Showing posts from May, 2014

And this is Eternal Life...

This week's blogging the lectionary  (Acts 1:6-14; Psalm 68:1-10, 33-36; 1 Peter 4:12-14, 5:6-11; John 17:1-11) is a poem inspired by the sermon ideas at Working Preache r. And this is eternal life: That we may know God and Christ. I am bread, Warm loaf, heavenly aroma, Broken and shared Enough for all Abundance to spare And this is eternal life: That we may know God and Christ. I am living water, Refreshing, cleansing, A benediction over your head, trickling down your face, Down your collarbone. I am rain drenching the land, Knocking the dust out of the sky Revealing what is hidden, Revealing heaven here on earth And this is eternal life: That we may know God and Christ. I am light, Revealing the darkest dark, Keeping you safe From the terrors of the night, Showing you The way to wholeness. And this is eternal life: That we may know God and Christ. I am sacred touch That heals. I am spit and sweat An

Kidnapped, but not missing

So it's been on my mind to remember the Nigerian girls who were kidnapped almost two months ago. I checked out the news and discovered that as of yesterday, the Nigerian military know where they are, but how to get them out without them being killed? (According to the Chicago Tribune .) I've been praying for one by name in particular (an idea that I found via Facebook ) and for all of them, and I will until they are returned to their homes. If you're the type who prays, pick a name, or pray for them all. Rebecca Sower is also selling bracelets to raise funds to end human trafficking, and you might consider spending time learning more about human trafficking of all kinds and what you could do to help.

Love and the Commandments

I'm taking part in Rachel Held Evans' blogging the lectionary , which is turning out to be quite the challenge. Acts 17:22-31 Psalm 66:7-18 1 Peter 3:13-22 John 14:15-21 Now who will harm you if you are eager to do what is good? But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed.  This sentence from 1 Peter (1 Peter 3:13, NRSV) is probably precisely the wrong thing an obsessive compulsive perfectionist needs to hear. Ah, but see -- this is what happens when scripture is taken out of context because the very next bit says: Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated, but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Which is a great message of hope for recovering obsessive perfectionists like myself. I read something on a blog yesterday that once I would have blindly agreed with before I had EfM under my belt and having spent the past year reading about Judaism and early Christianity. Now, it left me profoundly uncomfortable. I commen

High Tea 2014

My theme for this year was "Call the Midwife". While the hubby was a bit worried that I'd decorate the table with bloody babies, I went far more sedate. You see, in the current season of "Call the Midwife" (season 3 I think) they've used this service a number of times. So I just had to. Around the edge I decorated with hankies that belonged to my grandmother, my mother-in-law, and myself. I think the lace square in the middle belonged to my great-grandmother. The lace tablecloths are antique store bargains (because they have holes and are stained but who cares about that?)  Hot air balloons can wait until next year. So the centerpiece is a sedate carnations in a pearl filled jar, on top of a stack of Cherry Ames books (about a WW2 nurse and after), which I'd read as a kid and which belonged to my mother (not quite these editions though). A couple of rosaries -- one Anglican, one Catholic -- to symbolize the nun-midwives and we were off

Way, Truth, Life, Take 2

Perhaps the first rule of blogging the lectionary, especially if it's gonna sound like a sermon is, that it is like writing a novel. For God's sake, never show anyone the first draft, even if you think it's a second or third draft.  So now that I've meandered through my issues with John 14:6 yesterday , here is what I hope is a better version. First reading: Acts 7:55-60 Psalm: Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16 Second reading: 1 Peter 2:2-10 Gospel: John 14:1-14 Come, my Way, my Truth, my Life Such a way as gives us breath; Such a truth as ends all strife, Such a life as killeth death. Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6, NRSV) Here, Jesus is making "I AM" statements which is part of God's Name, the one he revealed to Moses when trying to convince him to go back to Egypt and free God's people. "I AM Who I AM." Jesus is laying claim to the same

Way, Truth, Life

I decided to take a crack at blogging the lectionary along with Rachel Held Evans . This is hard, even for an Education for Ministry graduate, but here goes: First reading: Acts 7:55-60 Psalm: Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16 Second reading: 1 Peter 2:2-10 Gospel: John 14:1-14 Here's what I don't like about this week's readings: they all appear to be about being "more clued in" than The Others, which is the Jews in the Acts reading (although technically Stephen and the Jesus-followers of the time would have still considered themselves Jews), in the Psalms it is the persecutors who are probably non-Jews but could also be "less than faithful", and in 1 Peter and John, it can be read as: "We Christians got it right and the rest of you are wrong, neener neener". Except Jesus isn't sneering. So what's going on?  I started to read through the various commentary resources  and the words started to blur together, blah blah blah, although all (t

Conversation (a poem)

My monthly bible study group was supposed to meet tonight, but our hosts' children and grandchildren were evacuated to our hosts' home in the fires we're having, so we had to cancel. (Photos below are from this afternoon.) We are reading Mark and studying it through the lens of Marcus Borg ( Conversations on Scripture ). I read the study group questions ahead of time and in one of them we were asked to imagine a conversation between the daughter of Jairus and the woman who touched Jesus' cloak afterward. This kind of flowed as I fell asleep and then spent the day recovering it. Hopefully I got it all. Conversation There she is Dancing sunshine In the midst of all her friends. They say Jesus raised her from the dead. Who is that woman? She sits by the well alone A glorious halo surrounds her. Is she the witch who was Haggard, bent double, They say Jesus cured? I am free of blood But they won't believe it. They test me aga

Why keep the Sabbath?

It's been one of those things I've always wanted to do: keep Sunday entirely for God. That's one of the reasons I spent Saturdays in Lent unplugged .  The desire for rest is great, especially these days of working full time and having the weekend left for chores. Keeping the Sabbath is one of the commandments and I can remember a time when no store was open on Sundays. Even now in my home town in Australia many of the shops are closed on Sundays, or have shortened hours. You had to be intentional about getting to the bank before it closed, of getting your groceries ahead of time, especially over Easter when shops kept Sunday hours Sunday through Tuesday. Today, we bank online, we shop for groceries at any almost any hour, we can make a run the pharmacist, ditto ditto. Everything is convenient, instant, on demand. There is no curb to prevent us from consuming any meal we like, enjoying any product we like at any time. Preferably yesterday. And life

Making a new journal ...

I've collected flower fairy cards since I was a teen. During Lent, I made a book to hold them all. (Yes, this is a result of the Lenten unplugging on Sunday.) The method is the one I learned from Mary Ann Moss at Dispatch from L.A. Do I believe in fairies? Well, I do not expect to ever see one, but they represent Nature's beauty and in the cards I've collected they almost always are expressing joy, contentment, and occasionally mystery. I'd also purchased some paper doll fairies and so I decided to make the book a little more interactive: the fairies look for their clothing, accessories etc and "talk" to other fairies on their way to the Ball. Just another benefit from unplugging!

A Little Art Every Day

Does the idea intrigue? Tammy at Daisy Yellow is starting ICAD: an Index Card A Day Challenge , 61 days of daily art starting June 1st. Head over to her website for the FAQ. The idea of cheap stationery supplies like index cards (which I have in abundance, having rescued some from recycling, no guesses from where after you see the picture!) and using what I have, maybe even playing with supplies I've hardly touched, is intriguing. I've used index cards a couple of times, once as a tiny piece of art to send to the World Vision child that I sponsor, the other time I incorporated them into a larger piece of art. Already, I can see these being collaged into backgrounds. Stay tuned to see how I do. I'll report back at the beginning of August as to how it all went.

God's Stories ... taking a breath and seeing beauty

It's been a little while since I've posted one of these. Some beautiful stuff written in the blogoverse and thought-provoking too. An Introduction to Slow Work by Micha Boyett. I occasionally manage to stop and take a breath between tasks. What would it mean to savor my work? I'll attempt an experiment and blog about it. Why You Really have to Keep Falling in Love by Ann Voskamp: "You are what is written on God’s Hands: Safe. Held. His. Beloved." "Only Believe" - Jesus and the Little Girl and the Woman with the Issue of Blood at Wordgazer's Words . A beautiful exegesis about Jesus always being enough. Gorgeously written. And for fun: "Let It Go" sung in a bunch of Disney/Pixar voices by one guy (links to  the Huffington Post ).