#searchingforsunday

Once upon a 2014, I stumbled into the writing of Rachel Held Evans. She was one of the companions that I met along my path when I desperately needed the wisdom and friendship of others in a way that I couldn’t even put into words for my family. It was one of those rare situations where I was certain this stranger had been skimming my journals or somehow listening in on thoughts that weren’t even clear to me. She *got* me even more than I *got* myself.

I read “A Year of Biblical Womanhood” first. The title is catchy and there is some ‘funny’ to the book. What I loved most about this book was the intelligent scholarship that Rachel brought to the conversation. It was such a relief to not have ANOTHER book full of proof-texts and gender stereotypes and first century household codes.

Soon after, I read “Faith Unravelled” (previously called “Evolving in MonkeyTown”), which she wrote first. Again I was treated to intelligent, honest writing as Rachel shared about her faith journey. I loved this book so much that it became part of Caleb’s Bible class this year.

I was over the moon thrilled to be allowed to be part of the launch group for Rachel’s third book, “Searching for Sunday”. I have read and begun to re-read this continuing spiritual autobiography this winter.

Searching for Sunday” is a continuation of Rachel’s journey of faith with the Body of Christ through the grid of the sacraments of Baptism, Confession, Holy Orders, Communion, Confirmation, Anointing the Sick, and Marriage. In each rite, she talks historical, academically, and personally about how these holy ancient demonstrations forms us and continues forming us into Who We are Called to Be individually and corporately.

Rachel’s gift is that she asks great questions without looking to pick a fight. She has strong (and I think right on) criticism’s of the Church, but never is there a question of how much she loves the Church.  She has a strong respect for her roots and much love for the Church of her childhood. Her writing oozes with compassion even in her questions and critiques.

In trying to write this blog-post, I have started about 29 other other blog posts. Some much too personal to share right now. I count running into Rachel Held Evan’s writing when I did as one of the kindest interventions God has ever orchestrated for me. I was almost ready to hang up my HopeHat and trade it in for a shawl of cynicism. I am so thankful for her questions, her honesty, and her courage to share her journey.

This is not a book that I can summarize in 500 words or less. Over the next week, I will be peppering my FB and twitter streams with some of the amazing quotes from the book. I may keep blogging about it and sharing some of the work other folks on the launch team has developed. Searching for Sunday is available tomorrow. If you like your answers, then I don’t recommend it. But if you are a pilgrim with more questions than answers  like me, then I think you will really enjoy this book.

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This astonishes me. Once upon a time, there was an alpaca. And it wasn’t this lovely color of green. But it grew some fleece (about 5 to 8 pounds of it that year*). Someone cared for the alpaca. The alpaca hummed while it grew it’s fleece. (Really! check out the website below!). Someone harvested the fleece and it was crafted into a yarn fiber (a fiber that is one of  the loveliest things to touch as I have ever felt). Someone found a dye and transformed the fiber to the color you see above.

The hank of fiber (two of them) was gifted to me (by my sister? thank you sister!). It sat waiting (humming?) for me for about a year.

I picked it up and chose a pattern. On four needles and with one strand of fiber, fingerless mitts are being created. I will finish them this weekend, and I feel a bit sad about that. It has been such a wonderful project to work on during the past month.

Thank you Alpaca. Thank you Alpaca caregiver and weaver and dyer. Thank you pattern writer (how does your brain function!?).

Even more, thank you Abba – for knitting me together. (Psalm 139:13. Did You hum, too?) 🙂

 

*http://www.aragonalpacas.com/alpaca_info.html

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My friend Elisa is leading a 52 week adventure of shifting our focus more and more onto our loving Father. Each week we are going to be grabbing our cameras to capture one of the many moments where we see God’s love and care and joy and delight in our lives. We are creating a photographic chronicle of a visual pilgrimage into His faithfulness.

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Friday afternoon from my Bedroom Window

My friend Elisa is leading a 52 week adventure of shifting our focus more and more onto our loving Father. Each week we are going to be grabbing our cameras to capture one of the many moments where we see God’s love and care and joy and delight in our lives. We are creating a photographic chronicle of a visual pilgrimage into His faithfulness.

This is my Week One photo for my Focus.52 journey. The ice has been on our trees for well over a week now in Maine. I am overwhelmed by this beauty. We have been kept safe  and warm during the season of celebrating His birth. A world where it feels like it is always winter, and the promise that Aslan is on the move.

Hope.

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(please check out Elisa’s website, and consider joining us on your blog, facebook, or twitter)

Overheard

We went to my parents today, the girls and I. It was a perfect day for a drive in Maine. Fall colors have begun to boast. The blue sky was perfect. And the sun gave us one more day of warmth

While we were there, my Dad invited Anna to go outdoors with him. He had a seed packet in hand. I followed a ways behind them to ‘take some pictures of the garden’. But I knew I was going to try to get a sneak some pictures of whatever they were up to.

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Dad poured the wildflower seeds into a bucket and showed Anna how to scatter them. Wildflowers seeds drifted over a prepared strip of soil. Dad told her about a similar patch that I had helped sow when I was in high school. (Later he showed her a flower that still appears perennially from them.)

And then I heard a rumbly story-teller voice begin to talk to my daughter about seed that was sown on a path. And some other seeds were sown on the rocks and roots. And some seed was sown on the good soil.

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I could practically smell the smell of his pastoral robes and aftershave from when I used to sit beside him during children sermons. And I also realized that this is largely how my Dad has lived his life and faith…. actions leading the words. Sowing.

The last piece that I eavesdropped on before I joined them on our regular walk around the gardens was Dad telling Anna ‘you are a sower’…. Yes, that is how he has done it. Sowing into sowers, so that the sowers might sow into more sowers.

Thanks, Dad.

A New Bible

I’m at a conference center that has a great book store.

Today, at this very cool bookstore, I found a very cute Bible.

It was in a translation I like and the cover was adorable.

I wanted it.

But I couldn’t get it.

Because do you know how many Bibles I have in my house? (I don’t think I’d be stretching to say over 25.)

And do you know how many translations are on my Kindle and accessible to me on my computer?

And do you know how many people in the world have no access to not even one book of the 66 books of the Bible?

Over 6000 Languages don’t have access to the whole Bible.

I’m not saying ‘don’t buy more Bibles’. (I am a little amused at myself that what I liked about this Bible I saw today was totally cosmetic – and that is probably a whole other post –or series!).

But I do know that with the cost of this new cute Bible, a verse or two of the Bible could be translated into someone’s mother tongue. Someone could hear God’s love for them in their first language.

So, I won’t get that cute new Bible today.

But I will remember The Seed Company in my prayers and giving.

Want to learn more?

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