Friday, February 12, 2016

The fasting God prefers...

"Isaiah says explicitly that God prefers another kind of fasting which changes our actual lifestyle and not just punishes our body (The poor body is always the available scapegoat to avoid touching our purse, our calendar, or our prejudices)."
Fr. Richard Rohr, "Wondrous Encounters: Scripture for Lent"
With this awesome reminder, let's spend time praying and thinking about how we can delve into our purses, rearrange our calendars and prejudices and actually DO something worthwhile this Lent.  Maybe doing something for the Body of Christ and not just punishing our own bodies? That is the fasting God prefers! Love, heidi

Thursday, February 11, 2016

The Lent playlist...

Choose life...choose love!

"Choose life..."
Deuteronomy 30:19
As we go through our day today, we may not make life and death decisions.  Oh, surely, we choose to drive safely and responsibly, and that can make a difference between life and death (no texting=life!) Realistically, though, our choices today will be more about choosing LOVE.  We will be asked to choose between treating someone with love or treating them indifferently.  We may choose to treat someone with patience or throw up our hands in frustration.  We may have to choose to be kind to a stranger or just walk on by.  Our choices today will be about choosing love.  Let's remember these two simple words as we move through our first Thursday of Lent...Choose Love!  And let's do just that! Love, heidi

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

An inside job...

"Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the Lord, your God."
Joel 2:13
When I heard this reading (Joel 2:12-18) today, as proclaimed on Pray-As-You-Go, this one phrase jumped out at me.  It occurs to me that the real change that takes place in us throughout Lent is an inside job.  We can go through all the motions, show up at all the Lent events, do all the prescribed stuff, and if our hearts are not turning back to God and changing, all is for not.  The bottom line is that our hearts need to return to God and thus become more loving, loving others more like God loves. It also reminds me of the verse about mercy versus sacrifice.  God prefers the former, not the latter.  So, as we embark on this forty days of Lent, let's realize that it isn't what we do for Lent or don't do for Lent.  Lent is about rendering our hearts and turning back to God. Giving our hearts to God who, alone, can help us to become more loving toward others.  The real work of Lent is an inside job. Love, heidi

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Shrove Tuesday

"After he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, 'Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.'”
Luke 5:4
Here is a question for us to ponder on this Shrove Tuesday. Are we doing the same things for Lent we did 10-15-20 years ago? Are we still in the same place spiritually we were years ago or have we grown? Can we move out of the shallow end and go deeper into our relationship with Jesus? Jesus invites us, as well as the apostles, to go further out, away from the shore and try something hard...go deeper...take a risk...maybe even climb out of the boat! Maybe we could try something new this Lent that is life-changing, not just 40 days-changing.  Something like making a commitment to recycle if we aren't already. Maybe we can take a class that can help us help others.  Maybe we can sponsor a refugee child in a third world country--that's takes longer than 40 days. (I began sponsoring a kid years ago in the Philippines--he's probably 30 by now!) What can we do differently this Lent? Can we do something that really changes us and/or others for the long haul?  Let's prayerfully discern how God invites us to celebrate this Lenten season.  It's unique for each of us, but the ultimate goal is the same: to grow deeper and deeper in love with Jesus. Love, heidi

Monday, February 8, 2016

In the dark cloud...

"Then Solomon said, 'The Lord intends to dwell in the dark cloud'"...
1 Kings 8:12
Who would think to look for God there, in the dark cloud?  But I totally believe Solomon called it correctly right here.  The end of last week, I was pondering my "closest moments to Christ," for 4th Day.  It was another week of waiting and wondering re: the flood. I was trying to be patient and give everyone involved time to do their jobs, but here I was (still am) living in the rubble, sort of.  I realized that God felt closest to me in the quandary, not just in the resolution.  God felt so close during the sleepless nights, the angst, the uncertainty.  God was there in the rubble.  It is (slowly!) getting resolved and that is wonderful, but when I look back, God felt ever closer in the dark cloud.  Today, as we go forth on a winter Monday (the very definition of dark cloud!), let's realize that God rejoices with us during the good times, but God is also, maybe even closer, in the dark clouds we may go through.  Love, heidi