Thursday, February 28, 2008

We cry out!

It was one of those stereotypical song writing moments where I jumped out of bed because the song was going to explode if more and more lines kept alighting in my head. Perhaps it should have, but the subsequent song gave me too much joy regardless of quality (a cool thing about creativity too ~~ the joy in allowing anything to be born).

The satisfying thing about this particular song is that it was written with the nursing home audience in mind. My little band played for them on Tuesday, and our emcee led the residents into a round of shouting "Yahoo!" Old gnarled fists were raised, crooked toothless smiles were lit, white-haired curly ladies yelped, and they all escaped for a moment into that universal need to yell something out: like "Amen!" or "De-fense!" or "Al-right!" Why does that feel so good to us humans?

Anyway my song invites participation of yelling out, raising fists, becoming exhuberant for nothing (except for the 'prettiest train' in the lyrics). I can't wait to play it with them and hear them become part of the living loud no matter what experience once more.

Monday, February 25, 2008

And then there are the apples, cherries, pears, tooth-wigglers, precious metals, heavy-laden pods. I saw them all weekend, showing that my single perspective protects, yes, but can limit a view of plenty. There is the loving children director who baptized my son with her zest and longlasting service and care to children. There's the assistant minister who, leveled on a lower administrative ladder, accepts, even with welcome sarcasm an Eyeore loyalty to the steady flow of incoming newbies needing discipled who are searching, for once, for a vein they once, or never, tapped into. There's the nurse who gives to women's ministry, glowing, gently, purposefully. Or, my heroine of women's ministry, who commuicates God's love through genuine adherence to his call for her life to serve others with compassion, care, and creativity. There's my old beautiful girlfriend, who served on the board, and who allowed me to move on in my current, as she did herself, due to what was necessary in our lives. There's my longlasting friend, who still expects coffee, who leads others through psychological, spiritual mires, who helped me practically raise a strongwilled, strong-living teenager, who is a call away from being a wise and loving guide, who knows I want to reciprocate as much as I can. There is the impactful pastor who has a gift for speaking and who has offered me sincere counsel and desires Christ-transformation in lives of those who flow through the church. There is the man who smiles to all, whose passion transcends any strong or weak human leadership, in order to convey God's goodness; we see him dutifully every week with his headset on, greeting, smiling, caring, being humble. There are the children, two of whom I saw randomly out and about and who came to smile and hug me, who trust you to love them, to show them God's pure love inside.

These are a few of the reasons that I love my church and wish to remain, despite the basement fires that burn in every church. Overall, its basket carries a wholesome harvest. And, even though, it's my job to eye the fruit, the weave that holds it up, I can relax at times and trust by evidence that some things are good.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

An Inner Uglier Look

Earlier today, my husband and I took our customary Saturday morning jog, walk, talk on the trail, and we discussed again our church and the fine line between leadership servanthood and materialistic usurp-hood. Then later, he sent me this link which reveals the "hypocrisy" or at least greed of some of the major Christian evangelists in our country. Many of this group are being investigated right now by the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee. Unfortunately, the excesses appear to be true and is an excellent warning of what to look for even in its infancy stages:

I liked the ending paragraph to this article which I've copied below:

“There are bound to be some people who will read this article and say to themselves, "So the leadership live in nice houses or nice areas, so what? This is God's way of blessing them. They deserve this for leading God's people." I wonder if these people ever really stop to think about what they are saying? Do they really believe that God would bless those in leadership with lifestyles that totally contradict everything that Jesus taught. He and the men who led the first century church led by example. They were servant leaders. Ask yourself if any of the apostles would've chosen pricey homes or affluent areas for themselves. More to the point, would Jesus have done so? Ask yourself if the apostles would have used the contributions and tithes of the people in order to have done so? More to the point, would Jesus have done so?” (Leadership Lifestyles of the International Churches of Christ. Timothy Greeson)

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Today, it's gray once more, February and final(?) ice pellets. Public school was cancelled.

It's been a restful day. Cody and I are watching the story of Wilbur Wilburforce, the movie "Amazing Grace," the abolitionist movement in England. I wonder how Cody will process all of this information given him of oppression, of right-movements, of caring for human needs over economic. I don't want him to be self-centered, nor myself. There are still choices to be made in the world for good. The movie, in fact, seems quite relevant today despite the eventual ban on slavery. It's interesting how justification can always be made to turn away and not look. I want to teach him to stare and think and do.

Well, well, the hopes on a wintery day.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sixteen Years Worth

Here we are at an event; we're a couple. I've received his hugs for sixteen marital years now. He likes to do this, grab at me, while my hands are customarily crossed against the cold. He wants to warm me and show affection and be sturdy for me. He's sturdy, steady, steadfast to my whimsical, wandering, wayward nature. To boot, he's kind and loving and reliable; and, a farm kid himself from the cornfields with a nature for the right and good. I don't know how God arranged for us to become a couple as seen above, but he definitely knew how to take care of me through his choice. And, yes, at times, I wonder about his choice, particularly when grabbed and poked and teased and tormented by my hubby who thinks this is funny. And, I wonder when our interests differ widely; however, I couldn't have done a better job at choosing who would make my life more complete and secure. I am blessed by His choice for me. Grateful!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Ben's to Blame

Late night incriminations like ...

Why did the book club settle on a biography of Ben Franklin? As if we're going to work hard to redeem the character of Ben Franklin through our discussions? As if we're going to dispute what's been known 100fold since his lifetime of his life? As if we're going to be titillated by any new erotic disclosures. Hmmmm..... I feel antagonistic now towards Ben Franklin. American hero -- that's not good.

Mornings. Why did I have to select a running partner who grim-eyed, steel-willed, weather-notwithstanding expects to see me there in the dark, under the light pole, hobbling with my plantar fascitis, cold, draggy and sneezy, in the wee hours of the friendless morning? I should have picked a fence rider. I'm happier with fence riders than the absolutists of SternEye, yet I will set my alarm and grit my teeth and wear my night splint to bed on Valentine Eve. Is this called codependency?

Banjo player. I'm not sure why he's hesitant to pick his stuff and be proud. He's a good singer as well, my senior fun friend who I play and harmonize with on Tuesdays. But, lately, he's been lackluster.

I wish my bed weren't so far away or I would be in it now .... praying, stumbling, dreaming about Ben Franklin, and resolving all thoughts of incrimination.

Good night.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Ye ole ...

We ran for the van, kicking up our heels sideways in the air ~~ my 48 year old friend, me and my son. We just saw the lively Natalie MacMaster, and afterwards we were on a cloud of air as we ran laughing and talking and kicking it up. Natalie plays fiddle, accompanied by a cello, a pianist, a drummer, a bass guitarist, and a guy who played the bagpipes, flute, banjo; she's from Scotland and, therefore, so is the music. It was amazing; my blood is still exclaiming in lilt the ole country rhthyms. If you have a chance to see her, do!


Faith is such a crazy thing! Why is it? Or, do I undoubtedly make it crazy with my own offbalance? It could be a peaceful calm lake phenomena, but then the fish and turtles and snakes do lurk beneath, don't they? I guess that 'crazy' faith is just the human experience of it if one attempts to understand, commit, explain, impart its dimensions. Who can filter God? Tame the Spirit? Know and interpret all? No one. We have clues, messages, yes, yes, but even those are nebulous.

However, the morning called me to clearly respond to God due to some inner conflicts. It's crazy when faith seems muddy, happenchance, tilted, yet at times the response needs to be completely forthright as if one is faced with the most sensory (yet comfortable) Thing possible. God asking something of one, me, due to my straightforward human-woman need that needs his intervention.

So out the door into the rain-splashed morning I went anticipating. Running shoes, old paint-dropped sweats, New Orleans T-shirt, pony-tail, hat were acceptable worship material. I followed the old trail, around the lake estates where the geese fly, across the busy road where the morning commuters fly, to a street where it's happened before necessarily. I remember that time God told me to let go of a huge globe of fear and to recommit: from toes to hair, from bones to heart, bit by bit, both to Belief and to husband and to self and to others. It felt good again to release and reorient.

I walked back into the house doubting still, but yet knowingly committed, despite any where my adventurous mind takes me, or any where my body goes. I am committed and that's the clarity that is essential.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Hair care

I've been curled twice, given new frizz-master products, been finger-sleeked when a strand rebels, and, today, I'm receiving a new style compliments of her scissors. The last two years, I've been the forgotten, the cast-off, the oft-despised, the freedom-slicer, the square, the ugh-mother. Now, I'm cool again, loved, and worthy of pampering by the fashionable, career-stylist daughter. I've somehow regained gratitude which translates into beauty options.

Works for me.

She sent us a loving and gracious card, thanking us for everything. Life is good, and pretty!, right now. Thank you, God!

Friday, February 01, 2008

The Jazz Buzz

Calmer here now, even Obama and Hillary agree (per their amicable debate last night)(political humor). I'm less apt to wonder as I wander (like Keats, etc) into the snow and ne'er more return.

I am nervously looking forward to Cody's jazz band tryout today. He's been taking drum set lessons for a while now, but how will he perform under pressure? Jazz, who would've-a thunk? That music sounds as remote to me as universal health care for all (per Hillary's plan) (another political insert here). I mean "*Jazz*" -- here in the southern Midwest, we don't know much about it, especially me, bluegrass heritage and all. Yet, when I hear it, it's lovely, lively, interactive, puts me on another sort of move, set, expedition. And, Cody, with his ear would be great at improv (on piano or guitar).

Anyway, we shall see if "*Jazz*" becomes kitchen buzz in this household!