Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Naked House -
Our house was naked for a time yesterday, as it shed its vinyl outerwear. Today, the workers are attaching new siding. Shortly after we moved in, the siding on the north side of the house began to bow. So, the company came, fixed it and put a patch of new siding on it. Well, over the past 5 years the siding has faded except for the new patch. (Note, our house is only 6 years old) Because it looked really bad, especially if we want to put our house on the market, we contacted the company and were able to get the work done on warranty!
Since it is somewhat drizzly this morning with a big dark green blob on the radar screen heading our way, the men won't get much done today and the house will only be semi-clothed. There will be more noise and banging and hammering, etc. tomorrow.
The one fellow brought his 2 sons with him yesterday. They worked really hard toting siding, separating out sizes, and cleaning up the litter. I baked a batch of my delicious chocolate chip cookies and they all had some - fresh baked!!!
I'll be glad when the job is done and all the noise is over.
Felt pretty exposed to the neighborhood with our naked house. Just the way one feels when confessing one's sins to God - exposed and vulnerable, contrite, humbled, and naked before the One who knows us, forgives us and still loves us. Then we put on our new clothes in Christ - all fresh and clean and it feels delightful and wonderful, like putting on a clean shirt straight from the clothes line all crisp and fresh smelling of sun and wind. It is good to shed the old, the stained, the worn and faded to put on the new, fresh, clean and spotless. How thankful I am for the grace, forgiveness and love of my Lord Jesus Christ.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


This week so far, I've been reading, Christianity for the Rest of Us, by Diana Butler Bass, cleaned house, did some laundry, did poop patrol in the backyard, dusted some of my plants with Sevin due to the Japanese Beetle outbreak, took down one bag of dead Japanese Beetles and put up a fresh one, made several dinners and did dishes, shortened and hemmed a pair of slacks, mended a hole in a dress, had an interview for an interim position (which would entail my renting an efficiency apartment and living away from home) and weighing the cost of that, and did some weeding - more remains to be done.
It finally rained some last night and this morning - a fine and misty rain that measured about 1/2 inch in the rain gauge, but we'll take it. The Gingko, Birch and Newport Plum have been stressed due to lack of rain. Hope we get some more.
Am contemplating a temp position to help a colleague who is serving 4 churches in a consortium for the next month. Mostly, hospital calls, home communion, one community meal and devotion once a week, and other odd assortment of tasks. Cannot afford to lose my medical benefits at this time though.
LH has just resigned his position and is actively seeking a new call. We have never both been without a position at the same time and am seeking desperately not to allow anxiety to get the better of me.
All prayers are truly appreciated and welcomed.
LH's blood pressure has dropped to acceptable levels and its not all due to medication.
The dogs seem content to have me home most of the time and I am grateful for their comforting furry presence.
Everything has so unraveled and I try not to let fear take hold, but to cling to the hope of the new thing God is working in our lives. It is not easy.
So, I try to content myself with the mundane and keep praying to the Lord, who must hear the prayers of the desperate.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Our governor is proposing a budget that includes gambling revenues from slot machines. Most of our churches oppose this but it probably will go through this time even though every time it has been on the ballot, the people have vetoed it.
The governor and state are grasping for revenue will little regard for morality.
It has come apparent to me that we live in an entertainment age. The American people want entertainment and want to be entertained whether with celebrity-ism, techie gadgets and social networking sites, sports, gambling, and, dare I say it, even church. Yes, the church experience should be entertaining in a big venue with sound bites and video clips. There is a make us feel good, don't talk about sin, and let us live our lives, attitude out there.
When the church talks of sacrifice, obedience, and the mystery of God, the culture doesn't want to hear of it. They want to be entertained and to feel good.
When I look to Christ and read the Scripture, I fail to see this aspect to our faith. Yes, we do feel good when our sin is forgiven, when we have the joy of our faith, and when we are in touch with the tremendous and gracious love of our Lord. Our faith isn't about entertainment but living in way that becomes more and more Christ-like and offers a transformation of life.
Moreover, worship is not about entertainment, but how we come before God to offer our honor and praise, coming into God's presence and together honoring the God of our lives, the God of all life. Sometimes it bubbles over in joy, at other times, it is more somber(as in Lent) but always humbling.
I confess that for me, worship is more about meeting God, encountering Jesus and his love, grace, forgiveness, hope and peace, than it is about being entertained.
I leave worship renewed, challenged, more hopeful, desiring more of what God desires for us and for the world, and willing to love in ways more Christ-like. Although I fall short, time and time again, I know that God forgives me and God's Spirit is work within me empowering me to do that which I cannot do on my own.
I pray that, we, as Christians, and as a nation, will move away from mere entertainment and this need to be entertained and make more valuable contributions to the world and to the betterment of the lives of people. May our downfall not be our need to be entertained but rather that we have spent ourselves on behalf of the good of another. I fear for our nation that we have succombed to this drug of choice - entertainment and it is more harmful than good.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


While at the Lake, caught a beautiful rainbow over Lake Michigan. What were the chances that we'd see one again and be there just at that moment and time?
As ever the rainbow was a reminder of God's presence, power, hope, and that God keeps God's promises. I needed that assurance.
This week, helping with LH's VBS "Crocodile Dock" - the theme song, which after 3 evenings is still reverberating in my head is, "I Will Not Be Afraid". It seems that God is wanting me to take heart, not be discouraged and to trust ever and always in Him. I'm working on it.
Just a couple signs of grace that God has brought to me in the past week. May you look for signs of grace God is placing before you.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009


Back from vacation to spend time with sister and BIL. Windy City still windy.
Cedar Beach was thin as the Lake level was higher with all the rain that it received and a lot of beachy grass and scrubby growth. Since I saw a snake slither into the growth last summer while strolling the beach, I was disinclined to tromp through all that growth not knowing what I'd walk into.
Caught a gorgeous rainbow over the lake and it took to photos to get it all in!!!
I lost at mini golf.
I lost at Jenga.
I lost twice at croquet.
Fortunately, I am for the most part a good loser.
Got in lots of reading - The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series. Been plowing through them
Still have a couple things left to tackle on my dossier.
Cleaned house - although there is still much to put away.
Ran the dishwasher and will be putting the sheets and eventually towels in the wash.
Today will be night three of LH's VBS.
Am deadheading my profusely blooming red geraniums, doing battle with Japanese
beetles, and having to water every other day the flower bed and herb garden.
Finding delight in seeing little green tomatoes on the vine!
Saw a beautiful leopard butterfly (at least that's my name for it- orange with spots and not a monarch) munching on my echinacea or purple cone flowers.
Just feels really weird not being in a church office or preparing for Sunday or making visits.
Working with the new greyhound. Exchanged Gozar-the-Destructor-Toby, who needed a family and someone around most of the time and lots more activity than we were able to give him for Ty - a shy black 5 year old, with a white chest, nipped ear, and chewed up tongue. He growls at LH whenever LH walks into the room where Ty is.
Ty is the most vocal grey we've had, barks at everything and nothing. He is slowly getting better. He's also eating more now and seems to enjoy the chicken broth made with chicken liver, hearts, gizzards, butt and extra fat that came with the chicken we grilled over the weekend. It takes a lot of patience with a grey that is this shy.
The late Ben, also took some time to settle in, and get used to LH. He still always jumped whenever the pot lids clanged together, or something got dropped on the floor and he was the sweetest grey we ever had.
Ty has a mischievious side as he as stolen a rag from the laundry room and chewed up a pamphlet in the study. Hope that will go away in time.
So, that's where I am at the moment. Being a Hausfrau and Doggie Mom and escorting the 3rd-6th graders at VBS. Not bad, but just not being as useful as I long to be.
Why is it, when we are serving and running full tilt and yearning for a few days of just being with God, and then, when transition comes and we have days to just be with God, we are yearning to be back in the pulpit? (Sigh)Are we never content?