Wednesday, January 31, 2007

quirky, who me quirky?

Certain flaws are necessary for the whole.
It would seem strange if old friends lacked certain quirks.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
08/28/1749 - 03/22/1832
German poet

from Quotes

Quirk is defined as a : an abrupt twist or curve b : a peculiar trait.
Quirky is defined as an adjective: informal terms; strikingly unconventional.

Okay so far they are right on.
I saw this quote and it made me think of a conversation I had yesterday with one of the church members. We were discussing church members and spiritual maturity. She said that alot of church members had problems with different preachers' quirks, and would end up not liking the preacher because of them. She felt it was because of their lack of spiritual maturity. She felt those with spiritual maturity were more able to accept the preacher for being human. She also said that she would probably get to know my quirks too. I said oh yes I do have them if you haven't found them already. I have them like everybody else. I will disappoint you, but if you have learned to accept your humanness, then you will be able to accept mine.

I think it is a lack of spiritual maturity, but also it is a matter of emotional maturity. I think it is both. The context in which this was discussed was the level of spiritual maturity in this church. She and her husband are looking for more depth and she felt like this church was not there. She said that at one time it was growing spiritually and had some very spiritual people, but those are dead or have moved away. Some of the preachers they have had were less than ethical, and some were lazy, not all. I don't think this church is totally full of immature people, but I do feel they have lost their first love. And I think that some of them who are spiritual don't recognized it in themselves.

But it is true I have quirks like everybody else. And members of my church have quirks. But as the saying goes "God don't make no junk", and quirks are part of that equation too. My quirks are part of my personality that just like my weakness are part of who God created me to be. God can use my quirks to help others to know his love, and to remind me of his love.

Wade in the Water

Well would you believe it, I performed a Baptism in a Baptist Church?

One of the children of St. John wanted to be Baptised by immersion. We weren't sure they would let me do it, but they were gracious about it. So we went to the church in the afternoon to do it. I kept it like a worship service, and not just a "dunk and go" service. Quite a few of our church members came out along with the family and extended family. Found out as I was going into the Baptistry that they had also invited the former Pastor to be there too. (He is 18 miles away.)

Well, I didn't want it to be a comedy but it had some of the makings of a good comedy. I have done Baptisms in the rivers, creeks, and swimming pools with no problem, but I weren't sure about this one. It was a cold cold windy day, so I borrowed the Preacher's waders. They of course were twice my size, didn't realize he was such a big man. The worst part was the boots were really big for my feet. As I was going down the steps which were too little for the boots and had no railing, I nearly slipped and fell. But finally got down by leaning over and putting my hands on the outside of the Baptistry. I got to the bottom and helped the girl into the pool. Of course she had no problems, but when she got down into it the water was higher than she. I got her over to the middle which was formed with three platforms. I could see everybody out there, but they could just barely see me and her. Do you know that the water pressure causes the waders to vacuum around you? It was the weirdest feeling. But we did it without a hitch. I was thinking I need to get me my own waders that are made for petite women like me. I have a feeling I am going to be doing a whole lot more Baptism by immersion.

This Baptism brought back memories of my childhood baptism. I remembered going up the back steps around to a room that led to the Baptistry. It was dark and scary for me then. Mom went with me to help out. The water was freezing then, and mom forgot towels and a change of clothes. We still had the service to seat through. I nearly drowned, because I was too short and even though they had some bricks to stand on, I couldn't reach them. But I was baptised and it meant the world to me then, I knew Jesus was in my heart and that I loved Him and He loved me.

There are some pictures of this baptism I did, but they are not digital, I'll have to see if I can scan them in for you to see them. I don't have any from when I was a kid, you know they didn't take pictures of those back then, unless it was a baby's baptism.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Tuesday night blogging

  • I have finally been successful in switching to the new blogger after much consternation.
  • I thank you all for you patience and support and encouragement while I have been involved in church bidness, mommying, district bidness, and you name it. ( I think it is the you name its that get you in trouble.)
  • I did see my Doc, and she told me this about my memory; I am overloaded, I am over 50, and I am in an overly anxious church situation. She said all that has led to the short term memory breakdown. She upped my anti anxiety medicine, and told me I was probably going to have to work harder at remembering and to take better care of myself.
  • Did you get all those overs? So I took today off and gelled.
  • My cell phone bit the dust while I was out in the middle of nowhere. I now have a new cellphone, the razor. I am putting my appointments on it and it will notify me. (Don't have one them pDA's.)

I'll blog more later about some of things I meant to blog but have not.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


I have found myself intrigued by this whole issue of Christianity and the Beatles, and have been looking around the web for different thoughts on this matter. I came across this at Way of Life, which actually takes a negative view of the Beatles and Rock. So if you go to the articles, remember that.


(Don't know if this is true, but these are the thoughts and writings of Way of Life, and not mine. But if its true, isn't it neat that they would use that in their concerts. Perhaps someone heard the songs or music and connected to Jesus because of it. And isn't it something, that these musicians recognize that Rock Music, Heavy Metal, and other types of music has had an influence on people.

I would also have to say I really don't know all these Contemporary Christian groups like MAYFAIR LAUNDRY, THE ROCK ‘N’ ROLL WORSHIP CIRCUS’ or the GALACTIC COWBOYS. I am not surprised that they are influenced by the Beatles and other groups, I would be more surprised if they weren't.

I do think it goes a little far to criticize Steve Green for who painted the picture for his album, just because they did the album cover for "St. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band", although I haven't seen the album cover to know what it looks like. I did find this, the music download, that has a picture of Steve Green.

Here is just about the only place I could find any mention of the Galatic Cowboys, and they are mentioned along side another group called the Gotee Brothers (Toby McKeehan of dc Talk, Todd Collins and Joey Elwood), go figure. Its called Techno Rave music, boy am I behind the times, maybe some of you know what it is. Mayfair dabbles with a ska-pop sound, yet Shannon's vocals, their singer, come across as gentler and less aggressive than Gwen Stefani's. Give Shannon a listen on Mayfair Laundry's debut album, Scrub (Organic). I know what that music is. And here is Rock 'n' Roll Worship Circus. They were worship leaders that kept getting booked to Rock Concerts. "We started wondering what God was up to. After a while, we started to get it. God is opening doors for us to go and lead worship in places where no one else is doing it. We're taking people who weren't expecting to worship God at a particular event and we're leading them into an experience with their Creator." —Gabriel Wilson "Somewhere along the way, we started to see ourselves as 'worship smugglers.'" —Blurr It's a bit of old school rock & roll meets 80's prom music haunted by the ghost of Pink Floyd, a time-warped, telescoped sampling of the history of rock n' roll or just say they are an indie group. So who knows how these groups are influencing this generation or speaking their language in music?)

Even Contemporary Christian musicians are Beatles fans. For example, Phil Keaggy pays “homage to the Beatles” on his 1993 Crimson and Blue album. Galactic Cowboys admits that their biggest influence is the Beatles. Caedmon’s Call often performs Beatles music. dc Talk opened its “Jesus Freak” concerts with the Beatles’ song “Help.” Jars of Clay names Jimmy Hendrix and the Beatles as their inspiration. The lead guitarist is said to be a “Beatles fanatic.”
PHIL KEAGGY performs an unholy combination of secular rock and Christian rock/folk, and those who listen to his music are drawn toward worldly rock & roll. On his 1993 Crimson and Blue album, for example, he pays “homage to the Beatles” with several of the songs.

CAEDMON’S CALL often performs Beatles music.
RANDY STONEHILL says that it was the Beatles who gave him the inspiration to play rock and roll: “Really it was after I saw the Beatles. I saw them on television when I was twelve and I knew that that was what I wanted to do” (Stonehill, cited by Devlin Donaldson, “Life Between the Glory and the Fame,” CCM Magazine, October 1981).
The GALACTIC COWBOYS lead singer says, “I’d have to say that The Beatles are still the biggest influence on us, all the way around--except for maybe the guitar tones. They were great songwriters and vocalists” (Ben Huggins, cited by Dan Macintosh, HM magazine, September-October 1998).
Some of DC TALK’S musical role models are the Beatles, David Bowie, and The Police, all of which are wicked secular rock groups (Flint Michigan Journal, March 15, 1996). dc Talk opened its “Jesus Freak” concerts with the Beatles’ song “Help.” During their 1999 “Supernatural Experience” tour, dc Talk performed “Hello Good-bye” by the Beatles (CCM Magazine, April 1999, p. 55).
JARS OF CLAY names Jimi Hendrix and the Beatles as their inspiration (Dann Denny, “Christian Rock,” Sunday Herald Times, Bloomington, Ind., Feb. 8, 1998). The lead guitarist for Jars of Clay is said to be a “Beatles fanatic” (Christian News, Dec. 8, 1997).
MAYFAIR LAUNDRY, a group which got its name from a scene in a Beatle’s movie, cites influences from the Beatles to Red Hot Chilli Peppers (Heaven’s Metal Magazine, May-June 1998).
The cover to STEVE GREEN’S It’s a Dying World album was drawn by the same artist who did the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper album, which included pictures of satanist Aleister Crowley and LSD proponent Timothy Leary, among others.
JOHN MICHAEL TALBOT performed Beatles songs during concerts in the late 1990s.
In a May 1987 interview with CCM Magazine, LESLIE PHILLIPS spoke of her love for the Beatles: “[In the 1987 album The Turning] I just sort of returned to what I loved originally. You know, returning to your roots and all that. The Beatles were the first rock group I remember hearing, and I dearly love them. They were spectacular, even in their mistakes. There was a spirit in that kind of music that we don’t have today.”
THE ROCK ‘N’ ROLL WORSHIP CIRCUS’ musical style is “reminiscent of rock’s glory days” and “combines the best elements of classic seventies style power pop ala David Bowie, The Kinks and Cheap Trick, Pink Floyd, The Beatles and U2” (from their web site).
During the Feb. 18, 2002, premier show for MICHAEL W. SMITH’S Come Together Tour, THIRD DAY took the stage to the strains of the New Age Beatles song “Come Together” (press release, Nashville, April 24).

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

meetings, paperwork and memory problems

  • I have had a meeting every night, and day since the beginning of the year. It is not the slow time of the year. Church meetings, District meetings, planning meetings, and conference meetings. I am meetinged out.
  • Today I finished the paperwork for the end of year report for the North Al. Conf about St. John. I recently turned in a six year report on my ministry at all the churches I served. At the end of November was the Charge Conference report which also included numbers from last year's Charge Confernce to this one. Now would someone please tell me why I have to make three different reports on similar questions? Why there is no database, except the one I made with excell for me? Can we get on the same sheet of paper people?
  • My short term memory is shot. I was embarrassed to realize that Saturday in a meeting, I had not done something I said I would do and needed to do to report at this meeting. And then as I realized that, I realized several other things I had forgotten to do. On the way home, I began to wonder if it was the early warning signs of dementia, later signs of the end of menopause, or just being overloaded mentally.
  • Tonight I have another meeting. I'll have you know, I refused to go to a District meeting on my day off when the kids and hubby were home. I just want to stay home.

Friday, January 12, 2007

The Countdown to my top 5 living people

Friday, January 12, 2007
Friday Five: Countdown Edition from the revgalblogpals

Songbird says: "Last night my TV Boyfriend Keith Olbermann made some comments I really appreciated, and it got me thinking about what makes one person admire another. In the spirit of Keith's show on MSNBC, welcome to the Friday Five Countdown Edition."
Please count down five living people you admire and tell us a little something about why they make your list. These could be famous people or people you know personally.

5... Lilly Q; Lilly is the Chinese Liason for our adoption agency. She has been involved in the Chinese adoptions a long time. Her story of how she got involved is that she was assigned as a translator to a group of Americans who had come over to adopt. The man who was handling the adoptions made off with the money, and so the families had no babies and no money to adopt. Lilly told them if they would stay in the country a little longer she would help them adopt. And sure enough she was able to help them adopt their babies. Lilly is a strong woman in the midst of a male dominated society. She has also worked hard to get foster parents for the babies and children, so they don't have to stay in the orphanage until they are adopted. She too has adopted. She is a good friend who I will always cherish her.
4... My sister; Denise is a very bright woman with many talents, gifts and graces. She is a good mom to her two children. She survived an awful marriage, and a difficult divorce. She rose to be Vice President in a Bank without having a college degree. She worked on her degree when she could obtaining it a few years ago. She did public relations for hospice. And she currently serves as a Christian Education Minister for a Presbyterian church. She has done a bang up job there, and even preaches on occasion. She has taken on the task of helping my mom as she grows older. She is good to people who are hurting. We are complete opposites, we both hated each other as children, but now love each other.
3... My Mom; My mom was raised in the north and married a man from the South. She married him one day and the honeymoon was the move down to Florida. She made herself a home and life in the South. She grew up in the depression on her grandparent's farm while her dad worked away in the city when there was work. She was sexually abused by a farm hand. The family was very stern, critical and puritanical. She obtained an RN degree and worked off and on PRN while we were growing up. Once we grew up she worked full time. She became a Christian later in life, and raised us to know Jesus. She struggled with depression, guilt and low self esteem as long as I have known her. She took care of her Aunt who had Alzhimers (Sp), and her mom two years later. She remained married to my dad even though he was difficult to live with and very domineering. She took care of him when he developed cancer and later died. She has handled his death well, and is living her life now. She was breaking racial barriers when it wasn't the socially acceptable thing to do. She does things for people that no one even knows. We were not close growing up, but we are now, and I love her.
2... My Grandfather; He is a 101 years old, maybe 102, his birth records were lost in a courthouse fire. He grew up in the early days of Florida. He watched a lot of his family die of the flu epedemic. He saw his brother killed in a fire. He worked hard all his life up to the age of 87, and would have kept working if his eyes had not failed him. He still though gardened at home. His wife was killed by a drunk driver when I was a young girl. He and his wife had a boarding house in order to make it through the depression. He came and helped with his son, my dad when he was dying. He outlived his daughter, his other child. He lived by himself up to a couple of years ago when he fell and broke his hip and he realized he could not do it anymore. He loves to play rook and other card games. Has a great sense of humor. Unlike me, he eats right too. Likes a little wine everynow and then. And he has a strong faith in God. I really love my Grandad.
1... My husband; I really love this man. Can I say it again. I really love this man. Bob grew up on a farm was 5th of 6 children. By the time he came along his mom was too tired to take care of him and his sister. So he was taken care of by his older siblings. He was a short fellow growing up. He worked the farm which was a dairy farm which left very little time for extra curricular activities. He went into the army, trained as a medic in special forces. He then went to Viet Nam, and lived with the Vietnamese. He says he delivered more babies than he did kill people. But many a time he almost was the one to die or get shot at. (I am not sure I wrote that right.) He does have PTSD, but he has been in therapy and a group to deal with a lot of it. He loves me and married me. He was previously married to a woman who mentally, emotionally and physically abused him. He's done therapy for that too. He is a deeply spiritual man. He is very astute at diagnosing problems and situations. He is a calm, patient presence. He went through all the crap we went through trying to get pregnant, including invitro fertilization. And he is a very good daddy. Again I love this man.

Thats my five that are alive, I have lots more that have gone on before me and I hope to see in heaven.
Now I would have to say I admire my revgalblogpals and thats my bonus for today.
Have a good weekend ya'll.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

John Lennon's Born-Again Phase

John Lennon's Born-Again Phase
"Can He love me?" the former Beatle asked Oral Roberts. "I want out of hell."
An excerpt from The Gospel According to the Beatles by Steve Turner at Christianity Today

The most extraordinary turnabouts in John's life took place in 1977 A television addict for many years (it was his way of looking at the world since he could no longer walk around anonymously), he enjoyed watching some of America's best-known evangelists—Pat Robertson, Billy Graham, Jim Bakker, and Oral Roberts. In 1972 he had written a desperate letter to Roberts confessing his dependence on drugs and his fear of facing up to "the problems of life." He expressed regret that he had said that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus and enclosed a gift for the Oral Roberts University. After quoting the line "money can't buy me love" from "Can't Buy Me Love" he said, "It's true. The point is this, I want happiness. I don't want to keep on with drugs. Paul told me once, 'You made fun of me for taking drugs, but you will regret it in the end.' Explain to me what Christianity can do for me. Is it phoney? Can He love me? I want out of hell."
Roberts sent him a copy of his book Miracle of Seed Faith and several letters explaining basic Christian beliefs.
correspondence and his exposure to TV evangelism didn't appear to have any effect until he suddenly announced to close friends in the spring of 1977 that he'd become a born-again Christian. He had been particularly moved by the U.S. television premiere of Franco Zeffirelli's Jesus of Nazareth, starring Robert Powell as Jesus, which NBC showed in two three-hour segments on Palm Sunday, April 3, 1977. A week later, on Easter day, he took Yoko and Sean to a local church service.
Over the following months he baffled those close to him by constantly praising "the Lord," writing Christian songs with titles like "Talking with Jesus" and "Amen" (the Lord's Prayer set to music), and trying to convert nonbelievers. He also called the prayer line of The 700 Club, Pat Robertson's program. The change in his life perturbed Yoko, who tried to talk him out of it. She reminded him of what he'd said about his vulnerability to strong religious leaders because of his emotionally deprived background. She knew that if the press found out about it they would have a field day with another John and Jesus story. John became antagonistic toward her, blaming her for practicing the dark arts and telling her that she couldn't see the truth because her eyes had been blinded by Satan.
Those close to the couple sensed that the real reason she was concerned was that it threatened her control over John's life. If he became a follower of Jesus he would no longer depend on her and the occultists. During long, passionate arguments she attacked the key points of his fledgling faith. They met with a couple of Norwegian missionaries whom Yoko questioned fiercely about the divinity of Christ, knowing that this was the teaching that John had always found the most difficult to accept. Their answers didn't satisfy her, and John began to waver in his commitment.
In an unpublished song, "You Saved My Soul," he spoke about "nearly falling" for a TV preacher while feeling "lonely and scared" in a Tokyo hotel. This must have referred to a trip to Japan at the end of May when he stayed at the Okura Hotel for over two months while Yoko visited relatives. Feeling isolated because of the language barrier, he locked himself away in his room for long stretches of time. At night he suffered terrifying nightmares. According to John Green, who makes no mention of the born-again period in his book, John told him, "I'd lie in bed all day [in Tokyo], not talk, not eat, and just withdraw. And a funny thing happened. I began to see all these different parts of me. I felt like a hollow temple filled with many spirits, each one passing through me, each inhabiting me for a little time and then leaving to be replaced by another."

Whatever happened in Tokyo, it marked the end of his personal interest in Jesus. "You Saved My Soul" said that he "nearly" fell for the TV preacher, but that Yoko "saved me from that suicide." So the salvation of the title refers to being saved from God, not by God. Yoko had again become the captain of his soul, the mistress of his destiny. Yet his life didn't improve. He sank into a depression, concerned that his creativity had deserted him and that he had no real purpose in life. The only real joy he experienced came from spending time with his son, Sean.
His life was out of his control. He worried about his health and his eyesight, about making the right investments with his money, about his personal safety. The only way out, as far as he could see, was to pay for the services of people who claimed to see into the future. But then, which ones could he trust? If the advice of the tarot card reader contradicted that of the astrologer, which should he follow? Instead of the freedom he wanted when he broke away from the Beatles, he was now completely enslaved. He couldn't travel anywhere without advice from a directionalist, do deals with anyone without knowing their star sign, or make plans for the future without consulting the I Ching.

By the time Frederic Seaman became John's personal assistant in February 1979, John's main interest was reading books on religion, psychic phenomena, the occult, death, history, archeology, and anthropology. Specific books Seaman can remember him asking for included Rebel in the Soul: An Ancient Egyptian Dialogue Between a Man and His Destiny, by Bika Reed; Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America Today, by Margot Adler; and Practical Occultism, by (Madame) H. P Blavatsky. He also listened to a thousand dollars' worth of taped lectures by Alan Watts.
Vacationing in Florida in the spring, he again watched Jesus of Nazareth on its by now regular Easter showing, but his reaction was completely different from the one he had had two years before. He kept joking that they should just get on with it and fast-forward to the crucifixion. Seaman, who was present with John's sons, Sean and Julian, recalled, "John began working himself up into a tirade against Christianity, saying that it had virtually destroyed what was left of pagan culture and spirituality in Europe-a great loss to civilization." He then announced that he was now a "born again pagan."

Excerpted from The Gospel According to the Beatles by Steve Turner, published by Westminster John Knox Press, 2006. Used with permission

There you have it, John Lennon, an almost born again Christian, but influenced to be a born again pagan. And how many people are there just like John? And how many are there influencing people to go this way?

Last night in Bible Study we were talking about how in Acts the gospel was spread across all kinds of boundaries. We talked about what kind of boundaries today we needed to cross with the Gospel. It was hard to think of them. But one of them talked aobut the boundary that is there between us and young people, and that we were not doing what we needed to do to reach them, and that we needed to try to do different things. Well then the older people got to talking about how hard it is to do different things, and to make changes. We may not be doing them yet but the door is open by this discussion to get there. It was by the power of the Holy Spirit and obedient people that the gospel was taken to people everywhere.

Lent Bible Study?

Anybody else do a bible study or small group study for Lent?

I have my Wednesday night Bible study planned out until Lent. I find myself in a quandry of what to do for Lent. I asked the group, and got mixed answers. The clearest answer I got was to study a Bible study based on the Lectionary passages. It was one of the ones I offered as a possibility. Can't even remember which catelogue I found it in.

Any of you got some profound ideas? I really don't want to put one together myself, and I really am not interested in teaching the same old same old. I do have a variety of ages in it. I guess I am not ready to think about Lent, but think about it, I must in order to make plans and purchase material. Sigh.

I have already found out that they don't like to do studies based on movies, so those are out. Can you believe it? I love movies. I feel deprived. I wanted to do a movie.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Spiritual Side of the Beatles

I have a secret. Shhh. My husband doesn't even know this one. I was and am a Beatles' fan. Shh don't tell anyone. My parents wouldn't let me listen to them growing up. You know they were THE Heathen Rock band from England. Nothing good could come from listening to them. But I always found a way to listen to them. I would get permission to go over to friend's houses that did get to listen to them and we play the 45's and dance and sing. At our spend the night parties we would be listening to them. When I went away to college, I then began buying their records and listening to them whether my parents liked them or not. Sometimes their music still runs through my mind along with their words or at least what I thought they were saying. Okay now you know. And if my church would not faint and fall out in the floor I might preach using some of their music. Its bad enough when I talk about some tv show or recent movie and they just look at me. Well, except for the youth and younger people.

Rock music writer Steve Turner talks about their spiritual side in this article to Bob Carlton, writer for the Birmingham News. Its about the the book "The Gospel according to the Beatles." that Steve Turner has written. I don't have the book yet, although I did give it a look see in the bookstore.

Rock music writer Steve Turner grew up in a Christian home in Daventry, England.

And like other teenagers who came of age in the 1960s, Turner was a huge Beatles fan. (I wasn't a teenager until the late '60's early '70's, but whose counting?)

"At that time, Christians weren't too keen on rock'n'roll music, so people in the church generally weren't too keen on The Beatles," Turner says in a phone call from London.

"Yet, after a few years, The Beatles became interested in religious topics, so there was this interplay between religion and rock music that I became interested in."

Forty years after John Lennon made his infamous and often misunderstood comment that The Beatles were "more popular than Jesus" - spawning ban-the-Beatles protests, including one launched in August 1966 by Birmingham disc jockeys Tommy Charles and Doug Layton - Turner explores the Fab Four's spiritual quest in his latest book, "The Gospel According to the Beatles" ($19.95, Westminster John Knox Press).

The Beatles weren't banned in Turner's house when he was growing up - in fact, his parents bought him a copy of "Beatles for Sale" for Christmas in 1964 - but they weren't embraced, either.

"I suppose my parents were like most parents at the time," he recalls. "They thought their hair was too long, their heels were too high, their trousers were too tight and their music was too loud."

Long before they became the Fab Four, though, each of The Beatles was influenced by religion - Paul McCartney and George Harrison in the Roman Catholic Church and Lennon and Ringo Starr in the Church of England, Turner says.

As he grew older, Turner embarked on a spiritual odyssey of his own, and he found inspiration in the music of The Beatles.

"They sort of validated the search for God, if you like," he says. "For a long time, it seemed like rock music or pop music was almost like an alternative to religion.

"Religion seemed sort of dull and conformist and rock'n'roll was sort of shiny and exciting, and the two didn't seem to meet at all. Then when The Beatles started asking questions about meaning and singing songs like 'Nowhere Man,' they actually investigated religion.

"You had George Harrison quoting bits of the Bible - 'the kingdom of heaven is within,' and things like that - and I was thinking, 'Hmm, I think I've heard that before.'

"It seemed like The Beatles were suddenly on to something that you've been on to for a long time."

"Nowhere Man," which was off the "Rubber Soul" album was "kind of the beginning of the (spiritual) quest" for The Beatles, Turner says.

"The music up until 'Rubber Soul' had been sort of jaunty, I-love-you, you-love-me type of songs," he says. "Then they started asking questions about the meaning of life, so you get `Nowhere Man,' which is all about not having anything to believe in.

"Then there's 'Let It Be,'" he adds. "That has a reference to Mother Mary. Paul McCartney's mother was called Mary, but he was aware that it had, I think he called it, a quasi-religious sort of gloss to the song."

For The Beatles, and Turner, it was another step along a long and winding road.

"The Beatles were doing such great things," he says. "I thought if you could absorb whatever The Beatles were absorbing, you could probably be as great as they were."

Now I may just have to go ahead and get the book. Go back and listen to some of their music. I think there is another point to be made here. Look back at this part of the article;

As he grew older, Turner embarked on a spiritual odyssey of his own, and he found inspiration in the music of The Beatles.

"They sort of validated the search for God, if you like," he says. "For a long time, it seemed like rock music or pop music was almost like an alternative to religion.

"Religion seemed sort of dull and conformist and rock'n'roll was sort of shiny and exciting, and the two didn't seem to meet at all."

I think we need to pay attention to that. There are a lot of people on a spiritual odyssey, sometimes they find inspiration in music, and sometimes in art or other forms. But I am not sure they are finding it in the church these days. Well, maybe some churches. I wonder how we can help people in their spiritual odyssey to find it in Jesus. There are so many alternatives to religion, and they do often look shinier and more exciting. It is a challenge without selling out the message, by the form and means. You almost have to ask who are the Beatles today, in other words, popular, and what message are they singing to the young people of today? Boy that's a hard one when there are so many forms of music they are listening to today. But we the church, the parents, can't just be saying "you can't listen to that," "that's evil", or burning or breaking the cd's, taking away their i-pods or mp3's. I think we have to find out what it is saying to our young people, and how does it meet with what we are saying. How would Jesus use it to speak to them? If not the flood of youth leaving the church will continue. Okay there is some music with vulgar lyrics, and that does have to be dealt with.

PS, Here is another secret, one of my nick names was Abbey Road. Not sure who started calling me that one.

The Methodist Blues

Methodist Blues (lyrics)
by Garrison Keillor
I've been going to church every Sunday morn
Still don't know if I've been reborn
I'm sixty years old, is there something I've missed
Or is it just that I'm Methodist?
I got the Methodist blues.
The organist's mad, the pastor's unhappy
The hours are long and the pay is crappy
Troubles? O we got a whole long list
Because we are Methodists
Got the Methodist blues
The sound system's bad, there's a buzz in the speaker
The budget is busted, the collection is meager,
This great big debt load we been carryin
Maybe we oughta be Unitarian
People gossip about who did what,
The ladies circle is a pain in the butt.
Want to slap their face or at least their wrist
But I can't cause I am a Methodist
I got the Methodist blues
We're not big on shows and dances,
Mixed drinks or big romances
I've been hugged but never French kissed
That's because I'm a Methodist
I got the Methodist blues
Everybody wants to sit in the back pews
Want the sermon to reflect their views
Some of these Christians, they are the rudest
What do you say we try being Buddhist?
The same ten people always volunteer,
Half of them old, the others just weird,
How ever do we manage to persist
We do it by being Methodist
I got the Methodist blues.
People offer to help then they don't remember
It can make you almost lose your temper
Sit and steam and clench your fist
But you can't hit them, you're Methodist,
Got the Methodist blues.
God put us here to serve a mission
But people won't come if you don't air condition.
We've got the blues and we're getting more bluish
Why don't we switch to Jewish?
Everyone's afraid of change.
Don't like anything new or strange.
Or we get our underwear in a twist
That's how it is with a Methodist
I got the Methodist blues
A fellow Methodist Minister sent this to me, not sure if this means he has the Methodist Blues.
But much of what Garrison Keillor sings is true. But I thought he was Lutheran, so how does he know so much about the Methodist? Maybe we all aren't so different after all? Maybe all we Methodist got the Methodist Blues. I don't feel like I do, because I am a Christian, a follower of Christ, the Methodist Church is a functional way of living it out just as any other denomination or nondenomination is. If we got the Methodist Blues how come so many Methodist churches are alive and well? How come they are becoming innovative, inspirational, and relevant? How come more people are living out their passion and gifts as laity? How come more Pastors are growing spiritually and alive in their ministry?

Yes, there are the churches who are dying. Yes there are the laity that keep doing the same old thing. Yes there are often the same ten that volunteer in some churches. And yes there is often the lack of follow through. But you have to say there are many laity, Pastors and churches who are alive, singing a new song, a song that God has given them.

Are you singing the blues or a new song that God has given you?

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Tuesday morning United Methodist General Conference Blogging

Methoblog has set aside Tuesdays for blogging about the upcoming General Conference.

I am trying to discern if I should put myself on the ballot for our conference or stay out of the politics. Oh but I do love politics sometimes, the drama, the power plays, the craziness. On the other hand, I get myself so stressed out and anxious that I often lose sight of what is important. I would like to have the opportunity to go to it at least once in a lifetime. You know, like you want to go to the Holy Land at least once. But then I also have a familyof little ones, and I have a church to lead and serve. But I also think I have something to offer. So I am trying to discern whether to commit myself or not. What do you all think? Please pray for me in this discernment process.

How General Conference Works is my link for this Tuesday's General Conference Blogging.

One of the things this link tells about is that the General Conference meets every four years, and. is the top policy-making body of The United Methodist Church. Church law states that no person or organization except the General Conference has authority to speak officially for the denomination (The Book of Discipline 1996, Par. 509.). Cost of the conference is more than $3 million.

Three million dollars?!? Wow, it gets my mind thinking about how the church could use that $3 million dollars in other ways. I like the idea of using it for evangelism, ministries, outreach, and missions. Maybe have an online General Conf meeting instead. Wonder if that is any less expensive, and better use of time and money. Then we could cut out some of the top down thinking that goes on. Some of the apportionment costs. What do you think?

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Churches with rising attendance numbers:

According to a new study, success stories often involve men, drums, a joyful environment, and a concerted effort not to be too "reverent."

That's the conclusion of a December report from the Hartford Institute for Religion Research, a nonprofit research group at Hartford Seminary in Hartford, Conn. While most US churches continue to be predominantly of one race and to count more women than men in their pews, the HIRR survey of almost 900 congregations found growth is most likely when:

*A church is multiracial.

*Men make up at least 60 percent of regular participants.

*Leaders describe worship as "slightly to not at all" reverent.

*Drums or percussion are always used in worship.

Such innovations make churches exciting places to be, says report author Kirk Hadaway. It also explains why atypical churches, which are prone to innovate, often lead the pack in growth, he adds.

"If it's not uplifting, interesting, provoking ... it's perfectly acceptable in American society to not go [to church] anymore," says Mr. Hadaway, director of research for the Episcopal Church USA. "Churches that are providing a more uplifting worship experience and community are those that are growing. And those that do it well are not typical anymore."

For many congregations, learning to grow is a matter of survival. Six mainline denominations, all of which have been losing members for 40 years, saw worship attendance figures drop by as much as 12 percent between 1999 and 2004, according to a November report from the Presbyterian Church (USA). The United Methodist Church (UMC) lost about 34,000 weekly worshipers, or 1 percent, from 2004 to 2005.

"We have a sense of mission to reach new people with the Gospel and to minister to people's needs - that's why we exist - and we realize that we're failing in our mission," says John Southwick, director of research for the General Board of Global Ministries for the UMC. "We need to turn the ship around, and that means to start growing again."

For stagnant or declining congregations, Hadaway says, the new findings, based on data collected in 2005, offer hope because churches can usually cultivate at least a few attributes correlated with growth. But, church experts caution, this prescription for growth won't work if a congregation doesn't also lay the necessary groundwork.

"What's more, according to Bandy and Hadaway, changing a congregation's attributes often creates stress and conflict, which HIRR found to be the No. 1 factor when attendance takes a dive.

But perhaps the bigger danger in racing to emulate growing churches is losing sight of more primary priorities, according to theologian Philip Kenneson.

(See full article at Christian Science Monitor)

Well, maybe I should have brought that drum set for my son after all. But seriously, how to introduce this to a congregation of older people? How does one turn this ship around? Lots of groundwork. Vision. Empowerment. Encouragement. Willingness. The Holy Spirit.

Angelina Jolie as the Vrgin Mary

Have you seen the picture of the painting protraying Angelina Jolie as Virgin Mary?

A North Carolina artist Kate Kretz intrigued by the public obsession with celebrity has found herself feeding that obsession with a painting of actress Angelina Jolie as the Virgin Mary hovering over a Wal-Mart check-out line.

"My intention was to ask a question and get people to think," Kretz said in a telephone interview Friday from Miami. "I had no idea so many people would be asking a question and thinking."

On her blog, Kretz, 43, said the painting addresses "the celebrity worship cycle." She said she chose Jolie for the subject "because of her unavoidable presence in the media, the worldwide anticipation of her child, her 'unattainable' beauty and the good that she is doing in the world through her example, which adds another layer to the already complicated questions surrounding her status."

This photo of the painting "Blessed Art Thou,"provided by Chelsea Galleria The painting will be shown at Art Miami, an arts show. (AP Photo/Chelsea Galleria, Kate Kretz)

What do you think?

Friday, January 05, 2007

Friday Five: Birthday, Redux from reverend

Yours truly had a birthday this week, and while we've done the birthday thing before, I'm going to do my best to come up with new questions...
1. "It's my party and I'll [blank] if I want to..."Favorite way to celebrate your birthday (dinner with family? Party with friends? A day in solitude?)
2. "You say it's your birthday... It's my birthday too, yeah..." Do you share your birthday with someone famous? (Click here to find out!)
3. "Lordy Lordy look who's forty..."Milestone birthdays: a) just like any other birthday--they're just numbers, people.b) a good opportunity to look back/take stockc) enjoy the black balloons--I'll be hiding under a pile of coats until the day is overd) some combination of the above, or something else entirely.
4. "Happy birthday, dear... Customer..."Have you ever been sung to in a restaurant? Fun or cringe-worthy?
5. "Take my birthday--please"Tell me one advantage and one disadvantage about your particular birthday (e.g. birthday in the summer--never had to go to school; birthday near Christmas--the dreaded joint presents)

EDITED TO ADD: This could also simply be something you like/dislike about your birthday (e.g. I like sharing a birthday with my best friend, etc.).

First, Happy Birthday to reverendmother.
Now on to the questions er answers.
1. Dinner date with hubby, Although it has become fun to celebrate with my children too.
2. Nope, nobody famous.
3. So far I have had big parties on my milestone birthdays. But I now think it is time to quit, I am not growing older. I refuse to grow older.
4. Yes, but we are not discussing it.
5. Advantage, it is not near a holiday, except election time. Disadvantage, I don't know is there one?
Bonus?Is there a bonus? My family didn't make a big deal of my birthday when I was growing up. The only one I remember being celebrated was my 16th birthday. But then I also remember being sick throwing up all night long on the same birthday. We had gone out to eat at a seafood restaurant, and it made me sick. Turned out I am allergic to crabs, can't eat em or spend the night hugging the porcelain god. And no I did not get a car that night, my parents could not afford giving me one, and wouldn't have done it if they could.

General Conference Blogging

One of the things we decided as Methoblog administration was that Tuesdays would be blogging about General Conference in preparation for it in 2008. There is also a countdown for it so you can know how many more days before it happens. Right now there are 473 days left. The conference will be in Fort Worth, Texas and called "A Future with Hope".

I have never been elected Delegate. I have never been to one. So I really don't know what all has happened in the past, what goes on, what one goes through as a delegate. So first thing I want to say is, I am praying for those we elect as delegates to this conference. I have watched how in our conference that it is a very political thing to get elected. In fact there has been a study done on how we elect delegates, and how we can improve the process. There is a team working on the matter. We will know more at the meeting of conference at which we will also elect our delegates. So I am praying for those being elected as delegates. Praying for wisdom and discernment in electing these people. In fact I see we have on our website nomination forms for clergy and laity delegates, that's new. What is your conference doing?

Communion in a bar

We have decided we are emergent. Our last night together after meeting and discussing how the workshop presentation went and future plans, we then shared communion together. We even invited the bartender and the others in the bar. They passed on the invitation, but were cool with us doing it. Theresa brought her kit which includes plate, cup, cross, candles, juice, and wafers. It was really beautiful. We felt pretty good about the workshops, but realized there are some things we can improve on. We also talked about future presentations. The Congress on Evangelism in 2008 is in New Orleans, and we will be there. Apparently there are a few other conferences that want us to come and do our presentation.

We also worked on plans for the Methoblog. Came up with some good ideas. Its exciting. What was really neat was we have different views on things, but could come to the table together, share our views, and come to what is important. I have some new brothers and sisters that I am grateful for. And perhaps there are now some new bloggers.

The Methobloggers present were as follows:

Gavin Richardson a revgalblogpal
Jonathon Norman
DogBlogger a revgalblogpal
Theresa Coleman a revgalblogpal
Abi Carlisle-Wilke a revgalblogpal
Beth Quick a revgalblogpal
Jay Voorhees
Mark Winter
Susan Cox-Johnson
Locust and Honey
After a long trip and a bad rainstorm with high winds,we made it to Atlanta and then I made it home. I am so glad to be with my children again. They are beautiful.
Blessings on everyone for the weekend.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Myrtle Beach Morning Musings

We are moving slower this morning after a full full day.

Last night we went to Christ Church UMC for worship at the Big House, their worship for families, kids and parents.

We called it pep rally for Jesus or worshiptainment. Not that there weren't redeeming things, they did bring down to the kids level. It was a lot like the Bear and Big Blue House meets Wiggles, meets Sesame Street, meets Barney, meets Jesus somewhere in there. It was a lot of fun. It was done well. It fits the culture here, Las Vegas on the Beach, Gatlinburg by the Sea, Beach meets Branson. My kids would like it. So perhaps there is something to take away from it for our kids. I did keep waiting for Dora and Boots to show up.

Had a wonderful dinner, and fellowship of seafood. Really enjoyable time of talk, we all sat there a long time after we were done eating talking with one another. Came back to the room and crashed again. I treid working on my sermon for Sunday, but it was making no sense. Amy went swimming in the lazy river an inside pool at the hotel. I passed.

So now we are slowly casually getting ready for today. Wonder what today brings for us?

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The Meet-Up

We're here. Weren't sure we were going to make it or not. I had a problem with child care, and I wasn't sure I was not going to make it. Got off late, got lost trying to get to Theresa's house. So we got here late and crashed. We had a great time getting here together. We solved all the problems.

We now are teaching the class. It is so cool. Beth Quick is here. yea. I have enjoyed meeting f2f some of the revgals and the methobloggers.

I have got to share an incident that happened. The security guard had gotten our luggage and was helping us take it up to the room. I went with him, while Theresa parked the car. Another guy got on the elevator with us. Some how some things were said about the lottery. This guy told the security guard not to do it, or you better not do it. I heard this humnph. After the other guy got off, I asked the guard what was up about the lottery. He said you don't know how rough it is here to work and keep a job. He told me that SC was a "Fire at Will" state, and that they can fire you at anytime. From what he was saying he had been fired for no reason from his job, and it took awhile to find this job. I talked with him for awhile, gave him a tip, and told him God bless him. And he returned the blessing. Now you need to know the other guy was going to this Evangelism conference too. After the guard left, the thought came to me, "How to not do evangelism with someone you just meet."

We are now stating the second session. This time Gavin and Jonathon are presenting, especially about Social networks. Theresa and Jay did a good job with their presentation.

Monday, January 01, 2007

A RevGal & MethoBlog Meetup

If you have been reading reverend mommy's, Gavin's and some other blogs, you know that the day approaches for our meetup at the Congress of Evangelism at Myrtle Beach, SC. I will be getting up early in the morning to drive to Atlanta to pick up reverendmommy on the way. It will be a long trip. We are making a presentation on the use of the internet for evangelistic purposes. reverend mommy and I are going to talk about being part of the revgalblogpal community as well. Plus we get to go to some great presentations as well. It will be somewhat cold so we will have to put in some beach walking time as well.

I would leave earlier but I have had a death in the church, which I have to attend to. So pray for us as we travel, and as we make our presentations. I am looking forward to time with my blogging buddies. I better hurry up and get ready though, I am still in my jammies, watching the cotton bowl on tv and blogging.

For those who aren't able to attend, we will have our cameras and laptops. Hopefully we can be in touch with you all. Poor us, we'll be staying at the Breaker's Resort because the Sheraton is full.

New Year's Resolutions anyone?

Happy New year to each of you!

Are you making New Year's resolutions this year? I'm not. I quit doing them a couple of years ago. They became a set up for dissappointment for me, being the perfectionist I am. So I don't make them anymore. I do however have goals I hope to work toward this year. I am having trouble writing this, I keep getting distracted by having to stop the kids from fighting or aruging or I have to help them with something. I keep losing my train of thought. Can one keep their resolutions or make their goals with all these interruptions and loss of train of thought? We will see. It seems to keep getting harder.

Yesterday, I preached on the Colossians passage, 3:12-17. I also had the opportunity to baptise a baby, which fit right into the scripture and sermon. Here it is in the NRSV: 12As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. 13Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. 16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. 17And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Sounds alot like the fruit of the Spirit. I found myself praying that God would clothe me with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forebearance, forgiveness, and love. And as I was praing I began to e aware of how much God had already clothed me in these items. And yet I also saw how mcuh more I needed to let go of and let God to continue to transform me. And so I asked God to forgive me and to contine to be at work in me.
Paul begins Col. 3 with these words; 1You have been raised to life with Christ. Now set your heart on what is in heaven, where Christ rules at God's right side. [a]
2Think about what is up there, not about what is here on earth.
3You died, which means that your life is hidden with Christ, who sits beside God.
4Christ gives meaning to your [b] life, and when he appears, you will also appear with him in glory. (CEV)
I like that, "Christ gives meaning to your life."
10Each of you is now a new person. You are becoming more and more like your Creator, and you will understand him better.
11It doesn't matter if you are a Greek or a Jew, or if you are circumcised or not. You may even be a barbarian or a Scythian, [d] and you may be a slave or a free person. Yet Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us. (CEV)
It is sort of like the TLC tv show What Not to Wear. We take off the old clothes, and we get new clothes, that really fit us well. (I know, that's a simplified version of the show and the scriptures.) But maybe instead of a New Year's resolution, that's my goal that I become more like Christ by being transformed by the work of the Holy Spirit.

Colossians chapter 3(CEV)
Colossians 3:12-17(NRSV)

Trying to burn down the house

I have never had this happen to me until now. I have had friends do it. And yes, I have mistakenly turned the wrong eye on the stove at times, only to catch it. But this is the first time I actually caught something on fire.

It was around 11:50am. I was not drunk, nor had I had anything to drink. But it was post Sunday morning preaching and worship service. I was tired, and perhaps not as alert. My head was congested and still is, like it has been for about a month now. The kids were distracting me, demanding this and that, as usual.
Mistake number one: Having something on the stove that didn't need to be there, a non cooking item.
Mistake number two: turning on the wrong eye of the stove: instead of turning on the one under the pan of water, turning on the one under the glass plate with paper plates on top of it.
Mistake number three: turning my back to the stove.
The next thing I hear is a loud pop and shattering of glass, the cats and dogs scattering and then the obnoxious sound of the fire alarm. I turn around and there is glass everywhere, the paper plates are on fire. I am frozen in time for a moment and can't remember where the fire extinguisher is. The kids are now screaming. I turn off the eye and pour the water from the pan on the fire. it puts it out temporarily and then I have to pour more. Finally I get it out.
The kids want to come see it, but I yell at them to stay out because there is glass everywhere. I honestly don't know how I didn't get cut with the glass or the cats or dogs. The house has this great room of kitchen, dining room, and family room. The kids are all the way in the tv room away from the scene. But if I had not been right there and put it out I would have burned down the house. I then spent the next hour and half cleaning up glass and burnt paper. That may be one of the good things that came out of this was that the kitchen and stove got a good cleaning. The best thing was that no one was hurt. Just scared to death. I was so scared and shaken I called Bob on the phone, broke down and cried. (Bob was at work.) He was so supportive and soothing, even asked if I wanted him to come home. I told him no, I just needed him to listen to me. The kids were extremely good after that.
Now I was totally embarrassed that the glass plate had been sent to us with cookies, and I had not returned it. At a party that afternoon, I told the giver what had hapened and she laughed at me. She then told me that I had burnt and broken my own plate, she had given it as a present. On top of that it was a $2.00 plate from Wal-Mart. I thought it was an expensive Christmas plate. Ha, a joke on me, and no big loss. We had a good laugh and she told me I wasn't the firts one who has done something like that.
The party was for the Fiftieth Anniversary of a couple who are members of the church. He is the head Trustee, and the Assistant Chief of the fire Dept. I sideled up beside him and told him the story. He asked if everything was okay, and I said yes. And he justwent backt to the party. I was relieved.
I hate this stove, and how they have the controles. I am constantly turning on the wrong one. And it is electric, so you don't always know until later. I am going to have to be more alert and less distracted. And I am going to have to learn this stove. Lesson learned.