Out of sinus medication.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Out of sinus medication.
Monday, June 27, 2011
While listening to Phyllis Tickle speak, I looked over my shoulder and saw The Sarcastic Lutheran standing right near me. I knew it was her even though I had no idea what her real name was (it's Nadia). I introduced myself, and we talked a bit when she suddenly asked, "Would you like to serve communion at the bluegrass liturgy this evening?" Now, ponder that with me: The Sarcastic Lutheran is asking the Waffling Presbyterian to serve communion at the Bluegrass Liturgy. WILD goose indeed!
Of course I agreed. Thankfully, just before time for the liturgy service, my friend Meredith Lloyd introduced me to Doxasoma. An hour of prayerful exercise prepared my soul for worship like nothing else I can imagine.
The service was beautiful. The music was familiar (bluegrass hymns!), the liturgy beautiful, and the sermon brilliant. Then it came time for communion. I was assigned to a station along with Stuart, a member of Nadia's church. Someone quickly threw out, "You know Stuart, right? The tall, handsome gay guy with the mohawk!" I wondered how I'd find him in the sea of people. Turns out it wasn't hard. :)
Stuart and I took our places - he served the bread, I served the wine. Each time someone walked up I watched him look deep into their eyes and say, "The body of Jesus, broken for you". Then I looked deep into their eyes and said, "The blood of Jesus, shed for you." Something washed over me as this process repeated over and over, over and over. I knew that I believed it, whole-heartedly. That whoever stood in front of me, no matter who they were or what they were or where they came from or where they were going, these words I spoke were true: "The blood of Jesus, SHED FOR YOU." I'm not getting into eucharist arguments here, that's not my point. My point is that I participated with the Spirit in an unmistakeable way as I communicated that Truth to every person who stood before me, inviting them to participate in it. Every person. Every one. "God bless us, every one".
Then, when our line had ended, Stuart laid a gluten free wafer on my tongue, looked deep into my eyes, and said, "The body of Christ, broken for you." I was weeping by this point, but I handed him the cup and said, "The blood of Christ, shed for you." And we hugged. I knew then, that I'd never be able to go back. And that I didn't want to.
Thank you, Sarcastic Lutheran. Thank you House For All Sinners and Saints. Thank you Stuart.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
I spent Saturday at the Wild Goose Festival. I wish I'd been able to camp & enjoy the whole thing but that wasn't possible this year, so I'm content with the "taste" I enjoyed.
If I didn't believe that the God who made this world and called it good, very good, can and intends to restore it - ALL - to a better state than we can possibly imagine, for His own glory... that there will be (as Julian wrote) a Great Deed whereby all will be well ... that this Deed began at the Cross but has not yet come to full fruition and that we can't begin to understand it or conceive of it right now (just as the Old Testament believers couldn't begin to understand the cross, what that would look like) ... that Jesus is and will be at the center of this because He IS The Way, The Truth, The Life, that everything was made through Him, in Him everything has its being, and He will lose NONE of it to evil ... that our present sufferings cannot compare to what is to come ... that it's better than we can imagine (I can imagine a LOT) but we can participate in it now ... if I didn't believe this to be the bigger story and have hope for its eventual realization, then I'd have to walk away in hopeless despair. Nothing less is consistent, to my sensibilities. I've tasted the various streams of interpretation and none satisfy, nothing less than all is enough for me. Anything short is talking circles around an elephant in the room. And yet that's an impossible, nonsensical "if" because I do believe and I could never walk away. I am His. I don't have Him, He has me. I know this now. Without a doubt. And so, it is well with my soul.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Interruptibility is a sign that we are moving at the speed of love.
(and with that, I've been interrupted too many times to continue... alas, summer! ... maybe that gem will resurface and give me another look at it, I feel it has so much more to say ... I'll have to trust that to the Giver of all good gifts)
Friday, June 17, 2011
What if I tell them who they are?
What if I take away any element of fear, condemnation, judgment or rejection?
What if I tell them that I love them and I’ll always love them and I love them right now, no matter what they’ve done, as much as I love my only son?
What if I told them that there’s nothing they can do to make my love go away?
What if I told them that there are no lists?
What if I told them that they were righteous with my righteousness right now?
What if I told them they could stop being so formal and jumpy and stiff around me?
What if I told them that I was absolutely crazy about them?
What if I told them that even if they ran to the ends of the earth and did the most unthinkable horrible things, when they came back I’d receive them with tears and a party?
What if I told them that I don’t keep a log of past offenses, of how little they pray, how often they’ve let me down, or made promises they don’t keep?
What if I told them that they don’t have to be owned by men’s religions, traditions or additions?
What if I told them I’m their Savior, they’re going to heaven no matter what, it’s a done deal?
What if I told them that they had a new nature; that they were saints not just saved sinners who should now buck up and be better if your any kind of Christian after all He’s done for you?
What if I told them I actually live in them now; that I put my love and power and nature inside them at their disposal?
What if I told them that they didn’t have to put on a mask, that it was really OK to be exactly who they are at this moment with all their junk, and not have to pretend about how close we are, how much they pray or don’t, how much Bible they read or don’t?
What if they didn’t have to look over their shoulder for fear if things got too good the other shoe was going to drop?
What if they knew that I would never ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, use the word punish in relation to them?
What if they knew when they mess up I never get back at them?
What if they were convinced the bad circumstances are not my way of evening the score for taking advantage of me?
What if they knew the basis of our friendship was not on how little they sin but on how much they let me love them?
What if they had permission to stop trying to impress me in any way?
What if told them that they could hurt my heart but I would never hurt theirs?
What if I told them that they could open their eyes when they pray and still they will go to heaven?
What if I told them there was no secret agenda, no trap door?
What if I told them it wasn’t about their self effort but allowing me to live my life through them?
What if they actually believed that??!!
That’s the New Testament gamble and it’s being lived out in you and me right now.
Monday, June 13, 2011
Friday, June 10, 2011
6-7He said this and then spit in the dust, made a clay paste with the saliva, rubbed the paste on the blind man's eyes, and said, "Go, wash at the Pool of Siloam" (Siloam means "Sent"). The man went and washed—and saw.
8Soon the town was buzzing. His relatives and those who year after year had seen him as a blind man begging were saying, "Why, isn't this the man we knew, who sat here and begged?"
9Others said, "It's him all right!"
But others objected, "It's not the same man at all. It just looks like him."
He said, "It's me, the very one."
10They said, "How did your eyes get opened?"
11"A man named Jesus made a paste and rubbed it on my eyes and told me, 'Go to Siloam and wash.' I did what he said. When I washed, I saw."
12"So where is he?"
"I don't know."
13-15They marched the man to the Pharisees. This day when Jesus made the paste and healed his blindness was the Sabbath. The Pharisees grilled him again on how he had come to see. He said, "He put a clay paste on my eyes, and I washed, and now I see."
16Some of the Pharisees said, "Obviously, this man can't be from God. He doesn't keep the Sabbath."
Others countered, "How can a bad man do miraculous, God-revealing things like this?" There was a split in their ranks.
17They came back at the blind man, "You're the expert. He opened your eyes. What do you say about him?"
He said, "He is a prophet."
18-19The Jews didn't believe it, didn't believe the man was blind to begin with. So they called the parents of the man now bright-eyed with sight. They asked them, "Is this your son, the one you say was born blind? So how is it that he now sees?"
20-23His parents said, "We know he is our son, and we know he was born blind. But we don't know how he came to see—haven't a clue about who opened his eyes. Why don't you ask him? He's a grown man and can speak for himself." (His parents were talking like this because they were intimidated by the Jewish leaders, who had already decided that anyone who took a stand that this was the Messiah would be kicked out of the meeting place. That's why his parents said, "Ask him. He's a grown man.")
24They called the man back a second time—the man who had been blind— and told him, "Give credit to God. We know this man is an impostor."
25He replied, "I know nothing about that one way or the other. But I know one thing for sure: I was blind . . . I now see."
26They said, "What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?"
27"I've told you over and over and you haven't listened. Why do you want to hear it again? Are you so eager to become his disciples?"
28-29With that they jumped all over him. "You might be a disciple of that man, but we're disciples of Moses. We know for sure that God spoke to Moses, but we have no idea where this man even comes from."
30-33The man replied, "This is amazing! You claim to know nothing about him, but the fact is, he opened my eyes! It's well known that God isn't at the beck and call of sinners, but listens carefully to anyone who lives in reverence and does his will. That someone opened the eyes of a man born blind has never been heard of—ever. If this man didn't come from God, he wouldn't be able to do anything."
34They said, "You're nothing but dirt! How dare you take that tone with us!" Then they threw him out in the street.
35Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and went and found him. He asked him, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?"
36The man said, "Point him out to me, sir, so that I can believe in him."
37Jesus said, "You're looking right at him. Don't you recognize my voice?"
38"Master, I believe," the man said, and worshiped him.
39Jesus then said, "I came into the world to bring everything into the clear light of day, making all the distinctions clear, so that those who have never seen will see, and those who have made a great pretense of seeing will be exposed as blind."
40Some Pharisees overheard him and said, "Does that mean you're calling us blind?"
41Jesus said, "If you were really blind, you would be blameless, but since you claim to see everything so well, you're accountable for every fault and failure."
Thursday, June 9, 2011
That the whole substance of religion was faith, hope, and charity; by the practice of which we become united to the will of God.
That all things are possible to him who believes, that they are less difficult to him who hopes, they are more easy to him who loves, and still more easy to him who perseveres in the practice of these three virtues.
I cannot bear that this should be called delusion; because the soul which thus enjoys God desires herein nothing but Him. If this be delusion in me, it belongs to God to remedy it.
I can not imagine how religious persons can live satisfied without the practice of the presence of God.
Samples of that poetry, phrases like:
there is a design, an alignment, a cry of my heart to see the beauty of Love as it was meant to be
love it will not betray you dismay or enslave you, it will set you free, be more like the man you were made to be
it seems that all my bridges have been burnedyou say that's exactly how this grace thing worksit's not the long walk home that will save this heartbut the welcome I receive at the restart
plant your hope with good seedsdon't cover yourself with thistles and weeds
lead me to the Truth and I will follow You with my whole life
make your siren's call andsing all you wantI will not hear what you have to say!cause I need freedom now andI need to know howlive my life as it's meant to be ....
hide your firesthese here are my desiresand I won't give them up to you this time aroundand so I'll be foundwith my stake stuck here in this groundmarking the territory of this newly impassioned soulI WILL HOLD ON HOPE
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Monday, June 6, 2011
"I truly believe that if I were living in sin, or if sin were roaring in my spirit, then God wouldn't be so real to me--and so ALIVE! He wouldn't pour out blessings on my life. He wouldn't commune with me on such a personal level. Instead, I would be convicted. God would be distant. I would feel the guilt & shame I feel when I'm unkind to a colleague, or when I participate in a conversation that doesn't honor Christ. There are so many times that I'm filled up with regret or guilt and I say..."Lord, I'm really sorry. That was SO opposite what you want for my life and I will make it right." So I do sin. And I know it. And the Holy Spirit definitely kicks my rear end into place always and often. I just firmly believe that if my homosexuality is a sin, the Holy Spirit would convict me of it---in the same way He bears witness with my spirit on so many other topics each and every day."
Deep peace of the running wave to you.
Deep peace of the flowing air to you.
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
Deep peace of the shining stars to you.
Deep peace of the gentle night to you.
Moon and stars pour their healing light on you.
Deep peace of Christ the light of the world to you.
Deep peace of Christ to you.