Saturday, June 28, 2008

Can I just say EW???

I was minding my own business... answering work emails... and read two words which should probably never be put together:

Spam... and... tortillas

If you come to join me for dinner, I won't make them. Ever. I promise.


The Harpist's Summer Reading

Here's the "required summer reading" for The Harpist this summer. Before you marvel at what she has before her, let me just explain at it is an AP (Advanced Placement) Literature class. And that she has a week of linguistics, a week of PreCalc review, a mission trip to Mexico for 10 days, and family vacation on her plate. We are wondering how she is going to fit all of these books into her summer.

(and yes... she is upside down with a snake on her head.)

This is the assignment, quoted from the school's English home page:

2008 Summer Reading List -- A.P. Literature 12

Because a second reading so much enriches the reader’s understanding, the AP literature teachers would like for you to read all of the following texts from their 2007-08 syllabi preparatory to an in-depth examination during the fall and spring semesters. If, however, you cannot get to all of the texts, make sure that you read a minimum of three of those asterisked as your first writing assignment for the course will be a general essay in which you will use plot and characterization details from one of them.

Emma – Jane Austen *
Beowulf - Seamus Heaney translation (preferably the dual-language edition)*
Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen*
Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte*
The Stranger – Albert Camus *
Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad*
Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky* (Sidney Monas translation)
Their Eyes Were Watching God – Zora Neale Hurston *
Beloved – Toni Morrison*
Hamlet – Shakespeare*
Othello - Shakespeare
King Lear – Shakespeare
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde – Robert Louis Stevenson
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead – Tom Stoppard

Fortunately she has already read Pride and Prejudice. And Hamlet. The rest will take some focused effort on her part to fit in... A little light reading, eh? Dostoyevsky? Ugh.

Who wants her Calvin and Hobbes... (comic books, not theology!)

Domestic Virtues

I confess it freely - I am not a good housewife. But then, I am not married to my HOUSE!!!

I'm a bit of a phobic house cleaner (I like to avoid doing it until you can see the dust bunnies so I know where I've been.) I don't enjoy planning, shopping and cooking meals (which is why I did once-a-month cooking for so many years so that it took as little of my time as possible!) And though I love my own kids like crazy, it's not my life's ambition to work with large groups of children. (I did not birth a litter!)

This semester I'm taking two classes for "women" which are so divergent in their views that it is making it hard to keep my biases and perspective from impinging on a good scholastic analysis. One is a Feminist Theology class which is blowing my mind with the heady exegesis and argumentation. The other is a Mentoring for Women class, which is steeped in more traditional woman-to-woman mentoring.

It is not that I don't believe that my mom, my older sibs, my grandmothers and aunts did not build a lot into my life and into who I am. They did. And still do. It's that they didn't JUST teach me about "a woman's place" or "a woman's job" -- because they are all strong, focused, gifted women... or were. They all cared about other people, and invested in those who needed more support and investment. They took their resources and used them, not just for their comfort needs, but to bring comfort to others.

So when I read this quote in my reading this week, I about flipped...

Quoting John Adams: "From all that I had read of history and government of human life and manners, I had drawn this conclusion, that the manners of women were the most infallible barometer toascertain the degree of morality nd virtue of a nation. The Jews, the Greeks, the Romans, the Swiss, the Dutch, all lost their public spirit and their republican forms of government when they lost the modesty and domestic virtues of their women."
I object.

Men AND women make moral choices, value choices which affect society. Men AND women own businesses, investments and are stakeholders in public enterprise. In John Adams' time, MEN were the ones who were voting, elected to government and owning property. One might also remember that WOMEN had no voting rights (and in some cases few legal rights) in any of the cultures he listed.

OK. Back to my reading. Now I have to go look for where I threw that textbook I was reading...


Friday, June 27, 2008

Friday Five: Summer Reading

Songbird from RevGalBlogPals writes:

Back in the day, before I went to seminary, I worked in the Children's Room at the Public Library, and every year we geared up for Summer Reading. Children would come in and record the books read over the summer, and the season included numerous special and celebratory events. As a lifelong book lover and enthusiastic summer reader, I find I still accumulate a pile of books for the summer.

This week, then, a Summer Reading Friday Five.

1) Do you think of summer as a particularly good season for reading? Why or why not?
I was going to say "yes, except I am in school!" But actually, I don't think it is, because there's so much more to do OUTSIDE during the summer months, I tend to not read as many books because I'm enjoying life. Or weeding. Or chauffeuring. Or hanging at the pool. Or pretending to study at the park. Or doing a cook out. Or... (sorry. am I boring you?)

2) Have you ever fallen asleep reading on the beach?
Yes. And gotten a lovely paperback-sized tanline on my stomach! (the rest was sunburned!)

3) Can you recall a favorite childhood book read in the summertime?
I read ALL THE TIME so I don't really remember one that was "summer."

4) Do you have a favorite genre for light or relaxing reading?

5) What is the next book on your reading list?
I'm going to NOT pick work-related or school-related books for this! I have to read Elizabeth Johnson's book 'She Who Is' for my Feminist Theology class, but I don't think that counts!

I am actually getting ready to start a new book by Donita Paul called "Dragonlight." It's the fourth in a series of a really fun storyline about dragon keepers! What's cool about it is that is uses a monotheistic worldview (with a Christ figure, and a biblical view of good and evil) but it does not shove it down your throat. My kids read them, their friends read them, it's just a good job and decent fiction that doesn't require a list of steamy love scenes.

Here's to a summer or MORE casual reading... some day!


P.S. I should post The Harpist's Summer Reading List. It is really something!! (Unlike the "movies list" it appears to have a little more educational content.)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Goings on...

Wow! What a week! We're only at Thursday, and a lot has happened...

After two years... following the "rules" for foods she could and could not eat... patiently ticking off the the countdown on her whiteboard...

Reedy Girl got her braces off!


and after...

Loving that bubblegum!

And her special dinner request was corn on the cob! She missed TWO SUMMERS of corn on the cob. It seemed only fair!

A new boy came to live with us! He only has a "shelter name" but hasn't told us his "real" name. He's in quarantine in Reedy Girl's room as we wait to be sure he is healthy before "the girlie cats" meet him. He quickly discovered the comforts of Reedy Girl's loft bed...

And then he decided to claim the top of the book case right beside it. He hangs out on the top shelf, right next to the ceiling. (don't you LOVE the crossed front paws!??)

And he should get down why?? ha! HA!

(Oh. OK. MAYBE he'll come down for Greenies...)

The other two cats are disturbed. Strange NEW smell-o-cat coming from Reedy Girl's room. Most unusual. (Tiria has been blogging about her suspicions. If you visit her, don't TELL!!!)


A snake learned to play the harp!

Actually, it seemed that Calvin just liked the vibrations! He hung out across the top of The Harpist's instrument for quite a while. Isn't that a hoot?

ANYTHING can happen! Like maybe I can get some homework done???? nah....


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Flying Cow Awards

OK first - the Flying Cow Awards don't really exist. I made it up for Mindy. :) I'm telling you all that so that you don't start wondering how you possibly could have missed this HUGE event!!

Having said all that... Let me recap! The Harpist's AP Language teacher suggested that there are films that high school students should see before college ("so that you don't look like an idiot when you get there")

The categories, recommendations and choices ARE NOT MINE!!! they are straight off of the page of Ms. O--'s hand-out. It's taken me a while to type them all in, and I apologize for the delay.

bold=highly recommended
* = R rating
# Academy Award nominee
@ Academy Award winner
$ cultural literary
+ Ms. O--'s "R" rating
italics=films I have seen (and possibly some comments)

Without further ado, here we go!!

Recent Classics

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind *@
American Beauty *@
Pi *
Donnie Darko*
Y Tu Mama Tambien *+#
Good Night and Good Luck #
Brokeback Mountain *@ (truthfully? I didn't think it was that great a movie.)
Crash *@
Almost Famous *@
The Ice Storm*
The Motorcycle Diaries*@
Dancer in the Dark #
In the Bedroom *#
Monster's Ball *+
Chocolat # (not overly impressed.)
Shakespeare in Love @ (it got an award why?)
American History X *+
Life is Beautiful (La Vita e Bella) *@
Run Lola Run (Lola Rennt) *
The Talented Mr. Ripley*
The Shawshank Redemption *# (probably one of the better ones)
Pulp Fiction $*@ (eh)
Fight Club *#
Sin City +*
Memento *
Good Will Hunting *@
City of God *#
The Matrix (first one) $*@ (good movie!)
Scent of a Woman *@
Spirited Away
Requiem for a Dream *+@
All About My Mother (Todo Sobre Mi Madres) *@
Harold and Maude (I think I saw this one... obviously I loved it LOL)
Being John Malkovitch * (Not my favorite, but OK)
Brick *
Secretary *+
About a Boy
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas *+
Boys Don't Cry *+
Do the Right Thing *
I am Sam
What's Eating Gilbert Grape (geez. it's been a while!)

Wet Hot American Summer *
The 40 Year Old Virgin * (Quality comedy? I thought it was stoopid.)
Mean Girls (WHY was this not considered "cultural literacy"? LOL)
Caddyshack (a true classic.)
Coffee and Cigarettes *
The Aristocrats *****+
This is Spinal Tap
The Royal Tennenbaum's *# (slapstick... some good moments.)
Rushmore *
Best in Show
A Fish Called Wanda @ (I did enjoy it -- never understood how it won an Academy Award!)
Say Anything
The Birdcage *#
Waiting for Guffman *
The Full Monty *@ (wickedly funny)
Grosse Pointe Blank *
The Big Lebowski *
Monty Python and the Holy Grail $ (shrubbery, NI! and sparrows... need I say more?)
Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure (I'll play Stairway to Heaven if I want!)
Big (thought provoking AND funny)
Airplane (hee hee)
Office Space
Ghostbusters (whoya gonna call?)
Blazing Saddles (now go do that voodoo that you do so well)
Little Miss Sunshine
Back to the Future$ (of course!)
Borat (he's funny when he doesn't try so hard.)
Hairspray (I liked it live better)
High Fidelity

Animal House $ (But of course!)
Real Genius
With Honors
Revenge of the Nerds

The Breakfast Club (yeah. I saw it. whoopee)
Fast Times at Ridgemont High (eh)
Pretty in Pink (ditto)
Sixteen Candles (yeah. I saw it.)
Romy and Michele's High School Reunion
Napoleon Dynamite (I've only seen half of it... I keep falling asleep in the middle.)
Dazed and Confused
Ferris Bueller's Day Off (anyone? anyone?)
Rock and Roll High School (see? I go see all the strange ones.)
Grease $ (sung it. seen it.)
Dead Poet's Society (A good movie)

The Shining $*
Carrie (yuck)
Jaws $* (DaDHUM... DaDHUM...)
The Exorcist $* (scared me to death)
Rosemary's Baby *
Shaun of the Dead *
Friday the 13th *$ (seriously creeped me out)
Nightmare on Elm Street *$
Dawn of the Dead *

The Incredibles @ (LOVE this one. I've busted out of my spandex many times...)
The Emperor's New Groove #
The Muppet Movie # (a looonnnng time ago)
Monsters INC (probably one of my favorites!)
Finding Nemo (Believe it or not, I have never seen this movie!)
Toy Story (both) # (I loved these too.)
Whale Rider #
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971 version) (OK, I've seen BOTH versions!)
Mary Poppins @$ (HOW could Mary Poppins not get a top rating? honestly!)
Iron Giant
Meet the Robinsons

Hedwig and the Angry Inch +* (NEVER heard of it!!!)
Rent $ (knew the songs before the plot)
Into the Woods #
Singin in the Rain # (a MUST see)
The Triplets of Belleville #
Little Shop of Horrors # (can I say this and be friends? I didn't really think this was all that great.)

Casablanca @$ (of course!)
Psycho $#
The Maltese Falcon (natch!)
Rear Window #
The Godfather $@* (good movie - the book was better.)
The Graduate $@ (yup)
Annie Hall$@ (why else would I have worn that style of clothes???)
12 Angry Men @#(ages ago!)
Dr. Strangelove #$ ("Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room.")
Seven Samurai #
Citizen Kane (it was a LONG time ago.)
Star Wars (the first 3) $$$ (what, are you kidding???)
Planet of the Apes $ (It's what I think of when I see the Geico caveman commercial...)
Brazil *# (no - but I know the soundtrack)
A Clockwork Orange (whoopee)
Apocalypse Now *@

Supersize Me #
Enron: Smartest Guys in teh Room *#
Bowling for Columbine *@
Roger and Me
Winged Migration #
Spellbound #
The World According to Sesame Street
Born Into Brothels @
Grizzly Man
Murder Ball #
No Direction Home: Bob Dylan $
Sound and Fury #
Planet Earth
This Film is not yet Rated

30 Rock
Pushing Daisies
Six Feet Under
The Wire
Arrested Development
Malcolm in the Middle (THIS was recommended?? yuck.)


What did you think was missing?
What did you think was a stoopid choice? (I tried not to bias you.)
Any absolute all-time faves and raves from this list??

Feel free to comment!


Sunday, June 22, 2008

OK. I lied. One more.

The Harpist is going on a mission trip this summer. This is her second trip to the Casa Hogar, an orphanage in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. She is so excited because she can't wait to see the kids she met last year. This little guy was her special buddy all week and she's really looking forward to seeing him!

She's raising funds to go. She's about $800 short and she's been faithfully babysitting and saving any money she makes. Because of a review class for PreCalc, a week at Camp o' the Phonemes and the mission trip, she can't get a 'real' job.

So please pray for her that she'll make her funding. Pray for a safe, fun, life-changing trip. And if you desire to support her... contact me and I'll fill you in. She'd appreciate it (and so would I!)



crummy signs!!... Look what I found over at Crummy Church Signs!

It's by one of the contributors known as Tracy R. the song is by Coldplay.

Two posts in one day? Yeah. Sorry. But I'm done now. My brain's on overload. Hardly any original content left...


Music today...

Jeremy Camp's Lay Down My Pride...

Sung by the worship band today....
It touched my heart and has had me pondering all day.

Here's a video...

Stumbling along...

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Friday Five: Word Association

I'm a day late... but here's mine!

Singing Owl writes:

I am feeling like playing hooky, and I'm putting off sermon prep till tomorrow. It is a beautiful, sunny day at my place. So come on outside and let's play a summer Friday Five!

This post is loosely based on previous "wordy" Friday Fives from Reverend Mother and Songbird. I liked the results, and so we are doing another word association . Theirs were based on words from a lectionary text. Mine comes from the Lovin' Spoonful song, "Summer in the City."

Think summer......are you there? Below you will find five words or phrases. Tell us the first thing you think of on reading each one. Your response might be simply another word, or it might be a sentence, a poem, a memory, a recipe, or a story. You get the idea:

1. rooftop
Heat shimmering roof
Place to go and get a tan
Sauteed college girls

2. gritty
I just experienced this... it is amazing the places that can feel gritty after just walking on the beach!

3. hot town (yeah, I know, it's two words)
DC was built on swamp land. Need I say more???

4. night
Mosquitos, humidity, smell of freshly cut grass and charcoal grilling.

5. dance
The "mosquito dance" (swap, slap, wiggle, scratch... repeat!)

Not exactly poetic... but I'm just back from school (hence the late posting!) and don't have a lot of extra brain cells. I think I spent them all on a haiku for #1!!!

Who really does not like summer!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Guilt Trips

Tiria is convinced I am a bad Hooman. She guarded my suitcase. She sulked on the bed as I packed. But to no avail. I managed to get out of town! I am at seminary this week for an intensive at Whoopin Holiness Divinity School.

It's been quite a journey to get to this point... The longer I'm on this road, the more I see that God works in my life and ministry experiences AND classes to teach me the same lesson. (I guess that's just 'cause I'm in the "slow lane" and need an extra kick-in-the-shorts to get it...) But more than theology, I am thinking and processing what it is I "really" believe.

I came here to WHDS because I did not want to attend a denominational school. And I also was not willing to take the "all but" route at local seminaries. (These are the ones that will let a female student take "all but" the classes which are "pastoral ministry" classes. As if systematics and so on are not needed for "pastoral" work"? Don't GET me started...) I'm neither pentecostal nor charismatic in my leanings personally, so sometimes I really feel like the odd duck. (I don't mind if you wanna whoop. Just don't assume that we must have lock-step theology and practice to both be "Christian.")

But today, driving down to the local rent-a-room chain with my fellow sojourner Texas Tea, I realized it really isn't about the classes. Or the theological line one might choose. It's not about who can write the most pompous-sounding research papers. Or have discussions with people who had a Thesaurus for lunch.

It is about God.
About living and emulating Christ.
About living in such a way that it's obvious that I'm fueled by the Spirit...

And the rest? Eh. I figure 100 years from now, it's all gonna be a wash.

Just another step on the journey...
(whoop whoop!)


Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday Five: Beach Trip

Mother Laura of RevGalBlogPals writes: in honor of summer, please share your own beachy memories, plans, and dreams with a "Beach Trip" Friday Five.

1. Ocean rocks, lake limps? Vice versa? Or "it's all beautiful in its own way"?

I actually prefer a dune-y natural beach. No rocks, no boardwalk, thanks.

2. Year round beach living: Heaven...or the Other Place?

It would be fine by me. Add a never-ending margarita machine and then... yeah. I'm sure that's Heaven.

3. Any beach plans for this summer?

Yup. This month, August, and September.

4. Best beach memory ever?

Too many... we go every year. It's quiet. Peaceful. Very non-boardwalk kinda place.

5. Fantasy beach trip?

Hawaii... (remember my post with the hammock??) sigh...

Bonus: Share a piece of music/poetry/film/book that expresses something about what the beach means to you.
I LOVE this poem...

Sea Fever
by John Masefield

I must go down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
All I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the seagulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way, where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And a quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trip's over.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Poetry Party: Clear-Eyed

Christine from Abbey of the Arts writes:

Our Twentieth Poetry Party! I select an image and suggest a title and invite you to respond with your poems, words, reflections, quotes, song lyrics, etc. Leave them in the comments or email me and I’ll add them to the body of the post as they come in along with a link back to your blog if you have one (not required to participate!) I’ll add your contributions all week and then I will draw a name at random on Saturday morning from everyone who participates and will send the winner a copy of my newest zine Season by the Sea: A Contemporary Book of Hours when it is back from the printers in another week or so.

Feel free to take your poem in any direction and then post the image and invitation on your blog and encourage others to come join the party! (a blog is definitely not required to participate!)

I photographed the image below last summer on Vancouver Island at a Raptor Sanctuary. There is something so powerful about eagles and they are known for strength and vision. What in your life do you feel this kind of clarity about? Or is there something for which you would like a clearer vision?

soaring high above
no sound distracts my Father's voice
fly on, wings of change


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Coming soon..

Coming soon...
A list of movies that a high school student MUST see in order to be culturally educated for college...

SO what movies would YOU include?
Categories include:

  1. Recent Classics
  2. Older Classics
  3. Quality Comedy
  4. Films about High School
  5. Films about College
  6. Horror
  7. Family
  8. Musicals
  9. Documentary
  10. Television Series
Let me know in the comments. I'll publish the list given to The Harpist by her AP Language teacher later this week.

I was stunned at what made the list (and what didn't...)


Monday, June 09, 2008

Light reading

I'm reading for my Fem. Theology class:

  • Jesus and the Father (Kevin Giles)
  • God For Us (LaCugna)
  • In Memory of Her (Schussler Fiorenza)
  • Feminist Theology (edited by Ann Loades)
  • Freeing Theology (LaCugna)
  • Women Caught in the Conflict (Groothius)
And, just for fun, I bought myself an early birthday present:
A Church of Her Own by Sarah Sentilles

When one of my co-workers asked me what my courses were this summer, I told him, "Mentoring for Women and Feminist Theology."

He said, "Oh really? Well I only have chauvinist theology books."

I just looked at him and said, "Really? Gee, I think I have some of those too."

And yes. I thought it was funny. But he didn't.
Oh well. Life goes on. And so does my journey...

where it is still stinking hot. 93 degrees at 7 p.m.! P.U.

Sunday, June 08, 2008


It's hot.
Stinking hot.
I intensely dislike hot weather.
And now, I have to go run some errands.
And it's hot.
And the car is hot.
And the seats are hot.
And I don't want to go.

Did I mention it's hot?



Friday, June 06, 2008

Friday Five: Taking In the View

Sally of RevGalBlogPals writes:

This week I took some time out to stop and walk and take in the view; my son Chris is studying in one of the most beautiful parts of the country, too often we simply drive up there, turn around and come home! This time Tim and I took time out to take in the view. It occurs to me that we need to do that more in life....

With that in mind I offer you this weeks Friday Five:

1. How important is the "big picture" to you, do you need a glimpse of the possibilities or are you a details person?
I am very much a visual person. I can't DO those details if I don't know why. For instance, back in the day when I did keypunch (never mind if you are too young to know what that means,) I badgered a programmer to explain to me WHY the spaces were so important. I wanted to know HOW a cardstacker worked. (Not that I understood his answers, but "just because" doesn't cut it for me.)

2. If the big picture is important to you how do you hold onto it in the nitty-gritty details of life?
If I don't see the big picture, I don't WANT to keep up with the details. I need to understand "what happens" if I don't do them. Sometimes it is enough for me to comply and DO them. A great example is when I learned HTML. Not closing the brackets or quotes can make for a really funny looking page layout. :)

3. Name a book, poem, psalm, piece of music that transports to to another dimension (one....what am I thinking....)

I can't do all of them. There are too many ideas for this question. So let's just take "Music that Transports Deb for 1000." Alex!

(And I am guessing you didn't mean "The Age of Aquarius" and lava lamps from another age... )

Here's what sends me from my iTunes playlist...
  • Pat Matheny: "Peace Memory" from the CD "One Quiet Night"
  • Phil Keaggy: "In the Quiet Hours"
  • Sylvia Woods: "Morning Calm" from the CD "The Harp of Brandiswhiere"
  • Bebo Norman: "Where the Trees stand still" from the CD "Myself when I am Real"
  • U2 and Bono: "Still Haven't Found," "Where the Streets have no name," and "When love comes to town" from the CD "The best of 1980-1990"
  • Sting: "Fields of Gold"
  • Christy Nockels: "Grace Flows Down" from Passion Band "Top 5" CD
  • A Fine Frenzy: "Hope for the Hopeless" from "One Cell in the Sea"
  • and finally...
  • Denyce Graves singing just about ANYTHING!
In case you wondered, I am a true eclectic when it comes to music!

4.Thinking of physical views, is there somewhere that inspires you, somewhere that you breathe more easily?
Mountains and rivers. Quiet streams. Flowers. Rainbows. My cats snoozing.

5. A picture opportunity... post one if you can

Are you tired of seeing this picture yet? Picture, if you will, in the hidden foreground, a hot tub and a glass of chardonnay...

Oh. Yeah...

NOW I am relaxed!


Wednesday, June 04, 2008


Here's a classic example of why technology will never replace people...

We have had strong storms in the DC area last Wednesday. Power outages, tornado/es. The kids were trying to get home in the thick of it. Reedy Girl's bus driver actually made them get off in the pouring rain, thunderstorm, and high winds. In the worst of the weather...

Late Wednesday evening, AFTER Reedy Girl walked home in 50 mph winds (the bus driver made them get off IN the storm!!) we get an email. The school system, in all of their their tender mercy, sent out this...

-----Original Message-----
From: MCPS QuickNotes
Sent: Wednesday, June 04, 2008 8:17 PM
Subject: Students May Arrive Home Late Due to Weather

Greetings, K&d

Due to inclement weather in the area today, Wednesday, June 4, buses may be late and

student walkers may be dismissed late from school. Our top priority is student safety.


© 2005-2007 Montgomery County Public Schools, Rockville Maryland

Quotable and Keepable

Among the piles in my 'required reading' is a book called "The Art of Pastoring: Ministry Without All the Answers" by David Hansen.

In all honesty, I picked up the book because the title spoke to how I feel...
...that I will never have "all the answers" and if I ever ever thought that I did, I would be in serious... uh... trouble.

I'm barely into the book and I've got sticky tabs and underlines to remember things this guy says. He's real. He's raw. He's refreshingly honest in a Christian subculture that thinks a program or a "three step method" will fix or renew anything.

Life's just not that way.

It's messy. It's an ART, not a SCIENCE!

Yes. There are proven methods which will make a difference. But I've seen them more on the negative side of life, not the positive. (Temper, anyone?)

He talks about the need to "be a parable" -- to live out your love and relationship with Jesus. Not to be a sermon, but to be a walking example.

"Task-driven ministry always gives way to a time-management ministry as opposed to a Spirit-led ministry."
"...When I move from being a love of the soul to an expert about the soul, I objectify my own soul from myself. In the end my ego is warped; it goes on a rampage, climbing ladders to assert itself."
"Better to be a follower of Jesus and no expert at that, just a sinner saved by grace, called to love because I have been bought with a price. I may lose my standing as an expert, but I gain my soul." [page 20]

This I maybe can do.

Fix people's problems? Have enough wisdom to know how to respond to the raw heartache I see in people's eyes? Uh. No.
Leaning on God to be able to "do" what I need to do? Absolutely. I'm working on that one.
But trying to "walk out" the love that God has for me? Maybe.

I'm gonna try. Or keep trying. Trying to live like I believe...


Monday, June 02, 2008

Virtual Meet-up

What's this about at ParTAAaaayy???

The first RevGal to hear about the ParTAAAAY coming up on July 12th was Mary Beth. And it just seemed to be Providential. (Not that I didn't want to tell the rest of you...) When we had a virtual meet-up via cell phones, she found THIS outside her hotel on the streets of DC!!

Why is this so amazing? Well, the parTAAAAy is going to be more of a celebration than a solemnization. We will have a time of worship and prayer - contemporary and not especially liturgical - which fits our church. And there will be reading of Scripture and a "charge" to us. The other ordinand is Glenn, who is a co-worker, friend and one of the funniest people I know. His only request was that we NOT have something that required ties. Or robes. And my only desire was for air conditioning!!!

As we talked about it, more and more, we agreed that the act of "ordination" is the People of God saying "we agree with where God is leading you." And we want the people we care about, the folks we know best to be a part of it. It also is a time to acknowledge that we are "set apart" to do the ministry God has Called us to -- not because we are "special" or super Christians, just that this is how we will live out and use our giftings for God. And we know that Jesus showed up at a lot of parties...

So, we hit on the idea of an Ordination Luau! Hawaiian shirt required (or at least encouraged!) Ties and fancy schmancy dress refused. And uh, no. I ain't wearing no coconut bra! The quest is on for a flattering Hawaiian shirt. Which might be an oxymoron... but...

ParTaaayyyy on!


Sunday, June 01, 2008


WHEN: July 12, 2008

WHERE: Dunno where zactly - still working on a place. Somewhere here near Washington, DC...

TIME: Um. Depends on where it is.

WHY? It's ORDINATION DAY!!!! For ME! and my good friend, partner in crime and co-worker, Glenn.

(small happy dance)