Friday, July 31, 2009

Joseph of Arimathea

According to James Kiefer's Hagiographies, this is Joseph of Arimathea's Day.

He's n
ot on the Lutheran calendar. Probably because what we know of him from scripture is pretty sparse. According to all four gospels, (M 27:57-61; P 15:42-47; L 23:50-56; J 19:38-42) after the death of Jesus, Joseph of Arimathea, a wealthy member of the Council, asked Pilate for the body of Jesus, and buried it with honor in the tomb he had intended for himself. That's all we know from scripture but there's lots of good stuff in legends.

Joseph is all wrapped up in medieval legends of the Holy Grail because he is said to have brought it to Britain. He is credited with evangelizing Britain and indeed Christianity came to Britain very early - so who knows?

I love ancient legends and saints stories. I think it's a shame we have this weird modern notion that if something didn't actually happen in history, the story is of no value. That's the kind of thinking that leads to fundamentalists insisting that if Jonah wasn't really swallowed by a fish then Jesus didn't rise from the dead and God is a Big Fat Liar.

When I went to Israel on one of those cheap Pastor tours, we visited competing spots that claim to be the tomb of Jesus --the church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Garden Tomb.
The Church of the Holy Sepulcher is the oldest, discovered by Constantine's mother herself, Helena, who embarked on a very successful tour to discover ancient landmarks in Christ's life. I believe she found every thing she was looking for, so fortunate was she.

The Church of the Holy Sepulcher is very dark, full of candles and incense and icons and statues. It's very "Catholic" (although it is shared by several different ancient church bodies)

But it is small wonder that some Protestant sensibilities were offended by this old mysterious and dark church and preferred the quiet simplicity of the Garden Tomb which resembles a respectable English Garden.

They are both lovely places in their own way. But it really is the Holy Sepulcher that gives me goose bumps.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wedding Dance

Everyone is talking about the Wedding Dance (I'd love to imbed it but you can't ) - really if you haven't seen it you should check it out.

Apparently a lot of pastors think it is inappropriate for a church wedding and belongs at the reception. I totally disagree. My only caveat is that I would have to actually read the lyrics (since I can't actually understand them) to make sure they were appropiate to a Christian wedding. I doubt it can be worse than the Wedding March (which I ALWAYS discourage but do not forbid because that is just not the hill I want to die on)

But dancing down the aisle? Why not? I always tell my couples that it is the actual ceremony and the vows in particular that are important and how they get to the altar really is immaterial. What is so all fired more holy or religious about the ridiculous two-step that is usually done. Nothing wrong with dancing. Those people look so joyful and happy.

The only problem I see is this --- these people were genuinely joyful, respectful and it looked like there was some forethought and choreography put into this procession. Now EVERYONE is going to want to do this and I'm afraid it's going to get sloppy and people acting stupid. And even some people doing it just for youtube time.

So I'd have to agree to such a procession on a case by case basis.

PS - Just read the lyrics and would have to nix them. "Cause we only got one night" Um, no. So pick another song and you can dance all you want!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Mary Magdalene

I was too busy last week to blog about one of my favorite Bible characters on her feast day- July 22.

I remember visiting an elderly lady many years ago who said she didn't have any problem with women pastors "Because look at Mary Magdalene....Jesus sent her to preach to his own disciples!"

Mary Magdalene was the first witness to the Resurrection and yet throughout the years the church has tried to downplay her role by sexualizing her and calling her a former prostitute. Which she was not. Although, as Seinfeld would say, "not that there's anything wrong with it..." but in fact, no where in scripture is she identified as a prostitute. (Even the woman who was called a "known sinner" who washed Jesus feet wasn't necessarily a prostitute. There ARE other ways women can be sinners, you know)

I think modern "liberal" views of Mary as Jesus' lover or suffering from unrequited romantic love for him also diminish her by sexualizing her as well. Why can people not just accept that Mary followed Jesus for the same reason the men did? Because she was excited by his teachings and the promise of the Kingdom of God? Why do we have to assign girlie romantic notions to her? I find that insulting to her and women in general.

So please - no more stories of romantic liasons between Jesus and Mary.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Monday Afternoon Skating Video

I saw this in person. It's hard to be a straight male figure skater. I couldn't find it this time but the first time I found this clip is was posted by a gay guy who obviously enjoyed these guys as much as the ladies did. Which I found ironic since I think the idea of this whole number was to prove how macho these guys are.

Whatever. It's fun to watch.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Busy Busy Busy

So all the articles about blogging say how you are not supposed to write a blog about how you are too busy to blog. Well sorry, but I've been busy! My sister is visiting from California. I'm in charge of the Figure Skating Competition portion of the Iowa Games - that is coming up next weekend. That's a lot of work. I've been skating every afternoon at our summer Skate Camp and when I get home from that I'm exhausted.

And then there's work. I'm doing a Summer Evening Bible Study on Romans. That's hard. I knew it would be hard when I took it on but it's harder than I thought. Augsburg Fortress has a pretty good one on Romans in it's Book of Faith series, but it's pretty light weight. My summer bible studies are hard core. But Romans may be just too hard core for me.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday Five - Exercise

So the RevGalBlogPals are talking about taking care of our bodies.

1. What was your favorite sport or outdoor activity as a child?

I don't know why, but until I read Eternal Echoes Friday Five, I forgot all about how much I loved to swim. We lived in an apartment with a pool and I would go down to swim at 10 am, come up for a sandwhich at noon and my mother would have to yell and threaten and bluster to get me out of the pool at night. And the beach. I grew up in Southern California, and I would spend the entire day in the ocean. Until I learned to figure skating, swimming was the one athletic thing I could do fairly well. When I lived in San Francisco and was going to Seminary I used to swim laps in the morning. I probably forgot because I just don't do it much anymore.

2. P.E. class--heaven or the other place? HORRIBLE! I was clumsy, overweight in junior high, was always the last one to be picked. HATED HATED HATED PE. I lost weight in high school and my senior year they had a biking class for PE which was early in the morning and that I liked. I also liked folk dance and I took a life time sports class in the summer for PE credit and it was tennis, golf, bowling...all sports I enjoyed.

3. What is your favorite form of exercise now? Figure Skating. I talk about that on my very first blog called Skating It's very good excercise as long as you don't do it the way a lot of adults I see do it, skate around leisurely talking to your friends.

4. Do you like to work out solo or with a partner? I skate better when there are other people on the ice, especially the kids - they motivate me. Frankly it is some adult skaters who annoy me because they want to talk. Um, I'm not paying nearly $20 an hour of ice to talk.

5. Inside or outside? Inside. Outdoor ice is horrible! I want a nice smooth zambonied rink, thank you.

Bonus: Post a poem, scripture passage, quotation, song, etc. regarding the body or exercise.

Lament of an Adult Skater

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Nicole Bobek - Then and Now

This is just too sad for words.

This is Nicole Bobek a few years ago.

This is her mug shot.

Nobody looks good in a mug shot but I think she looks like she's been doing meth as well as selling it. I know she really is no different than anyone else. Any wasted life is a tragedy. But she was so beautiful on the ice.

Steve King, Idiot Congressman from Iowa

I used to live near Sioux City, Iowa and it really seemed like those people were not the type to elect Steve King. 

He is really unbelievable. 

He's the one who warned us that terrorists will be dancing in the street if Obama is elected because of his middle name. 

No really, he said that. 

That's kind of the reaction to most of his quotes..."He didn't really say THAT, did he?" 

He wanted to put an electric fence on the border between US and Mexico so that people who tried to cross would be shocked. "We do this with our livestock all the time". 

He called McCarthy a hero. 

When al-Zarqawi was killed he said "There probably are not 72 virgins in the hell he's at. And if there are, they probably all look like Helen Thomas." 

He said he prayed that Justices Steven and Ginsberg would fall in love and elope to Cuba. 

He called the torture of Iraqi prisoners "hazing"

I could go on and on and on. He's always being an idiot...what's got me ranting about it now? 

The House just voted 399-1 to recognize the work of slaves in building the Capitol. Guess who voted no? His reason? 

"This is just the latest example of a several year effort by liberals in Congress to scrub references to America’s Christian heritage from our nation’s Capitol." 

WTF? Something about ignoring Christian abolitionists who died...I dunno...

Sioux City WHY WHY WHY Do you keep electing this geitbok????

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Nicole Bobek Arrested on Drug Charges

If you follow my "Monday Afternoon Skating Videos", you'll remember the last one (I've been kind of busy and haven't posted any recently) was of 1995 US Figure Skating Champion Nicole Bobek and talked a little about how she never lived up to her potential. Her raw talent, artistic ability and her vulnerability made her a favorite among fans though she constantly broke our hearts. So today's news that she was arrested for allegedly being in the upper tier of a drug ring is really heart breaking. (See link in header) You just always wanted a happy ending for Nicole.

It just makes you wonder why people make these self-destructive choices. I hate to say it, but with women, it's usually some man that leads them do stupid things.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Rhubarb Custard Cake

My rhubarb is all done but I found some at the Farmer's Market so am making this last hurrah for my sister who is here from California. I also make Rhubarb-Strawberry jam – but this cake is definitely our favorite rhubarb recipe. Makes a VERY moist cake.

Two-layer yellow cake mix
4 cups chopped rhubarb
1 cup granulated sugar
1-pint whipping cream (2 cups)
Prepare batter for cake mix according to package directions; turn into greased and floured 9x13S pan. Mix the rhubarb, cream and sugar in a separate bowl and then spread on top of cake batter. Bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes, until cake springs back when lightly touched.
The rhubarb mixture sinks to the bottom, forming a custard layer.