Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Spirituality 101

That is what I called my session with the middle school kids who come to our church every afternoon for snacks and tutoring. The name of the program is "Foundations" and we are very pleased to house it in our church.

They asked me if I would do a session on "Spirituality" for the kids and I said I would. But then, what to do?

So, I put together this thing on spirituality. Starting with asking them to define 5 concepts: spirituality, religion, church, prayer and soul. So, I end up with 4 kids - 2 girls and 2 boys who basically acted like they did not want to be there. One of the girls said she had a headache and acted like this was really stupid. Mostly, they had question marks for all of these questions.

Great start. So, I talked to them and tried to get them to talk about soul - and how friends, family and we ourselves hurt our souls.
This was going to lead into what we can do to heal our souls - silence, music, etc. So, I got some stuff out of them and finally had them go to different pews in the sanctuary and played a song.
The song was from the CD - "Healing the Inner Child" and the words were - "Don't let anyone let you feel anything but beautiful" They listened to it and I asked them what they thought, how they liked it - they said it was good. Everyone said it was "good." Hmmmm. This works better with middle aged women.

Finally I showed them how to breathe in and out and ask for peace and then played some music from a "reiki" CD. For about 5 minutes. They seemed to respond - who knows? It was very
difficult. Especially after the girl who seemed so bored by it all informed me that her Mom did not believe in God.

At the end I talked about how they need to care for their souls and if they ever had questions about anything to come to me.
And as I was putting things away, one of the boys came up to me and told me that he had been in a "different dimension" during the meditation time. He saw his Mom. And his Mom was dead. It turns out his Mom died when he was 2 years old. And I asked how he felt seeing her, he said he felt good. He said that it meant she didn't go to hell. He was afraid she had gone to helll because she died from a drug overdose.

He told me that Terry, one of the tutors, had told him that he didn't believe in hell and that he thought that his Mom was in heaven. And this experienced verified that for him.

I did not know what to make of any of this - except that God is good. Even in the midst of my bumbling around with these kids - something happened here today.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Friday Night Fun

Yesterday Chuck and I went to one of the best movies I have seen in a long time. We saw "Slumdog Millionaire." What a movie - I had heard it was a "feelgood movies" but I was unprepared for the picture it gives of live in India and the powerful depiction of the two brothers growing up. It was wonderful.

Marnie had given me a heads up that Kacey was coming over for a surprise birthday party for Chuck. His birthday was the 7th - the day we traveled hom from the cruise and he was still feeling under the weather from eating something in Mexico.

As we pulled into our driveway, Chuck remarked on the cars and the fact that the house was dark but couldn't put it together. So we walked into "surpirse!"and Dawn and Jason were there with Marnie, Kacey, Brett and 4 grandkids! He was surprised and it was great.

We had pizza and lazagna and birthday cookie, cake and pie! We were also celebrating Brett's birthday from the 2nd of Feb (first day of the cruise) and the fact that Reagan received an award at school for "tolerance." We are celebrating that Chuck is 73 and Brett is 37! Pretty cool.

Afterwards I got to do one of my favorite things in the world - sit and around and talk with the everybody !

A very fun Friday night!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

God , Companion of the Lonely

My morning prayer:

God, Companion of the Lonely
I pray for Ellen, my sister
I pray that she might know that you are her companion
That she might experience your love all around her
That she might find peace in you

God, Companion of the Lonely
You are my companion in my times of loneliness
The times when I feel the burden of the church, the family, my marriage
You are my companion
You are with me in my helplessness, my deadness, my waywardness, my pretense
You are my Companion. Always

Please guide me today to be a companion to the lonely that i encounter
May I recognize the loneliness in others and reach out to them.
I praise you.
Lord, I love you.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

God our Mother

The first assignment for our class on prayer is to pray every day using a different name for God.
This morning I prayed to God our mother.

Which I don't usually do - I usually use the word "Lord" or "Loving God"

I am finding that it makes a big difference the names with which we address God. Often times I will say that "God is more" - more than you know, more than you can express, more than you can expect and so it does make sense to use different names to apprehend all that God may be.

Yesterday I started to read a book "A Problem from Hell" - America and the Age of Genocide by Samantha Power. Just reading the first 30 pages was disturbing as it described genocide through the ages and the way in which our country says we are against genocide in principle - but when confronted with it in reality - we call it something else and not our business.

I also continue to pray for and think about my sister Ellen and her family. It is hard to struggle with cancer and it is hard to be with our loved ones and not be able to do anything to help except to be there.

There is comfort in praying to God our MOTHER. Our compassionate and comforting mother. Our mother who is with us in the darkest times and weeping with us. Because I am a mother who deeply loves my children, I understand mother love that often cannot fix the problem, but can offer presence and unconditional love.

And so, this morning I pray to my mother God and pray for all who suffer that they might know that God, their mother is with them - loving, caring deeply, consoling.

There are so many things in life I do not understand, but I have the faith that in the midst of it, God is there.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Media comes to KRCC

Last night Fox News came into our church!
How strange it all was.

We have our gospel praise service at 5:00 PM. When I drove in there were 2 Fox TV trucks in the driveway. Unbeknownst to me there was a big accident in front of the church and they were there for that.

We had our service and at the end (after Charles preaches) I stand up and do sort of the conclusing remarks and invitation as we get into a circle and pray together. I saw some people in the corner and could not figure out who they were. We ended the service.

So, I came out into the narthex and there are 2 young guys with a TV camera. I asked them who they were and they were from Fox News. They were doing a story on people praying for the city budget that is going to be voted on today. And did I want to be interviewed? I thought about it and declined. I had not prayed about the city budget and the truth is - coming home from a cruise - I had not really thought about the city budget. I did not feel any desire to speak about this on camera. Even though yes - I do pray and Yes - I do care about the budget cuts.
However, if other people wanted to speak to them, that was their choice. Both Kerry and Charles did.

They told me that someone had given them permission to come into our service and they filmed us there. I found that to be intrusive but did not say anything because it was already done.
We will probably discuss this at our board meeting.

Last night I watched the footage on both Fox news at 10 and channel 6 at 11. It was okay, I guess. Charles and Kerry both spoke articulately. They did film part of our service, which I did not like. It almost implied that we were having a service praying for the city budget. But maybe somebody saw it and thought they might try out our church.

But mostly, I feel like these guys had a story that they made up and they were looking for a church that was open for business to hang the story on. I wonder how many "news stories" are like that.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Home from the cruise

It is Sunday afternoon and we got home yesterday at 4:30. We had a Wendy's hamburger on the way home, I worked a little on my sermon and was in bed last night at 9 PM and slept 10 hours straight. Today at church people told me I looked rested - and I said I had to come home to get the rest.

The cruise was wonderful - better than I could have even imagined it would be. Here are some of the reasons why

1. My siblings were all there! Including Ellen and Tom. Ellen was weak and in a wheelchair to get around. But she was there and we were able to eat together, play cards and spend time with her. I was so glad they came.

- Wayne and Gail were amazing! I wondered if they would like the cruising thing and thought maybe they would spend a lot of time just reading quietly. No! They immediately got up and were dancing for the camera the first night. They sand Karaoke and even sang in front of a thousand people one night in the Universe Lounge! ("Let's fall in love") They took yoga every morning, and the spinning class in the afternoon. They were up for anything.

- Geoff and Karen came. They played cards with us and also Karen spent time in the Casino. Geoff has a beautiful voice and we got to hear him singing in Karaoke. My favorite was when he sang a solo Firday night. But he and Wayne sang together and he and Chuck sang together and Tuesday night - memorably - the 4 of us sang together - "You've got a Friend." We will never forget that!

2. My kids were all there. And they make me happy and they all make me laugh. I cannot overstate how much joy and jokes I get from being around them. Kacey and I won a prize for trivia and Kacey won a prize for the Limbo contest! What a kid! All three of them sang many songs in Karasoke - and they are all great dancers!

3. Friends came - friends from Bowling Green and friends from here. And some friends - the Muellers - brought their kids who partied with my kids. It was fun and there was always someone to do something with. We ate together, played together, sang together, danced together, and ate together (yes, lots of eating!)

We are already saying - we need to do this every year! We'll see. I have to get this one paid for - but it was truly a once in a lifetime experience for me.

I am a blessed woman to have such a wonderful family and such great friends.