Here and Heaven…


Years ago, Chris Thile showed incredible physical and musical energy racing along the Tall Stacks stage in Cincinnati. He shares spiritual energy and imagery in the song Here and Heaven, co-written with Aoife O’Donovan. The music video HERE is wonderful, especially with its introduction, showing the “tuning up” necessary…

The harmonies, instrumentation plus lyrics (HERE) share a wonderful tale that stirs the soul, including these lines

…With an arrow and bow and some seeds left to sow
we are staking our claim
On ground so fertile we forget who we’ve hurt along
the way and reach out for a strange hand
to hold someone strong but not bold enough to
tear down the wall…

~ lyrics from song Here and Heaven

Each of us will likely take away different meanings from the lyrics and the song. Could this involve the wall between Here and Heaven? Can we reach out to strangers for help and to help? Is the strong, strange hand imagery for the Creator?

May we continue to recognize the fertile ground we encounter each day as we continue in our own winters, springs, summers and falls…

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit !

Reminder: FREE Collective Trauma Summit (HERE) is underway

 


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, October 2, 2022:



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Small Kindnesses..


…We have so little of each other, now. So far
from tribe and fire. Only these brief moments of exchange.
What if they are the true dwelling of the holy, these
fleeting temples we make together when we say, “Here,
have my seat,” “Go ahead—you first,” “I like your hat.”  

~ from the poem, Small Kindnesses, by Danusha Lameris

The full poem called Small Kindnesses is HERE. It is well worth the 2 minutes to click & read (thanks for the reference, Marilyn K.!)

In this world where challenges are seemingly everywhere, isn’t it nice to think of the exchanges Danusha mentions above as “the true dwelling of the holy”? May the Spirit move us to such kindnesses even when the flesh is weak

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit !

P.S. In a “thank you God” moment, visiting Danusha’s website HERE yielded news of a well-timed event from September 28 – October   – FREE Collective Trauma Summit (HERE)

 


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, October 2, 2022:



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Bible Verse Helps (video does too…)


Isn’t it pleasing to recognize how much material is available to us as believers and seekers?

After clicking on last week’s CP post HERE and the accompanying Hostetler 10 Bible Verses when Stressed link, what should we find on that page but this video of 6 verses HERE ! The music and visuals in the video provide calming influences to make the biblical text all the more effective.

May such audiovisual materials – engaging more of our senses – positively influence our days, stressful or not!

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit… (with a little reckless sowing of love too where possible)


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, September 25, 2022:



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May Peace Prevail On Earth…


Today is the U.N. International Day of Peace. May world leaders feel the power of our prayers for peace in the midst of these troubling times.

Such a day is a reminder of the song Let There Be Peace on Earth and its hopeful and empowering message (details on the song HERE). Want to hear it performed by the International Children’s Choir? It is HERE for free listening. 🙂

POSSIBLE ACTIONS: Have time to engage intentionally in one or more supportive act?

  • Perhaps set your alarm for noon today and observe a minute of silence along with many others around the world
  • Include in your prayers our world leaders, that they might find the strength and feel the support for peaceful actions with a goal: “may peace prevail on earth!”
  • Many more ideas and/or activities in your area are listed HERE

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit !


Peace Rose

Lectionary Texts for Sunday, September 25, 2022:



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“Bible Verse helps”…


Stress is “baked in” to many roles in society. It’s nice to have some biblical answers when stress comes knocking. Our good friend Bob Hostetler has assembled 10 such biblical verse options HERE. While referencing “work” in the context, these verses work for most situations.

May we remember to periodically reach for our Bibles when stress arrives!

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit… (with a little reckless sowing of love too where possible)


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, September 18, 2022:



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“Reckless Gardener”…


Check out the description of God HERE from Brother Luke Ditewig. Isn’t it wonderful to think of God sowing those seeds of love without regard to whether we’ve just made another mistake or acted out in generosity on our own?

Brother Ditewig in his 10-minute meditation HERE shares perspective relating to the parable of the sower and also God’s sowing of love for Jacob in spite of his behavior at times. [Should you prefer, you can listen to it HERE] What a wonderful sharing – many thanks Brother Ditewig (and to Joan for the reference!)

That recklessness is also a nice reminder of the – may we be crazy enough to believe we can make a difference – aspect of the Franciscan Blessing. Maybe you want another listening to Heather’s rendition of it today? If so, you can enjoy it HERE

May we follow the example of our Reckless Creator, spreading love and good works, fueled by the Spirit… 


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, September 11, 2022:



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SONG: a powerful Franciscan Blessing …


You may recall the CP posting HERE last year about the Franciscan Benediction delivered in a passionate way by Rev. David Montgomery (video HERE.) That benediction ties nicely with Pastor Lisa’s sermon in our last CP posting, providing for convenient sharing of a follow-up story.

Pastor David finished his interim pastorate at BG First Presbyterian and has now taken up his next interim in Michigan. During the concluding worship service in Bowling Green, Ohio, those in attendance were blessed to experience the Franciscan benediction twice:

  1. David sharing it in his inimitable style
  2. A rendition of the composition, A Franciscan Blessing (Dedicated to Pastor David Montgomery for his service to First Presbyterian Church of Bowling Green, Ohio). The composer Heather McEwen Goldman captures the essence of the Franciscan message beautifully. You can enjoy it HERE with the composer singing all the parts (thanks for blessing us all with this effort, Heather, and allowing its sharing!)

May we live out this Franciscan Blessing, filled with Jesus-like love and good works, fueled by the Spirit… 


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, September 4, 2022:



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“Healings” of various forms …


One of the blessings of the “COVID winter” is the existence in larger numbers of recorded worship services. Some of these are still going (see listing below) and we get a chance to experience worship for the first time, revisit an excellent message and/or hear wonderful music again.

A couple Sundays back we heard a wonderful scripture reading and accompanying message HERE from dear Pastor Lisa. She reminded us of the various healings in our world and the fact that the answer to prayer isn’t always “yes” in quite the fashion we hope. POWERFUL? Yes.

And then worship became even more energized with the song Give Me Jesus (HERE.)  Excellent job by Ryan, the talented tenor, including this concluding line sung with incredible feeling…

“You may have all this world, give me Jesus!”

May we spur ourselves to all sorts of healings, filled with Jesus-like love and good works, fueled by the Spirit… 


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, September 4, 2022:



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SONG: Joy in the Morning …


“weeping may stay for the night but joy comes in the morning”  ~ Psalm 30:5 

Thinking about holy shadows – and the resulting joy – brings to mind the song Joy in the Morning, sung HERE by a virtual choir. It’s worth a listen if you get a chance.

It’s fun to imagine the ways that this song’s author might have provided a holy shadow during her lifetime (a little background about Natalie Sleeth HERE.) The contribution of this song in 1977 brought much joy then and her holy shadow continues to bring joy with the sharing of this tune (including with this rendition containing the sheet music HERE.)

In addition to this song, Sleeth also wrote Hymn of Promise – “in a bulb there is a flower, …”  Talk about casting a long shadow!

While we won’t all necessarily get an opportunity to cast such long, popular shadows as Natalie did, comparison is not important, is it? 🙂 

May we cast holy shadows this and every day, fueled by the Spirit and shared with JOY!


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, August 28, 2022:



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Holy Shadows …


Our good friend, Joan, has put us on to another effective blogger – Terry Hershey. The posting HERE is inspiring – providing Sufi story, wonderful perspective and the fact that we all can make a difference as stated here:

But here’s the deal: I believe that every one of us casts a holy shadow.
And in a world where there is fear, we need holy shadows, as they repair and heal.

May we cast holy shadows this day, fueled by the Spirit!


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, August 28, 2022:



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