Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday Five: The Perfect Blendship

If you're ever in a jam, here I am.
If you're ever in a mess, S.O.S.
If you're so happy, you land in jail. I'm your bail.
It's friendship, friendship, just a perfect blendship.
When other friendships are soon forgot, ours will still be hot.

I'm thinking a lot about friends these days, the ones who rush to you in times of trouble, with a casserole or a socket wrench or an invitation for coffee or lunch or a trip to the foot sanctuary. We meet friends in school or on the playground or at church or in the workplace and even on the Internet. Even as blogging has experienced some decline, the community here has been strong.
For today's Friday Five, some questions about friendship.

1) Who is the first friend you remember from childhood?

Lilly Dean Sutton – pastor’s daughter – and Terri Lawver – another friend from church.  We have pictures of us dressed as angels. Lilly moved to Nebraska and we made a trip to visit. After that, we haven’t seen each or again.

2) Have you ever received an unexpected gift from a friend?

Many times. I have the best of friends!  The most recent friendship is with my clerk of session who continually finds ways to rejuvenate my spirits – often with tickets to the Pittsburgh Pops or the River City Brass Band.

3) Is there an old friend you wish you could find again? Or have you found one via social media or the Internet?

Facebook has definitely made staying in touch easier…. too many to name but I have particularly enjoyed staying in touch with Denise and Joyce… friends from the past who it always seems easy to fall right back into our conversations.

4) Do you like to get your good friends together in a group, or do you prefer your friends one on one?

I think I prefer one on one with an occasional group outing.

5) Does the idea of Jesus as a friend resonate with you?

I suppose friendship with Jesus is a piece of the relationship but that designation seems to fall way to short of explaining the steadfast faithfulness of the Triune God.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Friday Five: Connecting



Jan at Rev Gal Blog Pals writes:

I am currently reading Bowling Alone by Robert D. Putnam, where he explores the changes in community in the USA in the 20th Century. He explains how communities, people, and especially children function better when they live where there is high social capital. Basically, it means that "relationships matter."
We all know this because Christianity (and other religions) emphasize the Golden Rule:

All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you,
do ye so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.

Matthew 7:1

So here are some questions to ponder for this Friday Five about connecting with:

1. Self: Who was your hero/heroine when you were about ten years old?

No one person particularly stands out at this age although there have been many mentors and Sunday School teachers over the years who helped mold and shape me.

2. Family: Who are you most like? Who is most like you?

Having just attended the funeral for an uncle on my mother’s side, I am constantly amazed at how much my cousins and I have in common – even though we’ve shared precious little time together over the years. We seem to have inherited a gene for singing and a love for music and a host of mannerisms and a constant faith in God. We are truly blessed.

3. Friends: How do you stay in touch?

Facebook has definitely helped with communication. My constant companion in seminary use the time spent on road trips making catch-up calls. This year we were able to spend a few days together – although it was as usual, interrupted by drama. This time a surprise wedding and the realization that my Father would be going to his eternal rest in only a short time.

4. Neighborhood, community: What are ways you like to be involved?

Football games seem to be a place where everyone gathers – although for most of my friends, it’s the band that is the big attraction.

5. Job/church: Do you see a need that will help in developing connections?

We were the recipients of a community memorial gift this summer – a pavilion in memory of Susan McAndrew. Susan knew what it meant to love God and your neighbor. It is our hope that we will spend more time together as a result.

Bonus: A link or anything else about connecting.

And remember today is BLOG ACTION DAY!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Refrain from trampling the Sabbath …

Isaiah 58:9-14

If you remove the yoke from among you,

the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil,

if you offer your food to the hungry

and satisfy the needs of the afflicted,

then your light shall rise in the darkness

and your gloom be like the noonday.

The LORD will guide you continually,

and satisfy your needs in parched places,

and make your bones strong;

and you shall be like a watered garden,

like a spring of water,

whose waters never fail.

Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;

you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;

you shall be called the repairer of the breach,

the restorer of streets to live in.

If you refrain from trampling the sabbath,

from pursuing your own interests on my holy day;

if you call the sabbath a delight

and the holy day of the LORD honorable;

if you honor it, not going your own ways,

serving your own interests, or pursuing your own affairs;

then you shall take delight in the LORD,

and I will make you ride upon the heights of

the earth;

I will feed you with the heritage of your ancestor Jacob,

for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.


Friday, October 8, 2010

Friday Five: Fall Word Association


Singing Owl at Rev Gal Blog Pals writes:

The Canadian geese are excited, forming up and practicing, encouraging each other with honking, the Wisconsin fall color is at peak where I am, and in Kohl's Dept. Store the Christmas decorations are up. Yep, Fall is here. It's my turn to do the Rev Gal Blog Pals Friday Five. It has been a while since we did one of these word association Friday Fives, so here goes, with an autumnal theme. I know, fall is one way on this side of the world and different in other places, but please bear with me as I post words that say FALL--at least where I am.
Give us the the first word that comes to mind (you know how that works, right?) and then add a little something about why, or how or what.
1. Pumpkins – Jack o' Lanterns – with a light shining through its face.

2. Campfire – Singing around the campfire in LOTS of places – Girl Scout Camp, church camp, family outings and now in this place of service as we gather around the fire each fall for an evening of relaxation and fellowship.

3. Apples – Cider made fresh in the cider press. One of my favorite childhood memories is making cider with my Dad at home.

4. Color – Trees with their leaves turning red and yellow – but particularly the reds – unfortunately the extreme hot weather this summer seems to have flattened the colors this fall here in Pittsburgh.

5. Halloween – one of my favorite holidays – but I sure had a had time explaining this holiday to our visitors from Malawi this past week. The leaves are simply dropping to the ground.

And since it is REV Gals and their Pals, here is the bonus question, sort of a serious one:

What does the following passage from Daniel 2 make you think about?
"Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever;
Wisdom and power are his...
He changes times and seasons

A reminder that wherever he leads, it is safe to follow. I have seen the time and seasons of my life change seemingly overnight but have always found that God knows the plans he has for me … even when I have failed … he is faithful!