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Sometimes, we journey to the dark so we can be moved by the Light. We trace the furthest boundary lines behind our eyes. We get deep next to demons, weighed down from evil within and without. And when warmth first touches cheek or shoulder or the back of our knees, the weight may not lift but there is relief. . . . And it is the same magic— to feel Light's warmth after a cold night or a long stretch of summer, it is the same glory— to be reading the lectionary in a Home Depot parking lot with sleeping car seats or having a morning cup of coffee on the front stoop with my co-laborers. . . . Somehow, God has anchored the pale blue ombre sky above me like an endless umbrella. He covers and cloaks with Light and sometimes I have to go deep in dark to feel it's warmth. . . . Morning Call:  Lamentations 1:12 Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Look and see if  there is any sorrow like my sorrow which was brought upon  me, whom the Lord hath afflicted. . . . Opening Prayer:  Loving Father, as we journey with your Son in this week of remembrance and hope, help us to experience and receive you and your love for the world more clearly. Transform us by the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit. In the name of your Son, our Lord, we pray. Amen. #holyweek #notredame #outofthedarkness #intothelight
Naked morning comfort and I'm just basking in the humble light of it. They wear all their affections like clothes and this one makes me melt because they aren't so attached to their wholeness. They are ready to be broken to make peace with one another -- more ready than me, so I take notes. . . . The making of our Peace broke Him, completely. His humble persistence was full of glory because He was God, not because it looked good. Making peace means breaking pride, breaking selfish gain, breaking the sin inside that so easily entangles us, and breaking the power of the sin outside that so deceives us. . . . #newblog #momswhowrite #writersofinstagram #motherhood #siblings #siblingsasfriends #braveryofsmalllife #Godseconomy #kitchen #atlanta #family #teamkolts #teampixel #teampixelnofilter #nofilter #morningglow #morning #liveauthentic #kids #georgia #southernsummer
"Look, Mom! Edelweisses!!!!" And she passed the peace to me with flower weed stems and smooshed petals. The brisk tickle of Spring wind swept my elbows as I reached out to receive. . . . And it got made again, Peace. Established with delicate weed offerings and vulnerable outstretched hands, peace mended for a moment the breaks of the morning. The Great Deceiver's attempts to put us at odds— to wound one other with war words thrown in defense and pride— got smooshed underfoot in the backyard. . . . And I thought of Jesus making literal Peace, because the world doesn't allow it to come and be kept. Peace must be forged with active rebellion against the forces within and without that would rather war. We are a peace breaking people made in the image of One who carries Peace in his character, One who made Peace for us forever with God so that we can make peace today exactly where we are. . . . "For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility." Ephesians 2:14 . . . And the little child shall lead us.
I studied Job's friends pretending comfort, while withholding kindness and refusing to revive a weary spirit. I taught about the people in Jerusalem spreading their coats out like a royal carpet for the King of glory to ride in on a borrowed mule. I learned about the invisible God we try to force fit our image but our invisible spirit is made in His. I chased my littles in circles in the newly cut backyard and followed Foster's gaze to find birds high on budding branches. I heard Zella yell to our neighbor two houses down to move her apple trees far away because our juniper tree has a bad disease that could infect it. I wrestled through pride and failure and defending ideas. I made a very late afternoon cup of coffee and cooked with my baby strapped on my back. I snuggled my girl and gave her choices while praying she would choose right. On the first day of Spring. . . . We rode to Bible study, the kids and me, in an Uber because I ran the battery down on the van. I caught the sun glory streaming in to hit all our faces in the backseat as Zella chatted with the driver about music, imaginary children, and her preference to not wear socks and shoes. Our Wednesdays have so much Bible in them — sometimes nothing connects and I arrive at the end with mush brain and then sleep in my day clothes. But yesterday, I fell into bed so thankful that there are constellations in all these bits of Light. He is holding all things together and sometimes He connects dots and reveals a special glimpse of the glory of it all. #writersofinstagram #momswhowrite
My brows converge over my nose and my face squints against the dark. I pray, "O, God. O, God." I lay flat on my bed between two littles and take a deep breath that reaches my shoulders and sides and ankles "O, God." . . . It feels like Spring shouldn't come, that it is so *wrong* here that Lent should last forever. That, though our hope for Spring is strong, it is mostly about escape and not about salvation. We have made ourselves at home in winter, comfortable with the frosted ground under our hibernation. Our evil isn't seasonal. It isn't an epoch, a phase, a time period. It is in us— bones, marrow and evil. And we don't even want out. A Stockholm syndrome sickness that's eating us up from the inside but we refuse rescue. . . . The mercy of the Lord comes anyway, budding trees and blooms for the just and unjust. He woos us— relentlessly— out of our captivity with kindness. He calls us to repent of our soul's winter so we can finally see and taste His Spring. He calls us out of shadow and into marvelous light where our winter is exposed and we can squint to see our salvation. And we can know even a little bit more the extent of His glory and the depth of His grace. . . . Spring is coming and we are Easter people, but today there is lament. #light #shadow
Why is it that when we talk about the beginning of the United States it's always "when we founded this great nation" but when we talk about slavery it skips to the Civil War and it's always, "they were fighting to keep slavery in the south." The same humans who founded this nation bought humans and made them slaves in it. And today, for that, I mourn. . . . Every human made in the image of God is the same amount of invaluable. The same amount of mysterious wonder is knit up in our bones, from those first moments curled up in the womb. Lord, have mercy on us for acting like it is not so. . . . . . #americanlent #lentenrose #whiteprivilege #slavery #lent #lament #foundingfathers #letstalkaboutit #repentanceproject #didyouknow #spring #teamkolts #liturgy #reflection #monday #teampixel #atlanta #blackandwhite #slavetrade

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this & that

It’s been awhile. Have you missed the linkage?
Don’t answer that.
Here are some things for you to click on, look up, read about, and ponder. Enjoy!

This post over at Gospel Coalition, “Searching for Paradise in The Descendants makes me realize how out of touch I am with the film industry these days. Unless it shows up in blog posts I follow, I probably don’t know about it. After reading this description, I’m at least interested (although they do warn about spoilers) in seeing this film.

I really appreciated this post by Tim Challies, “Empty Minds, Empty Hearts, Empty Lives,” though it is depressing to step back and look at how we live dependent on manmade tools. After looking at several research studies, he writes, “It’s not just that we are no longer remembering things, but we are entrusting to our tools the things we used to entrust to ourselves.”

Learning Worship from Idolaters is a good reminder as we all get together and get crazy about sports this weekend. Honestly, I kind of forgot the Super Bowl was happening this Sunday until a new friend asked if I wanted to come to their party. I was so relieved she asked because I probably would’ve wondered where everyone went on Sunday afternoon.

My cousin Vince and I are kind of in a band – we sing for the walls in the basement and we’re working on two covers right now – Bob Dylan’s, “It ain’t me, babe” and John Mayer’s, “Daughters.”

This book by Russell Moore is on my list of “need to read.” This book trailer gives you an idea of what, “Tempted and Tried” is all about.

Russell Moore also wrote, The Humanity of Christ Matters recently and it reminded me of some of my reflections around Christmastime – how we always view Christ in a manger with rosy lenses. Moore asked his seminary students if they thought Jesus had ever vomited, they didn’t know how to respond. He writes, “The answer to this question has to do, first of all, with the one-dimensional picture of Jesus so many of us have been taught, or have assumed. Many of us see Jesus either as the ghostly friend in the corner of our hearts, promising us heaven and guiding us through difficulty, or we see him simply in terms of his sovereignty and power, in terms of his distance from us. No matter how orthodox our doctrine, we all tend to think of Jesus as a strange and ghostly figure.”

I loved reading Eric Metaxas‘ biography of Bonhoeffer, so I was interested to see what he would say at the National Prayer Breakfast. You should probably read this article, “Pious Baloney” … it might surprise you. I’m also interested to know what you think.

Okay, that’s all I’ve got because I have some serious homework to do today for Perspectives, in addition to a meeting with a monster called taxes. I’m considering writing a letter to the IRS with a white flag enclosed, “I have no idea what I’m doing so if I make mistakes it’s not because I’m trying to cheat you out of money, but because I just really have no idea what I’m doing.”

 

2 comments on “this & that

  1. Laura says:

    Random commenter here. Howdy. Two things: Tempted and Tried is one of the best books on the Christian life I’ve ever read. I seriously can’t recommend it highly enough. And secondly, I might just steal that letter-to-the-IRS idea from you! I got kinda-audited last year (one of those random ones; I don’t make near enough to be “audited for cause” as they say), and it was one of the most stressful experiences of my life. UGH.

    1. Caroline says:

      I love random comments! Thanks for the encouragement to read Tempted and Tried – I’ll definitely get right on that. Also – maybe we can petition the IRS to make their small print bigger and also include less words. I want the enlarged, senior citizen version in simple, elementary language… for free. Is there such a thing?

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