Trombonist also talked about treasure in our hearts and I was bugged 'cause kids have no idea what that means (and he made no attempt to explain) and you know the kids were only agreeable 'cause "treasure" triggers shiny buttons in their heads. And he talked about Jesus and didn't quite say, Invite Jesus into your heart, but close enough, and that always bugs me in the Children's Message 'cause I don't feel like any effort is made to help kids understand what any of it means
One of the hymns was "(Our God Is An) Awesome God" and I like the whole "wisdom, power, and love" bit, but someone near me sang, "wisdom, power, and strength," which seems to me such a strange mistake to make.
The Scripture reading was Philippians 4:4-13 -- Paul in prison, "Rejoice in the Lord always..." The sermon was entitled "Being Thankful in Tough Times."
Keys to avoiding holiday stress:
1. Worry about nothing
He cited something saying that 40% of the things you worry about don't happen [which I don't think is entirely a basis for saying one should never worry about those things, but then I frequently associate worry and action], 30% concern the past [again, I think sometimes this can be translated into not repeating past mistakes or whatever], 12% are hypochondriac type worries, 10% are petty [to which I say, Who gets to decide that?], so only 8% of your worries are actually legit worth worrying about.
He talked about "stewing without doing," and I definitely agree that that kind of worrying is not of the good.
2. Pray about everything
When you start to worry about something, pray about it instead. You think you don't have time to pray? What about all that time you spend worrying? If you give your worries over to God, you'll have less to worry about.
God cares about every detail. God made each thumbprint, voiceprint, and snowflake unique; He cares about details. [I was really pleased about this bit, 'cause the detail-oriented-ness is huge in my personal conception of God, and I hate when people act/think like God is only concerned about "major" stuff.]
He talked about how in 1 Peter 5:7, the Greek word is "unload."
3. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude.
PB claimed the healthiest human emotion isn't love but rather gratitude.
1 Thes. - count your blessings and give thanks in all things
4. Think about the right things.
What you put in determines what you get out.
Some life insurance study says that people who go to church every week live 5.7 years longer. I, of course, suspect that this has a lot to do with the power of a support community and suchlike.
PB says God always has a DO to replace a DON'T, which I appreciated. I was, however, noticing how he calls God "He" throughout, and I don't have particular objections to (masculine) gendered pronouns for God, but in the context of stuff like PB it just reminds me how much our conceptions of God are so not the same.
He talked about how peace of mind is a gift from God. He talked about the different ways we seek it, including therapy, and he said we run from thing to thing, from counselor to counselor, and I was kinda bugged 'cause it's not appropriate to be like, "I hand everything over to God -- and thus don't need to do anything myself," so there is no reason to knock therapy etc. whole cloth -- which is what I felt like he was doing.
PB had been preaching for about 20 minutes (he ended up totalling just about exactly 30 minutes) and said the sun was in his face so he couldn't see the clock. I was sitting like 6 pews back and said, "It's ten minutes to 11." People laughed, and a whole bunch turned in my direction. Marc said something like, "Oh, no," as if PB was going to hurry up and finish and really he would happy to listen to him talk for ages. "I was just trying to be helpful," I said innocently (which, admittedly, is a lie).
I hadn't realized the Sunday after Thanksgiving was the first Sunday in Advent until it got mentioned during the service. I had been thinking of going to the Baptist this coming Sunday and then wandering around during Advent, including checking out Grace Episcopal since I think High Church (which is usually so not my thing) would actually be enjoyable during Advent.
I went to United this Sunday because there was supposed to be a "Continental Breakfast." I was expecting tables and some sort of buffet setup. It turned out to be regular Coffee Hour but with fruit and store-bought danishes instead of the usual sweets. Laem.
John P. said hi to me quickly in between things, asked if I was gonna be back.
"This hasn't been my church in 6 years."
"Yes it is; you still have me."
I think I could count on one hand the people I care about still at United -- in the sense of actually wanting to maintain real relationships with them.
Jean H. asked me if I was visiting and I said yes, surprised at her astuteness. Turns out she thought I'd already moved out of my parents' house and was thus visiting from Boston. Oops.
Bev looked so drained. At one point I pulled up a chair behind her and started massaging her shoulders. "I'll even sit up for that," she said. It reminded me of why I wanted to do massage seriously in the first place. (And also reminded me that I need to sign up for the chair massage workshop. Except it turns out to be the weekend of the UCN fair. And also necessitates missing an Advent Sunday, since it's 10-6 Sat&Sun. Should probably wait until I'm living in town -- it's offered again March 18 & 19, 2006 -- since Franklin Line Sunday schedule means I'd have to have somebody drive me in on Sunday anyway.)
Megan had called Saturday evening saying she was gonna be in Boston on Sunday, so we made dinner plans.
I got my boot taken care of at Payless and then went to TJMaxx, where I actually found shirts I liked -- though I was wearying by the end and suspected I might have been settling, so we'll see how they look after some distance.
(I think it was when I was walking to Park Street) I saw a white horse pulling a carriage -- the winter rides have begun.
Megan really likes this place Ankara Cafe at Kenmore (its neon sign is pink and seizure-inducing) which I had never been to before. The food was pretty good -- though I was sad that my sandwich had more peppers than mushrooms -- and they also have frozen yogurt (yeah cookie dough) and fruit smoothies.
Waiting for the Red Line at Park we saw a mouse on the tracks -- something I hadn't seen in ages.
Meg was worried about their vehicle and wanted to go check on it and then drive to Maria's -- said I could come with if I didn't mind squeezing 3 people in the cab of a pickup truck. I said that was fine, mentioning that, "I've done 3 people in a pickup truck before." "Oh really?" Meg replied, in that tone. I started explaining how my uncle has a pickup truck and then I realized what I'd said and started punching Megan, mostly because I was pissed at myself for taking so long to catch that.
Lou convinced Megan her vehicle would be fine, so we walked to Maria's. I saw Sylvia there, because of course Smith/Boston is that small. The Emperor's New Groove is still very good. I had to make my train, though, so I left almost immediately after it was over. Walking through Harvard Yard, I hear "Is that Elizabeth?" "...Yeah," I reply. 'Twas Isabel. (In my defense, it was dark.) I had to go make my train, of course. A Red Line pulled in immediately after I went through the turnstile (for which I was grateful). At South Station, the board was messed up, so I had to ask at the Info desk. (At least there had been nobody on the escalators; oh the rage I have at lazy people on the escalators when I am in a rush.) I got on my train with about 1 minute to spare. I've really gotta start making hang-out plans with people where I don't have to run away to catch a train.
I was in such weekend mode that I'd forgotten I had to get up and go to work the following day until Meg asked me at one point early in the evening when I needed to go home and I started actually listing the train times aloud. Even though I'd had the Monday 10am video conference in the back of my head all weekend. [Said conference ended up working out fine; I know you were all worried.]
Isabel was the first to mention the Harvard-Yale game to me (in LJ, commenting about how everyone was away at Yale) but I didn't really think of it as connected to me until YDS Sarah mentioned watching the game on TV. Then Monday morning waiting for the train, Jay mentioned he'd gone to the game -- said it's like a reunion for every class. He said it was a pretty good game in that both teams were pretty evenly matched -- that is to say, equally bad. He said it went into 3 overtimes because of fumbles. I knew there was a reason I never got into the sports rivalry thing at the college level :)
10:02am: Max to somebody: "You're early; 10 o'clock coffee doesn't start until 10:10."
I win at Millionaire sometimes. I guessed correctly that the longest snake is the python, and I remembered that the U.S. govt used the UNIVAC for processing Census data. (Last week I knew that white is the Chinese color of mourning and guessed correctly that Japanese tatami mats are made of straw, but those were far lower dollar denomination questions.) Last week I learned that a single axel in figure skating is a 270 degree turn and that the nuclear reactor at U Chicago was under the squash court. And this week I was reminded that mint julep is made with bourbon.
Overheard on my way to the Harvard T: "We're having a deep, intelligent conversation about stereotypes and emo."
I got the 5:15 Red Line out of Harvard per usual, but it was so crowded. Am not entirely sure why that was.
At South Station, a guy wearing one of those Saved By Jesus/Lost to Hell billboards we've seen at Govt. Ctr. and Park St. was talking -- amicably, it appeared -- with the Green World/Extinction guy who so often has a table at South Station. I really wanted to engage them in conversation, but my train was gonna be leaving within minutes.
As of today, MLN has restored AV requesting (though you can't request stuff that's less than a year old -- which totally makes sense, since they're high demand and interlibrary request items spend lots of time in transit). And lo, there was much rejoicing.
And lastly, Autumnal Equinox is an NC-17 S3(?) Buffy/Giles fic. Why is there not more discussion about it over in club_joss?
The next read is eurydice72's Flight Patterns, which I am excited to reread (and dude, I added it to the rec queue; I win).