Friday, May 22, 2015

your Practice Resurrection photo stories [2015, vol. 4]

via: Lent & Beyond

This is our last week of photo stories as we near Pentecost.  I am so grateful to rehearse the reality of Christ's gift of "life that trumps death" with some beautiful contributions this weekThank you to everyone who shared photos and stories this year. You made Eastertide a brighter, more joyful season for us!  


"Loved."  (Paul & Lisa Van Allen, Austin, TX)

Read this post Henri's dad shared during the waiting and mourning of Holy Week.  We're so glad to welcome this beautiful boy during the celebration of life in Eastertide.


This photo looks past our little front porch and the cultivated flower beds to the sea of wildflowers (Indian blanket) that adamantly take over each spring nearly obscuring our front path. Knowing that it will all likely be toasty brown in a few months under the Texas sun makes me want to soak in the spring fervor just like our soil is gulping this blessed rain." 

"While looking for some fencing in a neglected pile this week, I discovered that the brambly dewberries growing wild around our property were finally having a productive year due to the rains we've been receiving. So it just seemed worthwhile to celebrate that abundance and wander around the edges of the wild areas of our land to see what I could find. What a delight to easily pick a decent amount of fruit (for two of us)! So I also had to pick a child's handful of meadow pinks, those charming pink wildflowers which have an indescribable sweet fragrance and last surprisingly well in a vase." (Jan Horn, Bastrop County, TX)

"To be honest, there have been moments when I've felt a little overwhelmed by it all. I have even wished that I had more time for remembering and celebrating Easter with the boys, but when I think of what we are gaining as we plant and tend and I am reminded that the celebration of new life is part of Eastertide, I'm very grateful for this land and these hens we've been given to care for.  Alleluia!" (Emily Watkins, blogging from Richmond, VA at Wondering Through the Year)


"The rain trickled, and soon poured over us in sheets.  Then thunderous giggles ensued."  (Kim Akel, Austin, TX)


"A quick coffee run at the local deli turned into forty minutes of Evy singing with these guys. It was such and unexpected surprise. Evidently every Friday morning, whoever can make it gets together for a jam session. Including this lady shaking her maraca with all her heart.  I love NY." (Cheryl Mango, New York, NY) 


"Here we are, over a year after the stroke. I continue to be both incredibly sad for Renee's losses and at the same time filled with admiration for her ability to keep going forward despite them.  She hasn't given up. Her desire is to be able to run again; which by the way, she has started doing in therapy -- and through our kitchen.  It's almost unbelievable to watch." (Les & Renee Aylesworth, Owego, NY)

Read this mourning story Les shared in Holy Week.  We're so glad to welcome this beautiful boy during the celebration of life in Eastertide.


"Despite the seizures, we were excited to announce the pregnancy! A week later we'd be making a much darker announcement -- the seizures were caused by a malignant brain tumor. The anticipation of our son was overshadowed by doctors, hospitals and multiple surgeries. We kept pushing forward. In the end, the tumor was downgraded and our son was born healthy.  It was a miracle." (Earl, Florrie and Alastair Barnett, LaGrange, GA)


I took my first class in Seminary in 2006. It was a mission’s class called Perspectives that I took with two colleagues. We stayed at a Christian retreat for ten days, learned about each other, learned about Jesus' love for all peoples.  I received 3 hours of seminary credit toward a master’s degree for the effort. 

That was nine years ago.

Yesterday, I graduated from Redeemer Seminary in Austin. Seminary was hard for me. I am 15 years older than the 11 of the 12 other guys I graduated with. I was the only Anglican, and I am not a scholar in the classic sense of the word. 

Seminary was so hard for me that I considered not walking in my graduation ceremony. Following the advice of my wife and friends, I walked and received my diploma in front of my wife, children, pastor, and my fellow graduates. And my perspective changed.

Rather than remembering the hard times over the past nine years, I remembered all of the people who helped me achieve this goal. I remember how my wife routinely showed me the graciousness and strength of Jesus. I remembered how the fine people of Christ Church supported me with resources and words of encouragement.

Rather than recalling the frustration that I often felt, I rehearsed the joy from the great friendships that I forged these past nine years; the confidence I gained from sitting under Godly professors; and the honor I feel from being invited to serve the Redeemer and Restorer of all creation.

There is an old joke that calls “seminary” “cemetery”. I used to use the lingo in my most frustrated times. But after walking into the graduation ceremony last evening singing “All Hail the Power of Jesus Name”, I think that I will call my experience 
“resurrection life” instead.   (Brian Murphy, Austin, TX )


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