Sticky Top Post

Howdy. We've moved from Cayce, but St. Elizabeth of South Rose Hill or Lizette de Waccamaw de Sud just don't do it for me.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Does God Want You to Be Rich?

A few folks who know my "sordid past" (ORU student!) know what I feel about churches that lead their flocks astray with the Health & Wealth or Prosperity Gospel.

Someone on an email list today asked for responses to the recent Time Magazine article "Does God Want You to be Rich?"

Here's a slightly edited version of what I said back to the group:

I glanced at the article when it first appeared, but didn't take the time to read it thoroughly until today--thanks for the reminder. Interesting also, after attending the Women's retreat, where we heard from Ecclesiastes that the end result of "getting lots of stuff" was just to leave it to others.

Comment on the article:

"Its signature verse could be John 10:10: 'I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.' "

In my experience, the driving verse was more likely 3 John 2: "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth." (KJV, the way I heard it in the 1970's in faith churches.)

Folks I heard preaching and teaching back then really latched onto the prospering and health, assuming that, because they said so, their souls were also prospering. I've never heard a clear description of a prosperous soul, but I certainly saw few of them in the prosperity movement. Mostly, I saw lots of frustrated people trying to understand why they weren't receiving all that they had asked of God.

Two anecdotes on wealth and prosperity:

1. As an undergrad at Oral Roberts University, I arrived really believing that God wanted to bless me and that He would give to me in proportion to what I returned to Him. I also knew that it was critical to SPEAK, not just believe, the words of faith that God had given us. SAY (not pray) "I AM healed" etc. (Watch for that whenever you hear a faith preacher/teacher.)

What I started to see in the required ORU classes was that the Health & Wealth, or "Name It and Claim It" gospel demanded that God take a certain course of action because we spoke a certain formula of words. It seemed as if God were expected to be my butler, and a butler that would cater to my whims, not provide what was best for me. If Jesus could speak death to a fig tree, I could speak life to an overheated engine.

With no small contribution from Izzy, I began to see that what I was being taught utterly denied the sovereignty of God. The prosperity doctrine made no allowances for circumstances that I perceived as negative, other than to blame them on what MUST be my own doubt (double-mindedness) or sin. This movement was disregarding"Thy will be done." Working on an oncology floor allowed me to see incredible grace and the presence of God in suffering; I saw great joy in acceptance of God's will by some and great dismay in others whose families kept "speaking against" their cancer. These experiences finally led me to transfer schools.

2. Izzy & I have a friend who has entered the Novitiate with the Missionary Society of St. Paul. After the completion of this year, he expects to make his initial promises (vows) of Celibacy, Obedience and Simplicity. His order believes that no one with health insurance can truly be called poor, so they do not take a vow of poverty.


So, does God want us to be rich? I think He wants us to be generous, faithful, grateful, etc., with and for whatever He gives us. I think that far more of us are "rich" than recognize it, and that we do far less than we ought to alleviate the suffering of those who have less than we do. Those who focus only on God's material blessing of us miss the point.

And when I see the Joel Osteen Homeless shelter open up next door to the Creflo A. Dollar free clinic, I'll re-think that last sentence.

Got just a bit snarky at the end, I fear.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Back to Normal

Got the blog fixed. Life is back to normal.

Or is it? The cat has started sleeping at my feet, coming up to me for scritches while I'm doing my hair in the morning, and she even curled up next to my chair whilst I revised the Bulletin this evening.

Lest those few of you who have actually seen our cat are concerned, no she hasn't rejected Izzy. She still herds him into bed at night and sticks around until he falls asleep, assisted by his machine. She makes sure he's in place typing or reading in the morning. She sits in the window watching for the bike in the afternoon. I believe she thinks she's a dog.

A "dog" whose circle of tolerance may have expanded to include me.

And now the template is messed up

1st, Blogger took forever to publish a post (kept showing 0% each time I tried) ... so I ended up posting the same thing thrice.  Good thing it included Happy Bday wishes.
Now the template isn't right and the columns disappeared.  I've completed the Bulletin and think I'll head off to bed now...
I've been reading Ecclesiastes as my bedtime reading---seems about right for this evening. 
From a translation (paraphrase?) to which I was introduced last weekend on a retreat:
Emptiness! Emptiness upon emptiness!
The world is fleeting of form,
Empty of permanence,
Void of surety,
Without certainty.
Like a breath breathed once and gone,
All things rise and fall.
Understand emptiness, and tranquility replaces anxiety.
Understand emptiness, and compassion replaces jealousy.
Understand emptiness, and you will cease to excuse suffering
And begin to alleviate it.
Isn't that lovely?  Puts the template thing into perspective.

This Town is Football Crazy

So, the #2 team in these United States is coming to our fair city to tromp on our boys (whose coach lately does not sound like someone I'd want to expend extra effort for--oops!  heresy!)
Izzy's school is not far from the stadium.  They are dismissing early today (Thursday), since the road leading away for their campus will be blocked by a counterflow traffic pattern all afternoon and the kiddoes would be trapped at the intersection until the game started. 
I work downtown and may see a bit of game traffic on the way home.  I've also seen Kevin Bacon traffic jams some this week.  I got to meet a couple of extras Tuesday; the movie folks were using my mom's church (Southern Baptist) for extra's staging.  Hollywood and Baptists! Lot's changed in a generation! 

There's so much wrong with this

I hardly know where to begin.

New Mum married just seven hours after giving birth (actually, more like 13 hours, but that was after the hair appt.)

I'll start with leaving the fragile preemie to attend a party (this wedding sounded more like a party than a sacrament.) Is there nothing that interferes with what you'e planned? Am I completely out of touch?

A bride-to-be rushed to make her white wedding just hours after giving birth to a baby boy - delivered three months early. Plucky secretary Nicky Heys, 35, was rushed to hospital just in time to give birth to baby Harry - who weighed just 1lb and 12 oz. But Nicky wasn't going to let that stop her from celebrating her big day and just seven hours later she discharged herself from hospital to get her hair done.

Nicky then walked down the aisle with new dad and hubby Neal Agar, 33, and tied the knot in front of 100 overjoyed guests - even managing to DANCE at the reception. The couple then cancelled their planned two-week honeymoon to the Maldives - to spend time by baby Harry's incubator.

Tired, but overjoyed Nicky, said the couple were astonished when the contractions started - the night before her wedding. She said: "Neal and I had gone out for dinner at the same restaurant where we had our first date, when I started having stomach pains. But we thought it was nothing, just wedding jitters. The baby wasn't due for another three months but as soon as I got home the pains got worse. We rushed to hospital but when we got there, the doctors said I was fully dilated and the baby was coming - my little boy popped out half an hour later, 12 weeks early."

But as soon as the couple heard baby Harry was fine, Nicky was determined to go ahead with her big day. She discharged herself from the hospital at 10 am on Saturday morning and raced into Bristol for her hair appointment. She said: "I went and got my dress from the shop - amazingly it fitted. And I went to my hair and make-up appointments on time. Everything was exactly as we planned - except we had a baby. I just couldn't take it in at that point. The wedding was just so special." 3am - Nicky gave birth to tiny Harry, who weighed just 1lb and 12oz - despite being due on December 20. He was immediately put in an incubator to help him breathe - but doctors assured the frantic couple he would be fine. Nicky added: "We were so worried about Harry but doctors told us that he was stable, even though he was so small. A few hours after the birth, the doctor asked if we had anything to do today. I said 'I've got a wedding to go to. It's mine!' "

...Brave Nicky left hospital at 10 am - just seven hours after her traumatic birth- to get her hair done with her two bridesmaids. And at 4 pm, the blushing bride walked down the aisle at St Luke's Church, Brislington, Bristol, in front of 100 happy guests. After the wedding, the couple went to their reception at The Beeches Hotel, Bristol, where Nicky DANCED with Neal and mingled with guests until 10 pm.

Nicky said: "We hoped we would make it through the reception dinner and have the first dance together to our favourite song - in the end we had several dances." The exhausted couple then cancelled their planned two-week honeymoon to the Maldives and raced back to the hospital to see Harry, with Nicky still in her wedding dress.

Nicky's mum Lin Heys, 60, added: "It was so special. The vicar told everyone what had happened and people burst out clapping in the church. But of course, everyone who was making speeches at the reception had to change them to mention Harry."

Notice that Mom is Brave AND Plucky. And that she DANCED. Hope this goes into the Baby Book.

Happy Birthday

To Bill C, whose semi-centenary we celebrated this evening. Also to Brittany, whose 21st was being celebrated at the table next to ours--so we were asked to sing again by the wait staff. Kinda like doing the pre-mass parts...

Sez Dogwood to Izzy over the menu: So, what do you recommend for California Dreaming?
Sez Izzy: Not coming?

Great company, wherever we ate. Thanks to Matt B for making the arrangements.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Reactions to Papal Lecture

Plenty had been said by folks lots more qualified to comment than I.

My favorite comment from last week (from Shrine of the Holy Whapping: click here and scroll down to or search for Friday, September 15.)

"And... cue the angry bearded men."

Just as one wondered last year where Palestinians or Yemenis located so many Danish flags, one now wonders where they've discovered their stash of German flags and effigy materials. It just seems so predictable and, therefore, so easily dismissible.

And that becomes the end of dialogue, not any sort of a continuation.

Need a Good Doctor?

I saw this a ways back, but located a link to the ad agency that created it. (Open movie on their page.)

This chid is too adorable. You kinda get a feel for how folks share stories at home, too.

Also check out Snotty Doctor.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Five Things

OK, as prompted (tagged) by Gashwin:

Five things in my freezer:
1. Big box with only three frozen pancakes left in it, taking up space.
2. 1 pound of frozen shrimp, caught by relative last year sometime. We've no idea what to do with it.
3. Left-over frozen "Susan Stamberg's Mother-in-Law's Cranberry Relish."
4. 9 trays of ice cubes.
5. Mystery unmarked containers--some we may have moved here...

Five things in my closets:
1. Christmas decorations, most of which I haven't unpacked in two seasons.
2. Cheap gifts I buy and save for Christmas gift exchanges (especially if they say "As Seen on TV!")
3. 16-year-old coat with ripped lining that I keep thinking I'll repair.
4. World's largest collection of black suitcases.
5. 20-year-old Oreck XL vacuum cleaner.

Five things in my car:
1. Repair and maintenance log books with almost every cent I've spent on the car recorded, including mileage at each fill-up.
2. Khaki pants, polo shirt, vest, sock and boots for emergency response.
3. Pink & black Mexican blanket. You never know when you'll get stranded in the winter.
4. Palm cross.
5. Whatever I've forgotten to bring in for the past week/month? (likely 1-3 Diet Coke containers.)

Five interesting things in my backpack purse:
(I don't use a backpack, though my current purse (bought in 1996--really!) looks just like one.)
1. Glucometer & testing supplies.
2. Earrings I put in there the last time we rode, so they wouldn't get caught in the motorcycle helmet.
3. Spoon. You never know when you'll need one.
4. Multiples: 2 rosaries, 2 flashlights, 2 checkbooks, 2 memory sticks, and (this week) two pagers.
5. Medication container with logo of the Clinton Presidential Library, where I bought it.

6--Bonus: $13.36. Might explain how cheap I seem from the earlier sets of 5 things... 8-)

I'd tag Izzy, but Pritcher may have already done so, and I know better than to try...

Warren? You could list five ultra things...

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Highway 1

Gashwin, whose 5 things meme tag I'll try & do tomorrow, posted today about a celebration in Cheraw of the 75th anniversary of the completion of Highway 1 (also called "Number 1" around here.

I cannot imagine that the 2006 festivities will better those of 1931, when FDR showed up (as governor of New York), SC & NC governors opened the road, and which included a high school football game, beauty queens, four boxing cards and a street dance.

Thought I'd share a Number 1 story:

Back in August of 1992, Izzy and I arrived in NC for graduate school. Having driven for two days from Texas in an un-air-conditioned U-Haul, we were hot and tired. As we walked into our basement apartment, we realized that the AC was not on. Probably (and this is just a guess), because Duke Power had failed to supply us with any (power, that is.) Took a while on the phone to get it straightened out--I think the main reason we got power was because I told them my 61-year-old father was going to have a stroke while helping us unpack.

Dad had driven his truck up from SC to help us get settled. He was a trooper, and we were so grateful for his help. It had taken 16 people four hours to load the truck--for most of the day there were just the three of us unloading--he never complained.

So, at the end of a long day, despite our offer for a place to bunk for the night, Dad decided to head home. He called Mom to say when he was leaving. About 4 1/2 hours later, she started calling us to say Dad had not yet arrived home. The calls continued (few folks had cell phones then.) We were really scared that he had fallen asleep from exhaustion or been in an accident.

The 250 mile trip ended up taking over seven hours! When Mom, relieved but exasperated, asked "where have you been?!?", Dad shared that he had decided to try an alternate route. He'd noticed that US 1 wasn't far away from us (around 20 miles), and thought he'd take that route back to Columbia. Small towns, speed traps, road construction & detours--none of it worried him. He announced "you know, you can get there on Number 1."

Dad loved finding alternate routes, discovering out of the way places, looking at maps for new possibilities. Why just go somewhere, when you could "get there"? He'd take forever to get somewhere, never in a hurry. And why not?--not much to see on the highway.

I wrote the next posting for Dad & Mom's 42nd anniversary. SC natives will note that not all of the landmarks are on Number 1, but they are on a metaphorical Highway 1--things you won't see unless you get off the main highway.

10-Foot Elvis

For Mom & Dad:

On a hot August day, Daddy came to help us move;
When evening rolled around he called and said "I'll be home soon."
Well, although it took him seven hours,
He was able to prove that
You can get there on Number One.

You can get there, get there, get there, get there,
You can get there on Number One.

When we'd set out on a road trip, Daddy'd map out a route,
And point out all the tiny towns and places we'd go through,
And all the great things that we'd miss
If we forgot this truth, that
You can get there on Number One.

You can get there, get there, get there, get there,
You can get there on Number One.

Camp Agape, downtown Ridgeway, Joel Poinsett Park,
Cemeteries, general stores, Ft. Jackson after dark
Ice cream cones at Angelos,
Let's pile into the car--
Now we're really having fun...

'Cause a straight line is the fastest route between two destinations,
And the interstate is the fastest way to cross this great big nation;
But those backroads
Are where living gets done, and
You can get there on Number One.

You can get there, get there, get there, get there,
You can get there on Number One.

They don't sell velvet paintings on the interstate;
You've got to get off the highway to find something that great;
You can score yourself a 10-foot Elvis,
In your choice of weights, and
You can get there on Number One.

'Cause a straight line is the fastest route between two destinations,
And the interstate is the fastest way to cross this great big nation.
But those backroads
Are where living gets done, and
You can get there on Number One.

You can get there, get there, get there, get there,
You can get there on Number One.

You can get there, get there

And you'll get there when you get there,

You can get there on Number One.

(c) 2002 HCC Music.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Welsh & Wilderness Roots

A few years ago, especially when my great-grandmother was alive, I did some interviewing of family members to learn about my ancestry. I could trace various branches of the Myfoo's back to Ireland (recent potato famine arrivals), and learned lots of family secrets, but never went much further.

On Izzy's side, the Polish O-Cayce's intermarried a bit, a fact I learned from his Dad's double first cousins once-removed, and I was able to get names of those arriving at Ellis Island from Poland.

I'd looked a bit online, but not so much was available free, or without subscriptions. However, my resourceful sister-in-law (B2W2), discovered the new and enhanced LDS info now available to anyone. (I'll still need to go to one of their centers to look at Census records, but what other people have researched and posted is amazing.

Stuff I've learned:

1. My Dad's mom always said we were direct descendants of Daniel Boone. Turns out, we came from Daniel's brother Edward (Ned), who died in 1780 during an Indian attack on his (& Daniel's) hunting party in "the wilds of Kentucky. " Ned had stopped to crack some nuts:

Edward had lived in Kentucky less than a year when on October 6, 1780, he was killed by Indians (probably Shawnee) while he and Daniel were returning from the Blue Licks to make salt and do a little hunting.

They stopped along a stream in Bourbon County to rest and let their horses drink. Edward sat down by the stream near an old Buckeye tree and was cracking nuts, while Daniel went off into the woods in pursuit of game.

Indians lurking nearby shot and killed Edward but Daniel managed to escape. He ran all the way on foot to Boone Station (about 40 miles) where they were all living at the time. The next morning Daniel and a party of men in the area went in search of Edward's killers. They did not find the Indians, but found and buried Edward near that old Buckeye tree.

Today in that very spot stands an old Buckeye tree, perhaps grown from a seedling of the original tree. The creek was afterward named Boone Creek in honor of Edward;s death there. As Jeff Johnson, a descendant of Edward Boone, says of the death site, "the bubbling sounds of the stream running over the rocks is probably the last sounds Edward heard as he lay dying."

Ned's daughter, Sarah Boone Hunter, in a letter... said "My father was killed 40 miles from the Station. He was stabbed in 7 places; his fingers were horribly cut with the Indian's knife. He was scalped and part of his clothing were taken off. I think his coat and pantaloons."

From Edward Boone: Family Man, at

2. Based on a following a few people's research, the earliest ancestor of mine that anyone has entered into the LDS database is Tegid of Wales, born abt 0314. Tegid was the father of Padarn "Beisrudd" ap TEGID, born abt 0339, also of Wales. Even in the 4th Century, my peeps had nicknames.

3. The same grandma who was sure about the Daniel Boone connection, used to also tell us that we were descended from Bloody Mary. Being now an English history buff, I know that this was impossible, since Mary had only two pseudopregnancies during her tragic marriage to Phillip 2 of Spain. However, Mary Queen of Scots suddenly becomes a possibility, if the notation that Daniel and Ned Boone's grandmother/great-grandmother may have been the offspring of a Liaison of Charles II of England and one of his many mistresses. It would give me something in common with Princess Diana and Camilla of Cornwall, both also extra-curricular descendents of the restored monarchy.

4. I've also found my first Nimrod (given name) relative. What fun!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Another one of those quizzes

This one I doubt the accuracy of.

Greek Mythology Personality Test (hattip to Izzy, who scored higher than the rest of the planet (at least those of his age and gender) on everything...being a Classicist had to give him an edge.)

I am apparently Proteus

My scores:

0% Extroversion,
13% Intuition,
72% Emotiveness,
47% Perceptiveness

Compared to others my age & gender:

You scored higher than 0% on Extroversion
You scored higher than 0% on Intuition
You scored higher than 38% on Emotiveness
You scored higher than 10% on Perceptiveness

Changing your shape to suit your situation, you are most like Proteus. More than anything else, you need to be wanted. You have a very strong work ethic, and are very adaptable, but are often unappreciated. You develop very strong personal loyalties, and will often maintain these personal relationships at a great expense to yourself. Convention and conformity are very important to you, and you find deviations from either to be very inappropriate. You tend not to burden those around you with your own problems.

Famous people like you: Mother Theresa, Jimmy Carter.
Zero percent extroversion?!? Where on earth did that come from? Of course, we agree with the Mother Theresa comparison. Who wouldn't?!

Now to find out who Proteus was...

Friday, September 01, 2006

Football Music Update

I have nothing worth saying about last night's game--not having been able to focus whilst watching (& visiting w/family.)

However, fans of the sports music genre might be interest to know that "that song" that they always play at games (no, not "We are the Champions" or "Hey, Hey, Goodbye") won't be played anymore in NFL stadia.

From Newsweek: Glitter's Gone

The NFL has effectively banned stadiums (sic) from playing Gary Glitter's "Rock and Roll Part 2" after the Brit rocker was convicted of molesting underage girls in Vietnam, prompting a search for a substitute celebratory anthem. The Denver Broncos switched to Big Bad Voodoo Daddy's "Go Daddy-o"; Kansas City Chiefs fans voted for P.O.D.'s "Boom."
Wonder if colleges will follow suit? Wonder if I'll be able to get "R&R, P2" out of my head?

Road Trip Update

So, Charleston got a bit of rain and the barrier islands got some flooding. Ernesto was mainly a rain event.

However, on Wednesday AM, when they called for a voluntary evacuation of low-lying areas in Charleston County, I took off and headed down to pick up my great aunt. Her neighbors had moved and all of the folks in houses around hers are now weekenders. I knew the chance of a major hit was minimal, but I also knew that we couldn't let an octogenarian sit in her house, watching Fox News (her fave), wondering what would happen to her. She was happy to get out of town.

We had a nice visit on the drive up--some family stories and lots of her political views (did I mention the Fox News channel?) Wednesday & Thursday, she got to visit & eat with lots of MY Family Of Origin. There are ~2 dozen Myfoo's in this town, and she got to visit with over half in her first 2 nights here, with many of the rest today. Plus Izzy, representing the O'Cayce's.

She'll head back to Charleston tomorrow, probably w/Mother Myfoo (maybe w/me & Izzy, too--plans just keep changing.) I don't know when we'll see her again after she moves to California, so I'm glad she got a big dose of family time this trip.

Plus, I got more fodder for the book I can only write after scads of people are dead....