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More or Less Church

Joanna Depue "DJ/Deacon J" writes original songs and liturgies, does daily Farm office work and records Barbara's eMos on The Geranium Farm. A singer and dog trainer she utilizes healing touch in her private massage practice. PLEASE share YOUR original ideas for worship, special liturgies, prayers, songs, sermons and noteworthy blogs right here.
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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Follow the Yellow Brick Road

I am on my way to Kentucky, a state which I have never before had the pleasure to visit. This comes as the result of a woman who, having read entries in MOLC for a period of time, wrote to me explaining me she heard the Holy Ghost tell her to get 'that woman' to come down to give a retreat.

Well, I have heard of a great publicity team, but having the Holy Spirit put a positive bug in someones ear would beat any advertising firm, hands down.

So I am off to Frankfort, KY, the state's capital. I'll be doing this at the Episcopal Church of the Ascension. Gee...I am just missing their patronal festival!

Callie the black lab was delivered to her home yesterday and Emmy is back in her glory of reigning queen of her domain. In about an hour we will be in the car and on our way. The departure was slightly delayed on the receipt of some news. I have come to look at turns in the road, switchbacks, detours, obstacles as part of the journey. As a human who makes mistakes, the ordination vows that I took 15 years ago as of June 15 put one thing solidly in my brain: Faith is not a destination - it is a journey. By faith I go forth, praying that God's love comes through.

I will, no doubt, learn many lessons along this faith journey. I will meet many people, even some real 'characters' as Mare used to say. No tin men, yet those whose hearts may need repair. No lions, but some who have lost their truest self and confidence somewhere along the way. No scarecrows, but those who have been convinced by others that they have no intellect or honest common sense. Some of us just want to find our way back home to Christ but have become hurt or lost or distracted along the way.

Wisdom has informed me I needn't interfere with God's plan for them or push them along, ignoring God's time line or learning curve -- for them or me. I need only place each individual in the loving hands of God through prayer. It's just as simple and complicated as that. Get out of the way and let God do God's work.

With Em's bag ready, all CDs picked out and in the folder, the blouses pressed, alb in the bag and enough basic travel stuffs nearly in my mini duffel, the only thing left is to back are a few refreshments and truck stop mugs--refills are cheaper that way! With Gertrude (the GPS system) on and running, it's off to see the Wizard and learn more lessons along the way. I know there will be some. You just never know when they'll pop up! This time around, the road will be blacktop with some yellow dashes down the middle.

"Happy Trails to You" on your faith journeys as well, regardless of where you're headed. Put yourself in His hands... but be sure to keep alert with both hands on the steering wheel! Faith ISN'T the destination, it's the journey.


p.s. to all the folks who wrote to me about my typo, thanks. The color is burnt ochre. Live and learn, live and learn!!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Your Honor, please strike this from the record!!

Oh, if life were only like that!!

You make a mistake and ask that it be neither recorded nor remembered.

It DOESN'T happen that way, though, does it? Once out there it is out and heard or read.

Even as I watch movies where the presiding judge looks sternly at the jurors in the box and admonishes them: "That testimony has been striken from the record. You may neither ponder on it or allow it to influence your decision in this case" I chuckle to myself...fat chance, judge. The cat is out of the bag.

So I must apologize for the errors in my posting of early this morning:

1) Barbara will be on the Episopal Response to AIDS team (ERA)in the AIDSWALKNY on MAY 18. Check her posting THE GOOD OF THE GROUP of April 9,2008 for more info. (sorry, BCC)

2) The forsythia is not a vine. It is a bush. Its branches proliferate. For an adult forsythia, the base should be kept narrowed by trimming no more than 1/3 from the ground after it blooms each year (from a reader who is also a Master Gardener).

3) The pansy color is burnt occre not that green veggie some people enjoy.

So, there you have it. The corrected version of what went before. Let's hope that sets the record straight!

Ahhhhh....Forsythia! (or...and I put the shrub snips where???)

The green medians dividing the highways throughout the area are ablaze with the shouting yellow of forsythia. When it is not invading my own yard I love to look at it. In combination with the abnormally warm weather the last few days, this is the sign to me that nature has truly turned the corner to a season of splendor, colors coming into their own some in twos and threes and others going it solo.

My daffodils and hyacinth have past their prime but the pansies I received for Easter will do just fine...deep purple, snappy yellow, burnt okra all with stalks of green. The front lawn shows signs of its own..lots of weeds which beckon to be dealt with.

How is it the older we get the fewer hours there are in a day?? It must certainly be so because the days, weeks and years have become nearly a blur of new places, faces, challenges and poignant prayerfulness.

Barbara pounded the pavement today and Buddy (the voice of the eMos)made his debut as Vicar of St. Bartholomew's in New York City. While his former parish on Staten Island will miss him, the enormity of a "plant" such as St. Barts needs hearts as well as hands to keep it going and they will find a great one in the person of Fr. Buddy.

Afterward I headed back to the county called Rockland to face the vines of marauding forsythia which have strayed through the fencing of my adjoining neighbors yard. Once established, that blinking forsythia is determined to be a permanent resident and I'm not about to let that happen again. The entire lawn becomes an topsoil web of entangled vines. Ugh!

Callie, one of the dogs I take in, has been throwing her black lab weight around. She makes Emmy seem extremely petite by comparison. They have begun to learn to play together, not just do their own thing separately. I've lab-proofed the house, putt up baby gates in strategic places, used an older wooden CD rack to barricade Russell's door so that the moist muzzle of Callie doesn't greet him nose to nose in the morning and give him a heart attack.

Oh, off on another tangent that started with forsythia. As I age my distraction factor has mounted exponentially. I started to the garage to fetch the snips. Oh, but I needed my garden apron for I'd no pocket in these work pants. Darnit!@#*

To get to the apron I had to move the old bed destined for the Orangeburg recycling place. Starting to push that over I noted runaway golf balls and tees which I would have tripped or slipped on, so they went into a plastic basket..under the basket was the instruction manual to the lawnmower which needed to be filed in the house: the manual got only as far as the side door.

You see where this is going...or rather where it ISN'T going. Instead of taking my pent-up energy out on the forsythia, the garage got somewhat organized. I found all the leaf bags, hung up all the rakes, found all the clippers, weed whackers and hedge trimmers and put them in their appropriate spots. Dark had set in and the dogs (who had been basking in the hazy sun or playing with each other) had begun whining for their dinner. Gee, I was hungry too. Fancy that!

Another day gone. The forsythia will be there when I awake, fascinating and taunting me at the same time. At least NOW I do know where both the snips and my gardening gloves will be.

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