Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Alabama Renaissance Faire

We went to the Renaissance Faire,
because the girls were dancing there Saturday. They danced great!
We stayed awhile afterwards to see what all was going on.
We bought the kids some wood swords and shields. (Was that a mistake?)
The kids were just taken by the all the costumed people. "Mom, look there!" "Mom, What is he suppose to be?" "Mom, there's the queen." "Mom, that's a bad guy." "Mom, they scare me."
As we were sitting eating our hotdogs, yes hotdogs, the photographer for the paper came by and asked if he could take a picture of Kate with her shield.
He got her to tell him all about the shield. She was a little shy, but obliged.

So here is Kate at the Renaissance Faire
with her shield taken by Jim Hannon

Lost voice(s)

painting at Radiant Light

I have lost my voice. I lost it Sunday, and it is still gone.
I think it is called laryngitis or something like that.
It began with Sinus problems on Friday.
And now I also have vertigo.

It brought to mind, though other times in life
when I didn't have a voice or felt like my
voice was silenced. Have you ever felt that?

I have felt that often in my life, and I don't like that
feeling. It is a feeling of being smothered, it is a feeling of
shame, it is a feeling of helplessness, it is a feeling of powerlessness,
it is a feeling of isolation, it is a feeling of worthlessness.

I felt it as a girl growing up in the 60's.
I felt it as a teenager and a young woman in the 70's.
I felt it as a woman in the 80's.
I felt it as a woman in the 90's.
And I feel it as middle aged woman now.

Why are voices silenced?
Why are children told shush, now don't tell anyone?
Why are children told, it didn't really happen?
Why are children told, no one will believe you?

Why do you say, you are making it up?
Why do you say, you are too angry we don't want to listen to you?
Why do you say, what you have to say doesn't matter?
Why do you say, you are an older woman now,
it is time for the younger voices to be heard?

Why God am I then called to preach?
Why then do I feel like I have something to say?
Why then on Sundays, Wednesdays and other times
do I climb up to the pulpit to open my mouth to speak?
Why do some want my advice and want to know what I think?

Silenced voices
lost voices
shamed voices
angry voices
hurt voices

listen, to God all voices are heard.
To God all voices are meant to be heard.
To God my voice is heard.
To God your voice is heard

Friday, October 27, 2006

Candy especially Halloween Candy!!!

Phantasmagorical Phriday Phive (last year's Firday Five from revgalblogpals)

A mixture of the deep and the shallow today, in honor of All Hallows Eve and All Saints Day---

1) Favorite Halloween Candy Chocolate, anything chocolate, but epecially m-m's.

2) Least Favorite Halloween Candy candy corn

3) Best Costume Ever I was a scarecrow, won the prize that year.

4) Worst Costume Ever Anything other than the above.

5) A Saint you treasure (please feel free to use the definition of "Saint" that is meaningful to you and to your faith tradition and life experience) A Saint, what's that? Baptists didn't have Saints. Methodists celebrate All Saints Sunday, but I am not sure they have Saints either. Has John Wesley or Asbury been declared Saints? I don't think so. St. Clare of Assisi. St. Clare had a way of expressing the transforming power of contemplative prayer:

"Place your mindbefore the mirror of eternity!
Place your soul in the brilliance of glory!
and transform your entire being
into the image of the Godhead Itself
through contemplation."
Poems by Clare of Assisi

Ghosts and Goblins

Ghoulish Friday Five

Reverendmother here...

I checked out last year's Halloween Friday Five, which dealt with candy and costumes. Great questions, supplied by Songbird. If you weren't around last year or didn't play then, feel free to do so now. Mmm. Candy.

Or... You wanna see something *really* scary?...
1. Do you enjoy a good fright?

fright night whaaaatttt'ssss thhhhaaattt? Yeesss iff Iiii gggeett tttooo bbbeeee ttthhheee ooonnnneee fffrrriiigggghhhtteenniinnnggg ooottthhheeerrrs. (worked for years with Jaycees scaring people!As a youth we would make our own trail of horrors through the woods in back of our house.)f

2. Scariest movie you've ever seen
l Night of the Living Dead. I worked with some youth while in Seminary that liked to see the Scary movies whether at the drive in or in the theater. To be honest I can't remember all the ones we saw. o Is Harry Potter considered scary or the Pirates of the Carribean?

3. Bobbing for apples: choose one and discuss:
a) Nothing scary about that! Good wholesome fun. kAs a kid I went bobbing for apples, why can't today's kids do it. Seriously, though, I think we are more germ phobic or germ careful to a fault. At our Fall Festival we are going to hang the apples or something for the kids. u
b) Are you *kidding* me?!? The germs, the germs!

4. Real-life phobia dI am Claustrophobic This is especially true if it is hot and I feel smothered. There is a reason for this phobia,and I'll tell you if you want to know.k

5. Favorite "ghost story" , Ghost Story. I liked the part where he......Oh you mean telling a "ghost story." Well telling a "ghost story" is like telling a joke for me, " I can't remember, or I forget the ending, or I give it away. But here is one similar to the one I can sort of remember Step Drag or The Car Wreck Story and the babysitter. The babysitter is the one I remember the most, I guess cause I did so much babysitting as a teenager. /

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Tuesday Morning Prayer

Prayer painted by Heather Robinson

Let me learn of thee to be meek and lowly.
Pour into me the whole spirit of humility.
Fill, I beseech thee, every part of my soul with it,
and make it the constant ruling habit of my mind,
that all my other tempers may arise from it;
that I have no thoughts, no desires, no designs,
but such as are the fruit of a lowly spirit.

(John Wesley's prayers edited by Frederick C. Gill, published by Abingdon Press)

Monday, October 23, 2006

Monday Prayer

Prayer painted by Mark Caron. Mark asks the following question; As abstract as "Prayer" is, what do you see? His inspiration comes from Matthew 6:5 .

Monday Morning Prayer
Let us abound in thy love more and more, and in continual prayers and praises to thee, the father of mercies and God of all consolation, in Jesus Christ our Lord.
(John Wesley's prayers,Frederick C. Gill, Agindon Press)

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Sunday prayer

Prayer painted by Yoram Ra'anan

Take Thou full possession of my heart,
raise there thy throne,
and command there as thou dost in heaven.
Being created by thee, let me live to thee.
Being created for thee, let me ever act for thy glory.
Being redeemed by thee, let me render to thee what is thine,
and let my spirit cleave to thee alone.

John Wesley's Prayers
(edited by Fredrick C. Gill, Abingdon Press)

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Pastor Appreciation month

This month is set aside as Pastor Appreciation month. Have you let your Pastor know you appreciated him/her? Last Sunday my members surprised me with a gift and card. Later on in the week I received cards and phone calls letting me know their appreciation. if you haven't, you have the 22nd and 29th to do so. But as one person said why just one day or just a month let your Pastor know you appreciate them as often as possible.

My friend Singing Owl has a post on her blog about 12 ways to let your Pastor know you appreciate them. You can send them an online card also. Christianity Today has some good articles on Pastor Appreciation Day. The only problem with the cards were they didn't have one for the Clergy and their spouse or their husband. Sigh, maybe one day.

(The cartoon "Understanding the sermon" is from Cartoon Blog )

Saturday Prayer from John Wesley

Teach us ,
O Lord, to use this transitory life
as pilgrims returning to their beloved home,
That we take what our journey requires
and not think of settling in a foreign country.

(John Wesley's prayers edited by Fredrick C Gill, Abingdon Press)


Prayer image from Radiant Light
God our Father is very close to us. The littlest prayer of ours is heard and rewarded with infinite love and tenderness, like a father stroking the neck of his precious child. “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest….for I am gentle and humble in heart” (Mt 11:28-29).
OIL-M:1396 by Elizabeth Wang

Thursday, October 19, 2006

"Seminary-ese." "Theology-ese" "Denominational-ese"

"Seminary-ese." "Theology-ese" "Denominational-ese"

Over at revgalblogpals the Ask the Matriarch question was posed by a first year seminary student. The student asked the question about how much of the seminarianism, or use of the "ology", "ation" words, Greek and Hebrew they were going to have to learn and know? They were struggling with the new language they were having to study and learn, but was it all necessary in the long run? The revgal Matriarchs have some very good answers for the student.
I thought I would google the question to see what I could come up with. Not much, to say the least. If you yourself have some thoughts you want to add, please put them in the comment section. If you know of some other resources add them too in the comment section.

I remember struggling with it all too, having gone from a state supported university to Seminary. I was totally lost the first year trying to make heads or tails of it all. All the while my brothers who got their BAs from Christian colleges were just sailing along. (I went when very few women were getting MDIVs.) And I thought some of them took some of it too seriously, and I probably didn't take some of it seriously enough.

With this person's question, I wondered can we teach laity theology, without dumming it down and making them feel like dummies? Has anyone done that? Apparently yes, there are a couple of books on theology for laity, no "Theology for Dummies" though. Seminaries are offering courses to laity on theology and other subjects. Would the laity be interested? Yes, I think they would.I don't think though we need to go spouting theological language just to show we know it, but can use it in a way that is helpful. (the School of Theology for Laity (STL), in Dallas, Texas Since 1978 the goal of STL has been to expose members of local churches to the leading theological minds of the day. Begun by Joe and Nancy Stalcup and members of the East Dallas Christian Church (DoC) the School is now housed at Brite Divinity School of Texas Christian University and is known as the Stalcup School of Theology for the Laity.)

Bill Muehlenberg in the article"Defence of Theology" offers 20 reasons why Theology matters. He writes" I admit that theology is not the be-all and end-all of the Christian life. There are plenty of people who have theological degrees coming out of their ears, but show little of the spirit of Christ. We all know of loveless and Spirit-less Christians who have a great deal of theological knowledge and understanding. Thus I am not arguing that if we just devote more attention to theological training, we will all turn out to be ideal Christians. But what I am saying is that without some proper theological grounding, we will be left blowing around by every wind of doctrine, as Paul warns about (Eph. 4:14,15).Thus theology alone is not enough. But neither is an uninformed faith. Faith and reason go together. Right living and right understanding need to go in tandem, Orthopraxis needs to be married to orthodoxy. We need to love God with our mind as well as our heart." I think Bill is on to something, it is both heart and mind."

Okay so just what is theology? Literally, it is derived from a combination of two Greek terms meaning "a word about God."θεος, theos, "God", + λογος, logos, "word" or "reason.(See Theology in Wikipedia.)The Catholic Encyclopedia defines Dogmatic Theology.Ken Collins has a small glossary of Theology.Biblia. Com has a page on Theology,Cokesbury offers to The Christian Believer as part of its Disciple Series. which is a little of the content of the central teachings of the Christian faith and its ties to Scripture. It emphasizes the head and the heart.The Presbyterians offer a Theology 101 on their website. (Where is the theology 101 on the UMC website?)
Want some reading resources?Christian Beliefs: Twenty Basics Every Christian Should Know by Wayne Grudem and Elliot Grudem
Simply Christian by Tom Wright ISBN:0281054819, SPCK
Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis pblished by HarperSanFrancisco; Harper editionDogmatic
Theology For The Laity by Rev. Matthias Premm
Christian Theology by Emery H. Bancroft,
Basic Theology by Charles C. Ryrie
Lectures in Systematic Theology by Henry C. Thiessen
Erickson, Millard J. Concise Dictionary of Christian Theology. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1996.
A Theology of the Laity by Hendrik Kraemer, Westminster Press

The Armchair Theologians Series written by various authors on Luther, Augustine, Reformation, Wesley, Calvin, Aquinas, Barth published by Westminster John Knox Press is a good introduction as well. (I have been reading Wesley for Armchair Theologians.)
The Light and Life is the bi-monthly (6 times a year) newsletter of the Rosary Confraternity. It contains feature stories and quotes from prominent church leaders, notifications of upcoming events, as well as a regular article entitled Theology for the Laity. Newsletter titles are taken from the theme of this article, which is geared to better daily living of the gospel.
There are also quite a few blogs on Theology. One of my favorites is Faith and Theology, who has a series on Theology for Beginners. It is a must read!
Theology Blogs contains a list of blogs that blog about Theology.
I want to add a little about my parents. My mom was an R. N., she grew up in a family of readers, bright people, enquiring minds, teachers and educators. My dad grew up in the opposite, they were salt of the earth people, blue collar, hard workers, simple believing people. As they grew in their faith and marriage they became voracious readers of the bible, commentaries, and religious books. My dad became as learned as the best of them. They did not hold us back from growing learning and achieving. When I went to seminary, they would express interest in what I was learning, and often would try to find books they could read to understand what I was learning as well. When I transferred to the United Methodist from the Southern Baptist, they read all they could to understand and support me. Eventually my father left the Southern Baptist to join the United Methodist. He could not convince my mom to do that. He is dead now. Mom is still going to a Southern Baptist Church, and at the same time attends the Presbyterian church my sister serves as a Christian Ed Director. Mom has read what she can about the Presbyterian church as well. I don't know that they understood everything, and given the day and time they did not have the resources we have today. But they were willing to learn, and willing to ask me questions.I say all that to say, don't let yourself be threatened by the words, degrees, writers of theology. Do all you can to be well informed, so that you can love God with your heart and mind.

How Many of Me

LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

I used only part of my hyphenated name for this. Hat tip to Cheesehead who saw it at Rev Dr. Mom's place. There are 37,496 people in the U.S. with my first name.
Statistically the 914th most popular first name. (tied with 27 other first names)

I sure hear my name called out a lot more these days, but not spelled the way I do.

There are 26,997 people in the U.S. with my last name.
Statistically the 1298th most popular last name. (tied with 156 other last names).

Let's say thanks

Let's say thanks is a website that lets you send a thank you card to a soldier currently serving in Iraq. You can pick out a thank you card, a thank you note or write your own, and Xerox will print it and it will be sent to a soldier that is currently serving in Iraq. This is the one I chose.

You can't pick out who gets it, but it will go to some member of the armed services.

How AMAZING it would be if we could get everyone we know to send one!!! You may not agree with the war, and you may be upset by what some of the soldiers have done, and you can still send a card. Remember some of these are on their second, third or fourth tour of duty. They are our sons and daughters, Dads and Moms, nieces and nephews, Aunts and Uncles, and friends.

It is FREE and it only takes a second. So go say thanks and pass the word on to others...... Let's say Thanks!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Pneumonia, Pneumonia and more Pneumonia

We are just a pitiful sick family. Kara had Pneumonia, and is just getting over it. Now poor Zachary has it. It is a possibility that Katy has it, but we are not sure. Sunday Zach had a temperature, but by Monday seemed better. Tuesday he went to Preschool, and was his usual lively self. But this morning it was a different story, he had a 101 temp. Off to the Dr. he went. The Dr.'s Diagnosis, you guessed it, "Walking Pneumonia". The Doctor said " I have never seen a mycoplasma go through a family like it has in your family." Gee thanks Doc. Poor Zach got a shot and a prescription too. I have been dragging for a couple of days, and had a slight temp this morning, Am I next? Hope not. I asked Bob if we lived in a sick house, by that I meant a house that has mold and mildew that can make you sick. Of course he answered with I don't know.

We had already canceled Zach's oral surgery for another reason, insurance. Good thing uh? Bad thing with the insurance though.

Well here I go again asking for prayers for Zach, and hope you all don't get this silly stuff.

Lorna, next time I'll remember to say Kiitos, I just couldn't find it last time.

Monday, October 16, 2006

The Ministry of the laity

The Ministry of the Laity

Sunday was Laity Sunday in our church it was when we celebrated the ministry of the laity. It was a well done lay laid service. I did do the Pastoral prayer and benediction. It was not a sloppy worship service. Our Administrative Council Chairperson preached a sermon on the "I" church. He said some things in there that if I said them they would have been dismissed. It was a really good sermon and a challenge to the laity of the church. As he was preaching I was thinking he has some gifts for preaching and that they need to be affirmed. So in my remarks which I had space for I affirmed him for preaching. And then after all was done, I asked him if he had considered lay speaking? He said to me well you know what, June just said something to me about it. Now June is our Lay leader and is a certified lay speaker. She was the chair of the District Lay Speaking, but stepped down this year. I hope he thinks about it, and prays, I am praying for him too. He also sings in the church, and does some fine solos. So does June. I am blessed to have these two as leaders in the church. The biggest thing about the "I church" is that it cannot be about you, or to just meet your needs, that it is about worshiping and serving Jesus. That all of us have gifts to serve God. Way to go Greg. I pray that ears were open to hear and answer that call.

I need to get a copy of the sermon. This sunday we also blessed the shoe boxes for Honduras children. It was amazing how many people took the lists and filled the shoe boxes full for these children. June had brought only about 3 boxes, thinking only a few would take them, but instead she had to go back and get more boxes. And then one of our youth asked if he could take a bunch for his club at school to fill up, and he took 25. Wow. The children with their little dimes and nickels that they bring up every Sunday were able to fill up 2 and half boxes. We ourselves filled up three boxes representing each one of our children. They really got excited about it. I believe we would have done more, except the due date was changed from Nov 1st to Oct 16th which gave us very little time. What an outpouring of love.

We are having a free Fall festival on Sunday the 29th. Saturdays around here are full, and are football Saturdays. You heard me right too, it is free. One of the older women in the church asked if she could go around with me and hand out flyers. I said, " You betcha." So we set a date this week to go around and hand out circulars. She said "you know I can't do as much as I used to, but I can do this." She now lives in Assisted Living in Sheffield, and gets around on a walker. God love her. You know I am going to go around with her if she is willing. And I bet we have fun too.

You know I am going to celebrate the gifts of the laity. Thank you God.

Update on Kara

Thank you for all your prayers and thoughts. Kara is better and went to school today. We knew she was better when she was acting plain silly about everything. The fever was gone Saturday night, so no going to the hospital. Yea!

She was very clear though, she does not want to go back and see the Doctor anytime soon. We had to cancel her surgery for today, but that's okay we will reschedule it. I had a devil of a time reaching the surgeon to let him know, though.

On top of that the person who was scheduled to preach for me Sunday night, was not able to. I ended up putting something together at the last minute. And then I just preached from the heart without notes. It wasn't long, and no one said anything, but it was done.

So; merci, gracis, Xie Xie, Danke schoen, Efharisto, Mahalo, Toda, Grazie, Shukriyaa, Arigato, Kamsa hamaida, Spasiba, Ahsante, Tack, Takk, Shakkran and thanks yall!!!!!

And as of yesterday afternoon, Zachary is sick with fever, a cough, and runny nose, but we think he has a cold. It is that time of year though.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Abi's seal

And if anyone wants to know what the English translation of English is, let me know, and I'll tell you. You too can make your own at Says-it.com

Friday, October 13, 2006

I seem to have a hidden talent.

Your Hidden Talent

You have the natural talent of rocking the boat, thwarting the system.
And while this may not seem big, it can be.
It's people like you who serve as the catalysts to major cultural changes.
You're just a bit behind the scenes, so no one really notices.
Wonder if this is true?

My german name?

Your German Name is:

Annike Inge

This is what happens when one does not have to preach on Sunday.

Progress report for G. W. B.

From wnymedia

I am an Animated Inventor

Kara is sick

Hi all,

Please pray for Kara, she has pnuemonia. She has been sick since Wednesday with a high fever. Bob took her to the Doc. yesterday, and they thought she just had a virus with a high fever. Gave her a shot and sent her home. Bob took her back to the Doc this morning for followup, well that's when they found the pnuemonia. Gave her another shot of the high test antibiotics, and a perscription for some as well. They sent her home again, but if she is not better by Sunday they will put her in the hospital. So pray she gets well. She was to have surgery on Monday to repair some more of her palate, but we had to cancel that.

The term walking pneumonia is often used to describe pneumonia that isn't severe enough to require bed rest or hospitalization. If you've been told that you have walking pneumonia, it's probably caused by tiny organisms called Mycoplasma. Signs and symptoms of Mycoplasma pneumonia are milder and appear more gradually than those of other kinds of pneumonia. When needed, treatment may include antibiotics. Viral pneumonia also can be very mild at times. byMayo Clinic pulmonologist Edward Rosenow, M.D.,

You can also see what Dr. Greene says about Walking pneumonia in children.

But most of all thanks for the prayers.

Friday the 13th, unlucky? (not!) But what about the Sovereignty of God?

This article at About.com tells why some think Friday the 13th is Unlucky.

This is a good Pogo cartoon on Friday the 13th.

Now remember if you are superstitious Watch out for black cats, avoid mirrors and ladders and, by all means, don't spill the salt.

Both Urban Legends and How Stuff Works also have good information about why people think Friday the 13th is unlucky

from Cartoon Stock

I found it interesting that some of the superstition about Friday the 13th came from Christianity. It is said Christians have traditionally been wary of Fridays because Jesus was crucified on a Friday. In addition to that, it is believed that some theologians hold that Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden fruit on a Friday, and that the Great Flood began on a Friday. (Although these cannot be proved.) In the past, many Christians would never begin any new project or trip on a Friday, for fear that the endeavor would be doomed from the start. Some historians trace the Christian distrust of Fridays to the church's overall opposition to pagan religions. Friday is named after Frigg, the Norse goddess of love and sex. This strong female figure, these historians claim, posed a threat to male-dominated Christianity. To fight her influence, the Christian church characterized her as a witch, vilifying the day named after her. This characterization may also have played a part in the fear of the number 13. It was said that Frigg would often join a coven of witches, normally a group of 12, bringing the total to 13. A similar Christian tradition holds that 13 is unholy because it signifies the gathering of 12 witches and the devil. Some trace the infamy of the number 13 back to ancient Norse culture. In Norse mythology, the beloved hero Balder was killed at a banquet by the malevolent god Loki, who crashed the party of twelve, bringing the group to 13. This story, as well as the story of the Last Supper, led to one of the most entrenched connotations of the number 13: You should never sit down to a meal in a group of 13.

But I don't understand that when we believe that the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus brought us victory, not luck. I thought we believed in the soverignty of God, not luck, not fate, and not coincidences. "Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is Thine; Thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and Thou art exalted as Head above all" 1 Chronicles 29:11

From my tradition of Methodism and its founder John Wesley on the sovereignty of God.

The major focus of Wesley’s reflection on the doctrine of God was the nature of God’s sovereignty. His main point, directed at Calvin (as he understood Calvin) was that “God’s sovereignty should always be related to the other divine attributes.” (Works, Volume X, 220) Failure to make this relation would ultimately lead to an “abstract and deterministic view of sovereignty which undermined both God’s justice” (Works, Volume X, 216, 363) and God’s love” (X, 229). It would also destroy human responsibility.

Furthermore, Wesley provided several constructive proposals for understanding the nature of God in a way that held divine sovereignty, mercy, and justice together. In the first place, he refused to follow the Nominalists in making a distinction between “God’s will and God’s nature” (V, 440-441). This removed the possibility of vindicating God’s sovereign decisions by placing God above the divinely-established moral law. In the second place, Wesley located the primary expression of God’s sovereignty in the bestowal of mercy rather than in the abstract concept of self-sufficiency and freedom. This move purged the notion of sovereignty of its frequent overtones of arbitrariness and domination. Finally, Wesley argued at length that a conception of God wherein God could interact effectively and providentially with human beings while still allowing a measure of human free agency, does not detract from God’s glory. On the contrary, it “immeasurably deepens our sense of God’s wisdom, justice, and mercy” (X, 230-4; VI, 317-18) without undercutting human responsibility, at the same time.

This basic stance regarding God’s nature as loving and just finds expression in Wesley’s judgments regarding several related issues. For example, he opted for a conception of divine foreknowledge that does not imply determinism. Wesley found such a conception in the notion of eternity as above time. From this perspective, matters related to personal salvation do not take place because God knows them. Rather, God knows them because they take place (VI, 227). Wesley’s judgments concerning the nature of God are congruent with his idea of responsible grace, as having a decisive role, albeit often implicitly, in arriving at judgments. As evidence of this assertion, he notes the Calvinist conception of God’s sovereign predestining will:

  • It destroys all (God’s) attributes at once: It overturns both His justice, mercy, and truth…You represent God as worse than the devil; more false more cruel, more unjust. But you say you will it by Scripture. Hold! What will you prove by Scripture? That God is worse than the devil? It cannot be…better to say (Scripture) has no sense at all, than to say it had such a sense as this…No Scripture can mean that God is not love, or that His mercy is not over all His works. (VII, 383-3)

Here, his convictions about the mercy and justice of God become criteria for determining the meaning of Scripture. Moreover, this quote must be balanced by Wesley’s claim that his convictions about God’s justice and love are “thoroughly grounded in Scripture” (X, 211). Nevertheless, it is a clear illustration of at least one area where Wesley’s basic convictions about responsible grace were a decisive influence in his determination of issues of Christian doctrine and practice. From "Themes in Wesley’s Theological Understanding" Echol Lee Nix, Jr., 2000

Well, did you get all that? In other words it still is not about luck, fate or coincidences. God is soveriegn, yet man has free will. My friend Eternal Echoes has a sermon on the Sovereignty of God in the midst of adversity.

Comfy yet?

Friday Five: Creature Comforts

Reverendmother here...

Maybe it's the arrival of crisp October, my favorite month. Or maybe it's the fact that the divine little miss m has been sick all week (and if the baby ain't happy, ain't nobody happy). Whatever the reason, my thoughts have been turning to cozy creature comforts--those activities and spaces that just make a person feel good. And so...
Hope the Divine miss m gets to feeling better, gets happy, and that you get happy too.

1. Comfort beverage anything hot or warm that tastes good. And if I don't have anything hot, wine will do.

2. Comfort chair The chair I am sitting in right now; lounge chair with table right next to me, with favorite reading material, and the remote control that I control!

3. Comfort read A good novel that I can get lost in, enjoy, laugh with, and not have to work hard at while reading.

4. Comfort television/DVD/music Silence or good classical music or meditative music.

5. Comfort companion(s) My kitties, and my doggies. Throw them out, send the kids to the baby sitter, and it becomes time with my hubby. At which point all the above answers change......

And if that doesn't work I choose #6 sinking into a nice bath.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

I don't have to tell you this, but maybe I do. Violence in the family hurts and can kill. If you don't believe me go to I don't have to tell you this, but maybe I do. Violence in the family hurts and can kill. If you don't believe me go to THE FEMICIDE REPORT by the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women or Silent Witness. And it leads to a cycle of violence. Some people want to say that the feminist make up these numbers and statistics to put men down, to make them look bad, and to raise their own cause. But that is not true, these stats come from Police departments, District attorney's offices and the Attorney General offices. Both genders are hurt by violence in the home. And women can and do abuse men, young men and boys. Men abuse men, young men, and boys. A home should not be such a scary place, it should be a safe place. But sadly in too many homes it is not. And more often than not if the victim tries to get out of the abusive situation or leave they are often killed. I have counseled men and women who were in abusive marriages, and abusive relationships. I have counseled children who were abused. I have counseled the abuser. It is hard work, but it can be treated. You don't have to abuse. You don't have to be abused. If you need help, there are people who will help. If you need a safe place there are safe places to go. I am no longer working as a professional counselor, but I would be willing to help and listen if someone needed that. You may also want to contact the police or a local domestic violence center or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-SAFE.

According to Safe Youth; the other big concern these days is what is going on for our young people in their dating relationships.

  • 1 in 5 girls report being beaten or abused by a boyfriend by the time she graduates high school.
  • 40% of girls age 14 to 17 report knowing someone their age who has been hit or beaten by a boyfriend.

Know the early warning signs that you're in a dating situation or relationship that could have the potential to become violent.

  1. 1. Your boyfriend or girlfriend pressures you, soon after you begin dating, to make the relationship very serious, or presses you to have sex.
  2. Your boyfriend or girlfriend becomes extremely jealous and possessive, and thinks these destructive displays of emotion are signs of love.
  3. Your boyfriend or girlfriend tries to control you and to forcefully make all decisions where the two of you are concerned, refusing to take your views or desires seriously. He/she may also try to keep you from spending time with close friends or family.
  4. Your boyfriend or girlfriend verbally and emotionally abuses you by doing such things as yelling at you, swearing at you, manipulating you, spreading false and degrading rumors about you, and trying to make you feel guilty.
  5. Your boyfriend or girlfriend drinks too much or uses drugs and then later blames the alcohol and drugs for his/her behavior.
  6. Your boyfriend or girlfriend threatens physical violence.
  7. Your boyfriend or girlfriend has abused a previous boyfriend or girlfriend or accepts and defends the use of violence by others.

If you're in a dating relationship that in any way feels uncomfortable, awkward, tense or even frightening, trust your feelings and get out of it. It could become, or may already be, abusive.
Always remember: You have every right to say no. No boyfriend or girlfriend has the right to tell you what you can or should do, what you can or should wear, or what kind of friends you should have.

Don't let shame or fear stop you-talk to a parent, a teacher, a religious leader, a doctor, a nurse, or a guidance counselor immediately. You also can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-SAFE, and they can direct you to individuals and groups in your community who can help you to make a change.

Check these places out:
National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, 2006 A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America
Ten Years of Saving Lives
The PCUSA has some good resources for worship and small groups
Silent Witness
The Clothesline Project
The Minnonite resources
Faith Trust Institute resources for churches
Churches Together worship resource

And if you like to spend some money, here are two places to spend your money which will go toward "Domestic Violence Awareness and Prevention" On October 17 you can spend your money at a Home Good Stores. And on October 19th you can spend your money at Marshalls. Now go shopping for a good cause.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

kitty finds a new home

A couple of weeks ago, I was a lost kitty, not sure how it happened. I saw a cute family at the gas station, but there was too much noise, so I ran away. I was hoping though i could find them or my old family. I just kept looking and walking. I wasn't looking too pretty, cause I had gotten dirty. But lo and behold down the street I find a church and some kids playing out front, i think i have seen two of them before. They get real excited and go running in the church. It scares me and I run away again. The momma comes out, but can''t find me. The kids leave with a man in a big car. I go back to the front door to see if anybody is still there. there are some men there with the kid's momma. And in the confusion i get into the church, haha, I know a good place when I see it. But one of the men catch me and takes me back out. Wah wah. It is dar, and i am afraid, the woman comes picks me up and carries me around to the house next door to see if I belong ther, but I don't. So she leaves at the front door, and starts walking away. I get smart and follow her to wherever she is going, she is going home, boy this is getting really good. She realizes I am following and takes me inside. But i stay in the big room with all the boxes, there are dogs inside the other room, and i am scared of them. Well, i have not left yet, even though they try to find who was my owner. They aren't showing up, I think they dumped me. I have now moved into the other rooms. I have new friends, an older big fat kitty, and a small female kitty. The big fat kitty is the boss, I stay away from her. The other kitty and i have lots of fun. I still watch out for the dogs especially the big one, she likes to chase me. I love my new home, especially the kids and their room. They love me too. Iwant to stay here. If they name you, does that mean they keep you?

Monday, October 09, 2006

Pay attention girl: Its National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is a wonderful month of Fall. You have Oktober fests, Fall Fests, Harvest Moon, etc.

But one thing that October has become known for is National Breast Cancer Awareness. You'll be seeing a lot of pink this month. Pink ribbons, pink jewlery, pink clothings, pink, pink. (I hope no one though sees one of those dreadful pink slips that means you have been let go. And no I don't mean Pink the singer, although she is interesting, but she is not one of the singers who have had breast cancer.)

My family does not have a history of breast cancer, it is not a factor for my health, no its alzhimers, addictions, and depression. But that doesn't mean I don't want to not say anything at all. No I have know young and old alike who have died from cancer. I was a Chaplain for many of them who died before these days of awareness, good testings, and treatments. Alot of them died unnecessarially. The Doctor ignored sending them for mammograms. It was a shame, because after all your body and especially your breasts and other parts of your beautiful body were not to be seen or touched and were to be ashamed of. Also there was the fear your husband or partner would no longer want you for those mutilated breasts. Sad. My mom's best friend, my "Aunt Lucy", was very young when they found her cancer, and removed both breasts. She was the first survivor I knew. A wonderful, joyful spirited woman. I loved her so. She survived a long time after that, adopted and raised her children. Her husband loved her very deeply and stayed married to her until she died a couple of years ago, but not of cancer.

I was 23 yrs old, in Seminary in Louisville, KY far away from my regular GYN and family. I was playing in the church softball league that summer. I had came home after playing to take a bath. As I washed my body I felt something in my right breast. Istopped surprised. I dropped my wash clothe and ran my hand over my breast again. There it was a lump. Oh my God. I finished my bath and quickly phoned my mom. My mom the nurse started crying. Our first thought of course was, it's cancer. I found a Doctor to go see in Louisville, and couldn't get in until 2 weeks later. When I went to the Doctor he yelled at me for not coming into see him sooner. Great first meeting for a terrified young lady. After defending myself, he checked me out. He decided to send me to a surgeon. Went to the surgeon who pronounced we should wait and see. Wait and see, right, more terror. I called my mom again, after discussing things with the Doc she worked for, they decided I should come down there to see a Doc. So off I go back to FLA to see another Surgeon I didn't know in a hospital I hadn't been too. He decided to immediately so surgery to take it out. And so I was in the hospital to have surgery. Thank God it was just a fibroid tumor, fatty tumor if you will. But since that point I have had regular mammograms, check myself regularly, and the GYN I had checked me carefully. So far just little fatty tumors, but believe me I will never forget that terror and will always check me out. My failure of recent is that since our move here, I have not found a GYN, nor have I had a recent mammogram. Hopefully I will take this time to go see the primary Doc so I can get a referral to a GYN that my insurance will pay for, and get a mammogram.

Friends, please don't wait if you have found a lump go now do not pass go, go and get it checked out, Save your life. And men if you don't think you can get breast cancer think again, you can. My dear friend from Wadley, Mr. Hall died of breast cancer.

There are Komen Races for the Cure® perhaps near you.

You can find lots of information on the web from really good sources: WebMD, Mayo Clinic, NYTimes, National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc and Breast Cancer.org. Both CNN and CBS are showing specials about Breast Cancer.

you can support the search for cure or free mammograms on by just a click at BreastCancerSite.com. Or even buy a Barbie that the donations go toward a cure.

But for God's sake go get yourself seen and get the mammogram, no matter what you have heard.

Here are the stats for Breast Cancer from the government :
· The National Cancer Institute estimates that, based on current rates, 13.2 percent of women born today will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some time in their lives.
· Because rates of breast cancer increase with age, estimates of risk at specific ages are more meaningful than estimates of lifetime risk.
· An estimated risk represents the average risk for all women in the United States as a group. This estimate does not indicate the risk for an individual woman because of individual differences in age,
family history, reproductive history, race/ethnicity, and other factors.
· Estimated lifetime risk of breast cancer has gone up gradually over the past several decades. This year it declined slightly.
A woman’s chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer is:
· from age 30 through age 39 . . . . . . 0.44 percent (often expressed as “1 in 229”)
· from age 40 through age 49 . . . . . . 1.46 percent (often expressed as “1 in 68”)
· from age 50 through age 59 . . . . . . 2.73 percent (often expressed as “1 in 37”)
· from age 60 through age 69 . . . . . . 3.82 percent (often expressed as “1 in 26”)

And now that you know the stats, go get that checkup and mammogram NOW!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Voting: Our Civic Duty

budget cuts

Friday Five: Civic Duties

It's that season of the year when lawn signs are sprouting as surely as flowers in the spring; elections are just around the corner. And so today we bring you a Civic Duty Friday Five.

1) How old were you when you voted for the first time? 18, they had changed the legal age to 18 from 21, which gave me the right to vote.

2) What was the contest at the top of the ballot? How should I know? It was 1972, I can't ever remember yesterday. I am guessing it was the Presidential election.

3) Can you walk to your polling place? I have moved don't know where it is now, I have got to find out. But before yes.

4) Have you ever run for public office? No. Gave it some thought, but did not want my dirty laundry aired, nor every little thing I said or did twisted or owe anybody. I used to say as a child, "I am going to be the First Woman President of the USA." I quickly grew up.

5) Have you run for office in a club or school or on a board? Yep. HS. college. Sorority. Jaycees, and Kiwanis. and a couple of the boards I have served. But I have also been elected without even being given a chance to say yea or nay.

What no bonus?