Monday, January 31, 2011

RGBP'S Fave Verses Friday Five:

For today's Friday Five, list your five favorite passages/verses from the Bible and tell us something about why you love them.

1. He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8)
Had to translate this passage from the Hebrew and contains such a wonderful image of faith, of what God wants, desires, expects of me.

2. Isaiah 35:3, & 8:
After my knee operation, I like that God will make firm my feeble
knees and will build a highway for God's people where not even fools
shall go astray. I find great comfort that I, as a fool, and foolish
though I am, will not go astray.

3. Psalm 149:5 "Let the faithful exult in glory; let them sing for joy
on their couches."
Mmmm...I can love and praise God even from the comfort of my couch!

4. Matt. 22:37-39:
It really doesn't get much simpler than that. That's all I need to
do with my life - Love God with all my being and love my neighbor
as myself. It's also one of the hardest things to do. Therein lies
both the blessing and the challenge.

5. Matt. 28: 20 "And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the
That whether I feel Christ's presence or not, he indeed is with
me to the end. As I am nearing the end of my 51st year and will
be greeting my 52nd birthday, it's nice to know that as one age
ends and another begins, yet Christ is there! Well, that's for
fun! The great comfort is knowing Christ is with us until the
end of time. Always, ever. It's a promise that Christ keeps.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Another week, another funeral, another sermon, and since it's the end of the month, another newsletter article, and another week short of a day off.
Sigh. I am funeraled out. Just two this month. But trying to figure out what to say that I haven't already said or finding yet another way to say it. I am tired and weary.
I will be sore as I had to get a couple moles removed and one in a tender spot.
Maybe, I should call it a day and begin anew and afresh in God's mercy and grace tomorrow.
Sounds like a plan to me!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Ever Notice -
that once your car has been in an accident and repaired, it's just not the
same it was before? Maybe the differences are really noticeable or more
perhaps, more subtle. But, somehow you sense, see, feel, it is just not
as it was before.
when you have your computer cleaned and you have to re-enter short-
cuts, favorite places and a whole of host of other things, and it
is different than it was before.
after some surgeries, although you are better and good to go, you
may not be back to "normal" and you are or feel different. Then you
begin a new normal.
I wonder how different I will be, what my new normal will be like after this dark night ends. I do not know. But I do know that I can trust God and however, this may unfold, God will be there as always and will guide me. As silent as God now is, I know God is still there and holding me in God's care. May the light of Epiphany illumine my way and be the tiny glow in the deep dark.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


So tell us what you're reading, what you would and would not recommend--five books or authors! And if you don't want to do that freestyle, here are some questions:

1. What books have you recently read? Tell us your opinion of them.
Gunilla Norris' The Mystical Garden. Lovely little book that looks at
gardening and compares it to the garden of our soul. Still in process
of reading The Elegance of the Hedgehog.

2. What books are awaiting your available time to be read?
Paradoxology by Miriam Therese Winter, Fields of Compassion by Judy Cannato, Roots and Wings by Margaret Silf

3. Have any books been recently recommended?
Nope, just the ones that have caught my interest.

4. What genre of books are your favorite, along with some titles and/or authors you like best?
I really liked Jan Karon's The Mitford Series. I have enjoyed and
am awaiting the next installment of the Ladies No. 1 Detective Agency
series by Alexander McCall Smith. I enjoy novels that aren't
depressing (to balance the tragedy we deal with in ministry) and are
uplifting and easy reads, since I read much ministry related items.
5. What have you read lately that you have a strong urge to recommend? (or to condemn?)
See above. Plus, Living with Purpose in A Worn-Out Body by Missy
Buchanon,a devotional for older folks.
Thankfully, there was no fire at the church. The men, who were renovating the women's restroom downstairs, were power-sawing trim (door frame, chair rails and new windowsill) and the dust caused the fire alarm to go off.
We had to call the Fire Department to cancel the call and the secretary looked up the code to the fire alarm box. The noisey alarm was annoying, but we were grateful that it was merely the wood dust and not a fire.
It was so cold yesterday (today and tomorrow as well) that the funeral home cancelled going to the cemetery for the committal which I did in the funeral home. The luncheon had to be served sooner at the church but it all came together beautifully. The luncheon was planned for 60 and there were only about 30. I am sure the cold weather and 4-5 inches of snowfall the day and night before, kept some folks away.
All's well that ends well.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Right here, preparing for yet another funeral, annual report, annual congregational prayers and remarks and being without a computer for two days. Yes, it had to get debugged. It froze up and that as they say was that. Right at the end of my funeral sermon that I was at the point of saving. Thank you very much! Had to rewrite the whole thing and it turned out somewhat different than the first.
Nothing more infuriating. It put me out for a couple hours afterward. Although, the men are working on renovating the women's restroom downstairs, there was nothing to demolish. That had all ready been done. More's the pity!!! I was ready to bash something in or pound something.
As it was, I eventually went to lunch and then worked on Sunday's sermon and made a visit. I didn't work on the funeral sermon again until the next morning. By then I was calm and ready to tackle it once more.
The funeral will be tomorrow, my day off. It figures. And it will take the whole day. A snowstorm is expected this afternoon and tonight with a few inches and bitterly cold. I'll have to leave home earlier tomorrow morning, calling hours are from noon to 1 pm, the service at 1 pm with the committal and luncheon afterwards. I probably won't stay at the luncheon for long but it will be about 4 pm by the time I get home and I may have to leave around 10 am that morning.
Will be back in town, Sat. evening for Sunday service with annual meeting, so a longer day Sunday as well.
The consolation is that I can leave early today, run to the grocery store, fill up the gas tank, do some laundry, and get my hair cut. Hope I can squeeze it all in this afternoon.
The other consolation is that we had a good Session meeting yesterday evening. The PNC is hard at work and it probably won't be long until they find their new pastor.
Time to update my dossier - just not this hectic weekend.
The fire alarm just started beeping....gotta go!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

It Was To Be -
a week of meetings, all of which were cancelled due to snow and the hazardous roads. Perhaps, in this part of the country, we get use to having to cancel a meeting due to snowy conditions or roads. All the committee members are giving a sigh of relief, that they get a night in that they hadn't planned. The church will not come to a grinding halt because the committees didn't meet this month. We will keep on functioning and pick up and go on.
I was able to make dinner rather than just microwave a frozen dinner. Finally, ate that frozen pork chop and fish. Kind of normal and nice.
So, my schedule changed from what was to be to what it became and it was good, all right, okay. Some things are not worth fighting.
Perhaps, this dark night was also to be and not worth fighting, but living into it, seeing the goodness of it, and still being thankful. It has been such a struggle. But I haven't come to a grinding halt and will keep on functioning and go on. I would like it to be so different, mind you. However, I will continue to be taught, to learn from this dark night.
I will keep reading, praying, trusting even when it runs as thin as fiber optic strands.
It was to be -

Monday, January 10, 2011

The weekend went by far too quickly - laundry, banking, grocery shopping, a run to the fabric store for thread, stop in the license office for new license plates, more laundry, cooking dinner, doing dishes, feeding the Boys, rubbing the Boys, shortening the sleeve length on a top, oil change, tire rotation and new rear wiper blade arm.
I didn't get everything done. I pulled out my birth certificate to make a copy of it for my children's sermon. I remembered my Mom and Dad, read through my Baby Book which is not very long and lingered over the pictures and wondered where the time went and how fast it all goes by. I am astounded that my Mom had put a picture of my cousin in place of mine. It doesn't even really look like me. She probably forgot to put her glasses on!!!
I did notice that Mom wrote that I loved to read and that the skits and poems I prepared for Christmas Eve were always welcome and that my gifts in these areas made that time of year and our celebrations more special. I had not remembered her writing that. It was nice to receive and read that affirmation. We received so little of it growing up. The Germanic "ok, but know that you could do it even better next time."
Guess I always felt my Mom never understood me or knew what to do with me - too much like my Dad and his side of the family, rebellious, creative, reading and writing, sometimes crafting, coming up with hare-brained ideas! I was not the tidy, little, hausfrau who kept everything clean and neat.
But here she wrote that she did indeed appreciate my gifts. And that has warmed my heart in these cold days of winter as I contemplate another birthday next month. So, perhaps, I wasn't what she expected from her daughter, but she noticed and appreciated the gifts I had. That's worth everything! Thanks, Mom. I know you hear me still and I know you can feel my thanks and gratitude rising up to heaven. And I know you still laugh whenever I take on a sewing project and it takes me longer than it ever would take you, or I have to mull it over how best to tackle it, when you knew just by looking at something what and how it needed to be done.
But thanks for your words of affirmation when I really needed to hear them.
So, for a busy weekend, there was time to reconnect with who I was, and the loved ones in my life and those I still miss so very much.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Revgalblogpal Friday Five: Holiday Redux Edition

And so partly to give us all a record and partly to give us all a chance to reflect on the 2010 Holiday Season now that we are out of it, I ask you this:

1) What food item was one of your favorites this year - a definite keeper?
The Zopf - a traditional Swiss bread- I make every year. Turned out
really great this year and always a way to greet Christmas morning.
2) Was there a meal or party or a gathering that stands out in your mind from this mose recent holiday season?
Nope, no gatherings this year or any special meals. Maybe, just the
evenings I was home to have dinner with LH.
3) Were you involved in a jaw-dropper gift? Were you the giver or recipient or an on-looker?
The gift from the congregation was overwhelming. LH gave me
a pair of earrings by Sheila Fleet - a Scottish jewelry designer.
You can check out her collections at Sheila Fleet on the internet.
4) Was there at least one moment where you experienced true worship?
That would have been when the choir sang and during communion.
Had a small manger set up on the communion table the 4th Sun. of
Advent with some straw in it. On Christmas Eve, I wrapped a
loaf of bread in white linen and laid the loaf in the manger.
It was just lying in the manger as folks arrived. When it came
time for communion, after the invitation & Great Prayer of
Thanksgiving and Lord's Prayer, I unwrapped the bread and broke
it. I think folks understood visually the impact of God's gift of
in Jesus and in Jesus gift of love, of himself, for us.
5) What is at least one thing you want to make sure you do next year?
I'd like to do communion again that way Christmas Eve.
It was nice to have LH with me and his company for the drive in
and back home again. Made it even more special.
BONUS: What is something you absolutely must remember to do differently... or not at all!
To not live apart and to actually put a Christmas again.
OR: If you just want to sum it all up in a few words, that will work too.
Whether you play these questions exactly or something similar, please let us know by leaving a link in the comments section. We'll be sure to come around and read about your memories from December of 2010.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

YOU KNOW YOU'RE A PARISH PASTOR IN JANUARY WHEN - start your New Year off with a funeral're working on your annual report're preparing for the annual congregational meeting're constantly preparing for Sunday and working on yet another sermon
...all the committees that didn't meet in December are all on the calendar
for January're still tired from Advent & Christmas
...there's still 3 days of Christmas left to catch up on visits
...the heat goes out, the boiler breaks down, the furnace dies on
the coldest day (usually a Sat. night to affect Sunday worship) explain the "mystery" of per capita once again (only us,
Welcome to 2011!! Welcome to a New Year!!
Blessings to all who are serving our churches.
May your words challenge and comfort, build up rather than tear down,
inspire and encourage, remind and strengthen. May grace flow through you to touch, transform and change the ones you meet. May love be in all you do and say. May peace take root and grow within you. May hope be the heels that support you and keep you in all you will encounter and all that will unfold. And look ever to the Light that shines before you and all around you, even in the midst of dark nights and bright days. Be blessed this year.