7/25/12—Maturing in wisdom and age

charity: water

In Advent 2011, with input from Forum members, our (online) Advent Calendar (and 12 Days of Christmas Calendar) featured different individuals and organizations dedicated to serving others (and in serving also helping others). One of the goals of the Sunday Morning Forum (online and in real time) is for us to grow/mature in faith through the actions we take. We want to allow our faith to inform our actions and have our actions inspire a deeper faith in a ever expanding way.

One of the featured organizations in Advent was charity: water. Here is my introduction to their important work:

If you have ever hiked or camped in the wilderness you KNOW how precious water is to your survival. Drink contaminated water and you become sick. Go without water, become dehydrated, and you are in peril within 48 hours. A person can survive without food for days or weeks, a person deprived of water will likely be dead within days, not lasting even a week. ~dan rondeau

charity: water is a non-profit organization bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations. (from the Mission Statement of charity: water)

Here is a video sample of the work being done by charity: water. The video tells Rachel’s story (have your kleenex ready), but I also encourage you to read the blog post.

Rachel Beckwith’s Mom Visits Ethiopia. from charity: water on Vimeo.

Finally, I encourage you to make a donation to Rachel’s Birthday Wish for Sienna or donate directly to charity: water and, please, leave a comment here or on their blog.

7/24/12—Maturing in wisdom and age

Thomas à Kempis

My “go-to” book on discernment is Hearing with the heart: A gentle guide to discerning God’s will for your life (San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2003) by Debra K. Farrington. She begins Chapter 1 with this prayer by Thomas à Kempis whom the Episcopal Church commemorates today (July 24):

Grant me, O Lord, to know what I ought to know, to love what I ought to love, to praise what delights you most, to value what is precious in your sight, to hate what is offensive to you. Do not allow me to judge according to the sight of my eyes, nor to pass sentence according to the hearing of my ears; but to discern with a true judgment between things visible and spiritual, and above all things, always to inquire what is the good pleasure of your will.

The wisdom of Thomas has helped and continues to help shape my spirituality. My prayer is frequently not as eloquent as this prayer, but it is nonetheless fervent in seeking to know and do God’s will.

What do you think—is his prayer something you have prayed? Something you would like to pray? Something that a Christ-follower might actually achieve (knowing and doing God’s will)? Let us know.

7/22/12—Maturing in wisdom and age

Jesus matured in wisdom and years, and in favor with God and with people. Luke 2:52 CEB

Mary Magdalene: Apostle to the Apostles

Jesus and Mary Magdalene by Bruce Wolfe in the Mission Santa Barbara
Jesus with Mary Magdalene by Bruce Wolfe in the Mission Santa Barbara

Every July 22nd the Episcopal Church commemorates Mary Magdalene, Apostle to the Apostles. This year her commemoration is moved to Monday, July 23rd.

Misidentification of Mary as reformed public sinner achieved official standing with a powerful homily by Pope Gregory the Great (540-604).
Henceforth, Mary of Magdala became known in the west, not as the strong woman leader who accompanied Jesus through a tortuous death, first witnessed his Resurrection, and proclaimed the Risen Savior to the early church, but as a wanton woman in need of repentance and a life of hidden (and hopefully silent) penitence. Interestingly, the eastern church never identified her as a prostitute, but honored her throughout history as “the Apostle to the Apostles”. Read more at Mary of Magdala– Apostle to the Apostles
Mary Magdalene looking to the Risen Christ
The Gospel narratives give a prominence to women in the Jesus movement unusual in ancient society; this culminates in the extraordinary part which they play in Matthew’s, Mark’s and John’s accounts of the human discovery of the Resurrection. All three evangelists make women the first witnesses to the empty tomb and resurrection of Jesus; this is despite the fact that in Jewish Law women could not be considered as valid witnesses. The most prominent named woman, first in all three accounts, is Mary Magdalene (‘from Magdala’ in Galilee). She was a close associate of Jesus in his public ministry and has continued to arouse a set of variously motivated fascinations among Christians throughout the ages. Some overexcited modern commentators and mediocre novelists have even elevated her (on no good ancient evidence) to the status of Jesus’s wife.
(MacCulloch, Diarmaid (2010-02-25). Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years, Kindle Edition. Search word: Magdalene

7/18/12—Maturing in wisdom and age

Jesus matured in wisdom and years, and in favor with God and with people. Luke 2:52 CEB

World Water Day video from charity: water

World Water Day is observed on March 22nd every year. However, the need for clean water is constant. This short video was prepared by charity: water. The video speaks volumes. The need is great. I want to be part of the solution; I hope you do, too.

7/17/12—Maturing in wisdom and age

Jesus matured in wisdom and years, and in favor with God and with people. Luke 2:52 CEB

The Lord’s Prayer as you’ve (probably) never heard it before

The Lord’s Prayer in Lakota.

Some of you were as privileged as me to receive the wisdom, experience, and ministry of The Rev. Margaret Watson at St. Margaret’s in Palm Desert, CA. Currently Margaret is serving Episcopal churches from Eagle Butte, SD on the Cheyenne River Reservation. She has a daily blog post—leave it lay where Jesus flang it—written as part of her morning prayer time. I encourage you to check out my “Garden & Compost” note of 7/13/2012. As we listen for the whispers of the Spirit we may hear the voices of our brothers and sisters in Christ from as far away as South Dakota and as near as the Reservations in our own Coachella Valley.

7/13/12—Maturing in wisdom and age

Jesus matured in wisdom and years, and in favor with God and with people. Luke 2:52 CEB

Introducing 2 new items for our blog

Luke tells us that when his frantic parents found Jesus (who had been lost to them several days) in the Temple they reprimanded him, brought him home, that, in her heart, Mary treasured all she had witnessed, and finally that “Jesus matured in wisdom and years…” (Luke 2:52)

  1. From time to time those of us who post here will offer an “Aside, Link, Quote, Status update, or other short note” as part of OUR “maturing in wisdom and age.” These will be shorter than a full post. They will be a “quick read.”
  2. As you may remember we make our posts within a particular “category.” In the right hand column you will now find a convenient drop down list titled “Go to this category.” Use it to take you to those posts (and quick notes) in a specific category (like Art & Music).

Let us know what you think about these additions. Thanks for being part of the Sunday Morning Forum at St. Margaret’s in Palm Desert, CA.

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