Hang with God on this First Lenten Thursday

 

No ashes or other give-aways today – not even a name for the Thursday after Ash Wednesday. So just quietly hang with God and rejoice in his invitation to live and love: 

Deuteronomy 30:15-20

“Today I set before you life and prosperity… Choose life then that you and you descendants may live by loving the Lord, your God, heeding his voice and holding fast to him.” 

Click here for the full reading. 

Theology by Beyonce: The 2017 Grammys Version – Did you miss it?

via GIPHY

  • – Thanksgiving to God for the gift of family and the people around us!  
  • – Voicing humanity’s bond to the cross of pain and loss – oft unspoken.
  • – Affirming, in every race, beauty, intelligence and capability! Dare we say? – The image of God that raises us above our discomfort and darkness.    
  • – A vision that blesses us with the hope to transcend our sufferings and mistakes toward a land, Dare we say? – A kingdom, of life, light and grace. Amen!

Read Bey’s full remarks…

“Thank you so much. Hi, baby.

Thank you to the Grammy voters for this incredible honor and, thank you to everyone who worked so hard to beautifully capture the profundity of deep southern culture.

… I thank God for my family, my wonderful husband, my beautiful daughter, my fans for bringing me so much happiness and support. We all experience pain and loss and often we become inaudible.

My intention for the film and album was to create a body of work that would give a voice to our pain, our struggles, our darkness and our history, to confront issues that make us uncomfortable.

It’s important to me to show images to my children that reflect their beauty so they can grow up in a world where they look in the mirror, first through their own families, as well as the news, the Super Bowl, the Olympics, the White House, and the Grammys, and see themselves. And have no doubt that they’re beautiful, intelligent, and capable.

This is something I want for every child of every race, and I feel it’s vital that we learn from the past and recognize our tendencies to repeat our mistakes….

Thank you, again, for honoring Lemonade. Have a beautiful evening. Thank you for tonight. This is incredible.”

Grammys

Finding God’s Wisdom & Spirit
Sunday A.M. Church or Sunday P.M. Grammys
My bet’s on the Grammys this week.

I don’t watch award shows -usually – but… Sunday night I did turn on the Grammys. Don’t know why – maybe God’s grace (cf Katy Perry’s “By the Grace of God”). I became captivated and then mesmerized by the spirituality that was pervasive. There was the obvious, Beyonce’s “Precious Lord” and others. However, it was three songs and performances in close proximity that provoke me to make a blasphemous wager. I’m betting there was more spirit, soul and wisdom on Sunday evening at the Grammy’s than on Sunday morning in many Churches. Check out the lyrics and performances of these three – Kanye West, Madonna, and Katy Perry.

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A Prayer to Prepare for Christmas 2014… and Beyond

On the seven days before the vigil of Christmas the Church prays for the Messiah’s coming using Old Testament Prophetic images and titles.   This contemporary 21st century prayer reflects upon the coming Messiah with the same tiles used in the original 8th century monastic prayers.

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The Lord’s Prayer: Twelve Tips for The Lord’s Prayer, Phrase-by-Phrase – “For Thine is the Kingdom, and the Power and the Glory, Forever and Ever”

11.         For Thine is the Kingdom, and the Power and the Glory, Forever and Ever

Go, God!

Peace, happiness, fulfillment and understanding are yours,

When and where they show up,

your son and his kingdom tag along – even now

Remember I prayed at the beginning: “thy kingdom come?”

Help me calm down (not so easy) and

be drawn peacefully (harder still)

into the mystery of your kingdom’s power and glory –

here and now on earth.

You made me; you saved me; you love me.

Let me bask in you power and glory forever,

But now too.

The Lord’s Prayer: Twelve Tips for The Lord’s Prayer, Phrase-by-Phrase – “Forgive Us Our Trespasses, As We Forgive Those Who Trespass Against Us”

8. Forgive Us Our Trespasses,

As We Forgive Those Who Trespass Against Us

 

I like the word “trespass:” – a neat grown-up word for mess-ups –

But better, it’s so non-threatening!

 Like a kid crossing a neighbor’s property to chase a ball

Other words scare me: evil, sin,  meanness, selfishness, damage.

God, as long as we keep this between us, I’ll cop to some to doing of those bad things

So, I’ll take the deal. It seems fair.

Forgive my mess-ups and I’ll forgive those who have messed me up.

But I’m gonna need your help to close my side of the deal.

 By the way, one final thing,

could you also help me to forgive myself?

Sometimes that’s real hard.

Thanks.

The Lord’s Prayer: Twelve Tips for The Lord’s Prayer, Phrase-by-Phrase – “Thy Kingdom Come”


4.     
Thy Kingdom Come

 

I usually pray for my kingdoms and their toys and their riches.

Your kingdom I usually defer to heaven, and after I die – very safely distant.

But if I think of your kingdom’s riches: peace, joy, happiness, justice.

I sure could use now them here and now.

So, your kingdom, your kingdom come!  Mine can wait a bit.

Ash Wednesday – 2014: Time for a 3D Spiritual Selfie: “Purging, Pondering & Paying it Forward”

P1110029Lent: 40 days to take a 3D spiritual selfie 

Why “3D?”

Because that’s who we are:   we’re not hermits living in isolation.
We live in the world with others and we are made in the image and likeness of God.

A good spiritual selfie can’t crop out the other people or God!!

How do we do it?

3 ways:

Purging –   kinda like fasting
Pondering – kinda like prayer
Paying it forward – kinda like charity

Purging/Fasting gets us to focus on our own needs and wants.  It enables us to realize what is necessary and what we have come to depend on – even if not so necessary.  It could be food, entertainment or – dare I mention it – even social media   When we refrain (or try to) from eating or doing other things, we get a clearer picture of ourselves.

Pondering/Praying focuses on God: thinking, talking, listening.  We must have or at least should have a few things we’d like to say to God.  Certainly God has some things he would like to say to us.  And there is quite a bit about God that I don’t understand that I should think about some more.

Paying it Forward/Acts of Charity puts us in touch with the needs of those around us. Maybe it’s a meal or cup of coffee,  a visit to the hospital, or a lonely relative; maybe it’s a ride home – out of our way to a colleague; maybe it’s a kind word to a stranger on the street.

“I Don’t Get It.” A Different Take on Aftermath of Philip Seymour Hoffman Death

05_Thorpe Playground

Famous actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman dies of overdose: large scale publicity and police hunt to find drug seller. Read more  on the New York Post 

What about the thousands of unnamed youth in the communities and neighborhoods of NYC and across the nation who suffer similar tragic fates? Where’s the interest, concern and caring? I don’t get it. Are not these youth and their families and friends also made in the image and likeness of God?