Friday, September 26, 2008

Friday Five: Johnny Appleseed Day

Singing Owl is hosting the RevGals Friday Five today...
Raise your hand if you know that today is Johnny Appleseed Day!
September 26, 1774 was his birthday. Johnny Appleseed" (John Chapman) is one of America's great legends. He was a nurseryman who started out planting trees in western New York and Pennsylvania, but he was among those who were captivated by the movement west across the continent.

As Johnny traveled west (at that time, the "West" was places like Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois) he planted apple trees and sold trees to settlers. With every apple tree that was planted, the legend grew. A devout Christian, he was known to preach during his travels. According to legend, Johny Appleseed led a simple life and wanted little. He rarely accepted money and often donated any money he received to churches or charities. He planted hundereds of orchards, considering it his service to humankind. There is some link between Johny Appleseed and very early Arbor Day celebrations.

So, in honor of this interesting fellow, let's get on with the questions!
1. What is your favorite apple dish? (BIG BONUS points if you share the recipe.)
Here's a favorite - great for an autumn breakfast:
Apple French Toast Cobbler
1 8-oz. loaf French Bread
4 eggs
1 C milk
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
6 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
1/2 C brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp melted butter
Slice the bread into 1-inch slices, lay in cake or pie plate. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, baking powder and vanilla. Pour over the bread, turning to coat completely. Cover and let the bread stand until all the liquid has been absorbed.

Grease a 13 X 9 pan. Place the sliced apples in the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon over the apples. Arrange the soaked bread over the top. Brush with the melted butter. Bake in a 450 degree oven for 25 minutes. Serves 8

2. Have you ever planted a tree? If so was there a special reason or occasion you can tell us about?
We have planted many trees for many reasons, but probably the most precious was the tree we planted in loving memory of the child we lost to miscarriage.

3. Does the idea of roaming around the countryside (preaching or otherwise) appeal to you? Why or why not?
I look forward to roaming, but not so much around the countryside. I look forward to the day when the Captain and I will cruise around the mitten of Michigan, stopping at the port towns along the way. Don't think I'll be preaching, but maybe writing, who knows?

4. Who is a favorite "historical legend" of yours?
Wow...hate to copy, but the "West Wing" President Bartlett and his staff rank pretty high with me.

5. Johnny Appleseed was said to sing to keep up his spirits as he traveled the roads of the west. Do you have a song that comes when you are trying to be cheerful, or is there something else that you often do?
I often sing or hum when I am cheerful. This is the song that has been running through my head lately...

Oh, and the answer to the bonus question LutheranChik asks - favorite variety is Honey Crisp!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Vulnerability Friday Five

As all of us RevGals hold our dear Gannet Girl and her family in prayer at the death of her son, Sally writes... I hope that folk will take this in the spirit with which it is offered; that of continuing prayer and concern tempered by the knowledge that we are called both to weep and to rejoice with our communities. I have recently been reading a book entitled Jesus wept, it is all about vulnerability in leadership. The authors speak of how Jesus shared his earthly frustrations and vulnerabilities with a select group of people. To some he was the charismatic leader and teacher, to others words of wisdom were opened and explained and some frustrations shared, to his "inner circle of friends: Peter, James and John, he was most fully himself, and in all of these things he was open to God.

So I bring you this week's Friday 5:
1. Is vulnerability something that comes easily to you, or are you a private person?

As a child, vulnerability (and gullibility) came quite easily to me. As a result, I endured a lot of emotional bullying and more - all of which led me to surmise that vulnerability was a dangerous and undesirable thing. I built a wall around my heart then, and even now some of the bricks still remain. As the community I serve and I have been transitioning over the last month or so, I have discovered that a few of those bricks no longer served their purpose. These questions come at a time when I have been discovering that I can be more open and honest, at least with some whom I trust.

2.How important is it to keep up a professional persona in work/ ministry?
I confess that I have been pretty good at keeping up a professional persona in the past. I am actively discerning what it means for me to act with professionalism without maintaining a persona. I think it's a lifelong day-by-day process of learning to function with openness and integrity.

3. Masks, a form of self-protection discuss...

Yes! See #s 1 & 2 above.

4. Who knows you warts and all?

God, my husband, my boys, a few close friends, my spiritual director.

5. Share a book, a prayer, a piece of music, a poem or a person that touches the deep place in your soul, and calls you to be who you are most authentically.
A prayer attributed to Thomas Merton… My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.