Benediction by Nadia Bolz-Weber, at the funeral of Rachel Held Evans

I preached today about how to live the life of Christians, here and now, even as we pray, Come, Lord Jesus. During the sermon, I read the benediction by Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber, which was read at the funeral of Rachel Held Evans.  I read the benediction during the sermon as an example of the kind of life we must live as Christians, the kind of prayer we must pray in today’s day and world. .

..So gifted, so loved, so loving, so sad, and yet the world is a better and happier place because of Rachel…

Video of the funeral of Rachel Held Evans

Benediction by The Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber, at the funeral of Rachel Held Evans

“Blessed are the agnostics. Blessed are they who doubt. Blessed are those who have nothing to offer. Blessed are the preschoolers who cut in line at communion. Blessed are the poor in spirit. You are of heaven and Jesus blesses you.

“Blessed are those whom no one else notices. The kids who sit alone at middle-school lunch tables. The laundry guys at the hospital. The sex workers and the night-shift street sweepers. The closeted. The teens who have to figure out ways to hide the new cuts on their arms. Blessed are the meek. You are of heaven and Jesus blesses you.

“Blessed are they who have loved enough to know what loss feels like. Blessed are the mothers of the miscarried. Blessed are they who can’t fall apart because they have to keep it together for everyone else. Blessed are those who “still aren’t over it yet.” Blessed are those who mourn. You are of heaven and Jesus blesses you.

“I imagine Jesus standing here blessing us because I believe that is our Lord’s nature. This Jesus cried at his friend’s tomb, turned the other cheek, and forgave those who hung him on a cross because He was God’s Beatitude— He was God’s blessing to the weak in a world that only admires the strong.  

[And shall Rachel have this last word…]

“‘Jesus invites us into a story bigger than ourselves and our imaginations, yet we all get to tell that story with the scandalous particularity of this moment and this place. We are storytelling creatures because we are fashioned in the image of a storytelling God. May we never neglect that gift. May we never lose our love for telling the story. Amen.'”

Whose church is WillowCreekCC?

Past couple days I read about Willow Creek Community Church where I have attended church and the church that listen to and attend Sunday services regularly online.  I am saddened.

He’s a Superstar Pastor. She Worked for Him and Says He Groped Her Repeatedly.

Willow Creek Church Says It Will Investigate Its Powerful Pastor, Bill Hybels

Whose church is WillowCreekCC?  If the answer is God, then God, grant us courage and faith!

 

 

I Press On Toward the Goal

I had a meltdown two days ago.  I was so discouraged that I couldn’t concentrate.  I couldn’t read.  That meant that I couldn’t get any school work done.  Reading week was coming to an end and I had lots more work left to finish.

Somehow, with help of my boyfriend, I got through the moment.  I calmed down.  I talked to my therapist.  I had dinner with a friend.  I went to Bible Study.  And the next day, well it wasn’t back to normal.  I was having trouble reading but not as badly as the day before.  I tried over and over again to read and to just get through some of the material.  Thanks be to God that for me, reading material has a lot to do with my faith since I’m studying theology.  I read about Jesus, how Jesus saves, how Jesus liberates.  But it was still a hard day.

And I watched service online last night.  and did some more reading, then went to bed.  This morning, I’m reading the lectionary, the Bible reading for today set by the church.  and totally encourage and struck by the passage in Philippians 3:14

“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14)

We’re not there, wherever there is.  I’m not there yet, where God wants me to be and has plans for me to be.  So I will press on toward the goal of eternal life, of salvation promised eternally with God, resurrection of the dead, and redemption from everything that brings my spirit down.  I’m reading today about why it is that if Jesus conquered death, if Jesus died for us, why does sin still have a hold on us?  I think that’s one of the things I’ll try to figure out today.  Because I have faith, I believe in my salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.  But I still have moments of utter despair…and in those moments, I need voices and reminders of those who know and love me to hold on to me until I come out of the darkness.

Oh my Lord, my soul rejoices in you this morning, to be alive, to have a chance to press on toward the goal, for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.  Thank you God.

 

 

You are my God

“You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God, I will extol you” (Psalm 118:28)

Dear God, you are my God.  You have created me, you have sustained me, you have brought me out of darkness, you gave me life that I could live, testifying to your goodness.  You have healed me, God, from an unrelenting depression.  I am now working as a chaplain helping others who need to be comforted.

In a thousand years, I did not imagine I would ever recover.  I thought every moment being crushed in pain was the life I would know until my death.  You are my God and I give thanks to you.  You have shown me mercy I did not deserve but desperately needed.  God, help me to remain helpful, not to lose heart at the first sign of difficult or discouraging emotions.  Let my life be an encouragement to others who need you.

God, you know my thoughts and my desires even before I can clearly articulate them myself.  God help me to be a faithful servant, good steward of the resources you have given me.  Thank you, God.  I praise you, for you are my God.

shout out to a friend’s post on christian meditation

I read my friend’s post few weeks ago on christian and buddhist meditation.  It really made sense to me.  And I found suggestions in it helpful, reference to well known, but worth emphasizing methods of reading the Bible and praying.  I highly recommend this post.  Here is the link

 

you have become my salvation

“I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation” (Psalm 118:21)

I thank you, God, for today.  I have the day off from work.  And I am able to relax, drink coffee, read the Bible and to pray.  I am so thankful this morning for my life.  Lately, I have been feeling sad and unmotivated on weekends, which at times cause me to think life is but a misery.  God, give me strength and hope that I can live through such moments/days of sadness and hopelessness.  Let me live in reality that you are my salvation!

Merry Christmas…the year all my wishes came true

Merry Christmas, everyone! This was a great Christmas. One friend proposed to a girlfriend of eleven years and she said yes! Another friend gave birth to a beautiful girl! My boyfriend and I are together, again. 🙂 We got to spend Christmas together. And I have a great roommate. I get to see my nieces and my two sisters in two days. I finished four units of CPE which means my badges in hospitals will now say chaplain instead of chaplain intern. I got great feedback on my final paper and terrific grade in the class I was taking. At this point in my life, for everything I could ask for, I got. So happy and feeling great! Thank you, God! Thank you, Jesus!