Frenchman's Bay, Maine

Frenchman's Bay, Maine

Friday, November 23, 2007

Britishisms 2

My daughter got on the hotel elevator yesterday with a English man. Making conversation, he asked her, "Are you on holiday, then?"
"Yes," she answered. "It's our Thanksgiving."
"Ah..." he said. "Must be one of those colonial things."

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


A few weeks ago I sent a picture book manuscript to an editor in England. Recently, she replied, asking me to email her my "potted history."

At first, I thought of potted plants...potting soil...then I realized what she wanted! (potted = abridged, brief)

Made me laugh. An example of those little language differences.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Bunny Ears Murphy

We spoil this animal so much. He gets to lick out all the yogurt and sour cream containers when we're done with them. He sleeps in the recliner at night. He holds his leash in his mouth and tries to take us for a walk. He moans at the door if we accidentally shut him out of the bedroom.
But he sure is cute, isn't he? Anna calls him her "little brother."

How Do You Worship?

I found an interview online recently that interests and challenges me--in it, Anne Zaki talks with Joel and Amy Navarro, a couple from the Philippines, about what Christians in the Philippines and U.S. can learn from each other. Just an excerpt below; for more, follow the link.

************************************************************************************* What have you found most challenging or shocking as you worship here?

Amy: I still wish I could move more. When nobody else is moving, that situation inhibits me.

Joel: The opulent use of technology and massive performing forces in worship in your mega-churches is always a cause for culture shock. Beyond that, I miss hearing a broader mix of music. Churches need to be politically and culturally sensitive to the makeup of their congregations. I hear music from Mexico and Africa being represented, but I have yet to hear music from Asia, the Middle East, or Eastern Europe.

Being committed to welcoming people of color is a good thing, but housing the culture of people of color is a higher commitment. Churches need to decide: “Even though we are the dominant color here, we must show preferential treatment for people of color. Christ incarnated himself to become one with the poor, the alien, and the alienated.”

What does that mean in practical steps?

Joel: White people need to identify with non-white people, to engage themselves more in the culture of the emotions, the perspective of the heart, and the perspective of relationships. The diversity I seek is not just in terms of color, but also in educational background.

Language from the pulpit doesn't always have to be profound. We do yearn for the eloquent from time to time, but sometimes we need to hear the language of the poor and the uneducated, as a way of engagement. The Jesuits have a term for this – preferential option for the poor.

Amy: So to be preferential also means covering topics that are significant to immigrants, like establishing one's identity, discovering one's role in this community, and carrying out the purpose for which God has brought that person to this new community.

Joel: We rarely see a person of color in the pulpit, challenging people in very plain language. I wonder how many of us internationals are invited to homes of white people. Many churches ask international people to speak in Sunday school on random mornings. How about inviting them to speak in the pulpit?

Amy: Even just once a year, or once a quarter, invite non-whites to give their testimonies. The choice of topics and speakers should reflect the church's commitment to diversity.

What has been instructive that you wish to recreate back in the Philippines?

Amy: I appreciate very much the Sunday when we remember victims of abuse. Until now in the Philippines, physical and emotional abuse is a topic that is rarely spoken in the pulpit. I think it's so beautiful to dedicate a whole Sunday service—liturgy, music, and prayers—to that issue.

Joel: The practice of Communion at Church of the Servant CRC moves me profoundly—the music we sing as we gather around the elements, and as the bread and wine are passed from communicant to communicant. I also find its liturgy excellent, thoughtful, and carefully prepared. The use of the liturgical calendar is especially helpful.
This article was first published by the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship:

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Eternal Light, Shine Into Our Hearts

Eternal light, shine into our hearts, Eternal Goodness, deliver us from evil,
Eternal Power, be our support,
Eternal Wisdom, scatter the darkness of our ignorance,
Eternal Pity, have mercy upon us;
that with all our heart and mind and soul and strength
we may seek thy face and be brought by thy infinite mercy to thy holy presence;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Alcuin of York (735-804)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Colors, They Are a-Changin'

This is the route I walk each week...I usually pass at least one to two joggers, quite a few folks walking dogs, and several bicyclists.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Another Bedtime Story

Ran across this picture book in a catalog I picked up at the Frankfurt Book Fair, and I can think of several children who'd like it for a birthday gift. Nice cover art!
I did wonder if magic honey could take over a share of the market from Beano...

Saturday, November 03, 2007

In The Mood To Bake

On a cool fall day, nothing's nicer than a warm loaf of pumpkin here's my own adaptation of several recipes I've used:


1 1/2 cups flour (I use 1 cup white and 1/2 cup whole wheat)
1/2 teaspoon of salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup pumpkin purée
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup applesauce
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, pecans, or raisins (optional)

1 Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Sift together the flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda.
2 Mix the pumpkin, oil, applesauce, eggs, 1/4 cup of water, and spices together, then combine with the dry ingredients. Stir in nuts or raisins, if desired.
3 Pour into a well-buttered 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. Bake 50-60 minutes, until a toothpick poked in the very center of the loaf comes out clean. Turn out of the pan and let cool on a rack.

Makes one loaf of moist, tasty bread. Enjoy! Both my daughters came back for seconds and thirds.