Wednesday, September 30, 2009

National Parks

This is the way television is supposed to be:  On P. B. S, this week is showing Ken Burns' new epic about the history of the National Parks. 

It is gorgeous and fascinating--I didn't know there were so many problems with creating them and keeping them pristine.  Watch if you get a chance--I will miss a couple of them because of the Zoe Conference, but they will be rerun I am sure.

One thing I like about Burns' work is that the writers he uses are not afraid to mention or credit God.

There is still time to make the Zoe Conference--we really need the money generated by this conference--as with many non-profits, we are hurting.  The new CD is one of the best (and if things continue to decline, it may be the last one).  So come on to Nashville and join us.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Mary's Song

Josh is preaching on the messes that God has taken and rehabbed.  Last week it was Tamar--this week it was Mary.  We are often so focused on the glory of the birth of Jesus, we forget the hardship and mess that was involved.  There are two awe-inspiring messages from the passages in Matthew and Luke:

One is the great step of faith taken by Joseph, a righteous man, who did not stumble into self-absorption, but took instead the word of the angel and obeyed.  And of course the faith of Mary who accepted her assignment with her answer to the angel, "May it be to me as you have said."

It was refreshing to hear Julie Carrothers, a teenaged girl, read Mary's song in Matthew 1:46-55.  As one listens to the text, full of glory and praise to God, one cannot help but hear those words of the Mark Lowry and Buddy Greene song "Mary, Did You Know":

"Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day walk on water?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?
   Did you  know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
        Tlhis child that you delivered will soon deliver you.

Mary did you know that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will calm a storm with His hand?
    Did you know that your baby boy had walked where angels trod?
        When you kiss your little baby, you've kissed the face of God.

Mary did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day rule the nations?
     Did you know that your baby boy is heaven's perfect lamb?
          This sleeping child you're holding is The Great I Am."

As a peasant teenaged Jewish girl looking for a Messiah, she probably did not know the answers.  But she did what all mothers do--pondered them in her heart.

Jane Kenyon asks in a poem for which I cannot find a reference. "Did she know that the baby  she held would one day be dripping blood on the hem of her garment?"

Mary--such an interesting character in God's story.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Rudeness and Disrespect

I know I am beginning to sound like a crusty elderly woman--however, the crassness and rudeness of our world sometimes shocks me.

How to build a campaign chest of one million dollars:  Interrupt the President of the United States' speech on the floor of the House and call him a liar.  Shame on you Rep. Wilson.  Won't your children and grandchildren be proud of you!

How to continue to crash a career:  Interrupt an Awards show, take the microphone out of the hand of the winner of the best video (Taylor Swift) and rant that Beyonce's video was better.
Goodby Kanye West and good riddance.  Kudos to Beyonce's class act when she called Taylor to the stage for "her moment".  You don't mess with Taylor Swift in this town.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Talk, Talk, Talk

The recent uproar about Pres. Obama's speech to school children was fueled by talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh, etc.  Nashville has its share of those--Infamously, Phil Valentine.

The classical station in Nashville has recently decided to drop a lot of its classical programming in the daytime and substitute talk shows of various kinds.

If I had my way, all talk-show hosts would be fired and their shows dropped from programming.  Yes, I do believe in free speech--Yes, I do believe that people have the right to express what they believe even when I do not agree with it.  But thinking people surely see  that the process has gotten out of hand--in fact, out of control.

I don't know what can be done about it--except to say that if one chooses to listen to this type of program, listen with educated ears and open minds.  Whether conservative or liberal, there must be a civil balance from which important topics can be discussed with cool heads.

I guess this is pie-in-the-sky thinking.  But one can only wish.

Friday, September 11, 2009


Our family went to see Wicked this week.  Spectacular!  Magic on the stage I have not seen since Le Miz.
The actresses in the major roles were excellent--in fact, the "Bad Witch" recently had the role on Broadway.
I had not expected to find so much humor in the play and loved it. The set was absolutely marvelous and intricately formed.And of course, the music was at times uplifting and at times sad--as it was planned to be.

I can't help but wonder what L. Frank Baum would think of his little book as interpreted in stage and film.
By the way, it was interesting how Wicked incorporated Wizard of O into the play.

There were good teaching opportunities for teaching the kiddies about not making fun of people because of their physical appearance too.  And the idea that good most often triumphs over bad.

Thank you God for the talents with which you have gifted writers, actors and musicians for our pleasure.

Monday, September 07, 2009

A New Beginning

It was a wonderful Sunday in the neighborhood. David Rubio and Josh Graves began their ministry at Otter Creek as our preaching team. Their series for the next month is "Following Jesus" and I believe we will be taught that following Him is a way of life and not a training in following rules. What a relief! And what a challenge! Josh and David will teaching the morning class together and then will trade out on the sermons. I look forward to each one. The meshing of their personalities will be a blessing to all of us who sit and listen.

Friday, September 04, 2009

It Seemed Like a Simple Thing

It seemed like such a simple thing when the President and his advisors planned to speak a word to the students of a new year in school....

Then here in the South and other places, all hell broke loose! People went on TV and spouted that HE would NOT speak to their children, HE doesn't share my ideals?, It is all a political ploy, ad nauseam (sp?).

And all that was planned was to say do good work, make goals, your education is important, etc.

What is so wrong with that? I gave that same speech at the beginning of every school year.

I weep over our divisiveness and ignorance.