Monday, April 25, 2011

Renewal and Dog Hair

Today's view from the porch is one of renewal...and fluffy bits of fur from my weekend bed, there's no new man in my life...

My mother and stepfather came to visit this weekend, hauling their trailer behind them from the great north like Santa and Mrs. Claus. A new recliner wrapped in a blue tarp looking like Granny Clampett could have been strapped in, came into my living room. It is huge. A chair and a half recliner, they call it. My kids think it is the greatest thing that has happened to them in the last several months. Topped only by a new television...

The recliner IS pretty great...but better yet was the other seat they brought with them. A brand-new high rise WHITE toilet. The color is really important because the one that was replaced had only one problem. It was pink. Otherwise, it is a perfectly fine fixture for one that is more than 55 years old. Bob and John worked their tails off...replacing the toilet and laying new vinyl between fixing the leak under the kitchen sink and a new sink disposal.

I even got a new to me bike out of the deal. Mom's arthritis doesn't allow her to ride it any longer, so I will. Maybe it will keep the arthritis at bay in me.

While Mom and Bob were houseguests at a lovely local motel, their sweet puppydog stayed with us. I awakened on Saturday morning with my darling daughter on one side of me and this big lug at my feet. I've had my dog fix for a while, but very pleased with how responsible the kiddos were with him. Maybe a dog will be in our future at some point...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

A time to celebrate new life

From us to you...Joy of spring and rebirth to each of you.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The "Mad Men" of the Early Church - Advertising at its best

I've worked in public relations for 25 years. Just like other professionals, I read journals and other articles to learn more about how others do this work for inspiration, ideas, and more. Never have I seen better marketers and PR people than early church leaders.

They were great marketers and experts in rebranding and repackaging. Honestly. As they worked to spread Christianity, they adapted what worked and made sense from religions that were already present and made them their own... Of course, sometimes this was often a hostile takeover.

Two stunning examples come to mind. The Europeans who decided that Advent should happen when their world was the darkest, when the Pagans celebrated Yule, were geniuses. How reassuring it is to hear the words from John that remind us that the darkness will not overcome the Light at a time of year when the nights are much longer than the days. And miraculously, the light begins to return to the world at that time...daylight comes back slowly to our hemisphere.

When we look a little more closely at the beloved story of Jesus' birth, some have suggested that shepherds were usually in their fields during lambing, in the spring.

There is nothing biblical about when to celebrate Easter. The first Sunday after the first full moon after the first day of spring. The only constant is that Easter is on a Sunday. When we have been through forty days of personal spiritual spring cleaning and our inner life reflects the outside world of drab, a bright, sunny spring Sunday morning is a wonderful way to celebrate new life and resurrection.

I understand from my friend who lives in Michigan's Upper Pennisula that they have awakened to snow on the ground on this Holy Saturday. Now, those people are looking for a little green grass and evidence that there is life after death.

The lush green of the lawns, the eye-popping yellow daffodils, the beautiful magnolias, all remind me that just a month ago, it was drab, brown, and new life was hard to find. It fit with the difficult journey of the wilderness of Lent. But this week, this Holy Week has shown that even when it looks like it is the end, as if death has the final word, the world in all its green, shows that life and love have been there all along. We just haven't been able to see it.

It is genius, really.