Monday, March 31, 2008

Our 4th Grandchild - a Baby Girl - 5-6 weeks early

Here is our dear grandddaughter, Jorden Lee with her mom, Erin and dad (our son) Kaine. She was over a month early, born on Sunday. Because she was early, she has had some breathing/lung problems and so she was transferred to a hospital in Milwaukee, which is where this picture was taken today.

She was 5 lbs 9 ounces, and 18 inches long... she looks a bit like Kaine did as a baby, from what we can tell looking around the tubes and things she has right now.
Please keep Jorden and Erin and Kaine in your prayers...we appreciate the prayers and well wishes!!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Alleluia! Christ is Risen! The Lord is Risen Indeed! Alleluia!

A blessed Easter to all!
This is a picture of our church altar on Sunday Morning.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Squeaky-Clean Feet & Prayer Vigil at the Altar of Repose

Tonite was our Maundy Thursday Service or Mandatum...The word Maundy is derived from the Latin mandatum, which means "command" or "commandment", Jesus’ new commandment, or mandatum, was that we love one another as He has loved us - which was to the point of death. Part of the service in many churches includes doing some of the things that Jesus and His disciples did on the evening before Jesus was crucified. Jesus washed his disciples feet, and we wash each others feet during the service too. It's a humbling experience.... and so, now I have squeaky clean feet..*G*

Tonite also we have a prayer vigil at the Altar of Repose in our Chapel. It's been set up like the Garden of Gethsemane might have been... See Matthew 26:36-44:

"Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to His disciples, "Sit here while I go over there and pray." And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and distressed. Then He said to them, "My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me." And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as Thou wilt." And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, "So, you men could not keep watch with Me for one hour? "Keep watching and praying, that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, "My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Thy will be done." And again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. And He left them again, and went away and prayed a third time, saying the same thing once more...."

I signed up for 11:00 - Midnight, and will take some pictures when I'm up there too. It's always a beautiful, special time for meditation and being in a sacred place with God.

In the room before the Prayer Chapel I have been able to set up some of my assemblages in an interactive prayer station experience for people to walk through before going in to pray... I hope that it also is a blessing to those who experience it.

Friday, March 14, 2008

"Silent Snow" Assemblage

Back on February 6th (see my blog post from then too), we had a big snow storm (one of many this winter!),and I had mentioned in my blog post that it reminded me of the story we read in High School Literature Class called "Silent Snow, Secret Snow".

It was a story of a boy's descent into depression. This is my reflection on that. The picture in the background is one taken during that storm of my street. The girl in the box is one I found at Good Will and reflects well that Silent Snow depression. There is a fly on the window frame (upper right) and on the right side wall is a picture of "The Scream", something the girl is probably doing silently inside her self. The snow is a metaphor for the depression that closes in around her, hence the snow shown inside is starting to overtake her & bury her - a hand reaches out from the pile of snow.

On the top is a glass snowflake paperweight..she is weighted down by her problems that seem to be overwhelming. The base is made of some glass snowflakes as well. (formerly candle holders). And typewriter letters spell out "silent snow" on the outside rim of the box.

"Behind the 8-Ball" Assemblage

I admit, this one is a bit different... maybe that's why I kind of like it? I still want to add something to it before it's finished ...Since it's nearing the time of Holy Week, and we remember the events that led to Jesus' death, and celebrate His resurrection, this is how I was reflecting on that, through this assemblage.

I call it "Behind the 8 Ball", which often refers to the game of pool known as 8 ball (where the object is to clear the table of all of your balls and then shoot the 8 ball). Because shooting the 8 ball into a pocket before all of your balls have been cleared causes you to lose, any time the 8 ball is in front of or around one of your balls it is considered hazardous at best. Thus "behind the 8 ball" is to be in a set of circumstances where there are great hazards and problems, where care need be taken lest one lose the game.

Jesus certainly was in a hazardous circumstance when he was brought before the authorities, whipped, beaten and then crucified, and died a horrible death. Jesus being God incarnate, could have come down off the cross, could have avoided that suffering altogether, but it was His love for us (denoted by the framed heart as the body) that kept him there, so that through His death, we could have life.

In this piece He holds the nails that were pounded into his hands/wrists to hold him to the cross. At the foot of the cross are a pile of dice... scripture tells us that the soldiers cast lots for Jesus's robe while he hung there. It seemed they wanted what Jesus had without accepting what Jesus freely gave... His all... His life, the gift of Grace. How many of us do something similar, do I do that, do I just want the externals of what Jesus has for me without caring about the free gift of Grace Jesus gives to all who will accept it?
On the necklace around His neck there is a pendant that says, "This is the first day of the rest of our lives." As Jesus died on the cross, He said, "It is finished." He broke the chains of bondage, which keeps me separated from God and opened the door to spending eternity with God in heaven.... Jesus death and resurrection was the beginning of life for me,and for all who accept it.

There are two dice that stand a bit separate, they are "snake eyes" In gambling, snake eyes is the outcome of rolling the dice in a game of craps and getting only one pip on each die. The pair of pips resembles a pair of eyes, which is appended to the term 'snake' because of the long-standing association of this word with treachery and betrayal. The dictionary of etymology traces that use of the term back to 1929, although it may be traced all the way back to the ancient Roman dice games, where 'Dogs' represented two ones. They referred to this as "the dog throw". I thought it fit in with the symbolism of this assemblage since Jesus was betrayed.

So, that's what I have so far... I'll let it sit for now and look around for something to fit the idea I have in mind to finish it.

Here's the Behind The 8-Ball with the addition to it... a red frame... this could symbolize several things... It could relate to a time frame...or perhaps the question, Was Jesus framed? could be a decorative addition to the piece to bring more attention to it as well, or something totally different than these things... I'll leave that up to the viewer.