Showing posts from October, 2007

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: