Saturday, March 31, 2007

THE INDESCRIBABLE WOW







I just love this time of year. I have lived for many years soaking up the beauty of God's creation. I don't want to miss any of it. I've never really thought of this as a prayer before but after hearing Anne Lamott refer to it as being one of her favorites, I will always see it as a prayer myself now. WOW
To recognize the creator in it all. Whether it is in the beauty of nature, or in a friend, or in a child. Or even in the messes of life. He is always here with us. To live aware of everyday being GIFT.
Here is my suggestion. If you are missing this in life, slow down. So that WOW becomes one of your favorite prayers.



Wednesday, March 28, 2007

I THINK MAYBE I'VE NEVER FELT MORE ALIVE

This song is just hauntingly beautiful. How true it is to our life experience. The song lyrics follow my post here. Please don't skip over the song. Let it sink in and let him speak to you through it. You can hear the song down below under the post A Touch from God.

We chase things through life that will never satisfy. But we chase because there is something we long for. We can't help but chase. We are too often surrounded by people who just tell us, That is just the way it is. The end result then for too many is, they never begin the real pursuit.

We find ourselves stuck in the maddening pace of life. When we are caught up in that torrent, we never give ourselves enough time. Nor God for that matter. Why can't we slow down and let it all unfold? Living with a "WOW" attitude? Taking a deep breath, a sigh, and taking it all in.

It's alright. Sometimes, well should I say many or most times, it is sorrows and hardships that stir us and have the ability to awaken us. It is only when we are awake can we really say: I think maybe I've never felt more alive.

Is this journey more about us finding him or him finding us? When we come to know he can be trusted because of his love and concern for that which he has created, it doesn't really matter as much if it is dark seas or grey clouds we find ourselves in. If the the well is deep, we will be okay.

On my own, I don't know how to make peace or find it? But I'm being awakened to the truth that this is where he is taking us. Do I go fighting or do I disarm and live as my savior did? Our lives are messy stories we have caused by grabbing for that which God has not given. We are afraid and embarrassed for people to see us as we are. But I think we have it all wrong. I think there is a song hidden behind all of the walls we put up that might just be worth singing. Who knows, maybe a dance would follow that we all could participate in?

It's Alright
Tasha Golden, © 2006 Set Adrift Music

Remember how we chased it like shadows
Life was the ocean; we wanted to swim
Looking back now, it’s just how the path goes
They tell you it’s over; you never begin

We don’t give ourselves time - the way that we used to
To watch it all happen, unfolding in sighs
You’d think we were blind, the things we can see through
The things we look past when emboldened inside

But it’s alright now, it’s alright
The ghosts of our glories are gray-bearded guides
The sound of our sorrows has stirred us inside
(But) I think maybe I’ve never felt more alive

I asked you just once if you thought we could be found
You never did tell me; but I think I know now
Whatever ship comes, by dark sea or gray cloud
As long as the well’s deep, we make it somehow

But it’s alright now, it’s alright
The ghosts of our glories are gray-bearded guides
The sound of our sorrows has stirred us inside
(But) I think maybe I’ve never felt more alive

I don’t know how to make peace or find it
We’re most of us stories we’re scared to explain
But what if there’s sound, somewhere caught behind this
A song we can sing while we’re lying awake

Friday, March 23, 2007

POWERFUL IMAGERY

http://youtube.com/watch?v=Zo-9r04_R-Y


Please

So you never knew love
Until you crossed the line of grace.
And you never felt wanted
Till you'd someone slap your face.
So you never felt alive
Until you'd almost wasted away.

You had to win, you couldn't just pass
The smartest ass at the top of the class
Your flying colours, your family tree
And all your lessons in history.

Please, please, please
Get up off your knees.
Please, please, please, please, oh yeah

And you never knew how low you'd stoop
To make that call
And you never knew what was on the ground
Till they made you crawl.
So you never knew that the heaven
You keep you stole.

Your Catholic blues, your convent shoes,
Your stick-on tattoos now they're making the news
Your holy war, your northern star
Your sermon on the mount from the boot of your car.

Please, please, please
Get up off your knees.
Please, please, please
Leave me out of this, please.

Live it out

So love is hard
And love is tough
But love is not
What you're thinking of.

September, streets capsizing
Spilling over down the drains
Shard of glass, splinters like rain
But you could only feel your own pain.

October, talk getting nowhere.
November, December; remember
We just started again.

Please, please, please
Get up off your knees, yeah.
Please, please, please, please, ah.

Live it out

So love is big
Is bigger than us.
But love is not
What you're thinking of.

It's what lovers deal
It's what lovers steal
You know I've found it
Hard to receive
'Cause you, my love
I could never believe.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

A TOUCH FROM GOD

I found some new music this morning. I had never heard of the band but the song I heard on someone's myspace sent me to Itunes.

The band is Ellery

If you want to listen along while reading the words go here:http://ellerymusic.com/music.htm you can hear the entire song if you click on the player. It is the last song.

It's Alright
Tasha Golden, © 2006 Set Adrift Music

Remember how we chased it like shadows
Life was the ocean; we wanted to swim
Looking back now, it’s just how the path goes
They tell you it’s over; you never begin

We don’t give ourselves time - the way that we used to
To watch it all happen, unfolding in sighs
You’d think we were blind, the things we can see through
The things we look past when emboldened inside

CHORUS:

But it’s alright now, it’s alright
The ghosts of our glories are gray-bearded guides
The sound of our sorrows has stirred us inside
(But) I think maybe I’ve never felt more alive

I asked you just once if you thought we could be found
You never did tell me; but I think I know now
Whatever ship comes, by dark sea or gray cloud
As long as the well’s deep, we make it somehow

CHORUS

I don’t know how to make peace or find it
We’re most of us stories we’re scared to explain
But what if there’s sound, somewhere caught behind this
A song we can sing while we’re lying awake

Saturday, March 17, 2007

HALLELUJAH

No words necessary.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=sbZVzultvFs&mode=related&search=

Just fall on your knees.

GRACE vs SHAME.........TRANSFORMATION vs CONFORMITY

Simplified: LIFE vs DEATH

These thoughts were taken from an interview with Anne Lamott.

You can't heal your sick shame filled worried mind with your sick shame filled worried mind. We are healed by grace.

Where sin abounds grace abounds.

The five rules of human life in America:

1. You should not have anything wrong or different about you.

2. If you do have something wrong or different about you, you should fix it.

3. If you can't fix it you should fake it. Pretend your okay.

4. If you can't fix it or fake it, you should just stay away because it is just too painful for everyone to be around you.

5. If you insist on still coming around you should at least have the decency to be ashamed.

With that being the human experience it is a radical act to show up.

The right to show up everyday, learning to live free of the shame is our challenge. Jesus took it all within himself on the cross so we can show up everyday living free of that terrible burden.

Don't allow anything or anyone to place that burden on you that Jesus has removed. We are Abba's children. I want to learn to live free in that reality.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Wendell Berry

"We have many commodities but little satisfaction, little sense of the sufficiency of anything. The scarcity of satisfaction makes of our many commodities an infinite series of commodities, the new commodities invariably promising greater satisfaction than the older ones. In fact, the industrial economy's most marketed commodity is satisfaction, and this commodity, which is repeatedly promised, bought, and paid for, is never delivered."

Monday, March 12, 2007

WHAT WE TAKE IN IS WHAT WE PUT OUT

Good literature, inspiring art, and things that bring into focus the Dream of God are essential to those who are floundering in the land of exile. Floundering, and so often living unaware of the state we are in. We are either caught up in the things of God or we are caught up in the things of this world.

From the book Religious Nuts, Political Fanatics

Speaking of Israel's brilliant literature that came forth during the Babylonian exile period.

"It was directly political in nature, designed to shape the actions of the oppressed by capturing their imaginations and offering a transforming vision of God's future. Walsh concurs with their explaination. Referring to the idolatrous modern worldview he states that

this is the world that captivates the imagination of our society....We live in Babylon. Babylonian definitions of reality, Baylonian patterns of life, Babylonian views of labour, Babylonian economic structures dominate our waking, and our sleeping. And, like the exiled Jews, we find it very tempting to think that all this is normal. This is the way life basically should be.

Our imagination is the prize for competing empires: Babylon verses the Kingdom of God."

Saturday, March 10, 2007

WHAT WOULD GOD HAVE US DO?

Taken from the book Sex,Economy,Freedom& Community by Wendell Berry

"But we must begin by giving up any idea that we can bring about these healings without fundamental changes in the way we think and live. We face a choice that is starkly simple: we must change or be changed. If we fail to change for the better, then we will be changed for the worse. We can not blunder our way into health by the same sad and foolish hopes by which we have blundered into disease. We must see that the standardless aims of industrial communism and industrial capitalism equally have failed. The aims of productivity, profitability, efficiency, limitless growth, limitless wealth, limitless power, limitless mechanization and automation can enrich and empower the few (for awhile), but they will sooner or later ruin us all. The gross national product and the corporate bottom line are utterly meaningless as measure of the prosperity or health of the country."

Does the way we live in the world have anything to do with our spiritual health? It seems the focus on spiritual growth of the individual in America rarely ever transfers over to a change in our values when it comes to consumption and care for the neighborhood. Why is this?

It seems to me Jesus addresses much of this in the Sermon on the Mount?

The world's way is a way unto destruction. History proves at least that much to us. Why do we keep going the way the world leads us and continue to ignore the way of the kingdom. God's rule and reign: His economy, his politics, and his community. It is radically different.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

LESSONS FROM WENDELL BERRY

This is taken from an article that is linked below:

"Berry is very hard on organized Christianity, because he sees the churches behaving as handmaidens to the assumptions of political and economic institutions dedicated to the exploitation of creation rather than its stewardship. "Despite its protests to the contrary, modern Christianity has become willy-nilly the religion of the state and the economic status quo. Because it has been so exclusively dedicated to incanting anemic souls into Heaven, it has been made the tool of much earthly villainy. It has, for the most part, stood silently by while a predatory economy has ravaged the world, destroyed its natural beauty and health, divided and plundered its human communities and households. . . . It has assumed with the economists that 'economic forces' automatically work for good and has assumed with the industrialists and militarists that technology determines history. It has assumed with almost everybody that 'progress' is good, that it is good to be modern and up with the times.

Berry's critique of national and global forces always comes back to the concrete challenge of individual families, households, and communities. In one of his most comprehensive essays, "Discipline and Hope," he insists that marriage cannot be understood apart from its concrete, material aspects. "The prevalent assumption appears to be that marriage problems are problems strictly of 'human relations': if the husband and wife will only assent to a number of truisms about 'respect for the other person,' 'giving and taking,' et cetera, and if they will only 'understand' each other, then it is believed that their problems will be solved. The difficulty is that marriage is only partly a matter of 'human relations,' and only partly a circumstance of the emotions. It is also, and as much as anything, a practical circumstance. It is very much under the influence of things and people outside itself; that is, it must make a household, it must make a place for itself in the world and in the community. But with us, getting someplace always involves going somewhere. Every professional advance leads to a new place, a new house, a new neighborhood. Our marriages are always being cut off from what they have made; their substance is always disappearing into the thin air of human relations."


http://www.marshillaudio.org/resources/article.asp?id=87

Friday, March 02, 2007

THE POWER OF WORDS

Through out all of scripture God uses song, literature and the spoken prophetic word to recapture the imagination of his people so that they can see him again in all his splendor and so his dream for them would come back into view.

These are some lyrics taken from the song; Here it is
by Over The Rhine

This is just part of it. You can see it all here in another post:

http://nthegarden.blogspot.com/2007/02/maybe-its-just-me-but-for-me-right-now.html

Every word and the thought it conveys is profound. Here is my observation. Most people miss these things completely. I believe it is an outcome of the dullness our culture and it's barrage of what I call bad art produces. Citizens who become so use to the transfer of simple transparent information. "Just tell me straight, I don't want to take the time to think."

It is the way of our modern society. Everything thing has been so dumbed down and in your face we lose the ability to think for ourselves. The scary thing is this; people are so exhausted by the pace of life, they so easily just turn to others to tell them what is up. Unfortunately we have been trained to surround ourselves with "yes" men and women, we rarely ever allow ourselves to be challenged anymore. The dominant culture then has what it wants. People that conform and just follow.

This first part speaks to me of surrender and in that surrender we encounter the love of God. And it is in this encounter with God the hope of being awakened resides.

I can’t seem to let go
I’m so scared of losing
The deeper the love goes
The deeper the bruising


This next section speaks of the tension that indecision creates. The fear of making mistakes that leads to the prison of apathy.

The trouble with talking
Is it makes you sound clever
The trouble with waiting
Is you’ll just wait forever


This section makes me think of the confusion caused by the "ridiculous voices" of our culture that paralyze us. Truth eludes us and is hard to find in this numb state.

There’s a loop of excuses
That plays in your mind
And makes the truth
Even harder to find