Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Gym and Cushions

I mentioned in my last post that I went to see "Joseph and the Technicolor Dream Coat" at a nearby Presbyterian church. I told one of the ladies I play tennis with how much I enjoyed it because I knew that she attended there. Her response was " well, most of those kids aren't our kids." That I did know because Mitchell attends a Methodist church down the street. The director of the production is the chorus teacher at Upper St. Clair High School and she recruited talent from her classes.

I then mentioned that the gym where the production was held was really nice and it was the first time that I had seen it. (it is only a few years old) She agreed that it is really nice but then said "They say that you should never join a church with a gym and cushions on the seats." I was a little baffled by this statement. My first thought was that the cushions would be so comfortable that people would be more likely to get drowsy, but I couldn't figure out the gym part. So, I asked her to explain. She said "because they spend money on themselves rather than on missions." She went on to say that when they were discussing building the gym the young people told the committee that they deserved a full-size gym rather than the half gym that was being planned.

I thought that this brought up a lot of good points. How much should a church spend on missions? At the church I attended growing up we had cushions, but I think that they were donated by a really wealthy old woman. So, we can enjoy them now guilt-free, right? If the gym is used for community outreach then how bad can it be or is that just a rationalization? Is it more a matter of balance?

The church that I attend is in the gym of an elementary school. Since we don't own a building, we can devote more money towards missions. Our pastor and a member of our leadership team are in Africa right now learning ways that we can help the AIDS-ravaged people there. Mark and I are hoping to go to Mississippi again to help Katrina victims. (yes, they still need help) We also assist the people of the Shepherds Heart Church. Does it sound like I'm bragging? I guess I always assumed that since the churches that I have belonged to thought missions were very important that all churches did. Was that naive of me?

I will be interested to here what you all think of the gym, cushion and mission debate.

Saturday, October 27, 2007


Mark's car is repairable and we should have it back in about 2 weeks. We are keeping our fingers crossed that it will be as good as new.

Our home renovations have hit another snag. The powder room sink top that we bought is too deep for our cabinet. So Mark is trying to cut the back so it will work. He figured it out and is now installing the towel rack and toilet paper holder and then the room is done. Yea!!

This isn't technically an update, but we all went to see my friend Ruth's son Mitchell in "Joseph and the Technicolor Dream Coat." He played Joseph and did a fantastic job. I give him a lot of credit for not having a problem wearing only what looked like white boxer shorts for a good part of the play. I kept thinking "I know he's supposed to be in jail but could someone please toss the boy a shirt!" All in all the production being put on by local Presbyterian church youth it was really a great job and you could tell they had a lot of fun. (As did the audience) So, kudos to Mitchell and the whole cast and crew.

Don't forget to watch "Pushing Daisies" on Wednesday at 8:00pm. It is by far the best and most creative show on TV. If you want to see the first 3 episodes you can go to ABC.com and watch them for free.

Friday, October 19, 2007

crash II

I don't really have much new information. It still hasn't been decided if "they" are going to total the car or not. In a way it would be great if the car could be fixed because it was a really nice car, but if it won't be the same post-crash maybe not. On the other hand I know we won't get enough money from the insurance company to replace it with a similar car. So since I don't know what to wish for I am leaving it entirely in God's hands. (which is always the best)

On a similar yet different note, my sister had an accident with a deer. She said she saw the deer running down a hill towards her and slammed on the breaks, but the deer still hit her car and smashed the windshield. Fortunately she was unharmed. I relayed the story to my husband and he asked if she had killed the deer. I said that technically it could be said that the deer committed suicide for running into her. My sister has a rental car now and so do we. We have a PT Cruiser, which is okay but not as nice as the Camry.

Have a good week-end. Drive safely because I have heard that these things run in threes.

Monday, October 15, 2007


In my family, we keep our cars pretty much until they die or appear that they are going to die shortly. My last van had about 120K miles and was definitely on its last wheels (or is it tires?) Mark's car is a Camry and appeared to have many years ahead of it. Until....CRASH!!!

When Mark was on his way to work today some guy ran a red light and drove right into him. There is a lot of damage to the car and we don't know if it will be considered "totalled" or not. Fortunately Mark seems to be unharmed except for some stiffness and aches, but the doctor recommended that he have x-rays done to be sure.

What a hassle. We didn't expect to be dealing with insurance companies, who from what I understand try to give you the least amount of money as possible or fix your car with used parts. The only good thing is that two witnesses came forward and the guy admitted his guilt in the situation.

Please pray for us as we go through this whole process and that Mark's aches are nothing more serious.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A Comedy of Errors

This title could aptly describe the chaos of having work done on my house. We have hired someone to do some renovations on the girls bathroom and tile the entryway and powder room downstairs. Nothing is ever as easy as it seems. When Wayne(our contractor) removed the toilet and sink from the girls bathroom he discovered that our waterline turn-off was leaking. He needed to have the water turned off to the house to fix it and couldn't find the right tools. The plumbing places were all closed by the time he discovered the problem and Lowe's and Home Depot didn't carry what he needed. He suggested having the water company come out and turn it off, but they gave us absolutely no indication as to when they could send someone out. We waited for as long as we could but ended up cancelling the call because Mark and I had theater tickets. Mark was able to tighten the bolt so it leaked only a little so we could have water again.

The play that we went to see was Shakespeare's "A Comedy of Errors." It was performed at the Pittsburgh Public Theater's O'Reilly Theater. The O'Reilly is really nice, with seating on three sides and our seats are center row G, which are really good. The basic premise is that two sets of identical twins are separated in a boating accident. One of each twin with the mother and the other set with the father. They named both sets of the twins the same names. (that made little sense to me, but sometimes you have to take this kind of thing in stride) Years later the one set goes to the town where the other lives and a lot of confusion takes place. There is a lot of slapstick type humor, with the servant twins getting hit for doing the "wrong" job assigned to them by the other twins.

This adaptation had modern dress and staging, but still used the "old English" dialogue. This was okay for the most part, but there were times where it made no sense at all for today's times. For instance, Are there any cities ruled by a Duke anymore? I think it would be better to change the dialogue to update it if you change the scenery and costumes or leave it the way it was written completely. The "old English" is hard to understand and I was happy to get most of what was going on. The play is very funny and the actors did a good job with the physical humor. I did notice that the people sitting next to me and a few other couples did not return after the intermission. I thought that maybe they didn't return because they didn't understand it or were having trouble catching up with the dialogue, which was kind of fast.

My mother-in-law is taking my middle daughter to see this play in a few weeks. I hope that the language doesn't throw her for a loop. My husband and I decided that if we explain the plot to her she should be able to enjoy it.

Fortunetly Wayne was able to fix our water problem on Monday.

Have any of you been having your own comedy of errors?

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Pushing Daisies

I have decided that this is my favorite new show. (Tim Gunn's Guide to Style is a close second) The basic premise is that a guy(Ned) can bring people back to life with one touch, that is the good news. The bad news is that they can only stay alive for one minute or someone else has to die in their place. His main job is as a pie maker, but he also works with a detective by going to the morgue, bringing people alive long enough to ask them who killed them and then touching them again which re kills them. He and the detective can then collect reward money for solving the case.

Things get complicated when he brings back a childhood friend. She unfortunately doesn't know who killed her and he doesn't have the heart to touch her again. He explains the situation to her and it is obvious that they really like each other but will never be able to touch because, of course that would be fatal to her. They catch the killer in the end.

One of the best parts of the show is that the narrator is Jim Dale!!! Jim Dale is the guy who did all of the "Harry Potter" books-on-tape and he is fantastic. Kristen Chenowith is a waitress in the pie shop, who has a crush on her boss. She is very entertaining in her petite bundle-of -energy way.

Check this show out on Wednesday nights at 8:oo. It is way better than Kid Nation.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Experiencing GOD

Henry Blackaby wrote the book "Experiencing GOD" in 1990. He has revised it in a bible-study format recently and my Friday morning bible-study group has picked it for this year. I have found that I tend to get lazy over the summer and really crave the start of the new studies and fellowship. The last several years we have done "Beth Moore" studies, which I have loved, but since she didn't have a new study out this year our leader suggested this one. Our leader did this study when it first came out years ago and found it very powerful and life changing. So, I have high hopes.

I completed the first part of the study and have learned that I need to follow and trust Jesus every day. I may not know what he has planned for me or where he will take me but he said " I am the way the truth and the life." His way is the best way! We had a memory verse "I am the way, you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him then he will bear much fruit. Apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5 I think I have it pretty close.

The problem is that I am not sure what Jesus wants me to do practically. It is so much easier to agree with the statements in theory. I guess I will have to continue on with the study and see where it leads me.