Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The Flock

by Billy Collins

It has been calculated that each copy of the Gutenburg Bible required the skins of 300 sheep.

I can see them squeezed into the holding pen
behind the stone building where the printing press is housed.
All of them squirming around to find a little room
and looking so much alike
it would be nearly impossible to count them.
And there is no telling which one of them
will carry the news that the Lord is a Shepherd,
one of the few things they already know.

This poem keeps popping up everywhere I turn. I can't get it out of my mind.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Christmas 2005

1. What is the best gift you received this year? (Tangible gifts only, please!)
My mom gave me a ticket to see The Color Purple on Broadway in NYC with my best friends from college. We are meeting together on MLK weekend and plan to see the show then. I am a huge fan of the book and Oprah, I must confess, so this is quite a dream come true!

2. What is the best gift you gave this year?
I gave my father a "dress hat." It is a dark gray with a leather band around it. He loved it!

3. When did you do most of your shopping/creating?
I made all of my cards about a week and a half ago, and the rest was purchased over the last month.

4. Did you go shopping the day after Thanksgiving (U.S.)? Today?
No way.

5. What stands out already about Christmas 2005?
Serving on the Christmas morning service for the first time is an experience that I will never forget. Also, it was so great to see Christmas through the eyes of Sarah Grace, my 2-year-old niece.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Emerging Women Leaders. . . Save the Date!!

On January 3, 2006, the emerging women leaders in Atlanta will be gathering together. This time is intended to give life and support to those women leading others in the way of Jesus. Please feel free to invite others to join us in this conversation.

Date: 01.03.06

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Location: The Flying Biscuit Cafe
1655 McLendon Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30307
phone: (404) 687-8888

If you are planning on attending, please email Caroline at caroline@summit-ministries.com. The Flying Biscuit requested an estimated number.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Oscar Romero

"We must not seek the child Jesus in the pretty figures of our Christmas cribs. We must seek him among the undernourished children who have gone to bed tonight with nothing to eat, among the poor newsboys who will sleep covered with newspapers in doorways."

--Oscar Romero, The Violence Of Love

The Charming Faun

I must say, when it comes to the Narnia movie, Mr. Turmnus was so charming. He captured what must be on of the most beloved characters in all of the Chronicles. Also, the Beavers stole the show!
The film has delighted me. The only differences I saw were rather insignificant, outside of the added scene in the beginning. Also, the "Blue Bottle" was flying on the windowsill! Maybe Disney was playing with us on that one.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

It's All Coming To Life

On Saturday and again on Monday, I sat and watched Aslan come to life. Well, at least his computer-animated self came to life. Now, my best girls from college and I are headed up to the Big Apple to see "The Color Purple" on Broadway. How will it translate? We will wait and see. . . .

Preparing My Heart

Celebrate Immanuel’s Name, the Prince of life and peace.
God with us, our lips proclaim, our faithful hearts confess.
God is in our flesh revealed;Heav’n and earth in Jesus join.
Mortal with Immortal filled, and human with Divine.
Fullness of the Deity in Jesus’ body dwells,
Dwells in all His saints and me when God His Son reveals.
Father, manifest Thy Son; breathe the true incarnate Word.
In our inmost souls make known the presence of the Lord.
Let the Spirit of our Head through every member flow;
By our Lord inhabited, we then Immanuel know.
Then He doth His Name express; God in us we truly prove,
Find with all the life of grace and all the power of love.
(Charley Wesley)

Advent. . .Preparing the Way

"Advent is a time of joyful anticipation of the realization of God's promise."

Last Sunday, my sermon focused on the third Sunday of Advent, Gaudete Sunday (meaning "rejoice"). Since I have spent the last 15 years in churches that do not celebrate the Advent season, I had to gather all sorts of materials and research. In fact, I was a teenager when I last worshipped in a church that celebrated Advent (funny, I'm back at that same church again!).

The beauty of the season overwhelms me.

Each color of the candles on the wreath, the symbols on the crismon tree, the prophets, the angel, the annunciation, the Magi, the young mother. . . all pointing and yearning for the coming Christ-child.

Wrapped in rags and humanity, lying in a stable slept God made human. All of creation had been waiting for that very moment since the beginning of time.

Now we wait too. Some of us wait for His presence in our hearts. Broken hearts and phones not ringing cause us to wait. Some wait for His healing. Some wait for His life. All wait. And wait.

Come, Lord Jesus.

Friday, December 09, 2005

The Journey of the Magi

'A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For the journey, and such a long journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.'
And the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory,
Lying down in the melting snow.
There were times we regretted
The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,
And the silken girls bringing sherbet.
Then the camel men cursing and grumbling
And running away, and wanting their liquor and women,
And the night-fires going out, and the lack of shelters,
And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly
And the villages dirty and charging high prices:
A hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night,
Sleeping in snatches,
With the voices singing in our ears, saying
That this was all folly.
Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley,
Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation;
With a running stream and a water-mill beating the darkness,
And three trees on the low sky,
And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.
Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,
Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,
And feet kicking the empty wine-skins,
But there was no information, and so we continued
And arrived at evening, not a moment too soon
Finding the place; it was (you may say) satisfactory
All this was a long time ago, I remember,
And I would do it again, but set down
This set down
This: were we led all that way for
Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly,
We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different; this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death,
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.
-- T. S. Eliot

Friday, December 02, 2005

From the RevGalBlogPal List. . .

1) Do you display a nativity scene, and if so, where?
Yes! My grandma gave me a miniature Precious Moments nativity scene when I was a child. Being a lifelong hater of Precious Moments sappy art, this is such a struggle for me each year. However, Grandma gave it to me, so it's on my coffee table. She also gave me a stuffed Santa and elf that sing when you touch their hands. Yes, they are sitting on the bookshelf.

2) Do you put a skirt under the Christmas tree?
Nope. Don't have one.

3) Do you hang lights on the house or put them in your windows?
Yes, I have authentic ghetto lights hanging on my porch. They are the large, colored bulbs. The lights were purchased when I lived in South Central L.A., so they truly are ghetto lights!

4) White lights or colored lights on the tree? Big bulbs or the small, pretty ones? (I'm not biased...much.)
The are colored, of course, to match the porch!

5) Do you have a tree topper? What sort? Who puts it on top of the tree?
I made my tree topper the first year that I had my own tree. It is made of wire and decorative jewels. It is quite terrible, but once again, hold so many memories. Friends come over every year to help me decorate. I have to put it up because the lights much be blazing through it to appreciate my special star on top!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

We Must Pray Today

Today, Dec. 1, is one that requires great prayers from us.

First, we must stand together and pray on behalf of the 4 Christian workers who are missing in Iraq. http://www.cpt.org/ These men are in Iraq on behalf of the Kingdom of God. Let us pray for hope and protection for them. Also, let us pray for the hearts of those holding them captive.

Dec.1 marks another very important day. It is World AIDS Day. http://www.one.org/Events.html As Christians, we hold a great responsibility to live and to act on behalf of the good of the world. Today, please remember to pray for those suffering from AIDS those working diligently towards a cure. Last, we must pray for the continent of Africa. They are losing millions each day to the disease.