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.