Monday, April 30, 2007


Yesterday, our GP came and preached which was wonderful; she preached very well and I was gifted with a Sunday of not having to preach!!
We had a great coffee hour and all went well.
This evening we are trying a Coffee & Conversation hour or so and have invited a special guest - a Presbyterian pastor from the mid-east to speak to us. We will be serving coffee with flavored creamers, decaf coffee, herbal and green teas, and cookies and mini muffins. We are hoping that folks interested in that country and this pastor's Christian faith journey and witness in mostly Muslim country will draw some people in from the community. I hope that as he journeys, you will have an opportunity to meet him, hear him, and host him.
I'll be taking this pastor to dinner when I pick him and take him back to his residence.
Perhaps, if all goes well, we will host quarterly Coffee & Conversations and bring in other guest speakers. (Hoping, of course, that they will be free of charge!!!)
How good it is to welcome others into our midst and to learn and grow from them. They are like fresh breezes that blow through our walls and lives.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Timing is Everything

The Holy Spirit's timing and mine are just a shade out of sync. That's the bane and blessing of the Holy Spirit - he/she comes at will, cannot be controlled, and is there at the right time.
So there I had struggled with my sermon this week and the only thought was, I can't preach this!
My day off Friday was spent running to and fro to three grocery stores, the gas station, the car wash, home, the lawn mower repair place (nearly 1/2 trip one way),
Target, the Vet's (annual heartworm and shots) and home in time to bake a cake for LH's Early Communion Class (an annual ritual). Then came dinner, some laundry, and dishes.
I was up early Saturday to get to the Presbytery meeting about an hour and a half away. Sat all morning, sat after lunch, until I could sit no more. Although parts of the meeting were inspiring and good, I knew I still had prayers to write, gather up the children's sermon items, and find the white towel I use for baptisms. So, at 2 pm I left, stopped for gas, stopped to pick up a board book for a baby shower for a Deacon and got home in time to write a prayer before dinner. I typed and printed out that prayer and slowly headed into the kitchen to begin dinner preparation when - BAPPP!!! Out of the blue (which is where Holy Spirit likes to come from!)I knew what was missing from my sermon - being stretched in faith - like Ananias, Saul/Paul, and the disciples back at fishing. Now, I knew, I could preach THAT sermon! And oh, I could hardly get through dinner and start typing away. I was able to leave most of the sermon in tact, but was able to add this in and rework things. OHHHHH, if only the HS had come on Thursday afternoon when I struggled and struggled to write. But, just before dinner, after a long day, on Saturday before Sunday, the HS came, and all I could do was to accept humbly and gratefully and with great joy its offering.
Quite frankly, I wish the HS was more in sync with my schedule, but the beauty of God's Spirit comes in waves of inspiration and grace at any moment, usually just when we need it most.
So, there went my supply of rubber bands, as the ushers handed them out on Sunday morning as a reminder to us all to be stretched in faith. Just as the HS had stretched me in faith until Saturday right before supper.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Monday Blues

Just got the phone call that the Deacons' meeting will be next Wednesday night, instead of this Wednesday night. (Sigh)That'll be three 12 hour days in a row. Yuck. I'm usually pretty beat after two 12 hour days. (Too far to go home inbetween)
Saturday is Presbytery, then Sunday with a baptism, then Monday with worship and Session meeting. Tuesday will be my turn to give the School Board Devotions. And Wednesday will be Deacons' meeting. I'm already tired.
Have a newsletter article due and absolutely no idea what to write about.
Some weeks are just like that I guess.
In the meanwhile, I have this week to deal with.
And someday when Spring really does come, I have to fertilize and start pulling weeds. So, when does the fun begin?!!?

Saturday, April 14, 2007


Due to a couple RGBP's recent dental experiences, we are invited to share ours.

1. Are you a regulat patron of dentist's office? 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've been a and b. Lately I make it once a year. That's plenty for me.

2. Whatever became of your wisdom teeth?

One became impacted in my first year in Seminary. So that late spring/early summer
was my first trip to oral surgeon to get it out. I left the other three in.
Had trouble with the other 2 uppers about two years ago and had them removed one
at a time three weeks apart. One went much easier than the other. Ughhhhhhh.
Still have a lower one left and it's ok for now.

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

Before my crown last year, it was Purdy's Sweet Georgia Browns. Basically a
a gourmet turtle with really good chocolate, fresh pecans and really gooey
caramel. I don't dare touch those anymore with my crown. Although...I could
eat them on the other side of my mouth...

4. Ever had oral surgery. Commiserate with me.

Just the wisdom tooth removal in first year Seminary. That was the first
time I ever had novacaine. The dentist I had growing up filled our cavaties
without novacaine. Probably explains why I am such a chicken at the dentist
anymore. Maybe, you just feel things more when you're older. I remember the
oral surgeon remarking on the lack of scar tissue from any novacaine shots!

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

I'd rather have a root canal than jump out of plane!

Bonus - Does your dentist recomment Trident?

My recommends flossing. He's never recommended gum. But I think chewing
sugarless gum has cut down on cavaties by cleaning the teeth after eating.
But, hey, I'm no dentist!!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

After Easter Blahs....

Ok, so this year I wised up and took a reading day for the Monday after Easter!!!!!!!!! I slept in and read most of the day. What a most wonderful thing!
Easter, of course, began at 5 am and it was a cold, dark, blustery morning. We held the sunrise service at 6:45 am inside at our Methodist neighbors' church since they were doing the breakfast this year. Had a few less than last year! Can't imagine why!!? (Like too cold and icky!)
The Easter service went well without any real glitches. I was home by 1 pm making the long-anticipated Egg Salad and spreading it on a sandwich. Hmm...tasty.
LH and I engaged in some major power napping in the afternoon.
Dinner consisted of an eastern seaboard city market chicken pot pie heated in the oven. Actually, it tasted mighty fine on a cold, with little snow day. Just a wee simple meal for Easter Sunday.
Last night, I heated up ham slices and the scalloped potatoes that were left-over from last week, and steamed some fresh aspargus. So, we had an Easter dinner on Easter Monday.
Here it is already Tuesday and I am working on Sunday's bulletin for our third annual Joy Sunday!
"Joy is the echo of God's life within us." - Joseph Marmion
Someday, I would like to work up a comedy routine, but that takes time and space for imagination and creativity, which is something I lack.
We do have a skit that our "Not-Ready-for-Sunday-morning-Players" will perform and folks bring clean, funny jokes to tell. Everyone leaves happier and healthier after our service!
Lord, grant me a joyful heart and a holy sense of humor.
I will probably be using Isaiah 35:1-10 for the Old Testament lesson. I was on a retreat last fall when part of that scripture was read and I heard, "A highway shall be there and it shall be called the Holy Way; the unclean shall not travel on it, but it shall be for God's people; no traveler, not even fools shall go astray."
Well, and there you go, I never heard the rest for it was just assurance that I needed from God - fools will not go astray - fools shall travel on the Holy Way!!!!
God has vindicated me as a fool!!!! I have been a fool all my life and now I know there is a place for me in the kingdom of God!! So how can I not but share such good news with the folks I am serving? May they find assurance and know that God created us creatures of mirth and joy!!!!!
May God grant you a joyful heart, a holy sense of humor, and confidence that even fools will not go astray!

Monday, April 02, 2007


Well, the Clergy Superbowl is almost upon us, and so, I offer up this Friday Five (with apologies for the irreverent title):

1. Will this Sunday be Palms only, Passion only, or hyphenated?
Our children did their program so it was Palms-Passion.

2. Maundy Thursday Footwashing: Discuss.
Most folks here didn't even try the hahndwashing we did last year, so
footwashing would be even more traumatic.
This year we're doing an Upper Room Meal (a Sedar-like symbolic supper) with
readings mostly from John containing Jesus' last instructions to his
disciples. The dinner will be in the fellowship hall, around U-shaped table
with candle light. Holy Communion follows with adjournment to the Sanctuary
for the reading of Psalm 22 and stripping of the Altar.

3. Share a particularly meaningful Good Friday worship experience.
No Good Friday service here.
The ones I held in prison where the inmates did a Good Friday drama/skit.
They always were very meaningful.

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

And the winner is C!!! Getting up at 5 am or sooner to do a sunrise
service is just crazy. Then to have a two hour period with nothing and
too far to go home and come back again. My whole body schedule is thrown
off kilter and we sleep all afternoon. Give me the traditional later morning
service and I'm as happy as anything on earth!!!

5. Complete this sentence: It just isn't Easter without...
Zopf! A traditional Swiss braided bread. Oh, and dyed Easter Eggs.
Theologically speaking, it just wouldn't be Easter without the
Risen Christ! Alleluia! Amen!

Bonus: Any Easter Vigil aficionados out there? Please share.
Did one once. Not a fan. After 2 Maunday Thursday services, 2 Good Friday
services (noon and 7 pm) and 2 Easter services, why in God's good name
would anyone attend a Saturday Easter Vigil at 7pm (which is a long
service, by the way!). Being a good Lutheran Interim, I did flinch, but
complained mightly to LH, to God and into my pillow. It was exhausting
and attendence was not that great.
If my folks would attend Maundy Thurs. and if we had a Good Friday
service that would be miraculous and I would be content.