Thursday, June 30, 2005

anne lamott - TPMCafe || Politics, Ideas & Lots Of Caffeine

great metaphor and editorial on the speech

TPMCafe || Politics, Ideas & Lots Of Caffeine: "The White House and the war machine are collapsing, and their only hope would be to hit a bottom, like alcoholics and addicts have to do before they have a prayer of finding a solution. Until then, drunks keep lowering the bottom, justifying everything, lying even to themselves"

we don't want your money we want your voice!

sign up here!

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

more good news

BBC NEWS | Africa | Rwandans sentenced over genocide: "Two Rwandan businessmen convicted of war crimes and murder during the 1994 genocide have been given long prison sentences by a Belgian court.

Half-brothers Etienne Nzabonimana and Samuel Ndashyikirwa were jailed for 12 and ten years respectively.

They were found guilty of helping Hutu militia massacre some 50,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

They were tried under a Belgian law allowing trials for war crimes, even when committed by foreigners elsewhere.

Dozens of Rwandans testified against the two men who were arrested in Belgium, where they were living, in 2002."

The Thinkers: A life dedicated to her faith, and to questioning its policies

an article on joan chittister:

The Thinkers: A life dedicated to her faith, and to questioning its policies: "Best known for her belief that the Roman Catholic Church should be open to women's ordination, Chittister wrote:

'There is no doubt that women need to tell their stories. But at the same time, there comes a time when you are too tired of trying to be heard in a place like the church where no one wants to hear you. Then, you walk out of it, past it, beyond it. And often, invisibly. They think you're still there, but your heart is long gone and your spirit is free. I know.'"

oh sister-friend i hear you!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

on the day you crash

today is a hard day in our family. 'review' day at church for liam. this will be his 5th yearly review and they are always critical and draining. liam worked in corrections for 10 years before he went into ministry and was reviewed each year there, never were they so draining and difficult.

for me they are especially so because things are so out of my control, but affect me (us) so greatly. they other staff feel the same way - it's like getting the wind knocked out of you. which is truly shocking to me as you can lead a donkey with a carrot or a stick - why would anyone in the church choose the stick?

please pray for liam (and me) as i know this will have a lot of effect on the decisions we will be making for the upcoming year. it is my hope that they would say something like 'hey, the church has grown by 100% this year - the fact that you're still standing is amazing!' or something like that... not bloody likely...

then i read this:

Beloved Beginner: On the day you crash:

A prayer for friends in distress...

God answer you on the day you crash,
The name God-of-Jacob put you out of harm's reach,
Send reinforcements from Holy Hill,
Dispatch from Zion fresh supplies,
Exclaim over your offerings,
Celebrate your sacrifices,
Give you what your heart desires,
Accomplish your plans.

Psalm 20:1-4, The Message

knowing that god is celebrating our sacrifices and dispatching fresh supplies gives me such peace. i commented on elizabeth's blog that i felt like god tapped me on the shoulder today and gave this to me through her. i pray if you are crashing today it ministers to you too.

a call to speak out

Tonight the President will tell you the Iraq War was a Good Idea

As a patriot and a person of faith, you have the right to differ.

Tonight, as the President tries to justify the billions spent on the war, the multi-thousands of innocent dead in Iraq, the more than 1700 brave American dead and thousands more maimed, you will have a choice. You may simply watch the President and accept it, or you can take courageous action demanding a swift end to this horrendous war. The time has come for the faithful in our land to speak out. We need your voice!

More than 200 Religious Leaders of every major faith group, along with more than 8,000 (and growing!) patriotic and faithful Americans have signed and endorsed a statement calling for the end of the Iraq War. This powerful document, authored by the National Council of Churches, recognizes the bravery and resolve of our men and women in uniform, but courageously outlines the horrendous facts that compel us, as persons of faith, to speak out urgently. We cannot justify this war nor allow its horrors to continue.

Your right to speak out is part of what it means to be an American AND a person of faith. As the Christian scriptures state, "For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline." (II Timothy 1:7)

Please read and sign:

The Governing Board of the National Council of Churches USA
invites you to join them in this call to pursue peace and justice in Iraq.

A Call to Speak Out.

This year our nation is at war as we observe the 4th of July, a day that honors those founders who spoke out for independence from tyranny. Today in Iraq a cruel dictator has been deposed, yet the suffering of the Iraqi people continues. Mandated elections have been held, yet the future of Iraq remains as uncertain as ever. Day by day the cost of this war for the United States, for Iraq, for peace grows clearer. No weapons of mass destruction have been found; no link to the attacks on September 11, 2001 has been shown. It has become clear that the rationale for invasion was at best a tragic mistake, at worst a clever deception.

As people of faith, we believe in the transcendent sovereignty and love of God for creation, and that the responsibility of human beings is thus to pursue justice and peace for all. We also believe that, as the biblical prophets of old, who in faithfulness to God spoke out to a people and a nation they loved, in humility before God we too are to speak to a land and people we love. As religious leaders we invite others who share our affections and dismay to recognize the time has come to speak out.

The time has come to say:

- NO to leaders who have sent many honorable sons and daughters to fight a dishonorable war;

- NO to the violence that has cost over seventeen hundred American lives, left thousands grievously injured, and killed untold numbers of Iraqis whose deaths we are unwilling to acknowledge or count;

- NO to the abuse of prisoners that has shamed our nation and damaged our reputation throughout the world;

- NO to the price tag for this war that has rendered our federal budget incapable of adequately caring for the poorest of our own citizens; and,

- NO to theologies that demonize other nations and religions while arrogantly claiming righteousness for ourselves as if we share no complicity in human evil.

The time has come to say:

- YES to foreign policies that seek justice rather than domination, compassion rather than control;

- YES to an early fixed timetable for the withdrawal of United States troops and the establishment of a credible multinational peacekeeping force;

- YES to the honoring of human rights even for our enemies and for a restoration of our reputation as a people committed to the rule of law;

- YES to spending and taxing priorities that put the poor first, providing health care, housing, employment, and quality education for all, not just the few; and,

- YES to a restoration of truth telling in the public square and to “last resort” rather than “first strike” as the criterion for the use of force to restrain evil.

On the day we celebrate our freedom, we acknowledge that the freedom promised in the toppling of a dictator has been replaced by the humiliation of occupation and the violence of a civil war. The sacrifice of brave men and women has been used to serve policies that have diminished our nation’s prestige and our capacity to be agents of justice in the world.

It is time to speak out that this 4th of July will celebrate the best ideals of our nation for our sake and for the sake of the world.

Endorse this statement here.

which book are you?

You're The Hobbit!
by J.R.R. Tolkien
All you wanted was a nice cup of tea when some haggard crazy old man came into your life and told you it was time to do something with yourself. Now you're all conflicted about whether to stick with your stay-at-home lifestyle or follow this crazy person into the wild. While you're very short and a little furry, you seem to be surrounded by an even greater quantity of short folks lately. Try not to lose your ring, but keep its value in perspective!

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

via karen

best news in a very long time!

BBC NEWS | South Asia | Pakistan rape acquittals rejected: "Pakistan's Supreme Court has suspended the acquittals of five men in a notorious gang rape case that has sparked worldwide outrage.

The Supreme Court said it would retry the men convicted and then acquitted of raping Mukhtar Mai in 2002, allegedly on the orders of a village council.

Ms Mai, who had appealed against the acquittals, said she was delighted with the decision."

Monday, June 27, 2005

Mukhtar Mai update #4

please seek justice on her behalf

BBC NEWS | South Asia | Pakistan hears rape case appeal: "Pakistan's Supreme Court has begun hearing appeals in a notorious gang rape case that has been the centre of worldwide attention."

Saturday, June 25, 2005

thank you billy graham

i watched this video mike highlighted last week and have been pondering a post since then. billy graham was integral in changing my father's life as he knelt front of the television way back in 1973. my family did an about face that year and i owe much to this man.

i have heard him preach live, and on television and his grace, passion and love sends tears rolling down my face even now.

the bbc noted that mr. graham preached his last sermon recently in new york city. the world will not see his likeness again. i know many will fill different roles, but i believe his uniqueness, heart and call were exclusive to his time and his personality.

he spoke these words:

"The greatest need in the world today is for the transformation of human nature to make us love instead of hate," Mr Graham told the crowds.
this other article in the bbc caught my eye as i read this morning. it tells of the fluid on mr. graham's brain and the recent surgery performed at mayo clinic that didn't allow him to even broadcast to the amsterdam convention where 10,000 awaited his words. his son passed on some of his thoughts via satellite:

"We must go back and search the word of God to discover what we need to do for the extension of the Kingdom in our day,"

"We must go back 2,000 years to discover the future."

In another statement, Mr Graham said that some at the conference were from areas in the world "in the grip of resurgent religions or ideologies which deny the heart of the Gospel".

"Others of you face rampant secularism or materialism, with their indifference or even hostility to the Gospel," he wrote.
i truly pray he is able to expound or write on these thoughts. i've never heard of him speak of the 'kindgom in our day' or 'ideologies which deny the heart of the gospel'.

i think one of the biggest failures of evangelical theology is it's narrow definition of 'the gospel'. the good news is more than the sinner's prayer, more than a 'get into heaven free card'. i know much of this has come from things like crusades and revivals. people so passionate and gifted in 'evangelism' that they tour around and hold altar calls - something is lost - those things have their place, but the rest of the 'good news' has somehow been overlooked.

important parts have been left out, and i fear it is the cause of the ugliness we see in the church and the world today. what could cause us to love instead of hate? not just one-step conversion - not just a simple transaction. how can we redefine the real good news of jesus - how can that misused, ill-defined word, gospel be brought to this new generation, and transformed in the thinking of the old one?

one of the elements that sticks in my throat at our church is the way in which they 'do evangelism'. they use the '2 question' method, visiting strangers in their homes or at the mall - bullying them into heaven, and marking their belts or their bibles and riding the wave of adrenaline that comes from such a powerful transaction of saving someone's soul. many of our youth are involved in this process (separate from my husband's ministry as it leaves dust in his mouth too).

how can the true elements of the message of christ be unlocked and opened up to these so passionate about 'saving souls' and growing the church?

that's why mr. graham's words stir my soul - growing the kingdom instead of churches? transforming lives to love and not hate? or to free those in the pews "in the grip of resurgent religions or ideologies which deny the heart of the Gospel". (i know he probably meant other religions than christianity, but i truly feel this is true in most churches today too...)

please don't take my thoughts as disparaging mr. graham or his work, i adore him. i just wonder if he has any reqrets? feels that somehow all he has done might not have given the full definition of the good news to the hundreds of thousands of people he's been able to speak to. i pray that those who follow in his footsteps hear the depth of these words at the end of his life.

thank you billy graham. you changed my life. i owe you much. most of the families i grew up with had mothers who had a faith walk, but father's without any spiritual dimension to their lives. my father is a different man because of your ministry. for that i will be eternally grateful.

BBC NEWS | South Asia | Tsunami aid 'went to the richest'

BBC NEWS | South Asia | Tsunami aid 'went to the richest': "Six months after the Asian tsunami, a leading international charity says the poorest victims have benefited the least from the massive relief effort.

A survey by Oxfam found that aid had tended to go to businesses and landowners, exacerbating the divide between rich and poor.

The poor were likely to spend much longer in refugee camps where it is harder to find work or rebuild lives.

Oxfam has called for aid to go to the poorest and most marginalised."

Friday, June 24, 2005

flesh become word

Flesh Become Word

The word must become flesh, but the flesh also must become word. It is not enough for us, as human beings, just to live. We also must give words to what we are living. If we do not speak what we are living, our lives lose their vitality and creativity. When we see a beautiful view, we search for words to express what we are seeing. When we meet a caring person, we want to speak about that meeting. When we are sorrowful or in great pain, we need to talk about it. When we are surprised by joy, we want to announce it!

Through the word, we appropriate and internalize what we are living. The word makes our experience truly human.
Henri Nouwen

Thursday, June 23, 2005

BBC NEWS - Catholic woman in secret ordination

BBC NEWS | Programmes | Crossing Continents | Catholic woman in secret ordination

woo hoo! you go ladies!

"My first feeling was: I'm doing the same study as the men, and I'm being excluded from the priesthood. It's so damned unfair," she said. Patricia, an "ordained" Catholic

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

great prayer via maggie

maggi dawn: "Disturb us, Lord,
when we are too well pleased with ourselves;
when our dreams have come true because we dreamed too little;
when we arrive safely because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, Lord, when with the abundance of things we possess
we have lost our thirst for the Waters of Life;
having fallen in love with life, we have ceased to dream of eternity;
and in our efforts to build a new earth,
we have allowed our vision of the new heaven to dim.

Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly -
to venture on wider seas where storms will show your mastery;
where losing sight of land, we shall find the stars.
We ask you push back the horizons of our hopes,
and to push us in the future with strength, courage, hope and love."

Monday, June 20, 2005

'You've got to find what you love,' Jobs says

'You've got to find what you love,' Jobs says: "Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."

via chris(tine)

hi ho, hi ho, it's off to camp i go...

liam and i are 'camp people'. we each grew up at our respective camps every summer for as long as we've been kids. we used to say 'summer without camp is just hot'.

well, the life we lead now has little time to take a week off to spend lavishly serving jesus at camp unfortunately, we really miss it, and so do our kids.

so this summer both of my kids are old enough to go to day camp at our church. it's quite a well planned event and they (we) are all excited. i have not done ANYTHING for 5 days in a row in a very long time (isn't that pathetic!?!?!)... so i have 2 classes i've signed up to teach. the first hour i've collected 6 budding reporters and we're putting together a newspaper for the week. the second class is a bit more 'frou-frou' than i'd like, but i've toned it down to my style as much as possible. it's an american girl class.

for those of you in canada, AG is a wonderful line of dolls that can be customized to look like your child, and there are historical dolls also. they are made to be played with and have accessories out the wazoo. pink has wanted nothing else since we moved from canada, so this year for her birthday we opted 'no parties' and begged the grands to contribute and finally purchased her own 'AG today' doll and she was thrilled as thrilled could be.

the teacher who was originally going to do the class decided on 2 different ones, so i decided pink really needed this, and i have created a class that honors the feminine and still has a lot of spunk (not that the feminine doesn't truly have spunk, just too many choose to only see the doilies and the mirrors sometimes...).

in the afternoons we go to a private lake to swim and play. should be a lot of exhausting fun for us all! i covet your prayers and hope you have a wonderful week!

Sunday, June 19, 2005

happy father's day!

liam has one sunday off to burn before the end of the fiscal year, so we're off today (yipee!) to have a nice lunch with my dad and then head to a lake where my grandfather used to take my dad to fish. he and liam are fishing there today and tomorrow.

the kids and i will come back and head into a week of day camp (that i've committed myself to also). going to be a busy week, so glad we're starting it with a relaxed day together. have a wonderful father's day all!

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

an interview

stephanie from just etchings has passed the interview torch. i knew things have been a bit (a lot) dull around here, and i'm at a lack for blog fodder that i will actually write about. i have lots, but when i sit to write it seems to escape me or i avoid it because it's takes me to places emotionally i really don't want to go. call it insulating, call it avoiding, i really don't know, but i thought interview questions would force me to write, so here i go. thanks steph!

1. You are passionate about freedom and voice for women. Which historical woman most signifies freedom and voice out of silence for you?

the word historical catches me here. it automatically makes me think that she must be dead, and there are few women in history that have moved me that aren't still alive. madeline l'engle is probably the first woman i read who's voice truly inspired me. her faith walk looked so little like what i was told a 'christian' should be - i loved the fact that she had an imagination and such a vast amount of creativity and courage. she is probably the first woman to push the envelope for me, even when i didn't yet realize it. her dear friend and contemporary luci shaw was my mother's inspiration. luci grew up in the same denomination as i did (and stephanie too). she broke the mold for my mother, although my mother's illness never allowed my her to fulfill her dreams of finding her voice.

anne morrow lindbergh is woman i kept reading quotes from all over the internet and in books. she sounds so contemporary and current that at first i never made the connection to who she was historically. i now realize how extreme she was for her time. if you put her writings into a blog NO ONE would ever know she wasn't writing within our current culture, she was decades before her time. her transparency and desire for unmasked community inspire me, and her courage to buck the norm of her generation filled with conforming women in the church unleashes freedom for me. she truly was a woman who lived in the tension.

finally, the woman who has blown so much air in the balloon that it burst is anne lamott. she resonates the most deeply, and inspires me most personally, because she is the exact opposite of what the church has told me a 'christian woman' should be - and yet, she is a sister in christ. her truth and honesty literally knocked me on my butt. she is so accessable and funny, it made me think for the first time "i could do this, there is a place for me to be myself in the kingdom of god."

2. If you could take your family and live in a different place in this world for a year where would you go and why?

unless it was just a 'free year' to travel my practical nature would probably not 'upset the apple cart' for one year because of the age of the kids, but if we stretched it to two years i would sell it all and move to seattle to allow liam and i to attend mars hill graduate school to get our masters. the north west resonates deeply with me. the eastern side of the continent is just a bit too uptight for me. i'm a 'mid-west' girl and i miss the warmth of the people and the natural ease of community that is more forced in this area of the world.

but if we are dreaming the two places that i'd have to pick from are india and south africa right now. god has placed a deep love for the nation of india on my heart as of late. i know i'd wilt in the heat, and my husband tells me the variety of smells (he's been to nepal) would challenge my constitution (to put it gently), but there is still a deep passion for the culture and the people.

and of course south africa and neritia's vision still inspires me and draws me in. it seems to be a country where things are really getting done, where ministry is life or death at times - as if ministry done there really matters, instead of wiping rich kids noses like we're doing here... (sorry, but that's what it feels like sometimes...)

either of those could be interchanged for austrailia and great britian too... here i am lord, send me!

3. What is a favorite meal you prepare for family and friends and what is the significance of that?

this is a hard one for me. i have always longed for this part of the feminine mystique and am sadly lacking in this area. i have found in this past year though that it is because of the processing disorder and the adhd, and not because i'm lazy or stupid, which is how the kitchen always makes me feel.

the meal that i can seem to pull off that is complicated but somehow routine enough that i don't have to think is a holiday turkey dinner. i'm about ready to pull out my hair by the making of the gravy, but it's a full meal that i can do without recipes or having to get too stressed out, and it's always received so well, and it's a time when we invite lots of others to share our meal that day. granted it's only once a year though...

liam is an amazing cook - courageous and experiemental - he puts me to shame in this category. but upon really thinking about this question i'll have to say that breakfast is the best for me. i am fresh, my mind fires on all pistons (unlike the last meal of the day) and the meal my family enjoys the most is french toast and sausage. not complicated at all, but yummy and a signal that we're all home for a family day together.

i use a cinnamon raisin wheat bread and it's really tasty. i guess it reminds me of my mom too. in discovering all of this about my mind this past year i have grown to understand that my mother, and her's before her had the same issues as i have in the brain department. so meals in our home growing up were very simple and 'routine'. i remember my mother feeling like a hero when she pulled together a nice warm breakfast, or full meal - things that other mom's did with their eyes closed were hard work for her. i understand now how much she struggled and never understood why.

my aunt, her sister, and all of her daughters are wonderful cooks - full meals every day, one of them even makes her own ketchup (i hate her!). my aunt always said 'your mother never cared about the meal, she was always more concerned about the dessert'. i never understood why that was untill i realized that cooking is a multi-process endeavor, but baking is a single list to follow - step by step, something i can master. i am the same way.

my sweet daughter pink longs to be a chef. this almost makes me cry as i type this because i long for her to be able to find the way out of the brain haze we live in (she has the same manifestations of the adhd as i do) to be able to fulfill her dream. i told her that one day when she's older i'll send her to stephanie to learn at the feet of a master chef. i pray that there will be some treatment or behavior techniques she can learn to fulfill her dream.

my son, who is so like his father (and would make an amazing chef) wants to be a baker - isn't that just the way? it's almost a sick joke because each of them have the opposite desire to their natural skill set. i know these kind of dreams can change 100 times before they actually choose their life's work, but for right now this is what they dream of. they have it all figured out - they're going to start a restaurant together, pink will be the cook, and buck will be the baker. gosh i love these kids!

when i saw this question on my list i knew it would take me here - food is so convaluded for me. it is my drug of choice and my comfort when i have the need to self-medicate. i have done everything i am able not make it so for my children, i don't reward them with food and they have very little access to junk food. in the research i've done into adhd i have seen that the studies show that properly treating the lack of dopamine in the brain may prevent addiction and keeps growing children from needing to self-medicate. i pray that it is so. i also pray that it might be true for me too.

4. What part of your own calling (not what others define as your ministry) do you feel most alive in?

eric liddel (chariots of fire fame) is quoted saying:

"I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure."
when i teach i feel the wind in my hair.

growing up with a spoon fed faith i was never taught to be a critical thinker. even my theology courses were filled with 'this is what you should believe' kind of mantras. my emerging has taught me that kind of theology leads to something that looks very little like jesus. i have become a critical thinker. i love to trace bad theology back to it's roots and understand the intricacies of how believing something false leads to bondage or ugly living.

it is my favorite thing in the world to be with people and help them do the same. help them to see how the labelling of 'christian' and baby bird theology leads to places in the christian life that are opposed to the kingdom of god.

to see truth register on the faces of my students gives me great joy. it is one of the things i was created to do. i feel alive when i am given the opportunity to embrace my calling in this way.

this is why the restrictions of my past have chafed so severely. i was not gifted in the traditional formats that were allowed to women (music and hospitality). the only teaching i was allowed to do consisted of co-ed children up until the age when the male children were not able to recognize my authority (usually about 4th grade) and from that point on only females. and females where really only supposed to learn about devotions, hospitality and proverbs 31... sigh.

each step away from our roots leads toward more freedom for me in this area. this current church still has many (unbiblical) restrictions though, but much more freedom than what i am used to. what a joy it would be to be located in a church that embraced fully the equality and giftings of the female voice.

5. What do you love most about your blogging?

i think it was jen lemen who likened blogging to a dressing room to 'try on' new thoughts and to look into the mirror to see how they fit. this past year of blogging has been wonderful for me in that aspect. the best part though has to be the community and meeting (some face to face) all of you.

i love the little button that says 'publish', but it pales in comparison to finding out that although there are few in the world around me locally who are thinking the same thoughts, globally i am not alone. you have all been a life line of sorts for me, i truly have made some wonderful, lifelong friends here and i cherish each and every one of you!

thanks steph, that was fun. sorry to go on and on, but once i got started the words just kept going! :)

if anyone wants to continue the interview process leave a comment and i will gladly think up 5 questions for you.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

mukhtaran bibi - update #3

Raped, Kidnapped and Silenced - New York Times

she has now been jailed and held without any contact with her lawyer or family.

correction: in update #2 i posted that she was raped by 12 men, it was ONLY four. sorry.

thanks mike for the update on this.

UPDATE: bbc article

UPDATE: asian/american network against the abuse of women states that she has been removed from the 'exit control list' but has now seized her passport - which is virtually the same thing. keep the pressure on! mike todd has tons of email addresses you can write!


You scored as Jürgen Moltmann. The problem of evil is central to your thought, and only a crucified God can show that God is not indifferent to human suffering. Christian discipleship means identifying with suffering but also anticipating the new creation of all things that God will bring about.

Jürgen Moltmann


Friedrich Schleiermacher


John Calvin




Jonathan Edwards


Paul Tillich


Martin Luther


Charles Finney


Karl Barth




Which theologian are you?
created with

via tim

portable prayer closet??

Cool Hunting: How to Disappear Completely

this reminded me of susanna wesley using her apron to cover her head as a prayer closet to keep her sanity and her 16 children in line. i think it's hysterical!

google quote of the day

It was such a lovely day I thought it a pity to get up.
- W. Somerset Maugham


be thankful for the things you already have

just received this in an email from nathan dungan, of share, save, spend on 'can money buy happiness?' he writes:

While virtually everyone knows the saying, “money can’t buy happiness” it’s amazing how much time, energy, and money is spent trying to convince us otherwise.

From clothing to cars to vacations to homes, billions of dollars are spent every year trying to convince Americans that if we just buy one more thing…then we will truly be happy.

But a significant amount of research that was featured in a TIME magazine cover story on happiness suggests otherwise. In a national TIME poll, people were asked about their major source of happiness. Believe it or not, money didn’t even crack the top 10. In other research, psychologists found no significant relationship between how much money a person earns and whether he or she feels good about life.

Our national debt numbers would suggest we haven’t quite made that connection. In 2004, the average credit card debt per household was a startling $9,000. If you subtract out those who pay off their credit cards every month, the number rises to jaw dropping $17,000 per household.

Frequently I talk with parents who express their discomfort with the debt trend. On a recent trip to California, Jim, a 43 year-old computer analyst, told me how their family has adopted a new slogan “be thankful for the things you already have.” The key word in that sentence – already.

Jim said that he and his wife Catherine instituted the slogan as much for each other as they did the children. “Let’s face it,” he said, “children follow the lead of their parents and Catherine and I decided we could do a much better job modeling the behavior we wanted them to emulate.” The numbers certainly support Jim’s logic. Seventy five percent of children in America say they learn the most about money from their parents.

So the next time you are tempted to buy something to lift your spirits think twice before pulling out your credit card. After all, it probably won’t contribute to your overall happiness, but it will impact the financial habits of your children.
i can't imagine the stress that is generated in a family by $17,000 in unsecured debt. it was fun to have a bit of $ to spend with our tax return. it reminded me of the days of instant gratification when our spending was out of control. we have spent our budget and i'm finding i am missing those trips to home depot and hobby lobby, it's so tempting to start back on that treadmill of 'just this one little thing', or 'wouldn't that just make it perfect?' it's a slippery slope for me. i can become so dis-satisfied so very quickly. gratitude, contentment and simplicity are thing areas i'm nurturing today.

thank you god for what we've been able to accomplish with the tax return. help us save and spend wisely, not impulsively. and most of all help me to be content and thankful for the things i already have.

Monday, June 13, 2005

what the heck?

You scored as Emergent/Postmodern.

You are Emergent/Postmodern in your theology. You feel alienated from older forms of church, you don’t think they connect to modern culture very well. No one knows the whole truth about God, and we have much to learn from each other, and so learning takes place in dialogue. Evangelism should take place in relationships rather than through crusades and altar-calls. People are interested in spirituality and want to ask questions, so the church should help them to do this.



Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan


Classical Liberal


Roman Catholic


Neo orthodox




Modern Liberal




Reformed Evangelical


What's your theological worldview?
created with

now i know why i'm such a mess and don't fit in ANYWHERE!

thanks to renee for the quiz.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

update: Mukhtar Mai

BBC NEWS | South Asia | Rape victim anger at police guard

i blogged on this courageous woman in march, this article shows she is being detained in the country by the government.

the perpetrators will be released on monday (held for 90 days) because the 'high court' ruled there are 'no grounds' to detain them.

please pray and bring notice to this incredible woman and her struggle to draw the world's attention to the brutal treatment of women in pakistan. she was originally raped by 12 men who were ordered to rape her as punishment for her brother's supposed crime.


United States and the United Kingdom Propose 100% Debt Cancellation for the World’s Poorest Countries!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

The Passion of the Present

i blogged on this the first month i started blogging, may 2004 - and NOTHING has changed for the better.

how many have died? how many more have to die needlessly? when will we do something to stop this genocide?

make sure to watch the 'never again, again' flash movie that you click on in the left column.

National Hunger Awareness Day

National Hunger Awareness Day - CLICK HERE!


we're in the middle of liam's second week of home vacation and we're also in the middle of the bathroom renovation - talk about mixed emotions - feels so good to be doing it, but it's exhausting and the work is always more than you figure it will be.

he's pulling the toilet and the sink so i can paint - and tomorrow we redo the flooring and install the new vanity he's made and the marble top sink we garbage picked and a 'newer' toilet. renovation on a budget - it will be so nice to have a pretty bathroom though.

hope all of you are doing well. all of my creative energy is being poured into the house right now, so there's not much to spare for writing. maybe soon. have a wonderful day!

much love!

Sunday, June 05, 2005

all the way to heaven...

david at postprotestant left this for me in my comments this morning, and i love it, i just wish i believed it! :)

All the way to heaven is heaven, because Jesus said, ‘I am the Way ’

Catherine of Siene

Friday, June 03, 2005

toss away

i am at a stage in my own personal life that is choppy and intense, dischordant and different. unlike any stage i've been through before. call it 'mid-life', call it pre-menapausal? i don't know. but it is definately a time of personal change and upheaval.

it's like the tapestry that's being woven of my life has lots of threads, different colors being used, lots of cutting, knots and tying of threads that make little sense or continuity from my perspective. i know something is happening, it's just on so many fronts that i can't seem to keep track of it all and it seems so jumpy that it's difficult to put into words.

when looking back over this tapestry of my life i'm sure this will be one of the richest, most colorful places - filled with texture and depth, but in the middle of it all i am longing for some stability and cohesion.

the words 'dark night of the soul' flashed through my mind in the wee hours this morning. i thought 'is that what this is? am i in a dark night?' i don't know, maybe. i just know that so much is changing within me. my health, my faith, my community and my recovery are all in a very strange place. none of them are in crisis, but they are all very different somehow. all taking a lot of work to maintain, when this time last year they were simpler, easier, more natural.

but looking back i realize that was then, this is now. i want more than 'that', than last summer. i want deeper. more than easy answers and trite homilies. i have grappled with much in this past year. i've past my 'blogiversary' and didn't even acknowledge it. i feel like i've woken up in the middle of a very big storm and it's not over yet, but i'm gonna ride it out. i'm going to make it to the other side, deeper and richer for it.

i know that at this stage many women chuck it all. just walk away and start over. the only thing through this weird stage that has remained stable is my marriage and my family. we've tucked in here nicely. we've spent our tax refund on home improvements and are making our little home a true nest that reflects our personalities. investing in ourselves for a change instead of the church and community. it's been nice. i guess this is how other people live most of their lives. it's very new to us.

i had been pushing for change for so long that i didn't even realize that what i wanted wasn't change, but improvement. it's starting with a can of paint. it's a metaphor of sorts that says to me that a change of location isn't the real issue and won't solve my problems. what i need to own is here, right here - take the rest of the storm and be who i am here - alone or in community.

i read this quote at the end of an email from darren at alternate hymnal

"And - this reason is why I do it. Because I feel far more comfortable lying on a beanbag, in a softly lit room, with a crayon in one hand and piece of paper in the other, pouring my heart out onto the page with a deep sense of trust, that God is with me and hearing my prayers of worship than I do sitting on a chair listening to some one telling me how to be better or how to love more or all the things, they think, I really should be doing. Because you know, I could always be doing more.

My deep love for God and Faith in the saving Grace of Jesus never seems to be enough for 'Church'!"

Anne Sorenson - Artist

it really resonated with me. i guess anne sorenson is a therapist in perth who uses art and drama. she sounds like an amazing person. i'm thinking of starting 'the first crayola church of the bean bag chair' myself these days.

two other things i read yesterday are also threads that are being woven into the tapestry of my life today. the first is by si. wes drew my eye to this post about how god uses the weak to confound the strong. i am part of this dissonent breed. i am a critical thinker and a bit of a rebel. i am finding that this is very threatening in community as those around me try to fit my 'irregular shape' into their very round hole.

he writes:

While we were at Fuller weeks ago, we talked about nurturing leaders for a mission environment. 'Permission giving' was discussed, but I still feel there are too many people waiting for it. For some, permission is not an issue because they, like Jephthah, have been given the squeeze, for others, they're ability to function out of chaos is being domesticated because they're prematurely working with the old 'order' and waiting for permission.

As long as the church thinks that 'all is well and if we perpetuate that which hasgone before, we will live at peace,' then permission may come too late.

Those in leadership should be playing 'spot the dissident' and listening to everything the reckless adventurer is saying. Much will need strained out, but in the straining, it might pay to bear in mind that God seems to have a lot of time for the 'rebel soul'.

i have been waiting for permission all my life. the word dissident stuck out to me and i wanted a really good definition to find out if that is a word i'm going to own. here's what i found:

  • characterized by departure from accepted beliefs or standards
  • dissenter: a person who dissents from some established policy
  • dissentient: disagreeing, especially with a majority

yep, that's me. fits me like a glove these days.

the other post that sings my tune is by rachelle - broken for me.

rachelle has created her own wailing wall.

she writes:

So I have built a little altar in my backyard, a stack of odd stones each bearing a sad thing. But I’ve also needed a place to be angry – and so have a lot of my friends, especially my female friends. (Go figure.) So we’ve added an option to this ritualized thing. Tonya and I went to Value Village. There we found a shopping basket full of plates – flower rimmed saucers, black salad plates with leopard spots, gilt edged dinner plates, shallow leaf-shaped sauce dishes with roses in the center. (These last dainties a big splurge at 99cents each.)We came home and stacked our found treasures in an old wine crate then wedged the crate next to our small stack of stones. Catie sprinkled it all with white flowers—our sacred bittersweet space, our corner of our very own.

This is our place where God is big enough: big enough to handle our anger, big enough to not be afraid of rage, of bitterness unleashed, of unrelenting sadness over the state of things. This is where we lay it all out and say, ‘Do you really want me? Because I come with this.” This is where we hope to hear, “Yes. And do you really want me? Because I come with this too.”

she then goes on to write about a woman named anna who's own tapestry is captured in the apocrypha.

Today I came into my quiet, clean office and sat at my desk. I lit a candle; I read the day’s entry at Sacred Space. The scripture for today was from Tobit, an apocryphal book that I, the good Protestant, do not know. In this story Anna, takes up her “women’s work,” weaving. We now consider weaving a “craft” rather than an “art.” But really, it is this designation as “women’s work” that has placed it into this slightly less valued category. For good weaving is art in and of itself, and Anna it seems was a sought after artist. In this story we learn that Anna the artist has completed a commission. She is given not only her pay, but a goat, this being the ancient equivalent of a very lavish tip. Her husband comes home and is shocked. He begins to berate her. How could she accept this goat? It could not possibly be for her work! It must be stolen! He feels deeply ashamed of her.

I put on my shoes. I walk out in the rain. I stand under my lilac tree.

I break this plate for Anna. Anna, unacknowledged for her skill, for the excellence of her work. Anna not seen as the fine artist and shrewd business woman, but accounted as a fool. Anna of the nimble fingers, of the good eye, of the quick mind. I imagine Jesus standing or sitting besides me. I deliberately turn and make my throw…He makes a sound, a low short hmm in his throat, heavy-weighted on the downbeat. “It is fitting,” he seems to say “So be it. Toss away.”

Anna is not held by Tobit, and neither are her tales. Her truths are her own to tell, to hold, to barter. I break this plate for Anna. As it chimes among this hardness, Anna’s story will sing.

toss away...

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Lead the Way in Darfur - FaithfulAmerica

it has been over 140 days since the word darfur has passed the president's lips - and even then it was not in condemnation of the genocide happening there.

please take the time to tell him we care.

Lead the Way in Darfur - FaithfulAmerica

need some convincing? read here. Home Page

need a place to be heard about shoddy service or scams and rip-offs? be heard here.