Showing posts from April, 2012

Armchair QB-The Parable of the Sower

That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boatand sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore.Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed.As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up.Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow.But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants.Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.Whoever has ears, let them hear.”
The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?” He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them.Whoever has will be given more, and…

Practicing the Words we Preach

While Saint Francis is known best probably for his relationship to animals, the religious society he founded was actually a band of preachers.  The brothers (they were not ordained) would be sent out, walking, the towns and villages to preach about the Kingdom of Heaven.

I have been thinking about preaching lately.  We all preach-whether we do so from a pulpit or with our buying power-because we are all proclaiming what is important to us.  No matter where I am, at church functions, at work, at home, with friends, with patients, with strangers, I try to be the same person.  Sure, I tweak it a little to relate or for the occasion, but I never want someone that is unexpectedly there to not recognize me. 

But, even beyond being genuine, there is a sense of having integrity.  Two weeks ago I was at a seminar where, in the ladies restroom, I saw the coolest infection control sign.  I wanted to steal it.  I had no idea where the health services might be located, so I did not have a way to …

Leaning Into God

I received some questions on my last post from a person in recovery but while I was writing my answer I thought, dang, here is another post, so here it is:

My acceptance of Proverbs 3:5 developed slowly. You need to understand that when I came to the 12 step fellowship, I was spiritually broken and empty. I thought God hated me because of some struggles that he allowed. I thought God was punishing me by NOT letting me die. And then I just figured that there must not be a god and that this life is hell.

So when I got to the 12 step fellowship, I could not deal with the "g" word. It was more vile than any curse word because it contained all that I should have had but never did-a childhood, safety, a future, hope, love.

Through working with a sponsor, I began to understand that there was Something. I was growing and becoming more grateful that my prayers to die weren't answered. But god wasn't a part of the journey. No, my first higher power was an alarm clock, then a …

Armchair QB

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 5:3-10

Sometimes I feel a little bipolar when I try to meld my 2 worldviews.  I straddle 2 distinct, although not incompatible perspectives-Christian and 12 step recovery.  Many say they are the same thing, which they aren't, while others say they are complete opposite, which they aren't.
I have often felt that 12 step recovery was a way for God to slip, incognito, into my life.  We weren't on speaking terms for many years so he would…

My Shepherd's Crook

I woke up this morning thinking about wayward sheep.  Probably because my dear Gabby was acting a bit cantankerous last night wanting to get into things that weren't for her.  You know, pups gotta test limits.  So do people.  I can't believe it would just be me...

It seemed like the only way, that way I was headed.  It seemed like the right direction, that path that I took.  Then the bottom fell out in my world, and I wanted to fall into that crack in the earth to die. 

Now, I know that the Bible says that God doesn't hear the prayers of the wicked (that's what this says) and God says that a man's prayers may be affected by the way he treats his wife (here).  Good thing that I never asked for God's help, huh?  But, I am convinced, that I have little to do with salvation because he has been chasing me, long before I wanted to listen.

C. S. Lewis is supposed to have said, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pa…

In the Waiting

Do you ever wonder what those so-called friends of Jesus were thinking on Saturday?
I have.  I have probably thought some of the same things, too.
Is that it?  All that trouble, all that excitement, all that learning...for nothing?
Is God even real?  Does God even care?  If he does, where is he?  Why doesn't he do something?
I am such a fool.  I bought into something that I thought would help, that I thought was real, only to have the rug pulled out from under me again.  What an idiot.
Why would I believe that such a thing is possible?  Why would I consider that God loves me?  Wants good for me?  Or, for that matter, that we aren't all under some God delusion while we seek meaning and order in our world????
Yeah, those are the things that I imagine Jesus' friends thinking in that in-between time.  They watched him die after all those miracles and teaching and wisdom.  He died, just as we all will.  And they were left to put it together for themselves.  Left to chose to give …

Sharing in the Passion

This week, when Christians celebrate the Passion, was one of my favorite seasons in the church.  Sure, without the resurrection there wouldn't be much of a church.  During the Passion, we follow the story-from the public accolades of Palm Sunday to the first Last Supper shared to the dark Friday of pain and death to the uncertain pause of Saturday culminating in the joyous celebration of Jesus' victory.  But, really, and I do understand that I am a slow learner, I just figured out something about the Passion.  It's about suffering.
Yeah, I know.  "Duh," you say.  Well, smarty pants, for many of us, we grew up celebrating.  We have delicious food on holidays.  We have an Easter bunny (wrong religion but this is America after all) who brings chocolate.  America is not really a land where suffering is overt.  If something hurts, we take a pill, we see a doctor, we change our relationship, our job, our house.  We just don't put up with pain very well, do we?
One t…

Armchair QB: Jesus Who?

Dan's message yesterday was not as straightforward as it was meditative.  And, for those of you who know me, that is my favorite kind.  Unfortunately, I found my mind going down so many rabbit holes, well, Dan's text was lost on me.  (Please forgive me!) But what I heard was this:
“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Matt 16:15
Jesus is not such an easy character to wrap your head around.  That moment when you think he is ok, he throws you a curve ball.  Fence straddling is just not an option with him.
As a Baptist kid, well, I suppose Jesus was always a part of things, especially the end of prayer.  This is the picture of my Baptist Jesus.  I guess because he wanted in your heart.

But that Jesus is also on a lot of funeral cards.  Not cool.  What does he know about living if he is always knocking on dead people's doors?
Worse than that, tho, is the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  Know why?

 This is the Catholic Jesus that makes you want to go to confession.  Look at …