August 29, 2008

1988 Paul Hunt gymnastics comedy beam routine

This is 'Olympics' fun!


Who is "headless" in the story of John the Baptist's death, which today, the 29th, commemorates. What could headless be a metaphor for? Like not using one's head? living automatically from emotions/feelings? more instinctive than reflective?

If we don't use our God-given capacity to observe, appreciate, evaluate, relate, and make reasonable conclusions about truth and life, we relegate ourselves to living as just an animal. We are of the animal kingdom, but how do we differ? Like I'm pondering ...

What does it mean to be made in the Image of God?

I posted earlier this summer on John the Baptist, the one who's heart was given to God, listened to the Spirit of God speaking to his heart, and courageously spoke words of condemnation or repentance, of salvation and truth. "No one can receive anything except what has been given him from heaven ... So this joy of mine has been made complete."

Augustine and Mom Monica

Since I started blogging here over a year ago, I thought I would have blogged about Augustine, but I didn't. The 27th is St Monica's day - she's Augustine's mother. One of my books calls her 'the nagging mother'. Why? Because for the conversion of both her pagan husband and her lusty heretic son to Christianity, she wept, she sobbed, she sniveled ... Augustine finally left his mistress and became a Father/Doctor of the Church. Rather than just nagging, I'd add that she was probably a prayer warrior.

The 28th is Augustine's day - Augustine of Hippo (not to be confused with other Augustines)(Hippo is in North Africa). His Confessions tells us of his life - "Like water I boiled over; heated by my fornications," is the way he put it. His innate passion is a character trait that would continue to dominate the rest of his life, even after he committed himself to a chaste and virtuous Christian life. (Innate traits can either be channeled for bad or good. Rather than trying to beat the bad out of me, I've seen it as "ME", and pray for it's transformation, desiring to live loving God and my neighbor.)

One of Augustine's main barriers to Christianity was his passion for intellectual pursuits. Augustine was attracted to Ambrose's secular scholarship, not his Christianity. Ambrose knew pagan philosophy as well as he knew scriptures. Augustine was affected by both Ambrose's head and heart. Augustine also had a 'mystical' experience of a voice telling him to "Take up and read" scripture. After a long tortured battle of the soul, Augustine was converted to orthodox Christianity under Ambose's ministry - much to the relief of Monica.

In 410, Rome was besieged and pillaged by barbarians. Jerome was in Israel working on Ezekiel and cried out, "If Rome can perish, what can be safe?" Though Rome was pestered by barbarians more, it was this ransacking that started Augustine's thoughts, like Jerome's, to write City of God. Though its been used more for its analysis of the great culture war between truth and error, it was written from Augustine's soul's passion, of the need for putting hope in God and not in an Empire/Government.

Aquinas tried to bring peace between Augustine's harshness and Aristotle's concept of a merciful shaper. Calvin learned predestination from Augustine. Augustine is one of Christianities' foundational persons. One of his most used books is City of God. As Europe was crumbling from barbarians attacking and destroying everything, St Patrick with a saddlebag of books, including City of God, returned to Ireland with its uninvaded tranquility, preserving literature until Europe was ready to take them back.

On his deathbed, August 28, 430, the Arian Vandals were destroying the city.

August 26, 2008

Women Suffragist End

Women gained the right to vote August 26, 1920; the 19th Amendment was formally incorporated into the US Constitution.

Secretary of State, Colby, as the last vote came in, finished his morning cup of coffee, signed the document and said, "I turn to the women of America and say: 'You may now fire when you are ready. You have been enfranchised.'"

Peter Kreeft Quote

“The self is like a baseball. Throw it back to the divine pitcher who pitched it to you in the first place, and the game of love goes on. Hold it, and the game is over. That is the difference between Heaven and Hell”

Perichoretic relationship of humans with God quote, by Peter Kreeft.


We had a weird phenomena today. A mini tornado touched down on our back deck! I was setting up irrigation in my front bed, just about to walk into a bed, separating the raspberries to set another sprinkler head. I heard a loud wind sound. I screamed, "Noooo!"

I saw my umbrella from the back deck floating through the sky above the pine tree height. I thought it was going to land in our neighbor's trees. But it plummeted to the ground. The mechanism that raises the umbrella is broken. Monte's trying to see if he can fix it, but we think it's a lost cause.

Freaky! We surveyed the scene. The back door rug, was across the deck. (When I went inside eventually, I saw things off the wall and the back door molding hanging, and papers strewn.) Outside, a little table was tipped over with it's flower pot down in a flower bed. One of the hanging pots was gone and we found it in a flower bed. I had some seed flats out to plant in a bed we're designating as a 'nursery bed' for the winter, and several flats were overturned and one was over on the ground by where the umbrella finally landed. Some plants looked bowed over. My garden wagon was tipped over.

That was weird. Monte asked what it looked like ... "like seeing Mary Poppin's umbrella floating up in the sky, and then quickly descending."

Monte observed a mini tornado touch down in our vegetable garden almost a decade ago. He was on the front porch working. He saw many of my white floating row covers, and black plastic go straight up in the air and disappear. We found some plants were ripped out of the ground as well.

Following that incident, if I saw 'white' when driving, we'd stop and look. We never saw where our floating row covers or black plastic landed!

In Arizona we called these small tornados "dust devils".

The Beatles at Red Rocks

Dawson went to a concert at Red Rocks Saturday night - a group that mimics the Beatles. I said, well that would make sense concidering the Beatles had been at Red Rocks on August 26, 1964 - I have it on my calendar! (I loved the Beatles! So I'd make note of it.)

What I was amazed at when I visited the 'history' room at the Red Rocks amphitheater gift shop, was that the tickets were just $6.60 back then. That's so cheap! considering Red Rocks tickets today!

We often take visitors to the Red Rocks Park. It is pretty impressive, with the red sandstone rock and soil, in the foothills of Denver.

The band playing Saturday was "1964"
The Tribute group. They totally recreate the 60's era and the Beatles. Dawson took the picture at the concert and put it on his photoblog.

August 25, 2008

Family Time

Travis and Sarah just left. They live 1 1/2-2 hours away in Ft Collins. As a Worship Minister he gets Mondays off and Sarah asked to have Mondays off too. So we usually get together Sunday afternoons over to Monday. Dawson started school today, so we had supper together.

I got a new cookbook, a Webber Grill book. I tried a recipe out of it tonight that was fantastic and want to try everything in it! Monte wanted to try making 'Ices' - out of the Thompson seedless grapes hanging everywhere in our greenhouse, and the ripe red currants we have on bushes in my fenced in veggie/produce garden. In googling grape ice cream I found that most things are made with the purple concord grape. It's probably because the green isn't that appealing of a color.

Monte didn't use all the sweetening syrup I made for the ice cream, and it would have been better had he followed the recipe. So most of us mixed in store bought vanilla. It was good.

A good relaxing day together.

Gerard Groote, etc

There's things from this past week, things in history that I've wanted to post about. I saw Gerard Groote's name in one of my books and had to look him up to see why he was being talked about in mid August's timing. I guess he died August 20, in 1384.

If you read biographies of some people of note in Christian history you would read that they schooled in what was named "the Brethren of Common Life" schools. Famous pupils most known by me were Erasmus, Luther, Melanchthon, Calvin, and Thomas a Kempis.

Growing up in a life of luxury, it wasn't until Groote was 34 that he was converted to faith in Christ. He was educated in Germany, Poland and Paris. Groote obtained permission to preach, teaching the word of God and decrying abuses prevalent in the church. So severe were his attacks on the church that his authorization to preach was revoked.

Groote gathered people who were dedicated to translating the Bible into the vernacular, caring for the poor, and establishing schools for the common folk. Groote's 'brethren' eventually formed households all over Europe. Their aim was to live the life of Christ while engaged in service.

Thus Groote's efforts were the seedbeds for every significant reform that took place in Europe over the course of the next two centuries. Luther praised him as the "Father of the Reformation."

Bernard of Clairvaux is the saint for the 20th, 1153. His story must have not been one to grab me, so I don't remember much about him. I think he had been a poet, declaring that "we can learn more from the woods, from stones and trees, than from teachers and books." But he became so austere in his faith, I wasn't attracted to him.

Rose of Lima is the saint for the 21st, 1617. I never was attracted to her story either. Some people seem to fit a local need, a seasonal demand. When there's ascetic excesses and seem fatalistic, it doesn't fit my image of God's message and call to me. What I wrote next to her was, "It seems violent societies need violent images to arouse them!"

Saint Bartholomew was yesterday, the 24th. I want to pull my thoughts together on a post surrounding history, with him a piece of it. It's going to take me awhile to compose and I don't have the time now.

Travis and Sarah are coming to visit any moment now. They're coming for the day. Dawson started his second year of college today. He'll be returning for supper, and then T&S will leave for home. I called them earlier wondering if they'd left home yet, reminding them that the Democratic National Convention was starting today and traffic was already bad.

There's no special saint for today, unless you want to know about a French Crusader king - St Louis, 1270. A question is - did he go with King Richard the Lion Heart?

August 22, 2008


Dawson got a refurbished welder and built himself a massive work bench . A sculptor friend of ours taught him how to create metal things and Dawson has fixed several things around here, but really likes the free-form designing.

We've had several young people hanging about off-and-on over the days. Like the last couple nights I've made extra food for his friends to join us.

He's been wanting a forge. So one of my pictures shows what he created from an old propane tank, old iron pot and pipe; and a weed blower (which burned itself out by the end of the day) provided the air for the forge.

They found they needed tools with long handles - so Dawson welded rebar on to some pliers he had bought. Gary's holding this tool. Stumps with old metal pieces hanging around here have turned into anvils for pounding the heated metal. He's already raided an old dump at the ranch that wraps around us. (With Monte being a geologist, him and me have drug home all kinds of old rusted metal things from mining encampments and dumps - even an old forge and ore buckets.)

Dawson's making an address sculpture for the base of our driveway. (We have lived here for 23 years with people not knowing if they're coming to the right place.)

More paths and rock work are still being done around here. Dawson's finishing up another area tomorrow morning, so after I'm back from a women's brunch I have to leave early to set up for, I'll take pictures.

We saw deer prints inside our electric fence area. Since we've extended it out, there's an area we figure it got under, and then 'reading the sign', we see it trying to find a way out, and jumped out. So Monte's added more wire. All it looks to have eaten was a lone sunflower from bird seed that Monte had left when excavating.

August 21, 2008


I'm waiting ...

Dawson got the new iPhone and I'm getting his old one. I'm thinking the hassle we're having in getting me hooked up on his old phone is: 1) I'm wanting to still use my old Verizon phone# (In my 'mental-pause' state in life, I don't want to memorize another phone# !**@!) and 2) AT&T (not apple maybe) is used to people buying new phones, not taking over old phones. But the new phones did not change that much and I can do fine on the old (I think).

Ahhh ... the download is complete! and everything is in sync with my Macbook! how cool is that?!!!!!

Hassle? Even the gal at the AT&T store today (after Dawson and me went to the Farmer's Market, Home Depot, and bought his textbooks for this semester) had errors come up thru the process we've been trying to do for awhile, both with store visits and phone calls. Over an hour later (and starving!) my phone was ready, pending connecting it to my Macbook after 5pm. And that 'connecting', done through iTunes, wasn't the easiest. 

But now it's done! Now I explore and play. But to bed for now.

A Year Ago

I was just looking at my calendar - 
I may be weird (or is it anal?), but I add things like "bear", and frosts and first snows and other weather tidbits. And too, things I harvest and freeze (with amounts), as well as spring plantings.

Just for your info -
I have several days starting around now last year of a bear that was bugging me, destroying my bird feeders. There's still a date from 2001 about "bear in freezer". It reminds me that we have to keep the garage doors closed! And I remember the well-rounded meal that bear got - from a ham, to bread, to peaches, and then the noise we heard from our bed: a gallon tub of vanilla ice cream he finished his meal with, licking it clean out on the driveway's gravel. Now we have the electric fence, as far as the birdfeeders go ... we'll see ...

And our first frost last year was Sept 3. NO!!! please! Not this year! That was early, but not by much. Then of course there's a couple months of Indian Summer, but still with cold nights and some snow flurries. I try and save as much as I can that first frost.

August 20, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Got home from the short road trip with Monte last night. Today was full with MOPS in the morning (going to be a good year I'm sure)- then friend Marty came over and we vegged out on our back deck visiting over coffee/tea and watching the birds - especially the bickering noisy hummingbirds- then back to church with an overlap of two meetings. So I'm tired.

I'm excited for a few days of not needing to go anywhere. After traveling, tasting yucky water (and coffee/tea made with the yucky water), and other things ... We come home saying, "There's no place like home!"

August 16, 2008


Didn't I say in my last post that I'm going to bed?! 

My daughter-in-love's dad, on his Facebook site mentioned Elvis, but nothing to do with what it reminded me of ... I did want to post today that TODAY is the day Elvis Presley died in 1977.

Does my accentuating this make you think ... I'm weird; so what?; Elvis?

Ahhh ... Elvis, Buddy Holly (rock and roll pioneers) ... music/history ... Why I like to bring up Elvis, is just look at what's gone on with his Graceland - Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee.

I'm always posting about the calendar Saint Days. Think about it ... we visit places and buy souvenirs. People come by the thousands to Graceland. I read of Elvis's remains being removed from Forrest Hills to Graceland ... Probably thousands have bought souvenirs from the Graceland shop ... 

Hmmmm ....... reminds me a bit of what I read of saints and their relics ....... 
Graceland is the second most visited site in the USA behind the White House (Elvis cult?).  My souvenirs don't differ much from the relics of old ...


I've been at a MOPS retreat this weekend and then to church tonight - Alisa Morgan of MOPS International actually was speaking at our church this weekend - coincidence. I am looking forward, hoping for a good MOPS year (Mother's Of Preschoolers, in case you didn't know), just like I'm looking forward, hoping for a good year for our church as well. God is at work, and I'm not wanting to miss a thing, nor miss being a part of that work!

I really need to go to bed! You know the joke or sayings about "slumber parties" - that they're actually "slumber-less parties". After lots of socializing/fellowshipping, and wanting to see the swimming part of the Olympics last night, we watched the movie "27 Dresses". I'd seen it before - I like it. But it meant we didn't get to sleep till about 2am!

But to carry on with my last weather report posting ... We did not get snow or a freeze, tho they closed part of the mountain freeway a bit because snow-removal equipment had to be brought out to remove hail ... but it's rained almost constantly for 2 1/2 days, which is so unusual! And the overcast sky has had me sleeping in, which is so unusual for me in my menopausal place in life (I prefer calling it "mental-pause").

So here I am at my computer when I should be in bed!!!! But there's things I need to read and write before going to bed. Tomorrow morning I'm flying out to meet Monte. He's been on a geology field trip. They're ending up at the Salt Lake City airport tomorrow for everyone to fly home from, so that's where I'm flying in to. The Canadian couple who were just at our home aren't flying out till late afternoon, so we'll be spending some more time together tomorrow afternoon. They were the people I referred to several posts back about being 'delightful'!

Monte's booked a couple hotels for our driving his rental vehicle back to the Denver airport. He didn't want to drive it home alone. So we'll be taking a little longer meandering back-roads together coming home. So I may not be posting for several days, unless I do it from his laptop.

The other tidbit of 'Happenings' info: Dawson's old iPhone is now mine. I've been trying to get my old cell phone# switched to it and am having problems. Too much company, and then needing Dawson and me sitting down together, and AT&T stores not able to help (old original iPhone to new iPhone differences), but doing it all thru iTunes ... and then the sign-in/password/other data ... What are my ramblings saying? I love this new era's technology, but am starting to wonder if the iPhone might be technologically too challenging for me ... We'll see ... But if I can get it functioning, I could do some blog postings from my phone! isn't that mind-boggling?!!!!!

I think that's enough! and off to bed. I am wanting to check my rain gauges tomorrow. I'm curious to our amount of rain. What seems like a lot, really doesn't amount to a lot. 'A lot' is what I've seen in ... Florida! And I've decided, after seeing Florida clouds, that our very dry climate makes for very vivid blue skies with very distinct cloud edgings!

Goodnight and goodbye for now (ta-ta-for now).

August 15, 2008

Assumption of Mary

Today is the Feast of Mary's Assumption. The early church struggled with how to understand the mother of Jesus, the son of God. Could she have a sin nature?

I like to understand how other people think, so I 'listen' to what is said by the Roman Catholic Church.

There are biblical stories of persons being 'assumed' into heaven: Enoch and Elijah and Jesus; Joel alludes to Moses being taken or buried by God. So such things can happen. But what about Mary?

There is a story told: Mary died in the presence of others, and later when they checked her tomb, her body was gone. It is called the "glorious assumption" of Mary, assuming she was taken up to heaven. Revelation 11:19-12:1 is a scripture used to help this premise.

Mary was a virgin. The Church had a belief that normal conception through sex was 'dirty', too much 'matter'. They couldn't believe that God could choose to have Jesus born from a woman conceived in 'sin', so they developed the idea that she was immaculately conceived and thus sinless. And because sin's consequences are disease, aging, and death, then Mary's end must have been abnormal.

The idea that Mary had to be sinless is where I have problems. God loved me before I ever 'cleaned up my act' for Him! In Jesus' genealogy (I've posted on this) God chose to include four
women of questionable reputation, and we see Jesus reaching out to just such 'outcasts' - loving them into the kingdom!

I'm posting a lot of art depicting the assumption of Mary.

Maybe it's been something to hold on to - that we too, will be received into paradise. Jesus told Martha, "Your brother shall rise again." "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day." And Jesus continued, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?"

August 14, 2008

India Coffee Beans

Interesting story (or gross?) -

Somewhere in India, monkeys harvest the coffee beans. They eat the berries and spit out the beans. Humans pick up the beans and wash and roast them. Preferring the sweetest berries, means the ripest beans.


Fun Calendar Stuff

I'm looking at a book I mentioned earlier today in a post, and I see some fun stuff. Some the book has, and some I wrote in it -

The state I live in, Colorado, became the 38th state, August 1, in 1876. And I wrote beside it that Dawson had suggested in celebration, "make a peak cake". And two national songs writers have birthdays in August: Francis Scott Key on the 1st - "Star Spangled Banner" (I cried when I read the story); Katherine Lee Bates on the 12th - "America the Beautiful" text, from having just been on Colorado's Pikes Peak.

Key inventors of television (the 13th) and radio (the 26th) have their birthdays this month. Boy, have those inventions changed our lives dramatically. And now we have the internet ...

The first week of August is National Clown week. PT Barnum once said, "Clowns are pegs used to hang circuses on." I'm posting this because it made me think of the original definition of the word 'clown'. I have the original 1828 Noah Webster dictionary, the first American dictionary. The word clown is just one example of how language changes. There is no mention of today's use and the image of today's clown (Like Ronald MacDonald - did you know that he's almost more known than Jesus?). Clown roots: a rustic; a churl; a man of coarse manners; an ill-bred man.

Travis, do you remember when a bat was flying around in our house? Landon was living with us then. We were all wondering how to catch the thing. Awesome Dawson adroitly caught it in his bug net! I wrote that in the book on August 7, but didn't write what year!

Maximilian Kolbe

I was just looking at my kitchen calendar and saw Maximilian Kolbe's name on today's date. I just recently posted about a Jewish lady turned Catholic who died at Auschwitz. Maximilian was a Catholic priest who died in Auschwitz on this day in 1941.

Kolbe was a Polish Franciscan priest who actually volunteered to die. The man to tell his story was a family man, and was at the beatification of Kolbe. Kolbe was "a martyr of charity", not martyred out of hatred for his faith, but because of his love- willing to sacrifice his life for another, a stranger.

Ten men were to die in the prison camp. The commandant walked randomly picking out people. Maximiliam stepped out asking, "I would like to take that man's place. He has a wife and children." "Who are you?" "A priest." No name, just number 16670.

There's more to his story: having lived as a missionary in Japan and in India, and running a magazine and radio station, and housing refugees, many of whom were Jewish.

I simply remember his willingness to lay down his life for another. Do I have that much love?


The radio is on in the distant and do you know what I keep hearing about? Sure there's the democratic convention soon to happen here in Denver, and there's the olympics, and then the Russia-Georgia conflict (didn't know there's an oil pipeline at issue - heard several stories with world-traveled geologists talking at meal times).

SNOW in mid August! Tonight a cold front is supposed to move in. The temperature is supposed to drop at least 20 degrees. That means the night temp could freeze. There's talk of snow dusting in some places in the Colorado mountains. I'm hoping it doesn't freeze here!


As I said, tho buried in my last post, I need to be looking at my garden books planning my next landscaping project since Monte did more excavating last Sunday with our neighbor's bobcat.

I took pics this morning, so will post some of the current ones of the 'new look', and will post some of the current happenings. Like when Monte's brother visited ... when was that? ... We've had so much going on ... oh, they left a week ago. Monte's had some geologists here, with a charming couple from Canada - and they're gone right now on a geology field trip, with Monte and Stan leading again.

My sister-in-law wanted to try needlefelting and she's been wanting me to do a figure for her, and asked if I'd do her down-syndrome daughter Leah. So while I worked on a 'Leah' face, I led Chris through the process on her own creation. I will post my 'Leah' later. I'm done with her face, working from pictures I printed and looking at Leah playing on the floor, but need to add ears and wispy hair, then figure out how to do the body. I'm not wanting to do the entire body and am thinking of a metal frame, cover it with her dress and have her always clapping hands felted, coming out from the dress. But I'm posting Chris's first try - and a great creation I'll say (she's leaning against my felted sculpture I've posted before and I posted on my Facebook site). She wants to work on it more and do more.

I'm posting some pics of Trav and Sarah's garden we helped plant in their Ft Collins condo, and one of Travis and their dog Bea.

Next is our front yard with Dawson's awesome rock work and then the new dirt area. Dawson is outside now starting on new rock work in the new landscaping. When we get the tractor back he'll bring over some giant rocks and that'll have some sort of waterfall area.
This is what I really need to design. There's a picture of me in our dining room window taking a picture of my flower/herb pots and the new excavated area is behind me.

And you have to see Dawson's photoblog if you want to keep up on more of the happenings in our life.

Future Postings

I have been blogging on this sight now for a bit over a year (I did a 'Live Journal' site several years ago). I've done my Calendar stuff along with Happenings. I'll keep doing happenings, but I have thoughts on a new direction with the calendar stuff.

I bought a book about a decade ago called Our Family Book of Days. It was when I was just beginning my own journey of wanting to strengthen my knowledge of the past, so to help me in my present living more fully alive to God's presence. I had looked at Jewish festivals and typical Christian holiday history. I thoroughly enjoyed getting into the Church Calendar with all the saint stories. It was all so new, and at the time that book was overwhelming.

I relooked at that book this morning. I journaled in the front of the book my current thoughts, and will now share my ponderings here. I will be posting more calendar stuff. Since over this past year I've covered a lot of my favorite saint stories, Jewish holy-days, and stuff - I'll do reminders with links back.

What I've wrestled with for some time is when to choose to post about other person's stories. Do I stay consistent with the Church Calendar, in choosing death dates? Their thinking, was that was those person's birthday into Heaven.

I used to have a timeline on the wall in what is now my 'office'. I miss it at times. Some figures had dates in connection to what we remember them for in history. Like when Columbus found America instead of the Indies (which was his goal - a route not having to go through the barbarous lands of the eastern hemisphere), or when did Pasteur learn about bacteria, or when was the atom split?.

In wading through the saint hagiography, the reality of daily living as human beings is hard to find. I've tried to post more of the ordinary dailiness of living with the current culture struggles in the saint's lives. I see daily life as miracle and look for God winks everywhere. God is in the ordinary making the ordinary EXTRAordinary.

I enjoy the flow of history and the big picture. From my timeline I saw the eras of the beginning of philosophy, when humanity no longer was existing from meal to meal, having time to think and ponder. I saw the progression of art, and technology; the eras of exploration, and colonization; the story of language, of math, the story of science ... The flow of Christian history is fun to learn.

Rather than drawing dividing lines, saying, "well that's just Catholic, or Orthodox, or Jewish, or Celtic, or Protestant ..." I see it as a flow, like streams forking off from Jesus and the early church. Even the story of Mohammed fits into the flow of monotheism.

The Bible itself begins in the multi-god cultures and creation mythologies - with God saying there is one god Who created the world. Then it goes into the choice of relationship with walking and talking with God or do we want to do it our own way. Then there's the story of a chosen people, still dealing with the choice of relationship with God or not, and what does that look like. And we're able to see that even with God pretty physically in their midst, with daily miracles, people still chose to do things their own way. Then God enfleshes Himself into our history, in Jesus, wanting to help draw us into the relationship with Him He so desires. We see God in the ordinary, reaching out to the ordinary ... I'm not going to go on with my simplistic overview of the Bible ...

But the flow of Christian history from the above place is humanity coming out of a One God and only one God, into now what do we do with a human Jesus who claims to be God ... If you were Jewish, Jesus' claim would truly be blasphemous! And learning about all the 'isms', who's names just keep changing. In history we see differing definitions of 'holy' - from not even saying the name of God; from avoidance of the material (but then why, if Jesus IS God, did He choose to go through a physical womb and birth experience; why be born in the filth of a barnyard; why have the first evangelists be the lowest scum of society - the shepherds, and yet have secular kings recognize this born 'king') - gnosticism; to abuse of the body (still a devaluation of the material), to avoidance of the 'secular' world - with focus on the dividing wall of secular vs spiritual - who's to judge?!

I'm rambling. I need to be planning my next landscaping project. Hmmm, where was I going? Oh ... birth into heaven ... remember?

My next pondering question was 'what's heaven'? Didn't Jesus say, "The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand"? here and now? And if God is in the ordinary of daily living, and if we're all created in His image, what do we do with that image in us, what can it look like, how does it play out in people's stories? ... 

I will both look at celebrating someone's birth or what they're noted for. I'm just wanting to carry on for me personally, learning more about people's stories, and how their living out the gospel message touched them and their surrounding immediate culture, and how it might touch me and my daily choices in wanting to walk with God too.

Enough. I will keep posting, though a year of the calendar is done. Calendar Girl Me will carry on ... 

August 12, 2008


I just read this phrase, and I disagree - "Traditions are group efforts to keep the unexpected from happening."

My whole belief in celebrating what would be considered the Church Calendar Traditions, is that in simply remembering stories of God showing up in other's lives, I'm creating 'space' in my days for God to show up in my life.

It's a God-consciousness in my days, and that 'space' allows God to do the unexpected in and through me.

But maybe I'm thinking of 'traditions' as something different then the quote means?

Company and Clare

Ah, what to post. All our company plans altered, and all at last minutes. But that's ok. The Canadians are coming in late tonight instead of last Sunday - passport renewal, and college paper to still work on. Stan changed plans because of Canadians, but then that changed flight canceled yesterday, so coming in soon today - in today's fuel and airline issues will this be a thing of the future? flights not dependent? So geologists are here today, and I'll be doing a nice lunch and then supper. They all leave tomorrow morning on a field trip, leaving me alone for a few days.

Yesterday, the 11th, was St Clare's day. Most that I know of her is from the movie Brother Sun, Sister Moon, which is not accurate, and a biography I read of St Francis. Much to her families' dislike, she followed Francis into his life of poverty. Francis married her to Jesus, cut off her hair and gave her a brown shift to wear.

I'm not much into the totally cloistered life of the nuns of old. Sure, their prayers availeth much, but to be totally secluded from the world just doesn't seem right to me. In following Jesus, I want to reach out to all Jesus brings to my journey with Him. I do trust though, in His bringing people my way, and not having to 'go out' to do a great thing for Him. I'm sure God brought people to the nuns. And to live in such a way as to hurt the body by not giving it the nourishment it needs... 

We can though think about how much we DON'T depend on God for everything...

August 10, 2008

The Feast of Saint Lawrence

Angelico's Lawrence helping the poor
Whenever I present my "Celebrations" talk across the country, I always mention St Lawrence's story. I don't know where we were but something was said about the church's treasure, and a younger Dawson was sitting across the room and looked at me then, and smiled. We were both thinking of Lawrence.

Little is known of Lawrence but his martyrdom around 258 made a deep and lasting impression on the early church because his story has been famously celebrated from the earliest times.

Lawrence was a keeper of the church's material goods. The emperor said to Lawrence, "Your doctrine says you must render to Caesar what is his. Bring me the church's treasures." Lawrence told him he'd need a few days to get everything in order.

After three days Lawrence gathered a great number of blind, lame, sick, orphaned and widowed persons, and said, "These are the treasure of the church". The emperor was not impressed and had Lawrence roasted alive.

Legend has it that after awhile, Lawrence said, "Turn me over, I'm well done on that side". He is the patron saint of barbecuers.

August 9, 2008

Edith Stein

Today's calendar story is of Edith Stein, who changed her name to Sister Teresa Benedicta De Cruce (Blessed by the Cross). She was born in Germany in 1891 to an Orthodox Jewish family on Yom Kippur (the Jewish Day of Atonement). A child prodigy, in her teens she rejected all religion, becoming a fervent atheist, feminist, and professor of philosophy.

While nursing victims of WWI, she happened upon the autobiography of Teresa of Avila. Edith underwent a profound transformation due to the autobiography and her study of philosophy, and at the age of twenty-nine converted to Catholicism. She said, "My return to God made me feel Jewish again".

She taught school, translated some of Aquinas's writings into German, and lectured. She wrote a book: The Science (Knowledge) of the Cross. Anti-Semitic legislation was passed by Nazi governments and she was forced to resign her posts.

Though a nun, she had to wear the Star of David on her habit. She wrote letters to the Pope urging him to issue an encyclical against the persecution of the Jews. The Carmelites shifted her about to protect her from the Gestapo.

The Nazis found her and arrested Edith with her sister Rosa. Witnesses report hearing her say, "Come, Rosa, we are going for our people". Edith was gassed in Auschwitz this day, the 9th, in 1942. She was canonized in 1998 by Pope John Paul II. There exists a controversy over her canonization, maintaining that she was killed not for her Faith, but for her Jewishness.

Jews were upset at the silent Pope during the Holocaust.

August 8, 2008

Dominic Day

Dominic, born in Castile Spain, lived from 1170-1221, dying on this day, August 8. He lived about the same time as St Francis, and it is believed they met. I've already posted this summer about the beginnings of the Franciscan order and the Jesuits, and now we have a day of the year to learn about the Dominicans - the Order of Preachers.

In his travels, Dominic was exposed to a popular heresy which had captured the allegiance of church leaders, and therefore (a biblical word if there ever was one!), the common people. The name of the heresy was Albigensianism. They believed that all matter is evil (not the first to do so - it seems the 'isms' names just change), thus denying the Incarnation and the Lord's Supper. They led a very ascetic life and people were attracted to the seemingly sacrificial living.

Dominic requested permission of the pope to preach to heretics, pagans and ignorant Catholics, and it became his vocation. In 1216, the order was approved and training began in the universities that were emerging across Europe.

The standards of the Franciscans, with their embrace of absolute poverty, was popular at the time, but hard to live by most. Though the orders weren't SO different, Dominic's Order served as a more realistic example to follow. People felt they could live their life's work, speak in a language the laity could understand, and explain the Christian faith in practical terms.

The unfortunate piece in history is that many of the Medieval Inquisitioners were Dominicans. The Rosary's origins are attributed to Dominic.


So, today is 8/8/08. I guess 8 is a special 'prosperity' number in China, so today there are many people getting married.

I need to be getting ready for our next influx of company. Dawson had many friends here last night. I wasn't sure what was happening, so am glad I made a large pot of spaghetti and took homemade french (Italian) bread out of the freezer. They played a card game and then had a campfire and roasted marshmallows (thanks to it having started the rainy season, finally! - because there's been a fire ban). Now, him and guest Bonnie, are on a road trip with the college group.

August 1 is called Lammas Day - meaning 'loaf-mass' day. It's in connection with First Fruits. The first of the reaped wheat was ground and baked into a loaf of bread and offered in church. The Celtic year divided its calendar in four at February 1st, May 1st, August 1st and then November 1st. It was a day of looking forward to all the year's harvest bounty to come. Any failure due to weather or whatever, would mean no food until the following year's harvest.

Today we have our food coming from all parts of the world and we can be out of touch with the agrarian rhythms of life. I have been harvesting salad greens for awhile and snow peas, but tomatoes are just about to turn red, zucchini has begun. Winter squash and melons are just forming, and green beans, and soon my broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage will be forming their heads. So I'm not so out of touch, and am thankful for the fresh picked flavor and a freezer/storage full of home-grown produce throughout winter.

Lammas too is basically 40 days following Midsummer and John the Baptist Day. I posted about what that timing means to me, John's message, 'I must decrease and Jesus must increase', right in the midst of the full blown busyness of summer. John's sown seeds of needing to attend to my heart in the midst of summer. And Lammas reminds me of the giftings of first fruits in my life, growing and maturing. (The Bible and Calendar are full of days of forty!)

Wednesday, August 6th, was The Transfiguration of Jesus day. Jesus took Peter, James, and John up a mountain; there He was transfiguratus est, "His face did shine as the sun", 'His outside changing to match the reality of His inside'. On either side of Him appeared Moses and Elijah. Art work depicts them representing the Law and the Prophets - Jesus fulfills the law and prophecy. I like that it's another place in scripture where the Trinity is evident: God's voice out of a light-radiant cloud, "This is My Son, marked by My love, focus of My delight. Listen to Him."

The metamorphothe, we've translated as transfigured, really can't be conveyed - God's glory beyond our grasping. I find it interesting to contemplate Peter's wanting to make three memorials, tabernacles, for help in remembering or visualizing or worshiping the event. We so often need to have a man-made image to help us remember the story. Hopefully that's all we want - something as a physical visual to remind our heart. But so often it goes further, like a golden calf. Human nature so often turns icons into idols.

August 5, 2008

The Swan Inn - more than Bed&Breakfast

I haven't been able to pull together a post. I'm busy with company. We've had a houseful, though dwindling down for now.

Bruce, a friend of ours for years, though we've not seen him for awhile lately, came and spoke at our church this past weekend for World Vision. He's worked with World Vision for years, and it's the world-help organization we choose to support.

Because Bruce came, our son Travis came to lead worship, and they all came Friday. So Travis and Sarah slept in the laundry room, Bruce and his wife Linda slept in the guest room. Katrina came with Travis to help sing, and she slept in Heather's old bedroom and her husband joined her Saturday night.

Monte's youngest brother, Scott, with his wife Chris, and sons Nathan and Aaron, and then little Leah, arrived late Saturday night. They slept in the bunk house that night, moving into the unoccupied laundry room and Heather's room Sunday night, when those occupants 'checked out'. (Bruce and Linda 'checked out' before noon Monday.) Scott and family are leaving early Thursday morning.

I could have sung with Monte and Travis, but I would have become a basket-case! I wanted to focus on hospitality. We invited a few others for after Sunday church dinner, so we had a houseful. It was a very fun, full of life (other than relaxing later Sunday afternoon - vegging out) weekend.

Monday, the guys went fishing (and we had a great fish supper!); they fished today too (and Scott and Aaron will go tomorrow morning). Chris wanted to learn to needlefelt a doll and wants me to create a 'Leah doll' - so I am. Though Leah is often playing on the floor near us, I'm working from some pictures I printed of her.

Tomorrow morning Dawson is picking up an old friend, Bonnie, his age, at the airport. So the guest room will be occupied till ... I don't know ... I think she's leaving Monday ... but...

A Canadian geology couple and Monte's partner Stan, fly in Sunday ... hmmm ... (I've not thought through these details till this moment)(and I'm having a hard time concentrating with Chris and Monte talking) ... I'm going to have to move Bonnie from the guest room to Heather's room. The Canadian couple will occupy the guest room and Stan will have the laundry room. They'll be leaving the following Wednesday on a geology field trip.

They finish up their field trip Sunday in Salt Lake. So Monte wants me to fly to Salt Lake to be with him as he's driving the rental vehicle back to the Denver airport.

I'm getting tired just writing about all this. I better start washing some sheets and towels tomorrow! I start another needlefelting class Thursday night, if enough signed up. Friday night another artist "Show & Tell" night (at another home, not ours! this time). I need to bake more bread and plan the next round of meals.

As I reread my Velveteen House post, the only change, is that more rooms are transforming into guest rooms. I often feel we need a revolving front door (I read they are the most energy efficient door when there's a lot of foot 'traffic'.)

August 1, 2008

Perichoresis Poem

I found this poem at The Porpoise Diving Life site. I've blogged on perichoresis, which basically refers to the intimacy amongst the Trinity. In my blog I have a picture I took of a candelabra I have that I call my Dancing Trinity.

Perichoresis – a poem

By Sally Coleman

Can you hear
the unforced
rhythms of grace ?

Do you see
the heavenly
holy dancers?
Are you captivated
by the wonder,
and life
that flows from their
uncreated song?

Can you hear the beating
of their hearts
as they whisper
proclaiming their love
for one another
for you?

Do you yearn
to join the joyful
encircled in their midst?

For you are invited
to this heavenly

Will you dare to take
the outstretched hand,
kick off your shoes
and dance?

Pascal Quote

"Faith declares what the senses do not see, but not the contrary of what they see. It is above them, not contrary to them."

Ignatius of Loyola

July 31 is the calendar day to remember Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, "The Society of Jesus". I had posted about a month ago about Benedict and some thoughts on Monasticism. I'll still be reading more as time goes on, just to understand the foundations of all the varying orders. But in what I've read to date, every time I come across stuff on the Jesuits, I have to say it's my favorite monastic order.

What I had given some brief accounting on as to history and the culture affecting the orders I know something of, also applies to the Jesuits. It was approved as an order in 1540, during what's called in History, the Counter Reformation. For centuries there had been voices telling the church to reform, but not until the Reformation did it finally seriously relook at itself.

Ignatius was raised in Spain to be a soldier and a courtier - a knight. As he wrote of himself, I was "a man given to the vanities of the world". His wild ways were greatly altered when a cannonball shattered his shin, both legs broken, he was confined to bed. He read books on the saints and too the life of Christ. Ignatius dedicated himself to God. At 33, he went back to school in Paris. His life choices had affects on people he came in contact with and he soon had some faithful followers.

The Society of Jesus emphasized missions and education, and became known as the 'schoolmasters of Europe', and were prominent as confessors to kings and emperors all over the world. I've read several stories from China, to India, to Africa, and to the Americas, where Jesuits very much affected the culture.

Ignatius wrote booklets, one well known as Spiritual Exercises. When most monastic orders' Rules applied to the settled life of the monastery, Ignatius wanted to send people out. He wrote a series of spiritual exercises for missionaries on the move. They were designed to be used as a manual for training that could be completed in four weeks - focusing on the life and teachings of Jesus. He helped people go through a process of serious reflection and submission, probing the depths of the soul.

"I must not shape or draw the end to the means, but the means to the end ... My first aim, then, should be my desire to serve God, which is the end, and after this ..." marriage, attachments ...

Why do I like the Jesuits? In all the stories I've read, I've seen them very interested in the people around them. They wanted to know their interests and what made them tick - their culture with the arts and sciences, interested in their foods, dress and all. Then they'd know better how to live the Gospel amongst them, wooing people to Jesus. And because I like learning, I like their liking for our mental capacities as God given as well.
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