[personal profile] littlereview
Laughing Song )

On Sunday Paul and I went downtown with Alice and Jeremy and their son, starting at the US Botanical Garden which is glorious with flowers in this winter season, then stopping at the Air and Space Museum before crossing the mall for lunch at the National Gallery of Art -- where, truth be told we spent more time trading Pokemon and looking in the gift shop than admiring art -- but it was great to spend an afternoon with all of them, which none of our schedules has permitted in a while!

2019-02-18 12.46.30
Colorful Downtown )

We stopped at Giant for toilet paper, laundry detergent, and fresh crusty bread on the way home, so we could have hollandaise chick'n with crusty bread and butter for dinner while doing laundry. We have too much Valentine's Day candy still in the house! After dinner we watched Crooked House, which I knew nothing about besides Agatha Christie and Gillian Anderson, so there were a lot of fun casting surprises, but the ending was much darker than I was expecting. At least there are flowers outside!


Feb. 18th, 2019 06:11 pm
[personal profile] beachglass
It should have ended there,
the coach turning soft and orange,
her gown dissolving into a frothy cloud
around her shoulders,
the twelfth stroke of the clock in the tower
falling like a meteorite,
and the glass slipper slipping into the pond,
raising a bubble like a frog breathing.
Perhaps it is starting to rain.

It should have ended there,
the pumpkin at the gate,
and the neighbors’ only son staring in amazement,
riding out at dawn to work.

-j.r. solonche

rhetorical (never see me again)

Feb. 18th, 2019 09:01 am
[personal profile] beachglass
every woman sitting in a coffee shop
who isn't me each passing glimpse
you catch fringed eyes look up
to watch you leave

asking questions we already know the answer to, some people will remain unseen, living life behind the scenes.

some people will come into your life for a brief visit, never to be seen again.

did they see me? did they really know me at all...questions we ask to confirm.
[personal profile] sparowe

"Forgiveness Has Two Faces"

Psalm 103:2-3. "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases."

I cherish this psalm as one of the most beautiful passages about the true nature of God's forgiveness, straight from David's heart. Not only does the Lord forgive and heal, He crowns our life with goodness and strength, renewing our daily steps as with the wings of eagles. The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, slow to scolding. He does not keep score nor repay our backslidings and lack of fidelity as we deserve. Our sins are removed from our lives as high as the heavens are above the earth, the east from the west, and tossed behind His back into the depths of the sea, never to be heard from again (see Isaiah 38:17; Micah 7:19). Merciful, gracious, compassionate, long-suffering, steadfast in love is our God! Without God's forgiveness, there is no life, no salvation. With His forgiveness, the doors of paradise are open wide, but forgiveness has two faces: from God to you and from you to your neighbor.

Your neighbor is not only the guy who lives down the street but also includes your closest "neighbors": your spouse, your children, your fellow employees, your fellow-saints who sit in the pew next to you. A heart that is melted by the love of God is a heart smitten by the blood and pain of Jesus upon His cross. Such a heart will always stand ready to forgive those closest to us who often bring us the most pain in life. Can't forgive your spouse, can't forgive your son, your daughter, your neighbor, or that irritating saint from your church? Then turn your face to God and think of Christ first—His brutal, bloody cross. He is the only reason God forgives you, your backsliding, your lack of fidelity. Then, turn your face to your neighbor and see the same cross standing between you both. Forgive, as Paul says in Ephesians 4:32—forgive, even as God in Christ has already forgiven you.

God's forgiveness is not conditional. He did not seek your opinion nor ask for a demonstration to prove you are worth the sacrifice when He sent Christ Jesus into the world to save our souls. Our feeble attempts to amend our sinful lives are dwarfed by the immensity of God's grand forgiveness. Forgiveness isn't free. It came with a priceless price tag, the cross of Christ, and a sacred obligation.

The ancient Romans used the Greek gods for their own religious purposes. The Roman god Janus was the exception. He was uniquely Roman. Janus was the god of the doorway, the god of entering and exiting, a two-faced god, looking forward and looking backward. For the Romans, January, the month dedicated to Janus, inaugurated new beginnings and marked out old departures. Janus, the two-faced Roman god, looked both ways.

Your God, O Christian, He is infinitely greater. His eyes see the whole sweep of your life, backwards and forwards. The Lord looks upon your life and in Christ Jesus forgives all. Such unconditional forgiveness comes with a sacred obligation because God's forgiveness has two faces. Forgive others, just as you have been forgiven at the cross of Christ.

THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, whenever I find it most difficult to forgive others the wrongs they have done to me, lift my eyes to the cross, and I will learn to forgive once again. Amen.

This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Mark Schreiber. 

[personal profile] littlereview
Having This Day My Horse, My Hand, My Lance )

We spent Sunday afternoon in Hanover with Paul's parents, taking Adam and Katherine with us. We went to lunch at the Hibachi Buffet, then drove to Hanover Shoe Farms, where we saw several mares with foals and many more horses out galloping in the fields. On the way back to Clair and Cinda's house, we stopped at the Utz Factory Store, where we got discount chips and chocolate covered pretzels. Then we celebrated Clair's birthday a day early at their house before leaving just as the sleet began to fall.

2019-02-17 15.18.08-2
In Hanover )

Near home, at least, we've only had rain. Adam and Katherine had too much homework to finish to have dinner with us (UMCP has classes on President's Day), so we had late sandwiches while watching Supergirl (yay Nia), Victoria (so many layers of ahistorical tripe and dramatic hyperbole), and Madam Secretary (a bit contrived as well, but without the aristocracy-adoring, empire-excusing stuff). Now we're watching John Oliver's breakdown of impending Brexit scenarios, each of which seems worse than the previous one.

Things I Need to Watch

Feb. 17th, 2019 10:13 am
[personal profile] seleneheart
I really don't have much time for TV and I don't have cable, but here's some things I need to watch for various reasons:
  • The Walking Dead - This one is for work, and I've been told that the first three seasons are all I really need. This can wait a few weeks because it won't come up at work until May.

  • The World's Most Extraordinary Homes - Also for work. I've already started it and I probably don't have to watch the whole thing, although it's fascinating.

  • Letterkenny - I've watched the webseries that was available on YouTube and a few of the eps that could be found there. But now I've signed up for a Big Bang and that's my claim, so I'm gonna watch the rest. I have a free trial of Hulu, which I'll use and then cancel, just like I do HBO Now when Game of Thrones comes on. I watched five episodes yesterday and I'm on Season 3 now.

  • The Umbrella Academy - because I want to and it looks awesomely quirky. Gerard Way was a graphic artist before he formed My Chemical Romance and their albums had storylines, so I'd like to see what he can do with more freedom to create.

Other than that, I've been incredibly busy, with two nights a week being late nights. That will go to three nights the first week of March.

YMI -- ODB: 17 February 2019

Feb. 17th, 2019 07:00 am
[personal profile] sparowe


February 17, 2019

READ: Romans 15:1–7 


Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. Romans 15:2

I’m encouraged every time I visit the fitness center near our house. In that busy place, I’m surrounded by others who are striving to improve their physical health and strength. Posted signs remind us not to judge each other, but words and actions that reveal support for others’ conditioning efforts are always welcomed.

What a great picture of how things should look in the spiritual realm of life! Those of us who are striving to “get in shape” spiritually, to grow in our faith, can sometimes feel as if we don’t belong because we’re not as spiritually fit—as mature in our walk with Jesus—as someone else.

Paul gave us this short, direct suggestion: “Encourage one another and build each other up” (1 Thessalonians 5:11). And to the believers in Rome he wrote: “Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up” (Romans 15:2). Recognizing that our Father is so lovingly gracious with us, let’s show God’s grace to others with encouraging words and actions.

As we “accept one another” (v. 7), let’s entrust our spiritual growth to God—to the work of His Spirit. And while we daily seek to follow Him, may we create an atmosphere of encouragement for our brothers and sisters in Jesus as they also seek to grow in their faith.

— Dave Branon

Lord, help me today to encourage others along the way. Guide me to say what will not discourage but will spur them toward a deeper walk with You in Your love.

A word of encouragement can make the difference between giving up and pressing on.

Source: Our Daily Bread

[personal profile] littlereview
Apology for Apostasy )

I had a nice busy Saturday in Gaithersburg, starting with lunch with Karen at Thai House, which Paul and I had not been to before; we had green curry and tofu with peanut sauce, and they were both fantastic, plus I got to see Karen. Then we went to Washingtonian, where we stopped in Kohl's for men's shirts and women's Skechers on a huge sale.

Then we walked around the lake along with throngs of gamers for Pokemon Go Community Day, at which I caught many Swinub including several shinies and evolved several Mamoswine. Adam (who does not play) and Katherine (who does play) came and met us at Starbucks and we walked around the lake again with them so we could catch more shinies.

After walking for hours, we went to BGR for dinner and Lilly Magilly's for dessert, though I was too full for cupcakes. Afterward, Adam and Katherine went back to College Park and Paul and I came home to watch some Endeavour and the excellent, very depressing movie Apostasy, about a single mother and her daughters and their experiences as Jehovah's Witnesses.

2019-02-16 18.10.43
Out in Gaithersburg )

joseph cornell, with box

Feb. 16th, 2019 06:02 pm
[personal profile] beachglass
World harbors much I’d like to fit inside
that the parameters preclude me from.

I’m the desire to have had a say.
I’m the desire to be left alone

amid brochures for Europe’s best hotels
behind a locked door on Utopia Parkway,

where Brother, crippled, rides his chariot,
where Mother’s all dressed up and going nowhere.

Together, sotto voce, we count hours,
fuss over newsprint, water down the wine.

When I was shorter, we were all divine.
When I was shorter, I was infinite

and felt less fear of being understood.
I am the fear of being understood.

I am the modest Joe who hems and haws
at blond cashiers ensconced in ticket booths.

Lacking the words to offer her the flowers
I’d spent a fortnight locating the words

to offer her, I threw the flowers at her.
As penance, I entrenched you, Doll, in wood.

Through your shaved bark and twigs, you stared at me.
Being a woman was out of the question.

Being a question caused women to wonder.
How unrestrained you must feel, Wind and Water.

You are the obligation, Box, to harbor
each disarray and ghost. I am the author,

the authored by. I am a plaything of.
Who makes who Spectacle. Who gives whom Order.

My father was a man who lived and died.
He would commute from Nyack to New York.

The woolen business had its ups and downs.
How unrestrained you’ve become, Cage and Coffin.

There is an order to each spectacle.
You are the obligation, Wind, to sunder

this relic of. Am reliquary for
the off-white light of January morning.

Have seen you, Fairies, in your apricot
and chestnut negligees invade the mirror,

tiptoe on marbles, vanish from the scene.
Am reliquary for what World has seen.

I’m the ballet of wingspan, the cracked mirror.
Canary’s coffin. Sunshine breaking through.

-michael dumanis


Feb. 16th, 2019 03:51 pm
[personal profile] beachglass
I sing a demented serenade
pretend to be myself my heart rages on
as this body becomes a coffin
lined with wafer thin aspiration
a ghoul in love I appreciate the beauty
of decay the kind gesture of knife slices

aging, the weight of mortality, love unrequited, embracing darkness.
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