Thursday, December 11, 2008
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
“At the edge of the earth, where dust and sea mingle in muddy mire tapering into cool clear waters. This is where I stand. Broken. Torn and bleeding from the voyage to this place. Tear stained cheeks, eyes dry and red from the journey. Joyful I arrive at this place, contemplative and assured, of if not who I am, where I come from, and who I am in Him. My feet caked with dirt but on the horizon I see the lucid waters within reach. The music swells and I am there…”
Today was a good day... I finished a 10 page paper (the begining of which is above) took a nap, finished off my field placement, played Apples to Apples for two hours with good friends. and saw jes! what could be better? Well you know except for the Philippines, babies, and Jesus...
Sunday, December 07, 2008
COLOR ME RED
Molly and Julia are my former Middle School Music Teacher/Choir Director/Voice and Piano Teacher's wonderful little girls. I love spending time with them and giving their now stay at home/Blanchard Music Studio owner mom a well deserved break.
I wrote this prayer/poem of confession for my Theology of Worship and Music class. following it is a theological explanation of the text.
Holy and Merciful Father
What has become of us without your love?
We are wandering destitute without your presence
We are like the steadfast trees, never bowing down
Hindered by trunks steadfast to this world
And rootless to Your truths
There is no darkness in You, yet,
Our light is a slow fade
And we ache as the world aches since the fall in the Garden
As the mighty oaks sacrifice their leaves to dance praises in the wind
Help us to not merely exist
And to make ourselves barren of our transgressions
We have preferred our will to Yours
We don’t listen
We don’t understand
We have spoken when we should have remained silent
And remained silent when we should have spoken
Allowing others to suffer because we are afraid of shadows
We pour our sorrows before You
Sorrows too heavy to carry
To real to hide
Too deep to undo
We are mortally wounded –defaced masterpieces
We are no good apart from You
Imperfect, inconsistent, incomplete,
Forgive what our lips tremble to name
What our hearts can no longer bear
And what has become of us
For the prayer of confession I relied on many very valuable sources such as The Worship Sourcebook and Understanding Catholic Christianity. These books helped me to understand the importance of formation in the church.
This prayer of confession begins by addressing the truth that corporately we have distanced ourselves from God, in action and thought. I meditated on the prayer of confession that we sometimes use during Chapel and Gathering services, “…we have sinned against you in thought, word and deed. By what we have done, and by what we have left undone…” The words in the prayer wondering, hindered, destitute, rootless create the image of something missing from our lives – The desecration of the covenant relationship with our Father, and the fatal wound left in our hearts.
I use the metaphor of trees to depict the way that humankind clings to the physical world despite its lack of permanence. We overlook and ignore the offer from the Lord willingly or we are so wrapped up in the glitter and shine of creation and pulled into the consumerism of this world.
“He is the light, and in Him there is no darkness” was the inspiration for the next section of the prayer. We have been called as believers to be a light in the world as He is a light, yet we often fail when the light needs to shine the most.
Again I dwelt on the created world for the next section. While walking through the central campus just beyond the Pine Grove One blustery fall morning as the trees had turned color and the wind was swirling the leaves as the trees released them from their branches. I was surrounded by colors dancing in the wind in a Narnia like scene. The trees were not merely existing, as many of us do, but showing one way how they actively participate in the ordered world. This is along the lines of the passage in scripture that talks about how if we remain silent, even the rocks will cry out to the Lord.
We tend to complain that God does not answer our prayers out loud and tell us what to do clearly and audibly, yet the Word says he is always there, always listening. In 1 Kings 19:11-1 it is written “Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice” (KJV). The prayer of confession continues with a reflection of this passage. First of all we do not listen to the shouts and whispers of the Lord, because we are too busy, not paying attention, or choose ignore. We do not understand the ways of the Lord because of the distance we put between the Lord and ourselves.
The Prayer continues by allowing for a time of confession of our lack of concern for others, the widow, the orphan, the freckled faced kid next door, we are too concerned with other things to follow the commandment to “love the Lord with all our hearts and our neighbors as ourselves” Because we are too busy or we are afraid. Fear, I believe is an important thing to confess and work through. Fear separates us from fully devoting our lives to the Lord’s service. We are too afraid of the shadow-places in ourselves to help others in the shadow-places in their lives.
Sometimes we choose to ignore and try to forget the sins in our lives, but we cannot pretend that they didn’t happen and hide them from an All-knowing Savior. We are held down and burdened by carrying the weight of our transgressions ourselves and no matter how hard we try to fix things, without the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, we can’t.
The next few lines of the confession prayer come from a reading in Understanding Catholic Christianity. The author explains that we are defaced masterpieces, perfect creations of the Master Artist destroyed by sin. He writes that “the greater the masterpiece, the greater its defacement” (85). The Lord on the sixth day formed man from the dust and declared us good. Yet because of the fall of mankind, we were separated from the Lord and became no good on our own. The restoration of the covenant relationship through Jesus Christ by confession of sin and confession of belief begins the healing process for our souls that were made for communion with the Lord.
The prayer ends with a section from a general prayer of confession located in The Worship Sourcebook. Meditating on these words has been very helpful to me during this process. “Forgive what our lips tremble to name. What our hearts can no longer bear…” resonates within my heart and hopefully the hearts of those involved in the corporate confession. There are some things we do not share with others, but cannot hide from God. We hold onto some of our sins, afraid that they are too deeply set it to be washed away. This brings us back to fear. Fear again becomes something that we focus on that hinders our communion with the Lord that we must confess and begin to let go of through prayer and meditation.
Monday, December 01, 2008
If God is all good, all wise, and all powerful, then, "all things work together for good" (Rom 8:28) even the most inexplicable sufferings. For if God is all good, never our harm; and if God is all wise, he never errs about what our true good is; and if God is all powerful, he accomplishes all that He wills, there can be neither indifference, nor ignorance, nor impotence in God -- the only escape clause from all things working together for our own good is our own free-choice to reject and depart from His will... not everything that happens is good in itself, but everything that happens "works for" our good. If he can work the greatest evil, the cruisifuction, for greatest good of all, our salvation, He can certainly work lesser evils for lesser goods... The pain in nessessary, though we do not understand why... Usually it is God's goodness and love we doubt since we know deep down that we do not deserve the love of a perfect being.Peace and joy to you all in this season of remembering, loving, and cherishing...
Monday, November 24, 2008
Check out mycharmingkids.net to play along!
- I did not fall asleep last night with my computer for a whole half an hour and wake up very confused thinking it was morning, though technically it was 12:30am!
- I did not sleep until 10:30 today and miss chapel
- I did not curse the milky snow falling outside my window and wonder who called in sick to work today and wished i could.
- I would never have raw cookie dough for breakfast
- and it is a good thing that my friend did not have a funeral for her good friend yesterday cause I do not like it when other people are in pain and since it is not right for two young people to die within a week of each other.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
Here is a list of 24 thoughts and "quotes" I had/heard this weekend in memory of the 24 years he shared this earth with us:
1. "It's not Fair" (sheila's mom)
2. "They are so lucky to have you" (Amy Curtis) you don't know how lucky I am to have them (me)
3. "I heard she was having some trouble, I have been praying for her" (E prying for info about J) "She is working through stuff, we appreciate your prayers" (me)
4. "Are you going to the cemetery?" "yes, Sir" "Are you family mam?" "yes, mam" (yes, i called the funeral guy "mam" AHH how horrifying!)
5. "It's so sad, this is not how it is supposed to be" (Rachel in my car talking about how parents are supposed to go first)
6. "you're such a loser" (Julia to me, of course)
7. "I can't believe I missed this, I missed that"
8. "I love you" "I love you" "I love you""I love you""I love you""I love you"
9. "is your name Courtney maKay" (greekbutt for the hundreth time joking about my name after i told him many times what it was) "Alam mo ny an" (me)
10. "you are so brave, Dawn" (some guy)
11. "He was so talented" (friend)
12. "You are dismissed" (funeral guy)
13. "I will never let you hurt like this again"
14. "whoa" (Rachel when i slammed on the breaks to avoid hitting the car in front of me in the precession)
15. "I heard she had some trouble" (Elsie trying to pry for information about J)
16. Maraming Salamat po Diyos
17. "Kyle was pure sweetness and light, he was everything anyone would want their boy to be"
18. "oh, don't worry, we have some diet dr. pepper stashed away"
19. I'm sorry
20. "thank-you for singing" (j) "no, thank-YOU, you made it through, I love you" (me)
21. I smell like a bar and my family is pretty broken and messed up, but i love them... i need them... and i am part of them...
22. "It made me so sad to see aunt debby crying" (kayla) "i know sweetie, it's hard to see people you love in pain" (me)
23. "She is over there, and Grandma is over by that pine, and that heart is mom, and the baby is over there by the upsidedown vase between the two trees there" (aunt pat, pointing out family members graves)
24. "goodbye Kyle" (me as i touched his shoulder paying my final respects)
I did not mess up the 2nd verse of the song i say today at Kyle's funeral
I did not eat 6 cookies at the visitation at the funeral home
I did not wish that i did not have to go back to school
I did not realize how much i actually love my family
Friday, November 14, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
I am one of those people who is terrified of reaching out to others, to share with them my burdens, to ask for prayer for the "BIG" stuff, to be comfortable with shared knowledge. I am learning to be more aware, fully present, and patient. I am understanding that i may never understand, but am still capable of being there, here, separate, together, awake. And maybe, just maybe, some of the things i fear may happen are not as bad as i think they will be, not good, but good in the same sense.
Like unplanned pregnancies, babies born into less than "perfect" circumstances, I hope my attitudes about how things "should" be wouldn't hinder my relationship with the mother and child. that i could see that baby, and see good...
Or that maybe i would be able to cast aside my fears of getting close, or doing something wrong, saying something wrong, or not knowing what to do... i can still go and be there -- and pray, pray, pray...
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Today I am thankful for:
1. Brittany (my roommate) not leaving me alone in the house today.
2. Time to work hard on my project
3. Great blogs to read written by good people
5. Baby picture screensavers
6. Diminishing plague
8. The promise of a future with good things
10. my God
Monday, November 10, 2008
i did not dance around the house to HSM songs all evening, NOT ME!
I did not secretly wish the plague upon my professor so i would not have to attend class on Thursday
I did not receive an email from the college about being a hand washing police officer asking that I stop people from leaving the bathroom without washing their hands and to make sure people sing the happy birthday song while they scrub.
I did not eat m&ms for breakfast
I am so glad that i did not do all these things today!
Sunday, November 09, 2008
Friday, November 07, 2008
CAMPUSMAIL DISTRIBUTION (From Student Development)
The college is NOT being quarantined...students are encouraged to REMAIN calm.
Please stay on campus as the CDC and the State of Michigan do not want the virus spreading to other communities.
All gatherings of students are strongly discouraged. Any violations of this directive are considered a violation of state law and college policy.
The Holland Police Department or campus safety will immediately disperse any large gatherings of students including parties off campus.
Residents of residential halls are encouraged to keep their doors closed.
Students are discouraged from leaving campus. This will help to decrease the spread of the norovirus to family, friends and in your community.
Social distancing is strongly encouraged.
NOT quarantined, yet we have been told that we must stay in our rooms and keep the doors closed. I am so grateful i live in a College owned cottage and have a full kitchen, living room, etc. and am not trapped in a tiny 12 by 12 room like so many of those on campus.
We have an outbreak of norovirus 140 cases have been reported but i am sure there is a lot more. So far i am not sick. Pray for me!