There’s no way to say this that hasn’t been said before….

So I started to title this blog before I wrote it… And the best I was coming up with was “God’s Unexpected Acts” or “The Inexplicability of God” or even “God Moments” ….

Then I realized that no matter what I called it, you would all understand exactly what I meant: Those moments when something so odd happens that you know it has to be God moving but you just aren’t sure why or how or where its going to lead to!

My life has been filled with them lately…. meetings and conversations with colleagues that could lead to such unexpected places! reconnecting unexpectedly with part of my family! learning new things about people I think I know well – or about people I didn’t even know I wanted to know! even crises and triumphs in the social and political spheres that surround us all!

Such things can’t be controlled – creating serendipity would make it NOT be serendipity, after all! But we can create an atmosphere where the unexpected can reach us. Put ourselves out there where the unexpected, the serendipitous, the inexplicable can bump into us!

I think that’s what God did in creation: created something that could grow and expand and change so that, yes, there would be this pattern – a rhythmic rise and fall – but there would also a syncopation – a change of timing, an irregularity – that would allow space for something new and exciting to happen! Just in case we got bored – or started to think God was too small to create anything but routine.

While none of you reading this know if you are included in my unexpectedness lately, just trust that you probably are. And I love you for it! You’re reminding me of my spiritual need for allowing God to move in unexpected ways – and that I need to move in that unpredictable flow, as well!

I pray your summer is providing you with some unexpected God moments and that you are able to enjoy them as much as I am!

Blessings,

Beth

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Summer Photos

After a long weekend with my family, I thought I’d take a “moment of personal privilege” (If you are UMC and have recently spent a week at an Annual Conference gathering, you get that joke!) and share some photos with you! I mentioned both these exhibits from Socrates Sculpture Park in my recent newsletter!

If you don’t receive the newsletter, you can sign up for it here: http://eepurl.com/bih8Sn!

 

Summer Blessings,

Beth
IMG_0816 IMG_0821

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Trust… postscript…

I just have to update that last post – and if you haven’t read it yet do so before looking at the pictures below!

But, yes, that’s a blossom in there – several of them, in fact! I’m so happy I could burst – and trust is raising its lonely head just a little bit more!

Blessings,

Beth

IMG_0685 IMG_0686IMG_0684

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Trust….

I’m working on a sermon for June 14th and the thread that jumped out at me from the scriptures was “trust”! Thanks a lot, God! I mean who cares about trust these days?

Do we trust our politicians? Of course not! What about Wall Street? Or Main Street for that matter? No! Police? Military? Foreign governments? (Did China just hack our federal employee files?) No trust there! Educators, scientists, religious leaders? Not so much…

And it seems like no matter whether we consider ourselves (or get labeled) progressive or conservative – left or right – winged or not! – we have the same problem: we don’t trust and don’t even value trust.

Ask me who I trust… Well, maybe its Mercury in retrograde* again (or maybe it’s my waning Indiegogo campaign that isn’t making its goal!) but I’m not a very trusting person these days. I scowl at the news, scoff at my Facebook feed, and argue with church folks about Safe Sanctuary policies! I even looked at my extremely healthy tomato plant the other day and thought, “It’ll never bloom.”

So my relationship with scriptures that talk about trust is a bit edgy…. Fortunately, I like Paul’s logic… that if we are willing to trust… have faith, confidence… then we can approach Christ and be empowered to change… to regard everything from a new perspective! We can plant some new seeds and grow some new plants and trust some produce will follow!

Even me…

Blessings,

Beth

*Just kidding… but it seems like every time something goes wrong, poor Mercury gets blamed!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Two weeks to go….

Well, the Indiegogo campaign is winding down! Yesterday marked two weeks until it ends… I’m not sure if I’m glad or sad about that. It’s been a lot of work – and with minimal financial payback so far.

On the other hand, there’s been tremendous traffic on the site – far beyond what I expected – and that publicity may be beneficial down the road. And I’ve learned a lot through the process – which is always good.

Also, The Study: Spiritual Action in Daily Life will definitely happen this summer! A ten-week study will begin on August 3rd. Each week I’ll direct you to a church or world news-worthy event that will connect with scripture. Then I’ll share a series of text-messaged questions that encourage you to apply what you learn to your own daily life!

If you want more information – and a sample of what a typical week might be like – you can check out the Indiegogo site and my WordPress page for The Study. I’d love to see you in The Study this August!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Study: Spiritual Action in Daily Life

The Indiegogo Campaign for my new project (The Study: Spiritual Action in Daily Life) is off to a great start! There’s been so many visits to the campaign that we are trending first in Religion! If you haven’t visited the site yet, here’s the link: http://igg.me/at/TheStudy/x/5160123

 

Indiegogo__Crowdfund_to_make_your_Religion_idea_a_reality_1

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Obsession…..

Unlike the Calvin Klein perfume by the same name, obsessions are not very sweet. And, much like the 1976 Hitchcock movie with that same name, filmed here in NYC at Collegiate Church (among other places), obsessions can have severely unpleasant consequences.

But these days, I’m obsessed with a mid-way-between-those-two-extremes obsession. It’s not particularly sweet, nor do I expect it will result in any dire consequences. You see, these days, I’m obsessed with work.

Now, I can hear you say, “But, Beth, that’s nothing new! Reread your own posts-half of them are about work!” And you’re right! But the last few days have been over the top about work – I’ve been either working, obtaining new work, talking about work, planning/investigating/applying for future work, or just thinking about the meaning of work!

I just finished leading another Spiritual Gifts workshop, with its focus on working out of our spiritual gifts. It’s deeply satisfying work for me where I get to watch folks explore their vocations in what is for some new ways and hear their excitement about divesting themselves of church work that doesn’t energize them so that they can take on the work they are gifted to do!

I also just had an interview for a church position – a part time bit of work that could be a meaningful and productive addition to my life. But it would require me to take something off an already full plate to make room for it! Like my workshop participants, I have to think through what doesn’t use my gifts, fill me with joy, or energize me – what I can eliminate – in order to use my gifts in this new way. (I’m thinking along the lines of cleaning and laundry, by the way….)

And then I have this Indiegogo campaign for a new Study – and a conversation yesterday with my son about his new job – and another with someone else about ways to put the 30+ years of spiritual gift study to work in new ways – and my head is just full! As I started out this post saying: obsession!

I wonder where you are on this topic right now? Are you obsessed with your work? Finding work? Completing work? Surviving until 5:00 when you can escape work? Adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing work?

When we start life, play is our work. As we approach the end of life, our work is about transitioning. Throughout the middle of life, work can become an obsession. If we don’t love what we do, if we don’t find joy in it – find the sweetness of it! – then there are probably dire consequences to that.

I pray for you (and for me!) that our obsession is well-centered in joy and our work uses our gifts for the good of ourselves, our families, our communities, and our world. Amen!

Blessings,

Beth

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment