Archives For My Life

Photo-a-Day: #Near

March 3, 2015 — Leave a comment

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I took this photo in the dark lying on my back in bed this morning.

This is Simon our cat (the photo’s been filtered so you can actually see her–again, it was dark).

When I’m sitting on the couch watching TV or when I am looking for a cat a snuggle in the middle of the day, Simon is not interested. She will snuggle with Jason and she’ll sit on his lap any time he’s watching TV or reading or napping in his chair. When he takes a nap, she hops right onto his feet. If it’s light out, she wants Jason, not me.

When I’m asleep, it’s a different story. During the night, she insists on sleeping wherever it would be most comfortable to put my feet. Or I’ll wake up in the middle of the night and she’s lying on my shoulder (I am a side-sleeper). Around 5:30 in the morning she begins Project Alarm Clock by pacing around on my body and putting her face near my face until I wake up. That’s when I took this picture this morning, as she walked around on my chest in an attempt to get me out of bed.

I’ve heard of other cats who bat or bite to wake their people up, so I guess I am grateful Simon hasn’t heard about that.

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From the halls of power to the fortress tower,
not a stone will be left on stone.
Let the king beware for your justice tears
ev’ry tyrant from his throne.
The hungry poor shall weep no more,
for the food they can never earn;
There are tables spread, ev’ry mouth be fed,
for the world is about to turn.

My heart shall sing of the day you bring.
Let the fires of your justice burn.
Wipe away all tears, for the dawn draws near,
and the world is about to turn!

(–verse 3 of “The Canticle of the Turning” by Rory Cooney)

Photo-a-Day: #Wait

February 27, 2015 — Leave a comment

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Things I’m waiting for:

Spring

Easter

God to make all things new

Happy Friday, friends!

It’s ironic that I forgot to take a picture for “remember” yesterday. It was a pretty busy day.

Today’s word is “place,” and this is the place I spent most of the day yesterday when I was busy forgetting to “remember.”

You follow?

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Photo-a-Day: #Path

February 24, 2015 — Leave a comment

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Yep, we still have snow on the ground! Jason created this path for me.

Photo-a-Day: #Covenant

February 24, 2015 — Leave a comment

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Did you ever have the experience of taking a picture, knowing what Bible verse you were going to attach to it, along with whatever pithy interpretation of that verse you might offer, and then read the verse in context and realize that your pithy interpretation of that verse is garbage? Yes, me too all the time.

I’ll still offer the verse (highlighted below) that I chose for “covenant,” and it still applies with regard to “covenant,” but I’ll give you just a bit of the context (for the full context, read the first 40 chapters of Isaiah).

16 Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean;
remove the evil of your doings
from before my eyes;
cease to do evil,
17   learn to do good;
seek justice,
rescue the oppressed,
defend the orphan,
plead for the widow.


18 Come now, let us argue it out,
   says the Lord:
though your sins are like scarlet,
   they shall be like snow;
though they are red like crimson,
   they shall become like wool.
19 If you are willing and obedient,
you shall eat the good of the land;
20 but if you refuse and rebel,
you shall be devoured by the sword;
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

Photo-a-Day: #Celebrate

February 22, 2015 — Leave a comment

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The kids pictured here who attend elementary schools or pre-schools in Henderson County have been out of school all week this past week! Today, we celebrated getting out of the house and being together again at church this morning and at Pump-It-Up this afternoon. We made a huge mess in the art room and talked about Jesus and the season of Lent and some kids dug jack-o-lantern foam pieces out of the big box of foam pieces and stuck them on their crosses. Because: kids.

Back to school tomorrow–on a one hour delay!

 

Photo-a-Day: #Joy

February 21, 2015 — Leave a comment

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Jason missed the major snow event, but he’s enjoying the winter weather now that he’s home. You have to look close to see the look of joy on his face as he stands in pajamas and bare feet on the edge of our front stoop and studies the ice covered tree in our front yard, but it’s there. Look beyond him and you can see our yard full of snow and our slush covered road.

Photo-a-Day: #Alone

February 20, 2015 — 1 Comment

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Am I ever really alone anymore? I mean, The Almighty aside, how often do I truly find seclusion? There are plenty of times that I am physically alone–no other people in the room or in the building…

…but, I have my phone that connects me to hundreds of people in almost that many ways.

…but, I have my laptop that connects me to my classmates and church members.

…and also? I just never really have to stop and ponder and think and dream because I always have something to do! I can check my email. I can update facebook. I can tweet and instagram and crush candy and google any question that comes to mind.

I very much value the technology that connects me to people I love and keeps me in the loop where I otherwise might get disconnected from the lives of high school and college friends I no longer see regularly. My phone, this week, has brought me updates on a friend having surgery and all of the things going on in the lives of youth group kids I care about who are out of school because of snow. Technology allows me to share my thoughts and keep an online journal here at this site. It is making a Masters of Divinity degree possible at this stage in my life. This is not a “down with technology” post!

Yet, what I have realized is if I don’t intentionally make time to be alone without my phone and technology, I do not give my attention, thought, and prayer fully. And I am a person who needs to find time to be alone with my thoughts and my prayer time.

Jesus valued being alone. He was accustomed to having crowds of people follow him and almost always had some of his group of twelve disciples with him, but there were times he left them all behind to go be alone and pray. Just a couple of weeks ago in Church, we read from Mark 1:35-45, which starts this way:

In the morning, while it was still very dark, [Jesus] got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed.

While I was at UDTS for January term, I met regularly with my Spiritual Formation Group. We discussed the book by Gary Hansen that I shared about last month and practiced many different ways to pray together, but one that I really liked and knew I needed to practice regularly is The Examen. This practice was formally brought to the church by St. Ignatius of Loyola, but there is no doubt that many Christians practice it regularly in informal ways as it is just a great way to pray.

The Jesuits pray The Examen daily (twice a day, even). I pray daily, but have set aside Fridays as my day to put away my phone and laptop and pray The Examen. I have a notebook (pictured above) designated just for this. To help me focus, I start with a blank piece of paper and then as I begin I write headings on the paper. Last week, it was “done” and “not done,” “loved” and “failed to love,” “seen” and “heard,” and “obedience” and “disobedience.” I write in those columns, and on the back, and usually outside the lines. As things come to mind, I write them down and as mental distractions creep in, I make a note and set them aside. I also have a “worksheet” that helps guide me as I consider the week behind me and look to the week ahead.

So today is the day I pray my Examen. Alone with my busy mind, reflecting and listening for God to speak. How will you pray on this third day of Lent?

Photo-a-Day: #Look

February 19, 2015 — Leave a comment
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copyright Jason S. Durham

 

Jason is home from backpacking in Florida and he brought this photo of an (annoyed?) alligator back with him. It appears that our reptile friend is not very excited to be examined as he (she?) catches some rays on a trail at Myakka State Park.