Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Proverbs 10:17

I have been thinking about Proverbs 10:17, because I will be speaking on it at one of the meetings of our youth group next month. I always enjoy speaking to the youth - maybe because I teach high school, and feel a natural affinity for them.

Anyhow, the verse is "He who heeds discipline shows the way to life, but he who ignores instruction leads others astray." There is a lot to say here.

First, we are to be people who heed discipline. But it is more than just listening to someone who is correcting or rebuking us. It is also about living a disciplined life in general. If we do that, we are not only on the way to life, we are setting a good example. If we ignore instruction, we are not only on the wrong path, we are leading others astray. We never know when someone is watching us as a role model.

So this is not just about living in a godly way. It is about standing up for the godly way, living it "out loud," as Steven Curtis Chapman says. This is a really important message for high school students to hear, because to many of them standing out is a bad thing.

I hope I can help to bring the word that convinces them otherwise. Our society is starved for people who will stand and live right.

Friday, October 27, 2006


You are in the right place. I have just jumped onto the renovation band wagon - a la Julie over at onehandclapping. She had this cool looking blog, and she gave the link to PannasMontata, where there are several formats for download. This girl does some great work! Check them out!

Halloween Friday Five

Greetings, all who drop by, and Happy Friday. I must say I am pretty wiped out this particular week. Marching season is winding down, and I am looking forward to recapturing some of my time. Even so, with the group we had this season, I actually find myself wishing for one more week. What a time we have had!

And now, on to the Halloween Friday Five...
Reverendmother here...

I checked out last year's Halloween Friday Five, which dealt with candy and costumes. Great questions, supplied by Songbird. If you weren't around last year or didn't play then, feel free to do so now. Mmm. Candy.

You wanna see something *really* scary?...

1. Do you enjoy a good fright?

Nope. Hate it. A lot.

2. Scariest movie you've ever seen

Nightmare on Elm Street. Didn't want to drive home afterwards. It was the last scary movie I saw.

3. Bobbing for apples: choose one and discuss:
a) Nothing scary about that! Good wholesome fun.
b) Are you *kidding* me?!? The germs, the germs!

Well, as a kid I didn't mind. But as I get older, I am less and less attracted to the idea of putting my head in cold water to retrieve apples I could just as easily get off of a tree. And people's hair in the water first...Ugh.

4. Real-life phobia

Heights. And the dentist.

5. Favorite "ghost story"

Amityville Horror. I have not read it in a long time, but I was fascinated by this supposedly true story when I was a teen.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

A powerful - yet somewhat hopeless - story

I have finally seen Rent. The movie version, not the show. I enjoyed the music, particularly the opening song, Seasons of Love. I cared about the characters. I was captured by the powerful story of these young people, several of whom were basically making the most of life until they died. And I was deeply moved when I called to mind that there are people who really live like this.

The message in the story was that we must make the most of each moment, because any moment could be our last. For these Bohemians, that meant the pursuit of whatever carnal pleasures they desired. There was some reference to trying to help others less fortunate, and the plot device about the young man, Benny, who "got out" and got married and got a good job from his rich father-in-law was interesting. Benny was now trying to take over part of the old neighborhood to build a cyber-cafe. This was seen as "selling out." The Bohemians saw themselves as the less fortunate that others should be helping, I think, to some extent.

But aside from one event toward the end of the movie, there was not much hope to be found. Nothing about the reason that we should help others, nothing about faith in anything beyond the now. "There's only us, there's only this..."

Seems to me that for us there should be more to making the most of each moment than the selfish pursuit of whatever carnal pleasure presents itself. We have our mandate - to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God.

Maybe instead of watching movies about it, we should try to help. Walking humbly requires getting off of our couches.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Wise in Our Own Eyes

As the wind blew Friday night, gusting to 50 miles per hour, I found myself thinking that no matter how great our technology gets, how strong our buildings become, God always wins in the end. We cannot "out-power" God.

How often we go about our business, making choices, doing our thing, without consulting the One who knows all. How often we live as if our wisdom - human knowledge - were all we needed.

But if we are to live the lives we were meant to live, we are going to have to trust in God rather than ourselves. To live a Kingdom life requires Kingdom vision, Kingdom will, Kingdom courage.

The only place to get that is to consult the King.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

"Wow" Moment

Last week I talked about having to tell my marching band that the show left me wanting more - as in volume, dynamism, passion - almost everything that would have made it a show.

This week I got to tell them that the show left me wanting more - as in can we please do that again because "THAT is what I'm talkin' about."

What a difference a week of hard work can make. There is so much in our society that says we have a right to instant gratification, and that if we want something we should be able to just go out and get it. Well, music doesn't work that way. That's why it's so good for people to be involved in music. You have to do the work to reap the benefit of a good performance and the good feelings that come from it. And nothing compares to doing a good show. I mean, there are a lot of good feelings in a pint of Ben and Jerry's, but not the kind of feeling you get coming off of the field after doing a good show, and realizing that the rest of the group was doing a good show right along with you.


Friday, October 20, 2006

October 20 Friday Five

Time once again to play the Friday Five. That means it's Friday again. Wasn't it Friday yesterday?!

Below you will find five words. Tell us the first thing you think of on reading each one. Your response might be simply another word, or it might be a sentence, a poem or a story.


...romance. Don't know why - must be all those chick flicks I've seen in my life. Some seem to lead to whirlwind weddings, but then the marriage is a whirlwind of an entirely different sort...


...cracking. As in my friend's woke up to their foundation cracking this past week and we are praying hard for them.


...a DeMotivators series poster. It had a picture of lightning, and the caption was, "Every cloud has a silver lining, but lightning kills hundred of people each year who are trying to find it." I laughed so hard at that!!


...a room that my parents house never had. It was a playroom!


...When you're this, you PRAY.

Happy Friday to anyone stopping by on this day.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Telling the Truth

My marching band had its first show this past weekend. Not first football game - we have had a couple of those. But the first marching band show, where people shush each other to hear the bands.

First I must note that I and my staff are placing more demand on the band members than anyone else we saw. Our music is more intricate, and our drill is, as well.

That noted, the band played a bit tentatively, sometimes played downright nervous, and the show did not come across as we had hoped it would.

Now, I always talk with them after the show, and I always like to be very upbeat. So it killed me to say what I said in the previous paragraph, even though we will all be better for it in the end. In fact, I am pretty sure they already knew what to general tone would be.

Either way, I was so proud of them! They work hard, and the crowd enjoyed the performance. And I know this group will come back in firing on all pistons.

On another topic, I am the teacher of the new friends and members class at my church. I enjoy it a great deal, because it gets me the chance to meet new folks coming in. This group is very tangential - holy cow, the questions! It is pretty fun, since I am a bit tangential myself.

Last week we ended with a question about how we read the Bible, and someone noted that we don't have any specific statment about the Bible being the Word of God in our statment of faith, which is simply the Apostle's Creed. We use the creed in order to avoid some of the non-essential points of "debate" among Christians. But this seemed to me (and to our pastor) kind of an strange oversight, which we'll have to do something about.

The Bible being the Word of God, and the final authroity for faith and practice, is an incredibly important Christian doctrine, and one that is being attacked.

Now, that said, we must always be aware of the lens we read the Bible through. We cannot read our assumptions into the text. We must be willing to conform to it, not make it conform to us.

It was an interesting day.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Friday Fiving

Once again, it is time for the RevGals Friday five. Can't tell you how much I look forward to this each week. Almost nothing can wreck a Friday! So, without further ado, away we go.


Reverendmother here...

Maybe it's the arrival of crisp October, my favorite month. Or maybe it's the fact that the divine little miss m has been sick all week (and if the baby ain't happy, ain't nobody happy). Whatever the reason, my thoughts have been turning to cozy creature comforts--those activities and spaces that just make a person feel good. And so...

1. Comfort beverage

Hot chocolate, of course. Is there another one? Oh yeah, maybe gin and tonic...

2. Comfort chair

My recliner in my living room, all cozied up with a comforter. No better place!

3. Comfort read

Blogs, or fanfiction. There are some decent writers out there.

4. Comfort television/DVD/music

Whatever I have recorded on my DVR that week. I happen to love Dancing With the Stars, Grey's Anatomy, and Battlestar Galactica. How's that for diverse?

5. Comfort companion(s)

My posse: Chris, Nancy, Carl, Pete, and Belinda. Or my dear friend CeCe.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Always learning something

Today's job - figure out how to add the new RevGals thingy you now see on my blog.

I actually had to find the right spot in the blogger template code. Always learning something 'round here.

Someone over on Emerging Women started a great discussion about how we read the Bible. I take a fairly conservative position on this, figuring that it is the way in which God chose to reveal His story, and I should trust it. Some folks seem to think that we should almost "go with our gut," and that the Bible is a great collection of stories, but not a "rule book" or "owner's manual."

If you feel like putting in your two cents, feel free. Or go to Emerging Women and check out the original conversation.

Friday, October 06, 2006

RevGals Friday Five for October 6

Well, I find myself with time to blog on a Friday, so I will choose to do the RevGalBlogPals Friday Five, an always enjoyable diversion from normalcy, and downright fun to do.

Friday Five: Civic Duties
It's that season of the year when lawn signs are sprouting as surely as flowers in the spring; elections are just around the corner. And so today we bring you a Civic Duty Friday Five.

1) How old were you when you voted for the first time?

I was 18, and it was 1984.

2) What was the contest at the top of the ballot?

President was the top of the ballot - Ronald Reagan v. hmmm...don't remember that. Was it Mondale? President Reagan won by a landslide. I was a young Republican, then, and I was always a Reagan fan. Boy, could he speak, and he reminded me of my dad. Plus, I liked that he stood by the law with the whole air traffic controller thing. A President should stand for and abide by the law, and it was illegal for them to strike.

3) Can you walk to your polling place?

Depends on the day and the weather. It is a little over a mile and a half.

4) Have you ever run for public office?


5) Have you run for office in a club or school or on a board?

Well, does running for Vice President of my teacher's association count? If so, I did, and I won.

Well, that was fun. Happy Friday, everyone.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Small Miracles

Just when we think God isn't paying attention anymore, something really cool happens on a scale we forget He notices.

My car heating system has been "healed." Yup. "Healed."

It had been malfunctioning. At the end of the last cold season - which ended in June, I think - ha! - I knew I would have to get some work done. The heat would not kick in until I got the car up to 2000 rpms, despite the fact that the engine was warm and that the temperature indicator was reading warm.

So imagine my surprise one day recently when I used the remote start - quite out of habit really - and subsequently got into a warm car! That was not "supposed" to have happened - I had not yet gotten the engine up to 2000 rpms. But the car was warm, the windows defrosted. And the heat has worked ever since.

"Healed." A car!

Thank God that He cares about all the stuff of our lives, because He loves us. Next time you feel like He isn't paying attention, look again. And if you need to, come on back and read this post again.

I know I will.