Archive for the ‘Friday Five’ Category

Birthed in a congregation that was “homeless” last year,

“Good Friday Prayers in the City”

are a Call to Worship with our feet and our voices,

our hearts and our souls.


 Eight stops in the city,


eight voices seeking life and hope…

“When we consider the welfare of all,

what about those who have nothing?”


eight places to lift in prayer…

“Good Friday is a day of remembrance for the homeless”


eight places of seeking refuge or being refused refuge…

“When you have done for the least of these,

you have done it for me.”

Our musicians who played in the cold weather

eight places to lift our voices in song…

“Today we walk with you in mind, O Lord, help us to see

The work that in your name is done, and what as yet could be.

Give us the courage Simon showed, your cross to lift and take.

To follow in your footsteps, Lord, and of your task partake.”

                                                                (Text: J.W. Johnson, 2009)

aware that there are thousands more beyond these particular places…

  The cross goes above us

“Your journey led to Golgotha To die upon the tree.

Your task was done, the price was paid, Salvation now is free.

And now with solemn eyes you ask This plain and simple plea,

“All this, dear ones, I’ve done for you.  What can you do for me?”


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Sophia at RevGalBlogPalswrites: The pastor of my grad school parish once gave a fascinating reflection, at about this mid-point in the season, called “How to Survive the Mid-Lent Crisis”! As I recall, his main point was that by halfway through the season we have often found it very challenging to live up to our original plans….But, he suggested–on the analogy of the healing and reframing of our life plans that can happen during a mid-*life* crisis–that that can be even more fruitful.

So here’s an invitation to check in on the state of your spirit midway through “this joyful season where we prepare to celebrate the paschal mystery with mind and heart renewed” (Roman Missal). Hopefully there’s a good deal of grace, and not too much crisis, in your mid-Lenten experience!
1. Did you give up, or take on, anything special for Lent this year?

This is the posture I desire but it has been elusively lately. 

2. Have you been able to stay with your original plans, or has life gotten in the way?

The latter, well actually I think I’m getting in the way of letting go and waiting and trusting.  Anyone else wrestling with impatience??

3. Has God had any surprising blessings for you during this Lent? 

In spite of my doubts today, yes there have been surprising blessings ~ read here.

4 What is on your inner and/or outer agenda for the remainder of Lent and Holy Week?

To discern when and where to I’ll move to, with how much energy to I pursue additional or different work/ministry, all while seeking to follow and listen rather than charge ahead.  And to lean fully into this song we’re singing each Sunday in Lent:

      “Take, O take me as I am; summon out what I shall be;

        set your seal upon my heart and live in me.”

5. Where do you most long to see resurrection, in your life and/or in the world, this Easter?

It’s been a long couple of years and it feels as if the cocoon is slowing shedding.  I want to believe that settling more permanently into a place to call home, and finding a meaningful way to share my gifts will help facilitate the new life coming forth.  And I am sincerely watching for, hoping for, big and little resurrections in the world, knowing that witnessing them will encourage me.

Thank you Sophia to this Mid-Lent reflection. 

Blessings to all for the very full days ahead.

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Friday Five: Pets

Sophia at GalBlogPals  invites us to share “in memory of Molly, and in honor of all the beloved animal companions who bless our lives: tell us about the five most memorable pets you have known. ”  I’m a day late due to moving yesterday, but when I read the topic I wanted to add my 2 bits, or 5 pets.  This move is very good for many reasons; it’s also temporary and I had to find “foster homes” for my 3 pets, and I was fortunate to find welcoming places for them.  So my first 3 favorites are here:

Hershey is our 9 year old faithful companion.  When we got him he looked like he has just eaten a chocolate bar, so hence the name.  He tries tries to live up to his namesake and has eaten more chocolate and lived to tell about it than most dogs.  He’s presently living with Simon and Simon’s 2 legged companions.  And so far he hasn’t eaten any chocolate or food off of their counter!

Brita and Kendall joined our family over 2 years ago and quickly won our hearts.  They’re sisters and act like sisters: cuddling one minute, spatting the next.  Brita often offers “pet therapy” – lying on my right leg while I’m lying down, it’s the best pain management I’ve found anywhere!  The only glitch is that she does this on her terms, not mine; and I guess there’s now a second glitch: she’s not in my new home.  But I’ve been invited to come and visit, she’s not far away!

Peanut belongs to my parents and when they travel I would often keep her in our home.  Peanut and Hershey have become buddies.  However when they first met, Herhsey was a young pup, and Peanut was older.  He would start to chase her, and then she pulled rank, chasing him around, yipping at him, and putting him in his place.

The fifth pet is actually 2 because they were a pair: the guinea pigs that my daughters had several years ago.  I don’t have photos of them: one was brown with stick-y out fur, the other was white with black spots.  Their names were Spot and Teddy ~ I’m sure you can figure out who was who.

Thanks for the invitation to recognize some members of my family who are temporarily living near by but not under my roof.

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Friday Five: Cabin Fever

Singing Owl at RevGals describes it well: “Here in snow country we are settled in to what is a very long stretch of potentially boring days. The holidays are over. It is a very long time till we will get outside on a regular basis. The snow that seemed so beautiful at first is now dirty and the snow banks are piling up. Our vehicles are all the same shade of brownish grey, but if we go to the car wash our doors will freeze shut. People get grumpy. Of course, not everyone lives in a cold climate, but even in warmer places the days till springtime can get long. Help! Please give us five suggestions for combating cabin fever and staying cheerful in our monochromatic world?”

1) A former acupuncturist told me of this delightful, warming tea:  Pour boiling water over an inch long peeled piece of ginger root, add honey to sweeten and steep to desired strength.  It seems to warm me right to the core.  Mmmmm…

2) Of course Hot Chocolate is another antidote for cold wintry days and nights.  With marshmallows.

3) Indulge a bit and buy some fresh flowers.  I’ve found that small lilies will last almost 10 days so it always feels like $4.00 well spent.

4) Feeding the birds and then enjoying their bright colors and fun antics in the snow.

5) Enjoying a  fire in the fireplace.  Now, if just had a fireplace to sit in front of…



Submitted under the warm comfort of a quilt while wearing a turtleneck sweater under a wool sweater along with long johns and 2 pairs of socks under my jeans.

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At RevGalBlogPals, Songbird writes: Although written by a young man, this song from “Rent” became an anthem for women of a certain age ready to be taken on their own terms. Maureen and Joanne love each other, but they are *very* different.  (There’s link to YouTube “Take Me, Baby, or Leave Me” but I don’t yet know how to include that here ~sorry.)

Whether it’s new friends or new loves or new employers, what are five things people should know about you?

  1. I am a woman of words, be they written, spoken, sung, enacted ~ it matters not. Words are important to me and occasionally I spend too much thyme trying to choose just the right one. Inclusive words are important ~ they are healing, and I intentionally use them. And I like metaphors and images, and that’s often where I dwell.

  2. There are thymes when words aren’t able to speak, that’s when ritual is needed. Gathering around the table to share bread and wine or pour water; sitting in a circle to sing, to share joy or to name pain; lighting candles; preparing the same meal for a special occasion; gathering with others to witness promises made or a life fully lived or faith shared.

  3. Food is also important, not just for sustaining life but with regards to where it is grown, who grows it and how they are paid, how it is grown, how far it travels, how it is prepared. This is a process I’m growing into and one I thoroughly enjoy. And chocolate and wine are a food group all their own.

  4. I can be impatient and so I have a Thyme Garden in my back yard ~ to remind me daily that we live in kairos thyme rather than our own thyme.  And there are many days that pain reminds me that thyme is not in my control.

  5. I am more of an introvert than extrovert. I enjoy people, and cherish good friends and am a loyal friend, but need thyme to myself and tend to be more private than public so this is a good s-t-r-e-t-c-h for me. As I approach that 50 year mark, (in 2 days) I’m learning to be more myself and share her with others.


Thanks for this opportunity!


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At RevGalBlogPals this Friday’s invitation is all about pancakes: “So pull up a chair to the kitchen table and tell us all about your pancake preferences.”

1. Scratch or mix? Buttermilk or plain?  From scratch is the best, and after that buttermilk or plain is inconsequential.

2. Pure and simple, or with additions cooked in?  Whole grains help the pancakes stick to the ribs a little longer.

3. For breakfast or for dinner? Either works for us.  So does lunch.

4. Preferred syrup or other topping? How about the best side dish?  Syrup ~ on top of peanut butter.  I thought you’d never ask.

5. Favorite pancake restaurant?  My kitchen.


Bonus: Any tasty recipes out there, for pancakes or other special breakfast dishes? Bring ’em on!

 Basic Multigrain Pancakes  (Jane Brody)

Dry Ingredients:

     2/3 C whole-wheat flour, preferably stone-ground

     1/3 C all-purpose flour

     ¼ C oat or other flour (e.g., corn meal, barley, buckwheat, millet)

     2 TB wheat germ

     2 tsp sugar

     1 tsp baking powder

     ½ tsp baking soda

     ¼ tsp salt, if desired


Wet Ingredients:

     1 C buttermilk or yogurt

     ¼ C or more skim milk

     1 egg white

     1 whole egg

     1 TB vegetable oil

     ¼ tsp vanilla extract, if desired


  • Mix together all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.

  • In a second bowl, combine all the wet ingredients, whipping them enough to beat the egg white and whole egg lightly.  Add these to the dry ingredients, stirring just to combine them.   The batter can stand for about 10 minutes out of the refrigerator, or for an hour or more refrigerated.

  • Heat a griddle over medium heat.  Grease it lightly if not nonstick, and immediately pour sufficient batter to make pancakes of the size you desire (don’t let them get too big, or they will be hard to flip.)  Turn when golden brown on the bottom.

  • Enjoy!


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At RevGalBlogPals, I site I’ve visited often and have decided to participate at, we are invited to reflect on the past and look to the future during this thyme of transition.  Each year around this thyme I think about these things but rarely have I put them on paper, even rarer is putting them where others can read them.  So with a bit of courage in my pocket, here they are:

List 5 things I remember/treasure from 2008:

1) Improved pain management and a little more physical strength.

2) My daughters are finding their way and voice in the world, overall they seem happy and less anxious. 🙂

3) I started an online Spiritual Direction Training Program and I returned to work ~ be it very part-time and I really enjoy the work.

4) PIC continues to be a very healing and supportive congregation to be with, including voice lessons with the now former “Director of Congregational Singing” (she’s a music student who’s now off to Mexico to study.)

5)  I continue to be blessed wtih the love and care of family and many friends.


List 5 things I am looking forward to in 2009:

1) Regaining more of my health: less pain and increased stamina.

2) The continued blessing and strengthening of relationships.

3) My house finally selling!  (I hope, hope, hope…)

4) Inviting more fun and re-creation and music in my life.

5) Ceasing to lurk at RevGalBlogPals and participating!


Thanks for the invitation to put these thoughts on “paper”!


P.S.  This is the beautiful artwork found at the RevGalBlogPals site today, it’s a “Celtic Mandala (that) represents life, noting how days and years turn from one to another.”  I love how the images are woven together as one so often finds in Celtic artwork.


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