Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Book Snob.

Alright, I confess. I can be a bit of a book snob, and I'm not at all proud of it.

To a certain extent, it's been useful - there are much better things I can think of to do with my time than read a bad book. On the other hand, I'm sure I've skipped some pretty decent, thought-provoking books because they didn't seem to fit the bill of a good book to me (particularly novel-wise). I don't typically just judge a book by its cover (unless it's shelved in the Romance section :-p)... a lot more usually goes into choosing (or not choosing) a book.

Right now, though, one aspect of my book-snobbery is a bit frustrating to me.

You see, I have to read The Shack (Wm P. Young) for a class this semester. The thing is, I'm not really thrown off by the whole theological monkey-business that I've heard about it, or even the apparent "bad writing." Some people whose opinions I trust have found it to be thought-provoking, and I'm betting it will be. What throws me off is the scads of people who flocked to buy the book sometime last year (well, more like a year and a half...) just because it was the latest, greatest thing. Every time I look at the book, I cringe in mild annoyance at one person after another after another coming into the store to ask after it, not having the slightest clue what it was even about. And being quite rude while they were at it. For this reason, it kind of fits in the same category to me as the Twilight Series, anything by Nicholas Sparks and (for the longest time but not anymore) Harry Potter, to name a few.* For now, I have to put these adverse reactions aside and try to read The Shack with an open mind. Who knows? Maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised.

So, my question for you (likely few) readers of my wramblings:**

What books have I probably missed out on as a result of all this silliness?

- - - - - - -

*I mean no offense to my friends that have read and enjoyed any of these books. I've been challenged lately to evaluate my reactions to these books and where the heck they're coming from.
**Intentional misspelling... seems an apt description of the combination of wrestling & rambling that happens here.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


i can be...
a wreck.

i can
& action
for even the slightest
kernel of "truth"
about who i am.

once found,
i take it as the whole
and build my day upon it

pebble by pebble
i have buried myself,

a martyr to my own mistakes.

(E. Rand, September 2009)

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009


It just occurred to me yesterday that I've had this blog going for about three and a half years... happy 3.5th blirthday to me. Haha.

I did an inventory of the tags/labels and decided that they were a little out of hand. As a result, I've gone through & tweaked the labels on every single last post. So... now the tags are a little less crazy.

It was really interesting to take at least a brief look at all the blog posts I've ever written. Some of them are just plain silly. Yeah, I get that way sometimes. Alright, most of the time.

Some things I've recognized (perhaps again):
- Christ and community are an integral part of my life.
- I wrestle with truth & untruth, with God and with my heart regularly.
- I have a creative heart.
- I have a quirky sense of humor.
- I love to run, bike & just be outside. Oh, and reading good books.
- I want to, and am/do imperfectly... know and be known.
- God is bringing me to life.

Top Tags:
- silly (32)
- photos (25)
- creativity (22)
- community (22)
- good books (17)
- ramblings (17)
- wrestling (17)

I'm not sure very many people read these posts, but I will continue to write them. After all, this is about a journey that ain't stoppin' anytime soon...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


hint of fall at end of summer,
hint of summer in midst of spring

welcome change of something other
gives me hope for better things

'cause i've been stuck in ruts and gutters
for longer than i care to say

but i know that a time is coming
when all these things will be
washed away...

this isn't to say that i'm not trying
or wrestling it out for all i'm worth

but more to say that i've been rescued
by One who knew me before my birth

hint of fall at end of summer,
hint of summer in midst of spring

welcome change of something other
calls me to a life that sings

(E.Rand, September 2009)

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Strange Poetry

Strange poetry
creeps around corners
and follows me with stealth
and ease.

It whispers in the steady hum
of an underground train,
as its rhythms reveal
all the loose places
on tired bodies.

It sings
accompanied by a symphony
of take-off
and eventual landing.

It shouts
as weary travellers
remove their inhibitions
and return
to woodsmen roots.

It beckons,
invites me to listen
for the distant echoes of Creation
and join in.

(E.Rand, August 2009)

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Friday, September 18, 2009




and yet,
my corner is dim...
my bones, rattling.
my muscles, tense.
my companions, just an arm's length
but a thousand miles away.

and You...


please open my eyes
and rescue me.

(E. Rand, September 2009)

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Note: Who knew that this poem, written last Tuesday, would end up describing this whole week? Prayers can be answered in the strangest ways...

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Yeah, buddy...

Jeromie and I NAILED our long run this morning.

I was a bit nervous about it... I attempted 10 miles a few weeks ago & had to stop at 8 due to unforseen circumstances. Also, this is the first time in about 10 years that I've tried to run that far. It was Jeromie's first time ever.

We drove over to a local bike trail - the High Line Canal Trail - walked a little, stretched just briefly, and took off. We agreed yesterday that we'd think of the run as 5+5 (not 10!) and did just that.

A little giddy at mile 5, I decided to hit the "reset" button. :-) I told Jeromie good night, yanked on my right ear, and then started chattering about this crazy dream I'd had the night before... that I'd just run 5 miles, but coming from the other direction. Gosh, that would make for a tiring 5 mile run, wouldn't it... dreaming about it, then doing it. It was kind of fun to count the mile markers on the way back & think of it as only having run a mile, mile & a half, two...

Yeah, silly... I know.

Just over a month until the Denver 5+5+5k (and 10+10+10k).

I'm pretty sure we can nail that one too...

Friday, September 11, 2009

Project Sparrow on Etsy

Since community is such a huge part of my life and the birth of Fishes N' Loaves and Project Sparrow, I wanted to provide those around me with an opportunity to participate as well.

A collection of sparrows will be posted on Etsy in order to share the project and also to raise money for its completion. Proceeds from these little sparrows will go toward the making of more to give away, and any additional funds will go to support Fishes N' Loaves.

The sparrows are intended to be a tangible reminder - not just for those of us who are noticeably poor and broken, but for everyone. In sharing this project in the wider community, it is my hope that the sparrows will be a link and a call to prayer, relationship, and action.

Visit to view the sparrows available in my shop. If none are available, send me a message on facebook or through Etsy to request one (or several)!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Artist Statement: Project Sparrow

This project is an extension of another one, a set entitled "His Eye Is on the Sparrow"; it does not stand alone, and this is why...

God has used several gatherings of his larger church as he has moved in my life to bring about major growth and change. These gatherings are each a little different from the other. There's Downtown Community Fellowship (or DCF) - a gathering of mostly college students in Clemson, SC. There's "Little Church" in Littleton, CO - a group who comes together each week to work out what it means to be led by the Holy Spirit. There's Wellspring Anglican Church in Englewood, CO - a body of believers from many different walks of life who have a heart to engage their community in real ways. Finally, there's Fishes N' Loaves.

Fishes N' Loaves is a gathering of broken people who want to love others in word and action because of the way that Jesus has loved and rescued us. We meet each week in a local park in Englewood to share a meal, some music, some fun, our life stories, and the good news about what Jesus has done. A lot of the people who participate each week, leaders included, have histories (and even realities) of addiction, homelessness and heartache, but this is not the point. The point of this gathering is to share the love of Christ regardless of past or present, to break down walls, and to give and receive as equals.

The little sparrows were created with this amazing group in mind: to give God the glory for our very existence and to pass along the message that we are never too small or too broken to receive the love of the Father which has given us by his Son, Jesus.

My hope is to create a collection of these little sparrows and to give them away one Sunday this fall. If you would like to support this project, please contact me.

Artist: Elizabeth Rand
Media: Acrylic paint & paper on canvas

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Artist Statement: "His Eye is on the Sparrow"

The inspiration behind this work comes from two places: Scripture and my experience of community. In two places in the book of Matthew, Jesus points to "the birds of the air" (6:26) and the sparrows (10:29-31) as he speaks of the way in which God cares for his people. In chapters 5-7, he speaks to the crowd gathered on the mountainside about many things, including worry. Jesus instructs the crowd to look to the birds and the flowers, to observe how God cares for them, and to consider how much more God will care for them, his listeners. When it comes down to it, he tells them (and us!) to "seek first [God's] kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well" (Mt. 6:33). In these verses, the birds are a constant and visible reminder to me of how God calls us to actively seek him and trust him.

In chapter 10 of Matthew, Jesus sends out his twelve disciples with some harrowing instructions. He tells them that the way will be difficult - they will be hated by some, arrested by others, and even persecuted and killed. But he also tells them not to be afraid of the things of this world... they don't change God's character or his heart for his children.

So our call is to seek God and to trust him even when our circumstances seem to say otherwise... and we have not been called alone! We've been made a part of God's family through his son, Jesus. This family is not just some nebulous concept either, but rather something we can see and touch and wrestle with as we join together as a church. To quote my friend Stuart Hayes (and many others throughout history), "the church is not a building." It's the body of Christ gathered together - locally and around the world.

The birds are each sparrows, as a reminder of how God cares for his children. Together, they point to the community that God has given us in the church. Each bird is a little different, too, because God has lovingly created each of us to uniquely portray a piece of his heart and his story.

Artist: Elizabeth Rand
Media: Acrylic paint & paper on canvas

Monday, September 07, 2009

Before we begin...

Sooooo... over the next few days, I will begin sharing a creative project that has been coming to life over the past month or so. Before sharing it, though, I figured I would give a little bit of the context.

Jeromie & I have had a pretty low-key summer - a trip to Alabama to see Danielle graduate, one online class each (though mine crammed the entirety of church history into 10 weeks), a little hiking, some visits from family, a few trips to Nebraska, and a whooooooooooooooole lot of cook-outs! There's always a lot more to life than events though, and I can attest to the fact that learning is not constrained to classes.

This year, at least thus far for me, has been one of listening, and with more than just my ears. I've been trying to figure out what it means to listen with my heart - to be present to God, my husband, myself and my community. I had hoped that this listening would create space for creativity, and I got impatient when that didn't happen in my time frame (last semester).

I've learned that such listening comes first. And the mess & mercy of community in Christ. Oh, and a time of rest helps. :-)

These things came together a month or so ago, and I'd like to share the result with you...

(but you'll have to come back tomorrow!)

* * * * * * *

Some links to check out in the meantime:
- A challenge: ("Do Something Brave" @ Evening Soultide)
- A community or two: (Wellspring Church & Fishes N' Loaves)


Body in morning
fumbles for coffee and keys -
urban habits in a rural skin -
considers time found,
time lost,
and listens as nature procures
a home-made breakfast.

Body in morning
finds old roads etched into her bones,
old trails whispering their welcome.

Refusing to burn the day with regret,
those bones strike out for home
and find themselves in a world of green,
of galax and mountain laurel -
the faint smell of Christmas.

Water and soul rise,
journey upward in a haze of remembering,
then descend in joyous song
on ancient boulevards
of stone and psalm.

(E.Rand, August 2009)

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