Share with others

30 November 2012


ah yes...
this is the weather that we daydream about through the 100 degree days of summer.


The blackbirds are back.
I wonder if Hitchcock ever visited south Texas...


which turned to
which turned to
which turned to
I think.

December Photo Project- Year 3 (?)

December Photo Project 2012NOW it can officially be December! The start of the December Photo Project has arrived. This is my third year of participating (I think... hmmm... maybe I should check the archives...), after a couple of years of anonymously stalking the participants daily entries. I'm excited- and it's a great way to finish up 366 in 2012. Just one more month!

Besides the challenge of finding a photo every single day, here's another thing I love about the DPP- figuring out the seemingly random degrees of separation of the other participants. Rebecca Tredway, who hosts, is a member of a church that is a sister (daughter?) church of a church that supports our missions work (Hi Zion!), and in addition, I always "see" other people I know who are friends or relatives of others I know, and isn't it a small world after all?

Want to play along also? Go sign up RIGHT NOW- December Photo Project at

29 November 2012


Testing, testing...

and what exactly happens to the lights in those 11 months of storage that causes them NOT to work when you pull them out again? Scenes from Toy Story flash through my head- maybe Barbie and the Little People and the boxed away stuffed animals host parties at night when we're all asleep...


One of the unexpected yet nice surprises about the basketball season is visiting small towns, places I might not other wise ever find. Monday it was Granjeno, Texas- a town far enough south that we could see the border fence without squinting. Official population of Granjeno is 313, plus one dog who likes to lie in the road.


Que rico!

24 November 2012


After more than two weeks away from home, that was the day I needed.


What Child is this who laid to rest
On Mary’s lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?

This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing;
Haste, haste, to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

Nails and spear shall pierce Him through,
The cross be borne for me, for you.
Hail, hail the Word made flesh,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing;
Haste, haste, to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

So bring Him incense, gold and myrrh,
Come peasant, king to own Him;
The King of kings salvation brings,
Let loving hearts enthrone Him.

This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing;
Haste, haste, to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.
- What Child Is This, written by William C. Dix, 1865

Now, yes, ready for the Advent season.


My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast;
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises!
Awake, my glory!
Awake, harp and lyre!
I will awaken the dawn.
I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the peoples;
I will sing praises to You among the nations.
For Your lovingkindness is great to the heavens
And Your truth to the clouds.
Be exalted above the heavens, O God;
Let Your glory be above all the earth.
- Psalm 57:7-11

(photo taken in the gardens of Parque Fundidora in Monterrey, Mexico)


Team meeting,
dear friends,
carne asada,
much giving thanks.


Nearly every morning for almost 10 years.
Gracias, mi amor.


I walked out of the grocery store to the very edges of the parking lot. At first glace I thought it was fake, the decoy a farmer might place by the field. A hawk, regal and still, talons clenched tight to the luggage rack, perched on the SUV parked across from me. I stood watching it, and a lady driving by stopped and took a photo with her cell phone.

I didn't have my camera.
So later I took a picture of the green beans.
(aren't some days like that?)


There's no place like home.

(for the end of the Spain/NYC photos, click here)


Cut off as I am, it is inevitable that I should sometimes feel like a shadow walking in a shadowy world. When this happens I ask to be taken to New York City. Always I return home weary but I have the comforting certainty that mankind is real flesh and I myself am not a dream.
 -Helen Keller

22 November 2012


Ice + Tea
(+ more ice)
(+ more ice)
= very happy American in the airport

Things I miss most when I'm away from the United States-
understanding how the toilet works.
knowing what the money means.

I love traveling.
I love coming home.

Thanks for great hospitality, Spain!

15 November 2012


The pictures do not begin to show just how beautiful the scenery surrounding Ronda is.
Even so, all the day long, I kept humming the Beach Boys...

(click here for more photos from Ronda, Spain)

14 November 2012


It was a perfect day to take a vacation from vacation.
(click here for a few more photos of Torremolinos)


Our five hour tourist visa to Tangier, Morocco sped by something akin to a non-stop thrill ride. I guess I shouldn't be surprised when culture shock hits straight on, that familiar love/hate relationship, the dance of emotion when experiencing a new and very different people and place

So many conflicts-
the thrill of new, the shock of unknown.
the sweet and savory delightful scents of spices and cooking, the sudden and unexpected putrid odor of garbage.
the charm of street vendors, the absolutely overwhelming experience of being accosted without ceasing.
the desire to buy goods and support local merchants and businesses, the frustration of bargaining and haggling and never feeling like we know what is just.
the curiosity of staircases and alleyways and turns and corners, the panic of being completely disoriented.
the tastes of native food, the wondering of what you might be eating.
the marvel towards ancient tradition, the questions of "why" lingering for those of  not familiar.
the surge of energy as the day begins, the utter exhaustion as it finishes.

All that, and still, I'd be return again in a heartbeat.

(please click here for more photos from Tangier, Morocco)

12 November 2012


Tierra de emperatrices y emperadores,
espejo de la gloria,
jardin de flores,
Sevilla hermosa,
octavia maravilla,
linda y graciosa.

(Land of empresses and emperors,
mirror of glory,
garden of flowers,
beautiful Sevilla,
eighth wonder,
pretty and gracious.)
- from sign in Sevilla

(click here for more photos of Sevilla)

11 November 2012


En Mijas con mis mijas.
I wish everyone had the opportunity to travel with their 13 year olds.

(click for More Photos of Malaga/Mijas)

10 November 2012


We stood in the throne room, next to the very place where Queen Isabella paid Cristobal Colon to take his first voyage. Suddenly, all those years of studying history were real places in time.

I would like to have poetry and mosaics on my walls...

(click for More photos of Alhambra and Granada)


And then my least favorite part of travelling, the getting there, was over!


We (finally) arrived to snow and 38 degrees, which seems pretty cold when you're used to 88. We walked and ate and shopped and hailed cabs  (unsuccessfully).

And by the end of the day, I realized (again) I'm not in control of much.
Thankfully I trust He who is.

07 November 2012


flight from Harlingen to Houston. check.
flight from Houston to LaGuardia. cancelled.
flight from Houston to LaGuardia. cancelled.
flight from Houston to LaGuardia. cancelled.
flight from Houston to Newark. cancelled.
standby flight from Houston to Newark. cancelled.
flight to Newark. rebooked.
hotel in Houston. reserved.
luggage. retrieved. (thankfully!!)
dinner at Waffle House. eaten.
trying again early tomorrow. hopeful.

destination JFK, 5:45 pm

Psalm 112 Hallelujah!

It is my joy to wake up and read this and be reminded, first thing today...
"heart ready, trusting in God..."

Psalm 112 (The Message)


Blessed man, blessed woman, who fear God,
Who cherish and relish his commandments,
Their children robust on the earth,
And the homes of the upright—how blessed!
Their houses brim with wealth

And a generosity that never runs dry.
Sunrise breaks through the darkness for good people—
God’s grace and mercy and justice!
The good person is generous and lends lavishly;

No shuffling or stumbling around for this one,
But a sterling and solid and lasting reputation.
Unfazed by rumor and gossip,
Heart ready, trusting in God,
Spirit firm, unperturbed,
Ever blessed, relaxed among enemies,
They lavish gifts on the poor—
A generosity that goes on, and on, and on.
An honored life! A beautiful life!
Someone wicked takes one look and rages,
Blusters away but ends up speechless.
There’s nothing to the dreams of the wicked. Nothing.


I am much more fond of the ducks than the black birds...


allergies, allergies, allergies.
at the end of the day, orange tea and to bed.

04 November 2012


Worship- singing zealously and Christ centered preaching and sharing communion and grateful greetings.

A tough last game, but hopeful for next season.

A bookstore!
A World Lost
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
A Sacred Sorrow

A road trip home at sunset.

Back in time for our weekly show.


The sun shined bright and hot. The girls didn't sell much, but they would do it all again. And looking around past our table, it never ceases to amaze me what people will buy.


These men, church leaders along the border committed to church planting and doctrines of grace, had a great meeting, but...
the best fellowship was probably shared just to the left and outside of the edge of the photo, at a table with three ladies, eating Italian, speaking mostly Spanish, laughing in one universal language.

and I was one of those three. :-)

01 November 2012


A Warning To My Readers

Do not think me gentle
because I speak in praise
of gentleness, or elegant
because I honor the grace
that keeps this world. I am
a man crude as any,
gross of speech, intolerant,
stubborn, angry, full
of fits and furies. That I
may have spoken well
at times, is not natural.
A wonder is what it is.

-Wendell Berry

a wonder, or, perhaps, pure grace...


not one knock on the door, which means a LOT of leftover DumDums and Smarties...


found, on Target end cap clearance shelf.
it's the small pleasures...