Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday Five …. Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Songbird at Rev Gal Blog Pals invites us on a journey …

By the time you're reading this, I'll be en route to a Great Big City to see my son in a play. I'll go by car and bus and train and no doubt cab and maybe even subway. Thus, our Friday Five.


1) What was the mode of transit for your last trip? Car and bicycle. We traveled to the Outer Banks by car and then used our bikes to motor around the area.

2) Have you ever traveled by train? Just a short scenic route. My husband took the train from Pittsburgh to Long Island last year – and hated every second. Would not travel home by train and instead purchased a one-way plane ticket. Earlier in the month, my daughter traveled by train to Paoli, PA. She did not like it either, but at least she made the complete trip. For her, it was simply too noisy and too crowded.

3) Do you live in a place with public transit, and if so, do you use it? We have a bus stop right outside our front door, but I’ve never used it for transportation since I’m always afraid I won’t be able to get back home.

We have used the trolley – cable car – to make visits to downtown Pittsburgh, and I highly recommend that mode of transportation.

4) What's the most unusual vehicle in which you've ever traveled? Definitely the “Ducky” tour bus here in Pittsburgh. It travels on the road for a scenic tour and then turns into an amphibious vehicle and carries you down the rivers for another great tour of the city.

5) What's the next trip you're planning to take? My husband and I are planning a visit to Washington D.C. for the Cherry Blossom Festival in April – right after Easter.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A response to Pat Robertson …

RELEVANT Magazine - Don Miller Responds to Pat Robertson

The author of Blue Jazz points us in the right direction …

Cute conversation ….

Call to abandon a way of life ….

“Ian, have you fallen into the hands of some sect?” his father asked.
“No, I haven’t,” he said.  “I have merely discovered a church that makes sense to me, the same as Dober Street Presbyterian makes sense to you and Mom.”
“Dober Street didn’t ask us to abandon our educations,” his mother told him.  “Of course we have nothing against religion; we raised all you children to be Christians.  But our church never asked us to abandon our entire way of life.”
“Well, maybe it should have,” Ian said.
—Ann Tyler, Saint Maybe

In general the churches, visited by me too often on weekdays – when the custodian was moving about the communion table like a packing case, and sweeping up the chewing gum wrappers that insolently spangled the sacrosanct reaches of the choir – bore for me the same relation to God that billboards did to Coca-Cola: they promoted thirst without quenching it.
—John Updike, A Month of Sundays

Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday Five: If




In EFM this week, our question was, "If you were a color, what would you be?" So that's where this Friday Five comes from, at least its jumping off place.
1. If you were a color, what would you be? – Cobalt Blue – There is a richness to this color that speaks of a life lived fully with both a touch of vibrancy and life and the darkness of chaos. I would hope that my life would reflect the beauty of Christ in much the same way light shines through cobalt blue glass.

2. If you were a flower (or plant), what would you be? – Wisteria – this plant takes awhile to root itself and produce the flowers but once rooted is nearly impossible to remove completely.

3. If you were an animal, what kind would you be? – Giraffe – nuff said – long legs, long neck …

4. If you were a shoe, what type would you be? – a mule – easy to slip-on and slip-off – a blessing and a curse.

5. If you were a typeface, which font would you be? Comic Sans – a blend of many traits.

Bonus: Anything connected with metaphors that you'd like to contribute.

I’m too busy to do this so I’ll leave this open to comments.

Friday Five …. dreams

Sophia at Rev Gal Blog Pals writes:

With the beginning of my college teaching semester I have been having some unusually intense and memorable dreams lately--especially related to my Women and Religion class. With the beginning of a new calendar year many of us are engaging with dreams of another kind: planning, brainstorming, setting intentions or resolutions, etc. And many churches will celebrate the baptism of Jesus this Sunday, reading the Gospel account of his vision of the Holy Spirit as a dove and the "beloved child" words of Godde that set him off on his mission sharing Godde's dream for the world. So let's take a few minutes on this (where I am at least) lovely snow-blanketed Friday morning and share about the many different dreams and visions in our lives.

Well, this is a week late ….

1. Do you tend to daydream? Sometimes … particularly in meetings – may not be the best time to daydream but sometimes they are just interminably long and boring and frankly, pointless.

2. Do you usually remember your night dreams? Do you find them symbolic and meaningful or just quirky? My dreams usually are quirky twists on things going on in life.

3. Have you ever had a life changing dream which you'll never forget? I can’t say that I have.

4. Share a long term dream for one or more aspects of your life and work.

I really would love to serve as a mission co-worker in Malawi.

5. Share a dream for 2010....How can we support you in prayer on both the short and long term dreams?

Our church has an opportunity to provide facilities and partnership to an innovate day care – one that would touch the lives of those with autism. My hope and dream is that this facility is open by September. The name – With Open Arms – a perfectly wonderful image of God’s love for all of us.

Bonus: a poem, song, artwork, etc. that deals with dreams in general or one of your dreams.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Friday Five: Fresh Starts and Covenants Edition

Friday, January 01, 2010

Friday Five: Fresh Starts and Covenants Edition

Sally of RevGalBlogPals writes:

As I prepare this post I am aware that it will be posted on New Years Day. We stand at the beginning of 2010 looking not only at a New Year, but at a new decade full of promise and possibilities. For some of us this will be exciting, but others will approach it with trepidation and probably most of us stand on this threshold with a mix of emotions and reactions. It is at this time of year that many (British) Methodist Churches celebrate their Annual Covenant Service, a service that will include this prayer:

I am no longer my own but Yours,

Put me to what You will, rank me with whom You will;
put me to doing, put me to suffering;
let me be employed for You, or laid aside for You,
exalted for You, or brought low for You;
let me be full, let me be empty,
let me have all things, let me have nothing:
I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things to Your pleasure and disposal.
And now glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
You are mine and I am Yours.
May it be so forever.
Let this covenant now made on earth be fulfilled in heaven.

This prayer is said every year, and offers every member an opportunity to renew their covenant with God. This is no soft or easy prayer, it states in the company of others our willingness to worship God come what may, not that we should become doormats, but that we place God above all else. (And every year if we are honest we have to acknowledge that we fail.) With this prayer in mind I bring you this Friday Five:

1. What will you gladly leave behind in 2009? The trauma of my husband’s health issues and subsequent heart problems and the reality that my 96-year-old father needs to live in a care facility. It’s hard watching your oak tree of a father cry because he’s leaving his home.

2. What is the biggest challenge of 2010 for you? Finding time to complete year two of my D. Min. degree. The reading load is bad enough but looking at the calendar, it is going to be nearly impossible to block out a period of time to write the post-seminar papers.

3. Is there anything that you simply need to hand to God and say "all will be well, for you are with me"? My husband’s health … not only is it frightening to realize how fragile he is but watching him come to terms with that reality is heartbreaking.

4. If you could only achieve one thing in 2010 what would it be? The obvious answer is building better relationships with family. The ministry part of that is finding alternative income options for the church I serve.

5. Post a picture, poem or song that sums up your prayer for the year ahead....

I love this picture! My prayer is to share an intimate relationship in my personal life.

Ministry to me is all about grace so “Grace Alone” is my song of the year.

Every promise we can make
Every prayer ant step of faith
Every difference we can make
Is only by his grace
Every mountain we will climb
Every ray of hope we shine
Every blessing left behind
Is only by his grace

Grace alone
Which god supplies
Strength unknown
He will provide
Christ in us
Our cornerstone
We will go forth in grace alone

Every soul we long to reach
Every heart we hope to teach
Everywhere we share his peace
Is only by his grace
Every loving word we say
Every tear we wipe away
Every sorrow turned to praise
Is only by his grace