Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Was it any surprise that folks are biblically illerate in this country and at this time? It has been a number of years in the making.
I finally got through to the website and took the quiz!! I scored 100 percent for a white mainline protestant. Good Seminary training, but most of it didn't require any Seminary training at all. Just a good college education. Just good Sunday Schooling.
The results are pretty amazing and appalling. Simple, religious questions, and people of faith should be scoring high on some of the questions.
I scored better on this than the RGBP's FunTrivia and so feel as though my education has paid off!!!!
Go over to Pew Forum and check it out!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


When I was in High School, I made new friends when I joined the Speech Team and Thespians. A few of them were, dare I say it, Lutherans! This was way back in the 1970's. Since my home church was small and had no youth group, I was invited to attend some of the Lutheran youth events. And I went because they were my friends, and because I longed to grow in my faith, and it was a whole lot of fun! They didn't seem to mind a Presbyterian in their midst.
Every year, this Lutheran youth group went on a 3 day retreat between Christmas and New Year's to Lake Geneva, WI. At the end of each retreat was a worship service that included communion. Bound together in the love and faith of Jesus Christ our Lord, we left blessed and graced. One year the Lutheran pastor asked me to bring a message for our closing communion worship service. I felt welcomed, a part of and belonged to this group of faithful believers and my friends. Never once did it seem to cross anyone's mind that perhaps, as a Presbyterian, I shouldn't be included, or I shouldn't commune with them.
Years later, I was invited to an acquaintance's ordination at his home town in Ohio. He was being ordained a Lutheran minister and by a quirk of God's design, he eventually became my husband. I went with a Presbyterian couple through whom my future husband and I met. The worship service included Holy Communion. As people in the pews went forward for communion, they handed in little cards to the usher. We had no such cards nor did we realize they were in the pews. My Presbyterian frinds and I sat there in the pew suddenly feeling that we were not invited to the Table. We were left out and excluded. I have never felt so unwelcome in my life or that the Lord's table was closed to me. I had never experienced being shut out from communing. Only after the majority of the people communed, did the pastor realize that there were visitors who weren't Lutheran, and he, then invited us, 'others' to partake. I was so hurt that I didn't go forward.
Hospitality has been defined as when strangers enter welcomed and leave feeling they have been in the company of friends.
Obviously, I experienced true hospitality at the table of the Lutheran youth group and didn't experience it at the table of my husband's ordination service.
I am thankful and grateful for our Presbyterian understanding that the Lord's table is indeed, the Lord's table, not ours, not the church's. It is the Lord who is host and invites all who believe and trust in Him to find welcome there and leave the table feeling they have been in the company of the greatest Friend and friends by faith. The table of our Lord is an open table extending hospitality to all the gathered.
As we celebrate World Communion Sunday, we are reminded that Christ our Lord welcomes us all to His table. Though our bread, language, skin color and dress differ, though we may be young or old, rich or poor, Jesus welcomes us to Him and offers Himself in love in the bread and the cup for our life and life together. What greater hospitality can we ever know or experience? What better hospitality can we offer to others than the love of Jesus our Lord, a place to belong, to be included and a part of? May we and all who step through our doors be welcomed and leave feeling that we have been in the company of friends.

Monday, September 20, 2010


In the middle of the night, when all the lights are out and all is dark, except for a bit of moonshine, it comes quickly on padded feet, so stealthly, so quiet. No one is any the wiser of its trespassing, or so it thinks.
But I have seen the evidence of this nightly visitor. A denuded tomatoe vine stripped of leaves, chomped shorter, and toothmarks on the grren tomatoes still on the vine, and then, the little brown pellets left on the ground by the patio. I know who you are! As if it weren't enough to chomp and chew, you had to leave your calling card.
Beware, Mr. Bunny, 2 rabbit dogs live in the yard where you are trespassing. And greyhounds are very fast. You have been warned. Do NOT enter our yard! Do NOT set one foot in my garden! Stay Away from my tomatoes! For I will release the hounds!!!!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

One of my favorite denominational publications, HungryHearts Newsletter,
will be published only on-line beginning with the next issue. Sigh.
Although, I do understand that it will save money and is less costly to produce, I am not ready for that yet.
First, they redesigned the website of our denomination and it is not as user friendly to find and access the information one is searching. It will take longer to log on, get to the website and then search for the newsletter. I can open up my snail mailed newsletter and begin reading, long before I access it on-line.
Furthermore, I cannot curl up on the couch with my computer, I cannot take it with me into the bathroom (I confess!), nor read it while eating breakfast, lunch or dinner at the kitchen table. This is a time, when I get quite a bit of reading done, especially while away from home.
It is truly unfortunate that we have come to this - the pleasure of reading has been greatly diminished and curtailed.
Not only is it this newsletter, eventually, Presbyterians Today, will go on-line as well as The Lutheran. Newspapers are on on-line and deprive me the pleasure of reading the paper at the breakfast table or on the couch on a Sunday afternoon.
Does anyone else hate it, when a news anchor, mentions 5 Ways to get around a detour and then says, check it out on our website?!!? Just tell us, darn it! By the time I log onto the website and wait for the page to appear with all the ads, and flashing stuff, you could've told me at least twice. It takes way too long to read a story, go back to another page and pick up another story. Besides which, there are many older viewers who don't have computers and are left wondering how they will get around that detour on the way to the doctor's office.
No, I am not a big fan of on-line reading. I spend enough time on the computer crafting the liturgy, on-line text studying, emailing, and writing the sermon, children's sermons, prayers, etc. that I desire the pleasure of reading without having to look at a screen, recharging or changing batteries, and reading whenever and wherever I am.
Call me old-fashioned, but reading on-line does not and cannot rival the pleasure of reading a hard copy. I will go into this on-line publication reading, kicking and screaming, and digging in my heels. I cannot help it. Reading is supposed to be fun and pleasurable. Something to savor, and to linger over. That simply doesn't happen on a computer, pardon me. Enough said!!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

In My Lifetime -
used a yellow plastic middle to play 45's on a 33 record spindle
used an Olivetti manual typewriter, an electric Selectric typewriter
with the ball, an electric typerwriter, a word processor and
skated on the sidewalk with metal skates adjusted to fit your
shoe with a metal "key"
roller-skated with 4 wheels not in-line
ice skated outdoors at the community park flooded field rink
camped all over the USA
used an outhouse, and a chamber pot
hiked down the Pilatus, hiked down the Rothorn once not using
a marked trail, next day using the marked trail, hiked to the
summit of the Titlis,
rode gondalas and chair gondolas, riden on cog wheel trains,
funculars, planes, trains, buses, trams, bicycles, autos, and
made campfires and s'mores
swam in the Pacific, Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, Lake Michigan,
Hallwilersee, Lake McDonald (yup, the one in Glacier National
Park) and put my legs in Lake Huron. I've touched water in many
I rode in a Desoto as a baby
I wore leggings to school in the winter
I rode a tricycle
I walked to school everyday; rain, snow, hot, cold, sunshine,
twice a day, since I went home for lunch everyday
cleaned chalk erasers
got sent home from school, once
got sent to the corner in school, once
used a cash register where you had to figure in the tax and
make change using your head - the cash register didn't tell
you how much change to give back
I wore pedal pushers
left my footprints in the orange Bay of Fundy,
watched whales, and dolphins
played a band instrument
was in a car that drove through a redwood tree
saw the Man in the Mountain in New Hampshire before it broke
watched "Family Classics" on TV along with Bozo the Clown,
Captain Kangaroo, etc.
helped butcher a cow
shot a rifle and a pistol
was in a state prison (as chaplain!)
met the killer Richard Speck, theologian Hans Kung, writer Walter
Wangerin, Jr., took 2 con ed classes with Bruce Metzger, one
with Walter Brueggemann, dined at a table next to Chevy Chase at
Chez Paul
been on top of the CN Tower, Sears Tower, John Hancock, the Prudential
building, saw the Empire State Building,
got wet from Niagara Falls, stepped on the trail of the Grand
Canyon, saw the Yukon River, drove the Top of the World Hwy,
used a rotary phone with a coiled cord
used a tape recorder, played 8 track tapes
rode on a CAT bulldozer and grader, ridden in trucks
jumped on a trampoline
played with yo-yo's, jump ropes, a Lionel electric train, a chinese
jumprope, an Easy Bake Oven, Lincoln Logs, Tinker Toys, and Barbie dolls
planted flowers and vegetables
peeled potatoes at the homeless shelter - more than I could ever
ridden the El
ate Gino's East pizza
washed and waxed the family's car with paste wax that had
to set and then be wiped off
used a hammer, screwdriver, staple gun and pickaxe (to be continued)
There is more to come, as I reflect on my life thus far.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

While on vacation, one evening after dinner, my niece brought up having a B52 and my BIL made me one. It was a tasty combination of Bailey's Irish Cream, Kahula, and Grand Marnier. Which got me to thinking...that it would taste even better with Amarula.
So, at home, I've had a Flying Elephant - Amarula, Kahula and Grand Marnier. Even better than a B52.
If B52's are about flying, and Elephants love the amarula fruit, then I must be drinking a Flying Elephant!!!!
Try it and you'll enjoy it too.
All Creatures Great and Small -

Great energy is bubbling up as we begin a new Sunday School/ Church Program year where I am serving as an interim. A computer lab is in the works and the mission committee is challenging the whole congregation to open their Bibles, find a Bible verse with an animal mentioned, memorize it, tell it to a mission committee member, write the book, chapter and verse on an animal shape to put on the back sanctuary wall and $1.00 gets donated for each verse to the Heifer Project. We'll have to wait until Thanksgiving to see what kind of animal we will be able to purchase. Animal shapes have been cut out and ready to be plastered to the glass wall, Sunday school materials are all geared to Heifer project, and everytime I open the Bible I am running across some verse mentioning an animal. Animals get mentioned a lot in the Psalms!!!
It's a great way to start a new year and combine learning with a mission project, and get folks, young and old, to crack open their Bibles!!!
Whether the creature we are able to buy is large or small, it will be a great creature that will help a family or community.

Saturday, September 04, 2010


A wave along the Lake Michigan shoreline.
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Lake Michigan along the beach!
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Who wouldn't want to stay a few more days?!!?
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Back from the Beach and wishing we could've stayed a couple more days!!
With my niece also with us for the weekend, it was busy! There were 5 people and 3 dogs! Lake Michigan was a bit too chilly to swim in, but I did get my legs wet and enjoyed the walks along the beach.
We managed to get in the annual croquet games and it mattered not whether I started first or last, I came in last anyway!
LH and I visited our usual spots and enjoyed them.
Vacations always seem to go by so quickly. I didn't get a chance to write, but I did manage to finish: Life Among the Lutherans by Garrison Keillor, and the Double Comfort Safari Club by Alexandar McCall Smith, the latest installment of the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency. I have since begun the Elegance of the Hedgehog by Barbery - a more erudite novel than most.
There was a quick visit to the Talbot's Outlet Store with a couple finds. The trousers will involve some significant shortening.
It was fantastic to use our transponder for the Tollways for the first time! We just zipped right through the Tri-State and for half the price. I didn't even need to save up change for all the tolls around Chicago. Just zipped right on thru in the left lanes and no more dangerous weaving from left lanes to right lanes and back again at least 4 times. No more picking up tickets in OH or IN!!! Simple, easy, and time-saving. I picked up some extra plastic velcro to use on my van's windshield, in the event, I go by myself sometime.
Upon our return, it's been the usual, bail the dogs out from the boarder's, laundry, grocery shopping, laundry, unpacking, laundry, and with the gift from niece of a 4 pound zucchini, shredding it, freezing it and making some delicious zucchini patties for dinner. A mess, but well worth it. I got to use my food processor and shredder attachment that haven't been used in used in ages.
Nearly 23 years ago, the church staff where LH was serving as an AP, gave us an Oster Kitchen Center for a wedding gift. It has been one of the best wedding gifts I ever received. It is a mixer with 2 sized bowls, beaters and dough hooks. You can take the mixer off the motor unit, and add on the blender, or the food processor, or the shredder slicer unit. All fits on the same motor base and you don't have to have multiple appliances that take up more room in the cabinets. You just have the smaller pieces that fit on the one base. It makes all the sense in the world, except for appliance makers that want to sell the whole unit and make more money. I wish they still made it. I have made all kinds of dough, bread, cake, and cookies, blended my turkey stock, shredded veges, made nut meal, etc. All with the one power unit. Isn't it just frustrating when a good product is made and then they stop making it? It happens far too often and more's the pity.
Slowly, I'm getting back into the routine of daily life. Tonight, I head back to the apartment and tomorrow is a full morning with a baptism and communion. At least, I'll be home again and have Monday off and a short week. Not a bad re-entry.