Reading the prints

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A bit of miscellany today and a poem…

Poetry Coloring Pages

The adult colouring craze has come to poetry via Tweetspeak Poetry. I love coloring so  it was a natural for me to follow the links on their weekly newsletter, download the pages and have some fun.

Coloring Page - "Annabel Lee" by Edgar Allan Poe

Coloring Page – “Annabel Lee” by Edgar Allan Poe

Coloring Pages - "Birches" by Robert Frost

Coloring Pages – “Birches” by Robert Frost

Find the collection of poetry coloring page links HERE.

Found Object Photo/Poem challenge

I’ve enjoyed writing with other Poetry Friday poets this week. Using prompts from found-object photos collected by Laura Shovan, each day brings a new photo. It is fascinating to see how these photos take the writers in different directions.

On day 9 (Tuesday) the photo was sent in by Mary Lee Hahn. And the poem that photo inspired in me is below the photo.

#9 hahn

Found Object for Day 9 – Photo by Mary Lee Hahn

Reading the Prints

The animals that passed by here
were very focused and in gear
their noses sharp, following prey
perhaps a mate, or the day’s pay.
And the exhaust-filled oily scent
suggests excessive speed their bent.

The younger of this species, though
lie lazy angels in the snow
their tracks often defined by curve
of laughing play and show-off verve.

© 2016 By V. Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

 

Go HERE to read all the Tuesday poems. Laura’s doing this challenge to help celebrate her birthday month. I believe this is the third year she’s writing a poem-a-day in February and inviting others to join her.  What a great tradition!

Poetry Friday LogoThis post is linked to Poetry Friday hosted today by Kimberley Moran at Written Reflections.

Denominations–members of One Body

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At a Bible study class I attend, this week one of the class members bemoaned the existence of denominations. Her sentiment caught my attention, partly I’m sure because I was already thinking about the topic for this week’s Spiritual Journey Thursday. But partly too because I don’t agree.

Yes, I know we can look at denominations as a bad thing–a sign of disunity in the church. However, I think of denominations as another example of the diversity in the body of Christ. Just like individuals are parts of the body of their  congregations, with each member having its body counterpart role to play, so church denominations, with their various emphases, priorities and projects, play different roles in their communities and in the universal church.

I myself have benefited from three denominations.

CCMBC_logoI grew up in a Mennonite home (Mennonite Brethren to be precise). It was a rich culture of faith rooted in the Bible that expressed itself in foreign and home missions, with a strong emphasis on knowing what and why we believed as we did. Music was important. I studied piano and was part of many choirs. Social justice was a value. All our churches supported the MCC (Mennonite Central Committee), the relief arm of various brands of Mennonite churches. The MCC raised money to help in natural disasters around the world and aided third world entrepreneurs. My Mennonite community was also big on peace. Only one of my uncles participated in WWII and that as a medic. My dad and the rest were conscientious objectors.

 

C&MAThrough many years as an adult, our family attended Christian and Missionary Alliance churches. Again we were enriched by being part of vibrant congregations. Community outreach included wonderful Christmas and Easter choir productions. Sunday School and Awana programs were great for the kids.  A missions conference was the highlight of each year with slide shows and displays of mementos from snake skins and ebony carvings to Bibles printed in illegible scripts.

 

PAOCFor the last fifteen years, my husband and I have attended a Pentecostal church. We were attracted by the sense that the Holy Spirit was at work in this particular assembly. These years have built on all that I’ve learned and experienced in the denominations I was part of in my youth and middle age.

There are practices of other denominations I’d love to explore. The three I’ve been a part of do not use liturgy. In my minimal exposure to it, I’ve been impressed with the richness of its readings, creeds, and prayers, and the value of yearly reliving the cycle of my faith’s holy days.

I’ve also wondered what it would be like to live in community–as in having all things in common like the first Christians in the New Testament churches did.

When Christian denominations compete and tear each other down they can be a bad thing for sure. But when we view each other as partners, family members, even members of the same body with different gifts and roles, denominations are surely an asset to the gospel and the Kingdom of Heaven.

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This post is linked to Spiritual Journey Thursday – hosted by Holly Mueller at Reading, Teaching, Learning. The topic this week is DIVERSITY IN DENOMINATIONS.

How to look for a church

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Next to the beginning of the new calendar year, the beginning of September is the time we make the most changes in our lives. The kids start a new school year. All kinds of activities from kids’ soccer to adult classes get underway. If we’ve moved, we’ll be exploring a new neighborhood. If we’ve decided to start attending church or go to a different one, chances are good we’ll make that change in September too.

For those of us who have ever church shopped, we know how crucial those first visits to a church are. When we’re new, we notice things that long time attendees have surely become nose-blind to—from the cliquish clots of people in the foyer to the way the building actually smells.

What I was most sensitive to when I was visiting a new church with the thought of maybe making it our church home was, do these people seem friendly? Would we fit in? And, do I sense God in this place?

In September it’s probably a good idea for those of us who are church old-timers to be on the lookout for new people. Let’s notice them. Let’s greet them with warm smiles and welcome handshakes. Maybe we could even invite them for lunch, remembering how we would have appreciated that when we were new.

Elora Presbyterian Church

Elora Presbyterian Church – Elora Ontario (Photo © 2015 by V. Nesdoly)

My poem is a bit of advice to those newbies:

HOW TO LOOK FOR A CHURCH

Pretend you’re visiting
a family of distant relatives.

Of course you don’t expect
to get an invitation for lunch
and all your social needs met
by a bunch of third cousins.
And it doesn’t matter
that the stairs smell of mildew
and water stains the ceiling
or that amongst themselves
they’re way too happy and loud
and hug a lot.

What may catch you by surprise
even make you want to return
is how the Father you share
meets you there
puts His gentle but persistent hand
under your chin
to raise your face
and meet His eyes.

© 2015 by Violet Nesdoly

spiritual-journey-framedThis post is linked to “Spiritual Journey Thursday” hosted by Holly Mueller at her blog Reading, Teaching, Learning where this week’s theme is “church.” Drop by and follow the links to what others have to say about “church.”

January Sunshine

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Meadowlark on a fence post.

Meadowlark photographed at Blackie’s Spit, White Rock B.C. in January 2007.

Thanks to Keri at Keri Recommends and Dorraine Bennet at Dori Reads for adding wonderful rays of sunshine to my day and, over the last little while, nominating this blog for a SUNSHINE AWARD!  That’s definitely the way to brighten up a foggy January!

Here are the (flexible) rules:

1. Acknowledge the nominating bloggers
2. Share 11 random facts about yourself
3. Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger creates for you
4. List 11 bloggers you nominate for a Sunshine Award.
5. Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer and let all the bloggers know they’ve been nominated. (You cannot nominate the blogger who nominated you.)

11 Facts
– I’m the oldest of nine. I grew up on a farm. I love my garden more than it loves me. Chocolate and more chocolate please. I get into breakfast habits—current one: porridge and yogurt with fruit. I despise buying shoes. We got our first computer in 1991. In another life I was a medical transcriptionist.  I hate being cold. I crochet when I watch TV. I love the sport of curling (watching not playing).

11 Questions from Keri / Dorraine (I picked some from both)

1. A book you wish you had written?
Daphne DuMaurier’s Rebecca – that is one cool book!

2. Next place you hope to visit?
Dawson Creek, B.C. That’s in the northeast of our province (where it is winter in earnest).  I’m planning to visit in February to help with the grands when my daughter’s little one is due.

3. Early bird or night owl?
Early bird.

4. Comedy or drama?
Drama

5. Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what kind?
No music or if I do, it can’t have any words. Music with lyrics is way too distracting for me to write by.

6. Best thing your mother taught you?
It’s okay to make a mess when you’re creating something.

7. What do you do first thing in the morning?
Turn on the coffee (which my husband has set up the night before) and shower.

8. When you’re in a crowd, do you find a corner or work the room?
Corner—trying to get better at working the room.

9. Something you like to cook/bake?
Cookies—especially chocolate chip.

10. Beach or mountains?
Beach.

11. What makes you smile?
British humour.

Passing the Sunshine Award on to these bloggers because they brighten my day!

Kiwiskan – at Kiwisoar
Ellen Grace Olinger at Poems from Oostburg, Wisconson
Catherine at Catherine Johnson
Magical Mystical Teacher
Joy Acey at Poetry for Kids Joy
Mary Lee Hahn at A Year of Reading
Jama at Jama’s Alphabet Soup
Laura Purdie Salas at Writing the World for Kids
Diane Mayr at Random Noodling
CallingForth
Mary Waind at Beech Croft Tales

And now here are 11 questions from me if choose to play along (please don’t feel obligated).

1. What’s your favourite ice-cream?
2. What was your biggest childhood fear?
3. What’s your hobby?
4. Are there any skills you had as a kid but have lost?
5. What’s your favourite weather?
6. Do you write first drafts with pen or at the keyboard?
7. Were you happy with your name as a kid? If not, what did you wish it was?
8. Do you prefer reading books or watching movies?
9. What’s your favourite section in the library?
10. What’s your favourite city? Why?
11. In sports are you a player or spectator?