Monday, January 23, 2012

Stormy Weather

I live in the South, so stormy weather isn't at all unusual. However, having tornadoes on the ground in January is just plain weird and a little scary. I didn't have to get into my safe zone last night because the really bad ones were about 50 miles away, but it doesn't quit making one hyper-aware of the weather.

The bright spot on the horizon is the Continuing Education Cruise that I am taking next week with all my new and old friends from RevGalsBlog. We will sail the high and hopefully calm seas, as we study the upcoming lectionary.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Continuing My Education

I am leaving next week on a Continuing Education Cruise. Yeah, I know, it sounds like a rough thing to endure (laughing). It is a new adventure for me, however. First off, I have never been on a cruise and this coming right on the heels of the cruise calamity in Italy. That really didn't phase me at all, however. The part that worries me is that I am such an introvert it is hard to go into new situations with people I don't know, which is ironic considering the calling God has on my life. I will be moving into new situations on a regular basis with the United Methodist Church.

Thank goodness that I am traveling with my friend from seminary, who has been with from the very first day of school. I am certain that I will make some new friends on the journey. I have made a decision (which I hope I don't regret) to travel without my baby--the laptop. I am going to go old-school, Bible and a notebook but with my IPOD and Kindle and Smart-phone. Hey, a girl can only give up so much at one time :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Eating With God - A Book Review

“Dinner With A Perfect Stranger: An Invitation Worth Considering” by David Gregory

Spoiler Alert: This is a story of a man, Nick Cominsky, who receives an anonymous dinner invitation to a fancy restaurant from Jesus. He suspects that it is a prank joke from some of his buddies but decides to go anyway. What follows is an in-depth and personal encounter with Jesus. It is a story of a skeptic who has a meeting with God and he asks some of the questions that you and I might ask. I was disillusioned by only one part of the story, when the author is setting the scene in the restaurant and he writes, “In the middle of the room two weigh-challenged women giggled as they plunged into a monstrous chocolate torte.” (10) It seemed harsh and did not flow well with the story that would follow.

The best part of the book is when Nick challenges Jesus by saying, “The other day I passed by the church down the street, and their sign read, ‘No one comes to the Father but through me’ – Jesus. If you actually said that, I think you’re full of it.” (24) What follows is an interesting stroll through the variety of world religions and how they differ from Christianity. It was a compelling argument for Christianity.

From there, it moved into the notion of grace and God’s free gift to humanity. This is where it ties into the life story of Nick and why his own marriage is having problems. It delves into when Nick actually asked the question why Jesus was having this meeting with him and the loss of his father. It is a moving book and does a good job of answering some of the questions that seekers might ask.

This book was provided for review, at no cost, by WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing

Thursday, January 5, 2012


Last night I had an encounter with a man carrying a Bible as I left my United Methodist Church. He said he was leaving the Baptist Church from across the street and had only had one drink that day. I congratulated him and then he asked for money. I told him I didn't have any cash on me but that tomorrow was our food pantry day and we could give him food. He was horribly insistent and it got a little tense as he was blocking me from my car. I kind of ducked under his arm and got in the car and rummaged around until I came up with a dollar and change to give to him. He said he needed it for the bus. My logical thought was "Well, how did you get to your church service and didn't you anticipate the need for a way home, or why not ask one of your church people for a ride?"

I know that it was made even more awkward (in my own mind) because I have a clergy sticker on the window of my car. I really don't carry any cash around with me except the change that ends up in my car ashtray. It is too easy to spend and is untraceable from a personal accounting standpoint, so I wasn't lying to the man.

I used to be a military police officer and it became a matter of feeling threatened. I don't know if I handled it in as gracious manner as I could have and that bothers me. As a Christian, I wonder at how we handle such situations and perhaps one of the solutions is not to walk to my car alone at night but that is not a theological response to things like this.