Friday, March 13, 2009

In Prayer

I am on the verge of Spring Break and am looking forward to an extended prayer time! I love this poem from The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions that we read in American Literature yesterday.

In Prayer
O LORD,
In prayer I launch far out into the eternal world,
and on that broad ocean my soul triumphs
over all evils on the shores of mortality.
Time, with its gay amusements and cruel disappointments
never appears so inconsiderate as then.
In prayer I see myself as nothing;
I find my heart going after thee with intensity,
and long with vehement thirst to live to thee.
Blessed be the strong gales of the Spirit
that speed me on my way to the New Jerusalem.
In prayer all things here below vanish,
and nothing seems important
but holiness of heart and the salvation of others.
In prayer all my worldly cares, fears, anxieties disappear,
and are of as little significance as a puff of wind.
In prayer my soul inwardly exults with lively thoughts
at what thou are doing for thy church,
and I long that thou shouldest get thyself a great name
from sinners returning to Zion.
In prayer I am lifted above the frowns and flatteries of life,
and taste heavenly joys;
entering into the eternal world
I can give myself to to thee with all my heart,
to be entirely at thy disposal,
having no will or interest of my own.
In prayer I can intercede for my friends, ministers,
sinners, the church, thy kingdom to come,
with greatest freedom, ardent hopes,
as a son to his father,
as a lover to the beloved.
Help me to be all prayer and never cease praying.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Peace

You know, it has been a long time since I talked about my heart wellness. Not sure what to say other than, I just don't have the angst that I had just a few short years ago. June 16, 2006 was my departure from crazymaking dynamics, and we give glory to God for leading us into healthy relationships ever since! It hasn't been without heartache and sorrow through the last 2 years.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Our Hope Alone

Discussions with Bible Book Club on Monday night about Ecclesiastes and a long talk with Kim about the possibilities of losing everything in this economy prompted me to read the interchange between Jemimah and Job in both settings.

From The Misery of Job and The Mercy of God by John Piper:

"So you think God was kind to make
You sick," Jemimah asked, "and take
Away your health and all your sons
And friends, and daughters--all the onesYou loved."

"Jemimah, what I think
is this: The Lord has made me drink
the cup of his severity
That he might kindly show to me
What I would be when only he
Remains in my calamity.
Unkindly he has kindly shown
That he was not my hope alone."

May He be our hope alone.

Quote from Mudhouse Sabbath by Lauren F. Winner

Her thoughts on the Jewish marriage ceremony compared to Christian ones:

The vows in the Jewish wedding ceremony are simple. As the groom puts the ring on the bride's finger, he says, "Behold, you are consecrated to me according to the laws of Moses and Israel." Then comes the reading of the ketubah, a contract dating at least to the second century CE. The traditional version names the date and place of the wedding, and then details the monetary settlement the groom will owe the bride in case of divorce . . . I remember once upon a time thinking that this was a very grave but profound and insightful way to begin a marriage , this recognition of the possibility of failure. I now feel discomfited when sitting through this segment of Jewish weddings, when it is laid bare that I am indeed watching a contractual agreement, not a sacramental covenant; and I have to remind myself that Hebrew Scripture, Old Testament permits divorce under many circumstance. It is only with Jesus' stern words to the Pharisees that divorce became a very occasional exception to the ever more normative lifelong marriage.

"In this nuptial particular, I feel that Christianity tells the best story. But theology, I realize, is different from sociology, and the statistics --which show evangelical Christians divorcing at a rate just slightly higher than that of the rest of America -- suggest that however perfect in theory, that something about Christian marriage-making (Or, at least, Christian marriage-keeping) does not work. And here is where Jewish nuptials, depressing ketubah makes my shoulders tense up, everything that surround the ketubah makes good sense. I wish we could import some of it to the church."

". . . Under the chuppah (four cornered canopy that symbolizes among other things "the sure protection of God's love."), after the exchange of rings and the reading of the ketubah and the pronouncing of blessings, comes the famous breaking of glass--the groom crushes a goblet (wrapped in a packet or bag, of course) under his feet. The broken glass warns of the frailty of marriage. It also recalls the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem, a somber comment of Jewish history that should be remembered at even the most joyous occasions. Another interpretation hold that the loud crunch of the glass scares off all demons who might have been hanging around, plotting to trip up the wedding party . . ."

Monday, March 02, 2009

The Misery of Job and the Mercy of God by John Piper

"He is not poor nor much enticed
Who loses everything for Christ.
It won't be long before the rod
Becomes the tender kiss of God."

Tuesday Ten Minute Freewrite

I am going to go great guns for 10 minutes on this freewrite. I am meeting with a person (not sure if she wants direction - she just wanted ...