I didn't intend to stay away for so long [an update]

 

Hi, friends. I've been meaning to write an update for several weeks and finally just recorded a short message to post on Instagram which I've included at the end of the post.

While I canceled several of my freelance writing assignments this summer, I've had two posts published at the Telos Collective's Intersection blog. You might recognize the content from a parenting series I wrote here some years ago, but the contents been polished up a bit (thanks to the editorial help at Telos). Head on over to their site to read. I'd love to hear your thoughts!

While you're there, take some time to peruse other posts. I've linked a few of my favorites below.

My posts on the Intersection blog:

Part 1: What Is Your Family's Cultural Footprint?

Part 2: Becoming Culture Makers and Blessers

A few other posts to check out while you're there:

Black Christians in America: A Personal Invitation from Esau McCaulley (I strongly encourage you to listen to Esau McCaulley' talk at the 2018 Intersection Conference "Towards A More Diverse Anglicanism")

What Makes A Culture Christian?

Present in the Polis: Toward an Anglican Political Theology

And here's my four-minute, off-the-cuff update:


Thank you for your companionship on the internet. I'm grateful for you and look forward to reconnecting soon!

In the meantime, I'd love your feedback on the types of posts you find most encouraging. Drop me a comment and let me know. You can browse through the menu bar at the top of the website page here for a view of the various categories I've covered over the past twelve years.

7 quick & flowery takes

What I've been up to lately: places, people, books, podcasts, music, links & more for your weekend downtime.

(1) playlist for Spring

Oh my goodness, spring has sprung! Here's some favorite tunes about flowers, birds, rain, and love. Enjoy!

Spring on Spotify

 

(2) links to celebrate May flowers

  1. 21 Fresh Cut Spring Flower Arrangements and Bouquets: Love these!
  2. All Things New (A Springtime Giveaway): Christie Purifoy makes beauty with words and with flowers, and I follow her blog, newsletter, and all of her Instagram feeds religiously. With the help of a delightful illustrator, Christie's giving a free download (what she calls four pages from the "book of her dreams"). On a related note, read Christie's real-life book, which I found beautiful and inspiring: Roots & Sky: A Journey Home In Four Seasons

"We participate in spring. 

When our hearts are broken, when our eyes are open, we don’t simply wait for spring. We join in. We dig our shovels into the dirt, and we help to release rivers of justice and peace. When the flood finally comes, I like to think we will turn to our Jesus and say, we made things new, didn’t we?" (Christie Purifoy)

 


(3) podcast episodes I've enjoyed lately

  1. Introducing the On Being Project | On Being: I find these sorts of conversations fascinating, and so helpful in my understanding of what spirituality means in our culture - particularly for those who are younger than me."What does it mean to be human? How do we want to live? Who will we be to each other? These questions have been at the heart of On Being from the start — as it grew from a radio project into a thriving public space for delving into the big questions of our lives together."   FYI, you can read some of my thoughts about the gracious, if not altogether orthodox, content of this excellent podcast in this piece I wrote for Think ChristianOn Being with Krista Tippett—and Jesus?
  2. Duplass Brothers On Working Together And Growing Apart: 'We Are Ex-Soulmates' | Fresh Air: When two brothers who love making art and spending time together very, very much they sometimes end up making something that gets our attention. I couldn't help but think of my kids' relationships and creative endeavors as I listened.

  3. Burning For Justice: Exploring the work of...Martín Espada | Poetry Off the Shelf: A couple of months ago I attended a conversation of artists at our former home church in Austin. Our friend Rachel, a poet, read aloud Martín Espada's profound "Heal the Cracks in the Bell of the World" for the community of Newtown, Connecticut, where twenty students and six educators lost their lives to a gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. I'd been stunned to hear the poem for the first time, and to realize that our church meets once a month in the very same building that Mr. Espada describes in the poem ("Listen to the bells in a town with a flagpole on Main Street, / a rooster weathervane keeping watch atop the Meeting House...") With all of that in mind, I enjoyed hearing more about Martín Espada's life and work in this interview-format episode. The interview doesn't include the Newtown poem, but you can listen to the poet read it here.

(4) farewell photos

Last Saturday, our youngest daughter Natalie made the big move to Austin. She's been living with us for the past year and a half, and we've covered a lot of emotional ground together as she navigated post-high-school life decisions and we settled into our new home and work in Connecticut. She joked a lot that her only friends were all under the age of 8, but the truth is that her work as a babysitter brought her so much joy. It seemed fitting that the crew of kiddos and parents would be our guests at Natalie's farewell party. (Thanks also to the Dominguez Duo for sharing their spectacular backyard with us!) We prayed that these months of participating in the daily lives of children would not be an incidental speed bump on Natalie's journey, but rather a lifetime reminder that children lead us into the kingdom of Jesus. 

Also, there's a couple of photos of Natalie's last day worshiping with us at Church of the Apostles. A sweet congregant caught Natalie and me during the closing song. 


(5) links re: EJI's new lynching memorial

Since reading Bryan Stevenson's Just Mercy, I've been following his organization the Equal Justice Initiative. I am moved by the photos and video footage of the new monument the organization spearheaded in Montgomery, Alabama. I can't even imagine what it's feel like to visit in person. Some day I hope to do that. In the meantime, here's a brief list of links related to the work.

  1. The National Memorial for Peace and Justice | EJI's website

  2. New Lynching Memorial Is A Space 'To Talk About All Of That Anguish' | NPR

  3. In Apology For Decades-Old Lynching, Police Chief Aims To 'Interrupt The Past' | NPR

  4. Communion, a Counter-Monument | Missio Alliance ("Communion as a monument against White Supremacy.")

  5. Why Build A Lynching Memorial? | EJI
 

(6) flowering photos from our town

After dropping Natalie at the airport last weekend, I spent some time trying to capture the beauty of the flowering trees dotting the roadways toward home. These represent two favorite scenes in Southport and in Bridgeport (a couple of blocks from our home.)

When I shared the photos with a friend, she reminded me of this lovely line from one of Anne Morrow Lindbergh's journals. 

Miracles, indeed.

 
After all, I don’t see why I am always asking
for private, individual, selfish miracles
when every year there are miracles like ... dogwood.
— Anne Morrow Lindbergh

(7) blog posts from the archives

2017: S-Town's Limited Understanding of Empathy [sharing at Think Christian today] - My feelings haven't changed about this review one bit. "Yet as Reed gets spun into the story as a character invested in the lives of the people he encounters, his empathy morphs into a voyeuristic pity, one that fails to intervene for the truest good of those he’s encountered."

2016 & 2015: Murphy people updates in a season of Fortunate Events & 7 quick family update takes - We're just said good-bye to one daughter, and are getting ready to welcome one of our kids back home for the summer. Sort of like in 2016. "In the meantime, we're going to soak up as much time together as we can in the coming weeks - drinking morning coffee, packing suitcases, fighting over the bathroom, and thinking deep thoughts. God bless us, every one."

2015: Book Pile - I mentioned last week that I'm way behind in updating my book posts for 2018, and thought it might be a good time to point out the page I've got devoted to everything I've read for the past 12 years as cataloged on the blog. Phew! "When I first started this blog in 2006 one of my goals was to nurture a forum that kept me accountable for the cultural goods I consume."

2013: A poem and a playlist for my dear momma - In honor of Mother's Day, some of the best words and songs I could come up to tell my own mom how much I love her.

2012: Landing on our knees - I've been thinking lately how much my personality dislikes transition. For example, the weeks of the year between seasons when one day is hot and the next cold. Or the part of the day that isn't quite evening but no longer afternoon. I've been thinking about it because I feel like our family has been in a non-stop transition season for about eight years, and it's taken a huge emotional and physical toll. I wouldn't trade any of it, really, but I'm also a bit wrung out. In 2012 when I wrote this post, I was only just beginning to understand. "I could swear I've been holding my breath for 9 months and am just now coming up for air. Gulping in God-beauty, warbling out grateful worship."

2011: Tuesday is for Hospitality: did not our hearts burn within us? - Still my favorite post-resurrection story, and the older I get the more I realize God's invitation to my own calling is embedded in these biblical account. "I love this God who refuses to be pinned down to one method of revelation. This God who knocks Saul off his horse in a blinding light on the Damascus Road is the same God who dimmed Himself, trudging along with the disheartened disciples on the Emmaus Road."

2010: Liturgy of a Laity Lodge retreat [the word, part 2] - Speaking of naming and vocation, this post is calling me louder now than it did eight years ago! "But, of course, this retreat conversation was much more than etymology -- derivations and the like - - it was about ontology, about our is-ness. Naming as soulish, Adamic, dusty work. Naming and being named represents our first God-given task, and, it seems, we've all but lost the instinct to do the job. We're walking around as a great unnamed mass, attaching self-adhesive tags to ourselves like dimestore trinkets, so hungry are we for this ancient rite."

Alex & Bekah.5.jpg

3 years ago!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alexander & Rebekah got engaged during a private tour of the White House Rose Garden. 


May your week ahead include true, good, and beautiful things, friends!

SEE OTHER BLOGGERS' 7 QUICK TAKES POSTS HERE

7 Eastertide quick takes

What I've been up to lately: places, people, books, podcasts, music, links & more for your weekend downtime.

(1) an update on our friend Christine Warner

I hope that most of you had the opportunity to read my explanation for changing up the normal posting series here during Eastertide. Our friend Christine Warner suffered a near-fatal accident that led us to enter to practice resurrection through deep intercession for her life to be spared and to be fully restored to wholeness.

God has heard our prayers for greater, persistent healing in Christine's body. We're still praying and invite you to join us. You can continue to follow updates at the Christ Church website. You can still contribute to the fund to assist the Warner family here.

Thanks be to God! Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah! 

P.S., Here's a sweet video Christine's eldest son created for her in honor of her birthday.


(2) photos from Easter Sunday

I managed to take a couple of photos, but was mostly busy being grateful that the weather was somewhat springlike!


(3) books I'm reading

I'm deep into certification coursework to become a Spiritual Director. I'm about halfway through with graduation slated for May 2019. It's taken about a year to wear this role with some degree of confidence and I feel like I'm beginning to move on more cylinders now. I'm finding the reading full, rich, and time-consuming. That's part of the reason I haven't updated my What I Read posts all year! I'm reading a lot, but it's being processed more internally. I imagine one of these days I'll start having many words to say about it all, but for now, here's a current favorite.

Screen Shot 2018-05-04 at 5.11.16 PM.png

 

  1. The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism by Bernard McGinn
  2. The Supper of the Lamb: A Culinary Reflection by Robert Farrar Capon - During Eastertide our church's reading group (Apostles Reads) dove into one of my favorite food-as-theology books, and then shared warm discussion during a two-hour dinner party. You can read the review I wrote several years ago after I was first introduced to this classic.
  3. Mending the Divides: Creative Love In A Conflicted World by Jon Huckins and Jer Swigart - I recently contributed a feature review at Englewood Review of Books for this 2017 IVPress release. You can read my review here: The Abundance of Wholeness, Completeness, and Fullness - A Feature Review of Mending the Divides: Creative Love in a Conflicted World

(4) photos from our Easter Sunday road trip to Madeleine L'Engle's Connecticut home

Our plans to visit home fell through at the last minute so Brian drove me to Madeleine L’Engle’s house (her beloved Crosswicks in Goshen, CT). We saw her Congregational Church and the General store her family ran for a few years. We also found a delicious lunch in Litchfield.

It was a good day.


(5) music links for songs & albums I've had on repeat the past few months (in no particular order)

  1. Pretty much everything from Leon Bridges - like this performance on SNL and, especially, this music video for his gorgeous song River.
  2. Every single song and video released by The Porter's Gate Worship Project. You can hear the whole album here: Work Songs
  3. Sufjan Stevens' newly-released single Tonya Harding. I'm so glad I heard the song before we saw the movie, I, Tonya. It felt like a prayer I could carry into the theatre with me. I wrote about the song in a best-of-2017 post for Think Christian.
  4. Speaking of Think Christian, I feel like the writers have been hitting it out of the park with commentaries on new musical releases in the past year. For instance: Calexico's Thread That Keeps Us - Music Without Borders by Aarik Danielson,  4:44 - Hearing Jay-Z's Confession by Chad Ashby, Open Mike Eagle and 'Brick Body' Temples by Aarik Danielson
  5. On the worship music front I've been especially grateful lately for Andrew Peterson's Resurrection Letters and Sandra McCracken's Songs From the Valley and Steadfast Live. This song from Peterson, in particular has been on repeat since Easter. Our wonderful worship leader taught us this song last week, and I just keep listening to it.

(6) photos from our kid-visiting tour of Texas

We're keeping the tradition of visiting Texas in April. We were a bit late to see the bluebonnets at full peak, but enjoyed the sunshine all the same. We made it to Denton to see Kendra, Fort Worth to see the newlyweds (is 2 1/2 years still new?), and to Austin to see Andrew, and a Lego session with our godson Emmett. We managed to be there in time to catch Andrew's comedy gig with the Moontower festival (thanks to the friends who joined us!). We also got to visit Alex in his classroom and Kendra at her church. (Ask me sometime about how I made a grand entrance to Kendra's church by sprawling across the sidewalk in the most ungraceful fall ever. Eyeroll....) We even had enough time to catch up with a couple of friends and still sneak in a get-away for just the two of us. A good trip with people we love. 

Texas trip


(7) blog posts from the archives

2017 - 50 ways to Practice Resurrection during the 50 days of Eastertide ("Choose 1 idea or 50, but whatever you do, do it with gusto!")

2017 - Practice Resurrection 2017: send me your photos and captions! ("feasting is a discipline, too. We take in the good with gratitude and contentment without making an idol of the gifts. This requires us to depend on the Creator as much (maybe more so) as any other spiritual exercise.")

2016 - Practice Resurrection: Resist frenzy ("To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything is in itself to succumb to the violence of our times.")

2015 - 7 quick photo takes from New Mexico trip ("7 New Mexico takes from the trip Brian and I took in March 2015. Spoiler alert:  New Mexico is beautiful.")

2013 - What I'm Into Lately, April 2013

2011 - Tuesday is for Hospitality: peace be with you (" I never set out to learn this lesson, it seems to be happening to me without even my permission, an unexpected new layer of healing what has been so deeply wounded in me.)

2007 - Livingpalm's Blog (Long, long ago back when this blog had a different name and we used clever nicknames for ourselves instead of our first names, Brian wrote a sweet post about me. I don't ever want to forget it.)

Also: Quietly passed by the twelfth anniversary of my First post ever - April 10, 2006.

NM.0.jpeg

3 years ago

 

 

 

 

 

That time when Brian and I made a snap decision to get away to a deserted mountain cabin in New Mexico to get our last breath before he graduated seminary.


May your week ahead include true, good, and beautiful things, friends!

SEE OTHER BLOGGERS' 7 QUICK TAKES POSTS HERE

7 celebratory quick takes

As we move back into the liturgical calendar with the season of Advent, this will (probably) be my last 7 Quick Takes post for the year. Thanks for reading along through the archives (and the rest of the internet!) with me each week, friends.

(1) Alex & Rebekah visit!

We just had a lovely visit with Alex & Bekah. We hadn't seen them since April, and they hadn't been to our new place yet so we squeezed in a 3 day visit over the weekend. They seem to be doing well, and it's always so good to just be able to hug them. Natalie and I have been in a bit of mourning since they left Sunday afternoon, but Christmas will be here soon. Between now and Christmas, though, both Alex and Natalie will celebrate birthdays.


(2) Farewell to Audrey

We said good-bye to a dear friend last week. In our short time in Connecticut Audrey Gilbertie endeared herself to us in so many ways (as has her whole family). I continue to be amazed at the way those who are close to death are able to persevere in relationship - in both giving and receiving acts of love - up until their last moment in this life. Audrey was like that, and Brian enjoyed each pastoral visit with her. On Tuesday, her family eulogized her so beautifully, and I was reminded that it's the small and tangible acts our family will recall when we are gone: the hugs, laughter, shared meals, and stories we tell that make up the most substantial part of our legacy. 

Farewell, Audrey. We will meet you again soon.

 Brian's last visit with Audrey.

Brian's last visit with Audrey.


(3) Thanksgiving Day in Binghamton (and the rest of our kids in Austin)

Thanksgiving posts in the archives:

2016 - Thanksgiving Daybook: Hallelujah, the bounty has come

2014 - Thanksgiving party-in-a-post

2012 - Thanksgiving party in a post

2011 - the sacrament of the unnecessary &  mostly grateful & 7 quick takes! (preparing for our first Thanksgiving away from our NY family)

2008 - all is safely gathered in


(4) Our 27th Anniversary

Our anniversary gift to each other this year was a photo session with our friend Adiel Dominguez Photography. He helped us feel a bit more comfortable than we generally do in front of a camera, and we ended up having so much fun traipsing in the Connecticut woods. We tried to recreate one of my favorite wedding day photos from 27 years ago. (Brian has a much better haircut this time!)

 2017

2017

 1990

1990

Here's a few more of the photos from Adiel:

Anniversary posts from the blog archives:

2014 - Paying Attention (22): celebrating monotonous monogamy

2011 - twenty-one

2010 - I'm going to stop blogging for awhile because I need.... (a sappy photo slide show for our 20th)

2009 - i wanna marry you all over again & recession-proof romance

2007 - a delicious taste of the Big Apple; moving; Dot Rama's big lesson (Celebrating our 17th in NYC)

2006 - respite (Our 16th - exhausted - anniversary.)


(5) Christ the King Sunday

Tomorrow marks the final Sunday in the Church calendar. I hope I never stop delighting in the profound meaning of beginning the year with Christ in the womb, and ending the year celebrating His entire rule and reign over every square inch of the universe. Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus!

Here are some previous meditations from the archive:


(6) Advent is coming!

Advent.18.jpg

Advent begins on Sunday, December 3 is the first day of Advent this year, which makes it a shorter season than other years. (Don't tell anybody I said this, but it also means we get a full week between Thanksgiving and Advent to watch some of our favorite Christmas movies before entering the contemplative weeks of Advent!)

As in the previous few years, I'll be sharing a daily meditation of art, music, Scripture, and spiritual practice. It also means you'll see my name show up more often in your inbox or blog feed (every day through the 12 days of Christmas). I hope that I'll be an encouragement to you as we enter into the waiting of the Christ who has come and will come again. Please feel free to let me know if there's any way I can improve the Advent Daybook series for you.

In the meantime,  I've written quite a lot about Advent in the archives!

2016 - A few simple ways to decorate for Advent

2016 - Our favorite TV episodes during Advent

2016 - Our favorite Advent & Christmas books (for all ages)

2016 - Our favorite Advent music (for all ages)

2013 - You're not too late: five ways to celebrate Advent starting anytime

2012 - Parenting Unrehearsed: Family liturgies for Advent and a confession from an exhausted Dad at Christmas

2010 - Advent gifts from the church, ancient and contemporary & uneasy Advent

2009 - we are expecting! 

2008 - anguish


(7) links re: liturgy, art, and relationships

An End to 'Realistic' Love: Real love requires real imagination by Aarik Danielson - A beautiful, insightful piece by a new writing colleague. "Love is specific. No bumper-sticker theology—even the greatest, truest bumper sticker you can think of—can convey what it means to be for someone else. Only presence can do that. Only tenderness working from the inside out." | via Fathom Magazine

Every Moment Holy: New liturgies for daily life - Added to the top of my Christmas wish list! The good crew at the Rabbit Room have collected 100 of McElvey's prayers for everyday realities and occasions into a book that can be ordered here. | via The Rabbit Room

Episode 11: The Art of Criticism with Alissa Wilkinson - Grateful for the work Allissa is doing in the world of film criticism, and enjoyed this conversation so much! | via Image Journal podcast

Advent Readings from a Modern Martyr (Óscar Romero) - 25 excerpts from Plough's free ebook The Violence of Love. | via Plough

Responding to sexual abuse will take years—and it should -  "The process of taking care of problems that have been avoided for decades will itself take decades." | via America Magazine

Krista Tippett - Top 10 episodes of On Being! - In honor of Ms. Tippett's Birthday. Many of ERB's picks overlap with my own. | via Englewood Review of Books

What Flannery O'Connor's College Journal Reveals - Published for the first time in the current issue of Image, an arts and faith quarterly—[the journal] covers just 40 days from December 1943 through February 1944, and was written during O’Connor’s sophomore year at what was then Georgia State College for Women.| via Atlantic Magazine


May your week ahead include true, good, and beautiful things.

p.s. This post may contain affiliate links because I'm trying to be a good steward, and when you buy something through one of these links you don't pay more money, but in some magical twist of capitalism we get a little pocket change. Thanks!

 See other bloggers' 7 Quick Takes posts  here .

See other bloggers' 7 Quick Takes posts here.

7 November quick takes

What I've been up to lately: places, people, books, podcasts, music, links & more.

(1) Brian's current sermon series

Brian's begun a series of sermons considering five values that God is calling Church of the Apostles to embrace. These five values are Rest, Rhythm, Relationship, Restoration, and Reach.

You can read Brian's encouragement on the value of Rest in his weekly note to the parish here.

You can hear his sermon on Rest (from 10/29/17) here.

Also, I thought some of you might enjoy this playlist I've been making for years filled with songs that help me meditate on the meaning of holy rest: Rest (on Spotify)

p.s. Somehow Bob Dylan made it into this playlist and I'm keeping him there.


(2) postscript links from previous weeks

P.S. to Heading home [sharing at Art House America this week]: A few years ago, I thought to myself, "If I could get published anywhere in the world, I'd want it to be at the Art House America Blog !" That's how much I appreciate the content and community that gathers there. I'm honored to have been able to publish there a couple of times now, and am enjoying the unveiling of the blog's new look! If you enjoy reading the essays they publish, please consider making a tax-deductible donation. Your generous support makes it possible for them to pay their writers (like me!), the editors, and their site fees. Thank you!

P.S. to 7 quick & cozy takes, 1 new album I'm listening to on repeat (It's that good!): Work Songs: The Porter's Gate Worship Project Vol. 1  Here's the Porter's Gate Songbook for each song on the album. So, so, so good.


(3) podcast episodes I've enjoyed lately

How Living in A Library Gave One Man 'The Thirst for Learning' - Can you imagine how wonderful?!? Someone needs to turn this into a book series ASAP. "Decades ago, custodians who worked in the New York Public Library often lived in the buildings with their families. Clark's father, Raymond, was one of those custodians, and he and his family lived on the top floor of the Washington Heights branch in upper Manhattan." | via StoryCorps podcast

Episode 103 - Does Meek Mean Weak? // Carolyn Arends - I found this talk on the Sermon on the Mount (with emphasis on "Blessed are the meek...") refreshing and thought-provoking. | via Renovaré podcast

Robert Mueller Indicts Manafort and Gates and We Talk with Gretchen Carlson - This is a new podcast for me, but I think it's going to quickly become one of my favorite political podcasts, and this episode was especially excellent. "Sarah from the left. Beth from the right. No shouting. No insults. Plenty of nuance." | via Pantsuit Politics


(4) photos of our super fun afternoon at the Hootenanny!

On Saturday afternoon I saw a photo of a PIEROGI TRUCK roll through my Instagram feed. I hollered downstairs to Brian, "There's a PIEROGI TRUCK in Black Rock today!" He hollered back, "I just need to throw on a sweatshirt and we can go!"

And, so we did. And it was so much fun. And that big oak tree seemed to dress up just for the day. And we ran into friends at the Source Coffee Truck. And we ate PIEROGIS. And it was very good.


(5) blog posts from the archives

2014 - Balancing vigilance and providence in the face of Ebola [sharing at Think Christian today] ("Is it possible we are not trusting reason at all? What about a providential God?")

2014 - Sewing hope with Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe [sharing at Think Christian] ("We need to know that people like Sister Rosemary live and flourish in the middle of unspeakable human suffering.")

2011 - My One Parenting Strategy That Actually Worked (Thanks, Alex, for letting me steal an excerpt from your college application essay.)

2010 - Tuesday's Top 10 guest post: Let's Hear it for New York ("Top 10 Things that I Love about New York City" by Brian Murphy - and probably still the same list now!)

2008 - I Have No Talent for Politics (If only I'd known then what I know now, I'd have been a whole lot less perplexed!)

NYC.Brian at Dillon Gallery.Mako.jpeg

8 years ago

Mako Fujimura exhibit at the Dillon Gallery - NYC


(6) photos from in and around Fairfield County

 On Fridays Brian writes sermons and I write, well, other stuff. Sometimes we do this from home and sometimes we go somewhere else for a change of scenery. Last week it was Bryant Park in midtown Manhattan, under the watchful gaze of Gertrude Stein.

On Fridays Brian writes sermons and I write, well, other stuff. Sometimes we do this from home and sometimes we go somewhere else for a change of scenery. Last week it was Bryant Park in midtown Manhattan, under the watchful gaze of Gertrude Stein.

October.NYC1.jpg
 On a walk through Black Rock. Stunning.

On a walk through Black Rock. Stunning.

 On the way to the Pequot Library in Southport. That's Trinity Episcopal Church.

On the way to the Pequot Library in Southport. That's Trinity Episcopal Church.

 A church a couple blocks from our house on our walking route to the Bridgeport train station.

A church a couple blocks from our house on our walking route to the Bridgeport train station.

 View from the porch at the Pequot Library, Southport. Heavenly.

View from the porch at the Pequot Library, Southport. Heavenly.


(7) recent favorite Cities,Towns, & Neighborhoods links

Follow my Liturgy for Life board on Pinterest

Saving Silence by Nathaniel Peters- Unlearning the sin of curiosity. ("Noise thus becomes “a whirlwind that avoids facing itself” and a kind of tranquilizer that keeps many from confronting wonder, God, and the demands of their own emptiness.") | via Plough

The Art of Dying by Rob Moll - How should the Christian community respond when a member is told he or she has a terminal illness? | via Jesus Creed by Scot McKnight

I pardoned a convict who killed again. Here’s why I still believe in mercy. by Mark Singel "Having so often petitioned a gracious God for the blessing of mercy, how could i deny it to others?" | via America Magazine

20 Years Later - Listen to this related, stunning story from the perspective of the vicitm's daughter who interviews Mr. Singel as part of her grieving process. | via This American Life

The Stranger is to be Welcomed as Christ Himself: Benedictine Wisdom on Welcoming and Pastoring Strangers, Visitors, and Newcomers by Fr. Lee Nelson- "Hospitality for strangers, visitors, and newcomers, is paramount task in the ministry of a parish church. The rituals of hospitality serve as “threshold events” into the divine life. We observe these rituals either poorly or well, and according to Saint Benedict, the key is to welcome every guest like Christ."  | via Anglican Pastor

Reflections on the 50th Anniversary of My Diving Accident by Joni Eareckson Tada - This is one of the first memoirs I ever read, the story of Joni's diving accident, and subsequent trusting Christ to meet every single need. I respect her and her work so much, and just listen to this audacious statement (from the article), "I really would rather be in this wheelchair knowing Jesus as I do than be on my feet without him." | via The Gospel Coalition

Praying the Jesus Prayer Showed Me Christ by Allison Backous Troy - I've never met her, but I can honestly say that I love Allison.  "But the prayer was much more than a centering exercise. As I prayed, I became attuned to the people surrounding me in hospital corridors and clinic waiting rooms, patients and their families, all carrying their own burdens of pain." | via Faith & Leadership


May your weekend include something true, something good, and something beautiful.

p.s. This post may contain affiliate links because I'm trying to be a good steward, and when you buy something through one of these links you don't pay more money, but in some magical twist of capitalism we get a little pocket change. Thanks!