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Showing posts from August, 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.

Making mornings easier...

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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.

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.

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 brigh…

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

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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 …

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.

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…

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?

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.

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 c…

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?

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 f…

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, enthralle…

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?

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 …

Doing the happy Amazon dance!

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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.

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.

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)

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. B…

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!!!!

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 am…

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!

But wait-- there's more!

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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.

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 …

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.

It really is GREAT STUFF!

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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 cup…

Can I tell you about my hero?

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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.

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?

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.

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…

Is the UMC far behind?

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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).
396
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
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400 (Geneva: Lutheran World Federation, 2004).
401
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).
404
405 In baptism, th…

Maybe they are just misunderstood...

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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!!!!