Tuesday, June 29, 2010

puppet bibles

"The Bible is an instrument of salvation only because
it challenges our habitual habits, attitudes, and behaviors.
As soon as it begins only to confirm and reinforce our own views
it is reduced to the status of a hand puppet.
It no longer conveys an alternative;
it simply parrots our own opinions."

M. Casey, (on using Scripture to legitimize persecution & discrimination)
from Sacred Reading, The Ancient Art of Lectio Divina

Monday, June 28, 2010

be fully alive

June 28th, Feast of St. Irenaeus
Bishop of Lyons, c. 202
"The glory of God is a human being fully alive;
and to be alive consists in beholding God."
— Saint Irenaeus

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Luke 9:51-62

In today's Gospel reading Luke tells us that "Jesus set his face toward Jerusalem." Talk about steadfast determination! Nothing was going to get in his way, neither villages that refused to welcome him, nor people with excuses as to why they could not set their faces toward their own Jerusalems. Of course Jesus didn't travel in a straight line toward his destiny, and neither do we, but he did get there and with God's help, so can we. So where and what is your Jerusalem? Are you distracted from it because of your other obligations, or like me, have you just been avoiding it?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Welcome Fred

Congrats Faith and Chris!
After a very long day we are delighted to welcome
Fredrick Christopher to the world....the only child
I've ever known to be born on his due date.
Something tells me Fred is never going to be late for school!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

knots & nots

The Knots of Prayer
Author Unknown

Dear God,
Please untie the knots that are in my mind, my heart and my life.
Remove the "nots," the can nots and the do nots that I have in my mind.
Erase the will nots, may nots, might nots that may find a home in my heart.
Release me from the could nots, would nots and should nots
that obstruct my life.

And most of all, Dear God,
I ask that you remove from my mind, my heart and my life
all the 'am nots' that I have allowed to hold me back,
especially the thought that I am not good enough.

Monday, June 21, 2010

becoming human

“You can survive on your own;
you can grow strong on your own;
you can prevail on your own;
but you cannot become human on your own."

Frederick Buechner, The Sacred Journey

Thursday, June 17, 2010

goodbyes and hellos

Hey, where's everybody going?
Check out the migration patterns in America!

Manhattan: Young people move in, old marrieds move out.

 Detroit: Everyone out of the pool!

Seattle: So that's where everyone moved to!

Los Angeles: Last person out of Cali please turn off the lights!

(check out the other cities here)

"Why can't we get all the people together in the world that we really like
and then just stay together? I guess that wouldn't work.
Someone would leave. Someone always leaves.
Then we would have to say good-bye. I hate good-byes.
I know what I need. I need more hellos."

Charles M. Schulz

Monday, June 14, 2010

The 10 Minute Prayer

"O God, I am hellishly angry;
I think so-and-so is a swine;
I am tortured by worry about this or that;
I am pretty sure I have missed my chances in life;
this or that has left me feeling terribly depressed.
But nonetheless here I am like this,
feeling both bloody and bloody-minded,
and I am going to stay here for ten minutes.
You are most unlikely to give me anything.
I know that.
But I am going to stay for the ten minutes nonetheless.

Harry Williams,
quoted in the SPCK Book of Christian Prayer,
1995, p.191

photo from here

Sunday, June 13, 2010

disruptively holy

Today's Gospel reading is from Luke 7 - the story of the woman who showed great love towards Jesus by bathing his feet with her tears, followed by drying them with her hair.  Can you imagine such a disruptively holy scene?

The following prayer is from Episcopal Cafe, Speaking to the Soul by Vicki K. Black.

"Lord, remind me who I am.
When others tell me I am nothing,
Remind me that I have been made in God’s image.
When my body has been used and abused,
Remind me that I am the temple of your Holy Spirit. . . .
When people tell me that I will never amount to anything,
Remind me that I am crowned with your glory and honor. . . .

When I cannot see any way ahead,
Remind me that I carry your light within me.
When I am afraid or confused,
Remind me that I have your power, your love and your sanity.
When I feel of no use and no worth,
Remind me that I am precious to you, that you call me your beloved. . . .

When I forget who I am,
Call me by my name."

From “When I Need Reminding” by Christina Rees, quoted in Lifting Women’s Voices: Prayers to Change the World edited by Margaret Rose, Jenny Te Paa, Jeanne Person, and Abagail Nelson. Copyright © 2009. Used by permission of Morehouse Publishing, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. http://www.morehousepublishing.com/

artwork from here

Saturday, June 12, 2010

opaque or transparent?

"Your life is something opaque, not transparent,
as long as you look at it in an ordinary human way.
But if you hold it up against the light of God's goodness,
it shines and turns transparent, radiant and bright.
And then you ask yourself in amazement:
Is this really my own life I see before me?
~Albert Schweitzer

art work is actually a tissue paper project.
wanna make one? check here for complete instructions.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

between the givens

In that tiny space between all the givens is freedom.
~ Sue Bender

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


"Life is a matrix of miracles
punctuated by one interruption after the next."

Joan Chittister
Scarred by Struggle, Transformed by Hope  p.12

Monday, June 7, 2010

Widow of Nain

J.J. Tissot, detail of "Jesus Raising the son of the widow at Nain" (1890), original watercolor
The following is from Sunday's Gospel reading:
"Soon afterwards he went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went with him. As he approached the gate of the town, a man who had died was being carried out. He was his mother’s only son, and she was a widow; and with her was a large crowd from the town. When the Lord saw her, he had compassion for her and said to her, ‘Do not weep.’ Then he came forward and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, ‘Young man, I say to you, rise!’ The dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. Fear seized all of them; and they glorified God, saying, ‘A great prophet has risen among us!’ and ‘God has looked favourably on his people!’ This word about him spread throughout Judea and all the surrounding country." Luke 7:11-17

So the crowd following Jesus was heading toward Nain while the crowd following the widow was walking away from the town when their paths crossed. And you know what happens when your path crosses with Jesus? Resurrection! Oh, maybe not the type where you flip the lid off of your coffin and you start chatting up a storm (though I do wonder what the widow's son said after he sat up & realized he was in his own funeral procession?) but Resurrection comes in many forms such as: we no longer have to live in fear, change is actually possible, and when we die, we will be brought into new life. And that, my friends is the Good News!

(The focus of this painting is the dead son but in the reading the emphasis is actually on the widow and the compassion she receives from Jesus. This painting has a "Where's Waldo" quality to it, as in "Where's the Widow?")

Sunday, June 6, 2010

For Those We Love

Almighty God,
we entrust all who are dear to us
to your never-failing care and love,
for this life and the life to come,
knowing that you are doing for them
better things than we can desire or pray for;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayer #54, from The Book of Common Prayer

Friday, June 4, 2010

For Sue...

"O God, my master,
Should I gain the grace to see you face to face,
When life is ended,
Grant that a little dog, who once pretended
That I was God,
May see me face to face."

Francis Jammes (1868-1938)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Dogma Day Parade

"Dogma is meant to be the wrapping of the process
for purposes of transmission —
an encapsulating membrane that enables the activity of the Spirit to be
passed on, picked up and personalised in future.
It is not an absolute in itself, however,
and it’s a poor substitute for the Holy Spirit."

Bishop Alan Wilson

who wrote a glorious piece on dogma and the Holy Spirit.
so please click here to check out the rest of his non-dogmatic post!