November 30, 2014

Advent 1-Look

As I shared in the last post, there are many online options for devotions this Advent. One that I will be following here is creating a digital Advent calendar using photos that represent, to me, the words suggested in the project. As I think of the words, I will try to be more aware of what is around me so that I can take a photo representing the word.

This coming week the words are:
Look (30 Nov)
Remember (1 Dec)
Imagine (2 Dec)
Thrive (3 Dec)
Abide (4 Dec)
Notice (5 Dec)
Watch (6 Dec)

As a starter, my photo for “Look” is of the Cooper’s Hawk (I’m told that is what type hawk it is) that landed outside my window at work last week. I looked up and there he/she was sitting on the branch! I took a long shot picture from my desk and then literally crept closer and closer to the window until I was able to get a closer picture. It was an amazing gift from God that morning when I had been feeling rather ‘out of sorts’. Come back next Sunday to see what pictures I have found to represent the other words week.
You can do this project yourself! The project invites you to post your photos using Instagram. I probably won’t do that since I don’t have an account, and don’t need yet another digital account to follow. You can also get the ongoing calendar (theirs, not mine) in your inbox in Advent by signing up.

November 23, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all my faithful readers.
I encourage you to take time this week to pause and consider all the blessings you have.

Next week is the beginning of Advent. Here are links to a couple Advent devotional disciplines that you might find interesting. Leaders of the Episcopal Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Anglican Church of Canada, and Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada have prepared devotions for the 4 weeks of Advent. They are downloadable as pdf files:
Another idea that sounds quite fun is using your phone to create a digital Advent calendar. You can share your photos or just use them for your own devotions. You may find some of my photos on this blog as I hope to follow along on this calendar.

The idea is to take a photo and then post it as below. I likely won't post to Instagram since I don't have an account. You can also sign up to get the calendar in your inbox:

For the first week: take a Picture, Hashtag #Adventword &
 #Look (30 Nov)
#Remember (1 Dec)
#Imagine (2 Dec)
#Thrive (3 Dec)
#Abide (4 Dec)
#Notice (5 Dec)
#Watch (6 Dec)

November 16, 2014

Forever and Ever

We are at the end of the Lord’s Prayer. The Prayer is all about relationship. We are in relationship to our Father God and God to us. Even though God is Holy and beyond all we can fathom, God seeks to be in a loving, intimate relationship with us! We are partners with the Holy Father God in bringing about the Kingdom. With God we work to birth or even sing the Kingdom into existence in response to and in union with the One who has ‘lavished love on us, that we should be called Children of God’ (I John).

As Beloved of God and people in relationship with God, we are also in relationship with one another. As we are fully provided with what we need, day by day, we in turn we ‘pay it forward’ starting with forgiving our self and others as we seek to follow our Father.

Rejoicing in the relationship vertically to God and horizontally with each other, we can say “forever and ever, Amen”. When we say ‘Amen’ we are signaling our assent to all that we have just prayed. We are saying ‘so be it’ to each of the lines in the prayer.

Part 1

So be it is what Amen means. What does that word mean to you? Sit and repeat ‘so be it’ after each line of the Lord’s Prayer.
Our Father in Heaven       So Be It
Hallowed be Thy Name   So Be It
Thy Kingdom Come          So Be It
Thy Will be Done on Earth as in Heaven    So Be It
Give us this day our daily Bread    So Be It
And Forgive us our Trespasses,   So Be it

As we forgive those who trespass against us             So Be It
And lead us not into temptation  So Be it
But Deliver us from evil   So Be it
For thine is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory        So Be It
Forever and Ever              So Be It, Amen

 Part 2
In the alternative prayer it concludes ‘may our future actions grow from here’.  You might layer colored sands into a jar remembering the layers of your life.
In Advent we’ll start a new series of meditations in preparation for the Nativity and Incarnation of our Lord.

November 9, 2014

Thine is the Kingdom

As we come to the end of the prayer we return full circle to the beginning by recognizing that God is where the Kingdom, Power and Glory reside, or as the Aramaic translation says, “From you arises every Vision, Power, and Song”.

Our loving Father wants us to find, and live into, our fullest vision. God wants us to have the dream God planted in our hearts at birth. When we offer this prayer, recognizing that God is the Source of the Kingdom and the Vision of our life, we can be free to allow our souls to awake and dream and live.

Discovering that dream may be easy for some. Many of us have known what we ‘want to be when we grow up’ all our lives and have followed that path. Others have listened more the voices of caution and ‘what you ought to do’ than to that Voice. It may take some prayer and meditation to rediscover that real Dream.

The photo from is what God asks us each day. “What is your dream, my Precious Child?” Take some time to think about what your real dream is. It’s never too late, so don’t say “I’m too old”. God will give you the time for your dream and God’s vision for you is perfect.

As God told Jeremiah: “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you. When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart, I will let you find me, says the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.” (Jeremiah 29:11-14)

Part 1

Manipulate play dough as you ask God to help you live in to and even to discover God’s dream for your life. You’ll find it amazingly freeing.

Part 2
In thinking about God as the Provider of “every Vision, Power, and Song”, you might do prayer yoga or sing or listen to a favorite hymn. Perhaps you feel moved to do liturgical dance to welcome God’s vision into your life. The little card reminds us “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain!”

Next week we’ll finish our meditations on the Lord’s Prayer as we come to the very end and offer it all to God.