So I’ve been trying to be faithful this year to the Orthodox Lenten fast as well as practicing daily Orthodox prayers. I found a little bookstore and got me a chokti to practice the Jesus Prayer, and seem to have lost it. I dug out one I tied myself a few months ago and have been using it instead.
The Jesus Prayer is simply, “Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.” It is said in repetition to focus and center one’s soul and mind… a prayer and a meditation, and most definitely a yearning of the heart.
I have found myself often repeating the prayer for a while until I’m calmed and ready to move forward in prayer… then I start expanding into prayer requests and petitions in the same model of the prayer, something like, “Lord Jesus Christ, the Giver of Peace, hold Brad in your love.” I will repeat the prayer, but give myself lots of freedom of expression to explore the praise and lauding of Christ, the specific petition and the relationships involved… Lord Jesus Christ, God in the Flesh, heal Brad, your disciple. Lord Jesus Christ, Love and Author, give your peace to Brad, your man by faith.
And here’s my favorite line from the trisagion prayers that I am trying to hold faith with on a daily basis… “Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us.” At one point I am instructed to say this thrice, and it’s a high point of my prayers. I think it’s the stir I feel in my soul when I say the words, Holy Mighty.
I don’t know if it is totally hooked to the homeless data collected last month in the Tarrant County homeless census, but I heard on the radio today that Tarrant County is being given 8.8 million in Federal funds for the homeless population! Yeah! Great job people! Huge kudos to whomever and allever hit the streets that night!
Brad Voss made me aware of the (all volunteer) census happening this week of the homeless population in Tarrant County. It happens between 9pm Thursday and 2am Friday. You must attend a training session to volunteer in the count and there are a half dozen or so opportunities left. Here’s the link…
Just a couple of weeks ago Teresa and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary, hence the photo of my wedding ring. Been a really good decade and a half. I love that lady.
I’m ready for the new year, although I’ve been in a little bit of a funk the last week… two jobs ending and a new one beginning with me caught somewhere in the middle. I preached for the 1st Christian Church in Bowie again on Sunday and had a good time. I had the most blessed final shift at Starbucks last night that could be imagined! By 8pm everyone seemed to be at a News Year’s party somewhere and we had like only 20 customers the last two hours including Teresa and the boys! NICE! Tomorrow I arrive at the new office for the first day of my new job.
I’ve bought a new recycled-paper sketch pad to journal prayers in for 2007 with my pen and ink set. I’m about as ready as I can be for the new year. Teresa’s cooking black-eyed peas for our annual animistic ritual.
Psalm 116 comes to me again and again these last couple of weeks as a quiet resting place and song of assurance. God is good, listening, attentive and beautiful.
If I am at a place in life, some new plateau or plain of growth, it is one of yearning for some added completeness. I want to know more and teach more and experience a focus as never before. We worshipped with the University Christian Church on Christmas Eve morning, and I was affected.
This church is a “high church.” I was prepared for it by months of attending the liturgies at St. Martins in the Fields, and was open to the overt language of and search for holiness and mystery. I look forward to the Sunday evening worship times and experiencing both a taste of traditional and contemporary worship. Both have a place in the Kingdom and both have a place in my own heart.
The choir sang some of Handel’s Messiah during the offering and I was appropriately reminded that Handel wrote it for worship. In fact, I remarked to Teresa at lunch that it was surprising how the act of offering was made to be worship that morning by the words, the song and the timing.
Isaac went to “childrens’ worship” at one point and I was thrilled by the elements I saw. He was welcomed by a “Granny,” and several other children who were ready to worship. Their time together was focused on the Advent… they experienced liturgy, art and worship. So different than a headlong rush into loud, fast-paced “play-worship.” And I don’t mean “play-worship” in a negative sense, I just don’t have the words to grab hold of the though right now, but you probably know what I mean… celebratory, fast-paced, loud, distracting yet focusing, and all that.
Anyway, we will have some adjusting as a family to this new church family. I only pray that it is all to God’s glory.
Well, I accepted a job offer this week from the University Christian Church next to TCU in Ft. Worth, Texas. It’s an interim position split 30hrs a week with the Sr. High and 10hrs a week with College. Should be fun… it’s officially a six month position, but there’s some possibility that it could go longer. Here’s their website… http://www.universitychristianchurch.org/ And yes, I have a route that will allow me to ride my scooter to work! SWEET!
I’m sorry. It’s almost been a month since I posted on either stream I’ve been talking about… those were finding a job and my spiritual journey. John the Baptist over here has been busting my chops about it.
On the job front: lots happening actually. I have been part-time at Starbucks for a month and really enjoy it! It’s pays the old el squato, but I get to drink a lot of coffee. I mean, like I’m twitchy while typing this. Otherwise I have been doing interviews with two churches fairly seriously about their positions. One is a small-town 35 member church and the other is a citified 5,000 member church. I might know where I’ll be going next by this time next week.
Both churches are First Christian (Disciples of Christ) Churches. You can find out more about the group at their national website, www.disciples.org. I’ll keep you posted! (with posts)