Sunday, August 30, 2015

Mark Wutka's Top 7 Most Quaker Bible Verses

RantWoman should just let Mark Wutka speak for himself, but God seems to keep dropping a different calling into RantWoman's lap.

--RantWoman is not sure how to get to "walk worthy of one's calling" but one strand of calling keeps arriving with about the same finesse as the average housecat with claws fully extended against some gravitational excess. RantWoman would not mind a gentler approach.

--Mark Wutka mentions unity but does not cite any Bible verses. RantWoman actually considers that omission a GOOD thing. Here would be an example of events straining a sense of unity or even quest for unity: On Yearly Meetings Releasing Meetings RantWoman finds herself wondering whether Friends should start with some sense of communion and THEN try for unity.

--One of the most interesting parts of presenting this video to blog: figuring out which of RantWoman's tags apply.

--RantWoman's biblical understandings tend not to have specific chapter and verse attached, though she is fond for instance of steadfast love that endures forever and recurs many many times in the Psalms, and also having life abundantly.

--It's the end of the summer and the phrase "fruits of the spirit" is evoking images of wrinkled, overripe and half rotten, half fermented plums. Between RantWoman and God, the kitchen is versatile, but if everything is overripe, God is just going to have to make jam. 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

The best thing anyone did on earth this week.

Clip from a few weeks ago, with further remembrance of Cecil the Lion:

To quote John Oliver Three Chechen teenage girl scamming ISIS is "the best thing anyone did on Earth this week. It's the exact opposite of shooting a lion with a bow and arrow."

John Oliver on Chechen Girls "catfishing" ISIS

(RantWoman does not feel called at the moment to troubleshoot the technological pieces of presenting the link above without visual cues.)

Monday, August 24, 2015

YouTube items on alternative service in Russia (in Russian)

This video starts a playlist with several videos about the history of Alternative Service in Russia since the new constitution following the collapse of the Soviet Union. The right to alternative service was written into the Russian constitution, but it took a great struggle to create the channels for conscientious objectors actually to realize this right.

This first video is a fun chipper promo; it definitely was not always as easy as this video makes it sound.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Purple argyle, phone, and ...product review

And the Lord spake unto RantWoman and the Lord said, besides still being stuck in the narrative KJV subdialect,

"Wear the purple argyle socks You are having dinner at RantMom's. Wear the purple socks"

And lo, RantWoman fussed about a couple other options and lo, the wardrobe elements aligned and verily this is a GOOD thing. The purple argyle socks are a birthday present from RantMom. They are 100% cotton and RantMom does not even have to lie about the fabric content! So RantWoman needs to be esxtravagantly grateful and to TRY to impress upon RantMom that sometimes having ONE VERY NICE THING even if a little spendy is MUCH preferable to 3 perfectly hideous inadequate and much cheaper things.

And the Lord spake unto RantWoman after the weekly holy bus ride and the Lord said "Go to Starbucks. You are undercaffeinated and you know yourself well enough to know you should not attempt civilized discourse in this state. And plus I have equipped you with gift cards with various mysteries attached: the one with a surprising sum left over and the one, was it perhaps from the #ada25 goodie bag with braille but no money."

RantWoman had budget reasons just to aim for the caffeine options at Meeting, but, obligatory Quaker mystical experience alert, God was pretty firmly saying "Starbucks. Starbucks." (Really!)

While RantWoman was completing her coffee buying in came...a Return Phone Call, a return call from someone RantWoman was just going to try again about. RantWoman had a GREAT conversation related to an ongoing discussion involving the phrase
training the next generation of Quaker leaders which RantWoman would really like to rephrase as one of several ways to invest in the future of the Religious Society of Friends. RantWoman will elaborate on this thought in another post.

One small addendum here though: one way to train future Quaker leaders is to uphold people both finding their voice and listening in shared discernment during Meeting for Business. As with RantWoman's Frequent Flyer list of people offering vocal ministry in worship (Yep, RantWoman herself is on this list, but..) RantWoman is seasoning a mental list of people including VERY weighty Friends, who RantWoman wishes would only present ONE item each Meeting for Business. This is partly RantWoman's recurrent twitch about people just wearing too many hats and partly really this sense of growing new voices. Please hold the leading to raise this concern in the Light.

Okay, and RantWoman, if new voices come, are you going to have endless snitfits and wals of implacable hostility?

Look, um, I am to be true to the Light I am given. I cannot promise anything one way or another. I AIM to do the best I can about delivery at least, but perhaps if we all discern together...

But back to the returned phone call, RantWoman was also THRILLED to know that questions of spiritual nurture are on many people's minds. Again, RantWoman will meditate further on her conceptions of this in another post. Here RantWoman will reflect simply on what does or does not seem like shared discernment. If everything goes into a black box or a closed email group RantWoman has no idea whether others resonate with her concerns. If only one person from the involved subcommittee comes to Meeting for Business, how is RantWoman going to have any sense of multiple sets of ears?

RantWoman knows from careful listening that people hearing the same discussion pick up different elements and RantWoman would always rather people hear directly than filtered. RantWoman says this with great humility knowing many people's time constraints. RantWoman is unsure whether anyone besides herself would weigh in online with comments options, but an advantage of an online forum is that the discussion is visible to other people besides those present in a room. Consider this an invitation to offer comments even though RantWoman is humble about the time involved in reading and responding to comments.

And lo, RantWoman walked the rest of the way to Meeting, and the Lord spake unto RantWoman and said "No today is not the day you get to be soothed in early worship silence. Go to Adult Ed. Go late but definitely do not just go hide out in the library with the wi-fi and listen to Lloyd Lee Wilson on community.. And lo, between the 10th anniversary of Katrina and the massive wildfires of the summer, disaster preparedness was on many Friends' minds. A very rich discussion occurred and the results get their own post(s).

And lo the Lord intervened in RantWoman's inner monologue about getting all hopped up in Meeting for worship and going out to kick some infidel butt. Um, yeah, the thought needs other words AND at least it did not make it out of RantWoman's mouth until AFTER worship.

And NO, RantWoman was still not done: the Lord has blessed RantWoman with a truly astounding array of "Customer Services EXPERIENCES" this week. For instance, Fire not wildfires reviewed

Bless us oh Lord and all of our ABUNDANT life.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Hold North Carolina Friends in the Light

Hold North Carolina Friends in the Light:

Family Reflections from Trauma Mama

RantWoman would be inclined to add TraumaMama's blog to blogroll, but new entries have been discontinued. Instead here are a couple entries that spoke to RantWoman.

RantWoman is interested in the alternative assignments suggested in this post and the point that school is not automatically the most sensitive place for LOTS of kids. At the same time, RantWoman thinks it is more important for parents to do the best they can to walk with kids as they go through rough spots than necessarily to try to protect them from everything that might come along. Parents cannot protect kids from everything!
This is a powerful post about being called to adopt and lots of other tangled family formation issues.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

LLW on Spiritual Authority within the Meeting.

Via the Santa Barbara Friends Meeting Facebook page.

This passage comes from Lloyd Lee Wilson's pamphlet, published through School of the Spirit, entitled The Exercise of Spiritual Authority Within the Meeting.

RantWoman's intent in posting is PARTLY to generate some resources and options for SHARED CONVERSATION. Please hold RantWoman's call to insist on more attempts at shared conversations in the Light.

Understand, this is RantWoman and the content is subject to the usual array of RantWoman mental misfires, mininterpretations, and general mumblings.


The Religious Society of Friends, contrary to popular belief, is at heart a corporate spiritual journey, not an individual one. It is not a place where each individual gets to have their own self-designed spiritual growth program. It is only in our joint practice, in our joint experience, and our joint testimonies as Friends that we become communities of believers who can do the work that God has set out for us. God's project, as understood by Friends, is not so much the sanctification of myriads of individuals as it is the transformation of all creation. We are not sent out to win souls to Christ, we are sent to restore Creation to harmony with God: to establish God's Kingdom on earth in all its fullness [. . .]

 The measure of our faithfulness is not how many hearts we have won to Jesus or God or the Divine Power or the Inner Light. It is how real we have made the Kingdom of God. How much we have been willing to learn and do together. Have we learned how to live in harmony, justice, and love in our meetings, and have we taken what we've learned with us into the world?
RantWoman checked the Way of the Spirit webpage and found the following page of publications:
RantWoman considered the option of having one of her trademark temper tantrums about print-only publication lists.. Fortunately, RantWoman also discovered this wonderful Library page with files in PDF and MP3! Now RantWoman means to listen to the whole MP3 file!