Monday, June 25, 2012

Mandala Meditation - Psalm 36

"For You are the Fountain of life; our light is from Your light." 
                                                                                           Psalm 36:9 (Tyndale)                  

      When I create these mandalas, within the context of my Lectio Divina practice, sometimes I am as amazed as anyone else about what is created.  This picture started with the center circle with three lines and lights coming from that.  Each light led to two more from there.  When I looked back though what I saw was not the spreading of the light, but the flower that had blossomed in the middle.

What verse in Psalm 36 touched you?  Did you create something from it?  Please share.  I'd love to see it.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Reading for Bible Distribution to Youth

We did this Bible distribution in lieu  of the Children's Message during a Sunday service.  Each member of the Board of Worship and Education took a different segment.  It is our church's tradition to hand out Bibles at the end of the 3rd grade year so that they may bring their Bible's to church in the future and deepen their understanding of the Bible from the children's bibles that many of them may have.  

The Bible also comes with a warranty that if they wear it out, they can exchange it at any time for a new one.

Bible Distribution

Invite recipients up

Today is an exciting day.  Today you will receive a gift that has been prized since the beginning of time. Does anyone have any idea what it might be?  Why do you think this book is so important?  

Those are all wonderful reasons and here are a few more:
This story originally came not on paper but in words.  Words that were passed down from generation to generation.  Words that were memorized and retold until the next generation memorized the same stories.

When paper was made from papyrus, the oldest stories began to be written down.  The books of Moses, called the Torah in the Judaic tradition, and then the entire Tenakh (Ten-ock).  The transcribing of these stories was so special and so important that if one letter was written incorrectly, the scribe would begin again.

These stories of the Old Testament were foundational teachings even to our Messiah, Jesus Christ.  After Jesus came and then was crucified, others wrote.  There were stories of Jesus’ life, the creation of the church and acts of the disciples after Jesus’ death, letters to the new churches that were growing up, and a revelation of future times.  More was written than you will find in this book and so as a newly formed Christian church we met to decide what were the most important pieces to be included in the New Christian Bible.

This book is so important that it was the first book to be printed on the first printing press and for many years and even in some places today, it is the only book in some homes.  It is such an important book that the Gideon’s work to make sure that anyone that wants one has one and in most hotels, you will find the Bible tucked carefully in the nightstand thanks to their work.

Some people have died or been persecuted for this book.  We hope that you too will hold this book with great reverence, but not with reverence like that you might care for a piece of fine china or crystal, but like the love that many of you have probably shown to a “blankie” or favorite stuffed animal.  This book is just a book until you read it, think on what God is saying to you through it, and share it with others.  I encourage you to not just read it once, but many times.  I encourage you to read it backwards, forwards, to find favorite stories or lines.  I empower you to write in it – to underline favorite verses or note comments in the side.  I pray that this book is not just an important book for all time, but the most important book in your particular life.  I pray that you find this a helpful tool to know and understand the God that loves you madly.

As representatives from the Board of Worship and Education on behalf of the whole First Congregational Church of XXXXXXX.  We would like to present these Bibles to XXXXXXXX, XXXXXXX . . .

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Using Current Events to Sculpt your Pastoral Prayer

I would like to share with you a website that I have recently come by that uses world news events to create a pastoral prayer.  This is not an endorsement of their site, but invitation to check it out and judge it for your self.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Jesus, My Jesus - a devotional poem

Jesus, my love
                Who are you?
I am enamored, and yet you elude me.
As the colors of the sunset melt into the sea,
I try to get a full understanding of you, but you evaporate away    ͠    I am left in awe.

Like my shadow you are always near and unattainable.
I feel you by me, I search for you.  I try to follow you.
You are my heart, my soul, my life.

Whatever you are, whoever you are, reveal yourself to me.
Let me know you!
Jesus, my Jesus . . .
Let me understand you!
Jesus, my Jesus,
You are more than I can ever comprehend.

Jesus, my Jesus, my love! My inspiration!
I am yours!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Love - Please Find Me - a poem

Love –
My heart used to flutter
I used to swoon
My knees would buckle

We grew
    I grew
        I am independent,
               I can do it myself.

But I don’t want to.
Sometimes I forget the words
Or say them like a robot,
But deep inside I want to be loved.
I want you to hold me
To make the world better.

My heart loves.
     My body pulls me
          apart. Time has frozen me from you.
Self-sufficient.  I can do it.
I don’t need you,
But I do,
      I do.
        Please hear me.
I don’t even voice it, but I need you to know
To look through it all,
To love me,
      To care for me.
                I LOVE YOU!
                     Please find me.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

My Rudder - a poem

A rudder put in so long ago can affect my travels today.
The rudder was put in with a promising dream and direction,
But at some point it was screwed in with firm lock-tight bolts.
Perhaps this strong hold was necessary against the winds that once stormed against us, necessary to avoid rocky outcroppings.
But now the immovability of that rudder is troubling; the clarity of the trajectory disconcerting.
As I start to jostle and pry at the bolts, I worry about the destruction it may foretell.
I have moved the bolts enough that the rudder is shaking – I can feel the turbulence.
I am unsure if I should break it free, and I know possibly in the movement I have created may tear us apart any way.
I fear that I will be so uncomfortable with the letting go of control that I will rebolt the rudder just on the other side of the hull.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

How to Stay Strong in Your Religious Beliefs

I wrote the following poem in answer to the question, " How do you hold your own commitments while remaining open to encounters with those who hold different commitments?"

As I Grown by the River

As I grow by the river,
I stand straight and strong.
                My roots hold me still in times of flood
                             and stretch deep in times of drought.
                My branches reach for the sustenance of the sun.
I have stood here long, as my trunk attests,
                through strong winds and cold nights.
I stretch my arms so that I may feel the breeze.
                I welcome birds to nest with me.
               I play with the chipmunks and squirrels who scamper about.
I try to be strong when children tie ropes to me to jump in the waters.
Sometimes, I grow weary.
My arms sag in the snow
 or my leaves fall to the riverbank. . .
                But my roots are deep. My trunk is strong.
                              And life will rise in me again.
                                          And if I am really very lucky,
Perhaps one seed will fall from me 
and stick in the mud 
and there
                Another tree will grow 
                    – perhaps it will not be exactly like me, but
                                It will have deep roots 
                   outstretched limbs that reach for the sun.