The saints and sages have said it differently, the manner of speaking has changed over time, the core message has stayed remarkably consistent. Go within. Go to the secret place where your true self is, and where God is there with you.
Go within and seek God who is in you, that is, the God who is in your sisters and brothers also. In drawing near to him draw near to them, your sisters and brothers. Seek not to escape but to embrace them and yourself in the love of God who gave himself for them and for you.
Thoughts after Merton. I'm a day behind on the writing prompts. The lower back is getting better, I think, but with fits and starts and
The writing prompt for yesterday was 'wait', which is what I did, and I didn't like it.
I rather overdid it at yoga on Saturday evening. I didn't realize how stiff I still was from my very careful and very intensive one on one pilates session Thursday morning. I did not go anywhere yesterday or do much of anything. Just moving was painful.
I prayed, "Dear God, I am an idiot." The Lord responded, "Yes you are, as a matter of fact. And this latest bit of idiocy is going to take some time to recover from."
I don't like to wait. I want to be up and doing and moving forward with my agenda. Sometimes the Lord's agenda
Sixty-eight is not too old to dream. I dream of what has passed, I dream of what lies ahead. I'm still getting used to this retirement thing. It seems I am just as busy as before, though now I have more choice about what I am busy with. I do have more time now to think and to dream. I enjoy my monkish mornings.
When I lean back and dream ahead I think of days on the trail, endless days, or at least six months of days. And why should not my entire life be days on the trail? For I am on a journey, and closer now to the end than I was before. Each day is a day on the journey, a day of putting one foot in front of the other, one step at a time.
After a long break, Amanda published a set of self-care writing prompts for the month of November. I will write every day; some sketches may get posted.
Thursday's writing prompt was "perfect day". I wrote something. It was nothing wonderful, but it was a start. Today is a perfect day to begin again and take small steps forward.
Some photographs invite me to step up and look close. This is how they draw me into their world. I find my pinhole photographs invite me to step back and gaze through their window into the world beyond.
There are three pinhole cameras represented here. Most of the photographs were taken with the Ondu 135 pinhole. “Looking up” I took with my home-modified Argus C3 beer-can pinhole. It is the one photograph with from camera that has stayed up on my wall at home. “Back fence flowers” I took with the Holga 120PC.
Since this show runs through the month of Movember, I thought it appropriate to include b
I went on a #HikeYoga outing this morning. The instructor incorporated a pair of short sketchbook sessions, one to draw or write about an object close by, and a second with a prompt.
Her prompt was, "I will always remember...". She gave us two minutes, so it had to be off the top of the head.
I will always remember...
- I am finite, with assorted weaknesses, and that's ok.
- I will not live forever on this earth, and that's ok, too.
I will always remember that Jesus loves me, and that is enough.
I posted this review on Goodreads and Amazon for PTElephant (https://www.deviantart.com/ptelephant)'s new novel.
Once upon a Time from the Perspective of an Innocent Bystander by Cynthia Breheny
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Cynthia Breheny has created a gem of a story in this, her first novel. She writes with a sure hand.
Elphadora Pratt is a boring and dreary girl of fourteen. Her twelve siblings are all wonderfully gifted children; Elphadora most assuredly is not. That's where the story begins, but it not where it ends. She and we are in for a wild ride.
I bought the book because I know Cindy on-line. I had not known she wrote. I know now. I started reading in the morning. It wa
I am one of the guest artists in the current show at Image City Photography Gallery. This is the bio displayed with the images.
I have been hanging around Image City Photography Gallery for close to ten years, exhibiting a couple times a year, and learning about life and photography from the other photographers who hang around here. As I say at pearwood.deviantArt.com, where I’m coming up on thirteen years, "I'm not leaving any time soon".
I bought my first personal computer in 1983; I have made my living with computers and networks for the last three decades or so. Shooting with no-batteries-included film cameras is my rebellion and
When I was a child, one of our favorite Sunday School choruses was this.Jesus love the little children,
all the children of the world.
Red and yellow, black and white,
they are precious in his sight.
Jesus loves the little children of the world.The song still rings true, even if much of the conservative white church has added, "as long as they keep to their place and don't get uppity."
I do not say "evangelical church", because an Evangelical is one who trusts in the gospel (evangelium), the good news of Jesus Christ. That includes me.
Jesus inaugurated his public ministry by quoting from the prophet Isaiah.“The Spirit of the Lord is
Rebecca pogopuggie (https://www.deviantart.com/pogopuggie) is battling breast cancer. She posted a thirty-day challenge for October, a pink-ribbon challenge for Hopetober. I plan to use the series as writing prompts.
I have not had cancer, but at 66 I have been through the mill often enough to say with confidence, when the going gets rough, how well you make it, or whether you make it at all, is closely tied the quality of your support network.
If you are facing cancer or some other apparent calamity yourself, and you don't already have a support network, a team of people helping you pull through, build one. Now. Even if it means saying to a relatively casual acquaintance, "This
Rebecca pogopuggie (https://www.deviantart.com/pogopuggie) is battling breast cancer. She posted a thirty-day challenge for October, a pink-ribbon challenge for Hopetober. I plan to use the series as writing prompts. Next month is Movember, so it is a fitting challenge for both sides of the house.
I am sitting on the porch watching and listening to the gully-washer rolling through, even getting some droplets blown in on me. It is a beautiful day.
Acceptance is like that. I can try to ignore the rain or pretend that it isn't there, but that will not change anything. The rain simply is. I can't make it not be. What I can do is decide what I am going to do with the fact that it is
The Gentle Light
Sometimes the photographer chooses the theme; sometimes the theme chooses the photographer. This one chose me.
I was struck by the gentleness of the light in all the photographs. In some cases it was the nature of the day or the camera; in others it was the way I worked up the scanned negatives. If gentleness is strength under control, then there are far worse ways one could interact with the world.
The exhibit includes photos from several different cameras, the most excellent Welta Weltur and Yashica-D, the venerable Argus C3 Brick and the marvelous Holga Pinhole. There is even a set from a roll of 35 mm film rewound with
Today's prompt is 'owl'. I'm not sure I'm a wise one, though I have learned a thing or two in my nigh on sixty six years.
The prompts for the three previous days were 'favorite book', 'wanderlust', and 'horizon', each prompt leading to the next. For what is wanderlust but the seeking of new horizons, new places to see and old haunts to revisit? My feet and seat have been too long in one place; I yearn to wander. I want to stretch the horizons of my eyes and mind and heart.
From time immemorial we have done that with backpacks and books, oftentimes together.
If I judge my favorite books according to the ones that keep drawing me back, Tolki
To be foreign is to be different. We humans by nature tend not to like people who are not like us, who are not our kind of people. We fear them and hate them.
God shows us a better way. Be kind to the stranger and sojourner, he told the ancient Jews, for you were foreigners in Egypt. You've been there, you know what it's like to be a stranger in a strange land, hated and oppressed for simply being you.
Jesus took it even further, breaking down the dividing wall of hatred between Jews and Gentiles. He took the hatred on himself and nailed it to the cross.
When the teacher of the law asked him (seeking to justify himself), "But who is my nei
The prompt for last Friday was "self".
The initial thoughts and meanderings were, methinks, prelude to dealing with what is actually on my mind.
Who am I? What am I? Do I matter?
I look at myself with pride.
I look at myself with loathing.
The truth is somewhere in between.
Professor Neal Plantinga told us, "Against all pride, we are but creatures; against all false humility, we are creatures of God."
Not only am I created by God, I am loved by God, as I am, pride and loathsomeness and all. Says the Apostle Paul, "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:6)
Years ago (befor
Thoughts from yesterday evening.
Yesterday's prompt was inspiration; today's is perspective. Inspiration and perspective stand in balance; perhaps we can see them as two sides of the same coin. Both, certainly, are gifts of God, part of being made in his creative image. Inspiration is the flash of a new idea, often taking the form of a new perspective, a new way of seeing some one thing in its relation to the whole.
Such inspiration is the essence of good photography. Photography is a way of recording and presenting what I see. At a deeper level, it is itself a way of seeing. I don't really know what something looks like until I take the ph
Yesterday's writing prompt was 'Goliath'.
My Goliath is exhaustion. It rather knocked me down last night. I didn't get out of bed this morning until after 10:00. I took the day off. (Thankfully, I have a job that allows some flexibility.)
Today's prompt is 'dumb'. In modern usage the word has long since disconnected from its original meeting of 'unable to speak' except, perhaps, in the expression, 'struck dumb'. I am the father of a son who is developmentally delayed (a less prejudicial synonym of 'retarded') and voiceless. He is not dumb. 'Dumb', like 'fool' includes the sense of 'ought to know better'.
Not paying attention to the Goliath
I found another source for daily prompts, even if second-hand. Thank you, SenoritaBlack (https://www.deviantart.com/senoritablack).
Wet my whistle. Drink some good beer to wet the lips and calm the throat. Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. My mug says so even if Ben Franklin never did, though he likely would have agreed, worldly rake that he was. Actually, it is Jesus who is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy, but that's a subject for another time, as is beer.
Whistle. It's one of the simples ways to make music. Does anyone ever whistle a dirge or lament? People whistle when they are happy and at peace, even if all the world is spinning madly a
The Long and Lonely Road
An image for Good Friday
The Long Silence
An Image for Holy Saturday
The Triumph of the Light
An Image for Easter
On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them,
Yesterday's writing went directly into my blog, which was a switch. Sometimes composing at the keyboard works, but usually I do better with pen or pencil and paper. I write more freely here (my paper journal). I can ignore clumsy thoughts and sentences and move on, rather than feeling the need to polish as I go. It's why artists carry sketchbooks, and why I will get a smaller journal when I fill this one, a bit of a non-sequitur, but more portable that way.
This conversation in not terribly luminous, he said, darkly.
It is possible to work too hard at being luminous; I want light, whether the divine or my own little one, to shine through e
A palimpsest (/ˈpælɪmpsɛst/) is a manuscript page, either from a scroll or a book, from which the text has been either scraped or washed off so that the page can be reused, for another document. In colloquial usage, the term palimpsest is also used to denote an object made or worked upon for one purpose and later reused for another.
My education continues, though I do remember this one vaguely from NT Greek classes yea many years ago.Use it up; wear it out; make it do or do without. Those words predate me and are largely forgotten in this throwaway age, but their time is coming around again, at least in the
It's eleven o'clock on New Year's Eve, a magical time. We put away one set of calendars and start following the new ones. I joined with other worshipers at our New Year's Eve service earlier this evening. It's a magical time and a holy time. It's not a holy day in and of itself, yet it is fitting that we gather in the presence of the God who loves us and gave himself for us to look back and look forward. We thank God for his faithfulness in the year gone by even as we grieve with those who grieve and rejoice with those who rejoice.
I wrote a bunch of stuff in my journal yesterday about things I want to focus on in 2016. I don't do New Year's
"Unveiled" is yesterday's prompt. From here on I will write about the prompt for the day in my paper(!) journal, then edit and post the next day if I come up with something worth publishing. I keep a copy of Amanda's prompts by my desks at home and at work; it gives me the opportunity to think about them throughout the day.
"Unveiled" brought to mind Paul's words from his second letter to the church at Corinth. Paul has been talking about the veil the people insisted Moses wear after he returned from the the presence of God on Mount Sinai. The reflected glory radiating from his face was too much for them to bear. A veil, says Paul, now cover
The Autumn leaves were lovely while they lasted; now the branches are bare and the yard clear. We human beings are lovely while we last, but we too are soon gone. "Do not love overmuch the work of your own hands", the Valar warned the Elves. The Elves were undying; their works, clearly, were not. One after another their kingdoms and refuges fell to Morgoth. Even Lothlorien was finally abandoned as first Galadriel and then Celeborn wearied of Middle Earth and took the straight path over the sea back to Valinor.
This world is not our home; we're just a-passing through" says the old gospel hymn. That's not the whole truth, to be sure, but it i