Showing posts from March, 2014

Sacred Scraps: Get Up

She said, “May your servant find favor in your eyes.” Then she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast. 1 Samuel 1:18

I heard this verse in a message on a recent retreat.  (By the way, I know I am all over in Scripture lately.  Sorry.  Just following Grace wherever I can grasp some.)  I knew the story of course.  Hannah wants to have children but has been unable despite years of pleading with God.  Then we learn of the latest hounding session where a priest sees her and confronts her, thinking that her despair was actually drunkenness.  He finds out what the deal is and blesses her.  She gets up, changed, eats something, and is no longer depressed.  Eventually she does have that baby, named Samuel, who becomes a great prophet.

Probably none of us are strangers to disappointment.  It seems to be part of the human condition.  We have expectations.  We have desires.  People drink coffee out of mugs that remind the drinker that God has "plans to prosper yo…

Ash Wednesday

The first real day of Lent.  The first day of mindful sacrifice.  The first day of remembering our mortality, that we are mere dust.  The first day of wondering how God could consider this dust so important that he would choose to suffer humanity and a horrific death, just to save...dust.

I am not remembering this day with outward signs.  I will not be having ashes put on my head or attending a service.  Sometimes I miss that since the church tradition that I find community within is not of the liturgical variety.  But I remember the day in my prayer.  In my mediation.

Grace abounds for me in this season.  I am not a believer that fasting or giving up chocolate is equivalent to sharing in the sufferings of Christ.  I mean, really?  At best that is arrogant and at its worst insulting.  What I do believe in is considering grace.

As the priest makes the sign of the cross on your forehead he often quotes Genesis 3:19 which says "for dust you are and to dust you will return."


Sacred Scraps: Habakkuk

Disclaimer: Please offer grace knowing that any commentary is not that of a scholar but simply me gleaning meaningful scraps of the Sacred. I have some favorite books in the Bible.  Habakkuk is one of them.  First I was attracted by the sound of the name and the different ways that people struggle to pronounce it.  I thought with a name like that, maybe I should investigate.  But I didn't.  The old testament is so....old.  Especially some of the freaky prophets.  So I ignored it again, until I went to a writer's seminar.  This seminar used Habakkuk 2:2 as "their" verse:

And then God answered: “Write this.  Write what you see.  Write it out in big block lettersso that it can be read on the run." I was intrigued that God commanded his prophet to write.  Still, it wasn't until I was doing a chronological reading plan that I ran into Habakkuk and finally read the book.

In Habakkuk's voice, I hear my own voice. I hear my impatience with the world around me, w…

Tragedy of Plenty

Recently at a retreat, someone asked why everyone's story about God in their lives has to contain tragedy.  I wonder if that doesn't have something to do with this quote of C.S. Lewis:

“Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”    
We don't always hear or see God when our lives are going well.  When the bills are paid, the belly full, the health intact, what need do we have of a god, really?  We have become our own gods, taking care of our own needs. I think it is the burden of the American church, really.  We simply don't need God.  We can believe in him.

Missionaries I know serving in Uganda desperately need God.  They need God to make sure that the support checks come.  They need God to provide the next meal for a desperate family in their village.  They need God to heal individuals who have been hurt, sick or brutalized.  They need God. …

Somewhere in the Middle

This is the carpet in the hotel. And I find it a reflection of me. I walk in the middle because I don't want to walk on the dark or on the light but both.
As I walked today, down the hall to breakfast, I thought how I walk that way through life, too. 
I walk between two worlds-my regular life and my church life. I try to maintain integrity with who I am in both, but my worlds often appear to sharply contrast. 
In my regular life, I am perceived as being submissive to my husband and my religion, a bit boring. I pack my husband's lunch, do church things, make attending Sunday services a priority more often than not, don't have tattoos, keep my Facebook wall clean. In the church world, others believe me to be a rebel, an extremist, too independent, too honest, too ambitious. Do you feel my internal whiplash?
I think that I may be a novelty for each group. I am either the spiritual girl or the loud rebel. I wonder if others know, or want to know, me or if I am just part of a freak…