The book of 1 Timothy

“For we brought nothing into the world and we can take nothing out of it.” ( 1 Timothy 6:7)

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We came into this world naked. Our souls encapsulated in a body not of our own choosing so we can learn lessons from the journey of that body and it’s DNA, lessons built only for us. And the body is privy to certain things of the world, but the soul always thirsts for God. The further from God the more sickly our soul becomes. The more we embed our lives with God the less time we will want to spend away from Him. But the less time we spend with Him the more we will push Him away, and by this time we have a tiny feeling he will reject us if we return to Him or we won’t enjoy our time with Him because He has become so foreign and incomprehensible. I think we must realize our nakedness and live into our nakedness with Christ. The wealth of the soul is all that matters, and this wealth is of things not of this world, invisible to the eye, and felt only in the heart

Confessions of Saint Augustine

I had to track this down. It was recommended by Thomas Merton, and I think it led in part to his conversion. F. J. Sheed’s translation is supposed to be the best. I’ve read compared to other translations Sheed kept the words of Saint Augustine alive and breathing, rather than dead. I’m very excited to read this! . Plus it was mailed with an old letter in German still stuck inside from the 60’s. .

Sharing my Gwen Frostic Collection

I have a collection of Gwen Frostic poems and prints. Some she has signed. If you don’t know about her, she is a poet and artist who lived in the upper part of Michigan and had a little print shop all her own. She is quite famous around here. She used nature for contemplation and found a lot of inspiration with the birds, trees, seasons. During quarantine I too have been finding my own way of contemplation through whittling. Since I was little I always wanted to try it. I stain wood a lot using a variety of layering colors so carving it was the next learning step I guess. If you swipe 👉 you will see my second creation, St. Therese of Lisieux. She typically holds flowers and the rosary. I still have much to learn but I’m having fun. What has inspired you during this time of reflection? .

The book of Philemon

What do you miss?? These are my own contemplative thoughts. You might disagree and that’s ok! .

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The book of Philemon is a brief letter from Paul to Philemon begging for the freedom of Philemon’s runaway slave, Onesimus. He asks Philemon to think of Onesimus instead as a brother in Christ. Onesimus knows he must return to his owner because it is the honest thing to do, but this time he comes with a letter, an appeal for his freedom, to be seen and treated as a brother and friend. .

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For a moment we are still. Ask yourself, what do you really miss? It is the question I’ve been asking myself lately as I remember old projects and ambitions I had my heart set on before quarantine. As this time allows for stillness I can self-examine without the usual distractions asking myself—What was holding me captive? Or do I now feel like a prisoner?

I can tell you with all honesty that I don’t miss anything except the freedom to hang out and be close to my family and friends. Host little bbqs, make food for them, talk at a short distance, and even though I’m not much of a hugger, I even miss those. That’s it. My old projects took me to Detroit a lot, but when I think of it, I’ve never been a city girl and lately all I can think about is owning a sheep farm (for milk) and possibly making it a spiritual retreat. I wanted to work with animals when I was a child, where did that inclination go? I have found that I don’t think my purpose is protesting injustice and speaking out aggressively against anything, that is not my nature. God made me for a reason, so what is the honest thing for myself & God’s call for me? It is instead feeding people, whether spiritually or with actual food, beauty, color, light—probably why I loved working the soup kitchen so much. I think if we all asked this question (what do I really miss?) and went back to the places from which we began, I think we would find new things of ourselves.

Heavenly Blue Morning Glories, a favorite of Vita Sackville-West

Lost Garden Story: I love morning glories. This heavenly blue variety was a favorite of Vita Sackville-West. After five years I am still trying to find the perfect spot for them and the time to plant them. It seems I keep planting them too late; they never bloom until the frost comes in the fall, and unless I cover them every night they die. This year I tried to outsmart them by starting the seeds indoors two weeks before the last frost. Pictures above are my flowers through the years and my little seedlings this year! I love the way their centers glow! I’m planting them back in the spot they liked most, the west side garden fence with trellis’ to give them more room to climb. I hope to have the beautiful heavenly blues again in my garden this year, hopefully to enjoy way before the frost hits! .

Irish Poem…

A SONG OF FREEDOM

by Alice Mulligan .

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In Cavan of little lakes / As I was walking with the wind / And no one seen beside me there / There came a song into my mind / It came as if the whispered voice / of one, but none of human kind / Who walked with me in Cavan then / And he invisible as wind. .

The First Book of Chronicles

These are my own contemplative thoughts. You might disagree and that’s OK!

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“…Go and count the Israelites from Beersheba to Dan. Then report back to me so I may know how many there are.” —1 Chronicles 21:2

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Most of the first part of Chronicles is a genealogical list, which I skipped in my reading. But then the book goes on to speak of David’s

rule as king. As king, David did the best he could, but like all humans he was not perfect. He’s written some of the most beautiful psalms (poems & songs) deticated to God,

because he truly felt he and God were in it together, he truly felt God’s presence in his life and it overwhelmed and inspired him. So the fact that he asks for his troops to be counted so he can measure his army’s strength is very unlike him. In this action he separates himself from God and is relying only on numbers, & on his own strength and pride. The simple definition of ‘sin’ is an act which separates us from God. So David was wrong to count the strength of his men, when he knew (and it had been proven to him many times) that God had his back, that God was with him. By this he pushed God away, thus separating himself from God, thus committing a ‘sin’. But don’t worry, our ‘sins’ are not counted by God. I think this shows that fact. That neither we should count against God, nor should we think God is counting against us. We simply try to keep our faith, and pray God will help us keep our faith in Him. We must hold fast to the sleeve of God’s robe or to God’s hand like a child who does not want to be lost in a world crowded with trivialities. In David’s case he said he was sorry to God and went on his merry way, hand in hand with Him (or if you like, Her) after this, and left with us his beautiful and inspiring dedications to his One & Only True Love.

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#bibleverse #bible #biblejournaling #church #episcopal #episcopalchurch #readersofinstagram #writersofinstagram #catholic #christ #god #jesuschrist #bookstagram #bibliophile #bookphotography

Another Hilarious Tidbit from the Letters of Horace Walpole

One more tidbit… possibly more as these letters are hilarious.

To his best friend, Sir Horace Mann, who apparently had not responded to his letters for two weeks so Walpole became “angry” and wrote that he won’t continue to give news reports to Mann, because “he’s not a newspaper.” And he repeatedly told his friend that he won’t update him on personal gossip…

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“The Duke is expected over immediately;I don’t know if to stay, or why he comes—I mean, I do know, but am angry, and will not tell.

I have seen Sir James Grey, who speaks of you with great affection, and recommends himself extremely to me by it, when I am not angry with you; but I cannot possibly be reconciled till I have finished this letter, for I have nothing but this quarrel to talk of, and I think I have worn that out—so adieu! You odious, shocking, abominable monster! 🤣 —Horace Walpole July 14th, 1748

Some books on violin making 🤗

My Christmas gift last year were these two books on violin making. I started playing the violin three-four years ago. Fed up with rental fees and my fear of tuning and touching the violin in anyway other than playing it, led me to find some cheap violins and take them a part and put them back together with new strings bridges, pegs, and in some cases a new coat of varnish. I have three violins now, one of which (the darker one pictured) was found in someone’s garbage, and the others were cheap finds on Craig’s list. I have carved bridges and made a varnish from an old 18th century recipe. I have even shaped fingerboards. My goal is to one day build my own from scratch. I continue to practice playing though not as much as I should. I like learning Irish jigs and folk songs especially. Soon I will finally finish the darker one you see pictured here. It’s finished, but I needed to reconfigure it’s bridge since it didn’t sound quite like it should. There is a lot of engineering that goes into it, but it is all very interesting to me and will give me, I’m sure, a lifetime of entertainment and teaching.

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Ingredients for making the varnish were found at @kremerpigmentsnyc in New York City

The book of Judges

“Then the Lord raised up judges who saved them out of the hands of these raiders.” –Judges 2:16

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Judges is one of my favorite books of the Old Testament. In this book, God raises up 12 judges over the course of 325 years to help keep the Israelites on the right path. I enjoyed this book because it helped me realize that I too had judges raised up for me in my life to help guide me. When my great grandpa (my grandmother’s father) died, I went 12 years before another person ‘passed through’ my life to lead me further to God. And I was lucky to have the perpetual guidance of my mother and grandmother. My other grandpa (my mother’s father) was a born again Christian and had a very aggressive approach to evangelism, but his wrong way guided me also, because I didn’t want to be like that. Since, I have thought much of my judges, and I give thanks to/for them and pray for them—which, to me, is basically any time I think of them with pure love and gratitude and meditate on their well-being with the knowledge of God’s presence(in this way many of us have ‘prayed’ without realizing it was prayer). Let us all give thanks to those who may have been our guides in the dark.