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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

1 John 3:1a

Here's another that likely will go through a longish series of different versions; it's from a very well-known first part of 1 john 3...
1 See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. 3 And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.
1 john 3:1a

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Beauty of Broken Things

invitation to poetry icon

Christine introduced this Invitation to Poetry, Beauty of Broken Things, with:
I’ve been reflecting a lot on grief and brokenness lately – I think there is something beautiful in our capacity to mourn over loss, to have an instinctual longing for life, to grow from our woundedness.
By the way, Christine creatively enhanced this haunting image from Mount Rainier. mount rainier

firestorm 2007

devil winds made wildfires rage
"now it's time for the recovery," said the tv voice
is this the promised baptism of fire?
if so, surely we can trust your promise of renewal and resurrection
if so, surely we will trust your promise of life restored!

God and God Alone

This afternoon I attended the awards presentation and reception for God's Creation Is Good; I didn't win a prize, but I can add to my résumé that all three of my entries were chosen for a selective juried show! Now I need to bust my gut to get some stuff ready for Art Walk and for St. Mark's Spring Liturgical Art exhibit. (Actually, most everything in this show was digitized and enhanced photography; mine were the only ones I'd describe as liturgical art.) But I'm mainly blogging because Shelley sang this amazingly beautiful song, and very surprisingly it's an oldie from 1984, yet new to me, which gives me such hope when I imagine I already know the outcomes of so much. I got to hear it about 2.5 times, since I sat in the sanctuary after viewing the exhibit and listened to her rehearse. I sat with Shelley at Summer Pops for Aaron Neville's concert, and it was great to be able to hear her gorgeous singing and give her a hug. The other songs were All Things Bright and Beautiful and by the congregation, too, This Is My Father's World. At the end of this blog I've included clickable thumbnails of my entries.

God and God Alone

God and God Alone
God and God alone
Created all these things we call our own
From the might to the small
The glory in them all
Is God's and God's alone

God and God alone
Reveals the truth of all we call unknown
All the best and worst of man
Can't change the master plan
It's God's and God's alone

God and God alone
Is fit to take the universe's throne
Let everything that lives
Reserve its truest praise
For God and God alone

God and God alone
Will be the joy of our eternal home
He will be our one desire
Our hearts will never tire
Of God and God alone

Words and Music by Phill McHugh
© 1984 River Oaks Music Co. (BMI)


genesis 9:13 - this one
Mountains Bow Down; Seas Will Roar
Revelation 22:2

Friday, October 26, 2007

cranberry bread

1 3/4 cups flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups raisin bran cereal
1 cup milk
1 slightly beaten egg
1/3 cup orange juice
1/4 salad oil
1 tbsp grated orange peel
1 cup coarsely chopped cranberries
1/2 cup chopped pecans, walnuts or other nuts

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Mix cereal and milk in a medium bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Stir in egg, juice, oil and orange peel. Add to flour mixture; stir just until moistened (batter will be lumpy). Stir in cranberries and nuts.
Pour into greased 9x5 inch loaf pan.
Bake at 350° F. for 1 hours 15 minutes or until it passes the toothpick in the center test. Cool for just 10 minutes, and then remove from pan and finish cooling completely on a wire rack. Slices more easily after chilling.

Taos, New Mexico Pumpkin Bread

...raised!~~not my original recipe~~
  • active dry yeast - 1 tablespoon
  • brown sugar - 1/2 cup
  • warm water (105° - 115 F°) - 1 1/2 cups
  • fresh eggs - 2
  • pumpkin purée - 1 cup
  • salt - 1 tablespoon or less
  • white or yellow cornmeal - 1/2 cup
  • unbleached all-purpose or bread flour - 5 1/2 - 6 cups
  • cornmeal and flour for dusting and sprinkling

  1. Sprinkle yeast and a pinch of brown sugar over water in a large bowl; stir to combine and let stand until foamy, about 1 minute.
  2. With a whisk, add eggs and pumpkin to yeast mixture.
  3. Add remaining brown sugar, salt, cornmeal and 2 cups of flour.
  4. Beat hard with a whisk until smooth - about 3 minutes.
  5. Add flour 1/2 cup at a time with a spoon until a soft dough forms.
  6. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead vigorously for about 5 minutes to create a soft, smooth, elastic dough.
  7. Add enough remaining flour for dough to hold its own shape. Place in a greased bowl, turn once to grease top, and cover with plastic wrap or a linen towel. Let rise at room temperature until doubled, about 1 - 1 1/2 hours.
  8. Gently deflate dough and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Form into one large loaf and place on a greased or parchment-lined backing sheet sprinkled with cornmeal and flour; cover loaf loosely with plastic wrap or towel and let rise 30 minutes or until doubled in volume again.
  9. Sprinkle top of loaf with flour.
  10. Slash loaf decoratively with a serrated knife; place in a preheated 450° oven, reduce oven temperature to 375° and bake 45 to 55 minutes, or until loaf is lightly browned. Cool on a rack before serving.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

pumpkin F5

Singing Owl brings us this Friday's long-anticipated (for a whole week now) pumpkin/apple friday 5.

pumpkins apples1. How did you celebrate this time of year when you were a child?

Dressing up in not too extreme a disguise with makeup rather than a mask and going around the neighborhood trick-or-treating, probably soliciting about 3 or 4 dozen houses.

2a. Do you and/or your family “celebrate” Halloween? Why or why not? And if you do, has it changed from what you used to do?

Currently I'm living without immediate family, roomie or spouse, but one or another church almost always has a party for kids and adults, and I try to hit one of those. Why? Hey, it's the Eve of All Saints' and in my theological and ecclesiastical tradition it's also Reformation Day, and I know Martin and Katie would glory in the day! Trick or treaters have been trickling down to fewer every year; since I don't care for candy and no one I know needs the calories in leftover candy, I've been buying pens, pencils, erasers and pencil sharpeners to give out to the kids, which they love, since school started a couple months ago and they're running low by late October.

2b. Candy apples: Do you prefer red cinnamon or caramel covered? Or something else?

I'll take my apples fresh, crispy and cool.

3. Pumpkins: Do you make Jack O’ Lanterns? Any ideas of what else to do with them?
Sometimes.

4. Do you decorate your home for fall or Halloween? If so, what do you do? Bonus points for pictures.

Due to condo "community" CCR's, we're allowed obvious holiday décor on doors, windows, etc. only so many days before and after a holiday, and how many days that is escapes me, but I usually hang a holiday wreath or arrangement or related on the front door and when available, window clings on the front windows. Inside I have a few Halloween Beanie Babies and placemats; that's about all. BTW, the pictures I've included in order to qualify for bonus points are PumpkinMarigold under the Christmas tree in one of our residences of yore.

5. Do you like pretending to be something different? Does a costume bring our an alternate personality?

I enjoy putting together a creative inexpensive costume, but just as when I was little I'd rather do an extreme version of regular street dress or party clothes with creative face painting rather than makeup or a mask. I want people to be able to recognize me as my usual identity with a hint of whoever it is I'm thinking about becoming for the future.

Bonus: Share your favorite recipe for an autumn food, particularly apple or pumpkin ones.

I want to post this now, Thursday evening, but I have several pumpkin, apple and other recipes I'd love to share, so I'll try to do that some time on Friday.

My own bonus bonus: A few years ago I won 1st prize in a writing contest for a Halloween story with a story about my Orange Cat, PumpkinMarigold, dressed up as a black cat!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

wildfires!!!

fire

fueled by santa ana winds, four years almost to the minute after the cedar fires, "we're at the mercy of the wind" - "the fire's going to do what it's going to do" - "0% contained"...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Top Chef F5

With homage to the top chef F5, here's an early Friday 5 for this week! I love this topic—doubtless I've already mentioned my two all-time favorite jobs were about food, but here I go again: writing restaurant reviews for the local radical broadsheet and later on, my gig as a line chef. I always explain I didn't have the school one needs these days to be a sous chef, but The Executive Chef trusted me sufficiently and thought highly enough of me that I did a lot of sous chef stuff.

1. If you were a food, what would you be?
Something with textures and flavors (colors, too) that vary with every bite, something you sometimes can't get enough of and then realize you're tired of—make me (literally) a fajita burrito. That's what we have every Christmas Eve, and these days it spells freedom and a kind of bittersweet homecoming.
2. What is one of the most memorable meals you ever had? And where?
So very many, but I'll indulge in summer night nostalgia, when way way back when we'd sit on the back steps of the parsonage, drink beer, eat salad and wait for the steak to grill.
3. What is your favorite comfort food from childhood?
First I'll pick the memory of eating sandwiches made with fresh homemade white bread, freshly picked beefsteak tomatoes, freshly ground pepper and Hellmann's/Best Foods mayonnaise with my grandmother at her kitchen table. Then, for a comfort food I can duplicate, among many possibilities I'll go with French Toast.
4. When going to a church potluck, what one recipe from your kitchen is sure to be a hit?
Typically I take 7-layer guacamole, etc. dip that always is a huge hit, or else a multi-ingredient salad. Another favorite is date nut bread made with a cup of strong coffee, but that's been a while now.
5. What’s the strangest thing you ever willingly ate?
My first time was willingly accidental! On Saturday evening of my first interview weekend in High Desert City, my hosts took me, their sons and sons' friends to a small Italian restaurant. We started the meal with individual side salads, and after we finished, my host exclaimed, "This was even better than the last time we were here—the calamari made the salad." At which point I thought, "I did it! I ate calamari and didn't even know it!" And have continued doing so ever since.

Bonus question: What’s your favorite drink to order when looking forward to a great meal?
Mundanely plebeian, in a restaurant I'll have a glass of Heineken or a local brew on draught. In someone's home, any beer or ale, or if they don't do spirits, Diet Coke TM or Diet Pepsi TM or water.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

interim connections and serious stuff

the connections

So this afternoon I played organ and piano for Markus' installation and had a great talk with Scott, who under the Formula of Agreement's provision for interchangeability of ministers of word and sacrament currently is serving as interim at HolyLand ELCA--in another FoA denomination. That's happening all over the place all across this country, but the crazy thing is that church is on Flat Mesa Blvd., the same street as this church he recently left after a long called interim, so I'm wondering if his next interim won't be at the local Taco Bell, since he's been gravitating to or it could be that entities only located on Flat Mesa Blvd. have been grabbing him? Does Taco Bell have any kind of formal agreement with other (food) denominations? Oh, yes--KFC, and also Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, A&W and Long John Silvers, all sheltered by the YUM umbrella. But if they're all YUM-affiliated, that doesn't make them different denoms, and besides, they all serve very different and distinctive types of food. Speaking of Taco Bell, I *think* the PCUSA, UCC, DoC (etc.) TB boycott has been over for some time now...try this site with the interesting fourth meal concept.

the serious stuff

Oh, how many times have I exclaimed to anyone who'd listen "sometimes I think I loved the Church more than I loved Jesus." This afternoon part of Scott's charge to Markus was to not love the church more than Jesus...just yesterday I was considering how somehow I'd become marginalized in a ton of ways from society's main streams (though not from the mainline church, since for the most part I still attended one or another), and yesterday evening I finally realized the Spirit of the Church had chased me outside the city gates, outside the purported shelter of the walls of the city=civilization to where I'd find Jesus, to where Jesus died--outside the city. Am I therefore suggesting it's harder to find Jesus in the church structure, in Word and Sacrament than to encounter Jesus outside the church? That's been suggested before. Theologian Darrell Guder accurately insists God does not limit Godself to the means of grace, and I've blogged and spoken my logical rejoinder, nonetheless, God does bind Godself to the means of grace, and I'll add whether or not we recognize, acknowledge or act upon that fact. Like lots of folks I've been thinking, writing and blogging tons about liminality, betwixt, betweenness neither here nor thereness and some of the meanings, dangers, and freedoms of life as exodus people--exodus people? Better make that baptized people!

dialog time

Last week hot cup lutheran blogged a really good one about small churches but it got deleted, though she's now done a related blog and asked,
So... (1) what do you think the forseable future of small churches is? (2) how do you overcome the inertia in your own setting? (3) what do you do when you feel 'devalued' on both ends of the church?... oh wait chocolate? hmmm good idea HotCup better post & go get some...
go check out the comments--more later here, but for now I'll scream PLEASE NO CHOCOLATE for me--it's not mandatory, is it?

Take a look at today's gospel:

Luke 17:11-19

11On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee. 12As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, 13they called out, saying, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!" 14When he saw them, he said to them, "Go and show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were made clean. 15Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. 16He prostrated himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. 17Then Jesus asked, "Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? 18Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" 19Then he said to him, "Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well."

Friday, October 12, 2007

b-i-b-l-e friday 5

Here's Columbus Day's wonderfully impossible b-i-b-l-e friday 5, outlined by Mother Laura of Junia's Daughter
Does everyone remember the old Sunday School song?

The B-I-B-L-E,
Oh, that's the book for me.
I take my stand on the Word of God,
The B-I-B-L-E.

I have been working on an expansive language version of the Psalms and the Liturgy of the Hours/Divine Office/Breviary. (For you non-liturgical gals and pals, that's a set of prayers for morning, noon, evening, etc., mostly consisting of Psalms and other biblical texts).

So I have been thinking a lot about the Bible recently, and how we encounter it as God's Word—or don't—in our lives, prayer, and ministry. (Great minds think somewhat alike this week, as yesterday's Ask The Matriarch post dealt with ways to help as many people in a community as possible engage with a scriptural text in preparation for Sunday worship).

So, in that spirit, I offer my first Friday Five. I'm looking forward to hearing everyone's experience and reflection on these B-I-B-L-E questions:
No, I don't remember that songs and still haven't learned it, though I've heard it a few times. I love this F5 and again I'm later than I like to be, so my answers will be far shorter than complete or comprehensive.
isaiah 55:10-11

1. What is your earliest memory of encountering a biblical text?

As a young, unchurched undergrad, I was just starting out in my first (American Baptist) church home when the depth of the entire book of Romans mystified and intrigued me, while it seemed as if everyone else in the community knew it well (at least the text). Fast-forwarding, a lot more than a few years: in one of my current churches the Sunday adult class had elected to study Romans, and we'd divided facilitating the group between the two of us who had some formal training in bible and theology. One Sunday the guy who'd been scheduled to lead us wasn't in church, and the following Sunday he said to me, "I assumed you'd lead the class when you saw I wasn't there." At that point I realized I could have lead a discussion of Romans without immediately recent preparation, though I sure wouldn't want to.

2. What is your favorite biblical translation, and why? (You might have a few for different purposes).

NRSV, though needless to say I appreciate others, especially The Message.

3. What is your favorite book of the Bible? Your favorite verse/passage?

A few: from the Hebrew Bible, especially Deuteronomy and 2nd Isaiah; in the New Covenant scriptures, Galatians, Romans, Luke/Acts. I'll choose only a single verse out of too many possibles, Galatians 3:28, "There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus."

4. Which book of the Bible do you consider, in Luther's famous words about James, to be "an epistle of straw?" Which verse(s) make you want to scream?

In liberty I'll disagree with Luther's opinion of James, and rather than specific verse or passages (interest of time, remember) I'll mention people's unfortunate habit of forming their own canon of only books and passages that they can interpret in a manner that reflects their own biases and preferences (hey, I probably do that, as well).

5. Inclusive language in biblical translation and liturgical proclamation: for, against, or neutral?

Totally for, and I embarrass myself when I fail in that regard or when I fail to take the time to make my own translations or tweak others' versions. I love Laura's phrase expansive language.

Bonus: Back to the Psalms—which one best speaks the prayer of your heart?

Lots and lots, but for now I'll mention Psalm 119; I also love JS Bach's pair of settings of "These are the Holy Ten Commandments" in his Small and Large Catechism Chorales (for you non-musicians out there, Bach, who was a totally passionate and very Lutheran follower of The Way of Jesus Christ, composed a version of Luther's Small and Large Catechisms for organ), the first is so Psalm 1:2a "My Delight is in the Law of the Lord" while the second is so Psalm 1:2b "I meditate on thy law all day long." I'll end by quoting the verse that's part of my current Blogger profile: "Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire besides thee." Psalm 73:25

Thursday, October 11, 2007

house 1a layer style

house 1a layer style

house 5a layer style

house 5a layer style

courts, culture and time passages

As my Japanese-American friend Cyndi observed over a dozen years ago, in Imperial Japan people in the courts took exquisite precautions to stay out of the sun and never ever venture into daylight so their complexion would remain ultra-white, but centuries later and halfway around the world, "Now the people in the courts are tanned as dark as possible, and being pasty white (even when that's your native natural hue) is considered not OK." More years later, into the 21st century and yet another era, this one health- and wellness-obsessed, these days people playing on the courts use lots of high-test sunscreen and sunblock and avoid direct sunlight whenever possible. How some ever, now that fake suntan products have developed way beyond looking as artifical as they used to back in those days, whether on the courts, off the courts or on the way to the courts image-conscious people often wear unreal tans. Something else has changed, too: when she married a guy with a very anglo surname, Cyndi dropped her Japanese one that got mispronounced all too often. Slow forward to now, she answers to either name but formally identifies herself with a hyphenated last name.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

October's Musical Musings

here's October's RevGals Musical Musings, which I got to compile--it was so fun!

santa ana winds again

back unsettling the land again
making their presence felt
dry heat
fast winds
driving along the beach, free style
wind in the sands, free style
nothing but play, free style
high dry winds
transforming the spaces of paradise

Friday, October 05, 2007

at least F5

at least Friday 5 with a thankfulness list from Mary Beth...
Welcome to the Friday Five!

This one is going to be veeeery simple: List at least five things (people, places, graces, miracles...) for which you are thankful. You may elaborate as you wish, or keep it simple.

Hat tip to Princess Mindy for the idea. Oh...and if you know The Veggie Tales' hit "Thankfulness Song," please hum it as you post.
1. city outlineI have this gratitude for cities...


2. Lorri's kittensand for cats;


3. cat in citygratefulness for the cat and the city and also for cats in cities.


4. house 01 for houses of almost every imaginable kind I'm thankful

and, of course,

5. thank-filled for the days (and nights) of summer.

july beach

Way to go for this easy and fun one, Mary Beth...

Thursday, October 04, 2007

horrifying dream

despite too much caffeine, I fell asleep and took a nap, waking up a few minutes ago on Thursday, 04 October, 2007 | 4:20 PM

dream chronology:

I was at home at the PC i got in May 2002 online and working on some theology or related
i went downstairs to the on-site laundry room and started a load of laundry
when i got back upstairs there was a big round black-rimmed analog clock on the DR wall where one of my fave paintings used to be
lots of replacements on the walls (all of them okay, so far) but my favorite paintings, hangings, etc. gone!
OLD PC = GONE!
a little while later, a brand-new, black PC with a smaller screen is there in its place
back in DR, a person (woman, i believe) covered up with a huge appliance box is making more changes
all over my dwelling-place, that finally was decorated basically in my style and taste, everything is different, though for the most part not necessarily things I don't care for
at some point i see a woman who's around may age or a little younger from Old Condo Shadows Church
I tell her the missing computer is a major disaster, more loss of my life--i had/have 3000 Word documents from the past 5+ years on it!
she is very nice, not at all condescending and tells me it's been a joint project and some of the perps will be over for dinner (i haven't even cooked anything for myself) in a few minutes
two of them then arrive at the door; i recognize one as someone i really like and always have gotten along with
i inform them they are evil and they immediately leave
i'd been doing a load of laundry in the complex's 1st floor laundry room, but for some reason need to go to an offsite retail store to do a 2nd load (or maybe the 1st load already is there)
cat sitter Jane drives me there; i try to get to the laundry room in the basement, turns out it's up one floor, and I get stuck alone in terror at the narrow staircase and turn back; jane has gone ahead of me
ages later (maybe an hour or so, meaning jane is long-gone) finally i venture outside the store and go into the laundry room through the same level
i need to phone jane for a ride home, reach in my pocket for my cell and pull out someone else's
Jane's # was stored on my cell and i have no way to phone or otherwise reach her
i enter a very large waiting van through the rear door, along with a middle- or HS girl, and go home without my laundry
home is some distance away
i call the driver "larry" - High Desert City apt. building owner and former sort of now-former boss?
at home, i go into the condo complex building, knock on a door on the opposite end and side of what has become a squarely, self-enclosed building rather than the 6-part one we now have
these days i start all my writing in GoogleDocs and finally export them to Word, but i need to get my old puter back, with almost everything I've done in the past 5+ years--that's been my life!
carolyn o'barr suddenly is there and tells me about all the new stuff in the new windows software--crazy, because she knows I want and need a new Mac
i manage to find Jane's real door; she hands me a fat looseleaf notebook of computer files printed out in light-colored ink on both sides of the paper
it turns out she's been playing RevGals Friday 5 a whole lot (and she's never ever on her puter, which by now i know must have ossified)
i need to get my 3,000+ files back
a new group of perps is there in my condo and tells me everything on my old puter was worthless, anyway
i need my own phone back, too!
Left Right in the City SP is there and tells me there's no point in being upset about my missing phone--i don't dare complain about the (truly) missing theology
everyone except Jane, the van driver, LRC SP and the anonymous girl were from Old Condo Shadows Church, but could have been from any of my churches
This is amazingly analogous to everything

four things

PS tagged me for a super-fun 4 things--seems like I'm way slow in getting essentials done lately, but somehow I can find time for memes and schemes.

Four jobs I've held

line chef
recreation therapist
layout and pasteup flunky
[substitute] public school teacher


Four films I could watch over and over
Joy Luck Club
Snow Dogs
Milo & Otis
White Nights


Four TV shows I watch
local channel 10 news
national ABC network news
Brothers & Sisters
Extreme Makeover, Home Edition


Four places I've lived
Gulf Coast
Intermountain West
New England
Southern California


Four favorite foods
fajita burrito - Christmas Eve Special
prime rib and baked potato plus tossed salad
confirmation chicken
french toast


Four websites I visit every day (making this besides the obvious gmail)
Blogger
Best Friends Message Forums (from Best Friends Sanctuary in Kanab, UT)
eBay
RevGalBlogPals


Four favorite [current] Crayola colors

yellow-orange

denim

bittersweet

plum


Four places I would love to be right now
on the beach, any beach
spring or summer lunch time in the Central Business District--I know, a little strange, considering...
in the desert
gazing out on As the Powder Falls


Four names I love but would/could not use for my children
Like PS, I'm changing this to four cool names for pets:
Indigo
Ebony
Wild Child
Wild Thing