Friday, March 30, 2007

Breast Cancer Supporters - I wish...

Forget where I heard this, but I think it is appropriate!

How about if all those companies who exploit women's breasts were the largest contributors to breast cancer research...

For instance...

- Victoria's Secret
- Hooters
- Playboy
- Hustler
etc, etc, etc...

And yes, I am sure everyone who looks at this ad looked at the sandals first! And we wonder why our teens and young adults are sex-obsessed????



RevGals Friday Five: Holy Week, Batman!

St. Patrick's Cross, Cashel, Ireland

Reverend Mother of RevGalBlogPals writes: Well, the Clergy Superbowl is almost upon us, and so, I offer up this Friday Five (with apologies for the irreverent title):
1. Will this Sunday be Palms only, Passion only, or hyphenated?
Um.... neither? This comes from being at a nonliturgical church.

2. Maundy Thursday Footwashing: Discuss.
Been there... done that... Not this year. Actually my more meaningful footwashing experiences have been in non-church settings.

3. Share a particularly meaningful Good Friday worship experience.
Nailing a list of sins (mine) to the cross... and watching as the slip of paper was removed, put in an urn and burned to ash (along with the paper confessions of everyone present...)

4. Easter Sunrise Services--choose one:
a) "Resurrection tradition par excellence!"
b) "Eh. As long as it's sunrise with coffee, I can live with it."
c) "[Yawn] Can't Jesus stay in the tomb just five more minutes, Mom?!?" Absolutely option "c"!!! Jesus understands if I lie in bed and listen to the birds!

5. Complete this sentence: It just isn't Easter without...
Bronchospasms from easter lilies. One of my all-time greatest allergens. But if I am thinking of things I "must have at Easter" then it probably would be making sure we have malted milk eggs and my home-made hot cross buns, too.

Back to re-typing what once was lost, but now is half-found... (See my previous post...)

P.S. I've discovered the secret to fast Blogger action - post just after midnight. ;)

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Thou Shalt Make Back-Ups

"Thou Shalt Make Back-Ups!"

But today, I didn't. And two completed papers (short ones) and the best draft so far of my 12+ page-er are on a laptop that won't boot up. Suddenly. This afternoon. I suspect a software "update" did it.

Yes, I have anti-viral software (and use it).
Yes, I have a system-tweaker de-bugger for Windows (and use it).
Yes, I even have print-outs of the current versions of the papers....

In the grand scheme of things, this is small potatoes. My kids are healthy. My marriage is solid. I have a great support network.

The all-nighter required to re-type all these things on the computer "dinosaur" in the house is... priceless.


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

peeling off a layer of tape...

This is the letter I wrote to the students who are meeting with Pat Robertson about the issue of commencement speaker selection...

Thanks for offering to field student thoughts on this issue.

I am not due to graduate for, oh, four years? But basically, I had already decided that I will just have my diploma mailed to me. A university's commencement is not a political platform for the media. It is (traditionally) intended to encourage and challenge the graduates to go and do what they are trained to do. (And in the case of a Christian university, to do GOD'S work!)

I think that there are MANY inspiring speakers who are not political candidates, who are Christians who make a difference and who are not asked to speak at secular universities because they ARE Christians! I think of "acceptable" Christian writers like Max Lucado, or Andy Stanley, or perhaps "less acceptable" ones like Lauren Winner or Anne Lamott. (Yes, the last two would put some male graduates back on their heels -- but they speak for the generation of leaders in America who are up and coming.) I think of men and women who have returned from Iraq. I think of teachers who make a difference dealing with truants in Newport News, or a social worker in DC who helps teens stay in school, or a public defender who offers the best defense that money can't buy (literally). A Christian who is NOT a big name in the marketplace.

I'm just one voice. I recognize that. But I will not be a political pawn for a candidate I do not support. My diploma is not up for a vote, nor is it fodder for the 700 Club or the Nightly News.

Thanks for being willing to listen...

God bless you and I will be praying for your meeting!

In Christ alone-

To paraphrase Scripture, don't muzzle the student while she's writing... (grin)

Now I might get kicked out of school for this... but that's where I stand...


Living with another's pain...

Alone in the valley
I cry for You
To fill me with Your peace
So when the lightning strikes
Thunder roars around me
Still I live in peace
You ask that I
Be still and know You are God
Be still and know You are God

When the fires rage
When the storms surround me
Still I live in peace
Though the mountains fall
Crash into the ocean
Still I live in peace
You ask that I
Be still and know You are God
Be still and know You are God
Be still and know You are God
Be still and know You are God

Lead me through the valley
Lead me by the streams
Restore me and draw me to You, God
To You I lift my soul
To You who makes me whole
Gently You hold me close to You
Close to You

Be still and know You are God
Be still and know You are God
Be still and know You are God
Be still and know You are God

You're near me
You love me
You hold me
You reach me
You still me
You move me
You draw me to You, God

You are God!

Peace [Rebecca St. James]

Sunday, March 25, 2007


I edited my last post and the comments section went away.

Operator error? likely...


So, like, where do you shop?

There is a trend I really really dislike among some teen girls, and it is probably one that many parents dislike. I keep reinforcing my distaste for it with my daughters. (And so far... so good... They hear me and agree!)

It is this idea that it is more important to be "cool" or "phat" which is judged by the way you dress, the amount of make-up you wear, how many
boyfriends you have had, what you do with your hair, what kind of jewelry you wear, etc...

Have we really made so little of a change in a generation? It frustrates me to hear that my wonderful daughters are going through the same pysche junk that I did. I have too many memories of Patti and Cheryl and good-old-what's-her-name who tormented me with their rude and truly nasty remarks when I was in high school. (The good news? They probably have cellulite now too! Time IS a great equalizer!)

I hurt for the adolescent girlie "nasties" that every female seems to have to experience... and yes, the Mama Bear in me wanted to get on the phone and give their parents a piece of my mind... but since I have so little to spare, I prayed instead. And hugged my girls. And told them I loved them.

However, this afternoon, as I read the paper in my after-service wind-down, I had to do a WHOOP and a happy dance over this op-ed piece!!!! It makes a Mama Bear really happy!

Hey Jessica? You rock!

SO, like, where do you shop?
Um... yeah. WhatEVER!

Young, Female and Taking a Stand Against Provocative Fashion

Washington Post, Sunday, March 25, 2007; Page B08

"Why am I not accepted by you?" I recall asking the beautiful, blonde future cheerleader as we walked toward our rural-suburban sixth-grade classroom in 1997.

"You don't wear the right clothes, hang out with the right people, wear makeup or have a boyfriend," I remember her responding thoughtfully.

At that moment, I faced a dilemma that would affect the rest of my life: Would I choose to abandon my friends and clothing and acquire a boyfriend and makeup skills to become popular, or would I stay on the course I was on?

My feminine heart longed to be accepted, to be considered pretty and fashionable. But what was I willing to sacrifice to obtain it? Even at 12, I sensed that if I took the advice implied by my classmate's answer I would be allowing my identity to be dictated by others from then on. Everything within me rebelled at saying goodbye to who I was. So I made my choice: I wouldn't pursue the criteria that would open the doors of popularity.

For the next seven years, until I graduated from high school, I watched as friends and classmates grew more obsessed with becoming what in the 1990s was called the "It" girl. We all knew -- from magazines, TV and societal mores -- that to be accepted one had to be hot. This meant wearing the latest fashions, designed for model-thin people and showcasing as many curves as possible. It meant going to parties where one rebelled, along with everyone else, against adult restrictions and where one hoped to be recognized by the girls as having "it" together and by the guys as being sexy. To attain this status, girls did the usual: starved themselves, dressed "fashionably" and gossiped incessantly to establish themselves and, with calculated innocence, to rip other girls to shreds.

I was reminded of all of this by an article in The Post's Health section last month, "Goodbye to Girlhood; As Pop Culture Targets Ever Younger Girls, Psychologists Worry About a Premature Focus on Sex and Appearance."

It is incredibly difficult for any girl or young woman to withstand the continual onslaught. I know it was for me. In the end, I was able not only to survive but to thrive in this environment because of my parents, my faith and my life experiences.

My parents' love and support were unfailing. They were there when I came home in tears because the pressures of being a teenage girl were too much; they were there when I needed to share news of something wonderful.

My faith enabled me to ground my self-worth in who I was as a person, not in what I could do or become.

And I was fortunate to learn from several guys' own lips that they valued modesty in women and admired those who had interior as well as exterior beauty. It took years, but eventually I internalized the reality that women's clothes send a message to the world and that if we want to be treated as people and not as objects, our clothes and body language must project true beauty -- dignity and quiet confidence accented, of course, by the latest clothing and accessories.

Now, as a twentysomething grad student at the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family at Catholic University, I still grapple with the issues raised by that childhood conversation, albeit with a more academic approach. Such studies have allowed me to realize how similar my experiences have been to those of many other women.

As a result, I have gotten involved with Pure Fashion DC, a nonprofit model-training program that seeks to inspire high-school-age girls to be role models as well as fashion models. We regularly meet with our 46 models, who hail from all over the Washington area, to discuss inner beauty (on, say, getaway weekend) and outer beauty (on salon day). Our time together will culminate in a three-hour fashion show April 29 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in downtown Washington, where our models will showcase this year's fashions with grace and modesty.

Whether it's over coffee, at a Pure Fashion DC event, in a conference room or at a pajama party, I share my experiences with young women and girls to encourage them to send a message of true beauty with their bodies and their clothing.

-- Jessica A. Dolezal

Silver Spring

The writer volunteers with Pure Fashion DC, a model-training program that stresses modesty.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Quote without comment...

Received a month ago and has been on my mind. However, it has NOT been in the public forum... SOooo... I post it here without comment...
Oh yes, I have an opinion...


Dear Regent Family:

It is the custom of most major universities to invite as their commencement speakers people of note in government, business, the arts, philanthropy, etc. By having prominent speakers at graduation, those in attendance have a chance to hear first-hand thinking from prominent individuals and, at the same time, media attention is directed to the institution as the remarks of the speaker are quoted widely. I remember a few years ago attending the graduation at Oral Roberts University where Bob Hope, a noted comedian, was the featured speaker. Last Spring, Liberty University asked John McCain, a presidential candidate, to be its graduation speaker.

This Spring, Regent University is pleased to be able to hear from two leading candidates for President of the United States, Rudy Giuliani and former Governor Mitt Romney. Gov. Romney is a distinguished businessman who founded Bain Capital, has been involved in multi-billion dollar mergers and acquisitions, and headed the Winter Olympics. Former Mayor Giuliani is distinguished by his leadership in New York City and his bravery during the aftermath of September 11, 2001.

Mayor Giuliani will speak on leadership and Gov. Romney will lay out his views on the future course of the political life of this nation.

Mayor Giuliani is not expected to speak about his personal life or the fact that he is a Roman Catholic. Gov. Romney is running for the post of Chief Executive Officer, not Chief Theologian, and is not expected to mention the fact that he is a Mormon or to discuss his Mormon beliefs.

As Regent University becomes more and more the center of international Christian learning, it should be appropriate that our faculty and student body are conversant with the major themes of public policy discourse in this nation and are, in turn, able to confront them intelligently.

I hope this answers some of the questions that have been raised about the choice of speakers at our school.

Pat Robertson
Regent University

Friday, March 23, 2007


Every now and then,
I hear a song that catches me off guard.
The message hits me deep in my heart,
And makes me pause to look upward and to pray...
Usually, these songs speak to my neediness,
And how God waits for me to see
That I don't need stuff
or people
or abilities or "ministries" or ANYTHING
but Him.

I heard this song this week and it spoke volumes...
...of how we go through life empty,
And God desires to fill us.
...of how we can get cold
And God longs to restore the fire in our hearts.
It's a call to turn around... make choices and attempt to change.

There is hope.
It is in the resurrection.
Lent's a long time of living and waiting...
...but Easter is coming!

I pray God wraps you
in the HOPE of the words of this song...

I'm at a loss for words, there's nothing to say. I sit in silence wondering what led me to this place; how did my heart become so lifeless and cold? Where did the passion go?

When all my efforts seem like chasing wind,
I've used up all my strength and there's nothing left to give. I've lost the feeling and I'm down to the core; I can't fake it anymore.

Here I am at the end I'm in need of resurrection. Only You can take this empty shell and raise it from the dead! What I've lost to the world what seems far beyond redemption; You can take the pieces in Your hand and make me whole again...

You speak and all creation falls to its knees. You raise Your hand and calm the waves of the raging sea. You have a way of turning winter to spring; make something beautiful out of all this

Here I am once again I'm in need of resurrection. Only You can take this empty shell and raise it from the dead. What I've lost to the world what seems far beyond redemption. You can take the pieces in Your hand and make me whole again...

You have a way of turning winter to spring; make something beautiful out of all this suffering.

by Nicol Sponberg

Friday Five: Rivers in the Desert

I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:19, NRSV

Songbird of RevGals writes:
As we near the end of the long journey toward Easter, a busy time for pastors and layfolk alike, I ponder the words of Isaiah and the relief and refreshment of a river in the desert.

For this Friday Five, name five practices, activities, people or _____ (feel free to fill in something I may be forgetting) that for you are rivers in the desert.
ONLY five practices, activities or people??? wow... I have experienced many ways of refreshment in recent years. But here's an attempt...
  1. Family: I am blessed with a very patient, tolerant and encouraging family, not just my mom and sibs, but my husband and daughters as well. And I should add my church and Emmaus families in here, too. Who knew that not only would they think my journey towards ministry is God-ordained, but that they would jump in to help me start on my way? Their support continues to surprise and bless me.
  2. Friends: Especially my prayer partners and my mentors. They listen, challenge and pray like mad. And they help me keep things in perspective and in close to a right priority.
  3. Music: Singing. Playing. Humming. Rehearsing. Creating. Performing. Writing. Arranging. Praising. Rocking out!!! I have never been far from music; it is my heart beat to God. When I am too far gone to care about music, I am pretty sick or depressed.
  4. Re-discovering old favorites: I wandered back through a reading of Practicing the Presence by Brother Lawrence. Sometimes, steeping my heart in the familiar is comforting, renewing and exhorting all at the same time.
  5. Seeing God in the every day, common noise of life: It struck me this morning when I woke up that we get too habitual, too wrapped up in our insulated patterns. Last night was the first 'warm' spring evening and we left our bedroom windows open. (It plays havoc on my asthma, but I love the air!) Instead of hearing our "canned" birdsong alarm, I listened to the birds waking up, louder and louder, chirpier and happier as the sky began to lighten. And the bonus was an owl "hoo-hoo-HOOO-HOOOOO-hooo-hoo"-ing as kind of the last kick in the butt (or ears?) to wake up. With my windows closed, I don't hear the bird song every morning. I have been thinking this morning that there are many times I miss the 'background music' that God has in my life. I want to "tune in" better today and every day. Here's to refreshment from just being more aware of His presence!!
Good when He gives, supremely good;
Nor less when He denies:
Afflictions, from His sovereign Hand,
Are blessings in disguise.
- Brother Lawrence.

Back to papers and other fun things... BUT - with a lightened heart! And hopefully, I've helped lighten yours, too...

WIN or lose...

I root for the Buckeyes win or lose...

But it's really sweet
when they win!!

OSU 85
Tennesee 84
Off to the Final Four!

PROUD to be a Buckeye!

(and yes, I should be in bed... my reward for all my hard work was watching the game!)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

If you give a cat a mouse...

If you give a cat a mouse...
...she starts her own blog.

She's blaming the idea on Molly, Dogblogger and Littlemankitty, but I think she just wants to spout off. Must be the Siamese in her...

aka "Giver of Greenies"

Monday, March 19, 2007

Too much time on his hands...

Some day, when I have too much time on my hands, I am going to do something like THIS!


Sunday, March 18, 2007

Only Grace

There's only grace
There's only love
There's only mercy
And believe me it's enough
Your sins are gone
Without a trace
There's nothing left now
There's only grace
- Matthew West
This song is really speaking to me right now. Maybe it's because I'm studying intensely in the Old Testament prophets and seeing how easy it is to become "religious" and not remember the God of the covenant.

Lord, have mercy...
Christ, have mercy...

Saturday, March 17, 2007

nervously and in very small print...

OK, here goes... This is a leap of faith for me... but maybe there is something in it that is worth using in the future???

I've never posted anything like this before and I am a little nervous. FWIW - "the classmates" didn't like the fact that I didn't use a lot of Greek and Hebrew and holy theological words.

A coupla caveats...
(1) I have not had a preaching or sermon w
riting class yet and (2) I had to cover the concept of "power" as it is found in Paul's letters - and offer it in outline form... and keep it under 800 words (I made it - 791!) and (3) it was a classroom exercise, but I approached it as if I might actually preach it, not give geeky Greeky definitions

Ducking and running for cover... (Please be kind...)

[Edited to add this: BTW - I don't talk like this! I don't preach using these words... and the church I will intern at in the fall does not use this preaching model!!! It was a good exercise for praying through a passage... and that's about it! So much for class assignments in seminary helping you get ready for the "real world"!!!]
[1]Title: The Power of God: From Potential to Kinetic Energy

Theme: Because of God’s desire to have a relationship with humanity, He offers us the plan, the premise and the promise of His power. Uniquely gifted and empowered, we can rock our world and transform it for His glory!


I. Introduction

At George Washington’s plantation, Mount Vernon, there is a working reconstruction of a grist mill. When we visited there recently, the mill’s docent explained to us the transfer of the water’s energy from potential to kinetic energy. What made the water a source of energy some times and not others? It was when the miller introduced the water into a sluice which contacted the waterwheel’s paddles. The paddles turned rods which turned gears and more gears, and caused the millstones to turn against each other, and ground the corn into cornmeal. Unless the power of the water was engaged, the water flowed around the mill, never touching or transforming the grain. Our world is often untouched by the power of the God, never connecting or accepting the possibility of its ability to transform us, even though God is constantly seeking to engage His creation in a relationship.

II. Body

A. The Plan: God’s power for our redemption (1 Cor. 18-24)

1. God’s might and power was revealed in Creation, and in His mighty acts for His people (Flood, Exodus, Exile narratives)

2. God’s wisdom and power personified in Jesus - the Cross and the crucified Christ

3. We choose to accept or reject God’s wisdom and gift of salvation – God’s power through the cross to us

Question: Would you try to grind the grain by turning the stones yourself? Or by using a mortar and pestle by hand? If you knew that the way to grind the grain had already been designed for you and was available for your use, those would be foolish choices. Do you choose to engage the power of God, to allow Him to have access to your heart, and your life? (like the waterwheel – change from potential to kinetic energy)

B. The Premise: God’s power for transformation (2 Cor. 4:1-9; 12:9)

1. Our weakness shows God’s strength and power

2. Our changed hearts and lives show God’s work in us (quote by Paulus Kertelge: “Faith is [the] expression of the liberty God restored to man – the liberty to obey Him.”)

3. Our trials show that it is God’s enabling that gives us endurance, instead of an escape

4. Our boasting is only in God’s bearing us through our trials – the opposite of a power-seeking world

5. Our service by being His instruments of healing (Luke 9) as an example of God’s power and authority vested in us

Question: If you know you have become “connected” to God by the saving power of the cross, and His power is now available to you, have you been changed? Is the grist of His grace bringing about change in your actions and attitudes? The corn is not left unchanged when it is poured into the grinding stones… and we should not be unchanged either!

C. The Promise: God’s power for a future hope (Rom. 1:16-17, 15:7-13)

1. A promise made to God’s people of old – “the righteous will live by faith” – a faith that accepts the power of God to rescue and redeem “everyone who believes”

2. A promise for all peoples, Jews and Gentiles- the power of the Holy Spirit gives us joy and peace, and hope (cf - experienced by Mary in the conception of Christ)

3. A promise of God’s resurrection power exemplified in overcoming the cross and grave

4. A promise of God’s righteousness counted to us through the risen Christ

Question: If you have yielded to God’s power, and it is resident in your life, changing and transforming you, what is the result? What has God done with your life? How can you live out this message of hope and belief for a world that is hungry for it? (Make cornbread out of that cornmeal!) A person who has had dynamic change in her or his life can rock their world by allowing the power of Christ to shine – it is already resident in them!

III. Conclusion

God’s power is made real to us through three realities in Christian life: (1) The plan of God’s power for redemption (2) The premise of God’s power for transformation (3) The promise of God’s power in the future. The power of God is not something we conjure up or take on our own; it is given to us, implemented through us and is resident in us to bring glory to God. As we decrease our control and self-direction, and surrender ourselves to Him, God’s power shows itself and rocks our world!

[1] (suggested format for sermon outline) David Alan Black, Using New Testament Greek in Ministry: A Practical Guide for Students and Pastors (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1993), 112.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Dirty Little Secret...

Let me know that I've done wrong
When I've known this all along
I go around a time or two
Just to waste my time with you
[The All-American Rejects]

Here's reality. I have a dirty little secret. I am confused. And I am too touchy-feely and my feelings get hurt. And I'm judgmental, too...

Having said all this, being honest and desiring to be more "salty," it's also time to get over it.

I am human. Very human. I process things with my feelings, not a flow chart, or a decision tree, or clear-cut reasoning. That pesky "F" part of my Myers-Briggs gets in the way of rational "what were you thinking???" reasoning. I am better at this than I was, oh, 20 years ago. But it's still kinda sucky.

Do I really want to go there? Not now. Not really.

And sometimes? Yeah. Life is just kinda sucky.

That's my gut response and I'm working through it... You're just along for the ride, I guess.


Friday Five: Whatcha Doin'?

Reverendmother writes:

Well friends, this is one of those weeks when I simply must work today, which is normally my day off. I know, I know. We may tut-tut all we want, but the fact is, some weeks are like that. So, this week's F5 is simple: Name five things you plan to do today.

Bonus: If today is about "have-to" for you as well, share up to five things you'd like to be doing today.

Sigh. Today is definitely a "work day" for me. And it's grey, raining and windy. A good day for a cat, a couch and a novel, and maybe a nap. But no... BBS made a fresh pot of coffee (he needed a caffeine jolt too) so that I can get revved up to study.

Today's list includes:
  1. Finish an analysis of Nehemiah 4 (just have to proof and post it.)
  2. Read and respond to critiques of my first sermon on-line. (classmates can be such snots.)
  3. Read textbooks for my classes.
  4. Work on my research papers. (Biblical women in the post-exilic period, The "sophia" motif in 1 Corinthians 2:6-16, Current trends in spiritual formation in the emergent church)
  5. Chauffeur daughter and harp to music lesson after school.
Bonus: I'd rather be...
  1. Napping.
  2. Reading non-classwork books.
  3. Quilting.
  4. Playing one of my instruments.
  5. Napping with the cats. (oops, already mentioned naps!)
Time to stop procrastinating and get to work!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Being Salt...

I took these photos when we visited the "Giant's Causeway" in County Antrim, N. Ireland. It is one of those natural phenomena that you read about, but words can not really explain its beauty. Its magnificence has to be experienced, and you can only begin to see it when you stand at the top of the cliff (right) and then hike down to the the bottom (below) of this huge basalt stone formation.

The hexagonal stones, formed so long ago, created a series of stepping stones from the ridge down to the sea. The day we were there the sun, breeze and salt air made it just about perfect. (Ireland - sun and no rain? Go figure...)

As I stepped from stone to stone, slowly working my way out and across the formation, I kept thinking in wonder, "Lord, You were here when these stones were made... You were here when the cliffs were revealed as the dirt surrounding them washed away. You were here..."

The stones themselves have changed over time. Their basic shape remains, but they have become weathered and smooth. The tides pound their edges, softening the angles. The lower ones, because of the wind and the waves, have moss and algae on them.

We were not alone during our visit. Bus after bus chugged down the hill, releasing passengers to clamber around the rocks. Birds and the occasional gull and falcon soared over us.

But my favorite discovery was in the windward side of the rocks. Down low, close to sea level, I found a place where the sea water had evaporated, and all that was left was the salt... It was crusty, astringent to my finger tips (and yes, I tasted it - it was salty!)

All that was left was the salt...

When it comes down to it, that's all that I want "left" of me - His Saltiness! The rest of me I hope is evaporating away, and leaving less and less Deb, and more of Jesus for you to see, touch, know and hear...

"If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple."
"Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out. "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."
[Luke 14:26-27, 34-35]
Yes. Sounds good. A Salty Deb...

She who has ears is working on hearing...


Tuesday, March 13, 2007



For the first time this last weekend, I was introduced before I spoke as a "seminarian" and I felt ...pretty good about it
...completely un-ready
...very human
...and not that holy

And when I shared that with another pastor, he said with a grin, "that only proves that you are ready!"

Just a hmmmmmmmmmmm. That's all!


Monday, March 12, 2007



Men - seeded #1 (South)

vs. Central Connecticut St. (1st Round)
Mar. 15, 2007
Lexington, KY
7:10 p.m. ET

Women - seeded #4 (Dayton Region)

vs. Marist (1st Round)
Mar. 17, 2007
Stanford, Calif.
10:00 p.m. ET

And... I finished my sermon. It probably sucketh... but the Buckeyes do not. (DARE I post this sermon outline??? With all the brilliance out there? Oh... I think not.)

One assignment down - 6 kajillion left to go...

Thanks, prayer warriors (you know who you are...)


Sunday, March 11, 2007

It Figures...

I had one of those "over the top" days with God. Quickly followed by despair this afternoon as I try to understand this idiot's dissertation (as a textbook for my class it truly sucketh.)

Yes. So I know. Life is full of ups and downs. This downer of a day is 24 hours from the required paper on a book I can not read and do not understand. And for this, I paid a lotta money. And will I ever use it in ministry??? Like most of the drivel that one is required to learn, that would be a big fat NO.

So, as I get my attitude in check and go back to looking things up on BabelFish, please be patient with my lousy 'tude... and even worse mood.

grumble... whine...
back to work..


Saturday, March 10, 2007

In the last 24 hours I have...

In the last 24 hours, I have...

Heard and seen God speak into my life...
Driven 300 miles...
Packed and unpacked my car TWICE!...
Hugged and been hugged...
Laughed deeply...
Been encouraged...
Been challenged...
and slept... a little...

And now... clocks set ahead, I am crashing. Home. Family. My own bed. I feel very rich tonight!

From my snug-as-a-bug-bed to yours...


Friday Five: Matters of Taste

A day late and a brain cell or two short... (see next post)

From Songbird of RevGalBlogPals

My mother loved figs.
I only like them in a Newton.
It's all a matter of taste.

Name five things you like a lot that some close relative or significant other did/does not like. This could be food, movies, hobbies, music, sports or whatever springs to mind.
This one is not so hard. Even with a seminarian of very little brain...
  1. Liver and onions. And yes, I've tried them the way you are SURE I will like them. Do you even KNOW what the liver DOES in a mammal's body. I mean... EEEeeewwww!!
  2. Blood and Guts movies. Even Conan. (Sorry honey.)
  3. Philosophy. Especially graduate level classes thereof. (Sorry again, beloved... wish you could take the P of Religion class for me!!!)
  4. Avant-guard music like John Cage. You toucha my piano like that I breaka you face. (In Christian love, of course.)
  5. Lace. Especially on my clothes. And in particular, on my undergarments!! I am just not a lace-y kinda girl!!!
The last one is, possibly, TMI...


Wednesday, March 07, 2007

with a mind like a sieve...

SOOooo much information... so little brainpower.

Hi from Regent, where the weather is chilly and the coursework is heavy!

I am supposed to be here. That I know. However, the writing and work is intense. The Spirit of God is all around though, and it is a blessing to be in the midst of so many who are intent on learning and growing into what God intends them to be.

The more I learn, the more I see how much I don't know. It's kinda like God's holiness. The more we see the holiness and purity of God, the more we see our own sinfulness, and the grace of God that saves us.

Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. [I Peter 1:13]

God's grace abounds... may I simply live in it...


Saturday, March 03, 2007

Dimmed Expectations

This cartoon from kinda said it all for me. I do not think I am going to make it as one of those perfectly prepared theologians. I am not gonna match up with what many people are looking for in a parson these days. For one thing, I like being around people, especially my family! But as my beloved pointed out, it's also the fact that I am an "ovarian carrier"!

The good news:
We had a WONDERFUL outing to the US Botanical Gardens today. A crisp, clear, breezy and cool day in D.C. is always welcome! And the glory - the BEAUTY - the Hand of our Creator everywhere we looked in the greenhouses and the displays - the orchids! -- all of the cacti!! - a total WOW. I had such an urge to offer up The Doxology as we walked out...

The bad news:
By deciding to join the fam, I am more behind on the esoteric exegesis I still need to read and comprehend. Reading Greek exegesis when one has not yet HAD Greek is a tedious process. I suppose if I had the languages already, it would be a piece 'o cake. But given the nature of the book, that might not be true...

The ultimate reason for it all:
My family. They get first dibs today, not last drabs. I head to seminary for a week-long modular class... and it was important we be together.

Besides, I am betting that the exegetical arguments that I read in this book will be less applicable in ten years than the memories we made today. It sure won't hit the pulpit at the church I am serving in now. Yet somehow I need to absorb it and create a 5P sermon out of my vast understanding for class dissection!??? (5P sermon = 3 Points, a Poem and a Prayer!) YUCK!

I am totally happy I went with the fam today.
That's my story and I'm sticking with it... and if you don't see much on my blog for the next week, it's because I am off being a Model Seminarian! (la la la la!)

From my interlinear to yours...

Friday, March 02, 2007

Friday Five: Artsy Craftsy

1. Would you call yourself "creative"? Why or why not?
Sure. Anyone who can become a pastor as a third career must have some kinda creative streak.. My creative streak comes out in my music, my photography, my writing, my practical jokes, and... life!

2. Share a creative or artistic pursuit you currently do that you'd like to develop further.
I love quilting. I have materials picked, and some blocks cut for a log cabin quilt. Someday, when I'm not writing papers, chauffeuring my sweet girls, cleaning or cooking or doing whatever else it is I do... I might finish it. Maybe in time for a grandchild's hope chest. (There's a reasonable goal!)

3. Share a creative or artistic pursuit you have never done but would like to try.
Throwing pots. I love the metaphor.

4. Complete this sentence: "I am in awe of people who can _____________."
...draw anything beyond a stick figure.

5. Share about a person who has encouraged your creativity, who has "called you to your best self." (I'm pretty sure that's from the Gospel of Oprah.)
It's a tie... my husband and my mom. Their faith in me and encouragement has helped me go the distance...

And now... back to work! A paper to upload and about 100 pages of Greek exegesis to unravel... I am feeling a wee bit clueless on that!