Wednesday, April 30, 2008

quotes that I wish Congress would read...

When we were in DC last month, we visited several monuments on the National Mall. We stopped by the Lincoln Memorial (always awe-inspiring) and saw the World War 2 Memorial for the first time. On our way around part of the Tidal Basin, we walked through the FDR Memorial. The quotes that were carved into the monuments were quite striking...

Pictures say it best. Would that our Congress (and President) would re-read them, and stop pandering to sound bites, creating media frenzies over their latest piece of pork spending, and think about the present and future generations!!!



May peace... true peace that comes from Christ... reign.


Sunday, April 27, 2008

Legacy Redux

Posted at RevGals was Sunday's prayer... and one line resonated with me. It dovetailed with the focus of the sermon Darin (one of the preaching team) gave this morning on leaving a legacy:

May we always remember that how we live our lives speaks louder than the words we use, may our lives be a testimony of love to you. Amen.

Nichole Nordeman's song "Legacy" says it well, too...

I want to leave a legacy
How will they remember me?
Did I choose to love? Did I point to You enough
To make a mark on things?
I want to leave an offering.
A child of mercy and grace who
blessed Your name unapologetically...
And leave that kind of legacy.

Yeah. That pretty much says it...


Friday, April 25, 2008

An Old Vs. Modern Friday Five

Singing Owl from Revgals writes:

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

As for the questions!

1. What modern convenience/invention could you absolutely, positively not live without?
Electricity. I admit it. I am a wimp.

2. What modern convenience/invention do you wish had never seen the light of day? Why?
Cell phones. The new version of the old ball-and-chain.

3. Do you own a music-playing device older than a CD player? More than one? If so, do you use it (them)?
Yes. Yes. (a turntable and cassette players) And... No. Not really. We still use cassette players in our cars, but that's about it. Occasionally we use the turntable to play some Zeppelin or Who. Somehow without that familiar pop and hiss, it just isn't the same on iTunes!!

4. Do you find the rapid change in our world exciting, scary, a mix...or something else?
I'm a busy thinker-doer-feeler-experimenter. Yes. I think it's scary, fun, sometimes weird, and sometimes whacked. My kids call vinyl records "those big, black CDs" and their friends were shocked that we had a turntable. And we realized later it was because they thought we used it for being hip-hop DJs or something... RrrrIIIiiiiiggghhhTT! Word.

5. What did our forebears have that we have lost and you'd like to regain? Bonus points if you have a suggestion of how to begin that process.
Natural fertilizer? Compost, baby. It's the best idea. (And no, I'm not so good at remembering to do it, either...)

And I have a great big LOooonnnnnggg post about my week which I will have to edit tomorrow because I am too wiped out and have no brain left.

This is Silly Putty Head, signing off...


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

waiting for the other shoe to drop...

Well, friends...

Friday is the day. D-Day. Yes, it was supposed to be LAST Friday. Because of circumstances beyond my control... it didn't happen. And short of hog-tying someone down or hiring a sumo wrestler, I've had few choices. I wait. I pray. I don't sleep well. And I cry... sometimes.

SO I am waiting for the other shoe to drop. The result will mean I will either be grateful... or be very sad.

I'm feeling kinda pessimistic again. I don't want to get my hopes up and ride the roller coaster of tears again...

I've decided that if I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop, I am going to choose to drop Birkies. Might as well be comfortable... and might as well make Peace Bang crazy. Though I will say I have been ahead of the game and my tastefully decorated toes are quite lovely peeping out at the top.

Tomorrow to occupy my mind I am going to clean the patio and plant flowers... and just enjoy a bit of God space. If you are inclined to come pull some weeds, you'll know where to find me.


Sunday, April 20, 2008


Don't want to go there and explain why...
This says it just fine.

Please pray for me because while I am at peace, it isn't easy.




by Phil Keaggy

Disappointment - His appointment,
Change one letter, then I see
That the thwarting of my purpose
Is God's better choice for me.

His appointment must be blessing
Though it may come in disguise
For the end from the beginning,
Open to His wisdom lies.

Disappointment - His appointment
Whose? The Lord's who loves best.
Understands and knows me fully,
Who my faith and love would test.

For like loving, earthy parent
He rejoices when He knows
That His child accepts unquestioned
All that from His wisdom flows.

Disappointment - His appointment
No good thing will He withhold
From denials oft we gather
Treasures from His love untold.

Well, He knows each broken purpose
Leads to fuller, deeper trust
And the end of all His dealings
Proves our God is wise and just.

Disappointment - His appointment
Lord I take it then as such,
Like the clay in hands of potter
Yielding wholly to Thy touch

All my life's plan is Thy molding
Not one single choice be mine
Let me answer unrepining,
Father not my will but Thine.

Friday, April 18, 2008

I swear I was doing research...


I swear I was doing research for my paper on-line when I came across THIS article!

So let me vent...
...when people tell me that prejudice doesn't exist in certain denominations "because we ordain women" I just want to smack them with something.

Now I feel better...
And I really AM going back to my research!!!


What's in a Name?

To change the subject... "it's not about me...." (right.)


Here's a fun game I picked up while surfing around the RevGals blogger ring... and worth the few minutes of mental vacation before the next round on this paper...

1.YOUR ROCK STAR NAME (first pet, current car):
Sam Pilot

2. YOUR GANGSTA NAME (fave ice cream flavor, favorite type of shoe):
Chubby Hubby Birkenstock

3. YOUR NATIVE AMERICAN NAME (favorite color, favorite animal):
Blue Cat

4. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME (middle name, city where you were born):
Grace Mansfield

5. YOUR STAR WARS NAME (the first three letters of your last name, first two of your first name):
Vaude (I am SURE that should be pronounced "Vaw-DAY"!)

6. SUPERHERO NAME (2nd favorite color, favorite drink):
Turquoise Margarita (little umbrella optional!)

7. NASCAR NAME (the first names of your grandfathers):
Jay Carl

8. STRIPPER NAME ( the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy):
No Lindt (OK, that's hilarious!)

9. TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME (your fifth grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter):
Stricker Seattle (The mere thought of her gives me the willies...)

10. SPY NAME (your favorite season/holiday, flower):
Football Rose

11. CARTOON NAME (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now):
Peach Jeans

12. HIPPIE NAME (What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree):
Cheerios Oak

TOOoooo funny. (Not only that I remembered the name of my fifth grade teacher, but that my "Gangsta Name" ain't!)


It worked.

OK. I am.

Too tired to sleep

Too tired to sleep?
Yes. That describes me perfectly.

I tried to go to bed twice. Used the warm milk, dark room, purring cat therapy. Went to bed. Nope. Tried the ear plugs and fan method. Nope.

I'm wide awake. The questions are a mile long and a yard deep. The answers are... missing.

I hate not knowing. I hate unanswered questions. I don't know what God is saying. Does it mean, "NO" or "NOT YET" ...or something else???? Like... "DOH! You didn't listen!"

But, as a friend of mine reminded me, "I loathe the unknown, but God seems to really like it a lot."

I suppose I can file this little experience under "sermon prep" and pretend like it's a spiritual experience. But at the moment, it just plain stinks.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Poetry Party: Illuminated from Within

Yes, yes, I know... I have a paper to finish. But even the most diligent student takes a moment to read and write and journal... read on!!

I haven't managed to get to a Poetry Party in a while, but this one captured me. The picture is from Abbey of the Arts. The photo is one that reminded her of the women she met at a recent retreat... The theme is "Illuminated from Within." Play along if you wish...

Illuminated from Within
Deb Vaughn

I am rooted, grounded, just awakened
The layers covering me still cold, still inhospitable.
I look up. I feel the Call...

I am Called to grow...
to push through dead leaves and melted snow...
I am Called to reach...
to weather winds and chill and whimsical change.

I am undaunted.
A late snow only slows my bloom.
A restless winter chills my growth.
A slug gnaws at my leaves.

I know my purpose.
I am heeding my Call.
I reach for the Son.
I am. Blooming.

Cut me down if you wish.
Transplant me.
Divide me from my closely growing friends...
I will re-root.
I will re-grow.

I know my purpose.
I am heeding my Call.
I reach for the Son.
I will bloom in season.

Monday, April 14, 2008


Meet my portkey...

All my papers are due by Saturday... So I'm disapperating.

See you in a few days!


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Out of sorts

I have not been a joyous bundle of perky petunias to live with today...
I am tired.
And feeling very allergic.
And tired of feeling tired and allergic.
And managed to take out my general demeanor on some lovely, kind friends... (sorry friends...)

I am sure there are other things adding to my general mood and displeasure. SOooo if you were around me today, I apologize for having been a bit.....



Friday, April 11, 2008

Friday Five: Moving

Mother Laura writes:

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

1. How many times have you moved? When was the last time?
As a child, we moved... (counts on fingers)... 7 times. As an adult, I've lived in (finds toes)... 16 different places or apartments. The last time we moved was when we bought our present home in 1996.

2. What do you love and hate about moving?
I am trying to figure out what, if anything, I could love about moving. The smell of cardboard? Not being able to find anything? The noise of packing tape? Uhhhhh... no. I think what I love about moving is when it is OVER!!

3. Do you do it yourself or hire movers?
The last time we hired movers. Wise move. Would not attempt it myself evah, EVAH agin.

4. Advice for surviving and thriving during a move?

ONE WORD: FLYLADY! My personal experience suggests the following ideas...
  • Clothing - pack a week's worth in suitcases.
  • Linens - pack a suitcase of towels. Use sleeping bags for a few days.
  • Computer - label what all those miscellaneous wires go to. You won't remember.
  • Books - use small boxes. Paper boxes work great.
  • Boxes - you will become really good at spotting "good" box sizes. For some things, bite the bullet and buy some. Esp. for your dishes (dishpaks are WONDERFUL!)
  • Cats - (quick. turn their little heads from the screen) - lock them in a bathroom with food and litter. Put a BIG sign on the door "DO NOT OPEN PSYCHO CAT" and when the house is empty, you will then be able to snag them, stuff them in whatever portable torture device you are using, and take them with you. And buy Greenies.
  • Kids - farm them out if you can. If not, plan on having only one of you seriously involved in the move, the other running crowd control.
5. Are you in the middle of any inner moves, if not outer ones?
Yup. I'm in God's waiting room right now... Dunno what's up. And I just moved my blog to a new template which I am still tweaking... sigh...

Bonus: Share a piece of music/poetry/film/book that expresses something about what moving means to you.
OH, I think a sense of humor helps... There's always more stuff than you can fit. You get creative... sometimes it's not so good. The picture I have in my mind is overstuffed cars and vans, and the music playing is Sanford and Son...



I am trying an XML layout. After going cross-eyed trying to find my widgets in the lines of itty bitty text, I gave up. (Note to self - be sure to laugh hysterically when all of these 20 something coders need bifocals!!!!)


If your link isn't here - tell me ...

I'll try to fix it.

Some of the widgets are too wide for the widget column (rackle snackle) and I'm still fidging it.


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Just thinking...

I am not skilled to understand
what God has willed what God has planned
I only know at His right hand
is One who is my Savior...

Trying to trust...
Trying to rest...
Trying to listen...

OH GOD! I am TIRED of not knowing!
Sitting in Your waiting room... is hard.
Really hard.
I would be some kinda Pharisee if I didn't admit that...


Saturday, April 05, 2008

Awareness Test

SOoooo how will you do??? Just follow the directions on this video and take an "awareness test". I'm thinking it is a great seed idea for a sermon...

Hat tip to fellow student and pastor Jeff Knight!

P.S. DON'T give away the answer!!!

Friday, April 04, 2008

A Revelation Friday Five

Sally of RevGals writes:

With this Sunday's gospel reading in mind, that wonderful revelation of Christ to the companions on the Emmaus road. I wonder where you might have been surprised by God's revelation recently.

So with no further waffle I offer you this weeks Friday 5:

How has God revealed himself to you in a...
1. Book -- The Bible
Consistently, predictably, immeasurably, gently... I get "God pokes" every time I read my Bible. OK, that sounds obvious. But as someone who has struggled off and on over the years to read my Bible consistently in a 'devotional' mode rather than in 'study' mode it is always a wonderful experience. Yesterday while reading in Deuteronomy (Deuteronomy? yes!) I was reminded of how every blessing in my life is part of that train of promises God has given his people over the generations. And I am grafted in to the line of heirs... AMAZING!

2.Film -- Pirates of the Caribbean 2 (Dead Man's Chest):

: [studies his upside-down Bible intently, then looks up] Well, I say it was Divine Providence what escaped us from jail.
Pintel: And *I* say it was me bein' clever.
[turns to the dog with the keys]
Pintel: Ain't that right, Poochie?
Ragetti: Well, how'd you know it weren't Divine Providence what inspired you to *be* clever?


Davey Jones: Do you fear... death? Do you fear that dark abyss? All your deeds laid bare, all your sins punished?

3. Song -- You Never Let Go
Matt Redman's song "You Never Let Go" caught me by surprise...

4. Another person -- Sarah
A chat last night with my friend Sarah. She said a couple things that were obvious, and yet not. Thanks, friend... Wish you were here...

5. Creation -- Cherry blossoms
The stunning handiwork of God in the cherry blossoms here in DC... For me, a quintissential expression of hope, of promise, of changes in the air...

Bonus answer: your choice- share something encouraging/ amazing/ humbling that has happened to you recently!

I just finished reading Henri Nouwen's book "The Selfless Way of Christ" and there's so much in my response to that book that it will have to be another post...

More to come!


Thursday, April 03, 2008

And the winner is...


This was originally on a Gold Medal flour bag and used all white flour. It also didn't use raisins. I've adapted it!

There's two versions given here, one for the bread machine (bake it on a delayed bake timer, fresh for the breakfast and, hence, you get the name!) To my friends who are on the metric system, I don't do math well so you will need to convert it yourselves... sorry...

1 1/8 cups very warm water
2 cups whole wheat plus 1 1/2 Tbsp wheat gluten powder (see notes)
Optional: 1/2 cup chopped pecans and 1/4 cup golden raisins (see notes)
2 Tbsp buttermilk powder
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter
2 tsp cinnamon (see notes)
1 1/3 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tsp "fast rise" yeast or 2 tsp regular yeast

Directions (Bread Machine Version)
  1. Put ingredients in pan in order listed.
  2. Program your bread machine to finish about 20 minutes before you want to eat. This will allow the bread to cool slightly in the pan, but still be warm (and make you wake up drooling on your pillow... but I digress!)
  3. Yes. It is that easy!
Directions (Hand-made Version)
  1. Dissolve yeast in water in a large bowl; allow to "foam" slightly. Mix in buttermilk powder, sugar, spices and butter with a spoon (or mixer). If you are adding in raisins and/or pecans, stir them first into the flours, and then into the batter.
  2. Slowly add flours, alternating between whole wheat and bread flours. At some point you will have to stop using a spoon and/or mixer and use
  3. Grease your hands lightly and turn the dough out onto a floured board or countertop. Knead dough (pull towards you, fold over, push down, turn one-quarter turn and repeat). Add flour until dogh is no longer sticky. Dough should form a smooth, elastic ball when it is ready to "rest" and rise.
  4. Grease a large bowl, place dough in bowl and cover with plastic wrap or linen towel. When doubled in size, punch down, turn and re-cover.
  5. Allow to rise a second time, form into loaf, place in well-greased loaf pan and bake in preheated 375 degree oven for about 25 minutes. Depending on the size of your loaf pans, this may make two to three loaves.
Make the dough , allow to rise once. Roll out on floured board or countertop into a large rectangle. Spread softened butter over the dough. Sprinkle cinnamon and brown sugar over the top of the butter. Roll up dough, jelly roll style. Cut cross-wise into pinwheels. Place in greased cake pans and allow to rise. Bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes (time depends on the thickness of the pinwheels.)

  • use good quality whole wheat flour! If you don't grind your own, buy a brand that has the words "hard wheat" or "winter wheat" or "red winter wheat" in the description. King Arthur Flours in the U.S. is fresh and has hard wheat in it. Pillsbury and other mass marketed ones do not (and frequently they are stale and the bread will not taste that great.) If you don't want to use the whole wheat flour, just use all bread flour and omit the wheat gluten.
  • wheat gluten helps a dough which uses whole wheat flour rise better and avoids "homemade bread hockey puck syndrome."
  • golden raisins bake better; I don't know why. If you like chewier raisins in your bread, soak the raisins in hot water until they plump up, drain well and add to dough.
  • cinnamon - use a good quality cinnamon - if you have a canister that has been in your cupboard for a while it will not be as pungent and tasty.
  • buttermilk powder is available in the baking aisle, but if you can not find it, you can use dry milk powder.
  • substitutions: to replace the powdered milk and water, scald 1 1/8 cups milk, let cool and use in its place.
  • I'm not giving you the calorie and fat information because it's better you don't know...
Enjoy, friends... and now, I really have to work on school stuff... sigh...


Tuesday, April 01, 2008


I finished reading Gracism by David Anderson last evening and have been mulling it over all day. I found several chapters quite thought-provoking.

He addresses many of the "-isms" that separate humanity into our comfortable little compartments... I appreciated that he took the race issue head-on and and allowed people who have discomfort some space to process their feelings. I especially appreciated that he was not judgemental or condemning, because, frankly, we all have our favorite "-isms" and we cling to them. (Case in point, the whole Obama/Wright kerfuffle!) No one gets a "free card" on this issue.

It's going to require a re-read, that's for sure. But I kept wishing that he would address sexism a little more directly. Perhaps because racism is more universally experienced by both men and women? Or because, being a male, even though he is an African American, he doesn't see it to be such a big "problem"?? I dunno...

Just musing. There's lots of good stuff in this book. It would make a great topical sermon series, if one dared to wade through it...