Saturday, September 29, 2007

College Game Day, Southern Style

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday Five: Swan Song

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best ending: Thats all folks

picture from Free Web

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Paying Those Apportionments

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, September 21, 2007

Friday Five - - Decluttering Edition

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

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

With that in mind I bring you this Friday 5;

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Picture taken from Kim & Jason's Escape Adulthood blog

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A Full Sunday/ A Full Week

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

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

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

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

Friday, September 14, 2007

Friday Five Another meeting

Reverend mother brings us the following Friday Five at RGPBs:
In honor of a couple of marathon meetings I attended this week:

1. What's your view of meetings? Choose one or more, or make up your own:

a) When they're good, they're good. I love the feeling of people working well together on a common goal.

b) I don't seek them out, but I recognize them as a necessary part of life.

c) The only good meeting is a canceled meeting.

And my answer is a). It also depends on if I have had marathon meetings or how tired I am from a lot of work or feeling time crunched.

2. Do you like some amount of community building or conversation, or are you all business?

I really prefer some community building, spiritual practices, etc along with the business. Holy Work as the Bishop likes to call it.

3. How do you feel about leading meetings? Share any particular strengths or weaknesses you have in this area.

Is this a loaded question or what? I tend to be put in charge of meetings, groups, clubs. I like to keep it simple. I like to involve everybody.

4. Have you ever participated in a virtual meeting? (conference call, IM, chat, etc.) Yes, yes, yes, and yes.

What do you think of this format?

I think it is helpful for people who are long distances from each other to meet and get whatever work they need to get done, done. It does keep idle chatter down and going on and on about some subject. It can feel a little disconnected and a lot so if you don't know each other or haven't met before. I think that conferences, bigger districts, and the larger church, committees could utilize it to cut down on travel time, gas costs, long meetings, etc. Are there drawbacks, certainly, there is to it either way it goes.

5. Share a story of a memorable meeting you attended.

You know I am sure there is one somewhere, but I am not drawing it up this morning.

Bonus question: pet peeves about meetings?

People talking over each other and not listening.

Not knowing the agenda, and at the same time there is a hidden agenda.

People who domineer.

People who don't talk, but then when the meeting is done, complain to others.

People who take confidential matter out of meetings and tell others that information.

People who don't come at all after saying that they would be on a particular committee.

Leaders who let people talk on and on, or let the talk get off the particular agenda item to go towho knows where.

Leaders who lead the meeting in such a way that people don't feel like they can give input.

Leaders who are not leaders.

Meetings that go over time.

Meetings that get started really really late.

Uncomfortable surroundings.

No bathrooms available.

No drink(ie water, coffee or tea) available.

Meetings that meet just to meet and accomplish nothing.

Meetings that meet to decide something, but either don't decide or decide to do something and then don't follow through.

No meetings when a meeting is needed.

Things being decided outside or before the meeting and yet there still is a meeting.

Conflictual meetings. And by that I mean unhealthy conflict.

Things I like:

Knowing the agenda, knowing the goals, knowing the vision. Some time to converse before or after and not just about the meeting issues. Time in meetings to seek God's will, centering, quiet, scripture reading. I like the feeling of accomplishment. I like the feeling of people working together. I like leaders who can hold the tension or listening and leading and guiding and keeping the meeting on track. I like laughter and fun in meetings. I like it when people give each other honest answers, but also have affirming things to say to each other. I like it when insights come, or people have God speak to them or they feel led to do something and they volunteer or suggest we need to be starting or doing a ministry. Or we need to stop, wait and listen for God. I like meetings that accomplish what they came to do and that there is follow through.

What about you?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Female Pastors earn more than Male Pastors

According to Christianity Today, in the section Church Law Today; According to a recent national survey of church workers, females in the position of full-time solo pastor earn more than their male counterparts. The survey these results were gathered from was conducted by Your Church, a ministry of Christianity Today International, and was based on total compensation, the sum of salary plus all benefits including: housing allowance/parsonage, retirement, life insurance, health insurance, and continuing education.

Although the overwhelming majority (93.7%) of solo-pastor respondents were male, female solo-pastors reported 10.4% higher total compensation. Average salary for women solo-pastors alone was 8.6% higher than men’s. Benefits for women solo-pastors were higher as well including: housing allowance/parsonage (20.4% higher) and retirement (24.8% higher). This led to the combined 10.4% higher total compensation for female solo-pastors.

The survey was conducted in early 2007 and the final tabulations include responses from over 5,750 people for 13 church positions. The total results and information can be found in the book; 2008 Compensation Handbook for Church Staff.

I knew it, I am rich, I am rolling in dough, not. I don't know who they interviewed, what denominations, the accuracy of the reporting, or any of that, I do know they didn't interview me.
Anybody else out their rich? And I am not saying that men are making a whole lot more than me either. I am just saying....

The United Methodist Church shows that women are making 9% less than men are. So which is it, I am making more or less? The fact is you will not get rich in ministry, you are not called into ministry to get rich, you are called to serve. But the report in Christianity today, leaves some questions? And the questions I have have to do with the stats of what areas clergywomen are serving in.
15% of district superintendents are women, so that means 85% are not making that salary which is a lot higher than mine.
8% of all bishops, active and retired, are women, so that 92% of women are not making that salary which is definitely bigger than mine.
2% of clergy serving as lead pastors of churches of 1,000 members or more are women, and I know I am making a whole lot less than that, and so are 98% of the women. So how are we making higher than men.

There are things you can do with your compensation package, that effects your taxes and makes it look like on paper you are making less when in fact you are making a good salary. And if you are part of a cafeteria plan, pretax dollars help and that makes it look like you are making less, when you are in fact making more. So that's why I raised the question about the reporting of the amount people made.

Thoughts? Any body else making more? Any body else seen some different stats?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Remembering six years ago

How will you remember today, 9/11/2001?

There is so much on the news, in the news, on tv, on the web, I don't think I have to write a whole bunch.

I just feel sad today. I feel sad for the deaths, for where this has taken our country, for the continued animosity and growth of violent acts. I feel sad we can't work things out with our Muslim Brothers and sisters. I feel sad that we are still at war, if you want to call it that, not sure what to call it.

And yet I also feel hope that there are those who are trying to heal, trying to live better lives, trying to cross the divide in our nation and in our world. I feel hope when I read how one person transformed this day into a day of good deeds and acts. I feel hope when I read how one survivor has written a book called "Held" that shares the steps she took in her healing from the 9/11 bombing. How the families of Septmber 11 are helping each other heal and helping others heal.

Today I will remember those who died. Pray for those who survived and the families of those who died. And I will have hope because our hope comes from

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Saturday College Football

I have no braggin' rights, my team, FSU lost to Clemson in the "Bowden Bowl" Thursday night. They were awful, just awful. I thought they would be better with some new coaches, but no. I'm thinking its Papa Bowden's last year, and son Tommy gets the nod. I could be wrong. Today they have their home opener against UAB, they should win.

They are saying the big game is Va Tech at LSU. But Va. Tech had better play a lot better than last week. You can say they had an excuse because it was their first game after the shootings. But LSU is just really rocking and rolling, and they are going to rock and roll all over Va Tech unless Va Tech plays better, and LSU plays down.

I think Miami(FL) and Okalahoma could turn out to be very interesting. No telling who could win.

And after being humiliated last week, will Notre Dame have a come back on Penn State? But if you remember Notre Dame beat Penn State last year? Or since they are playing in Happy Valley will Penn State be the happy ones?

Another match up is GA versus So. Carolina. Will GA roll all over So. Carolina or does Spurrier have an ace up his sleeve? They are playing in Athens, GA so my guess is it's GA's Game to lose.

As I am writing this, Marshall is leading over #3WVU. Did they take a page out of the play book from last weekend's Mich. loss? Will this last the whole game? We will see.

Could the same thing happen at the Akron - OSU game? Has this become the year of the little guy beating the big guy? Did Appalachian state set a pattern or was it a fluke? A game is four quarters and it will show in the end.

St John and Angel Food Ministries

Celebrate, celebrate, we got the phone call yesterday that we have been approved to be a host site for Angel Food Ministries!

Over a year ago, one of the members came to me and said that he would like to see if St. John could do Angel Food Ministries. So what we did was start working with the Angel Food ministries at Edgemont UMC on distribution date. At first there was just a few of us, and then more came to help. After a year of working there to see if it was something we felt led to do and that we could, we proceeded with presenting it to the Admin. Council, and they voted to go ahead and apply for being a host. It took about 6 weeks to get approval.

I am so excited! The Team is excited! Tomorrow we will tell the church.

As Bob says we now have to get to work getting ready for the first time we are the host. This coming Saturday is distribution day so we will still be going over to Edgemont to work their site. Then we will be putting the details together once we get the package that the Angel Food Ministries is sending us about being a Host site.

Bob went over Thursday afternoon to Edgemont to see what they do to do the ordering and processing of the individual order forms. He came back in a daze. He said it was something to watch how they put it all together, but that we can do it with the help of people who can do math. Edgemont has been so helpful, they are going to share their software with us, and show us how to set it up and do it. They are giving us their old shopping carts to use.

I am just praising God today. God has been in this from the beginning for our church and I believe as we listen to God, follow God, obey God, love God, we will continue to experience God in the midst of this ministry.

If you don't know about this ministry, want to learn more, you can go to the Angel Food Ministries website. You can order their information pack which includes a video to view.
And if you want to ask me any questions about it, you are welcome to do so. I'll be glad to answer what I know or lead you to who knows. You click on email me in the links section or here is my email address

What are you celebrating today.

Friday Five on Saturday on Overcoming

Sally over at revgalblogpals says: "I am preparing this Friday 5 just before I take Chris into hospital for a cardioversion, right now we are all a little apprehensive. But this whole thing has got me thinking, so many of us are overcomers in one way or anoither, so many have amazing stories to tell of God's faithfulness in adversity."

And so I bring you this Friday 5;
1.Have you experienced God's faithfulness at a difficult time? Tell as much or as little as you like... Yes and no, not right now, some other time. Its too late and I won't make much sense. Suffice it to say, I have had my share of hard times, who hasn't, but God has been faithful.
2. Have you experienced a dark night of the soul, if so what brought you through? Yes, God, friends, family, the church, Spiritual Guide, Marriage and Family Therapist Supervisor, Prayer and more prayer.
3. Share a Bible verse, song, poem that has brought you comfort? Does it have to be one? My favorite hymn to sing when I am going through a tough time, is "Great is Thy Faithfulness" .
4. Is "why suffering" a valid question? It sure is, and if it isn't our God is too small as far as I am concerned. If I can't ask why suffering, I don't care, I don't love, I am too small, and I am in denial.
5. And on a lighter note- you have reached the end of a dark and difficult time- how are you going to celebrate? A good meal, gratitude, maybe a party of sorts, tell everybody.

Bonus- anything you wish to add....
If you have not read Dark Night of the Soul, by St. John of the Cross, you can read it here at Chritian Classics Etheral Library The "dark night" of St. Paul of the Cross in the 18th century lasted 45 years; he ultimately recovered. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, according to letters released in 2007, "may be the most extensive such case on record", lasting from 1948 till her death in 1997, with only brief interludes . St. Thérèse of Lisieux, the 19th-century French Carmelite underwent a similar experience, centering on doubts about the afterlife. She reportedly told her fellow nuns: "If you only knew what darkness I am plunged into." St. Theresa of Avila experienced her own dark night of the soul and Thomas Merton.
And in other quarters, these all experienced a dark night of the soul. Martin Luther, Martin Luther King Jr., John Wesley, C.S. Lewis, Martin E. Marty, and Frederick Buechner, the list goes on.

Sorry if this has been a little heavy I will try to lighten up soon!!! Sally I personally think this is a very good Friday Five.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Thoughts on the Anniversary of Mother Teresa's death

"We cannot all do great things, but we can do small things with great love"
Mother Theresa

I guess it took me by surprise that Mother Theresa death occurred so closely after Princess Diana's death. It was 10 years ago on Sept 5th. I am not Catholic, but that doesn't mean I don't have respect for her. She had a great deal of influence on a lot of people. A friend of mine went to India to spend time with her and work with her and the other nuns. It was the hardest work he had ever done, and yet it changed him. I admired her because she could do the hard thing and say the hard thing.

Now we read that in letters she wrote, she suffered what she called the "silence of God. "

"Jesus has a very special love for you. As for me, the silence and the emptiness is so great that I look and do not see, listen and do not hear. " — Mother Teresa to the Rev. Michael Van Der Peet, September 1979. Since this new book, Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light has been published, the news media has been calling it her "crisis of faith." Time magazine's "Mother Teresa's Crisis of Faith". or read Newsweek's: Teresa, Bright and Dark.

I find her more admirable that she did have a crisis of faith, if you want to call it that, or that she felt empty or experienced the silence of God. I don't know though that I like that the letters she wrote and asked to be kept confidential were not. It feels like someone taking advantage of her or trying to put her in a bad light.

But, I don't know of anyone who has not gone through a crisis of faith or felt empty or experienced the silence of God. It is part of being human, part of being Christian, part of being on a spiritual journey. If you read of Jesus' experience in the garden of Gethsemane and even on the cross was exactly that. Following Jesus is not easy, we carry a cross too. Being called by God to Pastor or any form of ministry is not easy. You will have dark nights of the soul, desert times, loneliness, emptiness, silence, and dark night of the soul. But you will also have times of joy, sheer joy, not happiness, joy, peace, peace that has no earthly explanation, you will have the things promised.

Lets ask this, was she depressed? Perhaps. Burned out? Perhaps. Did she have compassion fatigue? Good possibility. Would medication have helped, maybe. Would time away and time out help, most likely. Would spiritual direction help, yes. It makes you wonder if the persons on the other end of the letters knew she suffered so, why didn't they try to get her help or encourage her to get help? Maybe they did try. I wonder if she carried the pain of the world, the sadness, the horror, the emptiness of the world, the silence of the world towards itself? She had to have great compassion to do what she did, and yet where was she getting fed and nourished for such a task?

Have I experienced such times in my life, my walk with Jesus, my ministry, you bet I have, and I can only imagine they will come again. I ordered the book, and plan to read it when I get it.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Boat Adventures

Yesterday, we had the pleasure of taking the boat out for a ride. And for the first time in awhile we didn't experience any motor troubles. That was wonderful. We have had several times of boat trouble, but Bob finally got a professional to fix the motor this time. And boy could you tell the difference. It was beautiful out, not too hot, and nice breeze. It was late in the afternoon, so the sun was starting to go down, and the sky was turning pale blue and pink. You couldn't ask for more. We didn't stay out long though, because we didn't want to run the risk of motor trouble again. Sure hope to be able to go out again soon.

I wrote about our first experience of motor trouble in a post last year called a Comedy of Errors
You can read a shortened version of it below.

I wrote about our latest experience of motor trouble for the Pastor's newsletter article. I thought I would share it with you all as well. So here it is:

Mark 4:35-41

35On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” 36And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. 37A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. 38But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. 40He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” 41And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”

Last weekend we took our boat out to see if it the motor and everything was working alright to be able to take the youth out on the river. You may recall that last year we brought our boat up to Waterloo for the Church picnic sponsored by the men. You may also remember that we could not get the engine restarted again. That led to bringing the car and trailer to the lake house to get the boat out of water. And as Murphy’s law would have it the trailer and car got stuck at the water’s edge. It was a memorable day, one you can look back at and laugh at. Everybody pitched in and helped. The Jordans let us leave it all there over night until we could get a tow-truck out there. We got to ride back with everybody in the church van and have some more fun with everybody.

Bob fixed the motor or at least he thought he did. We went down the river this last weekend for miles it seemed like. The water was placid and pretty. The breeze made the heat bearable. On our way back the engine quit, so thinking it was out of gas. Bob switched over the gas cans, but it would not restart. We tried to start it thing over and over. In the meantime the boats are passing us by, and the kids are getting increasingly anxious. Finally someone stopped to haul us back to the harbor. Russ, the youth director had come along with us and turned out to be immense help. He helped keep the kids calm and get the boat back on the trailer manually.

Now why am I telling you this story? Well glad you asked, there are several reasons;

  1. Sometimes you will be in the “storms of life”, and sometimes you will be in the “doldrums of life”. Even churches can go through storms or times of being stuck. Even our spiritual lives can be stormy or with no movement.
  2. God is the God of the wind and the water. God is in control, we aren’t, and we need to trust and rely on God when we go through times that are stormy or in despondency.
  3. God cares and God does provide. We may wonder if God does care when we are going through such times, but he does. And He provides just what we need. Not what we want but what we need.
  4. Some people are good Samaritans. In both situations there were good Samaritans who helped us out. Are you thanking God for the good Samaritans in your life? And are you allowing God to use you as a good Samaritan in other people’s lives.

Monday, September 03, 2007

The Organizational Elves

Yesterday, the organizational cleanup elves visited our house. They began in the living room, swept through the formal dining room, and ended in the parent's bedroom. I can't figure out what brought them to our house, or why they got started even. I can't even figure out why they chose the rooms they did. But I will say those rooms really look good now.
They came back this morning to help the male of the house dust and wipe. It must be magic because the big male started picking up the family room, dusting and wiping. And the little male picked up the little toys and such that were scattered all around his room. And the little females did likewise with their room. The big female blogged about it, because she was in shock, she is the one who usually does the picking and cleaning up, and the elves told her to sit down and do nothing. Imagine that.
I hope the elves start coming on a daily basis instead of once a year. But I am grateful they came. I also hope they will go out in the garage and work their magic. There seems to be a lead female elf who is really good at what she does.
Wouldn't you like the organizational elves to come to your house?
Thank you little organizational elves, come back again real soon!

I'll take them since the elves of Middle Earth were unavailable at this time, maybe next time.

The top painting of the cooking elves is by Sebastian Theilig at the Harry Party Lexicon

For my Knitting Friends

I don't knit. I wish I could, but I forgot what my grandma taught me so long ago.

I sat in a seminar the other day, watching three other women knitting while listening to the speaker. I went over and talked to them about it. They told me they seemed to remember more from seminars, meetings and lectures when they knitted than if they didn't. Now that's an idea. I did have a Chaplain friend that did that too. I instead doodle away, pages and pages of doodles.

But I wanted to post this for my knitting friends, especially those of revgalblogpals. And by the way the women in the seminar were clergywomen, but not part of revgalblogpals. I really need to start carrying a card around with me that has the revgalblogpals on it somewhere.

In the latest Guidepost that I got Thursday, there was an article by the author Debbie Macomber called "Stitch by Stitch". In it she writes about SIX reasons knitting is good for your soul, with this advice: What’s good for knitting is good for living.
The six reasons are as follows:

1. Get hooked
2. Follow a pattern
3. Take it stich by stich
4. Don't worry over loose thread
5. Click it together
6. Give it away

These come from her latest book: Knit Together Discover God's Pattern For Your Life.

She also has her own blog with a Knitter's Club. (Don't know how she does all she does.)

She also knits for Guidepost's Knit for Kids.

Okay is all this coincidental or serendipitous? Is God saying something to me about knitting? And who is going to teach me? Go check out the Debbie Macomber in the latest Guideposts if you are knitter. I think I'll have to check out knitting after all, or do something with my doodling.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

A Prayer for Justice on Labor Day

God of love and justice, we come to You this Labor

Day asking for Your presence and guidance. You have asked us to

walk with our brothers and sisters and told us there are no strangers

among us. Yet, we still turn against You and the law You have given

us to love one another as we love ourselves. As the Psalm says, we

know that good will comes to those who are generous and lend

freely, and to those who conduct their affairs with justice. However,

we have sometimes failed to be generous with our time and

resources, and have neglected opportunities to treat others with

human dignity.

God, as we remember those who

are struggling and organizing

for a living wage, healthcare,

and human dignity in their

workplaces, remind us this

Labor Day that You have

called us to walk in

solidarity with our

brothers and

sisters, as we

conduct our

affairs with

love and

justice. May

it be so.


One in three workers in the world is either unemployed or earns less than the equivalent of $2 a day. According to the annual labor market report by the International Labor Organization (ILO).

According to UNICEF, there are an estimated 218 million children aged 5 to 17 in child labor worldwide, excluding child domestic labor.[3] The most controversial forms of work include the military use of children as well as child prostitution. more Americans, including children without health care coverage—a record 47 million with no coverage.

With fewer workers covered by traditional pensions, Social Security is more important than ever.Only half of all workers participate in any workplace retirement plan at all. In 1983, the vast majority (88%) of these workers were covered by defined-benefit pensions. By 2004, only a minority (37%) had traditional pensions, as employers shifted responsibility for retirement saving to workers through 401(k) plans. This leaves Social Security as the only guaranteed source of retirement income for most workers (Munnell and Sundén 2006).

Want to know more about the issues facing America's Workers and families? you can go here to the AFL-CIO union website to gain the information

Prayer for Workers

Wonderful God, Mightiest Worker, Parent of the Carpenter Jesus,
We offer prayers for our brothers and sisters in labor.

As our labor serves others by providing services, goods
and profits may it also serve you in its diligence, dignity and justice.

May our employees and employers be
guided by the common good and not the selfish interest.
May justice rule over profit.
May safety reign over risk.
May love overwhelm harsh rules.
Bless us all, living God, and raise up workers clear of mind,

glad to labor in your name and striving together to
build your Beloved Community. Amen.

Adapted from a Labor Day prayer,

the Presbyterian Church (USA)

Book of Common Worship, 1946.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

A Prayer for Labor Day Weekend

Gracious heavenly Father/Mother
as the United States pauses to contemplate the freedom to work and the employment opportunities that are available to us, may we never lose sight of the fact that it is only because of your grace and favor that we are able to work. Thank you, Lord, for the blessings of employment and work that I have had in the past and at present. May all that I do at work give glory to you and your precious name. I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, whom I love and serve. Amen.
Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod

Painting of Rosie the Riveter from Encarta


I chose this painting of Rosie because it showed her in action welding something. My father was a welder/mechanic, and I wanted to honor him this weekend too. I chose this other art work to honor my dad. I am grateful for his hard work that provided our needs as a family, and made it possible for me to get the education I have gotten. I wanted to honor the women who broken into a man's world as the Rosies of their time, and opened the door for me and other women to step through that door. I wanted to honor all the laborers who work or worked so hard on their jobs. I labor, but my labor is not the physical kind like theirs. I saw how it wore my father down. Artwork Produced by the United States War Production Board in 1942

God we pray for all laborers everywhere. Help us to be mindful that in some places many are not free but slave laborers, or are children or women working in awful conditions getting paid neither nothing. Help us to be mindful of the people crossing their borders to come to our country for a new life, better wages and better conditions, but are unable to obtain legal documents to do so. God help us to do the right thing. God we pray for the day when all laborers are set free by you.