Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Rhoda's Story

Acts 12:13-15 (The Message)

Still shaking his head, amazed, he went to Mary's house, the Mary who was John Mark's mother. The house was packed with praying friends. When he knocked on the door to the courtyard, a young woman named Rhoda came to see who it was. But when she recognized his voice—Peter's voice!—she was so excited and eager to tell everyone Peter was there that she forgot to open the door and left him standing in the street.

But they wouldn't believe her, dismissing her, dismissing her report. "You're crazy," they said. She stuck by her story, insisting. They still wouldn't believe her and said, "It must be his angel." All this time poor Peter was standing out in the street, knocking away.

This scripture is from this morning's daily office reading. Let's raise a toast to Rhoda - a woman who stuck by her story when no one believed her. I wonder if those present apologized after they saw Peter at the door.  Whatever you are facing today, may God give you the grace and strength to stick to the truth that you know, no matter the obstacles.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

stuck in a rut?

"The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur
when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled.
For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort,
that we are likely to step out of our ruts
and start searching for different ways or truer answers."
~~Scott Peck

This man is going to need some help getting out of this rut!
I wonder what he will do?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

untold story

"There is no agony
like bearing an untold story
inside of you."

Maya Angelou

Thursday, August 26, 2010

puddles of love

 "We are little pots,
even the grandest, most magnificent of us.
We can't contain the downpour of your love.
And the overflow,
puddling on the ground about us,
mingles with our own senseless tears
of greed and loss and need."

There are the first lines of L. William Countryman's poem "Pots and Potter"
from his latest book, "Lovesongs and Reproaches: Passionate Conversations with God."
It reminds me of a section of this Sunday's gospel story from Luke.
Jesus tells a parable about people at a banquet jostling for the best seat at the table,
only to be told that they would have to move,
because that particular seat was "saved" for someone special.
That's always an awkward moment. And who hasn't experienced it?
Aren't we the silliest creatures?
Trying to finagle a way to be seen, heard, and known,
by those who were never designed to meet our deepest needs.
For all along God is pouring his love
down upon us to the point that it's producing puddles at our feet.
May we remember to put away our umbrellas in order to breathe in deeply of
this neverending downpour of love.

p.s. Get the book! this is just a taste of the riches you'll find between the covers.

Roberta Hiday

Sunday, August 22, 2010

the bent over woman

        In today's gospel reading from Luke 13, Jesus is teaching in the synagogue when he sees a "bent-over" woman pass by. Without her requesting anything from him he calls her over, places his hands on her and suddenly she is no longer locked into her downward facing position.
        My back has been acting up for several days now and there have been mornings where standing up straight has been a challenge but it is slowly returning to normal. But imagine being stuck like that as this woman was for 18 years. Imagine only seeing the ground for that long and then unexpectedly being able to stand up straight and your first view of the surrounding landscape at this new angle is the face of Jesus. Dang. No wonder she was rejoicing.
        Is there anything keeping you bent in half these days? Are you carrying someone else's pain or choosing not to let go of some wound or offense? Let Jesus straighten that out for you. The change of scenery will do ya good....

graphic by Cortney L. Haley  from here

Friday, August 20, 2010

Psalm 23, rewritten

Psalm 23
The Lord is my Savior
He calls me out of the downward spirals of life
He creates a place of calm and rest in the midst of the swirling storm
And invites me to join Him there.
He meets me in the strangest places … and faces
I do not wish for hardship, but I would not trade the pain I’ve had
Because You meet me there in surprising ways;
I get to know You better, and my heart’s capacity grows.
Your delight and enjoyment of me invite me,
and draw me out of my shame.
For I am dirty before You.
Still, You smile at me,
and give me the gift of Your Presence.
You grow a solid center within me as I am honest with You.
You honor me with gifts in my ordinary life.
You erase the shame of my dirt with Your smile
(regardless of whether I was given the dirt or created it myself)
because Your anger was spent in Jesus’ blood.
You play loose with Your own reputation by choosing me
… and yet …
You tell me You are sure of Your choice.
And I believe You.
Your pursuit of me fills me with honor.
Your pleasure in me grows my beauty.
And I want to know You more deeply and fully.
There is so much life and love to share.

- Jeanette Scott, lover of Christ, therapist & dear friend

Monday, August 16, 2010

our many layers

"Emotional collapse comes when we have given ourselves over
to only one part of ourselves.
If we concentrate only on the children, or only on the job, or only on the money,
then when the children leave home, or the job ends, or the money is lost,
we have nothing else in life to live for.
But when we spend life developing all the many layers of the self,
no one thing can possibly destroy us.
Peace has a way of seeping from one category to another."
- Joan Chittister

photo from Paria movie town
Escalante - Grand Staircase Nat'l Monument

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Dear Readers,

This past Sunday I preached my first sermon. Is that crazy or what? As a young girl even the idea of being an altar server was out of the question because of my gender. So to be able to stand before those with whom I'm traveling on this journey into the mystery of our faith feels surreal in a good and holy way. Preaching is something I would never have even allowed myself to dream about as a child and I am so grateful.

God is infamous for turning everything upside down and inside out in our lives - that's the joy found in greeting each new day as a treasure chest filled with new possibilities.  If you'd like to read the sermon you can email me at robertahiday at gmail dot com and i'll send it to you....

Thank you for your prayers and support over the years. I'm so appreciative...

In Christ,

P.S. The pirate art is connected to the sermon:)

Monday, August 9, 2010

spans, and cubits, and fathoms, oh my!

Being the fan of SisterJoan Chittister, that I am,
I had to share this quote from her "Vision and Viewpoint" e-newsletter
that was in my morning email that speaks to the measurement of God's mercy:

"She who approaches near to Me one span,
I will approach near to her one cubit;
and she who approaches near to Me one cubit,
 I will approach near to her one fathom;
and whoever approaches Me walking, I will come to her running;
and she who meets Me with sins equivalent to the whole world,
I will greet her with forgiveness equal to it.”
- Mishkat al-Masabaih, Sufi mystic

if you'd like to receive her e-newsletters, click here and sign up!
DaVinci's art work will help you brush up on your Vitruvian man measurements:)

Friday, August 6, 2010

spilling sweat, not blood

"It's when we start working together
that the real healing takes place.
It's when we start spilling our sweat
and not our blood."
David Hume

I took this photo inside the AIDS Chapel
at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


It is surely better to pardon too much,
than to condemn too much.
George Eliot

i took this snippet from Ellie. i was struck by the intensity of its truth.
plus "pardon" is such a beautiful word.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

holy food for holy people

Our tiny church was filled to the brim today!  Love that!  Lots of new faces of Jesus to get to know!  Have I mentioned that one of my favorite parts of the Sunday Liturgy is the moment when our priest invites the congregation to come forward to the Lord's Table to receive the body and blood of Christ?  Here is a paraphrase of what Elizabeth+ said today (and on every Sunday.) 

"Everyone is invited to this table no matter where you are on your journey. 
There is no wrong way to do this. 
Please come forward and share this holy food for holy people." 

I never tire of this statement.  And ya don't have to ask me twice to the dinner table! I have to hold myself back from knocking everyone over so I can get up to that altar rail! (I think that's the 8 in me:)

Here's what Nora Gallagher has to say about it in her book "The Sacred Meal".....
"My own view is this: that once you decide that there are rules around who takes Communion and who doesn't, you can get to the point where taking Communion boils down to making sure a soul is freshly laundered and squeaky-clean before its body can take the bread and wine into its mouth.  This gets very close to manipulating God.  And once you begin to make rules, then there is no end to the rule making."  p.89