Mom to the Left

I'm a mom who tends to live just to the "left" of most of the people around me here in Indiana.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

A companion blog

I have created a second blog as a gardening blog. As I mentioned in my post entitled Hoping for New Growth last August, we have been planning bigger and better things for our garden this year. I need it to maintain my sanity over the summer - my dark season.

There isn't much there yet, but come back soon and often. I plan to share info about what we're doing in our garden and post pictures along the way.

My gardening journal: Dirt in my Fingernails

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Stations of the Cross and Paul

Lest you think I'm combining these two topics, I included both the Stations of the Cross and Paul in my title today because I want to address both of these separate and distinct topics.

This morning I went along as co-teacher on a field trip with our 5th/6th grade RE class to an outdoor retreat center at a Catholic church so that we could walk the Stations of the Cross. (FYI, the Stations of the Cross is a 14-stop walk that symbolizes the walk that Jesus made through Jerusalem on Good Friday on his way to his execution.) We took 8 of our young people and 6 adults. Of course, we framed it all in our UU perspective, but I have to say it is one of the few experiences that I've had at the UU church which really struck me to the core. Most of what I do at the UU church feels so spiritually dry and empty that this was an amazing and blessed departure. I love having Jesus as part of my church experience, which at the UU church is rare. After all, it *is* Palm Sunday.

Then this afternoon was the monthly meeting of my UU Christian Circle. Our discussion topic for the day was Paul. I have to say that I haven't been a fan a Paul. I have attributed much of what I feel is wrong with the modern Christian church to Paul. Our discussion today (based on the Living the Questions curriculum developed by the United Methodist Church) has caused me to rethink Paul and makes me want to go back and reread the Pauline parts of the New Testament. What I learned was two earth-shattering and important things.

First, of the 13 letters often attributed to Paul, scholars only think 7 were actually written by Paul himself. The other 6 are believed to have been written later by followers of Paul who adapted his message to soften Paul's message of radical grace. So it is possible that the misogynist and homophobic statements attributed to Paul may actually have come from his followers who were trying to make Paul's teachings fit in a patriarchal, conservative society.

The second thing I learned was about the mistranslation of the word Pistis from the original text. This word was translated originally as "faith in" as in having "faith in Jesus" being the key to salvation. But in reality the closer translation would have been "faithfulness of". So the key to salvation was in believing in the "faithfulness of Jesus". If the scriptures had been translated that way all along, the emphasis would have been in following the teachings of Jesus rather than worshiping and deifying the man. Christianity and the western world would have been a totally different thing if not for that one mistranslation.

I must reread the New Testament...

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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

29th day of Lent

This is my 29th day without coffee, and you know, I don't really even miss it anymore. Now I have to admit that the weekends are the hardest. It is especially hard on a Saturday afternoon when it is 28 degrees outside and I come inside from running errands. On those occasions, I have had some flashes of yearning for a cup of coffee and a good book while curled up under a blanket next to the window. But at least I am no longer hanging on and counting my life in terms of how long it is until the next cup of coffee. ;-/

By the way, I always thought Lent was 40 days (between Ash Wednesday and Easter). But tonight, in calculating how many days I've been without coffee, I find that 40 days actually takes me to Palm Sunday rather than Easter. So is "Lent" over on Palm Sunday or is Lent actually 47 days long? Not that it matters, but now I am confused...