27 December 2008
In ten years I have taken over 500,000 photos with it. I used it to express my creativity and to record priceless moments in the lives of those I love. I will miss being able to do so now.
I have had ample opportunity in the past to do without things I enjoy. I find it helpful to remember that they are only things, and things can eventually be replaced. I currently live without a couch or comfy chair. This had not stopped me from living a good life. I even have friends over often for fun and fellowship. Good friends never mind the lack of furniture!
As many of you can remember from this blog in years past, I have spent long periods of time with no computer as well. Made posting more difficult but not impossible for the determined.
I have spent much time here in Houston with no car. The two longest periods combine to over a year and a half dedicated to waiting for a bus or walking where I needed to be. Outside of getting wet and needing to allow more time to get places, life did not change much.
I see this latest loss as just another reminder that is important to remember where you find your joy. Is it in the things you own, or is it in the intangibles of life? I have good friends who love and encourage me. I have family who love and support me. I have a God who dares me to claim Him as my best friend. All in all, I am one of the most blessed people in the world.
Saddened by not disheartened,
25 December 2008
As part of a honoring my family's heritage I always take time to check out the Queen's Holiday Message to her people. It is usually well written and often cheering. This year for the first time I found myself so overwhelmed by the message I was crying for joy. She reminded us all of the life Our Lord lived and how we can find meaning in living as He lived. I had not intended to post any additional videos today after leaving you three to watch last night. Her message so touched me I want to share it with you.
Happy Christmas to all,
24 December 2008
22 December 2008
As I wrestled with the whole "putting my toes out of bed" I kept thinking of how Christ left heaven for me. He left a place where He was one with the Father, a place where He had been forever to come to a cold and bitter life. And He did it simply because He loves me.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.
The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 1: 1,2,14 New International Version
Try as I might, I cannot really understand the depth of a love that would cause even Christ to leave the perfection that is heaven to come to earth. A place that would bring Him pain, humility, the agony of His own not recognizing Him, and the final degradation of submitting Himself to die for sin someone else committed. Knowing that He loves me beyond what I can understand is what gives me a reason to get out of bed. It is what makes me want to show His love to others. It is what keeps me longing for the day when I will join Him in heaven.
Not understanding the gift, but grateful all the same,
21 December 2008
A Christmas Carol
The Shepherds had an Angel,
The Wise Men had a star,
But what have I, a little child,
To guide me home from far,
Where glad stars sing together
And singing angels are? –
Lord Jesus is my Guardian,
So I can nothing lack:
The lambs lie in His bosom
Along life's dangerous track:
The wilful lambs that go astray
He bleeding fetches back.
Lord Jesus is my guiding star,
My beacon-light in heaven:
He leads me step by step along
The path of life uneven:
He, true light, leads me to that land
Whose day shall be as seven.
Those Shepherds through the lonely night
Sat watching by their sheep,
Until they saw the heavenly host
Who neither tire nor sleep,
All singing 'Glory glory'
In festival they keep.
Christ watches me, His little lamb,
Cares for me day and night,
That I may be His own in heaven:
So angels clad in white
Shall sing their 'Glory glory'
For my sake in the height.
The Wise Men left their country
To journey morn by morn,
With gold and frankincense and myrrh,
Because the Lord was born:
God sent a star to guide them
And sent a dream to warn.
My life is like their journey,
Their star is like God's book;
I must be like those good Wise Men
With heavenward heart and look:
But shall I give no gifts to God? –
What precious gifts they took!
Lord, I will give my love to Thee,
Than gold much costlier,
Sweeter to Thee than frankincense,
More prized than choicest myrrh:
Lord, make me dearer day by day,
Day by day holier;
Till I my voice unite
And I sing my 'Glory glory'
With angels clad in white;
All 'Glory glory' given to Thee
Through all the heavenly height
Christina Rosetti 1856
I have long loved this poem and find myself returning to it many times throughout the year.
Hope you enjoy it too,
18 December 2008
In case you are wondering why I included Mississippi's reluctance to formally abolish slavery it is because of one simple fact. While not legal in the US, slavery still exists in many parts of the world. For many a life of indentured service and the stealing of children for the same still goes on. Large numbers of people still have not the freedom you and I enjoy today. Many of them find themselves in their situation because of the way we live. As the largest nation of conspicuous consumers we purchase goods often which owe their creation at least in part to slavery somewhere in the world. While we no longer own slaves, our lifestyle promotes those who do. Now it is the time to ask yourself some hard questions. Do you abhor slavery enough to research the things you buy to make sure you are not supporting slavery? Will you be willing to pay a little more for goods and crops which are regulated through fair trade to make sure you are not part of the slavery equation? Or are you going to just complain about slave trade elsewhere as long as you do not have to make any effort yourself to abolish it?
Long ago one Englishman worked in slave trade for many years and eventually left it behind to live a life for God. So convinced was he of the depravity of slavery he campaigned for it's abolition and worked tirelessly with like minded members of parliament for many long years until it's end.
Completely aware that it was only God's grace that led him from his horrible life to life in the church, he preached of it often. He is perhaps best known for the hymn which follows. Not many are aware of how his song was changed in the early 1900's so I have printed it here just as he wrote it, and frankly it's my favorite version.
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
That sav’d a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears reliev’d;
How precious did that grace appear,
The hour I first believ’d!
Thro’ many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
’Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.
The Lord has promis’d good to me,
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.
Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease;
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.
The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who call’d me here below,
Will be forever mine.
John Newton, Olney Hymns (London: W. Oliver, 1779)
Can you wake up tomorrow and still see the world the way you do right now? Or is it finally time to be part of the answer to ending slavery everywhere for good?
Staying on my soapbox until there are slaves no more,
16 December 2008
Grab your MP3 player, using songs you have loaded make a play list where the first letter of each song spells your name, for me it goes as follows:
J "Jesus Loves Me" sung by my favorite little Burpeau girls
E "Every Time" sung by Cece Winans
N "Nocturne No. 1" by Chopin, played by Maria João
E "Everything Happens To Me" sung by Nat King Cole
M "MLK" sung by U2
C "Crying For The World" sung by Eden's Bridge
C "Count Your Blessings" sung by Rosemary Clooney
L "Living Inside Your Love" played by Earl Klugh
E "Everything" sung by Michael Bublé
L "Love Divine" sung by Phil Keaggy
L "The Light Inside of You" sung by Ronan Tynan
A "As I Lay Me Down To Sleep" sung by Sophie B. Hawkins
N "Not Too Far From Here" sung by Michael Crawford
Now make time for yourself to sit and listen to the entire playlist. You might be amazed at how it makes you feel. At the very least you have taken some time in the "busyness" of the season for a calm moment for yourself.
14 December 2008
07 December 2008
Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz...
You Are a Doris!
You are a Doris -- "I must help others."
Dorises are warm, concerned, nurturing, and sensitive to other people's needs.
How to Get Along with Me
- * Tell me that you appreciate me. Be specific.
- * Share fun times with me.
- * Take an interest in my problems, though I will probably try to focus on yours.
- * Let me know that I am important and special to you.
- * Be gentle if you decide to criticize me.
In Intimate Relationships
- * Reassure me that I am interesting to you.
- * Reassure me often that you love me.
- * Tell me I'm attractive and that you're glad to be seen with me.
What I Like About Being a Doris
- * being able to relate easily to people and to make friends
- * knowing what people need and being able to make their lives better
- * being generous, caring, and warm
- * being sensitive to and perceptive about others' feelings
- * being enthusiastic and fun-loving, and having a good sense of humor
What's Hard About Being a Doris
- * not being able to say no (Getting better at doing so)
- * having low self-esteem ( Not a problem)
- * feeling drained from overdoing for others (Life itself is draining these days, choosing to take better care of me and where I invest myself)
- * not doing things I really like to do for myself for fear of being selfish (Selfish can be good!)
- * criticizing myself for not feeling as loving as I think I should (Not a problem)
- * being upset that others don't tune in to me as much as I tune in to them ( Long term experience with someone who is this way has pretty much alleviated that problem)
- * working so hard to be tactful and considerate that I suppress my real feelings (Tact should always be kind, but never to the point of dishonesty with you soul)
Dorises as Children Often
- * are very sensitive to disapproval and criticism
- * try hard to please their parents by being helpful and understanding (To this day I have the feeling my mom always knows if I am in trouble. It's a good thing though!)
- * are outwardly compliant
- * are popular or try to be popular with other children
- * act coy, precocious, or dramatic in order to get attention
- * are clowns and jokers (the more extroverted Dorises), or quiet and shy (the more introverted Dorises)
Dorises as Parents
- * are good listeners, love their children unconditionally, and are warm and encouraging (or suffer guilt if they aren't)
- * are often playful with their children
- * wonder: "Am I doing it right?" "Am I giving enough?" "Have I caused irreparable damage?"
- * can become fiercely protective
04 December 2008
During the Penal Times you were harshly treated if you did not belong to the Church of Ireland which was part of the Anglican Community. Those who were Roman Catholic or one of the Protestant dissenters like the Presbyterians suffered greatly. They could not inherit land, take custody of an orphan, hold public office or firearms, or intermarry. Marriages for Presbyterians were not even acknowledge by the government.
Everyday life for a Roman Catholic meant he could not celebrate mass or practice his faith in the open. It is told that in order for a priest to find a home where he would be welcome, there would be a candle placed in the window. This meant he could seek shelter and the family there would want to celebrate mass with him.
I was thinking of this last night when I found myself awake for a good deal of the time. Do I live my life in such a way that people see a light of welcome in me? I talked it over with the Lord and asked Him to keep me ever mindful of being a reflection of His light.
This morning several friends asked me to pray for and with them. Here it was less than 12 hours since I asked the question that the answer was given. That's not usually the way it works. I chuckled after the last phone call and assured God I got the message. I am a candle in the window for Him.
Glad to spread the Light,