Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Today I walked into my noon Bible study and there was animated buzzing conversation all around. I eagerly jumped in, until I realized we had forgotten something. "Wait! Let's pray!" I interrupted. We stopped long enough to say grace, and then went back to our lunches and our conversation.

What was the passionate topic we were discussing? Detours.

They say, of course, that there are only two seasons in Minnesota: winter and road construction. This reality has become more evident than usual for us this spring, as major highway construction is going on in our neighborhood's back yard.

All of the freeway entrances near our home have been closed for the last month, and will be all summer. Last weekend, the major highway through our city was closed, from my neighborhood downtown.

And starting this weekend, two more bridges were demolished, and part of the street that runs in front of our church was closed, the part that goes over the freeway. Our children's ministry coordinator described the scene on Monday evening: cars coming down the street, seeing the roadblock, and turning around abruptly to go back in the opposite direction -- during rush hour.

Tuesday evening I took my usual back roads home. They are not closed. However, as I approached my intersection, I saw two blocks of cars, waiting to get on the same road.

Everybody's looking for a different way home right now. The shortest route is no longer an option.

We need these road repairs. They are long overdue. But it is bitter medicine to take. And it means that we will have to take detours for awhile, we will have to slow down, we will be inconvenienced. For people in a hurry, with never enough time, with a sense of urgency, this is a difficult lesson to learn. Maybe we won't learn it, anyway.

We need more than road repairs. We need humanity repairs. Sometimes a detour, which seems like a waste of time, is part of the process of repairing our lives. And God -- the God who walked this earth with us -- walks with us in the detours, maybe even more than in those straight line, goal-oriented trips we take.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Writing Stories

When I was in first grade, I learned how to read. I didn't start early, like some children do. I didn't learn to read at all until I started first grade. But, at almost the same time, I starting writing.

At the time, all we had in school was Dick And Jane. I supplemented Dick and Jane with simple stories of visiting the farm, a few of the things I felt that the Dick and Jane stories left out They were suburban, like me, but they just didn't seem to have a wide enough experience of the world, in my view. A little later I began a series of stories about two girls who were best friends, remarkably similar to my own best friend and me. The stories, I think, we also updated versions of the Maud Hart Lovelace Betsy-Tacy books. Turn of the century Mankato was transformed into suburban Minneapolis, with adventures such as: putting on a play in the garage, sleeping outdoors in a treehouse, and trying to avoid annoying brothers and sisters.

I had a brief foray into feminism with "A Girl on our Baseball Team": vintage about 4th grade. I am amazed at how undeterred I was by the fact that I didn't know anything about baseball. I tried my hand at mystery stories at least twice. And in junior high, I dabbled in science fiction. One earnest story, I remember, was about how the computers eventually took over the world, unwilling to leave it in the hands of fallible human beings. (I did not have any conscious knowledge of 2001 or "Hal" at that time. really.)

I wrote alone; I wrote with others. I remember one year going over to a friend's house nearly every day after school and taking out a cheap Schaeffer cartridge pen and sitting down together to write stories. We sat at a low child's table in her basement and scribbled furiously while the TV hummed in the background. We would take turns reading portions of stories to each other at the end of the afternoon.

In junior high I also experimented with some (in retrospect) really bad poetry. I started writing short humor pieces, as well. I continued to write stories: of families with many children, of campaigns for student council president, of young people running away from home. I wrote one humorous one-act play, and a story about a little girl who believed that someday she would be famous. It was called "destined."

However, somewhere along the line I just stopped writing stories. I think I was freer when I didn't know how much I didn't know. I wrote stories, unconcerned about facts, about research, about areas of the country, the world, and historical events. I wrote stories to make life more interesting than it was. I wrote stories just because I liked it. I wrote stories because I liked to hang around words.

I still like stories. And I like, more than ever, hanging around words, hearing the way they sound. But I haven't written any stories for a long time. I don't know exactly why. I know it's a lot harder than I used to think it was. Maybe that's part of it. Maybe I'm less curious too, but that would be sad. But sometimes I miss it: creating a little world, with people and places and plots thickening.

I wonder if I will ever write another story.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Church yesterday

It was a big day in church yesterday, and mostly NOT because of my great sermon. It was a great day for me because we had, for our Adult Forum, the director of the Benedictine Center in St. Paul, here to teach us about Lectio Divina. It turns out that he is a Lutheran; he and his family worship at a church in St. Paul near the capital. The only thing I'm sad about is that I never get to go to the adult forums, because we have worship services all morning. This is one that I would have liked to attend.

Then, after our 10:00 service, our U.S. Representative Keith Ellison came for another adult forum. It turns out that someone from my congregation works with his office in some or another capacity (although I'm not sure exactly how that is). We are part of his district, and he wanted to come and tell us some of the things they are working on in Congress. He came to worship as well. He sat in the back and of course, since he is a Muslim, he didn't come up for communion. I didn't get to hear him either, as I was leading another worship service at that time. So I can't tell you anything about the content of his message.

Also, for the first time this last Sunday, we included prayers for healing and anointing at our last worship service, for anyone who would like to be prayed for. We will include a service of healing every month at the last service on the last Sunday of the month. I am glad for this.

Then I went home, and my husband had organized a little surprise party for me, with cake and coffee, and sushi, salad and snacks. And presents.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Sermon: The unknown god

I used to see them on occasion back when I was downtown working. Street-corner preachers. Have you ever encountered one? Sometimes they are standing on a box, often holding up a big Bible, and preaching their hearts out to anyone who will listen. Which to be honest with you, is usually: no one. What I remember, whether the encounter was on a street corner on a warm summer day – or during the winter, up above in one of the city skyways, was how spectacularly ignored those preachers were by the people hurrying by. I could never make out exactly what they were saying, but when I would catch a few words, I could tell that they quoted a lot of Bible passages, and that they were often angry. God was not pleased with us, they said, and there was a judgment coming. It was time to repent and turn to God. But we – kept right on going, not stopping to consider our lives and the great God the preacher was trying to tell us about.

Paul at the Areopagus is a kind of a street-corner preacher, isn’t he? In our lesson today he is in Athens, wandering through the city. While he is there he is disturbed by all the idols that he sees, and hebegins by speaking in the synagogues and to everyone he meets about Jesus and the resurrection. Finally, people are curious and they invite him to the Areopagus – a rocky hill which serves asa meeting place where people gather to hear new ideas. According to the verse right before our lesson starts, the people of Athens are always interested in new ideas.) And what we hear today is Paul’s "street corner preaching" to the people who are gathered.

It’s tempting to make fun of the preachers who stand on street corners, I suppose. But they are doing one thing right, at least – they are not just in the church, but they are out in the street, in the marketplace, talking about God. They are out where the people are living and working and trying to get by, like Paul was in Athens, and wherever he traveled. It’s tempting to make fun of "street corner preachers", but at least in one way, they are meeting the people where they are, just like Paul did. They are "going public" with their with their faith, and just like Paul, they are preaching repentance – they are exhorting people to turn to God.

But that’s where the similarity ends. For one thing Paul doesn’t do is rattle off a lot of Bible passages. He’s speaking to people who have no knowledge of the Jewish Scriptures, so he doesn’t use scripture at all. As he wants to introduce them to the God he believes in, the God he trusts, instead he looks around him and notices the marketplace and the culture of Athens. He notices all of the different altars there are and he comments, "I see that you are very religious." He starts where they are – and amid all of the altars and the marketplace and the bustling, busy people he notices, he sees one altar that bears the inscription "To an unknown God." Who knows where that came from? Perhaps in a time of famine or war or difficulty, the people were praying to all of their different gods and decided that they must be leaving someone out, and so they created a new altar, "to an unknown god," just to be sure. There’s a kind of humility there as well, isn’t there? To an unknown’s as if the people of Athens are admitting – we don’t know everything. There’s more knowledge, more wisdom, more out there that we haven’t discovered yet. And so this is where Paul begins: this unknown god – he tells them – this is the god I am going to tell you about.

In a way, that’s still the task today, and for us, isn’t it? To make known the unknown god. For even though there are stacks of books in the religion section of the libraries and the bookstores, and even though there are many churches throughout our community and in this religious nation of ours, there is still a sense that our God is still "the unknown god." In our marketplaces, there are still many competing altars, promising us peace or security, wealth or success, popularity, or beauty of love. If only we will serve them. There are the cruel gods that preach the message that it’s important to be the last survivor on the island. There are the soothing gods telling us if only we say this or that affirmation, we can heal our lives. There are gods that tell us if pray the right prayer, god will make us successful. This is still a sense that the God we believe in and the God we trust is an unknown God – the God who created the heavens and the earth, but who dwells with us, "in whom we live and move and have our being," as Paul tells the Athenians. There’s still a sense that our God – the God who in Jesus went to the cross – is still unknown. And it is we – the church – who, through our words and actions, make him known.

But how do we do that? How do we do that? Well, for most of us, it’s not by standing on street corners (I think I hear a collective sigh of relief!) But it is by recognizing that we have something in common with one another, whether we are believers or not, but simply by being members of the human family. Paul doesn’t start his sermon by shouting about all of the idols. He begins by observing, "I see you are very religious." He notices them sweeping in front of their altars, and polishing the brass on the artifacts, and taking good care of the temples, and he tells them about a God big enough to take care of them. "He gives to all mortals life and breath and all things." He tells them about an expansive god, a god wide enough, and big enough to encompass the whole world, to embrace the whole world, and everyone in it.

A long time ago while I was living in Japan, I learned about a man who had been a general during World War II. In fact, he was important enough that he had gotten a paragraph mention in one of the popular military history books, as he had something to do with military strategy in the Pacific. Sometimes after the war, he had become a Christian, and was present every Sunday at Musashino Church in Tokyo, always sitting faithfully in the same spot. The missionary who knew him told me that when he became a Christian, he threw away his "god shelf" – where his ancestors supposedly were – and gave himself completely to the Christian faith. Bt this is a difficult decision for a Japanese, for whom "taking care of the ancestors" is an important family obligation. What was it that finally convinced him to be baptized and live as a Christian? It was the creation stories in Genesis – and particularly the story of the creation of the whole world. In Japan, he explained, the creation stories only mentioned the creation of Japan. But the Christian god was the god of the Whole World.

And yet, that is not enough to know, is it? It’s not enough for us. It’s a beginning. To know that god is the creator of heaven and earth, is the God of Japan and the U.S., the God of Germany and Afghanistan, of Israel and Palestine. God is the Lord of all the nations – and yet God is also near to us – ‘indeed, he is not far from each one of us.’ We reach out and try to grasp him, we are searching for him, and yet – he’s so close, ‘in him we live and move and have our being.’ So close, but still sometimes we don’t wee.

Dr. Rachel Remen tells the story of a young boy with cancer, with a dismal diagnosis. He was a wonderful and happy child, and all the different treatments were taking a toll on him, changing him. And they were running out of options. They finally tried something very experimental, but everyone was very pessimistic. They were sure it wouldn’t work. Dr. Remen talks about reading his blood charts each day and giving the bad news to his parents. Sometimes it would go up a little, but always a little, and she told them, "It’s within the margin of error." His blood started at about a 6, and each day she saw the same thing, until one day, she gave is mother the news, and the boy’s mother touched her arm and said, "He’s getting better! My boy is getting better!" His blood levels had gone up to 7.4. He WAS getting better, but she didn’t see it. She couldn’t see it.

God is so close to us, but most of the time we don’t see: because we don’t expect to see him with the poor, we don’t expect to see him with the outcasts, we don’t expect to see him with the hungry, we don’t expect to see him on the cross. God in Christ is so close to us, but most of the time we don’t see. And we don’t expect to see him feeding the hungry, and we don’t expect to see him welcoming the outcasts, and we don’t expect to see him raising up, empowering the poor. We don’t expect to see him risen from the dead, and living among us: giving us life.

We don’t expect to see him, but he’s here, reaching out to us, loving us, giving us life. And not us only -- but the whole world. The unknown god -- made known in Christ -- and as we live and love the world. AMEN

Disclaimer: I did not mean to hit publish so soon. (oops!)

Seeking: Opinions of Dog People

It's spring, spring, spring, even though it SNOWED last night. So it's muddy muddy muddy as well. And, all the little critters are back, too.

To celebrate spring and the absence of huge snow drifts, husband fixed the porch fence so that Scout can run out the back door directly into the yard: but not the street.

But the puppy has been taxing our patience this morning. She discovered a chipmunk or a gopher in one of our gutter spouts when we let her out this morning, and she would not come back in. She HAD to get that animal out of the gutter. Husband moved the gutter spout, but she was then interested in every other gutter spout: there HAS to be an animal in there somewhere.

When I got home from church for lunch, Husband said we had gone on to the Next Level: the small animal had finally vacated the gutter spout, and Scout caught her. I look out the back door, and there she was, tossing it up in the air like a squeaky toy, running around with it in her mouth.

She would not come in.

She would come up near the door, and then, when we opened it, she would run back the other way, toward her catch. Then she would move the animal to another area in the yard.

Finally, I went out to the yard, and called her. I was surprised when she came right to me, and sat in front of me. She let me take her collar and bring her in. (And I wiped off her Extremely Muddy Paws.) I guess those obedience sessions paid off some.

The thing is: the Animal is still out there. If I had time, I'd let her out again, and have her practice coming to me, and letting her go back to the Animal. We could also just go out and find it and just get rid of it. But that might make her more possessive the next time she catches one. Or, we could.... is there another option???

What would you do?
P.S. Disclaimer: the picture is not our yard.

Friday, April 25, 2008

An Old Versus Modern (Postmodern?) Friday Five

Singing Owl from over at Revgalblogpals offers these thoughts and this friday five:
Yesterday I had two separate conversations in which people were musing about how much change is occurring. The WW II generation, of which my mom is a part, went from horse and buggy to automobiles, saw the lessening, or even the end of many diseases, went from widespread use of kerosene lamps and outhouses (in the country, and most folks were rural)) to a totally electrified and plumbed society. The fastest means of communication was a telegraph. The second conversation--gulp--was about MY generation and how much change occurred in the last half of the 20th century. The person said his 13 year old had not seen a vinyl record album until a few days before, couldn't remember a time without cell phones, and on and on.

As for the questions!

1. What modern convenience/invention could you absolutely, positively not live without?

Sadly, there are a lot of modern conveniences that I would be lost without. I can't imagine life without music, so I would be bereft without a CD player of some kind of music player. However, I play the piano and think: hmmm, what if I sat down and made my OWN music more. I don't have a dishwasher (though I would love to have one) so it's not that. And, just in the last year, my computer has become almost indispensable, as I have become connected with more people in a 21st century sort of way.

Another way of looking at the question: how modern? flush toilet, shower and washer and dryer really are indispensable (not just addictive), and my mother can remember not having them, as a girl on the farm.

2. What modern convenience/invention do you wish had never seen the light of day? Why?

I think the cell phone. I actually want one, so it's a little hypocritical, but I also see the downside. One of my pastoral colleagues said a few years back that she refused to get a cell phone because, "there should be some times people CAN'T get ahold of you. You are not the same as God."

3. Do you own a music-playing device older than a CD player? More than one? If so, do you use it (them)?

We still own a turntable, although we never use it. However, our college age stepson uses it, when he comes home. He likes vinyl.

4. Do you find the rapid change in our world exciting, scary, a mix...or something else?

Well, I'm not keeping up. I don't have an ipod, or an iphone, or any or the i things yet. I'm saving up for a laptop and a digital camera. I find it both exciting and scary. I really like how the internet brings us closer: I can't believe the people I had connected with in the last year. I'm also scared by how fast mis-information can spread now, via internet. Faster even than information. And though I am connected with people all over the country on-line, do I lose sight of who is my real community? And is it tempting to invest less in the the people and the communities right here? I don't know the answer, these are questions.

5. What did our forebears have that we have lost and you'd like to regain?

More of a sense of community, and all of the benefits that community brings: support, comfort, encouragement -- and power. It's as we gather together with a vision that we begin to have the power to change the world, our communities, our churches.

Bonus points if you have a suggestion of how to begin that process.

Here's one: call up five people in your community or your congregation and invite them to have coffee or something. Sit down with them for about 40 minutes and listen to their stories -- what makes them tick, where they came from, what they are afraid of, what they dream about. That's the beginning (where can I redeem my points, then?)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Like the Energizer Bunny....

..... last week I just kept going and going, meeting with a young man who wants to be baptized, doing hospice calls, presiding at a funeral, going to community meetings, meeting with a baptismal family, having coffee with parish members, planning Bible studies. I also planned to attend (as always) our Synod Assembly last weekend, where we would introduce our churchwide Book of Faith initiative, a plan to get our congregations more deeply into reading and hearing and discerning God's Word in the Scriptures.

And I kept thinking, hmmm, I have a little sore throat.

And a little cough. But just at night.

But I wasn't sleeping all that well, because of the "little cough".

And on Friday I got sick. Really sick. I had to leave the Synod Assembly and go home. Actually, someone took me home. We went back and picked up my car on Saturday night.

On Sunday I went to church. I did feel much better, having slept and slept and slept. I also Prayed in Color for the first time, and found it a really meditative experience. Maybe I should have stayed home again on Sunday, but I just couldn't bring myself to miss Sunday serivces for the second time in a month. And I really really really wanted to be there for the baptism, for the little red-headed baby who would stare at me for the whole baptism, and whose fingers curled around mine.

After church, we drove out of town to my mother's home town, where several of my relatives still live. Let's just call it "the farm." It's down in southwestern Minnesota where my grandfather farmed, and where one of my uncles and his two sons farm now. Another aunt and uncle live in town, in my grandparent's house. Going there is like going home.

Scout went with us. She rides well. She had never been to the farm before. We haven't gone down there in years. Too busy. And I told my aunt, "I don't want to do anything. I just want to relax." She made hamburger stroganoff for supper.

After supper, she had invited everyone else in from the farms, for cake and ice cream, for my birthday. It was a little surprise.

Just for a little while, I could remember that I'm not the energizer bunny. I'm not. I'm a sinner, and a child of God, and I live by grace, and by God's love for me.

And the occasional cake and ice cream doesn't hurt a bit.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A True Story, and A Parable

The winter of '97 (1997, that is) was the stuff of legends, even before January. Winter came early, and even before the Great January Storm, there had been plenty of snow and a couple of mildly exciting storms to talk about.

Early in January, though, a storm came through that closed most of the state. Two major interstates were closed for two days, while I was holed up in the rambling parsonage, with two TV stations, a handfull of videos, a pizza and a few other staples. Outside they were advising, no, commanding no travel, and the big news was of a woman who started home from her nursing home job early in the morning and got disoriented in the storm. She tried to relay her location to rescuers via her cell phone, but she had no idea where she was. Meanwhile, rescuers could not even go out in the white-out to try to find her.

That was the biggest, but not the only, storm of the season. Confirmation classes had to be cancelled more than once due to blowing and drifting snow, and at least once I got a call on Sunday morning that I should not try to come to the country church, because the road had drifted shut.

And then the winter of '97 gave way to the spring of '97. This was the spring that the Red River rose high above its banks, the year that Fargo was threatened, the year that Grand Forks, and even more, East Grand Forks were under water. In my own community, though far from the Red River, church was cancelled one Sunday for both blizzard and flood warnings. It seemed apocalyptic.

All spring a couple I did not know worshipped in my town church. I introduced myself the first Sunday: visitors were rare here. They said, "We're refugees from Grand Forks." They didn't know if they had a church, or a home any more. They were told to leave, and were staying with relatives in a nearby town, waiting for word.

The roads that spring were full of ruts, full of holes, full of cracks. Many of the roads, as well, were covered with water. Some water was so high that the roads were closed. On other roads the water was deep enough to look ominous, but you could drive through if you were careful. I was always looking for another route. But no matter what, I couldn't always avoid the water. And no matter what anyone tells you, water is not always your friend.

One Monday morning I traveled up to Nearby Big Town, where I often went for breakfast. I bought a newspaper and sat down with my coffee. There were many articles and editorials about the Red River, the dangers and the tragedies. One article was by a man who returned to his hometown of East Grand Forks, to cover the flooding.

I had never been to East Grand Forks. I didn't know anyone from East Grand Forks. I was far removed from all that was going on. But I will always remember the article by the man who returned to his home and found it was covered with water. The last line read: My town is gone.

And I didn't know why, but I was crying.

Friday, April 18, 2008

In Memory of Cub

Scout and I are taking a little break.

In the meantime, please pray for Cub's family, who will miss her.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Me and the Pope

.... or, more properly, Pope Benedict and I

share a birthday today.

For the record,

Henry Mancini was also born on this day in 1924,

Dusty Springfield in 1939,

and Charlie Chaplain in 1889.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Republican Church

A few years ago I was at a church retreat with some of our board members, looking ahead to develop a vision and plan for our church. Over lunch, one of the members was telling us about her visit to a local mega-church, one pretty well known in our neck of the woods.

"What kind of a church is it?" someone asked her.

"It's a Republican church," she replied.

Interesting. She didn't say Baptist, or Methodist, or Episcopalian, or Presbyterian. She said Republican. In doing so, she touched on a trend developing in many churches lately, and, in my book, a troubling one.

As a young adult, nothing insulted my intelligence more than for a pastor or a church to tell me how to vote. I remember being very clear that I knew that was NOT their job; I could figure out very well on my own, thank you, where my faith values were leading me politically. And the denomination I grew up in, and eventually came back to, has conservatives and liberals, Republicans and Democrats. The idea was that it was our faith that united us, our common trust in Jesus, not our politics.

Now, in some ways, it feels that has been turned around. More than Lutheran or Methodist, it matters whether we are Conservative or Liberal. Never mind that those words can have many meanings. And it's not just what we believe in our hearts, but who we choose to associate with, how we organize ourselves, and the pre-conceptions that we bring to the scriptures.

I am always surprised, for example, when I am reading the Passion Narrative for a Bible study, and we read the story of the woman with the alabaster jar, the woman who anointed Jesus. This is one of my favorite stories, especially Mark's version, where Jesus praises the woman and says of her, "What she has done will be told in memory of her." Of course, nobody remembers her name, so the comment is somewhat bittersweet. But I love her wasteful gesture, her pouring out of expensive perfume, because to me it is a sign and a foretaste of what Jesus will do when he pours out his life for the world. And it is a woman who serves as the type of Christ's sacrifice.

Invariably, one of the Bible study participants will say something like this about this story. "Those who are on the left wouldn't like it."

And why would that be?

Because of Jesus' retort to the disciples, who critiqued the woman, "The poor you have with you always, but you will not always have me."

Obviously, Jesus' statement was meant to be a tacit endorsement of conservative Republican values, and a repudiation of liberal Democratic ones.


The problem with going through scripture looking for the statements you agree with is that you miss the larger picture: the picture of the wasteful God who breaks open the jar of his own life for all of sinful humanity.

The problem with going to churches of the like-minded (whether conservative or liberal) is that they might miss the larger picture: a scandalous God whose mission is larger than any political agenda, and who will call any willing sinner to follow.

Monday, April 14, 2008


Husband: It's going to be up in the 60's every day this week!
Me: Finally!
Husband: I think we just turned the corner, weather-wise.
Me: You can tell that we just watched The Apartment, recently.
Husband: Movie-wise.
P.S. have some serious posts brewing (and who knows what Scout is up to), but just need to get past the next few days. Tax-wise. and Meeting-wise.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Little Things

Today after the three worship services I walked into my office and found a cranberry muffin waiting for me. It was homemade, I think. An anonymous gift. And not unappreciated. I was VERY HUNGRY.

We had prospective new members coming down the hallway, on a tour of the church. There were four families, including young children. I love how our Outreach Director took them past each of our doors, as if each member of the staff were a celebrity. And here's Pastor Roth's door, I heard her say, and I made note of the several pictures of Scout on the door. I heard one little boy squeal with delight. "She's a big dog!" His mother whispering, "He really likes animals."

I bought pears again at the store. What is it I like so much about pears? I really like them, when they are just right juicy and golden. And we hopped out to a used book store and I got an early birthday present: an old illustrated book of dog stories. I love used book stores; they are like museums to me. I especially like looking at the illustrated books, although many of them are far out of my price range.

Tomorrow there will be no day off for me. I have a funeral, a beloved member of our church and former teacher in our community as well. The scriptures have been chosen, the worship folder is finished, I have notes which I need to finish into a sermon.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Sunday Sermon

Easter 4
John 10:1-10
The Open Door

A couple of years ago, we decided it was time to build a fence in our yard. We decided to embark on this endeavor because we had picked up a dog – a puppy at first, but she grew up to be a dog, and we wanted enclosed area for her where she could run and play safely, in our back yard. We wanted a fence to keep her safe inside. Now in the interests of full disclosure, I need to say that the fence hasn’t been totally effective. She has managed to escape to freedom a couple of times – she’s a resourceful dog, and a little adventurous. And to be truthful, I don’t think she is entirely convinced of the necessity of fences. In her ideal world, there would be no need for gates, because there wouldn’t be fences. But still, the idea behind the fence was to create a place of safety – and as you might imagine, when we were designing the fence, there was a lot of talk about where would be the best place to put a gate. There was those in the family who thought it ought to be on one side of the house, and others who thought it ought to be on the other side. At least one person thought there should be two gates – one on each side – but that person was voted down. Too much work. But of course everyone was agreed – there has to be a gate. You can’t have a fence without a gate. Without a gate, there would be no way in and no way out.

“I am the gate,” Jesus tells us in our gospel lesson this morning. “Whoever enters by me will be saved… and will go in and go out and find pasture.” It seems strange to those of us who are used to calling Jesus a shepherd, the Good shepherd, actually. How can Jesus be a shepherd AND a gate? (we actually got a small picture of how that could be possible in our children’s message this a.m.) We focus usually so much on verses about the shepherd that we don’t think about what it might mean to say that Jesus is a gate or Jesus is a door. And what it means is that Jesus is, like the gate, a way in and a way out.

But I suspect that we mostly think of him as a way in. We mostly think of him gathering us together like a shepherd does, and ushering us into a place of safety, a place of refuge in this dangerous world, and shutting the door behind him to keep us safe. Don’t we? If Jesus is a gate, we think of him as a gate into a refuge, like our gate keeps our dog fenced into our safe back yard.

But the scripture says something unusual, something that makes me wonder a little about that fenced in area, that safe area that Jesus is keeping us, that gate that keeps the sheep in and the wolves and the bandits out. The scripture first says that the sheep will come in AND go out and find pasture. The gate is not just a way in. It is also a way out. The gate is a way into a place of refuge and a way out into the world.

And Jesus says something else, at the very end of the gospel lesson: “I came that they have life, and have it abundantly.” Jesus is the gate that leads us into safety and refuge and Jesus is the gate that leads us out into the world – but most of all Jesus is the gate to life – abundant and overflowing, piled-up like Christmas boxes under a tree, like snow in January.

Abundant life. What does it look like to you? The prosperity preachers would have us believe that an abundant life is full of things – that an abundant life means that the faithful will be blessed with wealth, with material abundance. An abundant life is one in which life is smooth sailing, there are no bumps in the road, where we find meaning in what we are able to accumulate and collect. But for Jesus an abundant life has an entirely different meaning.

Here is what an abundant life might look like:
Just the other day I heard a black Baptist preacher give a testimony about his life. He talked about growing up poor in the south – in a family of 13 children, and how they didn’t have much. He talked about his dream of going north – where there would be more work, and more respect. He said it was like the promised land for him. He thought – I’m going to go north as soon as I graduate from high school. He said that he could have gone many different directions in his life – he recognized that he had a lot to be angry about, and that his anger could have led him in different directions. He told us about when he started wearing an armband that said “Black and proud/say it loud” – and a teacher told him he had to take it off. He wouldn’t. The teacher said that he would beat him until he took it off. But he still wouldn’t take it off. The teacher beat him – but he didn’t take the armband off. And he told us that somewhere along the line – probably from his family – he learned something important. He learned that God was for him. “God is for me,” that what he said. That was the power that allowed him to take a beating and still keep that armband: “God is for me.”

Do you know what the title of his testimony was? “Abundance.” Abundance – is knowing that God is for me – despite the circumstances. “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. That’s what Jesus says.

Here’s another example of abundant life:
It’s the story of the man who was born blind. Do you remember? It’s the story right before our lesson today; it’s in John 9. Jesus heals a man who had been blind from birth – and there is nothing but trouble after that. The religious leaders are offended, they say because Jesus did his healing on the Sabbath. I think it might be just as much that Jesus doesn’t fit into the nice safe categories that they have created. He can’t be controlled. The religious leaders grill the man born blind about his experience, and the end result is: they throw him out of his place of worship. And they close the gate behind him. He’s locked out. And this has been a source of life, of community for him, until then. This has been his refuge, his sanctuary.

And yet, Jesus comes along and calls himself “the gate.” He calls himself “the gate" or "the door” for those who have been locked out, kicked out, who no longer have a place of refuge in the world. Only he is the Open door, not the closed and locked door. He is the door where the sheep come in and go out and find pasture. In Jesus’ death and resurrection, the door is open for outcasts to find refuge, to the hungry to find food, to the lonely to find community, to the dead to find life. Jesus is the open door to abundant life – for everyone who needs to know that God is for them.

I want to tell you a little more of the preacher’s story. He told us that he did graduate and go north. He found work there, but he also found that people used some of the same words about him that they did in the south. He got some of the same treatment in the north. But he continued to believe that God was for him. He decided to go to college, and he became a teacher. Before he became a pastor, he was a teacher. He kept going and kept going, because he believed that God was for him. And he even was the principal of a high school for a time. And do you know? He ended up hiring the same man who had been his teacher and who beat him up when he was a student.

That’s the thing about Jesus’ abundant life. It’s not just abundant life for me: it’s abundant life for you, too. It’s not just an open door for me – it’s an open door for you too. Jesus’ abundant life looks a lot like the picture of the early Christian community as it’s pictured in Acts – a community of prayer and worship and devotion to the apostles’ teaching – and sharing. Jesus’ abundant life is a life of open doors and open hands and bearing each other’s burdens. Jesus’ abundant life is one where we come in and go out – out into the world where Jesus is opening his arms in welcome to the least and the lost, the broken-hearted and the hard-hearted, the beat-up and the blind. The gate opens two ways – and the abundance is for us and for the whole world, the world that God loved so much, the world that Jesus came to heal.

You know, I think again about the fence we built two summers ago, a gate of safety, to keep our dog inside our yard. And I remember one day last spring – I was having some back problems and I was told that for awhile, I couldn’t walk the dog. But I wanted to try to walk a little, to strengthen my back. So I left her in the yard, and I started down the road. And I had not gone very far – actually only a little past our house, when I turned around and saw her running after me – following me.

Now you might say that she was being a bad dog. But I say that she was just anticipating the time when there would be no need for fences or for gates, when God’s kingdom, God’s abundance will fill our hearts and fill the world.

In the meantime, let us go out with much joy, following our shepherd through the open gate, and sharing God’s abundant love. AMEN

My Blog Anniversary

Today is the first anniversary of my blog. Last night I celebrated by meeting Jan at Yearning for God. She's here in my town for the very first time. She's at the Episcopal Relief and Development Conference, and is in meetings most of the time. So we wanted to show her a little bit of the city, but we couldn't see so much in the dark. We went to a nice restaurant, Dakota Restaurant and Jazz Club, and drove her to the Mississippi River and also to Lake of the Isles and Lake Calhoun. With the light dusting of snow, it looked a little like Christmas Eve, but without the pretty lights. (sigh) I hope she got a good impression of our city.

Today is going to be a busy day, with much of a sermon to prepare, and other worship and pastoral care items to attend to. So for your entertainment, I offer you the following video. Before Scout got her own blog, she was one of the main characters here, and still makes an occasional appearance. She just prefers to speak for herself now.

But, she gives her full approval to this one:

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Friday Five: A Moving Experience

Mother Laura at Revgals writes:

We are right in the middle of a move--only twenty minutes away, but we're still a mix of busy, excited, nervous and surprisingly full of grief about what we're leaving, for me at least. So this week's Friday Five asks about your experience of the marvels and madness of moving...

1. How many times have you moved? When was the last time?

I just counted and I think my moves total 16. Wow. I didn't know that. Most of my moves have happened as an adult. My last move was when I got married. Since then I've stayed put.

2. What do you love and hate about moving?

I love the opportunity to de-accumulate. I like finding things I had forgotten about. I like the surprises of encountering a new place, and settling in. I hate: millions of hangers! where did they come from? Discovering that I have so much bric-a-brac, so many miscellaneous decorative items. I also hate leaving, and usually cry a lot.

3. Do you do it yourself or hire movers?

Mostly I have done it myself, with help from various relatives. Twice I had movers, when I moved here to my call in the big city, and of course, when I moved to Japan. Oh, the movers only helped on the way home, when the amount of "stuff" I had increased exponentially. For my move to rural South Dakota, I was helped by three farmers who brought their trucks. I was also helped by many members of my congregations who helped unpack the trucks.

4. Advice for surviving and thriving during a move?

Hmmm. Get help. Don't ever get a hide-a-bed. Or, if you have one, realize that you will have to get different movers every time you move. Nobody will offer to help with it more than once.

5. Are you in the middle of any inner moves, if not outer ones?

No outer moves on the horizon now. I'm always working on moving to a more courageous place inwardly, a place where I can take more risks and dare to fail.

Bonus: Share a piece of music/poetry/film/book that expresses something about what moving means to you.

Right now I'm drawing a blank on this one. If I think of something I'll add it later.

If there is anyone left to come over, this is the song I finally thought of:


It started raining this afternoon, a cold rain with some wind behind it. Now it is 34 degrees and sleeting outside. It's also mighty windy. If it were snowing, this would be a blizzard. But it's not snowing -- yet. (I'm not sure whether the prediction for 6 inches of snow still holds. )

We have scheduled a discussion of our church's Draft Statement on Sexuality for this evening. Would anyone like to hazard a guess regarding how many people will actually attend this meeting?

UPDATE: It is still sleeting here. There is some slush accumulating on the ground. They are predicting 40 mile per hour winds tomorrow, and 3-4 inches more of snow/slush. Winter weather advisory is on until Saturday morning. Oh, and there were 4 people at our study, plus the two pastors.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Story I Told At Easter Vigil

A number of years ago I took a busload of high school students from rural South Dakota down to the big city of New Orleans for a youth convention. Now, I didn't drive the bus or anything. Four other adults also went from three other churches. From my own parish there were twelve: a nice round number, don't you think?

We had a great time, great worship, good learning, 35,000 Lutheran students from all over the country. Our theme was Holy Week; we began with a Palm Sunday Parade, I remember, with giant marionnettes. It seemed appropriate for New Orleans.

On the way home, we stopped at a huge amusement park: actually, two amusement parks. One of them was called Oceans of Fun. We spent the day on the water: pools with fake tides that went in and out, roller coasters that sped on water, fake rivers with inner tubes to float on -- and water slides. Lots and lots of water slide. They were even conveniently rated for difficulty, 1 through 5.

I love the water. I am so old, though, I don't think water slides were invented when I was a little girl. And I am courage-impaired, generally. But I decided to try some of the more challenging waterslides. It was hot and humid, and we were at the end of a long trip.

There was one, I remember, a challenge 4 I believe. I remember standing in line for a long time and noticing a spotter down in the water below. I wonder what they need a spotter for, I thought. When it was finally my turn, I got careful directions: keep your arms folded across your chest, wait for the light, lie down on the slide. Then the person at the top of the slide gave the ok, and I was off.

For a few seconds it was simply exhilarating. Then the slide took some twists and turns. At one point I even seemed to be sliding upside down, and I became totally disoriented. By the time I reached the water I was sliding so fast and twisting and turning so often that it almost took my breath away.

It was then I discovered what the spotters were for. When I tried to come up for breath, I didn't know which way was up, and needed the spotter to turn me right side up so that I could find the water's surface and air. It was a totally disorienting and reorienting experience. It took my breath away.

I love baptisms. But, to be truthful, what we see on Sunday morning when we witness a baptism is somewhat -- well -- misleading, I think. We see people all dressed up in their Sunday best, looking respectable. We see something rehearsed, with the people's responses well under control. We see a little water demurely poured over a very cute baby's head. If we're lucky, we might hear some cries or howls, which is just as it should be.

In reality, baptism isn't demure, or respectable, or quiet, or controlled. In reality, it's a lot more like the Israelites, running through the Red Sea, with the Egyptians in hot pursuit. It's a lot more like Jonah getting swallowed by a great fish, and spit up three days later with a new outlook on life. It's a lot more like the waterslide: an experience of total disorientation, of finally learning which way is up.

In the darkness of Easter Vigil, we re-enter the chaos and darkness of Jesus' death, and emerge finally right side up, gasping for breath, and grateful. This is the night, the night Jesus went down, went down to the grave, went down to the deep, pulled by gravity, pulled by our sins. This is the night Jesus went down to put us right, to put the world right.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

April Milestones

April has always been a big month in my family. There are several April birthdays on both sides of my family. I want to shout "Hey!" to my cousins Cheryl, Brian, Karen and Rick, who share this birthday month with me. One of my grandmothers had an April birthday, as well as several aunts and uncles. My brother-in-law also claims an April birthday. As Wayne and Garth would say, "Party on!" That's what we did, all during April!
Like the picture? My mom made the dress. And it was a combined Easter/birthday party that year. My cousin, as you can see, is not thrilled with my display of cousinly affection.

Other April milestones:

1. My car is paid for as of TODAY. The Camry is all mine now, and I hope will be for years to come. It is the first car I bought new (had only 15 miles on it).

2. April 12 is my one year blogging anniversary. Yes, at 4:45 p.m. on April 12, I logged into blogger for the first time, and posted the forgettable entry Saving Newspapers. At the time I didn't know how to do hyperlinks, blogrolls, images, videos: pretty much anything! There is still a lot I don't know (I would now call my computer knowledge "uneven").

3. I get get to meet up with fellow-blogger Jan sometime this week. I think this will be my 4th blogger meet-up. I have met fellow-bloggers RevDrKate, HotCup Lutheran and HubHC, and Fran, and Pastor Eric! (Just last week.) I hope to meet some fellow-bloggers also at the Festival of Homiletics in May here in My Town.

4. April 15 is not only tax day for us. It is the anniversary of the day we brought Scout home, three years ago. I picked her up at the nursing home, and listened to her howl all the way home in the car.
The next day I went to a church assembly the whole day. It also rained all day. My poor husband had to deal with a six-week-old puppy that didn't want to go out in the rain.
But, she did enjoy meeting the mailman, as you can see.
We studied a lot before we got Scout. We thought we knew a lot. But, as with blogging, there was a Very High Learning Curve.

Monday, April 7, 2008


My excellent blogging friend Fran has recently honored me with the Excellent Blogger Award. What can I say? I admire so many things about Fran: her honesty, her generosity, her faith and passion. She has also encouraged me in so many ways to write, and is better than a whole grocery-bag of creative-writing books at priming the creative pump for ideas.

So now I would like to pass this esteemed award along. In truth, I think everyone on my blog-roll deserves an excellent blogger award. Today, I'd like to honor:

1. HotCup Lutheran, for her sense of humor, honesty, creativity, and of course, love of coffee.

2. Chris at Lutheran Zephyr. I've been lurking there for awhile, and find some of his posts nothing short of brilliant. I'm sure you will too.

3. Proclaiming Softly. Please go over to this post where she has linked to an article in her local newspaper. Great insights.

4. Grandmere Mimi. Because she shared with us this great video, in which a lion and trainer are re-united:

5. More Cows Than People -- she has been taking us all on an amazing journey this past year. A new adventure awaits her.

6. Dogblogger at The Best Dog Ever. I think Scout is pretty doggone good, but Cub and The Boy are lovely and photogenic as well.

7. Barb at Views from the Road: both funny and deep. You never know what you are going to get: serious discussions about the nature of God? Cartoons? The empty nest hikers club?

8. Presbyterian Gal, who writes stories, for which I secretly envy her. Well, I guess, it's not a secret any more.

9. I cannot leave without mentioning my pal Rowan, great dog and theologian. Keep up the good work, Rowan!

One of my Pet Peeves

.... is pastors who say (sometimes in the middle of sermons) "You know, I'm not much of a Bible scholar."

My short, sassy comeback (at least in my head) is, "If not you, who?"

Is there any other profession in which people who often have 4 years of college AND graduate degrees can get away with claiming such lack of knowledge? What could possibly be the point of it? How would you like it if you had a teacher who confessed a rather spotty command of her subject? Or just before you were going in for an operation, your doctor confessed, "You know, I'm not really much of a surgeon"?

That being said, I will confess to being far more familiar with some portions of the Bible than others. For example, I'm much better prepared right now to give a lecture on one of the four gospels than, say, 1st and 2nd Chronicles. But when people call me up and ask me where something is in the Bible, or what it means, I expect I ought to know.

Exception: In the Psalms, I do not know what the word Selah means. Actually, nobody really knows what the word Selah means, for sure.

I think I know where "I'm not much of a Bible scholar" comes from, but I'm not sure. I suspect that we don't want to seem too intellectual; we don't want to separate ourselves too much from our people or seem intimidating. And we don't want to give people the impression: "I understand the Bible and you don't."

I absolutely agree. We don't want to give the impression that only clergy are equipped to read the Bible. And one of our jobs (one of our callings, I think) is to help equip people to read and interpret the Bible. It's right up there with leading worship in a way that is both reverent and celebratory.

If we aren't, in some sense, "Bible scholars", or "Bible experts," of some kind, how can we equip people to read it themselves?

When I go to the bookstore (and not just the Christian ones, either), I do see a lot of Bibles. I also see a LOT of books in the "religion and spirituality" section. My suspicion is that almost everyone HAS a Bible or Bibles, but that many people read the Bible just a little, and other books about religion a lot more.

In other words, I suspect that a lot of people don't feel equipped, or empowered, to read the Bible.

Any other insights, comments, disagreements, or even other totally different pet peeves are welcome.

Clarification: "The liturgical instruction Selah in the Book of Psalms is described by the Jewish Publication Society Version of the Tanakh as 'a liturgical direction of uncertain meaning,'" from Whose Bible Is it?, by Jaroslav Pelikan, p 230)

Sunday, April 6, 2008

It's Raining....

...and it's a good thing. You know, April showers, and all that. I can think of very few negatives regarding rain at this time of year. Oh, here's one: after Scout goes out for a walk, she smells like a wet dog.

We had a baptism this morning at church. You know, April showers and all that. Beautiful saris were worn by Indian relatives of the baby, decorating the church like spring foliage. There were at least three other babies in church this morning, including, Ami, the baby named for an eagle. I want more of this, I thought. I want a church that looks and sounds like God's kingdom, different accents and colors and voices lifting up.

The couple next door are still waiting for their baby. The doctor keeps saying any day now. April showers and all that. I am so excited. We're planning to send over some fried chicken for supper, because she is on bed rest and can't cook.

The senior pastor was giving away copies of a book of sermons he had published many years ago, at his last congregation. It's called Rituals of Redemption, based on a sermon series he wrote on liturgy. Anyone want a copy? I'll send you one. April showers, and all that.

Perhaps I should contact his publisher. I think this particular publisher you have to put up some of your own money, but it might be worth it to have something out there, with my name on it. Then someday maybe I'll be able to send you a copy of my book too (I keep saying that). But the April showers and all that have made me hopeful.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

My Dog Never Thinks About It

My dog never thinks about it
she doesn't wonder
should I eat that steak?
should I chase that rabbit?
should I bark or howl or whine or whimper?
should I wait at the window with hope?
should I invite that dog to play
with wagging tail and open smile?

I always think about it
worry about it
have second thoughts about it
I wonder
should I eat and drink
should I fast and pray
should I chase my dreams
should I wait with hope
should I invite a stranger
to my adventure
should I speak
should I be silent

I hesitate

and all is lost

(draft draft draft!)

Friday, April 4, 2008

Just in Time

A poem can be about anything
or so they say
A poem can be about the windshield wiper on your car
that fell off during a snowstorm

with a great whack
A poem can be about the sunny day
now that it's spring
and the prayer around the urn

after the crack of guns
at the cemetery
A poem can be about the rainstorm
(which was a surprise)

the old leaves whirling in the wind
and the tiny dots of sharp rain
A poem can even be about the windshield wiper
not the one that fell off with a great crack

but the new one
put on just before the rain
which was a surprise.

(first draft of something?)

Revelation Friday Five

Sally over at Revgals writes:

With this Sunday's gospel reading in mind, that wonderful revelation of Christ to the companions on the Emmaus road. I wonder where you might have been surprised by God's revelation recently.So with no further waffle I offer you this weeks Friday 5:How has God revealed him/herself to you in a:

1. Book
The book (outside the Bible, that is) where I am most seeing God lately is Mary Oliver's new collection of poetry, Red Bird. We also got to hear her read her poetry last Sunday, and I was struck by this poem (not from her new collection).

I have not been to a movie for a long time. We haven't even rented a movie for a long time. We just watch movies on TCM. And since right now I am not recalling any of those movies (even though we love to watch old movies, especially from the 30s and 40s), I'm going to name a movie that always makes me cry: Babette's Feast. Perhaps it's time to watch it again.

3. Song
When visiting one of our favorite local music establishments here, Homestead Pickin' Parlor, a certain CD was recommended to me by local artists Neal and Leandra. The song that has haunted me since them is Beautiful Goodbye. I posted the youtube here

4. Another person
All of the people in my noon Bible study this past Wednesday. We had such a good discussion of this story. They really wrestled with the idea that "their eyes were kept from recognizing him", and what that meant. Also, they noticed the detail near the end of the story where it appears that Jesus is going to go on ahead of the disciples until they invite him to stay with them. Since they do not know yet that it's Jesus, we realized that the point of this detail is not "inviting Jesus into our hearts/lives", but inviting the stranger into our hearts and lives. What a wonderful moment in Bible study, and we all discovered it together.

5. Creation
My dog always reminds me of God, for many reasons. She has been delighting in the spring weather lately, excited by the warmer weather. But, when we had our great wet snowstorm on Monday afternoon and evening, she delighted in that as well, taking one last roll around in the snow before it melted yesterday. She reminds me to pay attention to the small things, that there are wonderful smells that I don't even know exist, and that a new friend could be around any corner.

Bonus answer: your choice- share something encouraging/ amazing/ humbling that has happened to you recently!

Man in hospital: Do you know Norwegian?
Me: no, just a little Swedish.
Man: I was confirmed in Norwegian. When I'm serious, I pray in Norwegian.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Another Poem by Mary Oliver

I was blessed to hear Mary Oliver read her poetry last Sunday night. She also answered questions from the audience. I say this even though I went out with a migraine, my eyes were watering, my nose was running, there were sharp stabbing pains behind one eye. It was still a privilege to hear her read. And we laughed, too She was funny.

The old elegant theatre was nearly full. My husband said, how is it that so many people come out to hear a poet? I didn't say this, but I thought, Mary Oliver is poetry's version of a rock star.

I found a review of the evening here.

She read three poems about her dog, Percy. This was not one of them.

Percy and Books (Eight)

Percy does not like it when I read a book.
He puts his face over the top of it and moans.
He rolls his eyes, sometimes he sneezes.
The sun is up, he says, and the wind is down.
The tide it out and the neighbor's dogs are playing.
But Percy, I say, Ideas! The elegance of language!
The insights, the funniness, the beautiful stories
that rise and fall and turn into strength, or courage.

Books? says Percy. I ate one once, and it was enough.
Let's go.

From her new collection, Red Bird

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Seven Scintillating Things about Me

Redhead Reverend tagged me for this meme awhile back. I have a hard time believing there are seven more things about me that could be interesting to anyone in any way, but here goes!

1. I haven't finished my taxes yet. (ooh, that hurt). I am somewhat math-phobic, and I am in the middle of adding up a LOT of little numbers. I'm almost done, though. Really, I'm really close.

2. My mother's side of the family are mostly Republicans, and my father's side of the family are mostly Democrats. When asked, my dad always told me he was an "Independent." Perhaps an attempt at peace-keeping?

3. Henry Mancini and I have the same birthday (not date, though!). I love the Theme from the Pink Panther, but I think I love Baby Elephant Walk even more.

4. My favorite things about being a pastor are: preaching, leading worship, visiting people, telling stories, praying, taking youth out for coffee and conversation, teaching classes (I taught a class on Psalms to about 60 retired people this afternoon). My least favorite thing is: doing taxes.

5. I have a Serious Book Habit, which I am trying to break (but maybe not hard enough). My latest offenses: a little book called More Dog Psalms, which Scout will be excerpting from shortly, and The Divine Hours/Pocket Edition, by Phyllis Tickle.

6. I have a raised bump on the middle finger of my left hand, from writing so much. I've had it since I was in grade school. My 12th grade English teacher told me I should write with a fountain pen, because I wouldn't have to press so hard. I still have the bump.

7. I am not terribly athletic, but I love the water. I'm a moderately good swimmer.

There you have it! Not terribly scintillating. I couldn't think of any deep dark secrets to share. I would now like to tag Barbara at Views from the Road, Chris at the Lutheran Zephyr, David at Here I Stand, Lindy, Rowan's guardian, P.S. at Proclaiming Softly, Crimson Rambler and Wyrdbyrd.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

What's So Good About April 1

  • We are now entering my birthday month (woo-hoo!)
  • I got to meet Pastor Eric today (he's really nice).
  • I bought and ate a Bartlet pear (it was delicious).
  • The snow started melting already.
  • In March, they only say it's spring. In April, it really is spring.

What's so good about April 1 for you?