Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A Weeks of Thanks #2

In honor of Thanksgiving I am posting my thanksfulness.

Today I am grateful for my children. (You all guessed that didn't you!)

I will admit there are times, I am not so grateful, but overall and most of the time, I am grateful.

You see I am grateful for several reasons, one of which is that I was not able to produce biological children. After lots of money, lots of shots, lots of Doctor's vists, lots of treatments, (You who have been through this know what I mean) we gave up having kids of our own. My husband wasn't ready to adopt. And so we turned our natural nurturing instincts toward our pets, our nephews and nieces, our grandson, and our friend's children. I had come to a peace and acceptance about not having my own children, when God opened the doors for adopting our three kids. And when I say he opened the doors,he opened them wide. I have written about this before, but when I got appointed to a church in HSV, AL, we found out about adopting children from China. (There were several families who were members of the church, that were adopting children from China.) And so we have been fortuanate to be able to adopt our three children. We think about a fourth child, and by Chinese rules this is the last full year we can do it. But so far we don't see the possibility of doing it. I am satisfied with the three, the girls want a brother for Zach and so does he. But I don't see it happening.

But the purpose of this post was to say; I am grateful for our children. They each have their own little personalities, behavior, likes and dislikes. They are very talented and very smart. They also are very funny, like to tell jokes, be silly and play jokes on me. They are loveable and very loving. Katy is Ms Bubbly Priss Actress, Kara is Ms fashion Princess, and Zachary is Mr Energetic full force little boy. They all have a love of music, dance and singing. Zach and Katy are the athletes. Kara could care less, but will play. Although don't back her in a corner or push her too far, she has a mean left hook, ask Zach. I just really love them for who they are and who they are becoming. I thank God for the opportunity to be their parent.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A week of Thanks

In honor of thanksgiving, I will be posting my thanks to God.

Today I am grateful for my husband.

He isn't perfect, but neither am I.

He is one of the most calmest and patient man I know.

And I am not just talking about with the kids, I am talking about with me.

He is a very loving husband, and loveable.

He is a Mr. Fix it, problem solver, build projects, and handy with tools.

He has also been able to transform himself into a stay at home husband and dad.

He is good with the vacumning, loading and unloading the dishwasher, laundry, and moping.

He is still learning about dusting and cleaning bathrooms, but who is complaining?

I did, but not now.

He is a good father.

He listens to me when I need him to listen to me. He is very supportive.

He doesn't always hear me when I ask him to do something or ask a question,

but then neither do I.

His relationship with God is important to him. He has a growing spirituality.

When I met and married him that wasn't always so, but the Pastor we had at

the time mentored him and nurtured his spirituality.

Sometimes I get really mad with him, and sometimes I laugh my head off with him.

Bob is a good joke teller.

I can't imagine my life without Bob, and I was single for quite some time.

I am not going to use that line, "He completes me".

However, he has helped me become a better person, and he loves me.

And for that I am grateful

Monday, November 12, 2007

My Birthday present

Guess what I got for my birthday?

Good guessing, but what I got is a GPS.

My husband was tired of us getting lost out here trying to find where people live. This area is not on the map of Florence, because we are actually right across the city line in the county. He thought it would be a useful gift.

So we hooked it up to use on my regular day for visitation of the homebound. Hubby was so excited. He put the input into its little computer, and it started us on our way. We followed its directions to a certain house and street. We got to where it said the person lived on the street, but the number in the computer was different than the number on the street. Bob decided to get out to check it out anyway, thinking the numbers might be changed due to E-911. Well, the man who answered the door definitely not the homebound man we were looking for. He and Bob had an interesting conversation anyway. The man asked Bob had he tried one of those GPS, and Bob said that is what brought us to your door. The man literally fell over laughing. But he told Bob there was another street up the road by the same name off another road. So off we went to try to find it. But we couldn't find the road off the main drag. So we gave up on finding that person, and put in another address.

This time it took us to the right place, and we had a nice visit.

I went to the office and googled the address we couldn't find, and it showed the first address. So I googled the name of the road that the man had told Bob about, and guess what, it is the street we live on. It was the name of our street at one point. Go figure. And then by moving the map around I found the street the person lived on.

Guess who has the GPS in their car. Right, not me, the hubby. He has used it for where ever we have gone since we got it. Mmm. Maybe he should get his own.

I told the people at church about what happened, and they thought it was funny too. They knew exactly where we had gone, and knew where we needed to go. It was an adventure.

Bob has since hooked the GPS to the computer to update it. So the next time we go looking for a place out here on the GPS, we will see if it really updated it.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Friday Five: Extravagant Unbusyness

Sally at revgalblogpals gives us this Friday's Five:
I am writing in my official capacity of grump!!! No seriously, with the shops and stores around us filling with Christmas gifts and decorations, the holiday season moving up on us quickly for many the time from Thanksgiving onwards will be spent in a headlong rush towards Christmas with hardly a time to breathe.... I am looking at the possibility of finding little gaps in the day or the week to spend in extravagant unbusyness ( a wonderful phrase coined by a fellow revgal)...

So given those little gaps, name 5 things you would do to; care for your body
You know I have been thinking of having a pedicure, I may just get one, and/or a massage. Heck I may just go to a spa for the day. Other than that I will continue my morning walks, and eating healthy.

2. to care for your spirit
Well it seems to me this is related to # 1. I would think as I take care of my aches and pains, my body, that I can then take in the Spirit better. I am not as focused on "what's wrong with me" instead I am focused on my spirit being connected to God's Spirit.

3. to care for your mind
Okay, this might have been better to come after #1 before #2. My mind will get to watch movies this time of the year, which my mind likes to do, and will read books as able. I am guessing that also that taking care of my body will help my mind, after all it is a muscle. And being forcused on my spirit being connected to God's Spirit is will be good for my mind too. Oh and I like to read the poems about Christmas at this time of year.

4. to bring a sparkle to your eye I will enjoy the sparkle in my kid's eyes. I will enjoy the sparkle in my hubby's eyes. Iwill enjoy the sparkle in my pets' eyes. I like to make crafts and bake around Christmas, and so I have been gathering crafts for us to make, and the ingredients for baking. I really can't wait, and in fact may start on them now, because it gets so busy in Dec.

5. to place a spring in your step Okay you got me on this one. I am not a very good dancer. I just had a birthday that reminds me my spring is getting looser and doesn't have as much spring in it as it once had. Mainly I think it will be keeping up with my kids at Christmas.

Enjoy the time to indulge and dream.... and then for a bonus which one on the list are you determined to put into action? Oh my, the doing things with my kids and with my kids is the easy one. But to go to the Spa, well, I will probably not do it, unless I really push myself, make an appointment and keep it. Taking care of me has always been a hard thing to do. It seems so extravagant...

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Rolls Royces, private jets, jewlery, generous salaries and gifts


Well it appears that the Government is stepping in to investigate the finances of six well-known TV ministers. This was announced yesterday by Sen. Chuck Grassley the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee. You can read the news article to get the full story. There have been many like; Ministry Watch, Trinity Foundation, and newspapers, who have tried to keep an eye on these televangelist and others, and tried to get them to disclose their financial situations fully. But this is different because it is the first time the Government has stepped in to investigate. Sen. Grassley, said he is doing this in response to complaints and tips he has gotten. The ministries have until Dec. 6 to submit audited financial statements, compensation reports, records for ministry jet travel, and other documents.

Who are the Six? faith healer Benny Hinn, Georgia mega church pastor Creflo Dollar and one of the nation's best known female preachers, Joyce Meyer, Kenneth and Gloria Copeland of Kenneth Copeland Ministries of Newark, Texas, Bishop Eddie Long of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church and Bishop Eddie Long Ministries of Lithonia, Ga., and Bishop Eddie Long of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church and Bishop Eddie Long Ministries of Lithonia, Ga., and Randy and Paula White of the multiracial Without Walls International Church and Paula White Ministries of Tampa, Fla.

Ken Behr, president of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, called the request "quite unusual" and "almost unprecedented." He said none of the six ministries targeted are members of his Winchester, Va., organization, but he expects it will prompt others to get their houses in order."I think it's a wake-up call for everybody that financial accountability, transparency, proper accounting processes are important," said Behr.

What do these ministries have in common? They preach and teach a prosperity gospel. I guess the other thing they have in common is that they live it, and live it to the fullest. CBN contacted the 6 and got responses from 3 of them.
I just don't get it how you can read the scriptures and come to the conclusion of the prosperity gospel and how you as a minister can even live like that.
But I will admit to you this, I like having enough money to pay my bills and then some, to have some nice things, nice car, go out to eat and have a date night with my hubby, now and then. I like not worrying about paying the bills or worrying if there is going to be enough money from paycheck to paycheck. But I got to tell you since Bob's retirement, the lower mount of money from his retirement is catching up with us now. It is causing us to re budget, rethink our spending, rethink our wants and rethink what extra things our kids get to do. None of this is a bad thing to rethink our out go. I don't think my salary anywhere matches what these ministers make. My car is a 6year old, over the 100,000 mile mark, but paid for. My home is a nice parsonage. We have enough to meet our needs, and I am grateful.
Prosperity gospel sells obviously, but its a false gospel. And you cannot make these or any ministers above reproach, and "Idols". Nor are ministers to set themselves up as above reproach or as "Idols". We are just not bigger than Jesus, and exempt from his teachings. It taints our witness to those who think we are hypocrites anyway.
I don't glory in this happening to them and say "look they are getting theirs." I pray for them and for God's grace and mercy for them. And ask God to show me and work in me the places that are not of him.
I will admit, that how I spend my money and what I like; has been something that God has been working on me for a long time. I grew up not having much and I think sometimes I try to make up for it. And now that I have kids, I don't want them to be without like I was. You know my parents were like this too, they didn't have, they grew up in the depression, and as they earned more money, the more they bought, especially my father. He did not deny himself anything. It has been a struggle for me not to be like him, and often I have failed miserably at this. God please help me with my "idols" and making an idol of myself and the almighty dollar and what it represents.
Image is from CBN and is actually a video report that I didn't know how to copy and imbed into my post.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Its my party

Its my party. Its my birthday.

I am a young spring chicken today. I got to be, I got young-uns.

Happy Birthday to me!

Lost out on my date night on the weekend, due to a sick kid. But I am glad she is well. And I am glad none of the others have gotten it either, including me.

So what am I doing tomorrow? Work and more work. And a meeting with the United Methodist Women. Its soup night, I'm making Bean soup. Want some? And its thank offering night. I'm thankful are you? And its bring gifts for one of the Assisted Living facilities night. What are you bringing? It will be good food and good fun.

Zachary thinks I should bake some cupcakes. He said he would decorate them for me.
MMM this could be interesting. Can you say, spiderman, superman, transformer, power ranger cupcakes? But a girl doesn't turn down a gift from a good looking guy do they? Hey Zach I got those cupcakes ready. Get the icing and lets get to it. I don't care what it looks like, just as long as it has some chocolate in it somewhere.

The girls keep telling me they have a gift for me, but i am not suppose to know.

Bob hasn't said anything, and I mean anything. What is he up to?
So come on over for the party!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

$350 million

Did I get your attention?

That figure, $350 million is what Scott Boras told the Yankee Baseball team they needed to offer for Alex Rodriguez, or they couldn't even talk to the man. $350 million? I don't even think the man is worth his present contract. I frankly don't think any baseball player, sports figure, or entertainer or politician is worth that much. Can we say unrealistic? Can we say well, greedy.

There are already enough articles that have been written about Scott Boras and what he has done to Baseball. He says he has improved the game, and given players a fair shake, instead of the owners getting it all. Either way owners, agents, players, getting all that money and then some is ridiculous.

But you know what the other sad side of this story is, is that we will pay the increased prices at the games, to see these guys play or play at. We will buy their merchandise for the NFL, MBL or NBA team we support at ridiculous prices. We will buy their merchandise they endorse. We are a part of this escalation of the ludicrous.

Scott Boras represents a young man who played for Atlanta Braves. He did play. Boras went in asking for a ridiculous amount of money for this young man. Sherholz had the guts to stand up and say no, we won't pay that amount for him, his production numbers had gone down this year. And so now he is one of the many free agents. Oh he is represented though by Boras who right now gets his way and gets his man their money. You know its like a gun for hire. It is no longer team effort. Last year when they were negotiating salaries for the Braves team, another man took a cut in his pay so they could afford Jones' salary and he would stay another year. That man, the other Jones, Chipper. He is no saint, don't give him that. But when it got down to priorities about a team, he had it right.

Why am I writing about this on my blog? I do follow the Braves, When we lived closer by, we would go to the games. My husband loves the sport of baseball. I can take it or leave it. But I am writing about it, because it speaks to the way our culture our society our nation is going these days. It is all about the money isn't it. It is all about having more. It is about idolizing somebody. It is about forgetting about our first love, Jesus, and losing our focus on the Lord our God. Others have become our gods. We have forgotten that part about doing mercy, walking humbly and doing justice. You know if I was a good prophet, and I am not prophetic, I would be using the "woes" and "the day of Judgement" language. I got a friend, she has a prophetic voice, she don't like having the prophetic voice at all, wishes she didn't. But she can't help it, God's called her to it, given her that voice. I listen to her. But her prophetic voice is toward us Christians, believers and followers of Christ. And really that is the way it should be, we got to get our act right. We got to get back to our first love, Jesus. We got to be walking humbly, doing justice, and mercy. I believe the scripture says that is what God requires of us. God have mery on me will you.

I would guess we got some of the same thing in the church, among us ministers, and Christians that is going on in baseball and in our society. And truly woe is us. And truly God have mercy on us.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Thank you Martin Luther...

In honor of the posting of the 95 Theses by Martin Luther, and the Reformation I post the

95 Theses. Think about it, without the reformation, the bravery and thoughtfulness of Martin Luther and others, those of us who are Protestant would not have the choices we have of different ways of worship and denominations. Plus where would we be without the Wittenburg Door? (It's one of my favorite mags to read, and I thought I add a little humor. ) Also, if you have not seen the movie about Martin Luther, made in 2003, and not the one made in 1953, you are missing something worth seeing.

Here is the document Martin Luther nailed on the church door at Wittenburg.

1. When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, "Repent" (Matthew 4:17), he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.
2. This word cannot be understood as referring to the sacrament of penance, that is, confession and satisfaction, as administered by the clergy.
3. Yet it does not mean solely inner repentance; such inner repentance is worthless unless it produces various outward mortification of the flesh.
4. The penalty of sin remains as long as the hatred of self (that is, true inner repentance), namely till our entrance into the kingdom of heaven.
5. The pope neither desires nor is able to remit any penalties except those imposed by his own authority or that of the canons.
6. The pope cannot remit any guilt, except by declaring and showing that it has been remitted by God; or, to be sure, by remitting guilt in cases reserved to his judgment. If his right to grant remission in these cases were disregarded, the guilt would certainly remain unforgiven.
7. God remits guilt to no one unless at the same time he humbles him in all things and makes him submissive to the vicar, the priest.
8. The penitential canons are imposed only on the living, and, according to the canons themselves, nothing should be imposed on the dying.
9. Therefore the Holy Spirit through the pope is kind to us insofar as the pope in his decrees always makes exception of the article of death and of necessity.
10. Those priests act ignorantly and wickedly who, in the case of the dying, reserve canonical penalties for purgatory.
11. Those tares of changing the canonical penalty to the penalty of purgatory were evidently sown while the bishops slept (Matthew 13:25).
12. In former times canonical penalties were imposed, not after, but before absolution, as tests of true contrition.
13. The dying are freed by death from all penalties, are already dead as far as the canon laws are concerned, and have a right to be released from them.
14. Imperfect piety or love on the part of the dying person necessarily brings with it great fear; and the smaller the love, the greater the fear.
15. This fear or horror is sufficient in itself, to say nothing of other things, to constitute the penalty of purgatory, since it is very near to the horror of despair.
16. Hell, purgatory, and heaven seem to differ the same as despair, fear, and assurance of salvation.
17. It seems as though for the souls in purgatory fear should necessarily decrease and love increase.
18. Furthermore, it does not seem proved, either by reason or by Scripture, that souls in purgatory are outside the state of merit, that is, unable to grow in love.
19. Nor does it seem proved that souls in purgatory, at least not all of them, are certain and assured of their own salvation, even if we ourselves may be entirely certain of it.
20. Therefore the pope, when he uses the words "plenary remission of all penalties," does not actually mean "all penalties," but only those imposed by himself.
21. Thus those indulgence preachers are in error who say that a man is absolved from every penalty and saved by papal indulgences.
22. As a matter of fact, the pope remits to souls in purgatory no penalty which, according to canon law, they should have paid in this life.
23. If remission of all penalties whatsoever could be granted to anyone at all, certainly it would be granted only to the most perfect, that is, to very few.
24. For this reason most people are necessarily deceived by that indiscriminate and high-sounding promise of release from penalty.
25. That power which the pope has in general over purgatory corresponds to the power which any bishop or curate has in a particular way in his own diocese and parish.
26. The pope does very well when he grants remission to souls in purgatory, not by the power of the keys, which he does not have, but by way of intercession for them.
27. They preach only human doctrines who say that as soon as the money clinks into the money chest, the soul flies out of purgatory.
28. It is certain that when money clinks in the money chest, greed and avarice can be increased; but when the church intercedes, the result is in the hands of God alone.
29. Who knows whether all souls in purgatory wish to be redeemed, since we have exceptions in St. Severinus and St. Paschal, as related in a legend.
30. No one is sure of the integrity of his own contrition, much less of having received plenary remission.
31. The man who actually buys indulgences is as rare as he who is really penitent; indeed, he is exceedingly rare.
32. Those who believe that they can be certain of their salvation because they have indulgence letters will be eternally damned, together with their teachers.
33. Men must especially be on guard against those who say that the pope's pardons are that inestimable gift of God by which man is reconciled to him.
34. For the graces of indulgences are concerned only with the penalties of sacramental satisfaction established by man.
35. They who teach that contrition is not necessary on the part of those who intend to buy souls out of purgatory or to buy confessional privileges preach unchristian doctrine.
36. Any truly repentant Christian has a right to full remission of penalty and guilt, even without indulgence letters.
37. Any true Christian, whether living or dead, participates in all the blessings of Christ and the church; and this is granted him by God, even without indulgence letters.
38. Nevertheless, papal remission and blessing are by no means to be disregarded, for they are, as I have said (Thesis 6), the proclamation of the divine remission.
39. It is very difficult, even for the most learned theologians, at one and the same time to commend to the people the bounty of indulgences and the need of true contrition.
40. A Christian who is truly contrite seeks and loves to pay penalties for his sins; the bounty of indulgences, however, relaxes penalties and causes men to hate them -- at least it furnishes occasion for hating them.
41. Papal indulgences must be preached with caution, lest people erroneously think that they are preferable to other good works of love.
42. Christians are to be taught that the pope does not intend that the buying of indulgences should in any way be compared with works of mercy.
43. Christians are to be taught that he who gives to the poor or lends to the needy does a better deed than he who buys indulgences.
44. Because love grows by works of love, man thereby becomes better. Man does not, however, become better by means of indulgences but is merely freed from penalties.
45. Christians are to be taught that he who sees a needy man and passes him by, yet gives his money for indulgences, does not buy papal indulgences but God's wrath.
46. Christians are to be taught that, unless they have more than they need, they must reserve enough for their family needs and by no means squander it on indulgences.
47. Christians are to be taught that they buying of indulgences is a matter of free choice, not commanded.
48. Christians are to be taught that the pope, in granting indulgences, needs and thus desires their devout prayer more than their money.
49. Christians are to be taught that papal indulgences are useful only if they do not put their trust in them, but very harmful if they lose their fear of God because of them.
50. Christians are to be taught that if the pope knew the exactions of the indulgence preachers, he would rather that the basilica of St. Peter were burned to ashes than built up with the skin, flesh, and bones of his sheep.
51. Christians are to be taught that the pope would and should wish to give of his own money, even though he had to sell the basilica of St. Peter, to many of those from whom certain hawkers of indulgences cajole money.
52. It is vain to trust in salvation by indulgence letters, even though the indulgence commissary, or even the pope, were to offer his soul as security.
53. They are the enemies of Christ and the pope who forbid altogether the preaching of the Word of God in some churches in order that indulgences may be preached in others.
54. Injury is done to the Word of God when, in the same sermon, an equal or larger amount of time is devoted to indulgences than to the Word.
55. It is certainly the pope's sentiment that if indulgences, which are a very insignificant thing, are celebrated with one bell, one procession, and one ceremony, then the gospel, which is the very greatest thing, should be preached with a hundred bells, a hundred processions, a hundred ceremonies.
56. The true treasures of the church, out of which the pope distributes indulgences, are not sufficiently discussed or known among the people of Christ.
57. That indulgences are not temporal treasures is certainly clear, for many indulgence sellers do not distribute them freely but only gather them.
58. Nor are they the merits of Christ and the saints, for, even without the pope, the latter always work grace for the inner man, and the cross, death, and hell for the outer man.
59. St. Lawrence said that the poor of the church were the treasures of the church, but he spoke according to the usage of the word in his own time.
60. Without want of consideration we say that the keys of the church, given by the merits of Christ, are that treasure.
61. For it is clear that the pope's power is of itself sufficient for the remission of penalties and cases reserved by himself.
62. The true treasure of the church is the most holy gospel of the glory and grace of God.
63. But this treasure is naturally most odious, for it makes the first to be last (Matthew 20:16).
64. On the other hand, the treasure of indulgences is naturally most acceptable, for it makes the last to be first.
65. Therefore the treasures of the gospel are nets with which one formerly fished for men of wealth.
66. The treasures of indulgences are nets with which one now fishes for the wealth of men.
67. The indulgences which the demagogues acclaim as the greatest graces are actually understood to be such only insofar as they promote gain.
68. They are nevertheless in truth the most insignificant graces when compared with the grace of God and the piety of the cross.
69. Bishops and curates are bound to admit the commissaries of papal indulgences with all reverence.
70. But they are much more bound to strain their eyes and ears lest these men preach their own dreams instead of what the pope has commissioned.
71. Let him who speaks against the truth concerning papal indulgences be anathema and accursed.
72. But let him who guards against the lust and license of the indulgence preachers be blessed.
73. Just as the pope justly thunders against those who by any means whatever contrive harm to the sale of indulgences.
74. Much more does he intend to thunder against those who use indulgences as a pretext to contrive harm to holy love and truth.
75. To consider papal indulgences so great that they could absolve a man even if he had done the impossible and had violated the mother of God is madness.
76. We say on the contrary that papal indulgences cannot remove the very least of venial sins as far as guilt is concerned.
77. To say that even St. Peter if he were now pope, could not grant greater graces is blasphemy against St. Peter and the pope.
78. We say on the contrary that even the present pope, or any pope whatsoever, has greater graces at his disposal, that is, the gospel,spiritual powers, gifts of healing, etc., as it is written, 1 Corinthians 12:28).
79. To say that the cross emblazoned with the papal coat of arms, and set up by the indulgence preachers is equal in worth to the cross of Christ is blasphemy.
80. The bishops, curates, and theologians who permit such talk to be spread among the people will have to answer for this.
81. This unbridled preaching of indulgences makes it difficult even for learned men to rescue the reverence which is due the pope from slander or from the shrewd questions of the laity.
82. Such as: "Why does not the pope empty purgatory for the sake of holy love and the dire need of the souls that are there if he redeems an infinite number of souls for the sake of miserable money with which to build a church? The former reason would be most just; the latter is most trivial.
83. Again, "Why are funeral and anniversary masses for the dead continued and why does he not return or permit the withdrawal of the endowments founded for them, since it is wrong to pray for the redeemed?"
84. Again, "What is this new piety of God and the pope that for a consideration of money they permit a man who is impious and their enemy to buy out of purgatory the pious soul of a friend of God and do not rather, because of the need of that pious and beloved soul, free it for pure love's sake?"
85. Again, "Why are the penitential canons, long since abrogated and dead in actual fact and through disuse, now satisfied by the granting of indulgences as though they were still alive and in force?"
86. Again, "Why does not the pope, whose wealth is today greater than the wealth of the richest Crassus, build this one basilica of St. Peter with his own money rather than with the money of poor believers?"
87. Again, "What does the pope remit or grant to those who by perfect contrition already have a right to full remission and blessings?"
88. Again, "What greater blessing could come to the church than if the pope were to bestow these remissions and blessings on every believer a hundred times a day, as he now does but once?"
89. "Since the pope seeks the salvation of souls rather than money by his indulgences, why does he suspend the indulgences and pardons previously granted when they have equal efficacy?"
90. To repress these very sharp arguments of the laity by force alone, and not to resolve them by giving reasons, is to expose the church and the pope to the ridicule of their enemies and to make Christians unhappy.
91. If, therefore, indulgences were preached according to the spirit and intention of the pope, all these doubts would be readily resolved. Indeed, they would not exist.
92. Away, then, with all those prophets who say to the people of Christ, "Peace, peace," and there is no peace! (Jeremiah 6:14)
93. Blessed be all those prophets who say to the people of Christ, "Cross, cross," and there is no cross!
94. Christians should be exhorted to be diligent in following Christ, their Head, through penalties, death and hell.
95. And thus be confident of entering into heaven through many tribulations rather than through the false security of peace (Acts 14:22).

Martin Luther's 95 Theses is public domain content.

Friday Five: Interviews

Mother Laura at revgalblogpals posted this Friday Five, but I am answering it on Saturday, what's new. Songbird just had an interview for a "vague and interesting" possibility, and More Cows than People is doing campus visits for doctoral programs. There always seem to be a few RevGals applying for new positions, and I just got my first call for this year's preliminary interviews for college teaching jobs at the American Academy of Religion meeting in San Diego coming up in a few weeks. It's for my dream job among this year's offerings, and I am flipflopping between excitement and nervousness. So please keep your fingers crossed and say a little prayer for everyone facing such conversations, and share your thoughts on the wonderful world of interviews:

1. What was the most memorable interview you ever had? I think it has to be the interview for Pastoral Counselor at the Pastoral Institute/Bradley Center in Columbus GA. It was memorable, because I think I was interviewed by every one from the janitor to the CEO and in between. But it was memorable because it was enjoyable as well.

2. Have you ever been the interviewer rather than the interviewee? If so, are you a tiger, a creampuff, or somewhere in between? Yes, I have been the Interviewer. I try to be me, and it is a balancing act and a case of discernment of when to come on strong and when to lie low.

3. Do phone interviews make you more or less nervous than in-person ones?I have not had much luck with phone interviews, I can't tell what the non verbal communication is. And so I have missed the nuances, and not interveiwed well.

4. What was the best advice you ever got to prepare for an interview? Be yourself, remain calm yet energetic to a point. Have some relevent questions to ask also, remembering you are interviewing them also.. How about the worst? Not sure, really, I'll have to think on that one.

5. Do you have any pre-interview rituals that give you confidence? I remind myself, that it is not the end of the world if I don't get the posistion, and that at the same time, disappointment is a natural response. I deep breathe and pray. I think about what is it I am wanting to know also. I try to imagine myself, confident, thoughtful and real. I also focus on my strengths, and think of a growing edge that I am willing to disclose.

cartoon by Randy Glasbergen

Friday, November 02, 2007

A Peanut Butter Chocolate Bar to die for

One of the desserts that a church member made for the Caregiver Conference the church hosted was a big hit. Everybody wanted the recipe. And so we got the recipe copied and put it in an email. It is an easy recipe, and m-m-m good. I just had to share it with you all. Hope you like it too.

U may be wondering also how did the Caregiver Conference go? It was a success and a big hit. However, it rained cats and dogs and kept people at home that might have otherwise come out to it. A member of our church had the dream to have this and put it together with a little help. We had different agencies, Hospices, Home-Health companies, and hospitals there. We had two presentations on the topics of grief, and dealing with the stress of care giving. We also had a free lunch provided by our members, and entertainment for lunch. The vendors brought some freebies and door prizes. They were pleased and we plan to do it again. The people who came really enjoyed it and got a lot out of the presentation.

So now on to the main topic;

Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars

How could this bar be anything but uncommonly good, for it contains not only peanut butter in the crunchy crust, but a creamy topping of chocolate, coconut, and chopped pecans. And it can be prepared, baked, and in your mouth in under an hour. What could be better?

Makes: 24 Bars

Preparation Time: 20 Minutes

Baking Time: 20 to 25 Minutes


1 package (18.25 ounces) plain yellow cake mix

1 cup smooth peanut butter

8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted

2 large eggs

1 package (12 ounces; 2 cups) semisweet chocolate chips

1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup frozen unsweetened grated coconut, thawed

1 cup chopped pecans

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Set aside an ungreased 13- by 9-inch baking pan.
  2. Place the cake mix, peanut butter, melted butter, and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. The mixture will be thick. Reserve 1 ½ cups for the topping. Transfer the remaining crust mixture to the pan. Using your fingertips, press the crust evenly over the bottom of the pan so that it reaches all sides. Set aside.
  3. For the filling, place the chocolate chips, condensed milk, and 2 tablespoons butter in a medium-size heavy saucepan over low heat. Stir and cook until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is well combined, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the coconut, pecans, and vanilla until well distributed. Pour the chocolate mixture over the crust, and spread evenly with the rubber spatula so that it reaches the sides of the pan. Using your fingertips, crumble the reserved crust and scatter it evenly over the chocolate. Place the pan in the oven.
  4. Bake the cake until it is light brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool for 39 minutes.
  5. Cut the cake into 24 bars. Remove the bars from the pan with a metal spatula, and serve.

*Store these bars, covered in plastic wrap, at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Or freeze them, wrapped in aluminum foil, for up to 6 months. Thaw the bars overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

# If you prefer crunch to smooth, use chunky peanut butter.