Thursday, August 28, 2008

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Grace at half-time

The mid-season finale of Saving Grace aired Monday night.  The death of his brother has caused Ham, Grace's partner, to focus his grief on Grace and their wild, greedy relationship.  Ham tells Grace that he will ask for a new partner after he returns from his compassionate leave.

Rather than staying real and gritty, the writer, Nancy Miller, shows Grace riding a white horse into a misty night at the edge of a lake, with the horse's rearing in front of a full moon.   I think she should have left her crouched in the corner with tears running down her face.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


The leaves on the butterfly weed are coming back just in time for the fall migration.  The plants have been covered with aphids, and no lady bug larvae have been around, probably due to the endless 100 degree days this summer.  But this last weekend, the temps dropped, the larvae showed up, the aphids are gone, and I've seen my first butterfly caterpillar. 

Monday, August 18, 2008

Don't forget to play!

Play, spirit, character

Talks about Charles Whitman and what might happen if you don't let your children play.
Watch a polar bears & huskies play together.   Slideshow

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Feel's like yesterday

Head in a lap, hand on my hair
feels like yesterday.
sweet smile, handkerchief, hot summer night
feels like yesterday
havin' a baby, can't talk right now, get me some gum
feels like yesterday
shaky handwriting, tax returns
feels like yesterday.
hole in my heart
every day

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A grave responsibility

Last month, in the same week, two people had the same response to an idea I had for inviting people to my church:  Too many people might come.  Besides the fact that people aren't exactly beating down the doors to come to my church, I had always thought the point was to have so many people come that you got to make room for them.

In the light of all of my ponderings about God and church and community, I've about decided they may have been correct.  I still think the point is to bring people into community, but I think that I was minimizing the responsibility that arrives with each new member.

Another quote from Inward/Outward, quoting Bonhoeffer's Life Together:

In a Christian community everything depends upon whether each individual is an indispensable link in a chain.  Only when even the smallest link is securely interlocked is the chain unbreakable.  A community which allows 'unemployed' members to exist within it will perish because of them.  It will be well, therefore, if every member receives a definite task to perform for the community., that he may know in hours of doubt that he, too, is not useless and unusable.  Every Christian community must realize that not only do the weak need the strong, but also that the strong cannot exist without the weak.  the elimination of the weak is the death of fellowship.

This quote could just be about making sure everyone serves on a committee or action team, but I don't think so.  To open the links of a chain, insert new links, and close the links is physically and emotionally difficult. When I bring someone to our community, I need to be ready to forge that chain.  Getting them through the door doesn't even compare to the huge task of gathering them into the community.

Another elevator speech that I practice is about my church.  It is said to each new member when they join the church, and I really like it.  It goes something like this:  We believe that we have gifts to share with you , and you have gifts to share with us. 

Putting that into practice is no small task.  

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


From On a JourneyAs much as we wish that Jesus had done it differently -- giving us the rules we crave, launching an institution to feed our pride, creating righteous elites to rule, perpetuating ancient prejudices -- Jesus had these commandments: love God, love your neighbor, share what you have, and don't be afraid. All the rest is our stuff, our baggage, our hunger for certainty, our desire to rule.

Touched by an Angel Theology

At the climax of each week's Touched by an Angel episode, the struggling human was told by an angel that God loved them and had a plan for their life.  When trying to come up with my "elevator speech" about my faith, I decided that I could believe and say this much for sure to anyone.  I now know that the some have a problem with that word "plan", but I can't remember what was suggested instead.  Process? Purpose?

I asked my spin-class pastor friend:  So what is the point of church?  He reminded me and we agreed , community.  And then, I had an email and a chapter in a book when I  got home from the Y about church and community.  It does seem that God's online and continues in print.

From Inward/Outward:  It is tempting to separate the love of God from the love of community—to sever the head from the body—but we only come to know ourselves as truly loved in the context of authentic community, where we are both known and loved.

From Inward/Outward: We begin to find community–one of the most joyous ways of experiencing God. By community I mean a coming together that puts us in touch with ourselves, with others and with God’s

From Finding Our Way Again , Bruce McLaren, chapter 11:   . . .between the realm of private contemplative practices and public missional practices is this realm of shared communal practices that is so easily misunderstood.  Some, of course, overemphasize the communal practices, as if being a Christian simply meant going to church.  Others, sadly, under emphasize them, and they do so in one of two ways. . . First they may go to church without understanding the potential and purposes of the communal practices they encounter there . . . others make the opposite mistake . .. to withdraw from communal practices altogether.

I have been considering the second:  withdrawing from communal practices altogether.  But if  I'm to believe these words, my love of God will be more shallow than it need be if I do.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Tomato Pesto Bread Machine Bread

I share a box with the Librarian.  Now this box is full of vegetables that grow in central Texas and is purchased from Hairston Creek Farms as part of a Community Supported Agriculture program. The challenge is to find new and creative ways to use the same things that grow seasonally in Texas week after week.

Part of the fun has been finding food blogs around the world that have great recipes such as blue cheese, beat muffins.  See nami-nami which originates in Estonia.

As a plus share, we receive pesto.  Since I don't really eat much pasta any longer, the pesto had really built up in my freezer.  Then, I found this recipe on by Linda Larsen.  I'm very proud of myself for adapting it for my bread machine.  In fact, it's the first loaf of bread that looked like great homemade bread that I have prepared with this machine.  AND, it uses 1/2 cup of pesto per loaf!

2t bread machine yeast
2 T sugar
4 T warm water
3/4 c milk
1/2 c pesto
3 c flour
1/4 c finely chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1 T melted butter-to put on the crust after removing from the machine.  I omitted this, too.

The original recipe called for 1/2 t salt so this bread is a bit "unsalty", so I may try adding it back.  I placed the ingredients in the machine in the order suggested by the instructions to my machine and put the tomatoes and pesto on the bottom with the liquid ingredients.  I added the water one tablespoon at a time as the dough was kneaded.  I think the varying humidity in Austin affects these machines.