Thursday, May 31, 2007
And finally, I will be gone to the North Alabama Conference today through late Saturday. What's the big events? Tonight the clergywomen are gathering after the memorial service. We get to hear Bishop Janice Huie at Ordination. We are voting for jurisdictional and general conference delegates. It is a compressed meeting, but last year with voting we were there late, so it could happen again. We are meeting at Clear Branch church out in Clay, NE Birmingham, one of our big churches, and not at Birmingham Southern. Our special offering goes to the Nothing But Nets.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
I am just at this place in the book. I keep getting interrupted in my readings by the munchkins. But I will say it is good interruptions. I had read this before in an excerpt Rob Bell wrote for Chritianity Today, called the The Storage Room Meltdown.
Here is what he had to say: "I could feel my car keys in my pocket, and all I could think about was how far away I could be by How much gas was in the tank? How fast could I drive?
Sitting on a chair in a storage room, I could hear the worship space filling up with people, and all I wanted to do was leave. What do you do when you're pastor of a church, it's Sunday morning, people are finding their seats, you're scheduled to preach, and you realize you have nothing to say? How did it come to this? It started out so great … One minute you have these ideas about how it could be, and the next minute you're leading this exploding church/event/monster."
He goes on to say: "We were growing. House churches were springing up, partnerships were beginning with other churches around the world, and people who had never been a part of a church were finding a home. Two years into it, around 10,000 people were coming to the three gatherings on Sundays. In the middle of all this chaos was me, superpastor, doing weddings and funerals and giving spiritual direction and going to meetings and teaching and dealing with crises and visiting people in prison and at the hospital. It was happening so fast. One minute you have these ideas about how it could be, and the next minute you are leading this exploding church/event/monster. I tell you all this because there's a dark side. It's one thing to be an intern with dreams about how church should be. It's another thing to be the 30-year-old pastor of a massive church. And that is why I was sitting there thinking about how far I could be by I escaped to the storage closet to be alone. I was moments away from leaving the whole thing. I just couldn't do it anymore. People were asking me to write books on how to grow a progressive young church, and I wasn't even sure I was a Christian anymore. I didn't know if I wanted to be a Christian anymore. I was exhausted. Full of doubt. I had nothing more to say.
And so I sat there with my keys in my hand, turning them over and over, hearing the room getting louder and louder and more and more full. At that moment I made some decisions. Because without pain, we don't change, do we? but I realized that day that things were wrong with the whole way I was living my life. If I didn't change, I was not going to make it. In that abyss I broke and got help … because it's only when you hit bottom and are desperate enough that things start to get better. This breakdown, of course, left me with difficult decisions to make.
This breakdown, of course, left me with difficult decisions to make. Mars Hill was alive and people were being transformed. Who would leave all that? I decided to be honest about my journey, and if people wanted to come along, great. But I was still going to have to take a new path. And a new journey began, one that has been very, very painful. And very, very freeing.
It was during this period that I learned that I have a soul."
Well he says more, and I'll be glad to share the article with you or you can read the chapter in the book. Its a good chapter. I think whether you are a Pastor who is planting a church, or is pastoring a mega church or a little church, somewhere you are going to get to this place in your life, your ministry. And if you seek the help you need, change your path, you too will learn you have a soul, but you will have to face and feel the pain. I would say that some days, I am still facing and feeling the pain, and when I do, I realize, I have gotten off the path, or am having to look at another shadow part of myself.
Here is the Nooma for the day. It is a Nooma we could all use. It is one I can especially use. The Psalmist wrote, "Be still, and know I am God."
"Why is silence so hard to deal with? Why is it so much easier for us to live our lives with a lot of things going on all the time than to
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
This is Lily Bear. Many people think she is a male, because of her looks, but she is a she. Many think she is a mean dog because of her looks, growl and bark. She can be if threatened or you threaten her family. She has some wolf in her and acts like one. Bob is the Alfa. Lily Bear was found in the middle of the road below Wadley on the way to Lafyette, and was given to my daughter Katy. There was no giving her back. She is very sweet, likes her back scratched. She was named after our Liaison in China.
Monday, May 28, 2007
- Well, it is Memorial day today. And yet I will be spending most of my day at the Ball park for a double header of my son's Baseball team. Lathering up the sun screen, and Bob is putting up the canopy. But yesterday, Bob and I put together a picture board for Memorial day and invited others to do the same. I'll see if I can get them together to show you later. It was very moving.
- It was Pentecost Sunday yesterday, and the person bringing the announcements told them I would explain Pentecost to them. I used the children's sermon to tell them about Pentecost and the Holy Spirit, and explain how the Holy Spirit helps us to become Christ Like which tied into my sermon. I wasn't preaching Pentecost lectionary passages. We are doing a series on the Purpose Driven Life to go along with the Book Study. We are at the third purpose of "Becoming Christ Like". I have to tell you after attending the Festival of Homiletics, listening to the "Rock Stars" of the Preaching World, I really felt humbled about my preaching. And I got the idea from what the Bishop said in his lecture on the last day about preaching, that he didn't care for the Purpose Driven Life or the style of preaching that Rick Warren preached. I really felt anxious. But the Bishop said something that I do agree with, that when the Holy Spirit shows up it is awesome, disconcerting, powerful, well we don't have the words to describe it, at least I don't. But I think God is there in the church and its us who don't always show up, or we may come to church physically but not in the whole. Our minds and hearts are often elsewhere, including myself sometimes. My prayer was that I showed up and that we showed up to receive the word we needed to hear.
- Yesterday, we said goodbye to our Youth Director. It was sad. We gave her a gift card and a gift. She tried hard to work with our youth. She tried different means of working with them. But in the end it did not work. But we wanted to thank her for her time with us and our youth and ministering to them. So we said goodbye and thank you. We prayed over her and for her future. She is getting married, and finishing her graduate degree. Anybody in our area looking for a youth director? I can recommend one. We have a different youth group. We have some members of our church who are youth. Then we have youth whose parents don't go to church. We also have the young men from a local children's home. Good boys at heart, but boys with lots of needs, lots of pain, and no parents around. It makes for a hard youth group. So, Abi is working with the youth along with another man, Bob and some other people who said they would help until we decide what direction we are going in.
- Last night we came home from Sunday night church to see our beautiful male cat, Prince Aiden on the side of the road. Yes, we lost another cat. He was breathing but not really responding. Bob took him to the emergency clinic and they put him to sleep. Bob brought his body home so we can bury him and have a little burial service for him today. The girls were just in tears as was I. He slept on Kate's bed, and was one of the most loving male kitties I have ever had. The Vet told Bob that our street was known as "death road" for pets. We have a fenced in yard, but that doesn't keep the cats in, except for big cat. We have a pet door for the dogs to go in and out. I guess we may have to think about getting rid of the pet door, and just let the dogs in and out. I don't know.
- But the truth is, a pet's death is not a human death. It is not the same. It is grievous, but not the same. And it is not the same as the sacrificial deaths of our military. So today we take time to remember our military and those who died in war. I have a great Uncle who died in WWI. Bob has an Uncle who died at war also. Probably there are others, I don't know. I think Grand dad told us his brother died in the Spanish American War. Here is a link to a Memorial Day prayer that I like. Did you know that there are this many US deaths in Iraq:
- U.S. Deaths Confirmed By The DoD: 3441
- Reported U.S. Deaths Pending DoD Confirmation: 14
- Total 3455 from IC website.
- This doesn't include contractors, journalists, other nation's military(here are British Numbers), nor does it include the Iraqis' deaths.
- And let's not forget we got another war going on, that has heated up again, Operation Enduring Freedom.
- Here is a list of American War Casualties for all wars.
- I think it is important to put a face to the number, go to the Washington post for that.
- Whether you agree or disagree with the present administration and it's policies, take time to remember those who have died for your right to agree or disagree.
- And last point in my world. yesterday the local paper talked about the KKK coming to Tuscumbia on Saturday(You can't read the article anymore if you don't have an account, but you can see the pictures.). I didn't know about it, nor did I go, I was at the ball park all day and had a spend the night friend over for the girls. (That's another story.) They were there to talk about illegal immigration and their usual topics. What was neat was that there were protests about them being there. They say there were a lot of young faces in the crowd of protesters. The protesters were nonviolent and held up signs that said "Love thy Neighbor", and "God's Love is Colorblind". They had to cancel the cross burning due to the Fire alert we are under. In the end they had to leave due to the crowd who were gathered singing a few verses of "Jesus Loves the Little Children". Can you imagine it was the singing of that sweet little children's hymn that forced them to leave. In light of what the Festival of Homiletics theme was on, "Preaching for Transformation", a sermon was preached yesterday. Don't be fooled by their talk about illegal immigration, they still spew hatred, and racism. Instead pray for them, protest them with nonviolent protests, love them as the Bible tells us too, and sometimes sing that sweet Song; "Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world, including the KKK...."
Friday, May 25, 2007
1. Have you ever successfully quit a bad habit, or gotten a good habit established? Tell us about how you did it. When I was a little girl, I sucked my thumb for a very long time. Who knows if I was insecure or why, but I did. My parents tried all the favored treatments, you know, pepper, some kind of liquid, shame, pulling the thumb out of my mouth, etc. Those did not work. To tell you the truth, I don't know how I stopped, I just remember I stopped. And that I didn't need it anymore or want it. It was very freeing. Now if I could just get that to work for some of my other bad habits.....
2. "If only there were a 12-step program for _________________!" I don't know, because it seems like there is a 12-step program for just about every addiction there is. Maybe buying too many books.
3. Share one of your healthy "obsessions" with us. Buying books.
4. Share the habit of a spouse, friend or loved one that drives you C-R-A-Z-Y.
Bob, not throwing away his popcicle sticks or ice cream wrappers or candy wrappers; that I find the next day, and have to throw away before the kids find them.
5. "I'd love to get into the habit of ___________________."
Walking, daily prayer, bible reading, meditation....
Bonus: What is one small action you might take immediately to make #5 a reality?
Go for a walk today...
clear aside an area that is a sanctuary for prayer, meditation and bible reading.
Bonus 2: Try it, and let us know how it goes in a future post! Okay
Thursday, May 24, 2007
This afternoon we went to the Upper Room, which was a nice experience. There were also more books one could buy. But I did not buy any there. Don't tell Bob I bought some at the Festival though. I have got to quit buying books and read the ones I have bought. And I have to finish Velvet Elvis for Monday's discussion. But I am having a good time and learning a lot. I haven't stopped blogging or left this world. I'll try to write more as I can.
Saturday, May 19, 2007
Although our Children's Minister had a party on Wednesday night for him. This is something she does for all the kids for their birthday. Instead we opted for a Saturday afternoon party at the church's Christian Life Center. We rented one of those blow-up bouncy thingies. It was a hit.
We adopted Zachary last year toward the end of March, and had a family party for his birthday and one at preschool. He didn't understand, and wasn't sure what was going on. But somehow or another he got it this year. I have never seen him so excited and thrilled as today at his party. He had a big time. He got some nice presents, you know the boy types; Spider Man, Power Rangers, that kind of stuff. He couldn't wait for us to finish singing Happy Birthday before he blew out the candles. And oh yes a Spider Man cake. He and his friends had a big time. He is now sleeping, happily, looks less like a spider man more like an angel. Dad is asleep. mom is falling asleep as she blogs. Shh, don't wake the sleeping family.
Friday, May 18, 2007
RGBP, Inc. now has a planning committee, and we are in the early stages of planning the RevGalBlogPal Big Event. What, When, Where and Who are all on the table at the moment. In that spirit, I bring you the Big Event Friday Five.
1. What would the meeting be like? (Continuing Ed? Retreat? Outside Speakers? Interest Groups? Workshops? Hot Stone Massages? Pedicures? Glorified Slumber Party?) Must have continuing ed, the conference is pushing continuing ed. Definitely Retreat. Outside Speakers, mmm, not sure, we have some very wonderful, smart, wise, experienced people in the blog. Perhaps someone more to lead, moderate, direct the sessions. Could have a keynote speaker, then workshops planned around the theme or speech. There are so many areas to Pastoring and ministry you would need people who are experts on those areas or focus on one are in particular. The retreat could employ as well time for taking care of ourselves ie the massages, pedicures, etc.
2. When in 2008 might you be able to attend? January? Shortly after Easter? Summer? Fall? Some other time? January or Summer. But I would find a way for the date planned.
3. Where would your dream meeting location be? (Urban Hotel? Rural Retreat Center? New England Camp? Southwestern Fantasy Hotel? Far away from civilization? Nearby Outlets or Really Great Thrift Stores?) You know, I think with these questions, it sounds like a place that had away from people, but close enough to some sort of shopping. May I recommend Gulf Shores, AL. Camp Sumatanga of AL also. It is near Boaz. But then I like Jeckyll Island. And I like the southwest. I haven't been to a New England Camp though.
4. Who would make a great keynote speaker? (That's if #1 leads us in that direction.)
Is this a loaded Question? Barbara Brown Taylor, because she has served as Pastor.
Diana Butler Bass. Bishop Janice Riggle Huie, President of the Council of Bishops of the UMC, or any of the female Bishops of the UMC. Bisop Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, or any of the other female Bishops of the Episcopal Church. An of the female leaders in the Denominations, I don't mean to sound like I am leaving out the Lutheran, UCC, or the Presb. Grace Imathiu, Barbara Lundblad, Marva Dawn, Ann Weems, Joanna Adams, or Anna Carter Florence. But it would also be neat to have people like Kathleen Norris, Anne Lamott, Phyllis Tickle, Nora Gallagher, Marjorie Thompson, Roberta Bondi, The Rev. Dr. Lauren Artress,The Rev. Barbara Cawthorne Crafton, The Rev. Mary C. Earle, The Rev. Margaret B. Gunness, The Rev. Canon Renée Miller, The Rev. Dr. Donna Schaper, The Rev. Dr. Renita J. Weems, and Susan R. Garrett. Is this too many for the committee to consider? I'm just dreaming big.
I have a friend that does women retreats, Cinde Lucas, that said she would be glad to come do ours or some part of ours.
5. Did I leave out something you want to suggest?
Food, Fun, and Fellowship. Worship. Wonder if we can consider a way to include our over the pond members perhaps next time. Perhaps we need to do like the Festival of Homiletics and meet in different regions of the country each year so that people from those areas can have an opportunity as well.
Dream big for the Big Event!!! Dreaming Big for big time funding a great place a great keynote speaker and leader, and a great time had by all.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Hi, back on Wednesday blogging about Rob Bell in preparation for our book discussion of his book called Velvet Elvis.
Rob Bell will tell you his style is unorthodox. He planted a church by preaching through Leviticus. His teaching is a mix of images and personal stories and exegesis and some perspectives you probably haven't heard in church before. The message, however, is orthodox, biblical, and well informed by history. The whole package,
Whatever it is, it works. It connects with crowds totaling 10,000 most weekends at
The rabbis believe that the text is like a gem: the more you turn it the more the light refracts. I say, if it's the living word, then turn the gem."My friends tell me that I'm, like, classic ADD. That, of course, was already obvious," he says, and it shows in his writing, but whatever rabbit chases he is on it takes him to a point to bring the real, historical, present, and revolutionary Christ to this generation.
Rob Bell's wife, Kristen, told Christianity Today in a joint interview, "It's a cultural jump for our friends to come to church. It's a cultural jump for us, and we grew up in the church."
"This is not just the same old message with new methods," Rob says. "We're rediscovering Christianity as an Eastern religion, as a way of life. Legal metaphors for faith don't deliver a way of life. We grew up in churches where people knew the nine verses why we don't speak in tongues, but had never experienced the overwhelming presence of God."
When you read the book Velvet Elvis, you get this same language, same thoughts, and a pointing to the real, historical, present, and revolutionary Christ. Oh and by the way I am half way through. Some of the revgalblogpals readers are already done with the book. I have got to get going reading more.
Here is link to the Nooma Video Flame. (The embedding was disabled so you have to click on the link to see it.)
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
God's command to "pray without ceasing" is founded on the necessity we have of his grace to preserve the life of God in the soul, which can no more subsist one moment without it, than the body can without air.
Whether we think of; or speak to, God, whether we act or suffer for him, all is prayer, when we have no other object than his love, and the desire of pleasing him.
All that a Christian does, even in eating and sleeping, is prayer, when it is done in simplicity, according to the order of God, without either adding to or diminishing from it by his own choice.
Prayer continues in the desire of the heart, though the understanding be employed on outward things.
In souls filled with love, the desire to please God is a continual prayer.
As the furious hate which the devil bears us is termed the roaring of a lion, so our vehement love may be termed crying after God.
God only requires of his adult children, that their hearts be truly purified, and that they offer him continually the wishes and vows that naturally spring from perfect love. For these desires, being the genuine fruits of love, are the most perfect prayers that can spring from it.
From A Plain Account of Christian Perfection, as believed and taught by the Reverend Mr. John Wesley, from the year 1725, to the year 1777.
John Wesley considered prayer an essential part of Christian living, calling it, in many of his writings, the most important means of grace. Christians were to pray constantly, without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). He wrote in A Plain Account of Christian Perfection:
Whether we think of; or speak to, God, whether we act or suffer for him, all is prayer, when we have no other object than his love, and the desire of pleasing him.
All that a Christian does, even in eating and sleeping, is prayer, when it is done in simplicity, according to the order of God, without either adding to or diminishing from it by his own choice.
How have you experienced prayer in your own life? Do you agree with Wesley that it is the most important means of grace, more important than the Bible?Some quotes on prayer by John Wesley
"I have so much to do that I spend several hours in prayer before I am able to do it."—John Wesley
Wesley's upbringing and practice on prayer
Wesley was born into a strong Anglican home: his father, Samuel, was priest, and his mother, Susanna, taught religion and morals faithfully to her 19 children. Religious training began as early as possible. Even before they could kneel or speak, they were taught to be quiet at family prayers, and to ask a blessing by signs. As soon as they could speak they repeated the Lord’s Prayer morning and evening. A prayer for their parents, some collects, Catechism, and Scripture, were added as soon as they were able to learn them.
It is said that he was up early before 5am for prayer and bible reading.
Monday, May 14, 2007
Associated Press Writer
Sun May 13, 7:38 PM ET
Church leaders on Sunday told more than 3,000 residents, volunteers and disaster workers gathered in this tornado-ravaged community they should not fear the future because God was with them.
The non-denominational service marked the first time the congregations have worshipped in Greensburg since a May 4 tornado destroyed more than 90 percent of the south-central Kansas town and killed nine people.
Tears and hugs were common as many residents saw each other for the first time since the tornado. Volunteers passed out flowers to mothers in honor of Mother's Day."We are a scattered, dispersed community. But the Lord Jesus is our redeemer and is with us. 'Do not fear for I am with you,' says the Lord," said Rev. Gene McIntosh, pastor of First United Methodist Church in Greensburg.
Tim Henning, pastor of Peace Lutheran Church in Greensburg, likened the city's plight to that of Job in the Bible, whom God tested by taking away everything he loved but who kept his faith through it all: "We are like him, we lost everything," he said.
Henning reminded residents that God was still with them.
The congregations held hands as Willard Olinger, the elderly pastor of Faith Tabernacle, reassured them that Greensburg will be rebuilt, even if it is not within his lifetime.
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Do you consider your mom, the world's best mom?
My kid's these days say to me, "Mom, you are my bestest mom." And I say thanks.
Today, Kara told me she remembers her Chinese mom, and coming out of her stomache. Okay, that's a six year old's version, which led to one of those talks in answer to the question "How can you come out of your mommy's stomache." I told Kara, that she probably does have a memory of her mom and being inside her. I told her I was glad she could remember her. And I told her I wished I could meet her to tell her that I thank her for having Kara. She looked at me funny on that one, but then lept into my arms for a hug and kisses all over, as she puts it.
Do I consider my mom, the world's best mom? I consider my world's best mom. She is the best mom for me. She has had a big inflence on me being who I am. My mom was always giving to others, being there for others in their time of need. She loves Jesus, and she taught me to love Jesus. She used to hum and sing when she was working around the house. Yes, I do too. She also worked outside the home as a nurse, and she was a good one. She raised three kids who are very different. She loves her grand kids and they adore her. She loves her kids, and they love her. So yes, I consider her world's best mom.
Was she perfect? Nah, but neither am I. Did she try her best? Oh yes she did. She would dance and play with us. She did her best to make home life good for us. And I think that's a good thing. She made sure our needs were met. She supported me in getting a college and seminary education. She prays for me and supports me now. She's my mom.
My mom is getting older now and needs us more. Her age is starting to wear on her more. Although she still gets around, is a volunteer for Hospice, and is active in her church and my sisters. She has friends she still goes to visit or goes out to eat with. I hate I am not closer by.
I want to say "thanks Mom, You are my bestest mom!"
Saturday, May 12, 2007
A sympathetic word from Garrison Keillor, of A Prairie Home Companion:
Some mornings I get up at five.
With four to mother, one to wive,
I find the hours from light to dark
are not enough to matriarch
with goals for matriarchy high
among the apples of my eye.
This little girl with golden braid
expects her toast a certain shade;
her scrambled eggs must meet the test
of excellence—and gently rest
upon the toast and not beside.
The little boy wants his eggs fried
yet not too greasy on his lips,
accompanied by bacon strips
fried till thy resemble bark.
The older boy takes his toast dark,
and if his golden eggs should not
be poached and served steaming hot,
(two slightly liquid, yellow bumps
of yolk in solid white), he slumps
down in his chair and has a mood.
The oldest girl eats rabbit food,
berries, nuts, sunflower seeds,
leaves and stem, and as she feeds,
she is displeased. It’s all my fault.
I bought her seeds containing salt!
some juice containing sugar.
She glares as if I were a crook or,
worse, a mother short of sense
and guilty of child negligence.
Negligence in the name of love
is just what we should have more of.
Don’t mother birds after some weeks
of looking at those upturned beaks,
deliberately the food delay,
hoping to hear their goslings say,
"What are these feathered, floppy things
attached to us?
You think they’re wings?"
This helpful trusty friendly Frau
is starting her neglect right now.
The clothes you counted on to leap
up while you were fast asleep
and wash themselves for you to wear
have let you down. They just sat there.
The bicycle you thought would pick
itself up when the rain got thick,
the homework you forgot to do,
assuming I would tell you to —
my child, you have been betrayed.
The world you thought
was neatly made,
its corners tucked in like a sheet,
is uncomposed and incomplete.
For years I carried on a hoax.
I made you think that scrambled yolks
or poached or boiled, fried or shirred,
are how they come out of the bird.
No matter what you have been told,
the rainbow holds no pot of gold,
babies aren’t found under rocks
or in Sears Roebuck catalogues…
the moon is not made of green cheese,
and eggs don’t come
the way you please,
served by hens on silver trays,
and neither does much else these days.
Friday Five: Potato, Po-tah-to Edition
Reverend Mother was out all day Friday, so she begged our indulgence once again as she posted an early Friday Five.
There are two types of people in the world, morning people and night owls. Or Red Sox fans and Yankees fans. Or boxers and briefs. Or people who divide the world into two types of people and those who don't. Let your preferences be known here. And if you're feeling verbose, defend your choices!
1. Mac? (woo-hoo!) or PC? (boo!) Why yes, the Friday Five author reserves the right to editorialize! PC of course, never had a Mac.
2. Pizza: Chicago style luscious hearty goodness, or New York floppy and flaccid? Pizza in those styles? MMM, being down here in the South we don't always get those choices. We get "You want me to order from Dominos tonight?"
3. Brownies/fudge containing nuts:a) Good. I like the variation in texture.
b) An abomination unto the Lord.
The nuts take up valuable chocolate space.[or a response of your choosing] I don't think I have ever thought of it that way. But I like nuts, especially good pecans from the South local pecans the better the fresher.
4. Do you hang your toilet paper so that the "tail" hangs flush with the wall, or over the top of the roll like normal people do? Okay here's the deal, I like hanging it over the top, it is easier to get to and to get to work. But in the kids bathroom, that led to enormous amount of T. P. disappearing quickly, so they get it flush against the wall. We have since stopped spending a fortune in Toliet Paper.
5. Toothpaste: Do you squeeze the tube wantonly in the middle, or squeeze from the bottom and flatten as you go just like the tube instructs? Hey, I squeeze wherever I want to squeeze it, and I did not know there were instructions written on the tube for flattening it. I leave that to my hubby.
Bonus: Share your favorite either/or. Not sure I have a favorite, but this one I know, here in the state of Alabama, you are either "Roll Tide" or "War Eagle", and that's a fact.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Cross Garden: Hell's Warning Labelas mentioned in Roadside America.com
I have not been there, nor did I know it existed. But it sounded interesting, and so like Alabama folk art. I guess, I'll have to go see it on one of my beach trips down 65. Sadly in 2004, W. C. Rice, the artist, died. Here's how to get there; On Hwy 82, N of hwy 14. past Country Club, go up hill. On downslope, watch for a paved Autauga County Road 47/Indian Hills Rd on the left. Crosses are just ahead, on both sides of road.
The article says this: "If W.C. Rice's stark Cross Garden doesn't save you, there's no one to blame but yourself. His frightening jumble of white crosses cling to hills on either side of a curving county road next to a trailer park. Rough wooden crosses and peeling hand-lettered signs bearing Bible scripture fragments are nailed to fences, trees, and each other. Everywhere, whitewashed signs explicitly warn -- in blobby black paint -- "You will DIE," and "HELL IS HOT HOT HOT.""
I have included some pictures from the Cross Garden.
There are some other pictures here at this blog post; Best Use of a Junk Car.
She got permission to use those pictures from Cecil Bridges, they are worth the look.
Folk Art can be very interesting. And if you have seen any you know it often has religious images.
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
To be honest I joined the book club hoping I would finish reading books I started. I have a habit of starting books, reading some, then picking up some other book to read, then going back to the original book, then back and forth like that. Eventually I finish them. I read the first book, "Leaving Church", finally after the due date for discussion. I have however not finished the second book, "Christianity for the Rest of Us", and am in the process of reading it. I decided however, that I wanted to be ready when it came time to discuss the third book Velvet Elvis. I put down the second book, and started reading Velvet Elvis. It is a very different style of writing than I am used to, but interesting. It is written in loops, as described by Leonard Sweet. And he uses very interesting objects as metaphors for things.
I really don't know that much about Rob Bell. Some people have heard him preach at his church or at some of the speaking engagements he has done. There is something else he has done is make some videos called Nooma. The name NOOMA comes from a phonetic spelling of the Greek word pneuma (πνευμα) meaning 'wind,' 'spirit,' or 'God's movement or agency.' I found some on You Tube. They are a lot like the book, spoken in loops. I am offering one here that is on You Tube.
Some people are very critical of Rob Bell. Some really like him. The church he pastors, Mars Hill in in Grandville, Michigan draws somewhere between 10,000 to 11,000 a weekend to worship. It is very intersting to me he started the church teaching through the book of the Bible, Leviticus. Now how many preachers do you know have even preached or taught out of Leviticus? (If you have taught Disciple Bible Study, you have.) I am saving my critique until I have completed reading the book. In the meantime, I will on Wednesdays be posting somthing about Rob Bell or by him, until we discuss the book on May 28. I would be interested in your thoughts as well.
Here is the video: Nooma - Rain
If you can't see it, here is the link to Nooma-Rain on You Tube
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
1. To set apart a little time, if you can, every morning and evening for that purpose?
And whatever light you then receive, should be used to the uttermost, and that immediately. Let there be no delay. Whatever you resolve, begin to execute the first moment you can. So shall you find this word to be indeed the power of God unto present and eternal salvation.
Monday, May 07, 2007
These pictures tell a story without words.
On the following night, May 5, another tornado struck, killing two more people and damaging buildings, including the Trousdale church. Church members gathered at the building on Sunday morning, May 6, to salvage the altar, piano and some furniture. They plan to worship May 13 at the home of a member. The Rev. Elaine Lord, Trousdale pastor, said the congregation has a strong and positive spirit and is determined to go on.
Plans are under way for United Methodist volunteers to staff a liquids trailer provided by the conference's Salina District, a hot foods trailer from the Hutchinson District and a tools trailer from the Wichita East District.
To send checks to the Kansas Area Disaster Fund, make checks payable to Kansas West Conference and indicate "Area Disaster Fund" on the memo line. Mail to Kansas West Conference, 9440 E. Boston St., Suite 110, Wichita, KS 66207. Arrangements are being made for online donations.
To volunteer, visit the Kansas West Conference Web site at www.kswestumc.org or Kansas West Village at www.7villages.com/kansaswestconference.
Saturday, May 05, 2007
I hate to say it, but over the years I've been to too many parties where I, or the birthday child, has felt much like the chorus of Lesley Gore's old tune. I am therefore not the biggest fan of birthday parties.
For this Friday (which happens to be my birthday), tell us these five things about parties, birthday or otherwise.
1) Would you rather be the host or the guest?
Guest, I really am not the one to put parties together.
2) When you are hosting, do you clean everything up the minute the guests go home? Will you accept help with the dishes?
If hosting, I accept all the help given me. But I do try to clean up once the party is done.
3) If you had the wherewithal, and I guess I mean more than money, to throw a great theme party, what would the theme be?
Okay this is the first thing that came to my mind. It would an "Out Of Africa" theme. We would go on an a Safari in Africa. But then my guilty side would take over, and say then we had to perform some kind of mission work as part of the party, and people would be ask to donate their money to some kind of project like Heifer International, Nothing but Nets. But really we would have a good time.
4) What's the worst time you ever had at a party?
I can't think of one, I usually find a way to have a good time, people to enjoy or good conversation.
5) And to end on a brighter note, what was the best?
The best time was my 40th birthday party that my husband gave me. He really surprised me. He got my parents to come all the way up from Fla in secret to celebrate it. He invited my friends and I never knew. It was a great evening.
This is a good one, because yesterday, our church women hosted Church Women United for the May Friendship day, I am in the midst of planning Zach's first birthday party, (Shh its a secret!), Kara's Birthday party, and a Open House Cookout for the church.
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
What am I talking about? Well if you noticed, I put a little banner over on the sidebar, that if you click on, it will take you to the website, "Nothing but Nets." I could say, I'm not talking Basket ball, but that wouldn't be true, basket ball is very involved, especially the NBA. It is one of our malaria initiatives of the United Methodist Church in concert with the NBA Foundation, the United Nations Foundation, Gates Foundation, Sports Illustrated, VH-1, and American Idol. Now can you imagine all those working together to do something to help the world be a better place? Its hard to imagine but they are. And guess what this thing is catching on like wildfire from children to adults, groups, churches, and individuals.
I issued a challenge to the church for the month of May to raise funds to buy enough nets to equal the number of members on roll. You see, our conference special offering this year goes to "Nothing but Nets". Last night in the United Methodist Women's meeting, we talked about the challenge. One of the women said, if I can save a life, by doing something so simple as buying a net, I am going to do it. She said it was one of those No Brainer things. These women are caring women, involved in many ways in the church, volunteering their time, talents and money. And I can see these women raising the money for "Nothing but Nets."
The next group I am talking to is the Bible Study tonight. And then the Youth, the Men's group, and then Sunday School. But I see the same response wherever I go.
Did you know…
A $10 donation goes directly toward the purchase, distribution, and education about the proper use of an insecticide-treated bed net. That doesn’t sound like much, right? And what’s more, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will match each donation, net for net. Most people in sub-Saharan
the UN Foundation has been working with the UN to fight malaria for years, it was a column that Rick Reilly wrote about malaria in Sports Illustrated, challenging each of his readers to donate at least $10 for the purchase of an anti-malaria bed nets -- and the incredible response from thousands of Americans across the country -- that led to the creation the Nothing But Nets campaign.
The reaction to Reilly's 815 words made clear that thousands of people were ready to help the million children dying unnecessarily each year of malaria. Within a few short months, Nothing But Nets raised over 1 million dollars. And so Nothing But Nets was born.
Hey, I am all about Nothing but Nets. How about you?
You can donate right now here
or you can donate here
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
from the belief that disabled people are inferior to others.
(although you won’t find a definition in a dictionary)
Yes, its May Day. It is also blog against Disablism day. How many of our churches have made the necessary changes in their church to not be practicing Disablism? Our church has done a great job on making the changes to be access friendly. Many of the churches I have served have done so. The United Methodist Church itself, and the North Alabama Conference has made a concerted effort to address the matter.
Yet, I must ask myself have I practiced Disablism? Do I think that persons with disabilities are inferior to me? These are good questions to ask ourselves, and our churches. Disablism goes beyond being access friendly. It gets to the heart of the matter, of our attitudes, what we think in our inward being, and our actual practices. Jesus told the crowds one time, 'Listen and understand. What goes into a man's mouth does not make him 'unclean,' but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him 'unclean.' But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man 'unclean.' For out of the heart come evil thoughts.'' Jesus was most gracious, welcoming, and open to those with disabilities. Sometimes I think we the Church ( the big church) have gotten far away from Jesus' practices, because we want to look so good, to have things perfect, and that is not how Jesus lived his life or treated people.
I am not disabled. I have children with speech disabilities, you can't always tell what they are trying to say. But it is nothing like some of the other disabilities that are so noticeable.
Lord, help me be honest with you and myself and ask forgiveness for the times I have practiced disablism toward your children. Help me as a leader to follow you in how you treated others and to lead others to do so also. Make me more Christlike in my thoughts, feelings, my inward being and in my practices. Make us all who claim to be your followers more Christlike. There are certainly enough isms in the world. Let me one of the ones who you are eradicating your isms from, especially disablism.
Go to the Diary of a Goldfish to join the blogging against disblism and to read more from those who did blog.
Hat tip to Mother Laura for making me aware of this day.
And if Iris had a blog I would nominate her, but she doesn't. Iris has been a blessing and instrument of God in my life. Thank you dear Iris. I do think this is kind of interesting in light of the fact that when I have taken the Meyers-Briggs test, I always score high on the feeling side and really low to nil on the thinking side. So I am not sure what this says about me. But thank you Iris.