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Showing posts from October, 2011

Influence

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It has been a long while since I have posted anything here. I have been busy completing three years toward my B.A. in English and my senior year is underway. My current class (Creative Writing) has finally given me the space to take off the tight harness of academic writing rules, and it feels SO GOOD!! After reading my first assignment, Mom and Daddy gave it their thumbs up and suggested I make it a blog post, so here it is. It is my story and their story. It's a little longer than my usual posts, but as with everything I have ever posted here, I pray it encourages you to run "up the sunbeam to the sun" (C. S. Lewis).


"Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ." 1 Corinthians 11:1 NIV


I sat above them on the stairs. Looking down through the window-like openings in the partition between the living room and the stairway, I listened to the basketball players, football players, baseball players, wrestlers, track athletes, both the lettermen and the also-…

To Mark Sacred Times

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The seasons are changing, as much as they ever do in this part of Northern California. The changes are subtle here, slow, surreptitious, easy to miss if you're not paying attention. The light changes color before the leaves do; it slopes in at a different angle and whispers of changes to come. The overnight lows are lower, as are the daytime highs, climbing 'only' to the mid seventies, and the Californians hunch their shoulders and hug themselves for warmth. They start looking for their sweaters and dig out their supply of words like COLD and FREEZING! I chuckle at their hyperbole and tell them I'm just finally getting comfortable--I will allow the occasional use of COOL, perhaps even CHILLY if I'm feeling especially generous, but COLD?  Um, NO! I do not miss the high, flat, smoggy, metallic skies of our hot Contra Costa summers, and I always thrill to see the splashes of color the trees don in autumnal celebration of cooler weather.

The natural changes around m…

When Your Heart Is Overwhelmed

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McIntyre Bluff and Vaseux Lake, British Columbia, Canada
                                   " . . . When my heart is overwhelmed;                                    Lead me to the rock that is higher than I."
Psalm 61:2 NKJV
A peaceful hush fell over the room. Each of us bowed heads and hearts, eyes closed so souls could open, filling with the blissful quiet. The young pastor who offered this moment of reflection before the service began, said it had been a hectic week for him too, and I nodded agreement. Oh, so hectic! A barely perceptible murmur, not quite a sound, but a soft stirring, told me the rest of the closed-eye, open-souled sojourners in the room had endured hectic weeks too. I don't know why I thought it was just us, and I don't know why it helped so much to know it wasn't, but it did. For you too perhaps?
Sometimes it all feels so out of control, and the fear sneaks in unbidden, but you're so busy trying to hold on, you don't even realize it'…

Hope on a Sunday Morning

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We visited a new church on Sunday.

I won't even tell you (because I can't remember them all) how many first time visits to new churches we've made over the last eight years. That all those visits were necessary is tremendously sad to me and if it could have been otherwise, we would have found that far preferable. Lest you think we must be chronically dissatisfied, critical, fickle and flighty, let me add that before these eight years of moving from church to church, we were at the same church for over thirteen years, and tried like crazy not to have to leave that one.

I am also not going to tell you all the reasons for leaving the churches we've left after attending for periods of months and sometimes for years. Even after the passage of time, I still believe each departure was necessary. Each one was different, and each one was painful. In each place we had formed relationships, and only a few of them have survived the leaving (how thankful we are for those few that …

Our Solid Rock in Crashing Waters

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In a jubilant rush from the steep slopes of Mount Sir Donald and the glaciers in the surrounding crown of peaks, come the spectacular liquid jade waters of the Illecillewaet River and Asulkan Brook in my beloved British Columbia.  The two rushing flows come together in a veritable cacophony of sparkle and sound at a place picturesquely called "The Meeting of the Waters."


It is a place of contrasts, at once ancient and permanent as well as endlessly new and changing, both a crashing cymbal and a love-tender lullaby. It is a place both exhilarating and hypnotic, thrilling and stilling, wild and loud and boisterous while simultaneously a place of deep peace and heart-quiet. I have a feeling I could spend many months there with terabytes of memory cards and still not capture all its moods and secrets and longings.

I perpetually frame pictures, no matter where I am or what I'm doing.  On a bright September day I looked around this magical place, and true to my photographer…

Name Above All Names

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"Splendor and majesty are before him; 

   strength and joy are in his dwelling place. Ascribe to the LORD, all you families of nations,     ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.  Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;     bring an offering and come before him.  Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness." 1 Chronicles 16:27-29 NIV
I like knowing the names of mountains.

I still remember the names of mountains I only saw as a little girl. Not only do I enjoy knowing what the mountains are called, but the stories of how they came to wear the names they do, whether named for a person or for something about the appearance or history of the mountain. For example, the striking home of Angel Glacier (and poetically named) Mount Edith Cavell, was named for a WWI nurse known for giving medical care to all, regardless of which army they served and who was executed by the Germans for  helping over 200 Allied soldiers to escape.  The stunning and distinctive Mount Rundle was named…