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Showing posts from February, 2009

remember

For: The Institute of Contemporary And Emerging Worship Studies, St. Stephen's University, Essentials Red Online Worship History Course with Dan Wilt

Remembering is not one of my strong points, at least in certain areas. If I meet you for the first time, I will invariably ask you what your name is a few times before I get it. When we go to a movie, a week or two later I will not be able to tell you the main character's name. I am admittedly a person who lives most of her life in the here and now. While I see that as primarily a good thing, a fresh and engaging way to live my life, it does mean that I can miss out on important lessons and resources that are embedded in the past.

This week we started reading a book about the importance of forming spirituality by living the Christian year (Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, etc.) along with all its implications. Ritual has very little appeal to me, and I will usually look for a way to extract a modern and meaningful applica…

meeting

For: The Institute of Contemporary And Emerging Worship Studies, St. Stephen's University, Essentials Red Online Worship History Course with Dan Wilt

I am in Beaverton, Ontario at a national leadership gathering for the Vineyard Church of Canada. And doing my homework for Red Essentials. Having discussed where we are going as a church movement and sitting in a lot of meetings in the past 24 hours, I am starting to realise that the word meeting has become a bit of a misrepresented word in our world. Meeting is, at its very basic, a coming together of two or more. I meet with God. I meet with friends. I meet a stranger. I meet with colleagues to get some work done.

A church meeting is simply a coming together of two or more people who are joined to Jesus. This can happen anywhere and anytime and anyplace. This week in the online worship course I am taking, we explored the elements of time and space in regard to encountering God and our subsequent worship of him. It was amazing to read…

three in one

I am supposed to be studying for tomorrow's theology mid-term right now. Plus, I have an unexpected house guest coming tonight, and I leave for a 3-day leadership gathering Thursday morning. It is yet another example of life clumping together, and I am somewhat used to it by now. It means that I have to made good choices in order to put attention and focus to those things that are the most important in this moment, and that is always a good exercise for me. I do believe I am getting better at making the right choices and not adding stress to the mix (that would be a bad choice).

Anyway, on Monday morning there was another clumping together in our household, a collision if you will. Dean and Tea (the little black cat) and the shower door all tried to occupy the same time and space for a brief moment. If you know anything about physics, this simply cannot be done. These three items (one object and two living beings) are not divine nor members of the trinity, so existing with…

Love This Body

For: The Institute of Contemporary And Emerging Worship Studies, St. Stephen's University, Essentials Blue Online Worship Theology Course with Dan Wilt

A few weeks ago I woke up singing this phrase over and over: I Love This Body. Those are not words that would normally come out of my mouth, so the fact that I was singing them in my sleep made me think that perhaps I should also be saying them while I was awake. To be honest, these words make me uncomfortable.

I don't really go around saying, "I love my body," and yet it is the most intimate, miraculous, and mysterious gift of God that I experience every day. One need only read any medical writings to get a sense of how intricate this marvellous synergy of tissue and bone and blood and muscle and all kinds of other good stuff is. Plus, it is intertwined with a unique personality! This body is my most constant reminder that God loves me and is as close to me as my next breath. Every day that I wake up and breathe and ru…

showers and theology classes

There are a number of things in process in my life right now. Some relationships, some church stuff, some assignments, some minor home improvements, vacation plans, you know the kind of stuff I am talking about. When it clumps up like this, it leaves me feeling unsettled sometimes, kind of empty. When too much is in flux and up in the air, it chips away at one's solidity, one's sense of security and safeness.

So this morning in the shower, I told God, "I feel empty."
And I heard an answer, "Empty? Like a tomb-on-resurrection-day empty?"
God is very funny some days.

Yesterday morning I was sitting in my Introduction to Theology class, and in the middle of a surprisingly interesting lecture on church history, I had a flash of insight.

Change is all about death and resurrection. Change is about being able to die over and over and over again. It is letting go of those things we already know and are familiar with and recognise, about saying good-bye to life as we kno…

sitting

For: The Institute of Contemporary And Emerging Worship Studies, St. Stephen's University, Essentials Blue Online Worship Theology Course with Dan Wilt

One of the recurring thoughts that I came across in my readings this week was that worship is a response. It is the appropriate reaction to encountering God, to experiencing his love, to living on his earth, to viewing his creation. What exactly that response looks like is hard to pin down. We think of majestic songs, intimate whispers, loud shouts, bowing down, sacrifices, caring for the poor, submission, exaltation, crying and laughing and jumping. All of these can be appropriate, but what is appropriate today, right now?

Today, after a week of reading theology texts and doing assignments for three courses (this one plus two university courses), my thoughts are fuzzy and scattered. I can't remember what I think about every aspect of the Trinity or my humanity or what all the names of the theologians were in the 20th century. Th…

the world as I see it

For: The Institute of Contemporary And Emerging Worship Studies, St. Stephen's University, Essentials Blue Online Worship Theology Course with Dan Wilt

This week we had to put together a brief statement that reflected our worldview or the big story as we know it. Here is my attempt:

It all begins with God. This originator - beautiful, awesome, complete, and communicative in himself and all he does - liberally sprinkles his living and breathing compositions into time and space. Of these, the one that carries his likeness, his breath, and joins in his project of growing a loving and glorious holy community is mankind.
In the middle chapters of this story, the lovee (that would be us) wanders away from the lover (that would be God), deciding that life needs to be explored on her own terms. Disaster ensues. While everything that the original Lover touches brings life, everything that moves outside of that love starts to decay. But listen, this Lover, he cannot be thwarted. He pursues the…

I love my metro pass

In January, due to only being in school for three weeks of the month, I did not purchase an all-access metro and bus pass. Instead, I bought blocks of tickets, thinking that I would save money. In the end, I spent 25 cents less than if I had bought a monthly pass, and I found myself counting and calculating every trip, wondering if it was worth spending a ticket on it. I hate that. I don't want to be evaluating an unscheduled trip to a friend's house or a fun evening out on the basis of whether or not I have enough tickets in my pocket.

Yesterday, I breathed a sigh of relief. I was once again covered for the month, free to travel as much as I wanted, here and there, to and fro, to stop in at friends' places for coffee, to run downtown for a movie or lunch with the gang, to spontaneously make a stop on the way home from class to shop for a niece's birthday or a random gift. No running of the numbers in my head necessary. I am free of the worry of running out of tickets b…

rescue

This is another journal entry for my Christian Spirituality course.

I saw two movies in two days this last week. On Thursday night in our Christian Spirituality class, we viewed part of the "Jesus" film - that time in his life dealing mostly with his public ministry. On Friday night I went with some friends to see the movie, "Taken," with Liam Neeson. It is the story of a father whose daughter is kidnapped, and it chronicles his relentless journey to rescue her. Both of the movies have their share of bad acting, lack of continuity, and special effects that fall short of being truly "special," but none of this really matters in the end; what matters is the story.

What I find most attractive about Jesus is that he came - he didn't stay away. He walked on dirt roads and got hungry and tired and truly seemed to understand the need and fear and desperation of those around him, because he responded with compassion and action instead of judgment or indifferenc…