Showing posts from October, 2011

Too Small for Anything But Love

A reflection on the readings for Proper 26A: Joshua 3:7-14

There is a point in time, in the late afternoon, when the light in the church is particularly beautiful. This time of year the sun, moving south on the horizon, pours in through the stained glass windows. Colored beams of light reflect off the walls with a vibrancy that takes my breath away. This sacred space of prayer, embraced in a mosaic of light.

The first mosaics were made in Mesopotamia, twenty five hundred years before Christ. They were decorative embellishments of terra cotta or mother of pearl. The art died out but reappeared in ninth century Greece as floor decoration. Geometric designs of pebbles were cheaper than rugs. Floor mosaics told stories. Before long the pebbles gave way to cut stone, enabling greater detail in the design. Over time this art form spread from Greece to Turkey and Egypt. Some of the finest examples of mosaics were unearthed from the ruins of Pompeii, buried under the destruction of the volc…

What Lifts You?....a RevGals Friday Five

Sally, over at RevGals offers this Friday Five:

Over the last few weeks I have been struggling with depression, I know that from reading other folks blogs that I am not alone in this, and from time to time if not suffering from depression that everyone feels down. With that in mind I wonder what lifts you? So I'd like you to share 5 things:

1. A Scripture- it might be a verse or a whole book! When I am struggling I often go to this verse:Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit (Romans 8:26-27)

2. A piece of music. Cello, specifically, YoYo Ma

3. A place A walk usually helps

4. A person/ group of people Sometimes it helps to meet a friend for coffee...

5. Something you do... Yoga

Listen and You Just Might Hear...

A reflection the readings for Season Of Creation 5A:

The 1992 film, “A River Runs Through It”, directed by Robert Redford, and starring Tom Skillet, Brad Pitt, and Craig Sheffer, tells the story of two fly-fishermen brothers. They are sons of a Presbyterian minister living in rural Montana. The film opens with this:

My father was a Presbyterian minister...and a fly-fisherman. Though it is true that one day a week was given over wholly to religion...even then he told us about Christ's disciples being fishermen. And we were left to assume, as my younger brother Paul and I did...that all first-class fishermen on the Sea of Galilee were fly-fishermen...and that John, the favorite, was a dry fly-fisherman.

In the afternoon, we would walk with him...while he unwound between services. He almost always chose a path along the Big Blackfoot...which we considered our family river. It was there he felt his soul restored and his imagination stirred.

Long ago rain fell on mud and became rock. H…

RevGals Friday Five

Jan, over at RevGals offers this Friday Five:

Since it is almost my birthday and because my spiritual direction peer group is reading Living Fully, Dying Well by Edward W. Bastian and Tina L. Staley, I am thinking of my life in stages. For the latter group, we filled out a form dividing our life into 7-year increments, documenting "significant moments," then "people who guided and influenced me," and ending with the question, "What did this phase contribute to the continuum of my life?" This was a life Review Exercise devised by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi.

For today's Friday Five, I am suggesting that we each divide our age into 5 sections. You don't have to say your age or ages for the different parts, unless you want to. In each of the 5 points, please describe a memorable and/or significant event, either good or unpleasant
Well, I think I can divide my life into groups based on the states I lived in.

1. Utah - I was born in Salt Lake City, …

Be Wilderness

Season of Creation 4A: Joel 1:8-10, 17-20; Romans 8:18-27

A couple of years ago I attended a clergy conference that included an opportunity to travel into Mexico to visit some of the ministries that were taking place on the border. We were loaded on a school bus in Douglas, Arizona and transported through the border patrol station into Agua Prieta, Mexico. There we visited the office of a coffee co-op and toured a local addiction rehab facility called CREDO - which has a profound ministry. This humble facility houses 92 people including women and their children, in crowded rooms with bunk beds. It also has rooms for men, similar to the women’s rooms. There are several meeting rooms and a dining area. Most of the structures are concrete walls and floors. In some instances the rooms have dirt floors. Every person in the facility works to keep the place clean, prepare food, support one another, learn about and engage in healthy behavior to support a life of sobriety. No one is turned aw…

RevGal Friday Five

Karla, over at revGals, offers this Friday Five:

In the spirit of Scattered-ness, I offer you a scattery kind of Friday Five:

1. I lose my keys all of the time. Even if they are in my hand, I still am looking for them. Sigh! What is something you chronically looking for, if anything? For me, it is less a matter of looking for something I have misplaced, and more a matter of rushing to get ready to leave and needing to tromp up and down several flights of stairs to get clothing (hanging in the basement laundry room), computer (charging in the office), and so on. It leaves me feeling disorganized because I was too tired the night before to get things in order for the day.

2. What movie are you looking forward to watching sometime in the future? (me, the new Footloose!) We DVR'd the season opener of Grays Anatomy...but haven't watched it, so ow are guessing about pieces of the plot as we watch current episodes. I haven't been able to carve out two hours to watch it.

3. Wh…

Mirror of God

Koko the gorilla is the, now famous,230 pound ape that was taught how to communicate using American Sign Language. With a vocabulary of over 1000 words Koko drew two fingers across her cheek like whiskers, signaling to her teacher that she wanted a cat for her birthday. The teacher had been reading, The Three Little Kittens, to Koko for years. And, now Koko wanted her own kitten. So Koko was given her pick of a kitten from a litter of abandoned kittens. She chose one so small that she could have crushed it, with barely a squeeze of her hand. Instead she cuddled the tailless gray male like a baby and named the kitten, “All Ball.” Koko carried Ball like other gorillas carry their babies, she tended to him, tickled and scratched him, and knowing her own strength handled him gently. When asked by her teacher if she loved All Ball, Koko signed, “Soft, good cat.” Sadly, one day the kitten escaped from the sanctuary and was hit by a car. Koko grieved the loss of her kitten, her sadness was…

On Being Accountable, a reflection on snakes and laundry detergent, among other things...

A reflection on the readings for propers for Season of Creation Sunday 2A: Genesis 3:1-13; and Romans 5:12-21

My sophomore year in college I lived in a house with three of my girlfriends. On hot summer days we’d load up in the car and make a drive out into the country for a swim in our favorite small lake. A remnant from ancient glaciers, this lake was tucked into a crevice bounded on all sides by rock cliffs and hills. Given the terrain we had to park the car some distance away and hike back through a patch of woods, a meadow, another stretch of woods, and down a hill to the lake. Along the way we would occasionally encounter a rattle snake sunning itself on a rock. The tell-tale rattle would give it away as it announced its presence long before we saw it. Always cautious, the humans and snakes would keep a healthy and suspicious distance from one another. The snakes preferred to slither away under a rock rather than attack or be aggressive – although no doubt they could be if we ca…