Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Little Big Foot: In the Back Pew

Note: The stained glass window pictured in this post is in the sanctuary of the United Methodist Church in Chappell Hill, Texas.

The men were restless and frustrated and it was beginning to show. The meeting at North Woods Chapel had continued long enough for the pot of coffee to be drained and the plate of donuts to be emptied as well. As the conversation between the deacons had proceeded, it became clear that Dennis and Chad wanted to contact Rev. Hanson and invite her to preach again. Jim Johnson was agreeable. Rubbing his hand over his bald head in an unconscious way he had when mildly stressed, he had twice reminded the others that the way things were going was not exactly following the usual procedure suggested by Brother Young.

As for Lee, he reminded them that he had not been thrilled when Brother Young had mentioned Dee Anna Hanson’s resume and suggested they have her visit the church. He expressed concern about the minister’s single-mother status and her time working in another denomination. They didn’t know much about that, but they did know she had served as her husband’s associate pastor and now was serving a Methodist church in Madison.

"You all know I am not exactly opposed to women preaching," he said with some feeling, "But I am not exactly happy about it either. Something about it is just...not right."

Jim asked seriously, "Do you think the Holy Spirit gives some gifts to men and others to women? Is there no circumstance where you would be comfortable submitting to a woman's leadership?"

“Sure," he said a little defensively. "I'm not some male chauvinist. I don't have a problem working with women or even with a woman boss, but this is church! Sometimes God has to bring in a woman to do what a man will not do,” Lee had conceded with a sigh, “but I don’t think that will be the case here in Little Big Foot. I think there will be more than one qualified man who would like to serve as our pastor.”

Chad had snorted at that remark, and then had apologized. It was late and he was tired and wondering if he would get any sleep before his next shift at the paper mill began. Dennis reminded them that since they had announced that Rev. Hanson had come in view of a possible call, the congregation would be expecting something further to happen.

Jim had pointed out that North Woods Chapel had been started by a team of two women evangelists and that the founding pastor was named Etta Jane.

Dennis had suggested they call Brother Young for advice and clarification of their questions. After a few more minutes, they decided to have Jim make the contact, and the meeting was adjourned--to the relief of all of them.

Chad went home and managed a few hours sleep. Lee went home to an empty house, thinking how much he missed Mary whenever she went to Rhinelander. Jim went home and quietly climbed into bed beside a gently snoring Lorene. Dennis went home to find his wife waiting for him in their living room, working cross-stitch embroidery on a pillow case. She looked up with a smile.

Dennis moved to her chair where he stooped to kiss her dark hair. "You didn't need to wait up for me, sweetie" he said. "It really got late." He sighed. Marla raised an eyebrow and gazed at him, silently questioning.

Holding our his hand to her, Dennis said, "It was a little difficult." Rising, Marla asked quietly, "Can you tell me anything?"

"We reached a compromise. Now, let's go to bed before I fall down."


Two weeks later Dee Anna was plopping dog food in Charley’s metal bowl and urging a sleepy Madeline to find her shoes. As she searched a pile of shoes in her closet, Madeline called down the stairs to remind her mother that she was going to wear tennis shoes because today the Primary Sunday School class would be meeting outside on the lawn. Thankfully, the weather since the deluge of two weeks before had been dry and the church lawn was in good shape. Dee Anna smiled, picturing a gaggle of children on the lawn. Good thing Leroy was a good-natured sort.

It seemed to be a Sunday like many others.

Driving to Eastside Church, Dee Anna had looked around the streets of Madison with a new sort of appreciation as her thoughts returned to the events of the last few weeks. It must be that she would stay here at Eastside Church, which was doubtless a good thing. Since they had experienced some growth recently, perhaps they would be able to increase her salary a bit and she could replace the Falcon--or at least get the air conditioner fixed. Two Sundays past she had asked God that the congregation in Little Big Foot not like her too much, and it was, all in all, a good thing that her prayer was answered. She reminded herself that she would never have sent a resume at all except for conversations with Brother Young. She smiled, thinking of her long-time friend. It was nice that he cared about her.

Later she sorted through her small office closet, determining to robe for the service. This was something she did not do often. She decided to wear the stole that Michael had given her when she had renewed her ministerial vows. Today, she mused, she would silently renew her commitment to Eastside Church as well.

“I love that Good Shepherd window” she thought, as she stepped out to the platform. The organist was playing “Be Thou My Vision” as the prelude to the morning’s service of worship, a hymn Pastor Dee Anna loved. She smiled briefly at the choir, already gathered in a small choir loft, and moved to a platform chair. Sitting quietly and closing her eyes she let the music draw her into an awareness of God’s presence. Yes, the peace of God was with her, she knew, and she was aware, once again, of a sort of stillness. “Thank you, Lord” she thought, “for the peace that passes understanding.”

Moments later she stood and lifted her hands in welcome, saying, “On this beautiful morning, may we proclaim with the psalmist, ‘This is the day the Lord hath made; let us rejoice...’”As usual, she spoke with feeling and so she paused briefly at “rejoice.” It took a moment for her to move on to say “and be glad in it” because as her eyes moved over the congregation, she had seen four visitors.

In the back row on the right side, once again dressed in suits and ties, sat the North Woods Chapel board of deacons: Jim, Lee, Dennis and Chad.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me

Are any of the readers of this blog old enough to recall the TV children's program "Sherriff John" and his daily birthday song?

Put another candle on my birthday cake,
And when you do,
A wish I'll make,
Put another candle on my birthday cake,
I'm another year old today!

We'll have some pie, and sandwiches,
And chocolate ice cream too,
We'll sing and play the day away,
And one more thing I'm gonna do...

I'll blow out the candles on my birthday cake,
And when I do
A wish I'll make,
I'll blow out the candles on my birthday cake,
I'm another year old today!

Somehow, somewhere, between Sherriff John and now, a bit of the glee about being another year older has lessened. Ah, I hope and pray that this year will be an improvment on the last one. Last year was full of death, and loss, and unwanted change, and grief and questions.

Onward and upward! God is still good.

Our days are like grass, the scripture says, so I pray that my brief time on this earth will count, in some way, for Eternity!

Thank you, my friends, for reading, commenting, praying, and pondering a bit with me on the journey.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Little Big Foot: Memories of Michael

Two weeks had passed with no word from Brother Young and no call or letter from Little Big Foot. It had been a busy time, and for that Dee Anna was glad. Being busy left less time for thinking about the future and whether or not her life was about to change drastically. After she had blurted out her surprising comments to Brother Young, she had expected something to happen. Her hopes fluctuated between remaining at Eastside in Madison and heading north to a different life in Little Big Foot. As the days passed, she was feeling increasingly anxious.

Madeline had finished with summer school and the two of them had spent the previous evening on the couch eating popcorn and planning a short trip to Door County before Eastside's small and close-knit school resumed in the fall. At Eastside, plans were underway for a back-to-school outreach that would feature school supplies in new backpacks. Dee Anna had once thought there were no needy people in clean and trendy Madison but she had found out differently.

It was early Sunday morning and Dee Anna sat in her living room rocking chair, sermon notes in her lap along with a Bible. She was gazing, unseeing, at the street outside the front window as she slowly sipped a cup of coffee. "My Utmost for His Highest" lay on the table beside her favorite chair.

She had planned on a few minutes of sermon review and then "spending time with my friend, Oswald Chambers" as she always thought of moments reading his famous devotional book. The title of the August 5 entry had caught her eye at once, "The Bewildering Call of God." She had gone on to read:

". . . and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man will be accomplished.’ . . . But they understood none of these things . . . —Luke 18:31, 34

God called Jesus Christ to what seemed absolute disaster...This bewildering call of God comes into our lives as well. The call of God can never be understood absolutely... Our real test is in truly believing that God knows what He desires...God is sovereignly working out His own purposes... As we grow in the Christian life...we begin to see that...God is divinely shaping us into oneness with that purpose. A Christian is someone who trusts in the knowledge and the wisdom of God, not in his own abilities. If we have a purpose of our own, it destroys the simplicity and the calm, relaxed pace which should be characteristic of the children of God.

She had felt a little stunned by the words on the page, and more than a little stung. "Oh sure," she thought, "good ol' Oswald always has it figured out." How many people could live like he did anyway? He always did write like he was some sort of super saint."

Leaning her head back against the chair, she thought of Eastside's lovely and serene sanctuary with its dark pews, altar table and pulpit. The building was constructed of stone, and the interior was usually cool, even in summer. The tall stained glass windows, six on each side wall, depicted the twelve Apostles. Behind the altar area was a large portrayal of Jesus the Good Shepherd. The sanctuary was not large, so the pipe organ was not large either, but it was of wonderful quality and tone.

Dee Anna could recall her first visit to Eastside Church as if it were just days before instead of years. She felt a mixture of emotions, remembering. Arriving in Madison with little besides a suitcase, she had slept in her friend Elisa's spare room for a few days and then had found an efficiency apartment. When she wasn't looking for employment, she had visited second-hand stores and found serviceable furniture. Elisa had lent her some dishes and cooking utensils. As the two of them arranged the kitchen, they talked and reminisced about their days together back in Lubbock when Dee Anna had been a children's pastor and her friend had been a valued helper. Elisa had laughed as she told Dee Anna she had forgotten just what a Texas accent really sounded like.

Sitting in the tiny living room space, they cooled off with ice-filled glasses of Dr. Pepper and the conversation grew more serious. It had been difficult to talk about leaving seminary and then what had happened in Dallas--the new job, new friends, new interests, new entertainment--and the drinking and exhaustion that had become steady companions. Her friend already knew some of the story, but she had not yet heard of Dee Anna's moment of New Year's Day clarity in the Dallas Catholic church.

The two women had grown silent, and then her friend had said, "I don't go to a Pentecostal church anymore either. I'm a Methodist. Why don't you come to church with me on Sunday? I think you might like it. And I bet you will enjoy our pastor. He is a single guy." She grinned at Dee Anna. "He's kinda hot, actually. And yeah, he can even preach pretty good."

Dee Anna had laughed and said, "A good-looking single guy who can preach? You mean such a creature exists? It's a while since I was in church, so what if the roof falls in when I come inside the door?" Then she added quietly, "Well, time I decided what comes next. Okay, I'll come to church with you. It will help having a friend to sit with me. I have never been to a Methodist church, so if I get confused you can tell me what to do."

The following Sunday she had been true to her word and attended the worship service at Eastside. As it happened, Eastside turned out to be just what she needed. It was informal enough to be comfortable for Dee Anna, and it was formal enough to be different than what she had previously experienced. She knew most of the hymns, and she was happy to be able to share in communion. The sermon was excellent. Several people had greeted her warmly.

Elisa had been right. Dee Anna had liked Eastside at once. And her friend was right about something else--while not handsome, exactly, the Reverent Michael Hanson was rather pleasant to look at. As he shook Dee Anna's hand after the service, she had found herself a little flustered. His eyes were kind, and his grin was engaging. Dee Anna had found herself wondering why such a pleasant and obviously intelligent man was unmarried.

It had not been long before Michael had asked her to dinner. Recalling it, Dee Anna smiled, remembering how she had wondered what the church people would think about their pastor keeping company with an attractive newcomer. She had decided that was going to be his problem, not hers. They had shared a pleasant evening in Fitchburg, sampling Indian cuisine at Curry in the Box.
Dee Anna had been reluctant to ask Michael inside her shabby little efficiency apartment. As it turned out, sitting in Michael's car afterwards, they had talked like old friends until they realized that over an hour had passed. He hadn't even hinted that he should come in, walking her to the door and leaving after a squeeze of her hand.

Learning of Elisa's sudden transfer to New England had been hard, but not as hard as it might have been before the invitation to her church. Michael and Dee Anna had both accompanied Elisa to the airport for a red-eye flight and after seeing her pass through security the two of them had shared breakfast in the airport. Dee Anna had decided it was the best Egg McMuffin she had ever eaten.

The next week they had gone to an evening of classical music at the Overture Center for the Arts. A few days later, sitting side by side on a bench in James Madison Park, Michael had talked about his family. An only child, his relationship with his parents had been a close one. Not long after he had accepted a call to serve at Eastside, his first and last church, he had become engaged to a woman he had met in a hospital parking garage when her car stalled. Perhaps, he had told Dee Ann with a grin, she had decided to trust him for a ride home because he had been wearing a clerical collar. His parents, he said quietly, had quickly grown to love his fiancee.

His eyes had grown sad as he told Dee Anna that they had all decided that a few days in Wisconsin Dells would be a nice way to spend a little time together before Christmas. Michael had wondered how he would squeeze in time away in December. Feeling harried, but not wanting to disapoint his parents, he had stayed in Madison to finish up preparations for the Christmas service and then had spent time at the hospital visiting with a very sick parishioner. The three people he loved most had travelled ahead, planning to meet him at the motel later that evening.

They had never arrived.

A drunk driver in an SUV had crossed the center line of the snowy highway and smashed head on into his parent's compact car. The drunk driver had survived, though not without injury. The others had been killed, his parents instantly and his fiancee a short while later in the ambulance.
Michael, knowing nothing of this, had started out late in a light snow. Feeling sleepy, he had stopped at truck stop gas station for a cup of coffee. As he paid the cashier, he saw the breaking news bulletin on a television mounted on the wall behind the counter.

Eastside's pastor had gone through a very bad time, but his faith in God's love and faithfulness had remained. He grieved, he had told Dee Anna, but found strength in his work with the people of his new church. They had been surprisingly understanding and patient. While he eventually grew stronger and his pain lessened, he had believed he would never find love again.

In broad daylight, Michael had leaned towards her and kissed he gently on her forehead and then, for the first time, on the lips. "I think maybe I was mistaken about that," he had said simply. She remembered how her heart had pounded as he kissed her again. She had never encountered a minister who made her dizzy before, she had thought, as she kissed him back.

Rocking her chair gently she thought to herself, "And God knows I will never forget that moment if I live to be 100."

She had longed to throw her arms around him and laugh with joy, but instead she had moved backward, suddenly afraid. She hadn't shared anything about her own life, her small-town Texas family, her church background, her crisis of faith, and her brief but disasterous days as a party girl in Dallas. There was no way she would make a suitable wife for this good man.

"How," she wondered, hands resting on the Bible in her lap, "did I find myself walking down an aisle just eight months later? How did I end up loving a minister, loving his church, and even finding that, issues aside, my calling had not changed after all?" She had never really understood, but she had accepted it all with profound gratitude, including the birth of their beautiful daughter just eleven months after the wedding. Dee Anna had been relieved that Madeline did not posess red hair. To Michael's tolerant amusement, Dee Anna had named her brown-haired infant Madeline after the charming little French orphan of Ludwig Bemelmans' well-known children's books.
After two years as a pastor's wife she had renewed her ministerial credentials and was given permission to serve as Michael's associate pastor. Eastside was not flawless, and neither was Dee Anna's marriage to Michael, but they had been the closest things to perfect she had ever experienced and the four years she had spent as Michael's partner in life and ministry had been the most rewarding time of her life. Dee Anna had matured and her faith had deepened. She had believed that her trust in God was strong enough to survive anything.
Then Michael, at a seemingly healthy age 37, had suffered a heart attack that had killed him instantly. Dee Anna had fallen into a a spiritual black hole from which there seemed no escape. She had feared for her sanity, her faith in God, and her little daughter's future. How ironic, and inexplicable, she had thought bitterly, that Michael had missed dying in a fatal crash only to die an untimely death anyway.

After a few weeks of despair, she had arranged for Mrs. Herndon to watch Madeline, telling her she needed time to be alone. She had planned to buy enough liquor to drink herself into a stupor, hoping she might not wake up. It was early fall and chilly, so she would dress warmly and take her car to some location where she would not be too visible until daylight. In a grey haze of depression, she had written a letter to Madeline, and one to Mrs. Herndon. Leaving the letters on the table, she had been about to leave the house.

Mrs. Herndon had saved her from disaster by bringing Madeline home early. They had planned to attend a children's play but Madeline had become sick to her stomach and they had left before the first act was over. As Dee Anna opened the door she had found the two of them coming up the front walk. She had backed up into the small entry and practically run to the kitchen where she snatched the letters from the kitchen table and stuffed them into her sweater pocket.

Something happened that night when Dee Anna had tucked her feverish little daughter into bed. Madeline had looked into her mother's eyes and said, "Mommy, I miss my daddy. He always took good care of me when I had a tummy ache, didn't he?" As Dee Anna agreed, hugging Madeline tightly, the little girl had whispered into her ear, "Mommy, I love you. You won' t die too, will you?" The words somehow woke Dee Anna's heart and she heard her child's voice with a sweet clarity. It was as though God had whispered into her ear. Perhaps, Dee Anna had later thought, God did just that. "We will be all right, sweetheart," she had said, and she had known it was, somehow, true.

Dee Anna never knew if Mrs. Herndon had suspected anything, but her motherly friend had ended up spending the night, telling Dee Anna in her no-nonsense manner that she would care for Madeline so her exhausted mother could rest. The next day Dee Anna had told her little girl that they would take advantage of one of the day's unexpected warmth by having a last "fry out." Dee Anna had cooked hot dogs on their small barbecue grill and when Madeline wasn't looking had slipped the letters on top of the glowing charcoal, tears stinging her eyes as she watched them go up in smoke.
Michael's nest egg had been small and was quickly gone. Dee Anna had sold their nice Saturn and kept her Ford Falcon. Fortunately, Eastside Church owned a manse so she and Madeline had not had to move.
That had been two years ago, but Dee Anna still missed her beloved pastor husband every day.
At the congregation's urging, she had remained at Eastside as their pastor. Some people had left, but most had stayed and the church had added new families. It had been an agonizing time, as well as an economically strained one, but she had managed and had never lost hope again. Instead, she had found the grace of God, something she had spoken about but never quite understood, to be so real as to be almost tangible.
One day after a rare but typically annoying phone conversation with her mother, Dee Anna realized that her anger and rebellion had always been more about her parents than about the Pentecostal tradition she had left behind. So when her friend, dear Brother Young, had spoken to her about North Woods Chapel, she had considered whether it might be time to make peace with her past and return to an expression of her faith that her heart had never entirely left behind.
It wasn't for lack of trying, Dee Anna had though wryly, listening to her old professor's warm drawl explaining why he though she should consider at least visiting Little Big Foot.

Now she sighed deeply, hearing Madeline's footsteps on the stairs. So much joy and despair and pain and sorrow and love and grace. Why did life have to be so difficult? She realized her coffee had grown cold and she placed the half-empty cup on the table next to the little volumn of devotions.

Dee Anna prayed aloud, "God. I simply do not know what else to do. I will assume I am staying at Eastside and I will fill my place here with joy. I do love it here. I've kept telling you that, haven't I?" She smiled and went on, "And I ask for your grace and peace to rule in my heart. I'm not very saintly, but please help me to be like my buddy, Oswald and trust your purposes in this world--and for me."

She rose from her chair, gathering her Bible and her unread sermon notes. It was time to get ready for church.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Hanging Out With AG People

It is time for our district's annual council--which means business meetings, a sort of state-of-the-district address from out new Supt., and an ordination service. We are leaving this evening and will be home Tuesday night sometime. I'm hosting a Christians for Biblical Equality booth, and also sharing some of my own materials and hoping to make some connections for future ministry. The next Little Big Foot chapter is already written, so I'll post it when I get back. Thank you to those who let me know you were wating for the next installment. :-)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Little Big Foot: I'll Fly Away

The Reverend Dee Anna Hanson is alive and well, so to speak. If you would like to read the previous Little Big Foot chapters, click the link "Stories: Little Big Foot" at the bottom of this post and then scroll to the bottom of the page to read from the beginning.

Dee Anna closed her eyes and silently prayed for calm. She wondered what she would say when she answered the phone. She tried to form her thoughts into words but found she couldn't' complete a sentence that made any sense. She told herself she was just tired from two nights of inadequate sleep and wished she had awakened early enough to spend some time in prayer before her groggy breakfast with Madeline and Mrs. Herndon. Well, she'd spend some time reading a devotional page from Oswald Chamber's "My Utmost for His Highest" when she finished the phone conversation.

She heard faint whistling coming from outside the stained glass window that graced the rear wall of her office, an odd feature, but one she loved. She smiled, picturing the sparkle of sun on the wet grass, and the the whistling black man dressed in jeans kneeling to groom the already nearly flawless flower beds. What was the tune Leroy was whistling? She rose and moved to the window to listen. That's actually pretty good whistling, she thought, smiling again, and then Dee Anna realized that she knew exactly what song she was hearing. It was "I'll Fly Away." She had not heard that song in a long time, maybe not since she had left her position as a children's pastor at the church in Lubbock. And certainly never at Eastside Church.

Her thoughts traveled, without her permission, to a small brick house that sat back from a Texas state highway. The smell of sausage filled the house, and she was sitting at a wooden kitchen table. Her feet, shod in white socks and black patent leather shoes, were hooked around the front rung of her chair. Her older brother, Phil, stood by the back door, dressed in dress pants and a white Sunday shirt. She could sense the tense atmosphere without knowing what it was.

Her father's voice came from the porch, practicing the song he would sing later at church "I'll fly away, oh glory, I'll fly away, When I die, Hallelujah, bye and bye..." and her mother came in to the kitchen from the hallway, twisting her red hair into a bun as she moved to the table. Mother never needed a mirror to twist her thick hair into a neat knot at the nape of her neck; she always did it perfectly even though her movements were quick. She did it the same way every morning. Dee Anna recalled her mother's frown as she gazed down at her daughter.

"Come on, you're going to make us late again, Dee Anna. Always daydreaming and poking. What did I do to deserve such a poky child?" Her heels clacked on the kitchen tile as she crossed the room to stand by Phil. "Good Lord, when are you going to get a haircut? I am embarrassed to be seen at church with you looking like a hippie. And what time did you finally decide to come home last night?"

Phil, wordless, moved aside as his mother shouted through the screen door, "Come on, Bud! I've got to get to Sunday School early. I'm settin' out the new quarterlies for the adult class." It had been a late spring day and the Texas sun was already hot even though it was only about 8 a.m. Still the child Dee Anna had felt chilled. Whenever Dee Anna thought about those days, she never recalled the house as being warm.

She realized that Leroy's whistle had stopped and she frowned as she returned to her office chair, rubbing her arms slightly. She felt mildly annoyed that she was spoiling a perfectly good morning by thinking about that unpleasant Sunday. She was sure tired...

Her father had continued singing as he stepped into the kitchen, "Just a few more weary days and then..."

Weary days. Oh yeah, that was for sure.


The phone on the desk rang, startling Dee Anna back to the present. She took a deep breath and sat up straight. She knew the caller would be her friend, Brother Young, a former professor from Bible college. He had seen her with Michael at an interdenominational World Day of Prayer service. As their eyes met, both of them had recognized the other, surprised to find a familiar face in Madison, Wisconsin.

Getting reacquainted over lunch after the meeting, they had quickly regained a sort of older mentor to younger student kind of rapport. Dee Anna had found it oddly comforting. As for Michael, he had liked the older man immediately. By the end of lunch they were making plans to get together and soon the three of them had became friends.


She picked up the phone. "Good Morning, Eastside Church, this is Rev. Dee Anna Hanson." As expected, she heard the familiar Texas accent in her ear. Somehow, even though Brother Young had been away from Texas for over a decade, he still sounded more like a Texas cowboy than a well-respected church leader in Wisconsin.

"Hey, girl, nine o' clock and here I am. How was it in Little Big Foot? I figure I'll hear somethin' from them later today but I wanted to talk with you first, like we said. You loved it, didn't you?"

Dee Anna was surprised by the sudden tears that pooled in the corners of her eyes.

"Yes. I'm so scared to say it, but...oh man...yes. I did. I hated it too, Brother Young, in a way. It started out just awful, and even before the Sunday service I had decided I'd been foolish to even go up there. I was a little upset with you, actually." She continued rapidly, somehow knowing she couldn' t pause, "But something so strange but good happened. I think maybe it was God, and it was wonderful to sense the presence of the Spirit with me and...and...I think I might end up there."

What on earth? What was she saying? As the words tumbled out, she knew that she wanted them to be true.

"But God," she thought, as she heard Brother Young's chuckle, "I love Eastside. I love Madison. I love dear old Southern Baptist Leroy and his flowers and his whistling."

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Practicing Resurrection

It is the 33rd "Poetry Party" over at Abbey of the Arts where our hostess posts a picture and invites us to share thoughts or poems. If you would like to participate (for a chance at a prize), or just view the submissions, head on over.

Here is mine, as I remember my California beginnings:

Luminous days of summer sun
Salt Spray, Hot Sand, Cool Breeze
me on the shore

The family reclining behind me
Pretty Sisters, Scratchy Blankets, Beach Boys
me on the shore

Mother anxious, Daddy hopeful
Bright Towels, Radio Static, Picnic Basket
me on the shore

Shaking with fear-tinged joy
New Swimsuit, Curving Waves, Cold Splash
me on the shore
Toes curled.

Running, gasping with exhilaration,
Sweet Laughter, Happy Shouts, Burning Eyes
me in the surf

Remembered like years are nothing,
Passing Childhood, Fractured Family, Lost Security
me in the surf
Feeling little.

Somewhere inside my thoughts are,
Determined Faith, Stubborn Hope, God's love
me in the world

When will the final day arrive
Last Ending, Spirit Crossing, Eternal Beginning,
me with Father God,

Jesus smiling down at me with
Warm Recognition, Open Welcome, Outstretched Hand
me a child again

Sunday, April 12, 2009

He is Risen

Seven Stanzas at Easter

by John Updike (b. 1932)

Make no mistake:
if He rose at all it was as His body;
if the cells’ dissolution did not reverse,
the molecules reknit,
the amino acids rekindle,
the Church will fall.

It was not as the flowers,
each soft Spring recurrent;
it was not as His Spirit in the mouths and fuddled
eyes of the eleven apostles;
it was as His flesh: ours.

The same hinged thumbs and toes,
the same valved heart
that–pierced–died, withered, paused,
and then regathered out of enduring Might
new strength to enclose.

Let us not mock God with metaphor,
analogy, sidestepping, transcendence;
making of the event a parable,
a sign painted in the
faded credulity of earlier ages:
let us walk through the door.

The stone is rolled back,
not papier-mâché,
not a stone in a story,
but the vast rock of materiality that in the slow
grinding of time will eclipse for each of us
the wide light of day.

And if we will have an angel at the tomb,
make it a real angel,
weighty with Max Planck’s quanta,
vivid with hair,
opaque in the dawn light,
robed in real linen
spun on a definite loom.

Let us not seek to make it less monstrous,
for our own convenience,
our own sense of beauty,
lest, awakened in one unthinkable hour,
we are embarrassed by the miracle,
and crushed by remonstrance.

Matthew 28:1-10

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: 'He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.' Now I have told you."

So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. "Greetings," he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me."

Enjoy a few words from Matthew, and then the glorious Easter Song from the late, great, Keith Green.

Don't you just love the scene when Jesus meets the women, they worship and then he hugs them? I wish each of you a blessed Easter!


Saturday, April 11, 2009

Kyrie Eleison--Lord, Have Mercy

Just before attending a beautifully done Good Friday community worship service, something occurred that revealed a part of my thoughts and attitude that I did not like to see. I was sad during most of the service. This was partly due to the readings, the sombre atmosphere and the things we remember on the day Jesus died, but it was also partly due to the awareness I had that if it were not for the mercy and grace of our Lord, I could not hope to stand in God's presence. I felt like Isaiah when, standing before God's throne, he cried, "Woe is me. I am undone." There were moments of silence interspersed in the service, and during those times I found myself thinking "Lord, have mercy on me according to your lovingkindness."

The good news is, the gospel is for those who understand that they are not righteous.

From Luke 23
Now...there was a man named Joseph, a council member, a good and just man. He had not consented to their decision and deed. He was from Arimathea, a city of the Jews, who himself was also waiting for the kingdom of God. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a tomb that was hewn out of the rock, where no one had ever lain before. That day was the Preparation, and the Sabbath drew near. And the women who had come with Him from Galilee followed after, and they observed the tomb and how His body was laid. Then they returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils. And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.

Nehemiah 9:31
Nevertheless in Your great mercy ,You did not utterly consume them nor forsake them; For You are God, gracious and merciful.

Deuteronomy 7:9
Therefore know that the LORD... He is...the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments.

The video today features the unusual music of Isaac Everet. I don't quite like the fish motif, but I find the mournful sound of the Australian digeridu quite fitting as it opens a song that says, "Lord, have mercy! Christ, have mercy!" Thankfully, he does!

Let's wait together in hope for the joy that comes in the morning.

Psalm 30:10
Hear, O LORD, and have mercy on me. LORD, be my helper!”

Friday, April 10, 2009

At the Cross

From Mark 15 (New International Version)

The...Sanhedrin, reached a decision. They bound Jesus, led him away and handed him over to Pilate. "Are you the king of the Jews?" asked Pilate. "Yes, it is as you say," Jesus replied. The chief priests accused him of many things. So again Pilate asked him, "Aren't you going to answer? See how many things they are accusing you of." But Jesus still made no reply, and Pilate was amazed..."What shall I do, then, with the one you call the king of the Jews?" Pilate asked them.

"Crucify him!" they shouted.

"Why? What crime has he committed?" asked Pilate.

But they shouted all the louder, "Crucify him!"

Pilate...had Jesus flogged and handed him over to be crucified. The soldiers led Jesus away into the palace...the whole company of soldiers...put a purple robe on him, then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on him. And they began to call out..."Hail, king of the Jews!" Again and again they struck him on the head with a staff and spit on him. Falling on their knees, they paid homage to him. And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him...

They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull)...and crucified him. Dividing up his clothes, they cast lots to see what each would get. It was the third hour when they crucified him.

The written notice of the charge against him read: THE KING OF THE JEWS...Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, "So! You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, come down from the cross and save yourself!" The...the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him among themselves. "He saved others," they said, "but he can't save himself! Let this Christ, this King of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe."

At the sixth hour darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?"—which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" When some of those standing near heard this, they said, "Listen, he's calling Elijah." One man ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink. "Now leave him alone. Let's see if Elijah comes to take him down," he said.

With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.

The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, heard his cry and saw how he died, he said, "Surely this man was the Son of God!"

When I viewed "The Passion" movie, I expected to be distressed by the scourging and crucifixion scenes, and I was. But the scene which, somewhat inexplicably, moved me the most and caused me to feel not only deeply sad but deeply angry, was of the soldiers mocking Jesus--the crown, robe, bowing down, taunts...these caused a depth of anger in me that was surprising. I felt murderous, even though I knew, of course, that this was a film and these were actors I was watching. I knew quite clearly in that moment that I would likely have been like Peter in the garden, wildly swinging a sword and wanting to kill someone. I understood somehow, in that moment in a darkened theatre, a little more of what it must have meant for Jesus Christ to endure in silence and to say, "Father, forgive them. They know not what they do."

Today's video is of the well-known hymn by Isaac Watts, sung here by the Sharon Singers of Sharon Mennonite Bible Institute. The lovely tune was new to me.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

The Basin and the Towel

From John 13

It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. The evening meal was in progress...Jesus knew that...he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him...When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. "Do you understand what I have done for you?" he asked them. "You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them...

When the disciples arrive for their last meal with Jesus, someone has forgotten something important. The servant who is assigned the task of washing the feet of the guests is not present. Can you picture the scene? As each man looks around, each one takes note that no one is there to serve in the accustomed way. And one by one they reject the humble place and choose pride--they each choose to sit down. If they were indeed seated in the Roman way of reclining on couches, might not a pair of dirty feet be much too close to the face of a friend?

And then there is Jesus. Perhaps he waits a moment to see what will happen. And then their holy rabbi, teacher, messiah, their companion from the road...takes up the towel.

I find this song powerful, convicting, amazing...

The words are printed below the video. There is not much to look at (just Michael Card's shiny head--smile) so if you would like, you can read along as you listen to the music of this beautiful song.

In an upstairs room, a parable
is just about to come alive.
And while they bicker about who's best,
with a painful glance, He'll silently rise.

Their Savior Servant must show them how
by the will of the water
and the tenderness of the towel.

And the call is to community,
The impoverished power that sets the soul free.
In humility, to take the vow,
that day after day we must take up the basin and the towel.

In any ordinary place,
on any ordinary day,
the parable can live again
when one will kneel and one will yield.

Our Saviour Servant must show us how
by the will of the water
and the tenderness of the towel.

And the space between ourselves sometimes
is more than the distance between the stars.
By the fragile bridge of the Servant's bow
we take up the basin and the towel.

And the call is to community,
The impoverished power that sets the soul free.
In humility, to take the vow,
that day after day we must take up the basin and the towel.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

A Poem in "Everyday Journal"

I am pleased to say that one of my poems, "Father's Daughter" has been published in the Spring edition of The Everyday Journal, part of the website "Everyday Liturgy." The spring issue is titled "Women in Theology."

The journal will be available in print later, but you can check out this edition by clicking HERE. The link to my poem is down a ways in the table of contents, but if you are interested in the topic there is lots of thought-provoking reading.

If you are amused or surprised that a Pentecostal who knows little about liturgy has a poem there--well--I am amused as well. :-) In a good way.

What Does it Mean to Be Like Jesus?

Luke 5:27-31 New Living Translation
Later, as Jesus left the town, he saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Levi got up, left everything, and followed him. Later, Levi held a banquet in his home with Jesus as the guest of honor. Many of Levi’s fellow tax collectors and other guests also ate with them. But the Pharisees and their teachers of religious law complained bitterly to Jesus’ disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with such scum?” Jesus answered them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners and need to repent

Today I'm posting the song "My Jesus" by Todd Agnew. Sometime I like this song. Sometimes I do not. I love Todd Agnew's music, but this song strikes me as a bit smug. He says Jesus would not be welcome in his church, and perhaps that is true in far too many cases, but I also grow weary, sometimes, of church bashing. So are you wondering, "Well, if you dislike something about the song why are you posting it?"

The song asks some hard questions, pokes at the "American dream," uses some words we might not care for in a "Christian" song. But in my discomfort at some of what I hear, I am challenged to ask myself if I really want to care for the poor, hang out with "thieves and sluts and liars" and in the end perhaps receive evil for good.

If Jesus walked this earth today, where might we find him? What might he be doing and saying? Would he be welcome at my dinner table, my party, my family gathering? My church? Well, if we knew he was Jesus he would have to be--but what if we did not recognize him? Is it true he would choose not to hang out with "the stained glass crowd?"

Ministries like this one are springing up in cities across America. I found it amazing, refreshing, encouraging--and had to seriously ask myself if I would be willing to participate.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Celtic Woman -- A New Journey -- The Prayer

Sometime ago I had the great pleasure of going with a friend to see Celtic Woman. The following video features Chloe singing a song that was part of that evening's performance. I find these words

Need to find a place
Guide us with your grace
Give us faith so we'll be safe

particularly poignant. Somewhere in each of us lives a child who longs for a safe place. This is particularly true for those of us who had no safe place in our world, particularly during the years when we formed out opinions about the world and our place in it. We humans look for patterns, for reason and logic and order; it is part of who we are and how we survive in the world.. I suspect that part of the reason for that is our need to feel in control, to feel safe. Yet every day horrible, unjust, painful, unfair, wrong things happen and sometimes they make no sense. The truth is, there is no safe place--except in God.

From Romans 8

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God...he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering. Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us...wemust wait patiently and confidently.

I believe the Bible teaches that God's creation was marred by sin. Since we are given freedom to choose God's way or to reject God's way, this world is not a safe place. That is difficult, isn't it? We can, and should, take steps to make places of peace and security, places of love and acceptance and forgivness. But our true and eternal safety is found in the hope that God will one day give us our complete inheiritance as children. God is our safe place!

The words to the song are below the video.

I pray you'll be our eyes
And watch us where we go
And help us to be wise
In times when we don't know
Let this be our prayer
As we go our way
Lead us to a place
Guide us with your grace
To a place where we'll be safe

I pray we'll find your light
And hold it in our hearts
When stars go out each night
Remind us where you are
Let this be our prayer
When shadows fill our day
Lead us to a place
Guide us with your grace
Give us faith so we'll be safe

We ask that life be kind
And watch us from above
We hope each soul will find
Another soul to love
Let this be our prayer
Just like every child
Needs to find a place
Guide us with your grace
Give us faith so we'll be safe

Need to find a place
Guide us with your grace
Give us faith so we'll be safe

Monday, April 06, 2009

Lead Me to the Cross

Matthew 20:28
"...the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

Not to be served
but to serve.

The words sound
and holy and right.
We know, Lord,
we followers of yours,
that we are servants.

It sounds simple,
and if
we only could.
Why is it
so hard
this simple thing?

Lead me to the cross
and remind me
Oh Lord,
that my life
is lost
so I may be found.

Lead me to the cross,
and remind me.


Sunday, April 05, 2009


John 12:12-13

The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out:
“ Hosanna!
‘ Blessed is He who comes
in the name of the LORD!’
The King of Israel!”

The sound of Phil Driscoll's gravelly yet stirring voice and his amazing trumpet transports me back to a time when my children were small, I was younger, more naive, and in some ways more hopeful about the Church, the world, and my place in it. The society and the world we live in seem fragile--perhaps broken beyond repair.

Oh Lord, may heaven and earth be filled with your glory. As we sing our "hosannas" today, may we be reminded that our praise is but a shadow of what is to come!

The verses that follow are not the words to the song. Those are my words. Be blessed today.

Holy, holy, holy Lord
God of power and might
Will you not rend the heavens
and come down?

Once again we praise You
And we sing and shout
Once again we sing
of victory.

Can you see them
on the road
lifted palms--and hearts and hands?
How the people shouted
even as the darkness gathered

The joy turned soon
to sorrow
as you wept to see Jerusalem
Do you weep to see us now
The lost and lonely?

hosanna, hosanna
I will praise you on the road
And I will wait.

Holy, holy, holy Lord
God of power and might
Will you not rend the heavens
and come down?

Saturday, April 04, 2009

We Crucify Him

What follows is an excerpt from a reflection posted at Practicing Intentional Gratitude. I found it a powerful reminder as we head into Palm Sunday and then various reflections and recollections of what followed. You can click on the link if you would like to read the rest.

We crucify Jesus when we act out of impatience or anger or fear, rather than acting in love. We crucify Jesus when we scorn the homeless man standing in front of the grocery store. We crucify Jesus when we seize and hoard, but refuse to care for those who have nothing. We crucify Jesus when we stand by as a crowd takes on an individual, physically or verbally, and we do nothing. We crucify Jesus when we ignore our elders in the hospital and nursing home. We crucify Jesus when we put people to death, when we revile and condemn anyone. We crucify Jesus when we shut people out of our lives. Jesus told us that when we take care of others, we are taking care of him; when we reject others, we reject him. Every act of rejection, every act of not-love, every time we turn a blind eye, we stand with the mob shouting, Crucify him! Crucify him!

It doesn’t feel good to confront this in ourselves, does it? This isn’t happy stuff, like consider the lilies or blessed are the peacemakers. This is the real thing; this is earthy; this is human. And at the same time, there is another side to the real thing. Because Jesus did not end on the cross. His body died, but Jesus lived on. We know the rest of the story; we know what’s waiting for us on Easter. We still have Holy Week to slog through — the gritty, dirty, awful realness of Jesus’ last days as a human with us — but we know that on the other side, there is redemption.

Beginning tomorrow I will share some music and poetry as we go through Holy Week. It is really for me--sort of a way to process my own thoughts and feelings, but, as always, you are welcome to join me on the road as I seek wisdom, music, story, and a prayer for the journey.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Friday Five -- Time Out Edition

Sally from Eternal Echoes shares the Rev Gal Blog Pal Friday Five this week. Feel free to play along in the comments! (The painting is He Qui's Mary and Martha. He's one of my favorite artists, and I guess Sally likes him too.)

Holy Week is almost upon us. I suspect that ordained or not, other revgal/pals calendars look a bit like mine, FULL, FULL, FULL.....Jesus was great at teaching us to take time out, even in that last week, right up to Maunday Thursday he withdrew. John's gospel tells us he hid! He hid not because he was afraid, but because he knew that he needed physical, mental and spiritual strength to get through...So faced with a busy week:

1. What restores you physically?

I am one of those people who just has to crash once in a while and do nothing. I sleep and sleep and sleep some more.

2. What strengthens you emotionally/ mentally?

Being outside. It is hard to get through the frigid winters, but as soon as possible I open the windows to let the outside in, and I spend time in the sunshine.

3. What encourages you spiritually?

Reading writings of some theological thinkers, music, prayer and silence. Oh yes, silence.

4. Share a favourite poem or piece of music from the coming week.

This one is a favorite from my childhood. The imagery of 10,000 angels standing ready always stirred my heart. This is the best version I could find.

5.There may be many services for you to attend/ lead over the next week, which one are you most looking forward to and why? If there aren't do you have a favourite day in Holy week if so which one is it?

I am bit sad about the fact that I will not be leading a Holy Thursday candlelight communion service--something unusual for most AG churches but something I (having an occasional liturgical streak) loved to do. That used to be my favorite, so perhaps I can find one somewhere around to attend. I also love our community Good Friday service. Once again, it will seem very strange not to participate with the other clergy, but I will be there.

Growing up Southern Baptist, I thought Lent was for Catholics, and it seemed we just went straight to Easter. Isn't that a bit strange, considering the emphasis in the free church traditions on Christ's atonement? I admit, I think six weeks is too long for contemplation and soul searching, but I have found great value in observing some of the Lenten traditions with which I did not grow up.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Catching Up on a Couple of Awards

It's been a strange few weeks, but I am finally going to post two awards that I received last month. They are sort of related because both of them require me to divulge info about--who else?--ME.

The first one is from my real-life buddy, Much 2 Ponder over at In Case You Were Wondering, and it is called The Honest Scrap Award. I am supposed to list out 10 honest things about myself and then forward this award to at least 7 other blogs that I find brilliant in content and or design. My award recipients can then do the same if they so choose, and they can add the award to their blog by copying the award graphic and then pasting it.

Ten Honest Things about SingingOwl

1. If I had it to do over again, I'd get more education.

2. I am very sorry that I never learned to play the piano. Perhaps I will after I retire. I think I might have composed some things if I had the "know-how."

3. Like Much2Ponder, I have always wanted to fill the gas tank and hit the road with no preconceived idea of where I would end up. The idea of just going is very appealing. I love to discover new places, vistas, history, and so on.

4. It is difficult to realize that I am of these days it will catch up with me. I always felt I had limited energy and time. I am deeply aware, these days, that such is not the case. Too much loss lately to remain in denial, perhaps?

5. I am a shy person. The public speaker version of me is quite different than the social me, but both are genuine facets of who God made me to be.

6. I am afraid that I will never really discover what I want to do when I grow up. You think I am kidding? Well, maybe a little, but then again, not totally. I do not want to come to the end of my life and feel that I have missed something important God had for me to do.

7. I have ugly feet. Bunions, icky toenails and other issues combine to make my feet happy that they are usually enclosed in shoes.

8. I hate winter. I love December snow, but other than that I wouldn't care if I never had to live through another Wisconsin winter.

9. Sometimes I am too quiet. Sometimes I talk too much. I do not know why this is the case.

10. My husband is the love of my life. Sometimes, I think he wonders. But I do not know how I would manage without him, and I know that I would not be who I am or where I am if I had married someone else.

The second one is from Auntie Knickers over at Exile's Return. It is the "Fabulous Blog Award" and here is the idea:

"You must pass it on to 5 other Fabulous Bloggers in a post. You must include the person who gave you the award, and link back to them. You must list 5 of your Fabulous Addictions in the post. You must copy and paste these rules in the post. Right click the Award icon and save it to your computer, then post with your own awards."

First I will share why Auntie Knickers gave me the award in the first place. She said, "The Owl's Song taught me that people of faith and goodwill and eminently good sense come in all denominations -- even ones I've tended to think of almost as "the enemy." That is a wonderful compliment. I don't have space to tell you why, but it is!

Okay, on to my fab addictions (???) --though I don't how interesting they will be:

1. Like Auntie Knickers, one of mine is books. A person cannot have too many, can they? If I had my dream house, it would include a library.

2. Music. I cannot imagine life without it. I own lots of CDs, and some cassettes, and even a good number of vinyl LPs that I can't bear to part with. The music ranges from classical to folk to hymns, to rock, to blues, to jazz, to contemporary praise and worship, to...oh, you get the idea.

3. Cheese. I live in Wisconsin where butter and cheese are sort of a separate food group. That is probably one reason Wisconsinites tend to be overly rounded.

4. The Internet. I am astonished at how easy it is to spend two hours in front of a monitor because it feels like 20 minutes. I really do have to be careful of this.

5. Well, assuming I had money and space, I would have numerous sets of dinnerware. I love table settings! I just do not have the means to indulge this particular addiction.

Okay, I hope the roof does not cave in, nor lightning strike me dead, nor my hair fall out...BUT...I am cheating. Everyone in my blogroll is a fabulous blogger! I am combining listing fabulous bloggers with listing honest ones.

Hmmmm...well, one of the most honest bloggers I know is Much 2 Ponder, but she already got the award. Okay, on to the picks--and once again I am cheating and only picking six since one says pick five and one says pick seven. And besides, I have to leave soon.

1. Presbyterian Gal
This woman is hilarious, a gifted writer, and also honest about her struggles. I wish I could meet her in person, and the fact that she lives in Southern California is not the reason. It doesn't hurt, but it isn't the reason. She gets both awards!

2. Amy Maxwell is next. She blogs at Gentle Whisper. Amy is a fellow Assemblies of God blogger, and she is heading towards being a military chaplain. Go read her story, which you will find linked in her sidebar. I met her last year, and I wish I could hang out in person with her sometimes! Even if I am old enough to be her mom. She gets the Honest award.
3. Tim, the director of a homeless shelter, formerly blogged at a different blog, which he has left to begin a new blog Caught a Glimpse of Jesus Down by the Railroad Tracks. The first blog was anonymous, so sometimes grittily (is that a word) honest. Nonetheless, pay a visit to the new blog. A book is in progress. This is a remarkable man. He gets the Honest award too.

4. Next is Bits and Odd Pieces of Mindy's Kingdom. Mindy is a Fabulous Blogger. She is so many things that I am NOT. Check her out for giggles, crafty ideas, more crafty ideas, occasional food ideas...and more. Oh, don't forger the pantipalooza!

5. Last but never least is another Honest award. It goes to Lorna at See Through Faith. Even the name lets you know this is an honest woman. In addition to her transparency she is articulate, faithful, a constant learner. I admire Lorna very much, and I wish I were more like her.
Oops. That was only five. Are you still reading? Go outside and soak up some sun!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

A Little Trinity Collage

I will soon try to post something deep and thoughtful, or at least get on with the doings in Little Big Foot. Meantime, here is recently-turned-two-years-old Trinity.

Digging in the dirt...trying on a hat...throwing pine cones into the stream behind our house.