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Friday, February 29, 2008

leap day 5

Songbird and willsmama leap onto the screen to bring us a rare leap day friday 5:

I'll readily confess this is a lame play, but I couldn't not play on this once in every four years opporunity...still in lenten purple:

1. at first I leapt before looking by getting out of bed without first checking the time on the clock this morning after which

2. I leapt to the conclusion I just might get hungry too soon if I didn't eat some breakfast but then

3. took a leap of faith by walking out the door and expecting the car to still be there and after uncovering and discovering the situation I

4. took a literal leap the seat on the driver's side and because of or at least partly as a result of I

5. expect to be [faced with] leaping into the blazing summer sun during this coming year of 12 months

Saturday, February 23, 2008

resurrection witnesses

According to Acts 1:22 the apostles are witnesses to his resurrection... and in the power of the Spirit, so are we in the contemporary Church. I've done a few other versions of these three banners, but if I blog them most likely it'll be on sun country living.
witnesses to his resurrection

pentecost prayer power

Here's another kind of Mexican serape digital tweak of one of the banners for Pentecost 2007...

pentecost prayer power

Friday, February 22, 2008

pentecost awe!

teaching and fellowship; breaking of bread and awe—living in the season of the Spirit's endless reign while anticipating celebrating the Day of Pentecost 2008...
Oh, I do realize it's still Lent; nonetheless, here's a newer version of one from last spring; I'm working on a few more of this basic design.
pentecost awe

heavenly F5

revgals heavenly Friday 5

Singing Owl suggests, "...how about we share five "heavenly" things? These can me serious or funny or a combination of the two."

What is your idea of a heavenly (i.e. wonderful and perfect):

1. Family get-together

I still long for the summer midweek church potluck-bbq's we used to have at the beach. So far as family of origin goes, I don't and won't go there.

2. Song or musical piece

For listening: Beethoven Symphonies #1, 2, 4 and 7; for playing, a Beethoven piano sonata or a Chopin Fantasy, Scherzo or Ballade...to be more specific, lately I've been watching and listening to Cherish by Kool and the Gang - with the video from Cherry Grove Beach SC, all of a couple decades ago.

flower fantasy winter 2008 023. Gift

Friendship, time, meaningful, engrossing work and savory food.

4. You choose whatever you like-food, pair of shoes, vacation, house, or something else. Just tell us what it is and what a heavenly version of it would be.

House: a few steps from the beach, a 10-minute walk from work, a 10-minute drive into the nearest big city.

5. And for a serious moment, or what would you like your entrance into the next life to be like? What, from your vantage point now, would make Heaven "heavenly?"

A really real homecoming, with everyone recognizing me and a banquet ready to celebrate with the too many friends who've gone out of my life.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

page 123

Amy Stewart tagged me to play page 123, with these [semi-bizarre] rules:
  • Pick up the nearest book of 123 pages or more. (No cheating!)

  • Find Page 123.

  • Find the first 5 sentences.

  • Post the next 3 sentences.

  • Tag 5 people.
At first I'd almost decided to semi-cheat because I thought I had at least a half dozen short stacks of books due to everything not fitting into the [milk crate and related] book cases, but as it turned out I had only one, since the others were things like notebooks, folders and choir octavos. Therefore, here's my play straight out of Keeping Holy Time, Year B:

This appears to be the model with which the first disciples were working (see Mark 10:37 and Acts 1:6). Jesus' messianic program—to die shamed and rejected, then rise again—was not a model conceived for the messiah by any other Jewish group. The early church's creative interaction with the Old Testament prophets and psalms created this new paradigm after the reality had been observed and experienced.
I'm tagging Praying on the Prairie; Freshly Ground Lutheran, aka Hot Cup; Frog Blog – 1-4 Grace; Purpletologically Speaking and Karla. If you've already played, that's cool (I've been reading far too few blogs lately...), you can link in the comments. Also, other interested blogger reading this, consider yourself tagged—you can play in the comments or link to your own blog.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

5 for Lent

from Mother Laura of Junia's Daughter, we've got the 1st Friday 5 of Lent 2008, "What are you doing for Lent?"

1. I sort of did Shrove Tuesday with pancakes on Mardi Gras evening; downtown in the Gaslamp each year there's a major mardigras celebration, but I hadn't planned to go and the weather was too cold, anyway. I attended Ash Wednesday evening worship and according to long tradition, predictably I got ashed.

2. I can't think of a memorable Mardi Gras or Ash Wednesday, and it would take too long to write about memorable past Lents, so that's my response to 3.

3. I didn't grow up in the church and my family of origin was downright pathological regarding church and churches, but I had some vague awareness of Lent quite early on though don't quiz me on what I was aware of. Along with other liturgical solemnities and feastivals, I first began observing Lent with my first home church, the small, liberal, activist American Baptist that likely I've blogged about some.

4. Short answer: regarding spiritual practices in general, I'm all three—give-up camp, take-on camp, and somewhere right in-between.

5. For this year's season of Lent, regarding my own journey, again I'm majorly discerning and will be praying and fasting for direction more than usual. As they insist, insanity is expecting different results from the same behaviors, and the Sunday afternoon video a couple weeks ago (JS Bach's Big D Fugue, BWV 532) brought me up soooo short! I have no desire to formally serve as a church musician, but reading my response on the screen...that needs to become a separate blog topic.

I'll also be pianist (prelude and a couple of hymns) and discussion facilitator at Left Right in the City for the 5 Wednesday evenings of Lent. We'll be watching a series similar to the one we viewed last year, DVDs of theology soundbytes by professors from Luther Seminary. I'm looking forward to some piano practicing and will learn a few of the selections in the book of piano music for worship I got as a Christmas gift.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

poetry party 12

invitation to poetry icon

In her intro to the path shimmers Christine explains,
This week’s Poetry Party is dedicated to Pam McCauley who is a regular reader of this blog and an active poet and contributor to these Parties... [during Lent] Consider ways you might begin a journey of deeper intimacy with the Sacred Source of all that is. Consider stepping on a path that shimmers with the blessings of both beauty and sorrow.

I love Christine's words, "a path that shimmers with the blessings of both beauty and sorrow," and maybe I'll reflect on them later, but here's mine for today:

daisy cascade



getting ashed on the first day of lent!
remembering to dust I'll return?
no, not this time!
reminding me just as
every time wildfires sear the earth
wildflowers freely abound in their wake
I need to be dead before
the spirit will birth my new world
and new life cascades from ashes of old

Saturday, February 02, 2008

February 2 blog

Over on Facebook, Sally Coleman of Eternal Echoes started a group called...Sally Coleman! Sally announced a group posting by each blogger on their own blogs for Groundhog Day, which according to the calendar also is her birthday (among other auspicious events); as she explains:
There are many good things happening in the Church today, and yet we often only hear negative stories. With this in mind I am proposing a synchroblogging/face book posting event for the 2nd February. You are invited to share a local positive and encouraging story. God is with us, working in, through and amongst us - lets talk about it!!!! let's speak out....
Being in a cooperative mood, I'll pick up on Sally's pair of basic questions; I'm also including a version of Romans 6:4 I did a few months ago, that along with Indiana Bible College's amazing video of the "Revelation Song" by Kari Jobe—listening to it raises me to heaven and brings heaven to earth and into my world—somewhere I heard the phrase "Holy Ghosted Roasted," and this performance of this song sears and enlivens me. You know the expression about someone needing a fire lit under them? This song surrounds me with blazes of glory.

What is God doing in the life of your local church?

Probably lots of activity hidden underground that won't come to light for quite a while, but I'll boldly focus on a couple recent, grace-filled responses to my own too-long cries of devastation:

1) a couple weeks ago I met with the church council of one of the congregations I'm involved with and despite the fact a new class of officers soon would begin serving, not only the pastors but everyone present was very enthusiastic about my participating and assisting in writing some grants in preparation for possibly putting some neighborhood programming into place and play; senior pastor told the group how my facilitating discussions of incarnational theology during Advent pretty much directly had led to this point.

2) just yesterday I got an email from M, who's relatively new to *my* other church of some involvement saying I was on her list of story-telling interviews for the missional transition team. As a semi-aside, I knew they were doing that, and a few months ago someone else asked me if I wanted to be on one of the emerging subsets of the transition team, and I'd replied "maybe yes, maybe no—I think I've been barking up the wrong tree and need to look elsewhere for situations that will meet my needs to use my gifts, education and experience in a more comprehensive manner." To yesterday's email I sent a basically honest reply that didn't reveal much detail, in essence saying,
"You do not want to hear what I have to say...but I believe we met at the most recent 2nd Sunday Café and check out the blogs listed with my sig if you'd really like to get a clue..."
Then after M's gracious and open response, (sort of accidentally) I sent her a partially written email despite intending to save it as a draft. In that one I explained:
For the past few years I've spent the greater part of my time thinking about, reading about, talking about, writing about and obsessing about the nature and mission of the church. Back in City of History I was designated mission developer at the church I served, and honestly, I feel absolutely lost at Old Condo Shadows, despite having had lots (literally dozens) of teaching opportunities, which is the main reasons I stayed at all.
And then, M's instant response:
I totally remember you. Your walk is interesting to me. I would love to talk to you further. Could we get together for a coffee next week, in the evening. Or, would you like to meet up for dinner, so that we can talk about ways to develop [this church's] bible studies and growth programs?
My next email to M explained more:
Despite having no regrets whatsoever about not continuing to serve so-called professionally in the church, although I knew there would be many exceptions, I'd also assumed someone with my gifts plus education plus experience would find a place of belonging, a place of embrace after a few attempts. Instead I've being considered a threat by pastors and by church musicians, ignored and dismissed by most people in the pew and tried hard to figure out how much to say about my background...

...without claiming any of the past dozen or so years are "all my fault," because however I slice it too many folks have been too rude or at best clueless and indifferent (hospitality is God's first call; everything else follows...), I need to acknowledge I know my experiences would have been very different had I returned to Renowned University Town or journeyed northward to City of Academic Excellence, for a couple of examples; I'd have met people who'd have been excited about my background and (maybe even) better, would've given me a theological run for my money!
So the Spirit of Life opens both of our hearts and minds and quickly moved us beyond Story-Telling to imagining further possibilities all around! Yay!Romans 6:4

Which good news story are you going to share?

This Gospel in which we stand, the Good News into which we are baptized, is life-giving, world-changing, society-transforming, creation-renewing death and resurrection stuff! It's not about endless recycling of the same thing, so why do you still seek the living among the dead? This is the community that already has experienced its second birth and first death; right here and right now, we live on the other side of death, Holy Ghosted Roasted by the Spirit of Life in the sovereignty of life!

Friday, February 01, 2008

options F5

options, options... Friday 5 from RevGalBlogPals

according to Sally of Eternal Echoes,
First Superbowl (someone explain to this Brit the significance)- love it or hate it? 5 reasons please!!!!!

First Superbowl, Second Candlemas/ Imbloc/ Groundhog day/ St Brigid's day- all of these fall on either the 1st or 2nd February. Bonus- 2nd Feburary is also my Birthday- I will donate £1.00 for every comment on my Friday Five Post to the Methodist Relief and Development Fund.
St Brigid1. Do I celebrate one or more of these? Although I'm USA-born and bred, I've never watched a football game live or on TV, I don't know the rules of play and I don't care. Without a doubt others will provide Sally with 5 specifically about Superbowl, so I won't. Imbloc or Candlemas would be cool, but this year I'm going with the fun trilogy Groundhog Day, St. Brigid, and Sally's B-day! This question again makes me aware Celtic spirituality holds near-infinite resources to enrich my typically more Christian, specifically Reformation-ish worldview.

2. How? This year I'll celebrate Sally Day by posting on at least one of my blogs about good things that are happening in the church; I'll also be eager to see what the TV weather people have to say about punxsutawney phil.

3. It's more deeply needed and desired fun than of deep significance, but I appreciate Sally's generosity, so this year's 2 February has an extra bit of joy and significance.

4. Since the liturgical calendar notes and the lectionary provides for celebrating of saints, I'd like to make saints days more important in my life, especially since we have a lot to learn from their examples. But for me, the church's great festivals of such as Nativity, Resurrection, Ascension and Pentecost probably always will remain more in the forefront.

5. About my favourite Saints day/celebration, see my response to 4, plus J.S. Bach, Schütz and Handel on 28 July and Luke the Evangelist on 18 October.