Friday, August 31, 2007
"Holistic medicine is not a new concept. Socrates knew that it was important to treat the body as a whole when he wrote, “For the part can never be well unless the whole is well.” An old Indian saying states that the body is like a house with four rooms: a physical, a mental, an emotional, and a spiritual room. To be a whole person, one must spend at least a little bit of time in each of these four rooms every day. For example, food and rest satisfy our physical needs; learning about the world and using what we learn enriches our minds; and validating and coping with our feelings meets our emotional needs. Our spiritual needs must also be addressed."
- listening to the Cellist of Sarajevo (Vedran Smajlovic) over the Airport Express.
- getting ready for busy day -- meetings, dentist, violin lessons.
- trying to keep up with sending packages (eBay and Amazon).
- getting a cold on top of it all. Bleh.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Chaos needs a 'real' cello teacher. I'm looking around and we have a tryout with one of the best (if not THE best) in Atlanta. It's going to be $240 a month (gulp!) I'm having a little bit of sticker shock. I suppose we can cut down on meat ... and gasoline ... and books ... and renting movies. I am seriously conflicted. She really needs an instructor -- but that's a lot of money. As a comparison, her piano lesson are about $90 a month and Entropy's violin lessons are about $80.
So I am going to have to up the selling of household stuff. More eBay, more listing of books on Amazon Marketplace. I can't find books because I just have too many. I'm going to try to list at least a third of my books (which comes to about 1400 to 1700 books.) Some are very easy to let go of -- some are slightly more difficult. I make a stack to sell and end up pulling about 1 of 10 to put back on the shelf.
I'm going to do the Cafe Press thing. I think I'll call it "Chaos' Cello Lessons" and list lots and lots of cello shirts. I may branch out and do all of the string instruments...
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
For as long as you remember me, I am never entirely lost. When I'm feeling most ghost-like, it is your remembering me that helps remind me that I actually exist. When I'm feeling sad, it's my consolation. When I'm feeling happy, it's part of why I feel that way.
If you forget me, one of the ways I remember who I am will be gone. If you forget, part of who I am will be gone. "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." the good thief said from his cross (Luke 23:42). There are perhaps no more human words in all of Scripture, no prayer we can pray so well. ”
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Monday, August 27, 2007
Ugh! (Chaos has now decided to be a vegetarian.)
But then check out the user pictures. The user pictures did indeed make me giggle. I must have a sick sense of humor...
UPDATE ON CELLO SHIRTS
Yes, I think I will place the on CafePress for general consumption. Great idea, Bets! Thanks for the vote of confidence. Stay tuned for more updates....
And I'm doing OK on eBay and Amazon. I've linked my eBay store in the sidebar (just in case you want to buy my junk =o) ) and I think I'll post a link to my Amazon store, as well. So far I've turned about 32 pieces of random "stuff" (like outgrown, barely worn jeans, old baby stuff, muslin bags, books and whatnot) into a Carbon Fiber Bass Bow, an Airport Express, some transfer paper, a First Class Scouting badge for my 1970's era GS sash (earned, never purchased) and a tee-shirt.
This is all related to my theology of space -- I'm cleaning my physical house and by extension and effort also cleaning my inner spaces as well. Each time something leaves the house to be used/loved by someone else, I feel a little lighter....
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Friday, August 24, 2007
"My own definition of beauty is that which perpetually satisfies us. You look at it again and again and there is more of it to satisfy us. I would say that beauty is very much an attribute of God - He is essential beauty. But only those of us who have been fortunate enough to have faith know where beauty comes from. For the others, they are responding to beauty and responding to Him, though they mightn't be aware of that - they are responding to the pure, free, strong, loving spirit of God."
-- Sister Wendy Beckett here.
At the point that Art (in the larger sense) ceases to describe our experiences of God, I wonder what it describes?
I wonder if there is something inherent in the "being of a human" that always is searching for that spark of what we call divine -- that the search for beauty is the search for God, but disguised. Maybe it is in the searching for beauty and in the finding that we can re-discover the divine even in secular Art.
All artists feel that pull -- that indescribable state of being where you dwell in a place outside of self. Here a Christian will understand that he/she is participating an act that makes God God -- the act of creation. Here will we really find Imago Dei -- the artist participating in Divine Creation.
I have long believed that this is a neglected area of theology.
Beauty at once so ancient and so new.
I have learned to love You late.
You were with me/ within me,
and I was in the world
I searched for You outside myself and,
disfigured as I was,
I fell upon the lovely things of Your creation.
You were with me but ...
I was not with You.
The beautiful things of this world
kept me from You and yet,
if they had not been in You,
they would have no being at all.
You called me;
You cried aloud to me;
You broke the barrier of my deafness.
I tasted You and now
I hunger and thirst for You.
You touched me and I am inflamed,
inflamed with love of Your peace.
Augustine, Confessions X, 27
Thursday, August 23, 2007
--Eudora Welty found at the Cornell University website here.
So, advancing from instance to instance, we reach the conclusion that any art worthy of the name must strike its roots deep into the life of the people, and must produce as freely and naturally as does the plant in summer.
--Gustav Stickley found in the first issue of The Craftsman, October 1901, "Style and It's Requisites"
From our place -- our context or space or whatever you want to call it -- that place in which we dwell, we set down roots, seeking for that deep and running vein (the wellspring). Where that place is, according to Welty, would be dependent on birth, chances, fate or our own selves. For me that would be more of the grace and providence of God.
Stickley speaks of art putting forth roots to seek that wellspring, as well -- and he found it in the "life of the people." (In this same issue he speaks of William Morris' socialism -- an idea that Stickley seems to embrace as well.) Again, I would place this wellspring within the presence and being of God.
Both speak of inspiration being somewhere beyond self and beyond "art." An intuitive looking for that which inspires?
Dwelling -- we call our houses dwelling. Compare how the word "dwelling" is used for God in the Bible.
The building of the tabernacle and the temple in the Hebrew Scriptures.
- It's still hot -- but there is some relief -- it's at least 5 degrees cooler this morning than it was yesterday morning.
- It was still 98 degrees at 11:00 pm last night when I went to the store. (Cathy is in the midst of this too.)
- Kitty is doing OK in this heat -- I'm keeping her well "watered" (via sub-q fluids) and nice and quiet inside. She's laying on the bathroom floor a lot too.
- We did karate in the hot dark again last night -- Entropy kept hitting herself with the Nunchuck. Our Sensei gave us MORE things to buy for Wednesday night class (does it ever end?)
- Chaos is auditioning for the Gwinnett County Honors Orchestra for 8th grade on Saturday (Dear, where is the audition? Uhm, it's at some middle school somewhere, mommy. How very specific!) -- it's called the Kendall Orchestra. She's the only cello player from her school auditioning and she's nervous.
- Entropy is now at the Middle School -- and she's carrying too many bags. (Bookbag, gym bag, pocketbook, violin case and laptop bag (yes, she gets to use a laptop)). I teased her about getting her a shopping cart -- so she can be a real bag lady, but I'm now thinking it wouldn't be such a bad idea... I'm going to have to help her thin down her stuff. It's funny looking at this slender little girl carrying so much stuff. Poor baby.
- I'm doing OK on ebay. It's more time-consuming than I thought it would be, but I'm learning how to use USPS Click'n'ship (so cool!) and use the internet to tell my carrier to come pick up the packages (so I don't have to schlep them to the Post office.) I've turned several pairs of jeans, some knick-knacks, some electronics bits and pieces and several dozen muslin bags into an Airport Express (which will be so useful) and a carbon fiber Bass Bow (French NOT German.) This is appealing to me: I'm getting rid of clutter and cleaning up my space, getting some pocket money for it and turning it into things we need. Cool beans.
- It's too hot to use the computer. I've been reading blogs, but just don't have the with-its to comment. I'm avoiding all things that put off heat...
- OH! And John Wesley was attacked by a mad woman with a pair of scissors. Look here. I KNEW JW must have been more interesting than I thought. It seems that Charles got in trouble with these two women, there were reports that Charles visited one of them at inappropriate times of the night and they confessed of fornication with Oglethorpe to Charles -- they made Charles' life a living nightmare. When he left, he left John a letter in which he told ALL, they demanded to see the letter; one of them attacked him verbally and the other attacked him with a pair of scissors, a pistol and then ripped off his sleeve with her teeth. What excitement! Maybe the life of JW could indeed make a good movie.
- We need rain.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Because of the lack of rain, we also have really bad air -- the rain hasn't been able to wash the pollutants out and so there are a lot of people suffering asthma like symptoms.
At the Karate studio, the kids take regular water breaks because the air conditioning unit can't keep up -- the Sensei has turned the lights off to make it cooler. It becomes karate in the hot dark.
The only place I find relief is the floor of the downstairs bathroom.
Monday, August 20, 2007
-- John Piper, "God is not Boring," found here.
Adam's first act was an act of creation -- naming the animals. God left something undone in creation; the animals were not named. God created humankind and gave us a co-creative place -- God gave us the task of naming. The act of creation is necessary to become Christ-like. Creation is the calling forth of order from chaos -- the ordering of space (and by extension, time.) To live continually in chaos is not what God would will for us.
Friday, August 17, 2007
-- Gustav Stickley in "The Craftsman" magazine.
I am feeling a craving to build a log cabin. I did some design of one, not too long ago with the cabin fitting harmoniously into it's setting and the interior of the cabin harmonious with it's structure. I can tell you all about Scandinavian Cope style, dowel styles and Appalachian styles and have decided that, if I build, it will be Appalachian style, because it would be the "truest" cabin for my context. I really can't describe it better than that.
There is something honest about a log cabin, especially one that also incorporates some timber-framing. The structure is totally exposed. The structure is the same on the interior as it is the exterior. It lives in harmony with it's surroundings. It is cut from a pure living tree -- no artificial flavor added. The logs breathe in and out with the seasons.
Are we not called to do that as well, as one who strives to live like Christ? To have our exterior exactly reflect our interior? To live in harmony within our context? To be made of living wood? To breathe in and out the Spirit of God?
who sees all things,
and who is the Ruler of all spirits
and who is the Lord of all flesh
who chose our Lord Jesus Christ
and us through Him to be
a peculiar people -
grant to every soul that
calls upon His glorious and holy Name,
to the pleasure of His Name,
through our High Priest and Protector, Jesus Christ,
by whom be to Him glory, and majesty, and power, and honor,
both now and forevermore.
From the end of Clement's letter to the Corinthians, adapted.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
I took some black and white clip art, filled in white space with color and added a layer of "grunge" -- cello music, of course. I may do some scratches to it next....
What do you think?
let Yourself be found with a good gift
to everyone who needs it,
that the happy may find courage
to accept Your good gifts,
that the sorrowful may find courage
to accept Your perfect gifts.
For to humans
there is a difference of joy and of sorrow,
but for You,
there is no difference in these things;
everything that comes from You
is a good and perfect
... Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855)
(adapted from a posting at CQOD)
- It's just too hot to do anything. I don't even want to use the computer because it gives off heat. I got in the car yesterday afternoon to get the kids and the windshield thermometer never dropped below 107 degrees. Started out at 132 degrees. People are literally dying of the heat -- they aren't letting the kids outside during the day (good thing.)
- I'm learning all I can about Ebay. I've sold a little less than half of what I've been listing. It's a learning experience. I'm watching the Ebay videos they have available. I'm spending the money about as fast as it comes in on the listing fees to list more stuff. Positive: stuff is leaving the house and positive cash flow. Good thing.
- In fact, I have 5 large garbage bags in the garage to give to Goodwill at the end of the week. I'm holding onto them because Entropy has "lost" her iPod. Until we find the thing, I'll keep them in the garage.... Sigh.
- I'm writing a proposal for a new service -- an 8:30 am Contemplative Communion service with acoustic instruments. I need a musician -- praying that God will provide. I've done other types of services, but never a service like this -- any suggestions?
- Morning Prayer this morning will be mostly non-verbal. I'm getting the hang of it.
Monday, August 13, 2007
|Your Brain is Blue|
Of all the brain types, yours is the most mellow.
You tend to be in a meditative state most of the time. You don't try to think away your troubles.
Your thoughts are realistic, fresh, and honest. You truly see things as how they are.
You tend to spend a lot of time thinking about your friends, your surroundings, and your life.
Thanks to Net.
- Today is the first day of school for both the girls. We were ready with all the stuffy stuff -- school supplies, new clothing, haircut, etc but not really ready emotionally. This summer seemed so curtailed. I wanted more time with them at home.
- What is with parents and the dress code? Our dress code is strict for middle school but basically can be narrowed to two points: no skin showing and your clothing must fit (not too tight, not too baggy). I saw kids already being escorted to the office and parents picking them up because of showing midriff, transparent shirts and droopy pants (crotch must not sag more than half way to knees.) Then again, what the parents were wearing would not pass the dress code....
- And shopping was difficult this year. First, the Mommy filter -- if I liked the clothing. Then the Kid filter -- if they would wear it (i.e. if they liked the clothing). Then the dress code filter. Not easy.
- I'm working this morning on getting things done around here. The last time this house was really orderly by my standards was December 2, 1996. That means: all drawers sorted, all laundry finished and put up, all clothing sorted (give-aways, given away), garage orderly (so you can put cars in it), basement orderly (things stacked neatly), all dishes done and put away, refrigeratored clean, clean behind refrigerator, washer and dryer, all furniture. Furniture cleaned, curtains washed and rehung. I remember because this was the day before Entropy's Baptism party. Hasn't been that clean since. May never be...
- Morning Prayer this morning was non-verbal. Spiritual exercise -- more visioning and holding than verbal. I'll try it this way for a while, but I'm such a verbal person that it's hard.
- Errands to run today, as well. Get gas in car, pick up kids, store, post office, list things on ebay, get my Amazon Marketplace refreshed, first group strings lesson tonight. New schedule.
- I'm going to concentrate on being at home this semester; getting my emotional, spiritual and physical house in order.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Sed rursus quaeri potest, sive rebus, sive verbis orandum sit, quid opus sit ipsa oratione, si Deus iam novit quid nobis necessarium sit: nisi quia ipsa orationis intentio cor nostrum serenat et purgat, capaciusque efficit ad excipienda divina munera, quae spiritaliter nobis infunduntur. Non enim ambitione precum nos exaudit Deus, qui semper paratus est dare suam lucem nobis, non visibilem, sed intelligiblem et spiritalem: sed nos non semper parati sumus accipere, cum inclinamur in alia, et rerum temporalium cupiditate tenebrarum. Fit ergo in oratione conversio cordis ad eum, qui semper dare paratus est, si nos capiamus quod dederit: et in ipsa conversione purgatio interioris oculi, cum excluduntur ea quae temporaliter cupiebantur; ut acies cordis simplicis ferre possit simplicem lucem, divinitus sine ullo occasu aut immutatione fulgentem: nec solum ferre, sed etiam manere in illa; non tantum sine molestia, sed etiam cum ineffabili gaudio, quo vere ac sinceriter beata vita perficitur.
But again one might ask whether we are to pray by words or deeds and what need there is for prayer, if God already nows what is needful for us. But it is because the act of prayer clarifies and purges our heart and makes it more capable of receiving the divine gifts that are poured out for us in the spirit. God does not give heed to the ambitiousness of our prayers, because he is always ready to give to us his light, not a visible light but an intellectual and spiritual one: but we are not always read to receive it when we turn aside and down to other things out of a desire for temporal things. For in prayer there occurs a turning of the heart to he who is always ready to give if we will but take what he gives: and in that turning is the purification of the inner eye when the things we crave in the temporal world are shut out; so that the vision of the pure heart can bear the pure light that shines divinely without setting or wavering: and not only bear it, but abide in it; not only without difficulty, but even with unspeakable joy, with which the blessed life is truly and genuinely brought to fulfillment.
Change my heart oh God
Make it ever true
Change my heart oh God
May I be like You
Change my heart oh God
Make it ever true
Change my heart oh God
May I be like You
You are the potter
I am the clay
Mold me and make me
This is what I pray
Change my heart oh God
Make it ever true
Change my heart oh God
May I be like You
-- Eddie Espinosa
Saturday, August 11, 2007
A Picture from the Georgia Sea Turtle Center.
Located on Jekyll Island, We went late one night (8:30) and saw a great presentation about Sea Turtles then headed to the beach to release two babies into the sea. The beach was really dark, but with a night-vision scope, we could see the little things struggle 10 feet or so to make it to the surf (important for bonding, I understand). Later, the LH and the kids saw a nest hatch and were able to see the last 10 or so little turtles make it. I had wandered off to another area -- it's hard to find people on the beach when it's pitch black, even with cell phones.
A Prayer of Anselm
I pray that I may so know you and love you
that I may rejoice in you.
And if I may not do so fully in this life
let me go steadily on
to the day when I come to that fullness ...
Let me receive
That which you promised through your truth,
that my joy may be full.
Friday, August 10, 2007
I've drunk my coffee.
I've got to take the cat to the vet (again).
This week in the "Reverend Mommy Life Decluttering" Project (decluttering body, mind, spirit and house (it's all related to my "Theology of Space")), I've stuck to the diet (decluttering body), I've done Morning Prayer (decluttering bad habits), I've gone to my Spiritual Director (decluttering my soul by learning to 'be still' -- really -- it sounds like I've been full of activity, but I am spending time just BEING by first not seeing is as another item to add to the adgenda) and decluttering the house by getting rid of stuff. We do the "Clean Sweep" thing -- keep, donate, sell or throw away.
The kids and I are in teh midst of putting stuff on ebay. I added an ebay thingy on the sidebar. You can peruse my auctions and purchase my clutter! Yipee!
I'll be opening my Amazon Marketplace store back up shortly and then put that in my sidebar, too.
Note: Garage Sale for the mac is making it really easy to keep track and format the ebay auctions. Last week, I did it manually -- Garage Sale is making it so much easier.
To list in my Amazon Marketplace, I use Delicious Library. I really like Delicious Library. I have now 2 hand scanners (don't ask) where I can read the barcode on the book automatically -- it's bluetooth, it transmits the ISBN, the computer looks up all the information. To list it in my Marketplace takes just a couple of clicks. This product, though, is a real memory hog. Takes a long time to open up and to close and slows the computer way down, so I have to close all my other open apps to run it (well, I usually run 15 to 18 apps, each with several documents open, so maybe I'm the memory hog...)
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Little Kitty yesterday afternoon. She's better -- still a special needs kitty, but better. We go to the vet tomorrow, after Entropy's Doctor's appointment and before registration for school.
I don't think I'm ready for them to go to school. We've had a good summer, even though the flow was interrupted by my surgery.... I enjoy my children's company. I like having them around.
...HEAT ADVISORY NOW IN EFFECT FROM 11 AM TO 9 PM EDT THURSDAY...
THE HEAT ADVISORY IS NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 9 PM EDT THIS EVENING.
THE HEAT ADVISORY IS NOW IN EFFECT FROM 11 AM TO 9 PM EDT
THURSDAY FOR PORTIONS OF NORTH AND CENTRAL GEORGIA.
HEAT INDICES ON THURSDAY WILL CLIMB TO 105 TO 110 DEGREES.
A HEAT ADVISORY MEANS THAT A PERIOD OF DANGEROUS HEAT IS EXPECTED.
THE COMBINATION OF HOT TEMPERATURES AND HIGH HUMIDITY WILL CREATE HEAT INDEX READINGS OF AT LEAST 105 DEGREES AND VERY WARM OVERNIGHT TEMPERATURES.
DRINK PLENTY OF FLUIDS...STAY IN AN AIR-CONDITIONED ROOM...STAY OUT OF DIRECT SUNSHINE...AND CHECK UP ON RELATIVES AND NEIGHBORS.
The National Weather Service says there is an excessive heat warning for portions of east central Georgia, where the thermometer reached 104 degrees in Augusta yesterday.
In southwest Georgia, Albany had a high of 106 degrees. Athens hit 101, and Macon 100. The high in Atlanta was 98 degrees. If that wasn't stifling enough, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a code red warning for air quality. Another code red is out today, meaning children and people with lung disease should limit their outdoor activity because of smog and other pollutants in the air. Savannah also reached 98 degrees, with breathtaking humidity. The weather service says Savannah-area residents should brace themselves for blistering temperatures the rest of the week. Highs are predicted to stay in the mid-90s through Saturday.
We are suffering today. I can't stand the thought of going back out in this heat again today. It's an EPA action day -- we are the only red spot on the EPA map right now. The air quality is awful. And the air conditioning is not really keeping up -- there are brownouts expected. Georgia is using more energy than ever. We've reached a new high.
God, we call you the true wellspring of wisdom
and the noble origin of all things.
Be pleased to shed
on the darkness of the mind with which I was born,
The twin beam of your light
and warm me to dispel my ignorance and sin.
You make eloquent the tongues of children.
Then instruct my speech
and touch my lips with graciousness.
Make me keen to understand, quick to learn,
able to remember;
make me delicate to interpret and ready to speak.
Guide my going in and going forward,
lead home my going forth.
You are true God and true human,
and live for ever and ever.
--St Thomas Aquinas, 1225-74
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Chaos on Arashi (Storm), Entropy on Hinata (Sun) and the Loving Husband on Yama (Mountain).
And no, I will not be playing the viola. Someone has to be the appreciative audience. (I am very good at clapping and saying "Bravo! Wonderful!")
Note: if you click to see the big picture, you will notice that Chaos is wearing her "NO VBS" shirt -- after reading some of the RevGals experiences with VBS, I'm thinking about selling them....
O Love of God, descend into my heart;
Enlighten the dark corners of this neglected dwelling,
And scatter there Your cheerful beams.
Dwell in the soul that longs to be Your temple;
Water that barren soil overrun with weeds and briars
And lost for lack of cultivating.
Make it fruitful with Your dew.
Come, dear Refreshment of those who languish;
Come, Star and Guide of those who sail amidst tempests.
You are the Haven of the tossed and shipwrecked.
Come now, Glory and Crown of the living,
As well as the Safeguard of the dying.
Come, Sacred Spirit;
Come, and make me fit to receive You.
-- St. Augustine(Note: this first paragraph fits in so very well with my "Theology of Space" -- did you notice?)
Monday, August 06, 2007
She's been home from the kitty hospital for a few days now. We have THREE different medications to administer. She's in chronic kidney failure. She's incontinent, weak and has horrible arthritis. What's so bad is the sub-q fluids. We have to hang an IV bag and give her fluids just under her skin with this really wicked big needle once a day. She doesn't like it; we don't like it, but she needs it. She's gained some weight, her coat looks better and she's more alert, but she is now officially as "special needs" geriatric kitty. It's palliative, not curative care. I feel as if I am running a kitty cat hospice.
What else says "Pop-Art"?
Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heaven and home,
When Jesus is my portion? My constant friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
I sing because I’m happy,
I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.
| ||Psalm 80 Qui regis Israel|
|1||Hear, O Shepherd of Israel, leading Joseph like a flock; *|
shine forth, you that are enthroned upon the cherubim.
|2||In the presence of Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh, *|
stir up your strength and come to help us.
|3||Restore us, O God of hosts; *|
show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved.
|4||O LORD God of hosts, *|
how long will you be angered
despite the prayers of your people?
|5||You have fed them with the bread of tears; *|
you have given them bowls of tears to drink.
12:32 "Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
12:33 Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.
12:34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Let your continual mercy, O Lord, cleanse and defend your Church; and, because it cannot continue in safety without your help, protect and govern it always by your goodness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Sunday, August 05, 2007
I have a fascination with lighthouses. I remember reading "Cheaper by the Dozen" and being envious of people who could live in an old lighthouse. This is St. Simon's lighthouse -- one of the nicest around. I've been to Little River Light and got stuck in the sand, St. George's Light has collapsed, Hatteras, Tybee, Sapelo before it was restored (it was quite a hike to the lighthouse at the time and there was nothing inside but owl pellets.) I love the glimmer and sheen of the Fresnel lenses -- the way the glass refracts the light. There used to be a museum at Fort Morgan on the Gulf with many different Fresnel lenses.
it stands firm in the heavens.
90 Your faithfulness remains from one generation to another; *
you established the earth, and it abides.
91 By your decree these continue to this day, *
for all things are your servants.
92 If my delight had not been in your law, *
I should have perished in my affliction.
93 I will never forget your commandments, *
because by them you give me life.
94 I am yours; oh, that you would save me! *
for I study your commandments.
95 Though the wicked lie in wait for me to destroy me, *
I will apply my mind to your decrees.
96 I see that all things come to an end, *
but your commandment has no bounds.
-- Psalm 119
Luke 13:10-17 (NRSV)
10 Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. 11 And just then there appeared a woman with a spirit that had crippled her for eighteen years. She was bent over and was quite unable to stand up straight. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said, 'Woman, you are set free from your ailment.' 13 When he laid his hands on her, immediately she stood up straight and began praising God.
-- Luke 13
Almighty and most merciful God,
it is only by your faithfulness that your people know of faithfulness
It is only by your service that your people know of service.
It is only by your example that we know fullness of life.
It is only by your touch that we know of true healing.
You are an almighty and everlasting God,
Your Spirit is our advocate and help.
Help us stand straight and tall, for your sake.
Hear our prayers, not just for ourselves but for the whole body of your people, for your sake
Help us find our vocation and passion so that we may truly serve you, for your sake.
God of peace,
You have taught us that in returning and rest our hope in your presence we will be saved
In resting we will be healed,
In resting we will become straight and tall,
In resting we will be renewed,
In resting we will know You in the stillness of the night.
In stillness and in quietness You will be our strength:
By the might of your Spirit lift us -- raise us up, we pray, to your presence, where we may be still and know that you are God; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
I am no longer my own, but thine.
Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed by thee or laid aside for thee,
exalted for thee or brought low for thee.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God,
thou art mine, and I am thine.
So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
let it be ratified in heaven.
Amen. (A Prayer of John Wesley)
Saturday, August 04, 2007
The Burial Grounds at Fort Fredrica. There are few evident graves; only a handful of vaults are left. Charles and John Wesley did many funerals here -- it's just outside of the moat around the town of Fort Fredrica and on the Military road to Fort Saint Simons (which I think has practically disappeared by now.) The earthen works are still visible at Fredrica, but no standing buildings. There never was a real church in the town. St. James was founded outside of town, it's where Christ Church stands now and the graveyard at Christ Church is where the later burials of Fredrica were done. For years it was just a ghost town -- and it doesn't take tremendous imagination to see the small town at work. I guess the focus of growth moved onto the other end of the island, where the lighthouse and pier are. Fort Fredrica is a quiet place; the only sounds now are the cicadas.
Friday, August 03, 2007
From Psalm 103, The Message
O my soul, bless God. From head to toe, I'll bless his holy name!
O my soul, bless God,
don't forget a single blessing!
He forgives your sins—every one.
He heals your diseases—every one.
He redeems you from hell—saves your life!
He crowns you with love and mercy—a paradise crown.
He wraps you in goodness—beauty eternal.
He renews your youth—you're always young in his presence.
God makes everything come out right;
he puts victims back on their feet.
He showed Moses how he went about his work,
opened up his plans to all Israel.
God is sheer mercy and grace;
not easily angered, he's rich in love.
He doesn't endlessly nag and scold,
nor hold grudges forever.
He doesn't treat us as our sins deserve,
nor pay us back in full for our wrongs.
As high as heaven is over the earth,
so strong is his love to those who fear him.
And as far as sunrise is from sunset,
he has separated us from our sins.
As parents feel for their children,
God feels for those who fear him.
He knows us inside and out,
keeps in mind that we're made of mud.
Men and women don't live very long;
like wildflowers they spring up and blossom,
But a storm snuffs them out just as quickly,
leaving nothing to show they were here.
God's love, though, is ever and always,
eternally present to all who fear him,
Making everything right for them and their children
as they follow his Covenant ways
and remember to do whatever he said.
Reigning God, we confess that we,
like the disciples James and John,
seek places of honor, privilege and reward.
We succumb to the temptation to compare ourselves
with others to our advantage.
We want privilege without pain,
greatness without the grind of hard work.
We expect rewards for our efforts.
We talk about serving you,
but we do not want the rank of servant.
We have lots of ideas about what you might do
to intervene in the world
and little commitment to what we might do
in your name.
Forgive us and help us, gracious God.
(From a liturgy of the OSL)
Thursday, August 02, 2007
Of course, I feel that all of life is sacramental. Every single thing -- every thing has the potential to point me to God. Every single thing. I think of those popular "WWJD" bracelets and bumper stickers. It's becoming a trite saying, but one that carries a tremendous spiritual truth. We need to ask that question in all that we do: from how we treat each other to how we treat this beautiful creation that God has given us stewardship over. I ask myself that question so many times in the course of a day. I asked it as we purchased a SUV -- is this being a good steward of my money? of the environment? I debated it with my husband and we looked at charts to weight the variables. We needed something with multiple seats for all the people we need to haul around on occasion; we needed the towing capability for the travel trailer and utility trailers. Thus we purchased a used SUV and not the fanciest thing on the block. Whichever one of us that will drive the least will drive the SUV that day. It was a theological decision. We talked about God, we talked about the Christian principles behind each decision. And yes, we talked about what would Jesus drive.
Thus, I am starting back my Disciplines. I am going to bring my internal life, my spiritual life and my external life in harmony with what I can discern God would want. I am doing Morning Prayer, I am dieting (11 pounds so far, yeah!), I am doing some literal cleaning of the house. I am lightening the load of "stuff" we have in our house. I am disposing of emotional clutter, spiritual clutter, house clutter and "body" clutter. It may be the most important work I ever do.
All of us, of course are sinners. I have a list of habitual sins that I commit on a regular basis. Sin is not necessarily what you DO on occasion but is anything or anyone or habit that stands in way of right relationship of yourself and God or in way of right relationship between yourself and your neighbor. One of my colleagues called his addiction to his blackberry a form of sin. I know my own sins -- things that our society might say are OK -- I regularly covet my neighbor's Mac. My goodness I want a Mac Pro! It's almost idolatrous how much I love my Mac,Book too. I sin by commission; I sin by omission. I do things that separate me from real communion with God and neighbot; I don't do the things that God has required of me.
And I suffer the consequences of my sin. My sin, thanks be to God is forgiven and is as distant from me as the East is from the West. To God, it is as if it never was. However, I suffer the bad effects of my sin. And for that I am truly sorry. Things are broken that should never be broken. I do not live in integrity with the person God called me to be. And yet, through God's grace, all will be well. All will be well and all manner of things will be well.
All things, indeed, work together for the glory of God; all things, the bad the good, the dark the light, the sin and the forgiveness, my human nature and God's grace and love; all things will work together; all things will be woven together to form a thing of beauty. This I wholeheartedly believe. I believe this with my head, my heart and all the way into my inner being -- my guts.
Romans 8: 1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death....
22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. 23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. 24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (KJV for comfort today)
May this creation that is called the internet, that is currently groaning and undergoing pain at this very moment remember that hope that Christ gives us; that the Spirit help us with our infirmities of body, mind and spirit and bring us to wholeness and health.
We do not presume to come to this thy Table, O merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in thy manifold and great mercies. We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy Table. But thou art the same Lord, whose property is always to have mercy: Grant us therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh of thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink his blood, that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his body, and our souls washed through his most precious blood, and that we may evermore dwell in him, and he in us. Amen.