Saturday, August 29, 2009

Look at Yourself

It has again been a time in our history. As I watched the services for Senator Ted Kennedy I thought how much has changed, yet how much remains the same. I don't know if you watched as I did. I thought about the way that we get so caught up in other's lives. And then I thought how while there may not be as many watching our lives play out- they are watching. What will they say? What can they say? What are you doing that honors God? Just asking. How many people have you hurt? How many people have you destroyed with your mouth, with your actions? Just asking? How many people have you lied on? Lied to? Lied about? Just asking. How many times have you lied to yourself? Under the premise of being holy? Just asking.

Now is the time to make a change, a positive change. I bless you all with sincere enough hearts to accept your faults and begin to make a change. I bless you with peace as you grow this time. Begin to shape blessings for those you have hurt. Write them out, ask God for forgiveness and then go forward. Blessings for this week.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Letter to a friend

Well, I am on journey, and I have been in my desert place. It took almost three months before I realized it. God asked me one day "was I crying because I was with Him?" So I stopped crying - as much. I ran out of money, could not get any job- teaching, church, any other job, could not get any extra classes to teach. I spent over 300 dollars just sending out resumes. Then the Lord showed me to get still, He was the one movng me through this. Every time I got still someone would tell me about the perfect job for me and i would binge hunt again, for 8 hours a day I would apply.

Lost my house, my car, but kept my sanity. I have never been here before. I have worked two part-time jobs here but now they are done. I have been angry that creeps that cheat and lie and steal are progressing and I am like this. Then I began to understand - to hold on, be still and listen. This being still -I teach and preach about it, but it is rough. And I know that when I come out I will be so different. I am different now. I have some applications in in many places.

I have learned that this is really not about me, that I will survive, that I can rely on no one else but God. I am at my sister's house and that is hard- I have been on my on as long as I have been grown. But God. But God. So that is the reader's digest version. It has been a journey into that desert place that I never wanted to go. I marvel at the spiritual writers that went there but I wanted to 'be good' so that I didn't have to go there. I saw it as a strengthening but I understood it as a punishment. Oh but I have been so wrong. It is a remaking, repotting, rejuvenating, refreshing of the spirit in order to take the next leg of the journey. Wow, as my former pastor, the late F.G. Sampson would say, "Wake up and write that down." So I have better write what I just shared in my journal. Let's keep in touch. Take care dear heart. It is difficult but doable. We really must take our eyes from things seen to things unseen.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


This journey has taken me to this place, and I wonder "how can I help others when I can't help myself?" I have been fed by ravens, as Elijah (1 Kings 17:6). And now am using oil in my house, as instructed by Elisha to the widow(2 Kings 4). I still search for income and watch for God's work in my life. So what does it all mean? You can not give up. Stay the journey.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Going Up

(from my other blog)
As I left the South Capitol METRO and started my trek up to work I thought about the similarities between Capitol Hill and Jerusalem. That thought consumed my energy as I watched for the similarities and differences. I love coming up to Capitol Hill and watching as different people scurry about handing their business, whether it is the business of the nation, vacation, a learning experience, a biking trip, an artistic encounter or a personal sojourn, there is always something going on. I also love going up to Jerusalem. And I join those in scurrying around taking in as much of that experience as I can, whether learning or on personal sojourn; while the business of the nation, vacation, a religious encounter, or pilgrimage moves others to and fro. On my first trip to the old city I recognized that Jerusalem is a city that never sleeps. While in the evening the traffic appears to dies down on Capitol Hill, it too never sleeps with the closed meetings and other events.

On a Hill

Both Capitol Hill and Jerusalem are set on hills. Sometimes it gets tiring pulling the slow incline up Capitol Hill, but there is no other way, the nation’s business is handled on “the hill.” Jerusalem sits on two hills, somewhat like a tooth. Thank goodness that “the hill” is not a steep as Jerusalem. That is a real climb. I also decided on my first trip that Jesus and the disciples had to be physically fit to make those climbs from the Mount of Olives to Jerusalem and back. Scripturally Jerusalem was and still remains a place to be, whether it is for business, celebration, or pilgrimage. Jesus was brought as a child to Jerusalem. “When the time came for their purification, according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord” (Luke 2:22 NRSV). During His life, Jesus joined others in many trips to Jerusalem. “While Jesus was going up to Jerusalem. . . .” (Matt. 20:17 NRSV).


On Capitol Hill, bills are passed, laws are written, deals are struck, okay, sorry about that one, but you know it is true. And in our nation petitions are filled, protests are made, causes are presented. In one day alone, I participated in rallies for healthcare, (yes, everyone needs healthcare), strolled past elegantly created banners for one cause, and crudely made banners for another cause. I witnessed a silent protest in front of the Supreme Court, and people handing out brochures on another. It is all in a day’s work.

In Jerusalem laws are made, deals are struck and as we know, Jesus’ demise was hatched. “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn Him to death. . . .” (Matt. 20:18, Mark 10:33 NRSV). “See we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished” (Luke 18:31 NRSV). “They were on the road, going up to Jerusalem. . . ” (Mark 10:32 NRSV).


Around Capitol Hill there are many celebrations for many events, including the fireworks for the celebration of the nation. There are festivals celebrating the diversity of cultures in America. One of the largest celebration held was the inauguration of Barack Obama, yes, I was there, fortunately on the hill.

Scripturally, Jerusalem was the place to be for the festivals. “The Passover of the Jews was at was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.” (John 2:13 NRSV). “After this there was a festival of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem” (John 5:1 NRSV). Today many religions make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem just to say they have been there, just to witness the life of the historical Jesus, just to walk the places in scripture, just to be in that number.


Visitors abound everywhere on the Hill whether trying to view a session or taking pictures of the historical sites or just sitting around trying to take it all in. It is overwhelming and many weary visitors find themselves deciding whether to take one more tour or to get back to the hotel for the day. I know, I have heard them. Tired, yet determined to see as much as they can, they leave with pictures, souvenirs, and memories of the nation’s capitol.

In Jerusalem, pretty much the same thing happens. Tired, yet determined to take in as much as one can of this once in a lifetime (for many) chance to be a part of something so significant to their faith belief. And they leave with pictures, souvenirs and memories. On my first trip to Jerusalem I was told it would be a trip that I would forever be unpacking. On my second trip I led a group there and I cried when I saw the walls of Jerusalem before me. Every time I read scripture – memories.

Going Up

As I thought about these two historically significant places I marveled at the “going up” and thought about another significant place where we “go up” – in prayer. And in this place of commune with God, we have that image of “going up,” to meet God, in that secret place. In that place we handle the business of prayer in giving thanks and placing our petitions, our anxieties before God and attempt to leave our worries and cares with God. “Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made know to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6&7 NRSV). In prayer, we celebrate God for who God is. For each time we visit, we sojourn, we linger in that place of prayer, we learn more of the awesomeness of God and we leave that place at little more spiritually transformed. That is cause for celebration in itself, to be more aware of our identity in God and to have spent more time with God. And then to present ourselves as one who has been “up,” with God, not boasting but with love for one another and caring about the concerns of mankind that concern God. If we take serious this time of going up in prayer then we return to do more of God’s work in our own way. And this time will indeed influence how we treat one another and how we go about caring for all of God’s people. We come down from that secret place and can better support the issues of justice for all. It is in going up before God that we come down with concerns for the injustices, be they economical, environmental, health related, and abuses of all kinds.

Whatever your cause, your concern, bathe it in prayer. I close with a note from Paul, and my sentiments also. “Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints. Pray also for me, so that when I speak, a message may be given to me to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it boldly, as I must speak” (Eph. 6:18-20 NRSV).

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Connect the Dots

Okay - stop!!! Get Still! BREATHE! Allow Holy Spirit to guide you into this quiet time. Don't look at another word . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Did you come straight to this point? Or did you follow the dots here? If you came straight to this point - not good. You are rushing through, and just like the first sentence above with the letters missing you are missing great moments with God. Did you follow the dots? Great!

Just as we used to play connect the dots when we were young - we didn't know what was at the end until we finished the dots. So now allow Holy Spirit to move you this day from dot to dot, and then try it tomorrow, and then the next day. Take it one day at a time. It really is a step of faith each moment, yet for each moment you allow God to guide you find yourself wanting more of what God wants for you. And when you get to the end of the journey the dots will have taken shape of the life you have produced. And if you have followed the dots correctly, Wow - what a shape!

My blessing today - that you find more of God in these moments, and more of what He had for you. SHHHHH! listen! "Be Still and know that I am God"(Ps. 46:10).