Friday, November 29, 2013

Song of Autumn

The colors of Fall have slipped away
 into the end of the season...

The brilliant golden is a remembrance.

In the Thanksgiving worship service we sung this beautiful song:

When the lamps are lit, when the days begin to wane,
 when the mountains glow and all of creation is all aflame,
We give thanks to Him whose riches from the ripened fired we bring. 
And praise Him, our God and King.
As the earth waits in wonder, as winter draweth nigh;
 we await the ancient promise of new birth as fields in silence lie.
May the blessing of this season come to you, 
the mist of autumn eve and morning dew;
For bounteous gifts of fruit and grain our harvest hymn we sing,
 and praise Him, our God and King. Amen.

James Kirby ( b. 1949)

We shared a beautiful meal together -
first time to go to a daughter's house for Thanksgiving.

What a treat to help prepare the meal in her kitchen.

I had ordered the printed muslin Give Thanks strips earlier this Fall- here-
Untie your thanks.

 Some new recipe favorites.
Telling stories.
Giving Thanks.
Looking forward in hope.
Looking back in praise.

And the readings from worship become life outlines:
Deuteronomy 8:1-10

Be careful
Give thanks

And be aware that some of our greatest blessings
 are the things that our Lord protects us from,
 or removes from us, or averts- because of His Goodness.

Thursday, November 28, 2013


A touch of Thanksgiving at daughter Laura's house-
a Trader Joe's bag cut up 
and printed letters
 laced on yarn-
 a simply perfect Thanks-living banner. 
A Prayer for Thanksgiving
(from the Book of Common Prayer)

Accept, O Lord, our thanks and praise for all that you have
done for us. We thank you for the splendor of the whole
creation, for the beauty of this world, for the wonder of life,
and for the mystery of love.

We thank you for the blessing of family and friends, and for
the loving care which surrounds us on every side.

We thank you for setting us at tasks which demand our best
efforts, and for leading us to accomplishments which satisfy
and delight us.

We thank you also for those disappointments and failures
that lead us to acknowledge our dependence on you alone.

Above all, we thank you for your Son Jesus Christ; for the
truth of his Word and the example of his life; for his steadfast
obedience, by which he overcame temptation; for his dying,
through which he overcame death; and for his rising to life
again, in which we are raised to the life of your kingdom.

Grant us the gift of your Spirit, that we may know him and
make him known; and through him, at all times and in all
places, may give thanks to you in all things. Amen.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Holders and Connectors

"In this world there are "holders" and there are "connectors." Holders treat their resources, time and materials like precious metals that need to be saved for "best." Connectors, on the other hand, are great at making introductions, offering resources, referrals or other services simply because they can. If knowledge is power, the Holders believe it needs to be carefully dispensed in order to be effective and the Connectors think its importance is derived from how far it travels."

Found the quote above on a blog today--Linda Merrill.
 It is a post about designers as resources for their clients. But got me thinking about leaders in the church. As a philosophy of ministry there is a lot to adapt there and think about- both what we are doing and how we go about sharing the Good News that we have with the world.

Sometimes a trunk (us)
 has an entire assortment of roots (connections) going all directions.
even a bit messy and hanging out a bit in someone else's territory
and always complicated.
mingled and interwoven

Sometimes the pattern
 is a pretty straight forward linear protocol

Top down.
Does that also allow for bottoms up?

Taking the learning and sharing that with 
"upper level?" 
Side by side but not interwoven very often.
Individual silo effect.

Whether or not we have defined ourselves
 with images in ministry as the
 holders or connectors- 
think about how the use of
 social media Gospel-
 might take the work of an everyday 
Christian around the world
 to impact the faith life of 
another person in the world-
 looking for Jesus.
Whether they know it or not.
 The way the Holy Spirit works-
 is that we don't have to be
 in charge of how it spreads-
or where it spreads.
We are simply called
 to be faithful and obedient-
 and use all possible tools -
 for the sake of the Gospel.

Are you a holder or connector?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

VanEch Studio- Occoquan, Virginia

Here and About-
Every once in awhile a new store
 opens locally that hits the mark for me…
a mix of high-style, innovative presentation,
 vintage love and modern flair.
Then add a large dose of ingenuity
and some frugal repurposing.
Spot on!!

Van Ech Design Studio

I met Niki when I visited her shop.
 She has over 20 years of design services
 that she brings to the support
of her clients and shop visitors.
Right now a mixture of Fall-
 with a touch of Christmas is in the shop.

Owner Niki VanEch
 shows her hand
 in the chalk paint furniture revivals

Vintage love right here on the table

Floral designs are done locally
 by a very talented florist-
using vintage containers
 and an interesting mix of design elements.

And though it was a dreary late afternoon 
with just my cell phone camera-
 I think you can get the picture that this is a fun stop -
if you are looking for a new Here and About.
125 Mill Street #6
Occoquan, VA
 phone- 703-598-1036
Closed on Mondays

If you are making a trip there-
maybe call to check on hours.

Though these are both a bit blurry in my hurry-
 the greens and lights are certainly a welcome beacon-
 to come on in and check us out.
Niki's blog-
 20 years of creative custom design

Road trip? Friends?

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Glimpses of Synthesis

Writing  Writing and Writing these days

 Processing and fitting together all the gleanings


Spiritual formation

God's Word


Discipling disciples


Social Media


Communities of Grace

May the Lord bring together His Words

 for His Kingdom.

And I rest for the night
 and hand my Lord all the people, 
all the hope, 
 all the choices,
 and the plans.

Come, Lord Jesus to this night. Amen.