Wednesday, January 27, 2016

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Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Layers and Signs

September 1st is a good day to write a blog post. Nine years ago today was the first day after I left my corporate job.

September 2015 is a portentous month, ending with the eclipse of the Super Blood Moon. The Fall Holy Days begin.

The creation waits with eager longing....


Sunday, January 04, 2015

Correction - One Word 2015

#OneWord365 - CORRECTION

It strikes me as an ugly word, a word that emphasizes something is wrong, something is bad: CORRECTION. Not an inspirational affirmation.

But, the lessons and messages keep coming. This NEEDS to be, this MUST be, my OneWord this year. (See 2014 and 2013.)

Two positive messages confirmed the word for me today.

First, Semicolon's post, "50 Facts and Links for Psalm 119 - Semicolon," and her quote in fact no. 34:
“Blaise Pascal, the brilliant French philosopher and devout Christian, loved Psalm 119. He is another person who memorized it, and he called verse 59 ‘the turning point of man’s character and destiny.’ He meant that it is vital for every person to consider his or her ways, understand that our ways are destructive and will lead us to destruction, and then make an about-face and determine to go in God’s ways instead.” (Boice)
So, I look up Psalm 119:59 in various translations, to see which one I should adopt and memorize for this OneWord. Oh, no! A text critical note! Is it "my" or "your" ways? Rabbit hole! Rabbit hole!

For today, I will quote the New International Version (NIV) and do the text criticism research later. But NOT NOW. Now, the task is to DO.
I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes. Psalm 119:59
The second positive message came from the first definition listed in the online Merriam-Webster dictionary entry:
a change that makes something right, true, accurate, etc.
The emphasis is on what is changed, not the original error. Of course, the error, the sin, has to be pointed out and dealt with, that is, CHANGED.

And that is the message of HOPE. Change to the right way is possible. Correction is grace.

So, yes, I want to jump straight to the "right, true, accurate" part. But, I recognize (if not happily) that it must be a process--yes, agonizing--and a re-training.

Next decision: what "pretty picture" to select for such a stern sounding word? What symbolizes the right way, God's way, towards which I need to turn, direct my steps?

This year, I was gifted with egg-laying hens. I didn't ask for them. THEY CAME TO ME. First two, then one more, and then another two. Five hens. And they lay the most exquisite, incredible eggs.

Beautiful in shape and color. A miracle food. Uncontaminated raw egg yolks that can be ingested for healing nutrition.

God's design for hens. God's provision of a perfect food.

So, yes, examine my errors, my life of sin. Go through the deep regret, embarrassment, shame, sorrow. Make restitution. Pay the debts. Turn. Repent. Do an about-face to the RIGHT WAY.

Everyday. Just like a hen offers an egg everyday. Not just once and done. But each new day.  #OneWord365

Saturday, March 22, 2014

J.R.R. Tolkien on Deliverance

I don't get the full understanding of this quote, but it speaks of deliverance, so I will record it here, via Sarah Clarkson at Thoroughly Alive.
Eucatastrophe is a sudden and miraculous grace: never to be counted on to recur. It does not deny the existence of catastrophe, of sorrow and failure: the possibility of these is necessary to the joy of deliverance; it denies (in the face of much evidence, if you will) universal final defeat and in so far is evangelium, giving a fleeting glimpse of Joy, Joy beyond the walls of the world poignant as grief.   ~ J.R.R. Tolkien (emphasis added)

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Deliverance - One Word 2014

Deliverance - #OneWord365
Such a rush of earnest longing to make January 1 significant, to set the intention for another year--even if it is only the civic year.

So, I begin by posting Deliverance as my OneWord365 for 2014.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Living a Beautiful Life

Desk and Planner

I started writing this blog post nearly two years ago. Seeing a friend’s link on Facebook yesterday about the death of Anne Ortlund spurred me to publish the post finally.

My mother gave me a book—perhaps shortly after I graduated from college—called Disciplines of the Beautiful Woman, written by Anne Ortlund in 1977. It has become one of those books that has shaped me markedly—at least my thoughts, if not always how I live. The book is significant, first of all, because my mother selected it for me. It thus bears her stamp of approval, plus shows how well she knows me—I need extra help being disciplined. It also carries the message of the importance of being/becoming a “beautiful woman,” again, even more significant because it is my mother who believes this is important for her daughter.

I received this book long before I moved to Pasadena from Washington state or visited Lake Avenue (Congregational) Church, where Anne's husband, Ray Ortlund, had been the senior pastor for many years. When I first read Anne’s anecdote about visiting an office supply store in La CaƱada after giving a seminar to a “luscious-looking crowd of 150 women” only to find that it was sold out of the notebook products she had recommended, I had no idea that one day I’d live just down the freeway from that exclusive Southern California enclave.

It was Anne’s description of her notebook (or planner as it might be called today) that intrigued me most. My annual attempts at organizing myself via any number of variations on a diary, calendar, notebook, planner or journal, were often modeled on Anne’s description of how she put together her planner—a calendar first, followed by sections for goals and various other lists—and her preferred dimensions of the planner (7” x 9”).

Related chapters discuss goals, daily scheduling, and a woman’s desk.

My image of Anne is from the small portrait on the back cover of her book, perhaps when she was in her early 60s? So, I was shocked to read she was 89 years old when she died on November 4.

Having been reminded of this role-model-via-book, I am encouraged to revisit the many areas of my life—both private and public—that could be more disciplined and, thus, become more beautiful.

What are your thoughts on the relationship between discipline and beauty?

Disclosure: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Friday, November 01, 2013

Houses, tea, conversation and beauty

Yesterday I went with some friends to a beautiful home nearby, which has been lovingly and tastefully restored and remodeled to recall an early-20th century aesthetic, the time period when the house was constructed. The exquisite attention to the smallest of details throughout the house is not for mere show, but reflects the personality of the owner, as well as incorporates her family’s heritage in antiques, linens, pictures, etc.

The excursion—which included tea, freshly-baked cookies and delightful conversation—was a refreshing reminder to pay attention to and cultivate beauty in whatever surroundings we find ourselves. 

It was not my place to take pictures and “blog” about the house. That would have detracted from the in-the-moment enjoyment of the company I was with.

Rather, I post here a picture of the PROLIFIC Blue Basil in my front yard that feeds many happy bees and that now obscures a small memento from my grandmother’s yard.