Wednesday, February 27, 2008

No Glitz

It seems to me that the Academy Awards show this year was curiously flat.

I do not particularly like Jon Stewart, although he was somewhat kinder in his remarks than I expected. He seemed often uncomfortable among the winners.

There was not much glitz and glamour. No real fashion to talk about--Nicole Kidman was the prettiest one I saw--that necklace!

The production numbers left something to be desired--static and stale, exept for the Central Park song from Enchantment. And speaking of songs--why the one from Once? Because the whole film is obscene--isn't that fun??? Don't understand. The three Disney songs were not up to earlier levels, but I did like the Central Park song.

The winners were the ones I had picked except for best actress. I wanted Julie Christie to win, because I thought she was the strongest. It doesn't take much acting to act the role of the woman who won--another worthless picture too.

I thought Regis Philbin on the red carpet was lame and silly.

Oh,well, in the scheme of things, I guess none of it really mattered. Except when the Academy wants to sell advertising next year.

I am ready for some good new movies.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Birthday Weekend

What a wonderful weekend I had! Actually it started Thursday when Doris Colvett gave me an
"unbirthday" party with several of my favorite friends there. Good food and conversation--my favorite combination.

Then on Friday, I received a book from Jeanenne by Barbara Brown Taylor The Preaching Life. As I have said here before, Taylor is one of my esteemed reads. And Kaye Price-Hawkins sent a beautiful book Golden Legacy which is the history of the Little Golden Books ( fun reading for a children's literature buff). After more gifts, including a beautiful flower arrangement from Sally Gary and some very hip jewelry from Ronnie and Darla, I really felt warmed and filled!

Then came Saturday and a mystery birthday with Brandon, Sheryl and the kids--we went to see his cast rehearse their Broadway show--Wow--what talent. Then to the Hill Center in Green Hills to eat at Nero's and a shopping tour of Swoozie's and Antropologie. Brandon and Sheryl also gave me a collection of e-mails that they had collected from friends and relatives with well-wishes to me.

Not bragging, just joyful. My cup runneth over. Thanks to all the friends and relatives who sent messages and cards and for the totally undeserved comments. I shall treasure them all.

Friday, February 22, 2008

70 Today!

As Brandon so nicely noted in his blog, today is my 70th birthday. My body feels it, but my mind does not. I do not come from particularly long-lived genes. My grandmother died at 88, my mom at 63 and my dad at 70. And with my medical history, all I can say is I am very blessed to be here still walking, talking and thinking.

To quote the title of a book...old age is always 15 years older than I am. Somewhere within me is still that long-legged, pig-tailed 10-year-old girl running through the grass in summer--hiding from my brothers and smoking grapevine with my friend across the street. (didn't you ever smoke grapevines?)

I always try to take one day at a time, but lately it seems I am being attacked by many days, if not years, at a time. The time passes so fast, it is unbelievable. I enjoy my wrinkles and wear them as badges of honor. Fortunately, I have few regrets about the past 70 years except not getting my doctorate. My marriage was happy and fun, my son is my joy, and my grandchildren are the cream on top of the strawberry shortcake. Their mother is a wonderful daughter-in-law too. So where is there anything to complain about? Not much---I just thank God for the gift of life and for His blessings of friends, family, food and shelter. As Maggie Kuhn said, "The best age is the age you are."

Thursday, February 21, 2008

New radio program

I was privileged to attend the debut of a new radio program on Tuesday night. Tokens: The Appalachian Longing for Home is the brainchild of Lee Camp. In his words, it is part theology lecture, part cultural analysis, part Prairie Home Companion, part good conversation, part good music (Bluegrass).

It is very much like Prairie HC with a religious touch. The band was great and featured Buddy Greene that harmonica virtuoso. Odessa Settles, a long-time Nashville blues and gospel singer was also featured. The Radio Players featured Merri Collins, David Fleer and his son Nate. One of the funniest segments was "Dear Preacherman" and consisted of funny letters a preacher might get for religious advice. Also part of the program was telephone interviews with A. J. Jacobs, the author of The Year of Living Biblically, Brian McClaren, and Marcus Rediker, the author of Slave Ship.

Highly enjoyable, I think Lee will try to market it. I understand there will be other presentations.
For more info, visit This site will be up and running in a couple of weeks. Keep trying.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Another Loss

Otter Creek suffered another loss today when Scott Owings resigned to become a hospice chaplain.

Scott, for me, was one of the people who made Otter Creek the sweet place it is and the open-minded place it has come to be. He led many of the members to deeper understandings of the spiritual disciplines, the saints, the deeper places in life where one can go to really know Christ and God's messages. His Wednesday night Vespers program has led many of us to a broader understanding of what it means to worship God in a holistic way. The first time I ever heard the term "lecto divina", was when he explained it to a class. He planned classes in the educational program for adults which broke new ground.

I shall miss his leadership in the church and in the staff. I am so glad he and Lisa will still attend Otter.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


In a recent exchange with a blog reader, we discussed the "mysterious"nature of God. I have always been puzzled by my fellowship's lack of acceptance of one of the Trinity--The Holy Spirit. In all other things, we cross our t's and dot our i's, but here we draw the line----this amorphous, formless being scares the logic out of us! He cannot be difined or drawn (although there is that dove), nor pinned down, nor really explained--which some of like to do to Biblical things. Yet, He is what Christ left us, when he departed this planet--and therefore, should be joyfully accepted.

The person I wrote and his cohorts are desperately afraid of contemplative prayer, meditation, solidude, the saints, and all things unexplainable. (As if one could explain God!) "Eastern" influences in religion are suspect. (Have they ever looked at the map to see where Christianity originated?) The New Age movement worries them. They distrust all things they have not discovered and interpreted in Scripture. They throw around words like "the occult" freely.
They distrust Thomas Merton, Dallas Willard, Richard Foster and "those broken down Catholic saints" and of course, the desert fathers and mothers.

They need to find what Esther deWaal calls "the religious imagination." I leave them with this Celtic (also suspect surely) prayer:

Three folds of the cloth, yet only one napkin is there,
Three joints in the finger, but still only one finger fair
Three leaves of the shamrock, yet no more than one shamrock to wear,
Frost, snow-flakes and ice, all in water their origin hare
Three Persons in God, to one God alone we make prayer.

Thursday, February 07, 2008


I have been a member of Richard Foster's Renovare community for at least 15 years, dating back to the weekend Richard and Emilie Griffin brought a Renovare Conference to Pioneer Drive Baptist
Church in Abilene--yes, Abilene. My friends Jeanenne and Jim Nichols were there and that was also the beginning of Jeanenne and my Spiritual Formation Group with Kaye Price-Hawkins which lasted until I left Abilene.

Renovare means to renew in Latin and is an infrachurch movement committed to the renewal of the church in all its multifaceted expressions. Founded by Richard Foster, it is Christian in commitment, international in scope and ecumenical in breadth. They are publishers of the Renovare Spiritual Formation Bible.

Quoting from that: "we observe how God spiritually formed his people through historical events and the practice of Spiritual Disciplines, that is, "The-With-God-Life." Renovare continues this emphasis on spiritual formation by placing it within the context of the two-thousand year history of the Church and six great Christian traditions we find in life: Contemplative: the Prayer-Filled Life; Holiness: The Virtuous Life; Charismatic: the Spirit-Empowered Life; Social Justice: the Compassionate Life; Evangelical: The Word-Centered Life; and Incarnational: The Sacramental Life. This balanced vision of Christian faith and witness was modeled for us by Jesus Christ...."

While spiritual formation seems like a contemporary buzz-word, Foster's Celebrations of Discipline from which the term came is now in its 40th year of printing. I have found his writings very helpful for my growth, and have enjoyed meeting Richard and Emilie and others on his staff through the years.

I just received their lastest catalog--I think it is the best I have ever seen in offerings for spiritual development: There are books and DVD's and Cassettes from Richard and Dallas Willard, books from C. S. Lewis, Eugene Peterson, and Thomas Kelly. Classics of devotion like John of the Cross, The Imitation of Christ...I could go on and on.

If you, dear reader, are interested in growing , order the catalog and visit their online store at You will not regret it.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Onward to Another Project

Our visit to Fresno was exceptional--the hospitality shown was heaven-wide, the conference was well-attended, and we all enjoyed so much!

My classes went well and were well-received. Of course, mostly women attended, lending truth to Jim Trelease's theory that the things most missing from reading guidance are the fathers. I did have 4 out of the 20, and that was good.

Now onward to my class I will begin teaching at Lipscomb's LifeLong Learning Program on Feb. 14. I will be doing "Writing Your Spiritual Autobiography"--it is not too late to sign up--just contact the program at Lipscomb. It is from 2:30-4:00 for 5 Thursdays.