Friday, September 23, 2016

Friday Five: Read Your Bible

Prompts are from RevGalBlogPals! :)

1. What is your favorite Bible verse?

If I'm only picking one, it's Jonah 4:11. I like it enough that I literally made a bumper sticker for it.

But God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the bush?” And he said, “Yes, angry enough to die.” 10 Then the Lord said, “You are concerned about the bush, for which you did not labor and which you did not grow; it came into being in a night and perished in a night. 11 And should I not be concerned about Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also many animals?”

2. What is your favorite book of the Bible?

Judges. I don't think we learn enough from those stories about what happens to as a society increasingly turns away from good leadership and opts for thuggery. Furthermore, we fail to pay attention to the lessons of what happens to a nation that devalues the lives of women or other minorities. Lastly, nothing goes well when everyone does what is right in their own eyes. 

3. What is your favorite story from the Hebrew Scriptures?

Nathan confronting David about Bathsheba and Uriah. That took nerve and the Holy Spirit. 

4. What is your favorite story from the Christian Scriptures?

The Canaanite or Syro-Phoenician woman confronting Jesus about the people in the margins and what they deserve. 

5. What verse do you wish people would quote less often?

Matthew 5:4 "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted."

Bonus: What is your favorite obscure fact or verse or story or thing about the Bible?

The consultations with Huldah (a woman!) about what to do given that the people and the king had not kept their end of the covenant with God. (2 Kings 22:14-20; 2 Chronicles 24:22-33)

At the End (Prayer)

Holy One-

There came a time when Greece knew she was done. The lamp that was Rome blew out and was no more. The Holy Roman Empire had its days. Dynasties rise and fall- Jin, Tang, Ming. Shores are sheltered and then breached. The sun did set on the British Empire.

Photo by Julia (Dunlap) Seymour, Dec 2005
In the waning days, when those with power panicked at the grains slipping through their hands? What did You do, oh Lord? Did You watch, weeping and wrenched? Did You dispatch Jonah after Jonah, who fled again and again? When You cast your holy hand around- was all simply lukewarm, with all passion and abstinence spent and melded?

As the sunsets on empires deepened and the powerful reached out and began to increase the pain, increase the violence, increase the oppression- how did You brace the believers, the seekers, the uprights? Does the Spirit work overtime? Are additional angels dispatched? Is the meeting of the beloved more efficacious in this time?

I am not asking for a friend. I am not even asking on behalf of a country. It’s me, O Lord, standing in the need of this prayer. It’s me who sees the fade of an empire and the blood that is sweeping out the end of days of glory that were only ever really for some, never for all. It’s me who stands, impotently grieved, and wants to know: what did You do before, so I know how to look for it now?

The preservation of the faith tells me that You have acted in history. So what will it look like and how will I know? There are fights to fight, spoons to wield, forgiveness to seek, and reparations to be made. When the city on the hill shines its beacon into its own streets, strewn with bodies, there is nothing left but the cross, the community, and compassion, but we haven’t reached this level of acceptance. We aren’t there. We are still fighting as though there was a greatness to be achieved again. What never was, never will be.

If You had lapels, I would grasp them as I shout this prayer. If You were holding my hand, Your fingers would be pinched in my grip. If we were at coffee, I might have chipped the dish, setting the cup down a little too hard.

We need equipping for the last days of an empire. You have done it before. Do it now.


Prayer originally written for and posted at

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

ING #1


I've been trying to catch up on my podcasts since I didn't listen to nearly any during the month of June. That means I'm months behind in Stuff You Missed In History Class, This American Life, Slate, and many others. I'm interested in adding another book podcast to my feed, but I don't know if that's wise financially. (The podcast is free, but... books.) Not all the podcasts are child-friendly and since a lot of my time in the car (otherwise known as podcast time) is with kids, some things have to wait. 

I also have three new audiobooks waiting. 


I'm seeing fall. Of course, that means winter is, at best, 2-3 weeks away (hello, Alaska!). The yellow birch is gorgeous, though. 


I have a lot of crocheting projects anywhere from just started to almost finished. And it's almost hat making season! 


I'm going to start a second blog (because I'm so good at this one). The second one will be focused on book reviews only. I'd like to have a concentrated place for that work and more discipline about that part of my writing life. Stay tuned!


I have some travel for work coming up in October. Need to get a lot of things in motion for that. 


There's a lot of pain in the world right now. I'm listening to stories, sitting with information, and letting go of what's not mine to hold. 


I'm watching my To Be Read pile get out of control. 


In some shape, form, or fashion, I'm reading Firecracker Boys, Trouble I Seen, HillBilly Elegy, The Shelf, Why Be Happy... and Adnan's Story. Send snacks!

(Please don't ask me what I have pre-ordered that's coming out in the next couple weeks. Forget the snacks; I need a lifeboat, a au pair, and a backup reader!)


I don't always snack, but when I do... I eat the best gummies in the world! 


All over town... soon to the hospital to visit a parishioner after her surgery for a broken ankle. 


I am 100% ready for the election to be over. I am tired of the "commentary", the "quotes", the "research", the "journalism", and the complete lack of real conversation about what's actually happening in the world in the lives of real people (not people who are good for photo ops). 


I feel saddened and frustrated that two people I care about have been called "fat ass" by strangers recently. In particular, I consider that they were probably told by well-meaning people, possibly including me, that the insult was unnecessary and mean, but did we say it was untrue? Did we counter with a different truth about their bodies and how their bodies are used in God's kin-dom? I believe in health at any and every size, but I am not sure that I communicated that well in a time when people may have been shamed or hurt about their bodies and their receipt in community. 


I am learning to be clearer about boundaries, especially what's my job and what isn't. I think about what is mine to fix and what isn't. What's your shit to own and what isn't. 


I love that it is finally cold enough for me to sleep well. This probably means that my husband is going to want to close the windows soon. Noooooooo!