Thursday, June 30, 2016

Do it!

"Don't be afraid of being the one who cares too much." ~unknown (by way of my mom)

I serve on the board of Heart of the Triad Choral Society, and we're doing some visioning this week. Doing my homework in advance of our meeting tomorrow is reminding me how much I've fallen off doing my own vision boards and how desperately I need to get back to mental clarity for myself.

Please pray for me to emerge from mental funk by doing the daily habits, the morning prayers (evenings too, but particularly the stuff of starting the day well), the scripting, the focus. And above all the hopeful expectation that God will show up, knowing that God will, in the fullness of time.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

At Tara - A Swiftly Tilting Planet

Went on a solo roadtrip recently, unusual for me, but Big Frog was off on a different roadtrip with some colleagues.  I chose to reread Madeline L'Engle's A Swiftly Tilting Planet via audiobook as I drove1.
1 Overdrive is one of the many many phenomenal resources public libraries provide -- you can borrow e-books & e-audiobooks for a few weeks at a time.   It's a free app. 

As I intend to read A Wrinkle in Time to my rising 1st & rising 3rd grade godkids when they visit2, I got in the mood for some L'Engle.  Some authors' work reads aloud better than others... I think hers is right up there towards the top.  And her word painting is wonderfully illustrative.

2 Yay, my Harrisburg godkids are coming to visit for a whole week in August!  I am super excited for that; I've missed the weekly adventures we went on their entire lives until I moved 6h away.

St Patrick's Rune is a major plot device, but it also is a tremendous prayer in and of itself.  Turns out it is also verse four of an eleven-verse hymn.  Sometimes contemporary stylings need to give way to the classics of powerful liturgy. The prayers of those who have gone before us help me tremendously to see the church universal, in different cultures and different times, is an extension of the church here and now.

source: MShades, via deviantart

Powerful stuff. Good thing we serve a mighty God.

JAARS -- The Harvest

Big Frog and I went to JAARS Day, once again on the hottest day possible.  We had a blast!

JAARS is currently running what it calls "A Campaign for Possible", which is not seeking funds but people for partnership.  Thing is, Jesus didn't say “The harvest is plentiful but money is lacking.” (Luke 10). The need is people.  

This visit we went off-roading(as passengers) on their course, which was designed to get missionaries ready for jungle living.  The key difference between that and adventure off-roading is that you trailer in your adventure vehicle behind your everyday vehicle and you can go rough-and-tumble with it with no repercussions except inconvenience.  But when you go off-roading in your primary vehicle, you drive "as slow as necessary" because from the middle of the jungle you still need to get back home1.

1 YouTube asked me if I wanted it to smooth out what it read as shaky camerawork. 

One of our cool discoveries in our visit last summer was the solar powered audio Bible.  They make it in many languages and use it in oral cultures, to be certain, and the JAARS staff can share anecdotes of people putting it on their hat brims to listen to as they work outdoors, or of kids quoting off entire chapters and books from ongoing repetition.

Our need for it was somewhat different.  Big Frog's dad read the Bible consistently and completely, all his life long, but by last summer he was at a point where his vision was beyond the giant print Bible he was using by the time I joined the family.  We considered getting him the Bible on CD, but to teach him to use a complex device like a CD player we knew would be a challenge.  This is the kind of gent who wouldn't get a TV for the house, and even when Big Frog's mom finally did smuggle one into the house (Big Frog was 13), it served as an end table, boxed up and with a tablecloth over it, any time it wasn't in use and certainly any time Big Frog's dad was home.  But the Megavoice is as close as you're going to get to a big green triangle and a red square.  Simple.  You don't even need to replace batteries in it.

And in his closing months Big Frog's dad made heavy use of that device.  We learned that Joshua was his go-to book.  And the words, in Joshua and in the whole of the Bible, brought him comfort.   

We didn't need it in a bilingual version, or a newly translated language.  What we needed for Big Frog's dad was the old-school King James Version.  As new translations proliferate, King James is sometimes shuffled aside.  But Big Frog grew up in a church where if you so much as read in a different version people looked askance at your theology.

So on this visit, I thanked the JAARS gift shop staffer for making that version available to my father-in-law.  For, in a place dedicated to world missions, having an easy-to-use device available in Spanish and African languages and Asian languages, but for sending it to him in King James, in a format he could make use of.  To this lovely older lady, whom I had never met before but who I felt certain would understand me even if she herself was a loyal KJV-er, I said that "it was, after all, 'the Bible Jesus read'".  And she gently commiserated with me, and then pierced the veil for me when she pointed out that "King James was his heart language"

Of course it was.  For the first time, I got it.  Just as much as the mother tongue of a tribal people group is a heart language, to this old dude who prayed "O Lord, help us to be humble, and help us to be oh so grateful" as a constant refrain, King James is what his soul knows.  And as he is face-to-face with Jesus now, he no doubt still worships in thees and thous.  I could stand to learn from such an example.

Saturday, June 4, 2016


Literally just yesterday I wore a tiara to church because I am the popcorn princess for First Friday Films.  Be proud to be you.

But this little girl has the freedom within her to bust out the full-body floor length hot dog costume on princess day.  I <3 Ainsley. 

Image source: her dad, Brandon Turner