my background

Friday, December 21, 2007

Ghosts of Christmas past....

Sometimes when I'm a little too harsh with myself, or feel unloveable, I remind myself of this sweet little girl, and my "scrooge-iness" is transformed into visions of God's grace and unfathomable generosity.

When I began to blog, I wondered if perhaps this writing about oneself so much is unhealthy, if it reflects too much self-focus? These thoughts, from Phillip Yancey's Soul Survivor, address that concern:

"Why do we do it, we writers? 'Of making of many [blogs] there is no end,'...........Yet we keep at it, cranking out more and more words, with the potential to bring harm as well as comfort. I think we do it because each of us has nothing else to offer than a living point of view that differentiates us from every other person on this planet."


"Every writer must overcome a kind of shyness, putting out of mind the fear that we are being arrogant by thrusting ourselves upon you the reader, and egotistical by assuming our words are worth your time. .....In another context, Simone Weil presents a kind of answer: 'I cannot conceive the necessity for God to love me, when I feel so clearly that even with human beings affection for me can only be a mistake. But I can easily imagine that he loves that perspective of creation which can only be seen from the point where I am.' That is all any writer can offer, especially a writer of faith: a unique perspective of creation, a point of view visible only from the point where I am."

Well, this is where I am, for better or worse. Have a merry and blessed Christmas.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

John Killinger's Book.....

The God Named Hallowed: The Lord's Prayer for Today, impressed and humbled me when I discovered it almost twenty years ago in a friend's personal library. The book has since become mine, and I have used quotes from it over the years in several different contexts. One passage that was especially well received when I shared it in a presentation on worship is the following, concerning the first two words in the model prayer:

For Jesus to call God our heavenly Father was to make the most audacious theological statement that could ever be made. Think about it---the God who created the world and cast the nebulae in space; the God who heard the prayers of the first man and woman on earth and who sees the intricacies of the future; the God whose majesty is seen from the highest mountain and who inhabits the jeweled depths of the darkest ocean........ our Father. (emphasis mine)

The God who fashioned the giant sequoia tree and plants the tiny seed of pearls in all the oysters;....the God who imprisoned energy in coal and whispered the secret of relativity into the ear of Einstein ---our Father.

The God who set the oceans rocking and shaped the crescent beaches of distant islands; the God who blessed the world with language and then confounded it with many tongues; the God who ordained the very existence of mortality and then raised up Christ from the coldness of death---our Father.

If it doesn't make shivers run up and down your spine, then you have not properly understood. To think that the God of all this depth and power and resourcefulness should be our Father, the one with whom we are privileged to live in an attitude of intimacy and relationship, is enough to stagger the mind, to make it recoil though sheer insufficiency. "Our Father." It is confession, praise, triumph, unbelievable fortune, overwhelming good news! Who could ever have hoped or dreamed that the God of the universe, the God of ALL universes, should be our Father?

To worship in that spirit of awe and gratitude is a worthy goal, in my opinion. What do you think?