Saturday, November 28, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

It was a beauty.

a new handmade table by our good friend Lee

Pioneer Woman's roasted turkey recipe was a winner

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend." Melody Beattie

our own Episco-Baptist liturgy for Thanksgiving

and then Turkey Bowl Football 2015, turkeys v. pilgrims - so fun

Our home was as full of love and life as our hearts.  Praise God from whom all blessings flow!  It was a peach of a holiday.


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

under the moonbow

Under a perfect moonbow last night (have you ever seen such a thing?), our friends told their story of God's faithfulness- a story that intersected our story, a story that points to the certainty of that continued faithfulness in all of our stories.

I'm thankful for that time at the fire and for the friends around it, but today, I'm mostly thankful for that common thread in all of our lives- God's ever present love, His faithfulness, and His sustaining grace that is going to see us through this life and usher us into the age to come.  Great is His faithfulness!  Eucharisteo

Monday, November 23, 2015

a thanks offering

Of all the weeks of the year, this one might be my most full, but I am desperate not to miss the focus of the season so I'm striving to start every day this week with an offering of thanks.  Today's good and perfect gift is friendship- from the outer circle of camaraderie and acquaintance to the inner circle of life-sharing community, I am so very thankful for the people who we love and love us so well. 

Thank you, Good and Perfect Heavenly Father, for friends and friendship.  What a gift! 


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

my cypress

 bald cypress, Betty Virginia Park
"22 They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. 23 He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?”
24 He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.”
25 Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. 26 Jesus sent him home, saying, “Don’t even go into[a] the village.”  Mark 8:22-26

A certain cypress looms large over the park in which my mother played as a child, where I played as a child, and where my children learned to swing and have field trip picnics.   It stands just across from where I said goodbye to my high school sweetheart when he left for college and where I now go running or take pictures of beautiful families wrapped in light.  So a couple of weeks ago, I pointed my camera its direction and captured it.  

This tree is firmly planted, enduring storms and droughts and floods.  It is healthy, nurtured by children's breathless CO2 emissions and the warmth and light of blue-skied days.  The only thing that changes for this trees are the seasons.  There it stands, displaying its glory as the beautiful cypress that it is.  It is itself.  

Although somewhat enigmatic, trees are very often used symbolically throughout the whole of scripture.  From those two trees in Eden to the Tree of Life in Revelation, the Bible is rife with tree imagery.  Trust me on this.  I keep trying to figure out what it all really means.  

So I don't really know what message Jesus was trying to send with his two step healing in this passage from the Gospel of Mark. Maybe you can tell me.  But I do know that over and over, God speaks to me with tree imagery.  Maybe He wants me to stand tall, grow roots, impart shade and refuge to those around me.  Maybe He wants me to know the gifts of resilience and provision He's given me, to know the freedom that comes with being firmly planted.  Maybe He wants me to be myself where He has planted me, even if that means staying put.  


Friday, November 13, 2015

you are what you eat

A homily earlier this year, given by the Very Reverend Alston Johnson, has stuck with me, rattling around in my brain and heart through these busy weeks.  It went something like this (a general idea at least):

A native American boy was out with his grandfather in the woods when one day, they came to a cliff. Looking down they saw two wolves- a black wolf and a white wolf.  They were fighting.

"What does it mean, Grandfather?" the little boy asked.

"There are two wolves within each of us, Grandson.  Fighting.  One is good.  One is evil."

"But which one will win in us?"  the boy asked.

"The one you feed, Grandson."


Jesus is the Bread of Life, you know.  When you feed on Him, the Spirit of God grows in You and you are controlled by Him.


You are what you eat, you know.


The words rang true throughout the Cathedral and my Hope is that I will daily surrender, not playing the part of Wicked, but instead yield to love and life and light, day by day as I FEED on true Bread.


Thanks, Alston.

"I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”  John 6:51

Friday, November 6, 2015

dig deep

Hearts for squats, diamonds for lunges, spades for burpees, clubs for plank jacks- Nora brought her card workout this morning and it made us dig deep.  105 burpees deep.

But digging deep is when we grow stronger, the hard stuff pushing and stretching us to be better versions of ourselves.


"For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come." I Timothy 4:8

Monday, November 2, 2015

the Church in earth and heaven

my dad and me at my wedding
Time and space to remember and reflect was this morning's gift at St. Mark's All Saint's Eucharist.

"Glory to God and praise and love be ever, ever giv'n
By saints below and saints above
The church in earth and Heav'n."  Charles Wesley

Sunday, November 1, 2015

October 2015

October is always full to the brim and overflowing with life and this one was no different.  Whew!