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Poetry, Community of Tears

This is for the people who grieve.  I am thinking especially of those who live in Newtown, CT.  



Community of Tears By Faith Totushek

In the darkness when the ache spills tears When grief overflows at remembered years When the morning dawns and you’re still alone And enormous sadness pierces your bone
At the shadow of nightfall in the trembling pain When the scent of your loved one whispers your name When the memories image the screen of your eyes And remembrance informs the depth of your cries
God encircles your being with His loving embrace And bids you a glimpse of His tear stained face A compassionate God who shares your travail With a mighty love that will never fail
You can know you’re secure in Trinity’s hold Invited by Christ among sheep in the fold Never alone for the rest of your years A community of tears



grief, forgiveness and prayers for the losses in Aurora, CO

Today I am thinking about the tragic loss of human life in Aurora, CO.  I am reminded that forgiveness is not easy nor is grief painless.  And prayers go up in my heart for those experiencing loss and sadness today.


How does one forgive such a horrific experience?  How does one grieve well and move forward in the midst of such pain?


In forgiveness we begin with recognizing that an offense or hurt did indeed occur and that this was indeed wrong and painful. We assign appropriate blame to the one who harmed us.  Next, we allow ourselves to fully grieve and to grieve well.  Too often we cut grief short and shut down feelings because it is so painful.  However, allowing the pain to be felt IS one of the ways we grieve and move on.  Some remain in the first state of denial and fail to process the range of emotions present.


Often both grief and forgiveness move through 5 significant stages.  And we often begin the stages in different places depending on the nature of the loss and the person…

The Disciple Peter's Story: 1st Person account of what he might have felt like

I remember vividly the the chaotic capture and surrender of Jesus to the authorities... how I had tried to fight them off with a sword. I remember the smokey scent of the fire in the courtyard near Jesus trial. Etched in my memory were my well-intended words, “Lord, I will go to prison with you and even die with you.” But they were the words on an untested man.
I was unaware of the healing I needed... unaware that in the act of Jesus following, I would find myself without the maturity and inner resources to actually live out the proclamations of my own heart.
As I stood beside the fire in the courtyard, a servant girl suggested that “I” was one of the men who was with Jesus. I denied my teacher, the One God sent... before a servant girl who had no authority to arrest me. Heck, Women couldn't even testify in court! When it really mattered, I failed to live up to my promise that I would follow Jesus to the death. I buckled before a lowly servant girl.
When the cock cro…

theology of the garden

A few folks at Monticello Covenant Church are imagining a garden and have invited interested people for a potluck to get creative around that possibility.  We have outlined a couple of purposes that come out of scripture.

1.  To gather people in community around a garden and food.
2.  To exercise our vocation as earth tenders
3.  To share quality food with others who do not have access to quality food.
4.  To feed our body with quality food.

All of these ideas come out of scripture.

In the book of Genesis chapter one, we read about a good God who cares deeply for the people he was making.  While the gods of neighboring nations believed that the gods created people as slaves to do the work the gods were too lazy to do, we see the Hebrew view of God as one who is vastly different.  The Hebrew God created the world and the garden first before he even created the people.  This order had to do with creating a world that would sustain life.  Then he created the first people.  They were give…

integrating

I have been reflecting today on the Spirit.  The Spirit is in us, at work in us, intimate with us and bringing wholeness and healing and life to us.  The Spirit is very personal.  That comes out of my Charismatic upbringing and roots.  The same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead dwells in us giving life.  We cherish the presence of God and enjoy the beauty of it.  But eventually... this Spirit so changes us that we begin to notice something else.  The Spirit is at work in the world.  God is on a mission and we get to participate with him in healing the world.

You guessed it... I have a social justice side.  I believe that Jesus is at work in the world.  He dwells with the broken and oppressed, he identifies with them and empowers them.  Jesus is incarnate weeping with those who weep and healing all who mourn.  Sometimes he is dying with them at the hands of injustice. 

Some how these two ideas must come together.  Jesus is at work in us, and Jesus is at work in the world.  I see a…

Where Jesus is, there will his servants be...

In my morning meditation a short sentence literally jumped out at me from John chapter 12 verse 26...

"Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be."   

That leads me to some interesting thoughts.  Often when we think about the place where Jesus is, we think of some place in the afterlife Christians call heaven or we think of spending a nice quiet time in prayer within which we connect deeply with Jesus.  


But in this passage the story suggests more.  There is an afterlife that will be spent with God forever in the presence of Jesus.  There is truly a relationship with Jesus that is deeply intimate.  But Jesus is also at work.  Jesus is doing something in the world that will bring about the kingdom reign of God in this world.  And where he is, there will be the servants of God working alongside the king.


What do I mean by Kingdom reign of God?  It's not a political kingdom that begets kings or elects presidents nor is it a theocracy in which a n…

Emotionally Healthy Spirituality

Recently I felt "led" to teach a class on Emotionally Healthy Spirituality.... ok, the title evokes some fear and anxiety at least in me.  Yes, it does sound a bit "touchy/feely."  But I assure you, this class is not for the faint at heart nor is it only for the emotionally "un" healthy disciple.  My worry at the outset is that by defining what Emotionally Healthy really is, we might create a whole new anxiety around a whole new standard that we all somehow need to reach in order to be "healthy."  I for one don't need another standard to reach. (now you see where I am in the "emotionally healthy" scale of performance--he,he,he.)  Sooooo..... why is it important to begin a book study on that topic during Community Hour? 

Rather than define a new standard around emotional health, I prefer to set forth a new vision.  A standard and a vision are two different things.  A standard is something by which I measure myself but a vision is a…