Friday, June 29, 2012

Tres Chaud

The weather is warm. The pool is cool. My sister from France is here with her husband. Let the lazy, hazy dayz of summer begin! Oh, and you? Come on over!

Look at all these kids! And not one of 'em's a grand...just pretty near.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Let Freedom Ring

This morning Tom and I enjoyed a church service with our friends, Gary and Nadine, and later in the afternoon a concert -- all at Chautauqua Institute in New York. It was an absolutely delightful, inspiring, uplifting and refreshing day. The speaker for church was the Reverend Dr. Alan Jones, who is not only a wonderful preacher, but apparently a prolific writer. The music was led by a phenomenal choir director, organist, pianist, and a special number was performed by Todd Thomas, who along with his wife wrote words to the familiar tune "Bless this House O Lord We Pray" specifically for the Chautauqua Institute's worship service:
From each corner of these grounds, echoe your creative sounds.
From the Mystic Heart at dawn to Music on the starlit lawn
From our porches night and day, bless our discourse, bless our play.
Sun drenched pathways, moonlit lake-- your wonder giv'n for us to take.

Bless all those assembled here; open hearts and minds and ears.
All our creeds, we here unite -- diversity will flame our light.
Black or white, or gay or straight, all are welcome in this gate.
From bell tow'r we hear ring, with one voice now let us sing:

Bless Chautauqua, Lord, as we... strive to live and love like Thee.

After church, a delicious chicken barbeque dinner down by the lake and a stroll around the grounds, we returned to the amphitheater for a concert by the U.S. Army Field Band & Soldiers’ Chorus. Stirring marches, a selection from Les Mis, patriotic medleys, choral numbers, and both vocal and instrumental soloists entertained and moved the crowd...including us!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Peace Like a River

The weather has been absolutely perfect for canoeing and fishing...even if very few fish are biting, and the ones that do bite are too small. Still -- good times playing catch and release.

Reeling one in.

A pike. But...

He's not a keeper.

Other than the kerplunk of a fishing lure hitting the water and an occasional quiet comment from one of us humans, we're surrounded by nothing but the sounds of nature. Pleasant sounds, tweets, chirps, croaks, and the ga-lump of bull frogs... rustling of leaves and skittering noises of small critters in the brush along the creekbank -- calming, soothing, peaceful.

Peace like a river. I've got peace like a my soul.

One of my favorite old preachers, long since gone to glory, had a favorite hymn, which I took on as my own favorite. I don't know if it's the words of the song or the tune that make it special to me. Or is it because of the dear gentleman who claimed it as his favorite -- and I want to love what he loved? I can still recall him pacing back and forth on the platform preaching his heart out. Those were the days before wireless mics. No matter, his voice boomed throughout the sanctuary. But his booming voice spoke words of knowledge, kind encouragement, gentle rebuke. And -- he called us beloved.

It warmed my heart then, it warms my heart do the words of the hymn Like a River Glorious...

Like a river glorious is God's perfect peace.
Over all victorious in its bright increase.
Perfect yet it floweth, fuller every day;
Perfect yet it groweth deeper all the way.

Stayed upon Jehovah hearts are fully blest,
Finding as he promised,
Perfect peace and rest.

Perfect peace and rest.

Happiness is to be shared.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Pleased to Meet You

I was sitting on the porch swing contemplating the worries of the world, which is code for trying to pray, when a frisky little fawn ran from the safety of the thicket into the clearing of our yard. She darted around making circles and then looked up at me. I asked her where her mama was. She didn't answer. I told her she needed to stick close to mama...the world isn't safe, it is a dangerous place for little ones. She tilted her head, then kicked up her heels, and did another little happy dance. But I said, "No really, sweetie, where is your mother?" And to answer my question, Mama Doe gracefully hopped from the overgrown edge into the clear space. I suppose she was right there watching all the time. I greeted her, said hello and thanked her for stopping by. She looked at me and flicked her ears. She was introducing me to her baby. What an honor. I'm a mom too, I get that. We love to show off our little ones. I thanked her for the bit of joy their presence, she and her offspring, brought to my day. I enjoyed their company for only a few more minutes before Mama Doe slipped back into the wooded area and baby scampered after.

It was such a pleasure. A beautiful surprise.

And I thought of David's song, The Beginning of You -- the title song of his CD.

It was not by chance when you first opened your eyes.
And it was no mistake your face shined like the sun.
To this world you may have been a beautiful surprise
But it was known even before then, the treasure you'd become...
And some day I hope you see
That day was meant to be.

It was more than just the start of something beautiful
It was more than just a gift to the world
It was more than just a masterpiece or dream coming true
It was... the beginning of you.

Surely the Lord knit us together in our mother's womb. He makes no mistakes, he is never surprised. By His design we are fearfully and wonderfully made, and all of the days of our lives are ordained by Him. Not by chance, but often, a beautiful the world.

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Ps. 139:23-24

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Friends Indeed!

A couple of my little friends...

Playing together, eating together, sharing a tray...

Trouble...a tree came down, blocked the driveway, took out the electric line, and trapped friends at our house. Penelec arrived in less than an hour. More friends arrived in less time than that.

Friends helping

These guys are all second generation friends (i.e. our friends' kids -- friends our kids' ages)
And bonus helpers...their kids!