Sunday, June 30, 2013

Some Thoughts About The Fruit of the Spirit

From today's readings:

Galatians 5:1, 13-25

For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another. For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." If, however, you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.

Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the law. Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit.

In my experience, what many of us generally take away from this passage is the list of things NOT to do. They come first in the reading, and they put us in a defensive posture. Nobody wants to miss out on inheriting the Kingdom, so we focus on the NOTS and on not doing them.

(And perhaps, using that list with which to judge others.)

But what if we passed over that list more lightly and end up focusing on the DO list? How about we zero in on the things we ought to do which are, according to Paul, the fruits of the spirit? How about we put ourselves in an active posture and strive for kindness and generosity and gentleness and all the others on that list?

Wouldn't that be a great place from which to see and live out our lives?

Collect for the Sixth Sunday After Pentecost

Almighty God, you have built your Church upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone: Grant us so to be joined together in unity of spirit by their teaching, that we may be made a holy temple acceptable to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Saturday Morning Music Video: Kazoos and Xylophones and Triangles, oh my!

So, this is from last summer but I came across it again recently. Carly Rae Jepsen became an instant star with the huge hit "Call Me Maybe," which she wrote with Tavish Crowe. Here she is singing the song with Late Night star Jimmy Fallon and The Roots (a hip hop/new soul group who also are Fallon's house band) using instruments they found in a children's classroom.  Who knew you could play one of those rolling xylophones on tv? Kinda fun.


Friday, June 28, 2013

Friday Afternoon Raptor Photo

There are lots of osprey around this time of year. They are very commonplace - at the river, in town, at the beach. They are magnificent birds, as raptors are. God's creation is so wonderful.

Although the details are harder to see (and I had to do some adjusting on my computer because I was shooting into a very thick grey sky), I liked how the bird was watching me as it flew over - as I was watching it. You can click the photo to enlarge it and see the wide eyes.

Morning Prayer for the Diocese

O God, by your grace you have called us in this Diocese to a goodly fellowship of faith. Bless our Bishops(s) N. [and N.], and other clergy, and all our people. Grant that your Word may be truly preached and truly heard, your Sacraments faithfully administered and faithfully received. By your Spirit, fashion our lives according to the example of your Son, and grant that we may show the power of your love to all among whom we live; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Noticing the Background

When I took this photo, I was trying to get the wet spider's web in focus (while dodging the raindrops). I was pleased that it seemed to turn out well both in my viewfinder and on the camera's screen.

But when I got it home and loaded onto my computer, I saw the other spider web behind it, lower down, which was bigger and almost perfectly shaped (unlike the torn one that is the subject of this photo). I didn't see it at all when I was shooting, only after I got home.

No matter. But it reminds me that there is almost always more than meets the eye when I am looking at anything, be it a concrete "thing" or a more amorphous "situation." I have to broaden my scope if I really want to see what's out there.

Morning Prayer for the Clergy and People

Almighty and everlasting God, from whom cometh every good and perfect gift: Send down upon our bishops, and other clergy, and upon the congregations committed to their charge, the healthful Spirit of thy grace: and, that they may truly please thee, pour upon them the continual dew of thy blessing. Grant this, O Lord, for the honor of our Advocate and Mediator, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Nearly Wordless Wednesday: What are you looking at?

Love this face!

Morning Prayer for the Mission of the Church

Everliving God, whose will it is that all should come to you through your Son Jesus Christ: Inspire our witness to him, that all may know the power of his forgiveness and the hope of his resurrection; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Blending In

As someone who walks around most days wearing a "dog collar," I often stand out in the crowd. If I wear it to the grocery store, I get a few looks. I've already written about how people may approach me at lunch. I've even been stopped in a crosswalk in a busy city by some who asked me to pray for them.

Most recently, I was sitting at a tavern with our 20's and 30's group when a man stopped beside our table and just stood there, kind of staring, until I felt the stare and looked back at him. He asked me what denomination I was. I answered, and he said thanks and goodnight and that was that. I don't know if he had a better or worse opinion of Episcopalians because he saw me sitting in a tavern drinking a hoegaarden with some young adults.

And mostly I don't mind this. I think by wearing my collar in public I am witnessing to my faith and identifying myself as a particular kind of person. I don't mind the reactions to it (mostly). Sometimes parishioners (or others) say that they feel sorry that I work on Sundays or am on call during the night or have to write sermons - they don't understand that this is what I signed on to do and am happy to do because I love living out my vocation and I love the public aspect of that vocation.

And yet, there are times when I really would like to be able to blend in. I'd like to be able to people watch without being a target myself. I'd like not to be stared at while drinking my hoegaarden. And yes, I am one of those clergy persons who never wears a collar while on a train or a plane. I really do not want to be identified as a clergy person on a plane. I know there are others who do, and I'm happy for them to do it.

Why do I want to blend in? Because I want to feel like I'm just one of the guys/gals sometimes. I want to be part of the crowd. I want to be able to be invisible, to fly under the radar, to be "off" rather than "on." I want to know what it feels like to just be a face in the crowd, to remember what that is like and to identify with the other faces. Despite the fact that I'm a person who generally enjoys being at the center of things, who enjoys being in the middle of all kinds of things, I also want to not be a representative of anything sometimes.

The next couple of days gives me this opportunity. I'm going to Atlanta to go to the dentist and celebrate my wedding anniversary with my husband and get the car inspected. I'm going to my son's jam session. All of those are places where I might, at other times, be happy to represent Jesus as a priest in God's church. But not this week. For the rest of this week, I'm going to blend in.

Morning Prayer for the Church

Gracious Father, we pray for thy holy Catholic Church. Fill it with all truth, in all truth with all peace. Where it is corrupt, purify it; where it is in error, direct it; where in any thing it is amiss, reform it. Where it is right, strengthen it; where it is in want, provide for it; where it is divided, reunite it; for the sake of Jesus Christ thy Son our Savior. Amen.

Monday, June 24, 2013

It's a Wet, Wet, Wet, Wet World

It actually hasn't rained here today, although there's still time tonight. 

On Saturday I went down to the beach expecting a warm and sunny day. Instead, it rained for five hours. I did, however, get a few photos of wet stuff that turned out pretty well. Trying to find the silver lining in this wet wet wet wet world.

Here's a closeup:

Morning Prayer for Our Enemies

O God, the Father of all, whose Son commanded us to love our enemies: Lead them and us from prejudice to truth: deliver them and us from hatred, cruelty, and revenge; and in your good time enable us all to stand reconciled before you, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Collect for the Fifth Sunday after Pentecost

O Lord, make us have perpetual love and reverence for your holy Name, for you never fail to help and govern those whom you have set upon the sure foundation of your loving­kindness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Saturday Morning Movies: The Lumineers

This is such a sweet video of a catchy song. I like the foot-stomping part (which people do at their concerts, apparently).

Also, as a bonus, check out this live performance of their song Stubborn Love live on Jimmy Fallon (Jimmy's the one in the chicken suit).


Friday, June 21, 2013

Friday Afternoon Beach Photo

I'm at the beach today, looking at these guys.

(They're terns.)

Summer Reading

We interrupt this blog for a word from the author:

This is a commercial for a book to which I contributed this year: Letters to Me: Conversations with a Younger Self. It is aimed at young adults and is a collection of essays in which the authors remembered an event in their young adult lives and then wrote a letter to their younger selves reflecting on that event from a later point in life.

The essays are varied in topic and tone and, from what we have heard from readers, their value is not limited to the 18 - 30 crowd.

Today only, we are offering the book as a FREE Kindle download from Amazon. Please check it out at the link below and get your free copy today. We hope readers of all ages will enjoy the book - and perhaps you may know a young adult for whom the book might resonate. I gave copies as graduation gifts this year.

Thanks, and share this with your friends! The book is already a good deal, but today, it's FREE! Hope you will enjoy it.

Morning Prayer for Peace Among the Nations

Almighty God our heavenly Father, guide the nations of the world into the way of justice and truth, and establish among them that peace which is the fruit of righteousness, that they may become the kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Amen.

(BCP 816)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Thursday Afternoon Upside Down Duckling Photo

Hey!  You're upside down!

Morning Prayer for Peace

Eternal God, in whose perfect kingdom no sword is drawn
but the sword of righteousness, no strength known but the
strength of love: So mightily spread abroad your Spirit, that
all peoples may be gathered under the banner of the Prince of
Peace, as children of one Father; to whom be dominion and
glory, now and for ever. Amen.

(BCP 815)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Nearly Wordless Wednesday: Pigeon Pool

Come on in! The water's fine!

Morning Prayer for the Whole Human Family

O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us
through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole
human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which
infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us;
unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and
confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in
your good time, all nations and races may serve you in
harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ
our Lord. Amen.

(BCP 815)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


I've always liked to travel. I like a change of scenery. In addition to the yearly vacations to the beach when I was a child, I enjoyed trips just about anywhere, any time. I took my first plane trip without a parent at age eight or so (and I dressed up for the trip, too). I like to plan trips in the future and also I like to take trips on short notice. I'm nearly always game to head off somewhere.

Traveling opens me up to experiencing life in a different way. It's not hard for me to get myself stuck in a rut of routine and laziness so a quick trip to somewhere different can jolt me out of that and keep me engaged in living more fully. There's so much of God's green earth that I want to see.

All that being said, I think I may not be very easy to travel with. A few years ago, I planned a big trip for our whole family to Ireland. It was a wonderful vacation and I loved it. We went many places and saw lots of things - cities, countryside, concerts, coastlines, castles, cemeteries, (and that's just the c's). We packed a lot into ten days.  But I've heard my family describe it to others as "Mom's forced march through Ireland."

These days I travel alone more frequently, since I mostly live alone. There's a lot of freedom in that. I am pretty attached to feeling free (for good or for ill). I like traveling alone fine, generally. I don't have to admit my mistakes to anyone else and only have myself to blame if I over do it, although meal times are less enjoyable. This may seem odd for an extrovert like me, and perhaps this solitary travel mode is just for a season, but there it is.

Are you a traveler? Do you like to travel alone, or would you rather travel with family or friends?

Morning Prayer for All Sorts and Conditions of People

O God, the creator and preserver of all mankind, we humbly
beseech thee for all sorts and conditions of men; that thou
wouldest be pleased to make they ways known unto them, thy

saving health unto all nations. More especially we pray for
thy holy Church universal; that it may be so guided and
governed by thy good Spirit, that all who profess and call
themselves Christians may be led into the way of truth, and
hold the faith in unity of spirit, in the bond of peace, and in
righteousness of life. Finally, we commend to thy fatherly
goodness all those who are in any ways afflicted or distressed,
in mind, body, or estate; [especially those for whom our prayers
are desired]; that it may please thee to comfort and relieve
them according to their several necessities, giving them patience
under their sufferings, and a happy issue out of all their
afflictions. And this we beg for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.

(BCP 814)

Monday, June 17, 2013

Bobbing for Popcorn

I took this photo from a boat on the Chesapeake Bay last January. Someone threw a bunch of popcorn into the water and a zillion seagulls came swooping in to go after the goodies.  Many of us just aimed into the crowd and took photo after photo, hoping that something interesting would show up in the pics when we got home.  

This is a ring-billed gull getting a face full of water as another gull takes off (no doubt with popcorn in bill) in front of it.  I didn't notice it until today.

It is always fun to upload photos onto my desktop (with a large monitor) so I can actually see what I got. When I have time, I go through them, looking into corners or for action off center. It's like rolling the dice - occasionally snake eyes comes up and other times pretty much nothing.

In my busy and crowded life I find this is true, also. I go through my day and then later look back over it and discover all sorts of information. Bits of beauty, something funny, something sad, dots that connect with other dots experienced on other days. Small, but perhaps significant, details arise from the edges, things I didn't notice so much at the time. Useful stuff and interesting stuff and sometimes life-giving stuff. The Spirit, moving where it will.

There's a lot going on out there, all the time. Pay attention.

Morning Prayer for Joy in God's Creation

O heavenly Father, who has filled the world with beauty:
Open our eyes to behold your gracious hand in all your works;
that, rejoicing in your whole creation, we may learn to serve
you with gladness; for the sake of him through whom all
things were made, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

(BCP 814)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Being Alive

Today's text: Luke 7:36 - 8:3

Who likes to talk about sin? Anyone out there? Hmm, not many of you, huh?

And who likes to talk about forgiveness? Well, that’s better. We like forgiveness! It’s a much happier topic!

But how do we truly experience forgiveness if we don’t also experience a sense of having need of it?

Well. Today we get to listen in on, to overhear, a dinner party. Jesus goes to the occasional dinner party, but he takes some heat for his dinner party habits - he eats with undesirables, you see, which is upsetting to certain people. He seems to have this bad habit of breaking down barriers. But he still gets invitations. He is something of a celebrity, it seems, with crowds thronging to him and both men and women following him as his companions, disciples, and benefactors.

This dinner party is given by one Simon the Pharisee. Who knows why Simon wanted to invite Jesus? Maybe he thought it would give him status to have dinner with Jesus. He seemed curious about this man who was rumored to be a prophet. Or perhaps he hoped to introduce Jesus to a little better society than Jesus was used to.

But if Simon had hoped this would be a dignified and elegant dinner party, he was wrong. When Jesus comes to dinner, things always get a little out of control. 

A woman who didn’t wonder but instead clearly knew something very particular about Jesus found out that he was coming to Simon’s and she came, too. And she came prepared. She had something she wanted to do for Jesus. Perhaps because she knew him to be such a boundary-transgressor, she broke social taboos herself and came right in, situating herself behind the reclining Jesus, and began to weep over him. She dried her tears with her hair, and then she pulled out a special jar of ointment she brought with her and began to kiss and oil his feet.

Meanwhile, everyone else just ignored her, at least outwardly. Simon knew what she was doing and he judged Jesus because of it. Jesus shouldn’t be letting himself be touched by this woman, who is known as a sinner, although we have no idea what her sin is. (And please don’t assume that it is a sexual sin - we have had a bad habit throughout the history of Biblical interpretation that any time a woman is called a sinner, it means she is a harlot. Her sin is not specified. For all we know, she was a murderer.)

Anyway, a disappointed Simon decides that Jesus must not be a prophet after all.

But Jesus (who is more than a prophet - he is God incarnate!) knows what Simon is thinking and asks him a riddle: If two people are in debt but one is in a much greater debt than the other, and yet both debts are cancelled, which person is the most grateful? Simon answers warily. This sounds like a softball, not the sort of hard-hitting thing Jesus is known to say.

And Simon gets the answer right:  The person who has been forgiven the most is the most grateful.

And then Jesus asks Simon, hey Simon, do you see this woman?  I think really he is saying, Simon do you even see this woman?

And of course Simon did not actually see that woman. She was a sinner and that was all he needed to know about her. She was beneath his notice.

But Jesus is asking not only Simon to look at this woman, he is also asking us to look at her.

What are we supposed to see when we look at her? 

Simon sees a sinner. 

Jesus sees someone who knows who he is, and knows who she is. He sees someone who is responding to him.

Jesus sees someone who is so profoundly grateful for being forgiven for whatever it is that she cannot stop worshipping him. She cannot stop touching him. She cannot stop her tears of gratitude. She is so alive to the reality of her life, so alive to Jesus - that she cannot keep her composure.

Indeed, as much as we might want to look away from such naked emotion being shown in a public place, she is the picture of someone responding to the precious gift of forgiveness that means salvation. 

Simon, meanwhile, is kind of blase. He doesn’t see Jesus as a savior the way the woman does. Because Simon doesn’t see himself as a sinner. So he doesn’t see himself as needing forgiveness. He doesn’t see Jesus as doing anything particularly special for him. He just wonders into what category he should put Jesus.

If we don’t see ourselves as in need of forgiveness, then we may well be sort of blase about Jesus, too. Oh sure, he’s a great guy and we love him for being so good and he is pretty interesting, but ...

On the other hand, some of us suffer from a deep sense of unworthiness. We may have many “reasons” why we are unworthy. We do not believe we deserve forgiveness. We do not believe we deserve salvation.

But we do. That precious gift has already been given to us. This is why we worship. This is why we sing praises. This is why we are here.....

Out of her deep gratitude, the woman put some kind of healing balm on Jesus’s feet. 
How might we show our gratitude to Jesus? Perhaps by paying it forward. By caring about and for those in whose faces we might see Jesus today, by offering healing balms to them in Jesus’ name.

Having just come back from Manhattan, I saw a few folks who fit that description during the last couple of days. I overheard some raw exchanges in public places. But we have such people here, too. Indeed there are suffering people of all kinds in every community, people who believe themselves to be unworthy, people whom others believe to be unworthy, vulnerable people who are beneath the notice of more comfortable society, people who may not look it but sure do feel it. 

They, and we, are all God’s beloved. We are the recipients of the most wondrous love there is. We have something to do for Jesus, too. Let us be alive to God, alive to Jesus, alive to our neighbors, alive to our faith, which means both being alive to our sins and alive to the knowledge of our salvation.

Let’s not look away or hold back our gratitude but share it - with bold action - with a hurting world that is dying for such good news.

Collect for the Fourth Sunday After Pentecost

Keep, O Lord, your household the Church in your steadfast faith and love, that through your grace we may proclaim your truth with boldness, and minister your justice with compassion; for the sake of our Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Saturday Morning Movie: Horlzons

This is very cool. Shot mostly in South Dakota, watch the sky in all kinds of weather and times of day. I love how the stars look like glitter! And the shooting stars! And the clouds.....

Credits are at the end of the movie for info about the author and the music.


Sightseeing and Moviegoing

I wasn't able to post yesterday because I am in New York with only occasional internet service.

I'm here checking out Columbia University where my elder son will attend graduate school next year.

The campus is very beautiful - I am excited for him.

(This is an interesting piece of art on campus called Life Force, which was installed in 1992. It's on the Charles H. Revson plaza in front of the law school.)

I also got to see the new Joss Whedon film "Much Ado About Nothing," which currently is only showing in New York and Los Angeles.  I saw it at Lincoln Center. It was a clever adaptation  - the script is still Shakespeare but the setting is modern - and I liked it a lot, although I often heard in my head Emma Thompson or Kenneth Branagh's voices during some of the lines.

Thompson and Branagh still set the standard for Beatrice and Benedick for me. This version's couple is played by Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof, and they are very good but a little more subtly expressive. There are a couple of sly winks towards the Branagh film (such as an empty swing during the scene where Benedick has just overheard Claudio and the others declaration that Beatrice loves him), and Acker and Denisof do well with the physical slapstick in each other overhearing scenes.

There was an additional (unspoken) scene at the beginning that helped make sense of why it is that Beatrice has such strong negative feelings for Benedick.''

At any rate, I am always glad for an excuse to visit The City and look forward to my next visit.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Thursday Afternoon Bird Photo


(Also, a hint about where I am going to be the next two days.)

Morning Psalm

17 O God, you have taught me since I was young, *
and to this day I tell of your wonderful works.
18 And now that I am old and gray-headed, O God, do not forsake me, *
till I make known your strength to this generation
and your power to all who are to come. 
19 Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the heavens; *
you have done great things;
who is like you, O God? 

(From Psalm 71)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

I'll Fly Away

Snowy Egret

Some glad morning when this life is o'er, 
I'll fly away; 
To a home on God's celestial shore, 
I'll fly away (I'll fly away).

I'll fly away, fly away, Oh Glory
I'll fly away; (in the morning)
When I die, Hallelujah, by and by, 
I'll fly away (I'll fly away).

Morning Psalm

Psalm 72

Give the King your justice, O God,*
and your righteousness to the King's son;

That he may rule your people righteously*
and the poor with justice.

That the mountains may bring prosperity to the people,*
and the little hills bring righteousness.

He shall defend the needy among the people;*
he shall rescue the poor and crush the oppressor.

He shall live as long as the sun and moon endure,*
from one generation to another.

He shall come down like rain upon the mown field,*
like showers that water the earth.

In his time shall the righteous flourish;*
there shall be abundance of peace till the moon shall be no more.

He shall rule from sea o sea,*
and from the River to the ends of the earth.

His foes shall bow down before him,*
and his enemies lick the dust.

The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall pay tribute,*
and the kings of Arabia and Saba offer gifts.

All kings shall bow down before him,*
and all the nations do him service.

For he shall deliver the poor who cries out in distress,*
and the oppressed who has no helper.

He shall have pity on the lowly and poor;*
he shall preserve the lives of the needy.

He shall redeem their lives from oppression and violence,*
and dear shall their blood be in his sight.

Long may he live! and may there be given to him gold from Arabia;*
may prayer be made for hi always, and may they bless him all the day long.

May there be abundance of grain on the earth, growing thick even on the hilltops;*
may its fruit flourish like Lebanon, and its grain like grass upon the earth.

May his Name remain for ever and be established as long as the sun endures;*
may all the nations bless themselves in him and call him blessed.

Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel,*
who alone does wondrous deeds!

And blessed be his glorious Name for ever!*
and may all the earth be filled with his glory. Amen. Amen.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Tuesday Afternoon Sunny Day Bird Photo

Since we haven't had a sunny day in a while, 
here's a reminder of what the beach looks like when the sun is shining.

Morning Psalm

Psalm 67

May God be merciful to us and bless us,*
show us the light of his countenance and come to us.

Let your ways be known upon earth,*
your saving health among all nations.

Let the peoples praise you, O God;*
let all the peoples praise you.

Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,*
for you judge the peoples with equity
and guide all the nations upon earth.

Let the peoples praise you, O God;*
let all the peoples praise you.

The earth has brought forth her increase;*
may God, our own God, give us his blessing.

May God give us his blessing,*
and may all the ends of the earth stand in awe of him.

Monday, June 10, 2013

At Least Somebody Likes the Rain

We have had many inches of rain over the last few days as the remnants of a tropical storm came through over the weekend and another storm system is bringing showers and downpours today.

All this wet brings out the earthworms, though, which the robins love to eat. I guess the ducks are letting the water roll off their backs, too.

Still, I do hope the rain goes away soon.

It is interesting to me that our earliest prayer book prayers are for rain. I guess all that praying over the centuries is paying off.

Morning Psalm: Under the Shadow of Your Wings

Psalm 57 
Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful,
for I have taken refuge in you; *
in the shadow of your wings will I take refuge
until this time of trouble has gone by.
I will call upon the Most High God, *
the God who maintains my cause.
He will send from heaven and save me;
he will confound those who trample upon me; *
God will send forth his love and his faithfulness.
I lie in the midst of lions that devour the people; *
their teeth are spears and arrows,
their tongue a sharp sword.
They have laid a net for my feet,
and I am bowed low; *
they have dug a pit before me,
but have fallen into it themselves.
Exalt yourself above the heavens, O God, *
and your glory over all the earth.
My heart is firmly fixed, O God, my heart is fixed; *
I will sing and make melody.
Wake up, my spirit;
awake, lute and harp; *
I myself will waken the dawn.
I will confess you among the peoples, O LORD; *
I will sing praise to you among the nations.
10 For your loving-kindness is greater than the heavens, *
and your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. 
Exalt yourself above the heavens, O God, *
and your glory over all the earth.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Collect for the Third Sunday after Pentecost

O God, from whom all good proceeds: Grant that by your inspiration we may think those things that are right, and by your merciful guiding may do them; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Saturday Morning Movie: Julia Child Remixed

The Public Broadcasting people (aka PBS) have a digital studio that has been releasing remixes of music/video from some classic television shows. (Click here to see their page on YouTube.) You may have seen the latest Mr. Rogers remix that just came out this week.

I love this one of Julia Child, the queen of the cooking show as far as I am concerned. Check out her percussion skills with the knife. Bring on the roasted potatoes!

Hope you enjoy it!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Friday Afternoon Bird Photo

This is a male brown-headed cowbird.

These birds have a rather interesting method of raising young. They lay eggs in the nests of other birds and then leave the eggs to hatch there and be raised by foster parents.  A single female brown cowbird may lay as many as fifteen eggs in a season in several other birds' nests.

This one was perched on top of a telephone pole in the False Cape State (Va) Park a few weeks ago.

Morning Prayer for the Conservation of Natural Resources

Almighty God, in giving us dominion over things on earth,
you made us fellow workers in your creation: Give us wisdom
and reverence so to use the resources of nature, that no one
may suffer from our abuse of them, and that generations yet
to come may continue to praise you for your bounty; through
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Lunch, Interrupted

The other day, I went to lunch alone, as I usually do, armed with my iPad in hopes of catching up on some reading.

But I was hardly through my first few bites when the man at the table next to me began talking to me. He asked me if I was a minister (I was wearing my collar) and then commented that we must be very busy at our church because of the bad economy.

I try, especially when I am wearing a collar, to be patient and friendly with the people who approach me in public to start up conversations even as I usually draw some boundaries (subtly if I can) around myself and my time. I've had some less than enjoyable encounters, such as the man who asked if I was a nun and then proceeded to show me a photograph of his granddaughter dressed in a habit for her school play and then introduced me to all the people at his table (still sticking with the nun label). Once a fellow priest and I were regaled by another patron at Arby's about his mother and her dog for pretty much the whole time we were eating our sandwiches (which we began to eat after the first ten minutes of his diatribe, hoping he'd get the hint, which he didn't).

Of course, I know that if I really need to concentrate on something or need to have a private conversation, I probably ought not to try to do it in a public place where the seats are all so close together.

Anyway, this man's comment on the economy struck me as odd, given that I had just been hearing on the news about how the economy is picking up. Indeed, new buildings are going up in our town and the signs are there that the worst is well over now.  I was thinking, "Huh? Is that still a topic?"

Fortunately, my better angel whispered into my ear and I determined to listen a little longer, even while I was wishing I could get back to my book.

Soon the story came out. This man had been unemployed for quite a long time, and he came to this lunch spot pretty regularly - he called it "his office" - so he could be around people and also have some routine to his week. He always had a cup of coffee and a muffin and sometimes bought a loaf of bread to take home. He mentioned the support that he gets from the people at his church, but that's basically only on Sunday. He knew church people to be those who cared about those in need.

In a few minutes, he got up to leave and wished me a good day. I told him it was good to talk with him and wished him luck and peace.

And it was good, for me, to talk with him. It reminded me that everyone has a story, if I will just be willing to get out of my own head for a minute to hear it.  It reminded me that every large category (like "unemployment" and "economy") is made up of actual people with actual stories and that I am privileged to hear those stories entrusted to me by strangers.



Come let us sing to the Lord;* 
let us shout for joy to the Rock of our salvation.

Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving* 
and raise a loud shout to him with psalms.

For the Lord is a great God,* 
and a great King above all gods.

In his hand are the caverns of the earth,* 
and the heights of the hills are his also.

The sea is his, for he made it,* 
and his hands have molded the dry land.

Come, let us bow down, and bend the knee,* 
and kneel before the Lord our Maker.

For he is our God, 
and we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand.* 
Oh, that today you would hearken to his voice!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Wednesday Afternoon Flower Photo

The lovely Perle d'Or, a polyantha rose, which was first propagated in 1883.

The 2-inch fluffy blooms start out this salmon color and fade to pink. They curl back like pompoms. They have a nice fragrance, too.

Mine grows like a weed and has to be hacked back pretty severely every couple of years or it gets to be six feet tall and then some. It blooms like crazy. It also is very resistant to any sort of mold or fungus even in our humid area.

Love it.

Morning Canticle

Arise, shine, for your light has come
And the glory of the Lord has dawned upon you.


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