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Showing posts from 2012

Chasing the wind

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Last night I made a comment on Facebook.  I’ve been better about these type of comments, learning to think before I type.  During Lent, I disciplined myself to say only positive and thankful things on Facebook.  But I slipped last night.  Maybe it was a good thing.  Comments reminded me that my status updates are read and understood as well as misunderstood.  I realized the power and the foolishness of my words.  I also began to realize the root of the comment. No one likes to realize that they are sinning.  Nevertheless, we all do it, don’t we?  As I pondered my comment, I realized that I had broken the 10 th Commandment – sounds really serious, doesn’t it?  Perhaps I should get some sackcloth and ashes.  This blog is my virtual sackcloth. The 10 th Commandment is that one about coveting.  I looked up the word covet and its meaning isn’t all negative.  Covet means both to wish longingly for something.  It can also mean envy.  My comment on Facebook last night was all about

Homesick

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I wrote the other day about Edna .  I met another Edna type person today at a Panera's in Hoboken.  Hoboken reminds me of Brooklyn.  I guess any place with sidewalks and stores reminds me of my home.  I love being able to walk places and see people.  Like Brooklyn, Hoboken is becoming one of the best places to live in the area. As we ordered at Panera's, this older woman was walking alongside of a stroller.  I thought she was with the people.  She grabbed my coat briefly to steady herself.  I smiled.  We picked our seats and soon we found that this delightful woman had sat beside us. She welcomed me to come and sit with my family... How nice of her! It didn't take long to realize she had dementia.  She told us her mother had worked at Panera's and that her mother died a few years ago at age 27. I asked if she had children.  She told us that she did but wasn't too clear about the details. She finally decided to order. The young man at the counter reminded he

Edna

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Yesterday we did the mini-Brooklyn nostalgia tour.  I so love returning home.  I think anyone who is disconnected from their roots and home can understand the feeling one has when you return "home."  I suppose it is also understandable that those with me don't feel the same warmth and exhilaration when they see the streets, shops, trees, churches, and diverse people of Brooklyn. As we toured, I told my 17 year old granddaughter that she had visited Puerto Rico, China, Israel, and the Arab Middle East in that afternoon alone.  There was a quick trip into a Norwegian shop a remnant of a large Norwegian community that was replaced by the Chinese.  As we left, we munched on Kransekake and Krumkake.  YUM.  In my hand was a block of precious gold - N√łkkelost cheese.  I will savor every bite of it later.  Those with me could never appreciate its flavor or delight in its taste as I will. The last stop was Hinsch's. I don't recall when was the last time I was there.

Hospitality - A Holy Week Discipline

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I heard an interesting sermon on Monday.  No I wasn't at church when I heard it.  It wasn't from a preacher either.  It was from this very blond, very white, very young, FFA (Future Farmers of America) leader.  If you know me, or have read my blogs, in particular Storehouses of Snow , you know that I am usually not too excited when I have to go to FFA, 4-H, Fairs, Achievement Days, Farm Bureau Events, and the like.  As we pulled up to see the sea of blue jackets, I remembered when I first saw those jackets at Hickman High School.  When I was a kid, there were no FFA Chapters in Brooklyn that I was aware of - this was new.  I would laugh at the Aggies. Later my husband would teach Vo-Ag.  Those blue jackets took his time and attention. He'd leave me for long trips to the State Fair, State Conventions, and the Annual National Convention that always fell on my birthday.  I don't have a long love affair with FFA. FFA, 4-H and the like have always interfered with my life a

Daddy's Girl

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I've always been a Daddy's girl.  I miss my dad more and more every day.  That may sound odd since he's been gone for nearly 41 years.   Today I've been thinking about how much I still want to be a Daddy's girl.  No, I can't climb on his lap anymore and ride the horsey on his foot while hearing Rida Rida Runka .  I can't snuggle in his arms and hear him say Lille Venn.   I can't beg for the extra piece of lump sugar while having my Biblical knowledge tested with the story of Naaman . I want to be a Daddy's girl by being like my dad.   I have a very eclectic group of friends both in real life and on Facebook.  My scroll on Facebook fills up with all sorts of things - mostly nonsense.  I see things about how to love your pets and why dogs are wonderful.  I see things about politicians.  Unfortunately, I see a lot of hate stuff about people who are different or those who are perceived as enemies.  I see calls to action to repair a fire station or

Lent

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Why Lent?  I’ve been ask this question a lot this year.  How does a born and bred Pentecostal decide to observe Lent?  Maybe because I am in contact with more and more people from my past and present who have never considered Lent.  This is not my first year to consider Lenten practices. Several years ago now – probably at least five – I decided to in a small way practice the ancient Christian practice of observing Lent.  I didn’t go for ashes that year nor did fast.  I wasn’t quite ready for that “Catholic” of an experience.  Nor did I understand enough to consider it. That year I had picked up a book at Goodwill.  It was a book by Phyllis Tickle: Eastertide Prayers for Lent through Easter with the Divine Hours .  Five times a day (well, most days) I'd open the book, recite the reading, pray the prayers, etc. Often it was rote; I would read with mind elsewhere.  However, just as often, the Holy Spirit would move in and the time with the book expanded long past the reading on t

Heart Strangely Warmed

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These are the words of John Wesley.  The full quote from his journal of May 24, 1738 is: In the evening, I went very unwillingly to a society in Aldersgate Street, where one was reading Luther's preface to the Epistle to the Romans.  About a quarter before nine, while the leader was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ alone   for salvation; and an assurance was given me that He had taken away   my   sins, even   mine, and saved   me   from the law of sin and death.    I heard this phrase, my heart strangely warmed , numerous times this weekend at the Wesleyan Theological Society annual meeting on the Trevecca Nazarene University campus in Nashville TN.  It is an oft repeated phrase in Wesleyan circles.  Thousands, if not millions of words, have been written about Wesley’s Aldersgate experience. My heart was strangely warmed this weekend at the conference.  I found a warm welcom

Singin' Do Wah Diddy Diddy Dum Diddy Do

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Riding in a pick-up truck with the love of your life listening to the oldies sure brings back memories. Sprinkled between stories on NPR and country tunes, we found the oldies.  I like to sing along – soon I was singing "Do wah diddy diddy dum diddy do."   I remembered the young girl with her transistor radio walking to the candy store with her transistor in hand singin’   "Do wah diddy diddy dum diddy do.”  She prayed that someone would notice her and that they’d be together every single day.  She prayed that someday she’d live happily ever after. It didn’t happen in Brooklyn.  No one saw her walkin’ down the street.  It was a scant nine years since she’d been   "Do wah diddy diddy dum diddy do-ing"   down the streets of Brooklyn .  In that time, she’d been a child bride. Dropped out of high school.  Given birth to two sons.  She’d been divorced.  She’d remarried her childhood husband.  She was beaten and abused.  She had a daughter.  She was alone again.  S

What Religion Is My Dog?

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It was time to take the dog for a walk.  As soon as I stepped outside, I heard the neighborhood owl hooting.  Our yard is alive with critters.  We have many moles.  We often see deer in the yard and they leave their evidence all over the yard.  Then there are the birds.  So, many birds call our backyard and the surrounding area home. I like to walk the dog.  I often find it is a time to think about the day, pray, or just think.  I had a lot churning around in my heart and mind today.  I was thinking about the odd and alarming Facebook conversation I generated today. Today is the first day of Lent.  Today is Ash Wednesday.  Being rather new to liturgical calendars and worship, I still come to these days with a lot of thought, prayer, and seriousness.  Perhaps that is the only way to approach a holy season of fasting, penance, reflection, and service.  I chose not to give up something but to add instead.  I decided to be more consistent in my spiritual disciplines of prayer and scrip

The Circle of Life

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Life has flow. It starts at a point and flows on to the next and the next. We speak of generations. We speak of milestones where life altering events occur. For most people, the path of life may meander and curve, but it flows in one continuous path. My life isn't like that. My life is full of circles. Like a bad flow chart with seemingly no connections, I left one circle and jumped to the next. Very occasionally one of the circles touches another circle and a loose connection is made. You can see these circles very clearly on Facebook. I belong to the Brooklyn Norwegian group. That group reminds me of my childhood, my dad, the streets of Brooklyn, laughter and joy, as well as sorrow and abuse. I belong to the Salem Gospel and Camp Challenge group - memories of my childhood church fill it's wall. Pictures that remind me of my heritage and memories of first learning about Jesus fill my heart as scan faces so familiar. I have friends who now sort of merge togethe

Too Many "I's"

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I’ve been emotionally revisiting my childhood in Brooklyn a lot these days.  Maybe it is the sign of aging.  Maybe it’s the nostalgia triggered by Facebook and finding old friends.  Maybe it’s the trip to Brooklyn over Christmas and the joy of seeing stoops that I stood on, steps to school that I walked on, and the visions of a young Joyce walking down the street.  Whatever it is, it’s wonderful. There was a question often asked of each other on those Brooklyn streets:   What are you?   Now to the untrained and non-Brooklynite, you might wonder and say something like “I’m a human being.”   You’d probably ask, what do you mean by that?   In Brooklyn, you would answer, “I’m Norwegian or Irish or Polish or Puerto Rican or German or Lithuania.”   Neighborhoods while mixed, often had a dominant ethnic flavor or culture.   Everyone had an identity.  Everyone belonged to one group or another.  I guess we all knew we were Americans but so many of us were immigrants or children of immigrants

Generalizations and Labels

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I love school.  I suppose anyone who knows me, knows that’s true.  I love to think.  In fact, I think way to much.  I have to analyze everything from every perspective.  Sometimes I wish I could just accept something, not worry about it, and go on.  I am like Mary I guess.  You know, Mary and Martha ?  How many sermons have you heard on that one? They usually go like this – Mary was “worshipping” at Jesus feet – she was a worshipper.  Martha on the other hand was worried about kitchen duties and hospitality.  We should be like Mary.  Amen. No I’m not this extravagant worshiper that can’t serve a meal.  Neither was Mary.  Mary was a student, a thinker, just like me.  Mary was “listening to the words of Jesus.”  I see her hearing him talk.  Sitting with the men (a no-no?) and taking in every word.  Martha, who always gets a bad rap in these sermons, was practicing Eastern hospitality.  She was fulfilling a very important role.  Why all this talk of Mary and Martha and school?  Because