30 Days of Thankfulness – 11/11/17

For the month of November, I’m going to try to include gratitude in all my posts (and post every day.)

Today is Veterans’ Day. I’m grateful for Big Al, and my father, and all the other folks who donned uniforms and went to war. They gave a portion of their lives in military service so that we can all live with basic human freedoms. I honor their patriotism and their courage.

 

Return

Our Duplex (2)

This photo is part of the Lenten Photo-A-Day Challenge.

This is my view as I RETURN to my house every day after going to exercise.

The lectionary passage that spoke especially to me today was from Psalm 27

13  I believe that I shall see the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living.
14   Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the LORD!

I HAVE seen the goodness of the LORD. I waited for the LORD’s good time and my heart’s desire has been fulfilled!

Expecting the Word – Advent Four – Saturday

My Advent series this year will follow the Words Matter Advent study from the National Council of Churches. Download the whole booklet if you’d like, and follow along with the writings for each day. I’d love to discuss them with you. Also, here is a link to the Advent readings from the Inclusive Bible. I prefer the more inclusive language here, than the NRSV texts used in the study booklet (be sure to read the note on page 6).

Luke 1:26-38

And now we come to it. Here is our responsibility in all of this.

How am I, and how are you saying “no” to G-d?

I have ideas, talents, and gifts, and I know that often I am too fearful, or too self-satisfied to say what I need to say, and do what I need to do.

If Mary was able to say “Okay” to the shame, and uncertainty, and difficulties of being Jesus’ mother, should I be able to say what I need to say, and do what I need to do?

I now say, “I will try!” and I hear the echo, “No, there is no TRY, there is only DO!”

Amen.

Expecting the Word – Advent Four – Sunday

My Advent series this year will follow the Words Matter Advent study from the National Council of Churches. Download the whole booklet if you’d like, and follow along with the writings for each day. I’d love to discuss them with you. Also, here is a link to the Advent readings from the Inclusive Bible. I prefer the more inclusive language here, than the NRSV texts used in the study booklet (be sure to read the note on page 6).

Romans 16:25-27

The devotional tells us “Fear not”.

I know that most people don’t ever think I’m fearful. The fact is I am terrified of lots of things, lots of the time.

I’m mostly afraid of not being “the good girl.”And I know I’m not always the good girl. I know my mouth sometimes goes faster than my brain. I know I sometimes say hurtful things. I know I rarely love enough. I know I don’t give enough of either my money or myself. I know I should trust more. I know I shouldn’t keep my feeling so hidden. But the fact is I’m terrified of saying the wrong thing, or behaving the wrong way.

I know that I should remember the Beatitude that says “Greatly honored are you when people revile you, and persecute you for My sake,” but still I tremble to call out the rich and I worry about offending the people who are dooming the poor to poverty.

Dear G-d, help me to “Fear not” when confronted by prejudice, and cruelty. Help me to stand up for “the least of these.” Amen.

 

Expecting the Word – Advent Three – Saturday

My Advent series this year will follow the Words Matter Advent study from the National Council of Churches. Download the whole booklet if you’d like, and follow along with the writings for each day. I’d love to discuss them with you. Also, here is a link to the Advent readings from the Inclusive Bible. I prefer the more inclusive language here, than the NRSV texts used in the study booklet (be sure to read the note on page 6).

John 1:6-8, 19-28

I’m not sure why it is that I am afraid to make a statement on my own, sometimes. I often find myself quoting someone else, couching my statements as “Someone on Facebook said…” or “I read in the New York Times…” Often the idea that I’m trying to get across is based on an amalgamation of several people’s ideas that I have synthesized into something almost unique. And yet, I’m timid about making a statement about what I think. I always want to point to someone else who said it or thought it first.

John the Baptist seems to be like this. He disavows being “The Prophet” or “Elijah” or “The Promised One.” He seems content to say “It was prophesied that one would come before the Messiah”, rather than just outright saying that’s who he is.

I wish I could just state my ideas rather than hiding behind other people’s quotations.

Maybe that’s the way I try to give weight to my voice, instead of having it just be “noise.”