Sunday, January 29, 2006

Resignation Letter (not really)

Dear Church,

This past Sunday by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the presence of the Holy Spirit the Lord used me to present a sermon on I Corinthians 8:1-13. The point of this sermon was that too often we use our heads instead of our hearts when in conversation with those whose opinions we disagree. I challenged all of us not to avoid the issues for the sake of unity, but rather to embrace our diversity and really listen to one another with love.

Now as you all know I am not one for labels but I think if you knew of whom I was speaking you would agree that both the most liberal and the most conservative in our congregation came to me afterwards and thanked me for this powerful message. Both parties ALSO took a copy of the sermon signifying that they were not just doing the normal routine at the back door NOR were they just thinking of an illustration they liked. In fact, dear people, this past Sunday I told no jokes.

In light of these compliments from both the right and the left (and others in between) I have decided to make like George Costanza and leave on a high note.

Thank you Church, you've been great. That's it for me.

Good night,
Pastor kj

Friday, January 27, 2006

Lame Friday Night Poetry

The hubby is at a lock-in.
The Boy is in Bed.
The sermon is typed,
and not stuck in my head.

I could go to bed now.
Sleep would be the reason.
But instead Sex in the City;
I've seen all but the sixth season.

The dvd's should be returned,
the nighttime me explains it.
For now it is okay,
but the morning me will hate it.

It will be a good change
since I cannot blame my blog.
For what will surely be
tomorrow's sleepy fog.

So goodnight my dear friends
please no need to rise,
for this horrific rhyme
is done (and I apologize).

Heart Ache

This is unfathomable. Please pray for this family.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Sizing Chart

SO my reward for surviving my post-vacation schedule (the schedule that just keeps on giving by the way) was to order a revgalblogpal shirt.

I ordered the tank that says, "Does this pulpit make my butt look big?" I ordered the xl because I want to exercise in it and I like to be comfy when I exercise.

It's here, but my (d)(d)'s stretch the supposed xl shirt and the logo spreads quite prominently across my chest. Which makes me think maybe my butt is not what I should be worrying about.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Appropriate Mourning?

This morning I received word that another one of my favorite older parishioners died (yes, I realize I am on quite a roll). His family came up and I met with them at the nursing home. I ate lunch with them and then they invited me to his room, warning me that he was still in there as the body was not scheduled to be picked up until 3pm.

The windows were wide open as to keep the room as cold as possible and they left me in there to pay my final respects. As they shut the door behind me and I walked around the curtain to say good-bye it struck me very suddenly what I had to do but I wasn't sure if it was appropriate.

I stopped and listened for any nurses or family coming back and then...

I used his bathroom.

Hey, when you gotta go; you gotta go.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The 25 Question Meme

So I have a desire to be more regular in my posting, but after an all day denominational meeting and a newsletter I am supposed to work on tonight originality and thoughtfulness just ain’t gonna happen.

Here is the 25 questions meme:

1) When you looked in the mirror first thing this morning, what was the first thing you thought?
You have GOT to be kidding me.

2) How much cash do you have on you?
After a Presbytery offering and paying for 2 lunch “donations” I’ve got nothing.

3) What's a word that rhymes with TEST?
Jest.

4) Planet?
Janet… oh, I thought we were still rhyming.
Neptune. I lived there until the middle of 2nd grade so by default it is my favorite planet. Was that the question?

5) Who is the fourth person on your missed calls?
I cannot believe you are making me go get my cell phone out of the drawer. Hold on… Ooh, a church member who called and left me a message while we were down in Florida that his uncle died.
Makes you wish you hadn’t asked, doesn’t it.

6) What is your favourite ring on your phone?
I’m just not that cool. I hate all the little diddies because I cannot hear them so it just rings.

7) What shirt are you wearing?
A pink t-shirt I sleep in and a Northwestern sweatshirt circa 1990 complete with holes, faded print and no cuffs because they long ago ripped off.
Two words: Dead. Sexy.

8) What do you label youself as?
Um, did you not see my two words at the end of question #7? Just kidding: independent

9) Name the brand of shoes you've recently worn.
Seriously, I have to get up again?! Eastland. My favorite casual dress shoes.

10) Bright room or dark room?
Dimly lit. Which is not by choice but I’ll be damned if you are going to get me to get up again to turn up the light.

11) What were you doing at midnight last night?
Sleeping. Yeah me!

12) What did the last text message on your phone say?
I realize this puts me in a similar category as my grandparents
but I don’t have text messaging (cue: mock horror music)

13) Where is your nearest 7-11?
I’m guessing over two hours away. BUT if you would like a convenience store ‘country style’ with bad coffee that also sells hunting and archery products, that’s just around the corner.

14) What's a saying you say a lot?
”Are you hungry?” The Boy has such a great temperament that he usually only cries for a reason. When he does I always ask him as if he could actually answer me.

15) Who told you they loved you last?
My husband.

16) Last furry thing you touched?
The Boy’s stuffed animal. Some thunder (in January?!) just scared him so we were trying to get him back down.

17) How many drugs have you done in the past three days?
Multi-vitamin. Extra strength tylenol

18) How many rolls of film do you need to get developed?
None. Digital camera. But there are Christmas pictures still yet to be ordered and a Gram who is running out of patience on the delay I am sure.

19) Favorite age you've been so far?
Right now – 35. What’s not to love – I’ve got a son, a great husband and my family is doing pretty good.

20) Your worst enemy?
Rhubarb.

21) What is your current desktop picture?
THD and The Boy in the Snow

22) What was the last thing you said to someone?
“Thanks for being such a good and patient Daddy.” (The Boy is sleeping... finally!)

23) If you had to choose between a millions bucks and being able to fly, which would you choose?
Fly. C’mon people, you don’t think you could figure out how to MAKE a million bucks if you were the only human who could fly? I’m actually disappointed in myself because I never even dream I can fly.

24) Do you like someone?
Yup. Although if you catch me on a NJ cynical day it would be hard to believe.

25) The last song you listened to?
Norah Jones “Don’t Know Why:
It was on the radio as I drove into our parking lot.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Mojo and Spandex

I am notorious for not returning from vacation well. What I mean is that often my body has returned but the brain is still at the beach or in the car in the case of our last trek through the southeast US.

This past trip we returned to a funeral and a very busy church weekend and then a board meeting so my brain clicked in pretty quickly. I was quite satisfied with myself until I realized on Friday morning that I still needed to write a sermon.

oops.

Now I by no means am one of those who gets their sermon done early in the week or - like some people I know - even before the week starts. However, I usually have my sermon done by Saturday afternoon, early evening at the latest.

Not this week. I lost my sermon mojo.

I had a text. I had some ideas. I had some illustrations. What I did not have was even the remote desire to sit like the adult I supposedly am and write the thing.

I emailed back and forth with my friend, I was practically instant messaging with Songbird in the comments section of one of her posts. She finally gave up on me at 10:39pm. The 44th comment on that post has me finally saying goodnight at 1:16AM.

I felt like the college student who has had too much caffeine on a schoolnight and walks around the dorm looking for someone to 'play'. But all of the blog rooms were quiet. Even the the community room was quiet.

Finally I pulled it together long enough to get something on paper and then I went to bed. I woke up, I read through it, I got myself and family ready for church, I led Sunday School and then I led worship. And as we moved into the sermon and I began to preach I all of the sudden heard myself reading off the paper:


Trust. It is a commodity; and much like wearing spandex it is a privilege, not a right.

My friends, THIS is why you write your sermons before one o'clock in the morning on Saturday night.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Revgalblogpal Friday Meme - 5 Guilty Pleasures

1) Staying up WAY too late when TDH is out of town and watching the Sex & the City dvd’s that my friend loaned me.

2) Massage once a month. I have decided that quarterly I am going to splurge and go for the whole hour.

3) Chai tea and my laptop at the local Coffee House as I work on my sermon and enjoy the buzz of the crowd.

4) Sleeping in on Monday mornings (my day off) while TDH gets up and takes care of The Boy.

5) Um... I belive the phrase is 'afternoon delight' (hi mom). This was especially justifiable when we were trying to get pregnant.

Bonus Answer: Reading blogs; updating my own.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

VA Observations

Since my 3300 mile trip DID include two long drives through Virginia this could be a post about that, but instead it is about the VA Hospital where I spent the day with my father.

Here are some random observations I made about the VA:

- With well over 100 handicap spots they become more of a status symbol than an actual convenience.

- Once I went with someone to a car dealer who specialized in Lincoln Town Cars. I saw more in the VA parking lot.

- I was surprised by how few pro-Bush bumper stickers there were. Almost every car had a version of the yellow ribbon magnet with "Bring home our troops" printed on it and there was one: "When Clinton lied, no one died" bumpersticker.

- There is a HUGE disconnect between the generations who fought in WWII and the Korean War and the veterans from Vietnam. There is an even BIGGER disconnect between all of them and the Iraq veterans.

- I was actually impressed with how most things were run. There was no huge wait time and we receive a print out of the time and location of all appointments.

- There was A LOT of walking/pushing expected.

- There were wheelchairs strewn about the parking lots like shopping carts at a Walmart.

- Much like the DMV, it was quite a mix of all economic levels.

- It's a commissary, not a cafeteria dumb ass.

- There is no rank in the waiting rooms, only ticket numbers.

- Them Vets likes their smokes.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Prayers for Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

There are big things happening in Liberia.

I am not much into politics but my head turned yesterday evening as I heard on the national news about a 67 year old grandmother who has just been sworn in as the President of Liberia. I loved how they described her that way and then mentioned, oh by the way, she is also an economist with a Harvard degree.

Ciona has an eloquent entry about this woman and Liberia.

I cannot help but wonder - as more and more women rise to significant power in this world - if that is not the key to this earthly kingdom being a better place. It sounds a bit like bumper sticker theology, but I figure we have seen what kind of mess the men have made, why not give women a try.

Monday, January 16, 2006

The Two's Meme... Because I don't have time for Four's...

Thanks '2' girl

2 names you go by:
1. kj
2. big dog (sigh)

2 parts of your heritage:
1. German
2. New Jersey
One of my favorite comebacks of all time ocurred during lunch in seminary with someone from Texas. We were talking about heritage and how folks from Texas make sure people KNOW they are from Texas – there is a pride/bond there that folks from other states do not have. I said it was similar if you were from NJ. She was incensed and said that no state could be like Texas. She practically screamed across the table, “In Texas we study our state history. If your state does not do that than you do not have the same love for your state. Did YOU study your STATE’s history in SCHOOL?”
I replied, “Um, yes… but we called it American History.”


2 things that scare you:
1. Dark, public entertainment places. You know like those Halloween Horror nights or Disney’s Tower of Terror, etc… - someone could kill you and everyone would just think it was part of the show.
2. Finding coconut in a chocolate that I have vigorously bitten into expecting caramel.

2 of your everyday essentials:

1. diet coke
2. checking on The Boy before I go to bed

2 things you are wearing right now:
1. wristies (the heat is broken in our offices)
2. My casual dress shoes which are so comfy and prove that some things are worth paying for

2 things you want in a relationship (other than real love)
1. Honesty
2. Laughter

2 truths:
1. Grace
2. Women belong in ordained ministry

2 of your favorite hobbies:

1. Pretending I don’t watch tv
2. Blogging

2 things you want really badly:
1. Another child
2. A child for my friend who would be such an amazing Mom

2 places you want to go on vacation:

1. Hawaii
2. Europe with TDH – he’s never been

2 things you want to do before you die:
1. Alaskan cruise
2. D. Min (Doctorate of Ministry)

2 ways that you are stereotypically a chick:

1. I like pedicures although I rarely can justify the expense
2. I like cheesy chick flicks

2 things you are thinking about now:
1. I really should be working
2. Will the change in members on Session really be as sweet as I think it’s going to be?

2 stores you shop at:
1. I am counting the seconds until the new Target opens
2. Walmart (see #1)

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Huh.

As directed by rev dr mom I clicked on a link to receive my 2006 New Year's Resolution:



In the year 2006 I resolve to:

Get the chick next door pregnant.



Get your resolution here




INSERT PUNCHLINE HERE:

Friday, January 13, 2006

Defining Grace

I received the following from one of my favorite parishioners:

How's it going? I have a question for you that probably can't be answered simply. I've been kicking around the idea of Grace and continually come up with different meanings. Some say it's a feeling of unconditional love. I always thought it was a time when things could have gone horribly wrong and somehow you are spared. How would you define Grace?

How would you define Grace?

Thursday, January 12, 2006

17 days, 3300 Miles... and a Funeral

We are home.

We pulled in at 2:45 and I met with the family at 3:30. The funeral is tomorrow morning at 10:30.

Communion on Sunday as well as installation and ordination of deacons and elders.
A commitment Sunday afternoon.
Session on Tuesday.

Wednesday morning to celebrate my survival of that post-vacation schedule I will be ordering the "Does this pulpit make my butt look big?" tank top.

I missed you all. Thank you Lord for traveling mercies.

Peace.

Friday Morning, 6:38: There is no heat in my office (broken?) and my Administrative Assistant is taking today off so I am running the bulletin myself. The family that left the church - the reason for my December 22nd marathon Session meeting - oh yeah, they'll be here today.

Seriously, who WROTE this script?

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Top 10 Reasons I need a Vacation from my Vacation

10) Two words: stomach virus

9) The guilt I will carry in perpetuity for spreading the stomach virus to our family and friends (how happy is reverend mommy NOW that we missed out on lunch together).

8) The day I spent with my Dad at the VA Hospital.

7) It was my job to push him around in an extra-wide wheelchair while he barked where to turn right as we were about to pass it. He then wondered why I couldn't stop and turn on a dime.

6) At one point we were in a wheelchair congested hallway and my Dad said with emphasis, "Beep. Beep."

5) The man blocking our way had stopped for a rest because he had no one to push him...

4) ... and only one arm.

3) I still had a touch of #10.

2) After a full day of pushing and going out to the far reaches of the parking lot to get the car and loading him in my Dad says in typical Old Florida Person fashion (see Seinfeld), "You need the a/c on?"

1) I am staying at TDH's brother's house. They. have. no. beer.

One week from right now, we'll be home. Thanks be to God.