Monday, April 30, 2007

final push...

One more paper... short on sleep... this is the week to finish it.

I will eventually pop up with some things I'm thinking about and haven't the brain processor speed to write out... yet...


Thursday, April 26, 2007

On Retreat...

No scintillating prose for me... I'm off to work an Emmaus weekend...

Where God is in control!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


I love spring and all... but not this week.

As the pollen count climbs, I feel like doing less and less, but have more and more to do.

YES - I am taking care of myself. Enough water, rest and healthy foods. Once the trees stop blooming, my sleep will be much easier. Besides, breathing isn't optional...

Move over, cat, I'm napping, too...



Tuesday, April 24, 2007

avoiding the subject

You've heard the metaphor for avoiding discussing a topic: "ignoring the elephant that's in the room" etc.

I have a new lovely one... "stepping over the cat hork on the floor."

Yes, I know it's lovely. Charming, actually.

However, as I thought about our 2+ day stand-off over "who" was going to clean the cat hork off of the floor, it seemed to me that there are many times that we all avoid doing something -- until we are shamed into doing it, forced into doing it, or draw the short straw.

It's made me ponder...

What is it about humanity that we are fast to judge but slower to act?
Quick to form an opinion but not to think of a resolution?
Does holding out from doing the gracious thing because it is "someone else's turn" make me more noble, or more stubborn??
Were any of us showing a servant Spirit? (no...)

So -- what could I have done?

I could have gently put a rag and cleaner in one of the other cat-lovers' hands and said, "Please clean that up. Now." Not complain. Or announce what I was NOT going to do. And definitely not proclaim my over-worked and under-paid status. ...or be self-righteous.

The defensive walls went up and no one cleaned it up. For 2 1/2 days... it didn't happen. Was that stupid or what???

Because sometimes, it seems to me, when we have to help other people get over other people's (or cat's) messes, we have to guide them through it. OR we can let them step around it and not deal with it until some "button" gets pushed. (Which in this case was an explosion by yours truly... so very unpretty!)

I'm sure there's a sermon in there somewhere. Especially since I didn't come out smelling so rosy on this one myself.

I hope next time I'll cough up (sorry) a little servant attitude next time.


Saturday, April 21, 2007

Cat Hork

It's still in a pile by the door.

I am confident that 3 other people in the house have noticed it, because they all knew it was there before I did. In fact, they each TOLD me it was there. One. by. one.

Guess what? I am not going to clean it up this time...

Call me tired, or cranky, or just checked out for the night. But don't call and tell me there's cat hork on the floor.



Friday, April 20, 2007

Surprised by Joy

From the RevGals, this week's Friday Five:

Weeping may linger for the night,
but joy comes with the morning.

Psalm 30:5b
-- King David
This week I've been watching parents of the young people slain at Virgina Tech trying to make meaning out of the lives of their lost children, and each one seems to begin by focusing on something joyful about that child. It's a gift that most humans have brains wired to respond in that way. For some of us it can be harder to work our way out of dark places, but I believe joy remains the key. It is the spirit of resurrection.
Tell us about five people, places, or things that have brought surprising, healing joy into your life.

Just to be different, I'll do it in reverse order...

5. Photography: Capturing beauty in unusual (and usual) places. (I call this photo "Joy" because there it is - springing up in the hard places...)

4. The Walk to Emmaus: It's hard to describe how 72 hours can change the heart and spirit of a committed Christian. But it did and does! Tears, laughter, devotion, praise, reflection, the Eucharist, the bond of the Holy Spirit... I'm serving on a team next week and look forward to pouring out of myself for the pilgrims. It's also where I learned how to do...

3. Clowning: Becoming a "fool for Christ" and putting on the new self through Christian clowning is an amazing experience. I've been everything from a little kid to a church lady (and much wackiness in between) and known Jesus in a deeper way each time.

2. Family: I did not expect that having children and being married would bring healing to my primary (biological) relationships, but it did. Perhaps it was because I had to grow up to be a wife and mother? Dunno...

1. Worship: I've experienced it with drums in a tin roof building in Jos, in a cathedral with a pipe organ whose bass notes make your hair shake, on the side of a mountain on the Appalachian Trail, and in a movie theatre... Worship combines the things I love the most - people, music, Scripture and the Presence of God. And when God shows up, stand back!

JOYFULLY! (even with papers to finish...)

Thursday, April 19, 2007

It's Gonna Be Alright

Are there any words
to explain a tragedy?
Are there any ways
to offer comfort
beyond listening,
and waiting?

I don't think so.

In the space of a groaning
too deep for words,
God comes to meet us...

In prayer for the students, staff and families of Virginia Tech...

It's gonna be alright.

I can tell by your eyes that you're not getting any sleep
And you try to rise above, feel you're sinking in too deep

Oh I believe that
It's gonna be alright.

I believe you'll outlive this pain in your heart
And you'll gain such a strength from what is tearing you apart...

When some time has passed us and the story can be told
It will mirror the strength in the courage of your soul

I believe....

I did not come here to offer you cliches
And I will not pretend to know of all your pain
Just when you cannot then I will hold out faith
For you...

[Sara Groves]

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Your love...

Your love is deep.
Your love is high.
Your love is long.
Your love is wide.
It's deeper than my view of grace,
Higher than this worldly place,
Longer than this road I've traveled,
Wider than the gap You filled...

Who can separate us from Your love?
Nothing can separate us from Your love!

Your love is deep...

May that deep, deep love of Jesus
wash over those who are grieving,
who are in shock,
who are angry,
who are lost.

Bring healing to the homes and hearts and lives
affected by the killings on the Virginia Tech campus.
Help us not to be overcome by evil,
But to overcome evil with good.

In even this -- even this --
God, shine down on us.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


O come, Desire of nations,
bind in one the hearts of all mankind;
bid Thou our sad divisions cease,
and be Thyself our King of Peace.

In Memory...
Virginia Tech staff, students and their families

O God
We proclaimed You at Christmas
as "God with us" - Emmanuel.
We believe it is still true.

You are our King of Peace.
You wait with us in this time.
You are with us in this time of mourning.
You walk through the deep shadows.
You hear the questions and see the tears.
You know the hurt, the anger, the pain and the loss.

You bore all of those things
and more
on the cross.

It is hard,
but we will try and leave them there
with You...
In your nail-pierced Hands....

Monday, April 16, 2007


I am praying...

For an end to senseless violence everywhere...

For the families and friends who have lost someone they love at Virginia Tech today...

E'en so, Lord Jesus, quickly come...


Friday, April 13, 2007

Friday Five: Dental Edition

From the RevGalBlogPals: Cheesehead and I are both laid up this week with various tooth maladies. This one's in honor of us:

1. Are you a regular patron of dentists' offices? Or, do you go
a) faithfully, as long as you have insurance, or
b) every few years or so, whether you need it or not, or
c) dentist? what is this "dentist" thing you speak of?

I wish we had dental insurance!!!! Instead, I have a "six months for life" sentence. I go every six months, because I finally found a dentist that is (a) gentle and (b) understands that I hate seeing him but love him anyway.

2. Whatever became of your wisdom teeth?

They are still in me head. That's why I am so very wise. ahahhahahahahaha!

3. Favorite thing to eat that's BAAAAAD for your teeth.

Sticky ooey gooey taffy!

4. Ever had oral surgery? Commiserate with me.

No, but I can't imagine getting through life without it. I am sure it will come to pass.

5. "I'd rather have a root canal than _________________."

Die. That's about it. Actually, I told my dentist after the last round of many visits because of a crowned tooth gone bad that I would rather have a baby than a crown!

Bonus: Does your dentist recommend Trident?

No, alas. He recommends this thing called brushing and flossing.

I truly DO look forward to heaven when I will have no health issues... MARANATHA!


hitting a wall...

I know it's late, but I'm hitting the wall in a
BIG way tonight.

I have a sermon due on Malachi (my choice of pericope) the day after research paper #2 is due, and the day before my outline for research paper #3 is due... so I thought I would just knock it out and get it done.


This sermon is just not writing itself in the stilted
style of academia that the prof wants...
I don't have any pictures, images,
or even "heart words"
to get me started...

I've prayed.
Left it and come back to it.
Read it aloud in a couple of versions.
Even tried an impromptu singing of it...
(yeah, THAT was pretty... the cat left the room...)

This paper is very blank...
VERY blank.

I'm done whining. I think "bed" is the best prescription for this.

Maybe I'll get an idea... in my dreams...


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Watch that Step #23!

I knew that people at Google had a good sense of humor... this one had me giggling before coffee this morning...

Click HERE...

And be sure to do "Step 23"!!!

back to work...

Monday, April 09, 2007

Go figure...

Recently I had a conversation with a neighbor who suggested that my being in seminary was "something to keep me busy." I asked if that was some kinda bad joke and got the response, "well, I just figured it was your new hobby."

WHAT THE...???

To my credit, I did not offer a string of "colorful metaphors" or make any um.... "anatomically impossible suggestions" in response. But boy... Go figure!! I wonder why the heck people say stuff like that.



Can we still not accept that women are also available to be Called by God? That we too are able to study and prepare for vocational ministry??? If I were male, would I get this kinda claptrap? Somehow, I don't think so...


More than enough...

Six weeks have gone by...

Lent is done and the weeks of Easter are here. I have been pondering what I have really accomplished in six weeks. Oh sure, there's been assignments ad nauseum for seminary. I don't think that counts for much. You can't measure life in terms of papers, projects and pseudo-sermons... At least, I sure don't want to live life that way!!

So I have reflected on the last several weeks and considered what I've learned or watched others learn...

I feel as though I have not done enough. Not even close... and this is a bit discouraging.
  • I had some goals for Lent that I tried to take on this year. I wanted to give up chocolate, and commit to memorize Colossians 3. Lest anyone reading this think that being in seminary is some ticket to holiness, or that I've got it all-together, I'd like to tell you straight up - I blew it! I've learned that I do not have the self-discipline to watch with Him one hour... let alone deprive myself of six weeks of chocolate. Now that's pretty lame! Not that I had chocolate that often... but I did not make it six weeks without it. And it was pretty interesting, because once I succumbed, it was easier and easier and easier to just have 'one little taste'. And the memory work? Fuggedaboutit! I can't blame it on anything other than a lack of desire to just DO it!

  • I listened to two bright, gifted Christian singles justify why they should be dating/marrying someone who is not a Christian... that it would be OK... that things would work out if they were kind enough or godly enough and that would bring their unbelieving partner to see Christ for Who He Is... I offered some gentle thoughts and was ignored (and in one case, yelled at for being "judgmental") and so I leave their relationships in God's Hands, since He is indeed better at caring for them anyway.

  • I watched as my mother-in-law, who by her own choices, made her life miserable and depressing... and knew that I could not change her attitude, but I could change my response to one of acceptance of her in her unhappiness (and not try to change it!) And my Beloved Bearded Spouse and I continue to struggle with this one...

  • I worshipped the Creator in the middle of the Baltimore Aquarium... Who else but GOD could had made fish with neon stripes and gave us birds who looked like their feathers came from a Crayola box??

  • I have missed seeing my family, and spending time with them at the beach as we have done many a spring break...

  • I have been moved to tears by music, to laughter by a cat and her wuzzled catnip mouse, to silence by a bird's song in my window, to words of hope from a morning scripture reading...
I am so far from where I could be. I can look back and see little glimpses of God at work in and through me. Was it all I could have done? Not nearly. Fortunately, God's love for me does not depend on my ability to DO anything... it rests only in what He DID!

All of you is more than enough for all of me,
for ev'ry thirst and ev'ry need.
You satisfy with with Your love..
'Cause all I have in You
is more than enough...
[Chris Tomlin]

Yes... He satisfies and it is indeed MORE than "enough" for me...

From our home to yours...

Sunday, April 08, 2007

10,000 miles

Fare thee well My own true love
I'm goin' away
but I'll be back
though I go 10,000 miles...

Now that's a promise worth waiting for...
Because HE IS RISEN!!!

10,000 miles by Mary Chapin Carpenter

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Never Alone...

I cried out with no reply
And I can't feel You by my side
So I'll hold tight to what I know
You're here and I'm never alone

And though I cannot see You
And I can't explain why
Such a deep, deep reassurance
You've placed in my life

We cannot separate
'Cause You're part of me
And though You're invisible
I'll trust the unseen...

Never Alone by Barlow Girl
See the video here!

Friday, April 06, 2007

The Thief Watches too...

Who is this man? This man beside me

They call the King of the Jews

They don't believe that He's the Messiah

But, somehow I know it's true.

Song by Third Day
Video located here (Changed to a link so that the page loads faster.)

Thursday, April 05, 2007

The Wonderful Cross

The wonderful cross

bids me come and die

and find that I

may truly live...

nothing left to say...

P.S. to make the page load faster I've just reduced the videos to links...
The Wonderful Cross, performed by Michael W. Smith

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Your Love O Lord

I'm thanking You, God, out in the streets,
singing Your praises in town and country.
The deeper Your love, the higher it goes;
every cloud's a flag to your faithfulness.
Soar high in the skies, O God!
Cover the whole earth with your glory!

[Psalm 108:3-5]

Your Love O Lord by Third Day

None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I'm absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God's love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us. [Romans 8:37-39 MSG]

P.S. to make the page load faster I've just reduced the videos to links...

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


My life... may it be a song to You

I'm trying to live it out loud!
P.S. to make the page load faster I've just reduced the videos to links...
Lifesong by Casting Crowns

Monday, April 02, 2007

Can I follow??

Thanks to Cathy from RevGals for this idea...

I'm going to try and post a music video for every day of Holy Week. I have a number saved on my favorites... and they all are thought-provoking contemporary reminders of what it means to walk in the footsteps of Jesus.

So here is the one for Monday! :)


Here I am... Send me??

Can I follow?
Can you?


P.S. to make the page load faster I've just reduced the videos to links...
"Here Am I" by MercyMe

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Holy Week Begins...

Just a few days...
from Palms and Hosannas
to loneliness and pain.

Just a few friends...
who forgot their joy at
palm branches and Hosanna!
when it was followed by
Crucify Him!

Our faith is just as fickle,
Our lives are just as tumultuous.

We praise on Sunday,
Forget on Monday,
Lounge on Tuesday,
Plot on Wednesday,
Betray on Thursday,
Weep on Friday,
Mourn on Saturday...

But... then comes SUNDAY!

forgive us.

Keep the Hosannas! ringing in our hearts
You ARE our salvation...
and always...


let me live it...