Sunday, October 31, 2010
On this Reformation Sunday, we thank you for those persons you have poured your spirit into that then set about reforming your church. We thank you that you are still at work in the life of the church reforming us reshaping us, and remaking us into your image.
One of the ways we reflect your image Lord is how we care for one another with love,care and prayer. We pray for those who are in the hospitals today. We pray for those at home with illnesses, pains and recovering from treatments and/or surgeries. We pray for those in nursing homes and those who are home bound. We pray for their families during these times. We pray for those who are facing death. We pray for those who have died and for those who are grieving. We pray for their Doctors, nurses, health care workers and care takers.Lord may we reflect your image in our love, care and prayer that we put to action for these your children.
We reflect your image in how we love, care and pray for the world. We pray for those around the world who as Christians face imprisonment and martyrdom. We pray for those who countries torn by civil war. We pray for those living in poverty. We pray for those who live in starvation. We pray for those who are being used in slave labor, child labor and sex labor. We pray for those who have been effected by disasters such as those in Indonesia because of the earthquakes and Tsunamis. We pray for those in disaster areas who face outbreak of diseases such as Haiti with the cholera outbreak. We pray for our country as this Tuesday we vote for new leadership. Lord, may we put into action our love, care and prayers for the world.
Lord, we pray for your church that we be a beacon of hope, grace, love and light in this world. May our open doors reflect your open arms to all. May our arms and hands reaching out to those in need reflect your love for all. May our forgiveness of one another reflect your forgiveness for all.
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Anyway, I haven't received any notes or cards or anything, but that's OK because after worship a couple of weeks ago I received this:
The child who wrote these notes during my sermon is 8 years old. She was the guest of some members on Sunday morning, but had never been to church before. I understand her home life is difficult. It meant the world to me and at the same time gave me energy to continue on in ministry and let me know that if all of it fell apart and my ministry ended tomorrow, I can know the Spirit flowed threw me at least once.
Ladies and Gents, what we do makes a difference. What we do matters. What we do shares God's love with the world!
What are you doing this week? What message will God speak through you tomorrow? What notes do you hope an 8 year old will scribble during your sermon?
Join the party in the comments and share the movement of the Spirit in our common task.
Friday, October 29, 2010
It seems no matter how many new movies, tv shows or books come down the pike I still have my ol' stand by favorites that I can watch/read over and over and when I do they actually bring me comfort - like an old sweatshirt or a favorite food.
Today's Friday Five is an opportunity for you to list five of your favorite 'go-to' movies/tv shows/books. You can use images, links, explanations or netflix.
If you play the Friday Five at your blog and would like visitors, be sure to share a link in the comments. For a complete how-to on how to post your link, click here.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
And here's Jan's post:
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Good old Zaccheus - such a ridiculous figure. Too short to see what's going on, he runs (and in those long robes, yet!) ahead of the crowd and around social convention to climb a tree (ditto the long robes comment here) in order to see Jesus. And, in all that milling crowd, he is the one Jesus sees, the one Jesus calls out to, the one Jesus transforms from robber to philanthropist in a single moment.
Monday, October 25, 2010
And now, a few discussion questions.
1) How are you at keeping Sabbath? Do you find a time for it?
2) Can you imagine putting down the devices and taking a Sabbath from them?
3) What habits of rest did you learn in childhood, and have you maintained or adapted them for use as an adult?
4) Does your congregation encourage Sabbath rest for individuals or families?
5) What's your idea of the ultimate Sabbath?
Please share your thoughts in the comments. And if you would like to share a book review some other month, let me know via email.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
We thank you for this wonderful fall weather that brings forth the beautiful colors.
We thank you for you many gifts and graces you bring us in our life.
God of hope,
We pray for those who may be feeling hopeless these days that they may experience hope from you.
God of hope,
We pray for those who are dealing with illnesses, bring forth your healing for their lives.
God of hope,
We pray for those who are grieving, bring hope to them in the midst of their grieving.
God of hope,
We pray for those who have lost their jobs and need work, open the doors for work.
God of hope,
We pray for those dealing with addictions that they may be set free.
God of hope,
We pray for those whose marriages and families need healing, set forth in motion the forgiveness and reconciliation that is needed.
God of hope,
We pray for hope in our lives where we may need it.
God we thank you for your hope in all our lives.
So I come to you truly humble this morning, because I don't have to preach.
However, I am thinking about the texts, and particularly the gospel reading, today. Pride and humility. Righteousness and wretchedness. Pharisees and tax collectors. Of course there's the good fight of the apostle Paul, and the prophets Jeremiah and Joel to choose from too. There's a great discussion of the scripture readings here.
And I am serving breakfast today, for all preachers and non-preachers. I've got my famous blueberry pancakes (thanks, Betty Crocker!), turkey sausage, orange juice and fair trade coffee. Would you like some? I'm serving both preachers and non-preachers, the righteous and the wretched, pharisees and tax-collectors alike.
by the way, the picture is from here
Friday, October 22, 2010
If you're ever in a mess, S.O.S.
If you're so happy, you land in jail. I'm your bail.
It's friendship, friendship, just a perfect blendship.
When other friendships are soon forgot, ours will still be hot.
I'm thinking a lot about friends these days, the ones who rush to you in times of trouble, with a casserole or a socket wrench or an invitation for coffee or lunch or a trip to the foot sanctuary. We meet friends in school or on the playground or at church or in the workplace and even on the Internet. Even as blogging has experienced some decline, the community here has been strong.
For today's Friday Five, some questions about friendship.
1) Who is the first friend you remember from childhood?
2) Have you ever received an unexpected gift from a friend?
3) Is there an old friend you wish you could find again? Or have you found one via social media or the Internet?
4) Do you like to get your good friends together in a group, or do you prefer your friends one on one?
5) Does the idea of Jesus as a friend resonate with you?
If you play the Friday Five at your blog and would like visitors, be sure to share a link here, using the following formulation:
<a href="the url of your blog post goes here">what you want the link to say goes here</a> For a complete how-to, click here.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Here's what I wrote at Terrapin Station:
From a Facebook status:
1 of every 10 people is gay. That means 1 of every 10 people is instantly put down, labeled, left alone, put in a minority and so much more, all for something they didn't choose. Many gay teens are committing suicide as a way of escaping. If you want to tell them life will get better and you respect them for who they are, copy this into your status. Most of you won't, but let's see the 5% who will.
I almost never copy in these FB status things. Mostly because they tell me to do something, and I don't want to be told what to do. They make bets on whether I'll do it; the answer is, I won't.
But the 1 in 10 is an important number for me. My sophomore year of college, I did a speech in Technical Speaking class on Ryan White. You remember him, and if you don't, please follow the link. (It was news to my class that day.) Talk about your fear-based bullying.
In my speech, I mentioned (from my careful research) that 1 in 10 people is gay. I remember the professor saying, "1 in 10! That can't be right!" I assured her that my (impeccably documented) source said it was. She and the rest of the class shook their heads in utter disbelief. I could not convince them.
There were 30 of us in that class. It was Texas A&M in the mid 1980's. It was an insanely conservative place, but also the home of the Corps of Cadets, which (anecdotes say) has at least its fair share of homosexuals.
So, probably two to three people in the class were, indeed, gay. Closeted, almost certainly. In the years to come I'd go to "the gay bar" in that town with friends. It was a scary time. Would it get raided? The building was a warehouse, completely unidentifiable from the outside. No one bought mixed drinks then; bottled beer was it, because there was a theory that you might get AIDS from a poorly-washed glass but beer bottles were safe. One of my friends from that era died, within 10 years, of AIDS, but I am entirely certain he didn't get it from a glass.
So if there were three people in that class when that statement was made, and refuted...how did they feel? Marginalized. Invisiblized. Nullified.
It's been 20 years and we are still trying to put forth the facts. It's time we spoke, shouted, screamed, loudly enough to be heard.
What are you reading, writing, thinking today? Please share with us in the comments. If you'd like to link to a blog post, use this formulation: <a href="the url of your blog post goes here">what you want the link to say goes here</a> For a complete how-to, click here.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
I cant remember who I heard joke once that it seemed like all the sermons he heard quoted The New York Times, a new sociology study, and a favorite best selling novel before saying, "But Jesus really got it best when he said..."
Monday, October 18, 2010
We have three new members to introduce to the webring today.
Faith Hope CherryTea, and she describes her blog purpose as:
pursuing the nature of God, goodness and grace, pioneering creative worship, inspiriting faith, hope and practical charity, living future present, in awe and wonder ...
Showing Up to the Moment. Vicki is an "aspirant" in the process discerning a call to the priesthood in the Episcopal Diocese of Western North Carolina, and she writes:
I'm currently a Loaned Executive at United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County. This temporary job provides insight to the unique needs of this amazing community. I'm walking in faith towards what is next!
Tuesday Thoughts and serves a UCC/DOC congregation in Pennsylvania.
Sharon describes her blog this way:
I try to plan exercise in my day, but don't always follow my plan. Being in the ministry is my third career - first teaching at university, second nonprofit implementation, now new church planter. I am a very creative thinker - never understanding there is a box to be out of.
Stop by and visit our new ring members!!!
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Your son taught us to pray and to never lose heart.
But frankly God there are times that wear us down and we feel fainthearted.
We feel weary and close to giving up.
There are times Lord we lose hope and give up.
It is times like these that we need to hold each other up in prayer.
It is times like these that we need to encourage each other.
It is times like these that we need to be there for one another.
It is times like these that we need to cry out to God for those in need.
But God it is not just for those in need, it is also for justice that we cry out.
We plea for those who can not speak up for themselves.
We stand up for those who rights have been violated.
We seek peace with justice for those who need both.
We pray for justice for those who are the weakest.
We thank you for your justice at work in this world.
We thank you for hearing our prayers and answering them.
We thank you for your showing concern and protection.
We thank you for your mercy that you pour out with your justice.
In all of this Lord, may we be found faithful
cross posted at rev abi's long and winding road and a place for prayer
Image found at Christ Church Nanton
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Friday, October 15, 2010
We all know this because Christianity (and other religions) emphasize the Golden Rule:
do ye so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.
1. Self: Who was your hero/heroine when you were about ten years old?
2. Family: Who are you most like? Who is most like you?
3. Friends: How do you stay in touch?
4. Neighborhood, community: What are ways you like to be involved?
5. Job/church: Do you see a need that will help in developing connections?
Bonus: A link or anything else about connecting.
As always, let us know in comments if you play. Post a direct link to your blog entry in your comment with the formula I can never print out--click here for the info about it.
And remember today is BLOG ACTION DAY!
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Ruth, who blogs at Sunday's Coming, has this to say:
And Muthah+ offers this:
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
about the need for clean water throughout the world.
- Unsafe drinking water and lack of sanitation kills more people every year than all forms of violence, including war. Unclean drinking water can incubate some pretty scary diseases, like E. coli, salmonella, cholera and hepatitis A. Given that bouquet of bacteria, it's no surprise that water, or rather lack thereof, causes 42,000 deaths each week.
- More people have access to a cell phone than to a toilet. Today, 2.5 billion people lack access to toilets. This means that sewage spills into rivers and streams, contaminating drinking water and causing disease.
- Every day, women and children in Africa walk a combined total of 109 million hours to get water. They do this while carrying cisterns weighing around 40 pounds when filled in order to gather water that, in many cases, is still polluted. Aside from putting a great deal of strain on their bodies, walking such long distances keeps children out of school and women away from other endeavors that can help improve the quality of life in their communities.
- It takes 6.3 gallons of water to produce just one hamburger. That 6.3 gallons covers everything from watering the wheat for the bun and providing water for the cow to cooking the patty and baking the bun. And that's just one meal! It would take over 184 billion gallons of water to make just one hamburger for every person in the United States.
- The average American uses 159 gallons of water every day – more than 15 times the average person in the developing world. From showering and washing our hands to watering our lawns and washing our cars, Americans use a lot of water. To put things into perspective, the average five-minute shower will use about 10 gallons of water. Now imagine using that same amount to bathe, wash your clothes, cook your meals and quench your thirst.
While these facts may be grim, there is hope for real solutions as more and more people around the world are waking up to the clean water crisis. Earlier this year, the UN declared access to clean water a human right and groups like charity: water and Water.org continue to work tirelessly to bring water access to the developing world.
And now, on October 15th we all have a chance to help shed more light on water issues around the world. Take a moment to make sure to register your blog and grab an action widget, and get ready for an amazing day of blog activism.