Monday, May 26, 2008

Mindless Braying

Some time back, I mentioned the braying of a couple of non-veteran so-called men of God who declared women unfit for military service.

At that time, I declined to give their blog further traffic by linking to their mindless writings (see the title of their blog if you think this characterization is harsh).

But now, on Memorial Day no less, they open their mouths to bray mindlessly yet again against female veterans.

"Gentle"men, the right for you to spout your historically uninformed, reactionary, religiously-popular yet biblically proof-texted nonsense was won for you by men and women in uniform. Your obvious disrespect for the women who have served and continue to serve our country in uniform is your constitutional right to express. This, however, was not the day to express that profound disrespect, especially given your failure to post any evidence that you honor even male war dead. I realize it's asking too much for you, who never wore the uniform, to honor female veterans and heroes; in fact, it would be lying for you to do so, after your anti-woman rhetoric so many times over on your blog.

God forbid that this country, especially your community, should ever be threatened such that you would have to accept protection from a woman in uniform. She would honorably extend that protection to you, as she would to any other citizen. If such were to happen, perhaps you would finally understand that it is not the gender of the warrior, but her selfless sacrifice--a sacrifice you declined ever to make--that would be the important factor in your protection as civilian citizens of the United States of America.

I am proud to be an American, and proud to be a veteran. I am, however, ashamed of you, as fellow civilian citizens and as brothers in Christ. Would that you had the grace to be ashamed of yourselves for your misogynistic attitudes and the horrible timing of your disrespectful, dishonorable rant. Keep your so-called "compassion" to yourself. You owe all the veterans who protected your freedom, your profound gratitude and respect. If you couldn't be bothered to express these, then you ought to have had the grace on Memorial Day to keep to yourself your self-serving rant against the women who served.

Edited: The Baylys' dishonorable, disrespectful diatribe against female veterans (written to blast certain Presbyteries that support the law of the land that provides for women to defend their country) still stands. However, they did add a short entry purporting to thank those who served and are serving, as well as the families of those who gave their lives, late on Memorial Day evening. To these, they say they are "deeply grateful."

To My Fallen Brothers and Sisters

Today, I honor you.

I, who served in peacetime.

I, who lived to enjoy the blessing of freedom for which you gave your life.

I, who say a prayer of gratitude today for your selflessness and patriotism.

You took enemy fire.

You faced starvation, torture, and imprisonment.

You died on land, in the sea, and in the air.

You died doing the duty you promised to our country.

You never returned.

You paid the price.

I served, but you served and died.

I honor you.

I will never forget.

May eternal light shine upon you,
and upon the memory of your sacrifice.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Finally able to breathe!

It's good that summer has essentially arrived. Good for my sanity, that is.

Don't get me wrong. I adore the musicians I lead and our ministry together. I'm simply very tired. The frenzy of activity in the month of May was enormous this year. I'm making a promise to myself to not ever again attempt a major multi-group concert in May, ever again, even if the holidays coincide well for it. (We presented our every-musical-group-in-the-church-does-a-patriotic-bash-concert last Sunday evening, the day after Armed Forces Day and the weekend prior to Memorial Day weekend.) The concert went extremely well, despite some marked under-rehearsal on the part of several of my groups, and was well-received, but it was TOO.MUCH for this time of year.

My school age children did very well as the loft choir the Sunday before the concert, which was Pentecost, and also the observance of Mother's Day. That was also a coinciding of two "heavy" days that I'm glad doesn't happen very often.

Oh, and I started a new day-job assignment the Monday prior to the patriotic concert, one that my agency didn't tell me had an end time of 6:00 p.m. every day. Mind, I had a 7:00 down-beat for final rehearsals on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights. If I'd known about that requirement, I'd have turned down the assignment or else negotiated a 5:30 p.m. end time (which is, this past week, how it did get negotiated, after it became clear that I was expected to donate a full hour of unpaid overtime, eating at my desk or in the conference room and answering all the calls that came in). It's an assignment supporting the CFO of the county hospital, and entails a fairly high stress level, especially here at the beginning. I don't know the end date of the assignment. A candidate for the permanent position turned it down, they don't have an answer from their other permanent candidate yet, and if she turns it down, they have to start from scratch. I actually meet all the desired and required qualifications, so it's not outside the realm of possibility that I could end up being considered, in which case I'd have to temp through a contract period and then be hired. But that's unhatched chicken territory, so I'm not thinking too much about that. I'm doing a pretty good job. The 7-month temp prior to me kind of made a hash out of a lot of the job, and I'm getting the office more organized. I acquitted myself well at a Board of Managers finance committee meeting on Thursday, a major hurdle. Major stuff is happening, including the CEO being replaced; we had a new boss after the Board meeting Friday afternoon, and Tuesday morning (early) it's all getting laid out for the C-level and VPs.

But anyway, my rehearsal schedule is d0wn to one evening rehearsal per week and one more per month. We take July off for both those groups, too, and I'll be taking two back-to-back July Sundays off; much needed. I'm hoping to take a weekend in Kerrville to get our handbells reconditioned. The tech came on-site last fall and this is a once-per-five-year-or-so thing. He's got a neat deal set up, where he has modest accomodations for those who bring their bells to him. Drop them Friday night or Saturday morning, spend the night, and leave Sunday afternoon with your shiny, reconditioned bells. It's one of the loveliest areas of the state, or so I'm told; I've never been there. (If you like James Avery's jewelry, that's where his studio is, too.) I haven't had a get-away vacation in nearly ten years, and finally I'll have enough money niched away to afford the lodging (the church has already agreed to pay my mileage, which is a bargain compared to the cost of shipping handbells).

So, a saner pace, a mini-vacation to look forward to, and

(trumpet fanfare)

A romantic relationship developing. Not going to say much about that at this time, but it's been WONDERFUL to my heart. He's a fine man who's genuinely attracted to me as a human being and as a woman. We're taking things very slowly for the time being. "And that's all I'm going to say about that."

God is good.

Friday, May 09, 2008

For the Motherless and the Childless

empty arms

empty heart

empty hole in the soul

seeking she-who-is-not-here

and child-who-never-came

only a white rose to wear

for the one-who-was-incapable-of-mothering


no one to rise up and call me blessed,

or wear a red rose for me

Lord, how I love my sisters

and their children!

but you know,

in my deepest silent honest place

how empty my arms are

and how my motherless heart weeps

and how my soul aches

on this day

dedicated to



who gave me first and second birth,

wrap your everlasting arms

around me once again,

and around all those whose

arms are empty

and whose hearts long to nurture

and whose souls cry out



Please note that, like all my blog entries (except where otherwise attributed), this entry is my original writing. If you would like to link to it, you are more than welcome to do so. Please do not copy it for reading or distribution elsewhere without my permission, which I will be happy to give, provided you request permission in the comments. Many thanks!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

I spoke too soon.

I am no longer being considered for the church staff position I mentioned in the last blog entry.

The senior pastor of that congregation called today--the day of the interview, and with me already dressed for it and at work on a short-term assignment--to tell me that the committee with whom I interviewed last Thursday had decided not to recommend either of their finalist candidates to the Staff-Pastor-Parish Relations Committee, so tonight's interview with them was cancelled. The other committee (Children's Ministry) simply doesn't know what they want. That was obvious from several of the questions they provided for me to answer last week.

As was the case with the church that did not hire me last summer, it's probably ultimately a good thing that it didn't go any further than this.

Still inhales, though.

(Interpret that as you will.)

Monday, May 05, 2008

Coming up for air

No, I haven't dropped off the face of the earth.

No, Jenny the Righteously-Angry hasn't taken me hostage.

No, I haven't given up blogging for the latter part of the Easter season.

I've just been engulfed in real life.

I'm in the middle of being considered for a full-time staff position with a church almost an hour away and have gone there twice for interviews; a third is scheduled for tomorrow night.

I've just finished working many hours at the United Methodist General Conference (like so many other UMs who live relatively close to Fort Worth). In my case, I spent nearly all that time editing verbatim transcripts of sermons and plenary legislative sessions. (Can you say "terminal headphone hair"?)

'Tis also the season for much serving when one is engaged in music ministry in the local church. My children's choirs' year-end concert was last Sunday, my school-age children's choir is scheduled to be THE service choir next Sunday (Pentecost AND Mother's Day--wheeeee!), and all the church's music groups will be performing for "A Patriotic Celebration" on Sunday evening, May 18th. Most of those groups (that is, all the ones I lead) are decidedly under-prepared, so we're just this side of frantic right now.

Oh, and I'm still between day-job work, General Conference ($12/hour) and a few one-day assignments here and there notwithstanding.

But other than that, nothing much is happening.

But yes, there is, actually. However, it's not something I'm ready to blog about just yet. But it's big, or at least has the potential to be big in the near future.

And THAT is all that's happening at Chez Psalmist. Well, no, there is even more than that, because God is truly good and merciful, but there aren't words.

I'm OK. Truly. Just very, very tired.