Saturday, April 03, 2010

Bits from Vigil -- Candlelight

We're so accustomed to electric lights.

Holding my candle tonight, in the dark in church, listening to the most beautiful words in all the liturgy*, eyes closed and head bowed, I could see the light of the candle dancing on the outside of my eyelids. A flame is nearly alive. So different from electric light bulbs. It's why we need real candles and real oil lamps --real flames-- as light in our churches.

O God, You are like a refiner's fire, and Your Spirit enkindles the hearts of Your faithful people with the fire of Your love. Bless, we implore You, this new flame and those who keep this joyful Easter festival ...

* This is the night when You brought our fathers, the children of Israel out of bondage in Egypt and led them through the Red Sea on dry ground...

Bits from Vigil -- Genesis 1:12

And the earth brought forth the tree that yields fruit,
whose seed is in itself, according to its kind.

Jesus is the Vine. (John 15)
He is the firstfruits of them that sleep in the earth. (1 Corinthians 15)
Whoever abides in Him bears much fruit. (John 15)

When you make His soul an offering for sin,
He shall see His seed,
He shall prolong His days. (Isaiah 53)

And here, silly me, I'd always thought that first chapter of Genesis was primarily about science and botany and zoology, with a few theological overtones. Maybe it's the other way around: thoroughly theological with a few science points which can be drawn from it too.

Seven Last Words

Matthew and Mark record only "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?"

Luke has three: "forgive them," "today you will be with Me," and "into Your hands I commend the Spirit."

John has three: "behold your son," "I thirst," and "it is finished."

Interesting. Matthew and Mark and Peter (Mark's apostolic authority) weren't there at the cross. Luke's apostolic authority was Paul; Saul was probably there with the Pharisees who were murdering Jesus. Luke also relied heavily on Mary's eye-witness accounts; she was at the cross. John was at the cross, too, and he reports details that Matthew and Mark wouldn't have been there to hear.

(I like in the Passion how Mel Gibson shows Christians in the court of the high priest, the court of Herod, and the court of Pilate. It makes sense that there would be. And it would explain how the Church came to know some of the conversations that transpired that Thursday night and Friday morning.)

Pastor pointed out that it would be particularly important to Paul --given his background as a Pharisee and his persecution of Christians-- to ensure that Luke include the words of Jesus from the cross where He prayed for those who "know not what they do." In other words, Jesus was praying for Paul Saul. And the repentant thief was promised heaven, as was Paul. Finally, when Saul murdered Stephen, Stephen's last words were the same as two of Jesus' here; no wonder Paul wanted those words recorded in the gospel.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Potato-Planting by the Moon

Experiment year-#2 begins.

Mom told me that my grandma believed that it was important to plant potatoes by the moon. I could never remember, though, whether you were supposed to plant at the new moon or the full moon. Story goes that planting at the right time results in plenty of potatoes; planting two weeks later gives you lots of green leaves.

Last year we didn't get started on the garden until late. It was cold and wet. By the time the neighbor tilled for us and we received our order from Jungs, it was mid-June. I got those potato eyes in the garden as quickly as possible. The yield was miserable: three potatoes per hill.

Melody says to plant potatoes on Good Friday. That would be just after the full moon. (Moon phases determine the date for Easter.) Between Melody's advice and the beckoning of the sunny warmth of outdoors, I spent Thursday afternoon tilling the garden. Today two short rows of potatoes were started. By October I should have round-two of our experiment done.

It is amazing to me that I got ANYthing done around here today, with three church services, a visit to the pedorthist, and a late wake-up because of last night's prayer vigil. Happily, planting wasn't that hard in the light, fluffy, airy, crumbly, lovely soil that resulted from all that pulverizing tilling yesterday.

PS: If you haven't heard/seen the footage of the congressman who's worried that Guam may capsize (yes, you heard me ... capsize) if a US military base is built there, you can find the you-tube snip on Melody's blog.

Farewell to My Birkenstocks

I picked up my orthotic inserts today. Even though I'm wearing shoes [SHOES? shoes???] I think it kinda feels good on my feet. They warned me to be careful and only wear the inserts for a few hours a day to start and to gradually work my way up. He said it will take a few weeks after becoming entirely comfortable in them before the leg- and foot-pain begins to lessen.

Right now, though, I am having a hard time adjusting to the mere thought of wearing anything but Birkenstocks. Ten years I spent in Birkenstocks. People made fun of me for my hippie shoes. Countless times they poked fun at me for my wool socks with my sandals in January. After that many years of thinking of myself as the-Birkenstock-girl, I'm beginning to realize that my Birks are part of my identity.

Okay, I acknowledge that that's pretty weird. But nevertheless, who am I now that they're gone? Am I still me?


Jesus was crucified on Golgotha -- the place of the skull. The cross was driven into the place of the skull.

He shall crush your head,
and you shall bruise His heel.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Catch Up

Paul is home for Easter break!

I spent time outdoors today, hauling manure, spading garden, doing lessons with Maggie. I love sunshine.

I get stressed out when there are blogposts in my mind, wanting to bust out, and I do my regular work and don't indulge my desire to write.

I'm going to have a day and a half next week with no kids. I might have to sew that winter dress I've been needing for the last several years. IF I can find any appropriate material, it should be marked way way down at this time of year. Or maybe I'll just spend the time tilling the garden.

Gary preaches for Maundy Thursday. It is so hard for him to find time to write a sermon in the couple of hours he has at home, especially when there are away-from-home commitments in the evenings.

Another day and a half till I get my shoe inserts. I'm hoping this will alleviate a whole lot of pain, and resolve some health problems that came in the wake of the pain.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Today's Laugh

I think my son-in-law misses my daily jokes. He's hunting some up for me. Little does he know that I have a couple of goodies that I haven't gotten around to typing in yet. But only a couple. Somehow gardening and housecleaning and schoolwork have taken priority over joke-hunting.

So here's one from Nathan --

What happens to pastors who eat chili dogs?

They have to sit in their own pew.

Monday, March 29, 2010


I saw yellow tulips in the neighbor's yard, against the nice, sunny south side of their garage. Wooo hooo for spring! My columbine, sedum, and daisies that I planted last year are all looking spiffy and healthy. Oh boy! The red tulips planted by the previous owner are coming up thicker and stronger than last year, and the leaves are 7-8" high now.

But I still don't see even the tiniest hint of the daffodils I planted last fall. Maybe they're very late daffodils? Maybe I will have to replant next fall.

Somewhere underneath last fall's leaves I managed to find last summer's compost. I dug some out, added it to part of a raised bed, and plunked down some spinach, lettuce, beet, and kohlrabi seeds. I should have salad fixin's just in time for Andrew to get his braces on and for Paul to be done with spring semester.

CCA Symposium Registration

The registration form for this June's symposium in Sussex/Waukesha has been uploaded to the church's website.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Voting for Socialism

Brief clip of Maxine Waters during a House hearing nearly two years ago. It's making the online rounds, so you may have seen it already. But if you haven't, be sure to see what the Democrats admit their plans are.