Monday, December 31, 2007

Last post of 2007

Here it is the end of 2007. Wow, I can't believe it. Wasn't it summer just a few months ago or something like that? It has been year of learning and growing and stretching myself. Everything I learned in Seminary well, almost everything seems to be obsolete these days. Now it seems like you have to have a degree in business administration, management, social work, pastoral care, preaching and etc. I have had to keep reading, going to seminars, attending conferences to learn the new ways of Pastoring. And I feel like I am still behind the curve.

I love watching my kids grow and learn and play. And even with that I have had to learn things about parenting. Learning doesn't stop does it? God help us if we choose to stop learning. My kids are learning things in school at their age that I didn't learn until later, and they are learning it in a different way. I can't help them with the new way so they are teaching me. All three are in dance, and well, I never had the opportunity to learn dance, so I just watch and clap and cheer. Kara is learning piano, and I did learn piano, so I have been able to help her with piano. They played softball and machine pitch ball, so I could help them with that since I was a good ball player. When we return, they will be playing in the community league basketball games. Uh I was pretty short, so this was not one of my forte, and I even broke a finger playing. I'll leave that one for the coaches.

We had a really good visit with my sister and mom. Now we are up in Columbus with son and family. I get to go visit with a friend this afternoon. Then we will see the new year in with John and Liz. Yea.

I wish you all a Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

The itchies and playing cards

Well the shingles have turned into major itching spots. I have pain med but not itching med. It is quite uncomfortable. Could not sleep last night for all the itching. I almost took some of the pain med to put me out of my misery but opted not to. Finally fell asleep early this morning. I will now buy some itching meds. I cannot stand it. Somebody better put socks on my hands, so I don't make it worse.

We have been playing lots of cards with my mom. I have not won any games. This used to really bother me. I would get mad and huff off, sometimes even throw my cards everywhere. I was very competitive and had to win. In fact I was that way with any game I played and any sports I played. It was not a pleasant site to see in me, and people didn't like playing against me or with me. I have had to work on it a lot. I have to make choices in the middle of games that it was okay to lose. I had a mantra for awhile, it is okay to loose, you are here to be with the other people. But now I can play and loose every game and it doesn't matter, because I am enjoying being with the other people.

I have to do a genogram for the class I am taking on Healthy Family Systems. I have been interviewing my mom about her family and dad's side of the family. I asked her where I got the competitiveness from. She thought about it and remembered I used to play cards at my grandparents and that they were always competitive and that I probably learned some of it from them. I think it is also because I was insecure and wanted to be number one, not be a loser because I already felt like one inside. I hope that I can be competitive when I need to, but not in a bad way, but also enjoy the people I am with. And I hope I can keep liking myself and being comfortable within myself too.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Friday's Five: "Auld Lang Syne Version"

Singing Owl brings us this RGBP's Singing Friday Five; It is hard to believe, but 2007 is about to be history, and this is our last Friday Five of the year.
With that in mind, share five memorable moments of 2007.
These can be happy or sad, profound or silly, good or bad but things that you will remember.

Bonus points for telling us of a "God sighting"-- a moment when the light came through the darkness, a word was spoken, a song sung, laughter rang out, a sermon spoke to you in a new way--whatever you choose, but a moment in 2007 when you sensed Emmanuel, God with us. Or more particularly, you.

Oh my, I got to remember back that far and through all those events?
1. This is actually in answer to the Bonus Question; At the beginning of the year I went to a week long Prayer Retreat with other ministers in my conference. I felt led by God to go to this. I have always believed in prayer, but wasn't sure about how this was going to work and how one could pray for a week. We did though and it was a very powerful time that stayed with me throughout the year. The hope was to break down some of the barriers and differences in our conference and I believe it did. I know that God was with me then, and with me all year long. The prayer retreat is being offered again this year, and I plan to go to it if I am able. (If you want to read my posts about the 07 Prayer Retreat, then you can read Prayer Summit, Day One, and Day Two)

2. Funniest moment was trying to Baptise a child in the Baptist Baptismal. At least I didn't drown anyone doing it. I have got to get some of my own waders if I am going to keep using the Baptist Baptismals or ponds or lakes or creeks or rivers.
The funniest moments though for me are at our Supper Table. We just have a good time together eating, talking, listening to the kids tell their stories, and getting tickled with each other. And to me these are also God moments.

3, Sad moment was the death and funeral for my Grandfather, P. T. Carlisle, although we called Pop. He lived to a ripe old age of 101. He had a profound impact on me. He had a sense of humor that wouldn't stop. He also had some thing that kept him alive and going through all the losses, dissapointments, tragedies in his life. I will really miss him.

4. Festival of Homiletics stands out to me as one of the highlights of this year. I got to be with my RGBP's friends, friends from this conference and got to hear some of the Rock Star Preachers. It is just an awesome experience all the way around.

5. The other highlight has been vacation times in the moutains with my family. Although the first night on Sugar Mountain I thought was our last night. The wind blew so hard we thought we were goners. But it is always nice to spend some relaxing fun time with them. To take them to see some of the beauty of the mountains. To do some hiking with them now that they are older. But I got to tell you they love the swimming the best and the NASCAR Fun Park. I like the mountains and the Tenn. Aquarium. But most of all I like being with them.

6. But if you asked me about other highlights, I would say how this little church inspite of the number of deaths and aging people have been willing to try to do some new things in their ministry to this community, the world and been willing to listen to and follow God. I honestly think that the Evil One has tried very hard to keep them from being the church God wants them to be, but I see that there are enough of the faithful here to turn their hearts and minds to God and let God be at work in them. I don't think the Evil One will succeed. If you have ever been in this battle you know it is a difficult one, but one where God is actually doing battle. When I read and watch Harry Potter in his battles with the Dark Lord, I think of this battle. This church has started the NCD process and have continued in it, even though like all the other churches they had to take a hard look at their weakness. But they also found out they have strengths, strengths that God can use to help them work on their weakness. This church has started Angel Food Ministries, which is a servant ministry and does take a lot of people being involved in it, and they have gotten involved. In the last children's activities they have hosted they have made it a priority to have good PR so that the community knows about it and will come. They had a successful yard sale to raise money to upgrade our facilities for the disabled, work which will begin in Jan. They even built a new playground to show the community we love children and are open to them. I see God at work here, people of faith at work here, and it is hopeful.

7. But you know I am going to write this, the best highlights are the every day things that happen with family and friends. Enough said!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

A trip to the Doc-in-a-box

For those who haven't heard the term before, the Doc-in-a-box is an urgent care Doctor or a walk-in-clinic. I had to go to one this morning. I thought I had some flea bites, but no...yes you guessed it. I have Shingles. Yep, I woke up in the middle of the night uncomfortable and decided to check WebMD about my symptoms. I had already guessed it, but I guess I didn't want to know it was true. This morning I told Bob he was going to have to take me to a Doctor. We got there before the crowd, so we didn't have a long wait, and weren't there long at all. He gave me the necessary perscriptions and off we went to get them filled. The long wait was getting the insurance to pay for the perscriptions. The anti-virus is very expensive. But they did pay. So now I am back at my sister's and started a course of the medication. The Doc thought we had caught it soon enough for the med to be effective. Rats, on vacation and I get sick. Poohey, but at least we caught it before it was a major breakout. I came home to get mom, Bob and my sister to play some cards. I don't care if I win, just something to take my mind off of it. Denise and mom took the kids swimming and on a picnic. They said they were pretty good until it was time to come out of the pool.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Post Christmas day let down?

Nahhh. Not here. We had pancakes this morning. My sister is taking the kids swimming in a few moments. She has hinted at possibly taking them to a movie later, oh bliss a few moments without. Actually they have been pretty good. Zachary was playing with his remote control Pirate ship this morning and the sisters were too. The remote control is in the shape of a skull, aargh me matey. And they were playing with all the Hannah Montana dolls , Barbie Dolls, and High School Musical dolls they got along with the extras. Denise's house now looks like mine, a mess. Yea, her house never looks like a mess.

I have been thinking about Christmas day and missing my dad and my Pop. Dad has been dead since 98, but all the little things he did at Christmas and all his baking is missed. Plus he was good at present giving. Pop, well was Pop, he had a sense of humor that never stopped, not that he made fun of you, but just enjoyed life. Plus he liked to play card games with us. He was pretty good at them even when his eyes started to fail him. He died this last year and I have really missed him. I am so grateful for all the days I did have with them in my life.

I was thinking also for those grieving that are more in the news; like those who lost family and friends in the Tsunami three years ago. Those who lost family and friends on 9/11; that held their last mass at the site for Christmas eve, because all the building around the site will make it impossible for them to do it again. Those who lost family and friends on the Gulf Coast due to Katrina or lost homes and jobs. Those who lost family members and friends in the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Well, the list could go on, couldn't it. I forgot the football player and others of notoriety. Soooo.

But for those who grieve the whole holiday scene can be a let down. I have been there at the holidays when it was, and when I was so depressed nothing was uplifting. But through the years as I have let myself more experience the grace of God in my life, the love of friends and family, and focus on the Christ child, it hasn't been such a downer. I hope if it has been that way for you, that you too can let the grace of God come in, and feel the love from your friends and family and focus on the Christ Child or find whatever it is that God has for you that sustains through this time and throughout all time.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas day

Shhh. I have snuck away to the computer room for a few minutes to write a post. Don't tell anyone especially the kids.

My fingers are worn from undoing all the little tie thingies they use on children's toys to keep them from being stolen. The kids are having a good Christmas, and they have even said so. The stockings were even full.

They also have been swimming already, what can I say it is really warm here.
I am having a good time. I finished reading the book I brought with me, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon. I highly recommend it, as did my friend Cathy at Cathy Grace Notes, she is such a reader. It isn't one of our RGPB's book club readings, but I still recommend it. I did bring one of those along to read, An Infinity of Little Hours: Five Young Men and Their Trial of Faith in the Western World's Most Austere Monastic Order , so hopefully, I'll get it read. It is so rare that I get to read an adult book or see an adult movie.

Last night we went to my sister's church for the Family Christmas Eve service. For all my Presbyterian blog friends, it is a Presbyterian church. My sister is the Christian Ed Director and was in charge of the service. It was really neat. There were a lot of families and children. The service involves the children and families. It doesn't matter if the babies cry or the little ones get restless and talk, because it is set up for families. Our kids got to have a part too. I am so glad I got to worship on Christmas Eve with my family.

And now I want to wish all a wonderful day; A Merry Christmas and the gifts of the Christ child today and everyday for yourself! And then remember to tell others about what Jesus has for them too.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas Eve

It is with such joy that I wish all a Merry Christmas. I hope all of your Christmas Eve services go well. We are traveling today down to my mom's in Florida. We left after worship yesterday and headed to our halfway point in Columbus, Ga to spend the night with our Son and family. We passed out our gifts to the grand sons and they to us. It was great fun. The big hit with everybody was a remote control pirate ship for the 4 yr old. He had to fight off the big boys and adult boys to be able to play with it. But he finally got to play with that. Grandma takes credit for getting that one.

The kids are playing wildly around here this morning. That's good, they can get some of it out before we hit the road. We'll come back here on our way back and spend a few more days here.
Right now its off to Grandma's house we go, and the kids are so excited. I am too. And we get to see our nephew who is in the marines and headed to Iraq in the next couple of months. Now seeing him will be worth the trip.

So whether you are traveling or staying, be safe, and have a great time. And may Santa bring you what you asked for. But most of all may you receive in your heart the gift of the Christ-child!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Down for the Count, but not out

What does one do when they are hit with a sinus infection? They go to bed, take medicine, and sleep alot, at least with this one. Sunday a week ago, I just thought I had a cold. I looked out in our congregation and it was slim pickings. As we did our prayer requests, I heard, oh they are out with a sinus infection, oh they are too, oh them too, along with all the other requests. We had a little one home with strep as well. Monday I went to be with a family during surgery at a local hospital, but the surgery was delayed, so I went to the minister's meeting. The longer I was there, the sicker I felt, I just had to leave and come home. Got an appointment with the Doctor, thinking I had gotten the strep because my throat hurt really bad. No, not strep, which I was glad of, but a Sinus infection. Thank God he started me right away with meds or it would have been a lot longer and a lot worse. It made me think about my older folks getting hit with it and how hard it must have been on them. This Sunday we had many back, but many were still out with sinuses, flu and colds. It is that time of year. I was able to preach Sunday which is a blessing.

On other notes:

  • Our kids were in the local Christmas Parade on their Dance Studio float on Friday night. I got to go watch. It was a lot of fun.

  • Our orders for Angel Food ministries quadrupled this month. What a blessing.

  • We have three families on our "Christmas Bear Tree", like an Angel Tree, we are helping with Christmas. We took three of the kid's little bear tags, one for each of our kids. Kara and I went shopping for the one girl's tag. She just had a hard time understanding why we were buying for this little girl. I had to keep talking to her about it. Zack wanted to know why his name wasn't on the tree. Help.
  • We had a great time at our St. John Christmas Dinner and Hanging of the Greens.
  • Our worship team has been doing some different things this Advent in worship and in the decorations which are really meaningful.
  • I have really enjoyed the Isaiah passages for preaching this Advent.
  • My husband taught the Wednesday night Bible Study for me. What a great husband. He said he didn't do a good job. And I asked him "well did they discuss the passage?" and he said "yes", I said,"then you did a good job."
  • I was blessed with doing our District Committee interviews of our Local Pastors and others.
  • I missed the revgal's Friday Five and the Saturday Preacher's Party. Come to think of it, I have missed a lot this last week. I missed alot of your bloggin too. Hope to get around to visit you all.
  • Hope you all are well, and if not a speedy recovery.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Comeback edition of Friday Five

WILL SMAMA says: Alright, so I'm dropping by for a brief return stint as contributer. Please, hold down the applause (also please don't forget NOT to cut and paste this part)....

Parishioners pushing for carols before you digested your turkey?

Organist refusing to play Advent hymns because he/she already has them planned for Lessons & Carols?

Find yourself reading Luke and thinking of a variety of ways to tell Linus where to stick it? (Lights please.)

Then this quick and easy Friday Five is for you! And for those of you with a more positive attitude, have no fear. I am sure more sacred and reverent Friday Fives will follow.

Please tell us your least favorite/most annoying seasonal....
1) dessert/cookie/family food It is a toss up between the fruit cake and the Stollen. My dad liked both and baked both for Christmas, and you ate them or died. I think it was the forced eating, I actually didn't like.
2) beverage (seasonal beer, eggnog w/ way too much egg and not enough nog, etc...) All those sweet sweet Fruit punches. Non alcoholic here.
3) tradition (church, family, other) I think that it was the one when I was growing up with my grandma, and I think I have shared this one before. It was on Christmas Eve, we went to Grandma's house and sang Christmas Carols and such and had a bowl of Oyster stew. To me as a kid, it was just yuck.
4) decoration I have pretty much disliked how people fill up their yards with tacky decorations just to have something out there with no rhyme or reason.
5) gift (received or given) Any dirty Santa bad silly gift. I seem to be the one that gets stuck with the most tackiest gifts.
BONUS: SONG/CD that makes you want to tell the elves where to stick it. O my, we are being snarky aren't we, I get really tired of the music being played over and over and over everywhere and anywhere, especially the MUZAK stuff.

I know, I know.... pretty grumpy for November but why not get it out of our systems now so we are free to enjoy the rest of the festivities.

Well I can say is thanks, now that I have that out of my system, let the good times roll.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A Weeks of Thanks #2

In honor of Thanksgiving I am posting my thanksfulness.

Today I am grateful for my children. (You all guessed that didn't you!)

I will admit there are times, I am not so grateful, but overall and most of the time, I am grateful.

You see I am grateful for several reasons, one of which is that I was not able to produce biological children. After lots of money, lots of shots, lots of Doctor's vists, lots of treatments, (You who have been through this know what I mean) we gave up having kids of our own. My husband wasn't ready to adopt. And so we turned our natural nurturing instincts toward our pets, our nephews and nieces, our grandson, and our friend's children. I had come to a peace and acceptance about not having my own children, when God opened the doors for adopting our three kids. And when I say he opened the doors,he opened them wide. I have written about this before, but when I got appointed to a church in HSV, AL, we found out about adopting children from China. (There were several families who were members of the church, that were adopting children from China.) And so we have been fortuanate to be able to adopt our three children. We think about a fourth child, and by Chinese rules this is the last full year we can do it. But so far we don't see the possibility of doing it. I am satisfied with the three, the girls want a brother for Zach and so does he. But I don't see it happening.

But the purpose of this post was to say; I am grateful for our children. They each have their own little personalities, behavior, likes and dislikes. They are very talented and very smart. They also are very funny, like to tell jokes, be silly and play jokes on me. They are loveable and very loving. Katy is Ms Bubbly Priss Actress, Kara is Ms fashion Princess, and Zachary is Mr Energetic full force little boy. They all have a love of music, dance and singing. Zach and Katy are the athletes. Kara could care less, but will play. Although don't back her in a corner or push her too far, she has a mean left hook, ask Zach. I just really love them for who they are and who they are becoming. I thank God for the opportunity to be their parent.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A week of Thanks

In honor of thanksgiving, I will be posting my thanks to God.

Today I am grateful for my husband.

He isn't perfect, but neither am I.

He is one of the most calmest and patient man I know.

And I am not just talking about with the kids, I am talking about with me.

He is a very loving husband, and loveable.

He is a Mr. Fix it, problem solver, build projects, and handy with tools.

He has also been able to transform himself into a stay at home husband and dad.

He is good with the vacumning, loading and unloading the dishwasher, laundry, and moping.

He is still learning about dusting and cleaning bathrooms, but who is complaining?

I did, but not now.

He is a good father.

He listens to me when I need him to listen to me. He is very supportive.

He doesn't always hear me when I ask him to do something or ask a question,

but then neither do I.

His relationship with God is important to him. He has a growing spirituality.

When I met and married him that wasn't always so, but the Pastor we had at

the time mentored him and nurtured his spirituality.

Sometimes I get really mad with him, and sometimes I laugh my head off with him.

Bob is a good joke teller.

I can't imagine my life without Bob, and I was single for quite some time.

I am not going to use that line, "He completes me".

However, he has helped me become a better person, and he loves me.

And for that I am grateful

Monday, November 12, 2007

My Birthday present

Guess what I got for my birthday?

Good guessing, but what I got is a GPS.

My husband was tired of us getting lost out here trying to find where people live. This area is not on the map of Florence, because we are actually right across the city line in the county. He thought it would be a useful gift.

So we hooked it up to use on my regular day for visitation of the homebound. Hubby was so excited. He put the input into its little computer, and it started us on our way. We followed its directions to a certain house and street. We got to where it said the person lived on the street, but the number in the computer was different than the number on the street. Bob decided to get out to check it out anyway, thinking the numbers might be changed due to E-911. Well, the man who answered the door definitely not the homebound man we were looking for. He and Bob had an interesting conversation anyway. The man asked Bob had he tried one of those GPS, and Bob said that is what brought us to your door. The man literally fell over laughing. But he told Bob there was another street up the road by the same name off another road. So off we went to try to find it. But we couldn't find the road off the main drag. So we gave up on finding that person, and put in another address.

This time it took us to the right place, and we had a nice visit.

I went to the office and googled the address we couldn't find, and it showed the first address. So I googled the name of the road that the man had told Bob about, and guess what, it is the street we live on. It was the name of our street at one point. Go figure. And then by moving the map around I found the street the person lived on.

Guess who has the GPS in their car. Right, not me, the hubby. He has used it for where ever we have gone since we got it. Mmm. Maybe he should get his own.

I told the people at church about what happened, and they thought it was funny too. They knew exactly where we had gone, and knew where we needed to go. It was an adventure.

Bob has since hooked the GPS to the computer to update it. So the next time we go looking for a place out here on the GPS, we will see if it really updated it.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Friday Five: Extravagant Unbusyness

Sally at revgalblogpals gives us this Friday's Five:
I am writing in my official capacity of grump!!! No seriously, with the shops and stores around us filling with Christmas gifts and decorations, the holiday season moving up on us quickly for many the time from Thanksgiving onwards will be spent in a headlong rush towards Christmas with hardly a time to breathe.... I am looking at the possibility of finding little gaps in the day or the week to spend in extravagant unbusyness ( a wonderful phrase coined by a fellow revgal)...

So given those little gaps, name 5 things you would do to; care for your body
You know I have been thinking of having a pedicure, I may just get one, and/or a massage. Heck I may just go to a spa for the day. Other than that I will continue my morning walks, and eating healthy.

2. to care for your spirit
Well it seems to me this is related to # 1. I would think as I take care of my aches and pains, my body, that I can then take in the Spirit better. I am not as focused on "what's wrong with me" instead I am focused on my spirit being connected to God's Spirit.

3. to care for your mind
Okay, this might have been better to come after #1 before #2. My mind will get to watch movies this time of the year, which my mind likes to do, and will read books as able. I am guessing that also that taking care of my body will help my mind, after all it is a muscle. And being forcused on my spirit being connected to God's Spirit is will be good for my mind too. Oh and I like to read the poems about Christmas at this time of year.

4. to bring a sparkle to your eye I will enjoy the sparkle in my kid's eyes. I will enjoy the sparkle in my hubby's eyes. Iwill enjoy the sparkle in my pets' eyes. I like to make crafts and bake around Christmas, and so I have been gathering crafts for us to make, and the ingredients for baking. I really can't wait, and in fact may start on them now, because it gets so busy in Dec.

5. to place a spring in your step Okay you got me on this one. I am not a very good dancer. I just had a birthday that reminds me my spring is getting looser and doesn't have as much spring in it as it once had. Mainly I think it will be keeping up with my kids at Christmas.

Enjoy the time to indulge and dream.... and then for a bonus which one on the list are you determined to put into action? Oh my, the doing things with my kids and with my kids is the easy one. But to go to the Spa, well, I will probably not do it, unless I really push myself, make an appointment and keep it. Taking care of me has always been a hard thing to do. It seems so extravagant...

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Rolls Royces, private jets, jewlery, generous salaries and gifts


Well it appears that the Government is stepping in to investigate the finances of six well-known TV ministers. This was announced yesterday by Sen. Chuck Grassley the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee. You can read the news article to get the full story. There have been many like; Ministry Watch, Trinity Foundation, and newspapers, who have tried to keep an eye on these televangelist and others, and tried to get them to disclose their financial situations fully. But this is different because it is the first time the Government has stepped in to investigate. Sen. Grassley, said he is doing this in response to complaints and tips he has gotten. The ministries have until Dec. 6 to submit audited financial statements, compensation reports, records for ministry jet travel, and other documents.

Who are the Six? faith healer Benny Hinn, Georgia mega church pastor Creflo Dollar and one of the nation's best known female preachers, Joyce Meyer, Kenneth and Gloria Copeland of Kenneth Copeland Ministries of Newark, Texas, Bishop Eddie Long of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church and Bishop Eddie Long Ministries of Lithonia, Ga., and Bishop Eddie Long of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church and Bishop Eddie Long Ministries of Lithonia, Ga., and Randy and Paula White of the multiracial Without Walls International Church and Paula White Ministries of Tampa, Fla.

Ken Behr, president of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, called the request "quite unusual" and "almost unprecedented." He said none of the six ministries targeted are members of his Winchester, Va., organization, but he expects it will prompt others to get their houses in order."I think it's a wake-up call for everybody that financial accountability, transparency, proper accounting processes are important," said Behr.

What do these ministries have in common? They preach and teach a prosperity gospel. I guess the other thing they have in common is that they live it, and live it to the fullest. CBN contacted the 6 and got responses from 3 of them.
I just don't get it how you can read the scriptures and come to the conclusion of the prosperity gospel and how you as a minister can even live like that.
But I will admit to you this, I like having enough money to pay my bills and then some, to have some nice things, nice car, go out to eat and have a date night with my hubby, now and then. I like not worrying about paying the bills or worrying if there is going to be enough money from paycheck to paycheck. But I got to tell you since Bob's retirement, the lower mount of money from his retirement is catching up with us now. It is causing us to re budget, rethink our spending, rethink our wants and rethink what extra things our kids get to do. None of this is a bad thing to rethink our out go. I don't think my salary anywhere matches what these ministers make. My car is a 6year old, over the 100,000 mile mark, but paid for. My home is a nice parsonage. We have enough to meet our needs, and I am grateful.
Prosperity gospel sells obviously, but its a false gospel. And you cannot make these or any ministers above reproach, and "Idols". Nor are ministers to set themselves up as above reproach or as "Idols". We are just not bigger than Jesus, and exempt from his teachings. It taints our witness to those who think we are hypocrites anyway.
I don't glory in this happening to them and say "look they are getting theirs." I pray for them and for God's grace and mercy for them. And ask God to show me and work in me the places that are not of him.
I will admit, that how I spend my money and what I like; has been something that God has been working on me for a long time. I grew up not having much and I think sometimes I try to make up for it. And now that I have kids, I don't want them to be without like I was. You know my parents were like this too, they didn't have, they grew up in the depression, and as they earned more money, the more they bought, especially my father. He did not deny himself anything. It has been a struggle for me not to be like him, and often I have failed miserably at this. God please help me with my "idols" and making an idol of myself and the almighty dollar and what it represents.
Image is from CBN and is actually a video report that I didn't know how to copy and imbed into my post.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Its my party

Its my party. Its my birthday.

I am a young spring chicken today. I got to be, I got young-uns.

Happy Birthday to me!

Lost out on my date night on the weekend, due to a sick kid. But I am glad she is well. And I am glad none of the others have gotten it either, including me.

So what am I doing tomorrow? Work and more work. And a meeting with the United Methodist Women. Its soup night, I'm making Bean soup. Want some? And its thank offering night. I'm thankful are you? And its bring gifts for one of the Assisted Living facilities night. What are you bringing? It will be good food and good fun.

Zachary thinks I should bake some cupcakes. He said he would decorate them for me.
MMM this could be interesting. Can you say, spiderman, superman, transformer, power ranger cupcakes? But a girl doesn't turn down a gift from a good looking guy do they? Hey Zach I got those cupcakes ready. Get the icing and lets get to it. I don't care what it looks like, just as long as it has some chocolate in it somewhere.

The girls keep telling me they have a gift for me, but i am not suppose to know.

Bob hasn't said anything, and I mean anything. What is he up to?
So come on over for the party!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

$350 million

Did I get your attention?

That figure, $350 million is what Scott Boras told the Yankee Baseball team they needed to offer for Alex Rodriguez, or they couldn't even talk to the man. $350 million? I don't even think the man is worth his present contract. I frankly don't think any baseball player, sports figure, or entertainer or politician is worth that much. Can we say unrealistic? Can we say well, greedy.

There are already enough articles that have been written about Scott Boras and what he has done to Baseball. He says he has improved the game, and given players a fair shake, instead of the owners getting it all. Either way owners, agents, players, getting all that money and then some is ridiculous.

But you know what the other sad side of this story is, is that we will pay the increased prices at the games, to see these guys play or play at. We will buy their merchandise for the NFL, MBL or NBA team we support at ridiculous prices. We will buy their merchandise they endorse. We are a part of this escalation of the ludicrous.

Scott Boras represents a young man who played for Atlanta Braves. He did play. Boras went in asking for a ridiculous amount of money for this young man. Sherholz had the guts to stand up and say no, we won't pay that amount for him, his production numbers had gone down this year. And so now he is one of the many free agents. Oh he is represented though by Boras who right now gets his way and gets his man their money. You know its like a gun for hire. It is no longer team effort. Last year when they were negotiating salaries for the Braves team, another man took a cut in his pay so they could afford Jones' salary and he would stay another year. That man, the other Jones, Chipper. He is no saint, don't give him that. But when it got down to priorities about a team, he had it right.

Why am I writing about this on my blog? I do follow the Braves, When we lived closer by, we would go to the games. My husband loves the sport of baseball. I can take it or leave it. But I am writing about it, because it speaks to the way our culture our society our nation is going these days. It is all about the money isn't it. It is all about having more. It is about idolizing somebody. It is about forgetting about our first love, Jesus, and losing our focus on the Lord our God. Others have become our gods. We have forgotten that part about doing mercy, walking humbly and doing justice. You know if I was a good prophet, and I am not prophetic, I would be using the "woes" and "the day of Judgement" language. I got a friend, she has a prophetic voice, she don't like having the prophetic voice at all, wishes she didn't. But she can't help it, God's called her to it, given her that voice. I listen to her. But her prophetic voice is toward us Christians, believers and followers of Christ. And really that is the way it should be, we got to get our act right. We got to get back to our first love, Jesus. We got to be walking humbly, doing justice, and mercy. I believe the scripture says that is what God requires of us. God have mery on me will you.

I would guess we got some of the same thing in the church, among us ministers, and Christians that is going on in baseball and in our society. And truly woe is us. And truly God have mercy on us.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Thank you Martin Luther...

In honor of the posting of the 95 Theses by Martin Luther, and the Reformation I post the

95 Theses. Think about it, without the reformation, the bravery and thoughtfulness of Martin Luther and others, those of us who are Protestant would not have the choices we have of different ways of worship and denominations. Plus where would we be without the Wittenburg Door? (It's one of my favorite mags to read, and I thought I add a little humor. ) Also, if you have not seen the movie about Martin Luther, made in 2003, and not the one made in 1953, you are missing something worth seeing.

Here is the document Martin Luther nailed on the church door at Wittenburg.

1. When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, "Repent" (Matthew 4:17), he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.
2. This word cannot be understood as referring to the sacrament of penance, that is, confession and satisfaction, as administered by the clergy.
3. Yet it does not mean solely inner repentance; such inner repentance is worthless unless it produces various outward mortification of the flesh.
4. The penalty of sin remains as long as the hatred of self (that is, true inner repentance), namely till our entrance into the kingdom of heaven.
5. The pope neither desires nor is able to remit any penalties except those imposed by his own authority or that of the canons.
6. The pope cannot remit any guilt, except by declaring and showing that it has been remitted by God; or, to be sure, by remitting guilt in cases reserved to his judgment. If his right to grant remission in these cases were disregarded, the guilt would certainly remain unforgiven.
7. God remits guilt to no one unless at the same time he humbles him in all things and makes him submissive to the vicar, the priest.
8. The penitential canons are imposed only on the living, and, according to the canons themselves, nothing should be imposed on the dying.
9. Therefore the Holy Spirit through the pope is kind to us insofar as the pope in his decrees always makes exception of the article of death and of necessity.
10. Those priests act ignorantly and wickedly who, in the case of the dying, reserve canonical penalties for purgatory.
11. Those tares of changing the canonical penalty to the penalty of purgatory were evidently sown while the bishops slept (Matthew 13:25).
12. In former times canonical penalties were imposed, not after, but before absolution, as tests of true contrition.
13. The dying are freed by death from all penalties, are already dead as far as the canon laws are concerned, and have a right to be released from them.
14. Imperfect piety or love on the part of the dying person necessarily brings with it great fear; and the smaller the love, the greater the fear.
15. This fear or horror is sufficient in itself, to say nothing of other things, to constitute the penalty of purgatory, since it is very near to the horror of despair.
16. Hell, purgatory, and heaven seem to differ the same as despair, fear, and assurance of salvation.
17. It seems as though for the souls in purgatory fear should necessarily decrease and love increase.
18. Furthermore, it does not seem proved, either by reason or by Scripture, that souls in purgatory are outside the state of merit, that is, unable to grow in love.
19. Nor does it seem proved that souls in purgatory, at least not all of them, are certain and assured of their own salvation, even if we ourselves may be entirely certain of it.
20. Therefore the pope, when he uses the words "plenary remission of all penalties," does not actually mean "all penalties," but only those imposed by himself.
21. Thus those indulgence preachers are in error who say that a man is absolved from every penalty and saved by papal indulgences.
22. As a matter of fact, the pope remits to souls in purgatory no penalty which, according to canon law, they should have paid in this life.
23. If remission of all penalties whatsoever could be granted to anyone at all, certainly it would be granted only to the most perfect, that is, to very few.
24. For this reason most people are necessarily deceived by that indiscriminate and high-sounding promise of release from penalty.
25. That power which the pope has in general over purgatory corresponds to the power which any bishop or curate has in a particular way in his own diocese and parish.
26. The pope does very well when he grants remission to souls in purgatory, not by the power of the keys, which he does not have, but by way of intercession for them.
27. They preach only human doctrines who say that as soon as the money clinks into the money chest, the soul flies out of purgatory.
28. It is certain that when money clinks in the money chest, greed and avarice can be increased; but when the church intercedes, the result is in the hands of God alone.
29. Who knows whether all souls in purgatory wish to be redeemed, since we have exceptions in St. Severinus and St. Paschal, as related in a legend.
30. No one is sure of the integrity of his own contrition, much less of having received plenary remission.
31. The man who actually buys indulgences is as rare as he who is really penitent; indeed, he is exceedingly rare.
32. Those who believe that they can be certain of their salvation because they have indulgence letters will be eternally damned, together with their teachers.
33. Men must especially be on guard against those who say that the pope's pardons are that inestimable gift of God by which man is reconciled to him.
34. For the graces of indulgences are concerned only with the penalties of sacramental satisfaction established by man.
35. They who teach that contrition is not necessary on the part of those who intend to buy souls out of purgatory or to buy confessional privileges preach unchristian doctrine.
36. Any truly repentant Christian has a right to full remission of penalty and guilt, even without indulgence letters.
37. Any true Christian, whether living or dead, participates in all the blessings of Christ and the church; and this is granted him by God, even without indulgence letters.
38. Nevertheless, papal remission and blessing are by no means to be disregarded, for they are, as I have said (Thesis 6), the proclamation of the divine remission.
39. It is very difficult, even for the most learned theologians, at one and the same time to commend to the people the bounty of indulgences and the need of true contrition.
40. A Christian who is truly contrite seeks and loves to pay penalties for his sins; the bounty of indulgences, however, relaxes penalties and causes men to hate them -- at least it furnishes occasion for hating them.
41. Papal indulgences must be preached with caution, lest people erroneously think that they are preferable to other good works of love.
42. Christians are to be taught that the pope does not intend that the buying of indulgences should in any way be compared with works of mercy.
43. Christians are to be taught that he who gives to the poor or lends to the needy does a better deed than he who buys indulgences.
44. Because love grows by works of love, man thereby becomes better. Man does not, however, become better by means of indulgences but is merely freed from penalties.
45. Christians are to be taught that he who sees a needy man and passes him by, yet gives his money for indulgences, does not buy papal indulgences but God's wrath.
46. Christians are to be taught that, unless they have more than they need, they must reserve enough for their family needs and by no means squander it on indulgences.
47. Christians are to be taught that they buying of indulgences is a matter of free choice, not commanded.
48. Christians are to be taught that the pope, in granting indulgences, needs and thus desires their devout prayer more than their money.
49. Christians are to be taught that papal indulgences are useful only if they do not put their trust in them, but very harmful if they lose their fear of God because of them.
50. Christians are to be taught that if the pope knew the exactions of the indulgence preachers, he would rather that the basilica of St. Peter were burned to ashes than built up with the skin, flesh, and bones of his sheep.
51. Christians are to be taught that the pope would and should wish to give of his own money, even though he had to sell the basilica of St. Peter, to many of those from whom certain hawkers of indulgences cajole money.
52. It is vain to trust in salvation by indulgence letters, even though the indulgence commissary, or even the pope, were to offer his soul as security.
53. They are the enemies of Christ and the pope who forbid altogether the preaching of the Word of God in some churches in order that indulgences may be preached in others.
54. Injury is done to the Word of God when, in the same sermon, an equal or larger amount of time is devoted to indulgences than to the Word.
55. It is certainly the pope's sentiment that if indulgences, which are a very insignificant thing, are celebrated with one bell, one procession, and one ceremony, then the gospel, which is the very greatest thing, should be preached with a hundred bells, a hundred processions, a hundred ceremonies.
56. The true treasures of the church, out of which the pope distributes indulgences, are not sufficiently discussed or known among the people of Christ.
57. That indulgences are not temporal treasures is certainly clear, for many indulgence sellers do not distribute them freely but only gather them.
58. Nor are they the merits of Christ and the saints, for, even without the pope, the latter always work grace for the inner man, and the cross, death, and hell for the outer man.
59. St. Lawrence said that the poor of the church were the treasures of the church, but he spoke according to the usage of the word in his own time.
60. Without want of consideration we say that the keys of the church, given by the merits of Christ, are that treasure.
61. For it is clear that the pope's power is of itself sufficient for the remission of penalties and cases reserved by himself.
62. The true treasure of the church is the most holy gospel of the glory and grace of God.
63. But this treasure is naturally most odious, for it makes the first to be last (Matthew 20:16).
64. On the other hand, the treasure of indulgences is naturally most acceptable, for it makes the last to be first.
65. Therefore the treasures of the gospel are nets with which one formerly fished for men of wealth.
66. The treasures of indulgences are nets with which one now fishes for the wealth of men.
67. The indulgences which the demagogues acclaim as the greatest graces are actually understood to be such only insofar as they promote gain.
68. They are nevertheless in truth the most insignificant graces when compared with the grace of God and the piety of the cross.
69. Bishops and curates are bound to admit the commissaries of papal indulgences with all reverence.
70. But they are much more bound to strain their eyes and ears lest these men preach their own dreams instead of what the pope has commissioned.
71. Let him who speaks against the truth concerning papal indulgences be anathema and accursed.
72. But let him who guards against the lust and license of the indulgence preachers be blessed.
73. Just as the pope justly thunders against those who by any means whatever contrive harm to the sale of indulgences.
74. Much more does he intend to thunder against those who use indulgences as a pretext to contrive harm to holy love and truth.
75. To consider papal indulgences so great that they could absolve a man even if he had done the impossible and had violated the mother of God is madness.
76. We say on the contrary that papal indulgences cannot remove the very least of venial sins as far as guilt is concerned.
77. To say that even St. Peter if he were now pope, could not grant greater graces is blasphemy against St. Peter and the pope.
78. We say on the contrary that even the present pope, or any pope whatsoever, has greater graces at his disposal, that is, the gospel,spiritual powers, gifts of healing, etc., as it is written, 1 Corinthians 12:28).
79. To say that the cross emblazoned with the papal coat of arms, and set up by the indulgence preachers is equal in worth to the cross of Christ is blasphemy.
80. The bishops, curates, and theologians who permit such talk to be spread among the people will have to answer for this.
81. This unbridled preaching of indulgences makes it difficult even for learned men to rescue the reverence which is due the pope from slander or from the shrewd questions of the laity.
82. Such as: "Why does not the pope empty purgatory for the sake of holy love and the dire need of the souls that are there if he redeems an infinite number of souls for the sake of miserable money with which to build a church? The former reason would be most just; the latter is most trivial.
83. Again, "Why are funeral and anniversary masses for the dead continued and why does he not return or permit the withdrawal of the endowments founded for them, since it is wrong to pray for the redeemed?"
84. Again, "What is this new piety of God and the pope that for a consideration of money they permit a man who is impious and their enemy to buy out of purgatory the pious soul of a friend of God and do not rather, because of the need of that pious and beloved soul, free it for pure love's sake?"
85. Again, "Why are the penitential canons, long since abrogated and dead in actual fact and through disuse, now satisfied by the granting of indulgences as though they were still alive and in force?"
86. Again, "Why does not the pope, whose wealth is today greater than the wealth of the richest Crassus, build this one basilica of St. Peter with his own money rather than with the money of poor believers?"
87. Again, "What does the pope remit or grant to those who by perfect contrition already have a right to full remission and blessings?"
88. Again, "What greater blessing could come to the church than if the pope were to bestow these remissions and blessings on every believer a hundred times a day, as he now does but once?"
89. "Since the pope seeks the salvation of souls rather than money by his indulgences, why does he suspend the indulgences and pardons previously granted when they have equal efficacy?"
90. To repress these very sharp arguments of the laity by force alone, and not to resolve them by giving reasons, is to expose the church and the pope to the ridicule of their enemies and to make Christians unhappy.
91. If, therefore, indulgences were preached according to the spirit and intention of the pope, all these doubts would be readily resolved. Indeed, they would not exist.
92. Away, then, with all those prophets who say to the people of Christ, "Peace, peace," and there is no peace! (Jeremiah 6:14)
93. Blessed be all those prophets who say to the people of Christ, "Cross, cross," and there is no cross!
94. Christians should be exhorted to be diligent in following Christ, their Head, through penalties, death and hell.
95. And thus be confident of entering into heaven through many tribulations rather than through the false security of peace (Acts 14:22).

Martin Luther's 95 Theses is public domain content.

Friday Five: Interviews

Mother Laura at revgalblogpals posted this Friday Five, but I am answering it on Saturday, what's new. Songbird just had an interview for a "vague and interesting" possibility, and More Cows than People is doing campus visits for doctoral programs. There always seem to be a few RevGals applying for new positions, and I just got my first call for this year's preliminary interviews for college teaching jobs at the American Academy of Religion meeting in San Diego coming up in a few weeks. It's for my dream job among this year's offerings, and I am flipflopping between excitement and nervousness. So please keep your fingers crossed and say a little prayer for everyone facing such conversations, and share your thoughts on the wonderful world of interviews:

1. What was the most memorable interview you ever had? I think it has to be the interview for Pastoral Counselor at the Pastoral Institute/Bradley Center in Columbus GA. It was memorable, because I think I was interviewed by every one from the janitor to the CEO and in between. But it was memorable because it was enjoyable as well.

2. Have you ever been the interviewer rather than the interviewee? If so, are you a tiger, a creampuff, or somewhere in between? Yes, I have been the Interviewer. I try to be me, and it is a balancing act and a case of discernment of when to come on strong and when to lie low.

3. Do phone interviews make you more or less nervous than in-person ones?I have not had much luck with phone interviews, I can't tell what the non verbal communication is. And so I have missed the nuances, and not interveiwed well.

4. What was the best advice you ever got to prepare for an interview? Be yourself, remain calm yet energetic to a point. Have some relevent questions to ask also, remembering you are interviewing them also.. How about the worst? Not sure, really, I'll have to think on that one.

5. Do you have any pre-interview rituals that give you confidence? I remind myself, that it is not the end of the world if I don't get the posistion, and that at the same time, disappointment is a natural response. I deep breathe and pray. I think about what is it I am wanting to know also. I try to imagine myself, confident, thoughtful and real. I also focus on my strengths, and think of a growing edge that I am willing to disclose.

cartoon by Randy Glasbergen

Friday, November 02, 2007

A Peanut Butter Chocolate Bar to die for

One of the desserts that a church member made for the Caregiver Conference the church hosted was a big hit. Everybody wanted the recipe. And so we got the recipe copied and put it in an email. It is an easy recipe, and m-m-m good. I just had to share it with you all. Hope you like it too.

U may be wondering also how did the Caregiver Conference go? It was a success and a big hit. However, it rained cats and dogs and kept people at home that might have otherwise come out to it. A member of our church had the dream to have this and put it together with a little help. We had different agencies, Hospices, Home-Health companies, and hospitals there. We had two presentations on the topics of grief, and dealing with the stress of care giving. We also had a free lunch provided by our members, and entertainment for lunch. The vendors brought some freebies and door prizes. They were pleased and we plan to do it again. The people who came really enjoyed it and got a lot out of the presentation.

So now on to the main topic;

Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars

How could this bar be anything but uncommonly good, for it contains not only peanut butter in the crunchy crust, but a creamy topping of chocolate, coconut, and chopped pecans. And it can be prepared, baked, and in your mouth in under an hour. What could be better?

Makes: 24 Bars

Preparation Time: 20 Minutes

Baking Time: 20 to 25 Minutes


1 package (18.25 ounces) plain yellow cake mix

1 cup smooth peanut butter

8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted

2 large eggs

1 package (12 ounces; 2 cups) semisweet chocolate chips

1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup frozen unsweetened grated coconut, thawed

1 cup chopped pecans

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Set aside an ungreased 13- by 9-inch baking pan.
  2. Place the cake mix, peanut butter, melted butter, and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. The mixture will be thick. Reserve 1 ½ cups for the topping. Transfer the remaining crust mixture to the pan. Using your fingertips, press the crust evenly over the bottom of the pan so that it reaches all sides. Set aside.
  3. For the filling, place the chocolate chips, condensed milk, and 2 tablespoons butter in a medium-size heavy saucepan over low heat. Stir and cook until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is well combined, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the coconut, pecans, and vanilla until well distributed. Pour the chocolate mixture over the crust, and spread evenly with the rubber spatula so that it reaches the sides of the pan. Using your fingertips, crumble the reserved crust and scatter it evenly over the chocolate. Place the pan in the oven.
  4. Bake the cake until it is light brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool for 39 minutes.
  5. Cut the cake into 24 bars. Remove the bars from the pan with a metal spatula, and serve.

*Store these bars, covered in plastic wrap, at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Or freeze them, wrapped in aluminum foil, for up to 6 months. Thaw the bars overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

# If you prefer crunch to smooth, use chunky peanut butter.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Friday Five: Are you Chef enough?

REVHROD from over at revgalblogpals brings us today's Friday Five. This Fall my family has been energetically watching Top Chef on the Bravo channel. My teenage daughter watches with the dream of some day being a chef. My husband watches because he loves reality shows and I mean, really loves them. Plus the whole competition thing really works for him. Me, I love cooking and good food. Every so often I get an idea from this group of talented young chefs who are competing for big money and honors galore.The winner for this season was Hung. Not the fan favorite, but he won fair and square. In his bio, he says if he were a food "I would be spicy chili - it takes a while to get used to, but once you eat it you always come back for more!" With that in mind, here is this week’s Friday Five.

If you were a food, what would you be?
A strawberry. When I was a little girl, we would go to the strawberry fields to pick the ripened strawberries. It was such a fun time. We would eat some of them as we would go along. By the time we were done, we had that red juice done the front of our tee shirts and all over our hands and face. Sheer joy, Sheer succulence. I would be a strawberry just because of the memories. Besides it is such a great tasting fruit, now admit it.

What is one of the most memorable meals you ever had? And where?
Memorable meals? M-m-m. It could be the first date I had with Bob at that little German restaurant. Or it could be the meals we were treated to in Germany by his friends. Or it could be the meals my grandma Carlisle would fix. Or it could be the meals we had in China. Fiddle Dee, I just don’t know which one to choose.

What is your favorite comfort food from childhood?
Anything home baked, chocolate and ice cream.

When going to a church potluck, what one recipe from your kitchen is sure to be a hit?
You mean the ones that hit like a brick? Don't ask me to make biscuits. Or the ones that are a hit with the kids? That would be my cookies, home made Chocolate chip.

What’s the strangest thing you ever willingly ate?
Oh my, I really don’t know what to say. I have willingly eaten a lot of different wild meat, but then found it to be good. We really didn’t eat anything strange in China, although the presentation of the food was different than here, and so a little strange. I ate fish head soup, which was wonderful. No dog or cat meat. But, and I do say but, in the first group we went with to China, some of them did eat a strange/different thing that is considered a delicacy; Fried water bugs. Yep, you heard me right, and they enjoyed them.

Bonus: Who was my favorite chef? I have two; my Grandma Carlisle and my dad. My Grandma was the best Southern Cook. And my dad followed in her footsteps, but he was really better at baking. On the other hand, my Grandma Eastman, just could not cook, and neither could my mom. Guess who cooks in our family now?

Angels in the church

So sorry, I have not blogged in awhile, but Angels have been in our church.

By that I mean, the human kind who have been working in a Women's Retreat, Angel Food Ministries, A Yard Sale/New purse sale/pancake breakfast/lemonade stand/baked goods to benefit our upgrading to meet ADA standards, planning for a Fall Festival, and planning for a Caregiver Conference. My goodness, there have been Angels everywhere!

Now if the Angels who complete all the Charge Conference forms and all the meetings for charge conference prep would get their work done. Whoops, that's me and the secretary. Sigh. Anybody else having to do theirs a new way? We have work sheets to complete and then we have to enter the data into an online form. It is different and will be different. But the way theyhave it set up, next year's won't be so bad.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

A flat tire and a "good samaritan"

The drive from Camp Sumatanga is a long one, anywhere from 2 1/2 hours to 3 hours. All these years of going there I have made it to and from safely and without anything going wrong with the car.

But not this time. And really it was my fault, I did what they tell you not to do, I looked down to take care of something, and bang hit a curb. I did it on the highway in Moulton in front of a church, a Baptist church. I drove the car off into the church's parking lot.

I called Bob to tell him what had happened. I was at this point about an hour from home. He said he would come down to help me.

Now in the van, the tire is under the floor between the front seats and the next row. First you have to move away from the carpet area anything your kids have thrown down, or that you have set back there as well. It doesn't matter where you put that stuff now, just get it out of the way. You have to take the carpet up, and then lift up the cover. Fortunately it has a way to hook it to one of the seats to hold it up. You have to unscrew the tire and lift it out of its holder, maneuver it between the seats, and then get it out of the car. I got it done.

Then you have to go to the back of the van, move everything out of the way that you have back there already or have thrown back there to make room for getting the tire out of the floor. Then they have this net that hold things that you have to take down and take out whatever it is holding. Then you unscrew this side panel and there is your jack in three parts. You can pull out the two parts easily, but then you have to unscrew the top part of the actual jack, in a limited area to get it unscrewed in, to get it out. It will come out after doing that and getting stuck several times.

After wrestling with the things in your car, the carpet, the cover, the tire, and the jack you are now ready to fix your tire. Wooh I am already beat. Then you make sure you put your jack in the right place to jack up your car so you can take the tire off. At that moment a good samaritan will drive up, and right on time one does. It happens every time. Actually I was glad he did, because I was so tired from wrestling with everything else don't you know. He got the tire changed. And I was glad he came because for some reason the car rolled off the jack and he had to rejack it up, and the lug nuts were so tight he had to work hard to get them off. I also had to go get air put in the little spare tire.

Bob and the kids met me at the gas station. I was so glad to see them. He followed me all the way home in case something else happened. Today he is going to get that tire replaced and another one.

Thank you to my good samaritan that stopped and helped me when no one else did.

Tom Long continued

Tom Long is professor of preaching at Chandler Seminary of the Emory University in Atlanta. He is Presb. He has written many books on preaching. He has been one of the featured preachers at the Festival of Homiletics many times. I have to say he was great. The convocation was great. The Bishop preached on Monday night and was the most relaxed he has ever been with us. He issued the challenge and yet gave us hope as well. What a difference. He also had a panel discuss his sermon. And he even accepted what they had to say, both positively and negatively.
Tom was awesome in preaching and in teaching. I like that he is willing to learn new things. He is working on what to do that this new generation is not listening to narrative preaching. He talked about some of things he has been thinking and putting together. I was glad he did it.
He also talked about those in the pews who are listening to us. He talked about how neo-gnosticism has entered into our church members' thinking. Of course he is writing a new book as well and some of what he talked about is part of his new book.
Camp Sumatanga was as beautiful as ever. I really enjoyed being there. I enjoyed being with my friends and peers. I have a lot to think about in terms of preaching.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Tom Long

Gone to Bishop's convocation for a few days. This year our main speaker is the Tom Long. Can't wait. Love to listen to the man at the Festival of Homileticts, and the tapes from there. Now I get to spend a couple of days listening to him again. See ya on the other side.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

High Water pants

You know your kid has grown when the pants that hung on him last year, and you had to cuff, now are high waters.

You know your kids has grown when the next size jeans you put on him are too tight.

You know he has grown, when the shirt has a gap between the bottom of the shirt and the top of the pants.

You know he has grown when you find rips in shirts he has put on.

You know he has grown when the clothes just don't fit anymore.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

College Game Day, Southern Style

You all know by now, I love College football. I love the possibility of the underdog team beating the champ. I love the excitement that is at the stadium. And wouldn't you know it, that today, yes, two SEC Alabama teams go at it agains two Florida teams.

Auburn takes on U of F Gators. Oh my it can be a big time game in the Swamp. (Cuz are you ready? Yeah I hear ya.) The odd makers give the odds to Gators. I think they are right. Auburn may have beat them last year, but Auburn is not the same team. Gators are still rolling over opponents after that loss, including winning it all last year. I wouldn't want to go in the swamp this year as an opponent. I hate to even utter the words. Go Gators! CHOMP CHOMP!

And then my alma mater takes FSU on the rising Tide. Yeah, Saban has the Tide playing so much better than it has in a long time. And they have even had some last minute wins. None of that helped them last week against the Bulldogs of GA. So here they come into Seminole territory to take on the Noles. The Noles are ranked. Their offense just stinks. They barely won last week. It is not the Noles of old. So Bama is ranked and slated to win. My guess is Bama wins. I still say this is Bowden's last year, of course I could be wrong. (Even old Papa of Penn State won't retire.)

Here is what I got to say about the Papa and Coach Bowden; I love them, they have done a lot for their teams and colleges and for College Football. They are good coaches and good men. But it feels like neither knows when it is time to retire for the team's sake. It feels like it is a competition between them two over the most wins as a coach at this point. It feels like they lost their perspective, their edge. Are they through all together? Probably not. Have they made a lot of money? You bet they have, and can even make more money with retirement, books, speeches, etc. So boys, give it up. There comes a time to step aside, and that time has passed you two by at this point. I am just saying outloud. Even my cuz has hit it on the head, you can't recruit the great young athletes to come to your team if they think you might retire anyday.
We love you though.

And who is the cinderella team from this weekend? It is going to be hard to take the award from USF . Can you believe how USF has been playing this year.

So who else is playing this weekend? Who are you pulling for? How will it all end up this weekend. It is a big weekend for some ranked teams.....

All I got to say, even though I think they will lose, Go Noles! (Coach Corso said it this way, Roll Tribe!) ESPN and others are saying it is the Tide that will win.

Friday Five: Swan Song

Say it isn't so! reverendmother has posted her last Friday five for revgalblogpals.

Well friends, as I prepare for the birth of Bonus Baby, it's time to simplify life, step back from the Friday Five, and let one of the other capable and creative RevGals take the helm. It's been a great almost 17 months of co-hosting the F5, but it's time to say goodbye... so here's my swan song.On Endings and Goodbyes:

1. Best ending of a movie/book/TV show Mash or GTWTW

2. Worst ending of a movie/book/TV show Movies don't end well.

3. Tell about a memorable goodbye you've experienced. Saying goodbye to my dad as he was dying.
4. Is it true that "all good things must come to an end"? Who said that anyway. I say all bad things must come to an end.

5. "Everything I ever let go of has claw marks on it." --Anne Lamott Discuss. I know what she means. It is so hard to say goodbye and let go.

Bonus: "It isn't over until the fat lady sings." I've never loved this expression. So propose an alternative: "It isn't over until _I say so, Mama says so, God says so, take your choice"

Best ending: Thats all folks

picture from Free Web

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Paying Those Apportionments

We Methodist, call them our Apportionments, the portion we pay the church pay to the Conference and to the World Service Fund. Most churches, especially the smaller ones, are struggling to be able to pay their apportionments. But even the bigger churches are nowdays feeling the pinch or bite, whichever you want to call it.

The three churches I served before I came here, could not pay their apportionments. I did not take a pay raise for the last three years I was there, challenging them to pay their apportionments; and use what would have been what they would give me in a raise to put toward it. The smallest church closed my last year there.

The church I am serving now, last year paid 80% of their apportionments, after not paying them for years. This year they will pay 100%. We are celebrating. And now that they have done this, they want to continue to do so.

But there is a but. Just like many of the churches they are facing more people on fixed income with rising medical costs, and more deaths of the older generation who are the givers. We are looking at cutting salaries, slicing jobs, etc.

I am wondering are there some ways, some creative ways you may have found or tried to raise funds in order to pay the apportionments? I think the truth is even if in churches everybody tithed, we would struggle. I think the reality is though that not everybody tithes in churches, and it presents a problem to keep the regular bills paid, the salaries paid, and the apportionments paid. So there seems to be another factor at work here too, what about the tithing? What about using our gifts, graces, and talents in other ways to raise the funds for the church? And what about the larger church, the conference, the boards and agencies? What are their responsibility in this matter? Where are they held accountable for their spending? Their tithing?

I would like to hear your thoughts, ideas, opinions, problem solving on this matter, whether you are Methodist or another denomination.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Friday Five - - Decluttering Edition

Sally over at the revgalblogpals issues this challenge for the Friday Five; With Jo, Jon and Chris all moving to college and University accommodation there has been a big clear up going on in the Coleman household. We have been sorting and trying hard not just to junk stuff, but actually to get it to where it can be useful. On a brighter note we have used Freecycle ( check it out) to provide the twins with pots and pans etc that other folk were clearing out.

Making the most of our resources is important, I have been challenged this week by the amount of stuff we accumulate, I'd love to live a simpler lifestyle, it would be good for me, and for the environment I think...

With that in mind I bring you this Friday 5;

1. Are you a hoarder or a minimalist? I am a glutton of stuff.

2. Name one important object ( could be an heirloom) that you will never part with. my name and my faith

3. What is the oldest item in your closet? Does it still fit??? Did you really have to ask? And whatever it is, it certainly fits someone but not me anymore.

4.Yard sales- love 'em or hate 'em ?
I am not a yard sale junkie.

5. Name a recycling habit you really want to get into.
Recycling? What is that. For the last five years, I lived where they didn't recycle, and now I am having to get back in the habit.

And for a bonus- well anything you want to add....
Just to let you all know; The Yard Sale That's 792,000 Yards Long
That's in Alabama ya'll.

It is funny you asked this for the Friday Five, we are getting ready for a church rummage sale. Bob and I are going through our "Stuff" to sell at it. We are really trying to pare down.

Picture taken from Kim & Jason's Escape Adulthood blog

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A Full Sunday/ A Full Week

Last Friday's Friday Five was on meetings. Reverend mother had mentioned that she had had a lot of meetings and it got her thinking about meetings. I had had quite a few meetings too along with other gatherings and events.

It is that time of year when the Charge Conference is coming and all the paperwork that comes with it, so it means meetings to get that done. Next month the Administrative council meets and so the committees meet to get ready for that as well. So it is a month full of meetings. Plus we have had some planning meetings for some ministries and other events being planned for the near future. October is looking to be a full month of some fun things, festivals, meetings, and ministries. Thank God Charge Conference is not until the end of Nov. It is going to take now until then to be sure we have everything together.

Well, I like a restful peaceful Sunday like anybody else. This Sunday was a full Sunday from the time of getting up until the end. First we had the Coffee Fellowship time, then Sunday School time, then Worship, lunch and then the children's school had Open House. Then we came back in time for the Healthy Church Initiative (Natural Church Development) meeting at the church.
And then we had Sunday night worship with age level activities at the church. Came home to get the kid's ready for bed. Some where in there we breathed I think. The kids had a busy day with all that too, except for the one meeting. They were tired too.

On Monday I was just plain exhuasted. On Monday it all started up all over again. Last night we had a really good Nominating team meeting. I am headed to a Board of Ordained Ministry Meeting this morning. It will be neat that the WEOs (Women Eating Out) will eat out tonightl. Then a finance meeting. It is just as hard on the church members and their families too. I pray we all make it through this month, get some down time, some recoop time, some God time and some family time as well.