Wednesday, January 31, 2007
I hope to form real relationships with people around me. There cannot always be great friends but their can be healthy acquaintances and empowering connections. I pray I may embrace the multitude of different kinds of connections as important, each one profound. If we are not close friends we can still be distant friends, we don’t have to cut ourselves off from those we hear of no longer.
Friend, colleague, brother, sister, parent, wife, mentor, congregant, servant, complete stranger, elderly, teenager, baby, supposed enemy, real enemy, me, God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, creation. May I embrace all these relations with the attitude of Christ. That is, dying to save every last drop of my life to renew, restore, reinforce, recharge, rekindle, realign, readjust, recover, redeem, reconcile, resurrect into a covenant of divine Love.
Monday, January 29, 2007
Struck by the Higher’s Hand wielding power that humbles stubborn nations, convicting hearts that build guilt free temples. Struck in awe by the Hand that pulls the strings of the Universe into vivacious shapes of shimmering blues and sanguine greens. Struck by the Hands that cradle infant lambs and mother’s concerns, the gentlest of whispers the softest of songs. Awestricken am I with this powerful Creator, this masterful friend.
(based on Isaiah 40:1-14)
Thursday, January 25, 2007
What an erroneous belief, that is “Seeing is believing.” Many of us see but many of us are as blind as a bat at midday. We will see what we want to see. An editor of events, happenings, as clipped as the “Mirror,” as sensational as the “Son.” We want to believe the truth but it is as far from those who see as those in white coats, shining statistical sheets with earth zipped, closed and dispensable. Gouge out the eyes and see if seeing is believing, mute the tongue, the plethora of taste, the ear-drum lax, leper the skin and see if seeing is believing. True light of true light falls softer than sleet, drifts lighter than cloud, more frequent than sun-bird wing, longer lasting than dusk lit valley and drama filled sky. The seeing turn blind and the blind turn seeing in the shadow of the master of fusion, the God-man, Jesus. (Jhn 9:35-41, the “Mirror” and “Son” are local newspapers)
Saturday, January 20, 2007
There is no way out, it is the way in. The way into the growth you desire. Grief and the emotions of sadness are not headaches to be exorcised with an aspirin. They are doorways of your cathedral, high arching, broad sided, thick wooded and with them on your shoulder you walk the path less traveled. Up and along the traitors hardened path between aisles towards the hill where black crows fly. The pain you feel splinters deep but when you reach the alter and collapse prostrate with grief's too heavy from doors so damn difficult. The cry of reason will echo in hallowed halls, repeating themselves from statues, martyrs, crosses and hard scrubbed floors. “I feel you, I cry with you, I am with you.”
Friday, January 19, 2007
Some mornings nothing ever happens. The words repeat themselves without added meaning and all prayer sounds like repetitive jargon. Searching only uncovers hidden anxieties and not those stolen moments with God. The breath is shallow and the heart is numb and the dreaded silence persists, it persists, and persists. It is time for fisherman hope. Up early for the morning catch or down late for the evening rise. The rod is cast and the eyes attentive to the reflective mirrors of the sun and shore. His hook anchored deeper down in watery shadows. The worldly reflections may be his only catch today, but tomorrow, and the next he will unpack his Kaki bag, fasten hook on nylon, set his reel for tension, casting for the Big one.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Today is Admin day. A new way of looking at spiritual administration is that it is the very tool to take the abstract concepts, spiritual lessons and till them into ones life. Admin is possibly the most important times of ones entire week. It will determine who you will visit and at what time. It will put the necessary items on the agenda that will further the Kingdom. The very engine that greases the activities of your ministry and calling. It will determine the places where your energy will be spent and who you will be walking with. Thereby building integrity between what I feel like doing and what I actually do. Good administration of your life is akin to bringing heaven to earth. Administration could be the greatest measure of your faith? (A lesson for David Barbour!!!!!)
Saturday, January 13, 2007
A child is cherished when they are slowly weaned off their parents. The act is a moment of key-making, a twenty first celebration that marks the era of doing your own thing. Coming home late and not disturbing the folks. Taking yourself to work and back in your newly bought or pass-me-down family car. “Free to be me” at last, no teacher’s to infringe on my spare time. I am the manager of my life, to choose and imbibe all that I choose. It wasn’t so for the adolescent God-man. It wasn’t so for the middle-aged God-man either. The sign of his maturity was marked by the increasing dependency on his parent. He was given more because he listened more. Held more authority because he obeyed more. It is a weaning process the spiritual journey is, but not from one parent to oneself, but from one parent to another.
Thursday, January 11, 2007
They love to kill. We love to kill.
We don’t like to kill!
A travesty it is to butcher a soul, black or not.
Our feathers are ruffled as the trap door snaps.
We wake up cold black hooded and mean from many a thought unclean.
A cow, a chicken, a cock-a-doodle-do on ice.
They kill, we eat, the same, the same, we kill and eat.
(A poem, maybe only I call it that? The point its makes is that we are so quick to point our fingers at others who kill but we very quickly reap the benefits. We would never slaughter a cow but we will very easily chew on a T-bone. We abhor the act of Hussein’s hanging but we secretly harbour the same emotions and desires in our dreams to annihilate all we hate.)
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Some days I sit outside and other days I sit indoors. There are times when I walk or run and other times when I am as still as a mouse. Sometimes I love the grandeur of stain-glass and iconography devotedly crafted in deep reverent cathedrals but other times the simplicity of a pine bench, bunch of daisy’s, and a faulty organ make my day. The prompts in the places of my worship are often different. Not one owns the seat of my praise or holds seasons tickets to box me in. It is the Spirit that enfolds them all dear to me. Using all of them to free me to be me in Spirit and in Truth. (John 4 “But the time is coming – it has, in fact, come – when what you’re called will not matter and where you go to worship will not matter. It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God.” E. Peterson )
Saturday, January 06, 2007
They walked with bird like astuteness down the lawn toward the house. Three well adorned ring neck doves. They had found some bread crumbs that were thrown out the night before and were enjoying the early morning breakfast. Then in succession they took to flight and disappeared over the roof of the house. I was unaware of the lesson I would learn when they returned. It was not ten minutes later and with a rustle of wings they landed near the bread but this time there were six well adorned ring neck doves with prestigious collars and well groomed chests. It could not be helped, the thought that in this simple avian moment the truths of the Church lay exposed. At the table of the God-man their lies a broken loaf of bread, a loaf shared, a life shared, a message waiting to be devoured. The earlier worshipers having eaten their full went off fulfilled to share the news with all. They returned with more, and each day the Church grew double score.
Friday, January 05, 2007
It is in essence the fullness of all our outcomes that define us and not the person we claim we are. Some folk love titles and winning trophies to establish their worth. They find it hard not to talk about who they think they are and what they think they have achieved. It is not necessarily boastful but rather a means of clinging onto labels for self worth and self orientation. It is not that easy to answer the question “Who are you?” Where does one start. The answer closer to the truth would be to step back and allow the evidence of your life become the identity of your character. To rather not speak and define it in case we have deceived ourselves or in case we speak with pride. It is healing to be defined by what we see around us and not what we think we are. Allowing the mirror to level us and show us how ‘great’ we are. Not to pander to the market place that encourages us robot-like to put on masks of another to achieve in a cut throat world. John the Baptist vulnerable in prison for speaking the truth questions his earlier conviction that the God-man was the one sent by God. He sends his friends out to ask the very question “Who are you?” The evidence around him, the blind gaining sight, the lame walking, the leper being healed, it was more than enough.
Thursday, January 04, 2007
True living comes with true friendship. The Gospel of John makes it obvious that if we are to have the “shalom” of God at the fire-place of our hearts we are to kindle the friendship with God in and through a friendship with the God-man Jesus. Through friendship Jesus opened the hearts of the early followers. There was not a curriculum or an operations based education system but merely a walking and talking friendship amongst them. To abide in the “Word” is often misunderstood as abiding only in the teachings of the bible. This is part truth but not the fullness of living in vibrant friendship with the creator partnership of three. The essence of this abiding is to do what Jesus asks of us. John’s Gospel stresses this by mentioning Jesus saying that if you love him you will obey what he commands. This is because and only because he himself does exactly the same with his parent God. He draws the emphasis even closer by mentioning that even the other part of the creation partners, the Spirit, will draw attention to what he commanded, that being the commands of God. Friendship with God is found in doing what Jesus instructed, and through this vital action we abide closer with God and the peace of God, the shalom, will rest deeply in our hearts pushing the chaotic mayhem of our world aside. The peace of the Lord be with you in 2007.
Monday, January 01, 2007
It is strange how associations of thought come at certain times. I was reading about John the Baptist and his declaration that he was unfit to untie the shoes of the one who was coming after him when another thought came to mind. It was electric the picture a little later in the chronology of the God-man. The time when the spoken of knelt at the feet of a follower and said that if you are not willing to have me wash your feet then you can have nothing to do with me. Peter had to expose his feet to be washed by the very one John would not see himself worthy of being of service to. Peter allowed the God-man to untie his sandals and wash those dry cracked heels and dirty nails. It typifies the call for us to worship God with reverence and with embarrassing intimacy. It is the balance of worship it is. The coming together of holiness and receiving the gifts of grace. Offering and receiving we interact with the God above, below and everything in-between.