Life 103

Friday, January 27, 2006

a common thread

Every person in my Listening Life small group recently took the time to examine his or her life while listening to Christ then shared their journey with the rest of us. This is what I heard as each one offered the precious gift of a peek into their inner most being…

A thread of Divine Love connects each heart. Love brought us together to affirm our humanity and reunite us with each other and with Him. Love refuses to leave us alone. Love calls our name, fills our every need, heals our wounds, carries us forward, keeps us together.

We are a
Circle of Friends
Divine and human intersect
– in my house –
every Tuesday.

I have seen the face of God in others and he is beautiful.
Thank you Jason, Amy, Vivian, Diane, Dawn, Peggy, Hubert, Bonnie and Aj

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

q & a this week

These are some of the questions I had to respond to this about being all over the board! It's been a full week and it isn't over yet.

Q: Who is Jesus and what does he mean to you?
A: He’s the one that opened his earthly arms to include me in the embrace of the cosmic God.

Q: What is your role in Jesus’ ministry?
A: To be a voice that encourages others to draw near him.

Q: Will you speak at our women’s retreat this spring?
A: Yes, I was just thinking about that this morning in open worship.

Q: When do you want to get our ears pierced?
A: Lets Go! How about tomorrow?

Q: Would you be interested in the new position opening up at our church?
A: I babbled half the way to the mall trying to feel my way around my current call and examine what’s in my heart.

Q: Mom will you do my shot tonight?
A: I lied and said, It's your dad's turn.

Q: Is there anyone who wants to wait outside when we get to the execution room?
A: I said nothing.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

integral mission

The primary reason I'm attracted to the emerging church is its reintegration of the social gospel back into the message of the church; the message that says living out a life of love for God and others isn't an appendix to the mission of the church, it is the mission of the church.

Lately I’ve been wrestling with the disconnect between preaching the Word and doing the Word. As a “doer,” I am a tad over sensitive when those who preach don’t appear to value my life mission of “caring for the widows and orphans” in the form of our most marginalized citizens, the elderly and disabled. Because of my job, I am a member of a monthly meeting for local clergy and these meetings have been sparking an ugly negative internal reaction toward "preachers" lately. It is especially ironic that this group is one of the signers on the original grant to start my organization, Faith in Action, 10 years ago.

The funny thing about wanting to be valued as a doer of the gospel is that, that desire goes completely against Jesus’ call to humility. I shouldn’t need to be patted on the back by anyone but him. I shouldn’t need to be validated by the clergy club because Christ himself is validating me.

I know I don’t have my own integral mission exactly right. If I did, I wouldn’t be this defensive. Hopefully, my friends in the pastorate will put up with me while I’m working this all out for myself. Thanks to Scott Wagoner for his very helpful words on “Philanthropy vs. Christian mission” posted at his Quaker Renewal Forum blog and to the friends and co-workers who have probably already figured this out for themselves but who willingly lend their listening ear anyway.

Monday, January 02, 2006

a new response

This week one of our beautiful and gifted pastors asked us to pose this question to God in the quiet of our worship together: God, what would you like to do in me this year?

In the silence that followed, I heard these words; “I want to write a new response for you.”

A coworker and I have been talking recently about Dr. Daniel Siegel and his book, The Developing Mind: How Relationships and the Brain Interact to Shape Who We Are and the neurobiology of interpersonal relationships and our relational experiences. I know exactly what “I want to write a new response for you” means and in my case, it's definitely not a minor adjustment. I also know I would not have chosen this as a new year's resolution which helps me hold out hope for the promise it suggests.