A Quote to Start Things Off

Somebody told me there was no such thing as truth. I said if that's the case then why should I believe you" -Lecrae - Gravity

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Pictures of Memories I

Pictures of Memories I
Snow kidding! These "kids" now range from 17 to 23

2024 A to Z Challenge

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Thursday, September 14, 2023

Jesse White Tumblers @ Elgin 4th of July Parade

I went to the Elgin 4th of July Parade and took this footage of the Jesse White Tumblers. Jesse White started the tumbling team in 1959 as an  positive activity for youth.  I first saw the tumblers when they performed at Taste Of Chicago in the mid 80's and have seen them at least 20 times over the years. Jesse White served  as an elected official in the state of Illinois from 1975 to earlier this year when his  final term as Illinois Secretary of State came to an end.  


Friday, September 8, 2023

SJT: Richer Still in Grace

 *Note* I originally wrote and published this post on Friday September 8th 2023 and I inexplicably deleted 1/2 of it and then deleted the rest trying to fix it.  If I could explic it, it wouldn't be inexplicable. 

The post contained below is what I wrote Friday, to the best of my growing faultier by the day memory.

Love, Dave

On the first Thursday of each month, An internet community gathers to explore the spiritual ramifications of a given topic or to make their own spiritual observations off the topic.  This months host is Patricia Franz of  the Reverie Blog Her entry is Life At The Speed of Grace.

I really enjoyed her post.  I liked her idea that grace is shorthand for God.  I especially liked her poem featuring an adieuing owl and a blooming cucumber.  I spent a good deal of time reflecting on Grace and the idea of God's grace and here are some of my reflections.

Allen Levi is my friend. He is also one of my heroes.  I have only met him 4 times and these have always been at concerts he's playing.  Yet I consider him a friend and kindred spirit.  In my opinion Allen is a jack of all trades, master of all.  He is a former lawyer, a former judge (with a 20 year gap between these occupations).  He left law in the early 90's to become an independent singer  songwriter.  During  that time he took a year off from singing, writing, and touring to be his brother's caregiver as his brother was dying, of cancer.  He wrote an excellent book about his brother called The Last Sweet Mile.  He has also written a fine children's book based on his song Oliviatown.

Recently Allen finished his first novel.  It is  called Theo of Golden and is available for preorder at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and on Kindle.  His website has a link to a sample chapter. Levi also is or has been a beekeeper, bird enthusiast, book reader (volunteers each year to regularly read to a grade school class) and blogger.  And those  are just the things I know of that begin with the letter B.

I say all this because when I began reflecting on Patricia's post the first thing that popped in my head were Allen Levi song lyrics and since Mr. Levi isn't the household name that I think he should be, I needed to answer the question of who Allen Levi is before I could begin in earnest.  And earnest I am; so begin I shall. 

As I mentioned Allen Levi is one of my heroes. The lyrics that popped in my mind when I started reflection on Grace, is from his song. "Most of My Heroes". 

The 2nd verse starts:

All of my heroes are rich in imperfections.  All of my heroes are richer still in grace.

Levi continues

They are people who are weak and bruised and broken, But they know somehow they'll make it through the race.

Grace has been defined as unmerited favor.  It is one of the main manifestations of God's goodness.  We grow in grace as we grow closer to God.  This is probably the reason why Franz says grace is shorthand for God.  Levi makes a similar point in the song's chorus:

Most of my heroes are very simple people.  All of my heroes look a lot like you.

Accepting God's grace in your life is a transformative process.  The more grace we receive the more we are changed and the more we attribute that change to God.  Consider Levi's powerful yet whimsical bridge, . . . 

And if you brag on them like I'm trying to do, I can bet what they might say to you. They'd say "thanks a lot.", and blush as if it's just not true.

The book of Hebrews spends an entire chapter  (eleven)  talking about the heroes of the Old Testament.  The same phrase is used over and over again in the chapter to describe how these heroes operated and that phrase is by faith.  Without God's faith in God those heroes would not have done the things God made them able to do. 

When I think of my spiritual journey, I think of grace, I think of faith and mostly  I think of Jesus,  In Chapter 12 of Hebrews, the author segues from the Hall of Faith to Jesus himself :

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

 The spiritual journey I am on is one of faith and one of grace. I am being perfected on this journey by Jesus. He is my hero and as I grow in faith through his Grace I will grow to look a lot like Him. 

 For more Spiritual Journey Friday click here.

A to Z 2023 Road Trip

#AtoZChallenge 2023 RoadTrip