Sunday, February 10, 2008

Our church's 5th Anniversary and the twins 1st birthday

Today was our church’s 5th anniversary.  It was quite a service, I think we had one of our best attendence’s ever.   It was quite a moving service.  The music along with the service was very inspiring.   We had a big luncheon afterwards, then after that, Turk and I went over to Val and Rochelle’s for the twins first birthday, it seems like yesterday, I was taking pictures of them after they were born.  Can’t believe Aaron will be three this year.  Lots of memories today.  Sometimes it’s hard for me to realize what was real.  I’m still a part of so many wonderful people’s lives.   I’m very thankful and blessed.   Still find myself thinking about Mike on days like this.  I look at the banner that we made two years ago with the tree and leaves.   I look at little Aaron, and the twins who are just starting to walk.   I think of the times we used to babysit Aaron.   I guess it was real.  Just seems so long ago.  Life goes on.  Guess it’s o.k. to remember.   It was a wonderful day.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Children say the funniest things

A year or so ago Sherry was telling me about taking Autumn to the pet store around Easter, and for some reason, they had taken all the baby rabbits and put them in a place with a pregnant pot belly pig, later that night, Sherry said Autumns' prayer went something like this. God bless, Mommy and Daddy, Nana, Rere, Duck, that's me, Dena, Andy, and God bless that poor ole big fat pig. After her prayer which was very serious, Sherry asked her did she know why the pig was so fat, and Autumn looked up at her and said "Yes, because she was having baby rabbits!" It's funny the things we think when we are a child, I wish I knew or remembered some of my prayers when I was little, I still remember a few. Like when a car would go by and cast a shadow in my room, I thought that caused bad dreams, so each time I would see a shadow of a car, I would so "please God don't let me have no bad dreams", by the time I had fallen asleep, I think I must have been up to 100, please don't let me have no bad dreams. Some things though which seem so great were exactly like I thought. I remember saying God thank you for that beautiful day we had and the way the wind made me feel happy, or how pretty the sky was today and all the colors of the crayons that I saw. We thought of Him as the owner and creator of everything. But now as an adult, I'm wondering today how would He describe Himself? I've always wanted to know that I think even as a little boy, I would say in my prayers, God just come down in a cloud and tell me it's really you, or a bubble, or a talking fish. I know now He doesn't come down in a cloud or a bubble, or even a talking fish, but He has revealed Himself to us in His word and in our Hearts. Listen really hard and you can hear him. I havn't been so quiet lately, and I havn't been listening as much as I could I know. But still sometimes in the night before I fall asleep I feel myself still as a little boy saying "make yourself real to me", tell me what I'm supposed to do, I'm listening. Maybe I hear sometimes but I just can't really hear, I'm just saying that I can. I do know that He is much more than the owner and creator of everything like I used to when I was young though.   He's much much more!  I still feel like I’m trying really hard to find the quiet.  I came home tonight, been cooking vegetable beef soup all day.   Was going to meditate but my upstairs neighbors, seem to be blasting there radio at top volume.  Turndown the radio, I can’t hear myself think.  I miss Rere and Autumn.


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Ash Wednesday

Today is Ash Wednesday, which you probably know because either you’re a church goer, or at some point in your life you’ve noticed people walking around with ash smeared on their forehead and you’ve said “hey, what’s the deal with that?” The ashes are burned palms from the previous Palm Sunday, are put on the forehead in the form of a cross, and are reminiscent of an ancient Near Eastern practice of throwing ashes over one’s head to symbolize repentance before God.
Ash Wednesday signifies the beginning of Lent. Often, during Lent believers choose to give something up. Occasionally, the period of Lent can inspire someone to take truly needed steps towards betterment–such as quiting smoking. However, at least with the people I know, what is given up is something fairly trivial such as soft drinks or candy bars. In this way, the act of giving up is less about what is given up and is more focused on proving that they CAN do it. However, more fitting than giving something up for Lent is the practice of adding something This puts an emphsis not on denial, but on the creation of something new. If it is a question of health, adding regular exercise takes care of the God given body better than avoiding the occasional candy bar. We have nothing to lose buy loving our enemies, and we have everything to gain.

I know today we often consider sin to be something personal in nature – an individual failing. God also talked about sin as being the responsibility or the failing of the community. It is a sin that people in our world starve while others amass wealth, it is a sin that we spend our resources on weapons of mass destruction designed to destroy God’s creation, and it is a sin that we have misused God’s message of inclusive love and open table to discriminate against those we see as the other. These sins we need forgiveness from. In a world of war, hunger, and poverty there is room for us all to take responsibility for sin.  God’s love is inclusive of all individuals, regardless of race, culture, sexual orientation into the full life and ministry of the church.   That’s how I believe.  It is a new start which I was looking for at the New Year, when I want for what I’ve given up, I will think of Jesus giving His life for us, and also not be without, but also go within.

I’ve definitely written of my journey, I’ve always known God was beside me, and accepting me for who I am.   But also I wonder who I am to become.  Some days I find distractions, confusing me, my direction blurs, I lose my way.   I find the quiet comforting, the silence finds me closer.   I have lived in a loud house for the last three years, but now I find it quiet, it’s time for me to listen. Give me faith that will fill me with compassion.  Forgive me of my sins, forgive me when I wander off the path that I was meant to walk