Thursday, May 30, 2013

Listening to Our Elders and Loving Each Other

It's always such a surprise when I realize how long it's been since I posted anything.  And how fast time is moving in my life now.

My grandmother used to tell me that time would go faster the older I got.  And I, like most young people, scoffed at that.
But, as usual, grandma was right.
And how much I have realized that truth through the years.

It bothers me a bit that our youth don't even listen to the wisdom of our elders today.  Sure, as a young person, I might scoff or think them silly, but I listened.  And I absorbed.  And I remembered.  And when a time came to recall and use that wisdom, it was my heart and brain.

I worry that isn't the case anymore.  Scripture teaches us that we are to value the teachings of our elders.  Yes, we are to live in the present and future and yes, that might look different and feel different.  BUT, we are still to listen, appreciate and hold on to the teachings of our elders.  We just might need them someday!

Who are our elders?  Those that have walked through more in life than we have---more joy, more pain, more challenge, more hope!  Listen to one another with the Spirit of God in your midst and I guarantee you will learn and grow!

Scripture also teaches that we are to love one another.  And I know it sounds repetitive, but WHAT HAPPENED TO THAT PART??????

I see people treat each other so poorly....with no respect, no dignity, no sense  of needing one another.  And we DO need each other.  Harsh words, ugly actions, ending relationships over truly trivial matters is just not what God envisioned for our world.

AND--it's not getting us anywhere but deeper and deeper into despair and hopelessness.  We would rather be right than compassionate.  We would rather run over someone than sit with them and listen.  We would rather treat each other as "useful tools" than humans that God created in God's own image.

Today, I pray that all of us are just a little nicer to each other....that we give a little more than we take.....that we SEE each other's beauty and name it and claim it and celebrate it as a gift from God!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

So much learning and so many different ideas roaming around in my's great but I'm afraid I will forget much of it too least I'll have my notes.
Watching the workshops and talking and writing has been an excellent exercise for me. I haven't done that in a long time and I've missed it.  I love the discussions in bible study and discussions I have with individuals but that is different. This is--yes it's selfish--for me, and it feels great.
I wouldn't want to do this all the time of course, because I'm really beginning to miss my people a lot! But, it has been wonderful and I still have another couple of weeks to get fed.
Next week is mostly fun, which will be a nice break.  And then, the last few days will be in silence and prayer....another very good exercise for me.
God is so amazing!
I am constantly touched and aware of the Spirit moving in and around me in people, in nature, in books and even in times of fun and relaxing.  My awareness is much higher right now and for that, I'm quite grateful.
I do miss the folks at the churches.  I'm acutely aware that today was Mary Magnuson's funeral and I missed being there...I spent that time in prayer for all of them.
But being at home for much of the time has made it a blessing and difficult to really remove myself from the churches.  Blessing because spiritually I feel close to them.  But difficult because I know I have not totally let go during this time.
God has been a blessing in this too though.  Sometimes when I am reading I think of particular people or programs or situations at the churches and I think I am more aware of those because I am close.
I still have work to do and fun to have.  And I ask God's blessings on all of us during this time so that when we all come back together it will be with great joy and anticipation!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Gosh.....a week done already!  It goes so fast! I have read 4 books [already had read an additional 3 to get a head start], participated in 10 hours of workshops and met with my professor once.  Wow!  So much is swirling around in my brain and I have pages of notes already.
It is SO SO SO important for me to take time to recharge like this!  Some would think this is yucky and that's ok, but for me, this is honey and milk and meat for my soul.
My prayers are reflecting the nutrition already.  My attitude is as well.  I am more joyful and less tired.
I have had other wonderful experiences this week.  I met with the wonderful woman I am mentoring in ministry and I am praying for such clarity and wisdom for her in this time.  We had a meeting that blessed us both and I thank God for that.
One of the great joys was that I was released from Physical Therapy this week---YAYAYAYAYAY!!!  They call me the over-achiever and encouraged me not to overdo but I met all the goals so I can continue on my own.
I spent time quilting and reading one of my favorite fiction authors---YAY! and even got the Christmas tree down!
Today is a day of play---all play!  Going to do a little shopping, have lunch out and swim and the fitness center.  Then home for a marathon of NUMBERS or DOWNTON ABBEY.
One of the things I promised myself on sabbatical was that I was going to experience small church worship in other denominations to see what they are doing and to gain perspective and appreciation for God in other am not going to a Disciples church tomorrow.....first time in many years.  But I look forward to being fed because God is truly in all places and with all people.
Whoever reads this....bless you!  And  thanks for your prayers!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

And sabbatical feels very strange and yet, very wonderful.
Participated in my first workshop and reading session today.  Awesome stuff already----learning is great!
One of my chief goals for this time is to restructure--or destructure my time so that my life is more in balance....less focus on work and all the thinking, ruminating and planning and more focus on fun and play and rest and enjoyment.  If I know that there is work to be done, it is difficult for me to set it aside and let it go until tomorrow. I end up working at home almost as many hours as anywhere else.  NOT a good plan for life.  I do not recommend this for anyone and, in fact, I preach against this practice.
SO....I'm trying to relearn...which is much harder than learning.
But, as many of you know, when I set my mind to something, I usually manage to do it.
And I have a month.
And I have God.
And I have the prayers of many friends.
Eat healthy.
Be with loved ones.

Monday, November 12, 2012

This morning I was working on my article for the December newsletters which, of course, were on Advent....and I got to thinking a lot about this whole idea of Peace.
I have been working on Inner Peace my whole life....just part of the journey I have had.  Now, I am in a place where I  can, at least, get to that place of inner quiet and peace.
Many cannot.
Many cannot be still enough.
Many cannot stand the silence.
Many cannot trust that in the stillness
and the silence
And that in the quiet voice of God, there is true peace.  The kind that scripture speaks of as passing all understanding.
The kind of peace that--if the whole world could truly experience it--would lead to world peace.
For if the world could experience the still, silent, peace of God, then the world would look at one another with new eyes.
Eyes that would see beauty and not threat.
Eyes that would be curious, not suspicious.
Eyes that would be gentle, not violent.

Monday, September 10, 2012

I cannot believe it has been so long since my last post!
Time goes so very quickly these days....I remember my grandparents and parents saying that so I guess I'm getting older.
On my mind?  Just this...why is it that we humans, all created wonderfully by God in God's sight, cannot seem to accept each other and get along?
Why do we fight over trivial things?
Why do relationships end just because we disagree----not that we don't love, but that we disagree and neither will move, surrender or even---gee think of this---CHANGE their minds!
Why do we go to wars over the dumbest things?
Why do we abandon the very people who are trying to love us the most and the best?
Why do we walk away instead of walking toward each other?
Why do we wait until someone we love dies before we express the appreciation and love we have for that person?
Why do I have to be like you?  And why do you have to agree with me?
Why do we hate?
Why is it so hard to sustain love and support for each other.

I know...lots of I have the answers?  To some, yes, but to many, I'm still searching too.  And the thing is, even if I have the answers----will you listen?

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Fragile is a word that most of us only want to think about when considering crystal or pottery or antiques.
We CERTAINLY would NOT want to think of ourselves as fragile!
But why not?
A fragile crystal vase is something beautiful; created to be beautiful and useful as well.
How is that so different than you and I?
Why do we allow our society to dictate what it means to be strong....or fragile?  Why do we allow others to tell us how many hours we must work...or rest?
Why can't something or SOMEONE be both strong and fragile at the same time?
Why do we value "STUFF" and not each other?????  Or ourselves?????
If I sit and read a book or work on a piece of applique, am I a less valuable  person that when I work 60 hours a week?
If I start my morning by watching finches, cardinals, butterflies, hummingbirds and flowers, am I lazier than the one who gets up and vacuums and does 2 loads of laundry?  Really?  To WHOM??
God did not create us to be invincible, unbreakable, or in order to live up to anyone else's ideal than God's.
YES, God does want us to read and create and watch nature and listen to birds sing and be.
YES....Even Jesus did these things.......
Sure, we are created to be useful as well, BUT, we are also called to enjoy that which God creates.
We are STRONG.
And we are beautiful when we are both!