Saturday, November 19, 2011

John the Baptist with Feet of Clay

For the last few Sundays during children's church, we've been modeling the story after I tell it. Each child gets a different color play-doh, and an assignment. The first Sunday we built Jerusalem surrounded by armies. This Sunday was John the Baptist with followers lined up to be baptized. No, I know there aren't supposed to be towers around the Jordan River. Just call them rock formations. When you have little boys in the picture, there always seem to be weapons popping up.
If you look closely at the bottom one you will see snakes lined up behind the believers. Those are Pharisees--fleeing from the wrath to come.

On a more serious note, three of our church children are getting baptized this Sunday. They've had long talks with parents, grandparents, and the church board of elders, and are excited to be taking this step of faith. I'm excited too. The water is a little clearer than the Jordan, and, as far as I know, there won't be any snakes attending.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Under a Lid

These are the kinds of clouds that hung over us all morning yesterday They don't have any rain in them, but the moisture they do have might be keeping the rain we got last week from evaporating. So we consider them friendly clouds.  See that little line right along the horizon? That's the real sky, trying to shine in under the door, so to speak.

By yesterday evening they had lifted a little, but still hovered over the land. These twisted trees didn't seem to mind. At least it wasn't wind or searing sun or ice. Just a thick, white cushion--quiet...still...peaceful...

It looks so peaceful.

It's hard to believe that Monday evening, one week ago, we had a tornado warning, (one was sighted in our area and several more southeast of us) a torrential downpour, (five and a half inches of rain in a few hours when we've only had six inches in the last twelve months) flooded streets (they actually had to block traffic on our street for a few hours), lightning (and its accompanying thunder), hail (pelting fiercely down to bounce off the drought-stressed lawn), high winds (up to 90 mile an hour gusts in some places), and an earthquake (seriously, in Oklahoma, a 4.7) just as we were going to bed. We didn't know whether to seek the highest or lowest shelter; whether to run out of doors to escape the earthquake threat or stay under a roof to protect ourselves from the lightning.  My sister-in-law suggested that, like the prophet Elijah, we should be listening for the still, small voice.

What I'm Sure Would Have Been an Amazing Picture if I had been Standing On a Hill

 This morning I woke up to this scene in my backyard. It looks ominous, but, since I didn't smell any smoke, I knew that it was only the sun's reflection against a voluminous cloud ceiling. If I had been as fast as any one of the superheroes in a b movie, I would have been able to regale you with pictures taken far away from the backside of a shed, with skies free of telephone line tangles. Alas. Being a mere human, I did my best. I ran to the front yard, jumped into my car...and the flaming sky was already gone. Thus I am able to offer only these peephole glimpses of what I was sure would have been a rare-coral November sky.