Friday, April 28, 2006

Revgalblogpal Friday Five: Procrastination Meme

The Assignment: Name five things you do when you are trying to avoid doing what you really need to do.

1) I do all things blog (read, write, surf, cut and paste for later, bloglines, comments, memes, etc...)

2) I do all the little things that pop in my head while I am working on the main thing. So for instance (and this is purely hypothetical) I am working on my sermon and it pops into my head that I wonder if songbird is also working on her sermon. So I email her. And read her blog. And comment on her blog. And follow a link from her blog and so on and so on and then it has been an hour.

3) I decide I need sustenance to keep me going and find said sustenance. This can lead to emptying out whatever it is and needing to recycle or take trash out or reload item.

4) Peruse tv channels. Wouldn't want to miss a good sermon illustration you know.

5) Sometimes I try to find the cure for information overload.

I would do more than five but I am feeling hungry and the trash needs to go out and I really should check the mail and I have some blogs to check on and...
Hey! Why is the Bible, pen and sermon worksheet here?

ADDENDUM: Install a wireless mouse and go through piles and boxes on desk/in office all in the name of "I will be able to think better this way!"

Thursday, April 27, 2006

ABC Meme... (like it even needed a title)

Accent: No. Which is saying something considering I am originally from NJ. I like to say that I grew up south of the accent and north of the toxic waste.

Booze: Ice cold beer.

Chore I Hate: Dusting... so I don't.

Dog or Cat: Depends on the season. Winter - Cat because she keeps my feet warm. Summer - dog because he is fun to hang out with outside.

Essential Electronics: Laptop... but only if the dsl is working.

Favorite Cologne: Blech.

Gold or Silver: Who is buying?

Hometown: Wealthy Shore Town, NJ - but I lived on the other side of the 'tracks'.

Insomnia: No thank you.

Job Title: She Who Thinks She is So Funny

Kids: 1

Living arrangements: Church owned, but nice.

Most admirable traits: Occasionally I am actually funny, genuine (you might not always like it, but I am genuine)

Number of sexual partners: AT ONCE?!?

Overnight hospital stays: 3 - Appendix removal, left ring finger removal, baby boy removal.
Phobias: I think I am okay here, except I have this tiny, little weird thing that I get just a bit paranoid when I am in public spooky places. I just figure there is no more perfect place to murder someone than in an amusement park during Halloween Horror nights. Everyone will think it is just part of the show.

Quote: "It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear dumb than to open it and remove all doubt." - Mark Twain

Religion: Presbyterian (baptized in the church my parents were married in, active in babyfold through youth group president, went to Presbyterian college and seminary. I AM the older brother in 'The Prodigal Son.' )

Siblings: 1 sister

Time I wake up: When my Baby Boy alarm clock goes off (usually between 7 and 8)

Unusual talent or skill: See the letter 'N'... ha, ha just kidding. Ummmm... gosh, could I really not have one. Oh wait, I guess some might say the Friends thing. I'll let you know if I think of something better.

Vegetable I love: Fresh Jersey tomatoes and corn (I guess technically neither one is a veggie)

Worst habit: Chewing my fingers. Dis.Gus.Ting. I HATE it.

X-rays: Okay are you ready? Knees, ankle (dr. actually said, "Wow, that's shredded"), head (there was nothing there - ba dum dum, ching), back, and hand.

Yummy foods I make: A couple of my grandmother's recipes I do pretty well - applesauce cake and chocolate chip merengue cookies

Zodiac sign: Gemini.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Funniest Bumper Sticker I Ever Saw

I figured it would also look good on a church sign.

Unfortunately I am pretty sure the folks who actually had this on their car did NOT mean it as a joke.

PS - If you are interested in playing the Friends quote game with me then please check out the comments in this post. I am just too embarrassed to make it an official post.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Bumper Sticker Theology

I found this magnet at the northern sun website recommended by Barbara Brown Taylor in her "Faith Matters" article from April 4, 2006 in Christian Century.

One of the projects I did while away was go through an embarrassing amount of back issues of Christian Century and pull out various articles for my files. I pulled out other gems but it was her first choice in bumper sticker: that really caught my attention.

Do I dare place this sticker on my bumper?
Is even this statement too strong for the rural Red?
Should not everyone be for the separation of church and hate?

Too bad I will not get it on time for this Sunday's panel discussion on the ordination of homosexuals. The discussion is part of our 'Hot Topics' Sunday School class or as my friend likes to call it: '101 Ways to get Your Ass Fired'.

And while I am on this topic, why do folks list as one of their frustrations with the pcusa that the denomination is 'anti-capitalist'? Do people really think that capitalism is a Biblical trait?

Anyway, check out the northern sun website to find the bumper sticker, magnet, mug or t-shirt that will best facilitate getting YOUR ass fired.

Monday, April 24, 2006


If you called a phone number to get some medical coverage information and you heard:
"Hello, you have reached Karen, John and Bill. Please leave a message!"

Would you?

Would you continue to call back over and over wondering why no one has returned your message? Would you leave your social security number?

What ever happened to common sense?

Saturday, April 22, 2006


Phew... I feel better.

Tomorrow we return home to central PA and I am ok with that. I guess that is the ultimate test for a good break, is it not? Can I return home now better than I was when I left? The answer from here is 'yes'. I could even say that I am ready to go. I have absolutely NO desire to be here when the real influx of tourists begins to file into this two-laned barrier island.

What a great time though - I think I covered all the bases:
STUDY - Read a couple of books, planned out sermons through December (NOT the details, just the texts), organized a couple of Sunday School classes I had taught so that if need be I could do it again, completed a few small projects that were constantly in my 'to do' drawer.

FAMILY - Walks, trip to the lighthouse and a park, The Boy in a swing at the playground, 'chases' around the upstairs of the spacious house we are in, actually hanging out with TDH and not just bumping into him in the hallways a couple of times a day.

EATS - Carolina BBQ, seafood, coffee and real bagels (they just do not have those where I live in PA), STEAK on the grill.

We drive home on a Sunday which for me is always a weird thing. I encourage others to go to church when they are away and yet a Sunday off feels soooooo good - even if I will be driving through most of it.

Have a great Sunday friends, whether you be in church or other. For now, I am out of here... have a good night and a blessed tomorrow.

Currituck Sound

Friday, April 21, 2006

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Potentially My Favorite Computer Graphic... Ever!

Create your own message at

I Spy With My Little Eye...

I spy with my little eye... A TOURIST!!!!

How can you tell? Is it...

a) The fact that I am in barefeet on an east coast beach in April in order to put my feet in the numbingly cold (although not the most painfully numbing cold I have ever been in) water?

b) The fact that NO ONE else is on the beach? (actually that is not true, but you would not know that from this picture)

c) The pasty white legs?

Uh and YES I am diligently working on my sermons for the year... I was errr throwing starfish back into the water or looking at my footprints in the sand or something like that.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

A Different Perspective

Interesting - is it not - how at a certain time and in a certain place something that is considered to be annoying, noisy, dirty and a pest... when not seen or heard from for awhile can transform itself into a welcome sign of where you want to be.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Packing Problems

I am so frustrated with myself I could just spit!

It is in the upper 50's and quite windy at our beachy destination and yet did I pack any sweatshirts... or jackets... or comfy sweatpants for me? NO! I have shorts, t-shirts, collared short sleeve shirts, and capri pants.

Why is this so frustrating you ask? Well, because:
a) I grew up by the beach and should know better. It is ALWAYS at least ten degrees cooler at the shore than what the weather man says ESPECIALLY in April, May & June.
b) I used to be a very good - ever efficient - packer.

The good news is that I did pack my child appropriately. I did this on our last trip to Atlanta and Florida after Christmas. My child has everything he needs but Mommy has just randomly packed items for herself that are only minimally helpful.

I mean capri pants? I am here to chill out and work on sermons and other projects for the coming year. Capri pants and collared shirts? Did I think the room we transformed into an office downstairs had a strict dress code: no sweatpants/shirts allowed?


I am now off to raid my husband's bag because there will be plenty of comfy, do-not-wear-out-in-public things in there.

And I guess I might have to go out and buy a tourist sweatshirt with something subtle on it like:

ADDENDUM: I am now wearing a big, green sweatshirt and socks (I did not pack those either) thanks to my husband who is not back from the grocery store yet to know that I have touched his stuff.

And to my friend who is lurking out there so badly wanting to comment: 'you should have written a list'.... I know, I know.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Now Where Did She Go?

With the Sunday sermon ready and the new administrative assistant hired and the bags and bags and boxes (almost) packed and the grounds freshly mowed and the new nursery up and running and the 'to-do' box properly filled (it's a continuing education trip so I am bringing resources to write sermons and books to read and other projects)and the transition made from fall/winter clothes to spring/summer clothes and resting assured that tomorrow morning will arrive and by golly we WILL sing 'Christ the Lord is Risen today' WITH trumpet accompaniment and with the requisite double-dose of allergy medicine and shot glasses of Robitussin taken in order to survive the Easter lillies it is time for me to go... for now...until I shall post again which will either be as early as Monday afternoon or as late as a week from then depending on internet access.

Congratulations Friends! You survived Holy Week! Now:

Go. Take. A. Nap!!!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Psalm of Lament

There are others more talented who could actually write it, but if I sat down to write a Psalm of lament there would definitely be something in there about going through this week as if it were a checklist and not the very reason why I have hope in this world and the life everlasting.

Yet Another Boring Post for You

5 services down, 3 to go.

Tonight I am reading Scripture at the very beginning of the community Maundy Thursday service taking place at the Lutheran church down the road. I am already thinking about slowly but surely making my way to the back... and then out the door to freedom.

It will depend on how many of my folks are there. Last night our choir sang and I preached at another church. Besides us there were only two other people from our church... and one was a choir member's spouse.

That is how irrelevant these services are to my congregation.
None of the pastors from the other churches were there either.

The silver lining is that none of these services were/are at our church this year so no bulletins, major organization is needed by me.

Friday I am home with The Boy all day as TDH takes the youth on a Mission Day. I did schedule a meeting at my home during his nap time. Anybody want to place bets on whether he actually goes down according to Mommy's schedule?

Saturday morning I interview three candidates for Administrative Assistant. Saturday afternoon I pack.

The goal is to leave here by 2pm on Sunday.

It shall be so.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Is it Just Me?

I do not really have the brain power or energy right now to really go on a rant about this, but does it not seem like this trial for Moussaoui is giving the guy more attention than he is worth? Basically the prosecution is parading for all the world to see what to him is his greatest success story.

Does this man deserve to hear our neighbors' cries for help on the recordings from Flight 93? Does he deserve to hear direct from Rudy Guiliani about the people who jumped to their deaths? Does he deserve to watch the victims' families come and testify about that day and their lives afterwards?

NO! In his skewed, heart-of-stone world this is his greatest victory. The prosecution is basically replaying his greatest moment over and over and over again.

I am not so sure I want him to have the death penalty either. It will cost us millions, but I would rather foot the bill than make that a-hole a martyr to other skewed, heart-of-stone bastards like him.

I am not sure if that is Holy Week talk, but that is all I have got for now.

Well, at least it's not diptheria...

... but I do have a cold.


Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Hide and Seek with Maude (The Cat)

Oh yeah... I have lost it... 4 services down, 4 to go.

Where's Maude?

There she is!

Monday, April 10, 2006

The Goal

I realize the posts lately have been quite short of brilliant but please bear with me as I attempt to keep my eye on the prize.

Three services down (including the one I am playing hooky from right now), five to go. And then...

Sunday, April 09, 2006


One of my favorite old guys is not doing well. He is so much one of my favorites that I am more focused on the fact that he probably will not be around much longer rather than the idea that his passing might very well interrupt our very much needed time away next week.

A lot of my friends out there have taken on A LOT of responsibilities this Holy week. Hang in there friends. Stay healthy.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Who scheduled THIS?!

I just realized that beginning this past Wednesday I will not be home at night through Good Friday.

I think I will pack for our post-Easter Outer Banks trip tomorrow just to keep my spirits up.

What incredibly silly, overwhelming things are you doing this Holy Week?

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Does He Know What He Just Said?

Tonight concluded our Lenten Soup n' Study series on Parables. It was a good series, I thought, fun to teach and although attendance was low our discussion were generally pretty good.

One of our faithful attendees puts the 'right' in right wing conservative. As in he is 'right' you are 'wrong'. For instance when we were talking about the parable where the neighbor comes over at midnight and asks for bread for his quests who just arrived this gentleman in my class insisted that he would not give him bread, he should have thought ahead and made enough bread and not be bothering him. Sounds like our current administration's general view on justice for the poor, doesn't it?

Anyway, this guy is not too happy that there is a woman in the pulpit and as for homosexuals... perish the thought!

Tonight we came in with our own parables and we discussed and shared and practiced writing some more and I ended by putting a parable on the board that I had written. Then I asked them to talk out what they thought it meant and then I asked them to state what they thought the question or statement was that led into the parable. I did not give them any insight into what I was thinking when I wrote the parable.

First what I wrote in italics and then in bold the statement that our right wing friend thought the parable was attempting to illustrate:

After a great storm the master called one of his servants to come and rebuild his home. The servant was a carpenter by trade and had a belt and a box filled with many tools. When the servant began to work on the house his work was beautiful. Suddenly the master's brother ran out, stopped him and sent him home. When the master asked why; his brother explained that the carpenter was left handed and because of that was not allowed to build.

You should not judge people by their physical attributes but rather on the work they accomplish.

I smiled to myself as I wrote his statement on the board and somehow managed not to shout, "You mean like boobs and a vagina?"

I'm off to round-up.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

If Allergies then No Snow

Alright, here is the deal... if I am sneezing all over the place, popping allergy pills at an alarming rate and having trouble preaching because of a scratchy throat then that means allergies which in turn means spring which should mean: NO MORE SNOW!!!

I was going to post a picture of a flower in the snow for this but all I could find on the internet were copyrighted. I would go outside and take a picture of one but it is STILL SNOWING!!!

Monday, April 03, 2006

The Pastor Trap II: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Since posting on The Pastor Trap I have attempted to keep a keen eye on my own behavior. Here is what I have done right, wrong and what someone else did wrong (in my humble opinion... )

Saturday during our church clean up day a member had a heart attack. I did the following:
- Called 911
- Sat with him while we waited for the ambulance (the defibrillator was at the ready, he never lost consciousness and spoke with us the whole time)
- Invited the gathering members to pray with me while we waited.
- Gave a brief prayer
- Asked for whereabouts of wife partly so I could tell her and partly to keep his mind off the pain in his chest.
- Met his wife at the local hospital, hugged and calmed her down before she saw him (she has been given a diagnosis of the beginning of Alzheimers and I knew her husband would be more concerned about her than himself)
- Left messages for their son and daughters
- Drove wife to big city hospital and waited while husband was in surgery (made her eat something)
- Out of surgery and family arrived at same time - brief prayer, left.

Visited another parishioner in the hospital who had taken turn for the worse. Prayed with him and made sure he knew of my presence which was good. Then to his son I berated hospital and shared worries about the care his father was receiving. Bad, very, very bad. NOT a pastoral presence. Damn.

Got a call Sunday morning on the church voicemail from a pastor at another church, same denomination. She had been asked to pray for the person in the first example and she wanted to know exactly what had happened in order to "lift him up in prayer."
My translation: "I want to know all the juicy details so I can look good to my congregation members and can act appropriately worried and concerned. Also this way I can get a rush from the gasp of the congregation when I announce it in church."

I know her better than you, so trust me when I say this was most likely her true motivation... not that she can see it herself.

As for her desire to "lift him up": God knows the details, you do not even need to know the name.

We do the best we can knowing what we know about ourselves. We apologize when we get it wrong and we learn from our mistakes.

By the way, my parishioner in the 'good' example comes home tomorrow after a catherization and a stint. The second one was sitting up today and eating a little bit so I am still holding on to some hope there. I apologized to his son for my behavior.

Monday Musings

1) My family has left. It was a fun weekend although one member of my family is the kind you have to laugh at or else you will cry... HINT: Where is the buttah?

2) In the comments for the post below this one there was one about my child's matching cuffs and shirt. Truly this is the last wearing for that shirt - a bit tight, but the pants are big enough to last a bit. Sometimes I forget they have those cuffs and then I put a stiped shirt or something on The Boy. When I go to roll up his cuffs it is a bit startling!

Some of you commented about his fearlessness to the grass. He did get used to it but this picture shows him not quite knowing how to crawl over that pointy stuff.

The Bad News: Our Administrative Assistant quit with no notice on Friday.
The Good News: Our Administrative Assistant quit with no notice on Friday.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

We Interrupt this Blog for a Very Important Posting...

I have a bunch of thing rattling around in my brain to share with you folks, but instead I have decided to announce that The Boy had his first play date with the Spring sun today and he LOVED it. He wore himself out pushing his walker over hill and dale. He giggled when the breeze blew his hair, he giggled when his hands touched that pointy grass and he giggled when we would run after him and point him back in our direction.

What a day. What a blessed, blessed day.