If colors could talk

Featured image: A diminutive door to a fairy garden in a giant tree at Oxbow County Park. Good to know the fairies have a garden and a home–and a patron.

You don’t say #9, Friday, 4 November 2016–Actually, this week colors did a lot of talking.

Sunday: walk around St. Joe Manor, Elkhart

Backlit yellow on Sunday afternoon walk.
Backlit tree on Sunday afternoon’s walk. At church, J. Nelson Kraybill’s sermon title was, “Why does God care about humans?” (Psa. 8; John 1:1-5, 14). In a universe of vastness upon vastness our imaginations catch fire as we look at the wonders of nature, see the hand of God in it all, and worship God the creator. That’s the God who chose to love relational beings, gives us an active role in creation and human care, and in the incarnation of Jesus lets us see God’s future for a restored creation into which we live in awe and love unimaginable. I’ll have to listen to the podcast on the Prairie Street Mennonite Church website to get the full impact of the message. God is not out to destroy earth in an act of apocalyptic vengeance. God has chosen to love.

Monday: walk before dinner at the Essenhaus, Middlebury, Indiana

Monday: color embraces color at the Essenhaus..
Color embraces color on the Essenhaus Restaurant and Inn grounds.
Flaming bush at Greencroft Middlebury.
Flaming bush at Greencroft Middlebury, next door to the Essenhaus.
Sky aliive.
Sky alive before dinner (aka leaving home to avoid having left-over candies from trick or treat night; sorry kids).

Tuesday: walk to the Elkhart Public Library downtown

Wednesday: loop walk from the Goshen Farmers’ Market

A Bible study guide for the seasons of one’s life: Who am I now? Who is God now?

Marlene Kropf wrote a Bible study guide, Faith Travels: Trusting God in Life’s Transitions (MennoMedia, 2016). The content for this book was sponsored jointly by Mennonite Women USA and Mennonite Women Canada.

Marlene is a spiritual director, retreat leader, and ordained Mennonite minister, now living in Port Townsend, Washington. A year ago we visited Marlene and Stanley in their home and more recently they in ours. If only geographic distance were not so far; thankfully, spiritual connections and memories of times spent together during their sojourn in Elkhart, as well on a Celtic Pilgrimage in 2013 to Scotland, Wales and England, stand tall.

The book is a “guide for Bible study that focuses on how we experience God’s presence during transitions in our lives.” In each chapter Marlene deals with Our Journey, Israel’s Journey, Celtic Journey, and questions for Pondering Our Journey, ending with a brief worship, Traveling Mercies.

I like the pointed clarity between change and transition noted in the Introduction: “Change and transition are not the same thing. In his popular book Transitions, William Bridges observes, ‘Without a transition, a change is just a rearrangement of the furniture.'”

In the chapter on Mentoring Others, Marlene offers this sage opening, “A good leader or mentor is a treasure, Especially in times of transition and change, wise and faithful leaders are pillars who sustain our communities. They make it possible for us to take risks and step into the future with resilent hope.” The book can be used for personal study, women’s groups, and in retreat settings.

The most persuasive meeting time of the day

Alina Dizik, BBC News Online/Capital (28 October 2016), wrote an article on the best time of day for a meeting.  Surprise, it’s breakfast. A business breakfast allows for quicker, more efficient decision making, she wrote.

At breakfast time lacks the decision fatigue that goes with lunch or dinner or after dinner meetings, Dizik wrote. She quoted Londoner, Bertie Stephens, “At breakfast, people haven’t been hung-up on the challenges of the day.” She suggests sometimes participants may want to stand up near an espresso bar to give the meeting an “upbeat breakfast atmosphere.”

I’ve got a breakfast meeting coming up next week. Too bad there are no standup tables.

Signs of the season at Prairie Street Cemetery


Chicago Cubs win the Commissioner’s Trophy of Major League Baseball in North America

Wednesday night, November 2, the Chicago Cubs won the World Series, ending the drought since their first win in 1908. After 108 years they beat the Cleveland Indians by one run in the 10th inning of the 7th game (8/7).

Wikipedia has everything you want to know about organized baseball in North America and its annual championship series. So, teams from the American League (Indians-side) have won 64 championships and from the National League (Cubs-side) have now won 48. I’m happy, almost jubilant, for the Cubs, though have only been at one game at Wrigley Field. This series probably will be, deservedly, ballyhooed as one of the best. Chicago Bears, take note.

Thursday: walk at Oxbow County Park

What, nothing to say on the November 8 election?

Beyond, “God have mercy?” Sure, here’s what I say: “Children, thank you for sharing your schools for polling places. Election workers, thank you for giving order to the process. Eligible voters, vote. Those not eligible to vote, pay heed, pray. Eligible voters abstaining, hold your peace. Candidates elected, as much as in you serve all the people in your constituency. Candidates who came up short in the election, thanks for running. Everyone, sleep on it.”

On Sunday, in response to the sermon, we sang, “God of grace and God of glory,” a hymn written in 1930 by Harry Emerson Fosdick.

Stanza 3: “Cure thy children’s warring madness; bend our pride to thy control. Shame our wanton, selfish gladness, rich in things and poor in soul. Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, lest we miss thy kingdom’s goal; lest we miss thy kingdom’s goal.” I sang that hymn not for the sake of any “other” than myself and fellow believers. While I sang, “Save us from weak resignation . . .,” the hymn helped me more to redouble my/our resolve in “serving thee whom we adore.”

“[W]e will tell the coming generation

the glorious deeds of the LORD.

     and his might.

and the wonders that he has done.” (Psalm 78:4b)

It has been a gorgeous week,

may colors surround you,

wonder envelop you,

love guide you.




3 thoughts on “If colors could talk

  1. What an absolutely glorious array of trees in color and other sights, John! I guess our Sept,-Oct. trip was simply way too early for the color this year. Thanks for mentioning Faith Travels — I hope others will enjoy the book.


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