Chestnut gathering in Michigan!

We went chestnut gathering!! Swipe for photos 👉. We have so many chestnuts I had to get this recipe book. It’s filled with recipes AND folklore about this wonderful nut! Last week I made a chestnut bisque—so yummy, and before that I added a bunch to homemade chili—Yummy! We also bought some American chestnuts which are extremely rare. I wrote an article all about chestnuts that will be published soon for more information regarding Michigan’s efforts to sustain and protect this tree. I’ll keep you posted!!

chestnuts #chestnut #trees #nut #bookstagram #booksbooksbooks #library #appalachianmountains #history #extinction #folk #folklore #roastedchestnuts #bookphotography #bibliophile #bookshelf #reading #readersofinstagram #writers #writersofinstagram

Paul’s letter to Titus

“But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved
us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his
mercy.” -Titus 3:5

Paul’s letter to Titus, who was leading ministry efforts for the
island of Crete, is an essential letter for leaders of the church even
today. Paul’s words in the verse above here are important for us too,
as he reminds us that we are to love even those who hurt us. As we’ve
heard it before, it’s easy to love agreeable people who love us back
and show their love to us, but it can be hard to love those who hurt
us and don’t want us in their lives, but if your heart is open to the
Holy Spirit it will be easy to love these difficult people. Be open to
the Spirit and let her talk to you about True love and mercy, because
it’s the only language she knows. Any other language speaking to the
heart that doesn’t revolve around love and mercy is not coming from
the Holy Spirit and comes from some other, dare I say, unholy place.
Be well in heart, all of you!

The Remains of Robert Murray M’Cheyne

Today I’d like to remember Robert Murray M’cheyne who gives so much richness and truth in this letters and sermons, which thanks to Andrew Bonar, M’Cheyne’s good friend, we now have this Presbyterian Reverend’s entire collection of writings, sermons, and letters—his “remains”. I come back to his work time and again because his words are so alive with the Holy Spirit that his work serves to strengthen me when I feel dried up and brittle like a dead branch.

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“He became a babe, and was laid in a manger, for there was not room in the inn. The inn was like your heart; it was filled with other lodgers, and had no room for Jesus.” —Robert Murray M’Cheyne. (A letter “To One Awakened: A call upon a soul to choose Jesus. 1842).

M’Cheyne died when he was only 29 years old of Typhus and was buried at St. Peter’s church in Dundee, Scotland where he served. There was an estimated 7,000 people at his funeral. 💕

M’Cheyne Photo credit: lukesblog.org

The Book of Romans

These are my contemplative thoughts, you might disagree and that’s OK!

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“The righteous will live by faith.” Romans 1:17

Faith in Latin is fides which was one of the highest and most honorable virtues in Ancient Rome among the people involved in public affairs. Fides was a form of trust and an unwavering reliability in someone. But this virtue was considered the foundation of partnerships. Now if we are to take Paul’s quote here which was originally stated in Habakkuk 2:4, and apply it to the term ‘fides’, we could easily change the verse to: the righteous will live by an unwavering partnership with God. The minute we turn our gaze to God, He turns his gaze to us. We both act as a mirror—with Him being the real image we are supposed to reflect. Swipe 👉to see two mirrors reflecting on to infinity—an unwavering, undistorted image as long as the original image remains undistorted.

Even if we sometimes feel He has left us, He has not. His gaze is on us and is unwavering so long as we always keep Him the main focus of our hearts, which, if done with love, should help us through all things in our day to day life.

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#bibleverse #god #jesus #christ #catholic #episcopalchurch #episcopal #devotional #friday #church #spiritual #incense #candles #flowers #bookshelf #bookstagrammer #bookstagram #writerscommunity #writer #writersofinstagram #readersofinstagram #reading #quarantine #covi̇d19

The Book of Nehemiah on Good Friday

Today is Good Friday! I feel so much joy today I can barely contain myself. My heart feels so full of love, as if it glows. The light of Jerusalem seems to be with me today.

Do you ever feel this way?

“Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.”- Nehemiah 2:17

Before I received a book deal to write about the Poletown neighborhood of Detroit razed for a GM plant in 1981, I went around telling everyone the story of the neighborhood’s demise by the hand of GM and the City of Detroit, because I thought a memorial of some kind should be built. Some told me to leave it alone. But a couple others (like two people) encouraged me to explore the story and the people involved. I knew God was telling me to follow him into the story because the story haunted me for many months, and I mourned and wept for what the people had gone through while they fought to keep their homes and churches. From following God’s breadcrumbs, I eventually became so knowledgeable about the story that I felt confident enough to ask a publisher if they’d be interested in it. I felt like Nehemiah wanting to reconstruct the wall of Jerusalem. From this journey I learned to follow the whispering voice that sometimes plagues me to do something. For a year God taught me how to follow his voice, how to read signs and people, when to leave things alone and when to push. I will forever be His student. I still have a lot to learn. I’m still astounded by the ways God revealed the story to me piece by piece, and I am even more astounded by the way I dropped everything just to follow his lead, and I got a book deal out of it. Something for which I had been praying for a long time. This was no small miracle. Don’t ignore the inner voice telling you to do something or say something. If it has plagued you long enough, and it comes from a place of love and truth and does no harm to any soul, then follow the voice in your heart, in which dwells the living Christ.

Lorna Byrne: The woman who sees angels.

Maybe this will be white noise today, but maybe it will be some relief.

I recently watched a documentary about Lorna Byrne, the woman who sees angels. She has seen them her whole life. They speak to her, they tell her things. They are with everyone, she says. Everyone is born with a guardian angel that stays with them their whole life. Despite all the detailed stories about what they say and what they look like, I think her most valid point or lesson is that it doesn’t matter if you’re an atheist or if you practice a different religion, you have a guardian angel. We all do, because we are all a piece of God’s light. We are all very special this way. The angels are here to protect us, we are their treasure. And if we think about this for a moment, one can really understand that every single person deserves dignity and mercy, because every single person is

an extension of God, no matter what. While the whole world is battling against a sickness that is trying to kill our sense of peace

if not our elderly loved ones, perhaps it has instead unified us? It

has proved that we are all in this together. It seems every person is

scared or concerned. And even though we have laid oceans of distance between us, making ourselves islands, it is only to save each other and in this we are closer than ever.

I have posted the documentary on Lorna Byrne to my bio. Enjoy!

The Second Book of Samuel

I will celebrate before the Lord. I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes.” -2 Samuel 6:21

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We should not be ashamed to make fools of ourselves for God’s sake. We may have seen people preaching on the street, holding signs, singing in church, maybe even dancing. Perhaps we feel embarrassed for them, perhaps we would like them to stop or we hurry by hoping to not catch their glance? Perhaps we think their display perverts our own vision of God? It is something I struggle with myself. I wish so badly I could be different. Everyone sings and I can not, everyone dances and I can not. My pride will not let me. I have a dangerously high level of self-awareness and it affects the way I allow myself to enjoy things in public. As some of you already know, I grew up with a born again Christian grandpa that would make us bow our heads and pray at public restaurants, he’d even want us to hold his hand while doing this! In those moments I could not fight the redness on my cheeks when I was asked to bow my head and pray in front of strangers. On the other end of this my brothers and my dad wouldn’t put up with it and verged on or dove into atheism. My mom and I were in the middle somewhere and had to find our way, tip toe, so as to not be seen by either side lest a judgmental eye strike us down in our quiet pursuit of God’s peace, discreetly going to church, praying our silent prayers. It is still hard to talk about my faith to many who have left it. And we are told not to preach to nonbelievers because our precious words will be wasted on “thorns”. But I can’t help thinking, surely if I am a lily among thorns, I should not be ashamed to let the light pass through my petals and the dew form on my leaves. So with this thought I am teaching myself to slap away that ego thing we call pride. #babysteps

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Making my Christmas List

Making my Christmas list already. How about you? .

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One meaningful person will lead you to the next. I was introduced to Thomas Merton through the writings of Richard Rohr. Ever since I read the Bible I can’t seem to go too long without reading something with a rich spiritual foundation, or I seem to lose my connection to the wonderful spiritual (otherworldly) dust that floats in the ether all around us and within us. I love novels and secular historical reads but have to supplement it with theological works lest I die of thirst.

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#spirituality #religion #christianity #bible #church #episcopal #episcopalian #catholic #monk #franciscan #thomasmerton #richardrohr #bookshelf #bookstagram #reading #read #bookstagramer #library #readersofinstagram #writersofinstagram #bookloversofinstagram

Idylls of the King by Alfred Lord Tennyson

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Idylls of the King by Alfred Lord Tennyson is an epic poem about King Arthur and the Knights of the round table. They search for the Holy Grail which is an allegory for material possessions. SPOILER ALERT: most only find wandering fires. 🔥 😉

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Yes, I read this. And would probably read it again! 💕

I loved the musical ‘Camelot’, used to pretend to conduct its orchestra when I was a little girl—I know, I’m a total nerd!

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PICTURED IS AN ILLUSTRATED COPY 1939 EDITION IN EXCELLENT CONDITION, THOUGH THE DUST JACKET IS A TAD WORN. 😘

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