in homage of the Book Wars blog

1.. Pineapple or mango?    Pinapple

2. If you had a pseudonym what would it be? 00Bo aka double oboe.

3. Favourite new release of 2014?  I can’t keep up. 

4. Within a fantasy setting, what would you designate the meaning behind your favourite colour to be? Green would mean a new significant character was coming to the scene and blue would mean one was leaving

5. How do you react when someone puts down your favourite book? Calls it negative things? My want to be self blows it off but i take it personally.  until I realize how pointless that is.

6. Do you think Harry Potter is no longer relevant?  Never read it… too many books… to little time…

7. Imagine you are reading a book and the last page, the most important page, is missing. How do you express your anger/frustration/rage?  By slowing down and then writing or imagining it myself a thousand different ways and then obsessively searching for the real ending.

8. Favourite book or movie that broke your heart? 7 Samauri.  So far…

9. I thought it was “eight, eight, I forgot what eight was for…”  ug.  The agony of things I remember.

10. What is the craziest bookish thing you have ever done?  given the Power of One to someone I didn’t know in a class I had completely unrelated to anything to do with S Africa, boxing, apartheid or even race relations.

11. If you had one wish what would it be?  to hang out with God in person.

Dear Nominees, please add the Liebster award green button to your blog:

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swimming

rescue

2 of the four concrete slabs out back are completely smashed now. Saturday I broke one up all by myself, well, me and the sledge hammer. They are 72x52x4in each.

As I was working on it a guy that was doing work on the house next door, kept coming over to ask me questions. At one point he said, “it’s just… I’ve never seen a woman doing this kind of work before.”

After some more back and forth conversation, some about God, some about the bible, he then asked if I’d ever been in prison. I said, “no, but it’s funny you should bring that up because I volunteer with prisoners.” Then eventually, I told him what I think God is going to do with the house.

I’ve now got free labor – he’s going to break up some of it while I am at work. Hopefully. I am thrilled. It was tough work, and it has to be done and I don’t mind doing it because I took this on, but what a gift if this one follows through.

My current spiritual director, last time we met, challenged me about my previous director and I realized he was spot on. Now I just have to let God do the rest and adjust my heart.

It’s as if I was drowning and someone who was a lifeguard saved me. It’s a big deal to me because he saved my life, but that’s what he does, he’s a lifeguard.

So now, I’m trying to be a good lifeguard to these women in the jail because that’s all that I can do with this immense gratitude and immense wound. And immense love.

But the thing is too – we share a love and both would say it’s ultimately Christ that saved us both and only good in us is Him and because of Him and His faith. I get that in my head but its much easier to love the people you can see.

I interact and talk with God a lot but long for a person – and need to grapple with that longing as it is. Because Jesus really is a person – and that’s where the rubber is meeting the road for me right now. Because that is where all my love has to go. The difference is before I knew it should but I couldn’t quite give it all back and now it all does because there is no where else for it. Which is the closest to reality so I’m grateful but it’s not easy. And that makes me more grateful because it’s good when God allows the tough stuff.

I got the paperwork for my spiritual director classes and ordered the books and one came yesterday and I’ve already read it. There’s some beautiful stuff in it, I am going to like this.

We also have talked about me hosting a jail ministers small group. The largest, “special interest,” small group at the parish is the recovery community group, so perhaps this could be a spin off. Or a different night to complement it.

Regardless, I need to have a floor first. The guy breaking up my concrete does wood floors too.

On another note, one of the women I minister to mentioned she wanted to read the bible cover to cover. That was 2 weeks ago and she read all of Genesis and part of Exodus. From talking to her I could tell she took it all in. Last Friday she had read up to Deut 2. I just so happened to have finished my bible in a year plan early, so I’m going to try and catch up. I’m still finishing off Exodus after 1 week… so we’ll see.

Father God I love the analogies about heaven where those You invited didn’t show and so you take in the stragglers. Grant that You continue to lead me and guide me about who is in this house and that I always look for You and for those seeking You. I love You.

this wood and clay

This has been quite a week.

Monday, the loudest Scripture was 2 Timothy 2:20-21.

“Now, in a great house, there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.”

I like wood and clay better. Not because I think I should or from some false humility place. This verse speaks to my soul. I’m too far gone to strive for greatness, but I’ve said for years, ghetto heaven would be good with me. Reading this gave me a sense of relief and acceptance and even love for who I am, the path I’m on and where I’m going. And who with.

Wednesday after work I dug – literally – outside – to see how deep the concrete slabs were that need to come out of the yard in the back so no water will go towards it and we can make some sort of patio, and I found the concrete was 4 inches deep, (as well as 72inx52in.) Thursday, one hour later, I took a picture and asked for help.  earth

 

And I wait and pray.

I saw three women tonight and didn’t expect to both laugh and cry with them. One of them has an amazing sense of humor and is in jail as a result of her child’s father’s accusations. The charges has all be dropped and now it’s just a matter of time before she’s free, but as she waits she’s been blessed with perspective.

The woman that prompted the tears didn’t see them, but she made a gesture toward me when she was talking about whether she’d go to boot camp or prison. She had previously been terrified of prison but now is trying the mentally prep herself for the possibility, and just learned that she can have one on one visits with her young son in prison, which she can’t in jail.

She moved her hand towards me and said, “if I could have this” pointing at me then back at herself, “with my son,” then I’d be alright.

Immediately the power of not being able to sit in a room with Jim hit me. I knew what she meant but she didn’t know why. I didn’t tell her and continued to listen.

Driving home later, I realized that I do have “this” with God who I can’t see and the longing to sit in a one on one with Him is at the root of all this longing. There are snap shots I get now and again with a person, where it’s like I am with the Lord. Tonight was one of those for a minute. I wonder sometimes what it would be like to have a steady body of people around you like that, and know that what God longs His church to be. But it’s not.

My pastor is on the fence about joining with the priest for a house blessing. The priest, however, said, when I asked if he was willing the bless the house with a rabbi and protestant pastor, “the more the merrier.”

Lord knows I am not for tolerance and condoning bad behavior and allowing people to be hurt by devestating consequences where sin could be avoided.

But Father God, please don’t ever let me deny anyone “this.” Thank you for your Son and giving us the chance to be so much closer to you than we deserve. Thank you for this.

Jimmy B House

BeforeEli 008

Slowly but surely the house is coming together. All the carpet is out and all my stuff is in. I’ve still tile to tear up in downstairs and then all the new flooring to put down up and downstairs. Some of my help disappeared but I’m praying daily and trust this will happen when its supposed to.

The best part of this is not knowing how its going to fall out. Most times I’m in the unknown I’m anxious and I hate it. Waiting on test results or praying for a suffering to pass for someone I love. But this is like waiting on when I get to alleviate suffering. It’s the reverse of other times I’ve felt on hold.

The responsibility is a little daunting but clinging to Scripture promises helps. As to the multiple passages where leaders remind God it’d look bad for him if things went south for His people.

Overall, there is a grace of peace and this strong sense its all His anyway. This has always been true but I’ve suffered from the delusion of holding on. Do I not need it anymore? Did it take Jim’s death to make me realize He’s all you can really hold onto anyway? I don’t know. Loving someone who won’t love back is just as hard as it ever was.

It also makes God’s love that much bigger of a deal to me.

Father God thank you for the amazing weather this summer. For a garden out back. Wood floors. For being able to stick somewhere. For good friends to be on the adventure with. Please continue to guide me into light and transform my heart to be ever more Yours.