Friday, June 29, 2007

We went to a church dinner party with Mr.C's church people. The guests are my people, too, since I've known them all for years. The food was great, the guests pleasant but what did we all end up talking about?

Katrina. The Big One.

Everyone at the party is back in their homes (seldom the case with any large group) but homeowner's insurance is slowing down re-building. Home prices are way up which sounds good but it means you can't sell your slab property to build a new home because buyers aren't available. Many people haven't gotten their insurance settlements yet (almost two years now!) or didn't get enough money to re-build. Finding a reliable contractor is tough.

It's time for Michael Moore to do a "Sicko" expose on the Insurance Industry (known around here as the incarnation of evil in our lifetime.

Just saying,

St. Casserole

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Fish's fracture is healing!!! He is taking much longer to heal than his pawpedic vet likes, but healing he is!

I told her that people around the world were praying for him. She said, "I can tell."

Two more weeks with a fresh lighter weight cast, then back to Dr. D. for more xrays.

Thanks be to God!

St. Casserole

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Me, It Should Be All About Me, But It's Not

29 years ago, I was ordained as a minister of the Word and Sacraments in a small university town north of here. I made my vows in front of my parents and new congregation. I had no clue how to be a minister but, as far as I was able to determine, God called me to this work. I had images in my mind, all male, of how to be a minister but none quite fit for a skinny, mid-twenties, eager as could be, green gal.

I wanted to celebrate this milestone yesterday but family life intruded. I had no plans but felt I'd spend a few minutes thanking God for my calling and reflect on my years as a pastor. No. Such. Luck.

It's just as well I didn't because ministry isn't about me, ministry is about God.
So, I prayed, as usual, for a full measure of God's grace, to handle the family issues.

More and more, I'm convinced that the Christian life is about trusting God. Nothing new in this thought but I'm not one who trusts easily. My daily discipline is to trust God.

Thankful for my calling, even after all these years,

St. Casserole

Friday, June 22, 2007

Dear Cheesehead,

Do you remember when we went to the GA in Birmingham and you made us stay in that awful motel with criminal activity in the parking lot? And, do you remember how you told me that if I didn't stop talking to you all the time you were going to jump out the window into the criminal activity area? This isn't what I want to tell you.

Think back to our time together at the GA. I said, "Cheese, you smell good! What is that?" and you said, "St. Casserole, please stop practicing spitting chewing tobacco across the room trying to hit the trashcan. Don't you see my open suitcase there???".
Remember that? Well, you told me, when you made me swallow the tobacco plug that you wore Philosophy's Amazing Grace.

When we left B'ham and you told me to wait for you to contact me thereafter and not call you because your cell phone didn't work for calls from me I ordered some Amazing Grace. I've been wearing it and think it smells great. Thanks for the idea.

This morning, when Mr. C. took his shower, I smelled Amazing Grace wafting around the bathroom. Shocked, I looked in and saw that he was lathering up with my big Sephora bottle of AG!!! I told him that it was girl stuff but he said he was out of his shampoo and used what he found.

I went to Walgreen's to buy some $1.79 Suave Coconut Shampoo just for him.

I know you said that when you wanted to hear long rambling pointless chat from me you'd call me, you must have forgotten and I haven't heard from you in months. I'm using my blog to keep you up-to-date!

Would you let me know the name of every single product you use? I used some of your hair mousse and like it. I meant to put the bottle back in your cosmetic case but when it fell into the hotel toilet I was busy and didn't want to get it out. Did you have to pay for the plumbing repair from my repeated flushings of the hair mousse container?


St. Casserole

RGBP Friday Five

Friday Five: Hot Town, Summer in the City...

...or town, or suburb, or hamlet, or burg, or unincorporated zone, or rural area of your choice---pretty much anywhere but the southern hemisphere, it's summer. (Australians and others, consider this an invitation to take a break from winter for a while.)

1. Favorite summer food(s) and beverage(s)Fresh vegetables from the Farmer's Market, tomatoes, peppers, squash and zucchini from church members, watermelon,snowcones,ice tea (but this is year-round for us!

2. Song that "says" summer to you. (Need not be about summer explicitly.)
any South Carolina Beach Music (or shag music for those in the know)

3. A childhood summer memory going to the Beach with my grandparents, sand in my swimsuit, swimming lessons, searching for golf balls outside the C.C. fence to sell back to the pro, running around the neighborhood, going to the mountains with my family

4. An adult summer memory Neshoba County Fair, Hurricane watches and warnings, children out of school, wearing flip-flops, being with LLS and LSiL, sailing with Mr. C., watching LD at swim meets, eating outside, reading novels for no purpose other than pleasure

5. Describe a wonderful summer day you'd like to have in the near future. (weather, location, activities) cool enough to be outside, bug-free picnic to somewhere with great picnic food...cold fried chicken, potato salad, coleslaw (without any sugar), my father's NC barbecue, lemon ice box pie, sweet tea or, just a burger on the grill outside

Optional: Does your place of worship do anything differently in the summer? (Fewer services, casual dress, etc.) I wear sandals and light weight clothing under my summer alb. I encourage those who want to dress casually to do so and encourage those who wish to dress up to do that, too. I'd like us to be accessible to whoever visits. I crank down the A/C when no one is looking, too.

Thanks to Reverendmother for this. See more at

Actual Conversation

Why do you think the new TV shows are about people with super human skills?

Because we feel powerless in the face of all the stuff going on.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

In No Particular Order

I need these things:

a chipper/shredder
electric hedge clippers
somewhere to put these and other yard work tools

a Scottish fold kitten, from good stock

a plumber
a carpenter
an electrician

time with my friends
another great dinner with Mr. C like we had last night

no hurricanes until I'm 76 years old
money to repair Little Church from the hurricane damage
someone to show me how to re-wire and wire lamps (I just need to see someone do this in front of me, videos on the 'net don't seem to help)

for my preacher group to heal and be kind to one another again
for consistent internet accesses
for my children to keep their cell phone fees below the national gnp of small countries

I need all this.

St. Casserole, waiting
At our Fall geographic cluster of churches, we voted to allow those who wish to leave our denomination to take their property with them. I asked, as did others, that my vote against this be recorded by the stated clerk.

At a called meeting on Monday, we adopted guidelines for how we will release churches to other denominations. We discussed the importance of handling each case on it's own merits, without a blanket plan, as well as the need to have agreed upon guidelines on how we would divorce one another.

I cannot express the grief I feel over these developments.

I cherish the holy mystery of the Body of Christ. To see the Body divide, fracture and disperse grieves me terribly.

While I think I understand why various congregations wish to move to other denominations, I do not like it.

I hope, for them, that they find the perfect denomination in which to live out their corporate faith in Jesus. I mean this.

Our larger geographic cluster of churches came down to meet with us (not me, but the powers that be) to let us know that we are acting outside of our covenant with the larger church. A letter will be sent to us sometime. I hope I get a copy.

At the Monday meeting, a brother in the Lord said he had copies of the letter for us to see but I couldn't catch him quickly enough. He then suggested that we might, as a geographic cluster of congregations, consider removing ourselves as a group to another denomination.

I am sad.

St. Casserole

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

LD is home! Now, time to pray for traveling mercies for LLS and LSiL as they vacation Way Up North.

Glad to have my baby home,

St. Casserole
LD flies home from Aunt Camp today. I pray her flight will be uneventful, that no one will treat her as though she is older (she looks it!) and that she will be surrounded by traveling mercies until she returns home.

Ever the Mom,

St. C.

Fish is in Sister the Dog's Cargo carrier. We use the giant dog carrier when we evacuate for storms so all the animals are running around screaming for batteries for their ipods, flashlights and, for Sister, for her manicure kit.

There is no storm in the Gulf.

Instead, Fish is in the carrier with a small litterbox, some books and his turtle hiding quilt. I feel sorry for the wee cat. He shrieks meows to get out.

Whistle is anxious to hear Fish's meows. Sister feels helpless to comfort Fish.

I'm not happy, either.

The screen printer called to O.K. Whistle's order for 40 black t-shirts with large white letters reading "Free Fish". I agreed to this to hush Whistle but I don't think the message will mean the same to everyone. I understand yard signs with the same message are next.

Getting the call from the local newspaper reporter asking about the "Free Fish Movement" startled me.

I feel so sorry Fish whose leg must rest to heal.

Rather worn out with the emotion of it all,

St. Casserole

Saturday, June 16, 2007

8 Random Facts about Me

Tagged by several of you. Here I go...

1. Even as a child I valued solitude so I spent time hiding under the dining room table. That table is in our home now but I'm too tall to hide under it.

2. I detested yard work for years, now I love it. You should see how we've fixed up since the hurricane!

3. I seldom wear costume jewelry, not because I'm snooty, but because I find sterling, 14kt. etc. at garage sales for less than costume jewelry prices.

4. Our home survived Camille in 1969, Katrina in 2005, two house fires and being flooded. It's great to live in a Garp-ed home!

5. I asked Mr. C. to marry me. He told me, "I'll think about it." I'd known him less than 6 weeks. I knew he was a Prize the first time I saw him.

6. I've been questioned about a murder by a representative of New Scotland Yard.

7. I have perfect dancer turn-out. Lot of good this does me.

8. I have done the following while preaching: burst out crying, burst out laughing, sneezed, coughed, choked, snorted and considered fainting. My listeners are greatful I didn't do all these at once.

Digging it up,

St. Casserole

Friday, June 15, 2007

*being curious about everything has it's downside. I'm reading from the PCA G.A. report on the federal vision, new perspective and auburn avenue theology. Hadn't a clue what these phrases were about. Last year, I read the PCA stuff to understand their issue of "subscription". I suppose all church groups have discussions about stuff other people find moot or picky.

*hot here. not talking about the weather anymore. that's it.

*both children are out-of-town. Mr. C. and I are dancing in the kitchen, singing old songs out loud and whooping it up.

*little church hasn't received any of the PDA 23 million yet and we want a very small portion of that to finish hurricane repairs.

*gals, you get points off if you cover chipped pedicure toes with the wrong color. just saying.

time to go work on capitalization,

st. casserole, on summer time

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Fish went to see his pawodedic vet yesterday. She put a new cast/splint on his leg.
He spent hours waiting, without breakfast or his morning coffee, to get the new splint.

Vet says he is running around too much. We'll slow Fish down by putting him in my study (a small room) with Calvin's Institutes as assigned reading.

I'm adding a tablespoon of yogurt to his breakfast for extra calcium. He prefers shrimp flavored yogurt, but Dr.Vet said "plain".

Dragging a splint around slows a kitty down. He needs four good legs.

When I pray for him, I put my hand on his cast and ask for healing. Are you surprised? I want to ask you to pray for him, too, but I am unsure if I can be this vulnerable with you.

He was the highest jumping cat I've ever known before the injury. Now he drags his leg in the splint waiting for his body to heal the fracture.

St. Casserole

Sunday, June 10, 2007

As I ponder weak and weary,
the sermon that is bleak and dreary

Here's some comfort for you preachers this morning: Dr. James Forbes, newly retired pastor of NYC Riverside Church, gets criticized for his preaching. See today's for the article.

Is there hope for the rest of us if this wonderful homiletician has church members who don't like his preaching?

Whoa. He's one of my favorite preachers on the planet. I heard him first, in the 70's, at Columbia Seminary and to this day, I can recall what he said. He's a native North Carolinian (why is it that so many great preachers are from NC?)whose sermons are a wealth of intelligence, love of the Gospel and prophetic witness.

What do those crabby Riversiders want? A lock-jaw speaking, thin-lipped dry preacher?

Puleeze! Let's just say that we all may take comfort when even Jim Forbes has detractors.

I'm off to Little Church in a few hours. God willing, my sermon will come together before I cross the town limits,

St. Casserole

Saturday, June 09, 2007

How to Prepare Your Child(ren) for the Coming of a Sib

I take as my text this morning, how my mother prepared me for the birth of LLS. 1When a new child will be coming to the family, let your child pray for the new baby. This can happen easily during bedtime or family table prayers.

When your pregnancy begins to show, let your child feel your tummy. Feeling the kicking baby, later on, will entertain your child. You can tell your child, "you can feel the new baby and when the baby is born, you can tell the baby that you felt the baby kicking BEFORE the baby even met you!!!"

If you are given a baby shower, make sure that you have a gift for your child or have a friend bring your child a gift. I recall that LLS got many baby shower gifts but that I got gifts, too, because I was the older sister.

Convey no fear about your going to the hospital to give birth. Be as matter of fact as you can treating the birth as no big deal. How does the baby come out? The answer is: God made Mommies bodies so that they can have babies. 2
Spend time with your child after the baby comes so that the child feels comfortable with the new baby. Somehow, I never felt left out or

I loved LLS from the first time I saw her. She was a tad gross with nasty diapers and a scab on her navel, but cute and snuggly. I felt my prayers helped get her to us and I felt that my mother's pregnancy was a normal time for our family. I was a brand-new 6 when LLS arrived.

We prepared LS for LD's birth as best we could although unlike a bio pregancy, with adoption you aren't always quite sure when the baby will arrive. He did a bit of acting out when LD arrived but mostly took pride in his sister, especially when people commented on her. 3

Footnotes: 1) Old-preaching used this phrase.
2)Tell your children whatever you wish about how the baby comes out of your body. I like the discretion of my Mother being at ease that "God created Mommies this way".
3)Remember, I am not a parenting expert and am parenting still a teen and older teen.I thought about writing on this topic while recalling that my older sister seemed to resent me throughout my childhood and may resent my presence to this day. Maybe Mother learned from the sour reaction of my older sister and so prepared me for LLS's birth in a different manner.


St. Casserole
(Next topic: Why is Blogging a Post Easier than Finishing My Sermon?"

Friday, June 08, 2007

Yuk Yuk Yuk

Little Church is in a small town with a large agricultural festival. Thousands of people drive in to buy the ag product, hear stories, music and buy crafts. Townspeople participate or hide in their homes behind locked doors.

I attended the festival years ago before I knew Little Church. The weather sweltered with humid heat.
Two times in my life I believed that I would die of heat: at the Neshoba County Fair during a National election year political speech fest and at Ag Fest.

I suggested we open the church for the festival during my first year there. No one seemed interested. No one. Turns out that the crowds would overwhelm our antique plumbing and no one wanted to stand around and watch this happen.

A laughing church member just called to say she was sorry but she couldn't find where they were doing the "Dunk the Preacher" booth this year. She asked around but no one seemed to know. Maybe I was off the hook this year, she said.

Like I'd go there to be dunked. First, it's not dignified. Second, it might cool me down but nope, and, third, like I'd get on a bench to be hit by a softball.

I'm serious about minstry in the community but not that serious.


St. Casserole, dignified as ever
A. my computer is running faster after the Computer Guy realized that LS laptop takes all the bandwidth when left on. doesn't sound quite right to me, but that's what CG said.

B. Fish's fracture IS healing and he'll get a new cast Monday. Our vet got my firey letter about Dr. Awful, D.V.M. but didn't apologize for my rough treatment from the relief vet. I don't suppose our vet knows how to do this.

C. I miss LD who is up at the sacred (at least to me) Presbyterian conference center in N.C. where at least one adult leader thinks Katrina damaged New Orleans and no where else.

D. Temps are in the 90's here. Hotter than hot this morning at 5 a.m. Yuk. Pass the ice tea!

E. I'm glad to be back online. I've forgotten all the Pulitizer quality blog posts I thought up while I couldn't use my study computer.

As ever,

St. Casserole

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Friends, something is wrong with my desktop computer. I feel my fingernails growing in the time the computer takes to go from site to site.

The Computer Guy comes Friday morning to pour Diet Coke into the hard drive. I hope this works.

I miss being with you but I'm having tech probs.


St. Casserole

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

In a small group at the denominational conference center in Western, NC, the leader asks the group about their fears. LD says that after Katrina, she got anxious when she heard big thunderstorms or saw torrential rain. The adult leader said, "You're from Gulfport, aren't you? Katrina damaged New Orleans." Then, the adult leader moved on to the next kid.


St. Casserole
Yoo Hoo! I'm over here in Ft.Morgan, Alabama for a Flower Foundation Grant Retreat with my Preacher Group! We met with a fine fellow from the McFarland Institute to discuss spiritual autobiography, worship, pray and eat.

Outside on the condo balcony this morning, I watched beach rats run around. Is this good for tourism? Pelicans in packs fly around while a few demented pigeons sit on the fence. Pigeons? Aren't you guys lost?

If you need me today, I'll be traveling back to the Coast. I'm stopping at Burris for fresh veggies and maybe another shopping op if I feel the Alabama economy needs me.

Hope all is well with you. May you be aware of a full measure of God's grace today,

St. Casserole

Friday, June 01, 2007


1,Think back to the time you left High School, what were your hopes visions and dreams for your life/ for the world? I dreamed of a large world but wasn't sure how to find it. Curious about everything, I wanted to KNOW, especially about people.
I didn't envision much future for myself. My visions were interior because I was shy and hesitant about asking for much for myself. Going to college opened up the world for me in great ways.

2. Have those hopes visions and dreams changed a lot, or are some of them still alive and kicking? (share one if you can)
By the time I was mid-way in College, I wanted to know theology. Interest in theology and people continues to this day.

3. Hebrews 11:1 " Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. " Comforting, challenging or frustrating?
Comforting. I don't mind thinking into the future without practical evidence; don't mind if things are open-ended.

4. If resources were unlimited, and you had free reign to pursue a vision what would it be?
I would junk pick everyday.
I would re-purpose junk into art everyday.
I would be a gardener on an private English estate.
I would read 6 hours everyday.
These are solitary pursuits mostly. I might not like them if I could clone myself to do all of them all the time. I love family life and when the family noise over takes me, I like to think of this list (and more) as a mental get-away.

5. Finally with summer upon us- and not to make this too heavy- share your dream holiday....where, when and who with...
LH and I go to New Zealand for 6 months.