Saturday, June 27, 2009

Angels Sing

Then, when the earth was first poised in mid space,
Then, when the planets first sped on their race,
Then, when were ended the six days employ,
Then all the sons of God shouted for joy. (TLH 255)

In last Sunday's [three-year-series] Old Testament (Job 38) we heard that the angels rejoiced when the foundations of the earth were fastened and its cornerstone laid.

The angels sang the Gloria in Excelsis when Jesus was born (Luke 2).

When Isaiah saw heaven (Isaiah 6), the angels were singing the Sanctus around the Lord who was high and lifted up.

In Luke 15, Jesus tells us that there is much rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents.

In Revelation 7, John lets us know what the angels are singing as they join in the song of the elders and the saints.

When the Bible tells us about the angels' joy and their song, there seems to be a tightly unified theme.

Friday, June 26, 2009


The guys went strawberry picking with me this morning. One pie and five batches of jam later (37 half-pint jars) I am way past ready for bed.

Didn't do schoolwork today, or clean house, or hoe the garden, or haul manure, or do the grocery shopping. So much still on the to-do list. But at least we aren't bereft of jam for the PBJs!

Tomorrow the dump truck arrives with the load of topsoil that will fill in the messy spot left from the spot the pool vacated 14 months ago. Some of that dirt will go into my raised beds. I really wanted to get a good pile of manure under the topsoil, but we don't have to move all that dirt into its proper place tomorrow already. That's something we can pick away at over the next week or two, and then sow the grass seed.

Worried about Organizing

I've been thinking about the post over at Dark My Road on keeping track of all the things there are to do, and how we become anxious over it, and fail to take care of our own need for rest when there's so much to do.

After some time to consider it, I realize the biggest problem for me is not organization. Karin and I have both bemoaned, "If only I could just be a little more efficient, a little more organized, I'm sure I could pull all this off."

No matter how organized I am, no matter what kind of program I can set up to help me, I will never do it well enough. Of course, I'm still gonna try to do what I can to keep up with my duties and serving my family and neighbors. But my biggest crash-and-burn is the expectation that I will find a way to do it right, to make it work, if I just try hard enough or find the right system.

I think the admission that I can't do it has to come first. Then an organizational plan that helps (but doesn't "solve"!) may prove to be of some assistance. But as long as I go on the assumption that I will be able to juggle all the demands on me and somehow keep track of my to-do lists, as long as I continue to listen to the voices saying "do this" and "do that," those demands will cripple me. For me the first step has to be acknowledging, "Yup, I won't get most of it done, and the world will go on."

But I am so reluctant to admit that.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Pretty Well Settled

When we were visiting my folks and Katie in January, whenever I'd wake up in the middle of the night, before I had my bearings I'd be thinking I was in my bedroom back in the parsonage. But when I was visiting Mom this month, in my half-way-awake moments in the middle of the night I expected to find myself in my bedroom in the house where we live now. I think that means I must be settled in here now, and not still thinking of the parsonage as "home."

And it only took a year and a few months....

My Migraine Cure

I'd never had migraines until this spring when I started getting some pretty awful "ice pick" headaches. (Or at least, I'd never noticed migraines before. Maybe the persistent headaches were so bad that the migraines didn't stand out like they do now that the regular headaches have become rarer.)

Cherí and Gary were talking about neti pots after choir one night. I realized that I had not been using my neti pot because I hadn't felt stuffy from a cold. I thought maybe I should try it. I found that feeling like you have blocked-up sinuses may have nothing to do with what's really going on in there. I couldn't get any water to flow through. After a couple of days of whittling away at the rot in my head, I began to be able to use the neti pot properly. But I knew that, whenever I used it, I would get one of those ice-pick headaches --temporarily-- but aiming from the inside to the outside of my skull. It was the exact same pain as the migraine, only backwards. The good thing, though, was that it lasted only 5-10 minutes. Still, it was hard to force myself to the bathroom sink when I knew how badly it was going to hurt. Over the weeks, as I kept at it, I happily realized that I was no longer having migraines. And the mini-migraine pain that had initially accompanied the neti pot had also disappeared.

I get to feeling fine, and then I don't bother with the neti pot. If I forget for more than a week, headaches start sneaking up on me again. Then I have to diligently use the neti once or twice a day to get myself back to being comfy enough to ... well... y'know... forget to keep at the regimen again.

I know there are a gazillion causes for migraines, and a neti pot certainly won't cure most people. It probably wouldn't even help most people. But I was pleased to find that something this easy did so much to ease my pain.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Hanging onto Independence

Older people say they don't want to be a burden on their children. Ill people try to do things for themselves instead of admitting they need help. Two-year-olds demand that mother step back: "I do it MYSELF." Poor people do not want to accept charity. Even apart from human relationships, we sinners don't want to approach God as empty-handed beggars.

But what has happened to our society that so many now are willing to be dependent on government? Is it because we see the government as some far-away non-entity with unlimited resources and no face? Or have we simply belittled hard work and self-sufficiency for so long that we're no longer ashamed of laziness?

Sevin Dust

So much for growing organic veggies.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Random Stuff

Some small strips of cilantro, parsley, and basil are now planted between some of my baby berry bushes. We also replanted the corn, cucumbers, and cantaloupe, none of which came up before. The asparagus trench is nearly filled in; the shoots have grown high enough. The sweet potatoes look like they're going to fail.

Several years ago, when the eye doctor told me I needed bifocals, I refused. I said I wasn't getting them until not having them was driving me totally bonkers. I'm not quite there yet. But I must be getting close because I'm considering it. Boy, my eyes have gone downhill a lot in the last month or so.

We thought about turning on the air conditioner today. Didn't do it. If we can get through tomorrow, the weather looks like it will become more pleasant. But, hey, the beans and tomatoes are probably lovin' this!

I took the kids out shopping today. We bought jeans for those of us who only have one or two pairs that aren't raggedy. We bought underwear and socks for those who hadn't raided my dad's dresser drawers two weeks ago. Normally we manage to get along with far fewer pieces of clothing than most people. But so much of it is shabby. And I keep wondering what's going to happen to the economy, and that maybe we shouldn't count on there being a steady supply of merchandise to the stores by the time we finally relegate our worn clothes to the dumpster.

Two friends from church are undergoing major surgeries next week.

I think I'm going to be helping out a friend with respite care for her mom. (C -- I left a message on your cell phone.)

A young man stopped by the house today to try to sell me some books and computer programs to help my kids keep up in school and get better grades. I wasn't interested; I didn't lead him on. But he was persistent. Not pushy persistent, but nevertheless he kept trying to find something I would spend money on. When I told him we homeschool, he smoothly began asking about what curriculum we use. "Oh, we make it up as we go. Libraries are great." That was only the beginning of the confusing responses the poor guy encountered.

I hope Alia is getting to the swimming pool every day. Hey, maybe Maggie and I should try a lake tomorrow.

While I was stopped at the gas station today, two different sets of lost people got themselves straightened out by a few moments with my local map. Neither one trusted the oral directions given by me and others. The map overrode their skepticism.

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Benefit of Being a "First-Career" Pastor

Subtitled: Why We Should Not Change the Words in the Hymnal and Agenda

Also subtitled: Another Plus for the Historic One-Year Series

When his eyesight starts to fail,
it's awfully good when the pastor is very familiar with the words.

He may not have the book memorized, but if he's used those words year after year for about twenty years before the eyes start playing tricks on him, and the bifocals don't quite have the solution to his problem, his memory in combination with his aging eyes will be enough for him to rightly see the words on the page.

Comportment in Church

There were two pithy and insightful statements made during symposium that I really wanted to remember. One was Pr Bender's on Wednesday afternoon, and I didn't write it down, and of course I got caught up in the rest of what he said and forgot that one line. So when I heard something fantastic from Pr Stuckwisch on Friday, I grabbed scrap paper immediately and started scribbling.

Pr Stuckwisch was asked about congregants' crossing themselves, bowing, genuflecting, etc. Some people do. Most people don't. Those who do, don't all do it at the exact same time. What about that? Shouldn't we be instructed on those matters so that we can be unified?

Pr Stuckwisch said that the people are free to engage in those gestures or not. There is no compulsion. He seemed a little leery of giving instruction in such matters to those who haven't asked, as if it might make laws or rules where there ought not to be any.

However, he said, there's a difference between the people and the pastor. Unlike the people, the pastor is not free to choose his motions and behaviors during the Service. How a pastor comports himself in the chancel is part of his teaching. What is he teaching the people about the presence of Christ? What is he teaching his people about forgiveness? What is he teaching the people about reverence?

Duh. Of course. I had never been able to figure it out, but once he put it that way, it seemed so obvious!

Pea Shoots

Our CSA vegetables last week included pea shoots. It was a new idea to me. You can harvest the top 4-8" of the pea plant. It can be eaten raw -- in salad or just nibbling. It can be stir-fried. It tastes very very much like unto snow peas. This idea lets you enjoy your pea harvest even before the pods have begun to develop.

So as not to be too harsh to the plant, I waited until I had quite a few flowers on my pea plants at home before I tried snipping the tops.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Clovered Laundry

We do not have a golf-course yard. When we drove up to the house after church today, I thought our yard looked so pretty with many patches of white clover.

I just brought in a load of laundry off the line. It smells like clover!!

The moral of the story is:
next time I should make sure to wash the sheets the day before the lawn is mowed, so that I can have the wonderful clover perfume in my bed. Mmmmmm.

At Church

It's always hard when there's a visitor there (or unfortunately, sometimes even a member) who's scoffing. There's something that just gives me the creeps when somebody is laughing about the hymns we're singing or something in the Psalms. I should be glad they're there, in the presence of God's word, hearing it. But there's something about people sitting there with us, making fun of what's going on, that makes me really uncomfortable.

There's a totally different discomfort when somebody has a favorite issue and outspokenly goes to pastors and says, "Here is where they need some improvement. Would you please start preaching more about how they should behave? They need to be told these things so that they can improve their Christian walk."

June 17, 2010

Just to make sure people aren't getting their hopes up...

I am not anticipating that a Thursday night supper and/or party at my house will be a regular part of what my family does during symposium week. When we were in the parsonage, it didn't phase me in the least to invite 25-60 people over for a day. There was more room. This week we had 17 people over in addition to the people who were sleeping here, and the house was plenty full even though most of the people spent most of the evening on the deck. In this smaller home, it would be impossible for us to invite everybody we'd like to have.