Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Mark in one sitting (#4)

He came back and found them sound asleep. He said to Peter, "Simon, you went to sleep on me? Can't you stick it out with me a single hour? Stay alert, be in prayer, so you don't enter the danger zone without even knowing it. Don't be naive. Part of you is eager, ready for anything in God; but another part is as lazy as an old dog sleeping by the fire." Mark 14:37-38

And my answer is...

Yes. Apparently. I went to sleep.

But now? I'm awake. I understand. I'm looking to be the woman you've asked me to be...
"...eager, ready for anything in God..."


Monday, September 29, 2008

What passes for "creative" media

There's RevGals who have done some really good videos for sermon lead-ins or to go with the seasons of the Church... The standards for "good" keep changing. You won't see static images on a powerpoint with a dubbed song in the background any more...

Apparently, THIS is what is considered "creative" in media circles today.

Not only was it not funny... it was insulting. I know it was supposed to be a joke, but judging from the comments, it is also (unfortunately) too true. The problem with videos which are supposed to be "entertaining with a purpose" is that the main point is forgotten, and the behavior is what is remembered.

I'm not amused.


Sunday, September 28, 2008

Hold me, Jesus...

There's a lot to pray for this evening. Life's a "wee bit" full and like many women, I want to do it well.


If I tried to do this on my own, it would be impossible. Sometimes the best we can manage is to hold on. I'm really glad that there's something REAL about God to hang on to... The bottom line is simply this...

Most of it has nothing to do with "Deb"
and everything to do with watching God work
in all of the places and spaces that only GOD can!



by Rich Mullins

Well, sometimes my life
Just don't make sense at all
When the mountains look so big
And my faith just seems so small

So hold me Jesus, 'cause I'm shaking like a leaf
You have been King of my glory
Won't You be my Prince of Peace

And I wake up in the night
And feel the dark
It's so hot inside my soul
I swear there must be blisters on my heart


Surrender don't come natural to me
I'd rather fight You for something
I don't really want
Than to take what You give that I need
And I've beat my head against so many walls
Now I'm falling down, I'm falling on my knees

And this Salvation Army band
Is playing this hymn
And Your grace rings out so deep
It makes my resistance seem so thin


You have been King of my glory
Won't You be my Prince of Peace

Friday, September 26, 2008

Friday Five: Johnny Appleseed

Singing Owl from RevGals writes:

Raise your hand if you know that today is Johnny Appleseed Day!

September 26, 1774 was his birthday. Johnny Appleseed" (John Chapman) is one of America's great legends. He was a nurseryman who started out planting trees in western New York and Pennsylvania, but he was among those who were captivated by the movement west across the continent.

As Johnny traveled west (at that time, the "West" was places like Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois) he planted apple trees and sold trees to settlers. With every apple tree that was planted, the legend grew. A devout Christian, he was known to preach during his travels. According to legend, Johny Appleseed led a simple life and wanted little. He rarely accepted money and often donated any money he received to churches or charities. He planted hundereds of orchards, considering it his service to humankind. There is some link between Johny Appleseed and very early Arbor Day celebrations.

So, in honor of this interesting fellow, let's get on with the questions!

1. What is your favorite apple dish? (BIG BONUS points if you share the recipe.)
My mom's ONE cobbler:

1 cup chopped, peeled tart apples (you can also use peaches, whatever!)
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
1 tsp baking powder
cinnamon to taste

Put chopped apples in an 8" greased 8x8 pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Mix remaining ingredients until you have a very thin batter. Pour batter over prepared fruit. IMPORTANT: line a cookie sheet or other large flat pan with foil. Place 8x8 pan on top. (this ALWAYS seems to run over!)

Bake at 350 until the crust is browned and the batter does not leave any "goo" on a toothpick when you test it. Best served warm.

2. Have you ever planted a tree? If so was there a special reason or occasion you can tell us about?
We planted our balled-in-burlap Christmas trees every year when I was growing up. The last time I saw them they were a lovely windbreak and taller than the house!

3. Does the idea of roaming around the countryside (preaching or otherwise) appeal to you? Why or why not?
Could I pick where I stay? Have clean sheets and a jacousie? Not have to clean or cook? Oh yeah. But then, I would miss friends and family and the connections I have here. So... not so much.

4. Who is a favorite "historical legend" of yours?
"An honest Wall Street banker."

5. Johnny Appleseed was said to sing to keep up his spirits as he travelled the roads of the west. Do you have a song that comes when you are trying to be cheerful, or is there something else that you often do?

The problem here is that I have the Girl Scout "Johnny Appleseed" Grace stuck in my head!!! So at the moment, that's the song you get...
Ohhhh... the Lord is good to me
And so I thank the Lord
For giving me the things I need
The sun, and the rain and the appleseed
The Lord is good to me. AMEN!

That's my stuff and I'm sticking with it. :)



I heard about this from my good friend Mandy, and thought, "oh, it's just the SBC and Lifeway being chauvenists again." And I let it slide. I can't get worked up over every differing opinion out there.

But then a long phone conversation with someone who is NOT a church-goer and does NOT have a positive view of Christians in general made me go read up a bit more. Apparently they are keeping it "under the counter" so that if patrons request it, they can buy it. They don't want to lose a buck. But they don't want to promote the "wrong" opinion.

It is simply amazing to me... it's OK to vote for a female VP but not OK to have a female pastor teaching and preaching and caring and serving your own congregation.

Someone, somewhere, needs to get a clue.

I have never bought this magazine. I'm about to go buy a copy!

Remind me to keep singing. Because that's the only way I keep my heart in the right place...


P.S. Check out the God's Politics article on this kerfuffle by Mimi Haddad!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

In the WOW... department

I have heard of crazy schemes... but this takes the cake.

A church in South Bend, Indiana built an ark (1/7 scale) to cap off their summer studies of Noah's ark. (For some reason, they don't have this on their website. But Church Relevance does...)

YES... A real ark. Of wood.

If you'd like it, all you have to do is go get it. Read more about it here...

I am still trying to figure out...
- how you spend a SUMMER studying about the ark with children
- why you would build an ark
- who is crazy enough to go get it

and... in the words of Bill Cosby, playing Noah...

"What's a cubit?"



A little nickel sours the whole load...

Last night, just before I was heading to bed, I stopped in the laundry room to change over one load and put in the next. It's a pretty routine habit for me. I knew I had missed at least a day doing this, and figured the load would be OK. Unfortunately, when I opened the washer door, it was anything BUT a routine change-out.

The washer load (towels and tablecloth) had been sitting in the wash water, which had not drained. It smelled like rotting leaves or brackish water. To be blunt... it stunk!

I pulled out the sopping wet things into a bucket, dumped them in the laundry sink and closed the washer. This was a task for the morning.

Sure enough, this morning, after several rounds of squeezing, twisting and poking, Beloved Bearded Spouse found the culprits... a nickel and a machine screw. And judging from the gunk on the nickel, it had been there a while... It's incredible, but the nickel is the EXACT size of the ID (inner diameter) of the discharge port on the water pump. The machine screw on the other side of the water pump (the intake side) prevented the water pump blades from spinning.

Two gallons of stinky water, four sopping wet towels and about an hour of wrist-bending work... and the washer is working again!! Gotta love my BBS!

The first time this happened, it was a $150 house call from a washer repairman. He told us we should check the pants pockets more carefully. Well DUH. The second time, BBS dismantled the assembly and managed to find yet again another nickel. This is the third time. No. We still miss things... another nickel??? Yup.

So as I run a couple of washer loads of stinky laundry this morning, all I could think of was Paul's admonition to the Corinthians...

Don’t you realize that this sin is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough?

A little nickel. A big stink. A "little sin" in my life. A big mess.

When I think about confession, or I think about sin, I don't always address my own sin in the light of God's perfection and holiness. "It's just a little thing. A quirky bad habit." Just like a little bacon cheeseburger and fries doesn't do anything. "It's not like I do this all the time." Maybe once in a while is OK. But once a week? I'm sure I add to the plaque in my arteries every time I do indulge, no matter how infrequent.

So... the pile of stinky, sopping towels reminds me... a "little" sin adds up. Here's to being washed clean...

Perpetually messy...


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Poetry Party #24

Christine from Abbey of the Arts invites us to join in her latest Poetry Party. If you play, please link over to her blog and post so that she can visit, and others can join with your words... Iambic pentameter not required!

Poetry Party #24!

I select an image and suggest a title and invite you to respond with your poems, words, reflections, quotes, song lyrics, etc.

Today is the autumnal equinox, a time when the sun rests above the equator and day and night are divided equally. It heralds in a season filled with change and the brilliant beauty of death. I invite you to write your own ode to autumn. What are the gifts, challenges, and invitations for you in the days ahead?

in the stillness
and the quiet
softly, listening
stark beauty
death to self
waiting, watching as
the realization of change within
falls on me
the Voice
the place of Rest
I can only call it

~Deb Vaughn
An Unfinished Symphony

Monday, September 22, 2008

An Instrument...

Thought that this would bring a pleasant counterpoint to the political snarky stuff I just posted. The cry of my heart is to be an instrument of God's peace...

The music is from Karl Jenkin's "The Armed Man (A Mass For Peace)" and the actual selection is titled "Benedictus."

For my friends from church... NO - It's not rock. I wouldn't expect it to be picked for a Sunday video.

It's not truly "classical" music, in fact, Jenkins gets a lot of flack for being schmaltzy. So be it. Despite all of the criticism, it sings to the heart. I know several people who need to be surrounded by "instruments of peace."

Someday it could be you. Or me. So I guess this is more a pastoral plea for those of us who HAVE Peace living in us -- to express it. That's all...

I don't remember who tipped me off to this... but I thank you.
It restores my soul...

Dona nobis pacem...


What do you say?

I have no clue.

So, at the moment, I am trying very hard to say... NOTHING.


Sunday, September 21, 2008


Gratuitous laughter at the expense of our political system... (hat tip to Deanna!)

Both parties... I'm not biased.

Mark in one sitting (#3)

Week 3:
I spent alot of time re-reading the story in Mark 6 where Jesus walks on the water. Part of the reason was because I had an assignment...

Today was my turn to lead the Bible story part of the in-church "Power Lab" experience. And the kids "walked on the water." (A bin filled with 24 boxes of cornstarch and just enough water to make a "solid" goo. Reedy Girl, The Harpist and JenB ROCK by the way - they mixed it together by HAND!!!) The kids actually walked across the bin full of goo and didn't sink... their faces were priceless.

Mark 6:45-52 [The Message]
As soon as the meal was finished, Jesus insisted that the disciples get in the boat and go on ahead across to Bethsaida while he dismissed the congregation. After sending them off, he climbed a mountain to pray.

Late at night, the boat was far out at sea; Jesus was still by himself on land. He could see his men struggling with the oars, the wind having come up against them. At about four o'clock in the morning, Jesus came toward them, walking on the sea. He intended to go right by them. But when they saw him walking on the sea, they thought it was a ghost and screamed, scared out of their wits.

Jesus was quick to comfort them: "Courage! It's me. Don't be afraid." As soon as he climbed into the boat, the wind died down. They were stunned, shaking their heads, wondering what was going on. They didn't understand what he had done at the supper. None of this had yet penetrated their hearts.

As soon as the disciples see that it is Jesus, and they hear his voice, they were not afraid. The walking on the water part always intrigued me. I still have visions from elementary school of the flannel graph Bible storyteller making the felt Jesus "walk" over to the boat. I can even imagine what it would be like to see someone come over to the boat at night. (Uh... yeah. I would be at least surprised, if not creeped out!)

Walking on the water... what a cool thing! So it was neat to read this story. "God can do the impossible." ...but then I realized there was an "impossible" something that had nothing to do with Jesus on the water, and had everything to do with the people in the boat. Then the last part of
this passage hit me...
They were stunned, shaking their heads, wondering what was going on. They didn't understand what he had done at the supper. None of this had yet penetrated their hearts.
I don't want that to be me!

There's a lot that God does that I don't understand. There's a lot that can terrify me, or at least give me a huge case of the butterflies... To say that I have "a few unanswered questions" is a bit of an understatement!!!

But... I don't want what God has done to not penetrate my heart. I think about what I've learned. What I've seen God do in my own life. I have watched as "impossible" things happen. I've wondered at the way things work out, especially without my help.

Even if I don't understand... I want what God is doing in me to penetrate my heart!

I want to be a changed woman.

One waterlogged step at a time...


Friday, September 19, 2008

Friday Five: Fall Equinox

It's that time of year, at least north of the equator. The windows are still open, but the darned furnace comes on early in the morning. My husband went out for a walk after an early supper and came home in full darkness.

And yes, where we live, leaves are beginning to turn.

As this vivid season begins, tell us five favorite things about fall:

1) A fragrance

The smell of leaves on the ground. Not when I rake them (I'm allergic!) That papery, woody, smell of leaves.

2) A color

The color of the maple tree in my back yard. They are a lovely shade of SCARLET against a GREY sky...

3) An item of clothing
My "Wicked Good" slippers come out of hiding!

4) An activity
Watching football! Specifically, OHIO STATE football (what else?)

5) A special day
November 22nd. I'll be in Ohio Stadium to watch OSU take down Michigan!

O - H!

as you were...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Note to self...

Note to self:

leave Church History class #2 for my last semester in seminary...

Because I will surely never graduate.

Gad, this is boring. And I have a page to go to meet my page requirements. (And no... I can't fudge the font or the page margins.)

I guess someone out there finds all this thrilling and intriguing. May I just say...


In honor of Mandy...

Mandy keeps my focus on environmental issues... This is in her honor... (Now - if I could just get my cats to be WIND powered instead of, uh... GAS powered...)

Go see more good kittehs at Cheezburger.com!!

As you were...

MARK in One Sitting (#2)

I forgot to post last weeks'... for September 8-14

"Teacher," said John, "we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us." "Do not stop him," Jesus said. "No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us. Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly be rewarded." [Mark 9:38-41 TNIV]
This breaks my heart for two reasons:

1) So often we get this idea that doing things for God is "our" job... that if people don't play by "our" rules and do things "our" way that we somehow have the right to criticize them. So while we take theological potshots at one another, we are destroying our own witness. I may think Reverend Whooper is off of his rocker... I may not like the way that Sister Fake Eyelashes waves around her KJV and her bling-laden hands... and I may disagree with the politics or polity of any male OR female pastor I could name... But who am I (and who are YOU?) to critique and blame? And do I understand how my actions and attitudes can shred the credibility of what I say I believe??

2) The smallest things - "a cup of water" - these will be rewarded. They are noticed by God. And, the total LIFE experience and heart attitude of those who do even more will be judged severely. I believe that. I'm living that... or trying to... I do not want to become someone who builds spiritual machines and monoliths. Lord, deliver me from making myself into any more - or less - than what you have in mind for my future ministry!

Stepping politely off my soapbox...


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

wrapping my brain around...

there's things I'm trying to wrap my brain around and am not succeeding...

such as...

...why people try to cut corners on home improvements and do work that requires a license or a permit themselves.

...why people put perfectly good bicycles in the trash - I saw them the other day at the recycling station!

...where do all of the dumpsters of trash go? how many a day/week/month/year enter and leave the trash station near me?

...why people who have just potty trained their kids get a puppy!!! (or a cat. or a gerbil. whatever. the critters don't flush, KWIM?)

...why certain factions in our society would NEVER allow a woman to lead or direct a program or function in their organization, but would vote for a woman for VP...

I await your collective wisdom...


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Worthwhile sites to visit

Stumbled onto some places of encouragement and wanted to pass them along...

Eugene Cho on Rob Bell

And an Equality Blog by Deanna and Tara

And finally...

Mike Morrell on Why not women?



Over the last few months, I've had some struggles. To be honest, it's been a slightly rough patch. I have a feeling it's not quite over, but I was pondering some places where God has spoken to me this weekend. It shouldn't be a surprise, but some how it is. For you see, I have been praying sporadically, specifically, honestly...

I love You.
I want to do more for You.
Not because I think it will make You love me more, but because I want to talk more about You, live more like You, be more fully Yours.

I don't understand the roadblocks to getting regular and supportive mentoring in preaching and teaching... but You do.

I wonder at the catty remarks... and the criticism...
I want to SMACK SOMETHING at the sexist comments.

I wonder if it's my fault.
I examine what I've done and pick apart my actions...
What can I do better?
Do I set myself up by my attitudes?
Is it my pride?
Are my insecurities getting in the way?

Jesus, where are You not shining through??
Purify me.
Change me.
Confirm Your direction.

Yet... as I pray...
I know my priorities are right.
I know what You have Called me to do, what the tug is on my heart.

Keep that vision, that promise, that joy in front of me.
Throw reminders in my everyday walk so that I hear Your "go! go! go! girl!"
Shove me back on course when I let my feelings or my doubts pull me off track.
I love You.

SO... this weekend, God "threw some reminders" into my lap...

...a phone call.
...an email.
...a Twitter comment.
...a blog.
...understanding and love from my husband and kids.
...a friend's encouragement.
...a conversation.

Time after time - words I needed, promises from Scripture... Little sprigs of joy shoving through the pebbles of doubt in my heart.

God... talking to me? Yes! to ME!

I love you.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Friday Five: Back to School (insomnia edition)

Mother Laura of RevGalBlogPals writes:

It's time for a Back-To-School Friday Five!

1. Is anyone going back to school, as a student or teacher, at your house? How's it going so far?
The Harpist is starting her senior year of high school. She's working on her SIP (Senior Independent Project), writing college essays and trying to be a teen. She's hangingin there.

Reedy Girl is finishing middle school this year. Her biggest challenge will be Algebra. Everything else she seems to absorb and understand with ease.

Yours truly is in week 3 of the fall semester. Classes include: Church History I (through the Reformation), World Religions and Pastoral Care, Counseling and Conflicts. I'm tired, stressed and have a lot of reading and writing to do. More than usual.

2. Were you glad or sad when back-to-school time came as a kid?
Who are you kidding? Of course I was sad! I loved the free time of summer -- playing outside, friends, swimming, summer camp... sigh

3. Did your family of origin have any rituals to mark this time of year? How about now?
We combine our back-to-school shopping with the purchase of school supplies for a "sister school" where the kids need help to get all of the supplies they need. When we can afford it, we buy everything from backpacks to lunch boxes. The kids do most of the selecting (who knew that there were good/bad brands of pencil cap erasers and crayons?) I try to have some kind of special breakfast foods that they like -- a toss-up between chocolate chip frozen waffles and scones!

4. Favorite memories of back-to-school outfits, lunchboxes, etc?
My mom did not "do" school lunches. We were always given money to buy our lunches. I remember that the school lunches were awful, particularly in the South.

One year at my elementary school (Ebinport ES), we had a new principal who was going on at great length about waste, etc. It was put on your tray. You were to eat it. I simply could NOT bring myself to eat greens (I think they were collard greens, but it didn't matter.) He took me to task and told me that my parents would be quite upset if I didn't eat the greens. I said, "no, they wouldn't. My dad says greens look and taste like grass clippings!" The greens were left on the plate in front of me. If I would only TRY them, I could go outside to recess. I was quiet adamant about it, would not even taste them, and missed recess that day as punishment. He was mad. I was mad. I went home mad.

I'm sure my parents had a great laugh about it, but I didn't know it at the time. My mom just said, "you don't have to eat greens, dear, just be polite about it."

The next day, greens were served again. The principal looked at my untouched pile and walked on by. (Thanks, Mom and Dad....) To this day, I still do NOT like greens. Grass clippings. Dad had it pegged!

5. What was your best year of school?
Umm.... I had fun in high school. Had friends in elementary and middle school. Enjoyed my years at Ohio State and U Miami. And now, in seminary, it's been challenging, but good. Dunno as I can pick a best year.

who is grateful to have the opportunity to get an education!!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Poetry Party: Anticipation

Christine from Abbey of the Arts has this invitation to her latest Poetry Party:

I found myself pondering last night what this week’s theme should be, waiting for inspiration, when I saw sweet Tune waiting at the bathroom door across the hall from my office. My husband was behind the door and she was in eager anticipation of her evening walk. Luckily my camera was close at hand, but seeing her sit there so patiently, yet full of expectation, touched something in me. I have been pondering doors a lot lately with some of that to appear here on this blog. Often we wait at a threshold and the door has yet to be opened. That space of waiting can be one of the most difficult, and yet often the most necessary of times.

For what are you waiting with eager anticipation? You might speak from your own voice in the poem or that of a dog full of hope.

Life's full of questions that God hasn't answered...
I am
Full of hope, yet not without promise.

Hurt and in pain I seek to live by God's power...
I am
Full of wonder, while not without doubts.

Wanting, needing answers to all my uncertainties...
I am
Resting expectantly, but not without fears.

Depending on God for my life's direction...
I am
Peaceful in the wrestling, heart nestled in Grace.


MARK in one sitting

I have joined a group of people (on Facebook, actually) who are reading through the Gospel of Mark in one sitting each week. It takes about an hour (or less if you are a speed reader.) Feel free to join in...

My thoughts from last week (Sept. 1-7):

I have noted the phase "and immediately" over and over again in the past, but this week it took on new meaning.

It seems to me that this means doing with joy and obedience whatever one is asked to do next. In Mark's Gospel, it was the response of the healed, the disciples, and especially Jesus. No whining! Following and knowing that walking where God wants there is nothing but joy!

And it's just like God to put the obvious in front of my eyes... It is completely and totally applicable to my situation with many more credits to go towards my M.Div, facing life's questions honestly, wanting to be the best wife/mom/coach/Christ follower I can, and seeking to put my life always in God's hands...


Saturday, September 06, 2008

In the UNhelpful department...

I have packing to do for a short trip. Henry has decided that:

  1. I need his help
  2. he should go along
  3. suitcase is a very, VERY bad word
I came to these conclusions after I was interrupted from packing and came back to find this:

Personally, I'd love for the trip to get canceled, but it's not my call. It's a business quasi-retreat meeting.

At the moment, he's guarding my carry-on bag. Such a helper...

(In case you wondered, I'm not taking his guilt trip.)


when there are no words...

I learned a shortcut to respond to blog posts from the RevGals when you can't formulate an answer, but want to leave a word of love and presence... a "blogstone" -- which looks like this:


Two blogging friends have had huge losses -- makes my whining seem completely selfish (uh... which it is.) To them, and to others who may be walking in faith and in pain, I leave a "love and prayers blogstone."

<3 & \o/


Friday, September 05, 2008

Friday Five: Vulnerability

Sally of RevGalBlogPals writes:

I have recently been reading a book entitled Jesus wept, it is all about vulnerability in leadership. The authors speak of how Jesus shared his earthly frustrations and vulnerabilities with a select group of people. To some he was the charismatic leader and teacher, to others words of wisdom were opened and explained and some frustrations shared, to his "inner circle of friends: Peter, James and John, he was most fully himself, and in all of these things he was open to God.

So I bring you this weeks Friday 5:

1. Is vulnerability something that comes easily to you, or are you a private person?
That's a hard one. I'm an extrovert, so a lot of people think they know me. But I tend to let people in by layers (if that makes sense) so no, vulnerability is not easy for me.

2.How important is it to keep up a professional persona in work/ ministry? I'm not a Holy Reverend Most Auspicious Preacher Lady person. In fact, I try hard not to be. But I do try to remember that, for some people, there is a certain "way" that they expect pastors to be. I try to let them down gently. Be a goofball when I'm talking about Jesus or Communion? NO! But I try to remember what my dad used to call "The 11th Commandment" - "Thou shalt not take thyself too @#$% seriously!"

3. Masks, a form of self protection discuss...
If I am feeling hurt, or if I am feeling attacked, masks are a way of self preservation. If I am tired and know that I might lash out (unjustified) they are my way of coping and not acting how I feel. And sometimes, masks help me process what's going on on the inside.

4. Who knows you warts and all?
My husband. My prayer partner Dana. And probably, my mom. As Captain Penny used to say, "you can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time... but you can't fool Mom." (For those of you not from the Midwest and under 50... Captain Penny was a children's show out of Cleveland...)

5. Share a book, a prayer, a piece of music, a poem or a person that touches the deep place in your soul, and calls you to be who you are most authentically.

It's a Chris Tomlin song... it takes me back into the Creator's world... and back into a loving, affirming, strengthening relationship with my Savior... (bonus video...)


Wonderful Maker

You spread out the skies over empty space
Said "let there be light"
Into a dark and formless world Your light
was born

You spread out Your arms over empty hearts
Said "let there be light"
Into a dark and hopeless world Your Son
was born

You made the world and saw that it was good
You sent Your only son for You are good

What a wonderful Maker
What a wonderful Savior
How majestic Your whispers
And how humble Your love
With a strength like no other
And the heart of a Father
How majestic Your whispers
What a wonderful God

No eye has fully seen, how beautiful the cross
And we have only heard
The faintest whispers of how great You are

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Sermon Illustration

Check this out... It's the winner of the 2008 Cannes film festival for short story films.

I'm thinking of the story at the well in Bethsaida, or the man Bartimaeus... Blindness comes in many forms. Even those of us who are walking in Jesus have amazing "blind spots" - don't we??

Jesus had God's perspective and saw with the spiritual eyes of the heart. Where other people saw blindness, Jesus saw people who knew it was "a beautiful day" but that they "could not see it."

Paul said,

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. [Ephesians 1:17-19a]
Praying for open eyes and an open heart...

Quote of the night...

So help me, I did not plan on tuning in to the Republican Convention. I was actually trying to get the latest weather reports on hurricane season... but I heard Rudy Giuliani say this:

She’s already one of the most successful governors in America - and the most popular. And she already has more executive experience than the entire Democratic ticket combined.

How dare they question whether Palin will have enough time to spend with her children while vice president? When do they ever ask a man that question?”

Let me be clear that I have not decided on who gets my vote in November... And I'm not so big on Giuliani, either.

I LOVED that quote!!! It could be said for any woman in any profession... especially ministry!

Ever the rabble rouser...

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

My Fall Renewal Plans

I need some change of mind and direction this fall. It first came to me as I stood and watched the seagulls at the beach... And so I have two main goals for the fall:

1) Read the Book of Mark through in one sitting once each week between now and Thanksgiving and try to blog it. Care to join me? I'll be trying to blog about it every Saturday! I'll post more details on this later.

2) Prayerfully plan a "buy nothing" Christmas - and get my family to buy in on it (no pun intended!)

I have a stack of books, and I may be reading them. And then again, I may not. I need a influx of peace and hope and focus... and press on to the Calling I have in Christ Jesus.

Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest. [Hebrews 3:1 TNIV]

As my Southern sisters say, "I'm fixin to do it!"


I have a 17 year old daughter, too...

Bristol Palin is 17. So is The Harpist.

Life happens, sometimes faster than you planned. I commend McCain on not making the news of Bristol Palin's pregnancy a non-qualifier for his veep pick. It hasn't been the final catalyst in my decision on who to vote for in November...

What would I do if I were in the position of Sarah Palin?? I struggle as a mother to know what to say, or think. What would I do, say, think, advise my own daughter? And could I stand the stuff that would hit the fan in the attitudes and comments of the nitpickers around me?

As I mull this over, I only know one thing:
The mudslinging and innuendos, from BOTH parties, has to stop. I am sick of nasty, spiteful, catty words!

Peace... and hope for all those involved...


Monday, September 01, 2008

Stretching my brain

Is it possible to sprain your brain? Because I think I just did.

I finished reading No Other Name by John Sanders. I filled out my chart on restrictivism, universalism, universal evangelism, eschatalogical evangelism and inclusivism. Who knew there were so many "isms"??

It's just a precursor to the discussion in my World Religions class. Where I think I will get a proper brain strain!

I really wonder sometimes... do we make God laugh when we get into our theological nitpicking? Or do we make God sigh??

Just musing...