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Friday, December 19, 2003

that's what I'm Tolkien about

I saw Return of the King last night. I'm still processing it, but the thing that kept popping into my brain was the question we ask every Sunday in Godly Play after the story.

So, for those of you who have seen the movie, I wonder...where are you in the story?
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Wednesday, December 17, 2003

on the first day of kitschmas my true love gave to me...


It's here! It's here! Ship of Fools presents the 2003 12 Days of Kitschmas
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I Seek Your Forgiveness, Dear Lord

Dear Lord, Judas betrayed you and Peter denied you. Judas despaired, but Peter sought forgiveness. May I follow Peter. Let me not be tempted to think that my sins are too great to be forgiven, too abominable to be touched by your mercy. Let me never run away from you but return to you again and again, asking you to be my Lord, my Shepherd, my Stronghold, and my Refuge. Take me under your wing, Lord, and let me know that you do not reject me as long as I keep asking you to forgive me. Perhaps my doubts in your forgiveness are a greater sin than the sins I consider too great to be forgiven. Perhaps I make myself too important, too great when I think that I cannot be embraced by you anymore. Lord, accept my prayer as you accepted Peter's prayer, and let me not run away from you as Judas did. Give me the grace to know your loving presence more intimately. Amen. (Henri Nouwen)
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Tuesday, December 16, 2003

buy dot NOW

Is the consumerist vibe more desperate this year, or is it just my imagination? Sometimes I wonder if I'm just noticing it more because it grates on me more, but there really seems to be an edge to it that is new.

It isn't even the usual DeBeers-style manipulation that people will love you more if you spend a chunk of money - I'm used to that. It's as though there's this huge cloud of anxiety floating around, and apparently the only way to kill it is by buying things. It's more of a spending for its own sake. Buy. Buy. Buy. And then this will all go away. Please, please make it go away.

I'm totally open to hearing that it's just me projecting some Sara weirdness onto the world, and everything is actually just fine. Something feels off to me, though.
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Moving Toward Full Incarnation

You can look at your life as a large cone that becomes narrower the deeper you go. There are many doors in the cone that give you chances to leave the journey. But you have been closing those doors one by one, making yourself go deeper and deeper into your center. You know that Jesus is waiting for you at the end, just as you know that he is guiding you as you move in that direction. Every time you close another door be it the door of immediate satisfaction, the door of distracting entertainment, the door of busyness, the door of guilt and worry, or the door of self-rejection you commit yourself to go deeper into your heart and therefore deeper into the heart of God. This is a movement toward full incarnation. It leads you to become what you already are a child of God; it lets you embody more and more of the truth of your being; it makes you claim the God within you. You are tempted to think that you are a nobody in the spiritual life and that your friends are far beyond you on the journey. But this is a mistake. You must trust the depth of God's presence in you and live from there. This is the way to keep moving toward full incarnation. (Henri Nouwen)
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Monday, December 15, 2003

Help Me To Live Joyfully in Your Service

Dear Lord, you say, "Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart." How often I complain about my yoke and hear others complain about theirs. So often I consider life and its many tasks burdensome, and I spend much time and energy expressing my annoyance and irritation. You did not say, "I will take your burden away," but "I invite you take on my burden!" Your burden is real. It is the burden of all human sins and failings. You carried that burden and died under its weight. So you made it into a light burden.

O Lord, let me carry your burden in union with you. I know that only then will I overcome the temptations of bitterness and resentfulness, and begin to live joyfully and gratefully in your service. Amen. (Henri Nouwen)

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flake

Sorry, I took off for a bit to have a really great weekend. Although I think I am getting sick, which certainly does blow. I have zero energy and my entire body hurts. I feel like someone picked me up and shook me really hard, and not in that good 'you shook me all night long' kind of way. More like all my bones and muscles are slightly loose and smashing around in my body. Blah.

Advent is a not-quite-there kind of time. And I sometimes feel like I'm living a not-quite-there kind of life, so I guess the timing is rather good. Seriously, aren't 33-year-olds supposed to be a lot more pulled-together than I am? The number just sounds so old and grown-up and then I look at myself and say...nuh-uh. Not even close.

I'm sort-of good at a lot of things, I sort-of know what I want to do with what I think is left of my life, and I sort-of think I'm getting maybe a bit better at this faith business. But there's not much I can point to and say, there, that, see, I did something and it is finished, or its outcome is assured. Not much that my parents could write about in their Christmas newsletter, if they had such a thing. Someone observing the major plot points of my life story this year would conclude that I am a total loser.

Of course, I can look at times in my life when I have made monumentally stupid decisions just to get out of feeling not-quite-there - times when I've picked stability because it was the easy thing to do, or because instability was more than I thought I could handle. Also times when I've given up on something which might have been good just because I couldn't handle the awkward part between starting and being good at it. Ask me how many times I've learned to knit.

I fear that I am, in fact, a gigantic flake, and not the cute snow kind.

Ignore me. I am whining today. I am freaking out.
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