Saturday, May 28, 2011

It's Back...
Jett has developed another sore in the same area, left elbow where the other sore developed last year. It started out very small, like a scratch and has gotten bigger. The Vet thinks she can carve it out again and stitch it back up.
It's been 7 months since Jett's diagnosis of hemangiosarcoma. He's done really well. I hope this next surgery will give him another 5 months or so. The Vet didn't feel anything on the spleen, usually that's where the blood tumor develops.
So another round with surgery and recuperation. And my beautiful, elegant grey is back to wearing those blue inflatable donuts around his neck.
I'm praying he'll have a few more good months with us.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

What I Got -
what I actually got was Sinusitis
what I actually got was called to the hospital 45 minutes after getting home and feeling really cruddy and out of it.
what I actually got was a trip to the hospital for a parishioner who coded and was brought back
what I actually got was a new doctor's appointment the next day to replace
the one I had to cancel
what I actually got was to have prayer with the family, to hear the heart
cath went well and that I was contagious and not allowed into see the patient
what I did was call the past pastor (retired) to see the patient
what I did was wait for said pastor while family went up to the patient's
what I got was home for a quick little dinner and into my comfy clothes
what I got was another call from the hospital that the patient recoded and
wouldn't recover
what I did was change, race down the hospital, and was with the patient
and family until after 9 pm when the patient was welcomed to her eternal home with God
what I got was a quick exam by my doc, and a prescription
what I got was wait for said prescriptions at the pharmacy
what I got was an afternoon of phone calls to secure an organist, make
arrangements with the family on Sat., and a call to the dinner coordinator
what I got was a short nap out of exhaustation and being sick
what I got was a full Sat. of family meeting, putting the service together, and the prayer service, squaring things with the organist
what I got was a subdued congregation on Sunday morning knowing they had
lost a beloved member
what I got was to leave by noon and arrive home for a quick nap before writing the sermon that was ever so hard to write
what I got was a prayer service for the family at the funeral home in the
morning, and a huge memorial service that afternoon at the church, overflowing sanctuary, dinner for 80 that somehow fed over 100, thanks to all the great casseroles that held out longer than the meat tray (miracle of fishes and loaves!)
what I got that evening was falling asleep on the sofa while watching TV
The committal service was today and I still have a cough and congestion.
My whole face hurt last Thursday from the sinusitis.
I pray for a quiet couple weeks to pack up and ride off into the sunset.
Thankfully, as difficult as the service was, it all went fairly well, barring losing power twice that morning in the middle of printing bulletins.
Pray that the funerals, deaths will now be ended for me. I cannot. do. another. I am spent.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Yup, an upper respiratory infection/bronchitis. Too bad I can't be seen til after 3 pm. I haven't been ill in 2 years and wham, I did too much, and didn't get enough sleep and lowered my immune system.
I will head home soon. Not worth much today. Trying hard not to fall asleep or to cough too much.
Just want to curl up in bed.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

It has been a whirlwind of activity.
On Friday, I did my usual grocery shopping and banking. Forgot the dog biscuits and had to go back for them and a bag of mulch. Mulched the trees out front, planted my wee tomatoe plants, did laundry, bagged up old catalogues and put them in garbage, prepared the guest bedroom - dusted, made the beds and cleaned the microwave, stove, fridge and dishwasher. Ran to the store to buy new, bigger, softer, fluffier towels for the guests and a new pillow to replace the ancient flat one. Also, had to launder the towels before hanging them up in the guest bath.
Got up early Sat, to drive to my FIL's memorial service. Actually, LH drove. Met family, but as usual, LH and SIL's didn't introduce me to a couple cousins. I guess I was to simply do a face scan and know who they were!!! I've perhaps, met them once in my life during the almost 24 years I've been married to LH and all the people I've met during my time of ministry.
Thankfully, the service went very well, in contrast to the dismal funeral service of LH's Mom 12 years ago. Good to see colleagues of my FIL there, doctors and SAR members. The president of the local chapter of the SAR spoke, LH read an e-mail from his Dad's friend, and I wrote and read a piece about my FIL, as a gift to the family, and one church member spoke. The Lutheran clergywoman handed the service and preached a good sermon - not too long, not too short and with some knowledge of my FIL.
Afterwards, there were sibling photos and a luncheon in the church social hall. Didn't get to spend much time with SIL's, who also had 3 friends there, and felt they should spend their time with BIL and wife who they hadn't seen in 12 years.
Had to declutter the kitchen table from old mail and catalogues and clean it when I got home. Had to clean the half bath and LH mowed on Sunday after lunch, well, just the front lawn. He never mows on a Sunday!
But with it raining every day and warmer weather and a bit of sun, the grass just grows like crazy. I swept the driveway and the sidewalk to the front steps.
Made a vege dip on Sat. and brownies on Sunday. Washed and cleaned veges for said dip.
Had a wonderful visit with BIL and wife, and the rain held off so we could grill.
It turned cold and rainy for our Amish country trip, and for the City on the North Coast Art Museum visit.
All in all, it went by so swiftly and we could have used another day together. I cooked and did the dishes every night, made eggs one morning, and pancakes the next. I was busy. A regular Martha!!!
Now I feel it. The scratchy rawness at the back of the throat, nasal drip and sneeziness yesterday. And that tired, just don't feel real good, feeling. I haven't been sick in two years and now, bam. Maybe, it won't be much of anything.
The brothers did pour over family albums and that was good for them.
I look forward to a more quiet day on Friday this week!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Saddened -
I find that with the voting in for Amendment 10A, there is no joy, only sadness. Sadness for my denomination to give in to the prevailing culture, and to allow for its being ripped apart. With the approval of Amendment 10A, the church will change forever.
And it is not an exciting change full of the Spirit's power.
No one has "won" with the passage of this Admendment. Those who think they won - may see a much smaller denomination and an exodus of local churches. Those who feel they have "lost" and leave thinking they in end will have really "won", will be a part of us who will always be missing.
I feel only a deep, profound grief and sadness within me for my church, my denomination. A sense of we know not what we do.
I pray mightily that somehow, someway, God will show and lead us to find a way we can live together. Perhaps, I am merely a dreamer or an idealist. But my hope, my prayer is that we can live together even though we don't agree. But that's not the Presbyterian way. We have split and come together more times than I can count. Splitting is such a grievious thing for we are torn and rent from one another -forgetting that Christ prayed that we would be made one as Jesus and God are one.
So, I continue to pray for us all. I am not ready to leave my denomination.
And have lived in tension with this issue for most of my ordained ministry and still have not been able to write off one or the other side. I still grapple with scripture, Christ's call, the gifting of Holy Spirit, and the vows that we have upheld and I have tried to live faithfully.
I know most of the arguments, I have studied study papers of this denomination and another's, I have not bought into all the biblical interpretation that at times takes leaps I cannot, and I know grace, forgiveness, mercy, and the love of my Lord. I know that we all sin and fall far short. It has been and will continue to be a stumbling block. And even knowing and praying through all this over the years, I cannot concede one side over the other.
For now, all I know is a great sadness.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I thought I'd end this interim quietly. Preach my good-bye sermon the week before my last Sunday and then celebrate Pentecost with Confirmation and ride off into the sunset to whatever God will unfold.
Not to be. I received a call from one who hasn't been in church for years and who wants to baptize her toddler and rejoin the church. So, on May 29th - a usually quiet holiday weekend, we will reaffirm her faith and baptize her child. Then, June 5th will be Communion Sunday, Grad Recognition, and my "good-bye" sermon. Followed by Pentecost with Baptism and Confirmation (one youth to be baptized first, then confirmed). I will not be leaving quietly!
But, I will be leaving with 4 new members added to the rolls. Which makes up, in part, for all the ones whose funerals I've officiated in my 19 1/2 months here.
I will certainly miss folks. It is a wonderful community of faith with energy, imagination and new things happening. I leave on a good and positive note. They will be riding high and anticipating the arrival of their new young minister and young family.
I leave uncertain as to what comes next, desiring some time off, but can't afford it. I pray it won't be too long before God provides a place for me to serve. And may it be close enough to home, that I can return in the evening and not have to rent an apartment and be far from home.
There will be lots of packing of boxes in these really short weeks. I will miss the people, but not having had to live here.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

I just discovered this morning what's wrong with the Presbyterian church
here where I am serving. I read it in the local paper. In the Church Ad section that lists all the churches and times of worship.
Apparently, we are celebrating Easter Mass this Sunday (well past Easter, who's calendar do we follow anyway? Plus, Presbyterians celebrating Mass? I think NOT!)
To make things even worse, this Presbyterian church and Presbyterian people, "follow the Easter Egg." That's it! We're following an Easter Egg and not Christ our Lord!(It was supposed to read that following worship is the Easter Egg Hunt.)
There you have it. That's what's wrong with the Presbyterian Church!

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

It is enough. It is enough to know that OBL is dead. I do not need to see pictures. I do not days of analysis and knowing every little detail, especially those details that might compromise our nation's security and abilities.
It is enough to know.
I have been in the presence of evil on more than one occaision, and I cannot mourn it's death. But I cannot celebrate it either. It simply is. Over. Solemn relief. I pray for the families of all who lost loved ones. I pray for OBL's family who, perhaps, lost him years ago. I pray for our nation, Pakistan and the whole world. OBL may be gone, but the organization of hatred, violence and terrorism is not. When that is gone - then will come the celebrating.
For now, it is enough.