Archive for February, 2013

Fast by Sharing

February 15, 2013

 

“Fast by sharing your food with the hungry, bring to the house the homeless…”(Isa. 58:7-9)

Prayer requires both intention and attention. The way we approach an activity signals what we intend, what it means. If I seek to find God in my walk through the woods, my walk becomes a prayer. If I open myself to God’s presence with a friend, our discussion becomes aprayer . . . Yet if I walk to get my heart rate up, or spend time with my friend because I like her . . . these activities–healthy enjoyable, and productive thought they may be–are not prayer. – Jane Vennard, Embracing the World(On this third day of Lent, may you seek to find God during formal times of prayer, and throughout the day.)

 

I from sunrise to sunset during Lent as a gift to God–I spend extra time, so today I invite you to take a walk–giving God your attention and focus on both scripture passages–asking first of all what do you want to get from the Gospel of Luke during Lent, and secondly–how can we give more of ourselves to others around us.

 

I had a memorial service last night for Danny, and as the people around me mourned, they grieved their own lives–one had shared with me how he was trying to quick drugs, but couldn’t, another had just gotten out of jail, and they mourned their own failures, and I sit with them and reminded them that Danny lived his life the best he could, and they live theirs the best they can and God loves them, and is with them. Each day I remind myself our living is found in the way we serve God, not in how much or what we have. Deo Gratias! Thanks be

Taking Up the Cross

February 14, 2013

Luke 1:1-4 (Lk. 9:22-25)  Taking Up the Cross

In reflecting on the meaning of each word and each phase in Luke 1:1-4 I ask you to meditate on each word and how it speaks to you a modern day “Theophilus” “lover of God” or “beloved of God?” For me I am reminded that having “confidence in the instruction received,” is what holds my life together.   At the moment I have had the death of Danny, a young man I have known along time; I walked by three of my guys in the doorway this morning, using drugs, dirty, and see them living in death; and I see my middle class friends live in death by not being aware of God in each other and those around them. For me “to take up my cross” means to live simply, and to give my all to people as a witness to Jesus–no matter the pain, the suffering, the doubts and the fears.  The question for you is how does our lectionary passage and the Luke 1 speak to you and integrate into your life? Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

reflection

February 13, 2013

Gen. 1: 20-2:4  Mk. 7:1-13

 

The first reading takes us back to the

Beginning of the world, and how it

Was organized and functioned

Under God—peace, joy, and rest;

The second to the time of Jesus

With the chaos of human traditions

And laws—they have lost their

Soul—I saw Frosty today, 19,

Sleeping on the side of the river,

He is lost, and I saw another high

Running up and down the river

Bank—As we enter the season of lent

This scripture calls us to examine our

Ways of living and treating people-and

Asking the question—in how many ways

Have we lost our soul?

 

— River Sims, phone: 415-305-2124; pager: 415-784-8090

 
 
 
 
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Ash Wednesday

February 13, 2013
Luke 1:1-4  (Joel 2:12-18; 2 Cor. :20-6:2; Mt. 6:1-6; 16-18) Ash Wednesday.
 
The season of Lent is like  the GPS. We have set out on a journey through “narrow” and “rough paths” towards and exciting destination. We make mistakes, but the season of Lent gives us the necessary software to correct our mistakes and guide us. For me it is a time of reminding me that I am an “Ambassdor for Christ,” and for you as well. Read Luke 1:4–and  begin with the phrase “so that you may know the truth”, and as your focus on it simplify it and focus on the word “truth”, and center in on this in prayer. Centering prayer is taking 10-30 minutes and centering in on a phrase.  For me truth is being loved with openness and respect–being accepted for who I am–for me that is the Jesus I know.  I also am reminded of Mother Teresa and a quotation from her:
 
It is not necessary to always be meditating, not to consciously experience the sensation that we are talking to God, no matter how nice this would be. What matters is being with Him, living with Him, in His will. To love with a pure heart, to love everybody, especially to love the poor, is a twenty four hour prayer. – Mother Teresa – (There is an unconscious dimension to the life of faith and prayer that keeps us connected to God even when we are not actively praying. How do you experience this? How does it help you to love?)

Sacrifice

February 11, 2013

Mark 6:53-56

As we approach Lent Ed Hays offers us a word about sacrifice:

Whenever we choose not to do what we want because of a love for others, that is sacrifice. Whenever we refuse to allow an unkind thought about another to take up residence in our minds, that is sacrifice. Whenever we refuse to speak a word that will bring unnecessary pain to another then we are . . . offering a sacrifice.” – Ed Hays, In Pursuit of the Great White Rabbit

(How do sacrifices help you to grow? What kinds of sacrifices are you likely to be called to make this day? Ask the Spirit to prepare you to do so.)

Following Jesus

February 10, 2013

Luke 5:1-11 No where else in the gospels is a confession of sinfulness the first reaction of someone who meets Jesus and is called to discipleship.  Through the years I have fought my call to ministry because of I am a flawed human being–and yet I believe it is in this fight that God has become most present, because God can work with someone who sees their flaws, and from that they can grow, and I have grown, and even though I feel so inadequate I continue the journey–like Peter I am always saying “Go away from me for I am a sinful man,” and Jesus continues to laugh and says “Follow me!” and I will till my last breath. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Resting

February 9, 2013

Mark 6:30-32  I have been criticized for “working alone”, “living alone”, for not having a “partner”.  What these criticisms do not take into account is our own individuality and the way we view our work. I talked to 40 people last night, saw twenty or so more, and I do that every day. This is my calling, one that gives me immense joy and meaning, and so my time “alone” is to refresh my mind, my body, and my soul.  My wish is for each of us stand back, and look at each other’s journey, and at what is going on at the time before bringing judgment. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Outside the Gate

February 8, 2013

Hebrews 13: 12 “And so Jesus suffered outside the gate.”  For three years I was placed “outside the gate” of society, and then I chose not to come back, because it is “outside the gate” where I find Jesus most present, and in being “outside the gate”, I can best walk with those who are forced outside, and be one with them, and witness to those “inside the gate”.  For example, 25 year old Brandon is struggling with getting his act together–he identifies with me, because I live “outside the gate.” Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!”

Trust

February 7, 2013

Mk. 6:7-13 

One of the most fundamental virtues–perhaps the most fundamental virtue-in following Christ is absolute and radical trust. That is what Jesus was trying to teach his disciples.  I have learned that through the years. Only by letting go can you really gain life.  I was once told “Providence doesn’t take you where grace cannot sustain you.”  As I get older I my trust becomes more absolute–for ultimately that is all we have is trust in God in Jesus. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

Possessed

February 6, 2013

Mark 6:1-6 

Jesus preached his messaged, no matter the cost-he simply went on and preached from town to town–it possessed it him.  Through the years I have made people nervous because I have seemed “possessed” by my work–the message I preach. I am too “single minded”.  As I told one woman who said I seemed “possessed”, I am–I am consumed by preaching the love of God as found in Jesus of Nazrareth, and by living out my life in service to the “anawim”, the ones who have nothing socially or financially.  And I make no apologies. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!