Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Day Off

Today I am spending time in my other home. Ed and I have a home in Morganton that we purchased when we got married back in 1989. At the time is was our dream home, a small brick cottage with both a half-finished basement downstairs for Ed’s “man-cave” and a 2nd story studio space for my meanderings. (That is where my doctoral thesis was rendered, papers and poetry written and many, many books consumed.)  Our home has always been a safe haven for me. It is a quiet place of rest and relaxation, and I am always refreshed when I come away from here.

Today it is raining softly. I love the sound of the rain on the tree leaves, and how they shiver when the drops tick through them. Our home is basically in a wooded area, and so we have never had much of a lawn to speak of. Grass and flower just don’t grow here for lack of sun, but moss is plentiful.  It forms a soft green carpet over much of the yard. The English ivy we got from Ed’s grandmother, Knoxie, thrives and has taken over a great portion of our back yard. Yet Ed still has to mow the weeds down that pop up in the shady yard.

Behind our home is a steep hill of woods that go down to a small creek. Beyond is a tree nursery, and in the winter and fall, we can see the rolling rows of shrubs, hemlocks, and boxwoods which stay green all year. When we had Toby, his greatest pleasure was to bounce down the hill with Ed or me behind him to the fields of the nursery, or into the irrigation pond on a hot day. I miss that good boy every time I come home.

The neighborhood has not changed much since 1989. Only about 4 new homes in the subdivision. Our street is a dead end, so we don’t get much traffic, just the mail carrier, Jehovah Witnesses who love a dead end street, and the occasional lost soul.

I am so thankful for this little space in the world where I can be. I love a day off when I come to my home to rest and recharge. Ministry is always waiting to be done, but for today, it must wait. Ummm…unless there is an emergency of course.


But those who trust the Lord will find new strength. They will be strong like eagles soaring upward on wings; they will walk and run without getting tired. (Isaiah 40:31 CEV)

Friday, July 05, 2013

Fruit of the Spirit

This week I have been studying on ways that living a life of faith is a better way to live than to live without faith. When I talk about faith, because of my tradition, I’m talking about faith in Jesus, whom I believe to be God and the way back to God for all people. (As contrasted with those whose faith responses are to money, wealth, health, fame and other non-God entities.)

Using an agri-metaphor, Paul, the apostle writes to the people in Galatia (today that’s Turkey) about what it means to live a life of faith in response to Jesus’ grace. (Letter to the Galatians, chapter 5) Paul insists that an appropriate life response is that we “bear fruit," what he calls the Fruit of the Spirit. This fruit is not any action we do, not prayers we pray, nor stands we take, but rather it is ways of being. The fruit Paul says we bear is love, peace, kindness, faithfulness, patience, generosity, joy, gentleness and self-control. (Fruit…so it includes all of these ways of being.)

  • What do you think that the fruit of the Spirit would look like in people today?
  • Do you think living a life of faith in Jesus is better than not living such a life?
I invite you to comment, sound off, complain, or otherwise give your opinion.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Summer Produce

In her muck boots she walked through
  the tall dew-dripping grass to feed
at the barbed wire fence, stood and
  lifted the bucket of grain over
calling, Hereboy, Hereboy

Morning was bonding time,
  bovine and beauty in their dance of discovery
Through the warm months, heft and brawn grew
  succulent tendons, marbled flanks

I watched this ritual as it came to be known to me,
  from the front window of the 10x50
trailer I called my first home 
As neighbors do, we threw up hands,
  waved when passing, shared the occasional
garden overages and took account of each other’s visitors

The slow summer of gestation in
  unairconditioned rooms drove me outdoors
and to walking, past Hereboy, and down to Flower’s store
where I charged my way through my cravings

The stifle of the summer heat lifted
  as did my belly burden presenting me with the bundled
  face and toes and smile of my summer’s produce
fat and round-faced, I bottled her, rocking
  from toe to toe  singing by the window
watching for the familiar ritual and
  teaching the pretty words, cow, grass, mother

As before the beauty, the bucket, the shake of grain,
  the call: Hereboy, Hereboy
the eager trot, the expectant muzzle,
  the season's growth of trust brought
the man, the gun, the shot, exacting and final

the pre-parted window curtain closed, and I sang on