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."

Monday, November 30, 2015

Work

 I was assuming that my day was going to be a litle hectic. I was going to do work since I am taking a day off later in the week for my mom's birthday. So instead of resting and goofing off like a normal Monday, I was a set to get to work. Manic Monday


The advent word for the day is work. So I sat down to do some of my office work today and the computer decided to update and restart. Two and a half hours later,  I had reached this page. My day of work was not going the way I had planned for it to go. I was going to get the bulletin done and work on why I choose the topic I did. But my computer decided that I could not use it. I had to wait. I had to approach the topic a different route. I had to actually pull out my paper bible and look up the passage with paper rather than a couple of clicks. I couldn't just jump to googling  my key words to see what blogs, sermons, images came up. Instead I had just the words from my bible. I had to sit with the words first. Rather than using google for inspiration I had to stop and approach my task differently. I will admit that I really wanted those new features now and not later. I was frustrated and annoyed. While I worked my way into a new manner of working, I really longed for my computer to be back.

I was pushed into a little Sabbath rest. I had time to reflect on what happened on Sunday and  think about how we could take the theme further. I had time to rest with the words and themes.
2And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done. 3So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation. Genesis 2:2-3
Granted my Sabbath lasted for 2 hours. It was a nice chance to slow down with God's word. To just dream. But then the computer was back and work moved in its normally manner. ALthough not very manic.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Listen

One of the practices of advent suggested this year is to take a picture that reflects the word of the day. Today's word is listen. Listen. Such a simple and a yet a hard thing to do. I think this was something many people struggled with this morning in worship. There was a little one. My guess would be he doesn't attend church very often because the way his voice echoed and could be heard just made him want to talk even more and louder. So while we prayed, there was an extra voice; while we sang, there was an extra voice; while we spoke about missions, there was an extra voice. He had so much to share in such an acoustically rich environment. His words and actions were probably a distraction to many. With a second competing voice to listen became a challenge. To listen require acknowledging his voice but choosing to concentrate on a different voice or sound. When he went out to play, it was time for our moment of silence. That time when I invite people to breathe in and rest in the silence of God's Peace. This moment was very short this morning. There was rustling of bulletins after a few seconds. So I began the prayer. Listen. Not always easy or comfortable. Listen.

Silver Bells

The song that stuck with me this morning in worship was Silver Bells. It began with the church bell chiming. The bell told.  Then while decorating my parents tree we put up a set of jingle bells. Bells are something that always  cause me to stop and listen. Bells pull us out of the space we are in and take as to a place of beauty. I always tell the bell choir when they worry that the tune they are playing doesn't sound like the song it is supposed to be that bells are always beautiful and sometimes they sound like the song we want.

When I first learned how to meditate, I was using practices by Thich Nhat Hahn. In these meditations he would start and stop them with the sounding of a bell. But he had one meditation where a bell would sound reminding you to return to your breath. So at intervals while you were breathing in and out the bell would sound to bring you back to listening to your breath in case your mind had wandered down those familiar paths of worry or planning. This meditation took time to practice well. The bell at first was constantly pulling me back from my thoughts, worries, plans. The bell would remind me to get out of my way and let the stillness in. May you take time to listen today. To hear the bells chiming, calling you to stillness, calling you to rest in God's Peace.