2007-01-06

A Plea

Dear people in my neighborhood:

Just because you have left-over noise-makers from the holidays does not mean it is necessary to set them off at annoying but regular intervals. Seriously, it's time to get back to normal life!

Thank you!

Epiphany

I hope these thoughts, from this site will add meaning to your day today.

From Hebrews 1:1-3 NRSV

Long ago, God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets;
now God has spoken to us by a Son.

God made the world through the Son, who has been appointed heir of all things and the perfect reflection of God's glory.
The Son is the exact representation of God's being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.

Praise God for the gift of the Son.
We welcome the Light of the world!

From Matthew 2:1-2 TEV

Jesus was born in the town of Bethlehem, in the land of Judah during the time when Herod was king. Soon afterward some men who studied the stars came from the east to Jerusalem and asked:
Where is the baby born to be King of the Jews? We saw his star when it came up in the East and we have come to worship him.

Let us all worship the Christ who was born to be our King.

From Psalm 27:1,3, 11, 14

The Lord is our light and our salvation.
Then whom shall we fear?

The Lord is the stronghold of our lives.
Of whom shall we be afraid?

Though an army marches against me
I will not be afraid.

Though war rises up against me>
yet I will be confident.

Teach us your way, O Lord,
and lead us on level paths.

Wait for the Lord, be strong, and let your heart take courage.
We will wait upon the Lord.

Invitation

Wise men came from the East
to worship one they had
never seen.

They brought rich gifts
to one they did not even
know.

They were not Jews,
yet they came to worship the
King of the Jews.

They were outsiders,
yet their offerings
were accepted.

They had strange ideas about stars,
but saw coherence in the
whole world's plan.

They grew in wisdom.

For them, a King had come that
would not be a tyrant.

The little child was for them the
focus of all meaning.

This King would make all
things new.

They were dreamers who saw
beyond the facts to the reality,

and they went home changed.

Come, come everyone, from the
East and from everywhere,

Come and worship Christ, the
new-born King.

Adapted from a liturgy by David W. Romig of the Downtown Presbyterian Church, Rochester, New York.
Author

David W. Romig

2007-01-05

New Look

Completely against my husband's advice, as you can see, I have updated my design. I really liked the Birds one, but to be honest, I couldn't help wondering if Pixar was going to swoop down and get me in trouble for using their stuff. I don't know if the web designer had permission (I assume she did) but still, I feel better knowing I did it myself. I know, it's a lot less fun. Oh well! And sorry, it works best in Mozilla. Sorry to those of you who use IE.

One of my hopes (uh oh, another one out of the bag) this year is to write more and so I'm trying to make my blog a little more fun and interesting. I'm even toying with the idea of putting some ads on (school does not pay for itself) but I'm not quite ready to go that route yet. We'll see.

Another thing I want to do is post more photos. I got a nifty little digital camera for Christmas because I have been long wanting to have a camera with me more often. Sometimes I see cool things in Madrid that I would like to post but never seem to have the camera. So we'll see how that goes!

2007-01-04

Tea with Meaghan

I took Meaghan to a tea-shop that my friend Lisa introduced me to recently. It used to be only an antique shop, but they have just opened a tea shop as well. It's a nice little place to sit down for a quiet cup of tea. I had promised Meg that I would take her there over the holidays; we thought we could maybe have her birthday party there. We're entering the days of "only girls" parties, and some of the girls in Meg's class apparently have strong opinions about what is done and what is not.

In the end, we decided that we should have a tea party at home. For one thing, the shop is small, and can get very smoky. But most important, Meg thought it would be nicer to do it at home so Nic could join in.

We had a nice time though, drinking our English Breakfast tea and eating scones and chocolate cake.

2007-01-03

Thoughts from the day

From Celtic Daily Prayer


The cry to God as "Father"
in the New Testament
is not a calm acknowledgement
of a universal truth about
God's abstract fatherhood.
It is the Child's cry
out of a nightmare.

It is the cry of outrage,
fear, shrinking away,
when faced with the horror
of the "world"
--yet not simply or exclusively
protest, but trust as well.

"Abba Father"
all things are possible
to Thee...

Rowan Williams

I have to say that I have been pondering (not for the first time) the divisions in the body of Christ. I read a wide range of blogs etc. and sometimes it makes me so sad to read--sometimes blatantly, sometimes between the lines--the scorn, ridicule, rejection and hate that we as Christians express to each other. To be honest, sometimes the "world" that I recoil from is the one that is supposed to be Christ's bride.

Anyway, all this to say that I am challenged afresh to use my words wisely, to use them for good, for love.

Also from my reading today...(the meditations are looking at the beautiful hymn Be Thou My Vision

"In His presence, in His power, live a moment at a time: live that moment fully. To try to live a holy life is to be crushed by the enormity of the task, but a whole life consists of a series of such moments."

2007-01-02

Accomplishments

While I may not be listing any new year's resolutions, I will be happy to share a few things I got accomplished so far :)

~ cleaned out my purse and wallet
~ helped Meaghan organize her room a bit, including putting up a couple of bulletin boards in her room with a white board and calendar of her own (hopefully that will stop her from leaving smeary messages on the white board on the fridge and writing things on my calendar!)
~ made a start on some of the piles in the usual spots that spring up around the house
~ got my son motivated enough to clean up his room
~ helped him do some of his homework. He does a lot better with math than reading and writing and he was really pleased with himself for figuring out several worksheets on his own

But most importantly, I made it a point to get back into Celtic Daily Prayer

Not only do I hope (there, I let one out of the bag :) ) to use this daily to guide my spiritual walk, I want to create a more deliberate rhythm of prayer in my life.



2007-01-01

Resolute

It seems like it's the time of year to post all sorts of ways I hope to improve this year. Troy and I were talking early this morning after we got in bed how it's strange to us how people grasp at the beginning of a new year as a chance for a fresh start like no other day. I mean, who's to say that you can't do the same thing on any given Wednesday, or your birthday, or any other day of the year (actually, that's of my favorite things about a relationship with Christ: each day is a new beginning). Anyway, I digress.

I do have some goals for the coming weeks, but they are extensions of my desires to live more simply, more healthily, more in tune with Jesus. And I have begun to learn that setting elaborate expectations in place for myself only hinders me from making any significant improvement. So I'll keep them to myself for now :)

I was reading a friend's blog, and she posted the entire Serenity Prayer. I never knew there was more, but it resonated with me. There are a few slightly different versions and stories concerning this prayer, but either way, this resonated with me.
"God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change
the courage to change the things I can
and the wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time
enjoying one moment at a time
accepting hardship as a pathway to peace
taking as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is
not as I would have it

Trusting that you will make all things right
if I surrender to your will
so that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with you forever
in the next.

Amen.

Reinhold Neibuhr"





2006-12-31

See you next year!

We're ringing in 2007 watching ALL the LotR movies and eating all sorts of goodies. It's just us and our girls (Kelly & Amy) but it suits me perfectly! It's a cool foggy day; we've been lounging, and the kids have been out to ride bikes twice. Nic can start himself on his bike now. We'll have to put up a video.

Anyway, Happy New Year to all of you!