Showing posts from July, 2014

What I Learned This Summer

Even though it's not August yet, it feels like summer is over. Possibly because I am already doing work on High Holy Days. Thus, I am joining in with Emily's chatting at the sky link up on things I have learned: Santa Barbara beach 1) naps are essential. I can't nap at work but I definitely need time to nap on the weekend. I spent the first two days of my retreat doing a lot of sleeping. 2) I need to "do" less and "be" more. 3) I can watch the sky for hours. 4) God's love and mercy is for all. All. (Thank you, Rob Bell for articulating this so well.) 5) balance, balance, balance. 6) I can say no (although I still say yes and then I say no. Hey, it's progress.) What have you learned this summer?

A Moment of Morning Sabbath

Every time I come back from Mt. Calvary , I want to keep that moment of morning Sabbath going. Here's how it happens at Mt. Calvary: 6:00 a.m.  Mission bells toll the Angelus: three times three rings, followed by an almighty clanging. I wake, usually during the first group of three, mentally mumble the Angelus response, which is all I can remember of it ("Hail Mary, full of grace, blessed art thou amongst women and blessed be the fruit of thy womb Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death."), each of the three times and roll over and go back to sleep. 6:30 a.m. The usual time I get up at home. I listen to see if the shared bathroom is in use, plan getting up. Eventually do, and then go shower, and dress. (The Great Silence is still in effect. No talking until after breakfast.) 7:00 a.m. Downstairs, having made a mug of tea (Earl Grey) and am sitting outside on this: looking at this: 7:30 a.m. Mt. Ca

God's Love Stories: Because I Have Better Things to Do

Like clean out my study. I posted on Facebook this week, that 8 or so years ago, when our rector came to Good Sam, I was working on 12 boxes of papers pulled from surfaces in my study in order to spring clean and am down to two boxes and fresh piles of paper.  He's leaving for a new ministry so I'm wondering -- could I actually get it done before he leaves at the end of August? Possibly not, if I am on my laptop writing this blog post and then plan to go through and edit pictures from my retreat last week at Mt. Calvary. No Blogging the Lectionary from me this week either. I got caught up in reading the Borg & Crossan book about Paul (which I took on retreat but didn't start to read until on the way home). Really good stuff. Besides, the lectionary post would probably go something like: "The kingdom of God is like morning glories -- beautiful until they choke the crap out of your favorite plant ... " It went downhill from there. All based on how a musta

It's the end of the world as we know it

And I feel fine. (Lyric by R.E.M.) Apologies. This is going to be one of those blogposts that put earworms in your head. Sunday's gospel reading is  Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43 .  On first reading, this parable and its interpretation bothered me. Not least because of its hellfire, end of times, apocalyptic feel.  I also had my rabbi (my boss) in my head saying: "That's anti-Semitic." Whereupon I cringe in horror and try to explain that that's not how we Christians read it now. Anyway, so what to do with this troublesome passage? I read copious commentaries ( Feasting on the Word , an ancient  Interpreter's Commentary  and a circa 1960s Wesleyan commentary on the KJV translation) to no avail.  I was about to give up on the idea (after all, I am on retreat) when staring out at the Santa Barbara hills, I decided to look at my beliefs to see if they could be reconciled to this story.  I believe that with the resurrection of Christ, the kingdom of heaven is here. Not n

Retreat Reading

Remember this post about my summer reading? I'm only a quarter of the way through the N.T. Wright book. It's very readable but I'm finding it slow going regardless. I am heading off on retreat to Mt. Calvary Monastery in Santa Barbara, and so I've made the important decision as what to bring. Two books from this pile: Found: A Story of Questions, Grace and Everyday Prayer by Micha Boyett The First Paul: Reclaiming the Radical Visionary Behind the Church's Conservative Icon by Marcus J. Borg and John Dominic Crossan And then one for fun borrowed from a friend: The Fear Sign: An Albert Campion Mystery by Margery Allingham And we'll see if I have to resort to the monastery's library after that!

A Poem (Not Parable) of the Kingdom of God

(A Good Sam community story about the Kingdom of God) The kingdom of God is like a seagull on a skylight with trinity-webbed feet crying crying to be heard to be let in

Where is the Fire in Your Bones?

[The chances of my writing for this Sunday's lectionary are kind of slim to none. I have way too much going on this week.   This post is for the lectionary on June 22nd.] Jeremiah 20:7-13 Psalm 69: 8-20 Romans 6:1b-11 Matthew 10:24-39 The lectionary readings from a couple of weeks ago kind of broke my heart at the time. First, a quick summary: Jeremiah complains to God about how folks think he is a false prophet and he worries about that too but God compels him to prophesy about the destruction of the city that he loves, the temple that he loves, the people that he loves. There's no avoiding it: it's a fire in his bones. The psalm is on a similar bent. In Romans, Paul talks about being born anew through baptism and that we must live our life to God. Our lives have changed; the water of baptism have put a fire in our bones. The gospel is about how having that fire in your bones for Jesus could mean turmoil in your family, even in your c

Updated: Take my yoke, please.

Romans 7:15-25a Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30 It’s so easy to run to the end of today’s Gospel: ‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.   For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ But first Jesus has some pretty damning things to say about “this generation”, which one could argue he could say today and about those who claim to follow Him as opposed to those who criticized both He and John in the original context of this Scripture. For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, `He has a demon'; the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, `Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.” (Matthew 11:18-19) Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. I am reminded of how polarized our world has become: you are e

God's Love Stories: Courage

Here is a collection of links of worthy reading: If you're only going to read one of these, make it this one by Flora Bowley: From Stuck ---> to Feelin' It: A Roadmap Through Painter's Block . It so totally applies to those who don't paint. Eternal Truths Need Unpacking Not Defending by John Backman at the Huffington Post Why Scruffy Hospitality Creates Space for Friendship by Jack King at KnoxPriest (this is a practice I need to incorporate) How to Stop Facebook from Using Your Browsing History . This is how the ads on Facebook get tailored to what you've been looking at lately. I am hoping to get back onto the Blogging the Lectionary wagon this week. Two weeks ago, I wrote something that I never posted because the news about the major transition at my church was too raw. Still don't know if I'll post it. And last week, I served on a jury and that took up a lot of brainspace. Which is something blogging the lectionary also does. So we'll