Saturday, December 31, 2011

covenant prayer

Covenant Prayer From John Wesley's Covenant Service, 1780

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,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
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.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

still waiting for redemption...

Jesus is here and I'm still waiting for redemption, yes I am! Plus, as I pulled together some scattered thoughts and notes, I realized most of them would work better for another, separate blog, possibly during early epiphany. Absolutely for sure I have a lot to say about ways following Jesus leads us into places and situations we wouldn't have guessed, and truly hope to do so soon.

Christmas synchroblog on wordpress and some [serving] suggestions:
"And Jesus doesn't always give us what we expect either. We welcome him as a cute little baby but if we continue to journey with him, we soon realize that he wants to turn our world upside down. A child born in a stable is much easier to cope with than a revolutionary leader. This month's synchroblog is centered around the unexpected consequences of our journey with Jesus. Where has it led us that we never anticipated? In what ways has it really turned our world upside down?"
Moving from my advent blog, gifts from the ground; hope for the earth to realizing even before the liturgical and popular celebrations of Jesus' birth on 24 and 25 December we've long known so much beyond the fulfillment of the Advent texts we've been hearing...

titus - grace has appearedBefore a baby arrives, we usually have a clue about the baby's parents, about some of their other relatives along with their backgrounds and experiences; we have more than a hint about the baby's geographical place on the planet along with their social and cultural milieu. Despite the quantifiable info, there's so much we don't know about ways that baby become child become teenager and then adult will engage the world, make a name in the news or on the street or possibly fade into oblivion. On the surface, the life of Jesus of Nazareth is pretty much parallel to almost anyone else's in that time and place. You know the narrative!

To quote from my Advent blog, "Though it's common to hear Christianity referred to as 'spiritual' practice, the way of Jesus is heavily economic, highly political and hardly ascetic in its celebration of gifts from the ground, in its perspective that insists on the interdependence of all life, in its historical affirmation of human sexuality and in its charge to care for all creation..."

Maybe especially though for sure hardly exclusively, as church bodies that grew out of the Reformation, we engage the public square and live as political, cultural and economic beings every bit as fully in the world as within the gathered assembly of the church. It's not solely "Jesus and me" but more expansively "Jesus and me in the world and for the world!" from Advent 2B: " accordance with his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home." 2 Peter 3:13

Unexpected consequences of my journey with Jesus? Like Jesus, I was born into linear time and measurable geography. Forget about Christmas 2011—have I been getting what I expected? No, hardly in the least. I prepared for a life of service to church and world, expecting to participate in the economic, political and not ascetic way of Jesus that celebrates all creation; academically and practically I prepared to engage the public square, to challenge and maybe subvert the status quo; I expected to live at least somewhat counter-culturally. I knew the road would be rocky, but never expected to journey alone for so many years and fully expected eventually to come out on the other side of death into a relatively broad space where my participation would be welcomed and valued.

At the end of my Advent synchroblog, I mentioned "a world that cries out for cooperation, interdependence and redemption." Will no one cooperate with, depend upon me, so I might be redeemed, bought back into the land of the living? How else can we live but with each other? How else will I live again?

other synchroblog participants:

• Glenn Hager, Breathe, Underwear for Christmas

• Jeremy Myers, Till He Comes, Unexpected Gifts from Jesus

• Jeff Goins, GoinsWriter, Day After Christmas

• Wendy McCaig, Unwanted gifts...

• Christine Sine, GodSpace, The Wait Is Over - What Did I Get?

• M Kettleson, The Real Journey, Following the Baby We Just Celebrated

• Kathy Escobar, pain relief not pain removal

• Ellen Haroutunian, Jesus came, did you get what you expected?...

• Carol Kuniholm, Words Half Heard, What the Magi Found

• Sally Coleman, Eternal Echoes, unexpected...

Friday, December 16, 2011

to-do list friday 5

to-do list Friday 5

Jan hosts again today and like me she doesn't "...have church services to plan, but there is much left to be done." In addition, she knows, "No matter how organized you are, there must be some things you still need to do. For this Friday Five, tell us five things on your Christmas 'To Do' List. Include anything you have decided to skip doing this year. As a bonus, give us something that helps you remember why this season even exists."

cat's meow Nauset Light winter1. I need to display a few more Christmas decorations like this Nauset Lighthouse at Christmas; so far the only one is the starry lights I won a few years ago at Presbyterian bingo that always goes in one of the front windows.

2. I'm trying to remember that it doesn't need to be like this...

3. I've been noticing Salvation Army commercials on tv (not sure if they're locally specific or not) and for sure those people remind me of myself. I'm thinking of trying to connect with the local Salvation Army and try to get some services that will help me stand and walk again, though that likely would be an after Christmas endeavor.

4. Start playing some fave Christmas music CDs again very very soon! A couple weeks ago I began listening evenings to local KyXy radio when I've been home and really enjoy their selections, especially "Mary, Did You Know?"

5. Trying not to count the years, but instead still be amazed at my accomplishments in so many areas despite everything.

bonus To remember the why of this season, I only need to be aware that in the northern hemisphere we're approaching the darkest, shortest days, and the darker it is, the better to notice and appreciate even the tiniest light.

Friday, December 09, 2011

random 5

At the stroke of midnight revkjarla posted today's random 5, "I invite you share five random things about you, or five random thoughts, or five random surprises in your life." Here's my play:

1. I'm astonished at my abilities to survive and produce quality art and theology despite everything. Oh, of course, I always perform well in public at the drop of a hint, so that one's no surprise, but musical performances do not depend on my own creativity and inner resourcefulness as writing and designing do. As I observed on facebook yesterday, Oprah pointed out to a teenager long ago that no one can do life on their own. Your abilities, dreams, desires and hard work matter not at all, without that others, those others, community and context it's all a no go.

2. I'm surprised to find myself both in the usual countdown to winter solstice (you know how quickly the days seem to get longer with more sunshine!) plus actually enjoying the shorter days and happy to be in an unusual southern californian chill as well as a cool, dry Santa Ana. The stereotypical Santa Ana condition features high winds, low humidity and very high ambient temps. I love celebrating the Feast of the Unvanquished Sun followed by the birth of the Sun of Righteousness a few days later.

3. I'm trying to keep this positive, but the trend of ignoring emails, phone calls, snail mail and other inquiries that once was considered a southern california habit (as in "I'll chillax at this job until surf's up and then I am soooo out of here") seems to have extended to everyone, everywhere and that does surprise me.

4. Although I knew there would be exceptions and way back when during the showdown between our church council and the judicatory staff if you'd asked me closely I'd have admitted there would be many exceptions, I remain astonished at my ongoing inability to connect with opps related to my background (gifts, education, experience), esp since for the most part I've simply tried plugging into existing ministries.

5. I played Friday 5 today, yay!