Monday, December 31, 2007

a gift from my sister

as we wrapped up our christmas holiday at home we received a very unexpected gift from my sister.  due to a change in our travel plans (we'll be returning to georgia next weekend to speak to a church about refugee resettlement) my sister, dacy, offered to take isaac home with her to spend a week with her family.  what a lovely woman - she was actually eager to see it happen.  she has two children, maryellen - 11 and marc - 8, that isaac adores.  they won't be back to school work yet so isaac will have the rare opportunity to be with family for longer than a weekend and get a taste of sibling life.

although we will no doubt miss our boy, it is such a gift of time to us.  yesterday we quickly worked through the head-turning disorientation of "where's isaac", "i thought you had him" feelings to move on to the bright expanse of the week and the almost endless possibilities of margin and space - three nights in a row of dates, seeing movies, and reading the paper in bed.  this morning started beautifully with a sleep-in until 7.20. 

thank you dacy (here she is with our niece, mayson).


Sunday, December 30, 2007

georgia aquarium

i (geoff) took my brother brad, cousin shamira, and isaac to the georgia aquarium in downtown atlanta.  it is an incredible display of God's creative ways...from the smallest sea horse to the massive whale sharks and beluga whales.

here's isaac watching some jelly fish...

ga aquarium

ga aquarium

ga aquarium

fish and chips, anyone?

ga aquarium

Friday, December 28, 2007

good friends, good food


the very wonderful k's offered their home for a christmas party last week.  it was a beautiful evening and a typically kind and hospitable Bosnian event.  meandering conversations, excellent food (some bosnian favorites such as baclava and pita) and drink.

thanks k's!




christmas morning

isaac was more than thrilled to open some gifts on christmas morning.  it was good to have brad (geoff's brother) and shamira (geoff's cousin) with us to share in the christmas morning joy.

christmas morn 07

 christmas morn 07

Communion with fruit from the promised land

anticipating the nearly-with-us new year (a time for considering the future/past/present), here's the notes i made for a recent eucharist at one of our high st (communality) gatherings...

We have heard today about the importance of our being more than sentimental memory keepers. We are encouraged by the writers of the New Testament to be far more ambitious in our remembering. We are called to believe that these times of ritual and celebration are in fact moments when the future world God is making – the Kingdom of God – comes into the present.

The future fullness of God’s re-made world penetrates our time and space, affirming the story of God’s work through history and all the while, remaking us. We are invited to taste the goodness of a world re-made by God, a world that has gone through the trauma and struggle of re-birth. As we gather in this way and eat in this way we are like midwives to new creation - to each other’s rebirth and to the coming kingdom.

In the Passover – the meal where Jesus taught us these things - Hebrew people don’t just recall past history. Instead, they enter into the reality that they are exodus people freed from slavery. This Eucharist meal calls us Jesus followers to that same awareness– we are the people, this is the night! So, at the same time we are here in Lexington, gathered as the people of God, we are also the disciples in that upper room, and last, but not least, we are also the heirs of the kingdom, gathered to eat the messianic banquet in the new heaven and the new earth. Past, Present, and Future.

In Numbers(13:17ff), when the children of Israel are still on the border of the Promised Land, Moses sends spies to check things out.

“Moses sent them to spy out the land…he told them to be bold and bring some of the fruit of the land …grapes, pomegranates, and figs.”

Can you imagine the people of God as they first tasted the fruit of the land they would someday soon call their own? Grape juice coursing down smiling faces. As we pass the cup and the bread, and as we gather to eat together, can we also dare to expect that we are indeed tasting the goodness of food from the celebration feast hosted by Jesus - our brother and our God?


Sunday, December 23, 2007

privileged choices

on the way home from lunch with the kovacevics on friday, we ran by one of the local food pantries to drop off a small donation from our cupboard.  i laid in bed the other morning and recalled a recent article in the paper that lamented the dramatic food pantry shortages across the city and the country.  unfortunately, due to federal funding cuts and other economic factors, pantries that normally compensate for the needs of the working poor and underprivilged are bare. 

i got out of bed and gathered any staples we had (again, based on what we have it was hardly generous) and we donated them today.  as i approached the door, i had to first encounter the gaze of about eight people waiting to receive help.  as i walked away, the stunning privilege of choice dawned on me.  i thought of all the times i've stood in a grocery isle and debated over type and shape pasta - penne, plain, whole wheat, or organic...hmmm, what suits?  those who suffer in poverty are stripped of so much - security, often opportunity (yes, even in this country), dignity and with it, the ability to choose.  today, those who gratefully get free food from one of these places end up with whatever others decide to give.

Friday, December 21, 2007

the friendship of children


it is so clear why jesus illustrated godliness through the example of children.  last night, at an east end neighborhood association christmas party, isaac and another four-year old named malachi struck up a friendship in about two seconds.  as the adults sat and listen to meeting business and waited to line up for some home-cooked food, those two ran amok and had a wonderful time.  i watched them and marveled that they carried no anxieties, no politically correct baggage, no racism or preconceived notions.  they just wanted to pass the time with someone else their size.  they laughed and laughed and immediately appreciated one another's company.  as i observed, i was envious of and schooled by the smallest among us.


Thursday, December 20, 2007

busy people

my phone rang alot this morning.  so much going on.  as i drove away to take care of a few things - bank and kentucky refugee ministries drop off - i reflected on the activity of friends.  lisa and c.g. needed to borrow our crock-pot.  they are primary organizers and contributors to the fledgling neighborhood association christmas dinner tonight.  they're making mashed potatoes for 100 folks among other things.  jodie called to borrow my hand-held mixer.  she and ryan are attending a christmas gathering at 7th st's kid's cafe.  i needed to drop of money from our community to assist with much-needed rent for a refugee family and this afternoon the three of us will celebrate the second bihram or eid (muslim's marking the end of ramadan) with our dear friends, the kovacevics. 

it was heartening, this close to christmas, to know how our friends spend their time and energy, a sweet busyness at least.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

an almost collision

this morning before school, as a family treat (and a particular reward for isaac staying in his bed all night ) we went to third street stuff for a cinnamon roll.  as i walked isaac over to school from the coffeeshop, we saw our friend, ms dee, almost in the middle of the road.  she has a bad habit of standing right in front of the entrance to sayre and leaning out into oncoming limestone traffic in an effort to cross the street.  i've caught her at this at least three times.  we yelled for her to get out of the way and use the crosswalk up the road a bit and we wished her a good day.

certainly it is a feeling of world's colliding when i've encounter our neighbor, ms dee, right in front of isaac's school (a prestigious downtown private school).  she's almost been hit multiple times by unsuspecting parents pulling out of sayre's drive who wouldn't have a clue who she is.  it was particularly poignant this cold morning because we'd just sat with her around our dinner table last night.  ms dee came to dinner along with lisa and clinton, jfk, and jodie and asher.  this public encounter was merged with the  the intimate image of a meal shared and i felt the compactness of our lives.  weekly, we celebrate the density of our life in lexington  and the interconnectedness of the different dimensions wrapped up by these downtown streets.

and time flies.  as i took isaac through the door of school i said to him, "one more day until christmas holidays." as i said it my mind flashed back to those early weeks in september, just back from australia, when isaac's heart broke daily as we dropped him off.  now it's christmas and our family is in a solid, well-loved routine of school, work and play.  a life rich with blessings.

Monday, December 17, 2007


this weekend isaac and sherry enjoyed the challenges of a human anatomy puzzle.  sherry also made some are some ordinary pictures of us in our natural environment :)




divorce bad for the planet

"Forget about staying together for the sake of the kids.  Researchers have a new reason: Do it for the planet.  An analysis of data on domestic relations and resource use in the United States and 11 other countries shows that divorce leads to more households, so more land gets built up and more building materials are used."

the rest of the this interesting article is here

the focus of the article is divorce but speaks to the wider question of living in community...

Friday, December 14, 2007

a photo update

here are some recent pictures...








isaac sleeps


isaac and sherry decorate the tree


more tree...we harvested this cedar from our friends farm

burley crew

isaac in his decorated trailer...we walked in the Lexington Christmas parade with the bike advocacy group

winter seeds


winter seeds...taken at the farm when we picked out our Christmas tree

an evening of light

last friday, i had the honor of joining our friends david, arwen and her mother judith for their family hanukkah celebration.  it was a special occasion for many reasons, but particularly, because they had a remarkable guest of honor.  participating in this ancient remembrance was a 97 year old survivor of the holocaust.  arwen had befriended him during her oral history research project of holocaust survivors in kentucky.  he looked 20 years younger than his age and he spoke with authority, gentleness and clarity.  he resided over the lighting of the menorah and sang the blessing in hebrew.  it was a sacred moment.  as we gathered in a line to eat latkahs, he blessed the food in both hebrew and english and he looked around the room at each of us and said "god is here with us."

the celebration of hanakkuh comes each year at the darkest cycle of the moon as  new moon begins, and it is called the "festival of lights."  as tradition dictates, we placed the menorahs in the window to cast light outside to those passing by.  inside, we were surrounded by the light of survival, of triumph, of love and of god's presence.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

devastated mountains, devastated people

on a regular basis we receive updates about the catastrophic effects of mountain top removal as a means of mining for coal.  living in kentucky as followers of jesus, we believe this to be the single most significant justice issue in our region, relating to both humanity and the environment.

see this link - My Connection - for more information.  i read an email today with this quote from robert f. kennedy, jr:

"Coal's most catastrophic and permanent impacts are from mountaintop removal mining. If the American people could see what I have seen from the air and ground during my many trips to the coalfields of Kentucky and West Virginia: leveled mountains, devastated communities, wrecked economies and ruined lives, there would be a revolution in this country.

Well now you can visit coal country without ever having to leave your home. Every presidential candidate and every American ought to take a few seconds to visit an ingenious new website [] that allows one to tour the obliterated landscapes of Appalachia....

The amazing new website allows you to enter your zip code to learn how you're personally connected to the great crime of mountaintop removal. Using this website Americans from Maine to California can see these mountains and the communities that were sacrificed to power their home....

The site puts a human face on the issue by highlighting the stories of families living in the shadows of these mines.....

This new website finally exposes this national disgrace for every American to witness.

from whom, what type and where we get our energy REALLY matters.  if available "green energy" is the best option at this stage.  and of course, conserving every day is even better.