Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Bruce Munro's Light Display

Last weekend, I met up with Lee in Nashville, TN.  It was a nice opportunity to hang out, do some hiking, and see some fun and unusual things.

Percy Warner Park is apparently well known for it's trails.  The loop is supposed to be 4.5 miles, but after starting my gps a mile or so into the hike, it still said 4.2 by the time we were done hiking.  Strange.  Despite the mud, the trails were wonderful, the conversation was good, and the weather was perfect!
Saturday evening the Botanical Gardens were having a light show display by artist Bruce Munro.  His collection included nine displays of light in various forms and fashions.  The picture below was my attempt at capturing some of the 20,000 bulbs that lit up the grassy areas.  It was actually pretty amazing, but I'm amazed by simple things (especially if they involve light).
The bamboo garden
This was a rain display inside the museum in the gardens.  It was by far my favorite inside display.
This was entitled blue moon.  The 'moon' was centered on top of a zen garden, although you can barely see that in the picture.  The moon also changed colors periodically.

Some of the light displays were interesting and some more captivating than others.  All in all, it was a nice weekend; we had some great conversations and I even got introduced to a new game.

The drive home was absolutely beautiful.  The weather was perfect and I drove with the windows down, my radio up, and my hair blowing in every direction...and I didn't get stuck in traffic unlike on the drive to Nashville.  It's the little things!

Pastor Wayne

When we lived in Stockton, we went to a church of the Nazarene that was lead by pastor Wayne.  I grew up in that church.  I don't keep in contact with many of my friends from my childhood, but there are some who I am 'friends' with on facebook.

Anyway, last night as I tossed and turned and prayed for sleep, I got a text from my sister that pastor Wayne had gone missing.  Apparently he and some others were out in the woods, they each went out to scout, and Wayne never came back.  When it got dark, they alerted the sherif, and by evening they were sending out search parties.

Since I was awake, I used that opportunity to pray.

I don't know when I feel asleep but it was somewhere in the midst of prayer.  I slept deeply.  When I awoke, I almost immediately checked facebook. 

He was found.

At 1:45am, the search and rescue found him with a sprained ankle sitting on a slab of granite rock.  I'm guessing it wasn't intentionally poetic, but how iconic that Jesus is our rock and foundation.

And maybe, just maybe I was restless last night so that I could join with other saints in prayers.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Awake & Restless

Every now and then I have restless nights where I cannot sleep despite my body telling me I'm tired. This lack of sleep is usually due to my inability to shut off my brain. Tonight is one of those nights.

I had an unusual incident happen in class where a student (inappropriately) challenged me in front of the class. I've been replaying the choices I had in that moment. Additionally there's lots on my mind with my interim role, a conference coming up, my sister coming in town, an upcoming job search, this dissertation, and a whole slew of other things. It's in these moments when I feel most uncertain that I often find myself inpatient and trying desperately control my circumstances.

It's also in these moments that I pray, often the Jesus prayer.  It's liturgical, centering, and  a prayer of the heart (what Paul refers to when he speaks about praying without ceasing). It's also a reminder of my humanity and God's divinity.

Lord Jesus Christ, son of God
Have mercy on me a sinner.

Lord Jesus Christ, son of God
Have mercy on me a sinner. 

Lord Jesus Christ, son of God
Have mercy on me a sinner. 

...and please bring peace to my mind and spirit.


Friday, September 6, 2013

Prayer and Fasting

Tomorrow is an important day...and I'm not referring to the Georgia v. South Carolina game.  Syria's civil war has been in the news, but has elevated in the last few weeks with the allegations of chemical warfare.  I've tried to educate myself on the situation, but frankly there are too many voices and opinions and it's hard to separate the truth.  Regardless, the United States and other countries have been discussing their potential involvement.  It appears many countries want someone to step in, but none are eager to enter a war.  As countries rally and discuss options, Pope Francis has called for a day of prayer and fasting on Saturday, September 7th for peace in Syria.

As Rachel Held Evans said
When it's just to big...
All that's left is prayer and fasting.
Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy.
All that's left are tears and ash.
Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy.
All that's left is to acknowledge your smallness.
Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy.
All that's left is to sit in quiet with the world and beg for peace, wisdom, and clear paths.
Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy.

Please consider joining in prayer and fasting for peace in Syria and for wisdom and direction for our leaders.

Sunday, September 1, 2013