Thursday, November 29, 2007


"TRADITION!" I have had a number of conversations lately centered on traditions. Last night my daughter and I spent some time decorating one of our Christmas trees. There was alot of tradition tied up even in that. We buy a new ornament every year. Certain ornaments are the favorites and hold places of honor on the tree. The big tree gets the special flickering flame lights while the smaller tree gets the mini lights.
Tradition(s) can bring comfort and joy and peace and hope. We have so many ornaments on the big tree. It "feels" beautiful. There are tons of memories. Some day, I will box up many of those ornaments and hand them off to my daughter for her own home and holiday traditions and she will know that there is love and a memory in each and every one. After we finished decorating, we turned off all the lights and just spent some time wrapped in the warmth emanating from our tree.
Sometimes traditions can cause discomfort, pain, or really need to be discarded. As we were going through our ornaments last night, I came across several that were Kathy and Dan ornaments...the one from "1979 Our First Christmas" and the one with the picture taken a few years later and the handmade ones that boasted our union. But now there is Kathy and there is Dan. Through twinges, I wondered to myself why I hadn't boxed these up and set them aside for our daughter. She is the only one to whom these depictions of the "Kathy/Dan" period truly now belong.
A few years back we were going through some very hard, dark times. I could not bring myself to put up all the Christmas decorations. So we put up our big tree and hung one, lone ornament on it. This ornament had a painting of sparrow with the scripture, "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows." (Matthew 10:29-31) Funny, but that is one of my favorite Christmas memories...the year we were broken hearted and discouraged and the one bright beam of hope that shown through, like that one ornament standing out against an empty and stark Christmas tree...was that we were in the hands of an Almighty God who knew every hair on our heads and loved us. It was holy. And we were strengthened and comforted. I am so glad we departed from our traditional tree that year.
I think so it goes with church. Some of our traditions I value because they transplant joy and hope and peace into the center of my heart. Some don't. Some can distract. Some can actually devalue our relationships, with each other and with our Christ. In the end, traditions are just that...traditions. I guess there is value in knowing which ones to keep and which ones to let go and even in starting new ones. But true wisdom lies in knowing that traditions are not Jesus. Jesus is Jesus.
Image taken from here.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


"Remember Son, always use your brain.....AND your mind!"
(overheard by my daughter at a friend's house!)

Image taken from here.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. Genesis 2:2

God, How do you rest? I mean, I cannot picture You working. I know You create things and do mighty keep the whole world and universe spinning and intact....but what does work look like on You? I know what work looks like on me....sometimes grueling, sometimes tiring, sometimes intense, sometimes exhilarating. But what do You look like when You are working? And resting? What do You do to rest? Lay down? Put Your feet up? Close Your eyes? Keep very still? Day dream?

And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. Genesis 2:8

And Lord, when You planted this garden...did You start it from seeds or did You speak it into existence? Did You dig holes for the plants and wipe the moist soil off Your hands onto what....overalls? Did You have a seed bag slung over one shoulder? Did You watch as the seedlings burst from the earth and grew into maturity? Did You rest under the shade of one of the trees You had planted?

then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. Genesis 2:7

Now this...this I can understand. Because I remember when You breathed the breath of life into my spiritually dead life. I remember awakening and coming alive. I can remember the closeness of Your presence, Your very touch. And still now, those moments when Your breath, Your very Spirit, Your touch... fills my heart and mind and soul with echoes of that newness of life, renewing the deadened parts of me, and drawing me ever closer to You.

Image taken from here.

Being created in the image of God...well, now...that is just a gift!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


"Just push the mute button even if she is standing right in front of you!"

(motherly advice)

Image taken from here.

Monday, November 12, 2007


Raked and mowed up leaves in the backyard. Bought my first Christmas presents. Had my first holiday season get-together with friends. Watched the Lions lose to the Cardinals. It was a mostly good weekend.

By the way, check out the autumn pics at Richard's.

Image taken from here.

Friday, November 09, 2007


I was just listening to the radio during my lunch. I heard it reported that there is something called "Black Dog Syndrome". More commonly known as BDS (this is said tongue in cheek), is the trend of humans to not adopt black dogs because they are stereotyped as mean, evil, and (seriously, this was also mentioned in the report) people don't like them because they don't photograph well with their children. Black dogs are 75% more likely to be euthanized in animal shelters than other-colored dogs. (No, I didn't check this out on Snopes)

Might seem silly at first, but on second thought, how sad that man's tendancy toward prejudice and stereotyping occurs so commonly and readily? Think about it.

Image taken from here.

Thursday, November 08, 2007


I have really enjoyed reading this series on Finding Reliable Men (in the church) and just wanted to pass it along. The first post on the topic is 10/3/2007. Also, this image was taken from this blog. Enjoy!!!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


Saturday I was out doing some yard work. I went to sweep up some old dried grass and when I did, I uncovered three kernels of corn stuck into a small crack in the sidewalk. They were so bright and golden against the contrast of the dried brown grass and the gray of the concrete. I wish I had thought to take a picture. They must have been planted there by a squirrel, storing food away for the winter. I stopped to think about how amazing that was really. And then for some reason I thought, "Trinity...Father, Son, and Spirit."

Later, I was getting some things ready so I could put my mom to bed. I was standing in front of the window and happened to catch the teenager across the street walking out of her house toward a red car in her drive. From her happy face, you could tell that she was excited to be going out with her friends. The smile on my face as I watched them pull out turned to concern. They had backed right into my friend's car which was parked in the street. The police were called, I dished out some mom hugs to the crying teen, and my friend took the officer aside to ask him if at all possible, not to give the girl a ticket. I stopped to think about how amazing that was really. And I thought, "For one who has not been shown much mercy in life, to show mercy to that is a sign of a life transformed by Jesus."

On Sunday, I was watching my friends' kids. They played with this toy and that. I was just enjoying their youthful imaginations and exuberance. Then they started to play with a train set. As I watched this brother and sister, I flashed back to another picture. It was this same little boy playing with a train set. He was in an orphanage. Wearing green overalls since none of the children owned their own clothes. He looked so small. And here he was now, in front of me with his own clothes, his own train set, and his very own family that fills his life with love. I stopped to think about how amazing that was really. And I thought, "God, You are truly good!"

I think God can be like those kernels of corn sometimes, revealing Himself to us when we aren't really looking for Him. He has His revelations squirreled away in the nooks and crannies of our lives. And in a moment, we sweep away something ordinary to find divine beauty and wonder. Like a life transformed. Or a life rescued.

Friday, November 02, 2007


Today I had to use this: Because of this:
Images taken from here and here.

Thursday, November 01, 2007


" My only fear is that Hilary would get into office and that will send us right into the Apocalypse!"
(Overheard as I was walking through our dispatch center)

Image taken from here.