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
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