CREEP

Nails it!  Never felt good enough.  Never fit in.  Never loved who I was.  Just a creep and a weirdo.  Became the prodigal, the runaway and misfit.  Lived in the far country carousing in spiritual poverty.  And then – on bended knee surrendered to the One who didn’t see a freak, didn’t see my ugliness, didn’t care what I had done.

This song is about rejection.  Rejection is painful.  Makes us feel useless and unimportant.  Makes us sad and depressed.  Unloved.  But, Lord, you are the Comforter, the Consoler, the Healer.  Please, today, work your miracles.  Comfort, console, heal and make us whole.

When you were here before
Couldn’t look you in the eye
You’re just like an angel
Your skin makes me cry

You float like a feather
In a beautiful world
And I wish I was special
You’re so ****** special

But I’m a creep, I’m a weirdo.
What the hell am I doing here?
I don’t belong here.

I don’t care if it hurts
I want to have control
I want a perfect body
I want a perfect soul

I want you to notice
When I’m not around
You’re so ******special
I wish I was special

But I’m a creep, I’m a weirdo.
What the hell am I doing here?
I don’t belong here.

She’s running out again,
She’s running out
She’s run run run run

Whatever makes you happy
Whatever you want
You’re so ***** special
I wish I was special

But I’m a creep, I’m a weirdo,
What the hell am I doing here?
I don’t belong here.
I don’t belong here.

Songwriters: BILL SMITH,GEORGE HUBBARD JR CAMPBELL
© Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC,Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

Shane Claiborne

Shane Claiborne will speak to the risks of practicing discipleship. Shane is the co-founder of the Simple Way, a faith community in inner-city Philadelphia that has helped to birth and connect radical faith communities around the world. His ministry experience is varied, from a 10-week stint working alongside Mother Teresa in Calcutta to a year spent serving a wealthy mega-congregation called Willow Creek Community Church outside of Chicago. Shane is the author of several books including “The Irresistible Revolution”, “Jesus for President” and “Becoming the Answer to Our Prayers.”

Show me

I’m claiming this verse today:

“Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you.  Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.  Psalm 143:8

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my North Star

Just another traveler on life’s highway hanging out in the slow lane.  It’s quiet.  It’s peaceful.  Beyond the horizon is rest calling my name.  Green pastures, still waters, my cup overflows.

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No, Christ is not his last name.  Probably most of you are smarter than I am, so don’t judge me too harshly when I tell you that for many years, having heard Jesus Christ mouthed so many times in church, I thought Christ to be a surname.  You can understand why I did not get A+ in Vacation Bible School.  And Sunday School was more along the lines of play time before entering the church sanctuary where I had to shut up and sit still for an insufferable hour beside my mother.

Then I heard (yes, I did listen sometimes) a visiting pastor say, “Jesus, the Christ.”

Jesus, THE CHRIST!  What is he saying?  I began to repeat his terminology because he was a big city minister with a Doctor of Divinity behind his name who, I determined, knew a lot more than our country bumpkin preacher and my irreverent uncle who always  said Jesus Christ.  Well, that theory fizzled with the city slicker preacher’s demise in a church finances scandal, but I stayed with Jesus, the Christ.

Father Richard Rohr, a Franciscan, founder of CENTER FOR ACTION AND CONTEMPLATION, will be focusing during 2019 on “Old and New: An Evolving Faith.”  Interestingly for me, in today’s post, he states:

The teaching of Jesus is our central reference point. We all need a North Star to orient us toward meaning and purpose.  As a Christian and Franciscan, for me that is Jesus, who revealed the Eternal Christ.

He then defines Christ as:

“….the eternal, ongoing union of human and divine, present in and evolving all of Creation since the beginning of time….”

Man has always searched for the divine as evidenced by crude drawings on cave walls to elaborate theologies with a litany of “thou shalt” and “thou shalt not”.  Many searchers today look to the heavens for divine guidance.  Like I said in my beginning sentences, most of you are probably smarter than I am; therefore, where you look for divinity is your choice and your personal North Star.  If it “orients you toward meaning and purpose”  in life then seize your discovery and run with it.

Jesus – our North Star, our moral compass, revealing through his life and teachings the Christ, the human and divine union of God, man and all of Creation.

Jesus, the Christ!  How cool is that?

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CHRISTMASTIDE – Hallelujah!

Just another traveler on life’s highway hanging out in the slow lane.  It’s quiet.  It’s peaceful.  Beyond the horizon is rest calling my name.  Green pastures, still waters, my cup overflows.

By now everybody has been wearied by Christmas.  Can’t wait to take down the decorations (Lord knows they’ve been up since the day after Thanksgiving), put the tree back up in the attic, exchange all those stupid sweaters and pen sets you got for something you really need, and clean house preparing for New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Whoa!  What’s the rush?  We are in Christmastide now.  What?  You never heard of the 12 days of Christmas.  Yeah, aside from the partridge in the pear tree there is a liturgical calendar which says those 12 days run from December 25th to January 6th of 2019.  This is when the commercialization and the hectic pace of pre-Christmas insanity finally takes a back seat to a season of fully appreciating the birth of Jesus.  Christmastide ends on January 6 with the feast of Epiphany.

If you love your decorations and the nativity scene, just tell your complaining neighbors or your wife that it is perfectly proper, liturgically, to keep those joys of Christmas on display at least until January 6th.  If they should lament having to see your lights and wreaths and tree and the baby Jesus on the front lawn another 12 days, inform them that the Catholic Christmastide lasts for 40 days into February and you are considering converting to Catholicism.

No, don’t do that.  I am being facetious.   The official church calendar calls this period the ‘octave of Christmas’, because in those 12 days are 8 solemn days of rejoicing, days emphasized by particular joy, lavishness, pomp, and glory.  These are days to shout Hallelujah, meaning ‘praise ye the Lord’.  And why is that?  Because the baby whom we celebrate, literally or symbolically, has changed the world unlike any other event, or story, in history.

“Praise ye the Lord.  O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.” Psalm 106:1

I like that.  There is something comforting, something joyful in knowing that we trust a good, merciful God who sent us a baby, the greatest story ever told, to teach the world how to love. HALLELUJAH!

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three gifts

Just another traveler on life’s highway hanging out in the slow lane.  It’s quiet.  It’s peaceful.  Beyond the horizon is rest calling my name.  Green pastures, still waters, my cup overflows.

In the ancient world gold, frankincense and myrrh were standard gifts presented to a king or deity.

Biblical archaeology.org

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“And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold and frankincense, and myrrh.  Matthew 2:11

What in the world would a baby want with gold, frankincense, and myrrh?  Can’t play with it.  Can’t eat it.  Can’t cuddle up to it like a fuzzy, teddy bear.  Don’t you think that Joseph and Mary would have really appreciated several packages of diapers or a year’s supply of baby  powder?

Of course I am being facetious.  Those gifts which the writers of Matthew and Luke wrote into their narrative of the birth of Jesus were symbolically appropriate for the birth of their Jewish king and historically acceptable gifts to present to kings – gold for royalty, frankincense (an ancient remedy for arthritis), for health, and myrrh (a spice used to prepare the body for burial), for the finality of the tomb.

Gift-giving is a reciprocal behavior.  I give to you.  You give to me.  It’s no different in a person’s faith walk or his/her recovery program.  1 Corinthians, chapter 12 details the gifts of the Spirit.  Pages 83-84 of THE BIG BOOK of Alcoholics Anonymous proclaim to us the ‘promises’ of sobriety.  These are gifts which will be realized when our lives are directed by a Higher Power rather than the whims of self.  Surrender is the only requirement to receiving these gifts.

OK, so I’m a grateful receiver.  But, what do I give in return?  What are my gifts for you and for God?  I cannot buy gold, frankincense and myrrh as gifts.  I can barely afford a greeting card.  But, would you be satisfied with my time, my understanding, my patience, my unconditional love?

I am preparing to celebrate the baby Jesus.  I can’t wrap my presents in pretty paper and a bright bow, but I am hoping He will smile and accept me just as I am.

I come broken to be mended,
I come wounded to be healed.
I come desperate to be rescued,
I come empty to be filled.

 

You’re invited.  Why don’t you come?

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