HermeneuticLand 101

Herein lies a place not only to discover, but also to interpret that wonderful gift -- that challenging experience -- that crazy world-- called LIFE.

Location: California, United States

For those whose curiosity brims, I am a RN turned Methodist pastor. I enjoy lots of things, am troubled by several things, and hope for many things. But, if you keep reading, I suppose you will find that out anyway.

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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Number 8

Even though it didn't print, my life path number is 8 (according to the survey). I just felt like having a little "get to know you" fun today. And, in the spirit of Valentine's Day, I included the one on "Keys to the Heart". (Although, to be very honest, I am already taken!)

Love Stuff

The Keys to Your Heart

You are attracted to those who have a split personality - cold as ice on the outside but hot as fire in the heart.

In love, you feel the most alive when your lover is creative and never lets you feel bored.

You'd like to your lover to think you are stylish and alluring.

You would be forced to break up with someone who was emotional, moody, and difficult to please.

Your ideal relationship is lasting. You want a relationship that looks to the future... one you can grow with.

Your risk of cheating is zero. You care about society and morality. You would never break a commitment.

You think of marriage as something precious. You'll treasure marriage and treat it as sacred.

In this moment, you think of love as something you thirst for. You'll do anything for love, but you won't fall for it easily.

Life Path Number

Your Life Path Number is 8
Your purpose in life is to help others succeed
You are both a natural leader and a natural success. You are also a great judge of character.You have a head for business and finance. You know how to make money.A great visionary, you can see gold where other people see nothing.
In love, you are very generous - with gifts, time, and guidance.
You love to inspire people, but it can be frustrating when they don't understand your vision.Great success comes easily for you. But so does great failure, as you are very reckless.You are confident, and sometimes this confidence borders on arrogance.
What'>http://www.blogthings.com/whatisyourlifepathnumberquiz/">What Is Your Life Path Number?

Monday, January 23, 2006

Tootin' My Own Horn

Tonight I had so much fun! For the first time in over 10 years, I played my French Horn in a group setting. The city where I live has a community show band, and I reached out and did something a little different today by going and joining the band! I had a grand ole time. Lots of positive energy, new friends, and fun music abounded. To be certain, I still have quite a lot of work to do in order to get my ombischure back into shape. However, I did a lot better than I would have thought for my first night. Thank heavens for small wonders.

I am really going through a process of reclaiming some of the "fun" pieces of me that may have been lost amongst the grad school/real world working 24/7 experience called my life. This will be an ongoing project, but definitely something I have resolved to do more of in 2006. So, the French Horn is a start. Then, I have a few more ideas, but will fill in the blog-blanks on them as they materialize. If any of you have similar stories of reconnecting with your fun side, music, or other stories, I would love to hear about it in the comments. Have a good day y'all!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Good days

Are good days given or are they made?

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Color Blind

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day gave me the opportunity to once again reflect upon the meaning of the two words that I despise: "Color Blind". Personally, I think this term is malificently outdated and inappropriate. Persons who consider themselves to have the characteristic of color-blindness where other races are concerned are, in fact, in a morose state of denial. For me, the words color blind are not only inane, but also have a strong resemblance to those who would utterly deny ever being racist in any setting. These two concepts seem strangely linked: color blindness and a person's self-denial of racist behaviors.

Here is the fact: None of us are color blind. And another fact: All of us are racist in some way or another. The question is then, "How are we to struggle to be less racist and more color-appreciative?" The situation is such that all of us are from varied hues of color in both our skin and our cultures. There is no denying our similarites, but there is also no denying our differences. When we meet people, we assess --sometimes subconsciously-- our relationship to others. This assessment includes how we feel about people's color and culture. My own personal struggle is to cease to think of myself or anyone else as color blind, but to work towards finding ways every day to become increasingly "color appreciative", and by proxy "people appreciative." None of us, no matter our color should think that we are less than or better than anyone else. We are simply unique, and born into a culture and race to be appreciated for who we are!

This seems even more appropriate when listening to the recent comments of the mayor of New Orleans who declares the need for a "chocolate" New Orleans. Surely, this was a faux pas bred from hurt and anger bred from the after-effects of Hurricane Katrina. At least, that is my personal hope. But, with persons who state such strong words of racism on our own soil, how can we begin to think we have the right or ability to fight such terrifying tactics as the president of Iran who wants to "wipe Israel from the face of the earth"?

Oh yes, there is plenty of hatred and blindness to go around. But, where is the work for peace? Where is the struggle for dialogue and hope for reconciliation? Where is the lifeblood of the work for color and person-appreciation? Let us hope that the answers to these questions for a positive future together will come soon.

Friday, January 13, 2006

The Tagging Game

It used to be that people at least had to read my blog to get tagged. However, "Any day a beautiful change" is tagging whoever reads her blog... Oh well, its still pretty early in the morning. I can do it...

Four jobs I've had in my life
1. grocery store cashier
2. Camp Counselor and Camp Nurse
3. School cafeteria worker (in seminary)
4. telemarketer (during a VERY desperate stage, I would not recommend it!)

Four movies I could watch over and over, and have
1. White Christmas
2. Steel Magnolias
3. Back to the Future series
4. Star Trek movies

Four places I have lived
1. Lanett, Alabama
2. Claremont, California
3. Chancellor, Alabama
4. Santa Barbara, California (for about 2-3 weeks)

Four TV shows I love to watch
1. Commander in Chief
2. SuperNanny
3. Golden Girls/Designing Women (back to back on Lifetime)
4. Star Trek:TNG (sensing a little theme here)

Four places I have been on vacation
1. Barcelona, Spain
2. Israel
3. Japan (particularly, Nishinasuno)
4. Blue Ridge Mountains (these are actually my favorite mountains in the world)

Four websites I visit daily
1. Jenece's Journey
2. RevGalBlogPals
3. WWdN in Exile
4. Any day a beautiful change

Four favorite foods
1. almost anything chocolate
2. Mashed potatoes
3. Watermelon
4. Southern-fried catfish

Four places I would rather be right now
1. Sipping Cafe au Lait and eating beignets at a restored Cafe du Monde and Bourbon Street in New Orleans
2. In a rocker on the front porch of my parent's home in South Alabama drinking sweet tea and listening to the news about folk
3. Enjoying the view of the Blue Ridge Mountains from a chalet nested in western North Carolina.
4. Getting a full day's relaxation and beauty treatment at Burke Williams Spa.

Four people I tag
Anyone who reads this one may also consider themselves tagged! Ha!

Thursday, January 12, 2006


"Many of you made resolutions last week to lose weight, or quit smoking, or stop beating your children (oops, maybe that was just me), and I just read a Psychology Today article which notes a direct correlation between weight loss, and commenting on your favorite blogs, so leave a comment because it will make you skinny. Not that you're fat, because you're not!! So tell me how long you've been reading my blog, or your favorite book, or the first word that pops into your mind when you hear the word shish-kabob, and remember, if you don't leave a comment, you're letting the terrorists win." -- Narrow at the Outset

I liked this one so much, I copied it... Thanks Narrow at the Outset. So, leave a message after the beep. Beeeeeeeep.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Listening for God

After yesterday, I knew that I needed to do something a little bit different today. So, I discerned the best approach was to take the time to spend intentional extra time in the Word and in prayer. As usual, God is faithful, and provided many verses that were leading in the right direction. On top of this, God inspired several people in the past 24 hours to call me to talk. They didn't know I needed this, but were only thinking of me and calling to see how I was doing. Thank God, I can always count on the Spirit to move in restorative ways just when I am needing it most. Thank you to any who are also keeping me in their prayers. It is not an easy call that we have in ministry, and the usual sign that I am on the verge of exciting positive God-stuff is the evil I see fighting against it. I pray for integrity, strength, and wisdom during these days. Thanks to all those who are also sharing the struggle of ministry as sisters (or brothers) with me. God bless you all.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Devils out to Getcha

Have you ever felt like the devil (Evil/bad juju/etc) might be out to get ya? I kinda got a hint of that tonight. If you are reading this and able, please send a short prayer of protection up for me this evening. Thanks.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Howard Stern

It's very interesting to me how someone like Howard Stern can be such a superstar. On the morning news, I saw three or four repeating headlines. Baby Noor surgery in Atlanta, the infamous Alito opening day, stroke assessments on Ariel Sharon and Howard Stern comes to Sirius Radio. I will tell the truth. When originally making the decision between XRadio and Sirius, I found Sirius to be the better choice because XRadio had PlayBoy and Sirius was super-raunchy free. Now, Sirius is competing to be raunchier than XRadio: I can only assume for the profits entailed in promoting radio porn.

Are there others in this forum who are also somewhat troubled by the constant competition to out-shock and out-raunch each other? Or, have we finally become hardened enough from over-exposure not to care? And what do we say to congregations who are hardened to the over-exposure...or worse, overly indulgent in the next fix of porn radio?

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Brain on Hiatus

Alas, my brain has taken off. I know not where it went.
I only know that wherever it is, it must feel very spent.

For it has thought a lot today, such that I write in rhyme.
And singing precious little ditties, I now am flitting away time.

Until the bedtime softly calls, I shall enjoy the space and naught
For I have no more time to spare for one more single thought.

Saturday, January 07, 2006


Just one question on my mind this evening, perhaps some of you have thoughts on it as well.

Is there any water source more powerful, more beautiful, or more poignant than human tears shed in love?

Friday, January 06, 2006

Ariel Sharon

There seems to be a lot on the news today about Ariel Sharon. Perhaps the most disturbing and idiotic comments seem to be coming out of the mouth of Pat Robertson (but who is surprised with that one?) He somehow believes that Ariel Sharon brought God's wrath down causing a stroke in his brain by allowing the Holy Land to be divided. Or, in other words there is condemnation from God for those who allow the Palestinians to have their land. http://www.pfaw.org/pfaw/general/default.aspx?oid=19453 Check out the site for more information as to what was said or to watch Robertson on video condemning ANY prime ministrer of Israel that would listen to the EU, US, UN or any other plea to allow any of the land to be Palestinian.

It seems as though the fundamentalists and Zionists both domestic and abroad are getting more daring with their words and their actions every day. And, what kind of God is it that they serve who they would accuse of causing strokes and bringing down wrath in these various ways? It is not the same one that I do, that much is for certain.

My prayers are with Ariel Sharon, but they are just as much with the rest of Palestine and their leaders during this unstable time. As I have said here before, we need this year for peace to reign.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Conflict and Confession

So, one of the church people gets mad at another, and all of a sudden they are not coming to church anymore. Nothing serious. Mostly theological and discipleship differences. When I used to see this as a youngster, I would hear it connected with shouts of hypocrisy. One person would call the other a hypocrite, and the bantering tennis match of blame would begin. As a pastor, I know this is all part of life...(and that the church is not the ONLY place this happens, either). However, it doesn't make me feel any better to know that some of the people that I like the best are sitting at home while those who have heckled them into madness stay to influence others. What to do?

My confession is that I don't have the simple answer, nor do I intend to find it. Mind you, I actually think that prayer and staying out of the middle of other people's tensions seems to be the wisest thing. I deal with conflict as I find it, don't normally go looking for it, and only every once in a while create it -- usually because of the prophetic voice God calls me to have at times. But, in spite of it all, at least one thing is going well. Vince Young DID sock it to those Trojans last night! Hallelujah, Amen. (Almost makes all those SEC losses worth it. Thank you, Vince. and thanks to all the Longhorns.)

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Football and Funerals

In true eclectic form, I am shifting today from the topics of communication and good tidings to a more day-to-day set of topics: football and funerals. It seems the theme of my week to ride the rollercoaster of emotions between these two themes. In football, I have been most disappointed to see the SEC teams show such a poor performance in their bowl games. (Hint: I am originally from the South.) Between Georgia and Auburn getting trumped, and the narrow win that Alabama squeaked by with...not to mention FSU's loss (even though not SEC, they are still in the area) in triple overtime to Penn State, these bowl games have been quite painful to watch. Instead of relaxing in front of the TV in the evening by enjoying a good romp on the turf, I have been disappointed to see so many of the teams I was cheering for with their faces down in the dirt. Tonight is the much-anticipated Rose Bowl, and I cannot help but say... Win one Texas! Yes, even though I live in Southern California, I am so sick of the Trojans that I could scream. I hope Vince Young beats the tar out of the whole lot of 'em.

Alternatively, I have been planning a funeral with a parishioner all week for her husband who died on Christmas Eve. More accurately, I have been planning a memorial service, but the gist is still the same. Dealing with grief seems to be a common theme in many of the activities of the daily life of a pastor, but it can be very draining after a while. I really need a couple of days to relax and let my hair down. Unfortunately, those days seem far from forthcoming. Ah, for the grace to move forward -- onward and upward! (pun intended)

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Communication Then and Now

Recently, I was having a conversation with a friend of mine who happens to be in her mid-40s. She had written a stack of cards to put in the mail. She made a point of telling me how important letters are and how much she was hoping the art of letter writing would never be lost.

I paused. I thought about my recent starting of this blog, the myriads of email that are sent every minute, and the way that everyone seems to be connecting more and more online and less and less through "snail-mail."

I know that I am not the first one to wonder this, but I must wonder about it anyway. Will it be someday that electronic communication is the only option? Will e-communiques be the replacement for all thank you notes and cards, not unlike cars replaced horse-drawn carriages? And, if so, are we losing something in the process? Will it be that we have greater community through the internet...or simply lose the personal touch that we all seem to crave so deeply?

If you have any thoughts on the matter, I am open to hearing them. Until then, may all your communiques be bright and meaningful.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Poetry Reading

this is an audio post - click to play

Good Tidings for 2006

The earth awaits the dawning of a new spring
And so it is with souls and hearts
We wait. We wait for the hoping time to begin.

But what a patient loving waste of time
to hope but never dare to dream
and dreaming never dare to try
We stop. We hesitate in doing what we dare.

The heart is drowned by never soaring
and the spirit dries when never washed
by the tide of not just mere believing
but reaching out to dance the dance of life.
We ache. We yearn for something more than this.

This day I want to find forever
I want to hold it in my hand
and sing the arias my heart has sought to sing
regardless of the circumstance it finds.
I seek. I look to find a better way to live.

Come too, there is room for you as well.
For there is enough for all to enjoy.
There is life and love and laughter somewhere.
Let's go. We can find it along the path.

Finding our path, inviting others.
That must be what the new year brings.
We cry. We need this year for peace to reign.
---by Hermaneuticland 1/1/06

Happy New Year to You and Yours.