Monthly Archives: January 2014

The Shoes of Francisco de Encinas (1520-1552)

When my grandfather died, I brought home a pair of his cowboy boots.  I had expectations of wearing them with pride for any and all occasions.  I put them on and well …. he had worn them so much, that the soles had molded to the curves of his feet.  No matter how determined I was, they hurt too much to wear.

Someone’s shoes are hard to fill.  They are also hard to imagine wearing, mostly because we want them to fit.   So imaging that I am in the shoes of someone else requires me to let go of my own sense of self and my preferences.   That’s difficult to do.  I’m not sure I’m fully there yet.

The January 27th Art and Craft of Blogging weekly Writing Challenge from The Daily Press at WordPress.Com is to write from the perspective of being in someone’s shoes.   Living in a small town and working in an industry where confidentiality is demanded, I’m choosing to write about someone in history.  I recently bought a book called “The Westminster Dictionary of Theologians“.  I decided to close my eyes, open the book, and point.   My finger landed on Francisco de Encinas (1520-1552).  I had never heard of him before.

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It’s harder to breath these days and I’ve found a new boil.   They say its the plague.  I’m in my mid thirties and facing death … again.  At this point I’m struggling to find hope that I will recover.  Nothing much to do these days, as I’m too weak to finish the translation … my passion, my calling, my purpose, my vision.  I’m so close to finishing it.  My people need the Scripture in their language!  We’ve fought so hard.  I’ve fought so hard.

I feel like Moses who couldn’t enter the promised land.  David who couldn’t build the temple.   Father, have I fallen short?  Have I sinned against You?  Is there some reason You are taking me home before I finish?   It’s a bitter sweet thought, crossing over into eternity without finishing my race.

I remember when I started this journey.  One of 10 kids destined to be wool merchant like my father.   Those early years in Spain seem too far away.  How did I get here from there?  Its miraculous, really.

Miracles.  I could use a miracle.  I wonder if this is how Christ felt while hanging on the cross?   “A esa hora Jesús gritó con fuerza:  — ¡Eloí, Eloí! ¿lemá sabaqtaní? (que significa: “Dios mío, Dios mío, ¿por qué me has abandonado?”).”  Marcos 15:34  La Palabra.

I’m beginning to sound like David from Psalms.  We have so much in common.  Where did he get the courage to go up against Goliath in his youth?  He was just a shepherd boy. Surely, the Holy Spirit.

That’s how I did it in the Vrunte prison.   I was imprisoned for publishing the Scripture in Spanish.  Crazy to think the Reformation started before I was born and persecution is still so much a part of my life.   I survived a year of torture in that dark place.   (I smile) I meditated on the Word and wrote out the translations in my mind.   The prison doors opened for Paul and his chains fell off.  I escaped.  It was just a few years ago, although it seems like a lifetime.  I can still smell the horrible stench.

I remember when Diego and I were called away from the family business and into ministry.   I miss him so much.     It’s been 5 years since his horrible death.   I can still see his tortured body and the flames.  Our Lord knew you were the stronger one, brother.   If you only knew how important your work was and still is.  Martin Luther was proud of you, too.

Will my children remember me when I’m gone?  Is my wife proud of me?  Did she ever truly understand the width and depth of what God called me to do?  I think so.  She was a religious exile just like me when we met.  Oh, how I love her.   Maybe this is why we’ve struggled so much, so she could be prepared now.

I can see her and our girls in our publishing house.  Finally, a safe place to write and publish.  No more traveling from country to country … Spain, Germany, Belgium, England and now France.  I like France.   My three ladies, in their beautiful dresses, picking lovely flowers and singing hymns.   Finally, sleep is upon me.  I will wake in eternity.

(Note:  His wife Margaret died approximately a month later. )

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Following are contributions from other bloggers in this challenge.  These are the pingpacks at the time of my post.  For a complete list, see the Shoes Writing Challenge page.

  1. Weekly Writing Challenge: Perspectives | A mom’s blog
  2. Inside the head of a sporadic three year old | From One Crazy Life To Another
  3. Fifteen Year Old Me Is Disgusted | The Cheese Whines
  4. Weekly Writing Challenge: Leave your shoes at the door! | khaula mazhar
  5. The Curse of Personal Knowledge | Emotional Fitness
  6. Elvis Insults My Intelligence | Bumblepuppies
  7. Weekly Challenge: A Mile in your Fur | Confessions of a Nerdy Girl
  8. Weekly writing challenge – leave your shoes at the door | Susi Matters
  9. Let’s Do Something Amazing! | rarasaur
  10. DP weekly challenge – shoes – A morning in the life of sonny Jim. |
  11. That’s not me | Mort La Datorie
  12. In the mind of a dolphin kidnapper | In my world
  13. The Color Purple, Maybe/DPChallenge | I’m a Writer, Yes I Am
  14. Other point of views – For the Dailypost | readsomethingdifferent
  15. My Parents’ Divorce: Weekly Word Challenge | Between Madness & Euphoria
  16. When is ‘now’ over so ‘later’ can start? | New tricks for old dogs
  17. Bête Noire | Paper Plane Pilots
  18. Appreciating my Parents after Rearing my own Children, DPchallenge | Angela McCauley
  19. Not All Shoes Fit The Same | The Chatter Blog
  20. in the middle of the night | The Matticus Kingdom
  21. The language barrier | Never Stationary
  22. Perhaps today will snow « Dancing with Fireflies
  23. A Day In The Life | Perceptive Pot Clueless Kettle
  24. Switching It Up: DP Weekly Challenge | The Tawny’s Blog
  25. Weekly Writing Challenge: Leave Your Shoes At The Door | imagination
  26. Weekly Writing Challenge: Leave Your Shoes at the Door | Picayune Pieces
  27. Can you Imagine Being Gay? | Abstractions of Life
  28. Platonic Shift | Brain Droppings
  29. Leave Your Shoes At The Door: Memory Clinic | At least we made it this far…
  30. Introverts, Elephants | thanks for letting me autograph your cat
  31. Front Door Shoes | Wendy Karasin – Musings of a Boomer
  32. From Lima Beans To Turtles | Fish Of Gold
  33. Birthdays | This thing called, “Life.”
  34. Mommy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! | Love.Books.Coffee.
  35. Sitting In a Pew | The Photo Faith Challenge
  36. A life not planned… | From diapers and tutus to meetings and boardrooms
  37. I Married a Handsome Fool (wife’s perspective from husband’s view) | Movie Hugs Will Kill You
  38. I lost my virginity in ugly underwear. | bethanyah
  39. A Speech Evaluation as Experienced from the Other Side of My Desk | Ginger’s Grocery
  40. “Lets Walk Without Our Shoes Down Childhood Memory Lane” | Just A Recovery Author Learning To Be A Better Writer
  41. Glimpses Into a Younger Me | missmoodygirl
  42. Can’t you see Things From my Point of View? | Humans Are Weird
  43. ON THE RIVER | Serendipity
  44. “He died while you were in the coma.” | Lauren Kells
  45. Weekly Writing Challenge: Betty | Posting Tuesdays. I am Grayson.
  46. Always Your Angel | My Muted Voice
  47. Weekly Writing Challenge: Sandals At The Door | Running Into Life
  48. In My Sister’s Shoes: The Weekly Writing Challenge | Exploring Pixie
  49. Tiptoes | asweetbrightthing
  50. In her shoes | The Word Trance
  51. Wearing someone else’s shoes even when they give you blisters | mummy flying solo
  52. I Love You Three, Mummy (DP WW Challenge) | farmerfarthing
  53. Upstaged by sunrise | litadoolan
  54. Weekly Writing Challenge: Leave Your Shoes at the Door | The Undercover Princess
  55. Something That Endears Me To You | living my life
  56. Weekly Writing Challenge: Leave Your Shoes at the Door | Perks of Being an Orchid
  57. Something That Allures Me To You | living my life
  58. Weekly writing challenge – leave your shoes at the door. | LEATHER & ABEL
  59. Weekly Writing Challenge; Leave Your Shoes at the Door | 2far2shout
  60. Perspective | Finale to an Entrance
  61. Tell me… | nightmare of daytime
  62. Adam Ickes | Weekly Writing Challenge: Leave Your Shoes at the Door
  63. From another point of view | Sue’s Trifles
  64. Three Women – No Heartbeat | The Cranky Giraffe
  65. Weekly Writing Challenge: Leave Your Shoes at the Door | Of Glass & Paper
  66. (Your) Experience Isn’t Everything | ReFreshing Life
  67. A tale of two visions | Suddenly Single in Marin
  68. Weekly Writing Challenge ‘Leave Your Shoes at the Door’: Two different Prisons | Thoughts of an INFP
  69. I Need a Phone Call and Everything After | Running On Sober
  70. Leafy Shoes | Electronicbaglady’s Bag of Bits
  71. The Trials and Tributes of a Landlady | The Pen Speaks Better
  72. Weekly Writing Challenge: Leave Your Shoes at the Door | rahul ranjan’s blog
  73. As She Watched | The Seeker’s Dungeon
  74. Housecleaning 1900′s Style | The Library Lady and Rosie Bear
  75. Weekly Writing Challenge: Hybrid | Musings of a Dancing Wino
  76. A matter of perspective | Stories from aside
  77. Time, Fleeting Love | Lead us from the Unreal to the Real
  78. Writing Challenge| Leave Your Shoes At The Door | Misadventures Of Me
  79. In someone else’s shoes… | The Fiction of Michael R. Wilson
  80. A Different Perspective | Niki’s Thoughts
  81. DP Weekly writing challenge- The morning meet of Mr Carrier bag and bag lady. |
  82. Kick ‘er ‘ead in! – Weekly Writing Challenge | alienorajt
  83. Weekly Writing Challenge: Leave Your Shoes at the Door | Alizzze
  84. Fiction: The Typewriter |
  85. Going for the Kill (# 7) | Rolbos ©
  86. Leave your shoes at the door | elizabeth milligan
  87. Weekly Writing Challenge: Leave Your Shoes at the Door | jwdwrites
  88. I lost my virginity in ugly underwear. Con’t… | bethanyah
  89. I’ve Stopped; They’re Still Trying | Ever Upward
  90. Stuff. — Is It a Mess? Or a Memory? Two Views of Socks, Dishes, Toys and Shoes » MommyVerbs
  91. Social Work Topics: Perspective | Welcome to Social Work
  92. Weekly Writing Challenge: Leave Your Shoes at the Door | Maranda Guerriero
  93. The Cafeteria | Lewis Cave
  94. She Says, He Says | pleaseleaveareply
  95. Leave Your Shoes at the Door | bottleandink
  96. Weekly Writing Challenge : Leave your Shoes at the Door – Me, Instructor and that Man! | simplyvegetarian777
  97. Reflections and Nightmares- Irene A Waters (writer and memoirist)

Weightless Flying Apples

Tonight I was making homemade soup for a friend of mine.   She currently has some strict diet requirements, as well as some activity limitations, so some of us are taking turns making soup.   Tonight’s soup is an organic squash, apple and ginger soup made with bone broth and unsweetened almond milk.

I started by paring the carnival squash.  (I had to look up the word paring the other day when I was making baked apples.  I always called it ‘peeling’. )   Do you realize how tough the outside of this type of squash is?  My friend called the peels ‘finger nails’.  Very fitting, as they are just like those fake nails you glue to your own finger nails.

It took me quite awhile to pare this squash.  (The word still sounds funny.  Peel the squash?).    Finally, all done.  I chopped the squash into little chunks and put it in the pot to cook it down.   Time to pare the apples.  (Sounds better with apples.)

I grab the first apple and start paring it with the knife.  I about flung it across the room!  Wow!  The knife just glides along like the apple is a weightless, hollow form of air.  I laughed out loud.  Can you imagine if I pared the apples first?  The squash would seem twice as hard and stubborn.

How do we even find these precious moments of reflection if not for being open to opportunities.   If I had been making this soup for me and mine, I would have probably bought a frozen brick of squash already pared and cooked down.  I may have even bought applesauce.   Anymore, fast and easy is the way I do it.

However, tonight was different.   Sure I fussed to myself about being busy and tired.    I’ll admit it.  Sometimes I just don’t want to go the extra mile or listen to that still small voice.  Yet, I’ve learned that in the long run, in the big picture, its really a good idea to fight the flesh and follow the spirit.  Tonight was full of fun rewards.

I can now say that I tackled a carnival squash and won.  I can say ‘yes’ I have experienced the chore of paring a squash and flinging ‘finger nails’ all over the kitchen.  I can smile at the reward of paring apples in the aftermath and having that process seem like a stroll on the beach.   I can say that I have made another homemade soup.   It tastes great by the way.

These are all perks only known to me.  These aren’t the ‘kudos’ or ‘thank yous’.   They certainly aren’t the bennies you get when you see the joy or appreciation on the recipient’s face.  No, these are the little things you didn’t expect that you only catch if you are paying attention.

Lunch at the Ranch – Rodeo

My post for Day 7 of the Lunch Writing Challenge from The Daily Press at WordPress.Com.  This is my last post in this series.  I hope you have enjoyed them.

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It’s 6:45 PM and the rodeo is about to start.  We are waiting for our bacon cheeseburgers and onion rings.   You can hear the announcer in the rodeo arena giving the commentary of the last little calf rider.   Then I hear “Jeny”.   Our order is ready.   I immediately throw away the onions and tomatoes and sweet pickles.  Who puts sweet pickles on a burger?!  I squirt a little ketchup on the bun and we hurry to our seats in the bleachers.  We are just in time for the singing of our national anthem.

We hold our cowboy hats to our chests and we fix our eyes on the cowgirl on the horse in the middle of the arena who is holding the American flag.   With “O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave …. ”  the cowgirl and horse start to gallop around the arena.  In a flash my attention goes from the arena to two little cowboys in their boots, hats and chaps running down the walkway at the foot of the bleachers in front of me.  They see all the people in the stands with their hats at their chests.  Without missing a step, each little one takes his hat off, holds it to his chest, and he keeps on running.  It was the cutest thing I ever did see.

In addition to watching the amazing athletes – the people and the animals, I enjoy watching the children.   The little 3 to 8 year old cowboys and cowgirls make me smile.   Tonight the little boys are trying to rope their buddies and the little girls are dancing in the stands to the music.   One little girl sneaks a big sip out of her momma’s soda.  Another little boy is dreaming of being a bullrider.   I had to laugh when another little cowboy ran up and grabbed a little girl around the waist.   She looked a little surprised.  I’m not so sure they even knew each other.  Then the one that stole my heart was a father, in his cowboy hat and pro rodeo jacket, bouncing his infant boy on his knee.  That little baby was smiling and clapping.  His dad was so proud.

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Other bloggers have been enjoying the Lunch Writing Challenge as well.   I’ve been including links to their pages with each of my posts.   The links are different with each of my posts.  These are the posts of others that have been created since my last post.  Please visit the Lunch Writing Challenge for entire list.  Be sure to cruise through the comment section for links that didn’t make the pingback list.

  1. sweet pork and sky | life and loveliness
  2. Zero to Hero DAY 24: VISIT OTHER PARTICIPANTS IN THE NEW EVENT YOU JOINED | Words to the Wise or otherwise just words
  3. Weekly challenge day 6: Bye-bye tourists | helen meikle’s scribblefest
  4. The Rhythm of (My) Life | Wise Blood
  5. Weekly Writing Challenge: Lunch posts day 6 | Reflections and Nightmares- Irene A Waters (writer and memoirist)
  6. Welcome! What’s it all about? | A Bright Now For You
  7. Weekly challenge day 7: Holiday’s end | helen meikle’s scribblefest
  8. Welcome! What’s it all about? | A Bright NOW!
  9. Lunch post 6 and 7 | standinginthestorm
  10. Hot Soup on my Lap | Leena Says
  11. The last Lunch Post | D Lonely Stoner
  12. Weekly writing Challenge: Lunch posts Day 7 | Reflections and Nightmares- Irene A Waters (writer and memoirist)
  13. How Seed Catalog Orders are Born | mariestephensgardening

Lunch at the Ranch – Horses and Mules

My post for Day 6 of the Lunch Writing Challenge.   For those of you new to the series, The Daily Post at WordPress offers weekly challenges.  The January 20th challenge is to write a short(er) post about lunch time experiences and observations.   For extra fun, an additional challenge was included to write a post daily for the week.  My original intention was to just write one.  However, I caught the creative bug and decided to write a Lunch Writing Challenge for each day this week.   Please visit my other posts Day 1-5, and check back tomorrow for the final post in this series.

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Today, with a cup of coffee and heart of fellowship, I spent time with the horses and mules during their brunch.   Saturdays are good for that.  Usually I’m in a rush, feeding them in the dark and then hurrying off to work.

Horses and Mules

Beau, Rose, the two young ones whose names I don’t remember, and the two mules, Foxy and Snickers are in one area.   Rebel and Stormy are in the next pasture.  They are older and at the bottom of the hierarchy, so they have their own space to be able to eat in peace.  Then Angel Baby and Jazzy Faith are in the round pen behind the others.  They are BLM mustangs.  Mother and daughter.   I had to crawl up on the haystack to get a photo with everyone.


“Lunch Time” with the horses and mules is entertaining.   It’s this strange combination of  ‘being in nature’ from the human perspective and an hour long dialog of invitations to get closer and warnings to go away from their perspective.  That’s why I call this a progressive meal.  They are always moving around into and away from each others space.

They appear intimate and peaceful, yet they are constantly tuned in to each other.  I figure their communication is at least 95% body language.   Very subtle body language.   Foot movement, ear movement, head movement, tail movement.  If you aren’t listening, the volume goes up.   More noticeable movements or an audible sound.  By the time they get to pushing and shoving, its a shouting.

They remind me of people sometimes.   Each one with a different personality and role in the hierarchy.   The one that dominates the conversation, the one that is shy.  The two that tease and poke fun at each other.  The one with manners, the one without.  The one that is sweet and the one that is grumpy.   The one that will give up a chair for the newcomer.  The one that won’t move to accommodate.   The one in charge.  The number #2 who wants to be in charge.   The old, the young, the females and the males.  The one who is trained, the one who isn’t.  The one who has traveled.  The one who has never been more than 10 miles from home.   The one who likes people and the one who could care less.   The confident, the fearful, the wounded, the caretaker and so on ….

Even with the similarities, there are differences.   Horses don’t have the manipulations, the complications and the insecurities that people do.   They have a great grasp of simply ‘being’.

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Other bloggers have been enjoying the Lunch Writing Challenge as well.   I’ve been including links to their pages with each of my posts.   The links are different with each of my posts.  These are the posts of others that have been created since my last post.  Please visit the Lunch Writing Challenge for entire list.  Be sure to cruise through the comment section for links that didn’t make the pingback list.

  1. Baldness, Blindness and Burns: The Day Nature’s Elements Attacked Me | A Maniac’s Menagerie of Motley Thoughts
  2. Just Friday | Stories from aside
  3. Weekly Writing Challenge: Lunch Posts – Focused Only on Food | Rose with Thorns
  4. Lunch Posts | D Lonely Stoner
  5. Day 4: The Fast day | Abstractions of Life
  6. TGIF – Evelyne Holingue
  7. Weekly Writing Challenge: Lunch Posts – Friday | Musings
  8. A Re-Telling, or Maybe Not, of Annabel Lee | standinginthestorm
  9. tortilla warmers – ah, how I love them! | the REmissionary
  10. Lunch Post Challenge: Men | CurlyQ
  11. Weekly Writing Challenge: Lunch Posts: When life was black and white. | sky blue with daisies
  12. Lunch Post, Day Five/Weekly Challenge | I’m a Writer, Yes I Am
  13. Weekly Writing Challenge : Lunch posts Day 5 | Reflections and Nightmares- Irene A Waters (writer and memoirist)
  14. Lunch posts | D Lonely Stoner
  15. Reflections on Snacking | Cat Over Clock
  16. Weekly challenge day 5: Night | helen meikle’s scribblefest
  17. What do you know? | Sue’s Trifles
  18. Just a lunch | The Nameless One
  19. Dogs Without Leashes | bethanyah
  20. [Melody #2] | Rob’s Surf Report

Lunch at the Ranch – Halo

My post for Day 5 in the Lunch Writing Challenge of writing a short(er) story about a lunch encounter.

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I’m in a fog.  It seemed I could barely stay focused on my drive home from work.   ‘Stay awake’ is my mantra.   I arrive home safely, go inside and greet the animals.  I grab a few Cheerios out of the bin and a few oyster crackers out of the box.   I don’t even taste them, although I think I truly did eat them.  Don’t know for sure.   I make some oatmeal and sit on the couch.  Halo, my dog, snuggles up behind my back.  I turn on the TV.  Maybe this will help me stay awake through lunch and get my mind off replaying the same loop as I process the chaplaincy calls I made last night and this morning.   I turn on “Castle”.   Fun entertainment.  This episode starts off with the possibility of alien abduction.  My mind wonders.  What a strange concept sitting in my rural home, 1/4 mile off the main road.  Its very quiet.  Actually VERY nice.  I think how do these two concepts even exist in the same place …. peaceful tranquility and nature verses scary alien abduction murder mystery in the city.  I laugh because obviously my mind is completely mush.  I look out the window as a bald eagle flies by.  Is this a confirmation?  A sign?  I laugh out loud.  “Come on, Halo, time for a nap.”

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Latest submissions by other bloggers since my last post.  For the complete list, visit the original Challenge page.

  1. Lunch Post Challenge: Rattled & Hummed | CurlyQ
  2. Weekly challenge day 4: Thinks… | helen meikle’s scribblefest
  3. Taking my writing into a different direction | Words to the Wise or otherwise just words
  4. Not Quite Lunch Poems 3 & 4 | Lightning Bug
  6. The Cupcake Table | Cat Over Clock
  7. Lunch Post 3 part 2 and Lunch Post 4 | standinginthestorm
  8. Weekly Writing Challenge | Thoughts of an INFP
  9. Weekly Writing Challenge: Lunch Posts Day 3 | Reflections and Nightmares- Irene A Waters (writer and memoirist)
  10. Weekly Writing Challenge: Lunch Posts | jennsmidlifecrisis
  11. Little tiny liquid lunch? Don’t mind if I do….! | bagofbuttons
  12. Weekly Writing Challenge: Lunch Posts | Sometimes I think I can write…
  13. DP Weekly challenge – Lunch post – A packet of Quavers and blowing up balloons |
  14. Feeling Sonder at lunch time. | Life. In Light Of Eternity.
  15. The Cigarette Break – Day Three – You Have Some Explaining To Do… | An Upturned Soul
  16. Campus Lunch Vignette | Chasing the Stars
  17. Weekly Writing Challenge: Lunch Posts | medicinalmeadows
  18. No foolin’ this outdoor junkie! [Sheri #2] | Rob’s Surf Report

Lunch at the Ranch – Basecamp

My post for Day 4 in the Lunch Writing Challenge where we are writing short(er) blog entries on our lunchtime experiences.

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I can only imagine what it looks like at home as my furry four-legged companions are watching the door anticipating my lunch time arrival at the ranch.  Not today, however.   Today is lunch with a special group of peers and colleagues at the Basecamp Cafe.   It’s the monthly ministers’ meeting.

I truly look forward to this time.  Who would have guessed, this odd collection of clergy.   Oh, how we enjoy one another’s company.   Of the seven who were there today, two are women.  Two are Catholic.  A Methodist and a Lutheran.  An Assemblies of God and a Christian Missionary Alliance.  Then throw in the non-denominational, home church pastor for good measure.  (That’s me.)

We have such a great time talking about our similarities and differences.   Today I learned a little bit more about the history behind our local Catholic church and how it got it’s name.

It was a blessing to see each one ministering to the other, no signs of one being better or one’s faith tradition being better.   For this hour, we are all on the same, level playing field.  Everyday people.  No fancy titles.  Very interesting individuals. Friends. Teammates.

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Below find several of the most recent entries in the Lunch Writing Challenge by other bloggers (numbers 151-158 if you’re following along).  A complete list can be found on the original contest page.

  1. uhm…could I have 205 more slices of that pie? | the REmissionary
  2. Day 3: My lazy day off. | Abstractions of Life
  3. Weekly Writing Challenge: Lunch Posts – Thursday | Musings
  4. Best Steak Ever -A Story Of Perfection Spellbound ! | Shadows Of The Divine
  5. Lunchtime thoughts | bethanyah
  6. Lunch Post/Day 3 | I’m a Writer, Yes I Am
  7. Fast Food | Overcoming Bloglessness
  8. Did I do the right thing? | The Novice Gardener

Lunch at the Ranch – Running To and Fro

My post for Day 3 of the Lunch Writing Challenge:

My usual lunch begins with clocking out at work.  As soon as I clocked out, I called a friend to check on how his morning went.  The plan was he was supposed to help in birthing a calf.   However, this morning it had been snowing.  Not the best conditions for orchestrating such a procedure.  The mother had a broken leg.  The plan was to save the unborn calf, while putting the mom out of her misery.   I was told it was a success!  Baby doing fine.

Next I went to the UPS store to mail water color paintings.  While my daughter was home from college on Christmas vacation, she created several wonderful paintings.  Now she needs them sent to the school by Monday.   I enter the modest little store, notice the customer service person is busy helping someone, so I wait.  Not a problem.  I’m not in a hurry.  I’m actually very relaxed.   Then another customer comes in, then another and then another.  I watched the store representative get more stressed.  She rushed me along under the pressure.  I am amazed at how quickly I became stressed.  There is a lot of truth to picking up on other people’s energy.   I was picking up on hers.  It was contagious.   Bless her heart.  After I arranged for my daughter’s paintings to be boxed and mailed, I hurried for the car.   My head is spinning.  I handed over my daughter’s priceless original paintings in a packaging frenzy.   All I can do is pray that they get to where they are going safely.

So, I go to the bank to deposit a check.  She said she was glad I added my account number.  Not because it was procedure or protocol or the rules.   It was because she couldn’t read the handwriting that followed “Pay To The Order Of”.  I guess she was relieved she didn’t have to ask me what it said.   That made me smile.   These are the small town moments I enjoy.

I head home, tummy growling.  I turn to take the quick route and realize after I’m already committed to the turn that this road has a lot more snow than the other way.  Oops.  I head to THE HILL.  Nope.  I don’t think I’ll make it.  Looks too slippery.  I take a quick turn to the left on a side street.  Wow.  I haven’t gone this way in a long time.  It’s beautiful!  The scenery!  The snow is deeper, the road has more curves, but the hill has a much better grade.  I drive around through the snow and trees.  It’s lovely and relaxing.  Deep breath.

I pull into my driveway, which is 1/4 mile long.  I come along side the pine trees which look flocked like at a department store at Christmas time.  I laugh.   This has got to be the first time that nature truly resembles flocking from a can.  I stop and take a picture.

I pull into the garage, then go into the house.  There is Halo, my faithful dog.  She’s sitting on the entry way stairs.  She’s so happy to see me.   Here comes the cat.  She has to have her attention too.  I heat up some cold fried chicken and attempt to eat it and pack another package for my daughter.   Fried chicken and packaging tape don’t mix well.

I go out to the store to buy more packaging tape.  I help a friend with her groceries.  Then I visit with another friend who is going through chemo for lung cancer.  We visit and hug.  I go into the store, grab some tape and some chocolate that is on sale.  That will go great in the box with the other school supplies.

Out at the car, I add the chocolate to the box and finish taping it up.  I go over to the post office and mail the package.  Wow.  This is 1/5 the cost of the package I just mailed an hour ago.  Interesting.   I get my mail and head home.

I pull into the garage, then go into the house.  There is Halo, my faithful dog.  She’s lounging at the top of the stairs.  She’s so happy to see me.   Here comes the cat.  She has to have her attention too.  I heat up some more cold fried chicken and … rest.

I’ve enjoyed reading the posts from the other bloggers in this project.  I sure hope you are too.  When I think of all the posts together, each with so many different stories, I’m reminded of this video, Empathy: The Human Connection to Patient Care.   I hope you’ll watch.  Below are the third batch of 50 of over 150 entries of other bloggers, so far.  Visit the Lunch Writing Challenge page for the complete list.

  1. The Cigarette Break – Day One – Thoughts on How I Suck at Relationships with Females | An Upturned Soul
  2. DP Weekly challenge – Lunch post – A bit of mayo please. | Its all about a bit of this and that.
  3. Day 2: The Lunch Box | Abstractions of Life
  4. Weekly Writing Challenge: Memories Lost to Fading | Shawn’s Ramblings
  5. I woke up | In my world
  6. Lunch Posts: Lunch at Rural Hospital | Whispers of a Barefoot Medical Student
  7. Dinner in the shadow of Shabbat. | jenny’s lark
  8. Momentary Observations: Aftermath of a Death | melanielynngriffin
  9. Chimichanga Line « eternal Domnation
  10. Wednesday, why don’t you meet me later? | Stories from aside
  11. DP Post – Lunch Post Challenge | You’re Certain About That – Writing Blog of Steven Erickson
  12. Weekly Writing Challenge: Lunch Posts #2 | imagination
  13. American Breakfast – Evelyne Holingue
  14. Weekly Writing Challenge: Lunch Posts | To Breathe is to Write
  15. It’s Lunch Time…Again | Life’s Unfiltered Ramblings
  16. Elevator Ride, Day 3/Lunch Posts | I’m a Writer, Yes I Am
  17. HELP! I’m eating again and I can’t stop!! | the REmissionary
  18. The Appeal of Made in Vermont | A Really Full Life
  19. Lunch Post #3: Wednesday | Rescued Insanity
  20. Phones | Elements of Thought
  21. “Island Dreaming” | The Novice Gardener
  22. Lunch Post Challenge: Snowshoeing | CurlyQ
  23. Lunch post 3 part 1 | standinginthestorm
  24. Things I Saw At Lunch Today Part 4 | Fish Of Gold
  25. All in an Hour.. | Victoria.K.Gallagher
  26. Lunch, Take 2 | bethanyah
  27. On Any Given Lunch-hour | So Here’s Us…
  28. Dinner it is | Cat Over Clock
  29. Weekly challenge day 3: In the wet | helen meikle’s scribblefest
  30. Lunch Break Day 3: I Want an Iron Man Shirt | Stealing All the Sevens
  31. Weekly Writing Challenge: Lunch post Day 3 | Reflections and Nightmares- Irene A Waters (writer and memoirist)
  32. My First Great Office Robbery | Breezes and Screams
  33. Lunch Post 1- written for the Dp challenge. | Window on my world
  34. Food Court | Intrinsic Musings
  35. The Cigarette Break – Day Two – Looking Backwards to Go Forwards | An Upturned Soul
  36. Lunch time writing challenge | CC
  37. DP Weekly challenge – Lunch Post – Oh my god, Kate is still in love with Kyle! | Its all about a bit of this and that……
  38. Weekly Writing Challenge: Lunch Posts #3 | imagination
  39. It’s noon somewhere – Joy and Woe
  40. 1.23.12 | TheIncaGypsy
  41. Weekly Writing Challenge: Lunch Posts – Wednesday | Musings
  42. Stretchy Haiku Thursday | Stories from aside
  43. Lifelong | Scribblings of a Wandering Mind
  44. Let me tell you about… inspiration [Melody #1] | Rob’s Surf Report
  45. The egotism of doing nice things [Mama #1] | Rob’s Surf Report
  46. Lunch, what?! | Holoholo Girls
  47. Final Semester – Lunch Post | Dandilyonz-4-U
  48. Lunch Post #4: A Moral Dilemma | Rescued Insanity
  49. Lunchtime Poems on Cold Days | The Silver Leaf Journal

Lunch at the Ranch – The Other Side of Paradise

My post for Day Two of the Lunch Writing Challenge
… A Sequel With Hopes of Becoming a Lunch Challenge Mini-Series

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I’m still at home sick.  Yesterday’s sunshine has become a cold gray.  The icy pines no longer look vibrant, but daunting.   Nothing sounds good to eat.  I warm up what is left of yesterday’s soup.   It’s not as great the second time around, which I attribute more to my sour stomach than to the actual soup.  I turn on a movie, Country Strong, that I vaguely remember having watched before.   I like Gwyneth Paltrow and Tim McGraw.  I’m anticipating a warm fuzzy Hallmark type film.  (Straight from the Heart is my favorite. ) However, as the movie progresses, I realize it was much deeper and darker than I had remembered.  It didn’t provide the escape I was looking for.   As a hospital chaplain, moments of escape are valued.

Then I’m rescued.  One of the young people staying at our house showed me his new hair color.  Its a bit darker with blue highlights!  Nice.  I helped him with his ear tunnels.  Today was the first day they could come out since he had them put in.   I’m thankful for the little things.

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During this Lunch Writing Challenge, there have been lots and lots of great entries by other bloggers.  With each of my posts I’m including a portion of the links to other stories.  I hope you’ll check them out.  Below are the second batch of 50.  Visit the Lunch Writing Challenge page for the entire, current list.

  1. Am I the Only One Still Awake on This Airplane? | A Really Full Life
  2. Tuna fish in the morning | classygallie
  3. The Best Lunch | SonWorshiper
  4. Lunch 2 | The Magic Black Book
  5. Plan B | Sue’s Trifles
  6. DP Weekly challenge – Lunch posts – I scrambled the egg dry. | Its all about a bit of this and that.
  7. Do-Si-Doing With The Cat | Musings of a Soul Eclectic
  8. Tasting the Flavour of Friendship! | My Diary
  9. Weekly Writing Challenge – Lunch Posts | The River Mom
  10. Back to the nest | The Colours of Confetti
  11. The Cigarette Break | An Upturned Soul
  12. Tuesday lunch | Stories from aside
  13. Are we Ants | Mainer Chick
  14. Weekly Writing Challenge: Lunch Posts | imagination
  15. Weekly Writing Challenge: Lunch Post | The Ageless Dummy
  16. Observational Skills | Melissa
  17. Lunch Post #2: An Ode to Public Transit | Rescued Insanity
  18. Everyone Deserves a Break – Evelyne Holingue
  19. Naked Lunch Break | the intrinsickness
  20. Eating alone: DPchallenge | Next stop: The End.
  21. Breath | Moments for the journey
  22. Lunch Break, Day 2: Birdcall | Stealing All the Sevens
  23. Lunch Break Challenge The Boring Addition | lordmikle
  24. Lunch, Day 2: I Was Over-served By My Own Husband « there’s this book i’m reading.
  25. Weekly Writing Challenge: Lunch Posts – Tuesday | Musings
  26. 15-60-15 | Be Less Amazing
  27. lunch at 21 | the REmissionary
  28. Lunch…or not. | bethanyah
  29. Lunch 2, Weekly Writing Challenge | standinginthestorm
  30. Out of the Cold | Eyes Through The Glass – A Blog About Asperger’s
  31. Weekly Writing Challenge: Lunch Posts | Basically Beyond Basic
  32. The Sweet Part of Life | TheIncaGypsy
  33. the mighty wings have fallen | Musings of a Random Mind
  34. Lunch at Lasalle | wickedinbeaufort
  35. Not Quite Lunch Poems 1 | Lightning Bug
  36. No Lunch; A Poem | Sara McKnight
  37. Day Two, Lunch Posts/Weekly Writing Challenge | I’m a Writer, Yes I Am
  38. Brunch Break | asweetbrightthing
  39. Poetry for Lunch | loveletterstoaghost
  40. Predictions: Beached on July 30, 2014 | Buzzy Beez Giftz
  41. Weekly Challenge: Literary Lunch Break | Life is a Beach!
  42. Does this even merit a title? | oliviare
  43. Weekly challenge day 2: Between the flags | helen meikle’s scribblefest
  44. Lunch on the Train | Cat Over Clock
  45. Food for thought.. | Quintessence Of A Daydreamer
  46. Weekly writing Challenge: Lunch Posts Day 2 | Reflections and Nightmares- Irene A Waters (writer and memoirist)
  47. An unexpected lunch | Butterfly Mind
  48. Lunch these days | Raspberry’s Daydreams
  49. Weekly Writing Challenge : Lunch Posts . A chaos at my place! | simplyvegetarian777

Lunch at the Ranch

Nothing like being inspired to be creative when you are home fighting a ‘bug’.   I strolled out of my room in my pink camo jammies to make some soup.  As I was settling in to watch reruns of NCIS and eat my soup, I checked my Twitter account and saw that Word Press published a writing challenge.  (BIG SMILE)  It’s on writing about your lunch break.   If you want to give it a try, here is the original link: My post for Day One of the Lunch Writing Challenge.

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Challenge accepted, I scan the room.   The dog is asleep to my left and a cat asleep to my right.  I look out the window and the trees are shiny with fog ice.  The horses are casually enjoying their progressive hay breakfast.  A bald eagle soars past the window.  Nope.  Not much happening here.  I think to myself, ‘How will I compete with stories of New York cafes and Jersey boardwalks?’  Then I smile, snuggle into my blanket, and say, ‘Thank God for sick days!’

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Here are some Lunch Challenge contributions from other WP bloggers that you may like.  This list is only a portion of the entire collection.  With each of my entries this week, I’m adding some additional from other bloggers.  Reading through them all reminded me of that film “Life In A Day” … which was amazing.  I think that’s why I enjoyed this challenge so much … we all got to experience a little ‘life in a day’ through meal times around the world.  (In this first group, some have the same title, but they are different stories.  I added them from the comments section of the main challenge page, as I’m not sure that they all made the ‘pingback’ list that follows. )
1. The Best Sandwiches Around …
2. Theres No Peace (A Short Lunch)
3. Graduate Student Lunches
4. Penalty That Working Moms Pay
5. Weekly Challenge: Lunch – thatonegirlsblog3
6. A Chaos At My Place
7. Dinner Time – Writing Challenge – 101challengesin1001days
8. Zoned
9. Monday Lunch Post – giselacarmona
10.  Transcendental Pizza
11. Weekly Writing Challenge: Lunch Posts – theheathercoy
12. The Baon Chronicles: Sugar-free Lemon Chicken
13. Tuna Fish In The Morning
14. Weekly Writing Challenge Lunch Posts – thewonderthoughts
15. Weekly Writing Challenge: Lunch Post – thunderroadtoglory
16. My First Great Office Robbery
17. Breath
18. Weekly Writing Challenge: Lunch Posts | MythRider

Below are the first 50 entries in the pingbacks and trackbacks list.

  1. Lunch | The Magic Black Book
  2. Random Bits of Conversation Overheard Over Time | I’m a Writer, Yes I Am
  3. Weekly Writing Challenge: Lunch Posts | Finding Life
  4. My Darling | Broken Light: A Photography Collective
  5. DP Challenge Weekly Writing Challenge: Staring Off Into Space | Sabethville
  6. A veteran’s fondest memory | From One Crazy Life To Another
  7. Knowledge Insults My Intelligence | Bumblepuppies
  8. Weekly Writing Challenge: Lunch Posts | khaula mazhar
  9. Weekly DP Challenge – Lunch posts | Its all about a bit of this and that.
  10. Weekly Writing Challenge: Lunch Posts | The Solidarity Ramblings Of A Wisdom Seeker
  11. Lunch: Fantasy Vs. Reality | Write Through Life
  12. Lunch Day One/Weekly Writing Challenge | standinginthestorm
  13. Blue Monday | Stories from aside
  14. Today I’ll defer to the dog | Life is Unfolding
  15. Lunch, Day 1: Too Quiet « there’s this book i’m reading.
  16. Lunch Break, Day 1: The Distant Banana | Stealing All the Sevens
  17. DPchallenge: Lunch break…or not | Mindful Digressions
  18. Weekly Writing Challenge: Lunch Post | lifethoughtenergy
  19. Daily Post Challenge: Lunch Posts | Flooding August
  20. Lunchtime | Living and Lovin
  21. lunch, anyone? | the REmissionary
  22. Free Time? | The Backwords
  23. Break Time Blogging | Lyme. Autism. Alzheimer. Oh my!
  24. Lunch Post #1: Purple Scholars | Rescued Insanity
  25. An Innocent Affair | living my life
  26. Weekly Writing Challenge: Lunch Posts – Monday | Musings
  27. Google + | Happy Sushi Belly
  28. Lunch Post | Heart Soul and Mind
  29. Lunch Time. | Babbleogue
  30. Lunch on Martin Luther King Day – Evelyne Holingue
  31. Lack of dialogue | Never Stationary
  32. Daily Prompt: The Luckiest People | A Room of One’s Own
  33. Weekly Writing Challenge: Lunch | Picayune Pieces
  34. The Diner Lunch | Harmless Propaganda
  35. Weekly Writing Challenge: Lunch Posts | UBeCute – Follow the child inside of you…
  36. The Writer’s Lunch – Weekly Writing Challenge: Lunch Posts | I am S(t)ri…
  37. Lunch Posts (Weekly Writing Challenge) | Icezine
  38. All the Coolest | The Seeker’s Dungeon
  40. Lunch With the Birds | Cat Over Clock
  41. Weekly Writing Challenge: Midnight Shift | perksofacharlie
  42. Weekly Writing Challenge: Lunch Posts | A mom’s blog
  43. It’s a race! | Quintessence Of A Daydreamer
  44. Weekly challenge: Beach at noon | helen meikle’s scribblefest
  45. Weekly Writing Challenge: Lunch Posts Day 1 | Reflections and Nightmares- Irene A Waters (writer and memoirist)
  46. Day 1: 9am – waiting. | Abstractions of Life
  47. Sing a Song for Sixpence | litadoolan
  48. Weekly Writing Challenge: Lunch Posts | The Wandering Poet
  49. Weekly Writing Challenge – Lunch Posts | Joe’s Musings

See the complete list on Lunch Writing Challenge page listed under Trackbacks & Pingbacks.   Also come back and visit this blog, Running Brook Reflections, as we’re accepting the week long Lunch challenge.

What?! People Run Away From Pioneers?

I’m reading a book called, “Influencer: The New Science of Leading Change”, by Grenny, Patterson, Maxfield, McMillan and Switzler.   (Second Edition. 2013) It’s an awesome book and I highly recommend it, although some of the insights are … well … thought provoking.

I’m in a chapter where the authors are sharing the story of Dr. Everett Rogers and his contribution to influence theory.  Dr. Everett’s findings, as they are told in this book, are interesting to say the least.  Yet, they make sense, too.  He found that a key to promoting change is connecting with people who are “socially connected and respected”.  He called these smart people, who are open to change AND part of the respected connected, “opinion leaders”.    Apparently, they make up a very small percentage of the population and they are not to be confused with ‘innovators’ who are ALSO the few, the smart and the open minded – they just lack positive relationship with the community.

His work, as it has been shared through the book, strongly suggests that we AVOID the ‘innovators’ and seek the ‘opinion leaders’.   Why?  Because the vast majority of the population will follow the respected connected leaders with new ideas, but they will flee from the ones with the new ideas that are not in relationship with the community.

In the many years I’ve been in ministry, I have heard this ‘relationship’ word over and over and over.  Emphasis on relationship instead of religion.  Check. Emphasis on relationship as the next step in reconciliation, after restoration.  Check. Emphasis on relationship in contextual, cross-cultural ministry.  Check. Emphasis on relationship with local ministers.  Check.

However, I don’t think I truly understood the role of relationship in influencing change in my local community like I do today after reading this chapter.   I am a woman minister involved in out-of-the-box church methodologies and incorporating culture into faith practices in a local community that is predominately non-indigenous.   I don’t exactly fit in with my local peers.

Which one am I?   When I come along side an idea, am I drawing others to follow or am I scaring them off?  A good question that we should probably ask of ourselves and the Lord on a regular basis.

Over the years, our financial support has dropped off significantly.  I attribute the change, in part, to our first Convocation of Eagles, which was hugely successful.  Yet, it was also a defining moment.  It was when we publicly ‘chose sides’ in a controversial subject.    On the other hand, I was recently appointed to a new role of leadership in our community at the recommendation of a peer.

Is it possible to be an ‘opinion leader’ in one circle of influence and an ‘innovator’ in another?   How do we choose which is the more important role?  Can we be part of more than one community?  Can we be connected and respected in more than one community?

It was recently brought to my attention that after 15-20 years of contextual ministry, there are still many hurdles in spreading the message and positively influencing change.  I find myself pondering this theory of influence even more.  I’m also looking at a fresh look at Scripture in this context.

What does the Word offer as instruction for being a pioneer and changing community perspective?  I am looking forward to the study!