The swine flu situation seems far away, but it is causing rather a lot of concern in my world...since my world involves sending people all over The World.
Please keep us in your prayers...those killed by the flu, sick with it, their families, those whose lives are being affected by it in their communities; those whose plans may be changing; and those of us who are dealing with that.
Earlier today I did battle with my newest household appliance:
Yes indeed, I was fighting with a catbox. The assembly of the automatic, self-cleaning box was not difficult; it is the little Conestoga wagon-looking cover that gave me trouble. I could NOT get it to assemble properly. By the time I finished, I was dripping sweat -- who needs cardio!?
Turns out I had done it upside down. Aha. It's a shame I have all that eddication.
And speaking of eddication, I had a great lunch with Erin and her family. Her daughter is planning to come to UNT in 2 years, so they came to Preview Day. We had a great time and I got to talk to the future scholar about study abroad, in which she displayed a gratifying interest.
Then this evening I attended an annual banquet for students who have won major scholarships and awards (for one of which I am the advisor). It's always such an impressive event and makes me feel a little like a shirker. These folks are on the cusp of curing cancer (really!) and they're 17 years old, for Pete's sake!
Each had a brief time to thank their mentors and other influences. Of about 50, probably 10 began by thanking God, who in each of their understandings is clearly Male, as that was how they referred to Him. I fantasized about one of the students thanking a Female God, and it was utterly unimaginable. The shock that would permeate the room! Texas, our Texas.
I wonder if those of you who live in less gender-bound areas might expect to hear any sort of person say something like, "Well, first I have to give all my thanks to God, because without Her none of this would have been possible." ? Do tell!
Turning in now. I'm VestryPerson of the Day tomorrow and that job starts early and leaves late.
Over at RevGals' Eleventh Hour Preacher Party, the preachers are gearing up for their various mornings/afternoons/days of sermon writing. Several are talking about the gospel, partially reproduced here:
Luke 24:36b-48 24:36b While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you."
24:37 They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost.
24:38 He said to them, "Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?
24:39 Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have."
24:40 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet.
24:41 While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, "Have you anything here to eat?"
24:42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish,
24:43 and he took it and ate in their presence.
I love the question that Kathryn posted at Tuesday's Lectionary Leanings, the RGBP preliminary discussion: "Perhaps this week it's time to ask our congregations what are their equivalents to the piece of broiled fish...what real, concrete behaviours might demonstrate unequivocally to a dubious world that Jesus is alive in his followers."
That's the big question, no? What does it take to prove something like a resurrection of the body? I hope to read some good sermons on this later today, and to hear one tomorrow.
Forewarned: I'm taking this in a personal & non-theological direction (I think).
It might not come as a surprise to regular readers here that I have food issues. I've talked occasionally about exercise and Weight Watchers. Over the years my various behaviors have included eating too much, eating too little, eating odd things at strange times, you get the picture & you don't want the details.
The food issues also manifest in feeding issues, which go back in my family for a few generations. "I love you, therefore I feed you things that you like, and then you are happy and then I am happy." yeah. How's that for a whole story I made up in my head!? (I have written before about Byron Katie and the stories we tell ourselves. It has been a transformative process for me to use her Work to look at every issue and problem I have with other people as MINE, my thoughts about them being the thing I can learn from.)
Where I do NOT have trouble with food is when I eat and cook with other people. It's when I'm alone that things get wonky.
And so from the story of Jesus eating the fish with the peeps, I receive the reinforcement that we are meant to be in community; eating, working, worshipping. Sometimes when I am distressed I hide away; and that does not serve anyone well. I have to get out: for exercise, for meals with friends, for church, for eating togther (which can include coffee or a beer), for fellowship. It's in the simple acts of being part of a group that I am able to be made whole.
Jesus showed his disciples that he was still part of their group, and that they needed to carry on as a group.
But what is interesting is that with both Christian and Jewish faiths, the focal celebration and worship surrounds a meal. We say grace before a meal because food is a gift from God.
But it is about more than just the physical diet. It is also about the spiritual diet. The Christian faith takes a holistic view.
My procrastination for the day (or maybe just the first!) : Due to conversation in the comments at the Preacher Party, I spent a lot of time googling strings like "what did Jesus eat" and "ancient israel fish recipe." None of them called for broiling, but maybe that disconnect comes from the fact that, to me, broiling means putting it into an oven and heating from the top down. Without an oven...with the cooking apparatus the disciples had - maybe frying would have been a close approximation. Therefore I give you this recipe for Sayyadieh, Fisherman's Fish with Rice.
4 Tbs. olive oil
3 medium onions, finely chopped
900 ml / 1-1/2 pints water
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 kg / 2-1/4 lb. fillets cod, coley, haddock, hake or other non-oily fish
450 g / 1 lb. long-grain rice
50 g / 2 oz. pine nuts
the juice of one lemon
Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large saucepan, and fry the onions until brown. Add the water, salt and cumin. Simmer until the onions have almost melted. Add the fish and cook gently for 10 minutes. Remove fish and keep warm. Now take from the stock in which the fish has been cooked sufficient to cook the rice in a separate pan until it is tender and the stock absorbed. Spoon the rice into a shallow dish and lay the fish pieces on top. Gently fry the pine nuts in the remaining tablespoon of oil until tender, and scatter them over the fish. Meanwhile simmer and reduce the remaining stock, adding the juice of a lemon. Pour this over the fish and rice or serve it separately in a small jug. Serves 4-6.
I do have a friend who is an expert in foods from the time of Jesus and will pose this question to him...see if he has another idea.
Singing Owl says at RevGals: I wrote this Friday Five a while back but was unable to post it. Just saying, so you know I am not ill! :-) Actually I am heading out of town and will not be able to read your posts till sometime early next week, but I'll do so then. Have fun, and don't think too hard about this one. I figured we were due for some fun after Lent and Good Friday and Easter and all that churchy stuff!
Four days of being mostly in bed with a really bad case of flu (do not worry--I will give no detail) has me pondering the fragility of life. LOL! Death, however, has been cheated in my case and I am up and taking nourishment. In that vein of thought, do you have a "Bucket List"? In other words, from the movie of the same name, five things you want to see, do, accomplish, etc. before you kick the bucket?
Glad you are feeling better, SO!
I would like to live at the beach at some point...or have a beach or lake home within easy travel.
Related to the above, have a small sailboat (Sunfish or so), situated so that I could launch and sail it on my own.
Go to seminary, not to pursue ordination or any job-related goal, but for fun and my own interest.
Become passably conversant in Spanish
Volunteer with CASA, Court-Appointed Special Advocates for children.
Do you know that hymn? Not one of my favorites but I have a strong sense of how it feels to sing that right now...the energy that you have as you reach that last word! AROSE!
I've had a bad, badder, not so bad, and really bad headache since returning from the BE. I also haven't been able to sleep so well, which is disconcerting.
But now...the headache seems to finally have lifted. Came home for lunch to find my Domestic Goddess finishing up. House smells clean and lovely. I have a sense of possibility that I haven't felt for a while. "I been looking all over for that!"
Weather is lovely. It will be hot pretty soon; not so happy about that, but enjoying this while I can.
Josie is snoring on the floor next to me. Hee hee.
Holley, my dear stepdaughter, is graduating from college in a few weeks! She will receive a double Associate's degree (in Biology and...something else) and plans to go on to for her Registered Nurse degree right away. Her dad will be in North Carolina on a long-planned trip at that time, but I get to go to Houston for the event! Very excited. And very proud. She has been working toward this for a long time.
Learned from a FB friend that Connecticut legislature has approved same sex marriage and the governor is expected to sign into law. Also the same conversation is going on in Maine. I'm having a little party right here by myself!
Here are the feets of the BE 2.0. Mine have the pale pink toenails just at 6:35 on the Foots Clock. White sandals with the little metal thingies.
You may notice that a few of the ankles sport temporary tattoos...this was my attempt to provide something similar to the airbrushed tattoos some of us got on last year's cruise. The tattoo pattern is below, and I printed them in a great hurry the day before I was to leave.
Guess what...they were backwards once applied! I joked that they were clearly the work of an Aggie...and promised to send right-side-front ones to everyone later. I'm sure you will all be sporting them proudly under your albs the Sunday after they are received.
And I'm sure there's a theological wisdom to be gained from the backwardness, too. It will come to me eventually.
(The tattoo design, created by RevHRod for the BE 2.0 T-shirts.)
I am very tired and battling an ongoing headache but surely this will pass soon. In the meantime, I wanted to share with you a few memories of lovely, lovely moments shared.
* The previously-posted Mary in Verbs. Our table misunderstood the instruction to work as a table to reduce a woman's Bible story to the verbs...and instead the three of us did it separately, and without discussion. As it turned out, Songbird and I ended up doing the sisters of Lazarus from John 11-12. She chose Martha, I chose Mary. Synchronicity.
* Table conversation over a meal...talking of families and issues close to our hearts.
* The prayers of the people at the closing worship...with plenty of time for individual petitions included. As names were called out, I was overwhelmed by our webs of interconnections. The call for prayer 'for those whose ministry has been denied' yielded many of the same names, some present and some not, but known to many of us. Other prayers elicited many, many names...a murmuring flow of blessing speaking of our many lives and associations, our pasts and presents and hopes for the future. It was a very liminal moment. We who are many, are one body - and we were, there in the desert, with the warm wind blowing around us and the Eucharistic feast before us.
* The closing Eucharist...written by various members of the group and concelebrated by four fabulous clergy from various traditions. A beautiful, beautiful sight to see them standing behind the altar. I wished for a photo of the moment, but I have it in my mind forever.