Friday, June 29, 2012


I love that art can be created in any medium...even post-it notes!

An artwork consisting of 450,000 post-it notes arranged to form the image of a cycling peloton, is seen on the ceiling of the Les Galeries Saint Lambert shopping mall, ahead of the start of the Tour de France, in Liege June 27, 2012. The previous world record for creating images of such scale involved 150,000 post-it notes. The Tour de France would kick off from Liege on June 30. 

Check out the rest of the pictures here...

Thursday, June 28, 2012


We met in September and married in December;

34 years ago;

He is 10 years older and 1 foot taller than I;

We both had an Aunt Gladys (our favorites);

We both had an Aunt Edith;

One of his uncles first and middle name are same as my father's first and last name;

He was born in TN, I was born in NC, we met and married in SC;

He was moved in to manage the place I worked, 3 weeks before I was to leave and start school;

It may not have been love at first sight but it was certainly friendship at first date;

We can still sit and talk for hours at a time;

We have two children who are not perfect but we think they're pretty great;

Our grandson looks just like my husband at the same age;

We finish each others sentences and thoughts;

We quote movie lines and show tunes (not necessarily in that order);

We love books and have purchased enough to decorate our home;

We can be on different sides of an issue and be the better for it;

We can both read the same book without a war;

We have shared the birth of our children and various farm animals and think all are miraculous;

We are blessed to have found one another.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

What is the price paid?

Over the years, hubby and I have watched "Band of Brothers" more than once. For those who don't know, it follows the story of Easy Company of the US Army 101st Airborne division and their mission in WWII Europe from Operation Overlord through V-J Day. It is informative and moving. More than once I have stated that given all they (and every other soldier in every other war) went through, it's amazing that so many came back able to "function" in the world. There are points in the story that are heart breaking to me, and I'm just watching it.

Our daughter was medically discharged from the Navy last December after 9 1/2 years of service. In that time, I came to know several of the wonderful young people who voluntarily serve our country. She did not see the front lines but many of her friends did. Each time one left, my heart ached knowing they would see and possibly do things "in the line of duty" that would scar their souls.

We, those of us who have never been in these situations, have no idea of the cost. Many a brave and noble warrior has come home without visible scars but we have no idea what price they've paid. Unfortunately, being labeled with PTSD doesn't necessarily mean they will receive the care they need. In some cases, it causes further pain and turmoil. 

Operation Restored Warrior
Our mission is to raise up these wounded warriors to speak, share, and move with courage and certainty in order that those held captive to their life experiences may be released.  Those men who are alone and without hope may receive a new expectation.

Those whose life has been impacted deeply will be the new army to reach those whose lives are yet to be transformed.  So they must be given the chance, the place to heal and the audience to speak to.  Their own life will be the script, their stories the power, their restored hearts the evidence of things possible.

Our focus is to walk with God to help heal, restore and release these wounded warriors who are suffering from the effects of PTSD and to validate their incredible sacrifices and set them free to rescue others by the power of their own stories.

I'm not asking that you send money, I only ask that you be aware...

Music in all forms

Bravo! I cannot imagine how many hours it took to work this out...

In case you don't know, it's Hedwig's Theme from Harry Potter...

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

When you doubt...

When you doubt the lovely silence of a quiet wooded place,
When you doubt the path of silver of some moonlit water space,

When you doubt the winds a'blowing, 
Flash of lightning, glistening rain,
Sun or starlit heavens above you,
On the land or bounding main,

               When you doubt the sleep of loved ones,
                         Deep beneath some precious sod,

Listen to a soft voice saying,
"Be still, and know that I am God."

Poem by Alicia Poole

Monday, June 25, 2012

Garden part 2

In an earlier post, I mentioned that I wasn't able to put out my regular garden this year. Instead, I found an unconventional means to put out tomatos, squash and give me the feel of the soil between my fingers and to give the family the taste of a few fresh vegetables...

I am pleased to show you a picture of our "garden" and announce we have small cucumbers, squash and baby tomatoes growing as we speak! Yum!

And as you can see, Suzy (our pet Lab) could care less!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Unto the hills...

Psalms 121: 1 - 2
 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
 My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.

Friday, June 22, 2012


"It is not easy to let the voice of God's mercy speak to us because it is a voice asking for an always open relationship, one in which sins are acknowledged, forgiveness received, and love renewed. It does not offer us a solution, but a friendship. It does not take away our problems, but promises not to avoid them. It does not tell us where it all will end, but assures us that we will never be alone. A true relationship is hard work because loving is hard work, with many tears and many smiles. But it is God's work and worth every part of it."                                                             Spiritual Journals, Henri Nouwen

Apostle's Creed

Excellent video concerning the Apostle's Creed...

Thanks Rich!

Thursday, June 21, 2012


In today's ever growing culture of politically correct language, this cartoon is not as funny as it might have been...

because it's so true. We are fast approaching the point where we will not be allowed to use descriptive words about anyone for fear of offending them.

Read each of these words slowly,

Some of you now have an image of me in your mind. But because we struggle with accepting the words for what they truly mean, rather than the connotations that are associated with each one, society says I should be upset to be described this way. And that's a shame, because I don't mind a single one of them.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

by Shakespeare

...well, probably not, really. Just couldn't resist a Shakespearean twist on a dance we all learned in childhood...the Hokey Pokey!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Be Careful!

If I could teach the young people coming up one thing about the internet, it would be this...

They say the spoken word can travel through space to the ends of the universe. The internet may not be that far reaching but the words you type can in fact, live on forever. Be Careful!

What you should know...

This clip is from the movie "Secondhand Lions"...if you haven't seen it, you should! The title is "What every boy needs to know about being a man".

I would change the title just a little to say, "what every one should know about being an adult". There is much truth here...

Monday, June 18, 2012

St. Ephrem

Ephrem of Syria was born about 306 in Nisibis, Syria, and was baptized Christian in 324. After he was ordained a deacon he was the leader at a cathedral school. When the Persians captured Nisibis in 363, Ephrem and thousands of other refugees fled. He lived an acetic life as a monk in a cave, praying, fasting, and studying holy scripture.

While Ephrem lived in this remote location he composed countless hymns (between four and five hundred songs and hymns still exist), poetic sermons, and other theological writings, all based on scripture. Some called him "the Harp of the Holy Spirit."

One of the prayers attributed to him:
Lord and Master of my life,
keep from me the spirit of indifference and discouragement,
lust of power and idle chatter.

Instead, grant to me,
Your servant,
the spirit of wholeness of being, humble-mindedness, patience, and love.

O Lord and King,
grant me the grace to be aware of my sins
and not to judge my brother;
for You are blessed now and ever and forever.

In 373 in the last months of his life, Ephrem organized a relief effort for famine relief in the Edessa area. He died a month later. Ephrem is the patron saint of spiritual directors and spiritual leaders.

The Office

I used to tell myself that since I'm a part-time Youth Director, wife, mother, grandmother, homemaker who works full time at another job and loves to garden I shouldn't be surprised my home office looks like this.

But after several attempts at cleaning and organizing I realize I am simply more creative when surrounded by chaos.

At least that's what I tell myself!

Sunday, June 17, 2012


Every time we enter into solitude we withdraw from our windy, tornadolike, firey lives and we open ourselves for the great encounter, the meeting with Love. But first in our solitude is the discovery of our own restlessness, our drivenness, our compulsiveness, our urge to act quickly, to make an impact and to have influence. We realy have to try very hard to withstand the gnawing urge to return as quickly as possible to the work of "relevance." But when we persevere with the help of a gentle discipline, we slowly come to hear the still, small voice and to feel the delicate breeze, and so come to know the presence of Love.
                                                                     Henri Nowen

Friday, June 15, 2012

Praying the hours

William de Brailes, of Oxford England, produced the first Book of Hours (in 1240) that has survived the centuries. During these times, before the printing press was invented, these books were hand-written in Latin and hand-painted on vellum (made from sheep skin). Most were made for literate, aristocratic women. They were small and practical but were highly treasured not only as prayer books but as works of art. It became quite the status symbol to own one.

Even though it is considered a Discipline, praying the hours can actually set the soul free. It does require a commitment on our part, to set aside time, to rearrange our schedule, to find a quiet place, to let go of all that is happening in our day to spend a few moments just “be”ing in God's presence. Prayer is work that demands our complete attention. It also requires the kind of attention that allows our egos to disappear so that God assumes the place of the ego.

Although it is when I am on retreat that I am most faithful to praying at different times during the day, I do try to set aside moments in my everyday life. Most days I do not pray them all (Vigils, Lauds, None, Vespers, Compline), but I do manage some. And with the struggle and eventual victory comes release. Amongst the mundane happenings during the normal day, there are moments of peace and joy.

There's an old saying that “what goes around, comes around” and so it is with praying the hours. Although it is an ancient practice, it had quite fallen out of favor for several generations. But thanks to several modern day scholars, who discovered the truth and beauty contained “within these minutes, within the day”, the 21st century has seen a revival of the practice.

There are several to choose from but two of my favorites are:

A Book of Hours by Henri Nowen
A Book of Hours by Thomas Merton

It is my prayer that you will consider adding this discipline to your day. Needless to say, the reward far outweighs the cost!

FYI: If you're stuck at a computer all day with no chance of spending time with one of these books, visit Sacred Space for 10 minutes or so of holy time!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

First be reconciled...

Matthew 5: 20-26
For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
‘You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, “You shall not murder”; and “whoever murders shall be liable to judgement.” But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgement; and if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say, “You fool”, you will be liable to the hell of fire. So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift. Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are on the way to court with him, or your accuser may hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. Truly I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.

 This verse truly came home to me many years ago. I had a young lady helping me in a ministry at the church. She was very generous with her time and I was thankful for her presence. Mostly.Although she was exceptionally helpful, our personalities clashed. Neither of us were totally right or totally wrong, we just continually came to different conclusions. And rather than taking the high road as the "older, more experienced" adult, I pulled rank! After all, I was the one who had to answer for what we were doing and planning!

It became a habit to over-ride her suggestions. I became an expert at picking apart her ideas, most likely because I didn't think of them first. I doubt you'll be surprised to learn that after a while she finally had enough and resigned. Allowing her to walk away from this ministry was a sad event, and so was my attitude of "that's fine, now we won't have to fight about everything".

I was content when she left...for about 3 days. And then the Word shown above started to weigh heavily on my heart so that each time I walked forward to partake in the Eucharist, I felt uncomfortable, even dirty (So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift.). I came to see the many ways I had punished her for trying to help knowing I had been so wrong.

I began to dread the first Sunday of the month. I felt totally unworthy to touch the communion elements...much less partake in them. I struggled and no matter how I colored the picture, I knew that I had not been acting like a child of God. I prayed for God's direction, hoping for the most "painless" resolution, but that was not to be. I came to know that He would accept nothing less than me swallowing my pride and asking her forgiveness.

Unbeknownst to me, while I was wrestling with God's direction on this matter, she moved quite far away.  I sent what I hoped she would know was a heart felt letter of apology (email wasn't invented yet!).  And even though I was never able to look into her eyes and see her forgiveness, she did send word that all was well between us.

Some might say that I didn't completely learn the lesson, that He let me off too easy. But I can promise you, I did. I had never before lived with the absolute certainty that God was disappointed in me. He knew all along that she would forgive me if I asked. He didn't require me to travel to a far away city to ask for it...a letter was enough.

a nugget

I have found a wonderful nugget of "truth" in our United Methodist Hymnal...and to think, it's been in there since at least 1989, maybe longer! So for the past 23+ years, I've held this wonderful nugget in my hand without ever seeing it. Perhaps it was hidden until I could understand it, or needed it, or was ready to hear it. Whatever the reason...I'm so pleased to have found it

For the Spirit of Truth
(a prayer from Kenya)
From the cowardice that dares not face new truth,
from the laziness that is contented with half truth,
from the arrogance that thinks it knows all truth,
Good Lord, deliver me.        Amen

Now how's that for a powerful message in 4 lines?
by the way, it's on page 602

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


If I profess to be a Christian, what then am I called to do?

Run outside and scream to the world, look at me, I'm a Christian?
Go to church each and every time the doors are open, just because they're open?
Spend hour upon hour praying and making sure that everyone sees me?
Or at least hears about it?
Give money hand over fist but then only on the condition that it be used the way I see fit?

or should I...

obey the commandments?
read and study the Word of God in search of truth?
love God with all my heart, mind and soul and others more than myself?
become like a child and seek to become totally dependent upon God?

In the first set of questions, I am actively "doing" what the world expects me to do...and my only accomplishment will be to get in God's way.

In the second set of questions I am passively doing what God wants me to do all the while preparing me, myself and I to do what God directs me to...with the side benefit of clearing out the clutter so I can recognize His direction when it comes.

I don't always get it right. More often than I'd like to admit, I find I've been following the wrong set of questions. But the longer I practice the second set, the quicker I get back on the right track and the more I see His Hand in my life.

God has all the answers we'll ever need, can resolve any issue that gets us off track and can soothe any pain we feel...we have only to recognize we're not in charge, He is.


The inspiration for this post came from a piece called Tending the Garden of the Soul...

The garden.  Saints and poets have found inspiration there.  The word garden, for some, evokes a mental image of a peaceful place, a haven and sanctuary.  A garden in this context is reflected in a quote by Mexican architect, Luis Baragan…A garden must combine the poetic and be mysterious with a feeling of serenity and joy.

Having grown up a "city" girl, I was thrilled when, as a young bride, my husband and I took over care of the family farm. What joy to live and work with the soil and the livestock! I quickly found that my vegetable garden was the place I found the most peace. I could work the soil and tend the plants in silence, all the while working out whatever issues were in my life.

Every year, for the last 30+, the entire family has enjoyed eating the "fruits" of my labors...but it looked as if this year I might not be able to enjoy this pleasurable experience. The land we use for the garden is right behind our house but it takes someone more skilled than I am on the tractor (namely my Hubby) to turn the ground. As he just recently had surgery and has had a slow recuperation, he wasn't able to be on the tractor.

Although I was disappointed, these things happen and I had reconciled myself (and the family) to the fact we wouldn't have fresh tomatos, squash and cucumbers this year. That is, until I had a flash of brilliance (and I can promise you I know where those come from)! I remembered that we have four old troughs we used to use when feeding our cattle down at the barn. Just sitting there, in the way.

I'm happy to report they are now filled with dirt, potting soil, tomatoes, cucumbers and squash. While it's not near the variety I usually grow, it is enough. To give me the peace and joy that comes from raising the vegetables, to put the glorious taste of some of our favorites on the dinner table and to use some equipment that had been quite useless until now. And I can follow the author's advice from the article linked above:

As you tend this living example of God’s creation, reflect on the possibilities for the growth of the interior garden of your spirit.  What does your spirit need to grow and thrive?  How might you make subtle changes in your life to accommodate your hopes and dreams, to grow your soul. With autumn’s arrival, you may be surprised to discover a bountiful harvest of blessings, not only in your own backyard… but in your radiant spirit, as well.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The strangest wedding...

I've seen so far! But if they're happy, we should be too! If you listen closely, you can hear the soft strains of Ave Maria being played in the background as the "I-Fairy" robot conducts the service!

The nuptials at this ceremony were led by "I-Fairy," a 4-foot tall seated robot with flashing eyes and plastic pigtails. Sunday's wedding was the first time a marriage had been led by a robot, according to manufacturer Kokoro Co.

You can read the rest here....


His name is know the world over, he has been an adviser to Presidents and now he's taken his Crusade for Christ to the internet...

The basic premise is simple: Use search engines to find people who are looking for answers to life's big questions and direct them to a website, From there, seekers are led through a series of readings and videos loosely tied to John 3:16: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

At the end of the series, they are offered a chance to pray and to accept Jesus. Those who do become a little point of light on a Google Earth application, showing more than 476,000 souls around the world who have been saved through the site since it went live last year.

Although the site has been running in a beta mode, it is expected to be fully functional within a month. At that point hundreds of volunteers will also be online, doing everything from answering basic questions about God and Christianity to leading interested visitors through a 5-week online discipleship course.

This news doesn't surprise me. I'm most surprised that Billy Graham hasn't been on line for years!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Excellent Sermon!

Note: The Rev. Baughman preached this sermon June 3, at opening worship of Annual Conference 2012 of the North Texas Conference. (Read the entire sermon here)

Greetings beautiful people of the North Texas Annual Conference....
...I have hope for the United Methodist Church because this is a time, yes, for young visionaries and yes for young prophets, but this is also a time for old dreamers. We need the dreams of those who are wise to hold us firm to the story of God and God’s people. Without dreams, we will not find the promised land and may succumb to the temptations of the wilderness.

I have hope for the United Methodist Church because no matter how bad things get, we have the eternal promise from God in this scripture: “I will not let my holy one see decay!” Even if a congregation dies, if a pastor is ‘deemed ineffective’ even if our denomination as a whole collapses the body will not see decay. We follow a resurrection God for whom death is never the end!

I have hope for the United Methodist Church because all of the warning signs that give others despair give me hope upon hope. That’s the way God works! This is the God of the great reversal where the last are first, Alpha is Omega, the high are brought low, the low are brought high and a child shall lead them. The ground may remain fallow for a time but only to prepare for the great harvest of God.

We are a thirsty church in a thirsty world, but look to the wisdom on Peter in our text for Annual Conference. “When the crowd heard Peter they were cut to the heart and said to Peter ‘what shall we do?’ ‘Repent and be baptized.’ Peter’s prescription is water.

It is time to stop storing up resources for a rainy day. I’m talking relationship capital, I’m talking financial capital. It’s time to stop storing up resources for a rainy day because it’s already raining and God wants us to join in the downpour.

The downpour of justice

The downpour of God’s spirit

The downpour to end evil, oppression and injustice in whatever form they present themselves

The downpour of new ministries and new faith communities

The downpour to free the oppressed, welcome the immigrant and work towards economic justice

The downpour of salvation being offered to those who do not know Christ

Are you ready for the downpour?

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Feast day

Today is the feast day of St. Columba (521 - 597):

He was born in Donegal, Ireland to a royal clan and is known as one of the 12 Apostles of Ireland

He received a monastic education, studying under St. Finnian. He became a monk and eventually ordained a priest. During this time he is said to have founded a number of monasteries, including ones at Kells, Derry, and Swords.

 In the middle of his life, Columba traveled with twelve companions by small boat from Ireland to the island of Iona off Scotland's coast. Despite Iona's remote location, the monastery Columba established there was an important part of the evangelization of Scotland and England, and for many years after his death, Celtic Christians continued to follow Columban traditions and the Columban Rule.

During his more than thirty years on Iona Columba trained monks, offered spiritual direction, and made hundreds of copies of sacred texts. He served as a peacemaker between warring clans and traveled as a missionary to the northern Picts, among others.

Columba was known for his beautiful voice, deep prayer life, and charismatic personality as well as for his work with sacred texts. He is the patron saint of Scotland and Ireland.

Friday, June 8, 2012


Most people think stained glass adorns only the windows of churches. But this amazing piece of art graces the NY skyline:

His monumental sculpture, Watertower, is built out of salvaged plexiglass and steel, and is mounted high upon a water tower platform located in DUMBO, Brooklyn. 

You can view this stunning public installation from Lower Manhattan, FDR Drive, and the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges. 

More here

Beating the Odds...

LAWNDALE Dawn Loggins returned from a prestigious academic camp last summer and discovered her parents had abandoned her.

So she did the only thing she knew. She adjusted...

Read more here:

“In my family, I saw people taking advantage of one another,” she says. “I don’t want to take advantage of anyone. I just want a chance to succeed. And I’ll have that at Harvard.”

Read more here:

She has not only adjusted, she is thriving! Read the story here...

Thursday, June 7, 2012


RICHARD LOUV: In 2005, in [my earlier book] Last Child in the Woods, I introduced that term, not as a medical diagnosis, but as a way to describe the price we pay for alienation from the natural world. As children and adults spend less of their lives in natural surroundings, their senses narrow, physiologically and psychologically. Studies indicate that time spent in nature can stimulate intelligence and creativity, and can be powerful therapy for the toxic stress in our lives, and as prevention for such maladies as obesity, myopia, and depression. It has huge implications for the ability to self-regulate and for attention-deficit disorder.

Very interesting article with some valid points.

 Each year, when I return home from retreat, I feel relaxed, spiritually charged and at peace. While some of it can be attributed to the time spent reading, studying, praying and meditating, I believe the rest comes from nature. I awaken very early each morning (without an alarm clock) and can't wait to get outside. I make an effort to spend as much time as possible out in the fields, by the lakes and ponds or in the woods. I've always thought this played a distinct role in my de-stressing.

Read the rest of the article here...

Things you should know...

A friend linked to the following here... Much needed reminder! They are our shepherds but we tend to forget they're not "superman/superwoman" or that our "problem" may NOT be the most important issue on their plate! 

What Priests (Pastors) Want You to Know

A few posts have popped up this week on our radar about what pastors/priests/ministers and the like want their parishioners to know about what goes on between Sundays and, for that matter, what goes on during Sundays.  We figured this looked like a prime place for us to wade into the water, so here we go.

1.  Your minister has a personal life.  Just like your teachers in school and your doctor, ministers and priests have a life that existed long before they were ordained.  So, just like you, they have family issues and car trouble and dishes that sit in the sink far too long and children who were up sick all night before the Easter Day services.  Just like regular people, life can be joyous and overwhelming.  And we often are not able to share that with parishioners.  A quote I saw on a bumper sticker said, "Be kind, because everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."  Yes, indeed.

2.  Sundays are long days for us.  We are on, and I mean Beyonce at a concert on, from the time we step into the church until the last person leaves.  We are responsible for the liturgy, the sermon, and the climate control (because no one in the church agrees on temperature).  People tell us things, from random comments about the football game to significant news about their lives.  We often are teaching a class, as well.  A retired priest I knew said every hour clergy work on Sundays is the equivalent of working 2.5 hours any other day.

3.  Clergy have to flip switches in ways that are not good.  Every priest I know has many stories of going from a parishioner's hospital room where the family has gathered to say goodbye to a finance committee meeting.  It is the nature of what we do.  Remember when your minister takes a morning off, s/he may be giving herself or himself time to reflect on all that has happened because that's the only time she has.

4.  We miss the parishioners we bury.  Just because we're preaching the sermon and celebrating the liturgy like we're totally together doesn't mean we aren't crying on the inside.  Clergy do not live day to day, week to week, month to month, and year to year with the people they serve and not grieve when those beloved people die.  Again, grief needs her space and time, so allow your minister to take that time (or remind them to take that time.)

5.  We are not particularly good at disappointment.     Perhaps it's a personality type, but most clergy I know will work until their fingers fall off for the community they love and serve.  Just a note - this is not good.  God jerked my attention to this fact a week before Palm Sunday, when I just hit a wall.  We cannot do everything we want to do.  We only have a certain amount of energy, which means we, like the rest of the humanity, have to make choices about where and how our energy can be shared.  This will always mean something that someone really, really wants to see done in the church will not be done.  And we hate that, but there you go.

6. Life happens at the church every day of the week.  A few things that happen when the flock is not at the church:  planning liturgies, writing sermons, taking phone calls, meeting with people who need to be heard, visiting those who are sick, working with community groups, dealing with the physical plant, reading emails, and rearranging schedules when the unexpected happens, as it often does.  Churches are busy, busy places every day of the week.  Which also means it's always better to make an appointment rather than just stop by if you really need to talk. 

7.  Many clergy only get one day off a week.  For many of us, things happen on Saturday, so our Saturdays are not always a day off.  And it's also a day for sermon-writing because often the week gets too busy for quiet time to write.

8.  Church life is often feast or famine.  Just like regular life, life in the church either seems to run at 100 mph or quite slow.  There are weeks that 80 hours is not unusual for me, and I am quite thankful for the ones that require about 20.  And when the slow weeks come, having a parish that empowers their clergy to take that time and relax is a gift.  We really love what we do, but need down time to re-energize and reflect.

9.  We don't remember what you tell us on Sunday.  Please, email us or write it down.

10. We make mistakes.  Yes, indeed.  Forgive us when we do.  Love us anyway.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Even in ancient times!


'We come to this Cathedral Church today to give thanks to almighty God for the prosperous reign of the Queen and to rejoice together in this year of Her Majesty's Jubilee as we celebrate 60 years of her sovereignty and service.As we come together as loyal subjects from all parts of the Realms and Commonwealth of Nations, we give thanks for the blessings bestowed by God on our Sovereign Lady Queen Elizabeth, and we celebrate the identity and variety which our nations under her have enjoyed.' Very Revered David Ison

Although many would say she's had it made...all the money and jewels she could want, people to wait on her hand and foot since birth, luxurious homes and the adulation of an entire people, being Queen is not all we would imagine.

While she does have all those "things" at her disposal, what has been the cost? To live your entire life in the public eye, to always, always be accompanied by someone (and NEVER be able to walk around in public on your own), to have your behavior defined by a very strict code, to be the figurehead for millions, even when they don't appear to like you, to be chastised when you don't respond in the way the "people" think you should, to put "duty" above all else. I daresay most of us would chafe under what defines the public perception of Queen Elizabeth II, and yet, she has gracefully held this position since she was 25 years old.

Today is her celebration and deservedly so. It's been planned for ages, all parts set to go off without change...even though her husband of 65 years was hospitalized yesterday. Now while we all know he has the best medical care available, she cannot be at his side. She has a celebration to attend and besides, visiting the hospital would cause too much turmoil...remember she can't just "slip in".

I've had a fascination with English history my whole life (could be the English and Scotch-Irish blood that makes up most of my ancestry). Although she does not posses the power of most of her predecessors, she has fulfilled her duties with more grace and dignity than any other I've studied.

God save the Queen!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Just realized...

that I last posted on Friday. Could have sworn I had a couple set up to post over the weekend but obviously not! Raising an 8 year old grandson, working full time in the "real" world, working part time with the young people at our church along with everything involved with being a wife and mother eat away at my time. Now I know I'm not the only one and I realize that even though things get "tight" from time to time, I am blessed.

With that said, Saturday was one of the laziest days I've had in a long while! Other than feeding hubby and grandson, I spent the day watching some great old movies, reading and just generally lounging around with two of my favorite guys. For years I would have felt guilty for my lack of productivity...there are so many things to get done, it's a waste of time! Right? Wrong! I've come to recognize that we all need a "Sabbath". God Himself decreed it should be so...

I, like many of you, forgo this blessing all too often, and pay the price in oh, so many different ways. Why do we have such a hard time with something so simple? It's ego really. I've convinced myself that unless I spin it, the world won't go 'round and 'round! Sounds pretty arrogant, doesn't it? Thankfully our God is patient and knows what He's doing. He continues to give us the gentle (and some not so gentle) reminders that what we need most is to let Him have more control of our lives and our schedules. Even though it may take a while, that's something I intend to do!

I hope each of you had at least a little time this past weekend for some peace and rest...

Friday, June 1, 2012

Just because...

it's the end of a busy week and it's raining but most of all, because it's a beautiful piece (as is all John Rutter's music)...

Deep peace of the running wave to you.
Deep peace of the flowing air to you.
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
Deep peace of the shining stars to you.
Deep peace of the gentle night to you.
Moon and stars pour their healing light on you.
Deep peace of Christ,
of Christ the light of the world to you.
Deep peace of Christ to you.