A Thanksgiving Prayer

The Canticle of the Creatures

Most High, all-powerful, all-good Lord,
All praise is Yours, all glory, honor and blessings.
To you alone, Most High, do they belong;
no mortal lips are worthy to pronounce Your Name.

We praise You, Lord, for all Your creatures,
especially for Brother Sun,
who is the day through whom You give us light.
And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendor,
of You Most High, he bears your likeness.

We praise You, Lord, for Sister Moon and the stars,
in the heavens you have made them bright, precious and fair.

We praise You, Lord, for Brothers Wind and Air,
fair and stormy, all weather’s moods,
by which You cherish all that You have made.

We praise You, Lord, for Sister Water,
so useful, humble, precious and pure.

We praise You, Lord, for Brother Fire,
through whom You light the night.
He is beautiful, playful, robust, and strong.

We praise You, Lord, for Sister Earth,
who sustains us
with her fruits, colored flowers, and herbs.

We praise You, Lord, for those who pardon,
for love of You bear sickness and trial.
Blessed are those who endure in peace,
by You Most High, they will be crowned.

We praise You, Lord, for Sister Death,
from whom no-one living can escape.
Woe to those who die in their sins!
Blessed are those that She finds doing Your Will.
No second death can do them harm.

We praise and bless You, Lord, and give You thanks,
and serve You in all humility.

-St. Francis of Assisi

It was all because of a diet?

We are beginning a series this Sunday I am calling “Allegiance.” It is a series on the life of Daniel and the three Hebrew friends. My goal is to reflect on the lives of people who lived in a truly hostile environment and still carved out their deep faith in God to not only “live for God” but… hold on to your seats here… bless the hostile culture in which they found themselves. 

Daniel 1 is up first and we will NOT be talking about nutrition!

How Daniel and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego ended up with incredible wisdom wasn’t reflected in their nutrition package.

20 In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom. (Dan. 1:20)

Let’s talk about what Daniel DID have that set him apart… and how that reflects in our present day.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Living in Babylon

I am beginning a series on the life of Daniel. My study this week takes me through Joyce Baldwin’s little commentary in the Tyndale series. It’s a solid resource I’ve had for years.

One of the reminders from Daniel’s life was his solid faith in Yahweh. He was being forced to learn a polytheistic culture, but his faith didn’t keep him from learning. It didn’t undermine his belief system.

The writer of Daniel implies no objection to the study of a polytheistic literature in which magic, sorcery, charms and astrology played a prominent part, though these had been banned in Israel… These young men from Jerusalem’s court needed to be secure in their knowledge of Yahweh to be able to study this literature objectively without allowing it to undermine their faith.

Good reminders for our own day.

Meaningful moments, meaningful songs

I was on my way to a pastors’ meeting in 2008. My soul was dying. I was trying to “fix things” in my own way with my church and ministry and while I had the best intentions, it was failing miserably. I was dying inside a little more every day.

I had a Christian station on that morning and this song came on. I sat outside that church and wept like a baby for several minutes.

The Lord knew right where I was.

I am so grateful for those amazing moments of grace. I was thinking of this song just the other day, so I wanted to post it before I forgot it again.

 

I don’t understand… and I WANT to understand

Ferguson, MO is blowing up again. No indictment for the white cop who shot and killed a young unarmed black man.

As someone white, I can look at the evidence as it comes out and “analyze” it.

But the problem is obviously deeper. I want to acknowledge that.

I don’t understand enough. And I want to understand.

This video from Matt Chandler gives me some starting thoughts. He looks at Acts 10 as a text to discuss racism. He readily admits it is hard work. We tend to make steps toward a conversation, but our natural tendency, for ANY race, is to drift back toward what is familiar to us. This is hard work.

I’ve not done well with this, and it may very well be I’m going to goof this up all over again.

Beyond the “facts” of the case. Beyond the rioting that has resulted. There is a problem. 

I am going to try and listen today. But I want more than that. I want to dialogue with significant people I have followed and respect. There will be moments of rage I need to hear.

Efrem Smith has a great piece to help me get started. I would love a dialogue with him.

Rod Thomas at Political Jesus will be cranking it up soon, and I need to hear his raging voice as well. (I say “raging voice” with respect.)

This is hard work.

I cannot be afraid of the work.

Please help me.