summer solstice!


Friday, July 25, 2008

travelin' gear 5

RevGals can't leave home without 5

Singing Owl asks,"what are the five things you simply must have when you are away from home? And why? Any history or goofy things, or stories?"

Here's my quick list in clumps that explain themselves:

road trip1. wide-ruled spiral notebook; ballpoint pen supply; 9"x12" sketchbook; drawing pencils and markers; some kind of book for random notes and journaling

2. bandanna, hairties, scrunchies, hairclips and barrettes—in the desert or by the sea, a wind might be blowin'

3. iPod loaded with fave music; a few sheets of music manuscript paper in case I hear a song I need to remember

4. sufficient clothes for sufficient warmth and at least one fairly dressy outfit just in case...

5. binoculars, camera, extra sunglasses, extra contact lenses and prescription sunglasses

Friday, July 18, 2008

blog names 5

RevGalBlogPals what's in a name 5

Today I'm answering for both of my blogs that are in the revgals ring: desert spirit's fire! and this far by faith and I'm cross-posting.

1. My by-line is "leah," but my blogger tag is "desert spirit." I love words and combinations of words (I'm a theologian!), so I compiled and considered a list of 50 or 60 possible combinations, and desert spirit's fire stuck. I love love love the implications and especially the reality of the desert; spirit is about the Spirit of Life and our closely related and relentless human spirit; I've been told and concur that I preach and I play the piano with a touch of fire.

this far by faith, after the African-American hymn, was the only possible name for my testimony blog; it's also the title of the ELCA's African-American hymnal:
We've come this far by faith, leaning on the Lord;
trusting in God's holy Word, God's never failed us yet.
Oh, we can't turn back, we've come this far by faith.
We've come this far by faith.

1. Just remember the good things God has done,
things that seemed impossible;
oh, praise God for the victories won.

2. Don't be discouraged with trouble in your life;
God'll bear your burdens,
and move all the discord and strife.

text and music: Albert A. Goodson, alt.
2. In my blogs and in real life I refer to my current geographical location as Paradise, and sometimes I talk about City of History, where I used to serve. Why? weather people routinely call this Paradise and City of History was one of the primary sites where this nation settled and grew.

3. Just a single favorite blog title for today: "You don't have to listen. I just like to talk." It sounds so much like something I'd say, but these days I need to talk and I need someone to listen.

4. I'll pass of listing My 3 Blogs, mainly because other than Friday 5's and some graphic design, mainly on sun country living, I've been neither blogging nor reading lately.

5. I've no idea when I first heard about blogs, but I started blogging during summer 2002, after I'd finished a year-long mini-MBA in Community Economic Development. I was relatively recently back in Paradise and anticipating spending some discernment time; getting some of my existing and older writing online as well as making a place to store notes and handouts from classes I'd been leading and even sermons seemed like an excellent idea, though later most of the class notes migrated to ...urban wilderness... and typing up sermons is too much trouble since by Monday they're already relatively dead.

The only blogger I know in real life is Erin, of "Waves of Mercy," who pastors in this town. But I've talked on the phone with Laura, who blogs at "Junia's Daughter" and several other places.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Christian Bloggers Network

Andrew Jackson has requested all members of the Facebook group Christian Bloggers Network to post on their group-listed blogs (I've got two—this one and desert spirit's fire!) and to invite and encourage everyone who blogs on Christianity-related topics to join Facebook if they're not already there (and who wouldn't want to be on Facebook?), get their blog into the listings, write on the wall and participate in the forums.

Friday, July 11, 2008

summercamp 5

RevGals summer camp 5 outlined by Mother Laura

1. Did you go to sleep away camp, or day camp, as a child? Wish you could? Or sometimes wish you hadn't?
I didn't, and no one could have bribed me to do so. That's one thing I'm still grateful for!

2. How about camping out? Dream vacation, nightmare, or somewhere in between?
I've done some camping out in a sheltered tent-trailer with now-former (due to life happening rather violently) former friends. Once I got past about a dozen hours of high anxiety from not being in the city, I absolutely loved it.

3. Have you ever worked as a camp counselor, or been to a camp for your denomination for either work or pleasure?
Never a camp counselor, and I haven't been to any denominational camps per se, and I know this is a summercamp 5, but my first intro to heavy-duty theology was as an undergrad at a winter weekend at the ABC-USA's Grotonwood, where we got to converse in small groups with Leander Keck. During the summer I've been to Holden Village, a milder form of roughin' it and in the winter to La ForĂȘt—the UCC still uses the facility a lot but no longer owns it.

4. Most dramatic memory of camp, or camping out?
I'll do a topic semi-switcheroo and reference the wonderful though not usually very dramatic 6 weeks of urban (inner-city, actually) day camp I was site director for at the church in City of History; it was in session Monday through Friday mornings. We used VBS curriculum (oh, I know, it's written for a week's worth but we stretched it). The second year I did it senior pastor gave me one of the best lessons in evangelism ever by saying, "Leah, I know this is your program, but bible study is not optional! This is a church program, and what does it say about us if our actions imply Jesus is so unimportant we don't care whether or not people hear about him?!" The first year I'd let a couple of kids from non-Western religious traditions (Muslim, I think it was) sit out bible study, but SP was soooo right, and the perspective-changing lesson I got was dramatic, after all.

5. What is your favorite camp song or songs? Bonus points if you link to a recording or video.
"We Sail a Ship with a Man named Jonah!" I especially love, "Lord, send a fish and a resurrection — Done! and the sea has ceased its raging..."

Friday, July 04, 2008

fireworks 5 for the 4th

RevGals fireworks 5

From across the pond, Sally says:
From my short stay in Texas my memories of the celebrations are of fireworks and picnics, one year we went in to central Houston to watch the fireworks and hear the Symphony Orchestra play, we were welcomed and included, and that meant a lot! So lets have a bit of fun:
fireworks1. In some ways they're basically the same with festive food and fun, but I usually think of BBQ's as including grilling something outdoors and picnics featuring mainly cold food with anything warm or hot carried in at that temperature rather than heated on-site. I'll take either, as long as the food tastes great and there's lots of conversation.

2. Since I live in a beach-laden area and also lived near the beach on the east coast, I'll take home for the 4th. For other sunny summer days spending some time at the beach can be cool, or warm or hot (as circumstances may have it), though our beaches are sandy and I don't care for sand in my food...better yet, a picnic at a table in a park. Lots of them have BBQ pits, and it's fun to grill right there at the park.

3. I adore fireworks! And thanks so much for the wonderful photo! This evening I'll get to attend Summer Pops concert at the Embarcadero (I know the family who does the Symphony's videography, and as a leftover(!) from their original agreement they still get a package of front-row center champagne table seats for each concert), so we'll have live music followed by fireworks over the water. After selected major league baseball games we also have fireworks.

4. Because so much of the music that accompanies local parades tends to be tawdry and the floats can be not great, I'm usually indifferent, but a few years ago on The Other Coast I was one of the artists for the local Assemblies of God congregation for their entry in the Cranberry Days parade. Although I didn't do much in the way of original art, but mainly outlined some stuff for people to paint (most likely I painted a bit, also), I enjoyed watching my creativity parade through town!

5. For my essential Independence Day music, I love playing Stars and Stripes Forever on the piano (I have a plain arrangement I've enhanced and added pianistic bells and whistles to) or with a good symphony orchestra or excellent band.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

swap stuff!

magic wand

Check out this gorgeous, hand-made card with my initial—way over a month ago Princess Mindy sponsored a blog swap and I got to swap with her! I'm finally posting this, though I still need to edit a pic of all the great stuff Mindy at Princess & the Beads - Bits & Pieces sent me (except the long-gone chocolate, of course). On her blog Mindy posted a pic of the stuff I sent her. All my stuff was fabulous, but the most exciting thing was my magic wand, since I'm a princess too!

Mindy  Card