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Monday, February 27, 2006

Tuesday Lectionary Leanings

Bacause of the hectic nature of this week, I am posting this a little early. Have a blessed beginning to Lent, y'all.

I am once again going with the Gospel lesson this week, Mark 1:9-15. This first gospel lesson in Lent finds us exploring three very distinct scenes in Jesus’ ministry: his baptism, his temptation in the desert, and his beginning of proclamation of the “Kingdom at hand”.

Jesus himself proclaiming that the time was fulfilled, while his mission on earth was yet incomplete, reminds me of the idea of the “already, and not yet” time that we Christians find ourselves in today.

I think back to when I was pregnant with my children, especially my first child. Was I already a mother, though I had not yet seen my firstborn? I remember approaching those last days of my pregnancy, when I would do almost anything to speed up the process, yet I was quite apprehensive at the changes that would come to my life after he was born.

The writer of Mark’s gospel seems to speed things up to get to Jesus’ ministry. The temptation in the wilderness only gets two sentences! The way Jesus’ ministry is “announced” seems so abrupt, as if the author couldn’t wait to get to the good parts.

Will we have what it takes to get through these 40 days of waiting? How will we endure this time of already and not yet?

What are your preaching thoughts this week?

(Note to those not preaching this week: please participate! The more wisdom the better.)

Monday on the Blogs with Songbird

I'm rolling up my sleeves, friends, and preparing the way around the ring to let you know what's happening out there.

First, go see Wendy at My Backyard, who probes the contrast between those who think a new way of doing church is "emerging" and others who fear the end of life as we know it is the same thing as the end of the world.

P.o.C. writes about how we speak in Worship. Being Shielded experienced Communion in two settings this Sunday. And Ann served her congregation in a different way.

girl reflects on Sue's Sunday prayer and wonders how studying theology affects our experience of God.

Lorna has prayer on her mind as Lent approaches, and Rachel is positively kid-in-the-candy-shop about it. PamBG considers Thirst for Life's suggestion of giving up alcohol for Lent. (Me? I'm not ready for Lent. at. all.)

reverendmother returned to church, but not to work. Carol had unexpected visitors at her church. Thanks be to God for both these things!

Despite her name, Singing Owl is all about the sheep.

Beth is up early and notes the sunrise. And it's not Spring yet, but there is more light, as Natty points out in an audio post.

My update colleague is thinking about the things that change us. Zinnhead mulls over monasticism. The Tentmaker contemplates the one thing that never stops: discernment.

Parents on the list may be surprised to hear that teachers (such as our friend Steph) worry about Parent-Teacher conferences, too!

Quotidian Grace has an absolutely fascinating post (really, I'm serious!) about DNA testing and its impact on tracing our family trees.

rev-t0-be-mibi has so many posts today, I don't know which one to highlight. How about the sweater? It certainly is good-looking. (And maybe I should be founding the KnitGalBlogPals next.)

Even the dreams are Lutheran-flavored at Ruth's place.

The Olympics are over, and Rev Em considers what it means to be a champion. Sister Christer *is* one, having prevailed in the Knitting Olympics. Congratulations!!

(What's that you say? Me? Wasn't I in the Knitting Olympics? Why, I don't know what you're talking about...)

And for Rev. Stacey, knitting led to a moment of vulnerability.

As a public service, NotShyChiRev brings us the news of the week. Amy is in New Orleans and sees signs of hope, while will smama contemplates the news coverage of Mardi Gras. Reverend Mommy shares a video from Make Poverty History. And St. Casserole wants us to know the recovery is far from over on the Gulf Coast.

Memes and Quizzes:

Peripatetic Polar Bear had a great answer to jo(e)'s meme about writing pseudonymously.

Rainbow Pastor catches up with the Friday Five (hey, the whole point of the thing is procrastinating!!).

Caroline gets a reminder of what she needs to know.

And Timothy the cat (at RevHRod's) is typing his paws off!

Phew! Finished in time to watch "24!"

Much ado about Monday

Hello, Dear Bloggers and Readers,

Many good things to report from today and yesterday... follow the links and read to your content! This is the first part of the round-up for Monday -- more to come later!

Jan shares the story of an "ordinary" preacher. What a gift.

Poor Mad Peter has been posting some (old) photos -- the one of Working People is particularly striking.

Katherine's had a happy day all full of color and music and, well, something else!

Don't get Mindy started on Springer or Guerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrra!

Thanks to Canticles I will now be using the phrase "inner brat."

Let's walk with Cathy.

Clever Title Here
celebrated an anniversary and also thinks about blank stares.

It's Thoughtball time again over at Faith or Fiction -- this week 'round it's about Lent.

Thank you, Kathryn, for sharing the Art of Hospitality -- too true that we need it again and again.

There's a lot of cat blogging going on -- meet Wilbur!

Jo(e) has, as many of you do, the amazing knack of coming up with great descriptive names -- and for telling a story that makes you want to read it again and again, even if it's only a few paragraphs long.

Visit Love During Wartime for a lovely Monday poem.

Keep reading and commenting and writing... it's always great fun to read through the blogs!

Pink Shoes

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Sunday Prayer

God of Mystery, God of Paradox, thank you for this day and the blessings waiting for me in every moment. You are at once the Eternal and Unchanging God of our ancestors and the Creative and Dynamic God who dances us boldly into each new day. You accept and love me as I am, and yet, I also feel you celebrate with me at times of growth and transformation.

I thank you for the Mystery today God, and I thank you for the constancy of faith and the assurance of the relationship I share with you in Jesus. Even though at times that faith seems to ebb and flow like the tides......the deep knowledge of your presence remains. That assurance gives me courage to move forward, to test out new and unexplored terrains on my spiritual journey.

Mountaintop or valley, shadow or radiance, you are the God who Stays. Bless all who worship on this day, and help our praise in some small way transform our world into a place of peace, justice and love.


Saturday, February 25, 2006

Saturday Afternoon - Alphabet, the Early Letters

Dear Ones,

Welcome to Saturday afternoon! I am on retreat and it is a joy to have peace and silence as I visit your blogs. The community I share with you all adds to my worship each day.

Jan is back from her roundtable and back to blogging, too. Guess who else is blogging - someone very important to Mary! Go check out her post about the new & exciting blog...

Poor Mad Peter shares more Old Family Photo blogging, and info on his new Lent-specific blog - go learn about what he is adding for the 40 days. WOW!

Katherine is enjoying some marvellous new tea. BethQuick is in Mississippi with a Methodist clean up team and has overheard a little something good. JWD has been to see Sweet Honey in the Rock and gotten just absolutely filled up with sound. The Bible Bloggers are in Psalms (I'm trying to catch up, y'all!)

Chaplain Mom is still thinking about the DMin and asks for prayers for her father, R. Cheesehead tells such a sad story, and remembers an old, old friend. Clever Title has a lovely prayer shawl that she adores.

Conjectural Navel Gazing refers us to two articles: Small is the New Big and Small is Huge. Hmmm. Eternal Echoes is thinking about Transfiguration, and HeyJules is thinking about DEBT. If you have been waiting for your prince, go see Cats'. She is sharing, and I say, Oh Thank you.

Leslee's got a dandy CONTEST for us! Everyone go play. Girl is in Saratoga Springs and thinking much. Kathryn's got some dandy Friday Cat Blogging going on, and so does Net.

I love Emily's writing spurred by the Friday Five. She says: "There are some moments in ministry that don't get wrapped up neatly, that don't fit in a scrapbook or a shadow box, just pieces I want to hang onto, but never know quite what to do with."

Hit the Back Button is playing the Mega Church game. Jo(e) is playing the Pseudonymous Meme, and Kinesis shares a wonderful video.

Did you know Jane Ellen was in Hawaii!? That'll teach me to miss reading blogs for a few weeks!

Wishing you all silence, stars, and a rainy night under a tin roof.

Saturday AM review

We're now following a new schedule for postings on the webring blog and I am charged with the task of summarizing today and yesterday's posts. Mary Beth of Terrapin Station will review and post on the first half of the blogroll sometime today. I find it suits my schedule best to review and post on Saturday the Last shall be First!

Songbird had a lot of players for the Friday Five Friendship Meme. My award for best response in the latter half of the blogroll goes to Will Smama.

There are several posts with explicitly religious themes. Jean writes a lovely meditation on the Transfiguation. Micah Girl urges you to Let Prayer Change Your Life. St. Cassarole posts a beautiful prayer she wrote for the Presbyterian Women's Memorial Day Worship. Songbird tries to write her sermon on the Transfiguration but instead tells the story of her third date with Pure Luck. She must be missing that boy a lot!

Richard at Looking Backward Looking Forward posts two position papers supporting same sex marriage, if you're interested. Intrinsic value and orthopraxy ("right practice") are the subjects of the day over at Wendy's. Rainbow Pastor seeks resources to help balance the need to set boundaries as her "part-time" job is becoming "full-time" vs. the sense of call. I'd like help with this problem, too.

Some of you gave us personal updates. Lutheran Chik's dog just LOVES Frank Sinatra. You can catch Susan Rose's latest post via a Blog2 podcast. Miranda looks forward to getting back in the pulpit again to preach at her alma mater. RuthRe plans a trip to Philadelphia. Getting the chance to Eat Grownup Food makes Juniper68 rejoice!

Lorna is back from a week's holiday and reports the skiing and reading were both great. Amy used to live in New Orleans and writes about returning this week for Mardi Gras to find her old house in ruins in a touching post called "How Desolate the City." Stacey is not feeling well but notes her first blog-versary. Peripatetic Polar Bear is out-of-sorts, too--feeling Grouchy and Googly.

Welcome new ringmember PamBG from the UK by stopping by her place to read her report of a presentation by Steve Croft about Fresh Expressions, which sounds a lot like Emergent Church to me.

Random bits and pieces: Philosophy Over Coffee's weekly Friday Pop Culture Roundup is up and he also posts a heartwarming story. Rambling reacts to the news story about the 62 year old woman who gave birth. Recent news events prompted Steph's response. Steve at Twerpette shares great ads from the Church Ad Project. I note that you're too late for the Birthday Party.

This week I didn't spot any new quizillas or blogthings going around the blogosphere. Are you giving those up in anticipation of Lent?

Let us know what's going on with you if I missed noting it and watch for Mary Beth's summary later today when the First part of the blogroll will be the Last covered.

Grace and peace to you all as you prepare for worship this weekend!

Friday, February 24, 2006

Friendship Friday Five

I've been reflecting this week on the gift of friendship, of people who will be there no matter what you need or when you need it. Sometimes a friend accompanies us through a dark place or dances with us through a joyful time or simply walks down the road of an ordinary time beside us.

Name five friends who have been there when you needed them.

If you play on your blog, leave a comment here and let us know!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Thursday Poetry Blogging

I wrote this a couple of days before Ash Wednesday last year. So here it is as we begin our journey toward Lent, Palm and Passion Sunday, Holy Week, Jerusalem, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter.

The time of the ashes has come.
They are dark and gritty against my skin.
Oily and caustic they are drawn with a fingertip lightly.
Yet they burden me with their weight.

The time of the ashes has come;
Joy has ended.
The cost of estrangement is growing
The regret of things not said and done
Has overtaken me.
Damn you God! How dare you be silent!
I can only pray with clenched teeth.

Hate overwhelms me,
My anger consumes me,
My antagonist overtakes me,
But he wears my face.

The time of the ashes has come.
The altar is calling me and beguiling me and rips at my soul.
How long oh God?
How long will the desolation be?
How long will my tears be dammed?
My God! The heaviness of my heart cannot be borne.

Yet God is found at the ash heap
God finds me as I scrape at my sores
With the shards of my own brokenness
piercing the boils and tearing my own flesh.
And the blood runs freely down mingling
with the drifting ashes
a black unholy snow.

God is always at the ash heap
Mourning His lost and corrupted creation
crying the tears I cannot.

"Create in me a clean heart oh God.
And renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from thy Presence,
and take not thy Holy Spirit from me."

(yes, I know, it's rather egotistical to post your own poetry, but I am short of time today and didn't want to spend time looking for something else....)

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Wednesday Round-Up Part Dos

Great job Net with part numero uno... hopefully this won't be Charlie Sheen's sequel.

Tammy Jo gives us a glimpse at a Second Chance.

A raid on the inarticulate has found her son's blog.

Anna at All Manner of Thing has some book recommendations.

Poor Mad Peter posts on property and love.

Bad Alice gives us a review of M. Scott Peck's Glimpses of the Devil. And then she proceeded to scare the begeezus(sp?) out of me.

Brother Terry has been examining the emerging church and finds he might be one of 'em.

WELCOME TO THE WORLD SOPHIA ELIZABETH! Shhhh! Quit your yelling, can't you see the baby is sleeping?

You can read Cheesehead's helpful lectionary post here or here.

Where can you find popcorn carts, a dappled gray mare, a purple galabeya and oh so much more? Clever Title Here has the answer.

conjectural naval gazing; jesus in lint form. The name of the latest Praise Music songbook? NO! It's tripp's blog. Check it out!

Erin has my kind of diet.

Contemplative Chaplain could use some comments from you visitors.

Eternal Echoes encourages us to talk about Jesus.

Hey Jules has figured out Lent.

Gord is an INFP.

Leslee has found a quiz to determine what flower we are. In the next post down she asks What is one place you have seen that only a picture can adequately describe?

If you haven't caught onto Girl Gone Great's Day in the Life series then you haven't been laughing as hard as you could be on Tuesdays.

Kathryn proudly introduces us to her very first loaf.

Net had a parsonage inspection and has the backache to prove it.

Hazlenut Reflections has held a press conference to discuss her dropping out of the Olympics. The good news is that this will allow a much younger knitter to get some great experience in the competition.

Are Tuesday's weird?

Here is a confession. Hit the back button to move fwd is one blog that intimidates me. When I hang out there I feel like the dorky youth director in the cafeteria who no one wants around while the cool guy with the guitar and the sunglasses is over there with the football players.

Sophia needs some down time.

Sue gives us poetry: More on Salvation. It is good to know he is not your boyfriend either.

Jo(e) gives us a window into her childhood.

Kinesis posts about something I cannot even BELIEVE is happening. I saw the CNN headline myself but figured it couldn't mean what it sounded like. Wow, was I wrong.

Continuing in the 'things that should not happen' vein preacher mom posts about prejudice.

THIS is not a porn site.

Another blog that intimidates me.

Lutheran Chik likes the drugs.

Becky has found the Simpsons personality test.

Jean has some comments for the Russian Orthodox Church.

Susan Rose is planning a retreat in the rain.

And finally my farcical existence has posted her word cloud.

I want to leave here before the choir shows up (don't you judge me) so I will check later for errors... as always please add to the comments!

Wednesday Round-Up Part Uno

Hi Gang! I'm net from grace happens and I am absolutely excited to be part of the PA Tag Team of will smama and net. will smama and I will be sharing the Wednesday Round-Up duties.

Susie tagged us with a Presidental meme.

Sister Steph over at Narrow at the Outset is pondering, "Just who are the marketing whizzes over at the pharmacutical companies for the little blue pill and natural male enhancements and why are they sending adverts to her?" Too funny, Steph! Go figure.

You can find Philosophy Over Coffee's book review of The Organic Church by Neil Cole. Thanks for reading it, PoC and explaining what it means for me.
Prayer Requests: ScoGblog at Pilgrim Blogs Progress (Sounds like she has a full plate!) Girl at Processing Life needs our prayers because she's going through a rough spot. Joe feels kinda burned out.

Reverend Mommy is musing about "church stuff" - women clergy. Thanks for being so honest about your struggle. I've been a "trailblazer" for three churches now. Thanks to juniper68 and Songbird for your comments! What a terrific support group we have!
And speaking of Songbird, she has a big dog to groom. Any helpers?

I'm all about double-dipping and so is Pink Shoes in the Pulpit. Mmmmm. Dill Dip. Salsa. Guac. Cheez Whiz ...

wills mama discusses the peculiarities of wearing two hats - pastor and mommy. Hey, we can all relate! Sometimes pew sitters Just.Don't.Get.It.
Grace happened for Chaplain Lydia . Yep, grace has a way of sneaking up on you! Grace also happened for PJ at Young Punk Pastors . Really good stuff!

Quotidian Grace invites discussion about the imposition of ashes on Ash Wednesday. Good stuff!

Check out the guests at revdrmom's birdfeeder!

Hope and pray Purechristianithink gets moved and settled in soon. Sure do miss her!

G'day revem! Glad you got your chai, chi - or whatever - flowing!

Whistle & Fish are almost six months old - yeah! Micah, Jasper and Asher send their rubs and greetings! Check out their poses at St. Cass' place.

Rev Amy at Talk with the Preacher gets serious by "devoting a whole lot of time to questions I really could care less about." Those of us with children who have inquiring minds can sympathize, Amy! My 23-year-old son is a Research Assistant and his questions now really have me stumped!

Singing Owl has a chowder recipe that sound incredibly awesome! Thanks to aforementioned son, I do have a walleye in my freezer.

PPB over at the The Ice Flow has had a tough time with this Life Guarding Course, but persistence and assertiveness pays off. You go, PBear! (BTW, have you ever heard that wonderful '80s classic "I Want to be a Life Guard" by Blotto? Sorry. I digress.)

Beth has given the "author of the Book of Hebrews" a name. Can you guess what it is?

Joel, The Tent Maker is in a place we can all relate to. Be blessed, Joel! You're among friends! Keep on being faithful!

The Lone Barista is engaging in my favorite activity of late: Quizillas!
On a side note, I've volunteered to help edit Ordinary Time. Wow! From the few entries I've done, it is going to be FANTASTIC! I write as I speak - duh; but you others ROCK! I'm not worthy!
That's my part of the Wednesday wrap-up. Stay tuned for will smama. God's blessings, ya'll.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Ordinary Time Book -- more news

First, many thanks to all who have posted their devotionals for the Ordinary Time book. There are many, many, many entries still outstanding.

Did you sign up to write one or more entries and not submit it/them? Please check the grid at the Ordinary Time blog to be sure we have your entries. If you signed up but are not able to fulfill your commitment, please e-mail Songbird (

Since we are well past the original deadline, please submit these entries as soon as possible, preferably by Friday, February 24th.

Thanks to all who are working on this project. Our Advent book raised over $1000 that will go to Church World Service's ongoing hurricane relief efforts. It's amazing what can come from one suggestion!

Tuesday Lectionary Leanings

Good morning! Although I am one of the very early members of RGBP (I think I've been around since day one)this is my first posting ever to this blog!

As part of our newer, improved format we are trying some new things in place of the round-ups. Please let us know if you like the changes.

I am starting a new thing with my congregation, a Monday evening lectionary discussion group of the upcoming Sunday's passages. I found that in discussing this new learning opportunity, few people in my congregation knew what the Revised Common Lectionary was, or why/how a preacher would want to use it. If you want to know more about the RCL, go here.

I am concentrating on the Gospel lesson for this upcoming Sunday, Transfiguration Sunday on the liturgical calendar. The passage is Mark 9:2-10.

My initial thought is this: Why is Peter so eager to build a monument to what he has seen?

A few years ago, I had the occasion to visit an actual Olympic village:Squaw Valley in California, the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics. Squaw Valley is now a ski resort, of course. I tried to imagine what it must have looked ike all those years ago, filled with people, and the excitement of the games. But today it is an empty shell. There are signs everywhere commemorating the games gone by, but the Olympic Village looks kind of pitiful by todays standards. The momument they built to those days did not stand the test of time in the way that the games themselves do.

What are the ways we build momuments to our experiences of God? Are we willing to live into the moments of transformation instead of building booths of rememberance of days gone by?

What are your preachng thoughts this week?

(Note to those who are not preaching this week: please participate as well! The more wisdom, the better!)

Monday, February 20, 2006

Ordinary Time book news

First, many thanks to all who have posted their devotionals for the Ordinary Time book. There are 2 dates left needing writers. If you would be able to sign on for one or more, please leave a comment here today. The dates and texts are found below.

Did you sign up to write one or more entries and not submit it/them? Please check the grid at the Ordinary Time blog to be sure we have your entries. If you signed up but are not able to fulfill your commitment, please e-mail Songbird.

Since we are well past the original deadline, these would need to be submitted as soon as possible, preferably by Friday, February 24th.

**updated Monday evening:

Thank you to our brave new editors, Gallycat and net!! Thanks also to James who has done some editing. James, if you read this, could you e-mail me?

And there have been writing offers, too!

Saturday 21-Oct Psalm 104:1-9, 24, 35c -- thanks, Mary!!
Sunday 22-Oct Heb. 5:1-10 -- thanks, Cats!!

Sunday 29-Oct Heb. 7:23-28 -- thanks, Sally!!

Saturday 4-Nov Psalm 146 -- thanks, Gord!!
Sunday 5-Nov Heb. 9:11-14 -- thanks, LutheranChik!!

Sunday 12-Nov Heb. 9:24-28 -- thanks, tripp!! (and welcome!!)
Monday 13-Nov Heb. 9:24-28 --thanks, Amy!!

Monday 20-Nov Heb. 10:11-14 (15-18) 19-25 -- thanks, Susan Rose!!

Monday, Monday

It's your friendly neighborhood Songbird, taking on the round-up for Mondays, in concert with Pink Shoes. We're trying a few new things on the blog, and these divided round-ups three times a week are among them. Look for round-ups on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. Tuesdays we will have a lectionary prompt; Thursdays will be for introductions and profiles of ring members; Fridays will still feature a meme, but I will be sharing that duty with reverendmother when she returns from maternity leave.

Now, on to the ring!

Wendy at My Backyard writes about a moment of recognition and healing.
RuthRE wonders what to write on a cake for a beloved pastor.
P.o.C. quotes Theodore Roosevelt.
juniper68 responds to some questions raised by reverend mommy.
will smama finds going to the pediatrician to be somewhat frazzling.
Quotidian Grace shares the 7 Song Meme; here's are much more high-flown than mine would be! (Darn those boys putting Fatboy Slim on my iTunes!)
Caroline is visiting D.C.
Rev. Dr. Mom took some beautiful pictures this morning.
Revem is taking Tai Chi.
reverendmother makes me cry with her beautiful poem.
Closer to home, we survived the slumber party.
Being Shielded shares some close encounters of the undergraduate time.
Mark is counting down as he awaits important news.
Amy assures us that Jesus is *not* her boyfriend. (Nor mine, girlfriend.)
Peripatetic Polar Bear's last two posts are all about fun with words. (Teehee!)
The Tentmaker is thinking about how to do church.
Stacey is under the weather, but she still has to walk the dog. (Believe me, I feel your pain!)
Twerpette ponders bandying.
Natty loved her weekend.
Beth's to-do list for reading week makes me tired!
And last, but not least, zinnhead catches up with the Friday Five.

Go and visit your ringmates, and leave comments! We all love the comments, don't we?

Sunday/Monday, Part I

JWD wants to know the going rate for the Tooth Fairy. Perhaps our next endeavor should be tips and wisdom gleaned from the RGBP community...

Brother Terry writes about the Demon of External Validation... ah, yes.

I am in LOVE with this cat

Preaching, liturgy and survivor island ... anglobaptist's got it all.

Contemplative Chaplain posts about her connection with her father -- truly a beautiful entry to read.

Eternal Echoes shares about one amazing lady.

Monday Night Thoughtball -- Spiritual Warfare -- go check it out!

Girl Gone Great shares a meal that sounds so good that I recommend reading the entry after eating -- I, on the other hand, will be back after scavenging in the kitchen...

Kathryn expresses some guilt, but also some excellent observations and thoughts from a recent foray.

Emily's thinking about Lent and self-denial -- and wants to hear from you! LutheranChik is also looking ahead to Lent.

Sue thought on her feet -- particularly impressive for a Monday morning!

Take a look around the ring, there's lots of good stuff out there!
Pink Shoes

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Sunday Prayer

Holy One, Creator of Life and all that is Good, help me to breathe deeply and take in the beauty of the day. As my mind tries to call me back into its busy-ness, guide me to the place of peace that you invite me to find.

Today you are doing a new thing, as you do each day. Help me to be energized by your presence and activity in our midst. In our worship this morning, we welcome with great joy a little boy who will be baptized. May this new time in his life be a blessing to him, his parents and god-parents, and all of us who commit to walk with him in faith.

As our worship ends with the benediction, so our service begins with our Annual Meeting. Be with us God. Bless our sharing and reflections on the year past and hover close as we move into our future together.

God, today I hold in prayer especially the people of Minnedosa United Church, Manitoba. Their church burnt to the ground last Saturday night, and today their congregation meets to make some decisions. Bless them, pour your Spirit upon them, and may they know that their brothers and sisters in faith are lifting them in the light. Amen.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Saturday Changes

Announcing a change in the round-up schedule of the blogring-- Mary Beth and I are now dividing the Saturday review of the blogs. We divided the blogroll alphabetically, with Mary Beth taking the first half and me the second. The Saturday round-up will include a review of Friday posts other than responses to Songbird's Friday Five. Sunday will become a sabbath from the review and the Monday team will review Sunday and Monday posts. Other changes are in the works and Songbird will post them once they are finalized.

So take a break from Winter Olympics coverage, fire up that computer and log on with me to some good reading from the webring!

Speaking of the Friday Five, Lutheran Chik added a "Bonus Rant" to her answers that many of you will appreciate.

Lent begins March 1 and Steph has posted some thoughts on Lenten practices that will prompt us all to begin thinking about our preparations for that season. Rebel is moving, but left a post asking you to name your choices for favorite/worst Lent/Easter hymns.

Looking Backward posts the United Church of Canada's statement about the controversial cartoons and questions its conclusion that "racial hatred" motivated those who created and published them. "Don't gamble on Cheney", warns fellow Montanan Jean. Brian McLaren, the Emergent Church guru, is in Australia and led a conference Rev Em attended. She posts some of her responses to that experience.
Rachel, who left the Unitarian Universalists for the Episcopal Church, reports that a play based on her baptism was recently produced in a UU church and that the book she contributed an essay to is now available for pre-order. The weekly Pop Culture Roundup at Philosophy Over Coffee covers a book, a move, a TV series, live theatre and music-- he's a busy guy. Christian servants are the subject of reflections by Rainbow Pastor.

Personal musings included St. Cassarole 'fessing up, Susan Rose spending the weekend with her "groovy sisters", Pondering Perfection revealing that he's "hit the wall", Stacey announcing "things I'd like to know about my future self", and Lorna announcing a week's vacation from blogging.

Several of you had questions you'd like help answering--
"When and why do you comment on blogs?" asked Pink Shoes.
"Why does it seem the conservative theologians go by their initials instead of their first name?" wonders What Is Your Only Comfort.
"Should I participate in the Challenge Walk?" Preacher Mom wants to know.

The Johari Window craze really swept the blogring this week. Latecomers in the latter half of the alphabet were Caroline and Rev Dr Mom.

Want to start your own mega-church? Visit me for more information.

Now back to your regularly scheduled Olympics programming, but watch for Mary Beth's post later today covering the first half of the blogroll. Leave a comment if I overlooked you!

Friday, February 17, 2006

Winter Olympics Friday Five

1) Which of the Winter Olympic sports is your favorite to watch?

2) Do you speak Snowboardese?

3) Define Nordic Combined. Don't look it up. Take a guess if you must.

4) Curling. Please discuss.

5) If you could be a Winter Olympics Champion just by wishing for it, which sport would you choose for winning your Gold Medal?

Let us know in the comments if you play!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Thursday Poetry Blogging

The New Jerusalem

William Blake

And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England's mountains green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
On England's pleasant pastures seen?
And did the Countenance Divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among these dark Satanic Mills?

Bring me my bow of burning gold!
Bring me my arrows of desire!
Bring me my spear! O clouds, unfold!
Bring me my charriot of fire!

I will not cease from mental fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England's green and pleasant land.

I yearn sometimes for the healing of this broken creation. Blake hated the results of the Industrial Age -- he hated the near slave labor conditions, the rampant materialism, the pollution to his beloved England. How do you express this yearning in your own life?

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Wednesday Round Up

Creative title, no?

Be sure to welcome our newest member rev em!

There appears to be a proliferation of Johari windows all complete with their own set of apologies for taking part in this latest craze. I say no apologies necessary. Imitation is the highest form of flattery and the window is pretty sweet. So relax and enjoy princess of everything, cheesehead, Inner Dorothy, luctor et emergo, my farcical existence, possible water, rev dr mom, reverend mommy, Songbird, peripatetic polar bear, girl, and Singing Owl.

To experience the flip side be sure to give a look at the Nohari window as spotted at the almond branch.

If I missed your Johari or your Nohari, let us know in the comments and I will add your link.

Folks for your own safety when doing these things please keep your appendages within the car at all times and remember that most folks are rating you on what they know of you from your blog - not your actual multi-dimensional, fantastic self!

For sanity's sake I will highlight the posts with today's date only(2/15):

Brother Terry had one of those real moments in the pulpit that both terrifies us and inspires us. Rock on bt, rock on.

Cheesehead has some reflections about this week's lectionary passage and how she is seeing it right now in the light of a transition at her church.

Now I realize Dylan does not need me to advocate for her and I am breaking my 2/15 only rule and yet I encourage you to peruse her blog if you haven't already and read some really great (imho)stuff. "Bono mentions people like me" is what caught my eye, but there are others... and there will be more.

Eternal Echos reminds us to breathe... with beautiful visual imagery. With breathing comes the reminder of God's all-encompassing love.

Another cheat, but I though folks might want to know that Gord's babe appears to be doing well in utero.

Me thinks fresh cut flowers is hungry!

Girl gone great has actually gone mad and she's got the complaint letter to prove it.

Grace happens has a run at some of our favorite quizilla's. I will need to hurry up and finish this so I can find out what winter sport I am and what rejected crayon I am. Be sure to go find out what Grace is... too funny and yet another reason to hate the Wizard of Oz (you read that right Dorothy!)

Hazlenut's brain is mush.

Jane Ellen defies a groundhog to conquer the ultimate sign that spring is right around the corner.

Congrats to kinesis who is quite happy with exam results.

Love During Wartime is shooting for a certain number by a certain date.

Susan Rose reintroduces herself.

Finally! The recipe for Chocolate-Chunk Bread Pudding I have been looking for thanks to nueva cantora.

Philosophy over Coffee has returned sooner than we thought for another cup. Glad you're back and recharged!

I am breaking the rules again but this next blog is too genius to ignore. Hee, hee, hee... did I get you?

I cannot put into words the travesty that Quotidian Grace sheds light on. You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll seriously reconsider your own church's fundraisers. Wow.

Rebel is sifting through items to be moved and in ways is also sifting through time. It can't be THAT long ago, can it?

Is that a mugshot of Caroline? Good luck, friend.

CONGRATULATIONS rev-to-be-mibi!!! Your "to be" is closer now than ever before.

Wondering who that smarty pants is at the front of the classroom? Look no farther than Reverend Mommy! No worries, rm, I hear the first step is admitting you have a problem.

Can anyone keep up with Lorna? The woman is learning 6 languages, taking 23 courses and contemplating at least 9.3 very deep theological concepts all at one time. Meanwhile I am checking up on Tom and Katie at huh. Maybe there is a lesson there.

Uh. Oh. Pure Luck has only just left and already Songbird is posting pictures of her dogs. Are pictures of empty chairs soon to follow? Hang in there girlfriend (o)

Soliloquy posts eloquently about what can happen when a door is left wide open when it could have been slammed shut.

Terrapin tells us about her valentines.

Natty asks "what does your candy heart say?".

I ran through the whole durn list so if you posted after I passed or find this in error please adjust in the comments.

Have a great night!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

A Valentine Story

It was a Valentine's Day long ago, seven years to be exact. I happened to find myself at the mall shopping for new foundation garments. Pushing the 3-year-old Very Little Princess in a stroller, I made my way into Victoria's Secret. It was chock-a-block with harried looking male customers who, given that the hour was approaching 5 p.m., had clearly left their Valentine's shopping to the last minute.

After choosing some new underpinnings, we lined up to pay for our selections. Very Little Princess began looking around. We had been shopping in the garden variety cotton undies section of the store, but the items displayed near the cash register were somewhat more, shall we say, exotic.

Very Little Princess caught sight of a brassiere that intrigued her.

At the top of her lungs she cried, "Mommy, look at those bee-yoo-tee-ful BREASTS!!!"

The already uncomfortable men standing in line looked studiously away from us.

Happy Valentine's Day to all!

(Want to share a Valentine's story? Leave a note in the comments!)

Monday, February 13, 2006

Monday's Random Round-Up

Monday Round-Up to follow ...
Series of events (including shots for Baby Boy at 9 month appointment) today and a meeting tonight (because it's my Sabbath....) indicates that the round-up will be done later....
If you'd like, round-up among the comments... I'll peruse yet tonight.


The Randomly selected are...

Check out the amazing image at Possible Water. It might be too strong to say that I was mesmerized, but it's quite lovely.

There's this new thing going around... The Johari Window... I first saw it at RevDrMom's place (also at Songbird's, PPB and Cheesehead).

Kathryn recounts Venice and I left her site lamenting, "I wanna go..."

Apostle John couldn't sleep, so he did the 5 Meme.

Wendy shares her thought that more people should be speaking out (Note: She updated between the time that I read her blog and went back to get the URL for the Round-Up... She's become a window-seat woman...)

Hazelnut Reflections blogs about a Beanie Baby sermon -- check out the comments on that post for more information...

NotShyChiRev shares the Candy Heart Identity.

Leslee blogs about personalities.

And, as we're reading about Sunday Snow Days from Will Smama and What is Your Only Comfort, know that those of you impacted by this weekend's storm are in the thoughts and prayers of all -- blessings as you shovel out.

Pink Shoes

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Saturday Reading Notes

This will be an early morning review of recent blog postings on the ring. I'll morph into Mother of the Bride Mode around noon when Portia and her fiance plus Babs arrive for a quick weekend visit from Austin to attend a family baptism tomorrow at Tall Steeple Church in the Woods. Of course, we'll try to tend to a few wedding issues while they're here.

There were lots of players for Songbird's Friday Five (check the comments on her post below for all the players). The subject was goodbyes, and coincidentally brother terry blogged about saying goodbye to his employer as he prepares to enter ministry on a full-time basis. A difficult colleague is troubling Girl Gone Great at work. Susan Rose is counting down the days to her transition with the Groovy Sisters while Natty astonished herself. And Chaplain Mom has just made a big decision about her professional future.

Singing Owl
discusses the connection between weather and spiritual well-being, but Rev Dr. Mom just wants some snow. Poor Mad Peter finds similarities between the traditional cultures of the Ojibway and the Irish through the gift of an Irish poetry book. Friday is poetry day at jo(e)'s, so log on for yesterday's offering--slam poetry. Lutheran Chik is joining in with her own Friday Poetry blogging. James has great posts on Care of the Clergy and Labyrinth (what a prolific guy he was today!). Adventures in dentistry occupied Hey Jules.

All Things Computer Department: Reverendmother has random thoughts before the computer's battery dies. Join Peripatetic Polar Bear for Fun and Fear with the Site Meter and keep an eye on Friday Mom's place where changes are afoot.

A friend and colleague of Cheesehead's suffered a horrific carjacking at church, keep her in your prayers. Bad Alice celebrates Firecracker's birthday and the progress she has made over the last few years. Nehemiah is occupying the Bible in 90 Days Bloggers. Dylan wants Bono to adopt a new cause. The weekly Pop Culture Roundup is posted over at Philosophy Over Coffee.

RevGal Knitting Olympians: in addition to Songbird (see post below) you can add Emily and Jane Ellen to this group taking the challenge. Anyone else? ~singing the Olympic song~ Casting on for the gold!

BlogThing Roundup: The 5 things lengthy meme is really making the rounds as RGBP's tag each other. This one I saw last at Rainbow Pastor's. The 25 Weird Things meme was spotted at Shield the Joyous. Leslee is running a caption contest--and what a cute picture! The Politics Test was up at Yodabeth's. St. Cassarole played How's Your Inner Child?

Procrastinator of the Week award goes to...Following Frodo where I spotted both What Instrument Matches Your Personality? and the Muppet Personality Test. And who is Miss Piggy? So glad you asked. So far it's PPB, jo(e) and me. But of course!

If I missed noting something new with you, please note it in the comments. Enjoy your weekend!

UPDATE: I just came across an important post that I missed last night. PPB is helping organize a virtual cassarole drive for a very special little girl and her family whose insurance limits have been exceeded while medical expenses continue to accrue.

Friday, February 10, 2006

No one has noticed it

maybe but me?

Looke here. Congrads LutheranChik! The one, the only, the original!

Knitting Olympics: Team RevGal

Are you a RevGalBlogPal who is participating in the Knitting Olympics? If so, click over to my blog and grab the button I've created for Team RevGal. It's in the sidebar.
Happy Knitting!

RevGal Friday Five: So Long, Farewell

On Sunday, my husband leaves for a two-month job out of state. In honor of his departure, I give you the "So Long, Farewell" Friday Five.

1. How do you say goodbye to someone you will see again soon?

2. What is your favorite foreign word for "goodbye?"

3. Have you ever planned a special farewell for someone, or had one planned for you?

4. What is the hardest goodbye you have had to say?

5. What is the most romantic goodbye you have seen in a movie?

And a Bonus question for Musical Theatre geeks: Which Von Trapp child would you like to be in "So Long, Farewell?"

Please leave a comment here if you play on your blog!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Quickly, Quickly

Slowly, slowly, very slowly creeps the garden snail.
Slowly, slowly, very slowly up the garden rail.
Quickly, quickly, very quickly like a little mouse,
Quickly, quickly, very quickly, all around the house!

Because I am moveing slowly, slowly, very slowly this morning, I'm going to wait until tonight for the roundup.

A couple of quickies though:
I post The Best Church Commercial. Ever.

Stacey and I seem to be dwelling in the same sort of place right now. Blessings on you Stacey!

Chaplain Mom is contemplating the next step.

And now I'm out of time. The church has called me and it's time to go put out a few fires. (Rats! They found me! =o) )Until tonight, dear friends!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Please Let Us Know

No round up from me. Migraine.

Please talk amongst yourselves.


Tuesday, February 07, 2006

It's Tuesday afternoon--do you know where your blog is??

In today's quick trip around the ring we:

Say hi to new ring member Walk Humbly.

Muse with Blanket in the Grove about kids in worship. Read about the Danish cartoon crisis from our ring member on the scene in the middle east. Consider Jo(e)'s ettiquette questions. Wonder with Wendy about where to draw the line. Share Pink Shoes' reflections on 10 important things. Consider major changes with Chaplainland. Look at patterns with Cheesehead. And enjoy Gavin's guestblogger's on the scenes report from the Emerging Church event at Yale. Feel free to point us to anything exciting happening in your neck of the blogwoods.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Random Round-Up

Using the Random or the Next feature of our Webring, I bring you nine (because everyone does ten) of today's updated sites. In no particular order....

1. ScoG Blog has been a busy bee...

2. Rebel without a Pew shares some amazing discoveries...

3. Eternal Echoes asks a question about ecumenism; share your thoughts with her!

4. Cats is taking prayer requests, even presidential ones...

5. Houdini caught a mouse!

6. Lake Effect has happened to Grace Happens...

7. Stop by Revsongbird's site today...

8. HeyJules blogs some More Thoughts...

9. And Katherine shares a find from spring cleaning... I'm only slightly bitter (or is it just cold?) that she can call it spring cleaning.

Sunday on the Cusp of Monday

Sorry for the Monday middle of the night-ness of this Sunday roundup! Spent the weekend with my parents and took the long way home by mistake. :) Note that if you go too far WEST in West Texas when you are lost, you see exactly the same thing as you would see if you hadn't: mesquite, cactus, really dry land. 'Twas a relief to get back in to my own eco-area (still dry, but with trees; more visual interest to keep me awake!).

Joe has been approved for ordination come June. Congratulations and blessings!

TammyJo and Alabaster Jar have links to Bono's sermon. BethQuick has a review of Ending Hunger Now.

St. Casserole updates on the Katrina Zone, 6 months out.

Did you see ReverendMother's musing about what scripture YOU would share on a door-to-door call?

Mary shares her appreciation of the variety in styles of worship available in the Church of England.

Peter has a suggestion for what not to read when drinking milk in bed. Go see the cool 3-D pictures at Eternal Echoes!

Katherine's been entertaining family, and if you haven't read about Mindy's SuperBowl party yet, you're in for a treat (and Smallest Angel reminds us this is Souper Bowl Sunday, too). JWD's mom has been visiting, too.

Will's Smama's baby boy is one year old!! Seems like Reverend Mommy's older baby is becoming not a baby any more.

Rebel is in the process of moving, and remembering youthful moves. Songbird remembers her mom's last gift.

Canticles is moving forward with her possible change of venue. Chaplain Mom is busy and apparently her thumbs are, too.

Cheesehead's been tagged for the Fives meme! Better go see if she tagged you, too!

HeyJules has been thinking about Lent. And Blogger has been helping by eating her posts as she writes them. (Hey Blogger - we don't need THAT kind of help. Thanks.)

Gord & his congregation are beginning the Bible in 90 Days. Go for it!

HermeneuticLand has a whole passel of blogthings for you to play with. Mark has posted the dreaded 100 Things!

Singing Owl is back and has dreamed of playing the ukelele at VBS. I wanna go where she is going this summer! First Year Minister has gone off on retreat.

Hit the Back Button is drawing bloggers from his youth. Janellen is getting her background checked. LutheranChik has a comment on the 'cartoons of death.'

Richard is seeking your stories of welcome. SusanRose muses on spiritual energy efficiency. Steph's thinking about the movies. Lorna is working on letting God prune her branches...though she's a little uncomfortable with the gardener He's using. Being Shielded is reading many different sermons on one week's lectionary.

SisterChrister has a music blast from the past. RevHRod is thinking about a tattoo (on herself).

Saturday, February 04, 2006

New Excuses for Not Round-uping

With apologies to all the RGBP's:
--I got in this afternoon after several days in St. Louis at the Presbyterian Christian Educators' Annual meeting;
--To find the electricity off in our area for about 3 hours :
--Then Blogger wasn't working, either
--And the dog ate my homework.

Please give your updates in the comments and I'll be back next week with a complete Saturday tour of the webring. This wasn't a good week for the round-ups with everyone working to get their Ordinary Time Devotions completed. Next week should be better!

I counted

108 out of 180 devotionals posted. There are several of you who have told me you will post this weekend -- thanks. If you are unable because of circumstances, I have some understudies waiting in the wings -- drop me an email and let me know. No problem.

If you have moderator privledges, go ahead and start editing. Check for verb/tense agreement, punctuation and all those sorts of things. When you have edited a piece, put on the very TOP your name and the date that you edited.

I'll copy the devotional over as soon as each has been editied by two or more people.

If you want to BE an editor, drop me an email.

Thanks for all the hard work. I've read several of them and they are wonderful. Each voice is like a jewel.

Friday, February 03, 2006

RevGal Friday Five: Dirty Deeds

In honor of the devotional I have not yet written about Herod’s rather inhospitable behavior toward John the Baptist, I present to you the Dirty Deeds Friday Five.

You will no doubt be shocked to hear that Lesley Gore recorded a cover of “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap.” Please name five deeds you have performed unwillingly, half-heartedly, resentfully or inadequately. Feel free to interpret the word “deeds” as loosely as suits you.

(Quote AC/DC if you wish, but please confess to no actual crimes.)

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Here's a fast round up.

It will be what I can do in the time I have:

Jan has blogged on people who range from Fred Phelps to Coretta Scott King.
I got stuck on Mary's blog playing with the wordcloud. Again. I think I'm addicted.
Katherine found cuteness.
And today Bad Alice is sponsored by the number 12.
Beth is at an Young Adult Clergy gathering. It struck me, I'm too old now!!! Wah!!
Prayer Alerts! Rachel has left a very cryptic blog entry. Has she gotten a diagnosis? Keep her in your prayers. Revmom/Cheesehead had a visit by a demon. Please hold her in your thoughts and prayers today. Sounds like she's needs some special TLC. Teri is also asking for prayer.
Mindy is doing something with her panties. Really. Check it out.
JWD is enjoying her mother's visit. But the previous entry about the sudden spewing of scripture somehow reminded me of, um, me on occasion. =o)
My dear friend and fellow pirate Brother Terry asks a question of us in blogland. As do I. Well, mine are a series of questions.
Tell all the birds, Church lady has some good seed. Yeah, baby.

OK, outta time. I'm going to go check on the Ordinary Time postings. BTW, they are accumulating quite nicely. Keep up the good work!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Ain't Gonna Happen

Folks, a round up from me ain't gonna happen. Please comment on what a slacker I am and how ingenious your latest post is below... except for those of you who have not finishedyou know what... Get Back to Work!!!