Lord of pots and pans

Lord of all pots and pans and things,

Since I’ve no time to be a saint by doing lovely things,

Or watching late with Thee,

Or dreaming in the dawn-light, or storming Heaven’s gates,

Make me a saint by getting meals

And washing up the plates.

Although I must have Martha’s hands, I have a Mary mind,

And when I black the boots and shoes,

Thy sandals, Lord, I find.

I think of how they trod the earth,

What time I scrub the floor:

Accept this meditation, Lord, I haven’t time for more.

Warm all the kitchen with Thy love,

And light it with Thy peace;

Forgive me all my worrying, and make my grumbling cease.

Thou who didst love to give men food,

In room or by the sea,

Accept this service that I do — I do it unto Thee.

–Cecily Halleck

Published in: on 11/21/2011 at 7:29  Leave a Comment  
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Let’s get on with life

Some time ago, my friend Brenda flew to Chicago for a visit with her daughter’s family, and especially with her granddaughter, Charity. Charity is five years old—a plump, cute, highly verbal little girl. Charity’s paternal grandmother had been visiting the previous week. She is a devout woman who takes her spiritual grandmothering duties very seriously, and she had just left.

That morning after Brenda’s arrival, Charity came into her grandmother’s bedroom at five o’clock, crawled into bed, and said, “Grandmother, let’s not have any Godtalk, okay? I believe God is everywhere. Let’s just get on with life.”

I like Charity. I think she is on to something.

“Let’s get on with life” can serve as a kind of subtext for our pursuit of spiritual formation and how easily and frequently the spiritual gets disconnected from our actual daily lives, leaving us with empty Godtalk. It’s not that the Godtalk is untrue, but when it is disconnected from the ordinary behaviour and conversation that make up the fabric of our lives, the truth leaks out. A phrase from Psalm 116:9 “I walk before the Lord in the land of the living”—clears the ground and gives some perspective on Charity and “let’s just get on with life.”

–Eugene Peterson

Baseball, sunsets and romance

We long to share in the life of the Triune God.  We cannot do that alone, without others, without things like baseball, sunsets and romance, motherhood and music and work.  This is the way the Triune God has set up the kingdom.  The life and joy, the fullness and delight of the Trinity meet us in our humanity—through our relationships, through our motherhood and fatherhood, in our playing and working, in our gardening and cooking and cleaning and painting.  If we fail to see this, then we leave marriage and romance behind, we leave work and baseball, cooking and sunsets at the door, and wander off into an abstract, non-relational world to find God beyond our humanity . . . When the life of the Trinity is separated from creation, our pursuit of spiritual life then leads us to discount ordinary things, to look over ordinary people and beyond ordinary events in our quest for God.  While the great dance of the Trinity is not to be reduced to creation; we have no access to it without it.  The life of the Triune God permeates creation and it is within creation that we experience it.

–C. Baxter Kruger

Published in: on 11/17/2011 at 8:06  Leave a Comment  
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All of life is sacred

Must we then have strange music… unlike the world’s music, and a special language with an imagery that illuminates the minds only of the religious? Or dare we do what our Lord did, and see the Name hallowed in all life that is real and honest and good? Indeed, it was a scandal to the religious men of Jesus’ day when they saw what He did with sacred things. With Jesus all life was sacred and nothing was profane until sin entered in. And so it was that the word “common,” which used to mean profane and unclean, became the New-Testament word for the Communion of Saints and for the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.

–Howard Hewlett Clark 

The apparent dichotomy

Is God absent when I play Scrabble, get a haircut, toss a Frisbee, make love, vote, walk the dog, see a movie, make a living, wash the car, or bury my nose in a pint of Ben & Jerry’s? While baking a cake, do I have to listen to a tape of Gordon MacDonald to feel that I am pleasing God? The apparent dichotomy, engineered by the prince of darkness, between spiritual life and the quotidian, often mundane activities that consitute the woof and warp of life banish Jesus within us to the savannahs of heaven. The journey becomes prosaic rather than poetic, speech rather than song, and tangibles, visibles, and perishables become an adequate substitute for Paul’s ringing affirmation, “Life to me . . . is Christ” (Phillippians 1:21).

–Brennan Manning

Interaction with God

God will not come into certain corners of our lives until we open those corners to him. Certainly, God knows our hearts better than we know our hearts. But he will not work in those areas unless we say, “Come.” That’s part of the active relationship of God giving us perfect freedom to invite him to come. It isn’t just amounts of knowledge we’re talking about. It is the life relationship, the interaction with God, that changes us.

–Richard Foster

Live while you live

Live while you live, the Epicure would say,
And seize the pleasures of the present day.
Live while you live, the sacred Preacher cries,
And give to God each moment that flies.
Lord, in my view, let both united be,
I live in pleasure if I live to thee.

–Philip Doddridge (1702 – 1751) 

Published in: on 04/06/2011 at 13:27  Leave a Comment  
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The Original Blessing

The one eternal, original,
infinite blessing of the human soul
is when in stillness the Father
comes and says,
“My child, I am here.”

–George MacDonald

Life-giving conversation

Spiritual people are not those who engage
in certain spiritual practices; they are those
who draw their life from a conversational
relationship with God.

–Dallas Williard

Left at the door

The Psalms defy our notions of profane and sacred, proving that everything we feel, witness, do unto others, and have done to us is acceptable subject matter for conversing with the Divine. They invite us to bring every part of ourselves into our houses of worship. If we omit expressions of faith lost, of rage, of disdain, and of the desire for revenge, we leave parts of ourselves at the door.

-Kari Jo Verhulst

Published in: on 08/18/2010 at 15:42  Leave a Comment  
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