Saturday, October 30, 2010

every common bush afire with God: Numbers 1-27; Deuteronomy 1-34

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, Oct. 31:  Wandering
  • Surrender (Lincoln Brewster)
Welcome and Greeting One Another
  • Let God Arise (Chris Tomlin)
  • Holy, Holy, Holy (Reginald Heber/John B. Dykes, Arr., Danny Hampton)
  • All To You (Lincoln Brewster)
Offering/Life at the Center:  announce details for this year's Christmas pageant, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
    Scripture Reading:  Psalm 55: 17, 20
    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.  
    • Lo, the Storms of Life Are Breaking (words: Henry Alford; music: Kevin Twit):  "By Thy birth, Thy cross and passion / By Thy tears of deep compassion/ By Thy mighty intercession/ Lord and Savior, help us!"  Download chart here.  
    • My Jesus I Love Thee (words: William Featherston; music & arr., Page CXVI) Download chart here. Listen to the song at

    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

    Dramatic Sketch: (top secret!)
    Message:  Wandering in the Wilderness
    Response to the Word:  
    • Great Is Thy Faithfulness (words: Thomas O. Chisholm & William M. Runyan; music & arr. Lincoln Brewster):  "Great is Thy faithfulness, Great is Thy faithfulness / Morning by morning, new mercies I see / All I have needed Thy hand hath provided / Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me."
    • Surrender (Marc James & Lincoln Brewster)
    Linked to Worship Blog Carnival at

    Week Three: Numbers 1-27, Deuteronomy 1-34

    Moses and the Brazen Serpant
    Anthony van Dyck, 1621
    Gathering of Manna
    Nicolas Poussin, 1640's
    The Israelites' Fear of the Giants
    tempera colors on parchment, 1400-10

    Art from the blog archives
    • My learning to receive provision of friendships like manna  
    • a journal entry about waiting, wandering in the unknown
    • I talked about the example Moses interceding for the rebellious Israelites in my study of the Discipline of Intercession includes 

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

    Friday, October 29, 2010

    7 quick takes: Gratitude

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

    — 1 —
    Almost every day this week I woke up in the morning feeling like I didn't have the emotional stamina to make it through the day.  Almost every night I went to bed surprised by grace.  
    — 2 —
    The weather has returned to the rightful place of a lovely crisp autumn.
    — 3 —
    A delightful, if small, Reader's Guild gathering to discuss Matthew Crawford's thought-provoking book Shop Class As Soulcraft. (and Lael's delicious homemade granola bars!)
    — 4 —
    Watching the worship team work with each other during Thursday night rehearsal.  They were teaching each other, encouraging each other, collaborating with each other.  It was beautiful to watch.
    — 5 —
    Watching a 2-year-old and a 3-year-old play with each other at a friend's house this morning, being reminded of the delightful, imaginative minds of children as they pretended to fly through the house with their blanket capes and cardboard masks.  
    — 6 —
    Old-time monster movies on the classic movie channel tonight.  (currently watching The Revenge of Frankenstein.)  
    — 7 —
    Plans for a quiet weekend, family coming Sunday night to hand out candy to the neighbors and watch It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.  Maybe, maybe I'll even do some baking this weekend.  

    last year's rousing Halloween party with my parents (sorry, Mom!)
    Linking up with Jen at 7 Quick Takes Friday.

    Wednesday, October 27, 2010

    pondering words and pictures on a Wednesday morning

    a window in The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine

    "[Florida's] contribution is to update our view of these mini-Einsteins by taking a pop-existentialist view of their "creativity". It is a view that is familiar to most of us from kindergarten: creativity is a mysterious  capacity that lies in each of us and merely needs to be "unleashed" (think finger painting). Creativity is what happens when people are liberated from the contraints of conventionality. According to this hippie theory, the personal grooming habits of Albert Einstein are highly significant - how else does one identify as "bizarre maverick operating at the bohemian fringe?"

    The truth, of course, is that creativity is a by-product of mastery of the sort that is cultivated through long practice. It seems to be built up through submission (think musician practicing scales, or Einstein learning tensor algebra). Identifying creativity with freedom harmonizes quite well with the culture of the new capitalism in which the imperative of flexibility precludes dwelling in any task long enough to develop real competence. Such competence is the condition not only of genuine creativity but for economic independence such as the tradesman enjoys. 

    So the liberationists' ethic of what is sometimes called "the 1968 generation"  perhaps paved the way for our increasing dependence. We're primed to respond to any invocation of the aesthetics of individuality . The rhetoric of freedom pleases our ears. The simulacrum of independent thought and action that goes by the name of "creativity" trips so easily off the tongues of spokespeople for the corporate counter-culture, and if we're not paying attention such usage might influence our career pans. The term invokes our powerful tendency to narcissism and in doing so greases the skids into work that is not what we had hoped."

    -- from  Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work  by Matthew B. Crawford 

    Linked to Lovely Photo Wednesday.

    Tuesday, October 26, 2010

    Tuesday's Top 10 guest post: Let's Hear it for New York

    I brought in a ringer this week - my husband.The man just loves this city....

    Top 10 Things that I Love about New York City
    by Brian Murphy

    10. Parks: From Central to Bryant and all throughout the city the parks are great for strolling, relaxing, and some excellent people watching.
    Farmer's Market in Union Square - 2009
    9. Food on the Corner: Hot Dogs (or as my friend Scott says -- a dirty water hot dog), pretzels, gyros, and my personal favorite roasted nuts are all outside and available all the time. Enjoy something while you are relaxing in the park. By the way, the restaurants -- forgetaboutit!

    Pete's Tavern
    one of our favorites (oh, yeah, and O. Henry's, too)
    8. Stuff to do for free: The city that never sleeps is also doable for very little money. The Staten Island Ferry, for example, takes you on a free ride past the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island all while offering beautiful views of the Manhattan skyline.

    Walking through Chinatown in the rainy springtime
    7. Music in the subway: Last time we visited the city, it was the underground (literally) Opera in the 42nd Street subway station. The time before that it was classical guitar in the stairway of a downtown stop. The time before that it was Motown outside of the Staten Island Ferry entrance. Very cool.

    Grimaldi's in Brooklyn
    best pizza in NYC (that we've tasted so far!)
    6. Baseball. The 27 time World Champion New York Yankees, 'nough said. (editor's note:  Brian actually wrote this for me last week; had he written it this week, I'm guessing there's more he might have to say about the Yanks...)

    I'm kicking myself because I can't find the photo Brian and Alex took from the
    This is summer 2008.  Our last visit with the kids in the old stadium.

    5. Downtown: My favorite part of the city -- a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the most relaxing sightseeing you'll do int the city. Start at City Hall Park - notice the operational gas lanterns that light the path, check out the architectural features of city hall itself, and then take a walk across the bridge and back. Great views.

    entering Brooklyn Bridge from the Brooklyn side
    4. Driving: Yep, driving. One of the most exhilarating experiences in the city. Channel your inner-cab driver, start on the avenues rather than the streets, watch the pros, and do what they do. You'll be fine. Hint: Don't sightsee. Let your passengers enjoy the sights while you enjoy the ride.

    from City Hall Park - Spring 2010
    3. Buildings: Fine art all by themselves. Forget about the stereotypes, embrace your tourist tendencies and lift your head skyward. When the sky is right, you'll feel like you can see the earth rotating.

    Mako Fujimura exhibit
    Dillon Gallery - 2009
    2. Museums: Get a book and find some of the out of the way ones. Also, churches as museums are a good way to go. Go see Saint Paul's Chapel across from the World Trade Center and notice the pews that were gouged  and scratched by the guns, tools, and radios of rescue workers from the 9/11 tragedy. The Guggenheim is the most enjoyable traditional museum experience that I have had. Walking to the top of the spiral ramp  is an experience all by itself.

    St. Paul's Chapel
    1. Energy: New York City is the most optimistic and energetic place on earth. I feel as if I could sleep 5 hours a night and still be alive all day. Try waking up with the city. Get up at 6AM and take a walk. The quiet yet electric feel is enough to make the trip worth it.

    overlooking the activity at the WTC site from a quiet hotel room - Fall 2009
    Linking to Top 10 Tuesday.

    Monday, October 25, 2010

    monday mixtape: [new york state of mind 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
    Photograph by Joe McNally, National Geographic

    track 2: a few of our favorite NYC-themed songs

    track 3: notes on a theme

    Not many words this week, but we're talkin' New York City, so....

    Here's a bunch of posts where I gush about the place:

    • a delicious taste of the Big Apple here
    • girl's day in NYC here
    • anniversary road trip here
    • recession-proof romance here

    track 4: art for charity

    Jennifer Hill
    for The Working Proof

    track 5: television

    The characters have serious issues and there's not much of a redemptive storyline, but the sets, costumes, design is totally NYC-ensational!  

    track 6: museum
    Guggenheim, New York

    My new favorite museum experience ever.  We saw the current exhibit, Chaos and Classicism, last weekend.  Between Frank Lloyd Wright's architecturally-pleasing egotism and the curators' hospitality to those of us lacking an art history degree, this will move right to the top of our annual road trip list!

    one of my all-time favorite NYC photos: Brian resting during our Brooklyn Bridge walk
    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!  (sorry, the links option costs money now so, we're going to stick with the good, ol'-fashioned comments box!)

    Linking to Life Made Lovely Monday.

    Sunday, October 24, 2010

    every common bush afire with God: Exodus 19 - 40

    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, Oct. 24:  The Ten Commandments
    • How Great Is Our God (Chris Tomlin)
    Welcome and Greeting One Another
    • Everlasting God (Chris Tomlin)
    • Filled With Your Glory (Starfield)
    Offering/Life at the Center:  announce Operation Christmas Child
      Scripture Reading:  Exodus passage of the Ten Commandments
      Prayer of Renewal:  formed from Psalm 95:7 - "If you hear His Words, do not harden your hearts."
      • Let Us Love and Sing and Wonder (words: John Newton; music: Laura Taylor):  "Let us love and sing and wonder/Let us praise the Savior's name/He has hushed the law's loud thunder/He has quenched Mount Sinai's flame/He has washed us with His blood..."  Listen here.  
      • Grace Flows Down (David E. Bell / Louie Giglio / Rod Padgett)
      Message:  The Ten Commandments (law gives us freedom from chaos)
      Response to the Word:  from Exodus 34:4, MSG "God, God, a God of mercy and grace, endlessly patient—so much love, so deeply true—loyal in love for a thousandgenerations, forgiving iniquity, rebellion, and sin. Still, he doesn't ignore sin. He holds sons and grandsons responsible for a father's sins to the third and even fourth generation."  Pray over children and Shepherdstown leaders, Elevate students and leaders as the next generation.
      • Rock of Ages (Toplady/Hastings; arr. Crowder):  "Not the labor of my hands/Can fulfill the law's demands;/Could my zeal no respite know,/Could my tears forever flow,/All for sin could not atone;/Thou must save, and Thou alone."

      Linked to Worship Blog Carnival at

      Week Three: Exodus 19 - 40
      Moses Indignant at the Golden Calf
      William Blake
      tempera on canvas, 1799-1800
      Moses Contra Freud
      R.B. Kitaj
      oil on canvas, 2005
      The Ten Commandments
      Cecil B. DeMille/Charlton Heston/Yul Brynner

      Art from the blog archives:
      • The Israelites were technically given over 600 commandments.  Read my thoughts on A.J. Jacob's book The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible As Literally As Possible  
      • writing about the discipline of Study, I ruminate on the kind of internalizing of the law that leads to freedom
      • some journal notes about how my three-year-old and the movie The Notebook taught me about a Grace-God

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

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      Saturday, October 23, 2010

      post script

      It's been a strange week and I've not been up to posting; however, I've accumulated quite a file of p.s. notes.  Enjoy!

      1.  In my last Monday Mix Tape, I mused on the art of hospitality.
           p.s., Neighborhood Brunch: A beautiful example of hospitality in a new blog I'm visiting, Graceful.
        p.p.s., Missional Is More Than Donuts: excellent caution against the hospitality of good-intentions at Everyday Liturgy.

      2.  Speaking of the art of hospitality, I wish I'd recommended a couple more hospitality-as-cooking books on the mix tape.
           p.s., Supper of the Lamb by Robert Farrar Capon.  My review for the IAM Reader's Guild is here. 
           p.p.s., Tender at the Bone by Ruth Reichl.  My thoughts on this culinary memoir here.

      3.  In the art-of-hospitality mix tape, I included a link to the delicious idea Dinner Party Under the Golden Gate Bridge @ Oh Happy Day.
           p.s., Pier Dinner Party: Oh Happy Day has more delicious art-of-hospitality ideas up her sleeve.
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