Wednesday, January 30, 2008

My Many Names

Copied this from ElastiGirl who got it from Terrapin Station. Have some fun!

1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME (first pet, current car): Chucker Corolla
2. YOUR GANGSTA NAME (fave ice cream flavor, favorite type of shoe): Chocolate Mint Sketcher
3. YOUR NATIVE AMERICAN NAME (favorite color, favorite animal): Blue Bear
4. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME (middle name, city where you were born): Ann Kerrville
5. YOUR STAR WARS NAME (the first three letters of your last name, first two of your first name): RooMi
6. SUPERHERO NAME (2nd favorite color, favorite drink): Peach Daiquiri (sounds more like a stripper name, see below)
7. NASCAR NAME (the first names of your grandfathers): Sam J (not Jay, just J.)
8. STRIPPER NAME ( the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy): Mango Mandarin Mint Muskateer
9. TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME (your fifth grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter): Stark Seattle
10. SPY NAME (your favorite season/holiday, flower): Christmas Rose
11. CARTOON NAME (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now): Peach PJ's
12. HIPPIE NAME (What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree): Waffle Willow

Jury Duty

If you had asked me at 3:00 pm yesterday, I would have bet money that I would be sitting in the jury box in big city courts building this morning. I was juror number 14, and numbers 7,8, and 11 all had reasons they would not be able to participate as jurors. The questioning by the lawyers seemed to go on and on. Could we impartially hear the evidence and render a verdict? That's what all the questions really meant.

In the end, we were dismissed and a mistrial was declared. Why? Because of the 65 people on the panel, there were fewer than 32 of us who could say we would be able to be impartial and judge the evidence. They needed 32 in order for each side to have their 10 strikes and still leave a jury of 12 persons.

A mistrial was declared because less than half of the people in the room were willing to set aside personal prejudices and do their duty. I went in wanting to avoid serving. As the day progressed, I felt like it would be important for me to do my part so that a fair trial could be given. I'll never know what becomes of the young man who was charged. I prayed for him as he sat facing me yesterday.

It was an interesting day theologically. You hear a lot of theology at the court house. Some of the things I heard were "An eye for an eye," "If you sin, you must pay the punishment," and "If you disobey God, bad things are gonna happen."

Loving God, who can bring good from evil. Work in the hearts and minds of all of us involved yesterday. Show us your way and your will in our lives. Bring love to those who only know hatred. Bring care for those in need to those who only know comfort. Amen.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Still Sick

Friday evening, things went downhill - way down. Fever went up, congestion dropped into chest and turned green. Called doctor on Saturday am. Got same antibiotic G&T and manBoy had been on for three days.

I didn't make the Disability Concerns Committee meeting for neighboring conferecence on Saturday. I didn't drive to town of small church for preaching. Someone down there covered, thank goodness. I didn't get to take my mom shopping for her cool birthday present.

Today I am better, but a long way from well. I still have lots of stuff in my chest. It takes a lot of energy to do anything. I'm working from home, doing as much as I can. I have forms to fill out for Board of Ordained Ministry. They are due Friday. Tomorrow I have to go to jury duty. I could postpone it, but I would be called again in the next two months. I'm hoping to be a little busy with a new appointment in the next two months.

I am definitely battling the demon of discouragement today. Not to mention holding my own little pity party. Well, it seems like I need to build a bridge and get over this.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


We've all been sick. Three people. Three different doctors. Two very different treatments. All improving. One more weekend to travel and preach. G&T's big band gig this Saturday. Hopefully things will slow down a bit after that. Will blog more next week.

Monday, January 21, 2008

What if?

the enemy is seated across from me at the table that God has also prepared for her in the presence of her enemy - me?

Psalm 23:5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Lord, lead me to love in the way you would have me love. Remind me that Romans 8:38-39 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord, was not written just for me and those who are just like me. Amen

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Official Sermon Writing Attire

This may not be worthy of a blog visited by a bishop, but oh well...
I'm taking a cue from my friend revdulce and posting this important information regarding sermon writing.
These are the best slipper socks for writing sermons. They are soft and comfy. The stripes remind me to get a little out of the box.
I've fallen into a pattern this month. Exegesis and research on Monday. Outline by mid-week. Final typing on Saturday after driving to town where little church is. These socks are great for climbing into the middle of the guest bed with my laptop and getting busy.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Friday Five: Read Any Good Books Lately?

From RevGalBlogPals:
The website promoting this piece of art says, "For the first time, the worlds most influential religious texts are brought together and presented on the same level, their coexistence acknowledged and celebrated”. The shelf is made of reclaimed wood that contains seven religious books. The designers have put them – literally – on the same level.

Well, pish posh! I think that some books ARE better than others! How about you?

1. What book have you read in the last six months that has really stayed with you? Why?

Making Spiritual Sense: Christian Leaders As Spiritual Interpreters by Scott Cormode because it made sense.

The Power to Bless by Myron C. Madden because it brought healing.

Woman Prayers: Prayers by Women from throughtout History and Around the World by Mary Ford-Grabowsky becsuse it holds beauty and strength.

I'm about to start Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations by Bishop Robert Schnase. I'll let you know what I think.

2. What is one of your favorite childhood books?

Just one? I can't pick just one! I read Heidi, and the entire Little Women series over and over again. When I was younger, there was an easy read book called Let Papa Sleep. Pip and Chip are supposed to be quiet and let Papa sleep. Of course everything they do makes a big mess and lots of noise, but Papa doesn't wake up. In the end, a fly lands on Papa's nose and wakes him up. I still think it's funny and I still have the book. And of course there was always A Child's Garden of Verses.

3. Do you have a favorite book of the Bible? Do tell!

Psalms - the emotion is so there and so raw. I still love a good poem.

4. What is one book you could read again and again?

I'm currently re-reading the entire Mitford Series by Jan Karon. I'm up to In this Mountain.

5. Is there a book you would suggest for Lenten reading? What is it and why?

I don't have anything to offer. I'm going to have to read everyone else's answers and find something.

And because we all love bonus questions, if you were going to publish a book what would it be? Who would you want to write the jacket cover blurb expounding on your talent?
I might write a book of devotions or of some of my sacred imaginings. I have written short stories from the perspective of bystanders in the Bible (ex. a girl in King Herod's court when the Magi came). I would want Dogblogger to write the blurb. She is a great writer and she likes me!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Woohoo, Wow, and Whew!

Just finished the first meeting of the Conference Disability Concerns Committee. 25 people genuinely interested in making God's church welcoming and participatory for all of God's people. I took care of physical arrangements of the room, lunch, emails to get everyone here... My co-chair and I planned the agenda and shared in leading the meeting. We had group introduction time, small group brainstorming, large group sharing ideas. We still have a long ways to go to find our defined purpose and planning, but there was lots of enthusiasm in that room today.

I am exhausted. I've been building up to this for 3 months from the time I sent the first email asking who might be interested in serving on the committee. So now that the first meeting has come and gone, the adrenaline has dropped out of sight. It's a good tired, but man I'm tired.

My new boss offered the prayer at the end of the meeting. He thanked God for working through the circumstances that landed me in the Conference office for this interim to bring together this group of people for this good work. Amen to that.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Better Sunday

Well things went a little better with the drive 200 miles, sleep, preach, drive 200 miles gig this weekend. I went to Sunday School at Little Church this morning. The discussion was sooo interesting in that my sermon was going to address so many of the comments that were made. These people needed to hear that God loves them and they can't earn their salvation!

I preached on Romans 8:31-39 and called it "Ain't No Mountain." Over and over again, we can't keep God from loving us. We can just keep ourselves from experiencing that love. Then I transitioned to Remembrance of Baptism - beloved children of God.... We had a time when everyone was invited to come forward to the water to remember their Baptism in their own way. It went over really well which is mildly surprising since it was a totally new concept for them.

I'm not nearly as exhausted as last week. manBoy and G&T will be home from Youth and Band practice soon, so I will leave you and cook dinner for them.

Lord God, Thank you for safe travels, for the opportunity to share your glorious love with others, and for the reminders of just how much you gift us daily. Amen.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Small Graces

I was listening today to a song called Small Graces by Bob Bennett. It occurs to me that I've had a few of my own small glimpses of God's grace lately.

Pastor K hosted a wig and hat party in celebration of hair loss through chemo. We watched a video of her getting her hair cut really, really short the day it began to fall out. She stood up to it well, but had a grief episode that evening (normal and healthy). Please keep her in your prayers.

I follow the Caring Bridge reports for Little D. His story and his family's faith and strength are inspiration and blessing to me.

My sermon is typed and printed before 10 pm.

Did I mention G&T took the amp back?

Oh God, please help me see your small graces all around me. Pour your Spirit in, over and through me as I speak tomorrow. Let my words be your messengers. Amen.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Friday Five

Mother Laura at RevGalBlogPals writes:

Éstas son las mañanitas These are the morning verses
Que cantaba el Rey David, That King David used to sing,
A las muchachas bonitas To the beautiful young ladies,
Se las cantaba así. He would sing them like this.

(The Mexican birthday song, sometimes sung as a dawn serenade).Youtube Mariachi version
here. Piano music and eleventy-zillion more verses here.

My forty-third birthday next Wednesday will inaugurate the "Birthday Madness" season in the Grimes-Honkanen household. The next day Katie will turn five and just over two weeks later, on Feb. 3, Nicholas will be eleven. In the middle, on January 30, we celebrate the gift of Grandma Di; Nicholas and I were both due on my Mom's birthday but I was uncharacteristically early and he was little late. We will be doing a trip to Disneyland to celebrate them all in a couple weeks; in the meantime I offer this birthday-inspired Friday Five.

1. When is your birthday? Does anyone else (famous and/or in your own life) share it?
In August, 15 days later than it was supposed to be. I'm a Virgo who was expected to be a Leo.

2. Do you prefer a big party or an intimate celebration for the chosen few?
Both! Why have just one party? Celebrate small with family and big with friends.

3. Describe your most memorable birthday(s)--good, bad, or both.
Uggh - turning 40 wouldn't have been too bad except G&T sent me black roses. I don't mean roses grown to be black. I mean what would have been a beautiful bouquet before it was spray painted black, stems, leaves, petals and all! It was the most depressing thing I've ever seen. To top it off, his mother sent me Luby's Gift Certificate. Just how old did she think I was anyway?

On a better note, last August I finished CPE on my birthday. We had a lovely graduation service in the chapel and a great lunch. I thanked them for planning all that just for my birthday.

4. What is your favorite cake and ice cream? (Bonus points if you share the cake recipe). Or would you rather have a different treat altogether?
Forget Cake (too dry), forget Ice Cream - Bring on the Key Lime Pie!

5. Surprise parties: love 'em or hate 'em?

Bonus: Describe your ideal birthday--the sky's the limit.
Beach. Hammock. Good Book. Massage in hut on beach. Great Dinner with hubby served on patio of hotel room facing beach. Good wine. I'll leave the rest to your imagination.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Noise ( or just plain complaining)

Our house is a good sized house, and one of the things I like about it is that the den is far enough from the rest of the house that I can have quiet time with stuff going on elsewhere. Until now that is.

First we added surround sound to the living room (next to the den).

Now, my generosity is coming back to haunt me. Last week as we were redoing manBoy's room, we decided he could have some speakers we were no longer using with a computer. He can use them with his iPod. What were we thinking?!?!?! Now instead of music only he hears in his ears, it's music we all hear.

Last night G&T was talking about needing a new amp for the party gig the worship band has coming up at the end of this month. I told him to go get what he needed. He did. Tonight music is blasting through the house. There is no quiet place in this house anywhere! I can't just go to bed because G&T's music room shares a wall with our bedroom. I can't steal G&T's sound dampening headphones because he's wearing them - go figure. Maybe if he didn't have the sound dampening headphones on he wouldn't need the amp up so loud. You think?

To top it off, I have to write sermons every week this month. I committed to preach for my mother's church since their pastor started chemo a week ago. When I made that commitment, I had been told I would be unemployed this month. Now I'm working full time and trying to find time to study and think and write.

This is a struggle. G&T is trying to practice for something that is a big fund raiser for the church. I'm trying to prepare for sermons I offered as a gift to a church.

Lord, help us find a way we can both serve you and your people. Amen.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Busy Weekend

3-5 am - Sermon handwritten at last - it just wouldn't come for the longest time.
5-7 am - a little more sleep
8 am - Emmaus Reunion Group
10-12 am - packing clothes, books, computer, sermon notes, stuff for tax estimation
12-3:30 - drive 200 miles to town of preaching gig
3:30-5:30 - type sermon
6:30 - 9:30 - dinner with mom and sisters - a very rare occasion
9:30 - 10pm visit with m-i-l who graciously provided me with bed and breakfast.
10pm - Fall into bed

3:30 am - wide awake - no more sleep for tonight
8 am - breakfast with m-i-l
9am - field phone call from father - please go by local tax preparer's office and pick up forms he needs for his tax preparer's office in nearby town.
9:15am - pick up forms
9:30am - arrive at church, visit with friends I have roped into doing music for this service and several others, prepare for service.
10:45 service begins. Music great. Sermon preached.
12:00 pm - Back to local tax preparer's office for more forms
12:15- off to nearby town for tax consult with dad.
1:30 - lunch with dad and stepmom.
2:30-3:30 - tax estimation done for 4th quarter - small ouch but could have been worse
3:30 - on the road back to suburbia.
6:15 - arrive home
total miles in 30 hours - 472
I'm going to bed. Does this count as one of my blogs for the week?

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Not Who I Used To Be

I am not
who I was
three months ago.

Three months ago,
I was not
who I was
a year before
when I started CPE.

I have changed.

Yet I am still the very same me I always was.

Last week I was going through a file drawer. I found the results from the psychological examination I had to take to start the process for ordination. The exam was 5 years ago. As I reread the results, I was surprised to see how accurate they were. I was also pleased at how I've grown in 5 years. I still have all the same personality traits, and I still have to be careful about control. The difference is not in my personality, but in how I recognize my personality traits and work to use them for the best or hold them in check when needed. Even how I cope with reading this glaringly accurate report has changed. When I read it five years ago, I felt condemned. Now I just see it as a report of the me God made and is still creating and recreating(next blog).

And for proof that I am still the same me: the fact that I was going through a file drawer. I love organizing. Most people like to be organized. I like getting organized. When I was a child, I would empty everything out of my closet into the floor of my bedroom and put it all back in a new more organized way. I have a life-long friend who once called me to please come organize her boys' room. Some things never change.

So over the Christmas break we:
  • Added shelves to the Elfa Unit and alphabetized our CD's (lots and lots of them).
  • Cleaned up all the loose papers (lots and lots of them) in my home office, and cleaned out one file drawer.
  • Cleaned out and rearranged manBoy's room to accommodate his Christmas loot. Short of having the latest game system, he now has a teenager's electronic paradise. He needs 2 power strips to plug in all his stuff.
  • G&T made significant progress in his office/music room. You can even see most of the floor.
Loving God, Thank you for gifting each of us in different ways. Thank you for my friends who have the gift of spontaneity when I'm busy putting things in order. Thank you for our home and the many things we have. Remind us that things are only things, relationship with you and with each other are truly important. Amen.