Goodreads to Muse

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The Book Thief
One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are
On Gold Mountain
Bread & Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter
City of Tranquil Light: A Novel
The Distant Land of My Father
The Paris Wife
Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
Fall of Giants
World Without End
A Stolen Life
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption
The Pillars of the Earth
Sacred Rhythms: Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation
The Road
Trials of the Earth: The Autobiography of Mary Hamilton
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, a Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal
Cutting for Stone

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Entries in grace (39)


22 years of marriage

The sunrise on our twenty-second anniversary of marriage took my breath away and sent me running outside with my camera (iPhone 5) in the twenty-eight-degree weather.  The scene unfolding before me reminded me of how God holds the universe together by his grace. It also reminds me how He has held us together for twenty-two years.

We have spent two days at a refuge spelunking the past year and eyeing the future with optimism and hope. Each year (almost) we have made it a priority to get away for our anniversary. This time affords us the opportunity to gather the blessings of the past year and to set some goals for the next one. After a few years this practice became habit and now it has become second nature.

We picked a verse for the next year. Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” 

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Unbelieving mute Zechariah was a herald of Advent. In fact, he was the first one to be told of the imminent birth of the Messiah. He went into the Holy of Holies one of 20,000 some-odd priests, sonless, old, perhaps cynical. He came out with knowledge of the spiritual importance of his day but without words. 

In the past few days, I have felt the muteness of Zechariah. His unbelief rendered him mute. And I suppose my unbelief stopped my words for a while. My only policy regarding blogging is that I only write when I feel like I have something to say. When days go by or weeks, you can assume that I have nothing.

Who could add any words to the events in Connecticut? Now is a good time to be mute.

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clear eyes

This shot is taken outside of Union Church. Allen Danforth, blue shirt, was the founder of WGO.When December arrives, we moms shudder. We know what’s coming: parties, Black Friday (named by a mother), lists, decorating, traffic, and holiday melt-downs. It’s easy to lose the meaning in the blown fuses and traffic jams. Then put the aspect of family dynamics and broken relationships on top, and it’s enough to bend the knees of the strong.

Living in a third world country did not inoculate me from being infected by the busyness of the season. We lived there from 2002-2006. One Sunday I sat in the pew at our church and realized it was the first Sunday of Advent. I began to jot notes down on the bulletin. These notes would become my Christmas card. I wrote about the heaviness of my heart and how I could not digest another sermon on Romans. Our pastor, gifted and eloquent, preached through Romans over the course of two years. 

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This black turkey appears ruined. We cooked it in a smoker Jason made from an old oil drum. Though we may have subtracted years from our lives, we enjoyed that turkey. Inside it was moist and delicious. Thanksgiving 2003. Tela, HondurasWhen Isaiah saw the Lord in the temple, he responded with an accurate assessment of who he was. Ruined. A man of unclean lips. A dead man. 

Then he transformed before us in the passage. As he lay on the temple floor in the posture of one dead, an angel flew over and touched his lips with a live coal from the altar. The angel said, “your sin is atoned for.” 

The voice of the Lord boomed, “Whom shall I send?”

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All the things she could not see...A woman bent double. Jesus saw her. Called her. Touched her. 

He said, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” 

She straightened up. Immediately. And praised God.

The Word says she was crippled by a spirit that made her sick and bent. For eighteen years. And God set her free in an instant.


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