Quotes of the Week 9

“A child in a foul stable,
Where the beasts feed and foam;
Only where he was homeless
Are you and I at home:
We have hands that fashion and heads that know,
But our hearts we lost—how long ago!
In a place no chart nor ship can show
Under the sky’s dome.

To an open house in the evening
Home shall men come,
To an older place than Eden
And a taller town than Rome.
To the end of the way of the wandering star,
To the things that cannot be and that are,
To the place where God was homeless
And all men are at home.” –G.K. Chesterton, “The House of Christmas,”

No priest, no theologian stood at the manger of Bethlehem. And yet all Christian theology has its origin in the wonder of all wonders: that God became human. Holy theology arises from knees bent before the mystery of the divine child in the stable. ~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

John Piper: “You never, never, never outgrow your need for this gospel. You don’t begin the Christian life with this and then leave it behind. God strengthens us with the gospel till the day we die.”

Bonhoeffer Botanical Gardens

A couple weeks ago Dear and I headed north to the Bonhoeffer Botanical Gardens on the grounds of Freeborn Lutheran Church.

Found on 20+ acres located on Exit 215 off the I-5 freeway, 45 minutes north of Seattle. The Gardens contain all of Western Washington’s indigenous trees, shrubs, vines and  ferns along with most grass, moss, mushroom, pond, flower and ground cover species.

We had a one hour walk without getting rained on which is a treat these days.

On Thursday I hope to go back with our daughter and see the daffodils that should finally be blooming.

I also want to go back in late Spring to see all the other plants that will be blooming.

Speaking of Bonhoeffer this is a great book about his life…

Taken from the jacket of the book: “Bonhoeffer gives witness to one man’s extraordinary faith and to the tortured fate of the nation he sought to deliver from the curse of Naziism. It brings the reader face to face with a man determined to do the will of God radically, courageously, and joyfully – even to the point of death. Bonhoeffer is the story of a life framed by a passion for truth and a commitment to justice on behalf of those who face implacable evil.”

And here are some quotes from Bonhoeffer:

“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

” Only if we will venture to enter into the words of the Bible, as though in them this God were speaking to us who loves us and does not will to leave us alone with our questions, only so shall we learn to rejoice in the Bible…”

“The church has only one altar, the altar of the Almighty…before which all creatures must kneel. Whoever seeks something other than this must keep away, he cannot join us in the house of God…the church has only one pulpit, and from that pulpit, faith in God will be preached, and no other faith, and no other will than the will of God, however well-intentioned”

These quotes of course are more powerful to read in context and with consideration of the time period that Bonhoeffer lived in Germany. Bonhoeffer is eventually executed just weeks before the end of WWII.

We in the Pacific Northwest are longing for the sunshine and a string of days without rain. Our February and March have had historical rainfall and will go into the books. Our vitamin D3 is depleted for sure. As I type I see a little brightness outside and it makes me smile. I read an interesting article on grumbling a couple weeks ago and I don’t want to go there. I’m just stating the facts of our weather pattern right now. The weather forecasters say that we will have sunshine about noon tomorrow and that’s a good time to shoot for arriving at Bonhoeffer gardens. After Bonhoeffer since our daughter lives very close to the University of Washington campus we are going to stop there before I drop her off at home to see the Cherry blossoms on the quad. If for any chance the forecast is wrong we’ll just try on another day.

InSPIREd Sunday

On Monday Dear and I drove to Chilliwack, British Columbia for dinner with the Mennonite Girls. On the way at exit #215 off Interstate 5 in Snohomish County we pulled off the highway to change drivers. We were so happy that this was the exit we took because we found some treasures to enjoy.

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We saw this church in the distance and then noticed the sign below.

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4 February 1906 – 9 April 1945

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, one of the most well-known Protestant theologians of the twentieth century, an active anti-fascist, a man who had an extraordinary personal courage, who was executed in a German concentration camp a few weeks before the German surrender. He is a symbol of Lutheran martyrdom in the twentieth century. His statue, placed on the western facade of Westminster Abbey in London among the ten Christian martyrs of that time. Several parish churches are named in his honour. Also a postage stamp released in his memory in Germany.
The Bonhoeffer’s theological views had a great influence on the further development of the Christian theology.

A couple years ago I read a biography of Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas that was a very good book and I highly recommend it. It’s available on Amazon…

As Adolf Hitler and the Nazis seduced a nation, bullied a continent, and attempted to exterminate the Jews of Europe, a small number of dissidents and saboteurs worked to dismantle the Third Reich from the inside. One of these was Dietrich Bonhoeffer—a pastor and author. In this New York Times best-selling biography, Eric Metaxas takes both strands of Bonhoeffer’s life—the theologian and the spy—and draws them together to tell a searing story of incredible moral courage in the face of monstrous evil.

We made it to a small parking lot to change drivers and while I was out of the car I took these photos.

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These plantings on top of these kiosks are to attract butterflies.

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There were several senior citizens with easels set up busy painting.

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We drove around to the front of the church to see the name, Freeborn Lutheran Church & Cemetery.

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I plan to go back next March to see the 400,000 daffodils in bloom around the church.

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Pilchuk living history farm is part of the property here, too. We didn’t have time to explore since we were only changing drivers and continuing to our destination.

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I’m linking up to InSPIREd Sunday with Beth and Sally.

We are having a very lazy day at this old house. We had a short shopping excursion and that’s about it. It took a while but the sun is out from behind the clouds. They are predicting some hot temps here during the next week. How are things in your neck of the woods.

Connected…

It was wonderful to see so many dear souls that we have been connected to over the years at my mom’s services.

I didn’t get photos of many of the people who honored us with their presence and their words. It wasn’t easy to relax with my camera in these circumstances.

Mom's services 015Hope and I were coordinated in our outfits and had to have a photo together.

Mom's services 150After attending this little guys baby shower before he was born it was nice to finally meet him in person with his mommy.

Mom's services 151…and with his grandmother, my good friend from Bethany Russian Baptist church.

Mom's services 152Katie with Nikki and her Auntie Christina. Christina is Dear’s SIL.

Mom's services 154Here’s Dear with his only brother, Terry.

Mom's services 155My cousin Vera (from my father’s side), cousin’s cousin Shirley (on my mother’s side), my cousin Jim (on my father’s side), and Shirley’s sister Betty (on my mother’s side).

Mom's services 156More dear friends from our Bethany Baptist Days in Los Angeles.  Diane, Manya (Shirley, Bobbi and Betty’s oldest sister) Alex and Jaydee with Shirley between them.

Mom's services 157Jeanie,(married to my cousin Jim) My cousin Jim, My cousin Vera (Jim’s sister) George (who is Jim, Vera and Katrina’s 1st cousin) and my cousin Katrina (Jim and Vera’s youngest sister).

Mom's services 163My first cousin, Vera, from my dad’s side of the family. The rest of this group are all 1st cousins with each other on my mother’s side of the family. My first cousins are on the right end of this group. Valia and Tanya on the right end with my cousin Walter’s wife standing behind them. Bobbi and Shirley are first cousins to Valia and Tania.

Mom's services 161Our son Dan with our SIL Letty’s son Derek and wife Amy.

Mom's services 158Caleb and Joshua making plans to spy out the Promised Land…Strong and Courageous!

Mom's services 159Niece Melissa bonding with our latest grand nephew Thomas.

Mom's services 172My Pop with his grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Mom's services 166Our kids (missing Andrew) with my pop. Andrew has arrived in Afghanistan with his unit so your prayers for him are appreciated.

Mom's services 176Pop with his sons.

Mom's services 180Sons and daughters…

Mom's services 184Daughters

A very special thank you to the ladies from Whittier Area Community Church and Olive Grove Church  who contributed salads and desserts for our meal together. You blessed us abundantly and we are grateful! Everything turned out so well. We were so pleased to be able to spend time with people we have been connected to over the years. Old friends and new friends supporting each other. It’s a beautiful picture of community…

I’ll close my post with the quote my Brother in law Nick read at the graveside…

“There is nothing that can replace
the absence of someone dear to us,
and one should not even attempt to do so.

One must simply hold out and endure it.

At first that sounds very hard,
but at the same time it is also a great comfort.

For to the extent the emptiness truly remains unfilled
one remains connected to the other person through it.

It is wrong to say that God fills the emptiness.
God in no way fills it but much more
leaves it precisely unfilled
and thus helps us preserve — even in pain —
the authentic relationship.

Further more,
the more beautiful and full the remembrances,
the more difficult the separation.

But gratitude transforms
the torment of memory into silent joy.
One bears what was lovely in the past
not as a thorn but as a precious gift deep within,
a hidden treasure
of which one can always be certain.

— Dietrich Bonhoeffer”

Ciao Milano

We got back to the U.S.A. yesterday at four in the afternoon. I thought this eagle from the ceiling of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele in Milan was appropriate for the transition back.

It’s going to take a few days to recover from my latest adventures especially since the incubated bug I probably picked up 10 days ago on our flight back from California has decided to loom it’s ugly head. Ive also come home to lots of news that I missed being off line for just 48 hours. You never know what a day holds.

During this lenten season I’ve been reading 40 Day Journey with Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Here’s part of the reading from today on the subject of living in community…

We must be ready
to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God, who will thwart our plans and
frustrate our ways time and again, even daily, by sending people across our
path with their demands and requests.

It’s good to be home and to be able to communicate with loved ones in both their grief and their joy. I’m looking forward to reading about what you’ve been up to as I sit on the couch with a tissue stuffed up my nose. Blessings!