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Showing posts from October, 2008

Friday Five- The "Fried" Edition

(The Friday Five source is here - a webring of bloggers to which I belong.) As I zip around the webring it is quite clear that we are getting BUSY. " Tis the season" when clergy and laypeople alike walk the highwire from Fall programming to Christmas carrying their balancing pole with family/rest on the one side and turkey shelters/advent wreaths on the other. And so I offer this Friday Five with 5 quick hit questions... and a bonus: 1) Your work day is done and the brain is fried, what do you do? When my brain is fried, I like to do what my friend Anne would call "cook it out". I usuall y will go home and bake something or make a large pot of some kind of soup, even if I'm not hungry. I can always freeze it or give it away and the mindless chopping, stirring and tasting uses new sections of my brain. I also am an avid penpaller - so I almost always have letters to write. If I'm too tired to write letters, I will decorate envelopes or write some post

Beatitudes (The Message-Style)

Eugene Peterson's Message Translation usually can give me something to think about, even if I continue to prefer the NRSV or another translation. In working with Matthew 5 for this coming Sunday (All Saints'), I read Peterson's version of these well-known verses for the first time. As always... there's plenty to consider in here. Matthew 5 You're Blessed 1-2 When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said: 3 "You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule. 4 "You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you. 5 "You're blessed when you're content with just who you are—no more, no less. That's the momen

Friday Five- Location, Location, Location

This post is about locations. Tell us about the five favorite places you have lived in your lifetime. What did you like? What kind of place was it? Anything special happen there? First, I have to think about where I've lived for any amount of time: in North Carolina ( Lakeview and Raleigh), in Alaska (Nome and Eagle River), in New York (Manhattan- ish ), in Connecticut (New Haven), in Pennsylvania (Philly), and in England (Cambridge). Some of these addresses were of much shorter duration than others. 1. Nome, Alaska I moved to Nome just after graduating from college to work for KNOM radio ("Yours for Western Alaska"). I was the deputy news director. I loved living in Nome because it was right on the water (Norton Sound) and it was very small town. I knew people everywhere I went and I could walk almost anywhere I wanted to go. There was always something new to try, learn, experience or complain about. I met my (now) husband in Nome. Living in Nome helped me to come i

To Whom Shall We Go? (Sermon 10/19)

Isaiah 45:1-7; Psalm 96:1-9; 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10; Matthew 22:15-22 Once upon a time there were two groups of people. Both groups had a lot of power and they struggled against each other constantly. People got tired of hearing each of them complain about the other because it seemed nothing ever changed. One group of people was very protective of their country, very interested in national security- if you will. They were also concerned with the lives of the people around them- what people did both in public and in private. This group was considered deeply religious, even though their religious focus sometimes kept them from seeing the forest for the trees. The second group of people was known for aligning themselves with foreign powers. Their idea of peace came through sacrificing authority to leaders far away. This group was a great supporter of taxation. Even though they weren’t always seen as religious, they developed an interest in religious leaders and issues when

Mental Well-Being

Recently, someone brought it to my attention that October is Mental Illness Awareness Month. While I prefer to use the term "mental health", I think the intent is the same nonetheless. Many,many people, around us every day, struggle with mental health issues. They wrestle with depression, they fight suicidal ideation, they give in to inner turmoil, voices and struggles. Not all mental illness is the publicized image of a homeless person mumbling to himself or a person screaming in a room. From mild depression to disorders of greater magnitude, the likelihood is that each of us will experience some mental struggle in our lives. What can the faithful do in response? We can respond in three ways: 1) with logic , 2) with compassion and 3) with faith. We can, logically, encourage and embrace scientific research and investigation into the real causes and solutions to mental illness. We can recognize the legitimacy of psychological disorders and psycho-social illne

Chase (Sermon 10/12)

Isaiah 25:1-9; Psalm 23; Philippians 4:1-9; Matthew 22:1-14 How many of you received a political phone call this week? Did anyone receive more than one call? How do you feel when you get them? Did anyone feel special? Pursued? Pursue is an interesting word. How many of you feel worried when you hear the word pursue? (Negative connotation) How many of you feel excited or happy when you hear the word? (Positive connotation) Today’s texts lead us toward thinking about God as our pursuer, which may stir feelings either way depending on how you feel when you think about yourself and God. This time of year in the lectionary cycle, between the end of summer and the season of Advent, the end of the long season of Pentecost, can have some difficult and frustrating texts. Yet, we can easily get caught up in the frightening parts, the weeping and gnashing of teeth, and miss the sections about God’s actions and movements toward us. Last week, we read about God’s love song for

What the World needs now

This week marks ten years since Matthew Shepherd was killed in Wyoming for being gay. Not for forcing himself on anyone, for hurting children, for stealing, murdering, or any kind of crime, but for being who he was, other people decided they had the right to kill him. I've thought a lot about whether or not to post anything regarding this anniversary because I did not want to seem **political**. However, an interview I heard this morning on the radio pushed me over the edge. I listened to an interview with a man who was beaten up this August for being gay. Why was I worried about seeming to "radical" on my blog? I don't know, since what I am about to endorse should NOT be that shocking. As a Christian, with my fellow believers in Christ, I am called to this: to love my neighbor as myself. One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is