No, I am not wearing short pants. It’s unseasonably cold in Louisiana. We’re having days upon days of subfreezing night temperatures. I am speaking of short bits of information that I will write about in this space.
I finished a Shutterfly book this week about my father’s family. I wrote about my family’s arrival to the New World in the early 1700s to the present. Lots of pictures of my modern ancestors kept it fresh. I will try to flesh out a few stories into blog-worthy posts in the next several weeks. Especially intriguing are the stories about my ancestor whose first name was a derivative of the word, Bear. Ursin, from the Latin, Ursa, was bearish in his pursuits, accomplishments and appetites.
Since the weather has been unseasonably cold, I took the opportunity to read a bit. Three books captivated my interest.
White Like Her: My Family’s Story of Race and Racial Passing by Gail Lukasik is not the best-written book. However the subject was intriguing and it was well-researched. The story is about a woman who left New Orleans with a black identity and white skin, married into a white family, and forever left her black roots behind. At least she did until she died. Her daughter tells an intriguing story of New Orleans society, where the one-drop rule kept otherwise white-looking people forever in the colored/black social class. Thanks, Carol King, for the tip on a good read.
The Girl with Seven Names: Escape from North Korea by Hyeonseo Lee and David John was a gripping tale of a girl who, at first, left North Korea for a few days lark, but could never return. Her story makes one wish fervently for the overthrow of the North Korean regime. Thanks for the suggestion, Michael Dickson.
You Were Born For This: 7 Keys to a life of Predictable Miracles by Bruce Wilkinson and David Kopp is a book I haven’t completed yet. The premise is that we all experience nudges from God to do sometimes simple things that have great impact. Here’s an excerpt:
We’re never more fully alive and complete than when we experience God working through us and in spite of us in a way that changes someone’s life right before our eyes Nothing compares to the wonder of seeing God’s goodness and glory break through – and knowing we played a part in it. p 26
That’s a wrap for this post. Stay warm. And don’t forget to wait on God for nudges to bring forth a miracle in someone’s life.
When was the last time you spent a quiet moment just doing nothing – just sitting and looking at the sea, or watching the wind blowing the tree limbs, or waves rippling on a pond, a flickering candle or children playing in the park? Ralph Marston
It snowed last night. In southern Louisiana, Snow is A Weather Event. Schools close. Children run outside. It’s strange and wonderful because it only happens every 10 years or so. If you don’t live in lands where snow is common, it’s A Big Deal.
There’s not a lot of snow. Just enough to cover the yard, the roof tops and cars in the neighborhood. I wrote a message on the back of my car this morning.
The morning flurries made me think of something else that brings out the inner child. Christmas. I apologize if the sentiment is just too much for you, but I confess I love setting out the Nativity set each year. I like decorating the house and tree, too.
For everyone, there’s a gift. The gift of A Son is Born. I love all of that stuff from Isaiah and Handel: Unto us a Son is Born . . . I love it!
Yet, at the same time, I’m old enough to know snow melts and turns to mud. The government isn’t on His Shoulders. I don’t care what Isaiah says. The Son doesn’t rule the World yet.
The advent of something wondrous started with the baby in the manger. It also means to look to the next Advent. Soon there will be a Second Advent when Jesus will reign. The government really will be on his shoulders. There will be peace on earth.
Everyone, Christian or agnostic, knows deep inside that something isn’t right. Whether it’s the weird weather, the even weirder politics, or the deep injustice we see, Some Thing Is Not Right. That’s why we hope for the next Advent.
Rest A While is a landmark along the northern shore of Lake Pontchartrain. It was a fine hotel in the late 1800s, catering to wealthy New Orleanians escaping the heat and disease that visited New Orleans most summers. Yellow fever, malaria, typhoid and heat stroke were common maladies of Old New Orleans.
In the early 1900s, the place was converted to a home for orphans and other charity cases. As the 20th century wore on, storms and neglect wore away its charm. Hurricane Katrina in 2005 nearly destroyed it.
Rest A While needed a bit of restoration from years of neglect and storms. It makes me think of our bodies and souls. Do we require rest? How’s my soul today? Have storms or neglect or busyness taken away from me what I need to live a good life?
After all, it’s Sunday in My City.*
Consider Jesus’ words as paraphrased from The Message Bible.
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11
*I am reviving Sundays In My City, in which I post photographs of places in and around my hometown. The original Sundays in My City is a feature began by Unknown Mami.