Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Sat 5/3

On Saturday, instead of attending the last class session for my last doctoral class, I will be officiating the service for a 30 year old who was murdered.

There are way more questions than answers.

His grandmother is one of the very active older members of my church. He was living with her when I first came here almost 3 years ago. So, while I didn't know him well, I did know him and had talked to him casually. I just recently learned that he was divorced and had a 7 yr old son.

Please pray for his family. Pray that the police officers who are working the case get the information they need to bring answers to the family. Pray that in this difficult time there will be much kindness and gentleness.

I, for once, have a crisis for which I have had training and so have been able to be helpful to the family. However, I've never had to officiate a service like this before so I could use some prayers that the sermon is what it needs to be.

And, prayers that I actually get the course work completed on time, might be a good idea, too.

Monday, April 28, 2008

sweet dreams

Now, on Land and Sea Descending is one of my favorite hymns but since it is an "evening" hymn, we never sing it. Even though I pick the hymns, I haven't yet "made" my church sing it. It's on YouTube as an organ solo but there it's too "straight." I hear it as a lullaby/prayer that helps one settle into sleep. You can hear a snippet of the right style here

1. Now, on land and sea descending,
brings the night its peace profound;
let our vesper hymn be blending
with the holy calm around.
Jubilate! Jubilate! Jubilate! Amen!
Let our vesper hymn be blending
with the holy calm around.

2. Soon as dies the sunset glory,
stars of heaven shine out above,
telling still the ancient story,
their Creator's changeless love.
Jubilate! Jubilate! Jubilate! Amen!
Telling still the ancient story,
their Creator's changeless love.

3. Now, our wants and burdens leaving
to God's care who cares for all,
cease we fearing, cease we grieving;
touched by God our burdens fall.
Jubilate! Jubilate! Jubilate! Amen!
Cease we fearing, cease we grieving;
touched by God our burdens fall.

4. As the darkness deepens o'er us,
lo! eternal stars arise;
hope and faith and love rise glorious,
shining in the Spirit's skies.
Jubilate! Jubilate! Jubilate! Amen!
Hope and faith and love rise glorious,
shining in the Spirit's skies.

for St Cass

Friday, April 25, 2008

RevGalBlogPals Friday Five

An Old Versus Modern (Postmodern?) Friday Five

as posted by Singing Owl

Yesterday I had two separate conversations in which people were musing about how much change is occurring. The WW II generation, of which my mom is a part, went from horse and buggy to automobiles, saw the lessening, or even the end of many diseases, went from widespread use of kerosene lamps and outhouses (in the country, and most folks were rural)) to a totally electrified and plumbed society. The fastest means of communication was a telegraph. The second conversation--gulp--was about MY generation and how much change occurred in the last half of the 20th century. The person said his 13 year old had not seen a vinyl record album until a few days before, couldn't remember a time without cell phones, and on and on.

As for the questions!

1. What modern convenience/invention could you absolutely, positively not live

Remicade (or the other biologics) that let my body move in such a way that most people don't know how bad my arthritis is

2. What modern convenience/invention do you wish had never seen the light of day?

Since I am fully convinced that everything has the power for both good and evil, depending on who is using it or how it is being used, not one thing. God gave us a brain for us to use it. The same brain should also be used to make judgments about the usages that bring about more good.

3. Do you own a music-playing device older than a CD player? More than one? If
so, do you use it (them)?

Older than a CD player? there's a cassette tape deck and receiver that are older. The receiver is used much more frequently than the tape deck. The tape deck (dual, mind you) has been used Maybe twice in the last 3 years.

4. Do you find the rapid change in our world exciting, scary, a mix...or something

I think I''m used to rapid change since I haven't known much else. After all, both MTV started and I learned basic programing on an Apple when I was in high school while the rotary dial phone still hung in the kitchen of my house and we were only able to change the channels on tv remotely because we used the cable remote. (I remember renting a VCR with the tapes for a birthday slumber party for my little sister.)

5. What did our forebears have that we have lost and you'd like to regain?
A better sense of community.

points if you have a suggestion of how to begin that process. Well, first, I think we need to intentionally set aside time for re-creation. With all of our "time-saving" devices and strategies, we focus on getting more done instead of using that time for sabbath, for soul building, for nurturing friendships. Somehow, my grandpa knew that there would always be something to do on the farm but a nap might be the best use of time right then. He did chores AND went to church and taught Sunday School because it wasn't about one being more important than the other but that both needed to be tended to. Feeding the cattle and pigs and horses was just as important as capturing the attention of teenagers and trying to feed their souls. We have to decide that tending to our souls (which includes our community) is important enough to count as "getting stuff done."

Friday, April 18, 2008

sermon writing

I very often have something on tv while writing sermons. I'm trying to finish a wedding homily type sermon for tomorrow. I'm not sure that Juno was the best choice for the tv background, however, I did laugh a lot -- like the kind of laugh evoked by Gracebythesea and Will Smama and company at dinner. (wait ... who's birthday is it???)

Juno is way more funny than I expected. And the sermon is way less done. I guess the friday five will have to wait 'cause the wedding is kinda early so I need to finish sooner rather than later.

working on the sermon for the 5th Sunday of Easter year a

You think they're available for Sunday?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

the best laid plans

I am taking the last course of doctoral work right now. I have turned in my application for comprehensive exams for the fall which usually means the 2nd or 3rd week of September.

After turning in the application, I was notified by my adviser that as of August she will no longer be with the university. She is the one who is supposed to gather the questions from the four other professors on my committee and prepare the packets of questions for comps that will total 24 hours of writing time (yes 24). I have taken way more than a majority of classes with her and was planning for her to chair my dissertation committee.

I'm working really hard not to freak. As if comps isn't stressful enough! And because of all that, I'm having a hard time finishing the tasks at hand for this one class -- that are not all that hard. So, please do me a favor, when you read this, if you don't want to comment, but you will pray, put a + in the comments for me.


On the MBTI (or other similar inventories), I score pretty strongly toward extroversion. The most obvious manifestations of that in me are: I get energized by people, and, I "process out." I tend to verbally express my thoughts without necessarily having come to a definite conclusion about a decision to be made, or, I just need to tell my story. In telling the story, I hear it differently, sometimes with more clarity, sometimes with more depth, sometimes I become more comfortable with that part of my story because I've told it before, sometimes I just like to tell the story again -- especially if it makes me laugh.

I have a very dear friend that scores very introverted on the MBTI. Sometimes I forget exactly how deep the cave is she needs in order to process her thoughts. Very often, when she talks about something it is because she has already processed "in" very sufficiently. And, people, especially lots of people repeatedly, wear her out. That is so foreign to me that I thought our friendship was broken. I didn't know why and I felt like when I would call to talk to her she wasn't really there.

She called me Sunday night. When I saw her name on my cell phone, I left the finance meeting to see what was wrong. Turns out, nothing is wrong. She is completely and totally overwhelmed. She has a fabulous counselor to listen to her. And, for right now, that's all the "more people" she can handle. Including me. That stings a little for this extrovert who will almost always take more people, but really it is much more comforting because I know that we are still dear friends. And when my introverted friend, for that moment, could stand "one more person," I was that person.

And, BONUS, I got out of the finance meeting!



hat tip to Carmen Andres who hat tips Looking Closer who hat tips Peter Chattaway.

If there are three hat tips, is it a hat trick hat tip?


The Entertainer had a six month asthma checkup on Monday.

She started wheezing when she was months old. She has had a pulmonologist (lung dr) since she was 13 months old. When we first starting going to "the clinic," it was behind the ER in the closest Children's hospital. Several years ago, the hospital expanded to have a separate "clinic" building.

I lost count of the times we drove to the ER when she was too small to tell me what was wrong. I've watched her blood oxygen levels rise with breathing treatments, held her, rocked her, and read books to her during breathing treatments. I have an inverter for the vehicle so power to run a nebulizer is always available.

There was a point when the medicine her pulmonologist thought would be most helpful was not available in the form we needed so we used a different form and measured the medicine into another mix to create what she needed. She has always taken multiple medicines daily just to breathe normally.

For the second visit in a row, we have reduced medicines!!! Six months ago, we dropped one out of the daily regimen that was mostly supportive in nature and have not noticed any differences. This week we changed to a different daily maintenance medication. We're in a trial period to see how it works but that we are in a place to even think about changing one of the "big dogs" is almost amazing. I have worked hard to get her asthma well controlled so that she could choose to do what she wanted to. We haven't had that all the time. But we've had very well controlled asthma for about a year now. I never thought we'd see the day when she had a real possibility of "growing out" of her asthma. While she may not, the fact that she is not continually buffeted by the changing weather, high humidity, a simple cold, nominal exertion, or laughing too hard is a major step toward asthma being a consistent 4th or 5th thought instead of the first or second thought.

That's a good day at the doctor.

Thanks be to God and modern medical technology.

free rice

I found this on someone else's blog. I'd hat tip if I could remember where I saw it. I was hoping this would help with scrabble words but these are too long. However, when I'm wasting time expanding my vocabulary, I'm helping someone else.

Here's the link

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Friday Five: Moving

The RevGalBlogPals friday five as posted by Mother Laura

We are right in the middle of a move--only twenty minutes away, but we're still a mix of busy, excited, nervous and surprisingly full of grief about what we're leaving, for me at least. So this week's Friday Five asks about your experience of the marvels and madness of moving...

1. How many times have you moved? When was the last time?

20 (I think), the last time was June 2005

2. What do you love and hate about moving?

Since 1998 I have lived in parsonages with varying amounts and kinds of furniture. I hate packing, unpacking, taking things out of the place they belong, and trying to figure out where the next place to belong is.

3. Do you do it yourself or hire movers?

As a single mom with Arthritis, I beg for all the packing help I can get and have movers transport all the stuff.

4. Advice for surviving and thriving during a move?

Start getting rid of "stuff" as soon as you know you're moving. For the last move, we were in the perfect location for a garage sale. I hate garage sales but it was a really good idea (after the move was "public") and the money went for GameCube! That made it almost worth the hassle.

And, as much as practical, pack your dishes in your clean towels. Then your kitchen unpacking cleanup is not as bad and the bathroom and kitchen are being unpacked simultaneously.

5. Are you in the middle of any inner moves, if not outer ones?

The inner moves are hard to blog but have lots to do with realizing how isolated I had become and moving toward the love and support I find with other trusted people. I figured that out on the aft deck -- and I hope you won't mind if I call you.

Bonus: Share a piece of music/poetry/film/book that expresses something about what moving means to you.

sad to say the very first thing that came to mind was (probably because of the circumstances related to the last two moves): "Take this job and shove it, I ain't working here no more" but as the old joke goes the current hymn is: "I shall not be moved"

Monday, April 07, 2008

a waiter for Will Smama


For the first time ever, this hockey season I had a fantasy hockey team. I've played fantasy football enough to have an idea of what I'm doing. I also understand football much better than hockey. Most of the hockey season I have been ranked 4 out of 12. I considered that a decent position for someone who had never played fantasy hockey before.

Last night, I finished #1! oh yeah! The team I was playing against traded almost every player in the last two days but it didn't help her -- I still won!

btw, my team is the Holyhead Harpies.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

the picture version

DogBlogger has filled the pictorial void that relates to the geocache adventure here Go see it them!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

international geocacher

First, you should know that I still grin and glow every time I think about finding a particular geocache and that was 4 days ago. It was the first thing I talked about on Monday when I got in the car. The live lectionary study group had to hear the story before we talked about anything else. That was Tuesday. You are getting this now because I have to tell the story to someone today. My college roommate is supposed to call me tomorrow, so she’ll hear it then. You might consider praying for those I see after that.

There were four of us that got off the boat, well really a lot more than four got off, but four were in our group. We each had something specific we wanted to do and it seemed like we could accomplish all four goals while going together. I wanted to be an international geocacher. All I needed was to find one cache. More would be good, but one is all I really needed.

I still can’t figure out exactly what happened, it was as if I’d never used a GPS before, and we went the wrong way. And we kept going the wrong way. We went past a cache going the wrong way and kept going until we reached the national park with the drunk guys that couldn’t speak English located across from the military installment that had guys in camo holding guns – big guns. There was no sidewalk left, on either side of the road, and someone without a GPS to guide her said, “Uh, I’m saying it’s time to go back the other way.” So we did. And we walked past that same first cache on the other side of it as we went the right way but still couldn’t seem to find the right place for that cache.

As we walked away from that cache, I came to the realization that I was not going to be an international geocacher. I was really disappointed. I was frustrated. Pretty much disheartened. I was discouraged, dismayed, you get the idea. But I was trying to be “big” about it because, after all, I am a grown-up. As we walked, we saw more tourists, more shops, and one of our group found and bargained for the religious kitsch that was her goal (she called it that not me). Somewhere along the way there was enough sand to qualify for the collection that was someone else’s goal. As I thought about making a “plan B” to redeem my goal, while at the same time thinking, “the search is over, just give up and get on the boat,” I saw it. I saw the A frame sidewalk sign that said “No Name Internet.” And I knew there was a cache nearby.

Sure enough two doors down was the bar with the name I was trying to find in order to locate the cache. There were four of us looking high and low in bushes, planters, around door frames and windows, not really being too careful about being noticed because the excitement of a possible find took over. Then this guy said, as he walked past, “More west.”

Of course! So we went more west thinking that we were going inside. But anyone who has spent time in such a location knows that a doorway may very well be an entry to more than a room. This entry led to a short hallway that opened into an area that was filled with tables that have umbrellas instead of a ceiling over them. The place that was most west in this area were the steps that led to the water where we promptly put our feet. The sidewalk guy saw us and said, “you took the more west kinda literally didn’t ya?” Knowing we were in the right vicinity, we looked around the area for anything that might resemble a geocache.

We were kinda tired, very thirsty, and starting to get hungry. I said I’d buy drinks then we could go back to the boat for food and rest. As we waited to be noticed, Will Smama got up to see if she could speed up the process. While wandering, she noticed a mailbox and said, “Could it be the mailbox? Do they have mailboxes in Mexico?”

After our drinks were served, I went over to the mailbox, looked at it, and reached up to open it. When I did, I yelled (like game winning score kind of yell), “Yes!” I carried the bag over and dumped it on the table. We sorted through the swag and I took a geocoin and left a travel bug.

Leaving the travel bug was kinda interesting because I had intended to buy a keychain on the boat to attach to the brand new travel bug – but I forgot. So I searched through my backpack finally deciding to use the church camp lanyard in Seattle Seahawk colors. The swag was returned to the bag, the log was appropriately signed, and the bag was once again hidden.

A few moments later, another geocacher had the swag bag out. Just as he opened it, I called out, “Hey, you gonna take my travel bug?” He came over and introduced himself. He’s from Pittsburgh and he did take my travel bug.

As we were walking back toward the boat, I recognized that Christ had been walking with me. At any point, my companions could have bailed, but they didn’t. Even when I was trying to reconcile myself to extreme disappointment, they were still looking. I opened the mailbox but Will Smama, DogBlogger, and god_guurrlll opened their hearts, and I knew God had been walking with us just like Jesus walked with the two on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24).

The find made me ecstatic.

The “walking with” made me blessed.

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