Monday, September 25, 2006

Things Worth Doing

“Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime; therefore we must be saved by hope. Nothing which is true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore we must be saved by faith. Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore we must be saved by love.” —Reinhold Niebuhr

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Chapter 3 of a 4 Chapter Book

This weekend I'm in North Carolina. The land of Cheerwine, Cherry Lemon Sun Drop, Bojangles, and Pet Chocolate Milk! Those are the things I remember best about this state that nurtured me through childhood. Along with Ronnie's Wings, K & W Cafeteria, Elizabeth's Pizza, K & W Cafeteria, Eddie's Pizza, K & W Cafeteria, Mayflower Seafood and, lest I forget, K & W Cafeteria--along with all these places came a sense of place that was indiscernable to me as a small child, incomprehendable as a jurnior higher, and unacknowledged as a high schooler. Who knew that food could root a person like that? Who knew that those chicken wings, those house special calzones, the bowls of strawberries, mac 'n cheese, and occasionally fried mushrooms, followed by strawberry pie for dessert--who knew that would come to mean so much after I've gone?

Saturday, September 09, 2006

To Sunshine

Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine. —Anthony J. D'Angelo

Friday, September 08, 2006

S4theD: Every Season by Nichole Nordeman

Every evening sky, an invitation
To trace the patterned stars
And early in July, a celebration
For freedom that is ours
And I notice You
In children’s games
In those who watch them from the shade
Every drop of sun is full of fun and wonder
You are summer

And even when the trees have just surrendered
To the harvest time
Forfeiting their leaves in late September
And sending us inside
Still I notice You when change begins
And I am braced for colder winds
I will offer thanks for what has been and was to come
You are autumn

And everything in time and under heaven
Finally falls asleep
Wrapped in blankets white, all creation
Shivers underneath
And still I notice you
When branches crack
And in my breath on frosted glass
Even now in death, You open doors for life to enter
You are winter

And everything that’s new has bravely surfaced
Teaching us to breathe
What was frozen through is newly purposed
Turning all things green
So it is with You
And how You make me new
With every season’s change
And so it will be
As You are re-creating me
Summer, autumn, winter, spring

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Realizations of Redemption

The last few weeks have been more than subtle reminders that we live in a fallen world. Yet they have been no less than dramatic reminders of the sovereignty of God over every stage and facet of life...

Special places on the body that can be poked to bring a person back to consciousness. The right person who knew where that special place on the body that can be poked to bring a person back to consciousness. Impulses in one part of the brain rather than another just so doctors could call something "pseudo-seizure" rather than "seizure" simply because it was doing no real harm neurologically. Strategic placement of a tree to break what could have been a fatal fall. A friend to rescue and give the breathe of life. A stranger to donate the blood of life.

And yet I've noticed a particular radiance from the stars on the evenings that weren't cloudy. Mars was never discovered yet always sought night after night. I love it when there is a criss-cross pattern on freshly mown grass. Crickets have a more lovely sound when listening from a hammock. Standing in the rain often captures the smell of fresh showers better than a special formula of Tide.

The dramatic and emotional, the frightening and the unexpected seems to always drive us back to the mundane and believable, the comforting and constant. We are driven away from the superficial stabilities we attempt to place around us because when we begin to really take note of those truly constant things around us we realize our efforts are ultimately vain when working with toothpicks and duct tape.

So when the sun plays peek-a-boo over an obstacle in your life, half-casting a tree in radiant light, half in the chill of shadows, remember that joy cometh in the morning. And with each new morning brings a fresh start, and with each fresh start there are sure to be no less than resplendent reminders that God is at work in all things.