Wednesday, January 17, 2007

On Being A Sponsor.....

This young lady is going through Confirmation classes. I am going to be her Confirmation sponsor. Fr Ben is our priest and we were listening to our bishop talk to the canidates about Sacraments tonight. I often disagree with my bishop on theological matters. But this was one of those times that he had a lot of important and inspirational things to say.

I liked how he explained the word symbol. With the Greek roots it means thrown together. Symbols throw us or bind us together. Water, rings, st. names, collars, bread and wine, etc.... are all outward symbols of an inward grace.

An interesting idea was that Jesus is the one and only Sacrament with a big S. All the others are with little S's and are the ways we join with the one and only living Sacrament. Baptism is when we use water to symbolize, death so we can be resurrected with Hope, Love , Purpose. I like that he said those who are Baptized know they are loved and marked as Christ's own, those who are unbaptized are loved just as much they just don't know it. Not exactly the way I would put it, but close. Knowing that we are loved and have a purpose with the hope to see it through is all we need to be happy according to him.

Then he talked about the Eucharist. The most important thing he said was that when we accept the Eucharist we have to accept the whole body of Christ....not just the head (Christ), but each and every other person who also accepts Communion or who has ever accepted Communion. We all become part of the bread and the body, meaning we are all tied together for better or worse. He brought up my favorite part...Communion happens out of time, that when we are in Mass it is the same "time" as Jesus and the disciples. The Real Presence is present in and through us.

He mentioned the other sacraments, but didn't have enough time to really go into them with much detail. He did make it a point to talk about how confession--reconcilliation is an Anglican Sacrament and one that more Episcopalians should take advantage of.

Monday, January 15, 2007

MLK Day.....

This picture shows three of my students working together today. I guess I am always surprised when we are open for students to come study and more than half stay home to sleep in. I have one student whose family has a reunion and they attend a special service together. I think that is wonderful and amazing, however, the majority do not observe the day in any way at all.

We read and discussed Letter from a Birmingham Jail today. If you have never read it I highly suggest you do. The kids were amazed at the all the 'big words' he used. They were amazed at how 'educated' he sounded. They were amazed at how he refered back to rabbis, Socrates, Paul, Jesus, and Hitler. They were amazed at how he used history to show that oppressors call people who fight for equal rights agitators. They were amazed that someone would being willing to be abused and go to jail for others. They were amazed that the 'middle ground' caused more harm than those who fought against equal rights. I could keep going with all the things that amazed them.

They also learned how Dr. King felt about just and unjust laws. They heard in his words how non-violence coupled with action changes the world. They heard how 'peaceful police officers' used attack dogs and weapons against children and elderly. They began to get a feel for how strong the people had to be to continue a path of non-violence. They formed action statements for how they would deal with discrimination when they saw it. They heard from my mom who was in highschool when the original letter was published. It made a difference.

We talked about how stereotypes are continued in the media. We talked about how black stars are using their power and influence. We talked about the possibility that a black man could seriously run for President of the US in just a couple years. In 40 years we have gone from Southern Blacks getting murdered trying to vote to the possibility of an African American President. We talked and education being the greatest equalizer.

When one of the moms of one of my African American students came in today, she made a comment about how her son had 'tried' to take a holiday. She told him Dr. King was all about education and that Dr. King would be very proud and honored that he chose to go to classes and be educated. I wish more of my parents felt that way. There is so much to know about this truly amazing man and it makes me sad that his day has turned into just another excuse to sleep and shop.

May we see the eyes of God in every human we encounter.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Butterfly Rosary.....

This is my in the car waiting on someone rosary. I don't get to use it much anymore because the kids are driving themselves everywhere. It used to be a huge part of my daily life, now I almost don't see it. Here is my favorite waiting around rosary prayer.

  • Lord, you have blessed us with these children, grant that the Angels will stay close to guide and protect them from all harm, danger, illness and evil; I pray that these souls will be held in your loving arms and come to know you and love you as you love us all.

  • We are blessed with this life for a short time, we are blessed with your love for eternity.(Invitatory Bead)

  • May God's peace which passes understanding be with you always. (on the cruciform or in this case the butterflies)

  • May Mother God protect you, and keep you free from harm.

  • May Father God give light and grace to you, and keep you in His charm.

  • May Christ send Angels to watch you, as He watches from above.

  • May Mother God give you strength and wisdom, and teach you of Her love.

  • May Father God grant joy and peace to you, and keep you in His care.

  • May Christ bless every part of you, and keep you strong and fair.

  • May God surround you with all goodness, never to depart.

    (Repeat all the way around three times)

  • We are blessed with this life for a short time, we are blessed with your love for eternity.

  • "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." (Proverbs 22:6)

Thursday, January 11, 2007

My Girls....

So different, yet so alike. Both growing up. Kayleigh has been on her own for almost 4 years now, and Athena will be graduating (and probably leaving) in May. They both continue to bless me in ways that words can't describe. They are not little girls anymore, they are strong confident young women making their mark upon the world.
I couldn't be any prouder of them if I tried!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Little of this, little of that....

Brazilian Black Bean Stew.

Joining in and sharing the work, is always a good thing. Making sure everyone is on the same page and understands the goal makes life easier and smoother.
Starting with solid flavors and good ingredients always makes a difference! In life having a good foundation gives you so many more choices.
The colors and smells help me anticipate what is coming and encourage me to keep going. Like the little bits of promise that come just before a project is complete and you get the energy to keep going.
Working together can make jobs more interesting and feel like less work!
The colors are just too beautiful and the flavors are incredible. Just like life, variety is a very good thing.
Over flowing pots lead to messiness, and you have two choices: take stuff away or get a bigger pot! In life you have two choices: simplify or make adjustments.
Growth is sometimes just necessary to hold all the abundance life has to offer.
The finished soup! Like life is complex and tastes best when it has simmered
for a long, long time.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Why was Jesus Baptized in water?

That was the topic of today's sermon. Jesus didn't need to be washed of any sin, he didn't need to join a specific sect, he didn't need to prove why?

Everything he did was to teach us or stand in for us. I personally think it cements the symbolizm of the importance of water to God and to us.

This silver bowl is used during the service by the priest to 'wash' his hands, in place of all of us washing our hands before communion. This models the one doing something for the whole. We can all come to the table fresh because of the deeds of one. Interesting thought....

As I walked out of church, I was drenched in a very cold rain. It reminded me again of the sermon, water is global. In Ky right now this should be snow! Are our actions causing harm to the natural systems that God set up for us? What can I do to live more in harmony with the rest of creation?

Would I appreciate water more if I had to work for a cup of tea? It is so easy to walk in the house and turn on the stove and heat the water. I have a fire going in the fire place downstairs, how much longer would have taken to put the tea pot on the fireplace? How many ways can I think of to be a better steward of what I have so freely been given?

I have heard that the river Jordan where Jesus was baptized isn't much bigger than a creek. I went and looked at my creek today. Where does this water go, who will drink it someday? Am I doing anything to leave it cleaner than the way I found it? Water never stops moving. It continue traveling all over the earth. This little creek water might have been or maybe it is on its way to Jordan. If this water touched the physical body of Jesus does that make it more special than the water I used to make my tea? If people thought certain molecules of water touched Jesus would they think those water molecules were more worth saving than the rest of the earth's water supply?

The gift of water is precious. I think I will be pondering that every time I turn that faucet on. My grandmother used to go balistic when I left the water running. I always thought it was just 'her' being over zealous, but now I think it was her being wise before her time. She didn't have running water, she didn't have any indoor plumbing at all until well into adulthood. She never took clean available water for granted the way I do. Today, I thought about how more people in this world are like my grandmother-- they have to work for clean water, they have to carry it long distances, they have to ration I by my actions making their lives harder or easier?

So, why was Jesus baptized in water!?! Because life is not possible without water and we should never take that fact for granted.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Bubble Fun....

So, it is not very theological to blow bubbles on Epiphany. However, I do think Epiphany is about JOY and what is more joyful than children playing. So, everyone gets bubbles and toys in a goody bag from the wisemen. Wise men know it is important to discover and play!

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

What have I learned today......

I can be busy all day and feel like I still have a million things to do:
Done list....

1) I deep cleaned the family room with Athena's help. We moved furniture, vaccuumed every nook and cranny, and put away the accumulation of 'stuff' that people had just left laying around.

2) I surfaced cleaned two other rooms, but they need lots more work before the party on Friday!

3) I kept getting calls all day from family members inviting more people over, a party of 15 has in 24 hours expanded to at least 25 and maybe more... the more the merrier, but it is a DINNER party and I have to have enough food and place settings.... well, there will always be room at the Kings Feast!

4) I called and got the parts department on the line for the recalled part ot the van to be installed, that took longer than necessary.

5) I made yogurt cheese and tested a cheese cake recipe with it... will know tomorrow if it worked.

6) Photo blogged, cleaned files off the computer, check in on 'the forum', googled more about goats, transfered more stuff from homeschooling blogger to blogspot, lots of other computer fussing that I don't even remember.

7) Started the turkey in its brine, cared for the sourdough starter, loaded and unload and reloaded the dishwasher, and putzed some more in the kitchen... I didn't even make dinner though because we are eating leftovers tonight.

8) Did two loads of towels, straighten the laundry/pantry room while I was in there.

9) Took picutres a couple times today, that meant downloading them a couple times today too, tried to work on Athena's new camera, but it already needs to go to the shop :( ...

10) And last but not least started the Kings Cake, I am going to use a reciepe from Nourishing Traditions that should be very healthy, but it takes 2-3 days to make.

Now: I am not going to list my to do list because it is at least 4 times as long, but the first thing I have to do tomorrow is go to Sam's and buy more food for all these guests and I have just decided to do nice paper dishes instead of real dishes!!!

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

"great buy"

See this nice monitor, I bought it as Dirk's Epiphany present. It was on sale so I bought it. I wanted to surprise him with it. However, something in the back of my mind said I better ask him and make sure it was what he had been looking for. It was, he told me GREAT buy (saved over 150 dollars!!), BUT it didn't have all its cables. SO we bop back over to Office Depot to get the ones they forgot to give me.... the store manager searches the whole store top to bottom 2-3 times, then goes over to the clearance table again and low and behold.... under the table in a random box are the right power cords. No adaptor (which is supposed to be included), but at least now Dirk can actually use the nice monitor. He still needs another one like it or similar, but I don't see it showing up in the near future.....

Right now he has 3 monitors hooked up to 5 computers I think in his office and I am constantly assured they all do something different. And that the space he will save by having only 2 20"-24" flat panels instead of his three regular sized flat screens will help him keep his side of the office neater! (Yeah, right :)) I love my dh, but neatness is just not part of his make-up.

Monday, January 1, 2007

Here it is....

I think Athena did a pretty good job. I can't say I like the picture, but I can say I don't dislike it! It is the first step on a good new road!