Sunday, January 30, 2005

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Fantasy Coffins

You just hafta see this story. The link takes you to a story from the BBC news desk about different coffins people are using to be buried in. Be sure to scroll through the pictures. There are coffins that look like hammers, shoes, cars, and even a beer bottle!

I wonder if I should get a coffin in the shape of a can of Copenhagen? ;)

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Upcoming Sermon

I find it amazing sometimes when it comes to how my sermons come together each and every week. They start off innocuous enough, usually me thinking about the lectionary reading and trying to blend all the lectionary readings together (usually we have choices for which texts to use, except during Epiphany, where there are 4 readings- an O.T. reading, a Psalm, an Epistle, and a Gospel text).

So, this week I am working on: Micah 6:1-8, Psalm 15, 1 Corinthians 1:18-31, and Matthew 5:1-12. I can preach one of these, two of these or all of them, it doesn't matter. The idea of preaching from the lectionary is that every three years the listener will have heard a sermon from every book in the Bible. So preaching from the lectionary is beneficial for the congregation as it is for the preacher- having a text for every Sunday makes it easier to prepare sermons.

So.. back to what I was saying, I am preaching this Sunday and I find it
facinating how certain events happen that bring a sermon together. For
starters, I am in another blog-response conversation with a friend in Oklahoma about the nature of obedience. My friend is working from the angle that fidelity to Jesus is the basis for our obedience and I am wondering how being in sync with the Spirit of God enables fidelity rather than looking for fidelity to keep us in sync with God. I wonder if there is a slight nuance that can help us understand the Sermon on the Mount (the Matthew reading) and Paul's exhortation in 1 Corinthians as to how our relationship with Jesus enables us to be in sync with God.

And then, when I think about being in sync with God, my mind takes me to those who work hard at syncing themselves with God through prayer and meditation as represented in the 8-Fold Path towards Nirvana as expressed in Zen Buddism and the understanding of peace of mind in the Four Agreements.

How does one get in sync with God? How does prayer and meditation facilitate this pursuit? I started reading the Four Agreements by Don Ruiz because my brother, who is incarcerated, found them to provide him with a peaceful resolution to his challenging times. He thought I would enjoy it. And, I am. The book has its flaws but all in all, it also has some interesting insights. And, given my sermon for Sunday, I am wondering how I can blend what I have been reading into the sermon without taking away from the communion experience we have with God through Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

Also, I have been reading the Gospel of Thomas in the Nag Hummadi library and am curious how Thomas records Jesus' Sermon on the Mount isn't one particular event but rather, he includes Jesus' sayings in all of Jesus' sayings. In other words, they aren't grouped together as in Matthew; they are included throughout the book with interesting and slight differences.

Scholars suggest that the Gospel of Thomas is probably more like how the
original texts were written before editors started fiddling with the texts. It is an interesting book for sure and confusing as all heck. But how does the Gospel of Thomas highlight fidelity and how can it shed light on the lectionary readings for this coming Sunday? Hmmm.. I wonder.

So it looks like I still have a lot of work to do but still.. its coming together. To me, being a preacher is like being a writer who has a deadline every
week- thereby forcing the writer to use all of his or her daily experiences to accomplish the assignment. One of my parishioners told me sometime ago when I asked what he thought about something theological, "I am not going to tell you what I think because I know you'll write about it in your sermon!" heh heh.. My friends are on to me.

Monday, January 24, 2005

I am sick

Well, wouldn't you know it. I finally got sick. Like our suprise blizzard that happened while NYC was enjoying one of its mildest of winters, I was relatively healthy and happy until Saturday morning when I woke up with a killer sore throat.

Yesterday I was achy and stopped up; this morning my nose is running like a Harlem fire hydrant on a hot summer afternoon. Gads, I hate being sick almost as much as I hate taking the over the counter remedies that leave me feeling dazed, confused, and constipated (was that too much information?).

My secretary emailed me to recommend eating ginger raw- she said it'd be nasty eating but that it'd do wonders for my throat. I'll probably take some Throat Comfort tea and go back to bed.

On a happier note, Sam Champion co-hosted this morning's Regis and Kelly. Sam Champion is the weatherman for ABC7 and he's quite the sexy homosexual. My boyfriend called me this morning and said, "Get up! Get up! Sam Champion is co-hosting with Kelly!!!" And so I did and there he was. Roy said, "I have to confess that if I ever met Sam, I'd have to proposition him and marry him." That Sam has the homos in this city all excited. :)

On a sadder note, I learned this morning that Johnny Carson died yesterday. Heck, I didn't even know he was sick! I liked Johnny Carson and for me, he symbolized the coolness of adulthood as well as the steamier side of adults which was my only access to it as a child. His jokes and inuendos of sexuality either left me bewildered or, when I got his jokes, laughing wildly. He was truly a classy act.

Oh, by the way, services yesterday were fabulous. I was thinking we would have a small crowd in church being that the blizzard hit the city. However, we had a packed house. And, with our visiting preacher, it made it all the more worthwhile (I always worry for our guest preachers that only half of our congregation will show up, which is sometimes the case). However, this particular guest preacher is widly popular among UCC ministers and everyone wanted to come hear him. Cliff Frasier, our guest preacher, was arrested a couple of years ago protesting the School of the Americas and was sent to federal prison for 6 months as a result. He preached about his experience and showed an amazing sense of grace and hope as a result of his experiences. I'll have his sermon online later this afternoon, if you'd like to read it. It was a wonderful sermon.

Okay, I guess I oughta go make some tea. Maybe I'll write something later.

Friday, January 21, 2005

New Web Browser

Mozilla's Firefox seems to be all the new rage when it comes to web browsers. Reading PC World this week, I became curious enough to download and install the new browser to see how it handles my surfing, website management, and general overall fun.

Downloading and installing the new browser took a couple of minutes. I have had it running now for about an hour and am somewhat impressed with it although it doesn't handle my Yahoo toolbar very well (which is important for me since I use yahoo's geocities website management tools frequently).

One really cool feature though are its tabbed windows. I can have as many open browser windows open at once, separated by tabs that make going back and forth to each one pretty easy to do. If I find other cool features, I'll be sure to let you know.

Are any of you (the readers of this blog) using Firefox? How do you like it? Any comments you'd like to share?

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Introducing the new fangled..

...translation of the Bible. Yahoo posted a story about the introduction of the Today's New International Version of the Bible. As the story explains, there is controversy from some folk that the Bible shouldn't ever be updated in language. I guess it's like that old joke, "If the King James Version was good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for us." Of course, the joke rests on the idea that Jesus spoke King James english when in fact he didn't. And we know that. Or some of us know that.

Anyways, I am quite fond of the New Living Translation. Go here, its the New Living Translation of Lamentations and its quite profound given the updated language. Read it and then go and read the King James Version of the same passage in Lamentations and see if the former makes more or less sense to you.

I remember ages ago a friend of mine fired his pastor in a church in Ohio because the pastor wanted to use the New International Version and a few members of the church wanted to use the King James Version. The pastor wouldn't back down and neither did the few members- they created a big ol' hoopla and ousted the pastor. Who'd've thunk that a Bible translation could cause such a stir?

For some folks, they get to majoring in the minor things and forget what we're on this earth for- to reach the lost, feed and comfort the sick, and love each other like crazy. I guess for those folks its easier (and less messy) to spend the energy on minor debates than it is to get one's hands dirty and care for the unfortunate.

But then, I have always wondered why the pastor was willing to "go down fighting" over a translation? A Christian comedian of my youth used to say, "When we spend our time doing the do's of God we won't have time to do the don'ts," and I'd like to add, "or waste our time over such trivial matters."

Monday, January 17, 2005

free ipod

Okay, so you just have got to help me get a free ipod. Click the link on the side panel and it'll take you through some steps and you too! can get a free ipod.

Yeah, it might be silly but from what I hear, this really works. Besides, them ipods are like, $300! and the offer is for a 20 gig mp3 ipod, its just too hard to beat.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Poor choice or planned stunt?

When I awoke this morning, I realized I needed milk for my coffee so I threw on a sweatshirt and jeans and headed downstairs to the corner market. As I passed the newstand, I noticed the front page headlines on the New York Post in which Prince Harry had wore a Nazi soldier uniform to a costume party for a friend. You can read the story here.

At first, I thought, "That boy is going to rue the day he did that! This'll be his personal scandal for years." But then, being reminded of the rumors of the Royal involvement during WWII of his family with Hitler, I wonder if he wore that costume for a reason-- as if he knows full well the rumors, and in his adolescent way, thought he'd make a point of some sort. Percocious? Probably. Scandalous? Most certainly. Unwise? Most definately. Still... I'll bet he knew exactly what he was doing.

Monday, January 10, 2005

A Moment of Silence...

With all the sadness and trauma going on in the world at this moment, it is worth reflecting on the death of a very important person which almost went unnoticed last week.Larry LaPrise, the man who created the "Hokey Pokey" died peacefully at age 93.

The most traumatic part for his family was getting him into the coffin. They put his left leg in ... and then the trouble started.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Potato Casserole

This was so amazing that everyone asked for thirds!

1 - 2lb. pkg. frozen hash browns
1 can cream of chicken soup
3/4 cup of evaporated milk (Milnot or Carnation)
1 stick of butter
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups of sour cream
1 and a 1/2 cup grated cheese
1 chopped onion
1/2 pkg of stuffing mix (Stove Top Stuffing)

Mix and pour in dish, and sprinkle cheese over top of mixture. Pour stuffing mix over that. Bake covered at 350 degrees for an hour and a half.


Slow Recovery

My Christmas holiday was so insane that I am just now in the mood enough to explain it all. Now, don't get me wrong, I had a great time- it was just so exhausting.

For starters, my flight back to NYC from Oklahoma was delayed and I missed my connection in Memphis and had to spend the night there. That delay affected by New Year's Eve plans where Roy and I were cooking dinner for 8 and ushering in the New Year. Then, the party got a bit crazy and everyone stayed over until the next morning (sleeping on the floor)- Roy and I got up and made a great lunch. The party was wonderful- but just so busy.

Anyways, the busy party planning and celebrating forced me to stay up all night on Saturday finishing my sermon for Sunday. Everyone in church really enjoyed the sermon, so I guess it all worked out alright. You can read the sermon by going to

Being off all last week has made this week a bit busy- its managable, just a bit hectic, thats all.

Now that I am more clear headed, I'll write some blog stuff soon.

Oh, did you hear? OU got plummetted in the Orange Bowl. I sat in terror and complete sadness. (Shhh... don't tell anyone that I was actually watching football.. I think that'd affect how gay people think I am, Ha!).

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Been Away Again

I've been in Oklahoma for the past week and returned to a hectic day of party planning, dinner, and New Year's Eve merriment. I have much to do today preparing for tomorrow (Sunday), so I'll keep this short and write more on Monday.

Happy New Years!