About Me
Name: Kelly Wolske

Maryland born, Florida raised, and transplanted to the Mojave for the love of my husband. Big Red's wife, Tele's mom, part time student. Child of God, Christ follower, United Methodist in exile. More than anything I strive to hear His voice every single day.

My Complete Profile

Chocaholic Pachyderm
The Journey We Call Faith
World Magazine
Feminists for Life
Libertarian Christians?


Recent Posts
7 Foods for 1 Entire Month?
A Few Thoughts on HR3200 (part one of however many...
There's a song in the air...
Worst. Day. Ever.
Coveting your prayers...
The world is still rotating on its axis...
Our last Vegas move?
Wednesday Morning, 3AM*
And now for something completely different...

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Reading: The Pilgrim's Progress
Project: Sewing/ craft corner

Thursday, August 31, 2006
I knew what was coming when I couldn't check in online...
At least, I suspected. Anyway, I did get hit with some extra screening. The very nice TSA gentleman swabbed my bag inside and out, put the little disc into his supersecret contraband residue detector, and asked we what my cat's name is. No, not really. But i can bet that's what his supersecret-contraband-residue-detector came up with. I can see it now:

Explosive residue: Negative
Feline follicles: 10X normal levels.

Result: Not a terrorist, just some poor childless woman who thinks her cat is a person.

*sigh* It was almost anitclimactic. I mean, I allowed and entire extra hour, thinking that I would have all sorts of hassles. But Jon dropped me off at 1:45, and I had my computer plugged in and turned on by 2:08.

For anyone unfamiliar with McCarran on a thursday, this is little short of amazing. I will forever sing the praises of our airport's customer service, gimme an "M"... gimme a "C"... oh, you know the rest.

  posted at 2:14 PM  

Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Making mornings easier...

Most of the time, we do our mornings in shifts. I leave for work around 6 or 6:30, and J doesn't get up until later. For me, breakfast is often cereal or a smoothie. These muffins are great because the batter stays in the refrigerator until I need it. I just scoop out however many muffins I want to bake that morning and-- voila! Freshly-baked, homemade muffins.

Refrigerator Muffins

1 (15 oz) package of raisin bran
2 c sugar
1 c oil
4 eggs
5 c flour
5 t soda
2 t salt
1 qt buttlermilk

Combine all ingredients; store batter in refrigerator. Bake muffins 15 minutes at 400. If not baking full pan of muffins, add water to the empty tins.

Note: Step up the fiber content even more by substituting flaxseed poweder for some of the oil.

So there you have it, a busy morning treat and two bonus tips. Works for me! Now go see Shannon and her treasure trove of tips.

  posted at 1:02 AM  

Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Read. Feel Better.
If you need a little reminder that the world is not going to hell in a handbasket, then take a few mintutes to read this. And this. And even this. Heck, go here and see the entire list.

Now relax and smile. God is in control.

  posted at 9:03 AM  

Monday, August 28, 2006
Vegan adventures...
I have been emboldened by my recent Amazon purchases to experiement with some of my recipes and make them vegan. We are reluctant omnivores, but have friends with varying dietary needs. I am trying to have more than three vegan recipes in my repertoire, especially something appropriate for dinner parties, yanno?

It isn't difficult for me to put together a vegetarian menu, as long as we are talking ovo-lacto, or lacto. Vegan is a bit more of a challenge to me, as many vegan food substitutes are highly processed (something to which I have an aversion, quite frankly). I splashed out last week and picked up some non-dairy cheese, my thought process being that cheese is already pretty highly processed, right?

So tonight, I made vegan pesto (yum). Served on TJ's protein packed organic sprouted wheat pasta (double, triple yum), it was huge hit with the Rock Star, who doesn't even know it was vegan. The pasta is really nutty, and it stood up nicely to the pesto, with its bright basil and earthy almonds. I tried a non-dairy cheese, made from almond milk.

Incidentally, I looked for a recipe tonight. Note to self-- do not Google the words "nut" and "cheese" together. People are pervy! Eww!!

  posted at 8:18 PM  

For my nephew, on your first day of school...

Good morning, sunshine!

It is hard for old Aunt Kelly to get her mind around the idea of you as a kindergartener. I remember heading down to the hospital the evening after you were born. Uncle Jon was a little scared for you, you know that? He didn't see how someone so small could make it in such a mean world. Your dad told him you would be just fine though. And how could you not be? Your mom and dad love you and your brother so much-- taking care of you two is their best, most favorite thing to do.

Your smile and hugs and crazy antics have brought us too many smile to count. When you were younger, Uncle Jon used to drive us all crazy, you know-- he was constanty prompting you to "say Uncle Jon!" I guess that is why you guys are such good buddies. I don't know if his name was the first one you said, but you sure said it a lot-- your mom called us one morning and told us that you must be our child, since you woke up saying "Jon. Jon! Jon!" (Uncle Jon thinks it was a ploy to break his no-diaper streak)

Being far away from you is the worst thing about Vegas, kiddo. We live for holidays and any chance to see you in person. You are growing up to be such a wonderful young man, and we miss seeing each little step of the way.

I almost missed a chance to talk to you this morning-- it is pretty early out here. I caught you though-- thank goodness for your mom's cell phone! You sounded so grown up as you walked into your classroom, even mean old Aunt Kelly got teary.

I will be with you next weekend, and I want to hear all about your adventures this summer. Kindergarten is just the beginning; the whole world is out there, waiting for your stamp. When he sees you now, Uncle Jon is a little less scared. He knows you will take on every challenge with your smile and dertermination, he knows that your mommy and daddy will be right there, and he knows that one day, you will do the protecting.

We love you so very much!
Aunt Kelly and Uncle Jon

  posted at 5:39 AM  

Sunday, August 27, 2006
Jihad Evangelism?
Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig of Fox News are safe in Israel tonight. I am sure their families are relieved beyond measure. During their captivity, these men were forced, at gunpoint, to convert to Islam. I am not sure what to make of this. I mean, does it count? Can they take it back?

I don't know if these men are Christ followers, but something such as this is humbling. I wonder about having enough faith in God's promises to withstand such strain. Shoot-- even now, I falter daily, and I have it super easy!

It was very popular, in the days following the Colimbine HS shootings to make martyrs-- especially of young Rachel Scott. Her ability to stand firm in her declaration of Christ showed remarkable strength of character. I am wondering what the response will be now.

I can't find it in me to even begin to condemn them, and I pray that these men will be treated with grace. I also pray that neither I nor any of you ever have to make such a decision.

  posted at 8:12 PM  

Saturday, August 26, 2006
Too much quiet!!
I am the eldest of three, though I was an only child for almost five years. The thing is, there were always a lot of people around. At one time, my aunt and cousin lived with us, and at another time my Unlce Jim lived with us. A lot of people.

Today, it is just Tele and I. J is giving a workshop up in Overton, and I stayed behind to do some laundry and packing (5 more days- say yay!) for my trip home.

Initially, I was super excited. I wanted to do Kelly things. You know, the stuff that it really isn't good for hubby to see-- like eyebrow waxing. I hate coming home with red skin, because part of me wants to preserve that illusion that my borws are naturally perfect. You know, like how my legs are naturally smooth? Anyway, J being out of town gave me the perfect opportunity to my waxed, plucked, and shaped with plenty of time for the redness to go away. Good times.

Yeah, so that was done by 10, and the grocery shopping was done by 11, and the laundry by 12, and I have 9 more hours to fill. I even went out to Boca Park to do a little shopping-- no fun. I am not a solitary shopper, and my husband is my best friend and supreme shopping buddy.

I think I am going to go fix a yummy yummy dinner and set the table with some candles. I guess if he asks the occasion, I will tell him just because I missed him. Because I do.

  posted at 5:42 PM  

Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Have things changed so much in 12 years?
The Cuddle Puddle of Stuyvesant High School -- New York Magazine

Or did I lead a completely sheltered life in high school?
The article is long, but VERY interesting.

Thoughts? Comments? Snide remarks?

  posted at 3:32 PM  

Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Another Family-type announcement...
Ok, I said I wasn't going to do this, but it's my blog and I changed my mind.

If you are someone who is maybe planning on coming out to see little old us in the near future (before 7 January 2007, you may want to check out SouthWest. I found tickets home for Christmas for $200-- round trip! Apparently, they are featuring Annapolis as one of their vacation destinations. Not going to Annapolis, but I will surely ride on their coattails. Feeling the Luv!

Ok, we now return you to your regularly scheduled blogging.

  posted at 5:34 PM  

Monday, August 21, 2006
And now for something completely different!
(With apologies to the Python crew)
Jeana over at Days to Come has been burning up keyboards all over the place with these four posts (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4)

I encourage you to read it, really. (Thank you, Shannon and BooMama)

It is pretty interesting how we hear things, isn't it? Especially with respect to very personal decisions. I love the grace exhibited by these ladies in their discussion. They are all very passionate about their feelings and opinions, but they are mindful that God's calling in their lives is just that-- in their lives.

I have no children, so I have not had to defend our choices for raising our family. I have, however, felt as though I had to defend our childless status. Two things strike me when it comes to this:

For one thing, it will never cease to amaze me how completely insensitive perfect strangers and casual acquaintances can be with their questions and comments. Yes, we have been married almost four years. No we do not have any children. No we do not have immediate plans for any. Yes, I realise that if we are waiting for the "right time" it will never happen. I also realise that, while there is no "right time," there is definitely a "wrong time." I realise that while I am still completing my education, it is not responsible to add an extra person to our family. Oh, yeah, that's another thing-- we are a family, albeit a small one. I realise that our marriage is still too young to have yet another stressor added.

I also realise that if I actually said any of these things, I would hurt someone terribly. They would simply create a downward spiral of defensiveness, harsh words, and hurt feelings. Basically, I choose to hear this: "I enjoy my children so much more than I ever expected to, and I wouldn't want any one to miss out on this much joy and blessing."

The second concerns friends, all very well-meaning. It is odd how I have had my feelings "read" and justified without ever asking. Example, someone once told me that he/she understood all about my not wanting children, and that I was actually the last person he/she expected to even get married, let alone have a family. Ouch. Double ouch! I am pretty sure that this person has absolutely no idea how much that stung, and if I have my way, he/she never will.

Maybe I should be better equipped to handle these comments, but I am pretty much at a loss. Right now, I have to settle for a (hopefully) serene smile and a shrug.

(BTW, my parents have always been very hands-off, mouth shut about this topic, and I think J's have too)

  posted at 10:59 AM  

Sunday, August 20, 2006
Will this be as much news as Mel?
A couple weeks ago, Mel Gibson's vile meltdown made national, and probably international headlines. The national news programmes led with his story for almost and entire week. Christopher Hitchens weighed in with some pretty poisonous comments, and we all watched in morbid fascination as a man's career went down into a whiskey bottle.

Andrew Young has resigned from Working Familes for Walmart after some dubious comments. What's that? What's that you say? You mean Today, GMA, and The Easry Show didn't lead with this story? Oh my! Could it be that they and we are much more excited to see Mel Gibson tank? And why is that, my friends?

  posted at 2:22 PM  

Saturday, August 19, 2006
Compromise is a beautiful thing...
My extended family is spread out all over this continent. In fact, when it comes to the Jones-McLellan clan (Mudder's side), the buld of the family is west coast, and we were the lone Easterners (this made for lots of fun at family reunions, when my cousins would ask me to say certain words, just to hear my southern accent) .

This meant that summer vacations were always road trips to see family. My mom would pack us up and take off the week after post-planning (oxymoronis) wrapped, and we would make our way from Tallahassee to Blaine. One summer we hit as many national parks as our time and budget would allow. Hot Springs, Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Redwoods, Badlands, I have seen almost all of the National Parks system. We have rolls of bison photos and a twenty minutes of beaver dam video footage to share, if anyone is interested!

In our first year of marriage, Rock Star and I moved 2500 miles from our immediate families. Since then, every trip we have taken has been to see family. This isn't really a big deal, or a problem per se, just a fact of life and money. The fact is that, until I finish school, we cannot afford to take more than one vaction-- it is easier to make choices when you are presented with only one option, believe me!

I must say, however, that going home for vaction is something of a contradiction in terms. We love to be around our family, make no mistake about that. It is just that time constraints lead to tension, and by the time we return to Vegas, we feel like we need a vaction to recover from our vacation. What to do? How can we see our family, whom we miss something awful, and still get the break that we need out of a vacation?

Enter the Great Vacation Compromise of 2007. Yes, we have figured it out! The Outer Banks are about 5-6 hours from the bulk of our "Back East" family. We are renting a beachouse for one week next summer (dates still to be determined, so if you want to get your votes in, let us know). Five bedrooms, hot tub and swimming pool, and just steps from the beach.

Come for the food, come for the company, come for the fishing. What ever your reason, I am issuing an open invitation (pretty much because I am too lazy to call, and I don't want to forget anyone and hurt their feelings). It looks like we will be in Duck, which has the better swimming beaches. Bring your beach towels, bring your sunblock, and please, please bring your CRIBBAGE BOARDS!!!! (Don't know if the airlines will let me bring one on board, you see ;))

Yes, I know this is an entire year away, but we have to make reservations this fall. And I apologize to anyone reading who is not a relative. I promise the next post will not be so Wolske/Hutson oreinted. And if you want to come by for some cribbage and beer, you are more than welcome!

  posted at 7:42 PM  

When I was a young girl...
... My parents read to me. A lot.

For my mom, the choices were usually the classics remembered from her childhood. The Little Princess, The Secret Garden, Heidi. Even when I was old enough to read for myself, we continued this ritual. Ostensibly, it was for A and R, being so much younger than I. But I know now that it was just as much for me. I loved that time, sitting there in my nightgown, fresh from a bath. (Snuggled up on the couch was always the best, because then I could smell that Mom smell and rest my head on her shoulder.)

When Dad read to me, it was a whole different ballgame. If anyone here knows my dad, you should know this about him: he is a storyteller. (And if you haven't heard him tell a story, you are missing something.) He drops his voice a little, and his inflection draws the listener in. I love to watch the kids at our home church when Dad gives the children's chat. He seldom uses more than one prop, but every child there is listening, enthralled.

When Dad read to me, it was the poetry which stands out. Ok, so he didn't EVER call it poetry, and most purists would agree with him. Dad read verse. There was the standard Shel Silverstein, but what I really loved was when he would open the big blue book and read Robert W. Service.

This morning, I awakened to hear the song being read, and a flood of memories drove me to the computer. I found a wonderful recording of Johnny Cash reading the Cremation of Sam McGee

There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sam McGee.

This morning, I awakened to hear the song being read, and a flood of memories drove me to the computer. I found a wonderful recording of Johnny Cash reading the Cremation of Sam McGee and I knew I had to share with you guys. It isn't quite the same as listening to Dad, but it is a worth song nevertheless.

If I ever have children of my own, I want them to share my love of stories with them. I want to snuggle up, for however long they will let me, and take them to all the fanciful places my parents carried me-- just on the wings of spoken words. My parents shared their love of stories with me, and I can't wait to get home in a couple of weeks. Maybe I can talk Dad into reading to us that big blue book.

  posted at 6:25 AM  

Thursday, August 17, 2006
So then, why bother?
Much discussion has ensued over at Locusts and Honey, and as is often the case, the comments- while intriguing-- no longer bear any resemblance to the original essay.

I want to look at activism as a whole, and why we, any of us, should bother. So, if any are out there reading, please share. Have you ever been an activist for a cause? What did you do? Do you feel you were effective? Why did you do it?

  posted at 5:10 PM  

Some thoughts on activism...
Yesterday, John got me thinking about activism with his very well put essay on Christian rehtoric. J and I were discussing some things last night as far as our own perceptions/ experiences with activism.

My brother-in-law commented in the ensuing discussion the we could perhaps extend this reasoning to WTO protesters and Americans who complain about illegal immigration. I see his train of thought, but I think there are a couple ways the issues differ...

No matter how frustrating Illegal immigration may be, it is not directly a life and death issue. War is just that. The people who die of exposure in the deserts of Arizona and other border states are ultimately there by their own choice*, whereas many victims of war are not.

Chrisitan pacifists are claiming higher moral ground for their beliefs, and they may well be right. I'll wager that, come judgement day, God will have a laundry list for each of us, and whether we voted for hawks will be the LEAST of my transgressions. I am not sure of anyone in the anti-illegal immigration camps claiming moral high ground. (Of course, I am limited here by my own ignorance.)

Emotional, economic arguments, yes. But I am not up on Biblical arguments against border control. On the contrary, Scripture recognizes that politcal boundaries are there, and though God is not subject to them, we are.

As for the idea that we all benefit from an economy that includes illegal labor, I submit that we in turn all pay the price for such a system. Hospitals closing, school systems forced to fund more ESOL programs, prevailing wages dropping in construction fields. Not to mention the sheer exploitation of these people. Really, who thinks it is right, in the developed world, to pay someone $25 per day for hard labor?

WTO protesters-- I cannot even comment. I know only that I agree with some of their points, but not necessarily their motivation. I will say that they have some super talented artists working on their protests though. Those puppets are fantastic!

Activism isn't completely useless. I know that raising awareness is sometimes all we can hope for. Steve Forbes said it best:

In a democracy, that can only happen if there’s a change of heart, a change of conscience. To move the issue forward, I would oppose abortions in late pregnancy, barring emergency. I’d oppose abortions for purposes of sex selection. I’d oppose mandatory government funding. I’d support parental notification. Beyond that, we have to persuade. We’ve got to do it one on one.

To be sure, he was speaking about abortion, but the idea holds for all. One on one. That is the only way to effect true change. Activism will only work if activists commit to personal, relational contact with the world they seek to change.

*I want to be perfectly clear here: I believe that any life lost is mourned, by man and God. I am not in any way trying to minimalize the losses incurred.

  posted at 8:38 AM  

Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Doing the happy Amazon dance!

New cookbooks! Yay! Happy happy joy joy!

The UPS man brought two more today to add to last week's haul. I have four new cookbooks with which I can wow my husband and friends. Yum. Double yum.

Tonight from The Inspired Vegetarian, it is baked courgettes with goat cheese, mint, and kosher salt. I am also toying with the eggs flamenco-- hopefully halving the recipe, as I cannot imagine it being much good leftover.

Smashing success! J ate TWO of the zucchini! I am aiming for four new recipes each week. Trisha would be so proud.

  posted at 5:10 PM  

Resistance is futile
(With sincere apologies to the Borg)

MEMRI has once again brought goodness to my inbox. Woohoo!

This time, it is one of the increasingly fewer moderate voices- Dr. Muhammad 'Abd Al-Muttalib Al-Huni. He tackles the misuse by Hizbollah and others of the word "resistance" to describe their actions.

MEMRI rocks! And if you toss a few shekels their way, they will be glad of the help.

  posted at 11:39 AM  

Why I love Evan Eisenberg...
Because he has mastered subtlety.

I am still giggling.

(There are a couple not nice words, the links are PG-13)

  posted at 10:47 AM  

From someone WAAAYYYY smarter than I...
Comes this post. John over at Locusts and Honey has once again managed to very eloquently say pretty much what I would, were I capable.

Not only that, but every week he publishes the Methodist Blogs Weekly Roundup, which is choc full of yummy goodness.

I constantly struggle with the areas in which I fall far short of the the mark set in scripture. Every single day. I wonder at some of our nation's actions and the response. As Christians, we are under extra scrutiny-- there are many people out there who want nothig more than to see us stumble, either as individuals, or collectively. As a nation, the USA faces much the same. Many times, we are between the proverbial rock and a hard place.

Does this mean that I think we are correct all the time? No, but it does mean that I believe we are striving.

This point in particular strikes a chord:

Dave never answered. His pacifism prevented him from proposing a military solution, and therefore prevented him from proposing any solution. But then again, his post was entitled "Being Activists...", so perhaps his point wasn't to solve a problem, to be an activist about a problem.

What does an activist do? What is the point of activism, other than to assuage our own guilty feelings?

My brain is beginning to hurt...

  posted at 9:26 AM  

Monday, August 14, 2006
Imagine my relief...
Upon learning that lipstick will once again be allowed as a carry-on item for domestic air travel. We may arrive smelling bad, but dammit, our lips will look pouty!!!!

  posted at 10:51 AM  

Sunday, August 13, 2006
What happens when Christ is not the center of the church?
Ask Carlton Pearson. He appeared on Dateline this evening.

I thought that I would be blogging about his views on Hell, and I still may, after some prayer and reflection. However, I would like to address the cult of personality that is prevalent in many of our churches today.

Megachurches, they are everywhere. The tend to be staff-driven, and founded by specific pastors. These men (almost exclusively) have something to say, and they are called to share the Gospel. I don't know that any of them set out for fame and glory-- at least I pray not.

These churches really tread a fine line. On one hand, our culture has set pretty high production standards. There is arguably an entertainemt factor in play, for better of worse. I understand that many people are "hooked" by the music, lights, video, etc. and are able to taste, some for the first time, the Gospel. I think this is an effective ministry tool.

But where is that line to be drawn? How many meals could that Bogner amp buy? How many children could be clothed with the money for those DMX controlled lights and Allan and Heath concert series mixer?

My experience with our local megachurch was pretty uncomfortable. I am much happier in our small but growing church plant. Gracepoint is teaching me to be a missionary in my own backyard.

When I watched this essay tonight, I was struck by the complete lack of mention of God's call in Bishop Pearson's life; preaching was a career path, it would seem. And I can't help but wonder if God hasn't worked to tear Carlton down, so that Christ will be built in him.

Churches which revolve around men are doomed to failure, as soon as the congregants realise their leaders' feet are clay. Churches built around Christ, well they cannot fai.l; He cannot fail.

  posted at 9:16 PM  

Overheard at our house yesterday:
Person 1 (female): Don't you reach an age where drinking too much loese its appeal?

Person 2 (male): Yes. I have. I would rather just have a couple. Like last night. I only had two drinks.

1: Yeah.

2: Well, someone bought the band a shot. So I had one.

1: Oh.

2: And C doesn't drink tequila, so I had his.

1: Uh huh.

2: But after that, I only had two more drinks.

1: So, you had four drinks.

2: Yeah, I guess. But I didn't had a drink at each set break like I sometimes do.

1: There are three setbreaks. You had four drinks.

2: Nevermind, man. I drank lots of water, ok!

  posted at 5:47 AM  

Saturday, August 12, 2006
But wait-- there's more!

We don't have cable. We have good old rabbit ears, which need to adjusted if we change channels to Fox from just about any other channel. This is not usually a problem, as we are more movie people than TV people. Reception on the DVDs is always top notch! This morning, however, we got caught in a tractor beam of infomercials.

How have I lived thirty years without the Sonic Blade?? This this is amazing, I tell you. It uses "proprietary 'Non-Compression Sonic Separation' Technology" to cut through foods without smooshing them. It is amazaing, I tell you!

Yep. It's an electric knife. The only thing being sonically separated is a fool and his money. J and I did get a good laugh out of it, though.

  posted at 2:13 PM  

Friday, August 11, 2006
I don't know if J will let me watch this one or not...
But Dateline Sunday night should certainly get me going. The only question is whether he is up for riled-up wife at the end of the weekend. He may decide it isn't worth it, you know?

Anyway, left out of the broadcast was the interview with The Right Reverend Dr. John Shelby Spong. Please watch this, guys. It is very interesting, and I am saddened that this man just DOES NOT GET IT!!!!!

I don't even think he realises how he has bought into a lie from Satan. Those who know me know that I don't not use those words lightly. I believe that can and does work through many ways. But this man is flat out denying Christ. He is denying the veracity of Holy Scripture, going so far as to refer to it is human creation. He places Christianity in the same boat as Bhuddism and Hinduism, and elevates humanity.

Bishop Spong reminds me of 2 Timothy 4, a passage which has, given the events of the last year, come to mean a lot to J and me:

3For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.

Bishop Spong's words are ear-ticklers, but they are dangerous. Very dangerous.

Does this make me a facist?

  posted at 6:02 AM  

Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Whom can we trust?
When the people who are afforded the privilege of access to news in the making are not honest in their representation, do we have any recourse?

I am not in any way, shape, or form a freeper, but they are keeping a list of "fauxtography" (def 2) articles. Perhaps I am a pollyanna, but this really disappoints me. Really.

  posted at 11:12 AM  

Tuesday, August 08, 2006
It really is GREAT STUFF!
I am not sure if this really qualifies, but I'll give it a shot. For something really useful, check out Shannon's site, the mecca of WFMW.

Anyway, I have been having great little bursts of creativity with Great Stuff. It's that spray foam insulation, you know? Most recently, I made these are the adorable "cupcakes" for our kids' worship area at church:
Pretty simple-- a painted flower pot (79 cents at Michaels) stuffed with some crumpled newspaper. This gives a good base for the Great Stuff, which is kinda pricey. Gently squeeze and swirl. As it dries and cures, it will expand.
After it has fully cured, a couple coats of craft paint, a "sprinkle" of bugle beads, and presto! Giant cupckaes!
A girfriend at church has been toying with a sweet shoppe them for her daughter's bedroom, and this would certainly fit the bill! There are larger pictures here, if you are so inclined.

Great Stuff really lives up to its name. So far, I have used it for cupcakes, ice cream, and a rock wall. There it is, a completely unpaid endorsement. Great Stuff and a little imagination, that's what works for me!

  posted at 9:02 PM  

Can I tell you about my hero?

See that guy there? Pretty cute, huh? Well, he's mine. Yep. All mine. Well, not quite all. I have to share him with someone else, because he loves Jesus more than he loves me. But that's ok, too. Because-- can you keep a secret? -- I love Jesus a little more than I love the Rock Star. But only a little. I promise.

Anyway. I digress. I wanted to brag on MJ.

This weekend, my husband drove 5 1/2 hours each way to go see my Gram. In thirty-one hours, he drove eleven. Just because I wanted to surprise my Gram.

I love him so very much.

  posted at 8:45 PM  

Sunday, August 06, 2006
It's all about... Whom?
We saw a short video at church this morning:

My question for you is this:

How do we, especially those of us involved in church plants, keep from crossing the line. You know which line I mean, right? The line between making people feel confortable and welcome, and not having any expectations of them. How do we effectively invite people to come and be changed?

  posted at 1:44 PM  

Thursday, August 03, 2006
I know it isn't really irony...
... But I am not sure what literary device is employed here.

I was shopping at the Kosher Experience yesterday. It is a store-with-a-store at our local Smith's. No, I am not Jewish, but this was the only place to find Challah at 5:00 pm. (Looooong story involving a certain nameless national brand bakery)

The gentleman in front of me at the checkstand had quite a haul. Several containers of Glatt Kosher (read: twice the cost of regular deli) deli saladsm and get this: two pounds of bacon. Hormel. Black label. Hickory smoked.

I really wish I could have taken a picture.

  posted at 11:49 AM  

Poor, blind, and naked?
Jules over at Everyday Mommy is another one of those people who manages to make to think (ugh). She has been encouraging us to discuss whether the way we "do church" is bibically correct. Now, she has added a new wrinkle: How do we know if we are off the mark? What is our plumbline? Up until now, I have lurked--with great interest. Now I am going to post my thoughts.

Brace yourselves.

I think that it is easy to cast aspersions on the mainline churches' model. You know, "sunday school for all ages" followed by an hourlong service of worship, prayer, teaching, and the like. There is perhaps midweek Bible study, or the occasional hot dish. We can still be in keeping with a biblical model (I always think of the Acts model here, but I am pretty ignorant) at one of these churches. We just cannot let church stop at noon on Sunday.

Our friend Chaz likes to call it "doing life." I have shamelessly taken this phrase into my own vocabulary. We can take the Acts model into our church without shattering the conventions of American or Western church life. Nowhere does First United Methodist Baptist Evangelical Anglo-Lutheran church teach that we are NOT to live in constant community with each other, does it? So why are so many of us within these establishments failing to "do life" with each other? Are many of us like the church at Corinth, content in our little cliques?

I think that our societal woes have infiltrated our church communities. Moral relativism, consumerism, and so forth. Especially consumerism--I have seen too many people struggling for all the wrong things, and struggling right in the midst of people who should be lifting them up. And I mean REALLY lifting them up. By lovingly telling them the hard stuff. How many around you are trying to keep up with the Joneses within your own church community? My church experiences can't be all that unique, can it?

So, no, I don't think we are following the Biblical example of church, but I think the fault lies, in most cases, with ourselves. It is easier and more comfortable to blame an institution, though.

Part II: How do we know we are off the mark?

Maybe I am backward here, but I think we can tell if we are off the mark by looking outside our churches. And I mean in the literal sense. What is going on in my church's neighborhood? Does my church see the mision field in its own backyard? How is my church impacting its little corner of the universe? If my church closed its doors tomorrow, would anybody notice, or would it be of little consequence?

I don't know how much of a plumbline that really is, but when I measure all my church homes, past and present, it's a pretty telling standard.

  posted at 10:55 AM  

Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Is the UMC far behind?

The PCUSA has taken inclusive language a little too far, IMO. In the ongoing attempt to make church warm and fuzzy, their General Assembly has annihilated a central doctrine of the faith.

Instead of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, they voted to allow congregations to use any one of twelve different phrases. Included in the paper were the following:

As we worship, the triune God is the One From Whom, the One through Whom, and the One in
395 Whom we offer our praise (Rom 11:36).
397 As we seek God’s grace and wholeness, acknowledging the sin and brokenness in us, our human
398 communities, and the whole creation, the triune God is our Rainbow of Promise, our Ark of
399 Salvation, and our Dove of Peace (From Gail Ramshaw, Koinonia: Services and Prayers
400 (Geneva: Lutheran World Federation, 2004).
402 As we read, proclaim, hear, and live out the message of scripture, the triune God is known to us
403 as Speaker, Word, and Breath (Heb 1:1; Jn 1:1; Jn 20:22; Ps 104:30).
405 In baptism, the triune God is for us Overflowing Font, Living Water, Flowing River (Book of
406 Common Worship, p.412; Jn 4:10, 13-14; Jn 7:37).
408 As we are born anew by water and the Spirit, the triune God is Compassionate Mother, Beloved
409 Child, and Life-giving Womb (Isa 49:15; Mt. 3:17; Isa 46:3).
411 As we grow in grace, the triune God is our Sun, Light, and Burning Ray (John of Damascus, First
412 Apology).
414 As we offer ourselves, our resources, and our gratitude in stewardship and Eucharist, the triune
415 God is Giver, Gift, and Giving (Jas 1:17; Jn 3:16; 2 Cor 9:15; 1 Jn 3:24).
417 In celebrating the communion of our life together in Christ, the triune God is Lover, Beloved, and
418 the Love and binds together Lover and Beloved (Augustine, The Trinity).
420 As members of the believing community, we acknowledge the triune God as our Rock,
421 Cornerstone, and Temple (Ps 28:1; Eph 2:20-21).
423 When we speak of God’s wrath in the face of evil, the triune God is for us Fire that Consumes,
424 Sword that Divides, and Storm that Melts Mountains (Deut 5:25; Mt 10:34-35; Ps 97:5).
426 As we seek to live in faith, love, and hope, the triune God is for us the One Who Was, the One
427 Who Is, and the One Who Is To Come (Rev 4:8).

My biggest concern here is that PCUSA has relegated the doctrine of the Trinity to mere verbal imagery. I understand that not everyone yet knows how to relate to God as Father, especially those without an earthly father, or those with a lousy earthly father. The Bible is chock full of other images. These images are not God, they are merely an attempt to describe, for our very limited understanding, pieces of Him.

The Triune God is more than imagery. He is. He is not like. He is.

I have made no secret of the prayers and tears tha

  posted at 11:11 AM  

Maybe they are just misunderstood...

Now I must claim my ignorance as to the ins and outs of Islam. I have not read the Quran, but I am in the process of remedying this. Working in the penal system, my brother in law is much more informed on this, but I am trying to catch up. (And yes, I recognise that what those inmate are practising is a different form of Islam, but the Quran is the same, no? The difference is in the interpretation)

Meanwhile, MEMRI (whose praises I sang last week) has posted transcript and video from Syrian television. The gentleman speaking is the Syrian Minister of Religious Endowment.

A quick read, I promise. But eye-opening, nonetheless. I am especially interested in his admonishing of Christians. Puhlease!!!!

  posted at 10:00 AM