Sunday, February 28, 2010

Unprepared and yet prepared

On Saturday, I was asked to teach a class on the spur of the moment. "I don't want to put any pressure on you, but would you...."

I had fun; I didn't feel like it was pressure. The class members were great, contributing ideas and sharing with each other. What I really found interesting was that as I spent a few minutes thinking about the structure of the class material, I was able to pull material from from classes I had had. No one, especially not me, knew that I would be doing this, and yet God prepares us through our experiences -- classes, books, sermons --to do that which we are asked to do.

The well could have been dry, but it wasn't. I don't know if anybody learned anything at all, but I was able to lead a two hour and 15 minute discussion. And it was joy (for me, anyway!).

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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Olympic questions

How about an Olympics Friday Five from RevGalBlogals?

  1. Which of the Winter Olympic sports is your favorite to watch? I like the figure skating the best (sorry, JtM). I enjoyed watching the half-pipe snowboarding with our older son. One of my favorite Olympic memories, though, was the famous hockey games in 1984, when the US won the gold (after beating the Soviet Union).
  2. Some of the uniforms have attracted attention this year, such as the US Snowboarders' pseudo-flannel shirts and the Norwegian Curling team's -- ahem -- pants. Who do you think had the best-looking uniforms? Best looking uniforms? I'm not sure. I can think of a whole lot of bad looking uniforms. I was watching the one of the US women's short track speed skating teams being interviewed this morning, and their warm up suits looked very nice on them. Some of the uniforms look like pajamas and are laughable.
  3. And Curling. Really? What's up with that? I'm sorry; I think curling is one of the most boring sports to watch during the Olympics. It's so slow and silly!
  4. Define Nordic Combined. Don't look it up. Take a guess if you must. (There will be a prize for the best answer, but be aware, this is a judged sport.) I don't know. There are so many very odd winter sports, like the one where come down a slope on skis and jump up in the air and start flipping and spinning? Who thought that up?
  5. If you could be a Winter Olympics Champion just by wishing for it, which sport would you choose for winning your Gold Medal? Hmmm. I don't know. Odd that that question would be in this list. J asked Steve a very similar question a day or two ago.


    Friday, February 26, 2010

    Euphony of Grace

    Craving -- an intense urge or longing.

    What do you crave? Long for? Sometimes I crave chocolate or Diet Pepsi. When I was pregnant, I craved Cherry or Strawberry slurpees and icees -- whatever it was, it needed to be red and frozen.

    Philip Yancey says that we all have a craving for grace. To reword that sentence, we all have an intense urge or longing for the love of God. It sounds right to me. Created by God, we would naturally crave his love.

    In the same book (What's so Amazing About Grace), Yancey says:

    "Grace is everywhere," said the dying priest in in Georges Bernanos's novel Diary of a Young Priest. Yes, how easily we pass by, deaf to the euphony.
    I had to look up the word 'euphony.' It means any agreeable (pleasing and harmonious) sounds.

    Can you imagine a person dying of thirst, standing in the middle of a crystal clear pond of water? We crave grace and yet we are deaf to the sound of it, all around us.

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    Thursday, February 25, 2010


    I'm reading the story of Esther for Disciple. I've just started it, and already a few interesting plot elements struck me.

    Queen Vashti refuses to come when King Ahasuerus calls her into his presence. So what does the king do?

    First, he has to consult with his advisors. What does the law say?

    Secondly, he is advised, after much conversation, to issue an law that the Queen is never to come into his presence again. Does it strike anyone as odd that he forbids her from doing what she refused to do? Hmmm.

    And I really laughed at the last verse in chapter 1:

    ...he sent letters to all the royal provinces, to every province in its own script and to every people in its own language, declaring that every man should be master in his own house."

    Just strikes me as funny. And ridiculous.

    The whole first chapter is ridiculous. He has to consult advisors to determine how to deal with his wife? And everyone is so afraid that Vashti's act of defiance will encourage other women to defy their husbands. So worried that they forbid her from doing what she has refused to do, and then declare that men shall be master in their own houses.


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    Wednesday, February 24, 2010

    Infinite Love for One

    I was listening to NPR the other morning as we drove to work. One of the announcers was talking about a cone shaped nebula in an obscure constellation near Orion. The nebula is 2,500 light years away. The light astronomers see coming from the nebula today left its source 500 years before Christ was born. The huge size of the universe is unimaginable. Psalm 8 echoes through our minds as we try to grasp the grace and love of God: “When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established; what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?” How is it possible that God loves me? As of February 24, 2010, the estimated world population is 6,804,600,000. How is it possible that God even knows I exist?

    In one of the lectionary readings for this week, (Luke 13:34), Jesus laments, “How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!”

    Rev’d Monty Brown, pastor of St. Marks United Methodist Church is known for his odd sermon titles. This week’s title is El Loco Pollo – the crazy chicken. I wondered what he meant until I read this week’s passage from Luke, and then found this quote from Barbara Brown Taylor on the web:

    "If you have ever loved someone you could not protect, then you understand the depth of Jesus' lament….This is the most vulnerable posture in the world --wings spread, breast exposed --but if you mean what you say, then this is how you stand. … Jesus won't be king of the jungle in this or any other story. What he will be is a mother hen, who stands between the chicks and those who mean to do them harm. She has no fangs, no claws, no rippling muscles. All she has is her willingness to shield her babies with her own body. If the fox wants them, he will have to kill her first; which he does, as it turns out. He slides up on her one night in the yard while all the babies are asleep. When her cry wakens them, they scatter.

    She dies the next day where both foxes and chickens can see her -- wings spread, breast exposed -- without a single chick beneath her feathers. It breaks her heart . . . but if you mean what you say, then this is how you stand."
    God loves you. He loves me. He loves each of us with an infinite, unimaginable love. He loves us, so this is how he stands, protecting us by becoming vulnerable, arms outspread as he died.

    Our God is the God of amazing grace. Our God is the God who cares for the lilies of the field, who searches for a single lost sheep even when 99 sheep have been found. Our God not only knows our names and can count the number of hairs on our heads, but he created each of us in his own image. We should never doubt the infinite nature of his love. He means what he says, and he demonstrates it to us by how he stands.

    Consider today what it means to your life that you are a beloved child of God.

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    Tuesday, February 23, 2010

    We can't imagine

    I was reading a post at RealLivePreacher this evening. He wrote about numbers that are beyond our comprehension. Have you ever heard of a googol? It's the number 1 followed by 100 zeros. According to Wikipedia, it is a number that is often used to illustrate the difference between an unimaginably large number and infinity. It is sometimes used when comparing very large quantities of something -- the a number of subatomic particles.

    We can't imagine a googol.

    I was thinking as we were driving to work today about the distance between us and a particular cone nebula that forms the horn of a unicorn constellation. (Less you worry about me, I was thinking about it because it was being discussed on the radio -- it didn't come to my mind randomly.). This particular nebula is 2,500 light years away. That means when we look at it through a telescope, we are seeing the nebula as it was 2,500 years ago, not as it is today. The light that we see today coming from this nebula left the gaseous structure 500 years before the birth of Christ.

    We can't imagine that distance.

    And yet we think we can get a handle on God. Ha!


    Monday, February 22, 2010


    I read the following line in my Disciple readings last week (Isaiah 65:24):

    Before they call I will answer, while they are yet speaking I will hear.

    And then today in Matthew (6:7-8):
    ‘When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. 8Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

    Think of relationship you are in, where you have known the person for a very long time. Can't you almost predict what the other person will say before he/she says it? That is what these verses remind me of.

    God loves us with a grace so strong that it chances us. It is a love that knows what we need before we can articulate it. And it is a relationship so close that we can predict each others words and needs before they are expressed.

    God loves us.

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    Sunday, February 21, 2010

    Spring is Coming

    I am tired of snow. I am tired of winter. I am sick of worrying about whether we need to park at the bottom of the our hill because we can't drive down it when the roads are horrifically slick -- or up it. I'm more than ready to stop walking up the hill after we park at the bottom. I'm ready for the kids to go to school everyday, instead of two days out of the week.

    I am ready ready READY for spring to come.

    Sometimes, on a snowy day, when I look outside, and all I can see is the snow and the necessity of shoveling and the covered roads, it seems as if spring will NEVER come.

    Tonight in Disciple class, we talked about apocalyptic writing in Daniel and Revelation -- both writings meant for an audience that was experiencing persecution. The apocalyptic writing was meant to encourage the hearers, assuring them that God was in control and that better times were coming.

    It's a strange analogy, I know, but I wonder if apocalyptic writing serves the purpose of reminding us that spring is coming -- I wonder if the purpose was to remind those who could not see the possibility of justice and an end of persecution that "spring was coming" -- God is in control, and these terrible times will pass away.


    Saturday, February 20, 2010

    Dog and Snow


    Friday, February 19, 2010

    The One Thing

    I wrote yesterday about one way in which the church can be a legalistic place -- a place where certain behavior and certain clothing is expected. To "swim against the tide" is to sometimes run face into opposition. Judgment.

    And yet, according to Yancey's book, the characteristic which makes the church different is its ability to offer grace. We yearn for it, and the church is the only place we can find it.

    Other organizations can feed the hungry, education children, or provides funds for scholarships and rent payments. The church can do all of those, but it is the only place where grace is offered for free.

    How often do we fail in the one thing that makes us different?

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    Thursday, February 18, 2010

    Sunday Best

    One of the questions that bubbled up in the Grace class today was, "Why do we wear our 'Sunday best' to worship services? It is done as a matter of respect? Do we communicate the message that one must have 'Sunday best' clothes in order to attend worship?"

    Personally, I was out of college before I wore slacks to worship. That is not the case now, of course; I probably wear slacks more often to worship that a skirt or dress.

    We used to have the rule with our kids that they could not wear jeans to church. We've dropped that requirement now -- the rule is now that jeans may not have holes and t-shirts may not have writing on them. With kids, I think their clothing influences their behavior -- at least with my kids!

    I think I do wear nicer clothes to worship as a sign of respect, and (let's not kid ourselves) because it's the standard of clothes for the worship service I attend. Unfortunately, I think it does create an environment -- an expectation -- that to attend worship there is some kind of unspoken dress code.

    The irony of the situation is that God does not offer us grace because of our 'Sunday best.' His grace is given not becuase of our best, but instead because of our worst. Our sins, our hatred, our bigotry, our judgmentalism -- our very worst that we offer is why we need grace.

    Image: Snow on the way to Keyser from the car window (back in December)

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    Wednesday, February 17, 2010

    Grace dances

    I'm co-teaching a class using the book by Philip Yancey -- "What's So Amazing About Grace." I tell you that as a means of warning: I imagine there will be many "grace" posts in the next few weeks as I reread the book and listen to the discussion in class (hoping there will be discussion).

    Let's start with this quote from W.H. Auden:
    I know nothing, except what everyone knows -- if there when Grace dances, I should dance.
    What does that quote mean? I imagine there are several interpretations, and perhaps all of them might be right in some manner.

    • If we are a witness to the grace of God in action, then perhaps we are called to celebrate -- to dance. Grace is celebration worthy.
    • If we are the recipients of grace, then we should dance along -- in the presence of grace, we should be willing to receive it. Haven't you ever been resistant to grace?
    • Perhaps my favorite interpretation is to follow the lead of God. When grace dances, we dance, to. Wherever God goes, we should follow. If he dances in a homeless shelter, then we should dance along. If he dances on a trip out of town, then we need to put on our dancing shoes.
    Spread grace -- share grace. Be grace, wherever you see God dancing.


    Tuesday, February 16, 2010


    G constructed an albatross this week as part of a literature presentation for Rime of the Ancient Mariner. He had hoped to make it 8 feet long, but settled for this size.

    His point was to demonstrate how large the albatross was, He wanted to leave no doubt as to the burden it presented as the Mariner had to wear it around his neck.

    What is the burden in our lives? Do we realize how large they are? Do we have the strength in God to let them go?

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    Monday, February 15, 2010

    Cloer to Home

    A devotional I read today talked about Lent being a return to life. The idea is that life in the beginning involved fasting from the fruit of the tree of Good and Evil. Lent is a return to life lived closer to God -- life lived without the items that separate us from God.

    What could you -- what could I -- give up that would mean I would be closer to God? What discipline for Lent would involve me giving something up that stands between God and me? What could I give up that would mean I would live a life closer to "home?"


    Sunday, February 14, 2010

    Recongition as Grace

    We talked in Sunday school today about what our reaction would be if we encountered Jesus (as a human) today -- the way that Peter did when Jesus asked him, "Who do you say that I am?"

    Part of the response to the question, "Would we recognize him?" is always a suspicion that we would not. We wonder if Jesus arrived as a homeless person or an ordinary school teacher or carpenter, would we know that he (or she) was a child of God? Would we get it?

    Maybe we wouldn't.

    But I was thinking in Sunday school today that we give ourselves too much credit. Do we think our present faith is something we have achieved on our own? Do we believe our recognition of Christ would be totally our own doing? Don't we think God has brought us to the place we are right now in our faith? Prevenient grace chasing us and justifying grace saving us and sanctifying grace transforming us, day by day? Do we think we have done that all on our own?

    Do we think our recognition of Christ would be something God would leave us along to solve? Do we forget that God would be leading us, even through that?


    Saturday, February 13, 2010

    Wishing for Spring


    Friday, February 12, 2010

    February Friday Five

    The Friday Five from RevGalBlogPals:

    With Valentine's Day around the corner, it seems appropriate to write about February holidays. However, I'd never heard of "Waitangi Day" before: Feb. 6 is a holiday in New Zealand to commemorate the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, the founding of New Zealand, in 1840. I'll avoid Fur Rondy, as it is connected with Sarah Palin's home state. BUT I have been corrected by Pastor Julia that this is a wonderful holiday and not related to SP at all.

    1. When February comes along, how do you feel about the coming month? Honestly, this year, I'm so sick of winter that I'm not feeling very charitable toward February. I'm more than ready for March.
    2. What memories do you have about Valentine's Day? Are you doing anything to observe it this year? In school, I remember all of those little Valentine's Day Cards. I'm kind of glad my kids are too old to do that for school -- we were always up late the night before the party trying to remember who was in their classes so that we didn't forget anyone. This year, Steve and I are going out to dinner, a day early.
    3. It is interesting that Monday's "Presidents Day" is not officially called that in every state. It is a U.S. federal holiday entitled "Washington's Birthday." Which is your favorite president and why? I'm not sure I have a favorite president. Jefferson seems kind of creative and smart.
    4. Will you be celebrating Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras? How? No real celebration plans, no.
    5. Any other ways to celebrate in February? I'll celebrate when it is over.
    Bonus: A Lenten book or website you recommend. My church's Lenten devotional blog:


    Thursday, February 11, 2010

    God's Love

    I receive a daily email from a ministry called "Sound Bites" -- something good to chew on that is good for the soul.

    This is today's quote:
    "May you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love really is." (Ephesians 3:18 NLT)

    God's love is total, says Paul. It reaches every corner of our experience. It is wide -- it covers the breadth of our own experience, and it reaches out to the whole world. It is long -- it continues the length of our lives. It is high -- it rises to the heights of our celebration and elation. It is deep -- it reaches to the depths of discouragement, despair, and even death. When you feel shut out or isolated, remember that you can never be lost to God's love.

    -- from the Life Application Study Bible

    I really liked it. God's love is big enough for everything -- all of all experiences, all of our lives, our highest moments and our lowest moments. God's love is big enough to cover it all.


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    Wednesday, February 10, 2010


    Each day we choose between
    what is good and what is not.
    Between what pleases God
    and what disappoints him.
    Between what will make us joyful
    and what will leave us empty.

    Joyful and blessed are those
    who listen to wise people,
    who do not take advice
    from those who are far from God,
    or who do not follow the footsteps
    of those whose path is crooked.
    Happy are those whose eyes are on
    those who are obedient,
    and who sit near those who trust in God.

    When we choose to find joy in God's way,
    we will be blessed.
    When we think of God
    When our thoughts dance with God's
    We will be blessed.

    Our lives will be like trees
    planted by living streams,
    growing by living water.
    Our lives will yield fruit,
    and our hearts will beat with grace, alive
    rather than dying.
    In all that we do, we will find abudance,
    when we choose the path of God.

    We have choices to make.
    When we choose poorly,
    when we do that which is wicked and evil,
    our lives become worthless, weightless,
    our lives are blown away form us,
    driven away from God by our own choices.

    Our choices can give us strength to stand,
    Grace to share.
    The Lord will watch over us,
    proclaiming his presence to the righteous,
    straightening the path of his children.

    Through our choices we find life.
    Life abundant.
    Joy unending.

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    Tuesday, February 09, 2010

    Delicious Mystery

    One of the lectionary readings for the week is the transfiguration story from Luke. I was browsing through the Tuesday Lectionary Leanings at RevGalBlogPals and found this quote:

    It is no good inviting the congregation to envision themselves there on the mountain with the disciples; it taxes the imagination beyond credulity. (Texts for preaching, Year A, Brueggemann, et al)
    Think about it. Sometimes I believe we take things for granted. Transfiguration. HoHum. They glowed white; whatever.

    When we think about it, really think about it, it is, as Jupiter (in the above linked blogpost) a "delicious mystery." It is hard to believe; hard to imagine.

    As I thought about that, my mind moved onto the idea of transformation. We say we are transformed by grace through the word of God. I wonder if we can even imagine it. I wonder if we can believe before our lives are changed that our lives we really be changed.

    We think we can't do it -- that we can't live a life in God. And yet, even though we can't imagine it, God transforms us. We are changed in a way that is unimaginable.

    It's a delicious mystery.

    Image: From the RevGalBlogPals site.

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    Monday, February 08, 2010

    Trust and Obey

    Sometimes on Sundays there is an unintentional connection between what we talk about in Sunday school and the sermon scripture. This past Sunday, we considered prayer in Sunday school and Luke 5:1-11 as a lectionary reading in worship.

    In prayer, we offer our worries and concerns to God, prayerfully trusting him to lead us to solutions, to lead others to help, to change our attitudes, to bring healing, to grant grace -- the list is endless. The key, I think, is the trust and obedience. Are we willing to give our trust to God? Do we give him our plan for how he should work and then say, "Sometimes God says 'no'" to our prayers?

    The following are verses 4 and 5 from the Luke passage:

    When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch." Simon answered, "Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets."
    Simon knew fishing. I imagine he thought his own plan and way was best. And yet -- he trusted God and obeyed.

    He pulled up the nets and the catch was huge. The fruit of his obedience was obvious.

    Is the fruit of our obedience obvious? Could it be we fail to trust and obey?

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    Sunday, February 07, 2010

    Winter into Spring

    The Friday Five from RevGalBlogPals:

    So lets share a few tips for a cold and rainy/ snowy day....

    1. Exercise, what do you do if you can't face getting out into the cold and damp? Ha! I stay inside.! When it's snowy, I usually end up walking to the bottom of our subdivision's hill, where we will park the car, rather than drive up to the house.
    2. Food; time to comfort eat, or time to prepare your body for the coming spring/summer? I had the time yesterday to bake bread. There's nothing like baking bread for comfort.
    3. 3. Brainpower; do you like me need to stave off depression, if so how do you do it?Um...I don't think so.
    4. How about a story that lifts your spirits, is there a book or film that you return to to stave off the gloom? No story or film that I habitually turn to in the winter.
    5. Looking forward, do you have a favourite spring flower? Is there something that says spring is here more than anything else?Daffodils!


    Saturday, February 06, 2010


    Consider this image proof of how wet and cold and snowy it was at our house this morning. It was pretty, but I had no desire to be out in it for any length of time to get a decent picture. The "undecentness" of this one shows my lack of patience with trying to get a good one. "Too yucky!" I told Steve as he shoveled the driveway. "I'm going in."


    Friday, February 05, 2010


    On the drive home today from work, JtM and I were talking about music in worship -- how the style of music isn't necessarily as important as the way it is presented in worship.

    He had emailed me a wav file of a song that someone else had sent to him earlier in the day. Here is part of the chorus:

    If there is no fire from heaven
    And if there is no human passion
    Then the music won't matter at all
    And we'll go down into the quicksand
    Fighting battles no one wins
    Over whether to sing Bach chorales
    Or ditties on the wall

    (Ken Mederna)

    I'm not someone who believes that worship is judged by the emotion it conveys, but I do believe there are times in worship -- usually memorable ones -- when God is so obvious to us that his presence is palpable. Often, music plays a role in that awareness.

    Amazing grace sung at Ichthus with over 10,000 youth participating in communion...The same song sung on an Emmaus walk....The Days of Elijah sung at a team meeting....The Voice of Truth in the car....The final line of a hymn in worship pointing directly the presence of God in our lives, and in the room....It is Well with My Soul played and sung at Annual Conference....Music in church kitchen as I worked solo to prepare a meal for a grieving friend's family....Listening to our youth sing surprisingly well....

    It's not the place. It's not the style. It's the awareness of God that makes worship really worship. God does it. Not us.

    Image: Tulip in my office. REALLY ready for spring.

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    Thursday, February 04, 2010

    Facebook Families

    Do you have any thoughts about Facebook Families? I read a post Susan Allen on Parenting Twenty-Somethings. She considers the questions:
    Is your family a Facebook family? If so, are you finding it to be a good thing? Or are you one of those that has a horrific story to tell about what you have found there? Are you “friends” with your twenty-something children? How is that working for you?
    I don't have twenty-something sons -- my sons are both teenagers. Both of them have a Facebook page. One of the "rules" about internet use in our house is that we, the parents, will have access to whatever the kids do on the internet -- so, of course, we are their "friends."

    So far, it hasn't been "TMI." I do look at the kids' pages, and at times I ask them about what is posted.

    I do set a guideline for myself concerning what I post on their updates. I ask myself, "Would I say this to my son if he and I were standing in a room full of his friends. If the answer is "no," then I don't post it on his page. I just walk over to where he is in the house, and tell it to him in person. I don't want to embarrass him in public, so I'm careful about posting. In fact, I rarely comment on their status updates.

    I do like being their "friends." Having access to photos in which they are tagged is especially cool. I see great pictures taken by their friends.


    Wednesday, February 03, 2010

    Love, unimaginable

    I'm one of those people who likes to play with color. It's one of the motivating factors for me in craft work -- beading, knitting, stitching, card making -- I love working with different colors. The photographs that really appeal to me are the ones with amazing colors. When I use my camera, I'm capturing color.

    That's one of the reasons that the phrase I talked about yesterday really appealed to me -- hundreds of millions of colors in heaven that we can't imagine yet.


    One of the phrases associated with the Emmaus Walk program is De Colores. "Of the Colors."

    Emmaus is about the love of God. If you learn nothing about God except the immensity and grace-full-ness of his love, then you have still received a priceless gift. And it's only a small, tiny, dim image of heaven.

    Love, with hundreds of millions of facets we have never imagined. I think that's what heaven is like.

    For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. 1 Corinthians 13:12

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    Tuesday, February 02, 2010

    Hundreds of Millions of Colors

    Do you remember when you were very young, "paint by number" kits? The image was printed on a "white board" in kind of blue ink, as I recall. Each color area was numbered, and you painted the picture by matching the colors with the numbers.

    I specifically remember painting a picture of a deer in snowy woods.

    The problem with those kind of kits is that the picture looks choppy. There aren't enough colors to actually paint a realistic picture.

    I received an email from a friend today recommending that I watch a particular YouTube video (the link is here if you would like to watch it) called Drawing Heaven. It is about a 12 year old girl with an amazing artistic talent. She talks about the relationship she has with God and how she is able to translate the visions she has of heaven into painted images. She said, "(In heaven) there are hundreds of millions of colors that we don't' know yet."

    That phrase stuck with me. I think she's probably right, and about more than just the colors in heaven. There is so much that we have no words for. There aren't enough words or colors in our palettes to describe heaven or even God. We do the best we can with our rudimentary paint by number kits, but there will come a time when the picture will be clearer, and we will know.

    Until then, we can't even imagine it.

    Images: Stained glass in United Methodist Temple in Beckley


    Monday, February 01, 2010

    Random Thoughts

    Random thoughts tonight:

    • We had a lesson in Sunday school this week about prayer. I worry that my comments might have made light of people's disappointments in prayer. I don't think prayer is a request/answer kind of transaction, and I hope my comments weren't perceived as a "everything goes as God has planned it to go." I don't think that at all. I think life sometimes goes in a way God wouldn't have planned it. I do think, however, that God invites us into relationship and that prayer is one way he gets close.
    • I went to a meeting at my son's Middle School tonight. It's the same building where I attended Junior High. I never get over the weirdness of that kind of experience.
    • Our dog practically glues herself to me in the winter. I think she gets cold. I get cold, too, if I had go outside in the snow to go to the bathroom.
    • I'm working toward certification as a Certified Lay Minister. I think I'm making it too complicated.
    • Last week we read through much of the book of Proverbs in Disciple class. The Proverbs are very hard to read straight through. I think it might be the only book of the Bible that might be easier to read out of context.
    • This week in Disciple in the book of Job. I haven't started it yet, but I imagine I'll still fuss about the first couple of chapters.
    Image: Pine tree in snow as we walked off the hill Sunday morning to get to the car. I'm ready for spring.

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