How to Change On/With Purpose

One of my goals this summer is to update my blog a bit and rethink how this space might be best used by me during this season of life. I am playing around with themes and how the space graphically looks; but what I am really playing around with in my mind is the interior, organizing, purposeful aspects of this space. Why I started this in the first place. How it has served me well in the past. What I’d like to try that is new in the future….

Also, this September marks five years of this blog! I remember when I started this blog – as a place to help me integrate my academic world and my ministry pursuits, my friends and mentors from afar, my discombobulated thoughts and my best articulations… A place for me to focus, to think and reflect on life, and theology, and all the places that these two realities exist in my world. It was also started as a place for me to write, to practice a discipline, to explore a hobby, and to try to corner a niche for trying out my thoughts around words and ideas. I often know more what I think and feel after I write it down. Weird to many, I know.

In some ways, I have the exact same hope and need for this online space as when I started it; in other ways, I feel like there are so many directions that my work to corner off a space to writing could go that I want to think about it more. Reflect a little on how to purposefully write more, reflect more, pray and read and integrate and talk to others and then write more again. Integration has always been a thing for me… I think this blog will always be prized by me primarly for its ability to capture a slice of that elusive aim – integration.

While (as I’ve said), this is often a space for me to write, reflect and integrate – if you as the reader have ideas for how you’ve used your own (or someone else’s blog) in the most rewarding way, or other thoughts related to this goal of purposeful change, I am all ears. :)

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Prosaics – Seeing the Everyday

Another great online find was passed on to my from Vicky (thanks!) Here are two quotes from the blog, but its the magazine that looks really inviting… “Seeing the Everyday” is all about noticing the ordinary and small things that make up life. Check out the magazine to see amazing layout and inspiring content!

“Cloaked in their very ordinariness, the prosaic events that truly shape our lives–escape our notice . . . . The infinitely numerous and apparently inconsequential ordinary ones, which taken together, are far more effective and significant.” – Gary Saul Morson

“[Home] is the center from which we define and understand the nature of everything we encounter in the world.

The home . . . is not one thing among many in a world of things; nor is it merely the product of a culture. Rather, the world of things derives its sense, and a culture its significance, from their relationship to the home. Without the home, everything else in the world or in a culture is meaningless.”
– David Patterson

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Posture

This Sunday I heard a great sermon about the posture that we should be in at the start of the coming year. Right on the heels of my forward-thinking, intention-laiden ambitious goal setting  for 2010, I was reminded of the important spiritual posture that we are to live out of if we want to ‘get anything done’ of importance.

As part of celebrating the baptism of Jesus this week, Pastor Phil reminded us that we are all living out of our baptism every day. Just as Jesus himself was baptized, as baptized Christians we each are living out of who God is, out of the gift of being baptized and receiving God’s grace and wisdom – not out of our good works, our hard focus, or our own energy (these are my words not his, but his message was along these lines.) Instead of tilting ouselves forward, in a position of being ready to run or to force ourselves into movement (a position that I am familiar with), Phil reminded us to tilt ourselves back, as at our baptism – a position that is more humble, receptive, and focused on the work of God instead of our own works. We are to tilt back, assuming the posture of a servant and a child of God – even at the start of a new year when the possibility of the future looms large and all that we long to become seems obvious.

This is a life lesson for me to be sure – ultimately to do more, to become more, to be who I really want to be, I need to rely more on God, tilt back and listen, receive, and put myself in a posture that God can work with; not run forward and push myself to change the world/myself. At the end of the sermon Sunday, the congregation was invited to come forward and look again/touch at the waters of baptism at the open baptismal font of the front of the church. A long line of us made our way to the small recepticle of water in the front, to touch a liquid that is everyday and ordinary – except for its purpose in our walk of discipleship. As I walked forward, I thought about Eva’s baptism not quite a year ago when we had a very meaningful service around this very same font of water. Our little baby, not yet able to do much on her own or rationalize her own precepts of faith, received her baptism from Pastor Phil. She looked up at his face as he talked about faith and community, and water was poured over her head as she was being held and enveloped in God’s grace. Infant baptism makes this dependence more obvious, but whether it is infant or adult baptism, this practice requires that we submit, lean back, receive, and depend on the church community and on God. It means we believe that something bigger than ourselves is at work in the water and in our prayers, that we are not in control but we are taken care of, that we do not know everything but will receive wisdom and support as needed. This is a hard posture for me to live in (to stay in and not just visit) – this tilting back – but it’s also such a welcome, important place for me to be reminded of… tilting back into God’s arms and grace. That is a really good goal for 2010.

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