Showing posts from 2007

A Reflection on Time Passing

flickrfoto As 2007 winds down I find myself in the midst of a familiar feeling. It's an existential awareness of the end of my life approaching. That sounds like a real downer, doesn't it? But it's not. Not really. My birthday falls between Christmas and New Year's, so I get a double-dose of this each year...the passing of time, and my own personal passing of time. Buy a new calendar. Remember I can no longer say "I'm 51." This existential awareness began after my mother died in 1994. Being the oldest generation in my immediate family of origin makes a huge difference, I think. No longer is there that 'buffer' between me and death ~ plus, as friends correctly predicted, once past 50 my body just feels older. Several people I trust have told me that I have a gift for knowing, for recognizing, what is constructive and what is destructive in life. I can often intuit that kind of thing, which at times is complicated or hidden, fairly well. So, I don

A grateful witness to love

Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope it's been a beautiful day for you all. Christmas Eve service at my new church was interesting for me. In the middle of it all I became aware once again of how much I miss my previous church ~ I'm definitely grieving the fact that the conflict became so awful that I decided to leave. When we got home last night I said as much to D, and his comment was that I had done the right thing. Then he said, "You took one for the team." I do hope that my leaving there has stirred up some Spirit-filled energy, but I wish I could have been with all the wonderful people there I love so much. I miss them. I hope my feelings don't interfere with my ability to make connections at the new church. I'm feeling disconnected, but thinking that's because it's too soon for anyone to really feel connected in any meaningful way there. Yet there's also a detached feeling, and that's not good. I preach the next two Sundays, though, and tha

Grateful for the light

6:00 a.m. Up early on this Saturday morning to enjoy the lights in the living room against a background of darkness. We have a regular Christmas tree and two smaller tabletop trees, plus the lighted "snow village" that someone gave me as a going-away present three weeks ago. In the dark, the living room is magically aglow with the light . In three days we will celebrate the light of God entering the world. A few years ago I was on vacation in Albuquerque. Having breakfast out on the back porch one morning, I noticed the sun’s light through the tall trees. I could see the beams, and I imagined the individual particles. Sparkly. Smoky-looking. Breathtaking. I don’t know how long I sat there, mesmerized by seeing light itself. And I remembered this story by Scott Peck. He was in another city on a several-day speaking engagement. His host was an older woman, an artist. On their last night together she commented, “Perhaps it’s because I’m an artist, but lately I’ve begun to thin

Overwhelmed, but not sure why

So much for a commitment to blog every day... Oh, the last few days have been tough, although nothing terrible. I called the doctor on Monday when I felt like the bronchitis was returning, but by Tuesday when the appointment came, surprisingly I already felt much better. I have a prescription for an antiobiotic in hand, though, in case I get worse while the doc's gone over Christmas. I feel overwhelmed. One evening I just sat on the bed, staring into nothing. I think the radio was playing. My new job is going well. At first I felt cramped in my new office which is maybe 1/4 the size of my previous space. But the window is beautiful ~ gothic style, floor to ceiling ~ and it looks out on the park-like grounds of the church. Every so often when I turn to look I'll see leaves falling. Lovely. The office is cozy, not at all cramped...My colleague in ministry is thoughtful and easy-going. The administrator is also easy going and has been a real help to me in setting things up and fee

Grateful for fresh bread!

Tonight I am grateful for fresh bread~and the smell of fresh bread baking. I'm at home. Worked until 3 pm. Our service this morning was all music, so I'm easing into my new position without anything to do during worship on my first Sunday. The morning was spent meeting people, trying to learn names, having FUN with the kiddos in Adventure Village (our Sunday School for K-5, nicknamed AdVill), attending a Christian Ed meeting, and attending the end of the Youth Party upstairs. First impression: These folks are friendly, easy-going, inclusive, and progressive. I like 'em. I came home, though, and went straight to bed~~oh, I was exhausted. And when I got horizontal, I started having coughing fits. Like I did earlier this year. So I'm calling my allergist tomorrow and making an appointment, just to be safe. I do NOT want to get sick again. I finally got up about an hour ago. D and I are watching the Giants and Redskins game with our computers in our laps. He'

Grateful for a reminder of ordination

We had a beautiful ordination service at my new church this morning. At one point the drama group, with six or seven people all dressed in black, went to the chancel and presented quotes from Martin Luther King, Jr., Sojourner Truth, and Rumi, among others. All were presented as prophets, with words to the candidate about the awesome and beautiful responsibility of speaking God's truth as he will come to know it. Very moving. I am grateful for this reminder of my own awesome and beautiful responsibility.

RevGals Friday Five

Mother Laura asks, Can you believe that in two days we'll be halfway through Advent? Gaudete Sunday: pink candle on the advent wreath, rose vestments for those who have them, concerts and pageants in many congregations. Time to rejoice! Rejoice in the nearness of Christ's coming, yes, but also in the many gifts of the pregnant waiting time when the world (in the northern hemisphere, at least) spins ever deeper into sweet, fertile darkness. What makes you rejoice about: 1. Waiting? At this point in my spiritual journey, waiting is such a gift. Slowing down is what I need right now~It's been 90-to-nothing for about a month now. Of course, spiritual waiting is not passive resting. It's an active listening for God, an active anticipating the birth of the Christ child in the world and in me. I haven't been doing much of that this week, although I did have the spiritual eyes to see the Spirit at work in my previous church a couple of weeks ago. What JOY that was to behold

Gratitude for connections

Tonight I am grateful that I have a place where I can come home and find my husband here to help me feel safe and wanted and loved. I was a little late getting home, and D called to check on me. What an amazing thing, that there's another human being on this planet who cares enough to call to make sure I'm okay. When I came in, he stood up to give me a kiss and asked how I'm doing. I am truly grateful. Tonight I hold the reality of this gift with gentle care, like you'd hold a baby chick in the palm of your hand, stroking it tenderly and aware of its fragile life. How utterly remarkable that this gift of love and care between two people exists and is actually here for me. So many years alone and lonely. Oh yes, I am grateful. Being in a new job--all is well, I have no reason to think that this won't be a wonderful place to serve God in ministry--but it takes time to establish relationships, to connect and feel accepted. G took the time to call me this morning on my

Sometimes gratitude is not easy

What am I grateful for today? Well, not much ~ ...It's still raining. ...I've struggled with a migraine much of the day. ...I can't find a comfortable office chair to use at my new church. Consequently my back is killing me. ...I'm aware that I needed some time to emotionally make the break from my old church. That was a mistake. I should have taken a few days off. ...I have countless little things I need to do, but 'big' stuff takes precedence during the day and in the evening I'm so exhausted that I just sit here and read blogs. ...I'm biting my nails. Which is a pretty neat trick, since they're the fake silk ones. ...I feel separated from my friends. Kinda lonely, really. ...I miss my old church. Even with all its problems, I was/am invested in it. I care about everyone there so much. Great way to write about gratitude, huh? Ugh. Let's see~ ...Well, it's nice to be alone in the house tonight. Young Man with Integrity is out with friends, a

Grateful for feminism

My new job is going to be a wonderful one, I'm sure. The senior minister and church administrator are very easy going, and I'm looking forward to continuing to have the freedom to do the ministry that I love doing. I'm grateful for that. And I'm grateful for feminist thought. I stopped by the book store on the way home from my new job today and picked up three books on feminism for my children-by-marriage. Young Man with Integrity has already read The Second Sex by Simone Beauvoir, so I think he'll enjoy the subject. I hope the two girls do. Chances are good~they are already well on their way. My own experience is that the world opened up when I first began to see how patriarchy had indeed determined so much of our American cultural worldview and how that same patriarchy was at the root of so much sin, systemic and individual. Everything changed for me ~ Power inside relationships began to be something I could see . See and appreciate in many ways, but see

Sunday evening gratitude

I cried a lot today. I was holding it together pretty well until Marilyn, one of the 'saints' of the church, stepped up during the good-bye reception. She was all choked up and couldn't get any words out. As we embraced I lost it. She's one of about three older women in the church who have been wonderful "mothers" to me. So loving, so accepting, so encouraging, and in Marilyn's case, soooo funny. What a great sense of humor she has, so to see her crying and unable to speak at all just sent me over the edge. I had to go to my office and compose myself a bit. Lovely reception. The church gave me a museum copy beautiful red etched glass vase. Really breathtaking. I love it. So many hugs, tears, smiles, laughs, gifts and cards. I am so very grateful. Tomorrow...a new job...a new congregation...a new beginning.

Grateful for stimulating conversations

I'm grateful for good friends. Tonight D and I and the girls spent a lovely evening at a dinner party at the home of some friends. Wonderful time. Conversation went from plans for Christmas to the topic of institutional racism. A seminary nearby is in the midst of controversy, and the complexity of what's going on is fascinating and so important. D has been reading a great book on difference in gender and race, and several of us have an intense interest in this subject. Stimulating dialogue that I think we all enjoyed.

Gratitude for the almost-nightly ritual (and so much more)

I am grateful for my husband. He drives me crazy. Absolutely nuts. I married a man who...well, let me give an example. This happens frequently as we are going to bed. K: Honey, will you turn that radio off? D: I'm listening to it. (This not 2 minutes after I ask "Who's that?" Some senator is talking about Bush and I'm curious who it is. D tells me he didn't hear who was talking because he's reading his book.) K: D, will you please turn the radio off? D: Why? K: Because I'm about to post to my blog and I can't write when the radio's on. D: What are you posting about? K: I'm writing about things I'm grateful for. D: You're writing about me. K: I'm NOT writing about you. [He always thinks this.] Now, will you turn that OFF?! D: I'm listening to it. K: You're not listening to it and we both know it. D: What if I don't want to? K: Arrrrgh!!!! Will you JUST turn the radio off?! D: [he exaggerates a belch] K: D! D: What wil

Talking to chaplain interns

I am grateful for CPE programs where such an emphasis is placed on self awareness. For the second year in a row now I've made a little presentation to the chaplain interns at one of our local hospitals. I talk about spiritual vitality and how important it is to continue a practice of self-examination beyond the CPE experience. It's gratifying for me to talk to these young people. They are amazingly self-aware and eager to share. I give them a whole page of quotes from famous Christians talking about self-knowledge and how critical it is to the spiritual life. One woman today focused on Augustine's famous "our hearts are restless until the rest in Thee, O God," and she put that together with a quote from Frederick Buechner talking about our "original selves." In tears, she commented that she had never really told the CPE supervisor, who was in the room, the amazing sense of restoration she felt when she first talked to him about being in the program.


If you have EVER in your ENTIRE life loved a Disney movie, go see Enchanted. D and Young Man with Integrity and I just came from seeing this movie, and all three of us LOVED IT. (Now, that's a recommendation!)

The Five Gifts Meme

Jan tagged me for the Favorite Gifts meme. Hmmm, this one's not easy for me, but I'll give it a go. Name five of your favorite all time gifts, either given or gotten. In no particular order... 1. A container of dirt. Sounds funny, I know. I was in group therapy for two years. It was through that group that my sense of self strengthened tremendously. Anyway, when you leave a group like that there's a leaving ritual that takes place and the group members all say goodbye, etc. etc. Some people gave me a going-away gift, and the gift from my therapist (the one I still see, MR) was a little container of dirt. It was the "earth" from a very special place for her, a place in New Mexico that is said to have special healing properties. She said, "Katherine, this gift is meant to remind you that you are a healer." Wow. 2. Two gifts from my sister: a plate inlaid with beautiful mother of pearl and a diamond and sapphire ring. The plate is really soooo beautiful. M

The Friday Five: Holiday Traditions We Don't Like

My first time to play Friday Five ~~ here we go... Will Smama asks: Please tell us your least favorite/most annoying seasonal.... 1) dessert/cookie/family food. Oh, easy one: Fruit cake. Gag. Hey, you know mobsters use it to make sure bodies sink to the bottom of lakes, don't you? 2) beverage. Eggnog, I guess. I have a powerful memory of my mother going "Yuck" and making a face every time my dad and uncle made eggnog at Christmas when we went to my grandmother's for the traditional get-together. Of course, my dad and uncle were putting a fifth of whiskey in there, and that's really the reason she didn't like it. Truth to tell, I've never actually tried eggnog. 3) tradition (church, family, other). It's not fun to have to share the kids at holidays, but other than that, I can't really think of one I don't like. 4) decoration. Oh, man, all these huge blow-up figures people are putting in their yards. There's one house down the st

Freefall into the grace of God

Denise Levertov is a wonderful poet, isn't she? The Avowal As swimmers dare to lie face to the sky and water bears them, as hawks rest upon air and air sustains them, so would I learn to attain freefall, and float into Creator Spirit's deep embrace, knowing no effort earns that all-surrounding grace. ~ Denise Levertov ~ Ohhhh, what lovely memories this poem evokes in me. Freefalling into the arms of God. Leaving the false security of ARCO. Strangely easy .... Preaching to the seminary community, professors and all. Valerie telling me to LIVE, LIVE in THIS moment .... Group therapy where I was Levertov's soaring hawk, the bravest I've ever been when it comes to a potential relationship .... And marriage. Risking it all, although somehow it didn't feel like the cost could be death, sustained no doubt by God and by a confidence in D's 'earnestness.' So it seems that Life ~real Life~ is a series of freefalls. Learning to trust. ....................Failing t

They add such delight to my life

My niece, Blonde Beauty, called yesterday to say hello on Thanksgiving and to wish me well in my new position. I wished her well, too--she has a new job! (No more temporary assignments! yes!) She has the most delightful personality: fun and friendly and at-ease in any situation. She's a great writer and I love to hear her sing. What is Blonde Beauty now?--hmmm, I guess she's 26 with a birthday coming soon on January 12. Her new job is in the accounting area, and my sister tells me she's enrolling in night school at the college in her town. I have the warmest memories of spending time with her and my nephew Handsome Boy before they moved to South Carolina. On the weekends I took them all over. We went to San Antonio via Amtrack. It was a great trip to the RiverWalk, swimming and room service in a fancy hotel~I have a picture of them jumping on the beds. [Discipline has never been my long suit.] On the way home the train died. Yep, just died on the tracks and what should have

my grandmother's recipe for dressing

Mompriest asked for the recipe. Here goes! The name is "Country Cornbread Dressing w/ Sausage," according to my mother, who was careful to get the recipe from her mother-in-law and very thoughtfully wrote this out for me and Beautiful Blue Eyes Laughing years before she died. 2 cups diced celery 1 cup chopped onion 1/4 cup melted butter 1 pan (8-9 inch) cornbread, cooked and crumbled 2 cups bread crumbs 1 pound sausage, fried, drained, and crumbled 1 regular can chicken broth 3/4 cup water 2 beaten eggs Saute the celery and onions until tender. In large bowl combine celery mixture, corn bread, bread crumbs, and sausage. Mix well. Add broth, butter, eggs, and water. Toss until thoroughly moist. Use 13x9 baking dish. Bake 30 or 40 minutes at 350. Makes about 3 quarts. For a 12-16 pound turkey. Note: Yesterday I used only 1 cup of bread crumbs and more butter. Much better.

a peaceful Thanksgiving morning

The cornbread's baking, the sausage (for the cornbread--southern style, my grandmother's recipe) is frying, D's still asleep, the cat's up and misbehaving, but otherwise it's an incredibly quiet, peaceful Thanksgiving morning. All three children are at their mother's house in City to the South. I wish they were here, but Christmas will be a joyous time all together. So different from the years and years I spent going to Thanksgiving at the home of some extended family member. They were always gracious to me, but I felt an undercurrent of "poor Katy." Perhaps that was my own stuff. The first Thanksgiving that D and I were married, though, we received no invitation, much to my painful surprise. It took me a while to adjust to that, given all my issues around "family," but now I see it as much better. I'd rather be here with D, just the two of us, than anywhere else. I'm afraid D might be getting sick. He said last night that his body ha

Happy Thanksgiving

D and I worshiped at the Thanksgiving Service at his church tonight. What a blessing! To be able to sit in that beautiful sanctuary (this is the church where we were married) and listen to a beautiful sermon, full of God's truth as I understand it, share a meal with good folks, oh! I felt God's presence and am grateful. I do want to remember just a few of the many things for which I am grateful tonight: my husband and my children-by-marriage, for my sister, niece, nephew and brother-in-law in South Carolina, for my brother and sister-in-law in Thailand, for my dear friends and other family members. my church where, although it's been so tough lately, I have nevertheless been privileged to serve, where I have loved the people and the work of ministry, where I have had wonderful opportunities to do some creative programming, where the beauty of the building's sanctuary has nurtured me...and so much more. technology and how it has allowed me to connect with some amazingly

Declaring God's glory

Oh, Monday, Monday. The Mamas and the Papas plaintive singing is part of my reality this morning. Do I really have to go back to work? This helps. From Thomas Merton: The forms and individual characters of living and growing things, of inanimate beings, of animals and flowers and all nature, constitute their holiness in the sight of God. Their inscape is their sanctity. It is the imprint of God's wisdom and God's reality in them. The special clumsy beauty of this particular colt on this day in the field under these clouds is a holiness consecrated to God by God's own creative wisdom, and it declares the glory of God. Such a lovely combining of the inner and the outer in this Psalm to remind me that ALL creation should declare the glory of God. And I am part of that creation. And so is my church. And so is my vocation. May my soul today not forget....


I am thoroughly enjoying this weekend~~it still feels like vacation. I guess that's because it IS still vacation! WooHoo! Yesterday around noon D said "Let's see if we can get tickets to the matinee performance of Man of LaMancha downtown." I was at that moment deeply involved in straightening and organizing my home office (I love doing that!), but am VERY glad that I agreed. I hadn't seen this musical since I was a teenager. I can sing parts of "The Impossible Dream" and "I am I, Don Quixote, the Man of LaMancha!" (who can't?), but I had forgotten the story. This particular production had its problems, but overall I just loved it! I'm such an idealist. The sermon I heard this morning has something to say about that, actually. The title was "Stewards of Life in the Realm of Death." Idealism, if it does not deny reality, is a good thing, I think. It's hope . If reality is denied, of course, idealism is only an empty exerc

An Unexpected Ending

Well, we're home. I've posted some pictures to my first post about the vacation below. Wonderful vacation, still it's nice to be home and in surroundings I love. We stopped in Sherman, only a couple of hours from here last night, just to extend our time away from home--one of those spontaneous, kind of playful decisions. We've had very good luck staying at Hampton Inns when we travel, and last night was no exception. This morning we stopped at the house in Denison where Pres. Dwight Eisenhower was born. Bought the tickets, took the tour--the whole thing. On the tour with us were a woman in her 70's from Pennsylvania and her daughter. Just the four of us on this tour. Very nice. When the tour ended, we said our polite goodbyes and D and I headed home. After about 90 minutes in the car we stopped at Cracker Barrel for lunch. For the first time all week our conversation turned to work issues, thinking of the upcoming week. The bill came, we paid and headed out the door

10 Random Things

Jan tagged me for the 10 Random Things meme. Thanks, Jan! Here we go! 1. I love to play Free Cell. At the moment my percentage is 98% won. Yeah, I'm good. 2. I know all the words to "Harper Valley P.T.A." and I sing it with feeling. 3. When I'm startled, I usually scream. 4. I've been to a wrestling the Sportatorium in City to the East. Weird experience. I went with a bunch of women when I first started working at the oil company in 1981. 5. I've also been to a Tractor Pull. Also in City to the East when I worked at the oil company and also a weird experience. A woman I worked with and her husband wanted to 'broaden my horizons.' They also offered to teach me how to shoot a gun. I declined that one. 6. Since I married D, I've been to many (I've lost count) Friday night high school football games. Both of my daughters-by-marriage were/are in their h.s. band, so we travel an hour or two to get to these games, in various parts of centra

Courage and Renewal, the Church, and me

I glimpsed what the Church should be during the five Courage to Lead retreats 2006-2007. (Thanks to Jan , once again, for the amazing image of Courage, below.) At these retreats we were invited to practice being the people God is calling us to become , and as I think about it, what better purpose for the Church than that? The Courage to Lead series of five retreats for clergy and lay leaders provided: * a time and a place designed to enhance our opening to the movement/voice of the Spirit * an emotionally safe environment * silence * opportunities that challenged us to move out of our false-ego's comfort zone * beauty * a context of both solitude and community, both of which are often required for courage to emerge * the patience to give over a year for all five retreats, an acknowledgement of the difficulty of this process * a pattern of "real world"/retreat/"real world" that also took the difficulty of this process into account * competent, inspiring, and co

Arkansas, Wednesday morning

Arkansas is VERY pretty, just as I remembered . We stayed one night in Hot Springs but didn't really see much of the town, electing instead to drive on here to Eureka Springs--all told, it's taken us about 12 hours of driving. (The back roads we're taking aren't busy at all, and we're stopping at places called "Alom Cove" just to see what it looks like!) Eureka Springs is different than I imagined. The B&B, pictured below, didn't have directions on its website, so D looked at a Google map Monday night and memorized it (the man is amazing). We drove into Eureka Springs, with me at the wheel, and were greeted with narrow streets very much like those I've driven in Europe. With my automated speaking MAP sitting beside me, I was directed to "turn left here," which led us UP a series of teeny, tiny roads--U p, Up, Up the mountain w e drove, hoping we would not meet another vehicle coming down! "Turn here," he tells me, then "

It's vacation time!

Oh, it's been too long since I've posted. Thanks, Jan, for the "I miss you" -- same here, my friend. The Courage to Lead retreat was wonderful. They have a good program, and Cindy Johnson and Estrus Tucker are excellent facilitators. I'm taking all my books and my journal with me on vacation (which starts tomorrow! yes!), and I'm going to read through everything and do some processing. Wow, I finally have some real time in front of me to just process what I want. Oh, I'm grateful. All summer I tried to use any extra time to work on the lecture (the 200 minute one)--glad that's done. Home from Courage on Thursday, but Friday and this weekend were spent working on our concert series and the additional worship service I do at church. Now, finally, I have some glorious free time in front of me. D and I leave tomorrow morning for a driving trip through Arkansas. I hope the leaves are turning--it's a pretty state, I've been there before, but

Courage to Lead

I'm off this morning to the last of our Courage to Lead retreats/workshops. It's been a series of five, although I missed our summer gathering. Courage and Renewal comes from the work of Parker Palmer. If you haven't read "The Courage to Teach" or "Let Your Life Speak," please do; they are wonderful. He's all about authenticity. In fact, the tagline for Courage to Lead is "Reconnecting What You Do with Who You Are." I'm looking forward to this time away. I'm coming down now from a very hectic couple of weeks in which time has seemed so very compressed. I preached yesterday, and it was good, but after the handshaking at the door at the conclusion of the service, I went to my office and found myself suddenly crying. No reason. Just tension-relief, I guess. Anyway, this time away will be good. Not only are the retreats well done and the participants congenial and interesting, but the retreat center itself is first-class. I&

Friday night

Friday night. A full day, and good. Up at 4:45 to get D to the airport for his business trip; he's chairing a conference on the east coast. The evening without him is strange. After only three-and-a-half years of marriage, you'd think I'd still be able to fall back into the feeling of it being normal to be alone on a Friday night, but no. Down to the marrow, I like sharing my life with him--that's definitely my new normal and I wish he were here. Ah well, soon enough, and it does help to have Young Man with Integrity and Lovely Passionate Feminist here tonight. The three of us went to dinner at Cheddar's. The talk was of marching bands, Saturday Night Live, dorm life, which local high schools have good reputations (for teachers), the Dalai Lama, and the Supreme Court. My children-by-marriage never fail to interest and delight me. Lunch was with my favorite two-year-old in the world, little Julia, and her sweet mother, my friend W. After we finished eating and were

Freshness of the future

I saw four clients today for pastoral counseling or spiritual direction. One after another this afternoon, and then an amazing conversation with a parishioner at dinner. What a day. What incredible gifts I received from each of them. The parishioner at dinner tonight spoke of what being a Christian means to her--an aspect of it, that is. She was raised in the church, can quote Scripture with the best of 'em, was baptized and followed all the rules (well, most of them, anyway, she says). But one day she opened herself to a relationship with God, and suddenly everything was fresh . New and fresh . She said she comes out of a worship service and is so alive, so grateful for the amazing message and the deep meaning of the Lord's Supper, still singing the last hymn in her heart. (This made me laugh--She remarked that she comes out of this worship service and into the narthex and is always SO surprised when she hears someone else make some inane, negative, stupid remark, as she puts

Odds and Ends this October Evening

Just some odds and ends: It's finally cool here in North Texas. I love it! And the rain this morning cleaned my car--it's nice and shiny for a change! If you haven't checked out Linda's newest post called "A Turtle in the Sun" at Against a Brick Wall , please do. Give yourself the incredible GIFT of letting her words just wash over you. Oh, what a remarkable talent, and exceptionally courageous human being, she is. I'm sorry to say that our local NPR station seems to be having an unusually difficult time meeting its goal for the pledge drive. Very sorry...I get so tired of the same-old endless pleas for money. I'd increase my monthly giving if I could, just to get "my" programs back on the air fulltime. I love Diane Rehm, Fresh Air, Morning Edition , and All Things Considered , and so many more! Why doesn't some fabulously wealthy and progressive person just fund whatever's left after, say, three-day -pledge drives twice a year, tops?

The lecture, the week

Well, the 200 minute lecture is history. Yippee!!!! I took three days last week as vacation to finish writing it. Glad I did, too. I needed every bit of it. Overall, I think it went fine; I had good feedback, and I felt good in the moment. I was "me," which was pretty important since the topic was authenticity! :-) If they succeed in getting the audio posted on the website for the Series , I'll post a link. RevDrKate had a beautiful post the day before the lecture, which, with her permission, I used as an example of growth toward 'the authentic self' and how self-reflection can be such a wonderful aid in that process. Thank you, Kate! After the lecture ended at 1:00 yesterday, a friend took me to lunch--my friend is the mother of Julia, the precious 2-year-old we're all in love with here at my house. My friend brought Julia over that evening, so we got to babysit again. Thank goodness Beautiful Gen uine Drummer Girl was here--she and D helped play with Julia

Freedom in Christ

An artist friend of mine gave me a present today—a relief sculpture. Mounted on a beautiful wood piece is an abstract sculpture of a dancing woman. Her right arm is thrown over her head and there's movement along the bottom of her long dress. You can tell she's dancing with joy. These words from Psalm 30 adorn the top of the piece: You have turned my mourning into dancing. You have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy. I used to believe that this kind of joy—the kind that compels us to jump up and dance!—was only known after some big event, some mountaintop experience of God. I've had a few of those amazing experiences in my life. When I decided to leave ARCO and go to seminary. When I preached at the Academy for Spiritual Formation. When I married D. When I sat on the beach, on the Jersey shore actually, looking out at the overwhelming infinity of the ocean and suddenly felt myself one with all creation. In each of those experiences pure joy pulsed out from the c


Someone indicated to me that he thought the cartoon I posted recently was "male bashing." I didn't intend that. As I commented to him, I laughed out loud when I saw it, but my husband didn't. My husband didn't care for the cartoon, and obviously neither did this reader. I'm taking the cartoon down, with my apologies. I did want to copy something I read by more cows than people . She really stated VERY well my views of what it means to be a feminist: "I'm a feminist. When we got into a discussion ... about what that means, I begin with the quote "Feminism is the radical notion that women are people." And move to-- essentially a feminist is anyone who believes in (and I might add, is willing to work for) the full equality of men and women. I do not think that one needs to bash men in order to be a feminist." Yes exactly. Many thanks to the reader who honestly shared his feelings, and many thanks to blogger m ore cows .

Congrats to Al

Wow. Al Gore's mom would've been proud, huh? The guy now has: The Nobel Prize for Peace, An Oscar, and The Popular Vote for President of the United States! (as heard on NPR)

"Leaving Church"

A couple of people asked me what I thought of Barbara Brown Taylor's Leaving Church. I bought the book after I heard her interviewed on Fresh Air on NPR. During that interview Terry Gross asked her about being a liberal in a very conservative congregation. Because I respect Taylor so much, her response really intrigued me. She said she tried to keep her liberal views to herself and be "neutral" because "I'm the shepherd of all." Words to that effect. If certain people in her "flock" knew how liberal she was then being their shepherd would be very difficult. She's right. It would be very difficult because some people can't see past their political/social views, and they would forever see her as "a liberal" and not feel they could trust her. I know because that's something that I have to consciously work on myself--always attempting to see the whole person. That whole issue has always bothered me. It just feels so phony sometime

The will to courage

I've never felt particularly called to prophetic ministry, but maybe we all are. I do so want to be a person willing to be courageous. Thanks to Jan for the amazing image. (Double click to enlarge.)

What Kind of Nation Are We? NYT, Pres. Carter

When I was in college I was introduced to Amnesty International. Since then I have valued this organization and supported its work in many ways. In my early 30's I started and was a co-leader a local group in my neighborhood. I've always supported AI financially. Why? For many reasons, but perhaps most of all because torture is wrong. Sinful. Evil. It always wounds the body, of course, but it also always wounds the soul. --The soul of the one who tortures as well as the one tortured. I was on the streets of City to the East in February and again in March of 2003, demonstrating against the invasion of Iraq. It was wrong, wrong, wrong and I knew this administration was making a huge mistake. I felt anger down to my bones. But I'm a child of Watergate and Vietnam, so administrations making huge mistakes wasn't new. I've never known an American administration that made torture a matter of policy, acknowledged or not. When the photophaphs from Abu Ghraib were published,

The Book Meme

Jan has tagged me for a great Book Meme! Total number of books? Whoa! Not sure. When I married D, he said that together we had about 4,000 books, most of which are his, but I'm sure that if not half, then 1,500 or more were mine. Last book read? Hmmm, well, I'm currently re-reading a biography of Heinz Kohut for my lecture this month, but maybe that doesn't really count. I'm carrying A Book of Hours, Thomas Merton, around in my backpack with me and am reading it in spurts. I devoured Somerset Maugham's The Painted Veil recently. Also Barbara Brown Taylor's Leaving Church. Last book bought ? That would be the Thomas Merton book. Five meaningful books ? Off the top of my head, The Road Less Traveled by Scott Peck, which started me on the path of self-awareness. I am forever grateful to Mr. Peck! Henri Nouwen's Life of the Beloved. I was actually, truly transformed by reading this book. I loved myself more. Amazing. Christ in a Pluralistic Age by John Cobb. As

The Four Meme

Tagged by PS @ Purpletologically Speaking Four jobs I've held: Store clerk Technical writer Administrative supervisor Pastor Four films I could watch over and over : Dead Poets Society Good Will Hunting Saved Sense and Sensibility Four TV shows I watch : The Office Ugly Betty (every episode, I LOL at least once!) News Hour Hmm...can't think of another one! Four places I've lived : Fort Worth San Antonio Houston Dallas Four favorite foods : (assuming there are no fat grams or calories...right?) Grilled salmon Chicken & dumplings Chocolate Mashed potatoes Four websites I visit every day : My favorite blogs My email accounts ...that's it... Four favorite colors : Teal Purple Navy blue Hot pink Four places I would love to be right now : with D-- Some luxurious hotel in New York City New England, touring the Fall leaves Lake Louise, Banff Pacific Northwest, in a B&B near the water Four names I love but would/could not use for my children : Shannon Emma Diana Julia

Free Burma

Thanks to Jan for the headsup International bloggers are preparing an action to support the peaceful revolution in Burma. We want to set a sign for freedom and show our sympathy for these people who are fighting their cruel regime without weapons. These Bloggers are planning to refrain from posting to their blogs on October 4 and just put up one Banner then, underlined with the words „Free Burma!“. Show your sympathy for the Free Burma! action and sign our list of participants, whether or not you're a blogger, website owner or someone who wants to point the way to democracy and freedom in Burma! Free Burma! Petition Widget Name: (required) Email: Web: Country:

Trying to be "good girls"

During last week's Companions in Christ small group meeting someone said something that reminded me of a childhood experience. We lived in a town near Beaumont Texas. I must've been about 6 and my sister 5. As I've written here before, we didn't really go to church (and when we did, after I was older, it was to the Christian Science church). At 6, I had no experience of church at all. Carol was a little friend who lived down the street from us. I still have her picture in one of my scrapbooks. She invited me and my sister to her Baptist church one day, and my mother obviously said OK. I suppose we went to Sunday School first, although I have no memory of that. What I do remember is sitting in the sanctuary, on the end of a pew, with my sister next to me during the new and quite alarming experience. The minister began to preach, and whoa ...! My sister and I had no idea what was happening. Hellfire! Damnation! What in the world was this? What did he mean? Toward the end