Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Oh. My. Gosh.

If the crazy uncle sends me one more e-mail forward about how Obama is the antichrist someone is going to get stabbed. This time it was about the flag pin. Here's what I'm saying - what is it that makes those true? Why are they to be trusted because they came via e-mail? If anything, it makes them less trustworthy because there is no citation or evidence to back them. This is how our system works - if you don't like a candidate, then DON'T VOTE FOR THEM. Really that's all that needs to be done here. There is no reason to slander and demonize people because you don't agree with their political convictions. I don't agree with John McCain. I'm not voting for him. Pretty much the end of the story there. I think he's a nice guy with the best intentions but anyone who promises more of the same won't be getting my vote. My work here is done. I don't need to pass things around that malign his character or question his patriotism. I can just not vote for him and get a good night's sleep.

Overheard in the Elevator

Girl and guy get on together. Guy says to Girl:

"Well he'd better lock down a girl because he is going to be bald in like ONE WEEK."

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Voices We Need to Hear

For my 200th post, I thought I'd do something of a little more substance that of late. As most of my friends and readers can tell, I am a supporter of Barack Obama in this year's presidential race. I've waited until the Jeremiah Wright thing has sort of calmed down to say something because I've been thinking and my recent travels to Atlanta have given me a different perspective on peaceful co-existence.

First, let me give some credit to Jason Byassee's post over at Basically, there is truth in what Wright says, and it's no different than when Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell said that 911 was brought on by America's sins or that Katrina was a result of the sins of New Orleans. Wright is a member of the body of Christ and a look at his record of ministry reveals a person who believes in the same Jesus that I believe in and who has done his best to train and equip his people to build the kingdom on the earth in their context. Postmodern Negro made the excellent observation that when we say "orthodox" theology we're really talking about white, western theology. Why is Euro-centric theology better than Afro-centric? Wright preaches an unabashedly Afro-centric theology and while I may not 100% agree with him, it's a voice I need to hear.

There are lots of voices we need to hear. The ones we need to hear most are the ones we most want to shut out. I am most guilty of this. I like to surround myself with the soothing voices of moderate and progressive theologians and I usually don't abide dissenters. The great thing about this country is that we are allowed to disagree. There have been times when governments have passed laws against sedition and they have been vociferously opposed and overturned. What comes of the suppression of opposition is our current situation - an administration that labels anyone who questions their tactics as terrorist sympathizers and who has the audacity to believe that the American people aren't worthy of open dialogue.

Let's not continue to make that mistake as individuals, as a church and as a nation. Let's have confidence enough in who we are and what we believe to peacefully and respectfully disagree. Let's listen to candidates thoughtfully rather than circulating slanderous e-mail forwards that have no basis in fact. Let's find the truth in the voices of others and stand together on that common ground.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Semi-Final Farewells

I'm in Atlanta this weekend for the final Regional Renovare Conference. It's been an historic weekend with tributes, story-telling and even some dancing. I have video of the whole team from the conference and from Renovare dancing to "Righteous, Peace, Joy in the Holy Ghost." I'm going to save it for when I really need it.

As one person said, it's the last event until the next event, which is in October, but it was the last Regional conference. It was such a great time of reminiscing and really spending time with folks, some of whom I know well, and some I didn't. These folks are hilarious. Here are a couple of quotes:

L: You know those pillars in front of the church? They're not real. They're made of styrofoam. I leaned on one and almost knocked it over. I felt like Samson.

We were at Fat Matt's sitting outside when a dude on a chopper came by and kept revving it - it was REALLY loud. Person from Britain says:

C: We know you've got a big MOTORBIKE! Move your issues!

C also refused to pick up the ribs with his hands - "too barbaric" he said. Then when the pecan pie arrived: "It's as though you made a pastry and then sneezed into it." But then he ate the better part of both pieces, so I think he liked it fine.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Random Thoughts on the ATL

  • The weather here has been amazing. The first day it was raining, but the last two have been sunny but not too warm and the evenings have been downright cool. It's as though we've done a weather swap with SFO.
  • Some company that makes paper toilet seat covers needs to sweep through here - they would make a fortune. I've yet to find a public restroom (or even the ones in the church) that has them. Ew.
  • Tonight after dinner a group of us went to Fat Matt's Rib Shack. It's known as one of the best blues places in ATL. The menu offers ribs, chicken or ribs and chicken. We ordered ribs. The dessert menu was pecan pie, so that was dessert. Chris Webb, who's from Wales and never been to the south refused to pick up the ribs with his hands because it was "barbaric", so he at them with a fork. So wrong.
  • One more thing about Fat Matt's - the restroom doors are marked "Duke" and "Dutchess." It seemed strange that they would be so specific as to provide restrooms for women from Holland, but I'm not from around here, so I don't know how they do things.
  • All of the blues places seem to be named for men with physical maladies - Fat Matt's, Blind Willy's, etc.
  • I have not at all adjusted to the time change and don't know if I will. The body is stubbornly insisting that it's only 9:48 PM and in the morning it does the same. I don't think I'll fight it.
  • Liquor Stores here are called "Package Stores." Where I'm from that would mean something entirely different.
  • There are these places lit up with neon called "Spas" but I have a hunch that they're not the spa I'm thinking of. Spa and neon don't really go together for me.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Finally - The White Men Have a Say!

Less than Awesome

Last night was so far the least ideal MUNI commute I've experienced. First, there was a 30-minute wait for a train that repeatedly said it would be arriving in 9 minutes. Then we were in the Duboce tunnel and all of a sudden the train screeched to a halt, people went sliding, falling on each other, etc. The driver got on the speaker and said that the emergency break circuit flipped and he had no control over it and couldn't flip it back so the train couldn't move forward. I considered calling my Mom in case we wouldn't be out by Sunday. We were stuck in the tunnel for about 30 minutes. Then when the train finally got moving, we were told that it would stop at the UCSF campus and have to turn around, so we would have to get off there and wait for the next train. After waiting for 10 minutes for a train that said it would be arriving in 1 minute, I struck out walking. The stop is at 2nd and Irving and I live at 7th and Irving, so it's not far, but it was windy, freezing and I had to pee. I finally arrived home around 8 after leaving work at 6:30. Less than awesome.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Friday Five - Gifts of the Spirit

Have you or anyone you know:

1. ...ever experienced a prophesy (vision or dream) that came true?
I have made statements that have come to pass, but I was completely conscious, not in any kind of altered state. I have known other people who have had dreams that came true.

2. ...dreamed of a stranger, then actually met them later?
I have not

3. ...seen a wonder in heaven? (including UFO's)
I'm not totally sure what that means - a physical wonder or had a vision of heaven? I have had flashes during worship services about eternity, but only very briefly.

4. ...seen a "sign" on the earth?
I have a broad definition of "sign" so I see them every day.

5. ...experienced knowledge of another language without ever having studied it?
I have not. But I do know a lot of Spanish.

Thursday, May 08, 2008


[shoo-fawr-ee-uh, -fohr-]

–noun Psychology.

a feeling of happiness, confidence, or well-being sometimes exaggerated in pathological states as mania when the pair of giraffe print shoes you have been stalking for MONTHS finally arrives at your doorstep.

—Related forms
shoe·phor·ic /yuˈfɔrɪk, -ˈfɒr-/ adjective

My Multi-Lingual Family

Every Tuesday night my Mom & Dad (Gee & Papa, respectively) have the babies, so I call and get in on the action via telephone. Chloe still thinks you can see through the phone, so she's always trying to show me things in the phone - this week it was her new outfit. One of these days I'm going to get me one of them webcams. For now, though, it's the phone.

My dad has a special bond with Ian and this week he started singing to Ian in the dialect of Low German his family speaks. It's the German equivalent of cockney, basically. Dad would start singing and Ian would just bust into fits of contagious toddler giggles. Very cute.

Later when I was on with Gee and Chloe:

Chloe: Auntie Tiffy, I was bouncing and I bit my tongue.

Me: Oh, that is no bueno

Chloe: Gee, your daughter knows a lot of Spanish

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me

So, last Tuesday was my birthday. I'm now 36 years of age and couldn't be happier. As we all know, however, I am in my last official "mid" year of the decade. Let's review: of any given decade, 20s, 30s, 60s, etc., years 1 - 3 are early, 4 - 6 are mid and 7 - 9 are late. However, there is an exception - 4 & 7 can go either way, depending on the circumstance, so while it's my last OFFICIAL mid year, I can stil use mid when I'm 37, situationally of course.

I had a lovely gathering of friends and we ordered pizza and decorated cupcakes. You can check out the pictures here. I got some lovely small gifts, even though I'd said no gifts, because I have lovely friends, and it was nice to just hang with them for the evening.

One of the gifts I got from the church staff was a gift card to Sur la Table, which is PERFECT, since I love to cook and am addicted to all things kitchen-related. Not being one for this "delayed gratification" that I've heard so much about, I went online immediately and shopped my little mouse off. Quickly ruling out the practical, I chose to go for something I've had my eye on FOREVER - a Cuisinart Ice Cream/Frozen Yogurt Maker. Even better? IT'S BRIGHT RED!!! Not one to be deterred, I also purchased a matching scooper and dessert dishes. I'm now scouring the interwebs for ice cream recipes and am looking forward to making a favorite of mine - lavendar and dark chocolate.
Behold the wonder of my new purchase and feel free to post some flavor recommendations!!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Wait & Pray - Friday Five on Sunday

Part of the Ascension Day Scripture from Acts 11 contains this promise from Jesus;

"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Then he was taken from their sight into the clouds, two angels appeared and instructed the probably bewildered disciples to go back to Jerusalem, where they began to wait and to pray for the gift Jesus had promised.

Prayer is a joy to some of us, and a chore to others, waiting likewise can be filled with anticipation or anxiety....

So how do you wait and pray?

1. How do you pray best, alone or with others?

I'm more of an alone prayer, but I'm more of an alone person in general. I am always grateful for the insights of others when I am praying with them, however.
I attended a great prayer workshop a few years back that focused on the listening aspect of prayer and it was great to sit with a group of strangers, listen for God's voice, and then pray back some very specific things about folks I'd never met.

2. Do you enjoy the discipline of waiting, is it a time of anticipation or anxiety?

I've not ever really thought about this, but I'd have to say in general that I do almost enjoy it. I sort of like to watch people or circumstances be prepared for things and rejoice in that process.

3. Is there a time when you have waited upon God for a specific promise?

I'd have to say that I'm in that place now, and I'm currently enjoying it. I feel like God has given me a call that is specific in its generality, if that makes sense, and so I enjoy seeing it fulfilled in the small ways every day as I look forward to a more complete fulfillment in the future.

4. Do you prefer stillness or action?

I'm more of a both/and on this one. If pressed, I'd say I usually prefer action, but often to my detriment. I think stillness is usually best until I'm called to a specific action.

5. If ( and this is slightly tongue in cheek) you were promised one gift spiritual or otherwise what would you choose to recieve?