God has place this wonderful creation in our hands. As U2 sings, "It's a beautiful day, don't let it slip away." We have this one life to live on this beautiful planet so enjoy these reflections on God, faith, life, and music. "After the flood all of the colors came out. It's a beautiful day."

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

O the thinks You Can Think

"O the Thinks You can Think" by Dr. Seuss is one of my favorite story partly because I was a dreamer as a kid and here is a story that encouraged you to think about imaginative and creative thinks.  "O the thinks that you can think if only you try...if  you think you can think up..."  When I took my first philosophy course at Loyola in Chicago the professor asked us if we had ever look up at the stars at night and wonder what was up there.  "Think! Think and wonder. Wonder and think.  How much water can fifty-five elephants drink? "  It was exciting for me a kid, who was living in the middle of farm country who didn't fit with the culture and wanted to learn anything and everything, to land in place where the words I first heard were encouraging about what I had always done, to think and wonder.

The question in the scripture this week from 2 Samuel 7 is what to do when the thinks you are thinking, the dreams you are dreaming are not the dreams that God have you.  King David is finally king over the north and south and the tribes have been brought together.  "After the king was settled in his palace and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him" vs. 1.  David was in a time of peace,  He finally had time to stop, relax, and think.  In that time of prosperity and peace, he looks around and sees that he has this great palace and God is living in a tent.  Shouldn't God have a grand church, a magnificent temple with all the best the kingdom can afford.  Well God tells David no.  I do not want a temple now, I promise you that I will be with your family forever and your family will rule my people.  A temple will be built but not by you.

Have you ever been at a point like that in you life?  Have you had a dream of who you would marry?  Have you had a dream of a perfect job?  Have you dreamed of the ministry that God is calling you to?  When I was in seminary my dream for ministry to to start an environmental center where people could come to experience God and learn how to care for creation while also traveling around the world with my people leading great revivals with preaching on creation care and protection and having the band rocking with me.  But God had a different dream for me.  God sent me a message saying I was being called to welcome the outsiders, to help people choose God and choose the light.  My dream was not God's dream for me at that moment.

David's response to this no is an inspiration to all of us.  David on receiving this no sits down and begins to pray.  He begin by saying Who am I that you would choose me and my family for your work.  Thank you for what you have done for me and my people.  Thank you for the promise you have made to us.  And David praises God.  When faced with a no we don't necessarily start with prayer especially a prayer of praise.  I know I would want to yell at God and ask why not.  Why can't my dream come true?  But that is where David's prayer helps to give us a model.  We begin by asking who we are in relationship to God.  We then remember and give thanks for what God had done in our lives so that we can move into a state of gratitude.

All week as I worked on this I could help but sing "Who am I" by Casting Crowns.  "You ask me who I am.  I am yours."

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Unexpected Moments

My son and I were pulling into the bank and talking about driver's ed (yes- I'm terrified) when right before us was this Heron.  It was absolutely beautiful with gray and red. The heron made us stop there for a moment to watch this amazing creation.  This is a spot it would not normally land because we weren't near the lake but because of all of the rain we have had there was a boggy spot where it was resting.  We sat there watching this bird.  That moment knocked us out of the busyness of life with depositing checks to pay the bills and being excited about learning to drive.  For a moment we just breathed and watched the bird.

1 Bless Yahweh, my soul, Yahweh, my God, how great you are!
10 In the ravines you opened up springs, running down between the mountains,
11 supplying water for all the wild beasts; the wild asses quench their thirst,
12 on their banks the birds of the air make their nests, they sing among the leaves.
13 From your high halls you water the mountains, satisfying the earth with the fruit of your works:
14 for cattle you make the grass grow, and for people the plants they need, to bring forth food from the earth,
15 and wine to cheer people's hearts, oil to make their faces glow, food to make them sturdy of heart.
16 The trees of Yahweh drink their fill, the cedars of Lebanon which he sowed;
17 there the birds build their nests, on the highest branches the stork makes its home;
18 for the wild goats there are the mountains, in the crags the coneys find refuge.
24 How countless are your works, Yahweh, all of them made so wisely! The earth is full of your creatures.
25 Then there is the sea, with its vast expanses teeming with countless creatures, creatures both great and small;
27 They all depend upon you, to feed them when they need it.
28 You provide the food they gather, your open hand gives them their fill.
29 Turn away your face and they panic; take back their breath and they die and revert to dust.
30 Send out your breath and life begins; you renew the face of the earth.
31 Glory to Yahweh for ever! May Yahweh find joy in his creatures!
32 At his glance the earth trembles, at his touch the mountains pour forth smoke.
33 I shall sing to Yahweh all my life, make music for my God as long as I live.
34 May my musings be pleasing to him, for Yahweh gives me joy.
35 May sinners vanish from the earth, and the wicked exist no more! Bless Yahweh, my soul.
                        New Jerusalem Bible