Aug 12 2011

Friday Florilegium

On a recent visit to the Seattle Art Museum, I enjoyed their exhibit, “Beauty and Bounty,” featuring 19th century west coast landscapes by artists such at Albert Bierstadt, George Inness, and Frederic Edwin Church. These paintings were instrumental in gaining support for conservation projects and the formation of national parks.

Mountains Albert Bierstadt

Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time. –J. Lubbock

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Happiness is sharing a bowl of cherries and a book of poetry with a shade tree.  He doesn’t eat much and doesn’t read much, but listens well and is a most gracious host.  –Terri Guillemets

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Nature has spread for us a rich and delightful banquet. Shall we turn from it? We are still in Eden; the wall that shuts us out of the garden is our own ignorance and folly. –Thomas Cole

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A few minutes ago every tree was excited, bowing to the roaring storm, waving, swirling, tossing their branches in glorious enthusiasm like worship.  But though to the outer ear these trees are now silent, their songs never cease.  Every hidden cell is throbbing with music and life, every fiber thrilling like harp strings, while incense is ever flowing from the balsam bells and leaves.  No wonder the hills and groves were God’s first temples, and the more they are cut down and hewn into cathedrals and churches, the farther off and dimmer seems the Lord himself. –John Muir

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Friday Florilegium 1


Aug 5 2011

Friday Florilegium

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(As you take a moment to listen and read, please pause the blog’s “Music for Dreaming” in the right column in order to enjoy Aurora Surgit’s lovely chant below.)

Go on in all simplicity; do not be so anxious to win a quiet mind, and it will be all the quieter.

Do not examine so closely into the progress of your soul.

Do not crave so much to be perfect, but let your spiritual life be formed by your duties, and by the actions which are called forth by circumstances.

Do not take overmuch thought for tomorrow.

God, who has led you safely on so far, will lead you on to the end.

Francis de Sales

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Friday Florilegium 1


Aug 1 2011

Living Good News

Mondays are for counting thanks to 1000 and beyond

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One of my church’s missionaries, Carl, told a story about the healing impact of the Gospel that he has seen through his ministry in Asia. The projects that the mission is involved in hires people from the surrounding area. During training for the jobs, they discuss values found in scripture, such as forgiveness, service, and equality, which provide the foundation for the relief work.

After one of these training sessions that focused on God seeing all people as equal, a local man shared that he started to view his relationship with his wife in a new way. In his culture and tradition, his wife would prepare his meals each day, serve him, and then leave him to eat. After he was finished, she would eat whatever was left over.

The clash of the teaching on equality and his own practice disturbed him. One evening, when his wife came to serve him dinner, he invited her to stay and share the meal. He split the food into equal parts. It was the first meal they had ever shared together.

From that point on, their relationship was transformed.

Good news. God news. Life-changing news.

It doesn’t have to be something huge, just listening and seeing, and then being obedient to what the Spirit calls us to do. And I don’t think it’s about expending a ton of energy to do “the right thing” or “what we should,” but simply allowing ourselves to be troubled and then taking the next smallest step toward a new possibility.

A step, such as eating a meal in a new way.

**

Seeing through the eyes of gratitude today…

401. Carl’s work with Wycliffe in Asia and that the Spirit transforms lives and relationships.

402. Wind rustling in the trees

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403. Sweet peas in bloom

404. The Anne of Green Gables stories…what a delight!

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405. Bees on flowers

406. Sunshine!!

407. My mom’s recovering and healing

408. Madeleine L’Engle’s wonderful book on art and faith, Walking on Water.

409. Joy

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410. A place of peace

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411. A furry creature–what colors God has given her!

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412. The Tierra Nueva mission team. What a great experience to work alongside them! (For more photos from the Bethany Presbyterian Mission Trip, go here.)

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