Thursday, October 6, 2016

Are you mad?

"Are you people in Galatia mad?"
Galatians 3:1

Since Pray-As-You-Go is a UK production, sometimes their versions of the readings are just a bit...well, British! That is the case today, isn't it fun? The US version is still a bit of a wake-up call, "O stupid Galatians!" St. Paul has had it with the Galatians, no matter who you talk to.  So what's the rub?  St. Paul is asking the Galatians if they are living more by the law or the Spirit, in faith. The Jewish people love their laws...they had a bunch of them and the law was their life-blood. It was a safety net for them.  As long as they were obeying the laws they were OK. But along comes Paul and they are baptized into Jesus and the Spirit and they're asked to step out in faith, propelled by the Spirit.  That's a bit risky when all you've had to be before was law-abiding. That safety net of the ritual laws is gone! So let's ask ourselves this autumn we believe God loves us because we are good? Or does God love us because God is good? Do we believe it is our behavior that saves us and grants us eternal life? Or are we graced with life by a God who couldn't possibly NOT love us?  Happy pondering!
Oh and I will be away from the computer for the rest of this week and all next week.  Abundant blessings and love, heidi

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Teach us to pray...

"Lord, teach us to pray..."
Luke 11:1

I've been thinking about prayer lately.  In today's Gospel the disciples of Jesus are thinking about it, too, it seems.  They see Jesus going off to pray and they have a "I'll have what he's having" moment.  My first memory of anything prayerful was, as a small kid, being taught my prayers.  The Our Father, the Hail Mary, the Glory Be.  I also was taught to add prayers for loved ones...I still remember the order and fashion, "Grandma Katie Rogers, Grandma Gainan..." Even though it wasn't formulated prayer, it was formulated.  As I grow in faith, my prayer has become much more conversational. I talk to God. Sometimes when something funny happens and there's no one around to appreciate the humor, I share the chuckle with God. I've been known to wink at God, as if to say, "Did you catch that?" But as conversational and personal, even enjoyable, as my prayer life has become, I'm now realizing that anything I pray is a response to God reaching out to me first. I may think I am sitting down to pray and I'm the one beginning the conversation, but it is always God who has reached out first. God is constantly touching my heart. I occasionally respond. Another important aspect of prayer I am learning is Listening as prayer. More often than not, my most powerful prayer is just sitting still and listening.  If prayer is conversational, then I need to take time to listen...I needn't be talking ALL the time! So, as we begin an autumn Wednesday, let's consider how we pray...Love, heidi

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

God is MORE than enough!

You have enough.
You are enough.
You are centered in God and God is MORE than enough!
~ Me, inspired greatly by Fr. Richard Rohr

On this feast of St. Francis of Assisi, I need this little reminder. Fr. Richard, in his Daily Meditation, reminds us that "Happiness is an inside job," and all the shiny things we can accumulate won't give us one bit of REAL happiness.  Also, all the success in the world, measured by the world's standards, won't give us happiness either. Only recognizing that God is at the center and our center can give us the realization we have it all.  We have all that really matters. If we have eyes to see and/or ears to hear we can experience God in everything around us, family, friends, strangers alike. We see God reminding us, through Creation, that leaves fall, the cycle of life goes from life to death to life again. All is well as long as we can find God all around us. We have enough. We are enough. And our God is more than enough.  Love, heidi

Monday, October 3, 2016

Who is my neighbor?

"But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus, 'And who is my neighbor?'"
Luke 10:29

Pray-As-You-Go invited us to sit and think about who we identify with in the story of the Good Samaritan. That was easy for me...I'm the guy asking the question. First, "What must I do to inherit eternal life?" (v. 25) and then, pushing Jesus for more clarity of the requirements, "Who is my neighbor, exactly? Who do I have to be nice to, to stay in the good? What are the boundaries of what I have to do? Where is the line?" I want clear-cut instructions!  And, just like to the guy who asked in the Gospel, Jesus gives me the answer to a different question.  Jesus doesn't tell me who the person I have to be nice to is. Jesus gives me the definition of who I should be--the kind and merciful person who scoops the injured guy off the highway and takes care of him.  That's not what I asked, Jesus, but thanks, anyway. I think. But not really. It's too hard to be that guy who helps the victim of robbers. I wouldn't know what to do (how does he?) I don't have two silver coins to give to the innkeeper either. I'm too comfortable in my little cocoon to reach out that way, what's the least amount I can do and still inherit eternal life? Wow, I really don't like being the guy asking the questions, but here I am. On a Monday, asking "Who is my neighbor?"  Love, heidi