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Saturday, April 30, 2011

His Peace

It has been a tumultuous time in our lives as well as for our country and the world. I was sorely in need of peace. As I read the story in John about the locked room & Thomas who became known as "doubting Thomas," I was struck by the first words Jesus said when he appeared in the locked room, "Peace be with you." 

I cannot tell you how much I needed to have Him say that to me this week. It penetrated deeply. In the silence following the reading, I had an experience of "Peace be with you" being said to me by Him. New interior doors opened in me. I had a bit of a paradigm shift.

This experience inspired me to write the Sunday prayer for church that follows. (The church part is in reference to the changing of our pastor as one retires & another comes.) I hope He speaks to you today too.

When Jesus appeared in the locked room, His first words, "Peace be with you," ring out to us today. Jesus enters our locked hearts & says, "Peace be with you."
Lord, I turn to You & unlock my inner doors.I welcome Your peace to rush in. I stand in this moment fully open to You & Your profound peace.

Into Your peace I place the ups & downs of my life. As I lift them to You, I see them in a new way. My eyes open to a larger context. I am lifted out of the limited view of the valley into Your full view. This larger understanding brings its own peace also.

Help me to open myself & align myself so fully to You that I am able to live in Your peace. Help our church open itself & align itself so fully to You that we as a spiritual community are able to live in Your peace. We open to welcome Your depth of understanding as our church moves into its new life. Lead the changes unfolding in our church, Lord, in the direction You would have them go.

What joy floods my soul! I know You are with us offering Your peace. I know the words & the heart of this prayer have been heard & this prayer is now in Your hands. Thank You! I let go as I welcome Your perfect work in & through us. I seal this in faith as I say, Amen, Amen & Amen

Monday, April 18, 2011

Easter Is Coming

As I write this, Holy Week has begun. We celebrated Palm Sunday yesterday, recreating the triumphant entrance into Jerusalem. I couldn't help but think of so many times in life we enter into something with that joyousness only to discover the the destination was somewhere quite different.

Jesus, of course, knew the path he had before him. Sometimes I think we know too, at least with a nagging feeling at the back of the mind. How many times have we said something like, "I knew I shouldn't have done that!"? There is a place in us that knows, but we don't always honor that place by listening carefully.

Jesus knew & knew that he knew. He was fully conscious of the drama unfolding, its destination & ultimate revelations. He was fully about His Father's business.

Last week in preparation for Centering Prayer, we did lectio divina based on the Lazarus story which we read 3 separate times. The lines loosen him & let him go, echoed inside of me as I closed my eyes for our 20 minutes of silence. We are supposed to be still, releasing all thoughts during those 20 minutes, but I had an overwhelming experience that could not be dismissed.

As I closed my eyes, contemplating loosen him & let him go, I found myself in the center of a hurricane, but I was not alone. Jesus stood with me. I had a deep, powerful, freeing experience of all that had gone before & all about to come whirling around, but in the center there we were in total calm. I loosened & let go not only dramas in my life, but dramas on the planet, from family matters to the bubonic plague, it was all loosened & whirling away. Jesus, radiating light, embraced me & I felt our oneness, His deep love, His healing power & the entering into a new life free of what was.

I do not know how to put into the constraints of language the full impact of these moments with Jesus. It inspired a prayer I wrote for Sunday. I'll just put it here, & maybe you can feel it too.

Jesus, I see you standing calm in the midst of the whirling activities of Your Passion. Dramatic events unfurl around You, yet you are unmoved.
I see You also standing with me in the center of that whirls around me. Your calming touch moves me to the center with you. The world is doing what it is doing, but You stand with me in the midst of it all. We are One. I feel Your embrace, & I am comforted.
You told us Your peace is not of this world, & now I understand. How glorious it is to know & experience this peace.
I also see our church in the center with You, standing with You, teaching Your Peace & Love. The outer of life may move this way or that, yet You stand in the center, not caught up in the dance of the outer, & we stand with You.
I ask that You open in us a deep understanding so that we may more fully walk our lives aware that no matter where life takes us, we are with You in the center.
Thank You for hearing our prayer. Thank You for always being with us. Thank You for patiently waiting for us to come to You. We ask that this prayer be answered in Your perfect way, in Your perfect time. We lift this to the Father, asking all of this in Your name. We seal it in faith by saying Amen, Amen & Amen

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Sunday Prayers

Each Sunday I write & print out a little prayer. We use it in the chapel before the service, & we give a copy to other church attendees too. This morning I felt led to share here the prayer I wrote for this week. It is inspired by the Epistle reading for the week.

"You are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you." Paul is one of many who speak such words to us. There is a chorus of enlightened men & women who tell us we are the Temple of God, the Spirit of God dwells in us. Wow!!! We so glibly read & say these words, but what if we were awake to what they mean? How would our lives be different?

Lord help me to fully settle into this Truth. Help me become conscious of Your Spirit that is already within me & within all others I meet. Teach me to live honoring the holiness that is within. Let my eyes see the Truth; my ears hear the Truth; my lips speak the Truth; & my heart dwell with Your Spirit that is present in my soul.

Since Your Spirit is within everyone, awaken here in our church the full realization of what this means. The vitality that emerges can only draw to us seekers who hunger to know You. Help us be a welcoming place to all those You call.

As we deepen in our spiritual journey, we rejoice so fully. Truly there is good news, & we feel it & share it with abandon. What a glorious day this is. Thank You Lord for leading us to this moment. This is the moment for which we have so long prepared.

With a deep sigh of joy, we let go & ask that Your Will be done today & everyday. We ask & accept all of this in the name of Christ. And so it is, Amen, Amen & Amen

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Time seems to be on my mind lately, perhaps because I just got another year older.

I have heard so many people remarking that time seems to be passing more quickly. I think that one of the things is that as we get older a day or a week is a smaller percent of our lives than it was when we were younger --- everything relative to the reference point. But I've heard young people thinking time is passing more quickly as well as old folks like me.

One of the ways I experience time is as if we are walking forward in a corridor, the corridor of time. We can look back over where we have walked but cannot go there. We can only rarely look ahead with any accuracy. The present moment is prettty much IT.

Lord, help me to be present and live fully in each present moment You give me to live.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Another Year

Another year has passed. It went so fast. I cannot help but thinking it's another year less to live. I have to look within & ask myself if I'm doing all I can or should do to be the person God calls me to be. What more can I do?

This year that just passed has not been the happiest. It has taught me a great deal, some that I'd rather not have learned. As I strive to be more loving, more helpful, more forgiving, I find others that I care about do not have those aims. I have grieved an amazing amount over this.

But now I enter a new birth year. I'm another year older & maybe wiser.

My dear husband planned a great birthday for me. On Wednesday we went to San Diego to Visions Fiber Arts & Quilt Museum, the Watercolor Society's gallery, to Old Town for lunch in the gorgeous courtyard with perfect weather. Last night we went to Pala to Chubby Checker & Chuck Berry. Soooo much fun!

Now I go to church to participate in our annual Quiet Day. This year it is called "Praying With Icons." I have my presentation ready to go. I think there are 4 or 5 of us presenting.

So the absurd swing from old time rock n'roll to old time mystics. Life is so interesting.