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Showing posts from May, 2006

Brainstorms?

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I had a terrific (in the sense of terrifying) migraine last night--the worst I've had in years. I had to resort to Imitrex(R) and going to sleep; then woke up two hours later with the pain gone but not the nausea. Ugh.

Woke up feeling like a new person this morning though--there's a kind of relief and euphoria when that pain finally goes away. I feel energized and excited about getting things done.

And in working on preparing the order of service for Sunday, I came across something on my favourite preaching bulletin board (desperatepreacher.com). One of the other desperate preachers mentioned something he had done in the past--taking a variety of translations and inserting one in each of the bulletins. During announcements, the congregation was informed that they were doing the Scripure reading as a congregation, and that they might not have exactly the same reading as the person next to them, but that they should keep on reading. And behold--many voices, saying all different th…

Saint Joan!

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Today is the saint's-day of Joan of Arc. I grew up in a tradition that didn't have an official list of recognized saints--anyone who was in the church was a saint. We remembered giants of the faith--the Christian faith--but we didn't venerate them. On All Saints' Day (or the closest Sunday thereto), we once or twice recited a litany of them--Paul, Augustine, Martin Luther, Calvin, the Wesleys (Susanna, John and Charles), and more modern-day saints as well; Martin Luther King, Dorothy Day, etc. So I was aware of the tradition, but it never loomed large for me.

But Joan of Arc--now, there was a saint I could get interested in emulating--armour, horses, strong, advisor to the French king Charles VII--except for hearing voices, which spooked me a bit. I knew she had died horribly, but somehow my adolescent mind skittered away from that, sure that in my case it would have been different.

She made me think about honour, though, and what was worth dying for. I read a novel that…

My Iris! It's Blooming!

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Well, there she is--my Hemstitched Iris! Actually, this specific photo isn't of the iris in my garden (I don't have a digital camera), but this is what it looks like.

The first one bloomed today, and there are at least eight more buds. Yay!!

I do love iris--can you tell?

Friday Five--What I Believe

Here they are: five things I believe:

1. Jesus loves me. Not 'cause the Bible tells me so, but because I feel it in my inmost being.

2. You get what you give. If you put arrogance and anger and judgment out into the world, then you get that right back. If you put love and acceptance and at least an attempt at understanding into the world, then you get tolerance and openness back. Not necessarily from the same people, but it's out there!

3. Someday the Red Wings will win the Stanley Cup. Quixotic, I know, and I'm not even much of a hockey fan, but I know it will happen someday.

4. There is no force greater than love. Nothing. Nada. After all, God is love.

5. I am where I am for a purpose; my job is find out what the purpose is, and then fulfill it.

Wednesday night

Yep. Still Wednesday night.

I'm staring at the computer screen, with nothing to say. Or rather, lots to say, but can't yet, not even here in cyberspace where no one knows your name. Soon, I promise. In a week or two. And it is good news, too.

Let's see--reading. What am I reading currently? Well, I'm reading "Original Blessing" by Matthew Fox (still in the introduction). I'm finding myself nodding furiously so far. Let's hope it continues. I'm also reading "Changing Ones," by Will Roscoe, on the role of alternative genders in Native cultures, and "Clergy Self-Care," by Roy Oswald. The last is published by the Alban Institute, and when I finish it, I'll write a review. So far, though, it's pretty good (i.e., realistic).

Bloom blog note: the iris are beginning to open. I should know tomorrow what they look like (of course it's supposed to rain tomorrow in River City!).

What are YOU reading?

That Movie

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I did in fact see that movie which gets a famous artist's name wrong (not simply misspelled, as I said yesterday).

****SPOILER ALERT***
I will discuss plot points, so if you don't want to know what happens, read no further!!

You have been warned.

****

Violent. Bloody. Disturbing.

I went with a group of friends, and one of us left after half an hour, unable to stand the brutality and gore. If I hadn't felt a sense of duty, I doubt I would have stayed.

I don't remember that the book (which I read) had so much violence in it; but it may be that seeing it, graphically, makes it more powerful than reading about it on the page. That said, there were two murders, a cilice and self-flagellation in the first half an hour. More than enough for me.

That was bad enough, but the history! According to the "experts" in the movie, Constantine convened a council that decided the contents of the Bible; the Christians pulled down the ancient gods of the Romans (and only one goddess was…

Happy Victoria Day, Y'All!

Today is Victoria Day here in Canada, a statutory holiday--meaning everyone, pretty much, gets a day off.

It's the traditional start to the summer, when people put their boats in the water for the first time this year, and open cottages, and have BBQs and open their pools. It's the beginning of fireworks season, too--next weekend is Memorial Day, which we are at least aware of here, being so close to the border, and then there's the Queen's Birthday, which is not a statutory holiday, but a good excuse for fireworks nonetheless, and then JuneTeenth, which we remember because River City was a popular terminus of the Underground Railroad, and then Canada Day. That Thursday we have huge fireworks, with River City and The Large American City Across the River celebrating both Canada Day and July 4th with an enormous display over the river. I've seen the fireworks in Washington DC and in Boston, and they are both puny compared to what they put on here. Maybe it's the r…

Bloom Blogging!

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Well, sort of--I don't have pictures of anything at this moment, but I did do some gardening today--yay!

The rain has finally stopped, the ark it stopped a-movering, and I mowed the lawn (front and back) this morning! Amazing how much better a yard looks when you mow. DP and I then cleared up some debris and did a bit of weeding--looks ever better. We have these horrible thin thistley things (alliteration!). They don't cling tightly, but if you don't grab them just right (difficult to do with gloves on, but of course you need the gloves, they hurt like the devil if they stick you), the stem breaks off. But if you do get it just right, the root slides right out and that one's gone. We had a thicket of them around our brand-new iris plants (gifts from garden-clearing friends--thanks, guys!), but now the iris stand tall and proud--and when they bloom in a week or so, they'll look great. I'm amazed they're blooming this year, to be honest--I thought they'd n…

Summer Plans

I'm planning my continuing education for this year, and what I would like to do is a personal retreat. Mostly this is to work on a project I've been thinking about for a while, which DP has been encouraging me to do, but I haven't found the time to do. It's a (deep breath) book.

I've been thinking about spirituality and women, specifically lesbian and bisexual women, and the ways traditional feminist theology reads differently for women attracted to other women, not only Christian women, but women from other traditions as well. I think I have some things to say about it, and I'd like to get them out there. On the other hand, it may all be a bunch of nothing. So I want to at least try to write this, to put it together and see if I really have enough to say about it, or if I need to refocus or try another angle.

However, with life getting in the way, I haven't had a chance to do much. I've done a lot of reading, and that's been rewarding, but I'm ge…

Follow-Up Adventures in the Imaging Department

I went in to see my doctor this morning about the results of my MRI. I was a bit concerned because her office called me yesterday afternoon and wanted to set up an appointment right away ("concerned" = "out of my mind").

She says all is well, the cyst hasn't gotten any larger (6 cm/c.2 1/2 inches is quite large enough), and my brain appears otherwise normal (good thing she said "appears," bwahahaha).

Phew.

Oh, and the dizziness?

Stress.

Adventures in the Imaging Department!

I survived it. My MRI, that is.

You may remember that I had a “dizziness incident” in late March, attributed to stress by my doctor. But, hearing that I had an arachnoid cyst*, she ordered up an MRI. Just to have a baseline, she emphasized. Just so they know.

So, I got up at five-freakin’-thirty this morning and tottered over to the hospital (having only one cup of coffee because of the lack of a bathroom break during this thing). The MRI department is part of the Imaging Department, which includes Xray, ultrasound, CAT scans, and MRI--and probably a couple of others I'm not up on, now that I'm out of the medical world. I was checked in, and then called down to "Room 8," which turned out to be the MRI lab. The technician asked me if I had ever at any time had metal left inside my body (metal plates, joints, dentures; ever been shot with a bullet or BBs? Any gold on my teeth?). Was I possibly pregnant (if I am, it’s a miracle)? Etc. I divested myself of everything conta…

Monday Moanin'

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It’s raining. Again. It’s rained for the last six days. I’m beginning to think I’m in Vancouver, not River City.

The grass is growing, and so are the dandelions. It looks horrible. But we can’t mow it because, of course, it’s raining. The only consolation is that everyone else’s lawn looks the same way. For the same reason.

We have plants to plant. They are getting potbound. But we can’t plant them because it’s raining. Now, before you think I’m a total wimp who can’t get her not-so-dainty feet wet, let me say that we’re not talking a misty-type rain here. It’s buckets, folks. It only stops at night when you can’t do anything outside.

And it’s chilly, too.

Reminds me of my first spring in Germany, when it rained for a month straight and the temp never got above 68F.

Brrrr. Coffee and a good book weather.

And West Wing’s ended.

Grump.

Monday’s my day off. Maybe I’ll just go back to bed and try to get warm.

Grump.



Not Martha Stewart!

Today I’m preaching to me again, but y’all are welcome to listen and chime in when desired.

It’s about finances. I think I’ve mentioned that it’s tight for us here in River City. We love it, we’re not planning on leaving, but sometimes we run out of pay cheque before we run out of month. That said, we have ways of doing things to survive that are legal, moral, sane, and even healthy. I’m not just talking about at the grocery store, but just life in general. There are all kinds of ways to make money go farther. Our garden this year will be huge and beautiful, filled with flowers and colour. And we spent less than twenty dollars. How? Friends who were clearing out their garden and redoing it gave us bulbs, seeds, and rootings. We bought plants that were on sale. We belong to a local online group called “Plantshare” for frugal gardeners to share plants, extra pots, lend tools, etc. We don’t have the fanciest furniture but we keep it polished and clean. Our house isn’t decorated to the n…

Friday Five!

1. Describe a memorable conference, retreat, workshop or convention you've attended.
A three-day retreat on spirituality and sexuality that was held in a wonderful remodelled cottage in the mountains of North Carolina. It was small (9 of us) and I was the only woman, but we learned so much from each other, connected on so many levels, that I know if I ever meet any of the other participants again, we will pick up right where we left off. One of those weekends you don’t want to have end.

2. Tell us about a memorable speaker or preacher you've heard.
One of my seminary colleagues, with whom I had a preaching class, always blew me away. He was able to cover the important bases, touch on other issues just enough to clear them up, never skipped over difficult issues, was always pastoral, and did it all in a way that was engaging and thoughtful. He didn’t mix metaphors or change themes in the middle of the sermon. Needless to say, all of us were very grateful the course was not graded …

My Hidden Talent

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Your Hidden TalentYou 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.What's" Your Hidden Talent? No comment.

River City Mourns

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This has been a very hard day in River City. On Friday, May 5, we lost a police officer. For the first time in River City’s history, a police officer has died in the line of duty. He was shot by an 18-year-old drug runner. When the young man learned what he had done, he was distraught.
It is rare, relatively speaking, for anyone in Canada to die by gunfire. Gun ownership and use is strictly controlled here. If people get in a fight outside a bar, there’s a stabbing, not gunfire. For a police officer to be shot by a suspect is almost unheard of, especially in a city as small as ours.
And that’s the other factor—this is a small town. Everyone in River City knows everyone else, one way or another. They know the brothers and sisters, or worked with the aunt, or went to school with the patrol partner, or have a sister in the police service. A group of hotels in town are donating 10 percent of their returns from room reserved by the many police who came to town for the funeral. The money will …

Monday Morning Meme

Here's one in honour of Mother's Day this coming Sunday: Five women who were or are important in your life. Mine are below--leave a comment if you play!

1. My mother. It amy be a "duh" sort of thing, I don't know; probably every woman's mother is one of the most important influences in their lives. My mom showed me by example that a woman can be very strong and raise children on her own, be a professional, and succeed in a traditionally male profession (she was a civil engineer). She taught me to never settle for second best in a relationship, that every person in a family is important, and to focus on your relationships to make them thrive. She also taught me some practical things, like how to make lemon cake, the joys of gardening, and the value of planning ahead, even for the week's meals. Yep, I'm a big admirer of my mom!!

2. Mentor Pastor She was one of my mentors as I went into ministry. She was there when I got frustrated with my internship place…

Friday Five--Birthday Meme

1. Favorite birthday cake/ice cream/dessert
Well, my favourite is chocolate cake with chocolate icing, but a raspberry filling is nice. Another nice choice is a spice cake with mocha icing. The most interesting "cake" I ever had was blueberry crepes. Mom always asked what we wanted for a birthday cake, and this year I had recently had crepes, and blueberry was (and is) one of my favourite fruits. So she made me blueberry crepes--in April! In Michigan! Amazing.

2. Surprise Parties -- have you ever given or received one?
Both. I've given (or been part of organizing) several surprise parties for friends, co-workers, etc. I've had a surprise baby shower--oh, we're talking about birthdays. Yes, I had three that I can remember. One was for my 14th birthday; my cat had recently died, my parents had split up, I was in the dumps. My friends got together and had a surprise party for me, including motzah ball soup from a Jewish friend, funny poems on the cards, and those cand…

Judicial Council Ruling

This is from the Reconciling Ministries Newsletter:
1. JUDICIAL COUNCIL DENIES RECONSIDERATION OF 1031 AND 1032
The majority of the Judicial Council, the highest court of the United Methodist Church in a 5-4 vote ignored the will of 80% of the Virginia annual conference clergy session, the unanimous Council of Bishop's letter and rejected the 2004 General Conference's affirmation to continue the vision of a church with Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors.
With closed minds, the majority refused to even reconsider.
The Judicial Council's slippery slope nurturing prejudice against faithful United Methodists who are gay or lesbian while disregarding church polity reinforces that ¶304.3 must be abolished, along with all phrases asserting the "incompatibility" of homosexuality with Christian teaching.
God's Spirit lives, speaks, comforts and guides many people in many ways, and the church is most honest when it affirms Christian teachings, not a singular Christian teac…

**Warning** Theology Ahead!

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John 14:1 - 14
1 "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me.
2 In my Father's house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also.
4 And you know the way to the place where I am going."
5 Thomas said to him, "Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?"
6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
7 If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him."
8 Philip said to him, "Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied."
9 Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Fa…