Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Transition - New Feed

Hi Friends!

Just wanted to pop over here and let you know that my new feed is up and running on my wordpress blog.  It doesn't look like the old way of following is going to transfer with my blog.

Head over here to my new blog and then use this link if you use google friends connect, google reader, etc. to follow along.

Thanks for being so patient!


Sunday, October 9, 2011


Hi Friends!

I am in the process of transitioning my blog from blogger to self-hosted Wordpress.  The transition is complete and you can now find me over at wordpress!

Here is the link to my new feed so make sure you re-subscribe, follow, etc. etc.  And bear with me through this transition!


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Auto Correct Hilarity

Bruce and I just had the most hysterical conversation:

I honestly can't even tell you what he was trying to say we were both hysterical at the fact that he couldn't even correct the correction because of auto correct.  I think I understand why my dad turned his off on his phone.

Dinner tonight:

Tonight's Salad:
  • Mixed Greens
  • Diced Tomatoes
  • Diced Onions
  • Croutons
  • Black Beans, drained & rinsed
  • Mexican Blend Cheese
  • Honey Mustard Dressing
Honestly, keeping canned beans in my pantry, is such a salad lifesaver.  I love the quick and easy source of protein!

Oh myyyy that was good.

What is everyone up to on this Saturday night?  Probably something more interesting than laughing over auto correct.


Wow, what a beautiful day!

I told myself that I would spend the day finishing my sermon and getting some cleaning done.  But it's so hard - who wants to be stuck inside on a day like today!

Somehow I thought a compromise between cleaning and being outside was baking.  Don't ask.

But now that I have corn muffins, I feel the need to make chili.  So I took to pinterest.  Naturally.

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

Perhaps I should give this recipe a try?

Now I have neither cleaned nor looked at my sermon.  I am officially so much more productive on rainy days.  Someone send help.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Friday Night Musings

Ever have one of those days where you just want to call all of the people in your life and tell them that you love them?  Yep, having one of those days.

To everyone reading: I love you.  Embrace life - always.

I'm trying to be good on my quest to put the "fitness" back into "food faith fitness photography fun" but I wasn't feel a walk or run today.  Pilates DVD at home, it was!  I adore this DVD.  The workouts are in 20 minute increments - perfect for an every day workout that you can sneak into a routine and you can double up if you are feeling ambitious.

Totally random, but look what I got from the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program!  Foodbuzz and Tervis teamed up - what a great combination!  Publishers were tasked with creating a new recipe for the tumbler - the wheels are turning in my head already.

I'm off - some of us from church are having a Stewardship Stuffing Party tonight!  Have you ever gotten something in the mail from your church and wondered who put it together?

Wish us luck ...

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Okay, I'm a wee bit stressed right now.

I did, however, take an hour break this afternoon to take a walk.  It was much-needed, although I came crashing back to reality as soon as I walked in the door.  I hate that!  How do you keep the zen?

Anyway, my garmin died less than a mile into the walk, but I walked about 50 minutes - soooo 3 miles perhaps?  I'm really happy that I forced myself to get out of the office - I need to do that more often.  Maybe I'll start bringing workout clothes to work so I can leave straight from there?

Bruce came through big time and stopped at the grocery store for some dinner fixin's - and then he cooked!  Wings + Salad - Yum.

Alright, I have a homily that isn't finished yet and I'm fading fast.  Time to buckle down.

Alma Mater Pride

Ever since my ordination, the materials that I have received in the mail from my alma mater (Ursinus College) has tripled.  It's ironic to me - "Hey, you're a minister now, we are sure you will have lots of money to give to us!"


The bizarre thing is, I haven't changed anything with them - I don't think I ever changed my name or let them know that I was ordained.  And yet, I have been receiving mail to the church addressed to Rev. Sarah E. Weaver.

An eternal mystery.  I am so glad, though!  I loved my time at Ursinus - I am so grateful for the faculty and staff who taught lessons beyond the classroom and cannot wait to give back (though I doubt I will ever have enough to have a building named after me!).

Anyway, the point of this post was not to dream about a future "Sarah Weaver Center For Theological Studies" (oooooo, that has a nice ring to it).  The point was to show off what I found when I was reading the magazine:

Look at me and my wonderful church in the Ursinus Magazine!  This is under the "Class Notes" section.  How exciting!

Speaking of my wonderful church - I have a lot of work to do.  See you later!  xoxo

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Food, Faith, Fitness(?), Photography, Fun

My blog has been lacking something in a big way lately.

Heyyyy, remember when I use to run on a regular basis?

(Five miles in the pouring rain - epic.)

(Aww, all those pictures were taken in my old apartment in Atlanta ...)

Anyway, the point is that I have fallen off of the bandwagon out of my running shoes in a bad way lately.  After I crossed the finish line last November, I threw myself headfirst into the world of search & call, which lead to a call, which lead to ordination, which lead to the first six months of ordained ministry (whoaaa, six months already), which led to me sitting in my office with a parishioner today having the following conversation:

Parishioner: You still running?
Me: Welllllll ...
Parishioner: No!
Me: I've been terrible lately, I have completely fallen out of the habit - I feel like I don't have the time!
Parishioner: Come on, Sarah - you can't do that!  The longer you wait the harder it will be for you to get back into it!

Never mind the fact that this particular person is in his late 70's (I think) and could probably still run circles around me.  And also never mind the fact that the only "fitness" routine I have these days is forcing myself into a few yoga poses before I go to bed.

Okay, point taken.  I went for a run today.

Sort of.  I know I haven't really run any significant distance since I moved here, so I am going to start small and creep myself up again.  Today I ran one mile (10:40) and walked one mile (17:06).  It wasn't as painful as I thought it was going to be, though I could tell I hadn't eaten enough in the morning and had zero energy.

I am currently trying not to remind myself of the fact that a little less than a year ago I ran 13.1 miles.


Okay, consider this my public declaration to put the "Fitness" back into "Food, Faith Fitness, Photography, Fun".  Wish me luck!

See You Next Year

Well, garden - it's been fun.

Thanks for all of the fresh salads.  See you next year!  We've got big plans for you ...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Watch Me Fly

It's the end of a long day and all Bruce and I wanted to do was curl up with a big bowl of popcorn and watch The Office on DVD.

We actually don't have a microwave which forces us to make popcorn in the popcorn maker we got for our wedding.  I love the taste of homemade popcorn!


I heard this song this afternoon and have been listening to it on repeat ever since.  It's definitely not a new song, but I love the underlying message about strength and endurance.  Enjoy!

Sometimes I bend
But I'll never break
And I'm not about
To win another day

Crazy Days And Tuesdays

Okay, today just got away from me.

<3 Wear a Dress Tuesday.

Rainey sent me this last week!  Don't you love this color?  I adore it and I adore it on her.

Lunch was eaten in between meetings and hospital visits.  Leftovers from last night - I didn't have any tomatoes though.  Bummer!

For dinner, I was craving comfort food:

I think Baked Ziti qualifies.

I don't have much of a recipe, because I wasn't thrilled with it.  But I used ricotta cheese AND mozzarella, which gave it amaaaaaazing flavor.

I am currently locking myself in my office so I can get some work done.

I am going to kick off my heels though.

I think I deserve it.

Odds are you deserve it too. :)

Happy Wear a Dress Tuesday!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Book Club Update


Bruce was in the mood for salads for dinner so we both kind of did our own thing (we kind of have differing views on what you should put in a salad, ha!).

On my plate:
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Pasta
  • Kidney Beans
  • Croutons
  • Honey Mustard Creole Salad Dressing (<-- new and delicious!)
Hindsight - I should have added onions!

I went to book club tonight and we started to talk about The Help.  Oh man - y'all were right!  This book is amazing.  Not only do I think that the stories are ones that need to be told, but the book is also put together in a neat way.  It is easy to read and the characters lives intersect each other at critical points (which makes me never want to put it down!).  I can't wait to finish it and then go see the movie.

Time for me to go to bed - good night!

Let's Go Fly A Kite

Bruce and I took advantage of our mutual days off and took a trip down to Newport to have lunch and fly a kite today!

It was kind of an epic fail.  It was really windy ... up until we bought the kite and attempted to fly it.  Then it was still. Ha!

We had lunch at The Black Pearl - outside by the water!

I had an omelet with ham and jack cheese, which was served with french fries and a delicious vegetable medley.

The weather could not have been more perfect today!

The tourists were out in full force - two cruise ships were in the harbor!  Whoa.

We're home and I'm getting ready to go to book club.  I am loving The Help!

Monday Morning Devotional

My church in Georgia has been putting together Daily Devotions that get emailed out every day and last week my pastor (hi Kim!) asked if I would be willing to write one for this morning.  I thought I would share it on here!

Psalm 46: 1-3, 10
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult. … ‘Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth.’

One night when I was a chaplain at Grady, I was called to the Operating Room to minister to the family and friends of a teenager who had been badly injured in a boating accident. I met the family around 8:00 in the evening and did not leave them until I was getting ready to turn over the pager next morning. It was a long, tragic and sleepless night.

At one point I was escorting family members and friends from the waiting room to the ICU when someone said to me, “I don’t know how you do your job.” Without even thinking I replied, “Sometimes I just have to pray my way through the night.”

I will never forget saying those words.

Life is not always fair; it is not always easy. We will all, at one point in our lives, experience something that will shake our foundation. Prayers may not be answered the way we want them to; cries will not necessarily be silenced.

And in those moments it is important to find a quiet moment and listen for the voice that says, “Be still, and know that I am God.” We need to listen for the voice that reminds us not of our own strength, but of God’s strength that surrounds us every day.

We do not need to be the strong ones.

Around 7:15 the next morning, I said goodbye to the family and headed down to give my report to the chaplains coming in for the day. On my way to the chaplain’s lounge, I stopped in the hospital cafeteria to grab a cup of coffee. I remember standing at the window, staring at the Atlanta skyline and traffic and starting to cry. I had made it through the night – and I knew without a doubt that I did not make it there alone.

Even amidst the hustle and bustle of breakfast and coffee seeking doctors and nurses, I could almost hear God’s voice saying, “Be still, and know that I am God.”

God thank you for always giving me the strength to move forward, even in the darkest of moments. While I may never live in a world where tragedies and hardships cease, I know that I live in a world where I am never alone. Amen.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Seeing Visions

What a morning!  Baptisms (yes, plural!), World Communion Sunday, new faces in church and a sanctuary full of people.  What more could a pastor ask for?

Today's sermon - audio is here!

Isaiah 5:1-7

Seeing Visions

Planting a garden begins long before a seed is ever actually planted in the ground. It starts with a vision.

This morning’s scripture comes to us from the Old Testament, from one of the Prophetic Books, the book of Isaiah. The book as a whole is actually not written by one particular prophet, it is a composite work. It was the product and writings of several different prophets who were ministering in the nation of Judah throughout different parts of Judean history. Isaiah is typically split into three parts and the first part, the part that we just heard from, was actual supposedly written by a prophet name Isaiah; Isaiah was an 8th Century BCE prophet.

In many ways, like other nations in the Old Testament, the nation of Judah was kind of a mess. They were, as a people, plagued by conflict, by power struggles and shifts and by mixed messages. The prophet Isaiah himself and the messages he was prophesying were both rejected by some kings and embraced by others; there was not a whole lot of unity throughout the nation.

And yet, the book starts off by saying, “The vision of Isaiah.” Despite the challenges Isaiah faced and knew that he would continue to face, Isaiah had a vision for this nation.

“The vision of Isaiah.” The vision.

What is a vision? Is it simply a prophecy that prophets have? Or is it something more?

Planting a garden begins long before a seed is ever actually planted in the ground. It starts with a vision. Before you plant a garden – or a vineyard, in the case of this morning’s scripture – you have to have a vision. You have to decide what you want to plant, where you want to plant and if where and what you are planting is even conducive to planting and nurturing a garden to harvest. You have to think about what your resources are and where you are in life and develop a vision for the future of your garden.

“Let me sing for my beloved my love-song concerning his vineyard,” the prophet says. Let us see how my vision is unfolding, you might say that he meant.

Unfortunately, the name of this particular piece of scripture is titled “The Song of the Unfruitful Vineyard,” not “The Song of the Fruitful Vineyard,” so the vision did not necessarily pan out in a positive and happy-go-lucky way. The vineyard yielded wild grapes that could not be used to make wine. Was that the vision that Isaiah had? Was that the harvest he was hoping to yield?

Now this is a parable, of course. Isaiah was not specifically talking about a vineyard yielding wild grapes and not being able to harvest them. He was talking about the future of the communities that he was ministering to, the unity he was trying to bring and that nations that were still at war with one another.

But the question that he poses afterwards is interesting. “And now, inhabitants of Jerusalem and people of Judah,” he says, “judge between me and my vineyard. What more was there to do for my vineyard that I have not done in it? When I expected it to yield grapes, why did it yield wild grapes?”

In other words: What did I do wrong? Was this my fault? Could I have done something different? Was my vision too grand? Should I lower my expectations for next time? How do I move forward? How do I see new visions amidst these bumps along the road?

It is ironic that this passage comes up when it does. This church and many mainline protestant churches in the United States are preparing for their stewardship campaigns. Now I know people don’t like stewardship campaigns – no one really likes when someone asks them for money – but bear with me for a second and hear me out.

I took a class in seminary on nonprofit leadership. I walked into class on the day that we were scheduled to talk about fundraising and I said to my professor, “Just so you know, I hate talking about money, I hate asking for money and I am not looking forward to today’s class.” And he just smiled at me. He said, “I love asking people for money.”

I thought he was nuts. I kind of gave him a strange look so he continued. He told me that it is all about perspective; that he would never fundraise on behalf of an organization that he really did not care about. And by having that rule, he said, you are then really only asking for money for something or someone that you really care about.

The lecture that day was unbelievable. My professor, Dr. Jenkins, captivated me by talking about visions. He said that in fundraising, you should only ever ask people to help you fund something that you genuinely and truly care about; that deep down you have big dreams for – and great visions of for the future. He said that by telling your story, by telling the organization’s story and by telling the stories of the lives that are being changed because of what you represent, you eventually get to a point where you are not asking someone for money; rather you are inviting them to be apart of something very, very special.

So fear not: I am not asking for money. But I am inviting you to see your own vision: Your own vision of this church, of this community of faith and of you and your family being apart of it all. What does that vision look like to you? What is your story?

Planting a garden begins long before a seed is ever actually planted in the ground. It starts with a vision. Building a church, growing a church, reigniting a church happens long before anything concrete is actually visible. It starts right now.

What is your vision for this church?

Would you want to see it grow? Would you like our worship options to expand from our one weekly service? Would you like our Church School to have more resources for new curriculum and supplies? Would you like to see more bible studies and adult education offered? Would you like to see our staff grow?

Would you like more support to be available for youth and young adults as they transition into adulthood? Would you like to have the opportunity to once again travel through our missions programs? Would you like to reach out into the community in new ways? Would you like to see improvements to our building that would enhance our ministries?

What is your vision for this church?

That ‘New Beginnings’ sign is still hanging because now is the time when we can start to have those visions; now is the time when we can get ourselves ready to plant some seeds.

It is not easy. Isaiah prophesied that visions of a fruitful harvest would yield wild grapes that could not be harvested. But in the end, I think Isaiah was wrong. He said, “And now I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard. I will remove its hedge, and it shall be devoured; I will break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down,” etc. etc. etc.

If our visions do not turn out exactly the way we saw them at first, do we allow them to be devoured, broken down and trampled? I don’t think so. I think we are called as Christians and as members and friends of this community of faith to allow ourselves to dream big and to see a grand vision. And then we are called to move towards it. To plan, to plant, to pray, to nurture and to be flexible and faithful when we encounter bumps along the road.

So – like I said, I am not asking for money. (Not yet anyway!) I am asking for something a lot more fun. I am asking for you to see visions: Visions of this church, visions of this community and visions of what that means for you. Look long, look far and dream big. It starts with you. It starts with your vision. That will be a great story to tell. What is your vision?


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Saturday Night Musings

My Saturday was spent knitting, reading, watching mindless television and finishing up my sermon.

Some weeks I crank through it just by reading the scripture and other weeks I need more ... help.  This was one of those weeks, ha!  I just needed to get some OT history lined up correctly.

I've started a tradition lately with the church where I light a candle in every meeting.  It is supposed to act as a reminder that even when we are working on the "business" side of the church - God is still present and we still need to act faithfully.  The thought crossed my mind today that I should be lighting a candle while working on my sermons!  I pulled out a red one because red symbolizes the Holy Spirit.

And who couldn't use a little bit of Holy Spirit when finishing a sermon?

It's way past my bedtime and Bruce is COOKING!  He's on a crock pot kick and already working on tomorrow's lunch.  Yummmm.


Play Work Repeat

Last night we went wine tasting!

Proceeds benefited the Carpenter Museum - our church neighbors!

Although, I didn't so much taste as I did drink what was in my glass and talk and mingle all night.

I don't think I'll ever be a wine connoisseur.

Post wine tasting we went to Gregg's in East Providence for some dessert with friends.  The desserts were unreal - reminded Bruce and me of the Marietta Diner

Today it's a lot of this and a little bit of sermon writing.  Onward!
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