Bright is the day

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“Bright is the day that dawns with new life, casting death’s grim shadow from the garden. Bright is the future for even the most humble soul, rising up in the arms of angels. Bright is the promise to all the Earth, sharing peace among the children of light. Let every voice sing this shining song, for we have been set free, we have been ransomed from our own history, given a chance to live again, to hope again, and to see the healing of God spread like sunlight into the rooms of time. It does not matter how you pray, this day is for you, it is the bright day, the birth day, the day when nothing will ever be the same, save the love that rolls back the stone.”

(with much gratitude for the words of Steven Charleston and the image shared by Todd Donatelli)

‘Now that’s a blessing’

(image taken by Marateaman )

Once the seed of faith takes root it cannot be blown away, even by the strongest wind.
Now that’s a blessing. (Rumi)

Seeds are planted long before their fruit is revealed. Young seedlings push with a strength given by God’s wisdom and delight. They push seeking much needed light and warmth for survival.
Light and warmth – the seed of faith is no different. Nestled within the seeker’s heart a seed grows through the care of practice, devotion and compassion. Roots take hold to secure faith, steadfast and strong, as the soul’s soil strains for water in the wilderness.
Trust the water will be found. Let there be comfort in the knowledge that ‘Holy care’ tends these roots and their growth, even when you feel weakened by life’s strong winds. Faith remains.

Now that’s a blessing.

The heart’s light

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There is a candle in your heart. ready to be kindled.

A spark can bring out the heart’s light. Inspired by thought or prayer, music or art – it provides opportunity to enliven us with warmth and creativity. In turn this glow can be shared with others, spreading warmth and light into dark and lonely places.

May we find the places where our kindled hearts will bring light and warmth to a darkening world.

Time with birds

384038_308536565833218_683540658_nJust as I Suspected

In a vision I heard this clearly whispered:
Study most those who sing the most, but are free of criticism
and praise.
Following this advice, things turned out just as I suspected:
I started spending more time with  birds.

It is a noisy world. We are continually dodging words thrown around without care–all is analyzed. With little regard for their effect, opinions fly.

Is there a place where people live free of criticism and praise? Can this way of living be our own way to live? It may feel like swimming up-stream but it can be done – better yet, it must be done. Other ways of living are being sought out in this culture saturated with cynicism and judgement. We do not have to go far to see a different way – a way free from judgement. Examples are found throughout creation and are discovered as close as birds sitting in the branches of a tree.

May we be encouraged by these examples and welcome the reminder of our connection to one another, not by word but by spirit.

(a note of thanks to my wise and grace-filled mother, Nancy, who shared this poem by Hafiz.)

The end of the day…

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The week has been full. My own schedule keeps me moving through most days with an ever-present sense of gratitude. Retirement presented itself at a time when my ministry had taken me to new and exciting places. It felt like road block. All I had was ‘hope’. There was another path to take from that road and I would have to be patient to see its course.
Hope is a gift given in times when control seems to have been taken away. Not always easy to recognize – often hard to practice, hope reaches out to help begin each day and stands gently by as the day closes into night. Like the prayers of morning, noonday, evening and night – hope weaves its way through the hours ready to offer its support in moments of weakness.
This week has been filled with some moments of inspiration and others of sadness. With fewer distractions I am more aware of these changes and their reason. Retirement’s path has given me time. Time to pay attention to what moves me through each day – both the joy and the pain.
Two years ago on this very week I ended my time as an active priest, saying fair well to a ministry rich in relationships and creativity. Closing that door I turned to begin my time as a retired priest.
All along I have prayed for hope. Hope to stay motivated as I ventured way beyond my comfort zone to begin the hard work of making home in a new city. Hope that I would be shown the places where my gifts could be shared and needed.
This has happened – and more. And throughout, I have sung or spoken the words of the hymn below. It has always brought comfort and welcomed honesty. May it offer you the same.

Lord of All Hopefulness

Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of all joy,

whose trust, ever childlike, no cares could destroy,

be there at our waking, and give us, we pray,

your bliss in our hearts, Lord, at the break of the day.

Lord of all eagerness, Lord of all faith,

whose strong hands were skilled at the plane and the lathe,

be there at our labours, and give us, we pray,

your strength in our hearts, Lord, at the noon of the day.

Lord of all kindliness, Lord of all grace,

your hands swift to welcome, your arms to embrace,

be there at our homing, and give us, we pray,

your love in our hearts, Lord, at the eve of the day.

Lord of all gentleness, Lord of all calm,

whose voice is contentment, whose presence is balm,

be there at our sleeping, and give us, we pray,

your peace in our hearts, Lord, at the end of the day.

Lord of all Hopefulness (YouTube video)

An Open Letter to the Church from My Generation

All are seeking a place to belong and share their faith. This is a great reflection on how the church is losing young adults–it is straight talk from someone with strong faith. Thank you for sharing this Sharon!

 

Rows of Sharon

candlelightA blog post from “I said I don’t know” that points to how the church is failing young adults . . .

I’m writing this because I’m worried about the safety of the Church. The Church keeps scratching its head, wondering why 70% of 23-30 year-olds who were brought up in church leave. I’m going to offer a pretty candid answer, and it’s going to make some people upset, but I care about the Church too much to be quiet. We’re scared of change. We always have been. When scientists proposed that the Earth could be moving through space, church bishops condemned the teaching, citing Psalm 104:5 to say that God “set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved.” But the scientific theory continued, and the Church still exists. I’m saying this: we cannot keep pitting the church against humanity, or progress. DON’T hear me saying that…

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Ordinary People and Angels

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I’ve seen and met angels wearing the disguise
Of ordinary people leading ordinary lives
Filled with love, compassion, forgiveness and sacrifice
Heaven’s in our hearts

In our faith in humankind
In our respect for what is earthly
In our unfaltering belief in peace and love and understanding

~ Tracy Chapman ~ Heaven’s Here On Earth

PHOTO BY GORDON PARKS found in
http://m.womanifesting.org