Thursday, April 29, 2010


I am staring at a very full week next week. Sunday worship, committee meeting, and Mother/Daughter/Sister/Friend banquet Sunday evening. ( I won't be able to go home Sunday) There will be the clergy lunch on Wed. There will most likely be a funeral. On Thursday at 7 pm, is the National Day of Prayer Service and I am responsible for praying for The Media, and fill a 3 minute slot. I won't be getting home til after 9 pm.
So, today, I will leave early afternoon and have some extra time with my boys and just be home. I miss home so much. My own bed, my own space, the ability to pull weeds after supper, to do a load of laundry, to mend, to tend. At the end of the day, at the end of my week, I just want to be home with LH and the greys.
Sometimes this exile feels like punishment. Even though I have confessed my sins and even things I for which I was not at fault. I cannot help but feel this sense of punishment. As if serving in ministry is not difficult enough, I am without my support, without what nourishes my spirit and calms my soul.
Does anyone really know, what we give up when serving God's people? For the most part, church folk and others simply have no clue. It all appears done so effortlessly, with such love and grace while inside one's soul weeps for home, for a little "normalcy", for one's own bed, for one's family. The sacrifice, we clergy make is great, especially when it comes to family.
Hold your loved ones a bit tighter, amoment longer this week, savor sleeping in your bed and with your own pillow, be thankful for being able to do laundry whenever you need, to sit on your porch or patio, to pet your dog or cat. Do it for yourself, for love of your family. Do it for me and for all who are far from the home and family they love.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

So, last week, the church I'm serving hosted a banquet for the volunteers and board members of the local Meals-On-Wheels-type program here. Our church is the home base for the cooking and delivering of meals to the homebound.
The dinner was very tasty - roast beef and potatoes, plus the obligatory jello with fine chopped lettuce or slaw and shredded carrots,(this is afterall a church hosted dinner) roll and cole slaw.
The amazing thing is that no government money supports this program. It's all locally funded by donations from churches and groups. Sometimes, they will write a grant for something specific.
There were 70 people at this banquet - from cooks, to helpers to drivers.
The entertainment was a grandson and his wife of a board member. The grandson played piano and his wife sang. They did a couple short operatic type songs and then a couple of oldies like "When You're Smiling", etc.
As they performed the oldies, I looked over the group gathered in the downstairs social room and noted all the silver hair and balding heads. The performers and myself (no spring chicken anymore) were the youngest there. I could also see this performing duo going to nursing homes for gigs.
Which got me thinking about the young people of today and what will happen when they turn old, hitting their 70's & 80's and land in nursing home themselves. What will the performers play for them? What sing-along music is there from this young generation that have grown-up with hip hop and rap?
Can you even begin to imagine performers coming into their nursing homes singing the old, golden classics like: "Who let the dogs out? Who, who?" and "Let me tell you what I want, what I really, really want..."
Can you even picture it?!!!? (Ok you can stop laughing now!)
I don't think they will be singing to those long forgotten, lusterless tunes that aren't even singable and whose words nobody can even remember. It is funny and sad in a way, that the oldies we'll be singing "I Wanna Hold Your Hand", "Ain't No Mountain High Enough", etc. can be sung, danced to and remembered. The hip hop and rap stuff is trendy: here today, gone tomorrow and a generation who will have little to sing in their old age.

Monday, April 19, 2010

To all the RGBPs on BE 3 -
Wishing you a wonderful time cruising. Relax, enjoy, be refreshed and renewed.
Wish I could be with you. God bless you with a safe journey and peace be with you all.

With the BE 3 taking place, here are five questions about packing to go on a trip.

1) Some fold, some roll and some simply fling into the bag. What's your technique for packing clothes?
I do some folding, some rolling, and some laying flat that makes something less
bulky. I always take too much with!

2) The tight regulations about carrying liquids on planes makes packing complicated. What might we find in your quart-size bag? Ever lose a liquid that was too big?
I always check my luggage, because I have to take so much with!!! Never lost a
liquid as I packed them in my suitcase. Have lost tweezers and manicure scissors
on a flight to the Yukon. I forgot to move them from carry on to suitcase.
When we landed in Whitehorse, and rented the car, we drove from the airport into
town. On the way, we passed a Wmart and we stopped so that I could replace my
tweezers and scissors.

3) What's something you can't imagine leaving at home?
Underwear, nightgown, shoes, tweezers, books, camera, diary, pens, & umbrella.

4) Do you have a bag with wheels?
Yup, how did I survive without them back in the days of yore?!!?

5) What's your favorite reading material for a non-driving trip (plane, train, bus, ship)?
Something enjoyable, I've done the Mitford series and will be reading the last
2 Ladies' No. 1 Detective Agency books for our trip across the pond.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


I was just about 5 or 6 yrs old at the time. It was a Saturday morning and I went with my Dad to pick up doughnuts. Dad often got doughnuts on Saturday morning, usually a dozen or two for the "guys in the shop" - diesel mechanics for a CAT dealer. Sometimes, we got a half dozen for us at home to enjoy.
It was a spring morning, sunny, warmish. The parking spots were angled off the street on a bit of an incline. We had pulled in, and Dad noticed that the car next to ours had a small boy of about 4 years of age moving around in the car with no adult in sight.
This was in the early 60's, before there were car seats, use of seat belts and safety feature of not being able to put the car in reverse without a foot on the brake. Both cars were long, wide, 4 door sedans, that mimiced oceanliners.
Dad seemed to have a sense of what was about to happen. He told me to stay in the car and he jumped out just as the car next to ours was slowly backing down into the street. Dad opened the car door, sat in, pulled the car up, put it in park and turned off the engine.
At once a fellow came running out of the doughnut shop with box of doughnut in hand. My Dad was standing next to his car, and I'm sure he told him it wasn't wise to leave the car running with a curious little boy inside. The man with the doughnuts began yelling at my father who had done nothing, but saved his child from an awful accident and spared the man's car from injury.
He huffed, got in his car and pulled away.
Dad and I went into the doughnut shop and picked up our doughnuts for the day. It bothered me it did, that my Dad got yelled at for doing the right thing. No matter that Dad was white and the father of the little boy was black.
Dad said he would've done it all over again, even with the same outcome. The right thing is the right thing no matter what.
I'll never forget that morning, the near miss of an accident with an unattended child playing with a the knobs, levers and steering wheel of a running car, how quick my Dad noticed and acted, loud, angry un deserved words spoken, and the sweet smell of doughnuts and the lesson of doing the right thing because it is the right thing to do.
I admired my Dad for that. I admired my Dad for caring about a small child no matter what color or race or ethnicity they were. I admired my Dad for the doing the right thing because it was the right thing to do, even if you were misunderstood, or kicked in the pants for it.
My Dad will always be my hero. Thanks, Dad. It's been 5 years and a month and I still miss you so much.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The church lawn is being mowed for a second time - first time last week and now again this week. It's only the 12th of April! I can't remember when mowing started this early in the season. Trees are budding and the Bradford pears that line our street lawn are in full bloom making for a showy white drive down our street.
I've already weeded some, pulled dandelions, planted my marjoram, sage, thyme and rosemary. I'm holding off on the basil and parsley knowing they are more sensitive to frost. If this warm weather keeps up, I'll have to plant the basil and tomatoes soon!!!
We could use more rain though. It's been a fairly dry April. Whatever happened to April showers bring May flowers? My wee grape hyacinths are blooming, the bee balm is arising and the poppy is looking like a small bush!!! I so look forward to things blooming in the garden.
I long for things to bloom in my life. This limbo, dark night, has taken its toll on my spirit. I long for my energy, zest, passion, delight and joy to return, to
blossom again in my soul. God's vast, great silence continues. I keep listening. I keep hoping something will come up for LH and always, come up mostly empty.
This dark night colors my world and what should be joyful is lacking much luster. I so want to celebrate my nephew's marriage and should be happy, thrilled, excited, etc. and I want to happy, thrilled and excited, but am not. Well, maybe there is some joy, but not what should or could be there under other circumstances. Maybe, once the time gets closer, there will be more happiness and joy.
In the meanwhile, as I've said before, I keep praying to the Great Silence that is God with the hope that one day, the silence will melt away and I will be reunited with God.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Something Girly - Part 3

Mission accomplished! I have drawn and cut out 153 fish for worship next Sunday!
It only took 4 tries to get the fish shape the way I envisioned. I wish I had been created with more artistic talent.
Then the challenge was to get construction paper, masking tape, scissors and batteries for the TV remote that died the night before. So, I made a stop at DDM, which carries a little of everything that is quite astounding indeed! I fingered a pair of cheaper scissors, but they didn't move easily enough. I picked up the 7.99 pair, the kind I have on my craft table at home and know move and cut well. I just didn't want to spend that much. So, from the office supply aisle, I wandered over and picked up a bottle of Merlot, then drifted to hardware and found masking tape.
I ventured another aisle over where they had sewing supplies and lo, and behold, they had some other scissors. Cool ones, with blue handles and blue striped blades, and a pair with pink handles and pink and purple polka dots on the outer blades!! What fun! And just 2.99. They moved easily and well and the blades matched up fine.
Now, I own a pair of very girly pink polka dotted scissors!!!!! And cut so well, (my hand didn't hardly get all that sore from the cutting), that I now have 153 cut out fish!!
Here I am, over 50, and am getting more girly. Who knows what more girly things are yet to come?!!?

Wednesday, April 07, 2010


In the interest of celebrating Joy or Bright Sunday, with this, my 380th post, I will prime the pump with a few of my favorites. Enjoy and share with utter abandon and may the joy of Christ's resurrection be something we share with the world.

A 92 year old man went to the doctor to get a physical. A few days later, the doctor saw the man walking down the street with a gorgeous young lady on his arm. A couple of weeks later, when the elderly gent had an appointment with the doctor again, the doc said, "You're really doing great, aren't you?"
The old man replied, "Just doing what you said Doc. 'Get a hot momma and be cheerful.'"
The doctor said, "I didn't say that. I said you got a heart murmur. Be careful!"

A very dirty little fellow came in from playing in the yard and asked his mom, "Who am I?" Ready to play the game, she said, "I don't know! Who are you?"
"Wow!" cried the child, "Mrs. Johnson was right! She said I was so dirty my own mother wouldn't recognize me!"

Did you hear about the turtle that got mugged by three snails? When asked by the police to give a description of what happened, the turtle replies, "I don't know, it all happened so fast!"

A boy was constantly wandering in and out of the house leaving the front or back door wide open.
"Once and for all, will you please close that!" the exasperated mom pleaded one day. "Were you born in a barn?"
"No, I was born in a hospital," he replied, smirking, "With automatic doors."

What do you get when you cross a librarian with a lawyer?
All the information you want, except you can't understand it.

One gentleman recalls that when his back seized up, he called the doctor's office, explaining that he was a minister and was in too much pain to deliver his sermon. Could they help?
The woman on the other end asked him to hold. The next thing he heard was a loud voice announcing, "I have a minister on the phone who can't stand to preach!"

A young boy was lost in the mall. He ran over to a police officer. "I've lost my dad!, he said.
"What's he like?" the cop asked.
"Baseball and beer."

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Exist or Not to Exist -

Interestingly enough, we have yet to receive a census form in the mail. All this time and we haven't received anything. It's as though we've disappeared from the face of our country. Odd, we file and pay our taxes faithfully, though not really joyfully, every year. We own our home - well, the bank owns some, too.
So, what happened? And why are we still waiting for our form?
I have a feeling someone screwed up and in the end, they will be sending someone to our door. Hopefully, one of us will be home (more likely LH) when they come knocking. I'm thinking Jett and Jazz won't be too forthcoming with information to any census worker. They'll just wag their tails and jump all over them. What a waste of people power and taxpayer money to have to send someone to a home in a subdivision full of homes because someone neglected to send The Form.
Someone LH spoke with the next town over, mentioned that they had received a notification letter saying that their census form was coming. Wow! Another waste of time and tax payer expense. Just send The Form and follow up with those who haven't repsonded. How simple can that be? Duh!
Maybe we can slip under the radar. Maybe we don't really exist. I'll bet if we failed to file and pay our taxes we would be missed and tracked down to prove we exist! How do all the Congress people and workers get by without paying their taxes, anyway? Did they get The Form? Maybe they don't really exist either. Hmmm...just something to ponder.
Not really existential - to exist or not to exist - just an error on the part of wonderful government.

Monday, April 05, 2010


As I gaze out the window, the bushes and some trees in the woods on the hillside are showing signs of fresh green baby leaves!!! The grass is as green as green can be, the daffodils are blooming yellow. Yesterday, I saw a magnolia in full bloom on my way home. Spring is bustin' out all over - just as Christ busted forth in new life!
We had a wonderful Easter service, although it ran nearly an hour and a half long. We enjoyed a brass octet who played a short musical introit. The choir anthem was moving and with the sihouetted picture of a triumpant, risen Christ on the screen as they sang an anthem with the words, "He Lives" (not the hymn one), I was so moved and felt a stirring of Easter in my spirit and heart. My sermon was not overly long, but we had communion (which adds about 15 mins. to the service) and the octet offertory lasted nearly 10 mins., an original arrrangement composed by the father of our choir director who plays trombone and trumpet and is a band director. The kids had fun singing "Halle, Halle, Halleljuah" and the Easter Egg Hunt following worship.
All in all, a wonderful celebration of the Resurrection of our Lord.
This week I'm putting the finishing touches on our Joy Sunday for this coming Sunday. They'll be balloons, an open mic for joke telling, and the kids will provide special effects for the song "Jesus' Love is a Bubblin' Over" - they'll be blowing bubbles!!!! In the end, everyone leaves happier, healthier, and lighter in spirit!!!
I even ordered, Jack Jewell's "The Risen Christ by the Sea" bulletin covers, so that everyone can reflect on the joy Christ must've felt after the resurrection and see a joyous depiction of Jesus!
So, I am dancing even in this dark post-resurrection night!

Thursday, April 01, 2010


I know it's Maundy Thursday, but it just doesn't feel like it. Even the day is in rebellion - gorgeous, blue sky, sunshine, green growing grass and 70+ degrees. It looks more like Easter than Maundy Thursday.
So, why can't I feel it within me? Is it because of this extended dark night, that feels like Holy Saturday most every day? Is it because I get to go home after worship and I am so ready to be home again?
I believe it is more the former than the latter.
This past year, I was blessed, broken and gave all my love and all I had even in the midst of my leaving - like a Maundy Thursday. Met with rejection, I died yet another death in my life - like a Good Friday. I have been stuck in Holy Saturday ever since, that unsettled, unknowing, grieving, limbo type day.
I once had a Lent that lasted nearly two years. And when Easter came, it was so wonderfully glorious!!!! I recall that time and pray that Easter will come again for me.
It is an odd Maundy Thursday that falls on the Day of Fools. But perhaps, that is how those who did not know Jesus saw him as merely a fool, someone to mock, someone not quite right in the head - claiming to be a King of the Jews. Who did he think he was anyway?
And on this last night spent with his dearest companions and friends, he stooped low and washed their feet, not something any king would ever do. But He came not to be served, but to serve.
Later at table, he mentioned that one among them would betray him. What foolish is this, my Lord? Surely not I!?" Ahh, but you, will also deny me three times before the rooster crows.
Then he took bread, simple, ordinary, humble bread and said it was him, blessed, broken, shared for the life of the disciples, for the life of the world. What foolish is this, my Lord? We are here together, sharing the Passover isn't that enough?
Then he took the cup, blessed it and gave it to his beloved to drink and said, this was him poured out for the forgiveness of sins. The cup was the new relationship with God sealed in his blood.
Broken and poured out for us, foolish in the eyes of the world. Who would do such a thing for such rabble?
Only the Lord Jesus Christ. Only the very Son of God. The only One who could bear giving his life up and over in and with a love the likes of which the world has never known before or ever will again.
Out of the ordinary comes the extraordinary, in weakness there is strength, from despair arises hope, out of death comes life. Foolish things made wise in the hands of God whose love would go to a cross and yes die, for the very life of us.
And suddenly, it's not foolish any more...