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Showing posts from July, 2015

Between the Sun and Storm

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It has been raining a lot in Florida.  As in people are making references to building an ark like Noah kind of raining a lot.  This morning as I was out for a morning jog, there was a mixture of sun and storm clouds mingling together in the sky.  The ominous, dark, threaten clouds inching closer, slowly taking over the sunshine.  What a great metaphor for life.  So often in our lives things are going great.  The sun is out, laughter is easy, and life is good.  Everything seems to come up roses.  Food tastes better, the air is sweeter, and you think about writing poetry.  Suddenly, the metaphorical storm clouds roll into life.  The refrigerator breaks, the same week you hurt your back, the same week that neighbor, co-worker, annoying person whose voice is like nails on a chalk board comes into your life breathing all over things.  In short, the rain comes.  Suddenly, things are NOT so great.  Your stomach is in knots, you feel flustered or frustrated or flummoxed in some indescribable…

Scripture as Telescope

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All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 2 Timothy 3:16
Been thinking about what you anticipate, expect, or think about Scripture?  Did you get your Bible off the shelf?  Been flipping through the pages?  If Scripture can be stain-glass or a kaleidoscope, what other images might we draw upon to help us as we prepare to open the pages to read?
Perhaps a telescope.  This amazing invention helps us see things far away, brings them close as our next breathe.  Too often, it is easier to hold Scripture at arms length, less it gets too close and starts rummaging around, rearranging our lives.  (Jesus talking about not worrying, considering the lilies of the field...does he not understand, I am REALLY good at worrying...would totally make the Olympic team in worrying.  But I digress.)  It is safer to keep the Bible on the shelf, less it start speaking to the decisions we make regarding money or that co-wo…

Scripture as Kaleidoscope

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All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 2 Timothy 3:16
Over the next few posts, I want to explore Scripture.  In particular, how we approach Scripture.  What happens the moment your fingertips touch the cool, smooth leather-bound Bible?  What is racing in your heart and mind and soul as you begin to flip through the thin pages?  Noticing what is awoken within us before we even read a word of Scripture is vital because that frame effects/affects how we interpret.  Is Scripture some divine rule book?  Some wiki-like source of divine instruction?  Lots of people are fond of the St. Augustine approach.  When he was wrestling with life, and life was wrestling back and winning, he heard a voice say, "Pick up and read."  He did.  He read Romans 13, which talks about putting on Christ and setting aside the desires of the flesh (apparently, Augustine caroused and lived a loose live...he might ha…

Living Colors

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Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:9 
I have been doing painting around our house.  Sometimes I have been painting the same color on the wall and doors; making them look fresh, covering over the scratches and scuffs and marks.  Sometimes I have been painting new colors on the wall that makes the space looks different.  Changing the color in some ways is easier, as it allows you to see where you have been.  Keeping the same in other ways is easier, because it blends and the old and new work together.  
If you had to choose one color (Like Harold in the Purple Crayon) to describe your life right now, what would it be?  And why?  The church has liturgical colors: blue at Advent for anticipation and waiting.  White for Christmas and Easter for festive days, celebrating God's presence (although I wonder if the above picture would be a better visual on those days with its kaleidoscope of colors that show how life swirls and comes together in ne…

Reflections

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Our lives are the unfinished house in which we dwell...Philip Simmons
I recently finished re-reading this book.  Written by a New Hampshire author who lived near the White Mountains and faced ALS, Simmons slowly saw his body shut down.  In the midst of physical limitations, Simmons set down to reflect on the world around him.  He writes about the list of projects we all have around our house, rooms we want to improve, and ideas to make our house better.  Sometimes we are slow to act on those ideas, because we like the idea of dream about our homes more than the actual work.  Simmons writes about mud season in the Northeast, that time in-between winter and spring, when the seeds beneath the ground are doing the messy work of growing.  He writes about the art of doing nothing.  That is the chapter I struggle with the most.  All the personality tests I have taken tell me that even on vacations I need to feel like I accomplished something.  It can be as simple as "taking a hike"…

Wholeness

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The other week, our family went to go see the new movie, Inside Out.  The story is about the five emotions who live in a tween girl's, Riley, head.  They are pictured above (anger, fear, joy, disgust and sadness).  The movie is insightful and inspired.  It tells a powerful story about the power of emotions, how some emotions in some of us are more dominate than others, and how we need all our emotions to be whole and healthy.

Which emotions tends to run the show in your head?  Or, what is your natural, normal reaction to a situation: anger, fear, joy, disgust or sadness?  Of course, we feel all these emotions and it depends a lot on the situation.  But over time, which one do you feel most in a week?  Emotional health has not always been a topic of research.  There was a time when solider's returning from war or people going through crisis were told, "Just get over it."  As though paying attention to our emotions was not worthy of our attention or energy.  If you G…

Caught Speeding

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Slow down. Take a deep breath. What’s the hurry?  Why wear yourself out? Just what are you after anyway?  But you say, ‘I can’t help it.  I’m addicted to alien gods. I can’t quit.  Jeremiah 2:25 (The Message)
It is so easy to get swept up in the modern day pace of life.  It is frenzied, wake up in the morning already feeling being, constantly on the go, make sure every available space in our calendar is filled... but ever wonder, "Why"?  Why have we accepted this as the meta-narrative of our life?   We live in the midst of a paradox involving choice.  There are so many options out there.  Look at the cereal aisle in your store, how many do we really need?  And we end up often with analysis paralysis.  We can't decide, so we need up filling our lives, every second, until we fall exhausted into bed.  Only to get up and repeat the cycle the next day.  
Jeremiah was a prophet during the exile, when the People of God in Israel were conquered and forced to live in a foreign la…