Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Scheduling Time to Write

After my post last night, I have decided to make a conscience effort to write often on my blog, even if it is a short thought.  Warren Baldwin presented a good thought yesterday on why we might not blog often, "We simply do not schedule it in!" This makes sense. 

I am currently working on a course on the Gospel of Matthew, a caution from the professor was to be diligent to schedule time to study and read as not to fall behind in the course.  Within ministry, study, creative habits such as writing, and living life we do need to be aware of our use of time, this has been my journey since January.  Some days I simply sit and forget all of the scheduling, which then leads to being behind! Or not writing or being productive at all, (at times this is healthy.)

Tonight while reading the course notes on Matthew a paragraph stood out which I would like to share: 

“So often when Christians accept Jesus as Savior and Lord they too want to accept him on their own terms.  Today’s equivalent to the hope of defeating the Romans may be assurance of health and wealth.  No, we can not fashion Jesus the Messiah in our own image.  He sets the agenda; not we.  Matthew announces this fact boldly.” 

Honestly this really hit home as I read, how many times do I want wealth or health?  And do I fashion Jesus into what is good for me? 

I visited Warren Baldwin’s blog tonight and he posted on “When Job Suffered” this is worth reading.  What stood out in his post was this thought:

“Suffering knows no favorites. The fact that one is leading a good life and has been so blessed by God is in no way a guarantee that one’s life will continue in such an idyllic state. In fact, having such a good life may well be what invites trouble.”

Why is it we believe life should be easy? 

It was good to write tonight, and I am going to learn how to schedule it into my study thought time. A quote I found on my twitter:  "The real joy of writing comes from surprising oneself." from Alfred Kazin's Journals

I believe this is true!  What I miss the most about writing when I am not writing is the joy that comes from the delight and surprise of what is created on a blank page.  I am constantly surprised.
Love to All,

On the InScribe Blog there is a prayer for writers.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Starting Again!

What a morning this day ushered in, and now it is the afternoon, and the first thunderstorm of the year is creating amazing sounds outside!  The rain will hopefully wash away some of the dirt left from winter’s long white covering.  New life is welcomed. I must say, it will be good to see green cover the stark nakedness of the trees in my yard once again.  Rain…it does sound and smell inviting today. 

I have been rather reluctant to write on my blog these days.  I have been asking myself numerous questions:  Why do I write?  Who do I write for?  Is there some deep ego driven reason why I need to write and post on a blog?  My conclusion to the questions is I simply like to write.  I enjoy the whole process.  No more fear.

Learning to let go of fear, and simply do what comes naturally has been a process.  In 2 Timothy 1:7 the Apostle Paul reminds us that God did not give us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and self-control.  As usual this scripture comes to me regularly, reminding me not to walk in fear.  

The bonus with the silence is a little wrestling with my questions is good for the soul.  Wrestling seems to deepen my faith in God. 

Rain, hail and thunder what a good gift to usher in Spring.  Another welcomed gift the desire to write on my blog again, I seem to have had a year of good starts and long periods of silence.  Well, here I go again…

What stops you from writing?  Do you wrestle with fear?  

Love to all,

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Choice: Cold Love or Kindness

Belonging to a community of people--it seems over the years some disappear and no one knows where they went to or why they left.  Days, weeks, and months will go by without anyone asking how they are or how their souls are being nurtured.  It seems no one cares. Maybe I do not care enough? This is totally against what Jesus taught when he said, “Love your neighbour.”  Who is your neighbour if you do not even miss them when they are gone?

I have been wrestling with the whole concept of loving one another and how is loving one another really suppose to look like in the context of church community.  How do we reach out when someone has left for a long period of time? Or reach out to those who are hurting? Or those who are lonely?

Tonight when I arrived home from a long day of doing what I love to do, there was a message on my phone.  It was a delight to listen to the voice message from the leader of a small intercessory group which I belong.  She phoned to encourage me and edify my part in the group even when I can not make it.  I felt acknowledged and part of the small community.  We all need to know we belong, we are missed, and we are loved. 

I attended a Steve Bell concert this week, he introduced his new album titled, Kin`dness.  The root for kindness is kin, and even if we do not like those who are in community with us we are still kin…connected, especially those in Christian communities.  We are to show kindness and love to all.  As I sat in the concert I realized there were people around me who I had been disconnected with over the years, but in reality we were still connected in Christ.  I decided I needed to reach out to those who I have lost contact with.  A card with a small note enclosed will speak volumes to another heart.

Years ago, I read a book that talked about cold love being in the church.  At the time, the church I belonged to was going through a church split and the love in people’s hearts displayed true coldness, not kindness or the love that is found in Christ.  When people were approached with how they were reacting to each other, questions were dismissed with the human logic that they deserved what has happened to them.  Can this really be the way it is?  Have we not all been misguided at one time or another?  Is it not true kindness and community we need in times when we have messed up?

My questioning has me pondering how can we as a community of Christ followers love well those who may be different than us, have different views than us, or fail in our view to live up to our standards?  My conclusion: Kindness and love can heal wounds. 

I would like to end with Brian McLaren’s song/poem titled, “Kindness.” 

Christ has no body here but ours
No hands no feet here on earth but ours
Ours are the eyes through which he looks
On this world with kindness

Ours are the hands through which he works
Our are the feet on which he moves
Ours are the voices through which he speaks
To this world with kindness

Through our touch, our smile, our listening ear
Embodied in us, Jesus is living here

Let us go now, inspirited
Into this world with kindness

The choice daily is ours, will we let our hearts grow cold believing people do not need our kindness?  Or will we choose to love and reach out to those who have left our communities with a kind word and touch of love?  I believe we are called to be Christ to this broken world and it begins within our own communities. 

"Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved."  Matthew 24:12