Monday, May 31, 2010

I Love Cilantro!

It grows like weeds.  Now it's just perfect, real young and perfect.  I should plant some now though because it will soon bolt and I will be without any fresh cilantro until it reseeds and grows again late in the summer.

I made tacos for dinner.  One of the few things both the kids who are home like.   I made refried (although I actually only fried them once) Black Beans. 

About a cup of cooked black beans (or a can but they are sooo much cheaper dried - cook up a bag and freeze them)

1/2 Cup Chicken broth
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tbl lime juice
2 small bunches of cilantro chopped
1/2 jalapeno pepper chopped

Throw all that in the food processor and blend it up.  I can't stand the texture of a bean so I always much up my beans.  In the meantime, chop up a small or half an onion and saute it in olive oil and cumin until golden.  Then add the beans, stir it up and cook on medium low for about 10 minutes.

So dinner is just about ready and I realized WE HAVE NO SALSA!  How can we have tacos and no salsa.  Well I had a can of diced tomatoes and peppers but you can do this with diced tomatoes.  Drain the can, dump the tomatoes in a bowl.  Had 1/2 cup diced red onion.  1/2 Cup of balsamic vinegar,  couple of heaping tsp of brown sugar, some salt, chipotle powder, and of course some cilantro - WALLAH! SALSA!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Today's Sermon

was very one point I was boring myself!  A lot of old people said it was very interesting.  My daughter said she had pretty much written what I said in her college Christology paper.  I hope I preached the good news.  But it was probably kind of boring.  That's why preachers ignore the Trinity and most people think ice, steam and liquid is what the Trinity is all about.  I don't know what the answer is.

The Holy Trinity

Saturday, May 29, 2010

On another note...this REALLY pisses me off!

There is really no excuse for BP to be taking their sweet time friggin around trying to figure out how to mitigate the unimaginable damage they have done to the earth and her creatures.   There should have been a plan for what they would do and they should have tested that plan with computer scenarios to make sure they had a plan that would work.  Nobody should be allowed to drill without such a plan.  Instead they are just jacking around "---duh oh maybe this will work, oops, no I guess not..duh what should we do now?" It would be comical if it wasn't so heartbreaking.

A needed laugh as I come close to finishing my sermon

My friend Meredith Gould tweeted me this

Augustine & the Boy on the Beach

The Sea Shell,  Benozzo Gozzoli (1420-1497) Church of St. Augustine San Gimignano

There is a story told about St. Augustine as he was writing about the Holy Trinity.  

He saw a boy playing on the beach who had dug a hole in the sand and was going out to the sea again and again and bringing some water in a little sea shell to pour into the hole. St. Augustine asked him, “What are you doing?” “I’m going to pour the entire ocean into this hole.” “That is impossible, the whole ocean will not fit in the hole you have made,” said St. Augustine. The boy replied, “And you cannot fit the Trinity in your tiny little brain.”  The boy then disappeared and Augustine believed he had seen an angel.

If you are still struggling with your sermon on the Trinity

I got these from the Facebook text study group The Text This Week.  Some good stuff...but oh Lord some of the suggestions.  One person comments that we shouldn't be tied to 4th century theological explanations.  Okay but really when I read suggestions like 3 way light bulbs and M&Ms (they are different colors but put them in your mouth and they all taste like chocolate!)  I'm sorry I have to go back to Augustine's  God is the Lover, Jesus is the Beloved and the Holy Spirit is the Love - I just know if I get us into that  perichoresias  - I will have my sermon.  And hopefully Father over at Madeline's Egg won't shoot himself.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Friday Five - Hand in the Fire

--Robert Mapplethorpe, Hand in Fire, 1985

I've been so immersed in the Trinity I missed the RevGalBlogPals - Friday Five which is a good one.  Mary Beth has this wonderful German expression ich würde die Hand dafür ins Feuer legen ~ "I would put my hand in the fire for that"
The question today is - what are five things you would put your hand in the fire for -people causes I believe in passionatly and will not give up on?  

1. My Children -- I know they are not children anymore.  But I will always believe in them, always support them, always go to the mat for them.  Whatever it takes.  There really is a fierceness to that mother love.   I still remember back in 1994 when a woman named Susan Smith claimed someone had carjacked her car with her young children inside.  He had ordered her out of the car and left with the children.  When I heard her story the first time I turned to my husband and said "That is a lie.  No mother would get out of the car.  I would be dead in the street or dragged through the street clinging to the car before anyone would get my children away from me"  Of course later it was revealed that she had in fact drowned her own children.  Something Was messed up in her and she did not have the gift of that fierce mother love.

2.  Grace.  All grace all the time.  It's all about grace.  We live and die by grace.  It's all a gift, we have nothing to do with anything good that comes to us.  This is most certainly true.

3.  We will be judged by how we treat the animals.  And it's a good thing God is doing the judging because of that grace thing because I would  not show any mercy to those who have abused and neglected the animals.   We need to care for all of creation but especially the companion animals - God has given us these special little friends and we owe them love and care.  It's not a choice between us and the animals.  We can care for both.

4.  Good will triumph over evil.  I believe that with all my heart.  It is why I persevere.

5.  Chocolate is a wonderful thing.

Just What IS the purpose of a Creed?

I hope PS doesn't think I'm picking on her but her response to my blog on the Athanasian Creed was so modern but so NOT what the original purpose of the creeds were it got me thinking...

PS says she is not familiar with this creed and she doesn't like to confess something she hasn't read before because she doesn't know if she believes it or not.  It reminds me of a former parish that only used the Apostles Creed and became peeved with me when I would drag out the Nicene creed.  Their complaint?  The "we"  "Pastor, how can I say 'we believe' when I don't know for sure what others believe?"

First of all I'm very sympathetic to PS's complaint when it comes to all these new fangled made up creeds ("I believe in the pink goddess who dances across creation showering us with love and chocolate sprinkles" ~you know what I mean).  I don't know who said it but I agree with whoever it was that said "If someone didn't die for this creed, I'm not confessing it" or something like that.

But historically creeds are about not what we or the fellow next to us personally and individually believes or doesn't believe.   The three ecumenical creeds - The Apostles, Nicene and Athansian Creed are what define a Christian church.  They are the teaching of the church.  The idea of professing the creeds is not so much for you to proclaim what you personally believe but for you to learn and accept what the church teaches.  I know how that sounds to modern individualistic ears - Who decided THAT?  Why don't I get a vote?

Maybe the creeds could use some updating.  And there are Christian churches who eschew creeds because they think it is about YOUR personal profession of faith.  Lutherans are still catholic in that it is about what the church professes and we believe there is something about the liturgy that shapes our faith, so that even if I don't personally agree with every  sentence in the creed, I am part of the of the great communion of saints who have professed this faith throughout the centuries who may or may not have personally agreed with every line.  And saying the creed changes and shapes me and my faith. 

I wish we could update the creeds but without an ecumenical council to agree we'd just end up with that pink chocolate fairy....

Athanasian Creed

Now this is the catholic faith:

We worship one God in trinity and the Trinity in unity, neither
confusing the persons nor dividing the divine being.

For the Father is one person, the Son is another, and the Spirit is
still another.

But the deity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is one, equal in
glory, coeternal in majesty.

What the Father is, the Son is, and so is the Holy Spirit.

~Athanasian Creed

I remember when we used to recite the Athanasian Creed every Trinity Sunday.  I remember it being very long and full of threats of burning in hell if you don't agree with it.

In preparation for this Sunday's sermon I took another perusal of it.  Parts of it are really quite beautiful.  Most of it in fact.  But what did I remember?  Lines like this "whoever does not guard it whole and inviolable will doubtless persih eternally...those who have done evil will enter eternal fire"  That's actually the only two lines about hell in a beautiful treatise about the Trinity.  But those two lines are ALL I remembered.

And that's the problem.   I know there are some all upset that it's not in the new Evangelical Lutheran Worship book.  And yes,  there would be a real advantage to people reciting the bulk of this creed a few times a year.   Maybe they'd stop thinking the Trinity was like an apple.  But what would catch their attention and what they would remember is the part about those who do evil will go to hell.   And it's not worth it.  People who want people who do evil to go to hell would feel all smug and satisfied.  People who know they have done evil would be terrified and unbelievers would say "See - those Christians just want to send everyone to hell"  And the Gospel would be lost.

And that's really a damned shame.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

It's Not so much about a Name but a Relationship and a Purpose

The Holy Trinity, Trinity Cathedral, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

I'm still on the Trinity.  Did a little brushing up and really it's not all that hard. 

 It's the will. 

 I thought this was Augustine's idea but it goes back to the Nicene fathers.  Three persons.  One will.  One purpose.  One love.  One desire.  One action.  What the father does, thinks, wants, wills and desires  --the Son and the Spirit think, want, will, desire and even do.  

So even though the dear sainted Martin Luther himself called the godhead Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier, that really won't do.  They all create, redeem and sanctify.   

What differentiates the persons of the trinity is not what they do but how they relate to one another.  The Son is not the Father.  The Spirit is not the Son.  The Father is not the Spirit.

Well, they do have some different purposes.  The Father is the incomprehensible God - the Son - the Word, makes the Father comprehensible.  And Augustine said the Holy Spirit was the love between the Father and the Son, the glue that holds them together.  I like the idea of the Holy Spirit being the love we have for God and for each other.  

Does it have to be a Father?

  It has to be a Father or a Mother and Father is what we are stuck with biblically.  The Father cannot be the Creator - the Father creates through the Son and the Spirit.  And more importantly, as many monks fought and beat each other up to defend...the Father begets the Son, the Father does not create the Son.  

It could just as easily be the Mother who gives birth to the Son...but that gets very confusing when you throw Mary into the mix.  And Father is what we have in the scripture.  Nope--I'm sorry it has to be the Father.

And that's really unfortunate.  I think it's only a Father because well Mother would just never go over in those days.  

It's not because of Jenson's crazy convoluted and downright gnostic (not to mention bizarre to my mind) argument about mothers being more connected to their babies than fathers are.  

And it has nothing to do with God having male parts but unfortunately because of all this father language, people really do still in this day and age believe God is a male.

To me that is the problem with all Father all the time.  Not because some human fathers are abusive because God knows there are abusive and absent mothers you ask anyone abused by a father how much respect she has for her mother for either allowing it or being too weak to prevent it.  

 The problem is that people can't seem to get that to say the Father is making a theological statement about the Son's equality with God - the Son is not a creature so he is not created but begotten by the Father.  Instead, they just think male parts!

I kind of gave up on the inclusive language battle years ago because Lord knows there were other battles.  But again in Sunday school last week I got this blank stare when I said "Well you know God is neither male nor female right?  Right?  RIGHT?"  "But Pastor, it's the FATHER"  

It took all the self-discipline I could muster not blurt out "Really - you think God has a penis?  You think God has testosterone?"  

It's such a shame because when we get all caught up in language and what is God's proper name we miss this idea of what makes the Father, Son and Spirit ONE is that they all will the same thing - which is the redemption and salvation of the world.  

And when Jesus prays that we will be one as well --it's not that we will all stop being Lutherans and Catholics and Baptists (though it would be nice if we would stop FIGHTING) - it's that we be united in one will - to love and redeem the whole world. 

So that's probably what my sermon is going to be about.  I'll probably have to leave out the part about God not having a penis but really it does need to be said.

The Holy Trinity -- I know what it is NOT

So this Sunday is the Feast of the Holy Trinity. Oh Goody. A day to celebrate a doctrine.

The Trinity came up in our Adult Sunday school last Sunday and a young woman very confidently told me that the best way to explain the Trinity was to say it was like an apple --peeling, flesh and seeds. Everyone seemed quite shocked when I had to tell them that really was not a good explanation and was probably heritical, as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three separate persons not part of one God.

So of course then comes the next question...."Well then how would YOU explain it, Pastor?"

Good question.  And I realized I'd really kind of side stepped the question for many years in sermons talking about "the mystery".  

I know what the Trinity is not.  It is not an apple or an egg.   It's not steam, liquid and ice - the persons of the Trinity are God, not forms of God.

I know what else the Trinity is not.  It is NOT God's formal name like my name is Joelle.  Sorry, Robert Jensen and the folks at CORE who like to use that as a way to throw out any feminine language for God.

Honestly Jensen and his ilk have done with the Trinity exactly what God has refused to let us do - back when Jacob wrestled with him and demanded a name (and instead got a new name for himself) , and Moses asked "Well what shall I tell them your name is.?"

I am who I am.  The Holy Trinity is not God's answer to "Tell me your name so I can have the right name unlike the others (like those nasty feminists).

The Trinity is not some dead boring doctrine cooked up by theologians who had nothing to do with real people, real life or real faith.   The teaching about the Trinity is the result of some hard thinking, dicussing (and knock down hard fighting) of real life people who were struggling to express who God is and how he reveals himself to and acts in our lives.

I know what the Trinity is not.   This Sunday I am going to find a way to help people think about what the Trinity is, that also proclaims the Gospel.   So help me God.

Stay tuned.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Monday Morning Skating Video

This is 2006 Olympic gold medalist Shizuka Arakawa skating in this year's Stars on Ice Japan tour to Madonna's Frozen

Saturday, May 15, 2010

I Could Think of Better Saints

Okay, I like hokey movies.  A few months ago I watched this EWTN movie about a little girl who I think they made a saint just because they felt so bad about how horribly she was treated.  

St. Maria was stalked and then stabbed to death by the son of the family her family shared a home with in 1902. 

I guess she's a saint because she fought to the death rather than let him rape her.  Because you know, any women who "lets" someone rape her isn't really so pure.  So she gets to be the patron saint of chastity. 

 She forgave the boy who killed her and he ended up in a monastery after he served 20 years in prison.  Twenty years for stabbing an 111-year-old to death.

Then tonight they show a movie about St. Rita.  They made it seem very romantic about how she tries to help her husband leave the violence of his family in the 14th century.  She's horrified to discover her husband is an assassin but she learns to forgive and teach him about love by her submissiveness.  

But the real story is that she was married against her will at age 12 and he was abusive to her for 18 years until he was stabbed to death by his enemies at which point he finally found religion and asked her forgiveness.  

Then her children died and she finally got to go to the convent which is what she wanted back when was a child bride.  She also wanted to suffer like Jesus so a thorn from a large crucifix fell on her head causing a terrible wound that gave her pain the rest of her miserable life. She is the patron saint of impossible causes.

Really ETWN?  These are the women saints you offer up to your viewers?  Victims of abuse who forgave their abusers?   I'm all for forgiveness.  But there are a lot of women saints out there.  Forgive me if I'm a little dubious about your choices.

Friday, May 14, 2010


We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals.

Remote from universal nature and living by complicated artifice, man in civilization surveys the creature through the glass of his knowledge and sees thereby a feather magnified and the whole image in distortion. 


We patronize them for their ...incompleteness, for their tragic fate for having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein do we err. 


For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with the extension of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings: they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth." 


~Henry Beston,  1888-1968


Friday Five - Family Trees

The folks over at RevGalBlogPals are talking about family trees.  The picture is of the Colville Family Crest.  Colville is quite a Scottish name.  There's even an article about  the Colville Clan  on Wikipedia.   It says that the Colville are from Normandy and others say that Colville is from Viking settlements in Scottland.  But since Normans WERE originally Vikings...  according to this article the first Colville was , Phillip De Colville who was sent to Scotland in 1174 as a hostage for the release of William the Lion.

But there's also an area in Scottland called Colville which could account for the name as well.  And just because there was this nobleman named Colville doesn't mean I'm descended from him.  Peasants would take the name of their baron so I could just as easily be from peasant as noble stock. 

1. Do you have any interest in geneaology?  Not really.  I don't even want to go to Scotland.  It's cold there.  I'd rather go to Italy.  But I'm pretty sure I'm not Italian.

2. Which countries did your ancestors come from?  Scottish on my father's side, and Scottish on my mother's side--Crawford.  Abernathy on my mother's mother - English.

3. Who is the farthest back ancestor whose name you know?  I had an uncle who did a bunch of geneology work on the Crawford name and went back to the 17th century in Scotland.  Crawfords came to the US around the 1700s...settled in the south --no plantation owners, thank goodness.. just your "white trash" as they called us.

4. Any favorite saints or sinners in the group?
  I didn't know my father very well, my parents were divorced when I was an infant and I saw him only occasionally and then he died when I was 15 but he was really a fascinating man.  He passed the bar exam but felt like lawyers just took advantage of people's hardships and didn't have the stomach for it.  He was a union organizer for the railroads and somewhere there is a newspaper clipping of him bloodied by police in a demonstration. 

5. What would you want your descendants to remember about you? I was a tough bitch that didn't let life get me down.

There is something SERIOUSLY WRONG with our Society

That people think this is okay.    Not that this is anything new.  I remember 16 years ago having to search out several dance studios for my daughter before finding one that would NOT teach  my 4 year old to bump & grind.  But I found one.  So parents have no excuse.  And for parents on ABC Good Morning America to defend this sexualizing of their daughters by saying it's all in our heads....I am just speechless.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Ascension of Our Lord

 The Ascension of Christ
Garofalo 1510-20

I used to have a really hard time getting into the Ascension.  It was just awkward like most of the art depicting this event.  It was like Nadia Bolz-Weber of Sarcastic Lutheran says "And Jesus just sort of floated away...kind of like Mary Poppins"

And if it wasn't weird, it was just sad.  You know, snuffing out the Paschal Candle.  Jesus is gone.  Buh bye! 

And then I read N.T. Wright's Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church and his chapter on the Ascension and I changed my whole thinking about it.  Basically the problem is when we think of Heaven as a physical place, rather than another dimension..or the realm of God.  

Basically heaven and earth in biblical cosmology are not two different locations within the same continuum of space or matter.  They are two different dimensions of God's good creation.  And the point about heaven is twofold.   First, heaven relates to earth tangentially so that the one who is in heaven can be present simultaneously anywhere and everywhere on earth:  the ascension therefore means that Jesus is available, accessible, without people having to travel to a particular spot on earth to find him.  Second, heaven is, as it were, the control room for earth; it is the CEO's office, the place from which instructions are given.  "All authority is given to me," said Jesus at the end of Matthew's gospel, "in heaven and on earth."  ( p. 111).

When he ascended, Jesus joined God and he is with God, and so in fact, his Ascension brings him closer to us than when when he was on earth and bound by space and time. When Jesus took his place  at the right hand side of God, he was no longer bound by space and  time and so now is accessible to all of us, not just his first century
disciples.  This is what Jesus meant when he said:

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. You heard me say to you, “I am going away, and I am coming to you.” If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I.  (John 14:27-28)

I tried to refer to this idea when I was challenging Marcus Borg and his  assertion that thinking about heaven is a waste of time and his reply was that he loves Wright but he makes absolutely no sense in this regard.  I suppose if you are such materialist that talking about anything outside of space and time is nonsensical this is not a helpful image.  And there can be problems with the idea of Heaven being a "control room" for earth.  If God and Jesus (and I suppose the Spirit if we are going to be orthodox Trinitarians) are really at the controls for earth I would suggest they are pushing the wrong buttons! 

I think it will take forever to sort out how God works in this world and the questions of theodicy that come with it...but for those unwilling to join Marcus Borg in throwing out Heaven with the bathwater, N.T. Wright is a good place to start.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Plant a Garden

Plant a Garden
Edgar A. Guest
If your purse no longer bulges
and you've lost your golden treasure,
If times you think you're lonely
and have hungry grown for pleasure,
Don't sit by your hearth and grumble,
don't let mind and spirit harden. 

If it's thrills of joy you wish for
get to work and plant a garden!
If it's drama that you sigh for,
plant a garden and you'll get it
You will know the thrill of battle
fighting foes that will beset it 


If you long for entertainment and
for pageantry most glowing,
Plant a garden and this summer spend
your time with green things growing. 

If it's comradeship you sight for,
learn the fellowship of daisies.
You will come to know your neighbor
by the blossoms that he raises; 

If you'd get away from boredom
and find new delights to look for,
Learn the joy of budding pansies
which you've kept a special nook for. 

If you ever think of dying
and you fear to wake tomorrow
Plant a garden! It will cure you
of your melancholy sorrow
Once you've learned to know peonies,
petunias, and roses,
You will find every morning
some new happiness discloses

Wednesday's Lunch - Sweet & Spicy Sweet Potato Cakes

Cooking for one requires creative use of leftovers. This is what I do with my left over whipped Sweet potatoes

1/2 Red Onion, chopped fine
1/2 jalapeno pepper, chopped fine
1 Tb brown sugar
1 1/2 Cup Panko Japanese Style bread crumbs
2 Cups mashed sweet potatoes

Fry up the onions and pepper in about a TBl of butter until transparent. Add the potatoes to the pan and stir, adding some ground pepper, salt and sugar. Make a patty out of the potatoes and dip in breadcrumbs. Note the potatoes will be wet so this is a little messy. Fry in 2 tbl olive oil.

I had that with a couple of pieces of bacon. (not candied)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Monday Morning Skating Video

Yuka Sato's Pure Skating to Clair de Lune at this year's Stars on Ice

Stars on Ice 2010 - St. Paul Review

Photos thanks to © Adam & Devon Stein

I've been taking my daughter to Stars on Ice shows since she was four and she just turned twenty.  We haven't gone for a couple of years but this was an Olympic year so we thought we'd go.   Unfortunately, a lot of the Olympians we wanted to see were not at this show - Evan Lysacek was not there - off dancing at Dancing with the stars...I wanted to see Gold Pairs Shen & Zhao but they were not there.   In fact, the only pairs in the show was a guest appearance by National silver medalists, Mark Ladwig & Amanda Evora

All in all, it was a good show.  Not great but good.  Worth the three and half hour trip there.  (Gone are the days of the Stars on Ice Tour when you could find a show within an hour of anywhere you lived.I just don't think I will ever get over the glory days of Scott Hamilton, Kristi Yamaguchi, Paul Wyle,  Katarina Witt, Rosalynn Sumners, Kurt Browning, Gordeeva and Grinkov ...sigh...those days are gone forever.

Also gone are the days of the amazing ensemble numbers that really made Stars on Ice stand out from the other skating shows.  This show resembled more the old Champions on Ice tour, where you never were sure which skater would be at your venue and they would pretty much just do a scaled back version of their competition program and exhibition program.

So here's a rundown of the numbers - Opening number with the entire cast to "The Best of Times by Dream Theater.  Great costumes.   Stars on Ice has always had the best costumes. Jef Billings has been doing that forever and he's great.  He used to design all of Scott Hamilton's wonderful costumes.

Then a special guest appearance by 2010 US bronze ice dancers Emily Samuelson & Evan Bates.  They did their original dance to a Dixie Chick's medley.  I didn't care for their OD so much when I saw it on TV - partly because I was SO tired of all the cowboy music but to see it live - it's a very good dance - and it was entertaining.

Jeremy Abbott skated to his freestyle program "Symphony #3" (Camille Saint-Saens)  - He's a beautiful skater but he really struggled with his jumps--like at the Olympics and the Worlds.  I suppose he needs to go for the jumps on the tour but really if I come to a skating show and you can't land a triple axel I would prefer that you not even try.  As my daughter said, he really doesn't need to jump to perform a beautiful program.

Alissa Cizney "You'll Never Walk Alone" Barbra Streisand.  We used to call these kinds of numbers GFBs - Generic Female Ballads.  She could be a lovely skater but she really needs to hold her positions longer.  There was kind of a juniorish skating quality to this number.

Todd Eldridge "I Want you to Want Me" Cheap trick --very high energy --good program, solid skating.  He's come a long way in being an entertaining skater and moving past skating to opera.

Sasha skated her Carmen number which she used this year to try to make the Olympic team.  I suppose if anybody is going to skate to Carmen Sasha can pull it off - but I got Carmened out this season.

Meryl Davis & Charlie White did their WONDERFUL and enchanting Original Dance to Indian Folk Music.  This is a wonderful dance, very creative, takes authentic Indian dance moves to the ice.  I was very happy to be able to see this live.

Micheal Weiss - I never cared much for Micheal Weiss as a skater.  I thought his skating was too minimalist and he mugged too much as a pro.  HOWEVER...he has grown on me. I really liked him in this show.  He skated with a lot of energy and was very much a crowd pleaser. I think he realized that as the least decorated man in the cast he needed to protect his spot by being entertaining and he has succeeded.  He skated a number he created at Ice Improv and liked it so well he kept it.

"It Don't Mean a Thing" - Cute jazzy number by Yuka Sato.  She won the world championships in 1994 and is still skating well.

Flower Duet with Sasha and Alissna...both lovely skaters but this just wasn't a very creative use of them.  I blame the choreography.  And between the Y spirals and Charlottes - just WAY too much crotch...

There was a cast ensemble number to a variety of hip-hop music that was pretty good...but  a little long.  Could be I'm just getting too old for that music.

Act II - Jeremy, Todd, Yuka and Micheal did a little bit of "add on" - which delighted my daughter since she's done this in Moves and Power classes --one person does a move, the next person does that move and then adds something - then the next person does the two moves and adds on and so forth...

"If it Kills Me' Jason Miraz - cute number by Belbin & Agosto that involved  a lot of creative costume changes on ice.

Beautiful Number to "Claire de Lune" which was a tribute to just pure skating by Yuka Sato.  She is called the "Skater's skater" because she does things only someone who skates can appreciate.

Jeremy Abbott skated to "At this Moment" by Michael Buble - great number for him ...I don't know if he has nerve problems or needs a jump coach..but he has got to get his jumps more consistent.

Alissa then breaks out of her pretty mold with "I like the Way" by bodyrockers.  

Another high energy program by Micheal Weiss to "Keep your hands to yourself"

At some point, I can't remember-- there was this adorable short yodeling number by the girl skaters with these elaborate costumes that seemed to just introduce another skater.  I liked it.  Would have liked to have seen more.

"Brave" - an ensemble with the four dancers - Tanith, Meryl, Ben, and Charlie.  Again I was disappointed with the choreography.  I think they could have done so much more creatively with these wonderful dancers.  

Todd Eldridge "Don't Let the Sun go Down on Me" by Elton John.  Sorry. I still think of Kurt Browning's number to this.  

Sasha closed the how with Jeff Buckley's "Hallelujah" that was just gorgeous.  Really beautiful.

And a closing number to "I've Got the Music in Me"

All in all, not the Stars on Ice I remember but I must accept those days are over.  I wish they would get some more creative choreographers.  Maybe persuade Christopher Dean to come back.  Gone are the days when I would make the annual trek to see Stars on Ice, but I'll be back.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Juliet Howe's Mother's Day Proclamation - Worth Repeating

 This is a repeat from last yer:

Arise then...women of this day! Arise, all women who have hearts! Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!
Say firmly:
"We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage, For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country,  
Will be too tender of those of another country To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs." From the bosom of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with Our own.
It says: "Disarm! Disarm!
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice."
Blood does not wipe out dishonor, Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil At the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home For a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace...
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God -
In the name of womanhood and humanity,

I earnestly ask That a general congress of women without limit of nationality,
  May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient And the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions, The great and general interests of peace.


Thursday, May 6, 2010


So right before Mother's day - there's a news story where a woman at a local mall was hassled by a security gaurd about breastfeeding her child in public and was asked to do that in the restroom.  EXCUSE ME?  Do YOU eat in a public bathroom?  

UGH --this is one of those issues that gets me going.

I saw more boob on Dancing with the Stars then you see when women breast feed.  Personally I was modest and always threw a blanket over my shoulder when I breast fed in public...but there's no need for everyone to freak out if  it's a little more obvious.  You could look other way you know.  What is wrong with our society when women can go around half naked and on one blinks an eye but GOD FORBID you should use your breasts to nourish a child.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Core of Lutheran Core

EXCELLENT, scholarly and as far as I'm concerned on the money critique of Lutheran CORE

The Core of Lutheran CORE: American Civil Religion and White Male Backlash

All in all, the core of Lutheran CORE is rotten. One can get more than a whiff of Docetism, Donatism, and Pelagianism — heresies all — in the doctrinal formulations of the various groups represented in the coalition.

Finally someone is pointing out in a scholarly way what is theologically wrong with these people.  I have some of my own thoughts about how they've picked up a lot of popular but unLutheran concepts as well, but just haven't had the time to think it out.  I've been listening to some lectures on the history of Calvinism and wow I see a  LOT of Calvinist thinking in that crowd.  But this is a great article.  Check it out.

Mother's Day Prayer

 Mother's Day can be fraught with *stuff*~ none of which Ann Jarvis had in mind when she thought of this day.

This is a Mothers Day prayer I wrote several years ago and use every year.  Many have expressed appreciation for it

We pray for Mothers everywhere….

For mothers of young children that they may nurture 
    and raise their children to be good and faithful people in the world.

For mothers of older children that they may have the wisdom 
    to know when to help their children hang on to their roots
        and when to spread their wings.

For mothers of grown children that they may feel satisfaction in a job well done.

On this day we remember mothers of children in war-torn countries
        mothers of children where disaster or famine has struck
        and mothers who fear for their children’s safety 
           that they may find food for their children
           justice for their families 
              and peace for their souls.

We also lift up those for whom this day is painful
         mothers whose children are missing
         mothers whose children have died
         mothers who have lost children to miscarriage
         mothers who have had abortions
         mothers who have lost custody of their children
         and mothers whose children have disappointed them. 

We pray for those who wish to have children but have none 
    that they may be filled by God.

We pray, too, for all motherless children
       children whose mothers have abused or abandoned them 
        and for all those whose mothers have recently died.

For all the good experiences of motherhood, we thank and praise you Lord.
We lift up to you for healing all the painful experiences of motherhood.


Note - I am sharing this so that you can use it if you like - if it's printed out then you should use my name but if you just pray it I don't need any credit.  Also you can change, add stuff to it, use it to boost your creative juices to write your own...whatever.  I very much believe in respecting other people's intellectual property HOWEVER i do think it's good for us to share creatively and maybe give each other permission to bounce ideas off each other without being so concerned that every idea has someone's name on it.