Sunday, July 30, 2006

My Olive Wood Cross

A few years ago I began to wear an inexpensive cross around my neck that I purchased through SERVV. The simple cross is carved of olive wood in the West Bank. Everytime I put it on, I remember that this this cross of my own calling, this cross created from a plant often associated with peace, that Christians continue to eek out a life of faith amid the violence and clashing cultures of the Middle East.

As war continues in Lebanon and Isreal again today, I join my prayers with those around the world asking God to grant wisdom, courage, and clear, loud voices to peacemakers who would discover ways for Abrahams' children to live in peace.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Beginning to Bloom

This will be the third season I see these day lilies bloom. They were a gift from a former parishioner and made the move with us to our new home. This morning, we walked outdoors and several were blooming. Their stems are growing at odd angles from the week they spent in plastic bags during the move, but thanks to Hank from church, they are transplanted, blooming, and on their way to becoming established here in Malta.

Thanks to all the folk who helped us pack, load, unload and continue to unpack. It’s a reminder when we see these lilies and see the gradually increasing pile of empty boxes that an entire community is adopting us, praying for us, and pitching in to help us bloom in our new home.

Sunday, July 09, 2006


The first week in July, the day after we closed on our new house and two days after loading and unloading a moving truck, we left for a week-long vacation with my family near Glacier National Park. We stayed in Whitefish, Montana in a ski cabin with my parents, sister, brother and their spouses. It's been a fast-paced few months since coming to Prince of Peace and a vacation was a wonderful Sabbath. I thought I'd share a few pictures and highlights of the trip.

This is the first that Dad has seen his new granddaughter. I'm not sure that smile evaporated the entire time we were there.

My parents watched our girls one of the days while the siblings and inlaws Walked in the Trees near Big Mountain Ski Resort. Guides led us on a short mountain bike ride, hike with a naturalist, and then strapped us to steel lines and walked us on platforms among the trees.

My sister wondered why Bekah seemed to be having so much fun even though all she did was lay on her back and grab her heels. Thinking she might be missing something, Jana convinced her husband Vince to join her on the sofa, flanking Bekah, and assume that position. Fortunately, or not, we captured the moment on the camera. You can almost hear Bekah asking, "What are these fools trying to do?"

A highlight of my vacation was spending time with Charis as she gets older. The former science teacher in me thoroughly enjoyed pointing out plants and bugs to my own daughter. God has made such a wonderful world and I am honored to help another generation appreciate its beauty and intricacy.