Passionate Abundant Life!

Thought I would share my July newsletter article with more than just my congregation. Hope it inspires you.

John 10:10:

I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. (New Revised Standard Version)

I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of. (The Message)

But I have come to give you everything in abundance, more than you expect—life in its fullness until you overflow! (The Passion Translation)

Are you living a passionate abundant life? Jesus came to do just that – in fact in reading Leonard Sweet’s book Gospel According to Stabucks: Living a Grande Life,(which we will be using in the Women’s Circle Bible study this fall and if you would like to join us – 2nd Tuesdays starting again in September but if that doesn’t work maybe we can start another one at a different time – and it doesn’t have to be just girls!) he is giving a definition of the Greek word for life in this passage: zoe. Which translates fully as a flamboyant, passionate life.  So the passage would read: I came that they may have a flamboyant, passionate life and have it abundantly. Isn’t it the coolest when you do simple word study and find out there is so much more to the words of Jesus?

I try but I wasn’t the best in Hebrew or Greek, and to have scholars like Sweet and my friend Arko from seminary, I can learn more. And isn’t that what we are to do as followers of Jesus – learn more? Learn more about God’s love, how to serve others, speak up to power, to not be afraid and remember we have faith.

Hebrews 11:1-3 gives the definitive definition for faith: Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible.  Or we can get a clearer meaning with the Message: The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd.

Our foundation is faith and upon it we build a passionate abundant life. Our life as followers of Jesus, who repaired our relationship with our Creator, is meant to be flamboyant, passionate, wild, radical, spontaneous, joyful, creative, incredible. So why do seem to be so serious about our faith? Why do we think God wants us to be serious in our worship of a loving, life-giving Creator Parent who wants joy for us, laughter and to just do ordinary things in extraordinary ways.

Starting NOW TODAY on this 1st day of July, pledge to begin having a flamboyant, passionate, abundant, extraordinary life – to the glory of God!

Blessings! Pastor Liz –

Advertisements

Who doesn’t love a cow?

It has been a roller coaster year – and it is just June!

I had made a decision to write more but – that hasn’t happened. A lot of stuff hasn’t happened. Hmmm? Why? How come?

Not totally sure but have some inkling about it – and unlike other bloggers, I am not going to spill my guts to you – it is not that interesting.

But some things could be helpful to someone besides me.

#1 – I am getting OLD! My strength is not like it was, my stamina is shot, and I like food! Well certain foods MORE than others. Want to have a veggie garden and keep talking about it but my body says, “What chu talkin’ ’bout? Going outside in the heat at your age?! Are you nuts??!!”  Yeah a cerebral fight that is continuous.

#2 – I have learned a lot of cool skills but find it hard to keep a schedule in order to get better at these new skills. Time management is not my strongest trait.  Making a schedule just seems tedious – especially since my core vocation is ministry and there has been alot of time – some of the time – I have this really cool schedule, on task, and poof! God laughs and says “You have a schedule!? Just let me help with a monkey wrench out from left, left field!”

#3 – I have creative tendencies and have not been able to practice more of these. Creating worship with visiual and auditory does take more of my time every week, but I need to do more.

#4 – My work is not physical. A lot of sitting, but I am so TIRED at the end of the day. Is that common for others? I come home and just can’t seem to get other stuff done – wash dishes, wash laundry, etc – you know that stuff that makes you a domestic goddess but I really would like to hire one. Oh I forgot – not in my budget. Well, someday.

So today on my day off I do have some canning to do(new skill and love it), I just might get Hannah in the truck and go look at cows.

WHAT!!?? COWS!!?? You may ask. But read this poem and you will understand. It encompasses everything I just shared –

– Ode To a Cow –
When life seems one too many for you, 
Go and look at a Cow. 
When the futures black and the outlooks blue, 
Go and look at a Cow. 
For she does nothing but eat her food, 
and sleep in the meadows entirely nood, 
Refusing to fret or worry or brood, 
Because she doesn’t know how. 
 
Whenever you’re feeling bothered or sore, 
Go and look at a Cow, 
When everything else is a fearful bore, 
Go and look at a Cow. 
Observe her gentle and placid air, 
Her nonchalance and savoir faire, 
Her absolute freedom from every care, 
Her imperturbable brow. 
 
 So when you’re at the end of your wits, 
Go and look at a Cow 
Or when your nerves are frayed to bits, 
And wrinkles furrow your brow; 
She’ll merely Moo in her gentle way, 
Switching her rudder as if to say: 
“Bother tomorrow! Let’s Live today! 
Take the advice of a cow!” 

The Old Farmers Almanac   1936 

nature animal countryside farm

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

For those who do not have cows close by, I am sure there are some kind of video on youtube or facebook you can almost get the same experience. Almost. Take a trip out of the city, go for a walk in NATURE, not just doen your urban, concrete, suburban setting – recharge with God’s natural creation that does not need us to make improvements.

Schedule it! There I said – we have to schedule. We have to have some kind of plan – not in stone, but on paper and not in our heads, on the calendar whether that cool planner you got to use, the flat calendar from the local funeral home or on your phone with the bells and whistles to scream at you: CREATIVITY TIME!! NATURE TIME!! UKULELE TIME!! WHATEVER TIME!!!

Good luck – Happy half way through the year Eve!

And I am not sure when I will write again – so no promises right now – should put that on my schedule –

I am taking a writing workshop!

I started drafting this post yesterday while in a writing workshop for Professional Development for my new job: Elementary Music Teacher!  I am still seeking a pastoral position but still have to pay bills so I got my teaching license renewed and will begin playing with k-2 students! It will be a blast. Ok enough of that – saving for later.

Here is what I wrote before I really got into the workshop:

Ok, I am in a writing workshop to help be a better writer and be consistant in keeping up with this blog. Not writing as much as I would like, keeping a schedule has not been my strongest trait. LOL! So let’s see what I will learn.

Our workshop leader is Clayton Scott(http://www.claytonscott.com/biography/), Poet Laureate of Fayetteville, Arkansas and Poetry Slam Champion of Arkansas. LOVE this guy: likes lots of breaks, long lunch and getting out early!

INSPIRING QUOTES:

  • Writing is not about writing but observing what’s around and reflecting on it.
  • In order to teach writing a teacher must be a writer.(had a discussion on this and how we reacted to it)
  • Poets & Writers never die – words are immortal!
  • Leaving a legacy of language
  • Lean back, let it flow, let it go.(love this one – so Jimmy Buffettish)
  • On Writer’s block: Don’t stop writing, keep writing, don’t distrust the muse.
  • It is not about right or wrong but about weak or strong(use of words especially verbs)

He shared his recipe for a yummy poem which is applied to all types of writing. Scott was energetic and engaging.  He recited some of his own stuff and had us to do some writing also. The first excercise was love/hate about being a teacher. He also introduced us to CoCo Harris a fellow classmate from college who is not only a writer but a publisher, of personal journals and memoirs. Had a great discussion on how having a journal leaves your children a legacy that is better than photos. One person shared how much a journal of her grandmother’s meant to her now after her grandmother’s death.

Our last exercise was a streaming of conciousness writing and while we wrote Scott was going to call out words that we then needed to use in our piece. This was way cool for me and each time he called out a word, it was a word I needed at the time in the spot I was completing – freaking awesome! So I want to share that exercise with you(unedited – which he said should be our first draft – just write and then come back to edit. We may write 500 words but only one sentence may be used as a seed for a later work.) The words he called out I put in bold print.

Roaring From Inside of Me

What is it that keeps me from creating the art?  I have the ideas, but I get bogged down in the mire of THINKING. I need to do, make, draw, write.

The stuff is oozing from my pores, orifices, all places of my being. The problem of this oozing is that it has nowhere to go but down my arms, flowing into an abyss of nothing if I don’t get it on paper to remember. Remembering is the key, but I than lose the thunderous passion of the first nuggett of an idea, the seed to express what is happening in the moment it is happening.

Taking the pottery class is helping but not in my other creative areas. Like catfish, the sparks of creativity lie on the bottom of my being, mozing along. I want to awaken the lion, the majestic cat of all cats, raoring with a voice, bringing the challenges to the surface: collage art, print art, song writing, playwriting.

It seems to be too much but when you have the lights and sounds of a carnival-like muse spurring you to places you haven’t tried, you should at least try.

Ideas, words, art popping from the toaster of my brqain and heart like the fudge-filled, chocolate icing poptarts from a morning breakfast waiting to be eaten and enjoyed. Not like the flipchart way – writing it down then quickly moving to the next page.

Broken dreams and ideas become reshaped and mended to relay theinventiveness of the artist, who is me.

How will I do this? How will I keep the passion, the roaring within me going? When I do I will celebrate with the masses what they have given me!

——-

Wow – had alot penned inside of myself and that’s what I want to do with this blog: share, challenge, encourage, empower. With practice I will. So I will be practicing more than I have before. I may share some journal entries from way back – do have one of those journals and it has gotten me thru some tough times. Until next time – PEACE!