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Showing posts from October, 2012

It's Too Quiet

That’s a phrase I don’t understand in my personal life.  When I was a kid being shuffled between divorced parents, I’d often hear a parent say, “It’s just too quiet with the kids are away.”  I didn’t really know what that meant at the time.  I assumed I’d understand some day when I was a parent.  Well, I’ve been a parent for four-and-a-half years now, and I still don’t understand.
When I’m home, the noise bothers me—everyday.  There are often 2, 3, or 4 of us talking at once while the Cars 2 soundtrack plays from the boy’s room and a kids’ movie plays in the living room.  And it makes it impossible for me to think clearly.  It makes it impossible for me to fully listen to any of my family members, because I’m listening to ALL of them.  I cannot tune out one who’s talking to focus on the others; I just can’t.
Yesterday I was talking to my son and hearing about his day while my daughter and mom were working a puzzle—three people talking at once.  Then my daughter started, “Momma.  Momma. …

Worship as Pastoral Care

I took a seminary class by one of my favorite professors entitled, “Worship as Pastoral Care.”The premise behind the class is that we can offer corporate pastoral care in community as we worship.It’s not separate; it’s holistic.When we worship, we can also give care and receive care, and we can do it together.One of the things my church does best is worship as pastoral care. This past Sunday, we were at our best in that regard.We got back to what I think we do extremely well—worship as pastoral care.(I know we cannot do this every week.Once upon a time we did this so often, we were called Powhatan CRYING Church.)But as this series approached, I saw this potential.I have prayed for this series and the care and worship and community that I knew it could cultivate. It was a good day.And today, a few days later, I have seen and heard multiple people acknowledge and share their brokenness, and Sunday’s worship experience was part of the process.And I love it.I love seeing how God is working …

The Debate

I watched the presidential debate last night.Honestly, I watched, and then I played on my phone, and then I watched some more. And Isaiah 40 was in my head: Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket; they are regarded as dust on the scales; he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust… Before (God) all the nations are as nothing; they are regarded by him as worthless and less than nothing… He brings princes to naught And reduces the rulers of this world to nothing. No sooner are they planted, no sooner are they sown, no sooner do they take root in the ground, than he blows on them and they wither, and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff.
I’m not saying our national election doesn’t matter.I’m not saying that our faith should not inform our political views (sorry for the double negative.). But I am calling for keeping it in perspective.Our God “sits enthroned above the circle of the earth”—not behind a desk in the Oval Office.Our God created the heavens—not healthcare reform or an econ…

I Take it Back

Yesterday I wrote about how I was asking God to hold me.At the time, I felt pretty selfish. Now I feel downright awful. The last two nights I’ve been captivated by a special on PBS based on a book “Half the Sky.”I’m ordering the book.I’m checking out the website.This movement addresses the world issues that wreck me most—human trafficking, forced prostitution, and physical and sexual abuse.There are lots of world issues that I care about—the HIV/AIDS epidemic, starvation, lack of clean water, homelessness and street kids.But the issues of trafficking, forced prostitution, and abuse destroy me emotionally, mentally, and spiritually—yet the destruction I feel is nothing, nothing compared to the destruction of countless lives in forgotten corners of our world. Here are some clips from the program: I sat on my sofa and cried last night.I tossed in my bed, haunted by my own blog post from yesterday, and I praye…

Hugging a Grasshopper

Isaiah 40 says a lot about the hugeness of God.Nothing can compare to him (though we all make comparisons, don’t we?).From God’s perspective, we “people are like grasshoppers.” (Isaiah 40:22)I’ve been called a lot of things; grasshopper is a first, and it’s not very affirming.From God’s throne, I look like a grasshopper.Thanks, God. God can hold the waters of the earth in his hand, can hold the dust of the earth in a basket, can weigh the mountains on a scale and the hills on a balance (Isaiah 40:12). And it is that huge, powerful God who… …tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young. (Isaiah 40:11)
Days like today, I am overwhelmingly thankful that that God, the one to whom I appear as a grasshopper, is also willing to carry me in his arms, close to his heart.
I gather my baby girl in my arms and carry her close to my heart.Usually, I do so after she stands at my feet, arms outstretched, saying, …

Isaiah 40, Part 1

If I can get back into the swing of writing, then I hope this will be the first of several posts on the Bible chapter I'm marinating in these days.

“In the desert prepare the way for the Lord.” (Isaiah 40:3) I've been to Cairo.  I've visited the pyramids.  I've experienced the effects of a sandstorm--sand in every facial orifice, contact lenses rendered useless.  I've experienced the heat, the rapidity at which dehydration can happen, the melting of film in a camera.  Yet, in the hot sand, where the landscape changes with every strong wind, where resources are non-existent, where the elements are extreme—that’s where God’s people are told to prepare his way.To translate, when my reserves of energy, creativity, love, and grace are as dry as the desert, I am called to prepare the way for the Lord.When I’m in the middle of a tornado of change (personally or professionally), I am called to prepare the way for the Lord.When there’s no budget money, I am called to prepare …