Sunday, October 21, 2012

I've Got the Joy

"I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy....."

She had some great ideas about melody maps,
of which I immediately replicated on my iPad.
Ah, the "Becoming Van Gogh" exhibit at the Denver Art Museum!
Opened October 21, 2012 and will show until January 20, 2013. 
Plan your visit  ----->  Becoming Van Gogh

 RTG graciously shared his extra ticket, and we were all but first
 in a loooong line of art enthusiasts, just waiting
to be let in to view the magnificent works of Vincent.

"Cineraria in a Flowerpot" - 1886  

Now, I have to admit, I was NOT a fan of oil paint on canvas.


What little experience I have with oil paintings included those old, schlepped-up, landscapes that we all had hanging in our 1980's basements.  Chunky tufts of paint thrown on a canvas with some unknown mountain in the background with a million green trees and a random pond or squirrel.  Colorful?  Yes.  Appealing?  No.  

THEN, I walked into the Van Gogh gallery on Saturday.
The room where Van Gogh's relationship with color launched.
And I began to understand.

The carefully-placed dollops of oil perfectly accented the petals of the flowers in the above painting.  I could have sworn that someone had just watered the artwork - a fresh showering of water droplets, just dripping off of each flower.  

Delicate.  Fragile.  Vibrant.
I'm completely sold on oil on canvas. 
"Wheatfield with Sheaves" - 1888

These pictures don't do the actual pieces justice.
To see each tuft of wheat, each curl of the cloud, each blade of grass.

Van Gogh spent a fair amount of time in these wheatfields,
and you could see that he clearly befriended them through these paintings.

"Church Pew with Worshippers" - 1882

This painting cracks me up.  
I kidded RTG that this is exactly what the people at
Bethany look like when he's preaching.  HA!  (VERY untrue!)

Van Gogh painted this is in his early years (which, in a paint-span of 10 years, isn't all that early).  I kept humming "All are Welcome", and boy, are they ALL welcome in these pews! Check out the headgear! 


The gentlemen on the stage:
Steven Naifeh (co-author of Van Gogh: The Life) - red tie
Louis van Tilborgh (curator of the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam) - center
Timothy Standring (curator of Painting/Sculpture, Denver) - jeans

I had JUST watched a "60 Minutes" video  with Steven Naifeh!
(Co-author Gregory White Smith was too ill to be with us for this lecture.)
Watch here!  Part ONE and Part TWO

Standring is actually visiting Bethany during
the Town Hall Lectures of Denver series.
Monday, November 5, 2012.  10:00am.
Click HERE for more info.

Louis, Louis!
From Amsterdam!
The country of my heritage!

I HAD to capture a photo of a sunflower at 
church today, in honor of Van Gogh, of course.

We lit candles in honor of those who 
struggle with mental illnesses. 

So many candles.
So many people afflicted with this dis-order in their lives.

Where else can we find healing but at the Communion rail.

In the name of the Father,
and the Son
and the Holy Spirit


 We also had a special guest at church today:  
country-western singer Michael Peterson.

He's a fierce veteran's advocate, and has used his musical gifts 
to connect veterans to social resources.  
Operation One Nation is Bethany's veteran's advocacy group.
I helped design the logo you see above. 

And here's what the logo looks like on a polo shirt.
Hmm.  Not an exact match, but you get the picture.
Oh, little people.  
You are a welcome addition to any worship service.

 Howdy, Bethany folk!

 Too touching to even TRY to capture it all in this photo.
Pastor Ron shared a letter, handwritten by his father during WWII - a prayer his dad wrote before going into battle the next day.  Michael crafted a song to go with the text, and yet another prayer was born.  Click here to listen to "Dear God..." as a part of  the "We are Veterans" CD.

 Humble candlelighters.
Family and friends, 
caregivers and those seeking help themselves.

 Our red, white and blue choir sang along for the last number.

 And then, as if the weekend wasn't grand enough, the people of Bethany gave OVER 3 GRAND in gift cards that will be given to military veterans and their families!  $3,200 in gift cards!  Amazing!

 Who knows...sidewalk chalk one day, Denver Art Museum the next.
Keep drawing, little artist.  Keep drawing.

 No, this photo isn't upsidedown.
I was.
Swinging is the best.

"I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy....."

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Psalm Self-Care

 Praise the Lord for the glory that belongs to him.  
Worship the Lord because of his beauty and holiness.  
Psalm 29:2
 Make a joyful noise unto God, all the earth.  
Psalm 66:1
 I think about the heavens.  
I think about what your fingers have created. 
Psalm 8:3

I will sing to the Lord all my life.  
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.  
Psalm 104:33

You placed the earth on its foundations.  
It can never be moved.  
Psalm 104:5

You wrap yourself in light as if it were a robe.  
You spread the heavens out like a tent.  
Psalm 104:2

I will praise the Lord.  
Lord my God, you are very great.  
You are dressed in glory and majesty.  
Psalm 104:1 

May these thoughts of mine please him.  
I find my joy in the Lord.  
Psalm 104:34 
The Lord gives strength to his people.  
The Lord blesses his people with peace. 
Psalm 29:11

 How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD Almighty! 
Psalm 84:1

You make springs pour water into the valleys.  
It flows between the mountains.  
Psalm 104:10 
 Praise the Lord, you mighty angels.  
Praise the Lord for his glory and strength.  
Psalm 29:1

You water the mountains from your palace high in the clouds.  
The earth is filled with the things you have made.  
Psalm 104:13

 Praise him, all you mountains and hills.  
Praise him, all you fruit trees and cedar trees. 
Psalm 148:9
Praise the Lord.  Praise the Lord from the heavens.  
Praise him in the heavens above. 
Psalm 148:1
The cedar trees of Lebanon belong to the Lord.  
You planted them and gave them plenty of water.  
Psalm 104:16
Lord, our Lord,  how majestic is your name in the whole earth!  
You have made your glory higher than the heavens.  
Psalm 8:1

May the glory of the Lord continue forever.  
May the Lord be happy with what he has made.  
Psalm 104:31

Monday, October 15, 2012

Affirming and Squirming

"Oh, what a beautiful morning..."
Sunshine at Bethany Lutheran Church.

 Sing it.

October 14:  Affirmation of Baptism Day
The day where our Confirmands make public profession of their faith.

Per tradition, the bagpiper prepares to lead "Highland Cathedral"
 (doesn't he look like he's about to launch an attack on the Confirmands?!)

 The entry of the Cross.  And the kilted man.

 They look so official, those high school freshmen!

 An amusing, endearing and relevant 
sermon by the RTG and guitarist Scott Nixon. 

Click below to hear two great  sermons from this day:  
Pastor Ron's: "Remember"
Pastor Ruth Ann's:  "Losing Life, Finding Life"

 They gather to be blessed.

 Families, friends, mentors and guides gather around the Confirmands.
It takes a village, people.

Too cool - this brick came true on Sunday!

 What a unique way to celebrate - Confirmed Chocolate.

 THEN, lunch with the Oss Family at PF Changs.
This would be Olivia, the Walrus.

My mentee, Anja!  What a lovely, young woman!

James, James, James.  (and dad, Eric)

My three, Oss-some buddies!


 Another source of joy?  A sleeping baby.

Sweet, squirming baby toes.

  Silly girl!


 Oh, Aunt Brenda, tell me another joke!

You have GOT to be kidding me!?

Quite possibly the sweetest face in town.  
Such light and joy in those eyes!
 More light.

 More joy.

 And one, happy Madeline.

"Let your light so shine before others that 
they may see.....YOUR BURNING WORKBOOK!"

While we light the candle to remind us of the Holy Spirit's presence, we don't need to actually bring tongues of flame into the room!  Thankfully, Stacie was right on top of it when Deb passed her workbook over the flame!  (Note the burn marks on the cover.)  WHEW!

get out. get lost. get found.

peace out