Sunday, July 22, 2007
When I hear the word wicked, I think of Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked this Way Comes. I love this novel because of the themes, learning to not desire the undesirable, to be comfortable in your own skin, and not being tempted by 'the green on the other side.' These are the ways you resist wickedness. They are the ways you conquer evil. More often than not we are our own undoing. This story shows how we destroy ourselves, because the wickedness comes from within us. There is no boggieman, except for the one we create.
The next thing that comes to mind is the quote from McBeth, "by the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes" said by the witches. I get that prickly feeling when a bad person is near. It almost gives me chills, but again Macbeth was his own undoing. He had a pretty good life, but wanted more and that is what the witches promised. In his mind the end justified the means. When we start thinking that way, we are truly on our way to real wickedness.
Click here for more wicked thoughts!
1. On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 high), how would you rate your theological knowledge and breadth/depth of reading?
Overall probably a 5, I have a general breadth, but I only have depth in the ancient and medieval theologians. I have very little knowledge of the theological debates of the last 100 yrs.
2. What thoughts and feelings come to your mind when you hear the word “theology”?
To me, theology is just a fancy word for working out how humans relate to God and vise-versa.
3. Who is your favorite theologian, and why?
It is hard to pick just one, but if I think about someone I read over and over, it would have to be Julian of Norwich. Her images of Christ as mother and lover, mean a lot to me.
4. Who is your least favorite theologian, and why?
Is Jerry B. Jenkins, considered a theologian?! He wrote those awful Left Behind books. I think his theology is just wrong, but so many have bought it hook, line, and sinker. Charles M. Sheldon would be a close second for the WWJD craze that was almost as bad.
5. Which theologians have you been meaning to read, but have not gotten to yet?
Rosemary Radford Ruether (I have only skimmed her work), Dietrich Bonhoeffer (I have read about him, just not much of his work), Gustavo Gutierrez (I have an interest in Liberation Theology and he was recommended)....
I am very much in the middle between the two and don't really consider myself either one. SO, my favorite Catholic theologian is Thomas Merton, I enjoy reading and thinking about everything I can get my hands on by him. And my favorite Protestant theologian is John Shelby Spong, not because I agree with him, but because he asks really great questions!
7. What theologies do you love like a rescue dog that saved your life?
I get pretty passionate when discussing exegesis, and other things that have to do with interpretations and how to interpret.
8. What theologies do you see commonly abused and wish people would stop it?
I don't know the name of it, but it has to do with 'winning souls' for Christ. People who go on mission trips to see how many of the 'unclean' they can personally bring to Christ. The mission is a success if X number of souls are 'won'. It is all about the conversion moment and not the journey.
9. What theologies do you think are from the pit of hell, inspired by demonic powers?
Eschatology, yuck, yuck, yuck! I think using future fears or rewards to motivate people to do the right thing now is just twisted! I think the whole rapture movement gives the wrong picture of Christ.
10. What theological concept is most needed but ignored in contemporary Christianity?
I would like to see more and learn more about Liberation Theology and the Divine Feminine. I see more that bashes them then actually discusses the ideas they bring up. I think both concepts have a lot to say to the average person.
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Monday, was pretty frustrating. I went to see my accountant. She told me I had to raise my prices by 1/3 to break even. We also did some research and found that cottage schools and private schools in my area charge double to quadriple what I charge for fewer hours, larger class sizes, and no personal mentoring/tutoring. I can't figure out why I feel quilty for raising my prices, but I seriously do. My accountant says it is all about my feelings of self-worth and that I am not valuing myself or my skills enough. She is frustrated with me because I pay my housekeeper, my tutors and even my students and parents who do work exchange for tuition well, but I don't expect the same for myself. I didn't think you were supposed to cry at the accountant's office.
Then to top Monday off, I was supposed to come home to finish the house cleaning with Dirk and Nathan, and both of them disappeared for the whole day. It was also Mom's big chemo day. She felt pretty good when she got home, but the weeks when she gets both meds are the hardest.
Tuesday, I worked with 4 students, did some housekeeping and cooking, and waited for a visit from my aunt and uncle. About 4pm we got a call saying my aunt had just been admitted to a local hospital because they thought she had a stoke. It was a bit disconcerting to say the least. Mom didn't feel strong enough or well enough to go to the hospital to see my aunt and my uncle didn't feel like he could leave her because every time she seemed to be getting well, she would have a bad spell. (She is ok, they ruled out stroke and many more serious things. It seems to be migrain related)
Wednesday, I worked with 3 students, did more cooking for Nathan's B-day. His day kind of got lost in the shuffle of people to and from the hospital. He had a nice group of friends come over after dance class and help him eat his DQ cake and watch a movie. I finally got to go to the hospital to see my aunt, it was a nice visit. My sister went to the airport to get my cousin. Mom was not feeling well at all, she had a strong cough she couldn't shake and every movement made her nauseous.
Thursday, I worked with 4 students, we did lots and lots of MATH in the morning and played our role playing game in the afternoon. We also did quite a bit of cleaning. It was nice to have their help. Mom was hitting her worst day as far as feeling sick and weak goes. Dirk was also having a bad day. It was getting ready to storm and that pressure makes all his pain issues much worse.
When the storms came I lost a tree and lots of branches. The tree blocked our drive just as a new parent was coming for an entrance interview. Dirk went out in the storm to move it with the tractor, but it was too heavy for our little tractor. After fighting the tree and losing(with bruises and a couple deep scratches as battle wounds), he came in changed out of his ripped and soaked clothes and took some food up to the hospital for my aunt and uncle.
Friday, I had two students and all they wanted to do was rearrange the furniture again and cook. However, before that happened we did a math lesson. They are on the last few lessons of the Saxon Alg. I book and many of the concepts and formulas are proving to be a challenge for them.
My aunt was released from the hospital and made it to our house to see my mom! We had a nice brunch of quiche and fruit. It was a great visit, even if too short. My aunt was still a bit weak and my mom was better, but still tires fast. It was wonderful to see my cousin and my uncle as well. They are both funny and tell good stories.
And now it is Saturday, my challenge for the day is to pay too many bills with too little money and move more furniture around! It is a total transformation of the house, but I am liking the direction it is going. I also have to seriously investigate a leak. It looks like the downstairs toilet is leaking under the wall and into the adjoining room. I have also been thinking about the Sunday Scribble topic of 'wicked' and I plan on picking up a copy of Harry today to.
Monday, July 16, 2007
It was a fun test to take. I like the way it lets you use a sliding bar and even a grid format rather than multiple choice or yes-no answers. Here is what it said about me:
You are an Inventor
Your imagination, self-reliance, openness to new things, and appreciation for utility combine to make you an INVENTOR.
You have the confidence to make your visions into reality, and you are willing to consider many alternatives to get that done.
The full spectrum of possibilities in the world intrigues you—you're not limited by pre-conceived notions of how things should be.
Problem-solving is a specialty of yours, owing to your persistence, curiosity, and understanding of how things work.
Your vision allows you to identify what's missing from a given situation, and your creativity allows you to fill in the gaps.
Your awareness of how things function gives you the ability to come up with new uses for common objects.
It is more interesting for you to pursue excitement than it is to get caught up in a routine.
Although understanding details is not difficult for you, you specialize in seeing the bigger picture and don't get caught up in specifics.
You tend to more proactive than reactive—you don't just wait for things to come to you.
Your independent streak allows you to make decisions efficiently and to trust your instincts
You're not afraid to let your emotions guide you, and you're generally considerate of others' feelings as well.
You do your own thing when it comes to clothing, guided more by practical concerns than by other people's notions of style.
If you want to be different:
Try applying your creativity to more artistic arenas, and letting your imagination take less practical forms.
how you relate to others
You are Considerate
You trust others, care about them, and are slow to judge them, making you CONSIDERATE.
You value your close relationships very much, and are more likely to spend time in small, tightly-knit groups of friends than in large crowds.
You enjoy exploring the world through observation, quietly watching others.
Relating to others so well, and understanding their emotions, leads you to trust people in general, even though you're somewhat shy and reserved at times.
Your belief that people are generally well-intentioned contributes to your sympathy regarding their problems.
Although you may not vocalize it often, you have an awareness of how society affects individuals, and you understand complex causes of people's behavior.
You like to look at all sides of a situation before making a judgment, particularly when that situation involves important things in other people's lives.
Your close friends know you as a good listener.
If you want to be different:
Because other people would benefit immensely from your understanding and insight, you should try to be more outgoing in social situations, even when they make you uncomfortable. Others will want to hear what you have to say!
Sunday, July 15, 2007
We don't realize how much of our identity, sexuality, and self-confidence is wraped up in our hair until it is gone. Maybe, it is because it is one feature we have some control over. Unlike our noses, we can decide how long our hair will be. Unlike our eyes, we can easily change the color of our hair. Unlike our weight, it seems easy to change the volume of our hair with curls or straight irons. It is how others identify us, "the girl with red hair, the man with the black curls." It is how we attract and maybe even keep our partners.
If you see a man with very long hair, he is making a social statement. A woman with really long hair is making a religious statement. A teen with a pink mohawk is making a personal statement. A young male with a shaved head is making a political statement. Why do people with straight hair spend so much on perms, while those with curls spend so much on straighteners. Are they trying to make a statement or have they bought into the "fashion industry's" line that none of us are good enough the way we were created? All the money spend, tears shed, and assumed misconceptions, just because of a few million cells coming from the tops of our heads. If none of us had hair, what yard stick would we use to size people up?
Our hair is often a connection to our family and our heritage. It can also be a painful reminder of not fitting into the family, like being the only wavy blonde in a family with straight black hair. People often think they can tell someone's race by the color and texture of hair. They think they can tell just about everything about us by our hair. The question it leaves me with is do we try on the "hair" because we want the stereotypes and fantasies that go with it to be associated with us, or are the stereotypes based on the personalities of the people who make the choices?
Make sure to read the other great posts on hair by clicking here, it seems this sparked lots of thoughts this week!
Thursday, July 12, 2007
May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing you are a child of God. Let this presence settle into your bones,
and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of us.
Sunday, July 8, 2007
The topic this week "slippery."
When I think of the word "Slippery" these are the first things that come to mind: emotions, life, finances, relationships, memory, strength, health, ice, water.... it is strange to me that ice and water, the literal definitions were the last to come to mind. It is also strange that as soon as I started thinking in the concrete the thoughts stopped.
A slippery life can feel like it is just slipping through your fingers and the more you try and grab it the less of a hold you have. Life should be slippery and smooth, silky and sensual. To often it feels more like a wrestling an oiled pig, not very enjoyable at all and too much energy for too little reward.
A slippery, smooth, silky, sensual life would be one that was fully in the moment, alive, moving forward and enjoyed to the maximum. Really good ice cream, sun rays peeking through the clouds, a great wine, wonderful sex, amazing chocolate, playing with a baby, beautiful clothes, big beautiful flowers, feeling the Peace of God, and lots and lots of laughter. It would be a rich life, fully lived within a greater Community. The Peace would slip right through your fingers and into someone elses, as more and more continues to slip your way.
My 10 minutes is up...
Tuesday: one student showed up, Dirk was still having trouble controlling his BP, but Mom was doing ok. She had to go in early to get a scan of her spine where they think the cancer might have spread. I went to get the meds for Dirk.
Wednesday: One different student showed up, Dirk is still not getting his BP under control and Mom is loosing handfuls of hair. Even when you know it is coming, it still takes a little to get used to. I did grill and watch 1776, but other than that it was a very uneventful day.
Thursday: Three students, Dirk still has high BP, but feeling better and pulse is much better. Mom is not having a good day.
Friday: WOW, this is the kind of day you might think back and laugh at in 20 years or so. Four Students all using the day as make-up. The day starts out just fine, boys are working in the yard, Dirk and Mom are doing well, and I am feeling like I am getting lots of planning done for the Fall Quarter. Then about mid-morning the boys decide it would be fun to drive Dirk's car up the drive way and back, our driveway is over a 1/4 of a mile long. Nathan had left the keys in it so that all of them could listen to the music while working outside, something else I don't allow! They are allowed to take out radios or personal music devices, but Nathan has been told before my cars are not personal stereos!Anyway Nathan went off in a different car to get the mail and the other boys 'chased' him in Dirk's car. Nathan has been given permission in the past to move the cars while he is working on them, but he has also been told not to do it while other students are on property. All plans I had for the rest of the day were put on hold while I dealt with these guys. Everything is worked out now, they have some stiff consequences to follow through on, but I think they matured quite a bit in just a couple hours. I know I age a few years in the same couple of hours :)
Then around 4pm I was told we would be having 12-15 people for dinner. Most of them teens, but also my BIL and FIL whom I really enjoy having. Problem was I had been planning on going to the store on Friday morning. We were out of everything. I made a quick dash up to Mejiers and got the food to fix a nice picnic cook-out. Even though it wasn't served until 7:30 it was a great meal! Chicken-kabobs, hamburgers, hotdogs, roasted corn, mushrooms-onions-peppers-fennel-kabobs, carrots, salad, with fresh watermelon and cantalope for dessert.
By 9:30 I dropped into bed!
Saturday: I slept in until 9am, got up took care of Mom and Dirk. Both were doing pretty well. I worked on curriculum, bills, and watched a few shows stored on the DVR. Then I got ready and went shopping. Dirk went with me. He wanted to start at Whole Foods since it is the only place in town to get the gluten free, wheat free type startches that we are trying to switch too and the bulk beans, nuts and rices we use. I don't like the part of town this Whole Foods is located in... it is in the very uppermiddle class, we shop here because it is the fashionable thing to do... part of town and just being in the same very crowded store with them make me uncomfortable! Then we go to Mejiers for much of the meat and frozen veggies that I get. I can't wait until we can join the grass-fed meat coop this fall! All shopping together took over 3 hours and cost about $600. The majority of the food will last 4-6 weeks with only trips to get fruit and veggies at the farmer's market the only extras. When you are feeding 5-6 people three meals a day, even if the food only lasts 4 weeks I still think we are doing pretty well.
Then Nathan who had cleaned the kitchen and done laundry while we were gone, ask us to take him to the movies when we got back and had dinner. So we went to see Evan Almightly. It was a cute film. I am glad we went because it might encourage filmmakers to make more like this one. I enjoyed it, but Dirk really loved it. I think he identified a lot with the main character.
Sunday: Finds me not at church yet again. Today it was just a matter of oversleeping. I had every intention of going when I went to bed last night, but I didn't even begin to wake up until 10:15am and to get to chuch I would have to leave by 10:30. Athena and Nathan left on time and I am glad they went. I had a couple very strange dreams that I can still remember vividly!
One: I was in an elevator and it was not only going down too fast, it was going down too far, and then it started getting smaller. No matter which buttons I pushed it wouldn't stop falling or shrinking.
Two: I was tutoring for an association that I tutored for a teen and young adult. I kept going into the different rooms and asking how I could help out and all I got were giggles and "no, your not needed here, go away"
Three: I was driving around looking for something and I kept falling alseep at the wheel. It was very spooky. I was lost, alone in the car, but trying to get somewhere important (don't know where) , but I couldn't stay awake.
I don't think you need to know much about dreams to know that my mind is trying to deal with the daily stress :)
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
First and foremost I think the choice of the parents should count the most. Students should be allowed to attend their first choice schools as long as there are openings. A way to really do this is to give the money the government 'assigns' each student to the parent to 'spend' how they see fit.
In an article I read recently the author said something like, "We all want safe, reliable sources of food, but we don't want the government running 90% of the restaurants, supermarkets, and farms. The same is should be true for schools, we want safe, reliable schools, but the government should not be in the business of education."
The one thing I have seen is that when parents and students choose their educational instruction they already have a greater investment in that program. Why can't all schools be privatized? Many things we rely on everyday are: food, internet, utilities, mass transit, garbage pick-up, prisions, etc.... These things are necessary for our daily lives and we don't need the government running them. Overseeing maybe, but not running. When people have to make choices and investments they choose more wisely and competition makes schools better.
That competition is one of the best things that has happened to Louisville schools. They had the great idea of putting the magnet schools, the best programs and many of the best teachers in the 'bad neighborhoods', but these excellent schools are going unattended because of skin-color rules. Neighborhood kids who want to attend can't because they are the wrong color and tip the balances. One and a half black kids can come for every white kid whose parents want to put them on a 2 hour bus ride each way. It is not fair to expect the white parent to put their 5-6 yr old on a bus for 4 hours out of their day! To deny the great education to the black child is also criminal.
Many parents are happier keeping their kids closer to home. I think this is be especially true at the elementary and middle school levels. By highschool, kids and parents are willing to travel farther for the specific program they want. Parents who live near the school, who have been allowed to choose the school and who feel invested in the school will be an asset to the school. They will be involved and hand-ons and supportive of the teachers and programs. This benefits everyone.
When the school is far away and the parents feel 'put there', resentment builds up. They don't feel invested in the program or the staff. And they are more likely to see 'the school' as an intrusion into their lives instead of a partner in the educational life of the family. The parents and the kids make 'the school' the scapegoat for everything wrong in their lives.
When schools fill-up hard choices need to be made. Here I think I would be interview the parents and the students to see why this is their first choice school. I would choose the family that matches the program the best and when there was a tie, I would do a random drawing or lottery style approach. I would also try very hard to help the students who didn't get in to find a program that matches their needs instead of just telling them no. If there were enough parents I would help them form another school program like the one that was full.
So, a fair system to me would be one that respected parental choice as much as possible. A system that builds communities and involves extended families in positive ways. And a system that respects the needs of the children.
Here are my five:
1) Jesus used stories and parables to teach deeper Truths. He asked us to use our imaginations and empathy to "get the point."
2) Every major revelation about the nature of Jesus was made by a woman. Mary his mother, Anna on his presentation to the temple, the woman at the well, Martha, Mary of Bethany, Mary Magdelene, the bleeding woman who touched his robes.....the list could go on.
3) Jesus is all about the Spirit of the Law and how it connects us to God and one another. The Law as a tool for us to use, but not be enslaved to.
4) Jesus' choice of friends and companions. He must have laughed and loved everyday. He was all about building strong communities that saw and cared for the 'fringes.'
5) The way Jesus called the children to him. I think he knew they would understand before the adults did.
If you post your 5 cool things about Jesus, leave me a note so I can go read them :)
Monday, July 2, 2007
Since the start of the war on terror in and , the sacrifice has been enormous. In the time period from the invasion of Iraq in March 2003 through now, we have lost a total of 3,140 soldiers. As tragic as the loss of any soldier is, consider: below is a list of deaths of soldiers while actively serving in the armed forces from 1980 through 2004:
FIGURES ARE CONFIRMED ON DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE SITE
2003 1,410 534*
2004 1,887 900*
* Figures are Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom fatalities only
Does this really mean that the loss from the two current conflicts in the Middle East are LESS than the loss of military personnel during Clinton's presidency? Were we at war?
Now, are you confused when you look at these figures? I was. Especially when I saw that in 1980, during the reign of President "Nobel Peace Prize" Carter himself, there were 2,392 military fatalities of U.S. soldiers.
What this clearly indicates to me is that our media and our politicians pick and choose. They choose NOT to present all the facts.
Another fact our media and politicians frequently slant is that these brave men and women losing their lives are minorities. The latest census shows the following:
European descent (white) 69.12%
African American 12.3%
Native American 1.0%
Now, the fatalities over the past three years in Iraqi Freedom are:
European descent (white) 74.31%
African American 9.67%
Native American 1.09%
Sunday, July 1, 2007
Monday, bills and scouting wedding locations. Mom had her second chemo treatment and all seemed well.
Tuesday, combined wedding scouting with modern art gallery gazing. It was interesting to see the modern art, but it was even more interesting to talk to the boys about their impressions.
Wednesday, history reports in the morning, golf driving range in the afternoon, So You Think You Can Dance in the evening! Pretty good day.
Thursday, reports on the physics of golf in the morning, played a D&D styled role playing game in the afternoon (first time in years), SYTYCD in the evening. Off and on through the day I was compling the articles for the Newsletter, which will be late this month or maybe even combined July/August.
Friday, first thing in the morning my sister called to tell me our father was in the hospital with stomach issues. Not good since he had knee replacement surgery on Monday. The thought that putting him under might have caused his bowels to stop working properly. Then Dirk and I drove all over the area (put 100 mi on the car) doing more wedding location scouting. When I got home, We picked up dinner from Panera with some gift certificates that we had had for a couple years :) Nathan was back from camp and wanted to be taken to a friend's house for a couple hours. So, more driving. Since I was out I stopped by the store for fruit and meat to hold us over until I could really go shopping on Sunday, so I thought.
Saturday, I slept the whole day away. I did nothing and didn't feel like doing anything at all! However, the Nathan work so hard all day on the housework, deep cleaning the library and the laundry rooms that when he asked to go to the movies I didn't have the heart to tell him no. He even made dinner after I said yes! He made an amazing baked cod with lemon and dill. I drug butt out of bed and went to see Live Free or Die Hard. It was a great rollercoaster ride of a movie. No literary value, just fun and funny. I did not regret my choice to go! When we got home I checked my blood pressure with Dirk's little wrist machine.... not too good. I am used to my BP being 115 over 65 or very close. It was 145 over 95 the first time and then after resting it only went down to 125 over 85. Maybe this sluggishness that I can't seem to shake has something to so with BP and blood sugars..which are also too high!
Sunday, woke up feeling great, made breakfast for everyone, but by the time I should have been taking my shower I was ready for bed again. I called to check on my dad, he is fine. Mom is doing very well this week!! I just can't seem to 'wake-up'. I was checking up on the blogs I read and feel sad that I don't have the energy to comment. I was checking up on the forum I visit and again, the energy to compose a coherent thought that was on topic wasn't there.
I am off to take a nap and hopefully get the energy I need to do the stuff I HAVE to get done today.