Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Dang! John Edwards has dropped out of the race to the White House.

Edwards, educated and smart, intrigued me as a candidate and was my #1 choice.

He earned his money rather than inheriting it.

He married a smart woman.

He cares about poor people.

I am so sorry to lose his voice in this endless campaign.

St. C.

Monday, January 28, 2008


January. Not my favorite month. Yippee! Only a few more days until my second-least-favorite month.
The pic is for LLS to see if she can identify it.
Frost on the ground this morning. Bedding plants look dead. Time for me to move along and do something productive.
St. C

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Some people say they don't know how to pray.

If they pray prayers written by others they wonder if God hears them.

Or, if the written prayer is beautiful, will the prayer be able to speak so well when she prays her own words. Does God require prayers to be in formal language?

What do you do if you aren't sure your prayer is o.k. enough to pray?

Is God listening to prayer regardless of style?

How do you pray when you don't feel like praying and, in fact, would like to give God a punch in the celestial nose?

You may have the answers to these questions but for those new to prayer, these questions are great mysteries.

St. Casserole

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Garage sales aren't going well this month. The cold weather, rain and general January angst keep sellers from putting junk in the garage to sell.

2007 ! A great year for junk!

Here's what I want to find in 2008 or after:

sterling or 14kt. sewing thimble charm bracelet


Just so you know,

St. Casserole

Update: A bobcat is one person driving digger, mover etc. industrial equipt. thingies.

Things I found in 2007 at garage sales:
sterling water pitcher
white metal topped kitchen table very old and in good condition
real Kate Spade purse
M.A. Hadley bean pot
15 pieces of Henry Watson pottery
William Sonoma tablecloth
framed black and white photos of old men
various pieces for my religious collection like plaster saint statues, menorahs
vintage fabric
large cutwork vintage tablecloth
I mention the name brand stuff only to let you know what's out there. The Henry Watson stuff is among my favorites because it's fun to use and I got so many pieces.
All these things were very cheap or I wouldn't have bought them. If you search long enough you can find anything for a low price.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Very cold tonight with a full moon shining through the clouds.

I'm wearing a sweatshirt hoodie with jeans to keep warm. Even Andy, the Warrior Cat, came inside tonight.

Cold rain fell most of today which made us stay home to watch Netflix and read.

I worked on my sermon which did not fall into place until I got back in bed under the covers with three cats snuggled in the comforter folds.

As I began to relax, I saw the John passage on a story board.

Then I saw the flow of the passage as I hadn't before and "got" the text which then put together what I couldn't piece until then.

If you need me, I'll be here watching the sky and glad to be at home.

St. Casserole

Friday, January 18, 2008

2008 Books Read

John Mortimer's Rumpole and the Penge Bungalow Murders

Mary Pipher's Letters to a Young Therapist Excellent!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast,* but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant 5or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. 7It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. 9For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; 10but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. 11When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. 12For now we see in a mirror, dimly,* but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. 13And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love. (NRSV)

I believe this. I hope for this. I work for this. I struggle with this.

Right now, I struggle with the idea of Christian love.

I am coping with someone who causes me great distress.

As far as I am able to determine, I must love this person.

I want to love them and count on the Holy Spirit to move my angry heart to love.

This person punches every single one of my values buttons and more.

For those of you who are new Christians, I'm telling you, following Jesus is counter-intuitive.

Discipleship is difficult hard work.

Here is my plan. I will make myself do the loving thing.

I will force myself to be who I think I should be. I will not be content taking the easy superficial way out.

If you hear yelling, it is I. I am resisting this with my entire being.

Out of the corner of my eye, I can see the brightness of God's goodness urging me forward even if I am considering carrying a vomit bag in my purse because I am so repelled.

I am being childish and petulant rather than trusting.

Although I do believe that if I force myself to be loving the Spirit will carry me through.

I mention this to you so you know I am no saint and that this struggle feels like walking up the highest mountain barefoot and blind.

You may be curious who I am allowing to trouble me this much. I'm not telling. Nope, its not a family member, not a congregant, not someone you know.

Pray me through this, will you?

St. Casserole

UPDATE: Thanks for your prayers and comments. Revmutha's "I'm praying that forgiveness tastes better to your soul than savoring your righteous resentment. Dang, I pray that for all of us." keeps ringing in my mind and she is correct that I was stewing in self-righteousness. Not proud of this at all. I got off-balance and you pals brought me back. Many thanks. St.C.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Your response to my last post about Little Church repairs makes me cry.

Thank you for wanting to help!

If you want to contribute or find out about Little Church's repair needs so you can help, please contact Martha-Lee Bohn (she is auntieflea at American On Line abbreviated dot com) She is the Community Outreach Co-ordinator for the presbytery handling disaster relief.

I feel the Spirit moving. Thank you, God.

St. Casserole

Sunday, January 13, 2008

2 years, 4 months, 14 days

Where the walls separated from the building.
More wall damage. The silver rectangle above the fuse box is a strap to hold the wall to the building frame.
Same here.
More damage here.
When the roof was replaced, the work was shoddy. All we could find. Can't call them back to fix where water runs down the walls into the building. Roofing company left town.
We received 1/10 th of what we requested to repair our sanctuary building from all the donations people sent to our denomination. We have enough money, we hope, for enough materials to make repairs but no money for labor. Costs for labor and materials are much higher than before the hurricane.
We have requested help from presbytery but no one helps. We get referred from one person to another.
I am sad about this. We need skilled people to help us. We need to make repairs. People have been so generous but we were told that our repairs would be taken care of. We were told this over and over. We are waiting.
We are not stupid or lazy. We are a small church, the only church not yet repaired in our presbytery.
I am beside myself and wake up in the night worrying about the building.
St. Casserole

Saturday, January 12, 2008

From the Sun Herald newspaper, in an article about committee assignments for the new legislative year:

"Sen. Debbie Dawkins, D-Pass Christian, said despite her seniority, and asking every term to be placed on the Transportation committee, she was left off again - as were other women.
"No chicks whatsoever," Dawkins said. "I guess we just cannot understand asphalt and concrete and no-bid contracts. The estrogen must just block something so that we can't comprehend all that stuff like all the boys. I could stop taking the estrogen - then everybody'd be sorry.""

Sen. Dawkins speaks truth against the powers. Amen.

St. C

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

I heard another story about hurricane recover today. A business was blown away by the storm. Qualifying for SBA low interest loans, they applied for help to rebuild their building, replace equiptment, etc. on September 30, 2005. Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast on August 29, 2005.

Yesterday, January 9, they received word that their loan had been approved.

Let that sink in a sec.

I said, "Why has it taken so long?" One wonders how most business can keep on all these months without any of the help the SBA intends to offer. I guess many business people have given up and lost their businesses. I was told that more than 15 different SBA loan people worked on their case. Everytime the business made an inch of progress toward satisfying the loan people, their person would leave the SBA and another person would take over the file.

Tell me again how we are all back to normal down here. Tell me again how the world has moved on and that we are all doing fine.

St. Casserole

We came home from our holiday retreat to a home filled with pet hair. Our house sitter was perfect and cleaned up for us for our return but three cats and one dog shed exuberantly. Taking out our Oreck 8 lb. vacuum I noticed that it was spewing dust rather than removing dust. Yuk.
I've repaired the Oreck several times over the years. It's a good vac but the repairs are not cheap and the very nice Oreck guy keeps very busy. As Christmas Day was coming quickly, I knew he couldn't do the repairs before the holiday.
Flush with Church Christmas buckage, I bought a Hoover Nano Lite at Walls Mart for less than fifty dollars. This vacuum is bagless. After the first part of our home was done and I'd dumped the dirt holder twice, Mr. C. commented, "it's surprising that the pets aren't bald". The Hoover does a great job and I am amazed at how much it picks up.
You folks with bagless vacs have seen how much yuk is picked up whereas we bag folks don't see the dirt but buy expensive bags for our machines. I'm telling you, I think this Hoover does a better job than the Oreck. I used the upright with a hose attachment built-in to clean the carpets of my car. Amazing! Much better job and easier on my hands and elbows than the small Oreck which came with my Oreck upright.
I'm over the Oreck and hereby declare the Hoover Nano lite (what a stoopid name!) the Official Vacuum of the Casserole Household.
Sincerely Yours,
St. Casserole

If I Could Have What I Want

...I'd be able to find a group of crafty gals/mixed media artists down here. I don't care about traditional crafts except to learn the stitches or techniques. I want an indie crafting group who do clever repurposing of thrift store finds, use color and fabric in new ways and see the world as only crafters do. These will be young women, not people my age who see retro as a new find. Where are these cute girls hiding? I want to see their color sense and perspective through their eyes.

I'm not asking that you fix this for me. I'm just sayin I'm looking.

St. Casserole

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Today the temperature high will be 73 degrees, the low 57.

I put the new warming blanket in the linen closet.

Last week's freeze prompted the purchase. By the time I arranged the cords, controls and read the directions we had warm weather again.

Outside feels like Spring.

You can stop laughing now,

St. Casserole

Monday, January 07, 2008

The tradition of making faces at the preacher continued yesterday in worship at Little Church. Begun years ago by LLS, the entertain-yourself-while-listening to older sister/Mom grew to new heights of silliness with LD crossing her eyes, smushing up her face and performing the slack-jaw-bored expression.

The preacher was grateful the actress sat on the second row.

Humbly because that's all one can be when LD is present,

St. Casserole

Saturday, January 05, 2008

2008 Books Read

The Careful Use of Compliments by Alexander McCall Smith

Fourth in the Isabel Dalhousie series.

Loved it. Isabel, a philosopher, goes through all the thickets of philosophical thought to make decisions, loves poetry and art and falls for a younger man. She's in her early 40's, he's in his twenties.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Eschewing Shuggah

New Year's Resolutions

Eschew refined sugar, search out foods without high corn frutose and etc.

Trust God

Act with hope

Wear red shoes often

Rejoice in early morning coffee drinking

Do art often

Well begun is half done,

St. Casserole

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year

May you find rest for your soul.

May you have work you love.

May your relationships be stronger.

May you accept yourself.

May you witness wonder, mercy and mystery.

May your year teach you useful things.

May you spend more time laughing than crying.

Thinking of you,

St. Casserole