Saturday, July 31, 2010

Friday, July 30, 2010


And so I ask you to please name five things you like about where you are living now... and as your bonus - 1 thing you don't like.

1. I love that our backyard abuts the meadow where there will be no
buildings of any kind. We can watch the storm clouds roll in from the
west and see the beautiful colors of the sunsets, as well as the meadow
magically light up on summer nights with the twinkling glow of fireflies.
We enjoy the red-winged blackbirds, meadowlarks, swallows, bluebirds, the
groundhog that lives in the meadow, the toads and the butterflies.

2. I like that is is a quiet neighborhood where most get along with one
another and to watch the kids out playing.

3. I like that we are just 50 minutes away from the city on the North
Coast and the airport, art museum, and Trader Joe's.

4. I like that the greys, my boys, have a decent backyard in which to
run a lap or two.

5. I like my garden with tomatoes and herbs and my perenial flower bed in
the front where something is always green or blooming, except in
winter when snow covers everything. But the inkberry stays green! I
also like that the perenial flower bed is a profusion of color through
fall and unlike the other neighbors boring, variation-on-the-same-
theme bushes and shrubs that are near maintenance free.

BONUS: I don't like that it isn't a one level house and that it's so far
from my sister! Oh, and it could have a bigger laundry room - we
had to shoe horn in the washer and dryer, and a bit bigger great
room. A kitchen with an island and double ovens would be fantastic,
but I am happy with what we have.
Oh, did I mention - no real pizza, still missing Gino's East and
Eduardo's stuffed spinach pizza.
And there could be more culinary variety - like a good Greek
restaurant, and not just Mexican, (not a fan) and bland Amish cookin'.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Today, I get to go home! Nothing better in all the world than being home,
home in your own surroundings, home with your loved ones, home in your own bed.
Although I am going home today and it will be good, I still am not home with God. That yet eludes me. I used to be home with God, until this dark night crept in and took over and now I wander the darkness seeking that home with God. There haven't even been far off lights in the windows of my home with God to beckon me and lead me closer. Just darkness in which I am shrouded and the Great Silence to whom I pray. How much longer will this continue, I have no idea. But the longing to be home with God is as strong as ever. And the knowing of the home I have had with God will keep me looking, seeking, searching until I find it once again, even if it takes the rest of my days on earth. I pray that this dark night will not last that long, but when I hear of others, who may I, that I should be spared months and years of a dark night? God knows the time and God knows me. So, I just go on trust and belief. Help my unbelief, O Great Silence.
In the meanwhile, I do get a homegoing that soothes my anguished spirit. And it is enough for now.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Greyhound News:
I was going to wait until I could post a picture, but not being home much and a busy weekend, it just didn't happen. Hopefully, I'll get it posted over the next weekend.
Jett is wearing 2 doggie inflatable donuts around his neck and looks like he's ready to go boating!!!
Poor, poor fella!
When we picked him up from being boarded, he had a slight scratch on his left front elbow. We watched it and tried to keep him from licking it. It got worse (from his licking, of course!) We tried to put the plastic bucket collar on him and he simply freaked and got it off by whacking it. The sore got worse.
We took him to the emergency vet (because LH waited too long) and Jett was put on 7 days of antibiotic, and that's when we got the donuts.
Now a greyhound has a unique physique! So the medium donut fit around the neck but, Jett figured how to just reach his sore. Jett could slip out of the large donut, but LH went and got the large one. Now, the large donut is around Jett's neck by his chest and the medium one is behind his ears. Thankfully, Greys have long necks to accomodate both and it works!!!!
Jett just looks pathetic and is always playing for sympathy.
The wound got a bit better but still bled a bit - drops all over the carpet and dog bed. As most dogs and especially greys, Jett uses his elbow tto lay down and to get back up, which aggravates and rubs the sore.
LH had to take Jett to the Vet yesterday and they tested the blood finding bacteria - so still an infection and more antibiotics, but no signs of cancer!!!
LH made a quick run to the store to pick up a couple more cans of Vienna Sausage - the only thing that seems to work for getting Jett to take his antibiotics. We have been through Liversausage, Peanut Butter, KauKauna cheese and even those Pill Pockets, which we had to cut in half to use. I hope he doesn't grow tired/suspicious of the Vienna Sausage otherwise we will be at wit's end.
I'm hoping this sore will start clearing up soon so that Jett can live without his air donuts, especially when the weather's been so hot. He's such an elegant, refined fella and these past 6 weeks have been a pain for us all, but none moreso than Jett.

Monday, July 26, 2010


The dark night of my soul continues. It's been a year already. I shouldn't complain as Mother Theresa's lasted decades.
LH's profile was submitted to a church in the same town where I am presently serving. It is a small town, tucked away, but within a half hour of the region's shopping mecca and 2 hospitals. I had checked out housing on the web and was not impressed with the few choices. But, I figured we could do some upgrades if need be.
I was somewhat despairing on my drive on Friday, even tearful. A whole year of trying, of waiting, of being in limbo and nothing working out.
After I walked in the door, changed clothes, made dinner and we were eating, LH mentions that he got a call and his name is no longer being considered because the church changed their profile and the profiles no longer match.
I was disappointed that yet another position was not working out but there was also a lightness in my soul, as though a burden had been lifted. Obviously, God's future for us does not include us living here. But where God and when? The question clings to the air like last night's fish and cabbage dinner!
The routine still doesn't sit well with me being gone from home most of the week. I miss my boys. I miss making dinner at home. I miss the dishwasher, the airconditioning, pulling weeds in the evening, our couch, the company of LH. Least you think these are mere creature comforts, I miss my spirit, the lovedness, the joy, the humor, of my relationship with God, the Great Silence.
I feel cast off from God's presence and as though God's spirit has been taken from me. That is really the hardest of all to deal with. I wander through my days, weeks, and the world, out of sync, a lost soul, ever seeking, searching, pleading, praying to the Great Silence.
The silence is deafening. Yet, I trudge on, plugging away, praying still, and doing my best. It's all I can do for now, for today.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Saw this MEME at Life's A Beach and thought I'd try it out.

99 Things About Me (Everything that I have accomplished is starred *)

*1. Started your own blog
*2. Slept under the stars
*3. Played in a band - concert band
4. Visited Hawaii
*5. Watched a meteor shower
*6. Given more than you can afford to charity.
*7. Been to DisneyWorld
*8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis- watched one in my garden, I don't touch bugs!
*10. Sang a solo - a advertising ditty - Mmmm, Mmmm, good, that's what
Lenten soup suppers are, Mmm, mmm, good! Nobody really wants to hear
me sing!
11. Bungee jumped - but why?
12. Visited Paris
*13. Watched a lightning storm
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
*16. Had food poisoning - in college during finals week
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
*18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
*20. Slept on an overnight train - Frankfurt to Basel
*21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch-hiked
- absolutely not!

*23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill - guilty, mental health day
*24. Built a snow fort - and an igloo
25. Held a lamb
- seen them, touched them

26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a marathon - not for me
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice - perhaps some day

*29. Seen a total eclipse
*30. Watched a sunrise or sunset

31. Hit a home run - I am not coordinated enough!
*32. Been on a cruise - just not RGBP's one
*33. Seen Niagara Falls in person - more than once

*34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors - just was there again in June
*35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
*37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied - except for this year
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing - not for me
*40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke - again, why subject folks to my awful singing?
*42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
*43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant - well, fast food
*44. Visited Africa - will stay with me forever

*45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
*46. Been transported in an ambulance - don't recommend it
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing

50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris - how about top of CN
Tower in Toronto, or the formerly Sears Tower & John Hancock in
Chicago, don't they count?
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
- maybe some day

52. Kissed in the rain

*53. Played in the mud 

*54. Gone to a drive-in theater
*55. Been in a movie - I'm thinking home movies
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
*57. Started a business - didn't last long enough
*58. Taken a martial arts class - required for prison work
59. Visited Russia - would be neat some day
*60. Served at a soup kitchen - never peeled so many potatoes in my life

*61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
*62. Gone whale watching- off Cape Cod, gray whale in Port Renfrew VI

*63. Got flowers for no reason - does getting them for myself, count?
*64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving - not on your life!
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp - not sure that I can
*67. Bounced a check - only once
68. Flown in a helicopter

*69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
- my doll Lena from Greece from my now
deceased Aunt in 1965

*70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial - and Jefferson
*71. Eaten Caviar - just because I ate it doesn't mean I like it
*72. Pieced a quilt
- just for a small hanging made of joined squares

73. Stood in Times Square
 - been to NYC

*74. Toured the Everglades - been to the Everglades, didn't tour though
*75. Been fired from a job
- reluctantly resigned

76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London - been to England just not
77. Broken a bone
- thankfully not, tore the quad muscle off my knee though

78. Been a passenger on a motorcycle - probably won't ever catch me on one
*79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book -does a poem and essay count?
81. Visited the Vatican - been to Geneva & Zurich/John Calvin & Zwingli's
*82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
*84. Had your picture in the newspaper - hometown, in OH, and in Switzerland
85. Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year’s Eve

*86. Visited the White House
*87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
- just skinned the cow

*88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury

- been called to serve 3 times, but never ended up
*91. Met someone famous
- do Hans Kueng & Walter Wangerin, Jr. count?

92. Joined a book club
- maybe some day

93. Got a tattoo - never
94. Had a baby - unfortunately not
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake - have swum in Lake McDonald in Glacier
National Park though, also the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf of Mexico
97. Been involved in a law suit
*98. Owned a cell phone

99. Been stung by a bee - thankfully not!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

were going around in my head, as I just said "NO, NO, NO!" I mistakenly hit a button with the side of my palm and poof! the prayers of the people I'd been working on disappeared in a flash and I was looking at a blank page on my screen. I just about had the prayer done too. It was worded just as I wanted it to be. I had crafted it just so. I am furious. I hate this keyboard. It has happened before. How infuriating!!
Makes me wonder why our real mistakes and failures don't just disappear and vanish so easily as the good stuff. I know, there are lessons that need to be learned, wisdom gained, forgiveness received, etc. But, it would be nice if they just instanteously disappeared as they ocurr. That is wishful thinking.
So, now its back to Word and a new blank page to start all over again. I think I'll tackle it after lunch and let the churning of the frustation settle into gentle waves until I let it go into the ocean of oblivion where it no longer matters any more.
Wish I could have really said the words you can't say in church!

Monday, July 19, 2010

I stumbled up RGBPs 4 years ago and found such wisdom, insight, fun, and delight, that I started in too, just because in leaving a comment, I got tired of being anonymous and wanted to have an identity!
You all have been such an inspiration and have fed and nourished my soul and spirit. What a joy this community is!
After 4 years, I am still am trying to figure out how to do things on the blog. Eventually, I hope to figure out how to capture the button!!!
Anyway, hope we'll all be around for many more years.
And to those whose blogs we miss - come back and share with us. We miss you. We pray that you are well. Know that there's always a welcome for you.
It's good to belong! What a grace you all are!

Friday, July 16, 2010


Here's Jazz - the lively, kinda redneck Brindle.
Posted by Picasa
Posted by Picasa

Here's our good-lookin', refined, elegant Jett!

1. Did you grow up with pets?
We had a fox terrier mix named Rex who loved to go camping with us
and travelled all over the states. He was a good family dog.

2. Do you have any pets now?
Two greyhounds - Jett and Jazz. A couple of toads who live in the
garden - Tetley and Terra II, a humingbird couple who visit our bee
balm and feeder - Hummer and Mazda, and several gold finches who eat
at our thistle feeder - members of the Goldfarbs- Harvey and Sheila.

3. What is the funniest or worst thing any of your pets have ever done?
Baruch, the Beagle, many years ago, had something in his mouth which
he brought into the house one Mother's Day, while I was getting
breakfast ready before leaving for church. I coaxed him out from under
the piano and lo, and behold, he had a dead bird in his mouth!! "Happy
Mother's Day and look what I got you!!" he seemed to think. Shudder.
It was all I could do to get him to take it back outside and drop it.
He buried it and noticed I was watching him and promptly dug it back
up and wanted to bring it back in. Eventually, he dropped outside the
back door and LH had to dispose of it.
Jazz likes to eat dried poop - whether it's his own of Jett's, I don't
know. That's just plain nasty!

4. Who is/was your favorite pet?
That would be Earl, our very first greyhound. He was my soulmate. He
was all mine. We volunteered at the Children's Hospital for 4 years
until he turned 11 and it got to be too much to stand for 2 hours.
Earl would spoon next to me in bed and knew exactly when I feel asleep
and then would get off the bed and sleep on the couch. In his old age,
we eventually, had to get him to get off the bed. Try sleeping in a
queen size bed with your spouse and a large greyhound who took up as
much space as a person!

5. How did you train your different pets?
The Beagle went to puppy class for 6 weeks and it cost $35.00, in
those days. He learned to sit. That was about it. He hardly came when
he was called - ever with his nose to the ground, except when there
was food involved. The greys were fairly easy. We just let them out
several times and they picked up that they go potty outside. Usually,
they all had one accident of both kinds, but then that was it.
With Jazz, who liked to rip up magazines and catalogues off the coffee
table, we crated him, once when we left the house. The next time we
crated him, he bent several wires of his cage and never went back in
again. He's gotten so he hasn't touched a catalogue in months -
nothing in it for him to order!!

BONUS: Picture of a pet or one you wish you could have.
Since, I'm having trouble being able to post a picture, go to
my June 25, 2010 post and you'll see both my greys!

Thursday, July 15, 2010


It'll be a hot one today, 90+ degrees. Yuck! It's steamy, muggy and the air is thick. The van heats up to 150 degrees in the sun. Ok, a slight exaggeration! But it gets really hot sitting in the full sun.
I get to go home for dinner and days off tonight. Thanks be to God!
Looks like next week will be a long, hot one. Probably, salmon salad and crackers for dinner for the week!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


This region of OH is in mourning. And yes, anger is a part of it. One betrayal was bad enough. But this latest one, not only hurts and saddens, there is anger at treatment and the flamboyant, egotistical way the news was to be broadcast.
LeBron James has left the Cavaliers. Turned his back on his hometown and went off to be with his friends, shutting out his loyal and dedicated fans.
I cannot blame Gilbert for his letter and words. He expressed what he knew Northeast OH was feeling. And for this he gets fined! Of course, I think it was rather bold talk! Maybe the Cleveland Curse will indeed follow King James. Let him be King somewhere else where he is just one of several stars and no longer feted as the hometown boy made good.
Great Lakes Brewing Company is making a new brew called "Quitness". I hope it doesn't leave as bitter a taste in one's mouth as this latest sports upheaval and betrayal.
First The Browns are taken away, by he who shall remain nameless. And now this, the Cavaliers left bereft and the fans as well.
Oh woe, to those whose religion is sports and who put their trust in teams and who worship the idols of the game. You will be disappointed. You will lament. There will be weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth. You will never be satisfied for it is just a game, a mere game. Get over it and get on! There is so much more to life than the antics of sports, sports figures, and teams. Put your trust in that which will never disappoint and will always satisfy, the Lord our God. He's the team for which you should have such loyalty and root for.
Cleveland will come back again. Cleveland will get knocked down again. And the coach will get fired. And all the good players will get traded or leave. And the whole cycle will begin all over again. Welcome to Northeast OH and their sports team.
For now, mourn. Then move on. There is a whole world out there far bigger, better and greater than sports. Rejoin the Land of the Living and find true meaning that goes beyond the world of sports. God'll meet you there and will wipe away every tear from eyes.

Edward Hays notes that when the French stormed the Bastille in Paris, there were only seven prisoners in it and a couple of them were "mad" and kept there for their own and society's safety.
It was on this day 27 years ago, that I was on an alp in the Graubuenden region of Switzerland with a church work camp. We, adults, slept on hay in a barn, while the youth slept in tents, the latrine was next to the pigsty!
The week-long project was to finish laying the water line from a glacier down the alp to a couple of old bath tubs which would serve as drinking troughs for the cows as they spent the summer on the alp. It was an hour's hike from our camp to the worksite!!! (and of course, an hour's hike back after a day of manual labor with every muscle aching!!)
As I recall, it got rather chilly at night and one lay person had a little flask of Kirsch, which each adult was able to have a sip to feel "wonderfully warmed" before slipping into the sleeping bag.
There was a man who stayed in alp hut all summer milking and making cheese. The son of the owner of the cows spent weeks up there as well, leading the cows to the free range pastures and herding back in the evening. He had a short wave radio so that he could radio down to the town where the family home was.
It was near the end of the week, on a lovely, beautiful morning when the pastor told me that there had been a call for me. The farmer's son had radioed down to home earlier that morning and had a message for me. It had come from my grandma in another canton in Switzerland who called the farmer. Grandma, likewise had received a long distance call from Chicago from her daughter (my Mom) with the news: I am the Aunt to a new born nephew!!!! I celebrated with an extra sip of kirsch after dinner and with bit in my evening coffee!!!
So the news originated in the hospital with a call to my parents, then travelled across the ocean to my Grandma in a little town who called the farmer in an even smaller, remote town in the eastern alps, who radioed the news via short wave radio up the alp. Such good news had a long way to travel and I was last in the family to hear about it, but hear about it I did. Happy Birthday C! The news of your birth travelled halfway around the world and up an alp!!!
And here you are, 27 years later, a professional, married and now a home owner. All growed up!!! And a fine man, to boot. Happy fly fishing and soon, snowboarding!!!
Love ya, so much! Your proud Aunt!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


It arrived yesterday morning and was put in with care - it's my new windshield!!!!
Wow, how nice to drive without any nicks or a crack across the driver's side. Today, I get to take the tape off and hope it'll be good without any leaks.
A small thing in the big picture of the world and life, but nice nonetheless!

Friday, July 09, 2010

Forgetful RGBP'S Friday Five:

a) What's the last thing you forgot?
To call the church secretary to remind her to put little slips of paper
into the bulletins for Sunday. Folks are to write down their favorite
hymn to be compiled for our upcoming hymnsing. Duh!
e) How do you keep track of appointments?
My desk calendar and small pocket calendar in my purse. Works for me.
i) Do you keep a running grocery list?
I do. Have to remind LH to put things on the list as he or I think of
o) When forced to improvise by circumstances, do you enjoy it or panic?
Panic, usually. I'm not much for extemporaneous speaking or
improvising. Althoug, sometimes, my off the cuff remarks, sometimes
during worship service have gone rather well. First, I panic. Then I
try to come up with something.

u) What's a memory you hope you will never forget?
Oh, there's so many of them, it's hard to latch upon just one.
Whenever I have loved and been loved and known its glow, whether
with LH, my family, with parishioners, strangers, in ministry and
outside of ministry. It's so wondrously spacious, gracious, light-
filled and emanating, and fills you to overflowing. Beautiful,
awesome, nothing can ever compare to the Love that is so beyond
yourself and is Christ's within you.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

It has come to light, that apparently there are pastors who don't take their vacation. I know I have complained at the prep work to put the services together while I'm gone and the one upon my return. And it seems like I'm forever putting worship services together. (O, fortunate, Lutherans and Episcopalians, who use a liturgy where some parts are the same from week to week!) However, I know, I am not indispensable, yes, it is a lot of extra work, and yes, there is catching up when one returns, and yes, the possiblity always exists that someone might die or some crisis may ocurr while you are absent and cannot return, nor return in time.
Perhaps, you are much better pastors than I.
But I know myself, and know the healing, recharging, fresh perspective, new eyes and heart and spirit that time away can bring and gives. Even our Lord stepped back and took time apart. What makes us, pastors, think we don't need to or have to or can't take time to?
"Every now and then, go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer, since to remain constantly at work will cause you to lose power of judgment...God some distance away because then the work appears smaller, and more of it can be taken in at a glance, and lack of harmony or proportion is more readily seen."
Wise words of Leonardo da Vinci! He was far from being a slacker and knew the value, wisdom, gift and grace which comes from some time away, a time apart. I know this to be true. I come back in a better place with better perspective. I have experienced new things, a different landscape and rhythm to my day or week. And it refreshes, renews, recharges me. And I return ready to meet the challenges and take up that which I put down for just a time.
I pray that my colleagues would listen to these words of Da Vinci and take for their example, Christ, himself. Take a break. Go away even if just for a week or ten days. Allow yourself to set down the responsibilities we take so earnestly and shoulder with so much devotion. Do your congregation and yourself a big favor and take your vacation. RELAX. Rest in the Lord your God. Do something fun, something you've wanted to do. Spend time with your family, your kids, who need you, your spouse who misses you.
If Leonard Da Vinci could find time to do it amid all he did, and saw and experienced the value of it, surely you can too.
Savor some time away, apart. Savor resting with God.
I'm actually kinda caught up for this week, already!!!
That rarely happens. Usually, there's still a long list of things to do or to begin tackling. Trying to space my visits out so that I will have a couple to do next week.
Since it's so hot today, I'll be making a nursing home visit. You can usually enjoy their air conditioning!!!
I've visited parishioners who don't have a/c on warm days and really got hot. So, I've tried to make visits this week where I know there's a/c, except for yesterday but they live in the woods and had ceiling fans and I survived without too much discomfort.
The secretary here is wearing long pants and a 3/4 length sleeve knit shirt. I'm wearing a neutral printed cotton skirt, white linen short=-sleeved shirt and black sandals. It's going to be like 95 today. I would be sweating away in a shirt with longer sleeves. The vehicles in the parking lot heat up to well over 100 degrees.
Maybe its a psychological thing. Wear long sleeves and it makes you think its cooler than it is!!!! Nope, won't work for me. Anything over 85 is just too hot for me.
In the meanwhile, I'm counting the hours 'til the cool front arrives, tomorrow!!!!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

The parking lot at the church has no trees around it and gets plenty of direct sun. When I went out to the van for lunch, that 4 inch crack had grown to 4 times its length, thanks to the heat of the sun.
I am now driving with a silvery line just below my line of vision. It is disturbing. Thankfully, it will be replaced. Unfortunately, not until Monday morning at the earliest. Let's hope the next 3 commutes I make will be without mishap or another pebble hitting that may make worse even worser!
So there I was driving on the interstate for my hour-long commute to the church this morning, when a car pulls ahead of me into my lane. (I am usually in the far left lane, which normally moves a little faster.) When that all too familiar sound strikes, of a rock hitting my windshield. Only this time I don't see the round spot just a 4 inch horizontal blue line from the edge of the window towards the center, midway in the windshield on the driver's side. Had it been an inch or so more over to the left, it would've missed me completely. Looks like there will be a new windshield in my future. I have had more rocks and pebbles hit the windshield of this van than any other van or car I've owned. I know I'm driving quite a bit (more this week, because it is so hot and it is cooler at home than the apartment with its tiny a/c.) But I used to (22 years ago!) drive 400 miles, from central OH to central IL, every other weekend for a year, on interstate and highway behind trucks, semi's, and farm equipment, and never once had anything hit and damage my windshield. Is there more stuff on the roadways now or what?
I never saw anything, just the wack of some small rock or large pebble hitting the windshield.
My insurance agent is just gonna love me!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

There was a time...
when I would've been thrilled about GA and all its proceedings. But that was years ago, before all the battles that have worn me down and have sucked the energy from our denomination.
Caterpillar is not the demon. The demon is ruptured relationships that have been ruptured for centuries. But we need a tangible devil and because corporate America is always suspect - therefore, Caterpillar.
I doubt our denomination would be spending all this time and energy on Cat if the bulldozers in question, would have been Komatsu.
For the last twenty years, we've been hashing around the ordination/marriage issue. Look around and see denominations torn apart by this issue. (Episcopalians and Lutherans)Churches have left their denomination and striking out on their own loosely connected networks.
There are two salient points regarding this issue - 1. Benefits - GLT persons are desiring health care benefits with their partners - like married couples. So, it is about money.
2. Acceptance - that their way of life is acceptable in the eyes of the world and the church, regardless of what Scripture says.
I am tired of being backed into a corner by those driving their own agenda and not caring about the whole church.
At this point, I think I no longer care. It will come to be one day, and I will no longer fight it. I trust God's forgiveness in this. I am tired of the energy drain, of the fighting, of being made to feel wrong, of reinterpreting Scripture to say what we want it to say and not what is does say. I am tired.
I just know, that our denomination will tear apart as have the other two and that saddens me greatly. We can do more and witness better to the love of Christ our Lord together than we can do apart and divided. But then, we have a long history of division. It seems almost inevitable.
So, go on then with your bickering, and changing the BOO one word at a time, one line at a time. My prayers are for a united, vital, loving, faithful, enthusiastic church of Jesus Christ with a Reformed theology and heritage and tradition.
I pray for our churches that are languishing, and trying to find their way into and through the 21st century and struggling to be faithful in new ways while still being Presbyterian.
I hope that you will pray for us all as well.

Monday, July 05, 2010


View from Zwingli's house!!! Pretty impressive view although in Zwingli's time, the modern house would not have been there! Just a lovely region.
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The humble, primitive, work intensive kitchen in Zwingli's house. I can't even imagine having to cook this way!!
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The living room of Zwingli's house complete with set of 4 Bibles. The Bible all the way on the left is the oldest one and Zwingli's translation. It was published in 1565 and printed on the press. Note that the ceilings and floors are all original.
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Close up of a window at Zwingli's house.
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A bedroom and bed in Zwingli's house.
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While in Switzerland, we took a break from visiting relatives to enjoy a day and a drive to Wildhaus, to see Zwingli's birthplace and home. It was well worth a visit. It's been something I've wanted to do for a long time and we finally had a free day to do the easy drive. The house is original as are the floors and ceiling and most of it. The windows were replaced over time and I believe the study desk is from the 1700-1800's.
I had heard the name of Zwingli since I was knee-high to a grasshopper! Since he was the Reformer from Zurich, he was closer than Calvin in Geneva to my family's hometown. Ulrich Zwingli, was Luther's contemporary and even though they met, they never could agree on the theology of the Lord's Supper. I often think that Zwingli was overshadowed by Luther, and then by Calvin. But Zwingli was never excommunicated by the Pope and actually was given quite a bit of latitude by the church and government powers that were. And even though, he said, "Let them eat sausage", on Good Friday, he, himself did not partake. He knew that what goes into our mouths was not as important as to what comes out of our mouths!
Zwingli was a bit extreme in throwing out organs from churches, as well as statues, icons, and colored stained glass windows, preferring the simplicity of the round coke-bottle bottom windows, and keeping one's focus on the word of God, which he translated into German called the Zwingli Bible. We were able to look at a Zwingli Bible from 1565 which although no longer hand scribed was printed on a Gutenberg press. It was a holy thing, to view a Bible he translated and which was used in the years following his death and the Reformation. I have the modern version which is considerably smaller and easier to carry around!!!!
To think that I walked the warped, worn wood plank floors and steps that he did as a child was a most wondrous and awe-inspiring thing. I felt the same way when I stood at the door of the Grossmuenster in Zurich. However, knowing the floor and steps were original made it even more awesome.
It is a small house with low ceilings, the better to keep the heat in, and it was somewhat dark. The roof had stones on it, which is typical for the area and times. 500 + years after he lived, I, a Presbyterian pastor of Swiss ancestory, was able to visit his birthplace and know from where my roots and to feel a connection that spans the centuries.
I'll post a few more pictures.
If you ever have a chance - go and see it. It lies in the beautiful Toggenburg region of Switzerland. And although, it was overcast when we were there, perhaps, you'll have better weather and see the Eastern mountains, and enjoy the music of cowbells clanging as the cows graze on the alps in the summertime. Could there ever be lovelier music to one's ears as that which the cows compose new each day?
The Toggenburg region is also home to Simon Ammann, the Gold medalist in Olympic Ski Jumping.
Be sure and head to the Saantis and enjoy the mountain and views. Gondolas are running in the summer and it is a wonderful alpine hiking area. In the winter, Wildhaus has a Ski and Snowboard School.
Enjoy the other pictures from Zwingli's birth house!
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Thursday, July 01, 2010

Today, my Dad would've turned 86! Hard to believe he's been gone from my sight for 10 years. I still miss him. I wish you could've been with us for these past ten years, but then perhaps, it was a grace that he did not have to live through these times right now, with a decimated investment portfolio, house of lesser value, the terrorism, economic crisis (course he grew up in the depression), lack of integrity and morality that abounds in business, society, government, the Gulf Oil crisis; and damage and wastefulness, lack of foreplanning and disaster preparedness and last, but not least, LH and I's very tenuous life. It would've siphoned his spirit the way my mom's death did.
So, better he left us when all was well and good and he had peace.
But, there are many times when I would love to ask him a question or listen to his wisdom, and know the security of his being there, and have him around to fix a thing or two or even paint!!!
Dad always said there would come a time again like these present times - of unemployment, loss of income, hard times. And that we would be grateful to have a potato on our plates. Dad was perhaps more right than even he imagined. Mostly, it was an injunction to save every penny, to make do with things, to not replace something that could be fixed, to not live beyond one's means. Values, lessons, wisdom, I still live by today. Although, I admit, I am alittle more loose in making purchases than he was, but never too overboard. Lessons, values and wisdom, that too many in my generation have not heeded and indulged in excesses beyond their means - clothing, shoes, houses, cars, entertainment, etc.. They have carried credit card debt to the point of never in their lifetime having the ability to pay it off or paying hundreds or thousands of dollars more than the item's actual value and cost. We have lived in an age of indulgence and now we are paying the price. We have lived with greed and cheating, lying, and do whatever makes you feel good, and look where it has gotten us. Jobs lost, banks not lending to help businesses to grow, houses in foreclosure, people without health insurance or liveable wages.
I, sometimes, chafed at how hard, disciplined, and penny-pinching my Dad was, but now, I realize the truth he knew, had experienced and lived.
I give thanks to God, for my Dad and for all his goodness, integrity, moral fiber, and his wisdom. Mostly, I'm thankful he loved us and was a Dad we could always look up to, respect, and hold dear to us for the rest of our lives.
And in my heart, Dad is still with me. Happy 86th Birthday!