef. So, ironically, when we can't afford to eat out, we have steak. well, not all the time, sometimes we have roast or hamburger.

2. Tell us about the bluest body of water you've ever seen in person. There was a fountain with blue lights and blue die in Kansas City when the Royals were winning (like George Brett era). Other than that, I am hopelessly deprived to a world of brown water.

3. It's movie rental time: Blue Planet, The Color Purple, or Crimson Tide? I'd rather rent My Blue Heaven but if it's not available then I'll take The Man with One Red Shoe

4. What has you seeing red these days? Well, that's a long story but the short version is: some folks at church who focus a lot of time and energy on money and aren't happy that their pastor is convinced that money is not the most important thing but a tool that empowers us to make disciples

5. What or who picks you up when you're feeling blue? I tend to hide in books, movies, the computer, and I talk to my college roommate, sister, and friends. Most of the time, more than one of those at a time.

Monday, November 06, 2006

out of all those options it should be at least one

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland

"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

The West

The South

North Central

The Inland North



The Northeast

What American accent do you

Saturday, November 04, 2006

a journey

Originally, the spot on today's calendar was blank. Instead, I met a guy who is dying.

I traveled about an hour to his house. His daughter is one of my church members and she wanted to make sure he had a preacher and that he's not afraid to die. I think mostly the whole family is anxious about the changes that are obviously moving closer to reality.

There was a point when the rest of the family pointedly left the room so the dad and I could talk. I had no idea what I was going to say. I jumped off into the void trying to articulate those fears in such a way that he knew I wasn't going to question his salvation and, at the same time, gracefully name the unnamed fears. When he put out his hand so I could put my hand in his, I knew that God found a way to speak the peace.

Like the third verse of the Servant Song

I will hold the Christ-light for you
In the night time of your fear.
I will hold my hand out to you;
Speak the peace you long to hear.

It may sound odd but those are the moments that I wouldn't trade for.

I am blessed to be a part of this sacred journey.

Friday Five: Nothing but the tooth from RevGalBlogPals

Friday Five: Nothing But the Tooth

We are in the throes of what will (hopefully) be the final set of braces in this family, and so my mind is on the tooth, the whole tooth and nothing but the tooth.

Please share your thoughts on the following:

1) The Tooth Fairy Delivery fogotten too many times, can we grow out of it yet? And I didn't even get a visit when all four wisdom teeth were pulled at the same time. It was Dec 30, 1999. Quite eventful and gross but no tooth fairy.

2) Flossing A good thing, always and everywhere. Because of the arthritis and the meds that go with it, I'm more likely to have dental problems. Some very intentional flossing reversed a downward trend. So, if I wasn't before, I'm a believer. And I love the Reach thingy!

3) Toothpaste Brands Way too many choices, especially with children standing next to me. We have often used the sample size to try out the flavor before committing to the "real" deal. Personally, at home, I use Mentodent. But for traveling that's too bulky so I use one of those samples, usually, Aquafresh.

4) Orthodontia for Adults For right now, I'd rather live with slightly crooked than pay any amount to change the alignment of my teeth. After the wisdom teeth came out, they did straighten some on their own.

5) Whitening products Due to meds, the whitening wouldn't last long. So why bother? If we're talking about the over-the-counter stuff, I'd rather have new Nikes. I can't afford the professional version but really don't have any desire to save for it either.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Renoir and RA

I have had Rhuematoid Arthritis most of my life. I was diagnosed at 15 months. So I get to take some really expensive medicine along with some moderately priced medicine and some really cheap medicine, too. I am convinced that the "healing" miracle for me is that I am very functional and most of the time no one would guess I have this debilitating disease.

I avoid using a cane on Sunday morning. I just hate it when I need the cane for worship. Right now the pain it pretty well controlled so there are no obvious signs. But I am really struggling against the fatigue. It's the kind of fatigue that is like when your kid is sick and you haven't sleep more than two hours in a row for three days. Except the fatigue is there even when there has been 12 hours of sleep in the last 24. I hate waking up thinking about the next time I can go to sleep. I hadn't looked far enough down the calendar to realize I was "running out" of my IV medicine that costs thousands of dollars. I got my 2 hour dose today. I slept through most of it. The nurse said, "You've never slept through all of the infusion before." Yeah. So in a couple of days, I'll have more energy again and I won't be calculating sleep opportunities at every turn.

With all of that, I am quite thankful for the medical options available to me. And I am so impressed with Renoir who continued to paint (including this picture) after he had to have someone strap the brush to his arm because his hands were too crippled and too full of pain to grip the brush. What a gift to say:
"The pain passes, but the beauty remains" and "Why shouldn't art be pretty? There are enough unpleasant things in the world."

I'm looking for a Renoir calendar to help me remember the beauty.

Maybe I'll dream about it.


Given that I get at least a "B" for the two classes I'm in now, I registered for the 3rd and 2nd to last classes for my PhD today.

For Spring 07, I'll be taking "Grief and Bereavement" -- probably has some use for a preacher -- and Advanced Qualitative Research Methods -- use for preacher: 0, use for PhD: priceless?

Ironically, the last class for Grief and Bereavement is scheduled for May 08, 2007. The 25th anniversary of my father's death. He died when he was 40. That's how old old is.

it was my birthday

I am not quite old plus a week. So last week I turned old. Most of the people in church laugh when I say that. We had a great party, mostly put together by my sister from out of state. She had a little help from a church member with organization and a few folks pitched in at the last minute with serving and clean up. There were about 60 people. It was WAY cool. And the cards from folks who couldn't come where way cool, too. I didn't want the day to pass as just another day. It didn't. And I am so glad my sister is my sister.

She got my mom to put together two poster size collages of pictures from childhood through fairly recent. One guy, looking at young childhood pictures of me, said, "Wow, you look like SportsQueen in this picture and you look so like the Entertainer in this picture. And they don't look that much alike. How about that?" Yep, those are mine. And we look alike and not alike all at the same time. Funny thing is the same could be said about them and their dad.

And the same could have been said about me and my mom and dad. But there were no pictures of my dad for anyone to see. Or anyone on his side of the family. I was struck by how much my mom put together the stuff that was important to her. Most of it was important to me too but there were huge gaps related to the important stuff for me. Only one softball picture, no basketball at all -- I lettered in basketball. Only school choir, not church -- you know, where I got to be Mark in Celebrate Life (and Jesus). No pictures from church camp or youth group.

She had a picture of my 16th birthday cake. It was a driver's license with a Mazda RX7 (I wanted a 280zx, she could only remember that it had both letters and numbers.) Hotwheels on it. Under the Hotwheels was the real car key for the Gremlin I actually got to drive. After basketball practice, I came in the backdoor, like always, and I walked in behind my friends who were looking at the front door. I said "surprise" and scared them while they waited to surprise me. I really loved that!

For my, turning old party, we made huge pots of Texas chili and had so many compliments on it. I couldn't believe how many people said they loved the chili.

I. hate. to. cook.

Compliments on the chili? and a bunch of people to eat it? whoo hoo! happy birthday!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Domestic violence awareness month

There's a great movie that I discovered by accident. "An Unfinished Life" Click here and you can read a review and see the lineup of stars. It has domestic violence as a main theme but its not focused on it directly.

I am putting this movie on my "to buy" list. There is accountability and forgiveness mixed with the reality of humanity and how we live our lives. ( I'm being vague because I don't want to spoil the movie.) Sometimes we think we are isolated, living by ourselves. But really, even when we separate ourselves from others, there is an impact on others. When we realize how connected we are, we must act on behalf of others not just ourselves. And, then there's a part of the movie that says, in effect, sometimes stuff just happens. And we still have to figure out how to live anyway.

Best lines from the part where acting on behalf of others is very clear:
"I see you back here again. I'll kill you."
"You've seen too many westerns old man."
"That doesn't exactly work in your favor does it?"

RevGalBlogPal Friday Five from Job 38

Friday Five: Word Association

Below you will find five words. Tell us the first thing you think of on reading each one. Your response might be simply another word, or it might be a sentence, a poem or a story.

whirlwind As indicative of our season in life, truly, the first thing that came to mind was the upstairs -- inhabited only by the girls. And then I thought about all the things we did this week.

foundation When not concerned about the parsonage foundation, I almost always associate foundation with: "The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer,my God, my rock in whom I take refuge,my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold." (from Ps 18)

And from that, or passages like it, I think about the Hymn Saranam, Saranam (Refuge, Refuge). The chorus is "Jesus Savior Lord lo to thee I fly, Saranam, Saranam, Saranam, Thou my rock, the fortress that's higher than I, Saranam, Saranam, Saranam." (United Methodist Hymnal 523) We have sung Saranam as a lullabye many, many nights. You can hear the tune if you search here. Unlike most hymns, this one begins with the chorus.

lightning Very first thought?
Thunder bolts and lightening very very frightening me
Galileo Galileo Galileo Galileofigaro Mangnifico oh oh oh

den The cozy place with TV, DVD, DVR, GameCube, stereo, laptop, the best sleeping couch ever, the favorite green chair, the brown plaid chair that has always been in my life, most of the fun reading books, and most of the time all of the family.

prey Prey: the odd turn of phrase uttered by some church members who sound holy "shall we prey?" "let us prey" "we're gonna prey now" "we should prey without ceasing" The only worthwhile response: "Lord, listen to your children praying"

(Yes, they're all from Job 38.)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Friday Five Creature Comforts

I hate missing the Friday Five, so I'm playing anyway on early Sunday morning before I go to bed. Funny my body wants to stay up late on Saturday nights even when I don't have to write a sermon.

Friday Five: Creature Comforts

Reverendmother here...

Maybe it's the arrival of crisp October, my favorite month. Or maybe it's the fact that the divine little miss m has been sick all week (and if the baby ain't happy, ain't nobody happy). Whatever the reason, my thoughts have been turning to cozy creature comforts--those activities and spaces that just make a person feel good. And so...

1. Comfort beverage
Mt Dew! nectar of life from my youth. more often consumed in diet version now (sad reality). And on the rare occassions that I want something warm, coffee that is ivory in color and as sweet as ice cream. I learned how to make that kind of coffee from my grandpa when I was about 10.

2. Comfort chair
The Green rocking chair. Fits my body perfectly. Many nights have been spent sleeping in that chair for various reasons. Great momma moments have been created in that chair.

3. Comfort read
Anne McCaffrey, Patricia Cornwall, John Grisham, Brad Meltzer, JK Rowling, Lemony Snicket, Sisterhood of the traveling pants, or anything else that I can pick up. Reading is my preferred comfort.

4. Comfort television/DVD/music

TV: Battlestar Galactica, Monk, Psyche, West Wing, Will and Grace, NFL, Numb3rs, CSI, Law & Order, The Amazing Race, Project Runway, Lost, Dallas SWAT, Book TV

DVD: Secondhand Lions, Keeping the Faith, Holiday Inn, Bells of St Mary's, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Sword in the Stone, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Ever After

Music: (this one depends a lot on why comfort is sought)
Eagles (especially Eagles LIVE), Def Leppard, Mendelssohn 8th Symphony & Incidental music from Midsummer nights dream, Chuck Mangione especially Tarentella, Vince Guaraldi Peanuts music and Jazz mass for Grace Cathedral, James Galway, Wynton Marsalis, John Mayer

video game: Star Wars Pod racers (I am a very creative pod crasher), Harry Potter, Monkey Ball, Tetris, Bust a Move

5. Comfort companion(s)
This too depends on why comfort is sought. I have three friends around whom I rarely have self-conscious thoughts or self-limiting conversations. There are several others that I just like to be around but most of them are connected to some church thing. And my sister is really cool.

the prayer sermon

As a part of my sermon on prayer, I talked about learning from Sr Dempsey to pray when I hear a siren. The prayer is: O God be with the people who need you now. Ironically, or maybe providentially, during second service, siren was heard during sermon.

Many years after praying like that I learned it is very Benedictine. duh, she's a Benedicine nun. Anyway, I talked about how we have the opportunity as we go about our daily lives to notice things and use them as a trigger for prayer. We have school zones that significantly reduce the allowed speed. What if, as we hit the brakes and drive slower, we pray for teachers and students? What if when we get the reciept at the grocery store we give thanks for our ability to feed our family and pray for those who hunger (and donate food to the food bank)?

On Monday at a funeral for a long time church member one lady was talking about how that sermon had made an immediate difference for her. On Sunday afternoon, noticing things and intentionally talking to God because of noticing.

how about that? and she comes to the early service where they mostly sit like bumps on a log and sometimes I wonder if they're still breathing.

God is good.

sung prayer

The sermon was about prayer so Children's Time needed to be about prayer, too.

Hmmm.... bright idea!

When the Entertainer was about 2 and the SportsQueen was about 4 we used to sit in the favorite rocking chair together. Sometimes at night as we were getting settled we would sing a prayer. We sang "He's got the whole world in his hands." The girls made the requests, I figured out how to fit it in the song, we sang together. All the family and friends we could name made it in. Everything in the world needing prayer for which the girls could articulate concern. If you think about it, you can get anything in that song. And we did.

So, for Children's Time, I taught the children that they could sing their prayers. Happened that Sunday was school holiday weekend so we didn't have many come to Children's Time. We put every kid at Children's time in the song 2 or 3 at a time by first name. The choir started singing too. Then the rest of the congregation. Someone started clapping. It was SO cool!

Then teenager in choir says, "Do the Waltons (family with 5 kids)!" Choir dies laughing. I didn't hear what was said and asked what'd he say? Comment is repeated in microphone. Whole church laughs. I say "OK." "He's got the whole Walton family in his hands," church roars, then joins me singing. Then we put our church in the song then talked about how everyone can be in the song and everyone is carried in God's hands.

Hear our prayer
(seven fold) Amen

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

animated inventor

I saw this on and decided to take it.

So right. So right. But more fun that Myers-Briggs or Keirsey sorter. And a cool colorful patch for my blog.

My Personal Dna Report

There's a rollover for each color explaining the area and score with the small horizontal bar. The big box is under the RevGalBlogPal webring.

Monday, October 09, 2006

random stuff from a not sleeping mind that is really to tired to do anything productive

I was at church at 8:00 am Sunday morning and, other than the less than five minutes it took to throw the suit and blouse on the bed and pull on jeans, t-shirt, and Nikes and grab the Polariod camera for the scavenger hunt, got home at 10:00 pm. Then I started on the funeral sermon for Monday morning at 11:00. Directly from funeral retrieved kids from their father then finished PhD stuff that was due by midnight (done early!). Saturday night to Sunday morning had 4 hours of sleep. Sunday night to Monday morning had 6 hours of sleep. So now that everything's done, why am I not asleep?

Guess I'll watch TV and blog.

I am regularly amazed at the pettiness and profoundness of church stuff. There are stories to go with that but I don't think they are bloggable.

We have a new youth director! Thank you Jesus. One of the committee said something like, "I'm glad the others turned us down otherwise we would never had waited long enough for him." Someone else said, "He's the best one we interviewed." I'm glad they're happy. I'm more glad I'm not the person with primary responsibility for youth anymore!

The Entertainer has a million dollar project due tomorrow. She had to spend one million on anything she wanted. Rules: no duplicates, no one item worth more than $499,999. We went to the mall to scope things out. Went to Gordon's jewerly. They were fabulous! The nine year old Entertainer got to try on a 2 karat princess cut diamond and an 8 total karat tennis bracelet. As we left the store, she was grinning and floating instead of walking. Way cool. and that's an understatement.

The Entertainer turns ten very soon. She thinks there is something hidden in the house for her. There's not. Not anywhere. I've got to get to Target but I have something for church everynight this week. Guess I'm skippin' out during the day. Target's not even two miles away. I thought I'd get there this weekend. Nope. Too much death, dying, and other church related stuff, oh yeah, and school stuff, too. Got to get SportsQueen's present for her sister, too. Until this afternoon, I was clueless about what that might be. Now, I know just have to get there.

And did I mention we have a new youth director? Whee HA! Whoo Hoo!

I'm glad the Seattle Seahawks had a bye this week so I didn't miss the game.

I'm also glad we have DVR. Things I missed but not really: Battlestar Galactica; Great Performances Crossroads Guitar festival with Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, Joe Walsh, Robert Cray, Buddy Guy, B.B. King, James Taylor, Vince Gill and others; Inside the Actor's Studio (multiple); Numb3rs; and, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (I know it was on last Monday, I just haven't had time yet).

We have a guest preacher for Sunday. No sermon prep this week! unless, of course, there's another funeral. That is a real possibility. Well, it's possible any given week but there's someone in the hospital having a hard time with recovery from heart surgery.

And in Fantasy Football I lost 2 out of 3 games. One game was lost by only one point. Darn. But the one game I won, that team is undefeated! And two teams are number one in the standings, too!

I think I see sleep coming my way. I'm gonna go meet up ... zzz

Friday, October 06, 2006

RevGalBlogPal Friday Five

Friday Five: Civic Duties

It's that season of the year when lawn signs are sprouting as surely as flowers in the spring; elections are just around the corner. And so today we bring you a Civic Duty Friday Five.

1) How old were you when you voted for the first time?

But the real story happened before my first vote.
I missed voting in the 1984 presidential election by days. I couldn't register until I was 18 and registration had to be so many days before the election (like two weeks or maybe 30 days). I turned 18 eleven days before the election. I was not happy with the "rules" that kept me from voting. I wanted to vote for Geraldine Ferraro.

2) What was the contest at the top of the ballot?

I have no idea, some local "nothing" compared to the vote I couldn't cast on November 6, 1984.

3) Can you walk to your polling place?

Yes, quite easily. It's at the Entertainer's school just behind our house. One church I served was the polling place and it was across the street from the parsonage. Since 1998, every where we have lived has been in walking distance of the polling place.

4) Have you ever run for public office?


5) Have you run for office in a club or school or on a board?

The ones I remember: I have been an officer for LIONS. I was the President of the Graduate Student Association at SMU. I am currently the Band Booster President for the SportsQueen's band.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

who is my neighbor?

There are several funds set up to help the Amish families with medical costs. Details are at Lancaster Online and Solanco News.

From the New York Times:
In one sign of their approach to tragedy, Amish residents started a charity fund yesterday not only to help the victims’ families but also to help the gunman’s widow. Full Article (Free until its archived.)

And from AP via Yahoo:

Dwight Lefever, a Roberts family spokesman, spoke at a community prayer service Tuesday evening and said he was at the home of Roberts' father when an Amish neighbor came to comfort the family.

"He stood there for an hour, and he held that man in his arms, and he said, 'We will forgive you,'" Lefever said. "He extended the hope of forgiveness that we all need these days."

The willingness to recognize the widow and her children as victims, too, strikes me profoundly. The comfort given to the father. The specific action that renders aid even in the face of their own tragedy and suffering shows the standard for what it means to walk the walk of Christians. It is so easy for us to become self-centered and throw blame around in the face of tragedy. And yet, we are called to live in a way that shows love to our neighbors and our enemies.

It reminds me of two stories. The first story is attributed to Midrash.

After the Children of Isreal had escaped the Egyptians, crossing on dry land and the Egyptians had been covered with the waters and drowned, a cry of celebration went up from the angels in heaven.

God sent for the Archangel Michael and asked about the cheering. Michael replied the celebration is because your children, the Children of Isreal, have been saved and your enemies the Egyptians have drowned.

God, with tears, replied, "But they are all my children."

I think I originally read the second one in an Anthony de Mello book.

A rabbi asked his students, “When is it at dawn that one can tell the light from the darkness?”

One student replied, “When I can tell a horse from a donkey.”

“No,” answered the rabbi.

Another said, “When I can tell a dog tree from a goat.”

“No,” answered the rabbi again.

Another said, “When I can tell a palm tree from a fig.”

“No,” answered the rabbi again.

“Well, then what is the answer?” his students pressed him.

“Only when you look into the face of every man and every woman and see your brother and your sister,” said the rabbi. “Only then have you seen the light. All else is still darkness.”

I wonder when more of us will recognize our neighbors and act in ways that show it

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Where's the party?!? RevGalBlogPals Friday Five on Saturday night

Friday Five: Groups

Reverendmother here...

Last night was the second meeting of the Night Owls, a new women's circle at the church I serve. It's a nice group--we're getting to know one another and figuring out the format and flow of the evenings.

Night Owls ... my kind of group, maybe I'll start one at my church.

And speaking of groups...

1. Tell us about any group(s) you currently belong to. (e.g. book club, knitting circle, walking buddies, etc.) Groups to which I belong: small clergy group, Ministerial Association, Jr High Band Boosters, Soccer mom, Emmaus, PTA (at 2 schools), do small group projects for PhD classes count?, online Fantasy Football

2. Do you feel energized or drained by being in a group situation? If the answer is "it depends," on what does it depend? I love groups. I love people. Energized big time. I'm the one that wants to go out to eat after the planned group thing is over 'cause I still have energy and, truth be told, I'm not done being with people yet.

3. Is there a role you naturally find yourself playing in group situations? That is, do you naturally fall into the leader role, or the one who always makes sure the new person feels welcome, or the quiet one who sits back and lets others shine, or the host? I very often end up in a leader role. I also am pretty good at including new folks in the flow of the oldtimers conversatons. On rare occassions, like Halley's commet rare, I'm quiet. But even though I'm not often quiet, I am great at making sure other's shine. For host type activities, I recruit the women of the church 'cause I'm really bad at all that host stuff -- too froo, froo for me.

4. Handshakes vs. hugs: discuss. This is my "it depends" answer. I prefers hugs most of the time but there are a few folks who make me uncomfortable. I try to be sensitive to the preferences of others. And I know that some folks who live alone only get hugged at church. The other thing related to "it depends" is: with Rheumatoid Arthritis, sometimes handshakes hurt my hands terribly.

5. Ice breakers: a playful way to build community in a lighthearted manner, or a complete and utter hell of forced fun and awkwardness? I love ice breakers! I know that is it pure unadulterated hell for some folks but it gives me an excuse to meet them.

Bonus: If you answered "playful and lighthearted," share your favorite ice breaker. My favorite is People Bingo. 24 squares of opportunity for sharing personal trivia and meeting people!

Sunday, September 24, 2006


So I am so tired from this incredibly full day. But I just have to post this before I go to bed.

I will be 40 in about a month. I really want a party! In Februray, I even put "Vicar's party, FLC" on the church calendar without talking to anyone about it. I really want a party!

So finally in May, I talked to my sister and one of my best friends. My sister is "in" but the friend is overwhelmed with other things. So in August, my sister (who by the way lives out of state) says "get me someone at church. We'll work together and we'll throw you a party." Great! except for the part of me that is so anxious about even thinking about asking anyone at church. Now, I really think there are people who would do that but I've been in churches (yes, more than one) where that would have been one more reason to be ugly. So I'm a little anxious because of past history not because of this church.

During lunch today, with a group that I usually join on Sundays, I finally "laid it on the table." The response was immediate and so positive and one person even said, "You should have said something earlier!" So there are 3 people who are "in" for the party. One of them is out of town right before the event so she said, "I can't really be in charge but I'll help." Little did I know ...

We had the churchwide picnic today. It truly is one of my favorite things at this church. They do a great job of inviting others and including them. There is an egg toss (40 people played), water baloons, volleyball, horseshoes, lots of visiting and a great time. This year the church provided drinks, chicken, and dessert. I sat in on part of the meeting where they planned the food. The dessert was ordered from Costco -- a vanilla cake and a chocolate cake. They called me to the table so I could pray and we could eat. As I got to the table, there was an announcement: The Vicar's going to have a birthday in about a month and we're going to sing happy birthday before she prays. And then they showed me the cakes that both said "Happy Birthday Rev Vicar" with a cool stylized cross and rose.

"I-can't-be-in-charge," who will be out of town in a month, ordered those cakes two weeks ago. They were in the refrigerator at the church even as I finally found just enough courage to ask for help with a party.

God is good. I am blessed.

And we're having a month of partying!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

RevGalBlogPals friday five: Boo Boo (as opposed to Bam Bam)

Friday Five: Boo boo alert

After a tumble in a parking lot the other day, I'm sporting a lovely abrasion on my leg--so attractive. It's the same leg I hurt when I fell off the same pair of sandals on the same sort of uneven pavement in Edinburgh last month. Will I ever learn to wear less dangerous shoes and/or pay attention to where I am going? As I drove home to take care of it I called my husband and said, "Boo boo alert!" Here is our Friday Five on that subject.

1) Are you a baby about small injuries?
I happen to have Rheumatoid Arthritis so small injuries are either an annoyance or an injury waiting for a growth spurt.

2) What's the silliest way you have ever hurt yourself? For a period of weeks, there were several times when I was getting something out of the refrigerator part while someone else opened the freezer door above. Raised up and hit my head. Damn that hurts. again. damn.

3) Who took care of your boo-boos when you were a child? my dad

4) Are you a good nurse when others have boo-boos? If it's a real injury/illness, I'm terrific. If you just want attention, I'll give you a phone card to call someone who cares. Unless you confess you just want attention, then I'll give the attention -- just don't mess with me about it. The truth generally works really well on me.

5) What's the worst accidental injury you've suffered? Did it require a trip to the Emergency Room? The worst injury for me was when the cartilage in my "bad" knee was torn for me while playing basketball. I got one of those cards that said, "Go to surgery. Directly to surgery. Do not even bother with the ER. The ER can only drain that knee and say that looks bad while giving you a prescription for pain killers. What you "kneed" is surgery."

Friday, September 22, 2006

training the trainer

So I am 5 classes from finished with coursework for the PhD -- counting the two I'm currently taking. Both of the classes this fall are really Master's level so there's extra work for me. Okay. No big. Both of them are also 100% online. Way cool. Let's me work on school stuff whenever. Even from the church office sometimes.

But one of the classes is requiring me to observe 3 events. Okay, so I jumped on that quick and found events that are free and during school hours. No cost, no childcare. Way cool, again!

The first observation had a small class, maybe 6 of us. The instructor looked very familiar to me. As I'm trying to figure out who she is, I'm also trying not to embarrass myself because I can't think of exactly from where I know her. Turns out we have had several doc classes togther and share the same advisor. Her class was lively, professional, and informative. She did a great job, I wasn't bored, got my certificate. Win all around.

My 2nd observation was today. Not quite the same experience today as the first observation. There were co-trainers. The lead had a very think accent and communicated well anyway. She was appologetic for her accent but I think she was pretty clear. She told about coming to the Training Place a few years ago to learn English and now teaches there. She was professional, on task, good examples, etc. During the break, someone in the bathroom was talking about how hard it was to understand her; I couldn't disagree more. Yes, she had an accent and always said childrens instead of children, but understandable and warm. Good information with personal examples. She seemed approachable and connected with the class.

But the co-trainer. The co-trainer is a social worker and I don't think he had ever taught this before. He referred to a list of feelings on a page he had copied out a book but didn't have copies for everyone and never actually named any feelings! In the midst of saying we need to name our feelings! AUGH! In the face of this incongruity, I was doing everything I could to be quiet. Meanwhile, like a snob, thinking, "I can do better than this."

Then, ... then, ... he said something that I almost couldn't stay quiet for: we should never guilt or shame our children. WHAT? He said it again a slightly different way. Then he said it again. I was silent, at least externally. Then this woman started asking, but really not asking, about how guilt and shame for children comes from Catholics. Okay, silence is now history.

I say something like, "Wait. I think there is a big difference between guilt and shame. Guilt is about doing something wrong. Shame is about being wrong. There's a huge difference between choosing the wrong action and being the wrong person. You have to learn to make better choices and there are consequences for bad choices. That's different from being told "you are bad" or "you are an idiot." Those are about who you are not about what you do. Shame is about who you are. Guilt is about what you do. They are very different and I think we need to be careful not to roll them together. And I don't think the Catholics have a lock on any of that. I've seen plenty of folks from all kinds of backgrounds that use shame in a bad way."

The leader guy with the Social Work degree continues with the "we can't guilt or shame our children because it messes them up for life. They won't have a good self-esteem if we guilt and shame them." okay, so my body was still sitting there while my brain went out the door. Just nearly started playing Majong on the PDA. In a communication class, I felt quite unheard.

Now, I'm really clear that shame is inappropriate in raising a kid. I agree that giving messages to kids that tell them they are bad (rather than they are good and made a bad choice) will do serious damage.

But I'm just as clear that a good self-esteem with no guilt looks like some pathologically messed up person who feels no remorse, blames someone else, and is convinced of his/her own brilliance.

Friday, September 15, 2006

well behaved women rarely make history

Here's to making herstory

Governor Anne Richards

Brushes with Greatness Friday Five From RevGalBlogPals

David Letterman used to have a feature on his show called "Brushes with Greatness." Members of the audience would share stories of encounters with famous people. And so...

1. Tell us about a time you met someone famous.

I once stood next to Troy Aikman waiting to be seated at a restaurant. On the same day, I shook hands with Kay Bailey Hutchison and Jimmy Carter. For church circle famous: I've met Will Willimon, Fred Craddock, Walter Brueggeman, and Brian Wren. And Building 429 had a concert at our church where they signed autographs and talked to everyone who wanted to talk.

2. Tell us about a celebrity you'd like to meet.

Diane Rheam, J. K. Rowling, and Madeline Albright.

3. Tell us about someone great who's *not* famous that you think everyone oughta have a chance to meet.

Sr Mary Irene Nowell -- she wrote the commentary for Tobit in the New Interpreter's Bible and was my first college Bible professor at Benedictine College.

When, with fear and trembling, I went to her office and told her that maybe instead of becoming a Medical Doctor, maybe, maybe, God was calling me, her response was, "Well It's about time you figured it out!" She helped me stretch and grow in ways I didn't know until much later. I regularly use some of her examples even to this day. You can read her vocation story here.

4. Do you have any autographs of famous people?

Steve Largent, Kenny Loggins, Charles Schultz, Brian Wren, Andre Reed, all 4 guys from Building 429

5. If you were to become famous, what would you want to become famous for?
If I'm gonna be famous: first clergywoman pastor of a megachurch in the South

Bonus: Whose 15 minutes of fame was up long, long ago?
Tom Cruise. I used to love him but now ... shut up already
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