Wednesday, March 28, 2007


I always loved that robot on Lost in Space. Look out for the new robot in Lost in Vegas.


So on Wed. nights in our youth group we've been watching a great documentary/reality show called "30 Days" by Morgan Spurlock. Spurlock came into the limelight when he made the film supersize me. The television show models supersize me but draws light to social issues. This week the social issue is that of immigration.

When we watch the show I ask the youth 3 questions to consider and then we discuss after viewing the show:
1. What stood out to you?
2. What challenges your worldview?
3. What is one thing that you will take away from the show as something teachable or meaningful?

Tonight I have also gathered many verses from scripture that have to do with how we are to treat "the stranger" as he/she lives among/with us. Some of the verses include:
Exodus 22:21
You must not molest the stranger or oppress him, for you lived as a stranger in the land of Egypt.

Proverbs 21:13
The person who shuts their ear to the poor person's cry shall plead and not be heard.

1 John 4:20 (how funny, 4-20)
A person cannot love God without loving their neighbor.

2 Corinthians 8:13-15
I do not mean that there should be relief for others and pressure on you, but it is a question of a fair balance between your present abundance and their need, so that their abundance may be for your need, in order that there may be a fair balance. As it is written, "The one who had much did not have too much, and the one who had little did not have too little." NRSV

Here's a short segment of what we're watching tonight:


I'm not sure if I shared on the blog or not but at the beginning of the new year I and a few members here at Hermitage UMC started a Wed. morning contemplative prayer group. Every wed. morning at 9am we come together and pray the psalms, I lead lectio divina reading of scripture, and we lift up prayers of joy and concern. It has been a real blessing. I have used The Divine Hours as the main liturgical source, but also have drawn from the book of common prayer, and pray-as-you-go.

Here is this weeks' prayer that we just got finished with:

Wednesday, March 28 The Morning Office To Be Observed on the Hour or Half Hour Between 6 and 9 a.m. Wednesday, Fifth Week of Lent
The Call to Prayer (leader)
Bless our God, you peoples;* make the voice of his praise to be heard; Who holds our souls in life,* and will not allow our feet to slip.
Psalm 66:7–8

The Request for Presence (all together)
Come to me speedily, O God. You are my helper and my deliverer;* LORD, do not tarry.
Psalm 70:5–6

The Greeting (all together)
You are my hope, O Lord GOD,* my confidence since I was young. I have been sustained by you ever since I was born; from my mother’s womb you have been my strength;* my praise shall be always of you.
Psalm 71:5–6

The Refrain for the Morning Lessons (all together)
“Be still, then, and know that I am God;* I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth.”
Psalm 46:11

A Reading (leader)
After saying these things, Jesus headed straight up to Jerusalem. When he got near Bethphage and Bethany at the mountain called Olives, he sent off two of the disciples with instructions: "Go to the village across from you. As soon as you enter, you'll find a colt tethered, one that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it. If anyone says anything, asks, 'What are you doing?' say, 'His Master needs him.'"
The two left and found it just as he said. As they were untying the colt, its owners said, "What are you doing untying the colt?" They said, "His Master needs him."
They brought the colt to Jesus. Then, throwing their coats on its back, they helped Jesus get on. As he rode, the people gave him a grand welcome, throwing their coats on the street.
Right at the crest, where Mount Olives begins its descent, the whole crowd of disciples burst into enthusiastic praise over all the mighty works they had witnessed:

Blessed is he who comes,
the king in God's name!
All's well in heaven!
Glory in the high places!

Some Pharisees from the crowd told him, "Teacher, get your disciples under control!" But he said, "If they kept quiet, the stones would do it for them, shouting praise."
Another said, ‘I will follow you, sir, but first let me go and say good-bye to my people at home.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Once the hand is laid on the plow, no one who looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.’ -Luke 9:61–62

The Refrain (all together)
“Be still, then, and know that I am God;* I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth.”

The Morning Psalm- Psalm 90:1–8, 12 (in the round)

A Thousand Years Are Like a Watch in the Night
Lord, you have been our refuge* from one generation to another.
Before the mountains were brought forth, or the land and the earth were born,* from age to age you are God.
You turn us back to the dust and say,* “Go back, O child of earth.”
For a thousand years in your sight are like yesterday when it is past* and like a watch in the night.
You sweep us away like a dream;* we fade away suddenly like the grass.
In the morning it is green and flourishes;* in the evening it is dried up and withered.
For we consume away in your displeasure;* we are afraid because of your wrathful indignation.
Our iniquities you have set before you,* and our secret sins in the light of your countenance.
So teach us to number our days* that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.
A Thousand Years Are Like a Watch in the Night

The Refrain (all together)
“Be still, then, and know that I am God;* I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth.”

The Small Verse (leader)
The Son of Man shall be delivered over to the Gentiles, to be mocked and scourged and crucified.

Prayers of Joy and Concern
The Lord’s Prayer
The Prayer Appointed for the Week (leader)
Almighty God, whose blessed Son was led by the Spirit to be tempted by Satan: Come quickly to help us who are assaulted by many temptations; and, as you know the weaknesses of each of us, let each one find you mighty to save; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. †

The Concluding Prayer of the Church (all together)
Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought me in safety to this new day: Preserve me with your mighty power, that I may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all I do direct me to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen. †

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


With the anniversay of the war in Iraq still fresh I came across this poem published in the Alive Now Journal:

A PRAYER IN TIME OF WAR by Beverly Johnson Biehr


You are all powerful, all knowing

and all present in this world of your creation

Two millennia ago, the people of Jerusalem had hopes at a

fever pitch for a Messiah, who would bring justice and peace

to God's people. We find ourselves in a fearsome and dangerous

time in which plans for destruction proliferate,

while plans for peace and justice fall by the wayside.

Lord, you know our fears and our weariness with war.

We are impatient with trying to understand ethnic hatreds

and religious turnoil that never find resolution over

centuries upon centuries.

Nevertheless, today we pray for the peoples of the Middle

East and for all at war. Keep alive all hopes for peace and justice.

Be with all those affected by conflict and all who suffer.

O Lord, we, like the ancient Israelites, ask, even beg you

to bring peace and reconciliation to this warring

world. Forgive us for our wars, and give us the eyes and ears

to recognize and support thsoe leaders who do your will with

humility and with love for people.

Teach us as a country and as individuals to make peace; give us

the desire to wlrk as diligently at making peace as we have dedicated

our time and resources to making wars. Help everyone to live

out your eternal truth- hatred does not cease by hating but by loving.

Give us the eyes of Christ to see those who live and labor around us,

including immigrants from the Middle East. Lead us to open our arms in

hospitality and friendship. With your wisdom and love, give us the courage

to overcome anger with love and evil with good.

(from Alive Now Journal, upper room publishing, november/december 2006; p. 44-45)

Thursday, March 15, 2007


I'd like to ask the blogging community to keep some neighbors in prayer for me. They live a few miles from me, I do not know them but after hearing this news from my neighborhood listserv my heart broke. Please keep in prayers the Flores-Scarbrough family. They were robbed a few days ago and the husband was killed in the process. From what I heard they have not been in the states for long.

By The Associated Press
March 12, 2007

NASHVILLE - A half-dozen men wearing bandanas over their faces charged
into a backyard family cookout Sunday night, robbed the husband and
father, then fatally shot him as they ran away.

The incident occurred in an East Nashville neighborhood and claimed the
life of Jose Flores, 30, who had given the robbers everything they had
demanded, his wife said.

The men forced Flores, his wife Tiffany Scarbrough and the couple's
children into their house and demanded cash, car keys and other

Scarbrough says as the robbers left, one of them turned and fired a shot
into the house, striking Flores in the side. He was pronounced dead at a
hospital a short time later.

''Now my babies have no father and it's all because of some little thug
street gang that took him away from me,'' Scarbrough said.

The couple's children are twin sons, 4, and another son, 6.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


I recently acquired a number of back issues of Alive Now magazine from a staff person at GBOD. I've been reading through them and they are GREAT!! Every now and then, since I have a pretty wonderful collection of these magazines now, I'm going to post interesting things that I come across from Alive Now. I hope you enjoy the articles as much as I do.

Who is my body?

"I am your friend and closest partner. Sometimes I am your mother and father. Sometimes I am your child. Always I am your lover and spouse.

"I am truth-teller. I witness to you your unknown self.

"I am the faithful messenger and recorder of your memories, your powers, your hurts, your needs, your limits.

"I am the stored wisdom and hurts of the ages and generations before you.

"I am a gift-giver. Through me, you live and move in God's creation. Through me, you have your vital link with the rejoicing, groaning, travailing universe.

"I am your partner in stress and pain. I carry much of your suffering, so your spirit does not need to carry it all alone.

"I am the frontier you have barely explored and the eager companion who speaks to you every moment.

"I am the manifestation of the miracle which is you. I am the ground of your deep powers.

"I am the microcosm of the community that surrounds you. I am the microcosm of the universe in which you live.

"I am the visible means by which you relate and unite with others.

"I am one of the major ways by which God abides with you, speaks to you, touches you, unites you.

"Far from separating you from your spiritual life, I open it to you

"You can pray with me, for me, through me. I can pray also, in my way, when you cannot.

"I am always in embrace with you, though sometimes you ignore me or even hate and try to harm me.

"I will never leave you. I will be with you after death as your risen companion of clearer light and swifter energy in a different form. Only my outer appearance dies.

"Together, in passion unity, we will become the fully alive human being.

- Flora Slosson Wuellner, "Knowing the Wonder", Alive Now Journal, November/December 2003; p. 24-25

Monday, March 12, 2007


The U.S. is currently in 3rd place in the World Wide "Clicking" Competition. Get competitive and contribute some clicks for the US. I just contributed 999 clicks!!! Go Team!!!


I arrived home yesterday evenening absolutely exhausted from the this weekend's Walk to Emmaus, but I have to say it was a "good tired" (if you were on the walk you'll appreciate that).

I'm not going to say much about what we actually did during the weekend except that:

1. Despite rumors I've heard in the past Walk to Emmaus is NOT a cult, it is COMMUNITY all the way and it builds community in very special and endearing ways.

2. God is there just like God is always there in our lives, but there really is a spirit about the weekend that invites grace to be much more visible in our lives.

3. Don't go if you aren't ready to have a heart to heart with God.

With that said, I am not the same person that I was on Thursday afternoon. This weekend God's grace became apparent in my life in some ways that I have not experienced so strongly before. In fact I'll be quite honest, I came both face to face with God this weekend and i came face to face with that part of myself that I hide so deep down inside that I don't allow him to surface too often. There are things that in coming home have not returned home with me.

BUT, that is not the end of the story. So when I woke up this morning I realized that I still had some "stuff" that I needed to process and I decided that I needed to get away from the church and the house for this and go somewhere that I consider a sacred space. So I drove up to Gethsemane Abbey and was able to pray the hours of sext and none with the brothers there. Other than that I spent a bit of time in solitude reading and in prayer.

Here were a couple of God moments today:
When I opened my bible to today's lectionary reading it was Joshua 5: 9-12. In that reading the People of Israel, led by Joshua, are coming into the land of Canaan. God tells Joshua that although God has provided manna as food since God's people left Egypt now the people are to eat from the crops of this New Land.

Any other day I probably would have read that and thought, "Rannnndommm". But today as I was sitting in the abbey and read those words God was speaking through that story saying- "This weekend I brought you out of another Egypt (not the first egypt for me, nor the last) and this weekend you had lots of manna. Now that you are home your "eating habits" aren't going to be the same as in Egypt, you are in a different place and I need for you to change your "diet" a bit. Wow!! Affirmation of God's grace all around!!

Second God Moment: I was driving home from Gethsemane and hit one of those monotonous driving zones where eyes get heavy and you aren't sure if you may have dozed off for a split millisecond or not. I'm driving along and my eye keep getting heavy, I keep shifting around in my seat, shaking my head trying to snap out of "the hypnozone" when my tire blew out. I WAS AWAKE THEN!! Not quite how I wanted to end my day especially since I had to wait on the side of the interstate for 3 hours for the wrecker to come that Jen called.

But all in all it was a great grace filled weekend and very good fourth day.


Thursday, March 08, 2007


This will be my last post until Sunday evening. Tonight I'll be going through the Walk to Emmaus program. Walk to Emmaus Nashville area's hub happens to be at my church, Hermitage UMC, so for 72 hours I'll be a pilgrim at my church.

Up until last night I was a little indifferent about going through this (more than anything I was looking forward to a little rest and renewal) last night it hit me- an anxiety about going on a retreat that I'm not leading or have leadership in. I don't do too many of those (in fact I simply don't do those). It felt awkward. It became apparent to me that God was already at work in this weekend telling me that I have to release and let go of control- be a pilgrim and wait.

All day Carolyn, one of the secrataries and my good friend told me that she is confiscating my keys at the end of the day, David, my Emmaus sponsor, is taking my cell phone and watch (not too hard since I don't wear a watch).

I hope it's a great weekend, and I can already tell that I am going to learn some things about myself that I need to grow through. This is turning out to be quite a lenten season.

shalom all,



NOOO!!! Please say it isn't so!!!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


FROM MY JOURNAL, MARCH 2 2007 written while on my sabbath day pilgrimage

'Jesus said, "Don't worry, I will... Today you will join me in paradise." ' Luke 23: 43

Remember me God
Re-Member me
Re-connect my life
to something worth connecting with

Gone... where I stood
is old news... yesterday...
a minute ago

Paradise- a pair of dice
rolled by your hands
blown on by your lips
breath that fills my lungs
calls my name but it sounds
so different now

It sounds so rhythmic and
colorfilled with bass- bass
and percussive voices

Re-membering me- rebuilding
this life into something beautiful
Re-membering... relocating to
a new neighborhood

written while on sabbath pilgrimage




I listened to this and immediately thought about how the "practices" of a particular culture really define how we live out our lives. There is a messge for the church in that somewhere I believe...

h/t: starrider

Monday, March 05, 2007


FROM MY JOURNAL, Friday March 2, 2007

"Father forgive them: they don't know what they are doing."

This mad world spinning
I'm so quick to judge it
There I am spinning a life...
just like everyone else
My self pales alongside them
We sit, stand and bow
at the foot of the cross waiting
for a word... I need forgiveness
Just like she does... he does...
so we can live this
I'm afraid of this

I thought...
I knew...
At least what I was doing...
But I was mistaken.

written while on a sabbath day pilgrimage



Friday was a good day. I have not taken time out in a long while to simply "BE" in solitude. I could really feel myself needing to take the time out to have some quiet, contemplation and conversation with God.

So after a half day at work I headed somewhere pretty close to home- Shelby Park's "Bottoms" area.

The East Bank Greenway, known to locals as Shelby Bottoms is a wonderful gem right in the middle of the East Nashville area. This one-half mile trail adjacent to the football stadium provides great views of the Cumberland river and downtown Nashville. It also features interesting artworks reflecting the industrial history of Nashville on the Cumberland.

After arriving I sat on a bench and started the time with midday prayer from Divine Hours. Then as I walked the greenway trail I stopped every so often and reflected on 2 of the 7 last words of Christ, along with readings from Stanley Hauerwas' book Cross Shattered Christ.

One of the cool features of the park are the native american circles that one finds at different locations on the trail. One of the signs that tells about the circles shares that these circles represent sacred spaces where humans intermingle with the divine. So as I approached one of these circles I found myself walking around in the circle praying one of the phrases from my scripture reading.

We had quite a bit of rain in recently so the river was up and the creek areas of the trail were pretty swampy. The sound of frogs filled the entire trail- it was pretty crazy loud.

As I came to the end of the walk and the end of prayer I ended as I began- with the Divine Hours- saying the Lords Prayer as I walked a prayer circle and then the closing prayer for that day.

Thinking back to Friday I realize how badly I need days like that on a regular basis.

Sunday, March 04, 2007


I hate that last thursday I missed seeing United Methodism's most famous new circuit rider, Dirk Diggler, ride again. For those who don't know it- Dirk is the name of Jay Voorhees' mustache (yes, I named his mustache because it's the coolest stache I've ever met). I don't think he likes it so much that I gave his stache a name, but hey Jay- THAT STACHE HAS MUCHO PERSONALITY!! IT DESERVES ITS OWN NAME.


I am one excited Coldplay fan!!

Thursday, March 01, 2007


Over at bff's blog gavo made the statement "let's be honest, ninja's are awesome! so much cooler than zombies". Now one might read that and think to one's self, "self, I had not thought about ninjas as being cooler than zombies, but now that I think about it- yes it's true- those sneaky star throwing assasins are pretty darn cool."

However, knowing my bff for as long as I have and how he thinks (like a ninja), I know that his post is a subversive attack on all bloggers who happen to be open and inclusive to zombies.

Y'all, I'm afraid that what we have here is the beginnings of what might be a very politically charged situation in the methoblogosphere. What will this do to the UMC once we all start taking sides?

In fact, gavo's little attack on zombies just happens to be coming out a little too close to GC'08. And I hear that he is trying his best to be at GC- coincidence? I think not.

Before we have two new political action groups pitted against one another I want to call us all back to the center: