Wednesday, November 26, 2003

the first thanksgiving?

**The folklore taught in schools has it that the Pilgrims originated the Thanksgiving festival and that they provided the Native Americans with a feast they had never seen. In fact, the opposite is true. In November 1621, one year after the Pilgrims arrived in Plymouth, the Pilgrims celebrated harvest festival jointly with the Native Americans-a harvest festival that the native inhabitants had been celebrating for hundreds, perhaps thousands of years. Most of the food at this festival was supplied by Native Americans. It was a meal that the Pilgrims had never witnessed, consisting of native American foodstuffs. The main meal was a sort of corn meal mush along with nuts and fruits such as gooseberries, strawberries, plums, cherries, cranberries and a groundnut known as the bogg bean. Popcorn and popcorn balls made by the Indians with maple syrup were served as a sweet. There was a variety of breadstuffs such as cornpone, ashcakes, and hoe cakes, made by Native Americans from their own recipes. It is also possible that other native foods such as pumpkin and squash were served. In his Food Encyclopedia, James Trager tells us that there is a live possibility that turkey wasn't even served. It's true that the Indians provided some deer meat, and game birds, but they were side dishes and not the focus of the meal. So the 1620 Thanksgiving dinner proper in 1620 was probably a totally vegetarian one, because the Pilgrims were unable to find animal flesh. The second Thanksgiving in 1621 was also catered by the Native Americans. Not only was it probably turkeyless, but it was mainly vegetarian. Doesn't it make more sense, therefore, that instead of celebrating Thanksgiving as an orgy of Turkey slaughter, Americans should celebrate a vegetarian harvest festival? **
(from this great page)

conclusions from previous two posts

1. turkeys are dumb but killing them is probably still wrong, especially the way it's done, and who wants to eat dead animal? think about the live turkey while you're chowing down. Whose mother did you kill for your own pleasure?

2. it probably isn't good for you, but it sure does taste good. this is not different from anything else you could eat, including pie. except pumpkin, which doesn't even taste good.

3. tradition isn't a valid reason to do anything else, so really this isn't it either. Besides, the tradition is most likely wrong.

4. everyone should go to one of those vegetarian thanksgiving parties where they have a live turkey running around, because that's kind of cool.

5. just eat mashed potatoes, people. :-)

top reasons to go ahead and eat turkey (from the vegetarian)

1. turkeys are stupid and possibly deserve to die.
2. it tastes good. well, dark meat does. it might be the ONLY meat that tastes good, actually.
3. tradition.

top reasons not to eat turkey

1. it's dead. gobble gobble.
2. only the dark meat is worth eating and it's apparently bad for you.
3. it will make you sleepy.
4. you have to clean up after you cook it and that's just gross.
5. The turkeys have been treated horribly, may have been boiled alive, and were raised standing in their own poo. that's just awful.
6. 90% of all turkey meat is contaminated with some kind of bacteria. (peta brochure)

Sunday, November 23, 2003

uses of ice besides beverages, where it shouldn't be anyway

Well, there are the obvious:
*ice packs
*freezing ice cream (in a homemade-ice-cream-maker)
*keeping in ice chests, lunch boxes, etc, to keep things cold while you get ready to use them.
*putting in plants, to water them slowly for a while rather than drowning them with a hose
*putting down your friend's shirts when they are hot. or when they are cold.
*melting, then filtering, for drinking water
*freezing your credit cards so you won't use them (theoretically)
*chilling wine (in one of those buckets designed to do this...not just in a pitcher you fill with ice then stick the wine bottle in. I mean, that does work, but it's much less efficient and much less easy than the wine bucket.)
*rubbing on your lips after you've played a wind instrument for too long. Popsicles are better, but ice works in a pinch. However, see below on nasty unfiltered water ice. bleah.
*put ice in front of a small fan to cool the air that is blowing through your room.
*put in pet's water bowl in the summer to keep water cool. Pets don't care about filtered water.
*cleaning gum off of fabric. or hair. peanut butter also often works for this.
*cleaning candle wax off just about anything. I haven't tried this on hair but it would probably work. However, if you have candle wax in your hair you need to rethink your habit of standing underneath dripping candles.
*getting paper wet. if you wanted to do this very slowly, you could...just put an ice cube on some paper. soon it will be wet.
*breaking things. ie: computers, printers, toasters, books, windows, etc. you can either throw ice cubes, thus shattering whatever it is you wish to break, or put the ice cube in it and wait for it to melt, thus disabling whatever you are breaking. I don't recommend this necessarily, I'm just saying you could.
*melting. i don't know why you would want to do this--you obviously already have water. and i already said this about 8 lines up.
*holding. i mean, if you were really hot, just holding an ice cube might help cool you down.
*put them in your bath. a cold bath is probably good for your skin somehow. maybe. but this means you can't have a hot bath, because the ice will melt. really this thought is only ideal if you are the person in one of those urban legends...who's had a kidney removed and wakes up in a bathtub full of ice. you know the ones. they aren't true.
*testing the strength of paper towels. how many ice cubes can your paper towel hold? I bet Bounty or Brawny or one of those B-brands can hold a lot. at least their commercials claim they can.
*preserving bugs. your ice maker probably does this for you already. look carefully when you get ice out of it, otherwise you might drink a fruit fly. eew.

ok, i'm tired now and need a nap, but first i have to plan some youth group. which starts in 55 minutes. hmm......maybe no nap. sad.
happy sunday. stay away from ice in your beverages. :-)


today i had to eat ice cream from my freezer because i couldn't get to Jake's (car still dead).

In other news, yes, I realize that ice put into ramen noodles would still be unfiltered, but you see, one wouldn't notice the nasty taste because of the obscene amount of salt in the flavoring for ramen noodles. With a little luck, that same obscene amount of salt might just kill off any nastiness in your unfiltered ice cube.

alternatively, you could just wait until it was cool enough to eat. That takes about what, a minute and a half?

church tomorrow. as usual. i might be typing that here every saturday night from now until i die. i wonder if I can keep that up, or if i'll forget at some point, and someone will ask "hey, Teri, didn't you go to church on sunday? because you didn't tell us you were going to. yes, i know you're a"

Friday, November 21, 2003

Friday, Friday...

well, some homework done, but not enough to count. Crap.

Now it's friday so I'm just going to try to get it done at some point. before the end of the weekend.

in the meantime, we're talking about Thanksgiving in the youth group this week. How is that going to go, you ask? Well, that is the question, isn't it.

Today we had communion like an actual meal--we had people sit around tables we brought into the chapel, and share bread and grape juice. It was cool and everyone loves us for our experimental chapel. Brilliant!

I think that ice is not good. in fact, ice might be satanic somehow. think about it. not only is it super cold, in fact colder than you probably really need it to be, but it also falls out of the glass on you when it decides to move randomly. then you spill on yourself and look like a dumbass. and really, who wants that? and what if you're wearing white and you spill coke? or cranberry juice? or grape juice? or coffee? i mean, really. why, people, why?
or, at the very least, why not use a straw?
also, ice tends to be made from unfiltered water, which means it makes your drink taste bad and probably infects it with all kinds of impurities.

i think the europeans have it right. they don't even make ice for drinks usually.

maybe this weekend i'll post a list of uses of ice that are not beverage related.
for example, it can be used to cool ramen soup that is too hot.
it can be used to put down people's shirts when they are very hot. except my experience is that people don't actually appreciate that.

hmm...yes. watch this space.

In the meantime, I'll be going for a much better form of ice: the kind followed with cream. that's right, Jake's, here I come!

Thursday, November 20, 2003

bulletin, check.

homework, not check.

come to think of it, maybe the bulletin is not yet a check.
because, you see, it doesn't have any music in it. the music needs to be reduced on the copy machine.
then i can check off the bulletin.
but not the homework.


Tuesday, November 18, 2003

if all of the raindrops were lemon drops and gum drops

then we'd all be fat, and our tongues would tingle from so much sugar and hard candy, and someone would likely have an eye poked out by a lemon drop.

but it would be kind of fun.

just saying.

Monday, November 17, 2003


I'm brilliant. i mean, obviously.

I preached well today--or maybe I'm supposed to say something like "God used me to speak today" or some such thing, but I was up until 4 in the morning rewriting/finishing the sermon, so you know what? I did a good job. And I'm brilliant.

Don't worry, I'm not at a loss for self esteem. Humility, maybe. Self esteem, no.

In other news, 8th grade girls talk a lot. And so do I. But really, what parent truly expects that a room full of middle school girls is going to finish anything on time? And what parent asks a church group to hurry up and finish praying? honestly. it's church people, we run over. and we pray. just saying.

amy's chili is good.
noell's black bean soup is good.
mrs. dryman's spaghetti sauce (portobella mushroom) was good.
jake's ice cream is the best place ever. except happy mart. well, on the other hand, happy mart is 6 hours away in a very sketchy small appalachian town, and jake's is about a mile from home. so really it's a question of convenience as to who wins the best-place-ever award.

apparently the car is fixable after all. as in, if there's a new engine put in, it will work again. so it has gone to the doctor again, this time a far-away doctor, a specialist if you will, and it will be gone for about a month. but it will come back and be like new. this is very exciting. Very.

now, while i wait for a ride, i'm going to work on the mission trip.

goodnight, all...

Sunday, November 16, 2003

Speak Up

Speak Up!
1 Samuel 1.1-2.10
November 16 2003

God seems to have a history of closing wombs and forgetting about women, then miraculously remembering them. First we had Sarah, then Rebekah, and Rachel, and now Hannah. Except this time it seems God had some help in remembering—maybe God got a remembrel—you know, in Harry Potter they’re those glass orbs that get red smoke in them when you’ve forgotten something…and God finally remembered what it was God was forgetting—Hannah!
Who sent this remembrel? Hannah, of course….but why? Why was it so important that Hannah not be forgotten? Well, for starters, her husband’s other wife, Peninnah, was mean. Can’t you just hear her calling Hannah names and mocking her—“o barren one” , “dry well” , “worthless wife…” , “hey, Hannah, your oven is off” …. She was irritating, she was mean, and she caused some serious depression. It doesn’t take long for this kind of verbal abuse to become a part of you—something you believe, something that you won’t talk back to or stand up against because you secretly wonder if it’s right and you don’t deserve to be called a person. That’s what Peninnah was doing—in this story she represents the whole ancient society, telling Hannah that she is worthless, that she is not a whole person (or even a person at all) because she isn’t like everyone else, her experience is different, she’s not useful to her husband…for she has borne no children. In this story, Hannah never talked back to Peninnah—perhaps she didn’t have the strength or the will, perhaps she didn’t have the heart, perhaps she didn’t have the self-esteem. In any case, Peninnah continued her abuse year after year.
Hannah’s husband, Elkanah, doesn’t seem to be much better. Sure, he loves her in spite of her barrenness, he even gives her a double portion at the time of the yearly sacrifice—but he isn’t terribly sensitive. If he has to ask why Hannah is sad, why she cries, and why she won’t eat, then he’s not paying a lot of attention to his family dynamics. Then he asks the problematic question: “Am I not more to you than ten sons?” Translation for modern readers: “Can’t I be enough for you?” Hannah can’t answer this question.
Maybe people read this as a loving question—Elkanah loved Hannah even though she didn’t have any children. Others, however, might point out that perhaps it is one of those moments—you know the ones, when you think you’re saying the right thing but you really, aren’t—insinuating that he alone could change the eyes of society and give her personhood, as if he alone could simply remove all the expectations and judgments of the community from her. A barren woman in those days was of no worth, and everyone knew it. Besides, it would be easy for him to say, since he already has children to be his heirs. It’s not like he needs Hannah’s children to carry on his family line, and her children wouldn’t be among his firstborn anyway, because Peninnah’s several children have snatched up the biggest portions of any inheritance.
But Hannah doesn’t answer her husband’s question. She remains completely silent. She is depressed, she has lost her appetite and her voice. So she does the only thing she can—she goes into the house of the LORD and prays. She makes a deal: “God, if you’ll remember me and give me a son, I’ll give him right back to you.” She doesn’t seem to want the child for herself or her husband—she doesn’t want him to have around the house or the farm, to be a comfort or help, or to carry on the family line. The most important thing for Hannah is not to have the child with her, it’s to have the child. So she bargains, and she is fervent in her prayer. Only the most desperate woman in the most desperate situation could make this prayer, with this promise to God that she’d give up the child she so longed for. That kind of desperation led her to a make a desperate deal.
However, as she made this prayer, Hannah wasn’t speaking out loud. She was just property, she wasn’t worth much, and she had probably so internalized Peninnah’s abuse that she didn’t have a voice to speak with anymore—she had been silenced by her community, as so many people still are. Unfortunately Eli, the priest, thought she was drunk because she was moving her lips without making a sound. He confronted her about making a spectacle of herself there, in the Temple of the LORD. He essentially confirmed her worthlessness and demanded that she leave behind her sinfulness. But Hannah has finally had the last straw: she finds her voice and defends herself to this priest, to this man of God who is supposed to see everyone as God’s child and servant, this one person who shouldn’t think the worst of her but apparently does anyway. “Do not consider me a worthless woman!!!” she says. She has at long last stood up for herself and contradicted what everyone has been thinking. She has been continuously silenced by a community that considers her worthless, by Peninnah who abuses and insults her, and now the priest is impugning her integrity too! Hannah does NOT stand for this. “Do not consider me a worthless woman. I have been praying this whole time, in great anxiety and distress.” Hannah is silent no more.
Eli was probably shocked that this woman, this worthless woman, had talked back to him. How dare she? He was also, hopefully, upset with himself for not being able to tell the difference between prayer and drunken stupor. But he doesn’t show any of this…instead he takes his words back. He then assures her that God will hear her prayer and grant her request, and Hannah goes away, she eats again, she drinks again, and, most importantly, her “countenance was sad no longer.”
Hannah has now talked to God silently, and to Eli out loud, and now she has all kinds of self-esteem growing in her. God remembers her at long last, and she has a baby. While the boy is still unweaned, it’s time for the yearly trip to Shiloh. The whole family is going, but Hannah speaks to her husband for the first time in this whole story and says, “no, I’m not going. I’ll come later, and guess what? I have to leave the boy there.” Not only has Hannah found her voice, but she’s found her willpower and her spunk, too!
Now, at this point, you would expect that Elkanah would say, “umm, excuse me, but technically, according to socio-political family system rules of our age, that child is mine and I get to make the decisions. I already let you choose his silly name….what do you mean you’re going to leave a boy, someone who could be really useful on the farm, at the temple? I don’t think so, and if you do I’ll get rid of you AND bring the boy home.” But he doesn’t. Instead he says, “do what seems good to you. May the LORD establish his word.” Umm…this isn’t exactly normal. Men of this time period are supposed to be in charge. Men of this time period are the heads of households and the women are property, not the decision makers. Men are strong and women follow. But apparently not in this case, for Elkanah, the one who only a year ago asked “am I not more to you than ten sons,” finally understands Hannah, and what she needs. So, Elkanah and the whole family pile into the minivan and leave, and Hannah and Samuel stay behind.
Once the two of them do go up to Shiloh, Hannah sees Eli and rushes over to him to tell him the news… “I was the one here a year ago, and this was what I prayed for (she says, pointing at the child in her arms), and look, I got it! So now I’m giving him to the LORD, which means you get to take care of him here. Have fun, and be nice to him, and may he be God’s servant forever. Bye!” Is this really the woman whose lips were moving but whose voice was silent just one year ago? What happened? Her newfound voice is startling and amazing. Well, she did have the baby she asked for. And not only that, but this baby is not just like any other baby. This child is Samuel, who will become one of Israel’s greatest prophets, the prophet who speaks directly with God and anoints kings. God has not only given Hannah a child, but has placed her in the line of Israel’s matriarchs. She is essential to Israel’s life and continued story. She is God’s chosen one, who brings a bearer of God’s message into the world.
And so she goes into the temple and prays. Last time Hannah was fervent but silent. Now she still prays fervently, but she prays to God out loud, she praises in a loud voice, and she goes on for quite some time. The song she sings as her prayer is remarkably similar to a psalm that is used at the time of the Passover festival, and extols God for God’s amazing power and justice. God has lifted up the lowly and brought down the mighty….God has lifted up Hannah from her despair and depression, and has thwarted the insults and abuse of Peninnah, society, and the priest. God has opened Hannah’s eyes to her full humanity—and now (in the eyes of the world) Hannah is as worthy as any other woman. There is no ground for the community’s view of her any longer, and that has turned the world on its head….God is the only Rock, and God is the one who gives, and God is the one who judges, for the whole earth, and indeed the pillars on which the earth rests, are Gods. Peninnah doesn’t have anyone to make fun of anymore…indeed Hannah nearly addresses her directly: “talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth….” Because no longer is Peninnah able to consider herself better than Hannah. No longer is Hannah the utter bottom of the food chain in the family, a non-person. The society has no more mean names to call Hannah. Eli can’t say she’s a worthless drunken woman anymore. God has made her aware of her wholeness. She is not only a mother, but the mother of a prophet, and thus a crucial character in Israel’s story. No wonder, thousands of years later, Mary used the same words to praise the God who made her a central figure in the same story. And now not only is Hannah lifted up, but Hannah’s voice is lifted up. In the beginning of the story, she was silent, but now she raises her voice for the heavens and the earth to hear—she speaks up at long last. And she uses her voice to say “this child isn’t what’s important—and I’m going to give the boy back to God, who is The Holy One who breaks molds, does new things, and reverses injustice in the world.”
It seems that Hannah’s is an early story of women’s rights, of women’s voices and authority in the home and out of it too. This is a story voiceless women, and indeed all people, can plug in to, a part of the story of God’s community that we can all find our voices in.
Some of you may be wondering “how can I find my voice in a story about a woman who can’t have children?” Our society today doesn’t place such a strong emphasis on children as anyone’s only path to worthiness, thankfully. Hannah’s story is not just about the child, though. It’s also about judgment and worth. Yes, the ancient community judged women by their child-bearing ability. Later, the medieval community judged people on their piety. And now our modern community often judges us on our education, our car, the church we belong to, the clothes we wear. We, like Hannah, may not be able to find our own voices to speak up against these judgments. But, also like Hannah, God shows us our full humanity, and opens our eyes to our worth as God’s children. Our worthiness lies, not in the expectations of society, but in our identity as God’s beloved, God’s chosen people. And so, like Hannah, we must raise our voices for earth and heaven to hear, speaking up for ourselves and others, and exulting in the Holy One, beside whom there is no other.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003


it's dead. sadness. things like engine blocks should not be cracked.

just an fyi.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

oy oy oy oy oy

car is at car doctor. car may be going to car graveyard. sadness.

i'm preaching this weekend, and leading a discussion (for young adults) on presbyterian history, polity, and acronyms before worship, and leading a youth program on women in the bible and the church in the evening. oy. how did i get into this?

must go make bulletin.

Sunday, November 09, 2003


church = good.
car nearly overheating = bad.
the coolant was empty = bad
smoke spewing into the atmosphere from my car = bad
new coolant and water now in car = good. hopefully.

and there's still homework to be done. OY. long weeks are always too short.

Monday, November 03, 2003

a long week ahead

so much homework, so little time.

but at least my amazon package came.

i'm hungry now.
it's sunny outside.
i need to be at church thinking about a mission trip.
tomorrow is the second hour of 24. i think it might be a good year. day? whatever.

must go. very busy. back eventually. ta.

Junior High Retreats are like the Discovery Channel

According to my friend Jonathan...

because, you see, there are all these kids, aged approximately 11.5 to 14, in a small confined area. They will either: a)try to hook up (mate), or b) kill each other. It's like watching the Discovery Channel, only with kids. For 25 continuous hours.

In the case of my kids, we had two near hook-ups, saved by friends (because they were clearly bad: one boy got nicknamed the "sketchyfrenic boy"). No deaths, so far. Thankfully. I don't really know how I would have told the parents when we got back.

News from the land of middle school:

*Jesus is the potato of life. (after talking about Jesus being in the bread from lunch, one girl said he was in the tater tots...then had to be told that they were potato, and proceeded to make up a theory about Jesus being like a potato...)
*Sketchy, like what you do in art. As in shady. As in Eminem.
*"my arm hurts" "well, leave it alone, yo." "i am, I'm just picking at it" (RE: a rugburn)
*plural of "yo" is "yos"
*scorpions in the bathroom are bad.
*when there is a bird in the cabin, you should not shut the door in an attempt to get it out. It will only poo on your bed. (this happened to an 8th grader...)
*campfires that turn into bonfires are bad. the leaders thought we were going to catch the big cross on fire. Instead we only woke up bees and had about 5 kids get stung....
*the point of a keynote is NOT to talk about yourself. Just an FYI.
*God is not fun. Or fun is not God. It's not really clear which. (this was an irritating thing, fyi)
*it's supposed to take about an hour, or just over an hour, to get to the retreat center from the church. it took me about 40 minutes. hmmmm.......
*Arby's curly fries are the best.

The end. for now. :-)

my favorite things to see at Six Flags

people in costumes.
people making out in line.
people waiting in lines, trying to figure out how the whole party can ride together, then getting confused, and not riding at all.
really short lines. (this almost never happens)
people in All-American shirts that were probably made in Taiwan, Indonesia, Mexico, Colombia, Uzbekistan, etc.
people with cool hair.