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And again ... it's been a long time. Looking to move to blogger and get some more songs up for your listening pleasure. Check it out: It's simple!


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Glory of God, O, glory of God -
Pierce the night,
Immortal light, arisen;
Breaking death's dark prison.
After forty days -
To heaven raised.
O, glory of God.
Glory of God.
Amen, ignite our mission.


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Glory of God, O, glory of God -
At Bethlehem,
In mortal man, awoken;
Now, the body broken.
'Neath a crown of thorns,
The temple torn.
O, glory of God.
Glory of God.
Christ, the Amen spoken.


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Thank you, Cori, for the design work! We are certainly weary of cutting, clipping, stuffing, and addressing. And, we look forward to a joyous celebration on Thanksgiving Day. Even if you happen to not receive one of these beautiful invitations and think that you might be in the Lafayette area on the morn of 26 November 2009, please, join us for a service of thanksgiving and our day of wedding. For simplicity's sake, we limited the list of those to whom we sent the official invite. If you are unable to join us on Thanksgiving Day, please, have no worries. Our desire for this day is that we might all find ourselves in a thankful place ... grateful for the gift of love, life, and family. May our God, through Jesus, shower His goodness upon you. Hope you are all well. i leave you today with MN Lesson #2: The Great North = Snowfall Training Grounds.


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Happy day!
Engaged.


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This has been a time of new beginnings. When yesterday has lain its head to rest, then today shall awake tomorrow. It has been nearly a month since Cori and Ed had me to their new home ... their first day there. i got to move a box in and was even able to use their new lawn mower and add to the winding paths cut through the lawn. It was a beautiful day. The picture to the left was taken on their front lawn. That's a great tree! And, as they began anew, they sent me on my way north. i have nearly completed four weeks with Youth Encounter as Team Ministries Manager. i am currently living on the south side of Minneapolis, within walking distance of downtown ... though, i've not yet ventured there. It is great to have Adrienne, all the members of New Dawn 0708, and many other friends nearby. New beginnings are underway! i was also able to spend a couple evening this week with Luke while he was here in the Cities. (MN Lesson #1: the Cities = St. Paul & Minneapolis) We went to Merlin's Rest, an Irish pub down the way, and i played a few songs at open mic. See many of you soon! The weather is hot, hot, and humid ... enjoy it!


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i've been meaning to quote some excerpts from this amazing book, recommended to me by Cathy Pino (thanks!). i also recently completed One Land, a song that reverberates with the thoughts expressed in the second quotation below. Enjoy!


Henri Nouwen, et al., Compassion
Jesus' compassion is characterized by a downward pull. That is what disturbs us. We cannot even think of ourselves in terms other than those of an upward pull, an upward mobility in which we strive for better lives, higher salaries, and more prestigious positions. Thus, we are deeply disturbed by a God who embodies a downward movement. Instead of striving for a higher position, more power, and more influence, Jesus moves, as Karl Barth says, from "the heights to the depth, from victory to defeat, from riches to poverty, from triumph to suffering, from life to death." Jesus' whole life and mission involve accepting powerlessness and revealing in this powerlessness the limitlessness of God's love. Here we see what compassion means. It is not a bending toward the underprivileged from a privileged position; it is not a reaching out from on high to those who are less fortunate below; it is not a gesture of sympathy or pity for those who fail to make it in the upward pull. On the contrary, compassion means going directly to those people and places where suffering is most acute and building a home there. God's compassion is total, absolute, unconditional, without reservation. It is the compassion of the one who keeps going to the most forgotten corners of the world, and who cannot rest as long as there are still human beings with tears in their eyes. It is the compassion of a God who does not merely act as a servant, but who expresses the divinity of God through servanthood.


Henri Nouwen, et al., Compassion
In the Acts of the Apostles, we get a glimpse of this new togetherness: "The faithful all lived together and owned everything in common ... Day by day the Lord added to their community [literally: their togetherness] those destined to be saved" (Ac 2:44-47). The Christian community is not driven together but drawn together. By leaving the ordinary and proper places and responding to the call to follow Christ, people with very different backgrounds discover each other as fellow travelers brought together in common discipleship. ...

True displacement ... evokes a deep new awareness of solidarity. The criterion for any form of detachment, any form of "leaving home," is the degree to which it reveals the common ground on which we stand together.


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