Wind Chimes: 4 Dec 2012

Good morning

As a new day dawns the chimes sound in greeting and joy. What do you hear?

Preparing for a guest

In this Advent season we prepare outwardly for Christmas: we hang lights and put up decorations, we bake goodies and wrap gifts. How will you prepare inwardly? The coming of Christ means that God will be incarnate: embodied, lovingly present, in the flesh in your life. Christ is coming into your life, into your heart, in a new way. Advent is a time to prepare a way for that to happen. God enters our lives without our planning or arranging; yet there are ways we can open the doors, and as the carol says of Jesus, “prepare him room.”

Imagine that Jesus were actually coming to live with you. What would you want to do to prepare? READ the rest of the “Prepare the way” meditation on Unfolding Light

Links to online Advent Calendars

Each of these has a different approach. Find one that helps you “prepare the way.”

Trinity Wall Street Online Advent Calendar

Busted Halo Online Advent Calendar

CREDO Online Advent Calendar

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God help us to be …

God help us to be honest
so our children will learn honesty.
Help us to be kind
so our children will learn kindness.
Help us to be faithful
so our children will learn faith.
Help us to love
so our children will be loving.

Marian Wright Edelman in
Guide My Feet, (1995).

“Black Friday” began the “Shopping Season” and retailers are relentless in keeping us focused on buying often and buying more. “#GivingTuesday” (11/27/12) was an invitation to give and use our “buying power” in a way that benefits others for more than just a day.

I intend to keep that invitation in front of us throughout the “Shopping Season.” I believe  that It is always the right time to be generous. If you haven’t participated in “#GivingTuesday” how about today? ~dan

Today’s give-a-gift-to-help-others idea:

  • Children’s Defense Fund — “a non-profit child advocacy organization that has worked relentlessly for nearly 40 years to ensure a level playing field for all children.”

Looking for other give-a-gift-to-help-others ideas?
Go first to Charity Navigator for those ideas
and for an evaluation of how your dollars will be spent

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Photo: Nao Sakaki on Indian Country Today Media Network

Wind Chimes: 20 Nov 2012

[Hannah] was deeply distressed
and prayed to the Lord,
and wept bitterly.

Hannah was praying silently;
only her lips moved,
but her voice was not heard

1 Samuel 1:10, 13 NRSV

Most days the wind constantly moves the chimes but we are not aware, we are easily distracted by other sounds. Slow down, pause, become aware, become attentive. What do you hear?

Every moment could be a moment of prayer

Consider prayer a lifting up of heart and mind to God with Brother David Steindl-Rast. This audio clip is approximately 3 minutes long.

Prayer as a lifting of heart and mind to GodPlay an audio clip

Begin with your experiences as you explore prayer

Quote . . .Most of us know the experience of prayer. We may remember prayers taught to us in childhood. Prayers offered in our church communities may have meaning for us. Many of us can recall a time of pain, agony or despair when a prayer was pulled out of us with surprising strength: “Oh God, help me, help me!” or “Why, God, why?”

Often we remember times of great wonder during which we experienced God’s presence. A sunset, a piece of music, or a baby’s smile he]ps us to remember that God speaks to us in many ways if we are open and willing to see and to listen. When our hearts are touched by the wonder of God we often respond with words of gratitude or praise or simply an inner smile of joy.

We are all pray-ers; we know how to pray. But when we think about learning to pray we forget our experience and turn outside ourselves for answers and insights. The first step in exploring the life of prayer is to begin with the experiences that are uniquely ours.

From an online essay, Exploring a Life of Prayer by Jane E. Vennard (archived on Religion Online)

A Morning Prayer

Lord you are in this place, Fill us with your power, Cover us with your peace, Show us your presence.

Lord help us to know, We are in your hands, We are under your protection, We are covered by your love.

Lord we ask you, today, To deliver us from evil, To guide us in our travels, To defend us from all harm.

Lord give us now, Eyes to see the invisible, Ears to hear your call, Hands to do your work, And hearts to respond to your love.

David Adam. Border Lands: The Best of David Adam’s Celtic Vision (p. 23). Kindle Edition.

Photo: by Sam Javanrouh and posted on Facebook by Indian Country Today Media Network on November 16, 2012.

Wind Chimes: 3 Nov 2012

Ruth said [to Naomi], “Do not press me to leave you or to turn back from following you! Where you go, I will go; where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die, I will die—there will I be buried. May the Lord do thus and so to me, and more as well, if even death parts me from you!”

Ruth 1:16-17 NRSV

The next two Sundays offer readings from the Book of Ruth. One commentator sets us on a deeper understanding of one of the treasures found in the Book: “Near the end of the book, the Bethlehemite women will articulate to Naomi what has been evident all along, that Ruth’s love is worth more than seven sons. Grace is walking right beside Naomi, unseen, yet refusing to leave her.” Let’s explore “being present.” ~dan

Persistent, pleasant, reminding us of the graces we receive through no effort of our own, the chimes sound. What do you hear?

Being Present

Being present in the spiritual life always has a double meaning. There’s present, as in here, in attendance. And there’s present, as in now, a moment of time. What is the spiritual practice of being present? Being here now.

The world’s religions all recommend living in the moment with full awareness. Zen Buddhism especially is known for its emphasis on “nowness.” Hindu, Taoist, Jewish, Moslem, Christian, and other teachers urge us to make the most of every day as an opportunity that will not come to us again.

Also under the rubric of being present is the traditional spiritual exercise called practicing the presence of God. This means recognizing that God is here now moving through our everyday activities, no matter how trivial they might seem.

Being Present” a spiritual practice on Spirituality & Practice

Nature: ever present

“The last debate of the presidential season belongs to Mother Nature. Uninvited, unmentioned throughout the political debates on this most important of election seasons, Mother Nature, incarnated by Guabancex, Caribbean deity of weather systems, invites herself.” Read more on Indian Country Today Media Network

This understanding of Nature and the Creator is remarkably like the discovery of Job (see God’s ‘speech’ in Job 38 and Job’s response in Job 42). ~dan

ERD: Healing a hurting worldGive to the Hurricane Sandy Response Fund
administered by Episcopal Relief and Development

One great thing about growing old

One great thing about growing old is that nothing is going to lead to anything. Everything is of the moment.

Joseph Campbell in A Joseph Campbell Companion edited by Diane Osbon and quoted on Spirituality & Practice (Quotations for the Spiritual Practice of Being Present)

Commentary by Patricia Tull A.B. Rhodes Professor Emerita of Old Testament Louisville Presbyterian Seminary (Jeffersonville, IN) on WorkingPreacher.org

Photo: By Jkadavoor (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons ~dan

Wind Chimes: 30 Oct 2012

The Large Hadron Collider. Image: National Geographic

I had heard You with my ears,
But now I see You with my eyes;
Therefore, I recant and relent,
Being but dust and ashes.

Job 42:5-6 NJPS

We’ll stay with these verses one more day. Where does wonder begin? Where does relationship become more important than information?  ~dan

Do the chimes sound humble? Defiant? Confused? Harmonic? What do you hear?

As civiliaation advances

As civilization advances, the sense of wonder declines. Such decline is an alarming symptom of our state of mind. Mankind will not perish for want of information; but only for want of appreciation. —Abraham Joshua Heschel

Meet Wicahpi Cavanaugh, a “Garden Warrior”

“When Wicahpi Cavanaugh (Cheyenne River Lakota) was 14, he seemed headed in the wrong direction. … But all that was before Cavanaugh took up … gardening.” More

In a garden, building relationships with Nature and with co-workers, experiences even more wonderful than splitting the atom become possible and even more life-giving. A sense of wonder is born and nurtured. ~dan

Read more: ‘Garden Warrior’ Credits ‘Dream of Wild Health’ With Transforming his Life, Receives Scholarship on Indian Country Today Media Network.

See also:
Dream of Wild Health
Camp Stevens Environmental Education Programs

The beauty of the trees

The beauty of the trees,
the softness of the air,

the fragrance of the grass,
speaks to me.

The summit of the mountain,
the thunder of the sky,

the rhythm of the sea,
speaks to me.

The faintness of the stars,
the freshness of the morning,

the dewdrop on the flower,
speaks to me.

The strength of fire,
the taste of salmon,
the trail of the sun,

and the life that never goes away,
they speak to me.

And my heart soars.

—Chief Dan George

Roberts, Elizabeth; Amidon, Elias (2011-04-26). Earth Prayers: 365 Prayers, Poems, and Invocations from Around the World (p. 42). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

I encourage you to read more about and more from Indian Country Today Media Network: Serving the Nations. Celebrating the People. ~dan

Wind Chimes: 23 Oct 2012

Dawn
Good Morning Everyone and Everything! via Indian Country Today Media Network

Have you ever commanded the day to break,
Assigned the dawn its place,

Job 38:12 NJPS

We continue to consider the words of the Creator from the whirlwind. Let the sounds go with you into the week (and beyond). ~dan

The whirlwind continues. The chimes swirl differently. What do you hear?

Infinite Majesty

Am l too independent to bow to you,
To admit to your sovereignty
Over my heart, over my entire life?
Am I too proud to acknowledge
Your ultimate powerfulness?
Am I too ignorant to recognize
Your authority in the cosmos?
Am I too blind to see your grandeur
Etched in the landscape of creation?
If so, shake loose my arrogance.

Today: I bow to Infinite Majesty.

Joyce Rupp. Fragments of Your Ancient Name: 365 Glimpses of the Divine for Daily Meditation (Kindle Locations 1087-1090). Kindle Edition.

Awaken me Lord

Awaken me, Lord, To your light, Open my eyes To your presence.
Awaken me, Lord, To your love, Open my heart To your indwelling.
Awaken me, Lord, To your life, Open my mind To your abiding.
Awaken me, Lord, To your purpose, Open my will To your guiding.

David Adam. Border Lands: The Best of David Adam’s Celtic Vision (p. 16). Kindle Edition.

God, the source and destiny of the cosmos

Author of creation: In wisdom you brought forth all that is, to participate in your divine being, and to change, adapt, and grow in freedom. You make holy the matter and energy of the universe that it may delight you and give you praise. We thank you for gathering all creation into your heart by the energy of your Spirit and bringing it through death to resurrection glory; through the One in whom all things have their being, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music of The Episcopal Church. “Liturgical Materials Honoring God in Creation and Various Rites and Prayers for Animals.” [2012 ‘Blue Book,’ p. 319]

I encourage you to read more about and more from Indian Country Today Media Network: Serving the Nations. Celebrating the People. ~dan

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