Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Earth Day 2014 : 10 Creation Gifts

I saw Brian McLaren's post today that encouraged us to go outside and find 10 gifts of creation to enjoy to celebrate Earth Day 2014:

Here are mine: 

1.  Spring blossoms on the trees....

2.  Tall tree-lined paths that get greener every day taking you wherever you are in the mood to go...

3.  Mossy "feet", climbing ivy and autumn leaves...

4.  Lots of beautiful rock formations that make imaginations flow as we fashion them into faces of people and shapes of animals on our walks...

5.   Carpets of wild flowers...

6.  Fields of green - dozens of shades of green...

7.  Wide open spaces where the deer forage and we are able to maybe glimpse them...

8. Butterflies, bees and insects everywhere...

9.  The early evening sky with its pretty clouds....

10.  The colours of sunset...

and... to be a little sneaky, I have added an 11th - the sounds of the birds at dusk in the forest...


It's not too late to list your 10 gifts of creation.

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Friday, April 18, 2014

Grace - Not a debt, but a gift.

It's Good Friday.

It's not a public holiday here like back 'home'.  While everyone there is with family, or on holiday or doing what people do on Good Friday, I found myself thinking about grace.

What a loaded little word.

Unmerited favour. Not a debt to be repaid but a gift. A gift of new life, of new beginnings, of restored friendship with the Father.

A gift to be his.

I remembered this clip I made when doing a study on Romans almost 8 years ago and I was again reminded how amazing grace is.

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Two Brave Ladies

This morning I watched this clip and I cried like a baby pretty much all the way through it.  Not because, as the author put it on the original site, that we take things for granted. That's true, but it's not what "got to me".

What got to me were two things specifically:

  • How differently people respond and prepare for something new, and
  • How much of their lives they missed out on

 Obviously I don't mean taking stupid risks or chances, but rather choosing to be safe in what we know, rather than stepping out, even in small ways, to experience something new.

It's a heartwarming and fun clip - but it's also deeply reflective.

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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Ticks: Small Meltdown & Big Decision

Of all the things that I could have become unhinged about who would have thought it would be about ticks.

I come from a country where these are as much of a threat, but living in suburban bliss there I was seldom needing to deal with them.  Here, near the forest in the country it's a different story.

This is not funny. It's not meant to be funny.  I have this thing that all the ticks have conspired against me and are waiting on every long blade of grass and hanging from every overhead branch just to jump on me. I am neurotic about changing my clothes, I feel as though wherever I look in the house, I may see one ambling over towards the fridge, maybe in search of a beer.  If you have ever seen the movie "Joe's Apartment" with the cockroaches - picture that. This is how I feel about the ticks.

The more I think about them, the more I feel as though they are on me, the more I feel like I am being bitten and strip down, check and change my clothes.  If you have ever worked in a school when the lice epidemic hits... you know how suddenly your head itches, even if you don't have lice.  It's all in your head. (excuse the pun). (Am willing to bet you will scratch your head now just reading the word "lice!")

I know that as I write this it's completely over the top, paranoid and neurotic. The more I try to talk myself out of it, the more freaked out I become.

This afternoon I have made a mental decision that as difficult as this is for me to deal with, I refuse to let it destroy the time I have in the forest with the dogs. I know in my head I can't live in the "What-if" mode of this thing... I will adapt the old idiom to say "Better to have lived and walked in the forest, than never to have walked at all".  Which sounds very dramatic.... but I FEEL DRAMATIC about this!

The dogs now have collars, we bought spray we can spray them with before we go out as a deterrent. We will check them and us when we get back and I will do my level best not to have a small meltdown every time we find one on the dogs.

I guess a real bonus of winter is that this is not an issue.... but I'll be buggered if they will ruin my summer.

Helpful tips & encouragement are welcome. Horror stories are not.