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Showing posts from March, 2010

Sunday Prayer: Palm/Passion Sunday

God of all hopefulness, God of my life
On this holy day of Palms and Passions
and through this
the holiest of weeks,
when our Lenten journey
finds its completion
through pain
sorrow
despair
illness
losses of all kinds,
through fear
anger
hatred
vitriol
and finger pointing.

Through a self-examination of
all the ways we work against you -
against your hopes and dreams
for creation
against your love poured out
in flesh and blood -
we hang our heads and bow our hearts
seeking your forgiveness
yearning for your guidance
desiring your compassion.

Fill us we pray, with the ability to
turn to you, kneeling before your grace
open our spirit that we may take you in
let you in
receive you in
taking You in..

Into our hearts and minds and souls
Let you in
that we might turn to you,
return to you,
be transformed in you,
through you, by you,
for you.

Transformed
once more,
this day, this week,
into a new self,
me, you.

May we become a new people,
a gentle people,
a people of
love and compassion,
born anew from our
deepest sorrow
th…

RevGals Friday Five: Redo, Refresh, Restore

Songbird over at RevGals offers this Friday Five Meme as we prepare for Holy Week: Please share with us five ways you redo or refresh or restore your body, your space, your blog, anything in your life that needs perking up this week.

I wrote about this recently as I reflected on generating regeneration (see previous post). That reflection was primarily about recovering from a cold that seems to come back over and over while at the same time trying to commit to a workout schedule at a fitness club. I have never someone who goes to the gym, if I can't workout at home I don't workout. But this new place is too small and with three big dogs it's impossible to work out here, except for dog walks. So, off to the gym I go. It helps that my daughter goes too. Thus, working out regularly is one way I am trying to renew, restore, redo, and refresh this aging body. Exercise is good for the mind and spirit too.

Usually I take one or two silent retreats a year at a local retreat center. …

Generating regeneration

In less than a month I have packed up a house, loaded a moving truck, driving across country, unloaded the truck, rested for a few days, flown to the East Coast, interviewed for a new job, flew back, and landed with a cold.

I haven't had a cold in awhile, since last April, some 11 months ago. Then I was never sure if it was a bad cold or a bad allergy from a horrible sand storm. Anyway, I haven't been sick in a long time.

This cold is odd, though. Relatively mild as colds go. Maybe because I've taken Chinese herbs and done yoga and rested? It began in my head, clogged, hard to breathe. Moved to my throat, scratchy and sore. Moved to my chest. Yesterday I felt better. Today I feel like its come back. Viruses are like that, they regenerate.

My daughter and I have started to going to a health club. I've never been fond of clubs, even though I exercise regularly. I usually have my own routine that I do at home. But this place we are staying in is too small, and well there ar…

Sunday Prayer: Lent 5C

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(photo from flickrphotos)

God of all new things, God of
Spring, and fragrant flowers, and
unexpected snow. God of hope
and new life,
Bless us, we pray,
this day.

God of all things passing away, God
of old and yesterday, the One who is
with us in our despair and fear.
God who sighs and weeps, God
who wipes away
our tears.

Hear us when we pray. Incline
your ear to our words, silent
shouting cries, mournful whispers.
Be gentle with our hard
hearts. Be gentle. Be
gentle.

Anoint us with your touch
the softness of your love
breaks into our hardness
and opens us anew. A
new thing. A new life.
New sight.

Anoint us, Holy One and fill
us with you loving touch.
Fill us that we can touch
in your love and fill
others. Fill us gently.
Fill us.

In your name we pray. Amen.

Crossposted on RevGalBlogPals and RevGalPrayerPals

Oil of Love

A reflection on the readings for Lent 5C: Isaiah 43:16-21 and John 12:1-8

Right out of college, in the late 1970’s, I had a small career working in dance and theater. By 1991 I was a stay at home mom with a two year old, yearning for a little something I could to do to earn money but also make my own schedule. My college roommate had carved a career for herself as a massage therapist and it seemed to me that dance and massage therapy would go well together. So, in the fall of that year I enrolled in a 14 month program that would earn me a certificate in therapeutic massage. We had classes on physiology, anatomy, and kinesiology which included memorizing all the muscles and bones in the body and how they moved. We learned various techniques for relieving muscle strain and lactic acid build up, and we had classes on oils.

Now a course on oil is not as silly as it might sound. As it turns out there is good reason to be mindful of what kind of oil one uses. I was surprised to learn that a …

A Movie Ediition for The RevGals Friday Five Meme

Jan, over at RevGals asks us to "Share your preferences, opinions, and recommendations about movies! Choose 5 types of movies to discuss:

action
thriller
mystery
drama
comedy
foreign
animated
children's
science fiction
western/cowboy
other?


Bonus: Tell about the first movie you ever saw and/or the last one!

I'm going to begin with the bonus: The first movie I saw at a theater was The Sound of Music. The first movie I remember watching at home was The Wizard of Oz. And the last movie I saw in the theater was, Julie and Julia. Last night my husband and I watched a movie at home but the name escapes me, it was about a lonely professor from Connecticut who returns to his apartment in New York for a conference and finds some people living in the apartment. The couple living in the apartment are undocumented, one from Senegal and the other from Syria. It was a delightful film, sad, as well.

Broadly speaking I like any movie of any genre that reflects people growing, transforming, working tow…

Sunday Prayer for the Fourth Sunday in Lent

Image
(Photo from the files of Mompriest, Grand Canyon tree)

Creator God from whom
all life springs forth
We give You thanks
Come, one and all,
Celebrate and rejoice!

Celebrate and rejoice -
The old has passed away
Everything has become new!

Forgiving God with whom
We seek to reconcile
our brokenness and
the ways we break
into a new creation!

Celebrate and rejoice -
The old has passed away
Everything has become new!

Lving God, father, son,
mother, daughter
Family, friend, one, all
With, through, and by
Your Prodigal love
Reconciled.

Celebrate and rejoice -
The old has passed away
Everything has become new!


Cross posted on RevGalBlogPals and RevGal Prayer Pals

A revised version of the reflection for Evening Prayer

1 Corinthians 11:17-34

But in the following instructions I do not commend you, because when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse. For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you. And I believe it in part, for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized. When you come together, it is not the Lord's supper that you eat. For in eating, each one goes ahead with his own meal. One goes hungry, another gets drunk. What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I commend you in this? No, I will not.

For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the sam…

A reflection for Evening Prayer

on the propers for the Daily Office, Tuesday in Lent 4, 1 Corinthians 11:17-34

But in the following instructions I do not commend you, because when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse. For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you. And I believe it in part, for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized. When you come together, it is not the Lord's supper that you eat. For in eating, each one goes ahead with his own meal. One goes hungry, another gets drunk. What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I commend you in this? No, I will not.

For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body wh…

Spiritual or Religious?

Yesterday I attended a led conference by Diana Butler Bass. She is presenting new ideas on the state of the church and why there is hope for Christianity. One of her premises is a Newsweek/Washington Post poll from 2005 that states that 55% of the people in this country describe themselves as religious AND spiritual.

Without going into detail about her understandings of religious and spiritual (you should try to attend one of her conferences, if you can) share with us five thoughts ideas or practices that you consider to be "religious." Then share with us five thoughts, ideas, or practices that you consider to be "spiritual."

Religious::
1. I grew up thinking that religion was about "God" - but sometimes, these days, I wonder if religion has become more about making money and holding together an institution than it is about God.

2. Following rules.
3. Many ways to be religious.
4. Going to Church.
5. Practices to grow my relationship with God.

Spiritual

1. My exp…

Balance

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My daughter has taught her dog, Ollie, to balance objects on his nose. She places something on his nose and tells him to "Wait!" then after a short time she says, "Take it!" and he turns his head, catching the object in his mouth. He does it really well, to our great amusement.

Balance is something that I strive for in my life. Unlike this trick of Ollie's, I seek balance that is deeper - spiritual, emotional, physical - balance.

Monday Morning Musings

Today marks one week, officially, that we have been in Chicago. Most of the first week was spent sleeping, resting, recovering. Our animals are still adjusting, but doing well, all things considered.

It's late winter/early spring in Chicago. The snow is melting and the ground thawing. Last seasons dormant grass is brown and soggy. This morning there is a heavy fog limiting visibility to about a mile. Rain is predicted for most of the week. It's familiar.

Yesterday I took the Metra train into Chicago and walked east on Madison Avenue from the Olgivie train station to Michigan Ave. I walked two blocks south on Michigan Ave to meet Karla at the Art Institute where we saw the William Eggleston photo and video exhibit. This was particularly interesting to me because I listened to The Help on my iPod during the drive to Chicago, and both the book and the photos/video in this exhibit take place in Mississippi in the 1960's.

On my walk to the Art Institute, as I crossed the Chicago …

Sunday Prayer

Gracious God, we give you thanks for all the blessings of this life -
for family, friends,
for home and food, and work
for the coming Spring,
for warmer days ahead
for the gift of your son
who leads us in this life.

Loving God, we offer up these prayers of concern this day -
for those struggling to rebuild lives
from natural disasters
from human disasters
from failed economies
from illness
from_______________
may the power of your Holy Spirit
bring new life, new hope.

Creator God, fill us with nourishment
the kind that only you can offer.
Fill us with hope
fill us with kindness
fill us with gentleness
fill us with your love.
May we be your living love.

Amen.

Crossposted on Revgalblogpals and Revgal Prayer pal

Spring Cleaning, A RevGals Friday Five

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Sally over at RevGals offers this Friday Five Meme:

1. Is there a part of your spiritual life that is dry and dusty at the moment, something that could do with a good spring clean? Literally I have just left the dry dusty desert and returned to the melting Midwest...in a similar way I am hoping that my faith and spiritual life are restored by the healing rains and green earth of this region - and the comfort of many friends and family.

2. Spiritual disciplines- life-giving/ terrifying: discuss My spiritual disciplines include a twice daily meditation. I have practiced meditation for years although sometimes I take a long while off. It's an opportunity for me to be still and silent and observe where God is in my life and what God might desire of me at this time.

3. Share a practice that keeps you spiritually alive that you think others might benefit from... In addition to the twice daily meditations I also practice yoga - at least I did before our recent move - haven't done any fo…

Help

In preparation for the long drive from Arizona to Chicago I purchased three books for my iPod. The first five hours of the drive I listened to CD's. And for several hours on Saturday I listened to NPR from Stillwater, OK. But before and after that I listened to only one of the books: The Help by Kathryn Stockett.

I found this book deeply engaging from start to finish. The three narrators were fabulous and held me in rapt attention. In fact, as I grew weary from driving, or when I really had to pay attention to directions, I turned the iPod off fearing I'd be too engrossed in the book and miss an important turn.

The story takes place in Jackson, Mississippi in 1963-1964. Three women play primary roles, two maids and a young woman who aspires to be writer. Through a variety of circumstances the young woman ends up interviewing women who are maids, the Help, telling for the first time their story of submission, abuse, and love. The story weaves through the assassination of JFK, th…

Arrive

My husband and have finally arrived in Chicago. It was a long, arduous drive. Well, it was at least for my husband who had to drive the 25 foot truck loaded with our furniture. It was a diesel driven truck with over 101,000 miles. It was slow, noisy, and bumpy. We left Tucson at 2pm Thursday afternoon, having finished loading the truck and cleaning the house. We drove east toward New Mexico and then north toward Albuquerque. That drive, which normally takes 6 hours took us 8 hours, in part because it is a slow up hill grade the entire way. The truck groaned along.

Most disconcerting was the oil pressure gauge which kept dropping to 0 and scaring my husband. Finally, around 10pm, in Albuquerque, we pulled over and called Budget customer care and road side assistance, unsure what to do. They thought we should take it to a registered repair shop Friday morning. So....We spent Thursday night in the car in a Wallmart parking lot. In an effort to be prepared for anything I brought sleeping …