Friday, July 29, 2005

Only moments later...

You are Psalms
You are Psalms.

Which book of the Bible are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

How can we be just one book of the bible? I had to try the test a second time!

Clearly, I now have free time. This hasn't happened since early Monday! Greek class goes from 8:30 - noon. Mandatory study group runs from noon till about 2. I drive home (2 and 1/2 hours round trip each day) and then have 3-4 hours of homework. John would say, "Are you bragging or complaining?" Neither, I think; I simply feel utterly free tonight from hours of brain work. It's pizza night! We're about to enjoy John 's wonderful homemade pizza creation and a movie. Tonight's showing is De-Lovely.

It's Friday! Time to Play!

You Are Romans
You are Romans.

Thanks to Yodabeth's blog for this latest quiz.

Whew! Today I finished the first week of intensive Elementary N.T. Greek at Wartburg Seminary. We covered six weeks of lessons in four days, and had a comprehensive test (3-4 hours) this morning. The last section of the test asked us to translate the beginning ten verses of John's gospel. I'm sure I massacred much of that, but hey, I've only had five days of this language! I've got the vocabulary down cold, but still have boatloads of trouble with the cases and definite articles. Ten Wartburg students are in the class with me. One student withdrew on the third day. I think that most of us entertained the idea of quitting at least once or twice because of the wildly fast pace, but I'm glad I'm there. Greek is very cool.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Alfred Hitchcock's Chicken

I'm preaching tomorrow, and have been adamant that I'll use note cards rather than a full text. So, I worked in Barnes & Noble today, starting to make scratches on my index cards...and the whole sermon started spilling out in complete sentences, then paragraphs. I thought, "Oh, no you don't!" Again I tried writing only key phrases. Nope. This baby wanted a text.

Here's the image I had next: a lone chicken, walking across the cafe. "Chicken!" I thought about myself, "Not brave enough to go with nothing more than simple notes!" And immediately, I got into the boat, (oops, wrong gospel) and thought of Alfred Hitchcock. The Archer will appreciate this.

When I took a course in Horror Films in graduate school (back in 1978/79) I learned that in virtually all Alfred Hitchcock films, there is a chicken somewhere in the movie. Sometimes that chicken is pretty subtle, but it's there. The chicken I saw today in the coffee shop was my own personal poultrygeist, taunting me, but in the end I'm happy with my sermon, and the chicken can just cross the road for all I care.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Sawubona: I see you.

It was great fun to be away, but it's also good to be home.

In Swaziland, people greet one another with the word sawubona, which means "I see you." It's more than "hello."

Last night, John and I attended "Companions in Healing," a healing mission offered this week in eight cities throughout our diocese. We received the laying on of hands from Swaziland Bishop Meshack Mabuza, his wife Lucy, our own bishop Alan Scarfe, and his wife Donna. Iowa and Swaziland are companion dioceses; Bishop Scarfe brought Bishop Mabuza to be among us, sharing his teaching and his healing gifts.
The healing service followed a musical (or non-musical, depending on how one feels about harmonica with piano accompaniment and a way-under-the-pitch violin) prelude and Holy Eucharist. Afterwards, people waited for over two hours for the laying on of hands and anointing. The healing required this amount of time because both bishops and their spouses together attended each individual; they spent at least five minutes with every person who approached.

So it was that sixteen holy hands touched us as four separate voices prayed. I could not hear Lucy Mabuza's words, but both Donna Scarfe and Bishop Mabuza spoke in tongues, we believe. Underneath that wondrous sound, I heard the steady, warm current of our bishop's voice. He then anointed us. For those of you at Seabury who remember the day that healing oil nearly blinded me for hours, causing me to adopt several weird squinting poses in Frank's Old Testament class, I'm happy to report that no oil seeped into my eyes.

I felt jolted by new energy as we left the altar, and find today that ordinary words do not fully describe the joy of the experience. I'm content simply to say that I asked for prayers to combat my insidious competitiveness with John as we share roles as seminarians in separate locations. We were blessed together last night in ways that I can't begin to describe -- or perhaps even to know.

Last night, I felt that I was seen . I see you. Sawubona.

Monday, July 18, 2005

What's Your Blogging Personality?

Your Blogging Type Is Clever and Witty
Of all blogging types, you're the best with words.
Almost every blog post you write has legendary quality.
You have a perverse sense of humor and often play devil's advocate.
Impatient and picky, you tend to go off on funny rants from time to time.

Hello from the rolling hills of Northwest Arkansas. I've learned about gracious hospitality at its best. We've read and sung scripture on the floor in Suzanne's office, walked three labyrinths (all in the same room!), done "energy work" (resembles Healing Touch)and yoga, cooked ratatouille, fried green tomatoes and pesto, and walked into front of God & everybody. :) This morning, I studied the lessons for my upcoming sermon on the porch with two miniature dachshunds in my lap. (No, the sermon is not on the porch. See what I mean? I've been away from Writing Boot Camp too long.) To be honest, though, the weiner dogs were more interested in the cinnamon roll in front of me than in being on my lap.

But now, back to Romans.

Friday, July 15, 2005


Today, with Suzanne's gift of a round-trip ticket, I'm leaving on a jet plane (sorry, Peter, Paul & Mary) to visit Suzanne and Elliott in Arkansas. I'm a bit anxious, because I haven't boarded a plane in nearly five years. It's not the flying I'm worried about, but the claustrophobia.

Suzanne and I will turn some of the time into a homiletics workshop, as we're each preaching at our home churches on July 24. Speaking of preaching, I just read Gary Hall's sermon from the July 2 ordinations in Michigan, posted yesterday on the Seabury website. Gary's words lifted me out of my slump. I'm recharged and ready to experience a new part of the country this weekend, as well as the people I'm placed with on the journey. I'll return to blogging on Tuesday night.

And while in Fayetteville, should I encounter any ice cream shops, I'll be sure to take notes and pass them along to Beth!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Writing Boot Camp, Remedial Version

If I continue reading our local newspaper every day, especially the Letters to the Editor, I may lose the ability to form actual sentences or use punctuation that makes any sense at all. (A friend cancelled her subscription a few years back when this same paper hyphenated the word "the.")

Noah solves this dilemma by reading other papers online. Reading a newspaper online doesn't feel quite right to me. I grew up with The Chicago Tribune on our kitchen table, and still enjoy the feel of actual newsprint. Maybe I'm just old-fashioned. (Maybe I'm just old.)

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Suzanne's haircut

I have Suzanne's haircut! I don't quite know how this happened -- my stylist in Davenport has never seen Suzanne's hair, but that's what she created when I had nothing in particular in mind.

This is especially funny because Steve, hair stylist extraordinaire at Seabury, assured me that he would not give me Suzanne's haircut (even if I wanted him to) until next year, after she'd graduated and we weren't hanging out together all the time. Well, Steve, I've got it anyway!

Friday, July 08, 2005

Good question

John and Noah were in Philadelphia and Allentown, PA today, where they visited John's 94-yr.-old mother, Ruth. After John unearthed her bible from a stack of newspapers, his mom told him that she'd like to read the whole bible again. Then she wondered, "Why did the LORD have so much to say?"

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

New Blogger Alert

Hurray! Laurel has a blog! Check it out or take to the HWY.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Cup of Compassion?

On Saturday, only a few hours after Susie's ordination to the priesthood, John and I attended our friend Kate's ordination at our home parish, St. Peter's. Kate's preacher, a classmate from EDS, administered the chalice. He offered it to me with the words, "the blood of Christ, the cup of compassion." Huh?