Stars and Stripes


Over a decade ago I met one of the most interesting people I have come to call a friend.  We met in the Where’s Willy forums.  He is a veteran living in Ohio.  We’ve had some serious heart to heart conversations.  He is intelligent and funny and thoughtful.  He has interesting hobbies, a fascinating life, and a great family.  The popularity of fb gradually lured us to other ways of social media and we don’t connect as much.  I miss it.  While still in northern BC I came across a quilt pattern in a magazine that immediately reminded me of him.  Over three years already!  The cut pieces came with me to Manitoba and I managed to complete the project last summer.  My bad waiting so long to get around to posting once it was completed.  I know it was last summer because that was the summer we had the purple paint petunias bracketing the bench on the front veranda.

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I quite pleased with this one.  I used my favourite sort of fabrics, reproductions of civil war designs – blues that incorporated tiny stars, and red with stripes.  The finished quilt was lap size.  I think that bed size quilts are presuming too much.  First colour preferences, second bed size, and this one was a surprise, so I couldn’t very well ask.

I mailed it off end of summer.  They were surprised, and delighted, I think.  They sent a thank you stating as much, my friend commenting it would be most welcome once the cold weather arrives.  This quilt carried many prayers with it.  Serving in the navy does not come with a plethora of good memories, especially when one serves in a way that sees atrocities done to bodies that no one should.  The thought gives me a heavy heart and an ache in my throat.  It’s becoming more and more difficult to witness the hatred and violence of the world.

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The quilted design of loops and stars was applied by The Quilty Guilt.  So blessed to have a long armer in the house.  This quilt is one of the first to not have a flannel back.

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2 Chronicles 14:13  Asa and the army with him pursued them as far as Gerar, and the Ethiopians fell until no one remained alive; for they were broken before the Lord and his army.

 

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A Christmas Wedding


Christmas is always crazy for clergy.  Multiple worship services, parishioners ill because of the weather, wind-up parties, more often than not a funeral, even more rarely a wedding.  Add in all the personal preparations for Christmas and you have a recipe for an abundance of stress and little time to sit still in awe of the reason for the season.

Today there was a wedding.  Lovely, appropriately white and red colour scheme for Christmas.  Two 30 somethings, 14 children between them, tattoos and pretend bling, chaos and nerves.  It has been my practice to give a quilt as a wedding gift.  I had this top finished for some time, the Quilty Guilt quilted it yesterday and I spent the rest of yesterday and this morning binding it.  Turned out beeeeeautiful!  Hubby didn’t think I should give it away, but I did.  It really did turn out nice.

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As usual, I didn’t have enough fabric for the back.  I pieced in an orphan block and a few other odds and sods to make a piece big enough.

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It was quilted with hearts, perfect for a bride and groom.  Wrapped in God’s love in grace I pray them all the best for their new life together.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Of Fish and Justice


I apologize in advance for the use of non-inclusive language.

“Give a man a fish, feed him for a day.  Teach a man to fish, and  you feed him for his life.”

Well, maybe.  What if you teach fishing and then deny the use of your pond?   What if you teach a person a skill and then refuse them the opportunity to use that skill to sustain life because they were once in prison, or are an immigrant, or have physical disabilities, or are the ‘wrong’ gender?

Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states

  • (1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
  • (2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

Further – Article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights states that

1. The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living for himself and his family, including adequate food, clothing and housing, and to the continuous improvement of living conditions. The States Parties will take appropriate steps to ensure the realization of this right, recognizing to this effect the essential importance of international co-operation based on free consent.

2. The States Parties to the present Covenant, recognizing the fundamental right of everyone to be free from hunger, shall take, individually and through international co-operation, the measures, including specific programmes, which are needed:

  • (a) To improve methods of production, conservation and distribution of food by making full use of technical and scientific knowledge, by disseminating knowledge of the principles of nutrition and by developing or reforming agrarian systems in such a way as to achieve the most efficient development and utilization of natural resources;
  • (b) Taking into account the problems of both food-importing and food-exporting countries, to ensure an equitable distribution of world food supplies in relation to need.

156 countries are signatories to the latter, Canada being one.   It saddens me that hunger is still a reality for 925 million people, that is one in seven people.  19% of that number live in developed countries!

Support the Canadian Food Grains Bank http://www.foodgrainsbank.ca/  They do amazing work through micro loans, education on nutrition, improving food security, and provide food assistance to people with immediate needs.  Also they attempt to influence public policies with the goal of ending hunger.  Often your contribution can be matched up to four times by the Canadian government and other organizations.  It is a way you, as an individual, can give someone a fish, teach someone to fish, and ensure access to fish!

1 John 3:17   How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help?

Ezekiel 18:5,7-9  5 If a man is righteous and does what is lawful and right — 7 does not oppress anyone, but restores to the debtor his pledge, commits no robbery, gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with a garment,  8 does not take advance or accrued interest, withholds his hand from iniquity, executes true justice between contending parties,  9 follows my statutes, and is careful to observe my ordinances, acting faithfully — such a one is righteous; he shall surely live, says the Lord GOD.

Statistics on world hunger obtained from http://www.worldhunger.org/articles/Learn/world%20hunger%20facts%202002.htm

(I don’t know where I came across the images, I believe them to be tattoo designs.  If you know or if it is yours, please let me know so I can properly attribute ownership.  Thank you.)

 

Dark and Darker


Psalm 3 – The Message

God!  Look!  Enemies past counting!
Enemies sprouting like mushrooms,
Mobs of them all around me, roaring their mockery:
“Hah!  No help for him from God!”

But you, GOD, shield me on all sides;
You ground my feet, you lift my head high;
With all my might I shout up to GOD,
His answers thunder from the holy mountain.

I stretch myself out.  I sleep.
Then I’m up again — rested, tall and steady,
Fearless before the enemy mobs
Coming at me from all sides.

Up, GOD!  My God, help me!
Slap their faces,
First this cheek, then the other
Your fist hard in their teeth!

Real help comes from God
Your blessing clothes your people!

It’s one of those days, bad news, delays, disappointments, fatique, burdens.  Enemies of the spirit, closing in on all sides it seems to sap the motivation and strength out of time.  A body just wants to give in, give up, give way, give quarter, give vent.  It is dark, inside and out.  Skinny snow on the ground, cold, dreary.  I’m tired.

Prayers today for;

  • TP – work, exs, family disappointments
  • L, J, S, W & SP – legal challenges
  • J & KY – loss of possesions through theft
  • me