Monday, November 23, 2009



I am entering Thanksgiving week full of doubt and misgivings … it is so easy to be consumed by the things we do not have, the things that need to be changed, the frustrations of the parish, the day to day grind of keeping multiple plates spinning – and the ultimate reality that on occasion the plates will definitely break – we are human!

This morning I am listening and giving thanks!

Gratitude is a great antidote when you find yourself wanting more.

Are you grateful for what you have?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thanksgiving Friday Five

The Cure
Lying around all day
with some strange new deep blue
weekend funk, I'm not really asleep
when my sister calls
to say she's just hung up
from talking with Aunt Bertha
who is 89 and ill but managing
to take care of Uncle Frank
who is completely bed ridden.
Aunt Bert says
it's snowing there in Arkansas,
on Catfish Lane, and she hasn't been
able to walk out to their mailbox.
She's been suffering
from a bad case of the mulleygrubs.
The cure for the mulleygrubs,
she tells my sister,
is to get up and bake a cake.
If that doesn't do it, put on a red dress.
--Ginger Andrews (from Hurricane Sisters)

So this Friday before Thanksgiving, think about Aunt Bert and how she'll celebrate Thanksgiving! And how about YOU?

1. What is your cure for the "mulleygrubs"?

My deal with the mulleygrubs is I give them 24 hours – if I’m sad, I cry. If I’m mad, I rant. But, after 24 hours it’s time to get up and get moving – mentally and physically.

2. Where will you be for Thanksgiving?

In Newcomerstown OH at my sister’s home.

3. What foods will be served? Which are traditional for your family?

It varies from year to year, but always turkey – sometimes with an extra dish of beef and noodles or ham, homemade noodles, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, vegetables – usually beans or corn. My husband calls it “white food” Thanksgiving. The favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner for me used to be Wilma’s apple pie and homemade rolls and pickles that came off the shelves down in the cellar – but alas, those days are gone with the death of Mary Ross and Wilma Stonebrook.

4. How do you feel about Thanksgiving as a holiday?

It is really one of my favorite holidays since there’s no expectations of gifts. It’s just a time to enjoy family around the table, play games, watch a movie together.

5. In this season of Thanksgiving, what are you grateful for?

More and more, I am thankful for family.

Music that allows my heart and soul to soar above the commonplace moments of our lives.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Here is our King

One of the bloggers at Rev Gal Blog Pals gave us this link depicting pictures of Jesus’ life from birth to the cross set to the song Here Is Our King

Sermon title was taken from another website:  The Servant King with Scars …. what does that mean for us?

In a reading from the Celtic Daily Prayer, there is this simple but profound question and answer:

"Question: What are the only human-made things in heaven?
Answer: The wounds in the hands, feet and side of Christ."

One of the most fascinating facts about the New Testament story of Jesus is that after his resurrection he is revealed with his scars.

When his disciples doubt who he is, he shows them the scars in his hands, side and feet.

Those scars are five signs of the most compelling love the world has ever known-complete, self-emptying, utter love for all of us.

In other words, God the Father chooses to reveal Jesus in a perfect, resurrected body with the healed, gruesome wounds from the crucifixion.

To this day, we still know Jesus by his scars.


(Words are not my own …)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Give Me Jesus

This is one of the songs used in the tribute to Susan McAndrew. In her short life, she fought a tremendous battle which robbed her of almost everything – except her faith in Jesus Christ.

Here is the link: Fernando Ortega Performance of Give Me Jesus

In the morning, when I rise
In the morning, when I rise
In the morning, when I rise, give me Jesus
Give me Jesus,
Give me Jesus,
You can have all this world,
But give me Jesus
When I am alone
When I am alone
When I am alone, give me Jesus
Give me Jesus,
Give me Jesus,
You can have all this world,
But give me Jesus
When I come to die
When I come to die
When I come to die, give me Jesus
Give me Jesus,
Give me Jesus,
You can have all this world,
You can have all this world,
You can have all this world,
But give me Jesus

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Advent Door

Jan Richardson’s website The Advent Door is a great way to center yourself during the Advent Season.


Friday the 13th …

Here are the Friday Five questions from RevGalBlogPals:

The fear of Friday the 13th is called paraskevidekatriaphobia, a word derived from the concatenation of the Greek words Paraskeví (Παρασκευή) (meaning Friday), and dekatreís (δεκατρείς) (meaning thirteen), attached to phobía (φοβία) (meaning fear). The term triskaidekaphobia derives from the Greek words "tris", meaning 'three', "kai", meaning 'and', and "deka", meaning 'ten'. the whole word means three and ten. The word was derived in 1911 and first appeared in a mainstream source in 1953. (Wikipedia)

With thanks to my dear spouse TechnoGuy for the great suggestion, it's a Friday the 13th Friday Five!

1. How is this Friday the 13th looking for you?

Typical day … lots going so I’ll be praying that Friday the 13th is JUST a superstition. I have guys reframing and wrapping the windows in the house (lots of ladder work), Jerry and I will be hitting the treadmill at the gym (plenty of potential for problems after Jerry’s heart incident two weeks ago at the gym) and setting up for the Salad Luncheon at the church this evening (lots of potential for broken dishes).

I’ll let you know …

2. Have you ever had anything unlucky happen on Friday the 13th? No

3. Did your family of origin embrace or scorn superstitions?

My family of origins never even talked about superstitions that I can remember.

4. Are there any unique or amusing ones from your family, region, or ethnic background?

There are several stories which have their basis in the local folklore of Newcomerstown OH which is my hometown.

Most prominent in recent history are Sasquatch sightings …

Sasquatch sightings have been prominent in Ohio since the 1960s, said Don Keating, manager of the Eastern Ohio Bigfoot Center in Newcomerstown, Ohio, and organizer of the Annual Bigfoot Conference ….


5. Do you love or hate horror movies like "Friday the 13th"?

My husband loves horror films so occasionally I watch them. I’m not particularly fond of deliberately causing my heart to race with fear.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Celebrate Life …

Life is not meant to be a burden. Life is not a problem to be solved. It is a blessing to be celebrated.

Every dimension of life, its gains and its losses, are reason for celebration because each of them brings us closer to wisdom and fullness of understanding.

From each and every moment of life we learn something that makes us more alive because we are now more knowing than we were before. Loss and loneliness, darkness and depression all sear the soul and cleanse it of its sense of self-sufficiency. Suffering directs it to the God of life.

But so does bounty and beauty and abundance. These give us a foretaste of wholeness. These are the palpable manifestations of the goodness of God in our lives. Both of these things come unbidden. They are not signs of either our sin or our sin-less-ness. They are simply signs that the God of life is a living, loving God.

Learning to celebrate joy is one of the great practices of the spiritual life. It confirms our trust in God. It affirms the greatness of creation. It seals our dependence on God. It attests to the beauty of the present and asserts our confidence in the beauty of the future. It recognized the mercy and love of God.

Every year in celebrating our birthdays and the birthdays of those we love we are called to remember the gift of life itself. We take time out to ask ourselves what we have done with our lives. We see again the potential of every single life in the world.

When we celebrate the good things in life, we trace them to the Creator who gives without merit,  openhandedly, out of the very goodness of community, love, and support that are by nature at the base of the human condition.

Joy gives us strength for the unknown. It leads us into the emptiness of life with hope in the God of surprise with a smile on our faces.

–from The Breath of the Soul: Reflections on Prayer

Friday, November 6, 2009

Sermon Preparation Advice:

The Spirit has taught us in meditation to ponder its message, to put aside, if we will, the responsibility of preparing the message we've got to give. Just trust God for that. But first, meditate on it, quietly ponder it, let it sink deep into our souls. Have you not often been surprised and overcome with delight as Holy Scripture is opened up as if the gate of the Golden City have been set back for you to enter? A few minutes silent openness of soul before the Lord has brought us more treasure of truth than hours of learned research.

                                                     Charles Haddon Spurgeon



Friday Five: New Things You Love

Songbird over at RevGalBlogPals writes:

There's a new baby on my street, a double PK whose Mom and Dad are Methodist pastors and church planters. I'm hoping to go over and meet her today. I love new babies, the way they smell and their sweet little fingers and toes. Little K has me thinking about all the new things that please us with their shiny freshness.

Please share with us five things you like *especially* when they are new

1.  Babies almost definitely have to top the list. There is just something so innocent and pure about them as they trust us to care for them.

2.  Baby animals – I think God made them so darned cute so that we couldn’t help but love them – even when they chew, chew, chew or pee, pee, pee all over your things – even your sermons!

3.  New Car – there’s nothing like a the smell of a brand new car, shining and ready to go to work hauling kids, animals and all the other things we use them for.

4.  New Books – I love new books – whether they are bound, purchased for the Kindle or hosted on my Zune. If I have an addiction, this is it.

5.  Fresh fallen snow before it’s had any tracks.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Old Irish Blessing

The Waters of Baptism

When we were baptized, God gave each of us a gift. Perhaps we were too young to understand…too young to open the gift at the time, so it was put on a shelf. Over the years, some have unwrapped it, in Sunday School, or confirmation, or in conversation with mom and dad, and they found great promise and great blessing in the gift of baptism. But others, like me, took a long time to unwrap the gift and looking inside. When I finally did, I still wasn’t sure it was something I wanted or needed, but the gift was always mine. You see, that’s the great miracle in the gift of baptism; once it’s given, it always belongs to the receiver. We can ignore it, we can doubt it, and we can resist it, we can run from it, but the gift is always ours. The gift of baptism, of course, is grace, and it’s been given to you. It’s got your name on it, and it is yours forever. And that’s a promise. Thanks be to God. Amen.

Gather us in …

Gather Us In Lyrics
Here in this place, new light is streaming
now is the darkness vanished away,
see, in this space, our fears and our dreamings,
brought here to you in the light of this day.

Gather us in the lost and forsaken
gather us in the blind and the lame;
call to us now, and we shall awaken
we shall arise at the sound of our name.

We are the young – our lives are a mystery
we are the old – who yearns for your face.
we have been sung throughout all of history
called to be light to the whole human race.

Gather us in the rich and the haughty
gather us in the proud and the strong
give us a heart so meek and so lowly
give us the courage to enter the song.

Here we will take the wine and the water
here we will take the bread of new birth
here you shall call your sons and your daughters
call us anew to be salt of the earth.

Give us to drink the wine of compassion
give us to eat the bread that is you
nourish us well and teach us to fashion
lives that are holy and hearts that are true.

Draw near to God …


Here is an interesting way to weave prayer into your life …


The more we call on God
the more we can feel God's presence.
Day by day we are drawn closer
to the loving heart of God.

Monday, November 2, 2009

He’s Always Been Faithful

It’s been that kind of week …

This is my anthem, this is my song
The theme of the stories I’ve heard for so long
God has been faithful, He will be again
His loving compassion, it knows no end
All I have need of, His hand will provide
He’s always been faithful, He’s always been faithful
He’s always been faithful to me.