Blindness
B-Flat Christian
by becklis66@gmail.com
2y ago
Reading Time: 4 minutes Last September, I heard a story on NPR about an astronomer who was worried about light pollution in the Pittsburgh area.  Diane Turnshek explained that, as a child growing up in New England, she relished viewing a night sky brimming over with stars.  “You could just walk outside and look up and see the Milky Way” (https://www.npr.org/2021/09/16/1037782155/pittsburgh-wants-you-to-see-constellations-when-you-look-up-at-the-night-sky).  Now, Turnshek complains, her students at Carnegie Mellon don’t believe in the Milky Way. “I have to explain ..read more
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Mangers
B-Flat Christian
by becklis66@gmail.com
2y ago
Reading time: 3 min. Is there a place for me? Maybe you liked the childhood game of “Musical Chairs.”  I can tell you that I did not.  I hated the constant circling of the chairs, keeping attuned to the music, waiting for that heart-stopping moment when the music stops and chaos ensues. Children pushing other children out of the way, scrambling to put their butts into a seat before anyone else, laughing and pointing and those who are left standing….and another chair is taken away as another round commences.  Maybe it’s because I’m not competitive, but I ..read more
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Vines
B-Flat Christian
by becklis66@gmail.com
2y ago
I’m what you would call “An Accidental Gardener.”  My family always had a garden in Virginia where I grew up, but I certainly didn’t regard it as fun.  Spending hours beneath the glare of the sun squatting between the red clay rows, pulling off green beans, butter beans, and field peas, was torturous. Afterward, we would sit and watch TV as we endlessly pinched off the ends of the green beans, popped open the jackets of the butter beans, and unzipped the pea pods with our thumbs (though shooting them like BBs WAS fun).  When we moved to Pennsylvania and my children were li ..read more
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Prayer Texting (Prexting?)
B-Flat Christian
by becklis66@gmail.com
2y ago
Reading Time: 3 mins. Most of my friends and family know that I am not a huge fan of technology. I certainly recognize its value as a tool to help me do my work more efficiently, to communicate with others around the world (in this blog, for example), and to discover things I didn’t know about (thanks, Uncle Google).  I also recognize technology’s constant tug on my attention.  As I’m writing this, I am getting several e-mail, text, and Facebook notifications. The constant “pinging” distracts me from what I’m doing, interrupting my wings of thought.  I find mysel ..read more
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The One
B-Flat Christian
by becklis66@gmail.com
3y ago
Reading time: 3 mins. “Just one” of anything isn’t usually a popular thing or state of being for most human beings.  I recently heard that great mournful 70’s song by Three Dog Night, “One Is the Loneliest Number” on my Amazon playlist.  While belting along, I starting thinking about what it means to be “one.” One is a small word, an unassuming word.  It contains an “O” which has a huge, empty space of solitary confinement inside of it.  It can refer to a genderless third person individual—“one should not be alone”—and looky there—“one” is the main buil ..read more
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Thirst
B-Flat Christian
by becklis66@gmail.com
3y ago
Reading time: 3 minutes Yesterday was a chilly good Friday, April 2, so indicative of the knife’s edge that marks the boundary between March and April. Just when you think spring just might be here, with flowers erupting everywhere, birds raising their voices in an operatic chorus, the sun gazing down in splendor, you get a day like yesterday.  It LOOKS like spring, but when you step outside, it FEELS like January—blustery, bright, and bitter cold.  I headed over to my church for a different kind of Good Friday service. Our church was open from noon to 7:00pm, and all were ..read more
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Trail Trial
B-Flat Christian
by becklis66@gmail.com
3y ago
Reading Time: 4 mins. It was a beautiful, crisp afternoon, and once again, I paused and thought: How is it that this is my family? You see, somehow, I managed to marry a man, and bear not one, but TWO children, who are easily classified as “outdoorsy.”  Most of you who know me know that I am NOT outdoorsy.  Yes, I will spend hours outside in my back yard in my garden.  Yes, I will go out to the beach early in the morning and stay out all day long, reading, walking, or simply staring at the ocean. Yes, I walk every day as part of my exercise routine. &nb ..read more
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Kings
B-Flat Christian
by becklis66@gmail.com
3y ago
Isaiah 60: Arise, shine; for your light has come,     and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. 2 For darkness shall cover the earth,     and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you,     and his glory will appear over you. 3 Nations shall come to your light,     and kings to the brightness of your dawn… 6They shall bring gold and frankincense,     and shall proclaim the praise of the Lord. Today is January 6, the day traditionally cele ..read more
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Mary
B-Flat Christian
by becklis66@gmail.com
3y ago
Reading Time: 3 min. Prologue: What am I going to do? What am I going to do? My name is Mary.  I need help.  I guess that’s an understatement.  A baby?  I can just hear the whispers now as I walk into church:   “Look at her.  How can she even walk into church with that belly sticking out?”   “She’s from such a nice family.  How could she treat them this way by doing this?” “Just another pregnant teenager.  You’d think she’d know how to prevent that, but there you have it.” Yes, I’m pregnant.  A ..read more
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Confession
B-Flat Christian
by becklis66@gmail.com
3y ago
After the Call to Confession several weeks ago during our worship service, my husband leaned over to me and said, “That one HURT.”  I nodded and couldn’t answer him because I had tears in my eyes.  This was the prayer (the bold is the congregational response): Holy God, You asked for my hands, that you might use them for your purpose. I gave them for a moment, then withdrew them, for the work was hard. You asked for my mouth to speak out against injustice. I gave you a whisper that I might not be accused.  You asked for my eyes to see the pain of poverty. I closed the ..read more
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