Tuesday, January 30, 2007

This really IS homework...

Yes, seriously. This really is homework! Below is a question I have to answer... easier than many I have to finish and kinda fun to express my understanding of a passage in my own off-beat way... (and WAY more fun than a lexicon exercise, anyway!)

Using Habakkuk 3:17-19, reword it in a way that would be relevant for a 21st century group.

For MySpace users:

Though my profile page is updated daily
And no one adds me as a “Friend”
Though the surveys in my Bulletins
Are dissed or ignored
Though my blog entries get no kudos
And my music video doesn’t load

I will give God a shout out
I will upload my raves to Him
He not only is my Rock
But I will rock out with Him
He is always my Top Friend
And He gives me some love in my comments every day. (MUAH!)
(For the chief programmer, accompanied by my iTunes.)

For Soccer Moms: (I'm a little rude on this one...)

Though the Kiss-n-Ride line is blocked by a school bus
And I have a flat tire on the entrance ramp to the Beltway,
Though my kid missed the cut for the travelling squad
And I forgot to make cupcakes for the team party,
Though my stylist messed up my highlights
And my manicurist is away on vacation

I will trust in God's love
and I will relax and pretend the traffic is a spa treatment.
I will seek God as my Trainer forever
He will help me into my spandex
And keep my cellulite banned forever.
(For the Chief yard man, accompanied by his lawnmower...)


For the oil company executives:

Though the oil futures have tanked
And the commuters start riding their bicycles
Though the oil wells have all run dry
And the refineries are blown up by terrorists
Though the stockholders vote me out of office
And I have to work at McDonald's

Yet I will believe in God's eternal oil reserve
I will drive my Mercedes on fumes
God is my oil tank, my gas tank and battery
He fills my heart, if not my tank
He helps me run on "empty"
(For the Chief car mechanic, accompanied by the oil rigs)

For the seminary student (you knew it was coming...)

Though the professor assigns hours of translation,

And someone stole my interlinear text,
Though my exegesis gets an "F"
And my homiletics put people to sleep,
Though my laptop drive crashes
And my paper was not backed up

Yet I will dance and sing my way across campus,
I will be grateful for God's unfailing love.
The Lord is my loving professor,
He helps me pay off my student loans
And makes me able to graduate.
(For the Dean of students, accompanied by my printer.)

Hmmm... wonder which one is the "A"...

From our home to yours...

I am unique... almost...

Quaker Pastor played, so I had to as well...

I am UNIQUE! (well, almost...)

OK, OK, back to work!!

LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Another Sunday night...

O God,
You are my God
And I will ever praise You.
And I will seek you in the morning,
And I will learn to walk in Your ways,
And step by step You'll lead me,
And I will follow you all of my days...
[Rich Mullins]

A busy day ends - one of worship and praise and hugs and family and a few random chores thrown in. Now, the kids, spouse and cats are all snoozing, and here I sit, typing, struggling to express some random theological thought for an assignment on the book of Isaiah.

I'm close to losing it.

There's so much I don't know.

But these few things I do:

I am meant to be in this position of "student"

I am called to serve as a "pastor"
I am learning what it means to serve God and be pulled between friends and home and school and church and society and...

And God is sufficient.

This afternoon,
I sat with my head on my hands, ready to weep with frustration over some theological minutia in Isaiah that was escaping me.

In a moment of radical thought,
I prayed,
"Lord I don't get this at all!"

Like a blaze of light His heart responds,

"I know you don't. Press on."

The assignment needs lots of editing tomorrow.
My premise and support may be lacking, but I know this:
I am loved.
I am redeemed.
I have Something worth giving to others... and it's not ME!
The God of the Bible,
The Logos,
cares much less about my paper,

and more about my heart.

I can grow with that...
From my heart to yours...


Friday, January 26, 2007


A paper. Minus 14 points. Because I was infected with guessticulitis.



Time for something from the last post. (Well, not the hammock. It's only 17 degrees!)

End of whine... past the cheese... (HARRRUMPH!!!)


Friday Five: Renewal

Songbird from RevGals writes:

In my office the other day, two church members asked about the boat on my table. I told them it was a gift from a seminary classmate, a reminder of the work and teaching of our professor, Kirk Jones, author of Rest in the Storm: Self-Care Strategies for Clergy and other Caregivers. He always reminded us that Jesus went to the back of the boat and took a nap.

Not surprisingly, I could not find an image of Jesus resting. Preaching from the boat, yes. Calming the storm, yes. Walking on water? Oh, my, yes! But no one seems to want to picture Jesus taking his rest.

In this week that looks unlikely to hold a complete day off, I am pondering renewal. List four ways you like to relax or give yourself a break. Then name a fifth, something you've never been able to do, a self-care dream.
WOW! Here's one I can relate to!

Four ways I like to relax or give myself a break:

  1. READ READ READ - but not textbooks, articles in a "scholarly, peer-reviewed journal" (gag me!) or anything that remotely relates to writing a paper. Or a sermon. Call it what you want - poetry, fantasy or biography - it's "brain candy" that takes me someplace else, if only for a few minutes!
  2. Photography. Occasionally I feel like I have a good lens on the world. At the moment, my camera needs repair, so I don't have an outlet for this one.
  3. Music. At my piano, just tickling the ivories. Preferably with no one in the house so that I can play and sing without feeling like I have more than an "Audience of One."
  4. The Ultimate Chill Pill: Hammock. Ice Tea. Ceiling Fan. Birds singing. (But NOT in January!)
And the fifth, a self-care dream:
Oh please. If there is someone who is looking for a worthy cause and would fund it - a maid or a house cleaner or whatever is PC these days! Someone to pick up and do the things that I look around and see when I am studying or trying to relax. You know - the "chores" that I never get to and probably have my great-grandmother spinning in her grave. This more than anything makes it hard for me to chill out at home.

I haven't figured out how to put that last one on my wish list on Froogle or Amazon, though...

From our chaos to yours...

Thursday, January 25, 2007

You heard it here first!


Countess-Palatine Deb the Sheepish of Londinium-le-Thames

You heard it here first! Get your own title: (you know you want one)


Graciously yours...


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

I'm trying not to whine...

So I won't.....


Sunday, January 21, 2007

Seminarius inflictus?

I have discovered that some of my fellow seminarians have some rare diseases. It is apparently a common health risk for students like me. You may have heard of them (or experienced them yourself?) but here's a short list of the top five diseases of seminary students. The poster bears no responsibility if you become inflicted with these diseases by reading about them...

Guessticulitis: You are given an assignment by your prof. S/He wants you to respond to a discussion question with your opinion on a specific topic. You have no real clue what s/he is looking for when asking this question, but you give it your best shot. This is referred to in less holy settings as a "W.A.G" (Google it... it does NOT mean "Welsh Assembly Government"...)

Pontifica-trombonosis: This is the person who argues the loudest in class, with loud, high-sounding and convincing words. S/he does not give anyone else in class a chance to talk. One wonders how they breathe. You have this almost irresistible urge to tell them to -- um -- "mute it" but you don't. You are sisters and brothers in Christ, after all.

Smearsma: Least lovely of the diseases. The unfortunate patient wears a perpetual sneer and does his/her best to berate, embarrass or denigrate the unsuspecting student who holds a different viewpoint in a discussion. Usually a complication of pontifica-trombonosis.

PresbyBaptiWesleyphobia: An interesting affliction, success of treatment remains uncertain. Most notable symptom is a fear of mainline or denominationally affiliated churches which have existed for more than ten years. Appears to have surfaced most recently in students who were raised in rabidly "independent" or "nondenominational" churches.

Concordthesauritis: Usually a complication from first sermon preparation. The patient insists on including the twelve forms of a word and their variant meanings when exegeting the text. Vernacular terms are "Thesaurus mouth" or "Concordance Breath."

Unfortunately, these diseases are quite contagious. They spread onto blogs, into churches and some times into print media. Beware. Be warned. Be afraid... Be very afraid.

The previous post was brought to you as a service of seminarians everywhere who are punchy and maybe just a WEE bit tired of typing their papers...


Friday, January 19, 2007

Friday Five: 5W + 1H = ?

From the RevGalBlogPals... Here is this week's Friday Five. It's been a very full, busy week. Here's the F5, short and sweet. The questions are simple, the answers unlimited. Go!

Who Me.

What Two term papers and three sermons.

When All due the same week in April.

Where Seminary

Why Ah. As Yoda would say, "I am wondering, why are you here?" As my mom would say, "T.L.O.K.!" ("The Lord only knows!") And that has to be enough for me, at the moment.

Bonus: How Good question. Especially since I am kinda stymied on the research papers (the scope and charge of the sermons is pretty much specified!) I would gladly hear your suggestions for topics for a 20 paper research paper on the topics of:

  1. anything in the books of Acts - Revelation
  2. anything on the books of Isaiah - Malachi
(The possibilities are so broad it is crazy!!)

In case you wondered about my equation, clearly, 5W + 1H = SS ("Spring Semester") ...and even Polgara the cat has some reading to do this week!

Not very creative on my part this week, sorry. But there you have it!

From our home to yours,

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Why Men should not be ordained...

You know, every now and then I get a little tired of the male/female ordination blather. I try to play nice, I really do. But pigheadedness and rudeness, instead of respect and "one-anothering" seem to live on both sides of the argument. I'm not blameless here... just being honest! It's wearying!

Then I found this post on Emerging Women. I decided to re-post it here, with a shout out to Lydia:

Top Ten Reasons Why Men Should Not Be Ordained

10. A man's place is in the army. [Or the navy. Or the air force. Or...]
9. For men who have children, their duties might distract them from the responsibilities of being a parent.
8. Their physical build indicates that men are more suited to tasks such as chopping down trees and wrestling mountain lions. It would be "unnatural" for them to do other forms of work.
7. Man was created before woman. It is therefore obvious that man was a prototype. Thus, they represent an experiment, rather than the crowning achievement of creation.
6. Men are too emotional to be priests or pastors. This is easily demonstrated by their conduct at football games and watching basketball tournaments.
5. Some men are handsome; they will distract women worshipers.
4. To be ordained pastor is to nurture the congregation. But this is not a traditional male role. Rather, throughout history, women have been considered to be not only more skilled than men at nurturing, but also more frequently attracted to it. This makes them the obvious choice for ordination.
3. Men are overly prone to violence. No really manly man wants to settle disputes by any means other than by fighting about it. Thus, they would be poor role models, as well as being dangerously unstable in positions of leadership.
2. Men can still be involved in church activities, even without being ordained. They can sweep paths, repair the church roof, and maybe even lead the singing on Father's Day. By confining themselves to such traditional male roles, they can still be vitally important in the life of the Church.
1. In the New Testament account, the person who betrayed Jesus was a man. Thus, his lack of faith and ensuing punishment stands as a symbol of the subordinated position that all men should take.
Smile... Deep cleansing breath... Keep on serving!

From our home to yours...

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

I was tagged!

It seems to be the night for it. Sarah got me...

1. what’s the most fun work you’ve ever done, and why? (two sentences max) Clowning - because I am one. I can be anything I want or need to be and it's cool.

2. (a) Name one thing you did in the past that you no longer do but wish you did? (one sentence max) Write and arrange music.

(b) Name one thing you’ve always wanted to do but keep putting off? (one sentence max) I'll go with Sarah on the health club thang.

3. (a) What two things would you most like to learn or be better at, and why? (two sentences max) I'd like to be better at the whole housekeeping thang (because -- well, have you BEEN here lately?) And, I'd like to not panic at the theologi-techno-talk that some polysyllabic seminarians seem to need to throw around, because it makes me feel stupid and I am not.

(b) If you could take a class/workshop/apprentice from anyone in the world living or dead who would it be and what would you hope to learn? Einstein, give me some math skills, please.

4. (a) What three words might your best friends or family use to describe you?
- zany
- outgoing
- energetic
(b) now list two more words that you wish described you?
- peaceful
- graceful

5. What are your top 3 passions?
- family
- God
- music

6. Write and answer one more question that YOU would ask someone? (with answer in three sentences max)

Where would you go tomorrow if your commitments and cost were not a problem? Ireland!

If you have the time and want to play, let me know.

NOW I really can go to bed!

Now I know my ABCs...

Stolen from Cathy!

The Letter A
Are you available? Nope. Very married!
What is your age? probably older than you
What annoys you? Incorrect use of can/may, dogs who are allowed to poop on my front lawn without clean up and the neighbor's "car alarm symphony"

The Letter B
Do you live in a big house? Big enough that I can't clean it in a morning.
When is your birthday? June 12.
Who is your best friend? Oh my... hard one. Dana, probably.

The Letter C
What's your favorite candy? Hands DOWN - peanut M&Ms
Who's your crush? My Beloved Bearded Spouse (aka BBS)
When was the last time you cried? Sunday - worship and prayer did me in!

The Letter D
Do you daydream? Yes.
What's your favorite kind of dog? Stuffed. (sorry - I'm a cat person!)
What day of the week is it? Wednesday.

The Letter E
How do you like your eggs? In cakes, pies and cookies.
Have you ever been in the emergency room? For me - no. For others - yes.
What's the easiest thing ever to do? Body sounds (you know - the natural kind?)

The Letter F
Have you ever flown in a plane? Yes.
Do you use fly swatters? No.
Have you ever used a foghorn? To do what?

The Letter G
Do you chew gum? Yes. Occasionally
Are you a giver or a taker? Um... dunno. Probably both.
Do you like gummy candies? MMmmmmm Jelly Bellies...

The Letter H
How are you? Groovymus fantabulous!
What color is your hair? Brown, with natural - uh - "variations"!!

The Letter I
What's your favorite ice cream? Ben & Jerry's Chubby Hubby or Graeter's Peppermint Stick
Have you ever ice skated? As in, balancing and moving across the ice on the blades instead of my butt?? Marginally.
Do you play an instrument? yes, several.

The Letter J
What's your favorite jelly bean brand? Jelly Bellies!
Do you wear jewelry? Some. Not a lot of bling.

The Letter K
Who do you want to kill? Cockroaches. OK, I know that's a what. It's the best I can do!
Do you want kids? Yes and I love them both!
Where did you go for kindergarten? I didn't.

The Letter L
Are you laid back? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. No.
Do you lie? no never.

The Letter M
Whats your favorite movie? Princess Bride!
Do watch Disney movies? Not any more!
Do you like mangos? No. I'm allergic to them, actually.

The Letter N
Do you have a nickname? Yes but I am not telling.
What is your real name? Deborah
What's your favorite number? Ones that balance in my checking account.
Do you prefer night over day? Night!

The Letter O
What's your one wish? To have three more wishes! (HA)
Are you an only child? Nope!

The Letter P
What one fear are you most paranoid about? Driving in lousy road conditions because of all of the EEEjits out there.
What are your pet peeves? Actually all the peeves I have are not domesticated.
What's a personality trait you look for in people? Fun and honesty.

The Letter Q
What's your favorite quote? Several, but just to be whimsical: "Have you ever tried to get to your feet with a sprained dignity?" [Mrs. Whatsit in "A Wrinkle in Time"]
Are you quick to judge people? Yes. No. I don't know. Probably Yes.

The Letter R
Do you think you're always right? Of course!
Are you one to cry? When my eyes need to leak, yes.

The Letter S
Do you prefer sun or rain? Um... either.
Do you like snow? Yes.
What's your favorite season? Fall - football season, ya know?

The Letter T
What time is it? 10:37 pm
What time did you wake up? 5:50
When was the last time you slept in a tent? about 5 years ago.

The Letter U
Are you wearing underwear? Yes, I am. See the duckies?
Underwear or boxers? Underwear.

The Letter V
What's the worst veggie? Gag balls aka brussel sprouts!
Where do you want to go on vacation? Nova Scotia

The Letter W
What's your worst habit? That I have so many bad ones.
Where do you live? Maryland
What's your worst fear? Didn't we cover this in paranoia?

The Letter X
Have you ever had an x-ray? yes
Have you seen the x-games? once on TV
Do you own a xylophone? No.

The Letter Y
Do you like the color yellow? Depends on whether or not it's sunshine in-your-face yellow or a nice pastel
What's one thing you yearn for? peace - in me and in the world

The Letter Z
Whats your zodiac sign? Gemini
Do you believe in the zodiac? As much as I do in fortune cookies.
Favorite zoo animal? Tigers!

There. Now I can go to bed. :)

If you play, let me know. It was kinda fun! :)

from our home to yours,

Freecycled into a new stage...

Time flies...

We just gave our trusty play set to new neighbors (and new friends?) through FreeCycle. It was pretty nice to not have to take the thing to the dump. We were done with using it, and it had become "an attractive nuisance" in liability insurance parlance. Truth be told, I am not sure they got a bargain, even though they're happy. But a piece at a time, they've disassembled it to go to their yard. Their kids are thrilled to pieces. Our kids said, "eh... yeah... whatever..." and don't seem to care. I am a bit bemused...

...wasn't it only yesterday that Beloved Bearded Spouse and I assembled it in our garage (because it was raining) and then carried it out in large pieces to the yard, putting it together while the girls danced and hopped around us in excitement?

...wasn't it just yesterday that they had "trips to the moon" and secret rendezvous in the "clubhouse" and competed in "Olympics" on the hand-over-hand ladder and hanging rings?

...wasn't it just yesterday that kids were swinging and giggling on it on a summer's evening as the adults sat under the arbor, talking and swatting mosquitoes?

There is this funny "space" in our yard. The grass is trampled down with funny U-shaped ruts, and the footprint of the play set is still there. By a year from now, you'll never know what happened in this part of the yard...

But it's OK.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: [Eccl. 3:1]
I am happy it has a new home. I am sad that we are suddenly past play sets.
Sort of...

From our home to yours...

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

But seriously...

It's time to take a walk to a thoughtful spot...

After putting up my silly post from yesterday, I found out that a friend and her daughter were in a head-on collision on an icy road. They are fine. The family they slid into all died in the crash. My heart goes out to her.

I didn't mean to be flippant in my last post, and almost deleted it... but decided instead to use it as a marker for prayer...
and to ponder... what WOULD I like my last words be??

I think that something I would like to say as my famous last words would be -

from our home to yours...

Monday, January 15, 2007

Famous Last Words...

Your Famous Last Words Will Be:

"I dunno, press the button and find out."

Sunday, January 14, 2007

I'd rather be...

...reading something other than Brueggemann - I really don't get this guy.
...working on something other than my next marvelously exegeted paper. (That was a joke, in case my professors ever visit this blog!)

...walking with my beloved bearded spouse (even in the rain)

...playing piano, flute or singing (a heavy dose of blues or jazz, please)

...beating my girls in an all-out scrimmage of Scrabble (too bad Greek and Hebrew words don't count!)

...kicking back with a glass of the latest home brew (which is really very good!) and chewing the fat with our buds
...and a nap would be very, very cool (the cats agree!)

No more procrastination! Back to work!



Friday, January 12, 2007

Friday Five: Countdown Edition

From Songbird of RevGalBlogPals :
Last night my TV Boyfriend Keith Olbermann made some comments I really appreciated, and it got me thinking about what makes one person admire another. In the spirit of Keith's show on MSNBC, welcome to the Friday Five Countdown Edition.

Please count down five living people you admire and tell us a little something about why they make your list. These could be famous people or people you know personally.

WELLL.... I am feeling arbitrary and actually quite contrary. I am NOT picking TV personalities, starlets, politicians, or anybody that I have not talked to or known personally. I am also not going to be Politically Correct and join the daily politician-bashing pulpit pounders from either political stripe. PAH!

SOoo... having said that, you might wish to skip my post. A tired, cranky seminarian who can't get her Word plug-in to work for formatting two Turabian- style papers due in less than six hours, AND has PMS to boot can be a real (ahem) brat...

5 Myron Augsburger
who is Pastor Emeritus and the founding pastor of Washington Community Fellowship in DC. We were members there for several years. His byline was "The Third Way" which basically said that NEITHER Republicans NOR Democrats have it right. The "Third Way" is the way of Christ. None of us who are on the planet can perfectly imitate and follow Jesus. We just think we do. So --- I am learning to stop the flag waving and peace signs and mantras and slogans... and through his input, am learning to listen to Jesus.

4 Pastor Ruth who is one of my Spiritual Formation mentors. She was a woman pastor when women pastors REALLY weren't cool. She is bright, thoughtful, a mystic, a prayer warrior, and a great sounding board.

3 Dana and Carol, sisters of the heart. Can't explain it in words... I just am blessed.

2 My mom. She's the youngest octogenarian I know. She's computer savvy. She translates and reviews books for a genealogical group (out of old or new German? wow), she encourages, supports and finds ways to let me and my sibs and our families know that we are loved. She loved and lived through the slow demise of my dad with grace and faith. May I do so well.

1 My beloved bearded spouse. A patient, thoughtful, long-suffering man, exhibited with grace as his zany wife re-arranges the furniture, storage areas, garage, whatever (a sign I am in "deep think"), loving, caring and incredibly up for this idea that I would actually go back to school for full-time ministry.

OK, that's it from where I live. Back to these #@#*%& papers which will not edit themselves, blast it...


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Do. Not. Panic.

One step at a time.
One assignment at a time.

What's a few more months of lack of sleep, lost family time, no vacation because every professor wants "their" schedule instead of the seminary's... ???

I will hang on to the fact that the One who is FAITHFUL AND TRUE has called me to this...

Walking by faith...

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


Just received this link from another Buckeye...

"We might not be able to play football, but at least we can spell!"

Ever the fan...


CONGRATS to Florida fans...
But it wasn't pretty for me to watch.

GO BUCKS anyway -

Buckeye born
Buckeye bred
When I die
I'll wear grey and "red" (aka scarlet!)


Monday, January 08, 2007



Sunday, January 07, 2007

Back under the pile...

The semester starts this week...

If I get sporadic in posting, it's because I'm being diligent.
(Send me some love.) If I post a lot, it's because I'm procrastinating. (Send me some love anyway...)

Initial look at the syllabi is scaring me. As I pray and steep in reminders of this all being GOD'S idea, it calms and encourages me to take it a nibble at a time... with God's help and grace every step of the way...

I am pressed but not crushed!

From our home to yours...

Friday, January 05, 2007

Just a minor rant... OK, a MAJOR one!

Some call it "shifting baselines" while others say it is "the decay of morality" in our society. I'd like to say it's a blip in the cultural radar screen, but I don't think so.

As Lawrence Downes wrote in
his opinion piece in the New York Times, "Middle School Girls Gone Wild," there is a trend towards middle schoolers doing the "dirty dancing" that we never dreamed of back in the day! He writes:

"The scene is a middle school auditorium, where girls in teams of three or four are bopping to pop songs at a student talent show. Not bopping, actually, but doing elaborately choreographed re-creations of music videos, in tiny skirts or tight shorts, with bare bellies, rouged cheeks and glittery eyes."

You might be wondering, as I did, "where are their parents?" or perhaps you had this vague feeling of being a social dinosaur... It's not the music. It's not even the dancing so much. It's PARENTS allowing CHILDREN to engage in such a sexual display. I call them "children" because they are: middle schoolers are as young as 10 years old, and by the time they finish 8th grade, many are still only 13! Straight from MTV to your school's stage, it's allowed because it's "self-expression." We're not "hopping and bopping to the crocodile rock" but instead are "Gettin bodied (Im the only one tonight gettin bodied)" with Beyonce.

These girls are, in Downes' words, steeped in "the culture of boy-toy sexuality" of popular music culture. The parents think it's fine? The school allows it?

I'm aghast. I'd say it doesn't happen here in suburbia, but it does. I've seen the poms shake, and the cheerleaders do everything but cheer...
I know what the teen norms are for what is worn at school, at the mall. I don't live in a Christo-bubble!

The norms have changed. Little girls aren't so girlie any more. Barbies are passe by age 5. Now the hip dolls are "BRATZ" with super made-up eyes and lips, slinky hips, and sultry clothes and attitudes. Their posture and their self-descriptions (check out their website) are decidely all grown-up. We seemed to skip from baby doll clothes to baby doll negligees in just a breath! Downes calls it
"The Three Ages of Woman: first Mary-Kate, then Britney, then Courtney."

Realize two things:
First of all, we are raising girls. We have a middle schooler and a high schooler in public school. We do not let them wear belly shirts, show cleavage down to the nipples (whether or not they have cleavage!) or prance around in tight, short clothing. We just don't. We haven't forbidden make-up, but perhaps since I'm not much for make up, they aren't either. (Hey that could change... we'll deal with it.)

Secondly, I know we are raising them up to be WOMEN in every sense of the word. I don't want them to wear a full
niqab or put on the potato sack wear of "Little House on the Prairie." I don't want them living in a Christian ghetto. Nor do I want to keep them in pigtails. They are growing up. Fast. And hopefully with a better self-image than being a 3-D boy magnet. (And as an aside, what do you suppose the parents of BOYS think about this? I wonder if it bothers them as it does me...)

So what can I do about it? Do I run for the copy of "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm"? Do I forbid all the music with slutty lyrics? Keep them from hearing, seeing or watching Courtney, or Janet or Beyonce?

No, it's more practical to talk about what "modest" means (it doesn't equal "prude" - look it up!) We offer them ideas, concepts, and Truth that lasts. We look at culture and try to see its lessons and its mis-steps. It helps that they have great role models around them at school and church. (A BIG shout-out to Sarah, Mandy, April, Dana, Jen, Christie, Kristen, Barb, and everyone I am forgetting at the moment - YOU ROCK!) But first and last, I pray. For God's guidance. For discernment. And for ways to celebrate the women they are becoming, in every way, as God has created them to be. We throw out ideas of where they could use their talents in the workplace, in the home, in the church. We celebrate their interests and enjoy their accomplishments. We worry, cry, pray, hug and love them.

A full-time job, to be sure... easier, and not impossible with God's help!

Jesus said: "My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one." [John 15:16]

yeah. I'm up with that.

From our home to yours...

Friday Five: Birthday, Redux

From RevGalBlogPals: A Friday Five, "Birthday, Redux"

1. "It's my party and I'll [blank] if I want to..." Favorite way to celebrate your birthday (dinner with family? party with friends? a day in solitude?) The Social time is great - I love it! Family, friends, dinner out, dinner in. Postpone it, celebrate it on time, whatever.

2. "You say it's your birthday... it's my birthday too, yeah..." Do you share your birthday with someone famous? (Click here to find out!) Yup, me and Pres. Bush (the First) share a birthday on June 12th, as well as Jim Nabors (Golll-ee!) and Anne Frank. In cruising the website I found out that I have the same birth month and year as Jimmy Smits. (Yum...) AND the same month as Sir Paul... who really IS 64!

"Lordy Lordy look who's forty..." Milestone birthdays: a) just like any other birthday--they're just numbers, people. b) a good opportunity to look back/take stock c) enjoy the black balloons--I'll be hiding under a pile of coats until the day is over d) some combination of the above, or something else entirely. Well actually, I was 8 months pregnant when I was 40. So for all of those T-shirts designers out there, I wanted one that said, 'I'd rather be 40 AND pregnant'! Now that I've had kids, I try like mad to remember to call my mom on my birthday instead of the other way around. (Thanks Mom...)

4. "Happy birthday, dear... Customer..." Have you ever been sung to in a restaurant? Fun or cringe-worthy? The worst was having to "kiss the moose" (a puppet) at Bugaboo Creek. I don't really mind it otherwise.

"Take my birthday--please" Tell me one advantage and one disadvantage about your particular birthday (e.g. birthday in the summer--never had to go to school; birthday near Christmas--the dreaded joint presents) EDITED TO ADD: This could also simply be something you like/dislike about your birthday (e.g. I like sharing a birthday with my best friend, etc.). It was (and is) always during finals week at school (June 12th). Soooo "Happy Birthday to Me" occurred in the midst of finals, or driving kids to finals, or caught up in the craziness of end-of-the-year activities. However, growing up I often "shared" my birthday with my grandmother, who had her birthday on Flag Day. And I also found out that there is a holiday in my honor! National Machine Day!

Yahooo and a party hat to you and yours...

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

my Hmmmmmmmmm File!

I commented on a RevGal blog that I had a "Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm...." file. And that has led to questions and comments from fellow RGBPs. SOooo what is it and where does it exist?

Well for starters, one day I was bored surfing and found this website! (You knew there just HAD to be a website somewhere!) My HMMMmmm's had nothing to do with that. But it cracked me up that someone has a website (and that they bought a domain name to do it??? hilarious!)

Mostly, I'm just collecting scribbles in a file folder. It's articles from magazines, pictures that grab my attention, and things that I hear or read in every day life. It's short vignettes and stories from my life or my family and friends (used with permission, of course...) It's the things that I think about trying to "answer" sometime, someday, somewhere if I ever get a chance to preach on them. Things like:

  • What that pesky "serpent head" passage means in Genesis 3 and 2 Corinthians 11
  • Does "baptizo" have to mean "immerse"?
  • That old "source" vs. "head" argument in Ephesians 5
  • Sin nature and children and salvation
  • Suicide and other "unforgiveable" sins
  • When does "salvation" actually occur in the life of the believer?
  • Roots and stumps and growth
  • Prayers, liturgies and forms that constrain or free me in worship
  • Songs, videos and movies
  • Scribbles about some books I've read with notes on what is making me stop and say "Hmmmmmmmmmmm...." as I read them.
  • Pictures and photos... like this one...

Nothing really very profound. Sorry. But just for you, Cheesehead, I've created a new post label!


From our home to yours...

In Honor and in Memory...

Gerald Rudolph Ford
July 14, 1913 - December 26, 2006

“A politician thinks of the next election.

A statesman, of the next generation.”

James Freeman Clarke

Monday, January 01, 2007

The new "ears" in town...

We're the new "ears" in town... We have been at our present church about a year now. We are getting to know different members and staff personnel. We've been welcomed and loved and encouraged. It's been a good change. I've been allowed to jump in as deep as I care to using my gifts... music, writing and just being "Deb".

And, as I'm in seminary, I know I'm being watched. There are people who go out of their way to be encouraging. (God bless them! They have NO idea how much their prayers and hugs mean...) There are others who wonder why "at my age" I would go back to school. (Yeah. well. Talk to God, I'm just following!)

We have changed churches before, so the predictable is happening. We are learning "who's who" in the church...

  • First - You meet the squeaky wheels, the malcontents, the people who pretend they are friendly only to pump you for information on what you know about the church, or to portray themselves as someone that you "need" to get acquainted and involved. They often introduce you to the leaders and organizers of the church (giving you a carefully biased and constructed opinion of the church's "history".)
  • Second - The folks who are 1000% focused on Jesus, the ones who will give you anything in service of the King, and the ones who are gifted beyond words at what they do.
  • Third - there's miles of folks in-between who are faithful, quiet and servants to the extent that their jobs, families and finances allow.
Unfortunately, the ones who work the hardest to get our ear are the first ones. Their agenda is self-driven. Their suggestive commentary and critiques are poisonous to attitude and serving. They turn people off to the church and her mission... yet they don't leave and go to another church! (Isn't that odd?? If there is so much that is "wrong" then WHY are they still here??)

Kenneth Haugk describes people like this as those who go out of their way to attack people or their performance. The attacks are often behind-the-scenes and with the goal of bringing other people in on their "side" of a situation. They are not as interested in taking power away from others as just making those who are leading to feel unable to lead (or that they are essential to the leader's "success".) [Antagonists in the Church]

When I first sat and talked with experienced pastors about my dreams of going to seminary, they each warned me about "people". One pastor said, "you need to love all of God's sheep, especially the sick ones." Then he went on to tell me about the people in his church who had hurt him terribly, yet who he continued to love and pray for daily. His wife said, "it is a kind of insanity... you keep loving the unloveable yet within limits." Another pastor said, "be prepared to follow Jesus, not the opinions of your ruling elders. And it will be hard."

Geesh. Nothing like scaring me -- and yet it helped me check my resolve and goals with God's heart and will...
So as I am listening more and talking less, I have decided to enter into praying for "the antagonists" I have met...

Easy? Oh no... But even the sick sheep need a pastor...

Thoughtfully, from our home to yours...