Thursday, August 19, 2010
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
We spent many hours wandering the neighborhood, on the streets downtown, in the London-Ferrell garden and the Episcopal cathedral, trying to capture where these themes are being made manifest in our life here in Lexington. With heat indices in the 100s, it was hot and sweaty work, but thanks to Travis' talent for drawing forth inspiration when it seems to be draining out with every drop of sweat, we finished all six. Travis will now turn his editorial gift to transforming those many hours of film into short films that will hopefully provoke thought and conversation around the Story.
The book should be back from the printers in just 3 weeks. Sean will be heading up to Chicago to spend a couple of days at the Christian Community Development Association's annual conference with the good people of IVP, and will return with a few cases of books. We are excited to finally see it!
We'll let you know when the videos are done, and where you can take a look at them.
Friday, July 2, 2010
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
On the day of the show, they took turns greeting people, serving refreshments, talking about their art and selling it. It really was very impressive, and a lovely afternoon, thanks in large part to the hard work of Seth's teachers, Ms Littrell and Angie. The kids had a great time, as did the parents and family members!
Seth had worked particularly diligently at a piece of weaving, and we bumped into the weaver at a neighborhood event, and Seth told her about his purse. She wrote a beautiful reflection on their interaction, which you can find here on her blog.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Back in the winter months he bought and constructed this hoop house with the help of several teams of volunteers. He has been starting all his seedlings to transplant to the field in the hoop house, and has also planted rows of vegetables in the ground, as you can see. This picture was taken 3 weeks ago - when I went out last Thursday, you could barely see the paths, so lush was the produce. We've enjoyed some heads of lettuce, broccoli and turnips this week, and the CSA officially starts on Thursday - a week earlier than planned.
I've been out a few times to help plant the seedlings, hoe and water. It's been a gift to spend time with Jeremy, get my hands in good soil, and watch the miracle of growth from seed to seedling to food up close.
There's plenty of information on CSAs available on the web - there's probably one near you. Support your local farmers, and enjoy the amazing flavour of locally-sourced produce.
Monday, May 17, 2010
On Saturday, a truly glorious spring day, we went to the Bluegrass Sheepdog trials and watched dog and owner work together on a lush, green canvas of rolling hills. It's felt like a huge gift to have two full days of outdoor time together, and seeing the beauty of creation expressed in so many ways filled us deeply.
Hopefully this brief entry signals a return to updating our blog a little more often - watch this space!
Monday, May 10, 2010
Friendship at the Margins is part of the Resources for Reconciliation Book Series, a partnership between IVP and the Center for Reconciliation at Duke Divinity School. The series asks what it means to pursue hope in the midst of the many manifestations of brokenness in our world. Each book is co-authored by a practitioner and someone from the academy. I have been looking forward to reading Friendship, written as it is by two people I have respected for a long time: Chris Heuertz, international director of Word Made Flesh, and Christine Pohl, professor of social ethics at Asbury Seminary, who was my advisor during my time there.
Two decades ago I volunteered regularly at a free lunch program offered by a downtown church in Lubbock, Texas. From one to two hundred people came, mostly from the neighborhood. We ‘got them through the line, fed and cleaned up’ in an hour. For a reason I no longer remember, one day I decided to stand in line, get a plate and sit down at a table and get into a conversation with a couple of people. That was an important milestone in my journey into the heart of what the authors discuss in this book.
Although a relatively short book, it took me a while to read Friendship. The authors ask questions I thought I had satisfactorily answered a long time ago, and yet through their graceful interweaving of stories with the insight that comes from praxis, I found myself being challenged at the same time I was nodding in agreement with them. I took stock of some of the friendships I have, and confess I came out wanting. Having lived in Lexington for 9 months now, I became somewhat uncomfortable as I reflected on whether blossoming friendships here are truly mutual or if I’m still tempted to see certain people as “projects”, “potential donors” or “representatives of causes.” One of the strengths of the book is the honesty and humility evident throughout, which gently drew forth the same from me.
The book takes an unflinching yet generous look at donor-recipient issues in service and mission; at the unavoidable ambiguities and tensions that arise when we become friends with those outside our own social circles; and at the necessity of long-term commitment to place and people. The last chapter, which asks what kinds of spiritual practices help sustain friendships at the margins, seems particularly important. What will help us sustain long term commitment to each other – where does our hope come from, and how will we nurture it in the midst of our shared brokenness? (To that end I’m also looking forward to reading Pilgrimage of a Soul by Chris’ wife and partner in mission, Phileena, released next month.)
Friendship at the Margins – highly recommended.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Well, if you're going to make a dozen pancakes (crepes, more accurately), you might as well make three dozen. So, for our regular Tuesday night family meal with our friends the Maddocks I served crepes stuffed with caramelized onions, wilted kale and sautéed mushrooms, topped with a light cheese sauce with more than a hint of nutmeg, accompanied by roasted sweet potatoes. Followed, of course, by the traditional pancakes of Shrove Tuesday.
There's a reason it's called 'Fat Tuesday'. One big splurge before the season of Lent begins tomorrow...
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Monday, January 25, 2010
We spent a delightful couple of hours getting up close to lots of lichen and fungi - the only green to be found in the drab colours of winter. Rebecca overturned numerous rocks, and the eager looks of anticipation on Maggie and Seth's faces as the secrets the rocks held beneath them were revealed was priceless. "Can we turn this one over too?!" The highlight discovery was a newt, with golden ants, wriggly earthworms and beetles aplenty.
We heard cardinals chipping in the distance, saw vultures circling, and were accompanied by a Downy Woodpecker, who flitted from tree to tree ahead of us for awhile.
We breathed deep of the solitude the woods afford, catching glimpses of the palisades through the trees, and hearing the sound of running water from the small streams winding their way down to the Kentucky River below.
One day in seven to rest. Good idea.
Friday, January 22, 2010
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Monday, January 18, 2010
Friday, January 15, 2010
The most important book I read in 2009 was 'The Transition Handbook' by Rob Hopkins. Having become increasingly informed of the looming crisis "peak oil" presents, I wanted to read this book, which friends had recommended as a hope-full response to what seems an insurmountable reality. It chronicles the history of the "Transition Movement" (which began in the U.K. and is now spreading globally) and also provides hands-on advice for what it will take to make the transition from oil-dependence to local resiliency. I highly recommend this as an introduction to this vital issue that continues to remain 'off the radar'. (See also the excellent documentary "A Crude Awakening.") In a similar vein I also enjoyed Bill McKibben's "Deep Economy."
My favourite biographical work was "Drinking: A Love Story" by Caroline Knapp, a non-sentimental, and wryly humourous account of her 20 years as a high-functioning alcoholic. Also in autobiography (in the "I did something for a year and wrote about it" category), I thoroughly enjoyed "The Year of Living Biblically" by A. J. Jacobs.
In the "books about the Book" category, I loved "Genesis: The Story We Haven't Heard" by Paul Borgman. Dr Borgman is a professor of English at Gordon College, who has spent 25 years wrestling with the Genesis stories with his undergraduates. His exploration of the Abrahamic narrative is particularly excellent, and there is insight and profound pondering on every page. Highly recommended. I also found Sandra Richter's "The Epic of Eden" excellent - a very helpful introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures.
An 'honourable mention' goes to Rob Bell's and Don Golden's "Jesus Wants to Save Christians" - which i re-read in 2009 for a small group study.
That wraps up my favourite non-fiction books I read last year - the fiction recommendations will be up next.