Greetings from Richmond

Mar. 28th, 2017 12:11 am
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I am in Richmond with Paul, where we have had a lovely very full day with Cheryl and Kevin -- lunch at Greek Cuisine, Toys of the '50s, '60s and 70s and The Fine Art of Children's Book Illustration at the Virginia Historical Society, The Rachel Lambert Mellon Collection of Jean Schlumberger jewelry exhibit at the VMFA, a walk around the frog-filled lake at Deep Run Park, a visit to Kevin's house to see his son, dinner at Olive Garden, and a viewing of Mystery Men at Cheryl's house. In the morning we're going to Williamsburg to see Botticelli and the Search for the Divine! Some pics of the toys, jewelry, and a duck:


Richmond )

UpWords - Max Lucado: 27 March 2017

Mar. 27th, 2017 07:55 am
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Look Who Shows Up

 
Today's MP3

My friend Roy was sitting on a park bench one morning as he watched a little guy struggling to get on the school bus that stopped just a few feet away. He was leaning down frantically trying to “un-knot” a knotted shoestring. All of a sudden it was too late—the door was closing. The little boy fell back on his haunches and sighed. Then he saw Roy. Tears in his eyes he looked at the man on the bench and asked, “Do you untie knots?”

Jesus loves that request. Life gets tangled. People mess up. You never outgrow the urge to look up and say, “Help!” Jesus had a way of appearing at such moments. Peter’s empty boat. Nicodemus’s empty heart. Matthew with a friend issue. Look who shows up. Jesus, our next door Savior!  And we ask, “Do you untie knots?” His answer is “Yes!”

From Next Door Savior

Poem for Monday and DC in Bloom

Mar. 27th, 2017 12:36 am
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Sea Lily )

Sunday was much colder and greyer than Saturday, not least because we had to take Adam back to school for the rest of the spring semester. We had a mostly quiet morning involving various chores and keeping cats warm, then we took son food shopping, grabbed lunch, and took him to his dorm to finish his spring break homework.

We picked up Maddy from work and were going to have a quiet dinner, but someone I know locally was Freecycling a queen mattress and box spring, so Maddy and I went to pick that up for her room, which required four people to tie it on top of the minivan and three to get it down and take it upstairs, but now her room has a big bed!

Paul and I watched To Walk Invisible, a film about Emily, Charlotte, and Anne Bronte with an annoyingly apt title for a movie that obsesses about their brother and his disappointed hopes vis a vis their father rather than on their independent interests. Here are some more photos of the cherry blossoms from yesterday:


Cherry Blossoms II )
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Sakura )

Because the weather was lovely and the cherry blossoms were reported to be as close to peak as we're going to get this season, we went downtown Saturday morning to see what there was to see. I know a lot of the flowers were ruined by the snow, but it was hard to tell except up close; from a distance the trees looked a bit pinker than usual, and there were plenty of pretty clusters of blossoms. Since we got down early, we only hit major crowds as we were walking back to the car, having concluded that the lines at the food trucks were too long, so we went to Lebanese Taverna for lunch instead and it was great.


Cherry Blossoms )


Maddy had to work for much of the day, so we didn't see her till late in the evening, before which we watched some basketball (with the Maryland women now out of the tournament, I will root for both Oregon teams, though as long as UNC doesn't win the men's tournament, I won't complain too much whatever happens). In the evening we watched Independence Day: Resurgence with Adam on HBO, and while it's not a particularly good movie, it's not nearly as bad as, say, Batman v. Superman, so I'm not sure why the reviews were so terrible. It's kind of the Equilibrium of alien invasion movies only without Sean Bean.
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What is Worship?

 
Today's MP3

Exactly what is worship?  I like King David’s definition: “O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name together” (Psalm 34:3 NASB). Worship is the act of magnifying God. Enlarging our vision of him.  As we draw nearer, he seems larger. Isn’t that what we need? A big view of God? Don’t we have big problems, big worries, big questions? Of course we do. Hence we need a big view of God. Worship offers that. How can we sing “Holy, Holy, Holy” and not have our vision expanded?

A vibrant, shining face is the mark of one who has stood in God’s presence. After speaking to God, Moses had to cover his face with a veil (Exodus 34:33-35). After seeing heaven, Stephen’s face glowed like that of an angel (Acts 6:15; 7:55-56). God is in the business of changing the face of the world!

From Just Like Jesus

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Basketball )

Friday was Paul's birthday and we spent the entire day with family. We took Adam and Maddy to Hanover to see their grandparents and have lunch at Hibachi Buffet Grill followed by cake back at their house, then we drove home, dropped Maddy off at work, met Christine at our house, and went to my parents' for dinner and more cake!

Over the course of the evening we discovered that Christine had never seen Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, and since we've been meaning to see it again since we got back from Carcassonne since so much of it was filmed there, we watched that. After Christine went home, we Skyped with Daniel. Now we're hoping Wisconsin comes back against Florida!


Birthday Day )
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Give God Your Whispering Thoughts

 
Today's MP3

In the 19th century an anonymous Russian monk set out to live in unceasing communion with God. In a book entitled, “The Way of the Pilgrim,” he tells of having one prayer constantly in his mind: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” The prayer became so internalized he constantly prayed it.

Perhaps you and I should take note. By the time your life is over, you will have spent six months at stoplights, a year and a half looking for lost stuff (double that number in my case) and a whopping five years standing in lines. Why don’t we give these moments to God? Simple phrases like, “Thank you, Father.” “Be sovereign in this hour, O Lord.” “You are my resting place, Jesus.” Just pray where you are. Let the kitchen or the office became a cathedral or the classroom a chapel. Give God your whispering thoughts!

From Just Like Jesus

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Epilogue )

Adam had lots of homework on Thursday and Maddy was fighting with her financial aid paperwork for school, so we had another quiet morning doing assorted chores. In the afternoon Maddy was meeting friends from work at the mall and we took Adam to get him new sneakers, plus we got Menchie's froyo now that there's one in the mall (it was pretty good but I think Yogi Castle is pretty good too, and neither one is Cold Stone Creamery).

The news over the past two days have been so stressful that we spent the evening watching basketball -- we're very sorry Purdue lost, ambivalent about the Michigan game because we generally support Big 10 teams but our Oregon relatives are very happy, and very proud of Xavier for beating Arizona (now it's less awful that Maryland lost to them). Here are some more photos from Frying Pan Farm Park earlier in the week:


Down on the Farm )
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Working With God

 
Today's MP3

It’s a wonderful day indeed when we stop working for God and begin working with God! For years I viewed God as a compassionate CEO and my role as his loyal sales representative. He had his office and I had my territory. I could contact him whenever I wished. He encouraged me, rallied behind me, and supported me, but he didn’t go with me. At least I didn’t think he did.

Then I read 2 Corinthians 6:1 that says, “We are God’s fellow-workers.” Fellow workers? Co-laborers? God and I work together? Rather than report to God, we work with God. Rather than check in with him and then leave, we check in with him and then follow. We are always in the presence of God. There is never a nonsacred moment! His presence never diminishes. Our awareness of his presence may falter, but the reality of his presence never changes!

From Just Like Jesus

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Moon Missing )

Maddy worked early and Adam had plans for lunch and hiking with a friend from school, so Paul and I did chores, had lunch together, and went for a walk in the park where there are now buttercups instead of crocuses and light green leaves coming in to replace sickly brownish flowers on the trees. I spent the rest of the afternoon screaming at PayPal and Groupon on the phone (warning: Groupon will try to refund non-delivered items with Groupon Bucks, pretending they can't refund PayPal purchases).

Adam and Maddy came home for dinner (homemade deep-dish pizza), and Christine, who had been at the beach with her parents, came to visit. She had not seen Doctor Strange, which we just got on Blu-Ray, so we watched the movie plus the deleted scenes and gag reel -- we all agreed that the deleted scenes had some fairly important character moments that established why we should care about Strange and why Kaecilius was evil. Here are some animals we saw yesterday along the C&O Canal:


Canal Early Spring )
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Let God Love You

 
Today's MP3

When my daughters were crib-size and diaper laden, I would come home, shout their names and they’d run to me with extended arms and squealing voices. We’d roll on the floor, tickle tummies and laugh and play. Their only request of me was, “Let’s play, Daddy.” And I made no demands of them, except, “Don’t hit Daddy with the hammer.” My kids let me love them.

But suppose they had approached me as we often approach God. “Hey, Dad, glad you’re home. Here’s what I want!” And I would have wanted to say, “Why don’t you just climb up on Daddy’s lap and let me tell you how much I love you?”

Ever thought God might want to do the same with you? Oh, he wouldn’t say that to me. He wouldn’t? How long has it been since you let him try? Just let God love you.

From Just Like Jesus

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Dream of Heaven )

Alice came to visit Maddy on Tuesday and we all ended up having lunch together at Bombay Bistro, which has lots of vegetarian choices and always has kheer which is awesome. After Alice went home to retrieve her son, we went to walk along the C&O Canal, which almost looked like spring -- some daffodils, some turtles, some ducks and geese, some crazy squirrels! We also discovered that Adam had never seen The Big Chill, so in honor of Jeff Goldblum, we watched it for the first time in years -- still the best soundtrack ever.


By the Canal )


Paul made shish kebab and Mediterranean couscous for Nowruz, then we watched The Flash musical episode, which was awesome -- in addition to the two Glee stars from that and Supergirl, we got gratuitous John Barrowman and Victor Garber, a pair of gay dads, and a better ending than La La Land. Then we were going to watch The Fly but our copy was crappy, so we watched The Favour, the Watch and the Very Big Fish, in which Goldblum, Hoskins, and Richardson are hilarious and the plot is insane!
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(This post is a little overdue, as all of this went down a couple of weekends ago, and I didn’t really have the chance to sit down and write this out in full until now! Plus, there was a session to go to as well as questionable mammogram results that, thank all the universe’s powers, turned out to not be a problem after all. So let’s return to this post in progress and get this written up, shall we?)

Y’all may remember that last year in February, I had the distinct pleasure of getting to attend a workshop in Qualicum Beach, at which André Brunet spent a glorious weekend teaching a bunch of us how to play several tunes. Well, we all had such fun doing that last year that our hosts, the Beatons–not to mention André himself–decided we had to do it again.

And when I learned from Joyce Beaton that this was happening, I leapt RIGHT ALL OVER THAT. Because last year’s workshop was a huge influence on my decision to start taking official fiddle lessons! Plus it’s just such great glorious fun to hang out with a house full of musicians for a weekend, learning things and jamming.

Better yet: this year I brought Dara. 😀 Not to mention a whole pile of instruments.

All! The! Instruments!

All! The! Instruments!

(For those keeping score, the instruments in this picture are the General, my guitar; my as of yet unnamed fiddle; Silver, my flute with keys; my carbon fiber and blackwood whistles; and my quartet of carbon fiber flutes, the little D, the G, the A, and the big D.)

Read the rest of this entry »

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

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The Farmer )

Monday was a very nice day -- not too warm but partly sunny -- so after lunch and some homework by everyone, we went to Frying Pan Farm Park (which I always have to explain is named for its panhandle, not because anyone cooks the animals!) to see the lambs, kids, piglets, and calves born there this spring. There were lots of baby piggies belonging to two different moms, a Duroc and a Yorkshire cross, and a trio of jumping Suffolk and Dorset lambs, plus there were horses, bunnies, chickens, turkeys, ducks, peacocks, more goats and cows, plus interloper pigeons and geese!


On the Farm )


We went to the Silver Diner since we had a coupon for Paul's upcoming birthday, then we went to both Trader Joe's and World Market, the latter in part because we were looking for avocado lime dressing for Maddy but we couldn't find it in either place. Adam has been on a Jeff Goldblum kick, so since he had never seen it, after Supergirl (which needed WAY less Winn and WAY more Sorbo and Hatcher), we watched Earth Girls Are Easy, which I haven't seen probably since it was new. I know how politically incorrect it is but it's also hilarious and has great music!
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Robin Hood )

I had plans on Sunday to go downtown with my family and Cheryl to see the cherry blossoms, but there are very few cherry blossoms -- the early ones died and the late ones haven't opened yet. So instead after lunch we went to Arclight, where Maddy had to work and the rest of us went to see Logan since Adam hadn't seen it yet and the other three of us were happy to see it again. Despite the violence it may be my favorite X-Men movie since the first, though I feel like it's better appreciated by people who've seen the other eight and know the history of the main characters. It feels shorter than its 2+ hours.

We spotted a bunny when we drove home, so we went for a walk to see it up close. Then we watched the end of the second season and beginning of the third season of Robin of Sherwood, which we need to remember to watch more often because I always enjoy it immensely (I've never seen the whole series before). After Cheryl went home, we had tofurkey roast because it's one of Adam's favorites and watched this week's Madam Secretary which he mocked throughout (which is typical for him watching political shows). From Brookside Gardens last weekend, some snow, the season's first turtle, and some greenhouse family pics:


Wintry Wheaton )

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