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Showing posts from 2007

Thankful openess

During the Christmas season I was asked and asked my friends and family that all time material based question, "What do you want for Christmas?" While it is a joy to receive thoughtful gifts from friends, loved ones and family during this time of year, the number of times that this question is asked makes me wonder, " What are we all searching for?" Saturday afternoon I had the time and opportunity to go to the movies with my family to see, "National Treasure: Book of Secrets." The premise of the film centers on a family's worldwide treasure hunt to find the historical evidence to clear their recently marred name. The story is filled with adventure, excitement, mystery and a great story line that pulls you in. You join in on the adventure, the mystery and search for the treasure that will make everything good again. Movies have a way of taking us out of real life, as do holidays – but the scripture in Matthew 2 remind us of the harsh reality of life

Maybe New Year - always learning

Maybe it's the fact that I'm wrapping up my final assignments for my BA program, maybe it's the fact that New Years is only a few days away, or maybe its the fact that another birthday is swiftly coming to the surface; but I keep pondering the direction of the year to come. So many things that I've always wanted to accomplish will be wrapped up in 2007: My BA, writing and performing music, working in a ministry that I love and get excited about. But I find myself uncomfortable with the idea of officially no longer being a student. I keep thinking about Pittsburgh Seminary's distance program, NNU's online Master's in Missional Leadership degree and possibly the Commissioned Lay Pastor's program though the Presbytery. Again then there is the additional cost of going back again. Anyone have a grant in their pocket that they'd like to give me? Can I swing the pressure of a more dictated study program? Should I jump into the M-div, or take the baby step o

Pictures of Christmas

Christmas Eve holds many picture memories: toddlers wearing brand new footed pajamas staring with excitement at the sparkling tree on Christmas Eve, family and friends sitting close over a holiday meal, baking cookies to place on a special visitor's plate later in the night, gazing out the windows of a cozy Christmas tree lighted living room at the fluffy snowflakes gracefully falling to the cold ground. The pictures in our memories are the lenses that we look though and see the holiday season. These memories help to frame the heart and mind and the perspective that this year's holiday experience will hold. Some of the pictures memories may not be the warm, fuzzy examples of a Currier and Ives Christmas card or a thirty-minute Christmas television special. But our minds hold these internal pictures, both light and dark, as our eyes look to see and capture this advent's addition to our memory banks. So in the perspective of both the light and darkness, what will become our p

New songs and a show just in time for Christmas

So I spent today working on some house hold chores, correspondence and some creative tinkering and recorded 4 demo songs and posted them to my music page on myspace. Please visit and take a listen to my songs and let me know your thoughts. Add me as a friend if you are on myspace as well. Cheers and happy Christmas! Tara Lamont PS. If you are close by stop by at Labyrinth Press Co. on Saturday night at 8pm to see me and my friend James perform. All ages and no cover fee.

A Christmas poem

Thank you for those who are lost and find their way home. Christmas feels better where you are known. Thanks for the chance to give to those who don't have - The things that they need to recover what lasts. Christmas arrives in the hope and the joy of relationships grown - not in shiny new toys. Thank you for moments that we share hand in hand. Knowing in our hearts we are a kindred clan. Thank you for gifts that astound and surprise. The kind that only happen with love to inspire. Christmas arrives with a star in the sky. With God in a manger and a shepherd's soft sigh. Copyright 2007 T. Eastman

Twitter

So my friend Julia has told me about this Twitter ad on for my blog... facebook ...even my cell phone so I can "twitter" about what I'm up to moment to moment. I'll give it a try as long as I get to have coffee with her more often. (Hint, hint - I'll be at the Lab later ok?). Yours twitterly, Tara

How did my daughter grow so fast?

I read this poem after signing up for a daily email from the Writer's Almanac . It really captures the pivotal moment that our children take one step closer to adulthood and one step away from Mum and Dad. _________________________________________________________________________________ My Daughter at 14, Christmas Dance , 1981 by Maria Mazziotti Gillan Panic in your face, you write questions to ask him. When he arrives, you are serene, your fear unbetrayed. How unlike me you are. After the dance, I see your happiness; he holds your hand. Though you barely speak, your body pulses messages I can read all too well. He kisses you goodnight, his body moving toward yours, and yours responding. I am frightened, guard my tongue for fear my mother will pop out of my mouth. "He is not shy," I say. You giggle, a little girl again, but you tell me he kissed you on the dance floor. "Once?" I ask. "No, a lot." We ride through rain-shining 1 a.m. streets. I bite bac

Seven days and counting

For the past few mornings I've woken to a few repeated statements. "Argh, it's too cold to get out of bed!" and " It's ______ days to Christmas!" Somehow, I feel caught between the excited momentum of the season and the bitter cold that makes me want to hibernate. Do I want to make Christmas cookies or dream about Sugar Plums? Do I want to madly decorate my home with lights and garland or would I prefer to drive around looking at my neighbors efforts? Either way, for the first time in in a very long time, there is the time to consider, plan and re-plan the events of the holiday season. This weekend I will play at my favorite coffee shop on Saturday evening, Sunday we will hold our church Christmas program and lunch, and Christmas Eve I will share a devotional at the candlelight service at 11pm. The few things I have planned are ones that I enjoy greatly! Music, kids and family, and spiritual enrichment are aspects of life that I would put on my necessary

What if?

About a year ago I was completing an internship at Lutheran Social Services for my pastoral counseling course. My internship involved learning the duties associated with ministering in a nursing and long-term care facility, helping with on-site worship services and visiting residents with various needs and health issues. One of the most challenging aspects of visitation was always keeping to the present. My mentor carefully chose the residents for me to visit. Some people I had been assigned were quite alert. One lady was quite young and was there to recuperate from a badly broken leg. Several people on my list were recipients of butterfly magnets that were fixed to the metal nameplate on their room doors. The butterfly magnets were given to residents that were in the process of dying. They were presented to the resident in order to give an opportunity for the ministry staff to discuss important spiritual matters concerning rebirth and renewal in heaven. The butterfly magnets also help

Tipsy

Tipsy So much seems to have fallen In my lap. So much change that needs to Happen - and fast. So much progress that is invisible to see. So much of what I do is what if, and what could be. Visions I see seem invisible to others. Visions I see are just impossible to recover. Visions of beauty, community and faith – Slipping through my hands at increasing rates. So much life In days and in lores. So much effort and input and chores. So much is uncertain and teetering me. Visions I see are the opposite of What eyes witness and what ears document. Visions of restoration, recreation and right. It all will happen, but rush it and maybe not might. Rushing deters the dreams of what could be and what should be with love. Slow down to nurture, to tend to too - with patient gardener's gloves. The garden I tend isn't filled with hoes and carts. The garden I work in is the unpredictable human heart. Copyright T.L. Eastman 2007

No more December rush

My last twelve Advent and Christmas seasons have been full of rush and scurrying. Partially because either my husband or I had been employed by a social service agency that provides a great deal of services to the needy this time of year and partially because the mood and effect of "rush" seems to worm its way into life unannounced. I've repeatedly commented to friends and family this year, especially since Thanksgiving was just a day ago, that... "It just doesn't feel like the holidays to me - I'm not stressed or frazzled!". Since when do the words "stressed" and "frazzled" have to be directly connected to the holiday season? The earliest coining of the words "Black Friday" in connection to the official beginning to Christmas shopping the day after Thanksgiving reaches back to the year 1970 in Philadelphia, PA. "Philadelphia police and bus drivers call it "Black Friday" - that day each year between Th

Lost and Buried Treasure

Pessimism keeps people trapped in a life where everything is always the same, people never change and daily life is drudgery. Optimism allows for the possibility of surprise, people are full of possibility and life is an adventure. These twos worlds are ones we all live in. Some people are naturally more one or the other; in fact we all have tendencies to either be a glass half full or a glass half empty kind of person. In the book of Luke we have seen the Samaritan woman at the well become the messenger of good news to her entire community, the blind faith of the Roman Centurion who trusted in Jesus' word to heal his ill servant, a sinful woman anointing Jesus with expensive perfume and washing his feet with her tears of gratitude and drying them with her hair, demon possessed men are freed from their torment, children are raised from the dead, and Jesus feed thousands with the lunch of one small boy. Over and over again Jesus takes the meek, unwanted, outcast and small things and

Invisible Ink

I wonder why life can't be written in invisible ink – So all the errors wouldn't show up in indelible ink. Questions unasked, and lessons unlearned If I couldn't see them would I be so concerned? White washing fences only covers decay. White washing fences only divides us today. White washing fences won't fool me at all. White washed fences make faulty walls. I wish my days would be written in invisible ink – Too many dishes to wash in the sink. To many chores and to many lures. If I could ignore them I'd have learned so much more. White washing fences only covers decay. White washing fences only divides us today. White washing fences won't fool me at all. White washed fences make creaky walls. I know my life is written in invisible ink – So much talking – I need to learn to listen – to think. So much worry over this and over that – If I could let go it would be such a snap. White washing fences only covers decay. White washing fences only divides us today. Whit

Hannah's Hope Flier!

I hope you all can make it to this event next weekend! Let me know if you have any questions or would like to help. Tara

Is this me?

You Are 4: The Individualist You are sensitive and intuitive, with others and yourself. You are creative and dreamy... plus dramatic and unpredictable. You're emotionally honest, real, and easily hurt. Totally expressive, others always know exactly how you feel. At Your Best: You are inspired, artistic, and introspective. You know what you're thinking, and you can communicate it well. At Your Worst: You are melancholy, alienated, and withdrawn. Your Fixation: Envy Your Primary Fear: To have no identity Your Primary Desire: To find yourself Other Number 4's: Alanis Morisette, Johnny Depp, J.D. Salinger, Jim Morrison, and Anne Rice. What Number Are You?

It all come's out in the wash...

Would of, should of wish I could of. Wanting hindsight now. Mis-match, dispatch. Relationship re-hash. Should have learned by now. For all the chime and consideration, for all the time and tears... It all comes out in the wash, my friend, and what don't disappears. Let it go, don't let it muddy the laundry. Let it go don't let it bleed. Let it go, for all the blunder. Let it go and let it flee. Trapping, trying so much striving. Wanting to lead the plow. People, problems you can solve em', Watson has nothin' on you now. For all the rhyme and reiteration, for all the chimes and cheers... It all comes out in the wash, my friend, and what won't colors years. Let it go, don't let it bleach the laundry. Let it go, don't let it fade. Let it go, to all the thunder. let it go and let it rage. Grief and forgiving for that old living. Coming back to life again. Past regrets only fix is not repeating again. For all the tears and transportation, for all the peers an

Coffee time on Friday. Caffine anyone?

Labyrinth Press Company helped me connect with Rider's Cup in Lakewood NY. I will be planning a storytelling and song set for this Friday between the hours of 8 and 10pm. This is an all age venue and there is no cover. Stop by the Lab first and say hi to my friends - then stop over to the Rider's Cup to see the set.Hope to see you there! Thanks for the support, Tara Lamont

VOTE for 4023 - Katie

Please take and minute and vote for my friend Katie for this Levis photo contest! Thanks, Tara Her pin number for her photo is 4023 - she is currently in 2nd place and only one week to win.

What is love to the core?

As a small child I recall many sermons and songs in church that would draw my attention to the greatness and wonder of God. I loved the warmth and love I experienced sitting in the colorful shadow of the stained glass windows. My childlike desire to be close to God seemed to be instinctual. There was a strong connection and innocent fascination with all things light and good. This intensity of experiencing God's love and presence was a gift that has carried me to this day. People are searching for peace, love and understanding in this world. Elvis Costello sings a song with the title, " What's so funny about peace, Love and understanding." The lyrics say: As I walk through This wicked world Searchin' for light in the darkness of insanity. I ask myself Is all hope lost? Is there only pain and hatred, and misery? And each time I feel like this inside, There's one thing I wanna know: What's so funny 'bout peace love & understanding? Ohhhh What's

Labyrinth Coffee Press

Last Friday evening some friends and I had the opportunity to play at the Labyrinth Press Company . It's a lovely "green" business located on 4th Street in Jamestown NY. Gahu Drum Ensemble opened the music for the night, with Flood the Shoreline sandwiched in the middle of the line up. We were pleased to have so many friends and family come out for the evening. Thanks for supporting us and Jeff's local business! It was great to share music with a listening audience that really seemed attentive to what was being said. Thanks to Banu , I had some fliers with the Rublev's Icon and lyrics form my song Eurcharist to hand out. People seemed to really like having something to take home! I pray that they understood the meaning because that is what this is all about - sharing Christ's message with the world around us. May that be the result of all our efforts. Peace, Tara Lamont

WPC websiteis up and running!

I am happy to announce that the Westminster Presbyterian Church Community web site is up and running. If you'd like to take a look at www.wpccommunity.org here is the link WPC Community Suggestions - ideas - encouragement? I'd like to hear from you. There is more work to go, but I'm happy with it so far. Thanks for the support! Tara

Hannah's Day Benefit

I visited a little girl Hanna @ Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh this week and thought on the way home how I'd like to help her and her family out... So here's an idea. Would you be interested in helping or playing for an all ages combo Benefit / Blood Drive in honor of Hanna on September 15th? The set times for playing would be probably around noon to 6pm on that Saturday. Location is still up in the air at present, ( looking for an all age and donated sound and hall for the event) but will be in the Jamestown Lakewood area. I'm partnering with the Red Cross on this one to build awareness for the need of blood for children/adults dealing with cancer. Let me know if you are interested in helping with: Publicity Food donations and hospitality Donating blood -(In NY State minors under 17 years old needs written parental permission to donate blood.) Performance: Musicians willing to donate their time and music for the day Clean up Thanks for the help! Tara

Kyla found

Good News! A police officer Monday found a missing 12-year-old girl who ran away last week. Kyla Rose Hall was found near a store at the Oceanfront after authorities got a tip, according to Cameron Hall, the girl's father, and police. Cameron Hall said he was grateful for the help of many people from Virginia Beach who joined in the search, handed out fliers and prayed for his daughter's safe return. He had said Kyla is suffering from mental problems and was off her medication. She recently moved to the Beach. Thanks for the prayers. Tara

Missing friend - please pass on and repost

Below are photos and information concerning a grand daugher of a close friend of mine.Please contact me if you have and questions. Please be in prayer for Kyla and her family and pass on the information as you are able. In graditude, Tara MISSING CHILD $5000 REWARD For information leading to the safe return of Kyla Kyla Rose Hall Last Seen: August 23, 2007 Time 12:30 AM Last Location: Virginia Beach, VA 23456 Date of birth: November 26, 1994 Height: 5’ 2" Hair Color: Blonde Weight: 105 lbs. Eye Color: Hazel Gender: Female Race: White If you have any information on this child, please contact: Virginia Beach Police #: (757) 385-5000 or Missing Children of Minnesota (800)-RUN-YELL Additional Information: (800-786-9355) Kyla is 12 years old, raped, pregnant, last seen wearing white pants and a black t-shirt. She might have a red suitcase on wheels. She is off her regular medications, and has severe morning sickness, so her health is a major concern. We have only lived in the ar

Swimming with no land in sight

When she looked ahead, Florence Chadwick saw nothing but a solid wall of fog. Her body was numb. She had been swimming for nearly sixteen hours. Already she was the first woman to swim the English Channel in both directions. Now, at age 34, her goal was to become the first woman to swim from Catalina Island to the California coast. On that Fourth of July morning in 1952, the sea was like an ice bath and the fog was so dense she could hardly see her support boats. Sharks cruised toward her lone figure, only to be driven away by rifle shots. Against the frigid grip of the sea, she struggled on - hour after hour - while millions watched on national television. Alongside Florence in one of the boats, her mother and her trainer offered encouragement. They told her it wasn't much farther. But all she could see was fog. They urged her not to quit. She never had . . . until then. With only a half mile to go, she asked to be pulled out. Still thawing her chilled body several hours later, sh

Nice Girl Blogger Awards...hand em out baby!

1. Mary is at http://ltuande.blogspot.com/ - Life the Universe and Everything. Mary is my first real contact/friend from blog world and I love how we share in writing and life even thought we are thousands of miles apart. Cheers to you Mary! 2. Pink sneakers is at http://manypinksneakers.blogspot.com/ - and I met first and became blogging friends later after sharing in our love of all things Pittsburgh! Creative commentary on life and honestly the best laugh ever. Nice Girl - yien's shure is! 3.Visit Claire at http://countrymouseclaire.blogspot.com/ - She and I have not yet met in person, as that giant ocean seems to get in the way here and there. But I love her most recent project called: " Stupid Girls Project". Not that it's stupid or that she is, but it is a call to live life to the fullest! Nice Girl Award bestowed! 4. Meet Banu at http://zoelife-with-jesus.blogspot.com/ - she and I work together in a presbemerging - creative - challenging- and growing churc

Presbymergent grants?

Here is a repost from the Presbymergent website. If you have any suggestions in writing such a grant let me know as this is new to me. Here's to trying! Tara Sherry Britton in the NCD department in Louisville has asked us to share the following exciting news with all our presbymergent friends: The director of Evangelism has just found $20,000 in his budget designated for emergent churches. He would like to receive proposals for the use of the funds. Following are some additional details: * Funding is open to both churches and organizations as long as they are “PCUSA based.” * Deadline for submission of proposals is October 15th, and the award would be made in November. * They’re looking for a narrative about the program to be funded, the precise amount requested, and the expected outcome. Proposals should be mailed to Sherry Britton, 100 Witherspoon St., Louisville, KY 40202 or emailed to sbritton[at]ctr.pcusa.org or faxed to 502-569-8002.

Artist's Share Event begins this Saturday!

Artist's Share Photography event is this Saturday at the Reg Lenna Studio 2 to 4 pm! The flier is on my profile if you'd like to come and share some of your work! 1. Bring something to share - All photos will be treated equal. If you are planning on having your work displayed via the slide show please send jpegs and explanation of your photo with the image by noon on Friday August 17th! If bringing framed work please email Tara in advance @ eastman_tara@yahoo.com 2. Be sensitive to the 'all age' environment: This is an open all age event, so please keep images and conversation appropriate so that all can participate. 3. Artist's Share is an opportunity to listen as well as talk. Please feel welcome to participate as you feel comfortable. 4. Make yourself at home: Coffee Tea and some snacks will be available thanks to the hospitality group from Westminster Presbyterian Church. Don't be shy! 5. Share your experience with others after the event. We will be holding

Changed Hearts: the great commission

Blatant racism is exposed in a small town here in Louisiana, culminating in the burning of the high school and attempted second-degree murder charges against six students (the “Jena 6″) for a high school fight. The high school in this 85% white town evidently self-segregated, as schools often do, but apparently it became less about choice and more about enforcement because a group of black students found it necessary to ask permission to sit under a tree where white students normally sat. The school administrator told them they were free to sit where they liked, and when they went to the tree the next day; they found three nooses hanging from the branches. Attempted murder and conspiracy charges against a black high school student accused in the December beating of a white student escalating racial tensions were reduced Monday to less serious charges that could mean far less time in prison if he is convicted. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Only You

Only You Only You know what the day is to bring. Only You know how my heart longs to sing. Only You know the tears I've cried. Only You know the times I've lied. Will You change my heart, will You heal my soul. Renew my spirit - Only You know. Help me see when my eyes are blind. Help me truly think with my mind. Help my voice to speak Your words. Help my desire to be for more that this verse. Will You change my heart, will You heal my soul. Renew my spirit - Only You know. Splintered, broken, uncaring and weak - repair everything I've hidden from what others eyes see. You will change my heart, You will heal my soul. You will renew my spirit - that I know. PS. This is a lyric I came across when sorting though my old notebooks today. Let me know what you think. I'll be working on the music next! Tara Tara Eastman 2007 ©

Try not to hurry

In pondering the idea of quiet and not being frantic I came across this quote today and I feel it expresses what I've been trying to say for a long time. "If you want your dream to be, build it slow and surely. Small beginnings, greater ends. Heartfelt work grows purely. If you want to live life free, take your time, go slowly. Do few things, but do them well: simple joys are holy. Day by day, stone by stone, build your sected slowly. Day by day, you'll grow too; you'll know heaven's glory." 'Brother sun, sister moon' Don't wait for the perfect time to go after your dreams - just take a step toward your dreams today.

What were you born to do?

“Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.” This is a well know quote spoken by St. Francis of Assisi founder of the Order of Friars Minor, more commonly know as the Franciscans. What is more important in sharing the gospel: Speaking or doing – Words or actions? Which is appropriate for each situation that comes out of the life of each Christian? Just as St. Francis encourages the living out of the gospel, he acknowledges that the spoken or written word is useful in expressing the gospel. Honestly, talking the talk and walking the walk are aspects that can't be separated in Christian thought and living. Speaking without living like Christ is based on self-reliance and control of others. Trying to live like Christ without speaking about Him can result in living in fear and isolation instead of living in the forgiveness and grace of God. Christian life is a combination of living and speaking – rather like the simple act of breathing. Inhale the teaching and Spirit