Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Only 365 Days.....

If you take a look at the left side of this page, you will notice that I have restarted the Christmas Countdaown Clock. It is now 365 days til Christmas comes again. The fact that I have posted this info should send a few folks screaming from the room! But hey -- why not get started now? After all, I was in a major store on Saturday (three days before Christmas mind you) and what did I see? VALENTINES merchandise!!! That's right -- take out the Christmas cards and candy and replace them with Valentines cards and candy. I suspect it will only be a matter of a couple of weeks before we see Easter stuff! Why do we feel compelled to rush these celebration? Can't we just enjoy Christmas and its afterglow for a week or two without being hit up with the next celebration? Come on, retailers, give us a break!! Anyway, Merry Christmas to all. I hope you are being abundantly blessed today and always.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

I just want to take this opportunity to wish a joyous Christmas to all my readers. If you are offended by the depiction of the Nativity story -- clearly a Christian symbol -- I'm sorry, but Jesus is the reason that I celebrate. For those who are not Christian I still wish you a Merry Christmas. Take some time to live in the spirit of Christmas -- a spirit of joy, hope, love, togetherness, family, care and peace. I think that we can all agree on the importance of such lives in an otherwise whacked out world. For you and yours, then, may you blessed with joy, love, hope, and peace the Christmas and always. Merry Christmas!!

An ACLU Greeting?

I found this "ACLU Nativity Scene" when searching for a picture for a Christmas greeting. The funny thing is that the idea for this picture did not originate with the ACLU but with a Young Conserative group at a college in Texas. ULtimately another blogger took the idea and photoshopped a Nativity scene to produce it. I find it both humorous and a bit annoying, but I thought it was surely thought provoking! I will let you judge it for yourself.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Snow Day - Part Two

Well, Ben made it home safely - praise God, and the snow has subsided. Now he's at work and will be home late. Ah the joys of mulitple tasks in life. Thank you for the kind words and prayers. That is a good part of what blogging is all about for me. It brings a sense of community where we can voice our concerns and fears as well as our opinions. We can joke and cut up or just muse on life in general. The joy is that others read what we write and support us or call us to task -- hopefully in love and friendship. Oh we all get the occasional nut job comments, but even those say that someone took the time to read what we posted. Ah well, time to go watch "Diva Christmas Carol" with Vanessa Williams -- who plays the consummate bitch quite well. hug someone.

Snow Day

As I sit at home this Sunday morning during the first big snow of our winter, I worry about Ben. He headed out early this morning for a preaching engagement nearly 60 miles away. He called to let me know that he arrived safely, taking almost double the usual time for the trip. My worry is that the weather has not improved (It is still snowing and blowing) and he will need to make the trip back here this afternoon. I know that he is a responsible driver and that he will careful, but his small pickup bothers me on snowy roads AND I worry about the other drivers out there -- especially the "Rambo" types with SUV's and 4 wheel drive vehicles -- you know who I mean -- the ones who think they can go at breakneck speeds no matter what the conditions. You know, the ones we find in the ditches and medians or in accidents (or worse yet the cause of accidents for others). I opted to stay home this morning -- my great adventure was taking the dog to potty (she was not happy -- the snow was as deep as she is tall so she really did not take kindly to be asked to squat and pee. So, I sit here in the comfort of home, worrying about Ben out there -- and praying that the good Lord will see him safely home with no problems. It will be at least two more hours before he starts his trek back, so I can relax until then. The weather reports predict continuing lousy weather throughout most of the day -- at least the plows are out and the salt trucks are busy trying to stay ahead of the weather. I am sure that all will be well, but I can't help being concerned. That's what love is all about. Have a great day, stay warm, and hug someone special.

As American as Baseball

Well, the long awaited (by some) Mitchell Report on the use of steroids in baseball is now out. I was saddened to see the extent of the use of illegal and unauthorized drugs in the quest for victory in this long time American pastime. How sad -- these guys are people to whom our kids look up as heroes and role models. Scary! Now, the Mitchell Report from what I hear (I have not read the report) recommends not taking action against the players named as having used these drugs. I don't care if there is legal action -- that is for an authority much wiser than I to determine, but -- I do believe at the very least they should be stripped of all "records" (home run counts, games won, etc) AND there information should be removed from the annals of baseball history. Baseball, you see, was in my mind one of the last great bastions of honor, decency and fair play on the American scene. To see it tainted by cheating (and that is what the drug use amounts to) cheapens not only baseball but American culture as a whole. In a day when players have been kicked out and prosecuted for gambling on their own games, throwing games, and other offenses, to let illegal drug use go unpunished is just wrong. Additionally, what about the players who set great records without resorting to cheating? I am not a great baseball fan, but names like Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Don Drysdale, and other baseball greats are a part of my growning up experience. They worked hard and played the game with integrity and honesty, and they achieved greatness and, in one way or another, hero status. To see the same honors affording to drug crazed cheaters cheapens everything those greats of the past accomplished. Mr. Mitchell, thank you for your report. I respect your years of service and leadership in our nation, but I have to differ with you on your recommendation. There should be accountability for these players -- there would be for you or me. What makes them different? In fact, they should be held to the time honored higher standard of the American institution of baseball. And that, my friends, is the way I see it!

Monday, December 10, 2007


Life is moving forward at a hectic pace. Work continues to aggravate and irritate, but at least (thank God) the job continues. Ben and I continue to struggle with finances and some amount of inaction on the job front. But on a bright note, I am about to be called as an Interim Pastor to one of our churches. This will be a one year part time post to prepare that congregation to move forward in calling a permanent pastor. It will be a time of reflection on the past, evaluation of the present, and focusing for the future. Pray for me -- this is something new. I know that by the end of that year, my toolbox of ministry skills will have expanded and prepared the way for bigger and brighter things. Yesterday I preached their worship service and then waded through a 90 minute "getting acquainted Q&A session." After being on the road and/or at church for a total of 7.5 hours I was POOPED upon my return home. Then we headed out shopping because one of the items I was looking for went on sale. It meant going to two different stores, but we got it. Then we went and had Chinese for dinner and headed home for TV Christmas movies and an evening to just relax. Take time out over the next couple of weeks -- for many the most hectic time of the year--to rest, to reflect, to enjoy each other and the season. If you miss getting that one "perfect" gift or if the decorations aren't just exactly right, so what? Christmas isn't about presents (isn't that a daring statement?), decorations, and parties. Christmas is about relationships -- between us and God and between us and each other. Take time to work on those relationships and Christmas will be a wonderful time. I don't expect any "It's a Wonderful Life" or "Miracle on 34th Street" moments, but I know that on Christmas day when Ben and I go celebrate with my family, I will look at him and know that he is a true gift in my life. There will be a sense of joy and fulfillment just in being together and experiencing anew the wonder of God's presence.

Didn't mean to preach, but as I said in the last post, it's been two weeks. LOL -- have a great day and hug someone special.

Life Marches On

Gosh, I just looked and realized that it's been nearly two weeks since I posted anything on this page. It's not that there is nothing to say or that I don't want to talk to anyone. I just get busy doing other things and put it off another day -- much like letter writing, dieting, exercising, and other such icky things LOL. The reality is that today I've been thinking about the latest rash of seemingly indiscriminate shootings at malls and now at churches. There have been trips to the mall recently where I was tempted (tongue in cheek) to shoot a few folks (or at least to invest in a cattle prod). While these kinds of rampages are just wrong no matter where they occur, I think they are especially wrong in houses of worship -- places of sanctuary. What has our world become when churches need to have armed security guards and people walk in with guns blazing? Where is the peace, the sanctity, the respect? I could make this all about gun control, but that would only address part of the problem. I think it more about self control. Our society is becoming anarchistic -- there is a pervasive attitude of "It's all about me." If someone hurts me, I somehow have the right to lash out at anyone and everyone. Why? What makes me responsible for your girlfriend dumping you or your employer shipping your job overseas? I wish I had the answers, but somehow we have to work together to overcome this pandemic of violence and self centeredness. It grieves my heart to think that someone could have sunk so low within his or her own mind that the lives of others become totally devoid of any value or meaning. During this holiday season, take a moment and at least breathe a prayer for those undergoing such stress and chaos in their lives. Pray for the families and loved ones of the vicitims of these senseless acts. Pray for the congregations and communities impacted by the violence. Seek after the promise of peace on earth. And that 's the way I see it today. hug someone