Wednesday, March 30, 2011

garden: what are you growing?

We thought you'd never ask!

Well, folks, it's almost April, which means we've got baby lettuces in the ground, as well as little pea sprouts and a variety of herbs - basil, rosemary, and sage. (All pictures below are from Seed Savers Exchange, where we order all our seeds!)

a lettuce I can't pronounce

red kale



We've got tomatoes and bell peppers growing in a greenhouse, awaiting warmer temps and a bit more growth until they're ready to go into the stubborn, clay soil of Memphis. We hope that year #3 is better than the first 2. Don't get me wrong - those years weren't bad, but they certainly weren't our best. Okra and cucumbers have been some of our best crops each year.

But we're so hoping to be better tomato growers, for one, which is such a staple food for many of us cook-from-scratch folks. Plus, we like to can them!

And as a little bonus, we've got strawberry plants, too! I'll soon take pictures of the progress of our plants instead of grabbing them all from some website where their plants look so perfect.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Saturday morning songwriting

A window, sketchbook, guitar, and heavy heart.

The house empty of other humans, except me, so I'm taking this opportunity to do some songwriting. Other than the curious smell that's overtaking our house the past 24 hours (it smells like something died, which puts fear in me that something actually did die in our house. a mouse, perhaps? let's hope not...)

A sneakish peak. Often my songs start off as a sort of praying, just singing and playing, continuously, until they come together.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

"SOS changed my life."

If you live around Memphis, or at least, around Binghampton, Orange Mound, and a slew of college campuses and youth groups who frequent 2505 Poplar, then you hear this a lot: "SOS changed my life."

And it is no less true for me.

Summer 2005 was my time as a summer staffer, and a sweet one it was. The marks are still visible - friendships (Matthew, Brian, Larry Ray, to name a few); the current job I'm in; the love for volunteer coordinating (if only they needed me all year...). But the best overflow from that summer is the one that's still happening.

About three times a year, we [Jeff and I] are given the gift of leading worship at SOS camps - Spring college camps (our fav!), Summer at SOS114, and Fall Camps. And it is indeed our gift to lead these campers in their time at SOS. Their passion, their hands raised, their fearless top-of-the-lungs singing.

The best? When my guitar stops, and their voices make the music, raising praise to the One; when I become less, and the Body of Christ worships with One Voice.

SOS changed my life; and SOS keeps changing my life.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

"...the healing of that old ache."

It is often a long loneliness, a feeling of "being on the wrong side of a giant set of glass doors" for Wesley Hill, a celibate gay Christian. But to this feeling of being outside these doors, looking in, he's found great meaning and comfort in the words of C.S. Lewis:

Apparently, then, our lifelong nostalgia, our longing to be reunited with
something in the universe from which we now feel cut off, to be on the inside of some door which we have always seen from the outside,
is no mere neurotic fancy, but the truest index of our real situation.
And to be at last summoned inside would be both glory and honor
beyond all our merits and also the healing of that old ache.
(from C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses)

In Wesley's book, "Washed and Waiting, Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality", he gives us very vulnerable pieces of himself - struggles, confessions, despair - but also invites us to rejoice and walk with him in Truth, deep friendship, and the road of this "old ache" that he is coming to see as his ministry to the Church, to the world (or the pieces of the world to which he is connected).

It's a beautiful book, and it reminds me of larger conversations about love, sexuality, marriage, singleness, and intimacy (not reserved, or even only made for, marriage). What a gift Wesley has given us! He has laid himself wide open for us to know - even those of us who couldn't give this gift of friendship to our own homosexual friends - in hopes that we will be the Church, telling the Truth, celebrating both marriage and singleness (which equals celibacy, when faithful to Scripture) and a myriad of other things we should be celebrating.

After all (and I agree with this), "we must call into question any notion that the supreme expression of human love is found in marriage." (Wesley Hill, "Washed and Waiting...", p. 112)

Marriage is good; many other ways to live and love are, too.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Lent: remember that you are dust

Ash Wednesday. Today. Next to Anna, Book of Common Prayer in our hands, hearing “Is this not the kind of fast I have chosen?” (from Isaiah 58)

{Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.}

Make space to sit with God, to sit with the Church, with Family. In living rooms, kitchen tables, those footstools from the 1960s – the ones your grandpa left behind – that everyone loves so much. Wherever, whenever, just make some space.

{And remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.}

The bread, the common cup, Eucharist. The Lord be with you {and also with you}. Even though we have not loved our neighbor. Even though we have not heard the cry of the needy. Still, forgive. Still, we repent. Have mercy on us!

Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

"We need a break."

No, not me and Jeff. Me and Facebook. Facebook and I. Whatever.

We need a break.

Why do I need time off from Facebook? Same reason I need time off from any other time-waster, over-connected, shallow thing which robs precious time and space from my life. I could give too much attention to many other things - and I have and still do - but Facebook is the most notable in my life right now.

It's been a long time since I spent hours on Facebook, but when I sit down to my Profile for 10 minutes at a time, 4-5 times a day, I feel it. The time adds up. And for what? To check messages or comments? From whom? People I rarely see, or those I'm truly connected to? (And if I'm truly connected to them, FB isn't what's feeding our relationship to begin with!)

And so that's why I'm taking a break. I'll begin on Ash Wednesday and continue through Lent, maybe longer. I'll continue to blog, because writing is and has always been important to me (scrolling through status updates has not).

In the meantime, check out this great article by Ron Sider, "An Open Letter to This Generation"