Monday, March 11, 2013

This will be the final posting from Hillbilly Musings.  My friends can continue to follow me at my NWA Gnosis.  I will also be unveiling a new website soon.  In the meantime, here is a copy of the first posting of the new blog:


Meditation


"The light and the darkness, life and death, the right and the left, are brothers one to another. It is not possible to separate them from one another. Because of this, neither are the good good, nor the evil evil, nor is life a life, nor death a death. Because of this each one will be resolved into its origin from the beginning. But those who are exalted above the world are indissoluble and eternal." - The Gospel of Phillip.
One of my most recent past times has been to compare the lectionary readings from Ecclesia Gnostica and our own Revised Common Lecitonary.  Sometimes they seem to compliment each other.  Our own Gospel reading was the tale of the Prodigal Son.  Like most of Jesus parables, it has been trodden many times and looked at from a bazillion different angles.  What struck me in hearing it this time was how both of the main characters are flawed in some way.  The Prodigal Son is portrayed as an irresponsible philanderer who asks for and squanders his inheritance, and the Elder Son works diligently for the Father and becomes jealous at the treatment of his younger brother upon the younger's return. In their own way, both suffer from the same sin.  That of hubris.  Each feels entitled to something, the younger to easy money, and the elder to a higher status because of his labors. 

None of us is without fault.  Paul says as much when he says, "For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God..."  All of us, each person regardless of race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, is worthy of love without judgement.  Each person carries a small part of Christ within us, that Divine Spark that links us to the Sacred Flame of the Divine.  This is what Paul meant when he said that "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is no longer slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus."

In my own life, how do I reflect these qualities.  Who am I unwilling to forgive or love because they do not seem to deserve that love?  What is it that I feel is entitled to me because of my status?  How is this reflected in the way I see others?  How is it reflected in the way I see my fellow person?  How is it reflected in my relation to the Divine?  And finally, what do I need to do to open myself to change these things?

    "Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
Amen." - Prayer attributed to St. Francis

Sunday, March 10, 2013

New Beginnings


"The disciples said to Jesus, 'Tell us, how will our end come?'
Jesus said, 'Have you found the beginning, then, that you are looking for the end? You see, the end will be where the beginning is.
Congratulations to the one who stands at the beginning: that one will know the end and will not taste death.'" - Gospel of Thomas Logion 18.

This year has so far been marked with both endings and beginnings.  Both Mrs. H and I have started new jobs: for her a return to the pharmacy and for me a job in health care doing paperwork.  In one sense we are back into familiar territory, and yet it is a with a fresh set of eyes and new ways to tread the old.  I have been under treatment for adult ADHD for the past 8 months, and with the addition of medication, I find myself in a place of calm, finding a sense of stillness that so eluded me in the past. And while the new employment I find myself pays much less than the similar job I had three years ago, I find myself eager to go to work in the morning, looking forward to each challenge in a way I have never experienced.  

I have also been exploring ancient and modern Gnosticism, reading from both the Nag Hammadi Library (a collection of ancient codexes found in Egypt shortly after WWII) and some more modern publications on the subject by authors like Jordan Stratford, Anthony Silva, and Stephan Hoeller. These collections of texts and spiritual practices have complimented and enhanced my own spiritual journey by showing me new ways to see the old Scriptures I grew up with in a new light as I began comparing the path I had been on with the emerging path ahead.  

At first I thought this new found awareness was calling me in another direction.  As I explored the more modern form of Gnosticism, I found the Apostolic Johannite Church, which seemed both strange and familiar, again combining the liturgy I have grown to love with an esotericism that I have sought all my life.  And yet I love Christianity as expressed in The Episcopal Church, as it too seemed to bridge the divide between old and new with its ancient liturgy and open and inclusive theology.  The pull of the two right now is equally strong.

Then I realized that at the beginning of Christianity, those who we now call Gnostics did not call themselves this.  Like so many things, this is a title that we today bestowed on these early explorers of spirituality.  Many so-called Gnostics in fact were members of their local churches and synagogs.  Valentinus himself was in line for the Papacy, and much of modern Gnosticism today is based on the remains of texts penned by him and his followers in Alexandria.

And so, much like the early Gnostics of the past, I will continue to be of two worlds.  Exploring the boundless horizons of both world views and allowing for the movement of the Holy Spirit to move me where she will.  As the great theologian Jimmy Paige once said, "Yes there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run, there's still time to change the road you're on..."  In the meantime, I will look upon the beauty of  what is before me rather than try to worry about what is beyond where I am.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Endings and Beginnings

As of today, Hillbilly Musings will be closed to further updates.  I will be creating a new blog soon and will post the new title and link as the final post on here.  This page will stay up, but I won't be updating it.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Response to a Letter to Congressman Womack

Recently, I wrote Congressman Steve Womack (R - AR) to express my disappointment in his vote for the King Amendment to the Defense Authorization Act.  This amendment would ban any and all same-sex blessings on military installations.  This was his reply:




July 31, 2012

Dear Mr. Adkins,

Thank you for contacting me to express your thoughts regarding the King Amendment to H.R.5856, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year (FY) 2013.  It is good to hear from you.
On July 19, 2012, the House approved H.R. 5856.  The bill provides $518.1 billion in regular funding for the Department of Defense and $87.7 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) for defense activities related to the Global War on Terror.  It also includes an amendment introduced by Representative Steve King (IA-5) that prohibits funds from being used in contravention of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
DOMA, signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996, established a federal definition for marriage and spouse. Under Section 3 of the law, marriage is defined as a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife.  Spouse is defined as a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or wife.  DOMA also does not allow for federal facilities or federal employees to be used for same sex marriages. While I appreciate the benefits of your views, I do not believe federal funds should be used to perform marriages that are not recognized by federal law.
Thank you again for contacting me to express your thoughts regarding the King Amendment to H.R.5856, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act for FY 2013. Please continue to keep me informed of the issues important to you and be sure to visit my website, www.womack.house.gov, for more information and to sign up for my newsletter.





                                                                       Sincerely,                                                                       Congressman 
Signature                                                                        Congressman Steve Womack                                                                       Member of Congress





He and I seem to be reading different versions of DOMA.  Section 2 of the Defense of Marriage Act states:"No State, territory, or possession of the United States, or Indian tribe, shall be required to give effect to any public act, record, or judicial proceeding of any other State, territory, possession, or tribe respecting a relationship between persons of the same sex that is treated as a marriage under the laws of such other State, territory, possession, or tribe, or a right or claim arising from such relationship."  This does not bar these acts from being performed, it says they don't have to perform them.  Two vastly different things.


Of course this does not surprise me.   I am a bit disappointed that he would try to slip that little hint of falsehood into his letter.  I have a feeling he and I are going to be great pen-pals over the next few months.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Gnostic Morning Prayer for the Feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist


Sources: The Gnostic Lectionary, Ecclesia Gnostica,  and The Book of Common Prayer.
A Semi-Gnostic Morning Prayer:


25 June 2012
Morning Prayer

Opening Sentence: Pentecost
The hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such the Father seeks to worship him. John 4:23

Confession
Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor.
Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.
Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us all our sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life. Amen.

Versicle and Response

Lord, open our lips.
And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.
The Lord has shown forth his glory: Come let us adore him.

Invitatory Psalm
Venite
Come let us sing to the Lord; *
let us shout for joy to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving *
and raise a loud shout to him with psalms.
For the Lord is a great God, *
and a great King above all gods.
In his hand are the caverns of the earth, *
and the heights of the hills are his also.
The sea is his, for he made it, *
and his hands have molded the dry land.
Come, let us bow down, and bend the knee, *
and kneel before the Lord our Maker.
For he is our God,
and we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand. *
Oh, that today you would hearken to his voice!
Gloria Patri
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

The First Lesson
 The lesson is taken from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah:

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness: Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a high way for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth; but the word of our God shall stand forever. Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand, and His arms shall rule for Him: Behold, His reward is with Him, and His work is before Him. He shall feed His flock like a shepherd; He shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.

The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Canticle 13 Song of the Three Young Men 
Benedictus es, Domine
Glory to you, Lord God of our fathers; *
you are worthy of praise; glory to you.
Glory to you for the radiance of your holy Name; *
we will praise you and highly exalt you for ever.
Glory to you in the splendor of your temple; *
on the throne of your majesty, glory to you.
Glory to you, seated between the Cherubim; *
we will praise you and highly exalt you for ever.
Glory to you, beholding the depths; *
in the high vault of heaven, glory to you.
Glory to you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; *
we will praise you and highly exalt you for ever.
Canticle 18 A Song to the Lamb
Dignus es Revelation 4:11, 5:9-10, 13
Splendor and honor and kingly power *
are yours by right, O Lord our God,
For you created everything that is, *
and by your will they were created and have their being;
And yours by right, O Lamb that was slain, *
for with your blood you have redeemed for God,
From every family, language, people, and nation, *
a kingdom of priests to serve our God.
And so, to him who sits upon the throne, *
and to Christ the Lamb,
Be worship and praise, dominion and splendor, *
for ever and for ever more.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

The Gospel Lesson
The gospel is taken from the Gospel according to St. Matthew:

When the Son of Man shall come in His glory, and all the holy Angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory. Before Him shall be gathered all nations, and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats; and He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on His right hand: Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was an hungered and ye gave Me meat; I was thirsty and ye gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took Me in, naked and ye clothed Me; I was sick, and ye visited Me; I was in prison, and ye came unto Me. Then shall the righteous answer Him, saying: When saw we Thee an hungered, and fed Thee? or thirsty, and gave Thee drink? When saw we Thee a stranger, and took Thee in? or naked, and clothed Thee? Or when saw we Thee sick, or in prison, and came unto Thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them: Amen, I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of My brethren, ye have done it unto Me. Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand: Depart from Me. For I was an hungered and ye gave Me no meat; I was thirsty and ye gave Me no drink; I was a stranger, and ye took Me not in, naked and ye clothed Me not; sick, and in prison, and ye visited Me not. Then shall they also answer Him, saying: Lord, when saw we Thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto Thee? Then shall He answer them, saying: Amen, I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it not unto one of the least of these, ye did it not to Me.

The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Gnostic Creed
We acknowledge one great invisible God, the Unknown Father, the Aeon of Aeons, who brought forth with His providence: the Father, the Mother and the Son.

We acknowledge the Christos, the self-begotten Son, born from the virginal and ineffable Mother in the high Aeons: who in the Logos of God came down from above to annul the emptiness of this age and restore the fullness of the Aeon.

We acknowledge the Holy Spirit, our celestial Mother and consoler, who proceeded from Herself, a gift of Herself out of the silence of the unknown God.

We seek the gathering of the sparks of light from the sea of forgetfulness and we look to the glories of eternal life in the Fullness. Amen.

The Lord's Prayer
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your Name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those
who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial,
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours,
now and for ever. Amen.
Suffrages A
Show us your mercy, O Lord;
And grant us your salvation.
Clothe your ministers with righteousness;
Let your people sing with joy.
Give peace, O Lord, in all the world;
For only in you can we live in safety.
Lord, keep this nation under your care;
And guide us in the way of justice and truth.
Let your way be known upon earth;
Your saving health among all nations.
Let not the needy, O Lord, be forgotten;
Nor the hope of the poor be taken away.
Create in us clean hearts, O God;
And sustain us with your Holy Spirit.

Collect for The Nativity of St. John the Baptist
O Christ our Lord, who sentest forth Thy great and noble servant John the Baptizer to prepare Thy way before Thee; allow us to be heralds of thy glorious coming into our hearts and of Thy redemption of this world from the rule of the archons. Pour out by our hands, we pray, the purifying flood of Thy great Jordan of living water, so that all things may become pure and acceptable in Thy sight. Amen. Amen.

A Collect for Guidance
Heavenly Father, in you we live and move and have our being: We humbly pray you so to guide and govern us by your Holy Spirit, that in all the cares and occupations of our life we may not forget you, but may remember that we are ever walking in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For Mission
Almighty and everlasting God, by whose Spirit the whole body of your faithful people is governed and sanctified: Receive our supplications and prayers which we offer before you for all members of your holy Church, that in their vocation and ministry they may truly and devoutly serve you; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
Prayers and Intercessions
Let us pray now for our own needs and those of others.

For the Human Family
O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For Prisons and Correctional Institutions
Lord Jesus, for our sake you were condemned as a criminal: Visit our jails and prisons with your pity and judgment. Remember all prisoners, and bring the guilty to repentance and amendment of life according to your will, and give them hope for their future. When any are held unjustly, bring them release; forgive us, and teach us to improve our justice. Remember those who work in these institutions; keep them humane and compassionate; and save them from becoming brutal or callous. And since what we do for those in prison, O Lord, we do for you, constrain us to improve their lot. All this we ask for your mercy's sake. Amen.

For the Victims of Addiction
Blessed Lord, you ministered to all who came to you: Look with compassion upon all who through addiction have lost their health and freedom. Restore to them the assurance of your unfailing mercy; remove from them the fears that beset them; strengthen them in the work of their recovery; and to those who care for them, give patient understanding and persevering love. Amen.

A Prayer Attributed to St. Francis
Lord, make us instruments of your peace. Where there is hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.

General Thanksgiving
Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we your unworthy servants give you humble thanks for all your goodness and loving-kindness to us and to all whom you have made. We bless you for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all for your immeasurable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory. And, we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies, that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up our selves to your service, and by walking before you in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory throughout all ages. Amen.

A Prayer of St. Chrysostom
Almighty God, you have given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplication to you; and you have promised through your well-beloved Son that when two or three are gathered together in his Name you will be in the midst of them: Fulfill now, O Lord, our desires and petitions as may be best for us; granting us in this world knowledge of your truth, and in the age to come life everlasting. Amen.
Benediction
Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore. Amen. 2 Corinthians 13:14

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Semi-Gnostic Morning Prayer

Sources: The Gnostic Lectionary, Ecclesia Gnostica,  and The Book of Common Prayer.
A Semi-Gnostic Morning Prayer:


19 June – 23 June
Morning Prayer
Opening Sentence: Pentecost
The hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such the Father seeks to worship him. John 4:23
Confession
Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor.
Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.
Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us all our sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life. Amen.
Versicle and Response
Lord, open our lips.
And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.
The Lord has shown forth his glory: Come let us adore him.
Invitatory Psalm
Venite
Come let us sing to the Lord; *
let us shout for joy to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving *
and raise a loud shout to him with psalms.
For the Lord is a great God, *
and a great King above all gods.
In his hand are the caverns of the earth, *
and the heights of the hills are his also.
The sea is his, for he made it, *
and his hands have molded the dry land.
Come, let us bow down, and bend the knee, *
and kneel before the Lord our Maker.
For he is our God,
and we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand. *
Oh, that today you would hearken to his voice!
Gloria Patri
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.
The First Lesson
 The lesson is taken from the first Epistle of St. John:

That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. These things write we unto you that your joy may be full. This then is the message which we have heard of Him and declare unto you, that God is Light, and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and walk in darkness we lie, and do not the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another. He that saith he is in the light and hateth his brother is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
Canticle 13 Song of the Three Young Men 
Benedictus es, Domine
Glory to you, Lord God of our fathers; *
you are worthy of praise; glory to you.
Glory to you for the radiance of your holy Name; *
we will praise you and highly exalt you for ever.
Glory to you in the splendor of your temple; *
on the throne of your majesty, glory to you.
Glory to you, seated between the Cherubim; *
we will praise you and highly exalt you for ever.
Glory to you, beholding the depths; *
in the high vault of heaven, glory to you.
Glory to you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; *
we will praise you and highly exalt you for ever.
Canticle 18 A Song to the Lamb
Dignus es Revelation 4:11, 5:9-10, 13
Splendor and honor and kingly power *
are yours by right, O Lord our God,
For you created everything that is, *
and by your will they were created and have their being;
And yours by right, O Lamb that was slain, *
for with your blood you have redeemed for God,
From every family, language, people, and nation, *
a kingdom of priests to serve our God.
And so, to him who sits upon the throne, *
and to Christ the Lamb,
Be worship and praise, dominion and splendor, *
for ever and for ever more.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.
The Gospel Lesson
The gospel is taken from the Gospel according to St. Philip: 

A bridalchamber is not for the beasts, nor for the slaves, nor for the women defiled; but it is for the free men and virgins. Through the Holy Spirit we are indeed born, but we are born again through Christ. In the two we are anointed through the Spirit, and when we have been born we are united. None shall be able to see himself either in water or in a mirror without light. Nor again wilt thou be able to see in light without water or mirror. Because of this it is fitting to baptize in two, in light and water. But the light is the anointing.
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Gnostic Creed
We acknowledge one great invisible God, the Unknown Father, the Aeon of Aeons, who brought forth with His providence: the Father, the Mother and the Son.

We acknowledge the Christos, the self-begotten Son, born from the virginal and ineffable Mother in the high Aeons: who in the Logos of God came down from above to annul the emptiness of this age and restore the fullness of the Aeon.

We acknowledge the Holy Spirit, our celestial Mother and consoler, who proceeded from Herself, a gift of Herself out of the silence of the unknown God.

We seek the gathering of the sparks of light from the sea of forgetfulness and we look to the glories of eternal life in the Fullness. Amen.

The Lord's Prayer
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your Name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those
who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial,
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours,
now and for ever. Amen.
Suffrages A
Show us your mercy, O Lord;
And grant us your salvation.
Clothe your ministers with righteousness;
Let your people sing with joy.
Give peace, O Lord, in all the world;
For only in you can we live in safety.
Lord, keep this nation under your care;
And guide us in the way of justice and truth.
Let your way be known upon earth;
Your saving health among all nations.
Let not the needy, O Lord, be forgotten;
Nor the hope of the poor be taken away.
Create in us clean hearts, O God;
And sustain us with your Holy Spirit.
Collect for the Second Sunday After Pentecost 
Your boundless might manifest as mercy, we bless you in the faithful fires of Summer, kindled on hilltops and on the summits of the outer world and deep within our hearts in honor of the principle of everlasting light and the ever burning fires of truth and holiness. Allow us to cherish carefully the seed we sowed in Springtime and which has become a precious plant in flower in our hearts. We bless this season of the Summer sun, and all it shines on visibly and outwardly. Permit, O eternal One, that we may ever keep its great light undimmed within us, shining in our hearts and radiating warmth around us unto every living soul.
Amen.
A Collect for Guidance
Heavenly Father, in you we live and move and have our being: We humbly pray you so to guide and govern us by your Holy Spirit, that in all the cares and occupations of our life we may not forget you, but may remember that we are ever walking in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
For Mission
Almighty and everlasting God, by whose Spirit the whole body of your faithful people is governed and sanctified: Receive our supplications and prayers which we offer before you for all members of your holy Church, that in their vocation and ministry they may truly and devoutly serve you; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
Prayers and Intercessions
Let us pray now for our own needs and those of others.
For the Human Family
O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
For Prisons and Correctional Institutions
Lord Jesus, for our sake you were condemned as a criminal: Visit our jails and prisons with your pity and judgment. Remember all prisoners, and bring the guilty to repentance and amendment of life according to your will, and give them hope for their future. When any are held unjustly, bring them release; forgive us, and teach us to improve our justice. Remember those who work in these institutions; keep them humane and compassionate; and save them from becoming brutal or callous. And since what we do for those in prison, O Lord, we do for you, constrain us to improve their lot. All this we ask for your mercy's sake. Amen.
For the Victims of Addiction
Blessed Lord, you ministered to all who came to you: Look with compassion upon all who through addiction have lost their health and freedom. Restore to them the assurance of your unfailing mercy; remove from them the fears that beset them; strengthen them in the work of their recovery; and to those who care for them, give patient understanding and persevering love. Amen.
A Prayer Attributed to St. Francis
Lord, make us instruments of your peace. Where there is hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.
General Thanksgiving
Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we your unworthy servants give you humble thanks for all your goodness and loving-kindness to us and to all whom you have made. We bless you for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all for your immeasurable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory. And, we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies, that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up our selves to your service, and by walking before you in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory throughout all ages. Amen.
A Prayer of St. Chrysostom
Almighty God, you have given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplication to you; and you have promised through your well-beloved Son that when two or three are gathered together in his Name you will be in the midst of them: Fulfill now, O Lord, our desires and petitions as may be best for us; granting us in this world knowledge of your truth, and in the age to come life everlasting. Amen.
Benediction
Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore. Amen. 2 Corinthians 13:14

Monday, February 27, 2012

Here We Go Again

Finally decided that I am NOT going to ever be happy if I don't be true to what I think is the right path for me. Sorry to be so cryptic, but I'll let everyone know more when I can.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Why DADT Matters (The Other Side of the Coin)

Imagine for just a moment that your wife or husband is serving in the Army and has been deployed to Afghanistan. Think of the loneliness you feel each night and the fear that your spouse may not come home. Think of the support network that you would have with other spouses of deployed service members whom you can share your fears and hopes with. Now imagine getting the news that your husband or wife was killed in action. Again, remember the network of other spouses that you have made friends with who will be there to help you grieve.

Now imagine that your spouse or partner is the same sex as you. Who do you turn to without getting your spouse or partner drummed out of the service? Who comes to tell you if they are killed in action? If you are like many LGBT men and women with deployed partners, possibly no one.

Much of the debate being aired in Washington and elsewhere about the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy of the US Military focuses on the service members themselves. But what about the families they leave behind? On top of the usual baggage that comes with being in a same sex relationship, they also have to deal with the loneliness and fear of the military finding out about them.

This is why the repeal of DADT is so important. It's not just for our LGBT servicemen and women who are bravely fighting for freedoms that they themselves will not be able to share. It's also for the brave partners and spouses of these brave Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen that are left behind.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Thoughts on Sunday's Readings

I was looking over the Lectionary this morning and Jesus words to the 70 stood out. In particular were the words, "Whenever you enter a town and its people welcome you, eat what is set before you; cure the sick who are there, and say to them, `The kingdom of God has come near to you.' But whenever you enter a town and they do not welcome you, go out into its streets and say, `Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off in protest against you." Considering where the Episcopal Church is currently, they are words to consider. TEC has taken a stand, a very unpopular one at that. We have decided to live out the Gospel message and welcome all and fully include them in our common life regardless of who they are.

This is a message that is difficult for many. Here in Northwest Arkansas, it is an especially hard message to deliver. Our struggles against years of fear and prejudice based on misunderstandings of the different seem to fall on deaf ears. The message today, like it was 2000 years ago, is unwelcome. So what are we to do? Do we simply move on; leave our families and friends? Do we simply give up?

I don't think so. A seed has been planted; one that is slowly taking root. We are the receivers of this message. We who welcomed the inclusiveness of the Gospel have to stay and tend to it. Like all seeds, the message of the Resurrection must be fertilized, watered and cared for if it is to grow properly. Even now the weeds of doubt, hatred and fear threaten to choke out the love of God that begs to be shown to all people. It is up to us to tend this garden, even when it seems a lost cause.

Jesus also said, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few." We are those laborers. Rather than rail against those who would reject the message of all encompassing love, we need to show them that God's Grace is extended to all. That is our mission.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

It's Really Starting...

Well, the committe is selected. Everyone who was asked has said "Yes" and the dates for the next three meetings have been put on the calendar. The wheels are finally turning!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Prayers for a Friend

Please pray for my friend Lisa and her son Jacob. From her most recent Facebook posts:

Please pray for Jacob he isn't doing good we are going on 48 hours of no sleep and he is hallucinating..... I'm very scared. I think it is time I let him go to professionals that know what they are doing...

Well I just called Youth Villages a councelor is on her way here now, should be here within the hour. Jacob is walking around hallucinating still, calling me that girl saying I talk just like his mother, he has fallen he tried to get out the front door thank goodness I managed to get up a hotel lock yesterday morning or he could of been a missing little boy. Please pray, sounds like we are lakeside bound.

Lisa has been going through so much right now with a divorce from a abusive relationship. Please pray for her and for Jacob.

Gracious and loving God: be with Lisa and Jacob in their time of need. Comfort them in their time of need and heal them as only you know how. I ask this in Jesus name. Amen.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

And it Begins... Sort of

I spoke with Fr. Roger again today about going to see Bishop Benfield about starting the official discernment process. His answer? We're forming a pre-discernment committee to meet a couple times before approaching the Bishop. More red tape. Well, nothing worth doing is done quickly, I guess. It is frustrating. I mean I've spent the last 18 months working on the degree to get to this point. Well, if I can get my 4 year degree in 18 months while holding down a full time job and with a wife and two babies at home I think I can make it to the next step.

In the meantime, please pray for me that no matter what happens I accept whatever it is Christ has in store for me.


Friday, May 28, 2010

This Just In... Archbishop Of Canterbury Sends the Episcopal Church and Anglican Church in Canada to Their Rooms Without Supper

I just finished reading Archbishop Rowan Williams' Pentecost letter, and I must say, I am not impressed. He uses a lot of big words to tell us he wants to put us in "time out" until we learn our lesson and stop treating LGBT members of our congregations like members of our congregations. No word in his letter about the awful law coming down the pipe in Uganda or the gay couple who were sentenced to 14 years hard labor for getting married. Nothing much about bishops from other countries poaching churches and in some cases entire diocese from TEC. Oh no, it's all our fault. Excuse us for trying to live out the Golden Rule.

+++ Rowan's actions remind me of the President in Monsters Vs. Aliens, "Listen up! I'm not going to go down as the President who was in office when the world came to an end, so somebody think of something, and think of it fast!" That train has already left the station. ACNA is now a separate entity from us. Time to move on.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Two requests...

First, one of my best friends and Sprout's Godfather, James, lost his uncle suddenly to a heart attack. Please keep him in prayer tonight.

Also, I just found out that my Grandma Maxine is in the hospital with some form of colitis. They say she is going to be OK after the antibiotics they are giving her kick in, but prayers would still be appreciated.


Pax

Dave

Arkansas Hillbilly
Update from Dad's cousin Shelia:
I just spoke to Maxine - she is feeling much better. She had an infection in her stomach and must have had a blood clot in her colon, but the treatment is working. They just fed her and she said if she keeps it down with no problems, she can go home tomorrow.
I want to thank everyone for your prayers!