Monday, March 31, 2014

Has The Cheese Fallen Off Your Cracker?

Are you looking for Solace? If so, be encouraged as I'm pulling together a late-Summer, early-Fall getaway which is looking more and more likely to happen. Varying locale options: gorgeous non-Gulf front home only short drive to beaches--enclosed pool and hot tub; townhouse only steps from Sanibel shore; and possible spot along the AL Gulf Shore should we choose to spread our shells and try.
Solace, A Respite for Women Whose Cheese Has Fallen Off Their Cracker 

Okay, you just have to know this is my Sweet Spot and the prospect of meeting those of you who are desperate for Solace, well, I'm sitting here in my still-cold-at-the-end-of-March living room writing and alternately smiling like a goofball; having heart palpitations; and getting a bit weepy. 

Initial Details (in progress):

  • 4, to (no more than) 8 women; possibly 3-days, most likely 5-days.
  •  Low-key "Stay and Savor" ambiance which allow you to exhale--perhaps for the first time in months, if not years.
  • Giving yourself over to the unforced rhythm of Restorative Respite via shelling, spiritual direction, laughter, good food, more laughter, more shelling and telling your story. 

  •  Solace pricing will include lodging; meals; one breakfast at 'The Heavenly Biscuit'; and ticket for Captiva Cruise shelling trip to Cayo Costa State Park
  • Solace pricing will NOT include airfare or rental car expense. (It's possible, given the intimate number of women attending that airport pick-ups may be a possibility. It'll depend on airport location and having a body other than my own [Julie] available to drive.) Depending on accommodation and parking availability there could be an add'l parking charge for said rental cars. All such details will be nailed down prior to event date. Airports include: Punta Gorda, FL; Tampa, FL; and Fort Meyers, FL.
  • Bike rentals as well as scooters and Segways are available for individual use on the Island.
  • Plenty of free time for you to discover the Island--again, "unforced"

Embrace the Unforced Rhythm of Restoration 
is the key word so understand I [Julie] will not have a day-to-day calender loaded with must-do's. (Other than the Captiva Cruise which is optional--but cost covered if one decides to explore this uninhabited shelling bonanza.)

  • Some meals and a run to Pinnocchio's ice cream may be eaten out and those will be the responsibility of each individual.


God the Father, God the Son, & God the Holy Spirit is at work in, with, and for, you. Always. 

Some sites to whet your appetite: (LOVE Associate Pastor Barb Nave!) (who doesn't want to see dolphins jumping alongside a fast moving vessel?!)
— feeling Like This Is What I'm Made To Do.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Malaysian Airlines Flight 370: A Prayer

 "God, despite our greatest efforts, as finite humans, only You are able to bring to light the truth and discovery of Flight #370. I ask that You would allow just that to come to pass quickly--the why's and how's are nothing compared to the agonizing grief of unknowing and loss (without *proof* of loss) of the families. And, given the possibility of continued life of each of those passengers and until it is proven otherwise, I continue to pray for life and rescue. Show mercy, oh, God, to all those involved...we confess we are helpless."

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

"Sexy Jesus" Makes Me Cringe: Thoughts on Familiarity & Contempt

The familiarity by which our culture & at times, Church universal (all those who identify themselves as a follower of Jesus Christ), speaks of, regards, and portrays the Son of God leaves me at turns nauseous, profoundly sad, and more than a bit apprehensive. Why my apprehension? I can't shake the insightful observation of the Apostle Mark (Mark 6:1-6) who noted the contemptuous familiarity by which the citizens of Nazareth regarded their hometown son, Jesus. 

At first, they were impressed by His teaching. Perhaps they discussed his initial notoriety and felt a measured sense of community pride. It was all well and fine until He spoke with authority. Until He stepped out of His "place." Until He started teaching "teaching" with an authority that belied his station in life. After all, who did this upstart think he was? everyone knew he was just the son of a carpenter. And it went downhill from there; more accurately, it went to the edge of the cliff from there. (Luke 4:29-30)

Because of their disregard, disdain, and scorn/scoffing, Jesus limited His teaching with them. Because of their lack of belief ("The Son of God?! Phfft!"),  and anger and offense taken by His words, He was unable to do any miracles among them. They didn't take too kindly to any of this and when all was said and done attempted to throw him off that aforementioned cliff.

Now, that's some serious contempt.

I read this 2,000+ year historical eyewitness account and then turn my eyes and ears to the culture which surrounds me; the culture in which I am engaged; the culture which is, byte by byte, image by image, defining Jesus and I honestly quake within my spirit. It's a fear thing. A holy fear thing as I see our "here and now" version of contemptuous familiarity.

Look what we've done to Jesus.
Look what we've done with Jesus.

We've GQ'd him.
We text, tweet, and post casual--Lord, forgive us (me)--quips referencing Jesus the BFF; Jesus the Homeboy; Jesus the hottie. (Okay, I cringed just writing that.)
We banter about and invoke the name of the only Son of God with a casualness more befit a tweet regarding Pharrel's hat.

God forgive us. God forgive me.

(Please note: this is not a screed calling for the demise of Jesus films or the denigration of those who write/produce such genre of communication. 
This latest go-around of cultural news discussions regarding the casting type of such simply stirred within me once again a familiar conviction regarding the deeper and more troubling aspect of how I, and the culture around me, chooses to esteem the person of Jesus Christ.) 

(Note a note: I'm working out multiple ponderings via writing during this hiatus and will continue to post portions as they come. We can ponder together!)