Wednesday, January 30, 2008


This is from a letter from Carolyn Myss Website

A blessing by the late Poet John O Donahue

May the light of your soul guide you.
May the light of your soul bless the work
You do with the secret love and warmth of your heart.
May you see in what you do the beauty of your own soul.
May the sacredness of your work bring healing, light and renewal to those
Who work with you and to those who see and receive your work.
May your work never weary you.
May it release within you wellsprings of refreshment, inspiration and excitement.
May you be present in what you do.
May you never become lost in the bland absences.
May the day never burden you.
May dawn find you awake and alert, approaching your new day with dreams,
Possibilities and promises.
May evening find you gracious and fulfilled.
May you go into the night blessed, sheltered and protected.
May your soul calm, console and renew you.

I like this

Thursday, January 24, 2008

There Will Be Blood

I just got home from watching this movie and WOW! Another great movie.
For the past few months I have seen some of the best - No Country for Old Men, Michael Clayton, American Gangster, Juno, In the Valley of Elah. Movies that are about people and ideas and really make you think and feel.

This was another. What struck me from the beginning was the soundtrack - the music was so compelling and amazing. the First 20 minutes or so had no dialogue as we watched Daniel Plainview (what a name?) digging for gold/silver, breaking his leg, not stopping and finding oil.
It was the beginning of two and a half hours with this extraordinary man who was driven to succeed at any cost.

It covered from 1898 to 1927 as Daniel came to be extremely successful as an oil man. He is also incredibly complex (not a "plainview"?) nothing about his past, - a lot of questions" His "son" - did he love him or use him? Yes to both. But at the end, profits won out over relationship. His relationship with his "brother" - he showed his vulnerability and then killed him. His relationship with the preacher was full of mutual distrust. And in the end, Daniel killed him.

I had read ahead of time that this film had a message about business and religion in America. It is a picture of the church using business for its own ends, and business using the church.
Daniel allowed himself to be baptised in the blood of the lamb in order to secure rights to some property.And the preacher was willing to deny God as a superstition and claim himself to be a phony in order to get some money. (because he had made bad investments).

This film had so much in it - that I would like to see it again and have someone (besides Chuck) to process it with. For me, the brilliance of Daniel Day Lewis as an actor was that this character, Daniel, was so fully dimensional. He was more than a driven oil man - you saw underneath the fleeting moments of humanity.

I will think about this for a long time.

Monday, January 21, 2008


I returned Saturday from a 7 day cruise in the Eastern Caribbean.
I always feel guilty that we do this - every year in January - but it has really become something that I look forward to in December. It is not Christmas that wears me out so much as the end of the year business of the church - nominating committees, budget for the new year, congregational meetings, etc. I have influence but no real power in any of this but somehow feel responsible for all of it. By the time the year is over, I need a break.

Cruises work for us because Chuck and I have different needs for vacation. Food is reallly important to him and cruises take care of that! I want to be taken care of and have lots of possibilities of activities and no place that I have to go for sure. So, this year we did less than ever. No tours off the ship - just kind of walking around. No shopping. No beaching. Reading, sleeping, looking at the water and, of course, eating. It is also wonderful to have time for doing nothing and not thinking about church at all.

I started every day with my devotional - reading a great book by Eugene Peterson and read completely through a thousand page book by Ken Follette. That was a real gift to be able to lose myself in a novel about the middle ages. I did not think about my church - but I did spend time with Father Phillip in the book and could reflect a bit about the work of ministry through his eyes. It was all good for me.

Coming back to Columbus felt okay - I was ready to go back "into it." And what "it" is is congregational life. Sometimes it feels like I live in the guts of it all - caring for people of all ages and situations, trying to sort through issues that come and go in the life of the church and take on greater meaning than they probably deserve, praying for God to show me/us the way this year. I love what I do, but I am blessed to have time away to take the time to breathe before I go back into this life.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


I have been ruminating about the elections. Watching Joe Scarborough in the morning and trying to make sense of what is going on.

Could not wait until the end of the board meeting last night so I could go home and watch all my people on MSNBC pontificate.
And what they were doing was eating crow! They had bought the line that Hillary was going going to lose by double digits and were having conversations all day about what was the next thing she was going to do - how was she goin to retool her campaign?

and now they are trumpeting this amazing turnaround.
Of course, the crazy part is that literally a week ago they were crowning her as the "Inevitable" candidate. Joe Scarborough through all the debates has been calling her the best debater (the only grown up) However, they got blown away by the crowds for Obama and also were obviously affected by his great speeches. Tom Brokaw was the grand old man last night chastising the young guys for jumping to conclusions. Whole thing is kind of funny.

And now today - on to talking about Super Tuesday.
The interesting part to all of this is that something happens when people vote - some decision is made within them that makes them decide that moment to cast their ballot for the person. And the pundits then take the results of the votes and whatever info they get from pollsters and construct some sort of explanation for it all. Which may or may be correct. But they say it over and over again and then say it to each other and suddenly it becomes truth.

And the truth is that people vote for all kinds of reasons - for one candidate or against another.
There is alot of speciulation that Hillary's tears made a difference - it humanized her. Or maybe it was her anger (feistiness) at the debate on Saturday. She is a fighter! And now her people are going to probably encourage both in her.

I look forward to the drama - and find myself less certain now about who I would and will vote for when I get my turn. I like all something about everybody - but each one has an area that causes me concern.

I do believe - in my heart of hearts -that the process will reveal the candidate to me.
Ever the optimist.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Eat, Pray, Love

I am in the middle of reading this wonderful book. And it is certainly speaking to me.

It is divided into three parts - Eat - (in Italy), Pray (in India) and Love (in Indonesia)

Right now I am reading the part in India about prayer. The author, Elizabeth Gilbert, is at an Ashram in India meditating. The process of meditating is the same with the praying that I do.
Or try to do.

what I am identifying with is the fact that our minds betray us and when we are trying to pray everything in the world comes up - resentments, worries, fears.

This paragraph really spoke to me:

" I met an old lady once, almost one hundred years old, and she told me, "There are only 2 questions that human beings have ever fought over, all through history. How much do you love me? And Who's in charge?"
Everything else is somehow manageable. But these two questions of love and control undo us all, trup us up and cause war, grief and suffering. "

And they take up all this space in our heads. But sometimes, when we let go and allow God's voice to speak we will hear God's voice that (for her) says YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW STRONG MY LOVE IS!

Again, may we hear this voice. May I hear this voice.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Velver Elvis

I had read about this book for a while and now I am half way through it.
It is exactly what I needed to read - especially today.

Here are some quotes

"But the Bible is about today.
Their stories are our stories. They are alive and active and teaching us about our lives in the world today.:

The rabbis spoke about the text being like a gem with 70 faces, and each time you turn the gem, the light refracts differently, gving you a reflection you haven't seen before. And so we turn the text again because we keep seeing things we missed before." (YES!!)

We have to embrace the Bible as the wild, uncensored, passionate accountit is of people experiencing the living God.

Perhaps we have to replace the word "Missionary" with "Tour Guide" because we cannot show people something we haven't seen.

I love this: the thought of the word CHURCH and the word MARKETING in the same sentence makes me sick!!

And this I typed into my first journal entry of 2008:

“I’m learning that very few people actually live from their heart. Very few live connected to their soul. And those few who do the difficult work, who stare their junk in the face, who get counsel, who let Jesus into all the rooms of their soul that no one ever goes in, they make a difference. They are so different. They come from a different place that their voices inevitably get heard above the others. They are pursuing wholeness and shalom and it’s contagious. They inspire me to keep going.”

Amen to that

I experienced some significant healing in the year 2007 and have felt guided over the past few months to strip down my role in the church. The leaders are the leaders and God will guide them. I am called to pastor from my own gifts and life experience.

This book is a good start for what I know will be a year of surprises and inspiration. May I trust my life to God's leading. That is where the joy is!!