Saturday, February 23, 2013

Lenten Photo Challenge: Catching Up

Each day's photos for this week's Lenten Photo Challenge actually were taken each day.  They were posted less often, occasionally on Facebook or Twitter.  I'm near-disciplined.  So, here they are:


Feb. 17: 

As in . . . Do not settle.


Feb. 18: 

God loves the world. 
Seems to me that's the real point. 
God loves. That much.  
And more.


Feb. 19: 

From the CHICAGO song: 
"Does anybody really know what time it is?
Does anybody really care?"
I wonder . . . 


Feb. 20: 

As in: The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.
[1 Timothy 6:10]


Feb. 21: 

"Love" is everywhere.


Feb. 22: 

The setting for a spirit-filled experience on this day.


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Lenten Photos Day 4: Injustice

Every day, I drive by this "Home Depot" on my way to the church office.

Every day, in the parking lot, I see as many as 40 men waiting there. I've been told that they are waiting there for someone to come by and give them some work for the day.  Today was Saturday.  I took this picture when I stopped at next-door Rouse's for a few groceries.  I counted 11 men there at noon.  On a Saturday.

The Home Depot store itself has a huge "Help Wanted" sign posted on its building exterior.

In 2007, Home Depot CEO Robert Nardelli received a severance package of $212 million.  Worth it? He "earned" himself a spot on CNBC's list of the  "Worst American CEO's of All Time."

Home Depot's current CEO Frank Blake makes 700 times minimum wage ($10.8 million).

I've also heard that someone in a hoodie has every reason to expect the worst.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Lenten Photos Day 3: See

Some things I see from my office windows

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Lenten Photos Day 2: Return

Funny thing:

I took this pic this morning, thinking it might make a good "return" photo.

I remembered that, when I lived in Pennsylvania or Ohio, a vacation week in Louisiana always included a return, with my sis, to one of the Louisiana-based coffee shops called CC's Community Coffee House.

I aimed my phone at the CC's sign, thinking about my return to Louisiana about 5 months ago.  That more permanent move was a return to long-missed familiar things -- crawfish boils, warm weather, Cajun accents, and CC's.  Knowing I would be a "regular" there, I got my very own CC's card.  I keep a few bucks on it, which makes it easy to return there often.

This particular CC's is within walking distance of my New Orleans home.  I returned there this morning for a cup of coffee to take to the office.  I took the pic on my phone as I went in, because I had an inkling that there could be a connection with my CC's habit and today's word: "return." There was the chance, too, that there would not be another better photo op later in the day.

I stepped up to the counter and ordered my usual: A grande, half dark roast, half medium roast, with room for cream. (The 2 dashes of cinnamon don't take any room, so why mention that?)

The young barista seemed rattled, and I wondered what was so hard about my fairly ordinary order.  She said she was afraid that the CC's card reader wasn't working. She told me she wouldn't be able to give me my receipt.

That CC's receipt is my return ticket.  With the receipt, I could return any time that same day to any CC's and present the receipt and the empty cup for a free refill.  It's a nice perk. Still, I said "That's OK. Don't worry about the receipt."

She tried again to get my CC's card to read. No luck.  She didn't want to tell me, so I asked: "It's not charging the coffee to my card either, is it?" She nodded and tried the card again, and again, ever more flustered.  The coffee had been already been poured.  A line was forming behind me.

My move.  I offered to return to my car and get cash for the coffee. Relief poured off her face.

That's how it happened that I got to return to CC's in that same trip.  The photo was just right.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Lenten Photos Day 1: Who Am I?

As part of my Lenten practice this year, I have decided to participate in the Lenten 40 Day Photo Challenge at  The idea is to take a photo that is about the word or phrase of the day. It is supposed to require paying attention and being intentional, which sounds like a spiritual discipline to me!
Who Am I?
Today I am:
  • Starting the day a concerned mom and grandmother 
  • An early riser in Baton Rouge; commuter to New Orleans
  • Interim Pastor at Central St. Matthew UCC in NOLA
  • In need of a hair cut and a massage
  • The recipient of ashes twice in one day
  • Offering ashes from the (covered) Carrollton Ave. campus front steps during cold rain at noon (pic taken there)
  • Singing and praying there, too, with some who came by.
  • Enchilada cook at lunch (nothing new there!)
  • Relieved about good medical test results for a loved one
  • Messaged and encouraged during sermon prep
  • Preacher for our NOLA clergy-sponsored service tonight
  • Face-to-face with "the Chicago thing" . . . again.
  • Peaceful about "the Chicago thing" . . . really
  • Reasonably satisfied about the preaching tonight
  • Gluten-free in a gluten-filled Communion world (it seems)

Friday, February 08, 2013

Friday Five: Sneaky, Sneaky!

How did you sneak in here?
Karla, Karla, Karla.  So, the deadline for putting up the Friday Five sneaked (snuck?) up on you. It's not like you've been away on a serious (enough) study leave. And then there's that blizzard that's bearing down on you. With all of that, you have still managed to put forth a wonderful Friday Five!  And, you have enticed me to play the RevGalBlogPals Friday Five again after far too long. Thank you for some really sneaky, and great, questions.  Here goes:

1) What is sneaking up on you, and what have you been thinking about?
What is really sneaking up on me is income tax time. I know today is only February 8, but that denial of "time flies" is what makes it so sneaky. But I'm not thinking about that at all! I'm thinking about Mardi Gras and what part(s) of that I get to go to this weekend.  Mardi Gras parade: probably.  Crawfish boil: definitely!

2) What will you have for lunch today?
Well, it's after 2:00 p.m. here, and I still don't know.  I'm seriously considering checking out the Thai place across the street. Sadly, there is no sushi bar on this boat.

3)  If you were to get snowed in for two days, and you need to hunker down, what essentials and treats would you store up?


OK, sorry. It's a balmy, short-sleeved 65 degrees and cloudy here in New Orleans . . . (ahem) . . .

This would be a serious question for me if I still lived in the house I still own in Pennsylvania, because I know the snow is coming. There. Not here.  For the Two-Day Snowed-In Hunker Down, treats and essentials are hard to tell apart:

  • Enchiladas!
  • a pot of Amy's turkey noodle soup or some chili
  • coffee and half & half
  • cocoa & mini-marshmallows
  • movies, Netflix (if there is electricity) & books and crochet (my new hobby) 
  • comforters & pillows & all kinds of flannel
  • wind-up radio/flashlight
  • candles and flameless light sources
4)  Tell me a story about one awesome thing you have experienced in the last couple of weeks:

Once upon a time, in the last couple of weeks, I took a 9 hour drive that took me from New Orleans to Jacksonville. My wonderful congregation sent me on a serious (enough) study leave.  So, I got on a great big boat and sailed away.  

I hugged dear friends and met new ones, now dear ones. Faces went with online names of women who had become celebrities to me, and I couldn't help being a starry-eyed fan. (I hope they understand.) 
We laughed. And laughed. We wrote and wrote. And wrote some more.  Sometimes we wrote less, as few as six words to tell a story of God's good news breaking through the fog.  

Alfredo flirted with us and danced for us.  

We told supper stories. And late night stories.  
And stories fueled by sushi circles, melting cake dinners, and mojito toasts.  

Then we laughed some more.  

Encouraged by sweet generosity, I picked up crochet again.  

I am still swaying to the music. I'm rolling with the waves. I'm looking for sushi.
And I'm thankful. 
So thankful.

5) What is your favorite office supply to splurge on? (now THAT is random, right?)
 Yes, that IS random, dear Karla!  Markers or pens, definitely!

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

My Serious (Enough) Continuing Education Week

I returned Saturday from RevGalBlogPals Big Event 6.0.  Rachel Hackenberg led us to to play -- and play some more -- with the Living Word "In Her [Our] Own Words."  I came back refreshed and inspired and blessed beyond measure!

Someone asked me to bring back a picture of me having fun on the trip.  Here ya go!

Alfredo's Fan Club: With Karla and Celeste (photo by Holly)

With Kelly at the southernmost point (Key West)

Coconut Flan (Key West)
Amazing women!
Roaming along the streets of Key West
Who could it be? (Not me!)