Monday, January 08, 2007

Ancient Prayers

Our church has a tradition of writing Letters to Jesus on the first Sunday of January every year. I don't know how long we've been doing this, but it has been a long time. They are actually written prayers. We take time out during our gathering to be still and know and to set our eyes on Jesus the author and perfecter...We do this to quiet our minds and out bodies and listen to the Lord. For first timers it can seem a bit forced, but eventually the idea sinks in. Writing out prayers is an ancient tradition. It is a spiritual discipline that forces us to slow down, shut out the noises, and be still before the Lord. Written prayers take personal discipline and practice. Many of us were taught that prayer was simply a conversation with Jesus, and while that is true, it is not the whole story. Doug Pagitt's book Body Prayer talks about using our whole body as the prayer, not just words. He was interviewed on the radio recently about this. When I was in seminary I took notes on my laptop. I almost never remembered what I wrote until I reviewed the notes. Then my laptop crashed and I was forced back into the analog world. I found that I was able to remember a greater amount of the notes that I took by hand without having to review them! There must be some sort of mechanism between our hands and out brains that makes this possible. I shared with with our congregation and many seemed to connect with it. As we start out this new year, perhaps this is a spiritual disciple worth living out!

Tag, You're It

I've been tagged by Billy Calderwood. I'll list out my five things in a bit, but I started thinking about this tag thing. I mean it does seem rather 7 Degrees oriented. I wonder how long it will take to come back around. Anyhow, it appears there has been a tagging war in my neighborhood between Burbank and Glendale gangs. Tagging is always about getting your name out there and claiming a certain space. The gang members are looking to expand their influence, likely over who gets to sell drugs in a certain area. It is a bit of a pissing contest. To this point it has not turned violent and hopefully never will. I wonder how many of us, in the workplace or in the church, enter into some form of turf war/pissing contest in order to feel like we are in control of something. It is difficult when Jesus talks about how the first will be last and all of that. When ever I've been to a pastors' conference the opening line seems to be "So, how big is your church? What kinds of great programs do you have?" I usually avoid this like the plague, but I am not always successful. If Jesus was really telling the truth about he economics of the Kingdom, then what do we do with all of the bravado and false competition?

OK, here are my five things (I am sure that the above meanderings revealed a few things too)
1) My favorite movie is War Games (I know some of the original phreaks of the 70's and 80s)
2) I was arrested in Jr. High for shooting squirrels with my BB gun.
3) I'm turning 40 this year and have only been out of the country twice: both times to New Zealand!
4) I never watched a pro basketball games from start to finish until after I was married. My wife is a jock and former PE teacher!

5) I really liked A Prayer for Owen Meaning, but hated Simon Birch.

I now tag:
Tim Harwick
David K
Carrie G

Have Fun Y'all

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Fun at the Rose Parade

I had a great time with my family at the Rose Parade yesterday and captured a couple of vids of the Star Wars floats.

Here is the first one:

Here is the second one: