Saturday, June 25, 2016

Vacation



Be still and know that I am God.

Be...not doing or accomplishing.

Still...not moving or constant motion.

And...the promise of more.

Know...not only in my head, but also my heart.

That...which points to something more.

I...which is often lifted up as the center...but

am God...an acknowledgment of who is really the ground and source of my being.


As our family embarks on vacation, let these words go before, beside, and in the space in-between our lives speaking truth that is more than good advice...but a way to find true life.

Amen.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Study


Words create worlds...said Abraham Heschel
Words that I speak.
Words that I hear.
Words that I want to hold at a distant.
Words that challenge.
Words that confront and even offend.
Some words create worlds that I want to inhabit.
Some words create worlds that I would rather not visit.

Your word, O God, creates a world around us.
Your word, O God, came in the flesh of Jesus Christ helping us to see the world and life in new ways.
Your word, O God, still surfs, hovers, and hangs around the chaos of our ordinary lives.
Your word, O God, can be covered by political, military, give me power now speechifying we hear all around us.
Your word, O God, can be covered by my own ego wanting to pontificate.

Speak Your word afresh and anew, O God.
Clear out the spiritual earwax built up...the cloudiness of constantly being on the go...the voices that clamor for my allegiance in the form of my wallet, my vote, my bank statement, house, car, or what I have down.
Create a new world...Your world...Your realm where peace cannot be found through violence;
Your realm where winning and losing are not the only realities.
Your realm where love is at the center and not scoffed at with snide, sarcastic comments.
Maybe it is less about waiting for Your realm to come and more about waking up to Your realm right here and now.

That kind of word would create a brand-new world.

Amen.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Saturday



The excitement hovers and hangs in the air.
The bags are packed with clothing for the trip.
The anticipation of the unknown as we set out for places we've never been.
The lure of the mountains.
The chance to seen the majesty of the Grand Canyon.
The excitements mixes with a tinge of nervousness for that which we cannot control.
Will the flight be on time?
Will our luggage land with us?
Will the strange bed be comfortable?
Will the food be good?

For all we talk about life as a journey,
most days we travel the same roads,
in familiar ruts of daily life:
Grocery store, dishes, meals, work to do, places to go.
Most days don't seem like an adventure.
Yet, lurking in the corner of every day, You are there.
We might smile at the truth that, "The other name for God is, 'Surprise'."
But most days, blinded by the mundane and ordinary,
I am not sure I see as clear as I like.

So it helps to get away.
It helps to go to a new place, an unfamiliar place, that place where Jacob said,
"Sure God is in this PLACE and I didn't know it."
Because maybe the best souvenir I can bring back with me is not some trinket or token bought
But a sense that if God is there in the mountains of Colorado
If God is there is the vast canyon of Arizona
Then maybe God can be here in this everyday moment called today.
And if I can live that truth...
It truly would be the best news I have ever heard.

Amen.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Midweek Prayer



In the morning when I rise...
In the morning when I rise...
In the morning when I rise...
Give me Jesus.


This day that You have made, O God.
This day with all its beauty and brokenness.
This day with all its items clamoring for accomplishment.
This day with all its calling to achieve and prove.
This day with a sunrise and crashing tide that I had nothing to do with...
This day with this very breath right here.
This day with a warm cup of coffee that awakens me.
This day with a bird chirping and tree frog crying outside my window.
This day for a walk around the block while clouds sail past rushing to points unknown.

Four percent....scientists say that we know four percent of this world.
In school I was taught that four percent was the be all and end all.
Memorize and recite that four percent.
Study that four percent.
But what about the other ninety-six?
What about depths of oceans where sea creatures live in the dark, navigating the mud and muck?
What about the height of the sky where planes and rockets haven't ever touched?
What about that house down the block where I don't even know who is insight?
What about that part of my soul that I haven't ever explored?

Four percent...that might be too generous!
So this morning when I rise
Remind me that life is not a puzzle to be solved, but a mystery to be experienced.
Remind me that the three best words might be, "I don't know!"
Remind me that it is okay to be an explorer rather than an expert.
And remind me that the One who walked this world, loved this world, embraced and was embraced by this world...Jesus the Christ...promises to go before, beside, behind and beneath me all day.

Yes, when I rise, give me an open heart
An active imagination
And a attitude attuned to You, O God.
This is the day You have made, let every moment my life rejoice and join in You.

Amen.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Saturday



You discern my thoughts from far away, O God.  You search out my path and my lying down.  And are acquainted with all my ways.  Psalm 139:2-3

Wait...all my ways??
Does that really mean those ways of grumbling and grousing?
Does that really mean those moments I get frustrated and fumed?
Does that really mean that moment...when I said that thing...which I am totally NOT gonna post on-line for everyone else to know too?

But does that also mean that moment I made my children laugh?
That moment of healing, whole touch of the one I love and promised to spend my life with?
That moment when I could set aside the world's voice of success and listen for You, O God?

Does that mean that messy middle moment? When I didn't know which way was up?
Does that mean that moment of doing dishes and cleaning house?
That moment I got lost in thought while mowing the lawn?

Does it mean my way of trying too hard?
Does it mean my moments when I realize You love me not in-spite of all my ways, but because of them?

That almost seems too good to be true.
Because every other voice clamoring chaotically around me says:
"You need to consume!"
"Your self-worth is tied to your net-worth!"
"What did you do today?"

Help me hear more than the ways of the world...
Help me hear more than the ways of my own head...
Help me hear Your ways...Your ways of peace, hope, joy, love.
Your ways of grace that lead us home.
Your ways that are not my ways.
Set me on Your way, O God!  This day and throughout the days to come.

Amen.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Midweek Prayer



You have searched me and known me, O God.  You know when I sit down and when I rise up ~ Psalm 139:1-2

There is comfort in Your presence, O God.
A mysterious comfort;
An indescribable comfort;
A sense that I am known more fully than I know myself.

There is challenge in Your presence, O God.
A sense that I don't know as much as I think I do.
A sense that I can't think and solve my way out of everything.
A sense that grace is not mine to embrace, but to be embraced by.

There is care in Your presence, O God.
A reassurance that today need not only be measured by the items crossed off my to-do list;
A reassurance that this breath...right now...is an ineffable gift;
A reassurance that "Beloved" is not a title bestowed, but a truth to be felt.

There is calling in Your presence, O God.
That out of seven billion people, no one is quite the same exotic cocktail as I.
That out of seven billion people, I might share my heart and hands in beautiful, life giving ways.
That out of seven billion people, I might add my voice to the chorus of Your still speaking voice.

I pray that I would be in-tune and attune to You.
Not just in this moment, but every moment.
Not just when convenient, but continuously.
Not just in this sweet hour of prayer, but throughout this day.

When I sit down and when I rise,
When I speak and when I keep silence,
When I feel Your calm and when my shoulders tense up and jaw protrudes,
Help me stay open to You.
Surround me and sustain me this day.
Let my prayer rise up like incense and every word as an offering to You, source of all that is and will be this day.

Amen.

Friday, May 20, 2016

End of the week prayer

In the beginning, we start each week
Not with a full email inbox or some manic Monday...
But with Sunday.
Rest
Renewal
Worship in community.
We center our hearts is in the promise of God's presence.
That where it starts.

Sometimes by Monday that promise fads and feels fleeting.
Schedules full of appointments (doctor or work or both)
To do lists full
Or days that seem to stretch on endlessly and we wonder, "What am I here for?"

By Wednesday perhaps we feel lost, wandering in the wilderness.
Or excited by the prospect of some new challenge.
Or don't even know that Wednesday is different than the day before.

Finally, we arrive at Friday.
Perhaps with the promise of time away.
Or perhaps just as long of a to do list as you had at work...now at home.

What is the rhythm of your week?
Is there one?
Or does it feel chaotic, indiscernible?

Look back at the last five days...
Where did you sense God?
Where did you feel like you were on autopilot?
What have you forgotten or can even recall?

Weeks flow from one to the next.
What separates the space and time is to invite God to sit beside us...
In the stillness of this moment to
Look back...
Look around...
Look ahead...
And know the One who holds all time in God's gracious hands.

And may there be more than a trace of God's grace in that pause.