Saturday, October 31, 2009

2009: Elephant Season

I don't normally duplicate the posts from  But the Elephant Season discussion is one that I felt needed to make the leap over. you go!

At the beginning of 2009, "Elephant Season" was declared in the Lives of Shocks.

Now that may sound a little bit daunting, or a little bit militant, or a lotta bit confrontational.

What it has been is very liberating!

All of us have elephants in our lives.  And our houses.  And our churches.  And our jobs.  Those big, clumsy, giant situations that suck all the air out of the room and cause tons of damage to their environment.

It is amazing to me how much we tiptoe around them and try to pretend they are the same size as everything else and spend large sections of time (which are then gone forever) trying to clean up the messes they create and repair the breakage they have incurred.

Well, finally, we got tired of them.  So, 2009 = Elephant Season.  We didn't start out deliberately and systematically attacking the elephants.  We actually told God that He could see them, too, and would He please help us.  If He would kill them, we would cut them in small pieces and remove them.  He said "Okay."

We now have an elephant graveyard here at The Homeplace.  It is a delightfully free and airy spot to which we invite all to come.  We also encourage all to create your own.

We even have eight weeks left!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Thoughts from the Chair on the Sabbath

The concept of the Sabbath is something that has been gnawing away at my spirit for a long time.  Eating at it, picking at it, cropping up when I'm very, very busy doing the Lord's work...

Not Sunday.  Not the day of worship and work...the hardest day of the week...the one at which we sigh in relief when it finally comes to an end...the day of measuring for Christians...not that.  

Sabbath.  The concept which is referenced in the Ten Commandments.  The premise upon which God himself operated when creating Creation.  You know...the one which is outdated, out-of-fashion, irrelevant, not cultural.

This is a nice little thought provoker I recently ran across.  Ponder it a second before you hurry on to the next...thing.

If there is no Sabbath- no regular and commanded not-working, not-talking — we soon become totally absorbed in what we are doing and saying, and God’s work is either forgotten or marginalized. When we work we are most god-like, which means that it is in our work that it is easier to develop god-pretensions. Un-sabbathed, our work becomes the entire context in which we define our lives. We lose God-consciousness, God-awareness, sightings of resurrection. We lose the capacity to sing “this is my fathers world” and end up chirping little self-centred ditties about what we are doing and feeling.

The Most difficult command to keep, a most difficult practice to cultivate. It is one of the most abused and distorted practices of the Christians life. Many through the centuries have suffered much under oppressive Sabbath regimes. And more than a few of us have been among the oppressors.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Thoughts from the Chair on Approval

I recently posted this on Facebook:  

Approval addiction is a killer and destroys the pursuit of truth.  It is insidious and relentless and we rarely acknowledge that we deal with it.

I didn't get a lot of feedback from it.  It was game day after all and LSU was scheduled to play Florida in 3 hours.  So, a lot of people were not in a deep pondering mode, I'm sure.  But what I believe happened in many cases is that people read the statement, felt a sting as it tried to drive deep into their consciousness, and shook it off defensively as memory pictures flashed across the screens of their mind that they summarily dismissed.

Embroiled as many are in the changes sweeping through lives in our religious organization as well as many of our close friends and family members, opinions and life-changing direction decisions are rattling the panes in the windows of all of our homes.  This one is going this way.  That one is going that way.  This one "isn't going to live under this any more."  That one "is stating my claim as to where I stand."  

Running throughout all of the rhetorical hoopla (which is emanating from 360 surround sound) is a not-so-subtle thread of "THIS is where I want to be accepted.  It is from those sharing THIS philosophy that I want my identity and acceptance."

All of it is quite disturbing.  

In a lot of cases, it seems that alignment with a school of thought depends much on the approval of those ensconced in that particular camp.  Or the need to make a wide, black line of demarcation between the camp with whom one totally disagrees and one's present thought processes.  To remove oneself from all defined ares of thought doesn't seem to be an option.  One must must step into one box or must align here or align there.  To not do so risks disapproval from ALL areas.

Not many people are strong enough to do that.  

Not many people are secure enough in who they are and in Whose they are to do that.  

Not many people have enough of a true concept of what the approval of God looks like to do that. 

It would be very interesting to know how we would live, how we would act, how we would look, and what our relationship to God would be if we lived on a desert island with no one else watching us.  Just us, food, shelter, God and His Word.  

Nobody to police us, nobody to judge us, nobody to instruct us, nobody to clap for us.

Nobody to tell us how anointed we are, or how right on we are, or how far off we are.

Nobody to impress, nobody to win, nobody to be an example for, nobody.

Just us and God.

Living for the approval of One.

What would life look like then?

I would like for this chair to become my desert island.

Thoughts from the Chair

Here is the chair:

Why this chair?  Well, because it just happens to be the most comfortable one at the moment.  And having been sidelined unexpectedly by a torn calf muscle 14 days ago, I have been spending way more time than I have wanted to in this chair.  I've been very creative in dreaming up ways to occupy my time.  I have:

  • read a LOT on my Kindle
  • paid bills on my computer
  • played Boggle on my iPhone
  • worked overtime Facebooking and Twittering
  • found new templates for my blogs
  • prayed
  • read the Word
  • made out all my Christmas lists
  • watched a documentary about the Holocaust
  • listened to millions of songs on iTunes
  • finished my taxes for 2008
  • caught up on conversations with my children and husband.  (However, I still have lots to talk about with them.  Won't EVER get caught up on that!)
  • thought.  And thought.  And thought.  About lots of stuff.
Some of those thoughts I will share.  Here.  Others you will never know about.  :-)

So, my blogs may come closer together in the next few days.  I still have quite a bit more down time in this chair.  And a lot more thoughts.  Stay tuned...