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Showing posts from January 11, 2009

Doors and windows

You have probably heard the statement, “When God closes a door, He opens a window.” The opening of windows is something I associate with summertime filled with warm breezes and long sun soaked days. Open windows are something that is hard to remember in the cold and gray of mid-winter in western NY, but their image is one that I’ve been thinking a great deal about. A few weeks ago I walked into a dance studio to try out a new exercise class that was being offered by the YMCA. It’s called “World Jam” and it features music and integrates dance styles from around the world. I tried the class to continue my efforts in physical activity even through the winter season and found that this class is a great deal of fun. At the end of the class, the group was doing the cool down stretches and at that moment I looked up to the ceiling and was taken aback to see unexpected sky lights above me. Had I not tried the new class and looked up, I would have missed the windows that were right above me a

Who would have guessed?

Shout out to Jay "Da youth guy" for this fun quiz... You are a Hippie You are a total hippie. While you may not wear birks or smell of incense, you have the soul of a hippie. You don't trust authority, and you do as you please. You're willing to take a stand, even when what you believe isn't popular. You like to experiment with ideas, lifestyles, and different subcultures. You always gravitate toward what's radical and subversive. Normal, mainstream culture doesn't really resonate with you. Are You a Hippie?

Green trees instead of a blanket of white

Image found at Dad's Images I was thinking about the poem "Trees" today. In mid-January in the north east, it becomes more and more difficult to remember the green of grass and trees. Everything here is encased in a hardened shell of ice and snow. I think reading poems is one way of melting away the bleakness of winter, and this is one of my favorites. Joyce Kilmer. 1886–1918 119. Trees I THINK that I shall never see A poem lovely as a tree. A tree whose hungry mouth is prest Against the sweet earth's flowing breast; A tree that looks at God all day, 5 And lifts her leafy arms to pray; A tree that may in summer wear A nest of robins in her hair; Upon whose bosom snow has lain; Who intimately lives with rain. 10 Poems are made by fools like me, But only God can make a tree. I'm praying for some sunshine to warm up the trees on my street.

Ubuntu finds me - again

So far I have stumbled, read, and been found by the word "ubuntu" four times in the last couple of months. If you've been following my blog lately, you'll remember the other references, but for the sake of keeping count here's the full list. 1. Ubuntu is referenced in Krista Tippet's book, 'Speaking of faith' as the true definition of humanity. It's a wonderful long short book that the book club I attend picked up in September and are just about to finish now. As you can guess, the long-six-chapters-in-240-pages are full of wonderful ideas discussing "Why religion matters - and how to think about it.". 2. When reading 'I'm proud of you' , by Tim Madigan, I was taken aback in the very first chapter as Mr. Fred Rogers describing Ubuntu as the existence of true humanity as me with you. In his point of view, we can only be made complete in our interaction and working along side of others. 3. While walking out of my office last

You wouldn't like me when I'm angry

Photo by Beth On my way to the office this morning, I passed by Burger King and was taken aback by the advert I saw on their sign. "Try our Angry Whopper - it's the hottest burger in town!" Never mind that their unusual burger's name did catch my attention of my early morning fogginess. I understand that the ad campaign is a gimmick, but all day I was bothered by the spirit of it. Does the world really need to be consuming and consumed by more anger? Forgive my idealism, but why on earth would we want to consume something that stokes the fires of anger simmering within us? If the name if the burger isn't enough, you can go to Burger King's website to send "Angry-grams" to whomever happens to tick you off. Sorry BK, this ad campaign is just bad form! Yes it's a sandwich. Yes it's supposed to be funny, but in a day where violence, war, and destruction rage on, I think a peace burger would be a better option. Maybe then it would need to

SWB: Rising anew

On Sunday, the gospel reading was Mark 1:4-11 and the section of 9-13 is one I keep thinking on since I heard it. The Baptism and Temptation of Jesus 9At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased. 12At once the Spirit sent him out into the desert, 13and he was in the desert forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him." Jesus was at a point in life where what he had been preparing for had to work out in practice. He had spent 30 years working towards all the opportunities that God had promised in and through him. What would it be like to be and live as God in the flesh and blood of humanity? Would he know the answers to all the big questions or would he just have bigger questi

New horizons and promises kept

Image by Alex DeCarvalho @ Flicker. Today, I was formally installed at First Lutheran Church in Jamestown as their Director of Family and Youth Ministry. I've been working at the church since October 21st, but today my official welcome ceremony took place. The service this morning reflected the experience of my past and bounced back with a feeling of newness in opportunity. In some ways, it was overwhelming today to be standing in front of the congregation and responding to all the "Will you..." questions that were posed to me. I answered each one by saying, "I will and I know God will help me." Youth ministry is something that takes energy, intelligence, liking and loving kids as well as understanding that all the work is impossible without God's help and blessing. At this point in ministry and my life, I keep going back to my own need to more rely upon God. It's necessary to allow for the space and time for God to speak into my own life, before