Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

03
Nov
19

11.3.19 … “In creation there is not only a Yes but also a No; not only a height but also an abyss; not only clarity but also obscurity; not only growth but also decay; not only opulence but also indigence; not only beauty but also ashes; not only beginning but also end. In the existence of man there are hours, days and years both bright and dark, success and failure, laughter and tears, youth and age, gain and loss, birth and sooner or later its inevitably corollary, death. In all this, creation praises its Creator and Lord even on its shadowy side.” – Karl Barth

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2019 Labyrinth Walks, The Cathedral of St. Philip-Atlanta GA, kith/kin, Elizabeth Musser, When I Close My Eyes:

I just returned from 48 hours with some special friends from college. I have been immersed in love and friendship for 48 hours. So today, I chose a quick walk before going with my sister to a book signing for Elizabeth Musser’s new book…

Today is the first day of daylight savings time and I actually slept late feeling completely refreshed and woke up to full daylight. But now at 4:30 as the sun was getting low in the sky, it was time to walk. The light was perfect, and it was a beautiful crisp fall day. As I mentioned, I had just spent a delightful 48 hours with my Davidson College friends at the home of one friend who lives in Gainesville Georgia. As has become a routine, we talked, shared, hugged, encouraged and then went all our separate ways from one end of this country to the other. Every time I spend a weekend with them, my soul is restored.

As for my walk … Birds chirping… I loved the sun playing with the buildings, dancing in the trees … And I saw a sliver of the moon. What is the moon phase today? And then I saw a bed of blooming knock out rises. Do knock out roses forever bloom in the south?

And as for Elizabeth’s talk at the Atlanta History Center, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’ve read her new book, “When I Close My Eyes“ (https://www.amazon.com/When-Close-My-Eyes-Novel/dp/0764234447) and recommend it. I was talking with someone and they said that they didn’t read Christian literature. Prior to reading Elizabeth’s books, I had not read much if it weren’t veiled in fantasy (think, CS Lewis, Madeleine L’Engle, Tolkien, Dante). But what is wrong with being challenged by Christian truths? Because of Elizabeth I have been introduced to another Christian fiction author, Sharon Garlough Brown. In addition, and I assume because I listed Elizabeth’s works as some of my favorites, I now get recommendations for other Christian writers. A funny one was a Christian writer of spy thrillers. When one was free, I actually read it and enjoyed it. Luanda Ehrlich’s Titus Ray Thrillers. I read Book I, “One Night in Tehran.”

And James Howell led me to this quote the other day …

“Light exists as well as shadow. Creation has not only a positive but also a negative side. It belongs to the essence of creaturely nature, and is indeed a mark of its perfection, that it has in fact this negative side. In creation there is not only a Yes but also a No; not only a height but also an abyss; not only clarity but also obscurity; not only growth but also decay; not only opulence but also indigence; not only beauty but also ashes; not only beginning but also end. In the existence of man there are hours, days and years both bright and dark, success and failure, laughter and tears, youth and age, gain and loss, birth and sooner or later its inevitably corollary, death. In all this, creation praises its Creator and Lord even on its shadowy side. For all we can tell, may not His creatures praise Him more mightily in humility than in exaltation, in need than in plenty, in fear than in joy? May not we ourselves praise Him more purely on bad days than on good, more surely in sorrow than in rejoicing, more truly in adversity than in progress? If there may be praise of God from the abyss, night and misfortune… how surprised we shall be, and how ashamed of so much unnecessary disquiet and discontent, once we are brought to realize that all creation both as light and shadow, including our own share in it, was laid on Jesus Christ, and that even though we did not see it, while we were shaking our heads that things were not very different, it sang the praise of God just as it was, and was therefore right and perfect.” – Karl Barth

11.3.19

01
Oct
19

10.1.19 … “All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.” ― Julian of Norwich

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2019 Labyrinth Walks, The Cathedral of St. Philip-Atlanta GA, kith/kin, Driving Mama Lindsey:

So this was a combo drive and walk. October 1 is my mother‘s 93rd birthday. Because of some serious dental issues, we are unable to celebrate in the usual Lindsey style. So my sister and brother and I tagteamed today. My sister met her for lunch and then I followed with a long car ride ending up at my brothers house for dinner. He then continued the evening with an episode of Father Brown… Hopefully, by Friday, the dental crises will be over and we can proceed with the usual Lindsey style celebration.

I began my time with my mother by telling her about my book study class at my church in Charlotte. I had attended by FaceTime today. She asked me what we discussed and I told her strangers in the Bible, redemptive strangers, strangers who bless then exit … no conversion, like the Magi. I read her this passage from Barbara Brown Taylor’s “Holy Envy”:

“This tradition of strangers bearing divine gifts begins early in the Bible with the story of Melchizedek, a Canaanite king and priest who comes out of nowhere bearing bread and wine for Abraham (then Abram) after a great battle. You can find it in Genesis 14 if you want, but since it is only four verses long you are also welcome to my summary. 

First Melchizedek blesses Abram in the name of the God Most High, whom he serves. At no point is there any discussion about whether Melchizedek’s God and Abram’s God are the same God. After blessing Abram, Melchizedek blesses God. In gratitude, Abram gives him a tenth of everything. Then Melchizedek exits the story as suddenly as he entered it, leaving Abram to become Abraham, the father of the Jews. The End. 

Though Jews and Christians have made much of this mysterious stranger, some going as far as offering up elaborate interpretations of Melchizedek’s identity in order to establish their own priority, the story needs no embellishment. As short as it is, the narrative already has a clear message in place: God works through religious strangers. For “reasons that will never be entirely clear, God sometimes sends people from outside a faith community to bless those inside of it. It does not seem to matter if the main characters understand God in the same way or call God by the same name. The divine blessing is effective, and the story goes on. 

Other examples of redemptive religious strangers in the first testament of the Bible include Bithiah, the Pharaoh’s daughter who plucked the baby Moses from his rush basket in the River Nile and raised him as her own; Jethro, the Midianite priest who was Moses’s father-in-law and teacher; Ruth, the Moabite who became the ancestor of King David; and Cyrus, the Persian king who ended the Babylonian exile and allowed the Jews to return home—the only non-Jew in the Bible who is ever identified as God’s anointed one.”

And then we headed off on our ride … Where to? Brookwood Hills. Because it was her birthday, I did not fuss when she wanted to drive straight down Peachtree Street…She really can’t see much but she still enjoys getting oriented as to space and talking about people and places.

And it was hot, hot, hot; so hot that you really still felt the heat inside the car with the air-conditioning turned on high. A Charlotte meteorologist refers to this as “Augtober!”

We enjoyed our usual spin through Brookwood Hills, noting that the house of our longtime neighbor, the last of those longtime neighbors, had sold between our last ride and now. Another end of an era.

And then heading back north, we circled through Peachtree Hills and Garden Hills, around the Duckpond, and back up to Peachtree. Looking up, I saw the Cathedral and asked my mom if she cared if I went for a Labyrinth Walk. I swear she responded, “Are you losing? “ Now granted I need to lose a little weight, but I thought my mom got the spiritual aspect, not the exercise aspect of my walks. She denied it later.

As I walked I noticed the irrigation sprinklers going. It almost made it feel cooler, but it really wasn’t any cooler. But there was a rainbow in the sprinkler mist, and that was uplifting.

Now back to our drive … Atlanta folks are just as silly as those in North Carolina. They have decorated for Halloween to the nines all over the city. One house on Habersham obviously had paid a landscaping/decorating company to put up their decorations. I wonder what that cost. I assume they do the same thing for Christmas

And then we just toured Buckhead. Most interesting to me was driving down Valley Road between Habersham and Northside. That’s another place I haven’t been in years and years. I think I was always enchanted by the creek that meandered along the street in front of the houses. I love the quaint driveway bridges that cross it.

“All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.”

― Julian of Norwich

My mom still has an inquisitive mind and a joy of spending time with family and friends. I read her your notes on social media.

Then back to my brother’s house.

10.1.19

23
Sep
19

9.23.19 … It’s time for fall in the South! Pumpkins, Mosquitoes, Humidity, Flip-flops, Shorts … OK, so it’s basically summer, but with pumpkins.

Driving Mama Lindsey …

Some drives are not fun … and so it goes as we we continued with the dental saga …

But, since I had her in the car, it was worth a little extra time driving around beautiful Atlanta. I told mom about a meme I saw:

It’s time for fall in the South!

Pumpkins

Mosquitoes

Humidity

Flip-flops

Shorts

OK so it’s basically summer, but with pumpkins.

Atlanta was again gorgeous, but hot, on one of these first days of Fall. And people are getting their fall decorations out: pumpkins, scarecrows, and orange, yellow and purple fall mums …. and some crazy fools have already put out Halloween. Like i said, crazy fools.

Since we had arrived 30 minutes early for her appointment, I decided to continue along West Paces Ferry to Paces Ferry all the way to Vinings. It’s been at least 20 years since I’ve taken this drive. I waved to Lovett and then headed across the River noting the old single lane bridge that still exists as a foot bridge.

On the way back we turned on Nancy Creek and drove by Elizabeth Goldsmith Musser’s childhood home. I reminded my mom that she is a writer and has a new book coming out set in Asheville. She remembered Swan House. MS has been reading to mom, mostly cozy mysteries. Maybe I’ll pull out my copy of Swan House and read it to her.

Before posting, I found this on the old footbridge …

So in 1984, Fulton County passed a resolution officially naming the bridge for Hermi. There was a large dedication ceremony at what is now Canoe Restaurant. The bridge dedication was an especially fitting tribute to Hermi who, like her husband, was very active in the Civil Rights movement. She was also the first female jury commissioner in Fulton County history. In recognition of these accomplishments, Fulton County installed a plaque on the bridge which states “Hermione Weil Alexander. She built bridges across gulfs of prejudice and intolerance.”

With the help of the PATH Foundation, the city of Atlanta and Cobb County, Cecil headed up an effort to raise the necessary funds to restore the bridge to its former grandeur. Cecil printed up flyers outlining the history of the bridge, the details of his wife’s life and a tally of the associated costs of the restoration. He also prevailed upon his friends to contribute to the worthy cause. And within a relatively short period of time, Cecil had raised the almost $1million price tag for the restoration.

Now Hermi’s Bridge has a nice new coat of blue paint, which is especially fitting given its proximity to Lovett. The restoration has also given it new wood decking, which will permit it to be reopened to foot traffic.

So once again Cecil can sit back and take solace in the knowledge that Hermi’s Bridge is safe. But rest assured, Cecil will be watching closely. And even at 91 years of age, he will continue to make sure that Hermi’s legacy is not neglected or forgotten.

Source: Hermi’s Bridge: A love story – Reporter Newspapers, 
https://www.reporternewspapers.net/2010/02/25/hermi’s-bridge-a-love-story/

All good.

9.23.19

15
Sep
19

9.15.19 … “Show me. Still me. Quiet me.”

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2019 Labyrinth Walks, UNC-Asheville:

Albert was definitely tired of riding around in the mountains with me. And we still had a four hour car ride to Atlanta…

I was at UNC Asheville today because my friend Tim wanted to watch the UNC A – Davidson soccer game. A friend of his son’s was playing. Davidson won 2-0.

So while here, contemplating taking Albert to the game, I walked.

I heard a train in the distance and birds chirping and I noticed the sunlight dappling through the trees. and I wondered if the comb was left intentionally at the center.

And as before, I really enjoyed the art installation right next-door.

Show me.

Still me.

Quiet me.

Where I am in that space

And your heartbeat is clear.

Your whispers ring true

And my heart is strong

In its synchronicity with you

Where eyes become clear with vision and sight.

And your words are held. Close. In my heart.

~ Rebecca Baxter

9.15.19

14
Sep
19

9.14.19 … “Just as at the center of a hurricane there is stillness, and above the clouds a clear sky, so it is possible to make a little clearing in the jungle of our human will for a rendezvous with God.”- Malcolm Muggeridge

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, Unity Center – Mills River NC, 2019 Labyrinth Walks:

I got up early this morning so that I could take Albert with me on my errands before it got too hot. Yesterday, it was 87° in Asheville. I may have mentioned this before, but Albert does not travel well, especially on short trips with lots of stopping and starting. So, since for the past 30 minutes he had done nothing but whine, whine, whine, I decided that it would be a nice break for both Albert and me.

Since I was in the general vicinity of The Unity Center, I headed there. This labyrinth is a lovely Labyrinth where I can easily tether Albert in a shady area. It is very beautifully landscaped.

For the first time as I walked, I noticed through the evergreens a window and it’s house. I thought: what a lovely place to watch the world wake up and peek at the labyrinth below.

This is the labyrinth with the memorial stone bricks. I tried not to look down as I walked in to the center, but I couldn’t. It was impossible for me, so I looked sporadically.

As I entered the center, I smiled at the collection of rocks and stones and hearts that have been left there. I didn’t bring my collection of things to leave today, but I enjoyed the collection that was left there.

And then I remembered a post by a fellow labyrinth lover just the other day. He had found a handwritten anonymous poem at the center of the labyrinth that I recently walked in Rome GA. He posted a picture of it and has since referred to it as the poem by “The Lady of the Labyrinth.” Here it is:

“Love lead me on a journey today.

I met peace along the way and was

greeted by patience & understanding.

I stopped to take in mother earth’s

beauty, as I exhaled, a breeze of

humility and forgiveness welcomed me.

I reached the center and was

overwhelmed with gratitude. I gently

whispered, THANK YOU!”

I have had some very serious conversations with some very special friends recently. It is time for me to make some big decisions in my life. And I guess that is one of the reasons I came here today.

As I walked out, I tried to find a memorial stone that fit my day, and this is it…

“Do everything with a mind that lets go” – Achann Chah

As I rewound Albert’s tether, I noticed that there was wasp nest on the underside of the bench. And dammit, one of boogers got me. I haven’t been stung in quite a while, and I had forgotten how much it hurts…

And a good quote for today:

”In the turmoil of life without, and black despair within, it is always possible to turn aside and wait on God. Just as at the center of a hurricane there is stillness, and above the clouds a clear sky, so it is possible to make a little clearing in the jungle of our human will for a rendezvous with God. He will always turn up, though in what guise and in what circumstances cannot be foreseen – perhaps trailing clouds of glory, perhaps as a beggar; in the purity of the desert or in the squalor of London’s Soho or New York’s Times Square.”- Malcolm Muggeridge

Source: Confessions of a Twentieth Century Pilgrim

9.14.18

And here’s a recommendation for Curate … never been, but I’ve heard it’s good.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/09/dining /appalachian-food.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share

11
Sep
19

9.11.19 … “The labyrinth journey is open to many meanings in our life with God. It is one prayer path with and to God.”

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2019 Labyrinth Walks, The Oratory – Rock Hill SC:

I went to Rock Hill to drop off some needlepoint ornaments that my daughter had completed and needed finishing. I just like the shop down there so I made a little trip of it.

And I actually asked in the shop if they could paint a needlepoint canvas of the Chartres labyrinth, something I would very much like to do. And I introduced two people two labyrinths.

And then I drove to The Oratory. I did a little research … very interesting:

“The Rock Hill Oratory, founded in 1934, is a part of a worldwide federation of 60 independent houses. It is the oldest and largest house in the United States. Founded by St. Philip Neri in Rome, members of the Oratory are bound not by vows, but by bonds of love. The community remains deliberately small to encourage interpersonal relationships. Governed democratically, the entire community shares in making major decisions with all members having equal rights and responsibilities.”

Source: History – The Rock Hill Oratory,

History

As I walked, as soon as I put my foot on the labyrinth, I heard the crunch, crunch crunch… I had forgotten that this was a crunchy one. I got over it. It was very hot, and I was very inappropriately dressed in my black “uniform.” I have been craving fall, and so, when I dressed this morning, I threw it on forgetting that it would probably be 95° today in North and South Carolina.

I also had forgotten that this labyrinth had installed stations of the cross. There are 14? It makes for an interesting distraction as I walk. I also loved that I saw the backside of Jesus as I walked.

And there was a worker weed eating as I walked. I now know that just part of it.

And I though about 9/11 …

I found this info on The Oratory’s website: this labyrinth:

“In some cultures, the circling pathway simulates the movement of planets in the solar system. The spiritual journey is the main focus of the Labyrinth experience. Walking and resting simulate the believer’s movement through life. In Medieval times, Christians who wanted to journey to the Holy Land would approximate that pilgrimage in a local labyrinth walk and with Bible stories as a guide. Some believers pray the labyrinth journey to become clear on the direction for life and walk with a prayer phrase such as the mantra, “Show me the way, I will follow.” This may lead to surrendering and allowing the Spirit to lead the way. Many labyrinth instructors recommend the traditional three-step method of the early Middle Ages: purgation, illumination, and union. Purgation is the journey to the center in which we let go of tensions, barriers, and spiritual blocks. At the center, meditiation, full communication with the divine, brings illumination and insight. Finally, union is the application and the living of the spiritual light as we return to everyday life. The labyrinth journey is open to many meanings in our life with God. It is one prayer path with and to God.”

And this is a great general resource:

“Our bodies are a key part of our traditional Anglican prayer and worship – we kneel, stand or walk in procession. We also often use spiritual tools to aid our prayer, worship and meditation, such as icons, religious paintings and vigils. Praying whilst walking a labyrinth is just another spiritual tool to quieten our minds and open our hearts to the divine. The labyrinth provides a safe path, a time away from the ‘busy-ness’ of our daily lives to renew our connectedness with God. Walking the labyrinth is a metaphor of our own spiritual pilgrimage and life journey. The one path winds its way towards the centre – walking with and towards the Divine – a pilgrimage in miniature reflecting the twists and turns in life’s journey.”

Vanessa Gamack, Anglican Schools Commission’s Education and Mission Advisor, elaborates on the spiritual benefits of labyrinth mediation and how this unique ministry can be used to help connect people who are not ‘churched’:

“I love promoting labyrinth spirituality – particularly within our schools. Within the Church, and within our schools, we sometimes struggle to find common ground with those who are not regular worshippers. We often can’t seem to find something that is non-threatening, attractive to seekers yet meets everyone ‘where they are’. Yet, labyrinths do just this…everyone is seeking for a little more space in their lives away from all the rush and hustle and bustle. You don’t need to sign onto any doctrine nor make any commitment ‘upfront’…simply just provide the opportunity and let them walk and take time to be alone with God. The Holy Spirit does the ‘heavy lifting’. I see the labyrinth as a ‘bridge’ for our Diocese to engage with those seekers outside the church…and provide a welcoming, hospitable and safe place for all to explore, go deeper and grow closer to Jesus.”

Source: Labyrinths: ancient practice, Anglican renaissance,

Labyrinths: ancient practice, Anglican renaissance

9.11.19

05
Sep
19

9.6.19 … “make us people always attentive to the winds that are blowing in other people’s lives. amen.”

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, Avondale Presbyterian Church – Charlotte NC, 2019 Labyrinth Walks:

A storm is brewing … Dorian is on her way. The world has been watching her for over a week.

And here in Charlotte today there was a weather change. It was gusty and balmy. The chimes were clanging. The wind and the birds were chirping.

Although it’s still summer, today felt like fall. The colors were muted and brown. Weeds were making one last push for dominance.

As I walked, I talked with my son … allergies this year … Denver … the mountains … lots of construction …

Back to Dorian … Maren always fashions words I appreciate:

God, you speak from the siren

of first responders

and not the whirlwind.

You comfort mourners in the Bahamas

and those who sift through loss

of home and business

after the storm stayed and stayed

over the islands

and you have waited

on the worried mainland

through the vigil of trajectories.

Give to the stranded — patience,

to caregivers – stamina,

to those who choose to stay

with their small animals,

common sense

and bars on their phones.

Along the seaboard storm path,

give wisdom to governors,

energy to emergency room workers,

guidance to school superintendents,

judgment to those

who deploy line workers.

And turn neighbors

into good watchers and kind friends,

while strong bands and eye-walls

are passing by,

and, having learned

to notice and to care in these days,

make us people always attentive

to the winds that are blowing

in other people’s lives.

amen.

Source: In the Days of Hurricane Dorian | Gifts in Open Hands,

https://giftsinopenhands.wordpress.com/2019/09/04/in-the-days-of-hurricane-dorian/

Yes, make us people always attentive to the winds that are blowing in other people’s lives. amen.

9.6.19




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