Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Alex is 17

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I'm going to stop blogging for awhile because I need....

1. more time to celebrate this....
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2.  and to celebrate this.


 3.  Plus, Alex' 17th birthday in one week and Natalie's 13th birthday one week after that.

4.  Also it's been hard to blog lately because I keep forgetting about this.

Forgive Thy Brother
Scott Erickson

5.  So I hope that I'll begin to remember if I spend more time pondering this

photo credit: Anne Voskamp at A Holy Experience

We purchased our own Advent to Lent to Ascension wreath from her craftsman son and are so excited to use it for the first time this coming Sunday.

I'm quite certain I'll be stopping by once in a while over the next six weeks, but in the meantime would you join me in the ancient prayer we remember during the coming weeks? The prayer that says this

Grace and peace to you, my beloved blogging friends,during this blessed Advent season,

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

every common bush afire with God: Joshua 1-24

Read the purpose for these posts here.
p.s., I hope you'll be watching for these lower-case i incarnations of truth in the art you encounter.  Feel free to share them in the comment section!

Union Center Worship, November 7:  The Battle Begins (Joshua)
  • Lead On, O King Eternal (words: Ernest Shurtleff, adpt. Jeff Pardo; music: Jeff Pardo) Another great new arrangement of an old hymn from Indelible GraceDownload chart here 
Welcome and Greeting One Another
  • A Mighty Fortress (Martin Luther; arr. Tommy Walker)
  • Did You Hear the Mountains Tremble? (Martin Smith)
  • Filled With Your Glory (Starfield)
Offering / Poetry Reading:  "Pruning God's People", an excerpt from a poem written by Brett Alan Dewing about the trouble Achan brought to the Israelites and the consequences of his actions
Prayer of Confession:  a time for silent prayer where we listen for God's conviction, ask for His help to hear His voice and for help to obey Him.  
Assurance of Pardon through Christ: we respond with the truth of this old hymn in a beautiful new arrangement from Page CXVI
  • Nothing But the Blood (words: Robert Lowry; music: Page CXVI) Listen here
Prayer of Thanksgiving:  we thank God for making a way for our forgiveness and new life through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ

Message:  Joshua (Joshua 1-24)
Response to the Word:  
  • Today (As For Me and My House) (words and music: Brian Doerksen and Sandra Gage):  "Today I choose to follow You / Today I choose to give my yes to You / Today I choose to hear Your voice and live / Today I choose to follow You."
Offering/Life at the Center:  Outreach opportunities for Christmas (global and local) and recognition of veterans

Linked to Worship Blog Carnival at worshipcommunity.com

Week Seven: Joshua 1- 24

Joshua Holding Moses
Wayne Forte, 2005
Escape From Rahab's House
Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld, 1851-60
World Mission Collection, WELS


The Walls of Jericho Falling Down
Gustave Dore', 1865
Korea Computer Mission
Philip Ratner, 1998
The Safad Bible, Israel Bible Museum


The Writing on the Wall: High Art, Popular Culture and the Bible by Maggie Dawn

The Story

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Friday, November 05, 2010

7 quick takes: Gratitude

7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 99)

— 1 —
We had a lot of fun on Halloween with our friends and neighbors,  building a fire in the front room, eating candy, watching classics like It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown and Ghostbusters.
— 2 —
PLUS - we enjoyed a repeat performance of the Thriller dance. This time in the dark driveway with headlights for spotlights, casting dancing zombie shadows on the garage. (unfortunately, I don't have a video of that)

— 3 —
This was also a good meal-planning week now that we've gotten back to our e-meals menus.  Thanks to my fabulously frugal and fun sister's advice, we do really well with these menus, but I get kind of off track sometimes and we end up eating a lot of spaghetti and grilled cheese sandwiches.  This week's best was an Italian-sausage soup -- totally yummy
— 4 —
Enjoyed some time dreaming up ideas with some artists this week.  It's the peanut-butter to my jelly, the hula to my hoop, the bo to my jangle, the -- well, you get the idea.  Love it.
— 5 —
Our 16-year-old son was nominated to apply for the United States House of Representatives page program.  The application went in this week; if he's accepted he'll be leaving us for D.C. in January and not coming home until June.  As hard as that will be, we're praying this opportunity will work out for him.  Really praying.
— 6 —
Brian and I booked our plans to celebrate our twentieth anniversary at the end of the month.  We're not going to go far, but it was fun to make the plans and look forward to them for a few weeks.
— 7 —

My new hat, bought from a street vendor in front of the Guggenheim. (thanks to Lael for helping me figure out which one to choose out of the gazillions there!)

Linking up at Conversion Diary

Thursday, November 04, 2010

imperfect prose: stream-of-consciousness excuse-making

I'm stuck knowing what to write this week.  I've found myself totally caught up in the mad rush of getting used to the autumn season and it's a killer on my reading and writing.  The more my places to be and things to do list grows, the more my energy for absorbing and writing story diminishes.  It kind of makes me feel resentful, and yet my life overflows with good things, children, husband, home, friends, work.  Of course, this fall has also been full of soul-sucking mayhem.  Probably perfect fuel for the writing fire, but since this is not a place I choose to let all my madness show, most of that is saved for the journals stacked on shelves like a Library of Congress next to my bed. I feel quite jealous, actually, of those who have been able to carve out their life, wearing their suffering on their sleeve.  Who have walked so far into it that there's no turning back, but to make their story known.  My stories are mostly still stuffed in a closet, or hiding behind trees in the forest I wandered, not wise enough to be scared by what is hidden in the dark places.  I've tried, at times, to blow the dust and debris off these stories, to make them part of the visible truth of my life, but inevitably someone - or something- brings opposition and silences me.  And it's not that I need always to write about these dark places in my memory, but having to act as if they don't exist, never having a safe place to drag them into the light, feels like a handicap I'm lugging around.  

So, in this week of remembering all the saints who've gone before us, I'm here on a Thursday morning contemplating the handicaps left behind by a few of the saints in our family tree.  It makes me wonder if one of the reasons God allows the saints to cheer us on is to make up for all the damage they did while they were here on earth?  Oddly enough, that's a cheering thought.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

pondering words and photos on a Wednesday morning

first snow on old church steeple - October 2009

You all conduct worship as if worship was something that started last week.   You forget that we are part of the vast host of saints of those who have gone before and that even now that as we worship God; we worship God in the presence of that vast company of unseen believers who surround us and are clapping their hands as we sing the praises of God.   I have a great sense of the communion and fellowship between the church celestial and the church terrestrial.   And there’s nowhere in my Christian expression where that sense strikes me more forcibly than in Christian worship. 

(Albert Aymer,  from the transcript of a panel discussion at Calvin Symposium on Worship, 2006) 

Monday, November 01, 2010

Monday Mixtape: [the all souls & all saints edition]

i chose a theme, found variations on the theme from the world of everyday art, literature, music, film, television, internet, travel, and mashed them together into one post, like separate tracks on a mixtape, see?
track 1: the teaser

track 2: notes on a theme

On Sunday, November 1, 2009 I was on a mini-"vacation" and spent the day visiting a church in our neighborhood instead of my regular church home.  I was able to observe the way they recognized All Saints Day.  Here are my thoughts from those moments one year ago:

November 1, 2009:  This is All Saints Day.  I've never celebrated All Saints Day, not ever before in my lifetime.  In fact, up until an embarrassingly few years ago I wasn't sure if that was even an appropriate remembrance for a Christian.  In the fuzzy catechism of my upbringing, saint-remembering equaled saint-worshipping and wasn't that an awful lot like ancestor worship of the pagans?  It was a joy to sit in this marvelously, gloriously ordinary gathering of neighborhood people and join in the remembering of the men and women who also had been purchased for God -- by the same body and blood we remembered together today -- but who were no longer physically present in the weekly bread line of communion.  I did not recognize one single name or photo projected onto the screen during the lovely special song from the worship team, but it didn't matter.  My heart and mind and body were lifted with hope of that future rest.  I am loathe to admit that I could barely remember the names of the saints my own congregation had lost this past year.  Shame on my forgetfulness -- not my lack of sentimentality over death, mind you -- but my utter self-absorption in the here and now-ness of my own life. This is shallow living and shallow worshipping and I no longer am content to live and worship that way.

After the benediction, I walked the four or so blocks to the coffee shop, drawn by the desire for more of this season's pumpkin-flavored coffees and sweets.  Rounding the neighborhood back toward my house, I stopped in the memorial park between the high school and the police station.  It seemed fitting to savor the intinction of muffin and latte in the midst of my community's fallen, but not-forgotten, soldiers.  Surrounded by the vibrancy of swirling autumn leaves and scampering squirrels I read the signs of the dead and remembered.

1.  For all the saints, who from their labors rest,
Who Thee by faith, before the world confessed
Thy name, O Jesus, be forever blessed
Alleluia, Allelu...
2. Thou wast their rock, their fortress and their might;
Thou, Lord, their captain in the well fought fight;
Thou, in the darkness drear, their one true Light.
Alleluia, Allelu...
3. O may Thy soldiers, faithful, true and bold,
Fight as the saints who nobly fought of old,
And win with them the victor’s crown of gold.
Alleluia, Allelu...
4. The golden evening brightens in the west;
Soon, soon to faithful warriors comes their rest;
Sweet is the calm of paradise the blessed.
Alleluia, Allelu...
5. But lo! There breaks a yet more glorious day;
The saints triumphant rise in bright array;
The King of glory passes on his way,
Alleluia, Allelu...
6. From earth's wide bounds, from ocean's farthest coast,
Through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,
Singing to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
Alleluia, Alleluia!

track 3: magazine cover art

thanks for the HT @ Oh Happy Day

track 4:  good blog-reading related to All Souls, All Saints and Halloween

    track 5: poetry for All Saints Day 

    Notes From the Other Side
     by Jane Kenyon

    I divested myself of despair
    and fear when I came here.
    Now there is no more catching
    one’s own eye in the mirror,
    there are no bad books, no plastic,
    no insurance premiums, and of course
    no illness. Contrition
    does not exist, nor gnashing
    of teeth. No one howls as the first
    clod of earth hits the casket.
    The poor we no longer have with us.
    Our calm hearts strike only the hour,
    and God, as promised, proves
    to be mercy clothed in light.

    Beautifully told first today at Through a Glass Darkly.

    Can you add any examples of art inspired by everyday experiences in literature, music, visual, poetry or film. Add your own "tracks to the mix" in the comment section below!  If you want to join in on my theme this week: what art related to the Church liturgy of All Saints or what everyday liturgy of Halloween inspires you?

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