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Faith

He is Risen

April 14, 2006 | By | No Comments

Sharing a repost from one of our family’s most treasured Easter memories — Over a decade ago now in 2005, we took a trip with all of the children to the Grand Canyon for Sunrise Service on Easter Sunday. At the time, since they were small, I used pseudonyms for each child.  Hannah was the Dreamer; John was the Dude; Helena was the Diva; Sarah was the Dancer; and James was Baby Boo.  Happy Easter and God’s richest blessings to each of you and your families!

 

He is risen! He is risen indeed!

The alarm went off at 3 AM. Could we manage to rouse five tired children and make it to the sunrise service at the Grand Canyon 90 miles north? Having come this far on our westward adventure, we wanted to try.

But the Penta-Posse got themselves up, into the ski clothes we’d laid out to combat the cold, and beat me into the truck. (They may have been eased along by the chocolate and jelly beans the easter bunny left. . .) In fact, they were in such high spirits that they wanted our progress up Arizona Rt. 180 through the Coconino Forest to turn into a race with the lone hatchback we encountered along the way in the dark.

As the little car left us in his wake (Dad, c’mon, let’s go!!) Jack told the posse that we would let the hatchback “hit the cow” for us and tried to refocus their attention on seeing who could guess how low the temperature would go. The Dreamer “won” when the thermometer dropped to 17 degrees. I worried about the wind-chill on the canyon rim. Then, we crested a hill and came up suddenly on the hatchback, which was stopped dead in front of us as a herd of six or seven deer charged acrosss the road.

The mountains to our right, capped in snow, glowed with the reflected light of a full moon.

We reached the canyon at 5 AM just as the faintest light began breaching the eastern rim. We parked along the shoulder near Mather Point; the Dancer had fallen asleep again and didn’t want to venture into the cold — we wrapped her in a blanket and joined the others who were streaming in the direction of haunting music playing on a loudspeaker at the outlook. We were early enough to be among the first there; eventually around 1600 people arrived, filling up the platform, the stairs to the outlook, and lining the rim looking out over Mather Point.

The Dreamer, the Dude and the Diva scrambled up to a perch atop a large boulder, while Jack and I settled in to lower seats along a rocky wall with the Dancer and Boo.

By now, a faint pink light was spreading along the horizon. We had made it! My eyes filled with tears as my apprehension and tension from the press to get there was replaced with a sense of awe at the majesty in front of me.

Then the cold started to seep in. The Dancer started to cry. She settled in to Jack’s lap and buried her face in his chest. A little later, the Dreamer came down to take her so that they could warm each other. Boo slept on.

Half an hour left until the service and now the light was spreading and we could see the growing crowd around us more clearly. My worst fears about the wind-chill never materialized, but it was very cold. A stranger came over to the Dancer and the Dreamer, and wrapped them in a blanket. “Here,” he said, “you look cold. This is an extra.”

It wasn’t an extra. We were among friends. He is risen. He is risen indeed.

The service started and Boo began to cry. Then he settled quickly into my shoulder. . .

The sun broke over the northeastern rim with a brilliant glow, revealing the colors of the canyon in all their glory. Red, green, pink, orange. Deep clefts of darkness and shadow. The Colorado silently running in dizzying depths below. A raw wood cross on the edge appeared to hang in the air, silhouetted with the vast expanse of the canyon behind.

Christ, the Lord, is risen today, Alleluia!

Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!

Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!

Sing, ye heavens, and earth, reply, Alleluia!

Hail, the Lord of earth and heaven, Alleluia!

Praise to Thee by both be given, Alleluia!

Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia!

Hail, the resurrection day, Alleluia

Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia!

Our triumphant holy day, Alleluia!

Who did once upon the cross, Alleluia!

Suffer to redeem our loss. Alleluia!

Afterward, the Dude and I stood and looked over the canyon. “This is awesome,” he said.

He is risen. He is risen, indeed.

 

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Originally published on March 28th, 2005 .

14 Apr

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2 Comments

He is Risen

April 14, 2006 | By | 2 Comments

He is risen! He is risen indeed!

yoest 019small.jpg

The alarm went off at 3 AM. Could we manage to rouse five tired children and make it to the sunrise service at the Grand Canyon 90 miles north? Having come this far on our westward adventure, we wanted to try.

But the Penta-Posse got themselves up, into the ski clothes we’d laid out to combat the cold, and beat me into the truck. (They may have been eased along by the chocolate and jelly beans the easter bunny left. . .) In fact, they were in such high spirits that they wanted our progress up Arizona Rt. 180 through the Coconino Forest to turn into a race with the lone hatchback we encountered along the way in the dark.

As the little car left us in his wake (Dad, c’mon, let’s go!!) Jack told the posse that we would let the hatchback “hit the cow” for us and tried to refocus their attention on seeing who could guess how low the temperature would go. The Dreamer “won” when the thermometer dropped to 17 degrees. I worried about the wind-chill on the canyon rim. Then, we crested a hill and came up suddenly on the hatchback, which was stopped dead in front of us as a herd of six or seven deer charged acrosss the road.

The mountains to our right, capped in snow, glowed with the reflected light of a full moon.

We reached the canyon at 5 AM just as the faintest light began breaching the eastern rim. We parked along the shoulder near Mather Point; the Dancer had fallen asleep again and didn’t want to venture into the cold — we wrapped her in a blanket and joined the others who were streaming in the direction of haunting music playing on a loudspeaker at the outlook. We were early enough to be among the first there; eventually around 1600 people arrived, filling up the platform, the stairs to the outlook, and lining the rim looking out over Mather Point.

The Dreamer, the Dude and the Diva scrambled up to a perch atop a large boulder, while Jack and I settled in to lower seats along a rocky wall with the Dancer and Boo.

By now, a faint pink light was spreading along the horizon. We had made it! My eyes filled with tears as my apprehension and tension from the press to get there was replaced with a sense of awe at the majesty in front of me.

Then the cold started to seep in. The Dancer started to cry. She settled in to Jack’s lap and buried her face in his chest. A little later, the Dreamer came down to take her so that they could warm each other. Boo slept on.

Half an hour left until the service and now the light was spreading and we could see the growing crowd around us more clearly. My worst fears about the wind-chill never materialized, but it was very cold. A stranger came over to the Dancer and the Dreamer, and wrapped them in a blanket. “Here,” he said, “you look cold. This is an extra.”

It wasn’t an extra. We were among friends. He is risen. He is risen indeed.

The service started and Boo began to cry. Then he settled quickly into my shoulder. . .

The sun broke over the northeastern rim with a brilliant glow, revealing the colors of the canyon in all their glory. Red, green, pink, orange. Deep clefts of darkness and shadow. The Colorado silently running in dizzying depths below. A raw wood cross on the edge appeared to hang in the air, silhouetted with the vast expanse of the canyon behind.

Christ, the Lord, is risen today, Alleluia!

Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!

Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!

Sing, ye heavens, and earth, reply, Alleluia!

Hail, the Lord of earth and heaven, Alleluia!

Praise to Thee by both be given, Alleluia!

Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia!

Hail, the resurrection day, Alleluia

Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia!

Our triumphant holy day, Alleluia!

Who did once upon the cross, Alleluia!

Suffer to redeem our loss. Alleluia!

Afterward, the Dude and I stood and looked over the canyon. “This is awesome,” he said.

He is risen. He is risen, indeed.

yoest%20062small.jpg

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Originally published on 28 March 2005. Crossed Posted on Jack Yoest at He is Risen.

Good Friday

April 14, 2006 | By | No Comments

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Visit Tom McMahon.

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You're Invited! Lecture on the Imaginative World of C. S. Lewis

March 29, 2006 | By | No Comments

Cross Post from Jack Yoest. Who lifted shamelessly from the Jollyblogger.

This is a cat.

aslan jollyblogger


Aslan’s on the move

For all of you who live in the Baltimore and Washington DC area I want to invite you to an event at our church this Thursday night featuring author and C. S. Lewis Scholar Art Lindsley. Here’s the announcement from the church:

C. S. Lewis has found a new generation of fans with the overwhelming success of the movie adaptation of his book “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.”

You are invited to a lecture and a dessert discussing C. S. Lewis and the importance of the imagination in his life and writings.

Date: Thursday, March 30, 2006

Time: 7:00 — 9:00pm

Location: Glen Burnie Evangelical Presbyterian Church

710 Aquahart Rd, Glen Burnie, MD

For more info: 410-766-5363 or office@gbepc.org

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Arthur Lindsley, Ph.DOur Speaker

Arthur W. Lindsley, Ph.D.

Senior Fellow — C. S. Lewis Institute

Art Lindsley has served at the C.S. Lewis Institute since 1987. Formerly, he was Director of Educational Ministries at the Ligonier Valley Study Center, and Staff Specialist with the Coalition for Christian Outreach. He is the author of the books True Truth and C. S. Lewis’s Case for Christ and is the co-author of the book Classical Apologetics along with R.C. Sproul and John Gerstner. He has written numerous articles on theology, apologetics, C.S. Lewis, and the lives and works of many other authors and teachers. Art earned his M.Div. from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from the University of Pittsburgh.

I hope you can come!

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Thank you (foot)notes:

Free Stuff at the C S Lewis Institute.

Visit the Jollyblogger.

Bad for business: the prosecution of Abdul Rahman

March 28, 2006 | By | No Comments

Cross Post from Jack Yoest

helena-yoest--bows-her-head-in-prayer_abul_rahman_afp.jpg

Helena Yoest, [center, The Dreamer to right, Charmaine on right] bows her head in prayer before taking part in demonstration, to call for a stop to the prosecution of Abdul Rahman. Difficult to have a business conversation when heads are being sawed off as a matter of personal conviction. Uncertainty is bad for commerce.

So. In my dual goals of 1) World Peace and 2) Keeping the little woman out of Nordstrom’s, I dispatch Charmaine on a bit of civil(ized) disobedience. She takes two of my little women to attempt to cause havoc in Your Nation’s Capital. Protesting at the Afghan Embassy last Friday.

From the Agence France-Presse:

Helena Yoest, 9, bows her head in prayer before taking part in demonstration, in front of the Embassy of Afghanistan in Washington, DC, to call for a stop to the prosecution of Abdul Rahman.

Prayer in public. The Horror.

###

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Thank you (foot)notes:

From AFP:

The AFP brand: A guarantee of excellence.

The AFP team: More than 2000 employees worldwide.

AFP products: Agence France-Presse produces each day 400,000 – 600,000 words in text, 1000 photos and 50 news graphics.

AFP around the world: Journalists in 165 countries, 5 regional headquarters.

Hugh Hewitt has more pictures.

Michelle Malkin has the story and an excellent round-up. She was there at the Embassy.

03 Mar

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3 Comments

Media Alert Charmaine Returns To ABC World News Tonight

March 3, 2006 | By | 3 Comments

Cross Post from Jack Yoest:

abc_world_news_tonight.gif

ABC World News Tonight And will be debating the recent news from Missouri about school prayer.

In the public schools.

Usually on at 6 or 6:30 pm EST.

Tune in and let us know what you think.

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ABC World News Tonight

website is sponsored by Wal*Mart

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Thank you (foot)notes:

Charmaine blogs at Reasoned Audacity.

Mark Your Calendar for Best Friends and Best Men

February 20, 2006 | By | No Comments

Cross Post from Jack Yoest

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You are invited!

three_dog_night.jpg

Three Dog NightYou are invited to Washington DC’s hottest rock and roll party.

The Best Friends Foundation presents

“Do You Remember When

Rock Was Young?”

6:30 p.m. Saturday, March 4, 2006

Marriott Wardman Park Hotel

2660 Woodley Road, NW, Washington, DC 20008

Featuring live performances by:

Three Dog Night:

Joy to the World,

Mama Told Me

Sister Sledge

with lead singer Kathy Sledge

We Are Family

Don’t miss this fun night of great music, great food

and great company which benefits the girls and boys

in the Best Friends and Best Men programs.

No speeches, no auctions. Just come dressed to dance!!

Proceeds from this annual event are the primary source

of funds for the Foundation’s elementary and middle school

Best Friends and Best Men programs and the high school

Diamond Girls Leadership and Best Men Leadership programs.

Sister_Sledge.jpg


Sister Sledge with lead

singer Kathy SledgeSecretary of State Colin Powell says:

I always present the Best Friends program as one of the answers to the problems we have in our society…it is a winner, and I know that many more communities will be embracing it.

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When Giving Thanks is Hard

November 24, 2005 | By | One Comment

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John Donne

Holy Sonnet: XIV

Batter my heart, three-personed God; for you

as yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend.

That I may rise and stand, o’erthrow me and bend

your force to break, blow, burn and make me new.

I, like an usurped town, to another due,

labor to admit you, but, oh, to no end;

reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,

but is captived and proves weak or untrue.

Yet dearly I love you and would be loved fain,

but am betrothed unto your enemy:

divorce me, untie or break that knot again,

take me to you, imprison me, for I,

except you enthrall me, never shall be free,

nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.

The Butterfly

August 20, 2005 | By | One Comment

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Picking up the theme of searching for God. . . and finding him, Maxed Out Mama writes a deeply personal story of her own spiritual journey. And she points us to another story of answered prayer that I have thought of many times this week since I first read it.

Sadly, Kobayashi Maru has just learned this week that his brother has a recurrence of leukemia, and the doctors are telling him he will not live to see Christmas. In the midst of his anguish, KM shares a remarkable story of hope and comfort:

My brother asked the priest an age-old question: what is this prayer thing? what am I supposed to do? how do I pray? The priest replied: prayer is like catching a butterfly; do not struggle and run after it; be still and it will land on you. Nice metaphor, he thought. Beautiful.

Priest leaves. Ten minutes pass. My brother sits quietly. My sister-in-law comes home with my niece who runs in the door ahead of her. Without saying a word, my niece runs to her toy chest, opens it and pulls out… a stuffed butterfly… and sets it gently in my brother’s lap. “Daddy”, she says, “I want you to have this because I love you very much.”

Life’s purpose

April 13, 2005 | By | No Comments

Paul Hogue, over at My Dogs Are Smarter, has written a nice response to my piece on suffering. (Check out the dog pic on his profile page – very funny.)

His observation that “God cares more about me–the real me: who I am in relation to who He wants to make me,” reminded me of an interview I recently read with Rick Warren, author of The Purpose-Driven Life:

Life is a series of problems. Either you are in one now, you have just come out of one or you’re getting ready to go into another one. The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort. God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy. . .

I used to think that life was hills and valleys – you go through a dark time, then you got to the mountain top, back and forth…I don’t believe that anymore. Rather than life being hills and valleys, I believe that it’s kind of like two rails on a railroad track, and at all times you have something good and something bad in your life.

No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad that needs to be worked on. And no matter how bad, things are in your life, there is always something good you can thank God for. You can focus on your purposes, or you can focus on your problems.

Here’s Warren’s site. I hadn’t realized that I subscribed to the “peaks and valleys” philosophy. But I did. . . even though my actual experiences are closer to the parallel track he describes: there is always something to be thankful for.