Showing posts from March, 2008

Brave action by my seminary

I've been very proud of my seminary in recent days. Each year it hosts a "State of the Black Church" two-day symposium, and this year one of the honorees was Jeremiah Wright, chosen months and months ago, of course. With all the hullabulloo going on, the university with which my seminary is associated decided that it just couldn't risk having Rev. Wright on campus, so the meeting space, which had been reserved since last year, was taken away from the seminary. With a mere week before the symposium, the university trustees, citing "security concerns" told the seminary to just find someplace else for its 200+ visitors. My response to the university? What a bunch of Cowards! The seminary's response was perfect. The dean, Nancy R_____, and one of our trustees wrote an opinion piece for the local newspaper stating exactly why we chose to honor Rev. Wright and exactly why we are going to find another venue and continue to honor him. My response to the seminary

Playfulness of God

How 'bout something a little more uplifting this morning? From Belden Lane in "The Solace of Fierce Landscapes"....he's writing about the playfulness of God: Martin Luther once spoke of his experience as a young student in Magdeburg, singing in the streets with another youngster, hoping for small gifts of money or food. A huge man suddenly came running out from a nearby house, waving sausages in the air and yelling at them in noisy jest, "What are you boys up to with such a racket?" The man grinned as he spoke, yet the boys weren't sure how to respond. They wanted the sausages, but in fearful confusion they bolted and ran. Luther later asked in his Tabletalk if the story wasn't typical of our response to God and God's grace. Like the man frantically waving sausages, he said, God holds out Jesus Christ to us, not seeking to frighten but to draw us to Godself. Yet we're afraid. We can't imagine such forgiveness. We run the other way, certai

Experience--Terror of sheer nothing

Here is a quote from a book called "The Ember and the Stars: A Philosophical Inquiry Into the Moral Sense of Nature" by Erazim Kohak. I was stunned reading this passage, it so echoed experiences I have had in which we suddenly get a glimpse of the utter mystery beneath all of life. A philosopher and writer, he has gone into the woods to live for an extended period. He built his own cabin and he is living alone, and literally, off the land... So I sat on the third night of the January full moon. The evening comes early: it could have been no more than a single stroke past seven when the full moon swung past the uncurtained window in the peak and cast a cone of cold white light into the room. Preoccupied with my doings, warm between the stove and the lamp, I hardly noticed it at first. Only gradually I grew aware of the immense, intergalactic emptiness bearing down on my house, leaning into the windows, pressing down on the frozen forest and deep into the snow. The familiar thi

Mournful News...A Friend is Gone

I received some upsetting news today. A friend died. She was a friend from my oil company days, a friend who served alongside me on the board of a local professional association of which we were both members, a friend whom I had not spoken with in probably five years. She died on March 8, over a week ago, from breast cancer. Those who notified me had few details, reminding me that she was a "very private person." Which is true. It seems all of us were surprised. She was raised in Minnesota, I believe, and often spoke to me of her family, which did seem to follow the austere, straight-up Scandinavian-origin stereotype. Privacy was a value she held dear. Tall, blonde and blue-eyed, she spoke very distinctly, always making sure that each syllable was pronounced, and pronounced correctly. When she and I were working together we would often meet for dinner at the Galleria after work, always choosing a table outside one of the restaurants so that we could look down at the skaters

Do Not Look with Fear (St. Francis de Sales)

A member of my covenant group at the Five Day Academy shared these beautiful words from St. Francis de Sales: Do not look with fear on the changes and chances of this life; rather look to them with full faith that as they arise, God – whose you are – will deliver you out of them. God has kept you hitherto. Do not but hold fast to God's dear hand, and the Holy One will lead you safely through all things; and when you cannot stand, God will bear you in the divine loving arms. Do not anticipate what will happen tomorrow. The same everlasting God who cares for you today will take care of you tomorrow and every day. Either God will shield you from suffering or will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace, then, and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginings.

Driving Miss Daisy 2008

Here are some photos of D in his performance as Boolie in Driving Miss Daisy: This was the photo in the Playbill -- (Is he handsome or what? And a good heart, to boot!) And here is one of the "official" cast shots: These two shots are the "salmon" scene, where Daisy calls Boolie early in the morning and has him come over to her house. She wants him there when she confronts Hoak about stealing a $.33 can of salmon. Boolie is not pleased. Hoak has bought Miss Daisy's old car. Boolie receives the Man of the Year award in Atlanta business circles... And here Boolie meets Hoak at the old house, before they go together to visit Miss Daisy in the nursing home. D was GREAT!

A Reflection on Time, Patterns, Cycles

Both of the speakers at the Five Day Academy emphasized, in different ways, the patterns/cycles of our lives. Here's something I wrote in response during one of the silent times: Time has stopped this week... Strange intersection of exhaustion on multiple levels and the mysterious energy arising from openness to God's nudgings...Somehow together the dynamic between them has bestowed upon me a taste of the eternal... Liz and Robert and their talk of patterns, cycles ~ always intriguing for an existentialist like me... The pattern of time and eternity... The pattern of our lives taken, blessed, broken, and shared... The Psalms invite us to see our cycle of orientation, disorientation, and new orientation, where, yes, we do return to the beginning and know it for the first time... Creation itself here at this beautiful place, with winter on the march to spring and summer and back again to the cocoon of winter that will follow next year... Sunrise out of darkness... Resurrection f

Something New Being Born Within Me

The last few days have been amazing. Really, it was the best Five-Day Academy I've ever attended--whether that's because I had no responsibilities or because my soul was simply ready to receive, I'm not sure. Probably both. As the week wore on, I felt more and more space open up within me. The last twelve years have been one HUGE event after another ~ for the most part the events have been good, but nevertheless HUGE changes take their toll. I left my job in corporate America, entered seminary, got ordained, sold my beautiful house and moved, took a six-month job as ED of a non-profit for older persons, entered a Ph.D. program, went through two + years of incredibly intense group therapy, lost my dear friend N to cancer, finished the Two-Year Academy for Spiritual Formation, qualifying exams, writing the dissertation, meeting D and marrying him, moving again, loving my new children-by-marriage, adjusting to family life and sharing living space, defending the dissertatio

This and That

Well, Hillary won, and I am not unhappy. As a friend of mine said this morning, to hear her say in her speech, "For all the women who've been down and have found the courage to get right back up, THIS IS FOR YOU!" -- yes, that was thrilling. Amazing, and wonderful, and thrilling. Young Man with Integrity apparently took quite a leadership role at the precinct convention Tuesday evening--he just knows all the rules, and apparently they needed people with that kind of knowledge! He'll go to the county convention as an Obama delegate, and I am not unhappy about that either! And in other news... Quite unbelievably, it's sleeting and snowing in North Texas. On March 6. Wow. The weather has deteriorated since morning, and apparently the traffic is now one huge mess out there. I'm comfy-cozy inside today, not because I'm so smart, but because I'm still sick. Oh well. We had a healing service on Sunday (oh, I loved getting to pray with people; wow), and at the


My husband and my son-by-marriage are caucusing down the block at our precinct. For Obama. I was so looking forward to going, but had to leave work early today--I'm still coughing and have a lot of rattling in my lungs again. Young Man with Integrity hopes to be elected to the County as a delegate from our precinct. We get 15 delegates, but D called and said there were over 400 people there. Still, most of them will leave once they sign in, so who knows? I REALLY hope he makes it. I voted for Obama, but as I left the polling place this morning I had a big moment of 'buyer's remorse,' seeing all these women standing outside in the cold with "HILLARY ARKANSAS TRAVELER" signs. They waved at me, and I waved back, and felt so guilty. !! (It snowed up here in North Texas last night, but by mid-afternoon it was in the 60's, so I guess they didn't have too bad a time of it standing out there.) Anyway, gosh, two such great candidates. D said he wants Obama as

Thrilled by God

In the ebb and flow of the spiritual life, I have had my share of flows--thankfully so. This weekend will be a 'flow' that I will not soon forget. In fact, I am still in the midst of it. My dear friend, Zen Musician Scholar, was ordained--she is now Rev. Zen Musician Scholar~RZMS ! The service was stunning. And she was stunning, radiant. She glowed throughout the whole thing. As I sat there and occasionally looked over at her, I began to move into the center of God's grace. Oh!!!! What a feeling filled with beauty! Seeker Executive talks about being in the flow of God's grace in terms of sailing and how you suddenly "catch" the wind and off you go! It was like that for me yesterday. As my name for her indicates, RZMS is a musician. A professional. She plays the flute regularly for the Symphony Orchestra in Large City to the East, and the orchestra came out in force to be a beautiful part of her ordination service. She had three scriptures, and after each was