The song leader, who is the pastor's wife, would signal the worship group with hand signals, as is usual, but in her case her hand angle was quite casual, so that when she signaled for verse 2, she looked like a teenager on Facebook posing for a photo while giving a peace sign. Cool.
The pastor emeritus' wife, who is also the current pastor's mother-in-law, has a mischievous twinkle in her eye and a great sense of humor. When she discovered that I had a musical instrument there, she asked if I'd play it. When I said yes, and that I'd ask for volunteers to play the rhythm instruments, she told me two of the guitarists I should pick on (one turned out to be her grandson, and the other was a local humorist--her adopted son, perhaps). I agreed, and suggested that I could involve her, too. She laughed and said she'd be at the AV booth, where, it is true, she reigns with a big grin. Anyway, what with the guitarists, drummer, and other people coming forward, I had enough people for the instruments available and didn't need to call on her to, for instance, jump around with bells tied to her ankles, for which she said, 'Thank God!' She is one very cheerful, humorous person, a delight to be around. And someone to whom mother-in-law jokes do not apply.
Q: What is ambivalence?
A: The feeling you get while seeing your mother-in-law drive over a cliff in your Lamborghini (sp?).
(Disclosure: I'm single, so this isn't about MY mother-in-law.)
This church is also where George Thompson and his dear wife attend, when health allows, in their retirement. I met them when they pastored in Ohio. When I spoke at his church one Sunday night service, he led the congregation in singing, 'When the Roll is Called Up Yonder'. In the chorus at the end of the last verse, when people sang the second-last line and held the last note, 'When the roll is called up yonderrrrrrr', then stopped and paused to breathe, he signaled to them to hold the note longer, so they all joined in again on the 'rrrrrrrr', and as soon as they did, he jumped into the last line and deliberately threw off everyone's rhythm so that the song ended with everyone tumbling over the last line at differing times, and then he closed his hymnbook and walked off the podium with a big smile, and people saw his sense of mischief and humor and were grinning.
Theological question: What happens to the hot dog when the roll is called up yonder?
After the service, we went to his house quite far out of town. The next morning, he said, 'We want to get away', and I asked, 'Get away from what? We're already in the countryside'. He smiled and said he wanted to go canoeing. As we floated along in the canoe, I sang any songs I could think of having to do with water and boats: 'Row, row, row your boat', 'My bonnie lies over the ocean', 'Over the bounding main', 'Fifteen miles on the Erie Canal', all but 'Volga boatman', since I don't know that song's tune or lyrics. At one bend in the river, I saw an island ahead and asked which way we should turn--the wider right side or the narrower left. He said go left because the right side was too shallow. We went left and soon ran into a tree branch too low over the water for the canoe to float under. We overturned. He grabbed the paddles and seat cushions to keep them from floating away, and tossed them on the island, while I held the canoe against the tree branch to keep it from floating away, and then we re-situated everything on the other side of the tree. (One ‘friend’ later said that, because of my comment about literacy in lyrics projection, she’d wished my canoe had turned over. She is, as you have probably guessed someone who types up lyrics for projection in her church, and who can’t be bothered to include literary.)
George Thompson is a wonderful man--sorry I missed him at this service--his and his wife's health haven't been good. Please pray for both of them.
While these visits to Tennessee were taking place, my father, Harry Scism, had cochlear implant surgery. I asked people to pray for him and there was an outpouring of love for which I’m very thankful. All went well. He now can understand 80% of what is said to him rather than 20%, for which everyone is very grateful.
I enjoyed Sunday evening service at a church with a pastor with a strong Spiritual presence--I appreciate his Christlike spirit, his approach of being one of the people, his humility, his joy in worship. The service had many elements--the congregational singing of choruses and hymns (which is usual), the special song, the baptism certificates, the Spirit-Infilling, the shorter sermonette, the children's program. With the variety and good cheer, things went quickly and also reminded me of 1 Corinthians 14.26, where Paul tells the church in Corinth that one person provides a teaching, another a prophecy, and so on, everyone involved, all to build up the church.
After church, in the restaurant, I mentioned this to the pastor, and he said he'd been teaching the congregation a series from Corinthians, so we had a good Bible discussion in the restaurant after church. I love to be with people who enjoy God's Word, study it and love to talk about it. He said that in his reading, Paul was telling Corinth that they SHOULD do things this way (that they weren't yet), whereas, in my reading, many people were already involved, but just not with building up the Church being in view. Still, the result is the same: that church services are to involve many people exercising Spiritual gifts for building up the Church.
The congregation has a lot of children and youth, who are enthusiastic about being there--a positive atmosphere.
After church, I met the celebrated Dolly McElhaney, whose name I knew from her book titles. She talked with me about children's ministry, and her face became animated as she demonstrated story-telling. I told the other pastor that she really needs to be filmed, with camera up close to focus on her face and to allow for depth of field.
This other pastor is Irish--I recommended to him Celtic Thunder's DVD 'Heritage'. He already knew about the group Celtic Women and about Riverdance--I recommended to him, too, the followup albums 'Lord of the Dance' and 'Feet of Flames'. And he loves 'Danny Boy' and I'm sure knows other Irish songs. After I recover further from total knee replacement surgery, maybe I'll be able to tap-dance 'Two-Shillelagh O'Sullivan', 'Christmas in Killarney', 'Harrigan' and various other numbers. And I must play golf so I can do a mulligan. And I must encourage someone named Gilligan to buy an island. And I must again listen to Roger Whittaker, John Gary and others sing Irish standards. And on March 17, I must wish happy anniversary to Faith and Begorrah, must paint the town GREEN, must sing 'Little Bit of Heaven', 'My Wild Irish Rose', 'When Irish Eyes Are Smiling' and 'I'll Take You Home Kathleen' (John Gary arrangements), 'Rose of Tralee' (Living Voices arrangement), 'Old Bog Road' and 'Forty Shades of Green' (Hank Locklin arrangements), 'How Are Things in Glocca Morra?' (Julie Andrews arrangement), 'Kitty of Coleraine' and 'Down By the Sally Gardens' (Mary O'Hara arrangements). 'Danny Boy' is best sung by a female voice to Mary O'Hara's arrangement.
Q: How many Irish does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: Fifteen. One to hold the lightbulb steady, and the other fourteen to drink whisky until the room spins.
(Note: this joke is not about this Irish pastor and his family!)
1. it's possible to like kale if you get the very curly, fragmented-looking, almost-in-ball shape, dark leaves, then combine them in a salad with macadamias, mandarins (the oranges, not the bureaucrats) and feta.
2. I probably won't like duck. I liked it VERY much the first time I had it, but that was apparently an outstanding piece, and since then, over several years, each time I've tried it, it hasn't been as good as drier poultry--chicken, turkey, cornish hen, etc.
3. carrot-cake-flavor cheesecake is very delicious. Not surprising--cheesecake appears to be good always (except for the very dry, stick-in-the-throat versions in some 'German' or 'Swiss' bakeries in South Asia).
Suggestions from friends:
1. Juicing kale along with carrots, apple and ginger in the juice machine is good too
2. When another friend asked for more suggestions, I offered this: Spiders are cooked in Cambodia, apparently drenched in beer or wine before being fried. Since I'm a teetotaler, I'm considering other sauces. Peanut satay? Molasses/honey? A-1/Worcestershire? If they are FRENCH spiders, we could use béarnaise sauce. There's also hollandaise sauce. A spider SALAD might be nice with balsamic, but on second thought, I'd prefer a thick, creamy sauce so as to eat more sauce and less spider.
3. One friend suggests stuffing duck with an apple. I asked if one apple was enough, and she replied that it’s wild game.
4. Another friend said she stuffs every bird with a carrot, apple, celery, onion and turnip.
5. Yet another friend says kale is very good, actually no taste, in smoothies...you can stuff the leaves in and then add yogurt. And a final friend (for this blog) suggests soaking kale in water and a little honey overnight to improve texture and flavor.