Friday, January 27, 2006

Rev Gal Friday Five

It's all about books this week....

If you received books as holiday presents, how many and what were they? No books as gifts which is kind of sad.

Did you buy any for yourself, and if so what are the titles? I did buy some books recently: The Secret Life of Bees; Listen! God is Calling; The Blacker the Berry; Shopgirl.

Have you read any of them yet? What’s next on your list? I've read Bees and Shopgirl. Haven't started Wallace Thurman's "Blacker the Berry" yet. It was published in 1929 and it's the first American novel to ever address the issue of racism within the black community. I'm mostly done with "Listen! God is Calling."
Do you have a favorite place to read a new book? And does the weather have an impact on that choice? My favorite place to read is a room where no one else is lurking. Sometimes that's the living room on the couch. Sometimes it's my room.

Does reading in bed make you sleepy? Not really. Sometimes it keeps me up. If I get really involved with a plot twist, I may stay up way past my bedtime. On the other hand, non-fiction almost always puts me to sleep and gives me strange dreams.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Do You Trust This Man? Posted by Picasa

Do you trust the President? Why?

This afternoon (1/26) I was driving home listening to NPR's "All Things Considered." They were discussing the President's stance on tapping phones to prevent terrorism- without a warrant. As a means of gauging the nation's debate on the topic, they went to Lincoln, Nebraska home of The Cornhuskers.

The first woman they interviewed said she was okay with the eavesdropping given the events of 9/11. And she said she trusted the President because he was a Christian.

I screamed. It was good that I was alone in my car!

Have we learned nothing? There are plenty of law breaking, untrustworthy Christians out in the world. How is it that President Skippy gets a wave from this woman simply because he is a Christian? Am I being too cynical? Too liberal? Acckkkk!

Would she trust him less if he was a Muslim or a Buddhist or a Jew? Still faithful. Still devout, but not Christian? What if he was a pacifistic athiest?

I would trust him more if I thought he had a just a few more lights on in the attic.

The 25 Question Meme

Borrowed from LutheranChik and others

1) When you looked in the mirror first thing this morning, what was the first thing you thought? Oh good, the zit is going away.

2) How much cash do you have on you? Ten bucks and some pennies.

3) What's a word that rhymes with TEST? Zest

4) Planet? Can it? I don't get this question. But I haven't had enough caffeine yet, either.

5) Who is the fourth person on your missed calls? My daughter. It's always my daughter.

6) What is your favourite ring on your phone? Some piece of music by Grieg. Nobody else ever picks it.

7) What shirt are you wearing? Black pullover sweater

8) What do you label youself as? Child of God. I like it better than wife, mother, pastor, liberal, democrat, Lutheran, etc.

9) Name the brand of shoes you've recently worn.

Merrell clogs

10) Bright room or dark room?
Light, but not in my face.

11) What were you doing at midnight last night?
Just starting the REM pattern after telling myself stories and listening to that weird noise my husband makes in his sleep.

12) What did the last text message on your phone say?
It was probably my daughter telling me to call her. She's the only one who text messages me.

13) Where is your nearest 7-11? About two miles away. But the "Wawa" is much closer and has better stuff.

14) What's a saying you say a lot? Cool.

15) Who told you they loved you last?
My husband.

16) Last furry thing you touched?
The cat. Didn't actually touch him, I tripped over him. He stalks me in the morning and I don't always see him.

17) How many drugs have you done in the past three days? Three. All legally obtained- even the Sudafed.

18) How many rolls of film do you need to get developed? There are probably two or three rolls buried in a box down in the basement somewhere. My husband will eventually find them, develop them and wonder who the people in the pictures are.

19) Favorite age you've been so far? Now is shaping up okay. 45

20) Your worst enemy? My expectations for myself.

21) What is your current desktop picture? My daughter in a subway station in Manhattan.

22) What was the last thing you said to someone? Do you need any help with that.

23) If you had to choose between a millions bucks and being able to fly, which would you choose? I'm afraid of heights. I think I'd take the money.

24) Do you like someone? This reminds me of junior high note passing. Today, yes, I like and love my husband. Last week, it was a little iffy a couple of times on the whole like thing.

25) The last song you listened to? Part of a Barbershop Quartet CD my husband left in the car. I immediately went to NPR.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

I don't understand "American Idol".

My family is watching "American Idol." In my husband's defense, he's also doing some paperwork but still, he can hear it! They're in the preliminary phase of the show where every other person cannot sing. But still my daughter is attentive.

It feels embarrassing to watch these people. Why do some people enjoy watching others make fools of themselves? It seems so cruel. So unnecessary. Aren't there good stories out there that we could tell? Aren't there talented people who might actually be entertaining?

What is it about our culture that we create programs like this? Somehow it feels akin to "Punch and Judy" shows and the Three Stooges. I never liked those either. Or "America's Funniest Home Videos." They're not funny, just cruel.

A Sermon about Forgiveness

I have a new therapist. Breaking in a new therapist is always an interesting experience. Some of them just ask questions, keeping any kind of personal info to a minimum. My last therapist was that type. I left her office knowing nothing more than her credentials and her taste in decor.

This new guy is different. When I have an appointment it's not all about me. And that's okay too. It's a technique I've used myself more than once. But today he asked a curious question at the end of our session, "Have you ever written a sermon about forgiveness?" I wasn't quite sure how to answer, except to say "Yes."

My new doctor is in his 60's. A nice Jewish fellow who serves on the board of his temple. He's been a therapist for a good long time. And I am so very fascinated by his question. Was it really about his desire to understand more about forgivness? Or was this a question about me?

He said he might like to read one of my sermons on forgiveness as it is something he has to help people with now and again. I'm not sure which one I want to give him. But maybe some of this would do. I wrote it in September of 2001.

In his letter to the Romans, Paul wrote:“I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, no anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.”

Our calling today is to love in that same way. To love without limits. To love without hesitancy. That’s the best weapon we have against the terror that has been unleashed upon us.

We are called to welcome the stranger and the wanderer in our midst. We are called to share our bread, our life and our love with all who are in need. So that there are no hidden places. No lost coins. No missing sheep.

Our calling is to live like Jesus. We are to bear witness to the world that our faith makes a difference. It affects the way that we treat others.

We must be clear in showing the world that the love of Christ is extended to all people. That’s how we will demonstrate the difference that faith makes. We can be “a light to the nations.” If we live the love of Christ. If we follow Jesus.

In these difficult times, we are called to be a people of hope. A people of loving actions. A people of prayer. A people of thoughtful and faithful discussion. And a people who are committed to working towards healing and forgiveness.

My dear brothers and sisters, we have a choice. We can live in terror and let our grief rule our heads and our hearts - or we can follow Jesus.

When he wrote to his friends in Corinth, Paul put it like this, “Keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.”

One reporter this week said that “courage is fear that has said it’s prayers.” And so I would commend you to be faithful in your calling. Be diligent in your prayers. Keep hope alive in your heart. Knowing that the love of God goes with you always. May we go forth from this place today, following Jesus.

Monday, January 23, 2006

The Customer Service Sucked!

Saturday night my parents were here and we wanted to go have some good German food. After consulting with friends and surfing the net, we made a reservation. (I won't tell you where. Just know we won't go back.) We were a bit early but they seated us immediately. Fifteen minutes later, we were still hoping for human contact and some menus.

When we stopped a waitress, she sent over the hostess who looked totally confused when my father asked if they were short staffed. She promised to send some one to wait on us and left some menus. Ten minutes later we left.

On the way out the door, I asked to see the manager. The waitress I had spoken to looked confused. "Your boss. I want to talk to your boss." Unfortunately, she sent the hostess over again. She thought probably it was maybe her fault that we hadn't been waited on. She thought that maybe she had made a mistake. No real apology- just more confused looks.

We went down the street and found a noisy Irish Pub- Fergie's Pub in downtown Philly. Good beer. Great service. Loud music. Very authentic looking. Shepherd's Pie was pretty tasty. And the waitress got a 40% tip from my very content father. (He and my mother also offered to adopt her.)

So whatever happened to apologizing when you make a mistake? Whatever happened to doing something that's not in your job description so that the business succeeds?