Saturday, February 24, 2007

Industry: Mailings

I can't think of many jobs that have quite the contradictions ministry contains. One big example is the mail that comes across my desk on a regular basis.

One day I receive 2 catalogs for ministry apparel and vestments and right beside it, 3 reports on drought, hunger and clean water shortage in the world.

today, I receive one of my favorite combinations. I'm not certain who has me on what list, but lying on top of my desk in plan view:
1. The newsletter from Liberty University (a special thank you Mr. Falwell)
2. A promotional copy of the Progressive Christian.

What fascinating work this is!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

To celebrate a life

Gone From My Sight
~Henry Van Dyke

I am standing upon the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean.

She is an object of beauty and strength.

I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.

Then someone at my side says: "There, she is gone!"

"Gone where?"

Gone from my sight. That is all.

She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side and she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.

Her diminished size is in me, not in her.

And just at the moment when someone at my side says: "There, she is gone!" there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices ready to take up the glad shout: "Here she comes!"

Friday, February 09, 2007

TG for Friday Five!

Friday Five: American Idols

From the RevGals: In the spirit of believing you can do anything, as the auditioners so clearly do, please fill in the following five blanks.

1) If I could sing like anyone, it would be: Eva Cassidy. Wow. That woman was amazing. Her voice can lift me to a place of nirvana... if I, uh, was Buddhist.

2) I would love to sing the song: City of New Orleans - I love train songs. And I would love to be able to play a train song on the guitar.

3) It would be really cool to sing at: The Old Town School of Folk Music, Chicago.

4) If I could sing a dream duet it would be with: John Prine, or any of those great songwriters (Yes, I am on a kick of these guys right now) I think of Steve Goodman as well- to sing "The Dutchman" - even though Goodman didn't write it- it is such a beautiful song.

5) If I could sing on a TV or radio show, it would be: Austin City Limits. What an amazing place to share music.

How about you?


Thank God it's Friday- I remember those days. The days where Friday was the goal, the release day, the gateway to the weekend.

I have some colleagues who take Fridays and their day off, and I imagine TGIF is still a big mantra for them, but for me, well Fridays are very, very different now.

1. Fridays always have the shadow of a sermon hanging over them. The sermon that needs to be started, worked on, and always the hope of finishing- that never happens, of course.

2. Fridays are often spent changing the bulletin in drastic ways because of a phone call from a member, prominent person, or music-type person in the morning.

3. Fridays are the days of wedding rehearsals, and church cleanings, and desk cleanings and other things that add to # 1 above.

While I try to thank God for every day that is given to me, and view it as a precious and wonderful gift. At least for now, I will TGI Sunday afternoon....

Monday, February 05, 2007

Cold, cold Mondays

A sabbath day.

It has been about 3 weeks since the last time I was able to wake up and make a lovely pot of coffee and seriously look at all the dusting, thank you notes, cleaning bits that have been put aside for almost a month.

And they will likely get done today- because while the great outdoors is absolutely beautiful from the window, the still air temperature was at -32 degrees at 8:30am. It has warmed up to -20, but still way, way to cold for outdoor recreation. Even the dog poked her head out the door when I went to let her out, and she backed away from the shocking cold.

My dear friends and congregation members tell me that after this weather, 0 degrees will feel downright balmy. Hmmm... I'll keep the shorts packed for now. But I still look forward to a generous winter. I hope it offers me ice fishing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, warm mugs of cocoa and brilliant northern lights.

My prayer today is for all who struggle with heat and warmth in this cold, cold season. Whether they seek it physically or spiritually.