Sunday, January 31, 2010
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see...& sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith."
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Leader: A Shalom Zone is a Mission Field.
ALL: It is the visible witness of the Gospel in the midst of a broken humanity.
L: A Shalom Zone involves transformation
A: It is the movement from charity to economic justice.
L: A Shalom Zone is rooted in Self-Determination.
A: It assures community participation in all decision making.
L: A Shalom Zone releases Local Resources.
A: It builds self-sustaining economic development.
L: A Shalom Zone generates New Models Development.
A: It tests programs which can be replicated in other communities.
L: A Shalom Zone is catalyzed by Local Congregations.
A: It is supported by the church with resources, volunteers, appointments, gifts, and prayers.
ALL: Out of the first of destruction, the ashes of despair, and the chaos of these times will rise new communities of faith and hope, new communities of courage and daring, resurrected communities of God’s Shalom!
So, as I was ironing my clothes yesterday, I noticed the writing on the label sewn into the dress I was about to put on. Even though I opted to put on another outfit, I was affirmed; I was reminded. In the words of the songwriter, "I believed it, I received it, I claimed it, It's mine..." Let it be yours too...
Monday, January 18, 2010
I Need Thy Sense of the Future
Teach me to know that life is ever
On the side of the future
Keep alive in me the forward look, the high hope
The onward surge
Let me not be frozen
Either by the past or the present
Grant me, O patient Father, Thy sense of the future
Without which all life would sicken and die.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus
They say you wept
must’ve laughed, too.
Can’t have one with without the other...
Belly laughed with friends
(Peter had to be a hoot)
Snicker laughed at religious leaders
(They think they're so serious. They can’t be serious.)
Heart laughed with children
(Maybe that's why you wanted them to come)
So you could get a good laugh,
You give me permission to laugh...
Because you live I can face tomorrow
And because you laugh
I can laugh, too…
At home/in class/from pulpit
Jesus, I get joy just thinking about what you’ve done for me.
So you must get joy, too.
Just like Sarah begat Isaac,
Joy begets smiles
And smiles are laughter waiting to explode.
Michelangeo and them saw you
I’m glad to know you also
Chuckled/snorted/head high/arms flailing/body shaking
Let laughter overtake you
‘Til you fell from your recliner.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus
They say you wept
Must’ve laughed, too.
Can’t have one with without the other.
Poem: Donna Olivia Powell (January 2010)
Image: "Jesus at the Bethany Home" by Hanna Cheriyan Varghese
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Monday, January 11, 2010
Thursday, January 7, 2010
1)I am VICTORIOUS in Christ! I had a moment when I was stuck jogging in place at a traffic light. I looked at my hands and noticed the Nike gloves. I looked at my feet and noticed the Nike sneakers. I quickly glanced at myself up and down: Nike watch, Nike jacket, Nike cell phone arm pouch, Nike water bottle. At first I chalked it up to being a label whore. But then I realized it was bigger than that. Nike is one of the Greek words for victory, conquest, triumph. (Somebody shout glory!!!) In that moment I realized that more than the gear that I was donned in, I was clothed in victory that come from being a child of God! I, like Paul, am ready to declare, "But thanks be to God, which giveth us the VICTORY through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Co 15:57).
2)Along the lines of giving thanks, it was revealed to me that to truly "thank God for the movement and activity of my limbs" (classic African-American testimony and prayer language) that I should actually move my limbs and be active. It is not enough to say "Thank-You," but we as believers should live our thank you! I'm not saying everybody needs to be out running, but everybody who has the movement of their body should be moving it to God's glory! It is not enough to be spiritual folk and intellectual folk, but we must recognize and give God glory because we are embodied spirits and embodied minds. To ignore and to mistreat our bodies is the same as dishonoring God.
3)Lastly, as I walked and ran in the 35 degree weather, I realized that it is not the cold of winter that makes me "blue" but rather the dark of winter. To rid myself of the winter blues all I need to do is take full advantage of the sunlight. As long as I have time in the sun, I'm good. Not profound, but a truth that makes me know that maybe Chicago is a place that I could settle for a while.