Friday, December 30, 2005

two-second update

we are out of the hotel and in a 2-bedroom apt.

i already miss the hotel.

i have no cell phone reception at the new place and my wireless adapter for my 'puter got pushed all the way in during transport so no internet (even if it was hooked up.)

never fear... i have some options.

we are well. had a wonderful christmas with family and the pobble.

no idea what i'm doing new years except drinking (but not too much since the 1st is a sunday and i gotta work.)

here's to 2005 and to moving into 2006.

b'shalom, blessed be, and blessings, and etc...

God's peace, y'all

Monday, December 12, 2005

a blog is worth a thousand words

i have so many blogs in my head right now; things i've wanted to say, but just haven't had the time to write down. finally i am in the business center of the hotel and free to write for just a moment before returning to my suite to charge my phone and make the hundred calls that need to be taken care of before my silent prince returns from daycare and i need to find new ways to entertain him in our small space.

away in a manger, no crib for a bed...

i want a home for christmas. this just doesn't seem the appropriate time to ask: WWJD? lay his little head in a feeding trough. i want to have a home to decorate, hang lights, put up a tree, remember that this is a time of hope and sparkling things.

we are waiting to hear about a house and an apartment... today, please God, i want to start packing.

the hotel has been wonderful, but i am getting used to this life and i'm getting tired of the eloise syndrome that has taken over my daughter (and me perhaps.)

let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...

it snowed like crazy last friday. at least 8 inches that covered everything and created an inescapable winter wonderland.

years ago, when i was a teenager and beginning to feel the effects of depression undiagnoised until my thirties, i remember sitting at my bedroom window and wishing it would snow. actually it was more a prayer for snow. i wanted to replay a memory of dancing under street lights and big white flakes with the pobble, her sister and my brother when we decided to go christmas caroling. i don't even remember stoping at any homes, just singing and dancing in the purity of the beautiful whiteness that the snow had created. it had made me feel clean and that night at my window i felt dirty and deluged by dark thoughts. "make it snow." i prayed, but it was the middle of march and springtime was trying to make it's way into the world. i went to bed feeling defeated by life and woke in the morning to my father's announcement that there was snow on the ground.

who says prayer doesn't work?

God rest ye merry gentlemen...

hubby is a huge sports fan and despite the fact that the eagles can't buy a win he continues to be an eagles fan.

the hotel where we are staying is not far from ESPN and so it caters to several sports personalities, most of whom i don't recognize... until the saturday after thanksgiving when mike ditka was checking in at the front desk. i wanted so badly to go up to him and ask for an autograph for hubby, but it wasn't the best timing nor was the second time that i saw him... until the wintery weather covered all the cars in the parking lot with frost and the poor man was using a credit card to scrape his rear windshield as we were putting the kids in the car for school.

"would you mind shaking my husband's hand?" bless his heart he was pleased to do it and hubby, who would have lent it to anyone in need, offered him our ice scraper to clear his car.

it's possible i got a bigger kick out of it then hubby, but he's having fun telling the story.

on the first day of christmas, my true love gave to me...

Happy Holidays!" yes, i said it... that dreaded "h" word: HOLIDAYS!

again... a long time ago, as a teenager, working in the malls at christmas time i would say: have a happy holiday to the customers who came through our door. not because i was trying to take christ out of christmas, but because i was very aware that more than just christians shopped in our store and i wasn't going to try and make assumptions about which people were what. i wasn't trying to be pc, just smart.

so here's the thing. it's not christmas yet. it's actually advent so if christians really wanted to make a stink then they should insist that target put up advent candles and not christmas decorations in their stores. and employees should have to say: "happy advent" to the customers who came into shop for presents.

but that's ridiculous. the secular season is all about getting people to spend money. the religious season is all about waiting for christ to come. i'm not suggesting that christians don't do secular things at this time of year... but don't tell me that the stores need to uphold some religious principal this time of year. they wouldn't be able to do it and instead they'd function as hypocrites. let them be who they are. in other words don't put up a baby jesus to sanction what i buy...

well, that's all for now. i think i've said enough and it's time to make those phone calls.

God's peace y'all

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

i miss my 'puter!!!

i miss being in my own home
i miss being on my 'puter

i miss being able to put the kids in their beds UPSTAIRS and watch tv downstairs
i miss being on-line on my 'puter

i miss being able to take the kids right out front to catch the bus in the morning (instead of driving 17 miles on a major highway to get them to two different schools at the same time.
i miss chatting with the pobble on my 'puter

i miss being able to run next door to go to work
and then sitting at my kitchen table doing my work on my 'puter

i miss being able to put my clothes in my dresser drawers and walk in closet rather than carting them back and forth from my washer/dryer at home to the hotel
i miss checking in with all my cyber friends on my 'puter.

i miss being able to put the door out on the tie-out in order for her to do her business rather than having to take long walks around the hotel in the freezing cold
AND I REALLY MISS BLOGGING ON MY 'PUTER.

~sigh~

and i miss you all.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

abatement

hubby and i prayed in bed together last night before going to sleep. not that we've never prayed together before, but it's a practice we don't often practice.

over the last how many weeks has it been now? i can't even remember several weeks there have been an awful lot of people praying for us. people i don't even know have put me and my family on their prayer lists.

bloggers have prayed for me, christians, pagans, muslims, and jews have called out to God on my behalf.

it's amazing.

we are still in our hotel. ever have to stay in a hotel over a long-ish period of time look for a residence inn. they are awesome! i got into a conversation with another woman staying here and she said it was like being in the south. so true; there is nothing like hospitality in the south (and i'm a yankee to my core.)

i have so very little time on the 'puter now-a-day's and i miss it.

so, to my cyber friends and all the others. thanks for keeping me in your thoughts and prayers. keep it up, i sooo feel them.

and pray that we get settled somewhere soon enough that i can get back to this community.

peace to all!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

genetics and the silent prince

Yesterday was spent taking the silent prince to doctors and hospitals. We began by taking him to the u-conn medical center in Hartford where we met with geneticists. They took our family history and examined the prince for 2 hours. We felt pretty positive about the 3 doctors who met with us. They were kind and interactive. They wanted to know if we had questions and really listened to us and then answered in ways we could understand.

I have a great respect for doctors. I failed biology in highschool; it baffled me. And then I had to take , what we called, baby-bio in order to get my science requirement for college graduation. But these doctors seemed un-typical.

There were 3 tests that they wanted for him. I can’t remember all the details of them. One test totally escapes my memory. The second test was a blood test that is given to newborns in the hospital and it looks for a whole host of diseases. CT tests for more things in newborns than any other state; 40 diseases. Another state does the same thing, but only tests for 3. we don’t know what jersey tests for… so it seemed like a very good idea.

The third test was for a genetic disorder called fragile-x, which happens most in boys because it affects the one x chromosome they have. Girls are less likely to have it because they have 2 x chromosomes.

When we asked what we should do if it was fragile-x the doctor said, “first you take a deep breath and then you come and talk to me.” As uncomforting as that sounds it was incredibly comforting coming from the doctor.

Finally we feel as though we are getting more answers. We were reminded that we might not get any answers, but at least there is more of a chance of them now then before. We want to know what makes our son special. The doctor even called him “charming.” Even if it’s awful knowing would give us a power that we don’t have now.

After the geneticists we made our way to the hospital where the prince stayed for two nights before we checked into the hotel. He needed to have blood drawn for a follow-up lead test. And then have the other tests drawn.

The people in the office didn’t do the test done on newborns, but they said they would try to get someone from labor and delivery do it for us. After they drew the blood they could take someone walked us up to the nicu, who were somewhat surprised by how old our “baby” was. They had to get a pa to do it for us. We sat outside the nicu and I held the silent prince on my lap… until my lap felt really warm; the prince had peed all over me. I looked as though I had wet myself.

One of the nurses took me to a couch and gave me baby blankets to lay him on to change him then offered to call up to peds to see if they had extra clothes. Hubby gave me his sweatshirt (so I could cover the pee). I told the nurse to tell the folks in peds that the prince said hi. (he had made an impression up there.)

Jim, the pa, arrived. We had met in peds and it was nice to see a familiar face. They took the test, which could have bee done downstairs and made sure all the paperwork was done properly. Again I told them how wonderful the staff at the hospital had been.

Saying thank you has become a profound and realistic way of acting out my faith.

Tomorrow is thanksgiving. We have hopes that we will be able to celebrate it at my parent’s home, which was tested for lead yesterday. But if not, the hotel has offered us a beautiful room to use for the 8 adults and 2 children (mine) who will eat together as a family.

This is the prayer my daughter will want to pray:
Come Lord Jesus, be our guest
And let these gifts to us be blessed.
Blessed be God who is our bread
May all the world be clothed and fed.
Amen.

But my prayer will be simple: thank you, thank you, thank you.

Monday, November 21, 2005

taking a brain break

in an attempt to take my mind off all that's going on in my life here's the friday five (a little late, but i've been busy)

1) Earliest book you remember (read to you or by you)
cinderella, but my favorite was courderoy

2) Picture Book you would like to climb into
goodnight moon

3) Favorite series of books (then or now)
oh the chronicles of narnia of course (can't wait for the movie!)

4) Character you would most like to meet
morgan la fey from the mists of avalon or merlin from the once and future king

5) Last childhood book you re-read (for yourself or to someone)
there are always so many i can never remember

and you?

Thursday, November 17, 2005

waiting

we are waiting for the department of health to show up and talk us through what we are going through.

the queen gram is watching the silent prince at the hospital. thank God for my parents.

and in the meantime... thank God for all of you in my cyber community. i am overwhelmed by the prayers and encouragement from everyone.

so very, very thankful. so know that while you pray for me that i am praying prayers of thanksgiving for all of you. i feel strong and it's because i know that God is hearing you caring for me and my sweet, sweet boy.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

like a LEAD brick

my silent prince has lead poisoning.

for quite some time now we've asked his doctors if he should be tested for lead and none have ever really agreed to it... giving us other rationale for why he is the way he is.

back during the summer hubby once again asked our new doctor if we could have him tested for lead and the doctor recommended a geneticist. we scheduled an appointment... the soonest it could be done was next tuesday. about 4 months later.

but the prince has been having tummy trouble at school; the explosive kind and the school nurse asked if we had ever had him tested for lead. hubby gave her the doctor's name and she agreed to call and request the test. and so i took my brave little prince to get blood drawn on monday.

they called today and he's been admitted to the hospital. the treatments are easy: medicine taken orally. but he will have to stay there until he can be released to a lead free environment. this means that the board of health will be at our place tomorrow to interview hubby and me and then set up an appointment to test the house for lead.

there is a very good chance that we have it. there is also a chance that he was exposed to lead when we lived in jersey. and a chance that both are true. if the lead got into his system back in jersey then there is a good chance that this is what has been causing his developmental delays. this means that the treatments will only help him and there is no way to describe my joy in that.
of course if the house has lead we will have to put all our belongings in storage while the house is renovated. it might even be in our pipes. and that will suck. thanksgiving was going to be here; my first ever holiday hosted in my home. our lives will be in chaos again this christmas (since we were moving here last christmas and didn't even put up a tree at the old house.)

but, i now know the worst case scenario and i'm ok with it. and the best case scenario... well the silent prince might need to be renamed because he won't stop talking. and i can handle that, oh can i handle that.

so, i ask for your prayers that God (or whichever deity you call upon) will bless us with the best case scenario and take us through this time and bring us to an even better place.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

interpreting calvary

now that i have a car with a cd player i dug up all my old cds to play when the radio isn't giving me anything good.

i've learned 2 things from this experience

1. i need some new music
2. i have fallen in love with one particular song that i never payed much attention to in the past

here it is:
Indigo Girls - Strange Fire
i come to you with strange fire
i make an offering of love
the incense of my soil is burned
by the fire in my blood
i come with a softer answer
to the questions that lie in your path
i want to harbor you from the anger
find a refuge from the wrath
this is a message
a message of love
love that moves from the inside out
love that never grows tired
i come to you with strange fire
fire
mercenaries of the shrine
now who are you to speak for god
with haughty eyes and lying tongues
and hands that shed innocent blood
now who delivered you the power
to interpret calvary
you gamble away our freedom
to gain your own authority
find another state of mind
you know it's time we all learned
to grab hold
strange fire burns
with the motion of love
fire
fire
when you learn to love yourself
you will dissolve all the stones that are cast
now you will learn to burn the icing sky
to melt the waxen mask
i said to have the gift of true release
this is a peace that will take you higher
oh i come to you with my offering
i bring you strange fire
this is a message
a message of love
love that moves from the inside out
love that never grows tired
i come to you with strange fire
fire
fire
I come to you with strange fire

Friday, November 11, 2005

just beat them over the head

as part of my nightly routine monday through thursday i like to watch the daily show and then the colbert report (prounced colber repor) before turning off the lights and snuggling into my pillows.

last night stephen colbert had cokie roberts as his guest and he asked about life in washington dc. cokie described it as nasty and likened it to the days prior to and during the civil war when politicians would cane one another.

colbert, always the devil's advocate, asked her what could be done about the nastiness of today, was it even worth trying to change...

cokie (who i take seriously despite the fact that she calls herself cokie) said that yes, it was worth trying to change and that the way it could be done was by putting new people in power, but that would be difficult because of districting which has created a status quo where politicians are allowed to pick voters rather than voters picking their politicians.

she reminisced about the days when the people in power could be nice to one another. they were able to disagree but still get along... they went to dinner together, attended church together, socialized with one another. but now-a-days our political process has become so partisan that it's more fun for politicians to not like each other.

so what do we do about it? colbert asked.

and cokie's reply? "well, we could beat them over the head."

to say that i laughed at that would be an understatement. i'm surprised that i didn't wake hubby who was already asleep next to me. i actually wanted to stand up and cheer.

it has become more fun to dislike other people. i see the same thing in the church; people who have learned to dislike one another trying to make decisions together and it just doesn't work.

debate turns into argument and every disagreement or misunderstanding becomes personal attack.

and people who should care for one another turn situations into us verses them and them verses us.

hmmm... jesus says that we are supposed to turn the other cheek, but i wonder if there is any biblical support for cokie's suggestion of beating "them" over the head?

well, here's a stretch: jesus never backed down from a fight... of course he never used his fists or canes for that matter, but he also never avoided conflict or failed to use it to preach the good news.

fact is we don't all need to like one another, but we DO need to find ways to respect others again. it needs to happen in politics and in the church in our work places on-line and in every other aspect of our lives.

and there it is.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

big brother is watching and charging for it

LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- The Internal Revenue Service has warned a prominent liberal church it could lose its tax-exempt status because of an anti-war sermon a guest preacher gave on the eve of the 2004 presidential election, church officials say.

more here.

i could get into SOOO much trouble. perhaps i will.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Saturday, November 05, 2005

we the people

i have become a very big fan of abb and read her daily. the story she tells here is well worth making yourself a fan as well.

thank you again shark-fu

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

SEPTA strikes or resurrect rosa

one of the members of my church now attends college in philly, where i am from. i like that he's there because i get philly updates; i am and always will be a philly girl at heart. i just got an email from him that said SEPTA or the southeastern pennsylvania transportation authority, has gone on strike.

i remember septa being on strike when i was a senior in highschool. highschools in philly, unlike grades k-8, did not get yellow school buses and so we either received rides to school or had to take public transportation to commute for our education. some highschools gave students tokens (10 per week to cover the trip for 5 days) or you had to purchase them at student prices (which i did). purchasing was the way to go. if you were sick or lost a token they didn't help you out by giving you an extra and then you had to find someone to sell you one.

the strike was awful. i remember one friend who had to leave her home before 5 AM to commute to school by taking the trains (at least they still ran) and walking a long way in order to keep up her perfect attendance record. i can't remember how long the strike lasted ~ 2 weeks, maybe more. i just remember what it did to us kids in highschool who didn't have access to a car.
the day i stopped needing to take the bus was the day i stopped using public transportation (except for a few trips to NYC or to visit the boston pobble and when using the T is the best way to get around the city). i always hated the bus and the subway. it never failed to be late when i was in a hurry, or jam packed when i was exhausted and would have paid for a seat (which i had since it wasn't free). i hated watching bus after bus go by because they were full and people were pressed (illegally) up against doors.

and i always felt guilty as i drove by bus stops packed with cold, wet, and tired people waiting to go to work or home because i knew that i was blessed with a nice, warm, non-sardine-like car.

last night on the daily show the guest was d.l. hughley. they showed a clip from his new show where he talked about the death of rosa parks. he spoke with reverence when he talked about how she had made such an impact on our society because she had refused to give her seat to a white man. "look how far we've come." he said. "white men used to take the bus."

and there it is. who will be affected by this strike: the poor and the young.

i don't believe in reincarnation, but God, do you think you could send rosa back?

Friday, October 28, 2005

boo

it's time for the friday roundup at revgalpals

1) Favorite Halloween Candy... anything chocoloate and caramel

2) Least Favorite Halloween Candy... candy corn

3) Best Costume Ever... in college i went as a james t. kirk space alien bimbo (if you don't know star trek, it's too much to explain.)

4) Worst Costume Ever... hmmm, i still remember having to wear a sheet with holes cut out for eyes one year.

5) A Saint you treasure... the boston pobble's father (no tears, m... you know how i love him still.)

Thursday, October 27, 2005

advent devotional



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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

more heros

she was tired that day and simply said no. by sitting down she stood up to a system of intolerance and injustice. now she is at rest.

Rest eternal grant her, O Lord; and let light perpetual shine upon her.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

people i don't like


the following is my sermon for pentecost 23 october 23, 2005 based upon:

Matthew 22:34-40
34 When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, 35 and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36 "Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?" 37 He said to him, " "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.' 38 This is the greatest and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."

There are just some people that I don’t like.

I don’t like people who don’t use turn signals. I was discussing this with a friend just yesterday. Turn signals aren’t to remind you that you are turning, but to let me know that you are turning so that I don’t cause an accident.

Which reminds me of a whole other group of people that I don’t like: bad drivers. Oh sure, I make mistakes when driving, I’m only human you know. But there are some people who are bad drivers… and I don’t like them.

Ever driven in Boston? Boston drivers are almost as bad as Florida drivers, who I have little fondness for. The roads in Boston are built over old cow paths. Now cows are not the smartest of creatures, they are delicious, but not good city planners. And there again… people who design roadways. I don’t like them either. The other day I had to go to Worcester (which is either pronounced wrong or spelt wrong) and coming home I missed the exit for 84 and had to drive 30 minutes out of my way. Whoever decided not to put one more exit in between… I don’t like them either.

And I sure didn’t like the person who wouldn’t let me merge into traffic the other day, he even honked his horn at me when I was forced to cut ahead of him… as if he owned the road.

And I don’t like mean people. You know what I’m talking about, people who just can’t be pleasant and seem to find excuses to make your life miserable. Ugh, I just can’t stand them. They are almost as bad as people who won’t shut up. I do not like people who will not give me a chance to speak. My opinion counts too, I should be allowed to verbalize it shouldn’t I? But no, they just blah, blah, blah, blah, blah as if they are the only ones who have something going on in their lives worth discussing.

And then there are people who talk too loud on cell phones in public places about personal issues. Those people drive me crazy. Go outside to speak to your girlfriend about the intimate personal details of your date last night.

There are just some people I don’t like.

I don’t like people who smell. You know who smell? Foreigners. And I’ll be honest, I don’t like people with thick accents. Can’t understand them!

And you know who I really can’t stand? Closed-minded people. They are so judgmental… as if they’ve never made a mistake in their own lives. I don’t like republicans. Just look at how they treat the poor (and don’t even get me started on the poor). Don’t like Democrats either. Most of them are morally deprived. I’d register Independent, but I don’t like Independents either. I mean, who do you think they are?

I can trust you all with this right? Because people who can’t keep secrets… don’t like them. Gossipers are the worst aren’t they?

And I know that I wasn’t going to talk about poor people, but I’m tired of hearing about them. I have my own money problems. I don’t really need to be reminded of theirs all the time. What, am I supposed to feel guilty because I have things other people don’t?

There are just some people I don’t like. I don’t like people who don’t like chocolate. Even if you are a diabetic, they have sugar-free chocolate… eat it, it’s good. What are you on a diet? Because skinny people, don’t like them almost as much as I don’t like fat people.

And then there are black people, now don’t get me wrong, I have black friends… I know black people, but there are black people…I just don’t like. Gay people too; I am sick and tired of hearing how oppressed those people are. I just don’t like them.

But then white people are the worst, especially Americans. They think they own everything. After all it’s the Jews who own everything and I don’t like them either. Which reminds me if you put a dot on your forehead or wear a scarf over your head… don’t even try to gain my favor.

There are just some people who I don’t like. I don’t like conservatives. They act as if I have to agree with everything they say or I’m going straight to hell. And liberals…they think they are going to save the world when really they have no sense of right or wrong. Don’t like moderates either… I just can’t like people who aren’t willing to take a stand one way or the other.

There are just some people I don’t like.

I don’t like people who drive SUV’s. I know that I have one, but I need it. Don’t people realize that the world’s resources are being sucked up by those vehicles? But then there are the environmentalists. Don’t those people ever give it a rest? I just don’t like people who try to make me feel guilty for forgetting to recycle.

And then there are the people who tell me that I’m supposed to love everyone… is there anyone who I can like less?

Love, love, love… how am I supposed to love people I don’t even like? I’m a nice enough person to get along with; but love my neighbors! I live next to a church for crying out loud… how am I supposed to love those people?

Whoever came up with that must have been a nut case. Lord knows I don’t like crazy people.

Yup, there are just some people I don’t like.

Friday, October 21, 2005

bravery

i just watched batman begins this afternoon. (it's my day off and it was a very nice distraction.) it was perhaps the greatest of the batman movies. (though i will always be in love with michael keaton's bruce wayne.)

the movie persented the idea that one person could make a difference if they were willing to face their greatest fears.

growing up i was always surrounded by guys who loved comic books and i was enough of a geek to enjoy them too. the thing that made batman a different kind of super hero was that he didn't have any kind of superpowers; just really cool gadgets that he knew how to use. and he used his dark side, not for evil... but to do justice. he was called the dark knight for a reason.

what makes a person brave? it has to be that they are willing to do what is right even when they know that it could cause them pain. i know a person who is doing this right now. i can't share her story... because it is confidential. i can say that once she was a victim and now she has become a hero because of her willingness to do something that she knows is right, even though it is incredibly painful.

she's not batman, and she doesn't have any cool gadgets but she is a hero and i am so proud to know her.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

the bernard pivot questionaire

anyone else watch inside the actor's studio? near the end of each show questions are asked of the guests (who are famous actors). the questions come from bernard pivot. i've always enjoyed the show and hearing this portion of the program. sometimes i even like to pretend that i am being interviewed. here's what i would say:

1. What is your favorite word?
cryptic (i just love how it sounds)

2. What is your least favorite word?
the "n" word.

3. What turns you on, creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
open-minds

4. What turns you off?
closed-minds

5. What is your favorite curse word?
(i share this one with robin williams... this will be the one and only time that i ever use profanity here.) pussy

6. What sound or noise do you love?
my kids laughing

7. What sound or noise do you hate?
the alarm clock going off way too early in the morning

8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
rock star (if only i was musically talented)

9. What profession would you not like to do?
accountant

10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
see, i told you.

Monday, October 17, 2005

wasting time

who knew? have i been fooling myself all along?

Gay Bear
Gay Bear


Which Dysfunctional Care Bear Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla


hmmm, maybe from a hate crime against gay care bears?

mm
Your death will be murder....Most likely because
your a very social person and everyone knows
you, but there is one person lurking in the
shadows that is so jealous of you or is so
obsessed they end up killing you...There are
many ways of being murdered...it depends on the
person, but your death will either be slow and
painful (like being stabed to death) or quiek
and painless (like a gunshot to the head).


How Will You Die And Why? .:Beautiful Dark Pics:.
brought to you by Quizilla


perhaps if i just flew away...

goddess of the air
You are the goddess of the air:You are very open
minded about things and don't mind trying to
see things in other people's perspectives.When
you get out of line you make sure you make your
point so other people listen to you.


What type of goddess are you???????WITH BEAUTIFUL(AND I MEAN BEAUTIFUL) PICS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
brought to you by Quizilla

or if i got them before they got me..?

Samurai
You are a Samurai.
You are full of honour and value respect. You
are not really the stereotypical hero, but you
do fight for good. Just in your own way. For
you, it is most certainly okay to kill an evil
person, if it is for justice and peace. You
also don't belive in mourning all the time and
think that once you've hit a bad stage in life
you just have to get up again. It's pointless
to concentrate on emotional pain and better to
just get on with everything. You also are a
down to earth type of person and think before
you act. Impulsive people may annoy you
somewhat.

Main weapon: Sword
Quote: "Always do the right thing.
This will gratify some people and astonish the
rest" -Mark Twain
Facial expression: Small smile


What Type of Killer Are You? [cool pictures]
brought to you by Quizilla

afterall i am:

cute but psycho
you are the cute but psycho happy bunny. You
adorable, but a little out there. It's alright,
you might not have it all, but there are worse


which happy bunny are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

and...

HASH(0x8b54b14)
your a dark magic user! you are pure evil, and hate
all things except for darkness. you are very
skeptical of people, and probably in the past
you have been hurt. when you trust, you trust
deeply and with all your heart.


what would you be in a fantasy world? (amazing pics!)
brought to you by Quizilla

apparently, i am having a very dark night.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

i guess i should've know

Sunday's Sermon


For October 16, 2005 can be found here.

Happy Sunday!

Friday, October 14, 2005

i was tagged!!!

ok, the pobble tagged me and because i am her friend and i love her i will do it.

here's what i was told to do
1. Go into your archives.
2. Find your 23rd post.
3. Find the 5th sentence (or close to it.)
4. Post that, along with these rules, in your blog.
5. Tag 5 people.

so, i found my 23rd post and discovered that it was a sermon (which i don't think should count for this... i mean the sermon should "count" just not for this particular task and besides that i was quoting a whitney houston song to make a point, there was no punctuation, and i didn't like what it wound up on for that "or close to it" liberty... yes, i am the queen of run-on sentences) so i changed the rules. since this is my blog i think i should be allowed to do it.

instead of going to my 23rd post i went to my 5th post and found this to be my 5th sentence:

but, i love my job.

well ain't that something? especially since i have to get up before God tomorrow and drive a van full of people to a workshop event that will last about 8 hours, then drive them back, and then get ready for sunday morning.

but i love my job.

well, yes i do. i have a wonderful church with loving people who care about me and one another.

but there are days when i'd like to take a vacation or a day when i have nothing that i'm worried about getting done.

but i love my job.

there isn't anything else i would want to do. sure there are things i'd enjoy, that would satisfy me, and probably make me lots more money... but this is what i'm supposed to be doing and where i believe i'm supposed to be doing it.

so, i do love my job.

now, who should i tag? hmmm... how 'bout
you
you
you
you
and you?

peace

wwjd...

with a puppy?

this one is for dondon and his muggs.

desensitizing them young

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

whoops

the sermon from last sunday can be found here.

everyone should have a mantra

mine is simple: "If God is for us, who can be against us." it's from paul's letter to the romans, chapter 8. when i am at the very bottom it's what i say to myself. it was a gift from my father when i was young and upset. he read it to me and i felt it... that thing that just made sense and put me at ease.

these last few weeks have been... trying.

the silent prince was sent home several days from school for tummy trouble causing all sorts of strain on hubby and my schedules.

if God is for us, who can be against us?

while at the doctor's office he became fascinated with the curtains hanging over the exam table with winnie the pooh, tigger, piglet, and eeyore. "where's pooh?" i asked then pointed to pooh. "where's tigger?" i asked then pointed to tigger. still fascinated i asked again: "where's tigger?" and darn it if he didn't point right at tigger and say: "tiggatiggatigga."

a few weeks ago hubby's car slipped into the cement divider on an off ramp during a rainstorm making him late to church, doing damage to the car, and getting him a ticket from a unhelpful police officer. not knowing if the car would be totaled he went to the garage and removed all of our belongings. weeks later we still hadn't gotten the car back from the garage, but it was being repaired. and then the garage flooded totaling 7 cars including ours and an audi that had a ding in the door.

in search for a new car we found two used vehicles that would suit our needs. we were turned down for the loan because of bad credit (another one of those long stories.)

if God is for us, who can be against us?

my mother-in-law (a saint if ever i knew one) is lending us the money and letting us pay her back within a generous time. now we are driving a chevy blazer (i still have guilt over the fact that i am now driving an suv, but living up north it is a blessing to have 4-wheel drive and it we are now paying almost $100 less in insurance.)

this past saturday the electricity went out over half of the city. bad timing for me. saturday is a prep day for work and i had a million things to do. not a day to loose the tv or the laptop.

the power was out by 8-8:30am. by 10:30am (still in my nightie) i grabbed a bag of clothes, threw the kids in the car, and drove to my parent's house. the power was off for 14 hours.

if God is for us... we spent the night at my parents who we now live 20 minutes away from. and while visiting my mother-in-law this weekend (arriving sunday and leaving today to buy the car she lent us the money to purchase) i slept for 14 hours straight... who can be against us?

yeah, we all need a mantra.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

sunday's sermon


can be found by clicking on the picture.

Happy Sunday!

Monday, October 03, 2005

i'm adding a new link

i was just at jaded and opinionated and realized that she had me linked! i am so very honored. so i am adding her under my favs. take a gander at her blog. it is well worth it.

send birthday wishes

to the boston pobble. today is her 36th b-day and she'd like to get 36 posts, but she's only on 4.

thanks y'all!

Two Hours of Avalon in Just Two Calories

inner dorothy always finds the most interesting things.

like the advertising slogan generator at the surrealist.

here are some more of my favorites:

the real smell of finding avalon
men can't help acting on finding avalon
obey your avalon
because finding avalon is hard enough
moms like you choose avalon
life's pretty straight without avalon
you press the avalon, we do the rest

Sunday, October 02, 2005

where's the sermon?



just a reminder that this sunday's sermon can be viewed at my sermon site.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

some presidential humor

Recently, it's been reported, George Bush does not like to hear bad news.
So, it was with a sense of dread that an official aide informed him that 3 Brazilian
soldiers had just been killed in Iraq.

The aide was prepared to have the president yell at him, but
that is not what happened. Instead, Bush looked at the aide, totally stunned,
then slumped down in his chair, with his head in his hands, sobbing uncontrollably.
Finally, Bush said: "That's the most horrible thing I've ever heard!"

The aide had never seen President Bush react this extreme way.
Not after 9/11.
Not after hurricane Katrina.
Not even after he fell off his bike!
Puzzled, but not wanting to seem callous, the aide remained politely silent.
Finally, Bush composed himself enough to ask just one troubled question:

"Exactly how many IS a Brazilian?"

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

in the name of love; once more in the name of love


why do i trust bono so much?
click on his picture and you can wonder too and hope that he might succeed when so many others fail.

when a positive is a negative

this is a subject near and dear to my heart.

when i was still in jersey i was a member of my denomination's AIDS task force. several years ago we began a campaign to raise money for specific ministries in africa that dealt with AIDS.

women in africa are most prone to this disease. here's the story for most of them.

a husband travels to where there is work often only coming home twice a year at christmas and easter. while away these men make use of prostitutes, many of whom are infected with HIV. because AIDS is still such a taboo subject most people won't admit to being sick until it is too late and they are dying. the husbands go home usually when they can no longer work. wives get infected either through sex with their husbands on one of their biannual visits or from taking care of them before they die.

most of african culture is still patriarchal. so when the funeral takes place the husband's family (not his wife and children) lay claim to all of the husband's possessions.

a friend once told me that in africa the joke is you sit down next to the lamp you want.

after a husband's funeral the wife and children are left with an empty house. most don't even have blankets to sleep on afterwards.

to feed her children most widows turn to prostitution. if they insist on using a condom they might make enough money to feed their family for a day. if they don't they might make enough to care for their families for a week and in the process pass along the disease to another husband who gives it to his wife and so begins the cycle.

abstinence is a nice theory, but the fact of the matter is that most of the time, in africa, condom usage is most important for married couples... not unmarried.

to only give aid money to religious groups that promote a no sex policy is maddening!

during the campaign to raise money for AIDS in africa i learned other facts. one american dollar has the buying power of about 30 dollars in africa. it costs about $60 to send an african child to school for a year.

giving financial aid to africa is worthwhile, but we must be careful how we choose where to give that money. choosing groups that promote "no sex" policies isn't enough of a standard. this government needs to give the cash to ministries (and i use that word not in purely religious terms) that actually work.

but once again we are failing people who are poor and black and that is reprehensible and in no way religious.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

the princess kitty's debut


last night the princess kitty had her very first ballet recital. and it was WONDERFUL! she smiled the whole time and pushed her way to the front of the stage like a true diva.

she danced twice. only one of the 2-4 year old group showed up so the instructor had everyone dance with her. and then her class took the stage.

i had tears in my eyes as she spun around and jumped and pointed her toes to the theme song from charlie brown. it was one of the highlights to being a mommy.

in two weeks ballet starts again and then she wants to stay for the half hour after the class ends to do hip hop!

needless to say daddy is a little concerned about the grinding. but i am thrilled... my little prima ballerina.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

7 more things

so i am im-ing with the boston pobble while she is im-ing with a friend in texas who is trying to convince his parents to evacuate... not very successfully i might add. please say a prayer and read her post.

and the question comes up between us: "what would you take if you had to evacuate?"

so, here are my 7 things (not including my family, clothes, and food) that i would throw in the saturn (recognizing of course that most of my list wouldn't fit once the princess kitten packed her bags).

1. lots of diapers and wipes (we are still potty training the silent prince)
2. my wedding album
3. my laptop
4. my bunny (my oldest stuffed animal)
5. my great-grandmother's silver (i'd love to take the china, but even in catopia it wouldn't fit in the car.
6. a necklace that i almost always wear which was made from a stone from the pobble.
7. the "willow tree" nativity my mother-in-law gave me last christmas.

no, i wouldn't take a bible... that's what the laptop is for.

now... what would YOU take?

and continue to offer prayers and financial support to disaster relief programs. my favorite is linked to the right and here.

i should have known

You Are a Glam Rocker!

You put the "show" in rock show with your larger than life self.
No doubt, you are all about making good music...
But what really gets you going is having an over the top show.
Glitter, costumes, and wild hair are your thing - with some rock thrown in!


What Your Sleeping Position Says

You have a passion for everything - including sleeping.
Outgoing and brash, you tend to still shock those who know you well.
You tend to be selfish. You are the most likely type to hog the covers.
You gravitate toward comfort and don't like extreme situations.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

say happy birthday to a friend

jon-marc turned 50; he wants to get 50 posts for his birthday.

i don't have many readers so i know how great 50 posts would make me feel. so take a moment and make a dream come true by saying happy birthday here!

Monday, September 19, 2005

"Bible Stories According to FEMA"











think i'll stick to the original version

Friday, September 16, 2005

my favorite movies

way back when i used to work at a video store. one of the fun parts was choosing the movie to play in the overhead television. i used to have theme days ie, romantic comedies, disaster flicks, sci-fi... and then the shift would change and if dani came in she would play titanic over and over again... how i now hate that movie!

so... just for fun, here are some of my favorite movies. in no particular order

the princess bride
finding nemo

hotel rwanda
the man of la mancha (with peter o'toole and sophia loren)
dark water (the orignal japanese version, not the american one)
the american president
the ring

dead man walking
the holy grail
mulan
buffy the vampire slayer

sometimes lines from my favorite movies wind up in sermons or newsletter articles i write.
finding nemo, the fellowship of the ring, and another monty python favorite the life of brian have all made it as sermon illustrations.

the movie i am most looking forward to
the lion the witch and the wardrobe (remember reading those books as children?)

and i've heard rumours that there will be a new buffy the vampire movie out at sme point. can i just say... buffy was and is my favorite all time tv show (yes, even more than M*A*S*H)

Thursday, September 15, 2005

7 things

I was tagged by the boston pobble who was tagged by jaded. If you are reading this consider yourself tagged as well and simply skip the last 7 things… if you do you’ll have 7 years of good luck; if you don’t you’ll have 7 years of bad luck… and all that silly stuff…

7 things I plan to do before I die:

1. go to africa
2. have a book published
3. buy a suit
4. watch all of the godfather movies (I’ve never even seen one)
5. become a foster parent
6. see my children grown-up and happy
7. learn how to knit

7 things I can do:
1. make my children laugh
2. install and rebuild a toilet
3. make things (i am very crafty)
4. be silly without being embarrassed
5. use a sewing machine
6. curse in german
7. make my mom’s macaroni and cheese

7 things I cannot do:
1. balance a checkbook
2. knit
3. see without my glasses
4. add a picture to my blog profile (and I don’t know why)
5. cook rice (and I don’t know why)
6. perform surgery
7. speak chinese

7 things that attract me to the opposite (or same) sex:(for real, not just to look at and drool)
1. humor
2. good looks (call me shallow, at least I made it #2)
3. faith
4. a sense of morality (not condemnation)
5. intelligence
6. the ability to talk to children
7. openness

7 things that I say most often:
1. what the…
2. I’m tired
3. get into bed right now
4. give me a ‘sec
5. oh s***
6. I love it
7. amen

7 celebrity crushes:
1. mel gibson
2. viggo mortensen
3. johnny depp
4. dave navarro
5. don cheadle
6. morgan freeman
7. salma hayek (because she is amazing and I have no problem having a crush on a woman!)

7 people I want to do this:
1. you
2. you
3. you
4. you
5. you
6. you
7. and you

suicide is painless... where's sophie?

thanks to innerdorothy i have discovered that the M*A*S*H caracter that i am most like is:

Click here to take the M*A*S*H quiz!

while i don't REALLY see it, i have to say that M*A*S*H is one of my all-time favorite shows and i always loved Sherm'.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

responsibility and blame

i don't want to get political here... though i suppose i have at some point. but i just read this and wanted to say: it's about time. i'm not a bush fan, but i can respect a person who claims responsibility. claiming responsibility is different from accepting blame. it says that i am now in charge of doing something different. i don't like the idea of blame because it produces something else entirely, like a desire to hide and pass the buck to someone else or make excuses for what happened wrong.

a lot of people have made a lot of mistakes when it comes to the katrina disaster... including the american people by forgetting that poverty is a real issue in this country. now i hope and pray that we will all step up and be held accountable and make a difference in this world we live in.

i don't know what the president will do next. he has a real opportunity and i hope he doesn't blow it.

Monday, September 12, 2005

depression

two years ago i was diagnoised with depression. i wasn't suprised when i finally figured it out. depression has a history with my family. it manifested itself by constant crying. i often tell people that i began to cry one day and didn't stop for three weeks. anything could trigger episodes of massive crying bouts. one day ou neighbor dropped off a crate of fresh ears of corn. two days later i went to put one in the microwave for lunch and couldn't find them. hubby had thrown the rest out because they had started to go bad. i reacted as though my best friend in the world had just died. it wasn't that the corn was gone and i couldn't have any; it was that there was one more thing that wasn't going right.

i was lucky. one of my colleagues was also a therapist. wheni told her that i thought i might be depressed she asked when i was coming in for a session. when i told her that money had become an issue (another big depression trigger) she stopped charging me, actually refused to take my money. and my doctor, without hesitation put me on zoloft. within days of beginning my meds i was a different person.

at first i was embarrassed by it, but as time went on i realized that it was just like any other illness. i wouldn't be embarrassed by being a diabetic would i? of course not. i don't go around broadcasting the fact that i have depression, but i have become pretty open about it. i've found that sometimes it helps to know that other people "get" what it feels like. i've needed that and other people have needed to know that i know.

after the family moved (back in december) i made the mistake of letting my prescription laspe. it wasn't intentional. i couldn't find the script and then i didn't have another doctor yet.

and then, in the middle of the summer, i felt some of the tell-tale signs: i felt weepy for no reason, easily annoyed, tired, had no ambition for anything. i put off going to see the new doctor until a friend of mine (who also has depression) made me call the doctor and make an appointment. she too, like my other doctor, wrote up a script right away. i also asked her for a sleeping pill. i wasn't sleeping (another sign) and i just wanted something to get me back on track.

i dropped the scripts off at the pharmacy and went to pick them up the next day only to discover that my insurance no longer covers zoloft (a much prescribed anti-depressant) and the co-pay on the sleeping pills was $48.00. i told the woman behind the counter that was enough to keep me up at night and make me depressed.

so... i found another way to get to sleep at night and the doctor prescribed another drug which was covered just as i got strep throat and had to go on anti-biotics. my doctor wants me to wait to start the anti-depressant until i'm done the anti-biotics... so i wait another six days to begin.

what really frustrates me is that my insurance co, which is one of the better ones, would do this to me. now, i was able to deal with the whole mess... though had this been two years ago i would have had a psychotic break right there at the pharmacy counter of the cvs.

but there are people out there who would have been absolutely crippled by something like this. as my friend, the boston pobble, would say and did say: agencies do this on purpose just to make people give up.

and that really is enough to keep me up at night and make me depressed.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

obla-de obla-da... life goes on

today is one of those days... still reeling after the devistation of katrina and at the same time remembering that awful day four years ago when our country (and the world) held it's breath and wept, jaded and opinionated posted this "September Eleventh, Two-thousand One."

thanks jaded. tears of joy beat tears of despair everyday.

Friday, September 09, 2005

the voice of the prophets

in the hebrew scriptures (or as some people call it, the old testament) there is a whole section of writings called the Nev'im. these are the writings of the prophets.

now a prophet's job was to be the voice of God, to tell the people what God wanted known. and do you know what topic the prophets spent most of their time on? returning to worship of the one God by taking care of the poor, the widowed, and the orphaned.

God's people consistantly turned away from God to worship other gods and in the process often forgot about those who needed the most care. repentance, turning away from sin and living in forgiveness was shown by rejecting other gods and taking care of those who society had little or no room for.

there were plenty of other gods back then. the world that the ancient jewish people lived in was pluralistic, just like ours is today. now i don't want to make this a conversation about pluralism. i believe in the christian God; that's who i am and how i live out my faith. i found love and acceptance with Jesus. i found my true self by being who i am as a person of the christian faith. i believe there is salvation in Christ, but i can't and won't condemn or judge anyone else for their religion.

that being said... i will speak about the gods of consumerism and greed and the downward spiral of destruction these gods can take us on. these are the gods we worship by accumulating stuff; mostly stuff we don't need that we get by spending money we don't have.

these are the gods that created a disaster in the wake of hurricane katrina. not that katrina wouldn't have been devistating on her own. hurricanes are mighty forces, destructive forces that aren't supposed to be pretty. except that i can't help but believe that there were things we could have done differently, as individuals, as a government, and as leaders in this country to fight the destruction that katrina brought with her.

i've been reading a lot of blogs about katrina; mostly because katrina is all we bloggers are talking about. and there is a lot of blaming going around. everyone wants someone to be at fault for what happened. so i've heard that katrina is the fault of the president, the governor, fema, gays, racists, democrats, republicans, and yes... even the fault of God. now really, what people are talking about is the response to the disaster, not the disaster itself. the destruction wasn't prevented and relief from the destruction was too long in coming.

know what i think? i think that the blame game is going to get us nowhere. what i want is for people to take some responsibility for the whole mess and yes, i include myself. see, i think we've all strayed from doing the one thing that God wants from us and that's to show our love for the one who created us by taking care of this world and it's inhabitants.

we have been worshipping false gods and that's what's gotten us into this mess. and before any of you think it, no i don't think that God sent katrina to punish us for our sins. i just know that i own five television sets while there are people who don't have enough to eat.

Jesus God Almighty, how can i blame a looter, who has nothing, for stealing a tv while i own five?

i want to be a prophetic voice in this mess. i want to turn back to God by doing something about poverty in this world and not just by throwing money at it and hoping it will go away and not just by voting for someone else in the next election and not just by reading or writing blogs about it. i want a plan of action and i am stumped; i just don't know what to do.

so i'm gonna pray. and i don't mean the cop-out kinda prayer which some people think releases them from the responsibility of actually doing something. i mean the kind of prayer that asks God to lead me to the place i need to be so that i can worship God in my action and in my life.

and in the meantime i will continue to speak out about poverty and the horror of it and i will keep preaching against those false gods of money and the accumulation of stuff. and i will vote in the next election. and i will share my thoughts here.

and... i will ask you to pray with me. pray that we might be led to change the way the world works.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

i'm angry too

just read this from another blogger. i must warn you that she uses very strong and profain language to get her point across, but if you are willing to wade through it you'll find someone i very much agree with on the issue of poverty. in case you get there and aren't sure which post i'm talking about you can try this: a wake up call for us all.

as a side note: i have made a promise to not use profanity here, though many bloggers do on their sites. it's not that i can't curse like a sailor, just that i would rather not do it here.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

more things about me

the thing of it is that i am a christian and i am a liberal. in today's world that statement is considered an oxymoron and i'm frustrated by it.

fact is, my faith is the most important thing in my life... yes, the most important thing, above all other things, God is it.

everything else is second or third or somewhere else on the list of important things and i think that's the way it should be. the first commandment is to "have no other gods." and it's the first commandment for a reason: so that God comes first. and for me putting God first means that my priorities take on new meaning: my family becomes more dear, my life more precious, and my duty to others more necessary. you need to know that about me before i say anything else.

so... i'm a christian liberal... an oxymoron. the part of me that's a liberal has been tempered by the fact that now i'm a mom. things that could be potentially harmful to my children seem fair game even when i take a step back. i remember the whole hoopla over parental advisories on music. as a parent it makes such sense, but as a liberal... i hate the fact that someone else gets to decide for me what's appropriate and what isn't.

ok, so here it is, the thing that really kills me: i no longer want to apologize for my faith in order to be a liberal... and i don't want to defend it anymore either. the same thing in reverse. i don't want to hide the fact that i am pro-choice or pro-gay in order to be faithful or defend my liberal views to my christian brothers and sisters.

so i'm coming out of the closet. i am a christian liberal and i'm proud! i love Jesus and the bill of rights! i don't believe there should be organized prayer in school! but i want teachers and principals and students to be able to wear crosses in school and not have to hide the fact that they are believers. i want organized sports to stop playing on sundays and i want to freely admit that i have friends who are pagans and i don't think that they are doomed to hell!

wow, do i feel better.

Monday, September 05, 2005

this weekend has been a lot of work

so the boston pobble came to visit on friday and should be going home today. except that by friday night i had a tickle in my throat and by saturday morning i had a fever and was miserable. i should have sent her home right then so that she wouldn't get sick too, but hubby had to drive to the airport (about an hour trip) to pick up my brother and sister in law who were coming to visit my parents. (if you remember, my mom wasn't doing so well for awhile and my brother lives many hours away.)

so, the pobble was taking care of me, bless her heart, and doing such a good job of it. and what do i give her for all her loving care? yes, she's sick now too. still asleep, hopefully getting better, so that she can go home today to visit the pooh on wednesday (her other niece). otherwise i will be filled with guilt and have to take time off from work so that i can drive her to new jersey.

yesterday in church, the assistant minister (a wonderful man) led the service for me. he even read my sermon and did a very good job of it. the first time i even spoke was during communion at the part called the great thanksgiving. it is a dialogue that begins: "the Lord be with you."

i took as big a breath as i could and began in what was the most eloquent frog voice i could manage. the response is supposed to be: "and also with you" which is what they said after looking at me with absolute shock and pity. i could have laughed, if it wouldn't have hurt so much, at their reaction.

fact is that i feel incredibly lucky to have such a congregation who was so willing to love me. the last couple of weeks has been a long list of one thing after another and they have never once found it an opportunity to "kick me when i'm down" something that often happened in my last call.

and i'm so grateful to the pobble, who has woken up feeling better, for taking care of me: making me tea and telling me to take naps.

and to my hubby (who hates when i get sick) but who takes care of me anyway... but more importantly who takes such wonderful care of our children. he is the best dad i know (next to my own dad.)

even the princess kitten who is 6 and clingly has given me space to heal.

so there it is... now i need to get moving with my day; have a happy labor day everyone and remember to say thank you to the people who mean something to you.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

why the elca disaster response?

i just recieved this in an email from my synod office today. since i have chosen the lutheran disaster response as my "place to give" for katrina i thought this might be helpful to all of you...

WHY GIVE TO THE ELCA DOMESTIC DISASTER RESPONSE?

Someone called the Synod House, asking why ELCA pastors and congregations should give to ELCA Domestic Disaster Response (DDR) for Hurricane Katrina relief instead of giving to the Red Cross, the Salvation Army or another major U.S. charity?

This is a very good question, especially with all the news and entertainment media attention on gifts to the Red Cross. Although ELCA Domestic Disaster Response/Lutheran Disaster Response works closely with other domestic disaster agencies like the Red Cross, here are three good reasons to give to DDR:

+ 100 percent of your gift will go to Hurricane Katrina relief.
+ If you are a member of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, Thrivent will give $1 for every $2 you give, up to $300. For example, if you give $600, Thrivent will add $300 to your gift (check
www.thrivent.com)
+ The ELCA has a reputation for being on site, helping in disaster recovery, long after other groups have left. For example, nearly four years after 9/11 we are still working in New York City.

Lutheran Disaster Response, a collaborative ministry of the ELCA (through ELCA Domestic Disaster Response) and the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, provides unique services. In addition to meeting those needs often not covered by federal and other agencies, LDR provides spiritual and emotional counseling services, with attention to care for the care givers, and attends to the needs of children through the Camp Noah day camps. Much more at
www.elca.org/disaster.

You can contribute to ELCA Domestic Disaster Response through your congregation or synod office or directly by mail (checks payable to "ELCA Domestic Disaster Response") to PO Box #71764, Chicago, IL 60694-1764 (note "Hurricane Katrina relief" on the memo line) or with a credit card by phone (800/638-3522) or online
www.elca.org/giving.

once again, anything that you can give is worth it, even if it's not through the elca. and you don't have to give hundreds of dollars to make a difference. a friend of mine gave $5 to the humane society to help care for displaced animals. so much is needed by so many that every cent matters and has the potential for making a difference.

and continue to pray... for the people affected by the katrina, for the people who are caring for them, and for the leaders of this country to do their best for all of us.

Friday, September 02, 2005

100 things about me

inner dorothy created a list of 100 things about her and i just loved it. so here are 100 things about me.

1. i am my own person
2. i am a she
3. i am a daughter
4. of two wonderful parents
5. i am a sister
6. who loves her brother
7. and his wife
8. i am a wife
9. who has an amazing husband
10. my daughter is my joy
11. my son is my peace
12. my daughter is a diva in training
13. she is 6, like eloise
14. my son has developmental delays
15. he has said "mama" once
16. i do not have a biological sister
17. but i have a friend who is closer than a sister to me
18. i love my mother-in-law
19. my father-in-law died before i met my husband
20. i never met him
21. and yet i miss him
22. my father is a luteran pastor
23. my mother is a pastor's wife
24. i am a luteran pastor
25. and a pastor's wife
26. i once said i never wanted to be a pastor
27. or a pastor's wife
28. i've learned to be careful never to say never
29. i do it anyway
30. i have a dog
31. her name is 'ohana
32. i named her after a line in the movie lilo and stitch
33. i have two cats
34. i didn't name them
35. I let my daughter name them cinderella and jasmine
36. cinderella was the first book i ever read
37. i wish i still had the book
38. i believe in God
39. i believe in God even when i worry there isn't one
40. i wish more people would believe in God
41. i know what it's like to not be able to afford diapers
42. i am glad i can afford diapers now
43. i am just like my mother
44. and i am glad that i am
45. my favorite tv show of all time is buffy the vampire slayer
46. my computer is a pagan
47. i don't know why
48. i don't believe in tolerance
49. i believe in unconditional love
50. i am a hippy at heart
51. except i love to bathe
52. i miss my best friend
53. we haven't talked in years
54. but i still believe she is my best friend
55. i was there when her mother died
56. my husband, sister-friend, and best friend have all lost a parent
57. it has changed me
58. i always have a cup of tea in the morning
59. i got this habit from my mother
60. i suffer from depression
61. i know too many other people who suffer from depression
62. i grew up in philly
63. it will always be home
64. i love where i live now
65. i wish i was musically inclined
66. i am writing a novel
67. i always wanted to be a writer
68. i am an extovert
69. but i am also incredibly shy
70. most people don't believe that i am shy
71. i once went skinny-dipping
72. it was with my mother
73. i love the smell of my children
74. my favorite curse word is also another word for cat
75. i curse like a salior
76. i try not to, but sometimes it happens
77. my secret fantasy is to be a rock star
78. i am a type b personality
79. who wishes she were a type a
80. i have broken promises
81. i believe in forgiveness
82. i love scary movies
83. i can't sleep with my back to the side of the bed
84. i genuinely like myself
85. that has not always been true
86. if i could travel anywhere it would be to africa
87. I believe chocolate is a food group
88. i think people who don't like chocolate are weird
89. i want people to like me
90. but i don't need them to
91. i love my job
92. i hate working
93. i am good at what i do
94. but i still worry that i may be a hack
95. i do not have a favorite holiday
96. my favorite color is blue
97. i'm getting sick of blue
98. i want the last 3 things about myself to be impressive
99. i know they won't be
100. my only piercings are from the neck up

and there you have it. 100 things about me and now that i have written them i can think of a million more... but then there is always tomorrow...

let's talk about sex

a few weeks ago the evangelical lutheran church in america made some decisions about gay people. now, this shouldn't suprise anyone since homosexuality seems to be the "in" topic in all the churches. it also shouldn't suprise many that the decisions that were made said very little. it's taken me this long to really express my disappointment that my denomination would only say that we would continue to try and find ways to welcome and accept glbt's (gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered people) in our congregations but then voted to not bless their relationships or allow glbt's in relationship to serve as ordained clergy in our churches.

and really, disappointment is a weak way to discribe how i feel about it all. profound sadness might be better, though still not enough.

we lutherans have found another way to be middle of the road, without even standing on the road. in other words we've said nothing new and acted like it was all new. ah well...

i think the first problem was that the church decided to talk about sex, but only homosexual sex as if it should be an issue unto itself. it allowed straight people to remain on a moral high ground and look down on "those other people." we studied them like they were things to put under a microscope, but in the process we forgot to look at ourselves and our own sexual failings as heterosexuals.

we spent a lot of time on scripture that dealt with homosexuality, which by the way, at its clearest, only describes sexual acts between people of the same gender, not actual homosexuality or homosexual relationships. to be clear... the bible never, ever says that homosexuality is a sin only that certain sexual acts between same gendered people are sinful.

scripture is filled with stories of sex, blood, and violence. it is really a crazy book when you think about it. but we often skip over the parts that confuse us and go straight (pun intended) to the parts that "allow" us to morally judge the other. for example... why aren't the "religious people" of the world up in arms about things like adultery which is all over our culture and clearly listed as one of the commandments and sooo warrior like when it comes to two people who love one another and want that relationship blessed by God?

christians, or people who claim to be such, often use the bible as a book of judgement so long as they can use it to judge someone else. jesus spends more time talking about money than any other subject in the gospels, but we like money. he never says anything about homosexuality, but see where we focus? see the connection?

yes, i know that this is my perspective and my reading and my interpretation, but i also believe it to be a valid one. and those who know me and disagree with me also know that i have spent a great deal of time learning how to respect and appreciate different opinions and interpretations (especially of scripture.)

so, i want to talk about sex and i'm gonna in our adult forum this september and hopefully debunk some of the myths i believe are perpetuated in our society and our churches. i'll try to share some of what happens in the class on this blog.

in the meantime, remember not to judge... if you want to throw stones make sure you aim them at yourself before casting them on someone else.

Katrina Relief

for all you fellow bloggers out there, check this out and consider joining in.

i have added the ELCA's disaster relief site to my favorites list and would ask that you consider giving whatever you can to support the relief efforts. 100% of designated gifts go right to relief efforts. if the elca isn't your thing then find another way to give.

thanks and God's peace

Thursday, September 01, 2005

my first husband

i once knew a woman who used to introduce her husband of twenty years as: "this is bob, my first husband..."

today is my 9 year anniversary of marriage to hubby. it's incredible to imagine such a thing. my maternal grandparents were married for 71 years when my grandpop died and that's even harder to fathom.

i remember one of my aunts saying, in regards to my g-parent's long life together, that when they wrote the wedding vows they didn't expect people to live that long.

9 years and two children, both of which start school today. the princess kitten begins 1st grade and the silent prince returns to special ed pre-school for his developmental delays.

how does one say thank you to their partner for 9 years of love and committment? well, we'll go to breakfast together and perhaps find some other quiet time during the day. (ahhh, i love back to school.)

but really; i love him and thank God for him. we've hit the age in our lives when all our friends are getting divorced and that just reminds me how lucky i am... how blessed i am to have him even when it hasn't been easy.

so thank you, my love for the last 9 years and the 2 1/2 before it... for being my friend, my partner, my lover, my shoulder, the father of my children, my best critic, and my best pick me up.

with all my heart; i love you.

(and yes, that's a picture of us taken shortly after our daughter was born. it's always been my favorite one of us.)

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

ok, katrina can drive my car

after posting my rant on gas prices i found this. not only has katrina stolen land and life it has also caused the jump in gas prices.

so, i want to direct people here to consider giving to people who have been horribly affected by this storm. the elca's disaster relief is one of the best sources for giving because if you designate where you want your money to go they will give 100% of it to your choice. they also have resources for congregations about giving to things just like this.

baby, you can drive my car...

so long as you pay for the gas.

yes, i'd like to rant a bit today...

my tank was empty (i mean running on fumes empty) on monday so i took it to the local gas station to fill it up only to discover that none of the pumps was in service. so i decided to drive to my appointment and hit another gas station that i know is across the street from the diner where i was meeting with the other local lutheran pastor. i have a saturn and one of the great things about saturns is that they run best on regular unleaded, so i can put the cheapest stuff in my tank. of course the cheapest stuff was $2.60something. so at $5.00 i hadn't even gotten 2 gallons of gas in my tank. when i got the car, only 4 years ago, $5.00 would have given me a half a tank. ~sigh~

well, today i drove by the local gas station again and the sign said that regular gas was now $3.04!!! how could gas go up .40 in two days!!! and this is the cheapest station in town. they didn't even bother listing the prices for the other two grades.

needless to say i am so very glad that i can walk to work.

i might have to buy a bike (which will be fun during the winter months.)

so there is rant number one. here's rant number two.

the christian exodus this is a group that wants to bring christianity back to the government. of course they mean morality and their brand of morality at that. i can't even tell you the prayers i am praying on this one.

the "reverend" phelps i could give you lots of links on this one; but i just found this blog and really enjoyed reading it so here it is. once again... prayers on this one i can't tell you... i find myself being too honest with God about my feelings to share them here. and just in case you think this is an issue for liberals only check out what rick at brutally honest has to say about phelps here.

well, there it is. as my friend the boston pobble says... that and a buck fifty will get you a cup of coffee (unless you like the caramel lattes at dunkin donuts... those will cost you the same as a gallon of gas.)

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

my new kitty

i was checking out the boston pobble's thoughts and she had a new virtual pet. i love "stealing" stuff from other people's sites when it's cool.

since i already have a dog, two cats, and a snail (the frogs died) i am done with actual pets, so a virtual kitty is just fine... and since all blogs eventaully have cats... and cats is my nickname, and... well, do i really need another and?

my new favorite color is pink, which i once thouht to be way too girlie. i am still a blue person, but the color pink makes me happy the way yellow used to... so how could i resist a pink kitty?

she's named gracie cause that's hubby's favorite nickname for the princess kitty (my daughter) and 'cause the idea of grace makes me feel happier than the color pink.

so there it is.

God's peace!

Sunday, August 28, 2005

sunday morning black and blues

moments before getting into the shower this morning hubby called to say that he had been in a car accident. now, he's ok. he banged his head and was shaken, but ok. and we won't know about the car until tomorrow when the shop is opened and someone can look at it. he was on an exit ramp and skidded in the rain. so, no other cars were involved.

of course a police car happened by moments after the accident. Now, despite the fact that it was raining and there were trucks out, putting down sand because of the slippery conditions the cop still gave hubby a ticket. even though he had no idea how fast or slow hubby was going. but what really gets my goat is that the cop never even asked if hubby was ok! he was more concerned with whether or not he had to call a tow truck.

i love cops and what they do. but gimme a break!

the other news in my life is that my mom, who has been out of commission for some weeks now is doing better, though she's come down with some sort of late summer bug.

after our family vacation in june she noticed that one of her legs was very swollen, but she was going to the doctor and would ask him about it. and what does the doctor say? oh, it's fine. this even though she has a history of bloodclots.

well, sure enough she wound up in the hospital for 9 days because of... now wait for it... a bloodclot in her leg that made its way into her left lung. hmmm... wonder how that could have been prevented?

talked to her yesterday and today and she sounds great (except for the bug). and needless to say she and dad had a new doctor.

now i also appreciate doctors and what they do, but... well, you get the point.

at this point i feel as though i should say something philosophical or at least semi-deep about all of this, but the truth is the best i can come up with is life isn't easy.

but... we have good friends visiting with us and there's a pot of coffee brewing and everyone is alive and safe and i have beautiful flowers in my kitchen from church today so... despite the black and blue morning i still have hopes for a yellow and pink day.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

if you've come to read a sermon

just a reminder that i am posting my sunday sermons at my new sermon site Sermons at Salem. you can also access the link to the right. happy sunday!

Friday, August 26, 2005

And Vivian Followed


I have always been in love with the story of King Arthur. Most likely as a result of the book "The Mists of Avalon" by Marion Zimmer Bradley.

"Mists" tells the story of Camelot from the point of view of the women who played such a key role in this great story.

My two favorite characters are Morgan La Fey, the half sister of Arthur and in some tellings of the story, the mother of Mordred (also Arthur's son) who strikes the blow that kills Arthur.

My other favorite is Vivian, the Lady of the Lake, who gives Arthur the gift of Excalibur, Arthur's famous sword which is not necessarily the one that he pulls from the stone.

Why I love these women is because they represented the spiritual side of the story, even if it was often as pagans. So often spiritual women are portrayed as witches. Clearly, history and literature has had a difficult time with the concept of powerful, spiritual women.

I won't tell you where Vivian followed or who she followed... only that she followed.

And, that I'd like to go with her.

My New Sermon Site

it occured to me that when i first began this blog that i wanted it to be an on-line journal. a place to "search for the sacred and find wonder." but it's become a sermon site, a place where i post my sermons from sunday. and that's just not what i wanted it to be.

so... i have decided to go back to my original intention which is to write an actual blog. but then, what shall i do for all those people i know wait with baited breath to read my sunday sermon?

well create another blog just for my sermons of course!

so you can come visit me here and i promise to try and write interesting things, but you can also follow the link to my new sermon site over on the right. the next sermon will be posted sometime between late late saturday night to tuesday morning depending on when i get the chance.

in the meantime... God's peace and my love and prayers

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Loving, Growing, Healing, Rejoicing in Rebirth

In the name of Jesus; amen.

“Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if one blind person guides another, both will fall into a pit.”

When I was in high school I had two friends Abigail and Katie. Whenever one of us had a birthday we would get all dressed up and go out to lunch at a fancy restaurant. On what must have been my 16th or 17th birthday we went to a restaurant in Center City Philly. I remember it being a great lunch and after eating we walked toward Broad Street. Now Broad Street in Philly is one of the longest streets in the Northeast and it goes from top to the bottom of the City.

There was a lot of construction where we were headed and a great amount of the side walk was torn up and marked off with yellow tape. We were less than 10 feet away from the corner when we noticed three people walking along Broad arm in arm. The person in the middle was using a cane and tapping it back and forth and they were going full steam ahead.

Suddenly we realized, all at the same time, that they were headed right toward a hole about six feet wide and six or seven feet deep. In horror we realized that we were too far away and that they were going too fast for us to be able to warn them in time.

It was like a scene from a cartoon. All three of them took a step into the hole, hovered, and dropped straight down. We rushed to them, but so had several other people, including some burly men, who were more capable of helping than three teenaged girls. As we walked by we saw one of people in the hole turn towards the man who had been carrying the cane and say, “That’s the last time we let you lead.”

The blind, leading the blind.

I suppose it shouldn’t be a funny story; none of them were seriously hurt, just very startled by discovering that the ground was no longer underneath them.

It happened to me last week, when I fell down those side steps into this room. I was certain that I had reached the bottom, only to discover that there was one more step that I hadn’t noticed and boom there I went right on my butt.

The Pharisees were upset with Jesus again. This time for telling the people that it didn’t matter if you ate unclean food or washed your hands. There were very specific laws about what made a person clean or unclean and lots of rituals that went with those laws. The Pharisees were guardians of those laws and rituals. It was their job to care for the ritual purity of God’s people and it must have seemed to them that Jesus was trying to make their work obsolete.

Now, it’s easy to cast the Pharisees as the bad guys in this gospel. Jesus calls them blind guides leading people into a pit, full steam ahead. But I want us to be careful not to cast blame on others where we might need to take responsibility.

In the last two weeks I have put some pretty serious recommendations in front of you all. Two weeks ago I said we should take it upon ourselves to feed all the hungry of the world. And then last week I suggested that we take a leap of faith and stand up to injustice around the world.

So, this week I’m going to make it easy on you. All I will ask is that you look. That’s it. I just want us to open our eyes and see where we are going.

Simple enough? And to make it even easier I want to remind you that we actually have something called a “Vision Statement” here at Salem. It was part of the paperwork that I received while I was interviewing to come here and I thought it was so good that I have actually been using it quite often.

Here it is, in five simple words and one preposition:

“Loving, Growing, Healing, Rejoicing in Rebirth.”

Jesus says that it isn’t what we put in ourselves that defiles us, but what comes out of us that defiles. So here it is: what do we want to come out of us?

We have a vision, we know what we want to see, and it’s good stuff, I put it on my business card I like it so much. But we need to be purposeful in what we do to actually see that vision.

Love, growth, health, joy, and rebirth will not come to us if we keep our eyes closed. We need to look and see those around us and begin to question what good we can do. Not for salvation, not to avoid pitfalls, but to do the work that God has entrusted to us.

So I have homework for you this week. I know it’s the summertime and school is out, but I’m going to ask that you take notice of life around you. Read the paper, surf the internet, watch the news, have coffee with a friend, talk to your neighbor, spend time with your children, ask questions, be curious about others, take time and focus on others outside of yourself. And do it all without judging, just see what you see.

There won’t be a quiz next Sunday I promise. Next week Peter tells Jesus that he believes that Jesus is the Messiah and all I will do is ask you to believe it too. All I want you to do is take a look, make it a discipline this week to see as much as your eyes can take in and then think about what you have seen keeping in mind the vision statement of this congregation.

Here it is again: Loving, Growing, Healing, Rejoicing in Rebirth. Five words and a preposition and I’ve even written it down for you to remember.

Let’s open our eyes and with God’s help we’ll see what then comes from our hearts.
Amen.

"and vivian followed."

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