Tuesday, March 29, 2011

hugging grief

"If we hug the memory of our own grief to ourselves,
we can close our minds to other people's wretchedness."
-Karen Armstrong

It is imperative that we be part of a community.
We were divinely created for it, and
though our culture rallies around independence,
& pulling ourselves up by our own boot straps,
we are called to peel our hands away from the comfort of our self-hug,
and with open arms, both receive and give love to our neighbors and ourselves.
So go ahead, share your story today with someone whose story you don't already know.

Monday, March 28, 2011

punished by anger

"You will not be punished for your anger.
You will be punished by your anger."

How much energy have I wasted with my anger?
It's tough being an 8:)

Liz Hager sidewalk photo from here.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Expand our images O Lord!

What images of God do we carry with us?
Do they empower us to seek and serve Christ in all people,
regardless of race, gender or creed?
Do they encourage us to strive for justice and peace
among all the peoples of the earth?
Do they help us to respect the dignity of every human being,
all of whom are created in the Divine Image?
If not, why do we keep them?

Images that induce guilt and fear (like the ones I grew up with)
can be tenacious in their hold upon our psyches.
Even when you think you have banished them they can pop up like burnt toast -
all smokey & smelly & needing a quick trip to the trash bin.

We need to expand our images of God in order to nourish our souls.
We need images that speak to the mystery that is God.

The image above is one that my adult daughter grew up with
that she would like to replace.

Monday, March 21, 2011


"God always outdistances our
thoughts, words, knowledge, creeds, litanies, lives;
outdistances them either because
God is too simple for us to apprehend,
or too complex for us to comprehend, or both."
-Ted Loder

of course this does not stop us from trying
to create God in our own image.
(the wordle is supposedly all the words in the bible)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

refine our sight

"In this crazy world,
there's an enormous distinction
between good times and bad,
between sorrow and joy.
But in the eyes of God, they're never separated.
Where there is pain, there is healing.
Where there is mourning there is dancing.
Where there is poverty, there is the kingdom."
-Henri Nouwen

Lord, refine our sight in these difficult days.
Show us where we can let go of fear.
Guide us into new ways of loving one another.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Paddy's Day Cartoons

I couldn't decide which of these was more fitting
so you get all 3 which is very Trinitarian on my part!

My daughter Bethany has determined Lucky Charms to be
an "authentic Irish breakfast" but even she would not go this far!

I like the expression on the leprechaun's face
in the following cartoon, which seems to say,
"I need a new accountant"

More of these can be found here.
And this one is for all of you
who are brave enough to consume
corned beef & cabbage today.
I myself will be feasting on lasagna.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

spreading grace

"God is spreading grace around in the world
like a five-year-old spreads peanut butter:
thickly, sloppily, and eagerly."
-Donna Schaper

hat tip to Jean

And may this thick grace of God be the thread that sows together
 the ragged edges of Japan's people and land
in the midst of this unspeakable tragedy.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

knowledge vs. wisdom

I'm feeling the need for a taste of levity tonite.
"Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit.
Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad."
But where's the fun in that?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Prayer for those suffering in Japan

Merciful God, in your hands are the caverns of the earth and the heights of the hills: our times also are in your hands.
Hear our prayers for those suffering in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan; soothe those in distress;  watch over those trapped and hoping for  rescue; comfort the bereaved; strengthen those who labor to help others, lift up those who cannot help themselves; and in every danger be their very present help by the power of your Holy Spirit; we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.  -The Rev. Jennifer Phillips

This prayer is from St. Pete's Rock.  You will find several others at that site. The artwork is a child's depiction of the tsunami that ravaged Sri Lanka several years ago.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ash Wednesday

Today is Ash Wednesday - the first day of Lent -  and I cannot decide what spiritual discipline to take on for this season...so once again I am posting the prayer that was read last night while we watched the burning of the palms from last year - a prayer that offers a myriad of fasting/feasting options.

Fasting and Feasting
Fast from worry; Feast on trust.
Fast from words that hurt; Feast on words that heal.
Fast from anger; Feast on patience.
Fast from discontent; Feast on thanksgiving.
Fast from gossip; Feast on the courage to go to the source for more accurate understanding.
Fast from discouragement; Feast on hope.
Fast from bitterness; Feast on forgiveness.
Fast from suspicion; Feast on truth.
Fast from fear; Feast on love for stangers.
Fast from judging others; Feast on the Christ within them.
Fast from focus on differences; Feast on the love that unites us all.

Elizabeth Bloch's+ adaptation of William Arthur Ward's Lenten prayer.

Friday, March 4, 2011

endow me

"Oh Lord, endow me with more contentedness in what is present,
And less solicitude about what is future;
With a patient mind to submit to any loss of what I have,
Or to any disappointment of what I expect."

-Bishop Simon Patrick, 17th century hymn composer

Thursday, March 3, 2011

the dynamic of repentance

"God's forgiveness is not the reward
for having changed one's life,
but the source & condition of that change."
Martin L. Smith

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

be very afraid?

is always an anticipation
of what has not yet come."
-Jack Kornfield

And yet we're fed fear all day long.  I have a bumper sticker on my car that says
and that's reality.

doug savage cartoons are found here