Monday Morning Mindset #nccumc

GodAloneColor

September 1, 2014

Kelli:  On Monday mornings I often feel sluggish, uninspired, and resistant to any sort of work. Today’s readings reminded me that even the smallest step forward or the first word written on the page or computer can be the drop of water that inspires the pump from which the flow of living water streams. Today’s meditations are about procrastination and speed. Both of those things, moving too slowly or moving too quickly can keep us from experiencing life the way that God intends.

The rhythm of life is more than just moving from season to season. The rhythm of life is also the rhythm of our days. It is the rhythm of the hours and minutes that we are awake, aware, and attentive. Moving in rhythm with Holy Love, we can be nudged out of our procrastination or slowed down enough in order to stop and smell the roses.

The One who created life is the one who knows best about the rhythm of our days. We are not called to walk in lockstep with God and each other. We are called to live in co-creation working with Holy Love for the transformation of the world.

 

Upper Room Disciplines 2014:  What sacrifices have we experienced in our journey with God as individuals or as a people of faith? In Jesus we received courage to seek justice for others and for ourselves, risking comfort and familiarity in a sacrifice for liberating action. Our willingness for loving sacrifice empowers us to be a doorway, not a doormat, in our relationship with God and others. (Diane Luton Blum. 292)

Rokelle Lerner, Daily Affirmations:  Intimacy does not need to happen all at once. I will slowly give of myself and learn about myself by watching, listening, observing, and evaluating.

Kelli :  In our instant society, it seems that even something as sacred as intimacy is given as much attention as a bowl of instant rice; or the time we allow ourselves to make, eat and clear up a lunch of ramen noodles. We know, intellectually, that intimate things like friendship and marital love grow slowly across the span of time. We know that the events of our lives, the problems and the resolutions to them, are what give our relationships their unique beauty. And yet, there seems to be this constant push for everything in our lives to be instant. We demand instant gratification from everything. As women, when we put on our make-up we are encouraged to use the system of the 5-minute face. Dinner, even when eaten sitting around the table with family and friends, has more likely taken less time to cook (or pick up from the take-out window) than it will take for us to eat it and go our separate ways.

“Time is money” we hear again and again until it is inscribed on our brains and tattooed under our wristwatches.

When we don’t take the time to take the time, we handicap and shortchange ourselves. The rich tapestry of living becomes a one-dimensional ink and pen drawing of the way we want things to be. It seems we are simply too distracted by the passage of time and the opportunities we might be missing than to give our lives and each other the full attention they deserve.

When things don’t happen exactly as we want them to, and when we want them to, we call it settling for less. In that ‘settling’ there is inherently a sense of loss. Life is full of sacrifices willingly made for the good of the other. Sometimes the consequences of those loving sacrifices are not immediately apparent. That’s not settling for less, it’s being patient and attentive. Is it truly loss when we have turned down the better in our lives to make room for the best?

Can we slow down enough to let our lives unfold? With God’s help and the partnership of the people around us, we can hold back our desire for immediate answers, in order for the best that is within us and within the people around us to be slowly enjoyed and savored.

 

Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way Every Day:  Writers procrastinate because they do not feel inspired. Feeling inspired is the luxury. Writing, often excellent writing, can be done without the benefit of feeling inspired. Writers tell themselves they just don’t have enough ideas yet, and when they do, then they’ll start writing. It actually works exactly backward. When we start to write, we prime the pump and the flow of ideas begins to move. It is the act of writing that calls ideas forward, not ideas that call forward writing. (page 273)

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Focused on the goal #nccumc

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Growth is the epitome of incremental change, and your desire for spiritual growth requires change.  The only thing holding you back is your resistance.  You can’t keep things the way they are and grow at the same time.  Something has to give, and that would be your will.  Be willing to let go of everything that has outlived its usefulness in your environment, says the Lord. (Small Straws in a Soft Wind, Marsha Burns, 8/5/2014)

Focused on the Goal

 I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.

(Philippians 3:12-14, The Message, www.biblegateway.com)

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Monday Morning Mindset – August 4 #nccumc

Rain in NC

Joan Chittister, The Rule of Benedict – In Sanskrit, it is written: necessity changes a course but never a goal. Benedictine spirituality – flexible, sensible, realistic at all times – sets loud and  clear goals but models a number of ways to achieve them.  Perhaps there is no surer proof of Benedict’s awareness that  spirituality is a neither a formula nor a straitjacket than this chapter. (Chapter 50, The Rule of Benedict).  Benedict values nothing more than community prayer, the Opus Dei.  In other chapters he organizes it minutely and schedules it for seven times a day. “Nothing”, he writes,” is to be preferred to the Work of God.”  And yet, when the ideal is confronted by the real, Benedict opts for the sanctification of the real rather than the idealization of the holy. If there is work to be done at a great distance from the chapel, the monastic is to see that it’s done. Holiness is not an excuse to avoid responsibility. Spirituality is not an escape from life. Spirituality leaves life. Spirituality is what stabilizes us in the middle of confusion and gives us energy to go on doing what must be done even when the rest of life taxes and fatigues and separates us from our own resources.  (222-3) (italics mine)

Kelli: As we start off another week, it’s good to be reminded that holiness, wholeness, God’s presence and healing are equally available to us on Monday as they were in the church building on Sunday.

Thomas Keating, The Heart of the World – Our capacity for the transcendent is what distinguishes us most from the rest of visible creation. It is what makes us most human. (7)

Kelli: these are $25 words (transcendent, sanctification, idealization, spirituality, holiness) to describe a peaceful and peace-filled reality. What is boils down to is this: in the times we spend in intentional, interior silence, we hold the door open for Holy Love to change us into restored, resurrection people.

Holy Spirit, rain down….

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Freedom and creativity #nccumc #weare3dm

shakerspiral

Practical, real-life discipleship…Today’s Inspiration, breathing in…

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Forgiveness and excuses

When it comes to a question of our forgiving other people, it is partly the same and partly different. It is the same because, here also, forgiving does not mean excusing. Many people seem to think it does. They think that if you ask them to forgive someone who has cheated or bullied them you are trying to make out that there was really no cheating or no bullying. But if that were so, there would be nothing to forgive. They keep on replying, “But I tell you the man broke a most solemn promise.” Exactly: that is precisely what you have to forgive. (This doesn’t mean that you must necessarily believe his next promise. It does mean that you must make every effort to kill every taste of resentment in your own heart—every wish to humiliate or hurt him or to pay him out.) The difference between this situation and the one in which you are asking God’s forgiveness is this. In our own case we accept excuses too easily; in other people’s we do not accept them easily enough.

From The Weight of Glory
Compiled in A Year with C.S. Lewis

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