Sunday, October 26, 2008

Love that Overflows

Sermon October 26, 2008 based on the Scripture text Matthew 22:34-40.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Just a note to tell you of a new feature on my blog. It is called "Followers" and is located in the right hand column toward the bottom of the page above the label cloud. If you would like to admit you are a regular follower of this blog, please sign up! You can either sign up with your name or anonymously. Thanks for reading my blog. I know I haven't been blogging as much recently, but I hope to do more in the future. Blessings!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Taking Time Off

I have always been amused by the different sayings about time. "Time flies when you're having fun," imagining some timepiece with wings trying to be illusive and evasive just because you are enjoying yourself. "Save time," like you can put some time in a jar to use later when you "run out of time" (picture the rollover minutes commercial for a wireless service - all these orange-colored, over-large, poker chips that you can sock away in a safe place.) "Time standing still" like that has never happened to anyone such as myself who is hyper. I love the "Over the Hedge" scene when Hammy the Hyper Squirrel finally is given a high-sugar, caffeine drink and the rest of the world comes to a complete standstill while he can walk through and do pretty much anything he wants. This must be a pretty common fantasy as there is now a beer commercial which seems to do the same thing and don't forget the special talent of the lovable hero, Hiro, on "Heros."

So...last week, I "took some time off." This is also amusing, as I didn't know if it referred to taking the now-tangible time off a shelf and therefore can now be used, or you leave time behind and function in a different plane of existence. Well, last week, and all vacations I guess I left time behind, or took it off the shelf or whatever. The interesting thing about "taking time off" is that it is purely illusion that time waits for you to return before it resumes. Ha! You generally come back to as much if not more work, because you weren't there to do it when you were gone. I used to have a boss that would save all the work for me when I came back from vacation. We had 16 other staff that could have handled it, but no, I was special and therefore worked my little rear-end off just so I could go on vacation.

Needless to say, if you do "take time off" you don't want to come back to the real world for fear of what waits for you there. Such is the place I find myself this morning, so I will quit "wasting time" blogging and get back to work.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Children and Youth Sunday

Every year we have a Sunday not only geared to reach youth, but planned and led by the children and youth of our congregation. Every year I have a youth deliver a sermon that they prepared. This year I have two youth lay speakers, and since my daughter has had the opportunity to bring the message before, I gave my other youth lay speaker an opportunity. I had very little to do with the service or sermon other than to observe and check to make sure they thought of everything they needed to and to offer guidance or advice when needed. The liturgy was written by youth and led by youth, the songs were led by youth, a youth offered the special music during the offering. You get the idea. The outcome - it was totally awesome!

The service was well thought out and reverent without being dull, something some adults are convinced cannot happen simultaneously. The youth beginning the service pointed out that the children and youth are not only the church of tomorrow, but they ARE the church today.

The sermon was based on the scripture text Mark 4:35-41 and was brought by Kaleb Oakleaf. I recommend you listen and hear what the youth are saying about God, trust and relationships.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Five Practices

For those of you out there familiar with "The Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations" by Bishop Robert Schnase, I was wondering if anyone knew of any resources relating the five practices to children and youth. I have the "kit" with all of the stuff in it, but it all relates to adults. If anyone knows of something our congregation can use with children and youth, please let me know.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The VP Debates are On and I'm Not Watching!

Okay...I am sick of politics. I am not a big fan of either VP candidate, so I am not watching the debates. Yes, I know I am supposed to be a mature responsible citizen and be well informed on the candidates before I vote, but seriously, I just don't care anymore. I told someone recently that I would vote for the candidate who slings the least amount of mud. It's to that point. The debates are exciting for some, but I don't think we are going to learn anything new about either side. They are well versed and rehearsed, (however, it will be interesting to see if McCain's camp has Palin in control.) I do realize that half the world, and many of my friends, are watching with eager anticipation... or curiosity... or animosity... but my time is too precious and life is too short to waste on other people's drama. I'll do what I normally do around the end of October. It's a techical system. I will read (novel concept I know) the platforms of both parties, gauge which one matches most closely to my personal beliefs (neither one will fit the bill exactly), and see which one slings the least amount of mud.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Absence of Stress (or what happens when we mail off ordination paperwork)

Well, after several weeks of working on my ordination paperwork rather than a blog (a smart choice, I think) I have finally shipped the package to the Board of Ordained Ministry with a great deal of sweat and prayers. Whew! There is nothing to do now but wait until my Board interviews in December and since the package has been shipped and is out of my hands, there is no use stressing over it now. *Sigh*

I have been absolutely (and obnoxiously) giddy since the completion of this work It was like a great weight was lifted from my shoulders and there was nothing to hold me down. I felt like dancing (badly) and singing off-key and not caring who in the world was watching (mostly.) I haven't felt that good in a long time. Of course, as I had to plan and officiate at a memorial service, I had to tone it down for a bit. I have been rejoicing in preparing sermons, because I don't feel like there is something else out there I should be doing. (Charge conference paperwork is out there, but hey, that is a great deal my committee's work.)

It is truly amazing the transformation that takes over a person when they feel relief, and I thank my husband, daughter and congregation who are humoring me right now, because I am sure they are sick of it.

The other side of that is now that this onerous burden is completed, what now? Do I fill in the gaps with more stress-causing scheduling, or do I relax and enjoy it a bit? I think I will relax, which is not something I am well-versed at. I may have to practice it for a while before I get good at it. But as with all things, I am going to give it my best shot!