Thursday, December 21, 2006

Talk to You All Next Year!

The antibiotics are finally kicking in and I am beginning to feel human again. However, my son is now saying that his throat is hurting him. Please, God, not again.

My laptop's got some problems, so I've got to send it into Dell tomorrow. Thankfully it's still under warranty. So, you won't be hearing from me until I get it back- however long that takes.

When 2006 began, I had no clue that I would join the blogosphere and meet so many wonderful people who encourage me in my life and ministry. So, with gratitude for all of you, I wish you a blessed Christmas and a very Happy New Year!


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Strep for Me, Yippee!

I just returned for my Doctor and I have strep. So, today I'm singing Songbird's "Swollen Glands" song from last week. Come to think of it, we must be passing this crud around our blogring! No, I know it's all my son's fault!

Thankfully, strep is easily taken care of with some antibiotics. But, that's no issue, because I have nothing else to do this week, right?

One funny to share- my doctor actually gagged when she looked at my throat! Maybe that's only funny to me!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Preaching Sick

I'm running a fever; my throat hurts really bad; I'm aching all over and I've got the chills.

Yet, when I came to the pulpit, I didn't feel any pain and my voice was clear and strong.

I'll never never cease to be amazed when that happens! I felt upheld by the Spirit and I really didn't want to leave the pulpit. I did, though reluctantly!

At these times I am re-reminded that it's not about me. Thank God!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Friday Five: Yuletide Favorites

For this mid-December Friday Five, let's explore some Yuletide favorites.

1) It's a Wonderful Life--Is it? Do you remember seeing it for the first time?
I don't remember seeing this for the first time, much in the same way I don't remember seeing The Wizard of Oz the first time.

2) Miracle on 34th Street--old version or new?

There's a new version? I missed that one. I don't think that any little girl could do skepticism quite as convincingly as young Natalie Wood!

3) Do you have a favorite incarnation of Mr. Scrooge?

It's a toss up between Mr. Magoo and Bill Murray!
Susan Lucci- not so much.

4) Why should it be a problem for an elf to be a dentist? I've been watching Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer for years now, and I still don't get it.
I don't get it either. Don't elves get cavities from all the candy they eat?

5) Who's the scariest character in Christmas specials/movies?
Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, Muppet Version
That Mean Magician Who Tries to Melt
Your Nomination

The Winter Warlock from Santa Claus is Coming to Town (before he became good) always made me run out of the room when I was little.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

A Christmas Story for Those Having A Bad Day

This was just the giggle I needed after an ugly run-in with our grouchy and insubordinate church secretary!

When four of Santa's elves got sick, the trainee elves did not produce toys as fast as the regular ones, and Santa began to feel the pre-Christmas pressure. Then Mrs Claus told Santa her Mother was coming to visit, which stressed Santa even more.

When he went to harness the reindeer, he found that three of them were about to give birth and two others had jumped the fence and were out, Heaven knows where. Then when he began to load the sleigh, one of the floorboards cracked, the toy bag fell to the ground and all the toys were scattered. So, frustrated, Santa went in the house for a cup of apple cider and a shot of rum.

When he went to the cupboard, he discovered the elves had drunk all the cider and hidden the liquor. In his frustration, he accidentally dropped the cider jug, and it broke into hundreds of little glass pieces all over the kitchen floor. He went to get the broom and found the mice had eaten all the straw off the end of the broom.

Just then the doorbell rang, and irritated Santa marched to the door, yanked it open, and there stood a little angel with a great big Christmas tree. The angel said very cheerfully, "Merry Christmas, Santa. Isn't this a lovely day? I have a beautiful tree for you. Where would you like me to stick it?"

And so began the tradition of the little angel on top of the Christmas tree.

Tee Hee!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Oh, How the Years Go By

I've seen this meme around the blogring the past few days and, since I can't think of anything else to write about, I'll give it a whirl.

Twenty years ago, I was:

  • in the 9th grade and captain of the cheerleading squad;
  • living with my family in the least populated state in our country;
  • being trained in Youth Evangelism Explosion;
  • feeling conflicted about what I was being taught in YEE;
  • very, very, very boycrazy!

Fifteen years ago, I was:

  • a Sophomore at a small, church-related university;
  • a Bible and Religion major;
  • sporting a very, very short hairstyle;
  • probably in the midst of final papers for the semester;
  • beginning to wonder if I would remain in my denomination;
  • still pretty boy crazy!

Ten years ago, I was:

  • living back in the state with more antelope than people;
  • serving as an AmeriCorps volunteer working with at-risk Junior High students;
  • paying the bills working part-time at Pizza Hut;
  • beginning to gather seminary applications;
  • a serial dater (still boy-crazy!)

Five years ago, I was:

  • living in the Mile High City with my husband of 3 years and our 1 year old son;
  • still boy crazy, but only for the two boys in my life;
  • newly graduated from seminary (well, 6 months earlier;)
  • working as an on-call chaplain in a local hospital;
  • preparing to move to another state to begin serving in my first call;
  • knowing in my heart of hearts that said first call wasn't the best match.

One year ago, I was:

  • enjoying the Advent season in our newly purchased home in city in the Bible Belt with husband of 7 years, 5 year old son and 2 year old daughter (now girl crazy, too!)
  • serving as part-time Associate in gift of grace from God congregation;
  • having fun writing two dialogue sermons with my beloved colleague for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day service. I didn't know it would be our last Christmas serving together;

Yesterday, I was:

  • cleaning the house like a mad woman because I just couldn't take it anymore!
  • helping my little girl get dressed up in her "pretty dress-up, dancing dress" to go to the choir concert of two of our high school youth;
  • planning Christmas Eve service;
  • reading the Television Without Pity forums on the TV show, Heroes, because I'm in serious withdrawl! January 22 until the next new show!
  • feeling restless, yet grateful.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Fa-la-la-la-la, La Friday Five

From the RevGals:

Reverendmother here... those of you who read my blog know I have a love-hate relationship with the 24/7 Christmas music we're subjected treated to in stores and radio (in the U.S. at least). It gets too sentimentally sticky-sweet sometimes, yet I find myself unable to resist it. Nothing says "it's Christmas" to me like John Denver and Rolf the Dog singing "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." So...

1. A favorite 'secular' Christmas song.

It's really just a silly pop song, and I don't know it's actual title, but I like the song by Wham that goes,
"Last Christmas I gave you my heart,
but the very next day you gave it away.
This year to save me from tears,
I'll give it to someone special."

This song reminds me of Anica and Brigitta, two of my favorite students when I taught English in Budapest the two years after college. They loved this song and were aghast that I had never heard it.

I also like the way George Michael sings the word "special." It's so special.

2. Christmas song that chokes you up (maybe even in spite of yourself--the cheesier the better)

This is easy. I always get choked up when I hear Amy Grant singing the words, "Everyone would have a friend" in the song "Grown-up Christmas List." I can't stand the thought of a friendless person. I don't have the same reaction when Vanessa Williams or Kelly Clarkson sings the song, however. Perhaps I have the feeling that Amy might actually care about lonely people, too.

Now, I hate songs that seem crafted just to yank the tears from your tear ducts. Which brings me to.....

3. Christmas song that makes you want to stuff your ears with chestnuts roasted on an open fire.

I think the song is called "Christmas Shoes" by a Christian group called Newsong. It's about a little girl who wants to buy her dying mommy a certain pair of shoes so that she'll look pretty when she goes to see Jesus. That song is all over the radio here!

4. The Twelve Days of Christmas: is there *any* redeeming value to that song? Discuss.

Ummm.... It's a good mind exercise to help prevent memory loss?

5. A favorite Christmas album

Truthfully, my favorite is an acoustic guitar Christmas tape that I got from the dollar store.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

There is Hope for Us Yet!

Oh how I dreaded going to Presbytery today! We had before us an overture from the sessions of three of our congregations which sought to "clarify ordination standards" by declaring that all the ordination standards in G-6 of our Book of Order are "essential." This was, of course, very controversial and I expected there to be some fireworks at today's meeting. However, that is not what happened, thank God!

The wisdom of the Presbytery (53-30) was to postpone voting on this motion for one year and charge our Connecting Congregations committee to develop a plan for us to engage in the work that General Assembly has charged us to do in adopting the recommendations of the Theological Task Force on the Peace, Unity and Purity of the Church. So, in the next year, we will be creating theologically diverse groups to join together in worship, bible study, prayer, sharing our stories, and listening to one another. In other words, we'll do our best, with God's help, to move beyond our "positions" and see each other as sisters and brothers in Christ as we discuss these issues that we all believe to be very important.

I know that there are those who are very disappointed and angry that the Presbytery took this action, and I pray that they will be willing to enter into this time of discernment with the rest of us. We need their voices and experiences. I know that I will need to be reminded of this fact time and time and time again!

Thank God, there is hope for us yet!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Friday Five: Adventually

Songbird says: Although it comes as late as it can this year, Advent is upon us. Some of us grew up observing it, while to others (including this childhood Baptist) it was even more foreign than Lent! Over the past twenty years, I have grown to love Advent as a season of preparation, although as a pastor I find it harder to practice it at home than at church, even when the church might prefer I make it the other way 'round.

Here are five questions about Advent for this first of December:

1) Do you observe Advent in your church?
Yes, indeed!

2) How about at home?
The kids each have an advent calendar thanks to a sweet woman from church. We don't usually have an advent wreath at home.

3) Do you have a favorite Advent text or hymn?
I always get the chills when I hear "O Come, O Come Immanuel" for the first time each year.

4) Why is one of the candles in the Advent wreath pink? (You may tell the truth, but I'll like your answer better if it's funny.)
One of the candles told a dirty joke about the shepherds and the sheep that made one of them blush.

5) What's the funniest/kitschiest Advent calendar you've ever seen?
There are some doozies out there. But I'll forgive even the kitschiest if it has chocolate!