Tag Archives: God

Frederick Buechner and Celebration

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, May 14, 2017

laugh more

Frederick Buechner and Celebration

I have heard of Frederick Buechner, but never read anything by him. It was interesting to read the short introduction about him. Presbyterian minister, accomplished writer of both fiction and non-fiction, this particular excerpt features Peculiar Treasures, appreciating the humor of the Bible. This book is a particularly apt way of celebrating with God.

Laughter, outright. Laughter in a sly way, in a shy way. Out and out hoots and hollers of laughter. Ironic laughter, and hesitant laughter instead of tears of sadness and frustration. All of these kinds of laughter are found in the Bible, and Buechner wrote about them.

One example is the laughter of Sarah. (And, Abraham.) Sarah was over 90 years old when the heavenly visitors come to visit their tent as their guests. No one is more surprised than Sarah and Abraham when the guests tell them that the old lady Sarah will have a baby before a year is up.

“Abraham laughed ‘till he fell on his face.’ (Gen 17:17), and Sarah stood cackling behind the tent door so the angel wouldn’t think she was being rude as the tears streamed down her face. When the baby finally came, they even called him Laughter.” [1]

A number of other biblical references are mentioned. Such a gathering of references to laughter, in so many forms, causes me to smile. The Bible is truly a gathering place for a multitude of emotions. This article and excerpt shows us how we ought to enjoy the breadth of these happy times—or, at least, positive situations.

Dear Lord, gracious God, thank You for the gift of laughter.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my companion blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.  #PursuePEACE. My Facebook page, Pursuing Peace – Thanks! And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] Spiritual Classics, edited by Richard J. Foster and Emilie Griffin. (San Francisco, California: HarperSanFrancisco, 2000), 315.

Karl Rahner, and the Daily Routine

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Karl Rahner

Karl Rahner, and the Daily Routine

Karl Rahner—a major Christian theologian of the 20th century, professor of Dogmatics and Theology at several prestigious universities, and one of the men who had a part in crafting the language of Vatican II. He was also a man of intense spirituality and service to his fellows.

“Look at this routine, O God of Mildness….Isn’t [my soul] just like a noisy bazaar, where I and the rest of mankind display our cheap trinkets to the restless, milling crowds?” [1] This is what Fr. Rahner wrote in Encounters with Silence. This is what he considered his life to be: a life of diligent service to God.

Rahner wished that he might experience God’s mercy. This was one of his most fervent wishes—between the times that the daily, everyday routine cluttered up his life, that is.

“How can I redeem this wretched humdrum? How can I turn myself toward the one thing necessary, toward You? How can I escape from the prison of this routine?” [2] And then, Fr. Rahner answers this very question: “Aren’t You my Creator? Haven’t You made me a human being? And what is man but a being that is not sufficient to itself, a being who sees his own insufficiency, so that he longs naturally and necessarily for Your Infinity?” [3]

Oh, how perceptive is Karl Rahner. How petty is humanity in its unrepentant, even unwashed state! Fr. Rahner echoes Psalm 8 in his musings, finally announcing that the long-lasting stars will remain, long after you and I and our friends are all gone. (For that matter, after our enemies are gone, too.)  Yes, even the disillusioned heart/person can take heart in God, for God is truly all that we really need.

Dear Lord, thank You for being with us, day or night. Thank You for coming to us unexpectedly, visiting us with your care, concern, and encouragement. For, it is as Fr. Rahner said: “only through You can I continue to be myself with You, when I go out of myself to be with the things of the world.” [4] Lord, in Your mercy, hear all our prayers.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my companion blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.  #PursuePEACE. My Facebook page, Pursuing Peace – Thanks! And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] Spiritual Classics, edited by Richard J. Foster and Emilie Griffin. (San Francisco, California: HarperSanFrancisco, 2000), 217.

[2] Ibid, 219.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid, 221.

Helping a Friend Sort and Pack

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, June 27, 2016

go with all your heart

Helping a Friend Sort and Pack

Moving is a challenge. Cross-country moving is even more of a challenge.

My spiritual director is preparing to leave town, move to the East Coast, and change positions in her place of employment. The most poignant part for me is that she is permanently relocating to her new city. She has been a steady and stable part of my life for the past ten years. (Actually, she has lived here in Chicago for decades. I have known her for quite a while. She has been my spiritual director for ten years.)

When I think of Jay, I think steady. Stable. Thoughtful. Even keel. Soft spoken. Communicating carefully selected wise words. Just what I need, so much of the time. However, I am afraid I was not the best or most responsive direct-ee. I am afraid I did not always pray for Jay the way she prayed for me. (Thanks for the many, many prayers, for me and my family.)(True confession: I am sad and sorry to say I still do not pray for Jay as often as I ought. However, God and I are still in the middle of an extended conversation about prayer, and how I pray, and how often. The conversation has been lasting for years.)

Two more friends were helping Jay sort and pack her office. A wonderful older couple, well-versed in the way of assisting friends and colleagues with packing, moving, and making transitions to a new and different place. New way of living and being. (I’ve known them for years, too.)

I will sincerely miss Jay. What’s more, she will be greatly missed by many, many people in the Chicago area. Such a bittersweet time for me, helping her get ready to move. To begin again, to begin in a different location, begin in a new position. New beginnings after decades in the same place. Exciting new possibilities! I am sad for myself, yet excited for her. Truly.

Good-bye, friend. God’s blessings, and all the best.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza  And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

PEACE: They All Have Names

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, May 30, 2016

Veteran's day candle and flag

PEACE: They All Have Names

I am departing from my series of posts, the personal definitions of PEACE from Gemini Jr. High School in Niles. (I am sure Mr. Rich Groeling, Gemini’s principal, will forgive me.)

On this special day—Memorial Day—I return to the Episcopal Daily Office, to Morning Prayer. (Thanks to the online Vicar of www.dailyoffice.org, my friend Josh Thomas.) Each Tuesday on the Morning Prayer webcast, Vicar Josh and Subdeacon Clint feature They Have Names™. I know today was Monday, but the webcast featured a special They Have Names™ for Memorial Day. A 19 year old sailor from Utah lost his life last week. Connor Alan McQuagge, GMSN.

They all have names. Even the unknowns, buried with honor. Even the missing in action, and even those whose remains were never found. God bless them all, no matter where they were born, no matter which side of the tracks they came from, no matter what color their skin happened to be, or what religion they practiced, or what language they spoke. God bless them all.

The following prayers are taken from the Daily Office.

Prayer for Heroic Service: Memorial Day

O Judge of the nations, we remember before you with grateful hearts the men and women of our country who in the day of decision ventured much for the liberties we now enjoy. Grant that we may not rest until all the people of this land share the benefits of true freedom and gladly accept its disciplines. This we ask in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A Collect for Peace

O God, the author of peace and lover of concord, to know you is eternal life and to serve you is perfect freedom: Defend us, your humble servants, in all assaults of our enemies; that we, surely trusting in your defense, may not fear the power of any adversaries; through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

God bless their memories, and give their families and loved ones comfort.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza  And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

PEACE is Helping Keep My Spouse Happy (Repost)

This repost is especially for the Facebook community group, Pursuing Peace. Bless all my readers, and give each of them a peaceful night–with spouses, children, siblings, all over.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, February 20, 2016

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PEACE is Helping Keep My Spouse Happy

When I considered today’s definition, the first thing I thought of was the old saying, “Happy wife, happy life.”

Today’s definition of PEACE comes from Carl Hanson, who said “PEACE is helping keep my spouse happy.”

Carl and his spouse Irene are members of St. Luke’s Christian Community Church in Morton Grove. They are a loving, caring couple, deeply devoted to one another and to their two dogs (both from rescue).

One telling comment Carl made to me? “If my spouse is happy, our home is happy.” To cap that off, he wrote it out on a piece of paper, and added a smiley face at the bottom of the sheet.

I reflected deeply on both the definition that Carl gave, as well as his comment, above. How do I apply that in my life? My life with my husband? What do I do for my husband, anyhow? Do I make him happy? How? Can I make certain he is content and serene? All good questions.

What I can do each day? Since I am not the most diligent housekeeper, I can make sure I pick up several items in the apartment, each day. I can try to be certain that the kitchen sink is clear of dishes at the end of the day…

Dear Lord, thank You for Carl’s reminder to me, and to many, about the benefits of keeping our spouses happy. I ask You to draw Carl and Irene closer together, give them peace, happiness, and contentment. Thank You for loving us and wishing to make a big difference in each life You touch. Amen.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza  And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

PEACE is Helping Keep My Spouse Happy #matterofprayer #PursuePEACE  http://wp.me/p43g3i-se

Pursue PEACE – PEACE = Holiness (Repost)

This repost is especially for the Facebook page Pursuing Peace.

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Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, February 12, 2016

Pursue PEACE – PEACE = Holiness

Intriguing thought! Peace equals holiness. I had to step back and think about this particular definition for a bit. Let it penetrate my mind and heart.

The name of the person I talked to? Chuck. Also known as Dr. Charles L. Reid III, his personal definition of peace: PEACE = Holiness.

Chuck did not waste any time in coming up with his personal definition. He knew. He was sure. He is the pastor of the Bethesda Worship Center in Des Plaines. His definition came straight from the New Testament, from Hebrews 12:14. “Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” (NIV)

As I mentioned, I was quite intrigued by this definition. I asked Pastor Chuck to explain further. He said, “From what is given in Scripture as a guide for living, holiness should be an objective for our lives.  Therefore, PEACE = Holiness was what came to my mind when asked about peace.  The pursuit of peace and reconciliation reflects Christ’s ministry of bringing peace and reconciliation.  When holiness abides within, PEACE will live also.”

Yes, I do agree. Excellent concept. Truly a worthwhile objective to strive for.

As for a moral compass and guide to living, Scripture is certainly a time-tested compass. Thank you, Pastor Chuck. I appreciate you and your example of pursuing peace and reconciliation, with holiness a big part in your life.

Let’s pray. Dear Lord, gracious God, thank You for this thought-provoking definition of PEACE. Allow it to work into all of our hearts and take root. Thank You for Pastor Chuck, his wife Barbara, and all of the congregation at Bethesda Worship Center. Help each of them to live at peace with their fellows. Dear Lord, striving to be holy is a large part of walking with You. Help Your works and Your words to accomplish Your purposes. Especially Your wish to have all people live in PEACE. Thank You, God!

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza  And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

PEACE, Upon Reflection

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, April 4, 2016

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PEACE, Upon Reflection

Another day, anothter definition. I gathered personal definitions of PEACE from the young people at St. Viator’s High School in Arlington Heights, I am grateful I had the opportunity to engage with anyone who came up to the table I had set up on one side of the large lunchroom.

Two more personal definitions of PEACE today; a great chance to talk with young people and get their viewpoints on PEACE.

Kathryn’s personal definition: “PEACE is complete understanding and relaxation with God and creation.”  

I asked her to explain a bit more about those interesting images. She said, “Peace is relaxing, without worrying. It’s when we fully understand God, His creation, and God’s purpose for everything.”

Upon reflection, that is a particularly tall order. However, striving to understand God is something I’ve tried to do for years and years. I commend Kathryn for her commitment to that striving.

Anna’s personal definition: “PEACE is kindness in every way, shape and form!”

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I wanted to know more about this. Anna said, “I think it’s important to show kindness in words and actions. Also, it goes along with having a peaceful mindset.”

Since the subject of being kind is near and dear to my heart,  exactly what I thought.  Excellent interpretation of the word PEACE.

I am amazed at how much excitement I have been able to see, regarding the word PEACE. Way to go, all of you young people!

God, grant me the willingness to calm my own heart so I can listen to the still, small voice of God.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza  And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er