Ellen break: Hypnotizing lizards

Don't you so want to try this?


Reimagining church over at Steve's place

Reimagining Church: Pursuing the Dream of Organic Christianity
I want to highlight a series that Steve is doing on his blog of the same name (Steve! The Musical!).
Since I have such a big following, I like to give back by throwing some attention to others. Look at my followers list if you don't believe me. Four people. Four! Ignore that two of them are me and ... me. It says it's Steve, but I logged into his account and followed myself because I got tired of being the only one. Notice he doesn't even have an icon; that's how much he cares about using that feature.

I kind of doubt I have any readers who don't read Steve's blog already, but just in case!

Steve's been reading through a couple books on simple churches and the history of the church by Frank Viola and blogging about his reading in "Reimagining the church: a conversation."

Check out this quote from Part 2 of the series that made my eyes well up:

I feel like more of a semi-educated part-time volunteer clergy person than 'laity'. In other words, I know enough about being in charge and thinking I've got good answers to have enough of a chip on my shoulder that I can look down on people. I know, it's ugly, but that's the truth of it: It becomes pretty easy to feel self-satisfied.

Until the day, that is, that the people who you think you are trying to help turn out to have more of a handle on this whole "love" thing than you feel you do. Until the day you run headlong into a dose of humility and find that most of the 'laity' isn't that interested in accumulating hordes of information but is just trying to live a simple faith and trust in God, one moment at a time, one foot in front of the other. I have learned more about the grace, beneficence, love, and beauty of God by being a willing receiver of others' ordinary stories than I've grasped by reading the most eloquent apologies of the faith. I don't see myself as anti-intellectual or anti-clergy by any means, but as pro-laity, pro-freedom of speech, pro-respect for those hidden in corners, pro-wrestling with how that plays out in community. Because either Jesus Christ is alive, active, and available to everyone with the most simple belief in and love of him, or Jesus Christ is hidden behind a veil that is accessible to only the few with the most learning and wisdom and righteousness and devotion.

Preach it, (lay-)brother!

Pagan Christianity?: Exploring the Roots of Our Church PracticesAll right, head on over and take it in. It's like the book report to end all book reports.

I'll try to compile a links list here (of the series so far, because I honestly have no idea how long this sucker is), because I want them in order to reference myself:
Someone's been doing a lot of writing!


Wordless Wednesday: St. Patrick's Day hair

First day at preschool, a year ago (sigh)


Corin in spring

Click to play this Smilebox photobook: Corin in spring
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Ellen break: It's bad — paid-for photos

And you thought your school pictures were bad.


Wordless Wednesday: Time to grow

Time to garden, Mama!

Guess who bought himself a new watering can!

Corin studies the seed packets: Are these part-shade or full-sun?

Corin helps with the labeling. I certainly couldn't handle it on my own.

Look! Look!


Checkpoint @ Catapult Magazine

Click over to Catapult Magazine to read my latest poem: "Checkpoint."

Kirstin kindly compared it to John Donne's Holy Sonnet 14:
Batter my heart, three-person'd God ; for you
As yet but knock ; breathe, shine, and seek to mend ;
That I may rise, and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend
Your force, to break, blow, burn, and make me new.

And Steve said it reminded him of his song "Break Me":

I'll take either comparison. I'm just glad to have written a poem again! I'm pretty pleased with it, in that giddiness that only writing poetry can bring, and I think it fits well with my Lenten theme.

Read the whole Borders & Fences issue here.

Photo copyright John Gaps III/AP


The stinker's the winker

skunk in the grassYesterday, when Steve was out running errands, Corin was sitting on my lap when he passed gas.

"Corin! Did you just toot?" I asked in German (impressed much?).

"No! Apa tooted."

I thought that was pretty clever of him, to blame it on an absent — yet admittedly gaseous — family member.

Note that he didn't bother to blame it on Luna. Why do cats never fart? They must, right? But somehow do it unobserved. It's not like their poop doesn't stink. Must be one of the quirks of an all-meat diet.

The post title comes from my older brother's misremembering of the phrase "The smeller's the feller." I've often thought that "he who smelt it dealt it" was quite an unfair line of reasoning. Many is the time that someone is more offended by the smell who did not deal it than the other way around, and very often the dealer is too sheepish or sly to admit to the deed. I think the whole phrase started when a chronic offender wanted to divert suspicion and blame.

Are you glad I did a whole blog post on farts?

You're welcome.

Photo copyright Torli Roberts via stock.xchng


Wordless Wednesday: Spring in expectancy

A friend has graciously given me the gift of gardening space, when I thought I never would have dirt to dig in again. Time to get out my seed starter set-up and play! And, hey, maybe I'll even get the rest of my gardening pictures from last year up on www.SteveandAmanda.com, which I'd been avoiding because the thought of revisiting my gardening happiness was too depressing when having a garden was out of reach.

I can smell the dirt even now...

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