Friday, January 25, 2013


Perhaps you have tried something that everyone assured you was SO MUCH FUN!!! and you swore on a stack of Bibles that you would never ever be dragged to said activity ever again. Was it horseback riding? Rappelling? Ballet class when you were 7?

So share with us 5 Supposedly Fun Things You'll Never EVER Do Again. You may find some commiserating souls among us. A bonus if you share pictures.

1. White water rafting - I rafted the New River once. It was a 2 day trip with
class 4 rapids. Paddling toward impending doom is not my
idea of great fun.

2. Kayaking - tried it on Lake Michigan. Needs a lot of balance. I was promptly
overturned and dumped into the Lake. I'd rather swim than kayak
any day.

3. Sailing in a wee Sunfish - once in Seminary with a colleague off Cape Cod. We
went out further from shore than I was comfortable
with. A huge ocean in a tiny boat. Once was enough.

4. Driving to Key West - it wasn't so much the driving, but the driving OVER the
bridges OVER the water that unnerved me. I had the driving
shift that lead us over bridges and bridges. On the way
back, LH drove and I kept my head in a book. Driving over
high bridges over water is a bit of a phobia for me.

5. Making my own Hummus - followed the recipe exactly, from soaking chickpeas
overnight, and adding Tahini. LH and I sat down to dinner
on a very hot summer evening with no air conditioning and
tried to eat the mortar I made. Impossible. You could've
used that hummus to lay bricks! First and last time I
tried to make it. Now you can buy it ready made at the
grocery store and soft enough to actually eat!!!!

Observation - 4 out of the 5 involve water. I love water. I love to swim. Apparently,
it's being in a boat that I can't control that's the issue. Also,
high bridges over water or watery gorges aren't my thing at all.
Funny, cruising on a big boat doesn't bother me at all.

Saturday, January 19, 2013


For this Friday Five, what makes you smile? Remembering that Meister Eckhart said that if you pray "thank you" that that is enough of a prayer, share with us five things, memories, or activities that bring you smiles and gratitude.

1. When the greys want attention or a rub! They can be so cute and sweet, it just
makes me smile.

2. A watercolor rainbow after a rainfall. Never ceases to cheer me.

3. Being with LH, the comfort of his presence in bed next to me warms me with a smile.

4. A good joke: One gentleman recalls that when his back seized up, he called his
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 clever comeback or witty insight will always bring a fun smile to my lips.

5. Hearing a favorite song on the radio or CD player will fill me with smiles.

BONUS 6. A beautiful sunset, puppies, blooming flowers, plump tomatoes on the vine,
seeing my sister, talking on the phone with my niece, etc. the list
can go on. Gratitude always follows on the heels of a smile!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

I've been busy preparing for the upcoming season of Lentand preoccupied with the seething unrest and unresolved backlash of grief from an incident at the church into which I walked in as an interim. There is much healing to be done there. It is my prayer for them.
To that end, I am preparing a mid-week Lenten series on different types of prayer, to open them up to new forms of praying for one another and their community of faith.
I will need to prepare for the upcoming congregational meeting in February to which they, thankfully, agreed to hold a potluck so as to break bread together.
They also need some mission project and vision to work towards together, as well as to communicate with one another.
So, although, I have not been posting as much, I am indeed at work.
I marvel that the past two interims, at churches of another denomination, have been so challenging and more screwed up than perhaps the governing body truly realizes. Or perhaps, they do, and sent in the sacrificial Presbyterian into the lions' and wolves' den!!!!
With my star gift word of "tenderness" this year, I am trying to live that as I hold tenderly their need to heal and the woundedness they are feeling and going through. I pray that they can come through this transformed and more vital. But am not sure how possible that is.
In the meanwhile, I do what I can to promote healing, to model healthy communication and behavior and trust that God's Spirit is at work inspite and despite of us all.

Monday, January 07, 2013


So, just before Christmas I received in the mail an envelope from a church in a Western State. I didn't even need to open it. I already knew what it contained - a rejection letter about not being further considered as a pastor candidate to fill their empty pulpit. I have gotten somewhat familiar with these out-of-the-blue rejection letters as my denomination will match up candidates with churches seeking pastors and often, unbeknownst to the candidate the computer sends the church one's profile. So every once in a while, I recieve a rejection letter from some church I never even knew existed.
Now, I know I am not the only clergy who has been rejected from further consideration for a position to serve the church. I am banking on many of you having suffered through one or more letters of rejection.
If you would share with me what some of those rejection letters said, or how they were worded, I would appreciate it. I find some of them quite fascinating. Especially, the one that told me that the church was "moving in a different direction" whatever that means!!! So, now the church is considering calling a circus performer, or a Wall Street Investment Broker, or an Engineer as pastor? Or has the church decided not be a church anymore and are planning to become a dinner theatre or a banquet hall for weddings and other such gatherings?!!?
As you can see, I look for the humor in these things! So, If you would share a phrase or two or three about letters of rejection you have received I would just love to hear them!!!
Not ready to throw in the towel of ministry quite yet and seeking to lift up the crushed and near crushed.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

sick. LH ended the year with a bug and sick and I'm beginning the year with it. Thanks, dear husband of mine!!!
It was a whirlwind end of the year. My sister and BIL decided to drive in from IL on Monday. So, Thursday, Friday and Saturday we were busy cleaning, getting the guest bedroom ready, dusting, mopping, grocery shopping and picking up some fun items to ring in the New Year.
I went in to the church on Monday and LH was home. Our dryer also died just before Christmas and we had ordered a new one. Apparently they don't stock gas dryers only electric because folks are more fearful of gas. So, on order it went. They are more expensive than I remembered and we got a simple, basic dryer. Not to say, that I didn't look longingly at the Whirlpool Duet. But there's no way our tiny laundry room would accomodate the larger, fancier, models with all the bells and whistle. Technically, we just need to be able to dry our clothes!
That dryer was also due to be delivered and installed on Monday!
I hurried home after a hospital visit and it started to snow. Mainly, it just blew around, the interstate remained clean. Until I came up on my exit, where the snow was starting to coat the streets. By the time, I drove into our development, it was getting slippery and it took three attempts to make it up the driveway. And, to my surprise, the company had not yet arrived - nearly an hour later than they had planned.
So, I changed, did a couple last minute things, filled the stock pot with water ready to await the gift of dinner.
Finally, after another half hour, they did indeed arrive - bearing gifts of frozen crab legs, Eli's cheesecake, and a beautiful orchid plant. The most precious and welcome gift was themselves. We hadn't seen each other in over a year. It felt so wonderful to be in their company.
Dinner was scrumptious and the company even better.
We talked, we played Jenga and got the block tower to 34 levels. And every time it was our turn, we knew it would topple and it didn't. That went on for nearly a half hour. LH finally toppled it and I won!
There were Island Sweet and Sour Meatballs, Panettone (warmed in the oven) and a
most wonderful Prosecco to ring in the New Year. We donned our hats, tiaras, beads, paper 2013 eyeglasses, horns and clackers and with a bubbly toast greeted the new year.
On New Year's day, LH's sisters joined the merry gang for dinner. And there was ham for all to enjoy. That was after our traditional breakfast of eggs benedict (which the SILs missed since they didn't come until the afternoon.).
With little sleep, much activity and excitement, and LH still very buggy, it's no wonder that I am not well at the present. I hope to have a voice to lead worship and preach with on Sunday, plus I teach Adult Sunday School and will have a Confirmation Class following the second service. I am resting my voice. I am gargling with warm salt water. I may need to invest in some Mucinex.
The year can only get better as I will too!!!!
And, I got to see my sister last year and this year already, too!!!!
We live way too far apart. I miss my family and being able to see them from time to time. It is as it is, at least for now and in the near future, unless God has other plans for us in the coming year.