Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Another Quote!

"Redemption comes when it is most needed and most unlikely, after all other sources of hope have been exhausted." -- J. Levenson

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Prayer Chapel Pictures

Post-It Prayers

Prayer Art

Prayer Chapel Window

Prayer Art

Thursday, February 22, 2007

On Lent...

I think it is safe to say I feel more ready for the season of Lent this year than I ever have. This is because we at Wesley have really prepared ourselves this year. It is a sight to behold to see college students so committed to starting off these 40+ days with the right mindset. It took me years to really grasp what Lent is all about...I am still learning! I am amazed at the depth of these students and the heart they put into it all.

We started off with a Fat Tuesday celebration with all sorts of amazing food prepared by a group of students. Amazing. The food and the fellowship were both incredible.

We moved from there into a very reflective prayer service. A handful of students took it upon themselves to completely transform our common room into a beautiful place of worship. It was stunning. Two freshmen (yes, I said freshmen!) shared their hearts on prayer. Their words continue to follow! There were more students there than any of us expected. We could've stopped there and been completely ready for Ash Wednesday and the season of Lent. But we didn't...

The worship service was planned as a kick-off for 24-hours of prayer in our prayer chapel. It was arranged with several different stations for prayer. Bibles, prayers, candles, prayer journals, pastels and art paper, post-it notes, and all sort of things to guide their prayer. The results of this were amazing. I'll try to post some pictures of it in the next few days.

We ended (or should I say began the season) with an Ash Wednesday Service organized and led by our liturgical dance group. They danced to Scriptures (beautiful and expressive) and songs and did the imposition of the ashes themselves.

This has been the most incredible (and exhausting!) 48-hours I've ever spent preparing for this important season.

"I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection
and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings,
becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow,
to attain to the resurrection of the dead." -- Philippians 3:10-11

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Irresistible Love

"Love talked about is easily turned aside. Love demonstrated is irresistible." -- Stanley Mooneyham

A lifetime ago a girl named Joy Shupe wrote those words in my high school yearbook. Underneath those words, she wrote things that I am still struggling to live into in my life. She said that Mooneyham's words described me and that I was her "personal Barnabas." I didn't even know who Barnabas was at that point in my life, so how could I be like him?! I read what she wrote to me so many times that I still (14+ years later) have almost every word of what she wrote committed to memory. Her words are both encouraging and challenging. They have followed me around ever since...

The beauty of what Joy Shupe did for me that day is that she spoke into my life something I did not see in myself. I still do not know what I might have done that would have inspired her to say something like that to me. What I do know is that ever since I read her words in my high school yearbook, I have tried to really live into them. I want those words to be true of me more and more each day...

I haven't spoken to Joy in years, but I think about her all the time. That quote and her words have shaped who I am and who I want to be. I want to be a person of "irresistible love." The kind of love that never stops giving. The kind of love that inspires and challenges others. The kind of love my friend Joy Shupe had for me...

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

She's Back...

We in the United Methodist Church take communion at the beginning of every month. I love this about our church and look forward to it. I have a very high view of communion and treat it with deep reverence and prayer. I am not sure that most people truly grasp the beauty of this practice...but that is another blog. This one is much lighter and funnier. If you want more on communion, I'd encourage you to check out Eucharist: Christ's Feast with the Church by Laurence Hull Stookey.

I would just like to preface this little story by saying one thing. In the six months since I moved to Auburn, I have not fallen down even once. This is a feat for me. I have a tendency to trip, fall down, and do overall klutzy things...often. I did my fair share of falling in Kentucky...down the stairs (at least five times), in the quad (at least twice) and just generally walking around. It is a tragedy for me and a treat for my friends. With my long record of not falling here, I thought I left my klutzy nature in Kentucky.

Boy, was I wrong...

A few weeks ago, I was at church preparing to take communion. I became terribly aware that my foot was asleep. This is not good, since we rise to take communion in my church. I couldn't stomp my foot, so I just determined to really focus while walking to the altar. Focus I did. I walked slowly and deliberately to the front. I even eased around the piano to the empty spot where I would kneel. Mind you I could not feel my all. I made it to the rail, quite satisfied with myself for not losing my balance.

Then it happened.

I began to kneel and all of the sudden I just started falling to the left. It did not occur to me that my ankle might completely give out at this point. It did and I lost it. The story could end here and be funny enough. Oh, but it doesn' gets worse.

As I actively fall (keep in mind communion usually entails almost complete silence...), I let out a loud whimper. Actually it was more like a grunt. It is sort of hard to describe in words (sound effects are better). The best comparison I can muster is that sound Homer Simpson makes when he's been caught or done something stupid, "doh!" A somewhat loud, prolonged, "doh!"

With a look of horror on his face, the nice man next to me tried to "catch" me. I wouldn't exactly let him...I caught myself with the communion rail. I sort of brushed him off and bowed my head as if to pray. Mostly I sat there wondering how I could leave without anyone noticing. I realized that would be impossible, so I just prayed to die right then and there.

The pastor came past with the communion wafers and...he gave me two out of pity. At least that made me smile. I stayed there and attempted to pray, but mostly just gathered my dignity. I made it back to my seat and could think of nothing else for the rest of the service. Single most embarrassing moment ever.

The next two days I did the following: (1) I fell down at the gas station and got grease all over my pants and (2) spilled an entire diet coke all over my pants. I think it is safe to say the klutz in me is back...full force.