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2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Fresher than ever.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A helper monkey made this abstract painting, inspired by your stats.

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 13,000 times in 2010. That’s about 31 full 747s.

In 2010, there was 1 new post, growing the total archive of this blog to 215 posts. There was 1 picture uploaded, taking a total of 24kb.

The busiest day of the year was March 6th with 163 views. The most popular post that day was Reflection on the Fig Tree – Luke 13:1-9.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for luke 13:1-9 social justice, acts 11:1-18 social justice, mother’s day litany, sources of theology, and matthew 18:1-6.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Reflection on the Fig Tree – Luke 13:1-9 September 2009


Matthew’s Talents vs. Luke’s Minas February 2009


Christology of Jon Sobrino September 2009


Buffet or Banquet – Acts 11:1-18 October 2009


Litany for Mothers’ Day May 2009



Around the world there are myriad variations of the churches that fit under the general banner of Reformed. The World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) alone boasts membership of 215 denominations in 107 countries with over seventy five million members, the majority of which are in the southern hemisphere.[1]  This vast number still does not contain all the denominations with roots in the 16th-century Reformation led by John Calvin, John Knox, Ulrich Zwingli, and others. Many of these denominations, especially in the United States, developed after previous church bodies split apart over irreconcilable differences, while others exist separately because of geographic location, or ethnic origin. Some others have been drawn together into larger groups or denominations, such as the United Reformed Church in the United Kingdom or the Uniting Church in Australia. While belonging to the WARC, to foster common mission and ministry, relations between some of these various ‘partners’ are tenuous at best. An example is found in the way many members of the Christian Reformed Church in the U.S. refer to the Presbyterian Church (USA) disparagingly as Neo-Reformed, while some of the latter refers to the former as Neo-Nazi. Among those that have recently united, there has been a blending of polity and theology, or at least a tolerance developed for varying beliefs and processes within the same body, that may leave some wondering whether they still possess a truly definable theological identity. Continue reading ‘IS THERE A DISTINCTIVE REFORMED THEOLOGY?’


just can’t make up my mind

Several friends told me how boring the last iteration of the blog was, so I’ve changed it yet again. If you like this let me know – if not, let me know. Looks aren’t everything, but I guess I was putting people to sleep with that last one. Anyway, I’ll try this for a while.


I’d Like to Thank …

The One and Only Bella Award

The One and Only Bella Award

… my mother who made all this possible. She always said I should be a writer and be published (you know what moms can be like). Now, I realize this blog isn’t what she had in mind, but life can be a bugger sometimes.

Awards have always meant so very little to me. They always seemed to come with backlash. I mean, really, why should I face expulsion from high school simply because my superlative was “the most likely to die of an overdose while studying transfinite numbers”? Then I was awarded the “youngest master optician” award and what do you know, I got old. In seminary, someone dubbed me the most likely to change the world, and they’ve been blaming me ever since.

So then, when Sam at Crying in the Night awarded me the Bella Award, why should I be so touched? Is it because the Bella Award graphic reminds me of my grandmother’s couch? Maybe. Could it be that I have a weakness for Ponzi schemes? That certainly could be since the Bella Award rules say:  Continue reading ‘I’d Like to Thank …’


The Trevor Project – LGBTQ Young People’s Helpline

Trevor banner

For young people, especially LGBTQ, who at are risk. If you, or someone you know is lost, feels alone, is confused, bullied, deeply troubled or having suicidal thoughts, this helpline is available 24/7. There will be more about what you can do elsewhere on this blog but, whatever you do, call if you or someone you know is at risk. Remember, you are not alone.


The Perfect Pastor Chain Letter

I know this is old, but I recently came across it in my old files and couldn’t resist. If you ever gotten a chain letter, and who hasn’t, you know that you stop the circulation of it at your own peril. There is a price to pay – maybe not the gates of hell opening up, but a price anyway. So, I’m throwing it out there and dumping it on your lap. Should you decide not to continue the circulation – well, let’s just say, “I wouldn’t want to be you.”


The perfect pastor does indeed exist – you’ve never met them, but you know they are out there. This is a sure-fire way of guaranteeing that you will be served by the perfect pastor, should you have enough faith to do what is necessary. First, just in case you have never dreamed of the perfect pastor, he/she must be defined: Continue reading ‘The Perfect Pastor Chain Letter’


I’m Feeling Musical …

… but don’t want to overrun the front page with video images.

Let’s start with a mini-concert from Melissa Etheridge – if she doesn’t move you, check to see if you have a pulse.

Then there’s the always incredible Ashley Cleveland and a good live piece from Sheryl Crow.

For some reason, it’s women that have caught my musical ear today. Of course, there must be the ubiquitous guitar work that get’s my blood flowing. I hope you enjoy these as much as I do. Continue reading ‘I’m Feeling Musical …’


I Just Can’t Resist

BBC News – Wierd Alien Life Forms “May Exist Among Us”

This is news? I’ll let the article speak for itself – resist the urge to “pun” this into the ground, much the same a Leo Kottke does with a sweet melody. Oh, the one-liners that exist in this article alone. Do I have the self-control? Continue reading ‘I Just Can’t Resist’


Testing the Waters on a Virtual Church

In another post, I described my ongoing interest in a virtual church – not simply a digital reporduction of a physical church or a place to pick and choose prayers and sermons, but a real and actual church meeting at predetermined (oops, there’s that Presbyterian word) time.

I envision a church gathering in cyberspace for communal worship and praise, as well as having a physical presence in each of the towns, cities and countries in which the “members” live. A church that enlivens mission, both individually and collectively, and promotes the notion of the “priesthood of all believers” actively engaged in the physical world as well as the cyber-sphere. It would be a church which has the same range of theological perspectives as any “real-world” church, but would have a space in which, unlike most churches today, those differences can be discussed respectfully and reverently. Continue reading ‘Testing the Waters on a Virtual Church’


The Gift that Gives and Gives …

… and gives, and gives, and …

I have posted this message on every blog because it just too important to keep a secret.

On Tuesday morning I checked my emails as usual, only to find the most unusual message:


(Courtesy of the Pastor) Dear Kathy, Please accept, as a donation towards the work of the choirs there, the attached PDF files of some of my unpublished choral music. Feel free to download and make copies of any items that you’d like to perform…with my compliments.
With best wishes, Colin Brumby, DMus

While Kathy Jensen is an accomplished musician, I am a very pedestrian appreciater of music. I am no judge of fine music by looking at notes on a page, so when I opened the seventeen attachments I was clueless about the nature of the melodies. I know words and theology, however, and when I read the lyrics I saw hymns at least as beautiful, expressive and meaningful as any of the best hymns in our hymnals.

I wept. Such a gift to a tiny congregation striving to leave a faith legacy to its community is priceless. To be able to sing original works that were donated to them because the composer was touched by their efforts, to be able to use these hymns to minister to each other and their neighbors is just – well, breathtaking.

When I spoke to Kathy yesterday and told her of the gift, she was almost speechless. She had yet to read the music or words but, I am supposing, as she understands the creative process of writing choral music, she was amazed at the depth and breadth of the heart that would share this gift with her church. If I know Kathy, by now she has played each and every one of these hymns, probably not just once. I can’t wait to talk to her when we reach a decent hour this morning.

To Colin. I do not know how you feel about having your gift publicly acknowledged, but I hope (with your permission) to replace your initials with your name to more fully recognize you as one of the saints of our church.

May God continue to bless you and keep you, my dear brother in Christ,



Any Ideas on Giving Away a Church?

I’ll probably need to unpack that title a little.  I was hired, as the minister, to give away the church I serve. It’s not that the congregation doesn’t want it anymore – it’s that they’ve gotten quite small in number – small enough, in fact, that “common” sense would ordinarily dictate closing down and moving in with another church. There’s only basic problem with that – this is the only church found within the community and it’s located close to the center of this particular neighborhood in Schenectady. So, I have been charged with inviting in a whole new congregation who would adopt the church as their own and, in the process be adopted by the current members as heirs of the church. The basic scenario looks like this:  Continue reading ‘Any Ideas on Giving Away a Church?’


A Guide to Understanding Gays

This isn’t original to me, either. I just don’t know who to credit.

(prepared for heterosexuals, or neanderthals – you pick) Continue reading ‘A Guide to Understanding Gays’


Just for Fun …

… and not original … and certainly not new.

How many Christians or other sects does it take to change a light bulb? Continue reading ‘Just for Fun …’


Gillibrand to be New York Senator

Today, I received an e-mail communication from New York Pride Agenda announcing Governor Paterson’s appointment to fill the seat left open by Hillary Clinton. The announcement read: Continue reading ‘Gillibrand to be New York Senator’


Authoring vs. Writing vs. Posting

As we have entered the blogosphere, new vistas have been realized for Rev Jenna Zirbel, my wife, and me. On one hand, new opportunities for getting our writings out in public have become obvious. On the other, new considerations of personal and ethical conduct have reared their heads. For this post, the subjects are (i) the difference between authoring, writing and posting written materials, and (ii) the issue of attribution, being the way you show who really contributed to the article. Continue reading ‘Authoring vs. Writing vs. Posting’

... or, preaching from both ends


That's too bad - I'm so sorry. Oh, well, just try to make the best of it. What you'll find here is a variety of essays and ramblings to do with things theological, social, whimsical and, sometimes, all three. I don't write to get famous - trust me, I've been told how futile that would be - but to express myself. I love to communicate and browbeat - ummm, I mean dialogue - about the things I find intriguing. Since you're here, and the door's locked, why don't you stay a while. There's a page bar under the header with links to information about us - I mean me. Don't forget to tell me what you think - in a nice way, I mean.

Readers since Jan 2009

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