Showing posts from September, 2014

Acts of Hospitality

A reflection on Philippians 2:1-13 and Matthew 21:23-32 for Proper 21A
A young woman approached the check out line at a grocery store. With a thick accent she asked if the person standing near by was in line. The person could not understand her and got a little exasperated. The woman was embarrassed by her inability to communicate. She left the store in tears and hurried back to her home. To soothe her sorrow she decided to make a cup of tea. Pulling a mug from the cabinet, she thought of her grandmother. Her grandmother was known for her hospitality, always offering someone a cup of tea. Why not invite my neighbors in for a cup of tea, the woman thought. And before she could lose her courage she went to her neighbor’s homes and invited them over. Six people were available to join her for tea. Before long her house was known as a place of hospitality, where a cup of tea was always offered, along with a listening ear, and lively conversation. 
Hospitality is an expression of gratitude. H…

Friday Five: Applesauce and other fine fall treats!

Deb, over at RevGals offers this Friday Five, after canning applesauce and apple butter: 1. What’s your best homemade treat? Is it worth all the effort? (It doesn’t have to be something canned. ) I make a lot of food from scratch. I tend to be seasonal in what I make - potato salad, cole slaw, a mixed veggie sautee of zucchini, tomato, kale, onion and garlic, refrigerator pickles, and salsa have been favorites this summer. I have also made several amazing zucchini bundt cakes and layer cakes with dark chocolate chunks. I have a good recipe for a dark chocolate layer cake with zucchini that is a family favorite. Heading into fall I like to make oatmeal cookies with dried cranberries (or cherries) and white chocolate.  2. At our house, applesauce and football are the harbingers of fall. What are they at your house? In the fall we cease grilling and begin to make roasts and pot-roasts, chili, and stews. I like to play around with chili and make it with different kinds of beans, seasonings…

Just the Basics

A reflection on Exodus 16:2-15; Matthew 20:1-16,  Every day, all around us, on street corners and the exit ramps of highways we see them. People who are struggling, people who have deep needs for the basics, people who share a portion of their story in a few words: homeless, need money.  What do you do when you see a man or a woman holding a sign at an intersection?  Do you pretend to fiddle with the radio or suddenly notice an interesting cloud in the other direction? On a certain day in Oklahoma City, if you had turned your head, you would have missed Doug Eaton's birthday celebration. Eaton turned 65 that day and decided to celebrate by spending 65 minutes handing out $5 bills to people driving by.  He stood at an intersection holding a sign that said: "I have a home . . . and a car . . . and a job. Do you need a few bucks for some coffee?" People didn't know what to think. One driver said, ”I think this is the craziest guy I've ever seen in my life.” Others said,  …

Friday Five: New to me....

Jan, over at RevGals offers this Friday Five: Only afterwards, do we realize that we have “found” something that we like–like a new way to look at something; a new (to me) author; a new song or hymn; a new food. Today share with us something that you like that seemed surprisingly “new” to you sometime in the near past. It could even be a RE-discovery. Here is a list, but you can choose your own five items you would like to share! Please join us today in playing FF. 1. author - When I find an author I like I tend to read all of the books written by that person. Lately I've read a lot of Anna Quindlan. I also really like novel written by Amanda Eyre Ward. But mostly I am reading books for the Spiritual Direction Internship and the Family Systems workshops I am taking this fall. They are excellent books - Extraordinary Relationships, by Roberta M. Gilbert, for example, is fabulous.  2. shampoo - My latest favorite shampoo is a brand I found at "Sally's" that does not use an…

Ministering to Ministers

Several months ago I volunteered to host a RevGal event called "ReGroup." This is the second time I have organized a RevGal event, and the first time I've hosted one. The first event I helped organize was the BE 2.0, held many years ago, when I lived and worked under very different circumstances. I was really sick that week - some crud that blew through the Arizona dust storm

and left me with a high fever and serious sinus issues that made me foggy-headed.

But it was still fun.

I met a lot of RevGals and learned much from Wil Gafney and her book, "Daughters of Miriam." The exercise I remember most from that event was "She-verbs" - replacing some Bible text with "she." (okay, maybe I don't remember that well, after all?).

The most fun of that week for me, however, was our after-the-event road trip to the Grand Canyon.

This time the event was held at the church I work at and the focus was very different. We gathered to learn a tool to help…

Friday Five: Randomness Returns

RevKarla, over at the RevGals offers this Random Friday Five: 1. If you could sneak away anywhere this weekend, right now, all expenses paid, where would you go and what would you do? If I could go anyplace in the world for the weekend? I've always wanted to go to Paris, but a weekend trip wouldn't be long enough. I'd settle for a quiet place in the country - high up in the mountains or near a body of water. A place where I could walk, sleep with windows open and feel the cool fresh air blow over me, have someone else make all the meals, drink delicious tea with cookies, and have a great glass of wine. I'd read, and sit. Oh, and having yoga classes provided, would nice too. 

2. What is for lunch today? (one of the very first FF I ever played asked this.) I'm not sure, but I do know lunch will be with Martha Spong, who I knew first as Songbird when she helped me launch this blog in 2006. Martha is in town for the RevGals ReGroup program called Administry - finding ways…


We are creatures, creatures of love We are creatures, creatures of love From the sleep of reason, a life is born We are creatures, creatures of love -Talking Heads

Walking to yoga I tend to keep my eyes aimed toward the ground, on the look-out for uneven sidewalk, fallen branches, and other potential trip hazards. Of course I am also looking around me, aware of bicyclists, other walkers, and four legged and winged creatures who inhabit the woods that border the sidewalk. The smell of the river, buried in the woods, but visible in places along the way, is usually potent. It’s a river under going significant cleaning from waste that has polluted it. Lately, however, the river does not smell, it must be the overabundance of rain water and fast moving current, keeping it clean?

Inevitably as I walk with my gaze toward the ground I see crawling creatures, and at least this summer, a ton of hopping tiny frogs. So many frogs on the sidewalk, in our backyard and in the garden that I’ve been on the …

Nurturing an Attitude of Gratitude

Several years ago a woman and her friend and their 5 children, all under the age of 6, attempted to go to the zoo. The friend had season passes, making for a fun, inexpensive day out! However, it was obvious from the minute she got in the car, that the friend was having a bad day.
They arrived at the zoo and it was packed! They had to park in the farthest parking lot, the one that wasn’t even paved. Then they trekked to the front gate pushing strollers overflowing with kid-stuff. After waiting in line for nearly an hour, the friend realized that she’d lost her wallet. She started to panic so they pulled the caravan over to the side and started looking through everything. The backpack, the diaper bag, the under the stroller storage area… nothing. She ran back to the car while the other mom watched the kids. Nothing. She searched her bags again, no luck. 
So they told the kids that they weren't going to the zoo. The kids started crying. Then the mom’s started crying. They were all dis…


I needed to walk. I needed to walk a lot. 
It was one of those days when a snarky email got me going, interior-wise. That kind of interior work, choosing to not be knee-jerky, is hard for me. When my initial reaction is loaded with spit and vinegar, I know I need to move my body, but not my fingers on the keypad. It’s part of my on going effort to become better at self-differentiation, better at not responding to some comments or emails, better at letting the other person just sit with their words, not having my reaction to justify their immature behavior. 
So, I walked.
I walked to yoga, one of my favorite (almost) daily walks. The walk takes me along an urban forest that lines a small river. Looking into the trees I always see something beautiful: deer eating leaves, nestled safely behind the dense branches, but really only a few feet away; a red-tailed hawk standing on the edge of the grass, who looked me straight in the eye until I was a three feet away, and then it flew off; a famil…