Tuesday, July 21, 2009

New Church Start, cont.

Pray for protection, persistence and fruit. That's what one book about starting a new church gives as first advice. It also says the first team to recruit is a prayer circle to pray for these things constantly and ceasingly for this effort. Being a progressive Christian who isn't always open or comfortable with the spiritual, that advice made me flinch.

And second of all...what is the fruit I seek? I am visioning a church that is radically open, radically inclusive, that is not only open to all that will place people next to one another who normally wouldn't find each other close by. For mission projects, for coffee, for a meal.......to talk about how they experience God. It doesn't require a building. Maybe some lawn chairs or a campus or a work site.

My experience of society is that people become so dogmatic and niched in their comfort zones that they forget that the creative energy that we call God is found in the diverse expressions of all of humanity. We are to love our neighbors as ourselves.......The church I am visioning asks the question...do we need to seek out some new neighbors?

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Day at the Beach

With all this Discerning...With all this surgery...With all this family organization, my mother recently reminded me that I stopped having fun with my life. I remembered internally rolling my eyes..and yet when a friend of mine called today and said, we have to go the beach today it may be the only beach day this week....I hesitated. I haven't been to the beach all summer. It's mid-July. I hesitated. When did I get old?

So, I cleared the schedule and said..oh yeah...we are there. I called my mom to see if she wanted to come. She did. We packed minimally, picked up mom and friend...and headed to beach. I still cant carry much, but everyone was willing. Once my chair was set up and the sunblock applied, I sat in my chair and stuck my feet way into the sand. The kids had to go into the ocean at once. I was so happy to see it and sad that I can;t yet submerge.

I give thanks to God. The smell of the ocean. The sound of the birds. Little kids running around, gleefully. The smell of coconut sunblock. Salty fragrance stinging my nose. Waves crashing, wind blowing, peace settling in my soul. I FORGOT! How peace settles in someone's soul from the sensual. Wind Blowing, waves crashing. Salty fragrance stinging my nose. The smell of coconut sunblock. Little kids running around gleefully. The sound of birds. The smell of ocean. I GIVE THANKS TO GOD.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bathed in Dog/God

Perhaps its a little irreverent to mix this metaphor, but I oversaw a very Holy experience today! My husband, for whom I will designate P1, and the pianist, my oldest daughter, were bound and determined that this was to be the day. Bailey has had an ear infection and has stinky ears. And due to my recent surgery and planning forgetfulness, I had forgotten to give her Frontline and found an engorged tick on her. So we all decided that was the last straw between her and a bath. I am on light duty and giving the dog a bath is in no way light duty....or so I used to think.

Bailey, at two years old, has only recently begun to enjoy swimming. Ponds, rivers and ocean beware....she will lunge at any body of water now with great enthusiasm. So when we lined the bathroom with towels, started filling the tub with cool water, taking out the dog shampoo and dog brushes; rather than run as far away from the bathroom as possible, she curiously stayed close to the tub. The pianist was braced for a fight. I told her, time to get Dad, I can go no further with this activity. All of a sudden, Bailey stepped right into the tub and sat down. We gushed praise all over her and laughed about it. We called for P1 and shared the story with him while he came in to take over the heavy duty.

I'd like to think that the naturally refreshing baths and water time we have had with Bailey, this loving time between humans and dog...has created trust and she no longer fears what may come at our hands. That is one possibility. The other is that she now loves water and all of it's manifestations and can't wait to get wet. As I observed her patience at the hands of P1 and pianist, I marveled at the blessing we have in this good natured, now clean canine. For about 20 minutes today she had 3 of our complete attentions at the same time and maybe that was the real reason she sat patiently in the tub.

If St. Augustine was right....and I can't really be sure of that for many reasons...humans have a built in longing for God. That is part of his apologetic for why there must be God. For those of us fortunate to live in peace and relative prosperity, believing in God; bathing in God becomes a refreshing and splendid experience. Even when potholes form after long cold winters, we become patient for strength and fortitude to withstand; and for fill to smooth the bumps. Us modern day Christians or should I say post-modern day Christians forget that being a little uncomfortable with what is going on for us is okay...as long as we remember that we always have our Creator's full attention and loving will working for all of our best interests.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Reproductive Decommissioning, part 2

I am now on the other side of this event! :-) Besides feeling a little sore between occasional hot flashes, I feel like a different person. A great deal of anxiety is gone. I feel compelled to do nothing. Perhaps with this slowing down and removal of angst, God's Will will fill the space of womb and creation....

Right now and am in awe of the summer that is beginning!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Back from vacation

Okay. Eight days with the family. Only 2 half days of sun. There was much relaxing. There was at least two days of 8 or more board games. I rode the bike trails 3 times, hiked a mountain or two, suffered the slings and arrows or numerous red ant bites by the campfire....Got pretty relaxed and ready for this week's assault on my abdomen, and yet...I am still nervous, stressed, wondering whether I will be ready for Clam Fest, New Church Leadership Institute, life after surgery in general.

I can study and read books. I can write 20-25 page papers. What prepares you to face your mortality? How do I say to my 11 year old and my 8 year old....things are going to be okay..but if not, take care of eachother. Not like now. But like if you didn't have a momma. Pieter is cooking my favorate meal tonight. I can't eat again until after surgery. I profess that I feel a call to ordained ministry..and yet, right now, I am hoping to just make it through the week. All prayers, well-wishes and casseroles welcome!