Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanks





"Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe." -Hebrews 12:28
The plates were stacked, the silverware rolled and the tables prepared for the feast. Early afternoon, a few friends crossed our threshold, bearing food contributions for us all to enjoy... together.
Friends and Family, our hearts are filled with gratitude for you being present in our lives. It is amazing to consider how so many of us are a part of the same spiritual family, and that our fellowship will continue throughout the ages awakening more and more to the fullness of the glorious and great God. His kindness and magnitude are such mysteries. It doesn't seem like enough, but for Him we are grateful most of all.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

spirit the dog


"Spirit"
(No, I am not making a statement with this name. It is simply her name. And I did not give it to her. :)

Look at this little joker. One blue eye, crazy huge ears. She is part german shepherd, part husky. No, she is not a part of our family, but she almost was! We spotted this beauty on the Brother Wolf Canine Rescue website. (brotherwolfcaninerescue.org) Thankfully, she found a forever home last Sunday.

If you haven't figured it out, we love dogs. They are incredible in so many ways- they are intricate, beautiful creatures. This is not be a post about how wonderful dogs are. And if you're wondering if this is to pull at your heartstrings, get you in touch with your inner dog-lover, or even to encourage you to rescue a dog... well, maybe. If you think you can provide a loving home for a creature that is in need, go for it. If not, please don't. Instead, encourage those you know who can provide that. I am thinking about this because of an unfortunate experience this week.

I heard a speaker, whom I greatly admire, specifically discourage the endeavor to help our canine neighbors. His argument, in short, was that children are so much more important. We should focus our energy, our money, our overall efforts towards rescuing kids. While I wholeheartedly agree with the fight for the orphan and unborn children of the world- it is, in my opinion, the greatest issue of justice of our time. However, when did helping children in need automatically rule out helping the creatures of the earth? Unfortunately, I have heard this argument often. I will try not to ramble, but let me just say the word "Genesis". I will not begin to argue that creatures are more important than humans. I do NOT believe that. Though I do not think the LEVEL of importance is really the issue. I will, however, remind us of the Creation story and that creatures of the land, sky and sea are mentioned and their existence is certainly very important. Genesis 1:24, "And God said, "let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind." And it was so. God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good."

I must admit, I fought the urge to capitalize the entire word "good". The text goes on to say that He created "male and female". To paraphrase, God blessed them, told them to increase in number and to rule over the earth and all that is in it. Yes, it says "rule". It does not say, however, to be apathetic towards, to discourage the care of, or to condone the abuse of or to neglect. As a bonus, I think the same could be said of the land, water and sky themselves, but I will spare you the whole of my soap box. Not to mention the incredible, praise-provoking balance and dependence of earth elements and creatures that make up eco-systems that help support life, including that of humans, including kids in need. (Or maybe I will mention it. :) Plants, creatures and humans were all created on the same "day"... all forms of life. This is incredible and hardly coincidental. I don't think anything about God's Creation process was coincidental.

Genesis 2:19-20, "Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man (Adam) to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name." My thoughts: why should they have names? does this mean they are important enough to have names? is this the first account of humanity's creative expression, connecting with this aspect of the character of God? why should Adam name them?

Regardless, I think this may be suggesting that there is something important between humankind and creatures of the earth. From the beginning, there was an established relationship between them, and it was initiated by God.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

a holy experience


photo credit: Ann Voskamp

Ann Voskamp- gifted writer and photographer, honest mother, vulnerable child of God allows others into her world, her thoughts, her hopes. She does this by her own blog, which I have found very inspiring. You can visit her insights at:

http://www.aholyexperience.com

Monday, November 9, 2009

bowls of goodness






Mmmmmm. Doc Chey's on Biltmore Avenue. We don't eat out much, but when we do... we migrate towards Doc Chey's! I'm talking, 9 times out of 10.

My favorite: Tofu Fried Rice. Pete's favorite(s): Spicy Thai Basil and Chinese Black Bean. These bowls of yummy, starchy goodness are oh so satisfying. If anyone knows of any in-home recipes that you think might measure up, I'd love to hear about it. In the meantime, I will not even pretend to use the chopsticks. I am a fan of the fork.

When we splurge, we go for an appetizer of either Thai Shrimp Rolls or Thai Basil Rolls.

Hours of Operation:
Sunday – Tuesday: 11:30 am – 10 pm
Wednesday: closed (To my dismay.)
Thursday: 11:30 am – 10 pm
Friday and Saturday: 11:30 am – 11 pm

You can also find Doc Chey's in Athens, Emory, VA Highlands, Grant Park (coming Feb. 2010) and Greenville, SC!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

all must be right in the world



You know those moments of bliss- fleeting moments when all must be right in the world? It may be directly following a task where you know you did well, you delivered, you "gave it your all". It may be those first few moments in the morning when the entire house is silent... the only noise around is the buzzing of the refrigerator (which you just don't notice anymore) and the noise of silence, stillness itself. It may be those minutes your child cuddles more when he or she is waking up. It may be as simple as tasting a perfect, sun-ripened strawberry and you are surprised! I have experienced a few of those moments recently, and I just wanted to share them with you. There is nothing exciting or extraordinary about the surrounding circumstances. No awards have been given, no competition has been won, no mountain has been climbed. Just full, almost incomprehensible moments in time experienced.

It seems as though the Fall season lends itself to these moments. I wrapped up a family photo session at the WNC Arboretum a few weeks ago and was headed to my car to leave. I thank God for lifting my eyes up from the path I was hurriedly walking to take in a gorgeous landscape... complete with the sun's warmth, billowing clouds hovering a gentle, sloping mountain speckled with rusty reds, pumpkin oranges and dull golden tones. Somehow the mountain met a line of trees in transformation, and the ground was littered with drifting leaves, advancing toward me thanks to the breeze. It literally took my breath away. This still, full moment. I quickly offered thanks to the Creator, knowing my thanks just wasn't enough.

It happened again. I was on my way home a week or so later, and for a split second as I turned onto our street my eyes were directed to a flat, open field- appearing lime green because of the moon's melodious glow. It was the harvest moon. Something about its fullness and size made me feel a sense of completion. It seemed large and close enough that I could just reach up and scoop it out of the sky. It was unreal looking and framed by, of course, trees in transformation. My breath-gone. My mind, after a day of running the never-ending list of errands, calm.

There have been other moments. Some that you can relate to, some that you can't.
They have each been applauded by a resounding chorus of sighs pushed forward by a thankful disposition. I am sure this chorus is not enough, and somehow I am sure that it is.