Sunday, August 26

thoughts on the road

I'm sitting in the Eugene airport, enjoying a truly fine glass of Oregon wine and reflecting...

...When a sign says "speed enforced by aircraft" what does that mean? I imagine fighter jets strafing speeders. Yes, violent, but I'm not sure how else the aircraft enforce the speed limit.

...I was talking with some women today about seminary education and how people, in particular women, can support the education of future church leaders through their gifts of prayer and money. All were amazed at the cost of education (1 year at PLTS costs almost $28,000, on average, for all expenses). It's a pricey endeavor, but yet we still jump in. God is funny that way.

...My last year in Kansas I worked with the Women's VB team as well as track and field. The VB team was in Eugene this weekend, playing in a tourney at OU. (sorry Katie for the earlier mistake!) So, I spent last night in a hot, hot gym reliving my past, a bit. Unfortunately I never managed to get together with the coaches to talk, but I got to say hi and chat for a bit with their current ATC.

...At church this morning, there was a baptism. And even though the pastor (in my opinion) butchered the liturgy - by its placement and not one single mention of sin, or evil - I still teared up. Watching this family bring their child to the font, in this time and place where that is truly counter-cultural, moves me. Now, about the evil thing - no, I don't think baptism should focus on sin and evil, but if we don't talk about the realities of the human condition and the state of the world (i.e. sin and evil), then Jesus' life, death and resurrection doesn't really mean much. Sure we're saved, but what are we saved from and saved for?

...Semfem recently posted on my post from a while back about waiting. Well, blush and shuffle of the feet over the nice things she said, but it makes me wonder about how we should support others in these weird, liminal spaces. I have a fabulous friend who already is amazing pastor, who continues to wait - after 18 months of waiting, no wonder she is occasionally cranky about it. I'm cranky and it's only been 6 months! I'm ashamed to admit that I haven't called her because I'm not sure what to say (I usually have a better reason, but that's at the root of it). I know how unhelpful the pep talk crap is, so how do I support this fabulous woman without sounding condescending or patronizing? Maybe the best way is to say nothing at all and to simply be there - but that is so hard through a medium like the phone, that depends on speech.

These are my thoughts this fine day in Eugene, OR. I continue to pray and think about the term call situation in SoCal (I had a pastor say to me yesterday "you deserve better than that!) as well as the opportunity at PLTS. Fine, so God gave me the ability to make decisions - do I need to make so many at once?!

Thursday, August 23

when it rains...

So - opportunities keep piling on...all temporary at this point, though. The job at the seminary that I thought was going to work out a couple of months ago has become vacant again. This time they want me to take it - with salary and benefits. The snarky part of me wants to simply say, "you had this opportunity two months ago and passed - your loss." Another part of me thinks "benefits!" I have plans to go to SoCal in two weeks to check out the opportunity down there, so I'm not comiting to anything until after that trip, but I'm talking to the VP on Monday...we'll see.

I'm off to Oregon tomorrow - I really feel like I'm flying by the seat of my pants on this one. I don't have much of an idea of what I'm doing, but I'll give it my best shot.

Wednesday, August 22

the sound of silence's been a quiet few weeks on the call front, but in other parts of my life it's been lively -

I've moved...again. This move was just across the parking lot of the seminary to a room in Sawyer Hall (the head lunch lady room, to those of you who know campus). I'm attempting to "girlify" the room a bit, as it's last six inhabitants (at least) have been male. It's not too bad, actually - although a bit creepy at the beginning with the new noises. However, these days, I hardly ever think that a homicidal maniac will notice that the windows by my bed don't actually shut all the way, let alone latch securely. I amuse myself, when I lock the doors, but yet sleep next to a window that a raccoon could open (which, actually is more of a concern than the homicidal maniac).

I've also been walking with a friend as she has been making hard decisions in her life. I think she's doing the right thing, and often I can just sit on the phone and listen and support her decisions.

I'm getting ready to travel this weekend to Eugene, OR for the Office of Seminary Development. I'm going to attend an event on Saturday where one of my favorite professors, ever is going to be talking (Dr. Marty Stortz). Sunday I'm going to attend church at a local congregation and hopefully speak with some of the women about PLTS's Philanthropy push on women. Being a spokesperson for the seminary is cool...and scary - I don't know what I'm doing - I really don't...but it'll be a good time, I'm sure.

A bit of news on the call front happenened this week, though. A congregation in SoCal is looking for a term call associate (i.e. the call would end after a specific period of time). They have a need for a second pastor but know from recent experience how slowly the call process can move. I'm trying to be open, but don't want to move from one temporary position to another. I'm in a good place, am getting my thesis going again (no, really, I am!), and don't want to drop all of this to only be in the same position of waiting in a year. A wise person suggested to me today though, that I may consider negotiating for a two-year term. Any wisdom, friends?

Saturday, August 4


I'm in very Northern California tonight. I have driven US-101 north five hours to supply at a two point parish in two small towns south of Eureka. The last two hours were on winding roads through redwoods - and for about 20 miles I drove a scenic road that runs parallel to the 101. Because I had no radio reception (and no cell phone - sorry Kari!) I was listening to my iPod. As I was diving this road with giant Redwood trees towering over me, the Indigo Girls song "The Wood Song" started to play. At first I was amused by the connection of being surrounded by so much wood while singing along. And then I listened to what they - and I - were singing:

No way construction of this tricky plan,
Was built by other than a greater hand.
With a love that passes all out understanding,
Watching closely over the journey.
But what it takes to cross the great divide,
Seems more than all the courage I can muster up inside.
Although we get to have some answers when we reach the other side,
The prize is always worth the rocky ride.

But the wood is tired and the wood is old
And we’ll make it fine if the weather holds.
But if the weather holds we’ll have missed the point,
That’s where I need to go.

Sometimes I ask to sneak a closer look
Skip to the final chapter of the book.
And then maybe steer us clear from some of the pain it took,
To get us where we are this far.
But the question drowns in its futility.
And even I have got to laugh at me
No one gets to miss the storm of what will be,
Just holding on for the ride.

These are verses two and three, and the whole song really captures where I'm at now - the confusion, the struggle, and the hope for something good to come out of all of this.