Monday, November 30, 2009

Today's Joy? Decorating!

Our new Director of Christian Education turned her Charlie Brown-ish Christmas tree into a full, colorful masterpiece of decoration. Despite the Barbie pink, it made me smile!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

First Sunday of Advent

As promised, I will be posting pictures each day of Advent. I'm off to a bit of a rough start, as I forgot to take my camera to several big events today. Fortunately, I remembered it when I went to a birthday celebration this evening, so I do have some happy pictures to choose from today.

Today I found joy in the people at church, the excitement over our Advent Festival, and in spending time with friends this evening.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


A week ago, someone broke into my parents' house and robbed them. Someone smashed in their patio window, trashed their bedroom, and took my mom's jewelry and my dad's laptop. It was, ironically, the night before I was preaching about trusting in God rather than in money or physical security.

When my dad called to tell me about it, I was floored. I've always believed that my parents' house, the home I grew up in, was safe. My hometown is tiny, and crimes like this hardly ever happen there. Even the police officers were surprised, noting that a crime like this hasn't happened in town in years.

I've spent my life traveling, and that house has always been my home base. As I've traveled to four other continents, moved away for college, grad school, and jobs, my roots have always been there. That is the place I could count on: it was the one constant, my safe place to come home to when I was otherwise rootless. It has only been in the last few months that I've moved into an apartment that's a semi-permanent home, instead of a temporary location for school.

And now that home I'd always taken for granted as being safe and unchanging has been violated. My heart breaks for my parents, whose home has been violated. My heart breaks for the generations-old family heirlooms that are now gone, probably lost forever. My great-grandmother's pearls, my great-grandfather's watch, my mom's wedding pearls, my parents' Phi Beta Kappa pins, the earrings and necklaces my sister and I gave to our mom for Christmases and Mother's Days: all gone. The safety and security my parents counted on: destroyed.

What led the thieves to this course of action? What need drove them to this desperation? Or was it just greed? I'm still trying to find the words to pray for those people who are now my enemies.

It's going to take me a while to come to grips with this. It's going to be a long, difficult recovery for my parents. God help us.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Advent Project

One of my friends, a chaplain, started taking a picture every day of something that made her smile. She was working as a pediatric hospice chaplain, and taking the pictures helped her to remember the good gifts from God that were around her, even when everything seemed to be filled with darkness and tragedy.

I've decided to copy her idea this year for advent. I've always loved advent, and especially Christmas, but I'm nervous that the hectic schedule of working at a church during advent and Christmas is going to get me so focused on the work and the details that I won't be able to remember the beauty of the season. So, to prevent that from happening, I'm going to carry my camera and take pictures of the things that remind me of God, and the season of advent. Then I'm going to post them here, as a form of accountability.

Here are a couple of previews:

I love the colors of autumn!

HIking along the James River

On October 24, I got to see the Richmond Zombie Walk. So, the "undead" walked through the streets of Richmond to raise money for the American Cancer Society.