Saturday, March 10, 2012

A Threefold Cord

When I was very little, I watched a show on tv (I wish I could remember which one) that posed the question: "What is the wrong way to eat spaghetti?"  This was pretty much the theme of that episode, and, in the end, you get the answer.  The wrong way to eat spaghetti is alone.

While I think that there are certainly times to be alone in life, I believe that the bulk of life is meant to be shared with others.  Unfortunately, our society, in a sense, seems to be bent toward the opposite.  Individualism is held up as such a high ideal to the point that asking for help is seen as a sign of weakness.

The Bible has so many verses that uphold the idea that life is meant to be community, to catalog and provide a coherent discussion on all of them would be a much more extensive undertaking than I am prepared to do.  What I can do, however, is provide a few examples. 
And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
-Hebrews 10:24-25
Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
-Galatians 6:2
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up the other; but woe to one who is alone and falls and does not have another to help. Again, if two lie together, they keep warm; but how can one keep warm alone? And though one might prevail against another, two will withstand one. A threefold cord is not quickly broken. 
-Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
All of these verses talk about how we are meant to work together.  Let us take these verses to heart and not be afraid of provoking each other to love and good deeds, bearing each other's burdens, and picking those of us up who have fallen.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Why Do I Keep Forgetting?

I do this to myself a lot.  I'll find that there's a story locked in my head that's just aching to get out.  It's a pretty good story (in my head, at least), and I'll decide that I'm just going to go ahead and write it out.  This time, I'll actually do it.  I start off with a lot of energy, but then I remember something important that, for some reason, was not part of my decision making process.  I hate writing.

This is something that has plagued me for my whole life.  I have no idea why I keep forgetting this.  Perhaps I just get so overcome with wanting to get the story out that I plan on my excitement overcoming my hatred of writing.  Whatever the cause, this has left me with many partially written stories and ideas. Before I go any further, I'm going to acknowledge that I am writing about how I hate writing.  I appreciate the irony in this situation. 

I don't know why I hate writing.  Something about it has always been problematic for me.  I don't mean problematic in the sense that the quality of my writing is poor.  The problem lies more in the fact that getting the words from my head to the paper (or screen, as is usually the case) tends to take a significantly long period of time.  So, what do I do with this?

Writing is one of those areas in which I feel I need to grow (not necessarily in quality, as explained above).  For me, writing this blog is as much about personal growth as it is a spiritual discipline.  I'm hoping that I can learn to enjoy the writing process so that I can get more of the stories that are locked away in my head out.  Who knows?  Maybe I'll become a best-selling author sometime in the future.

Thursday, March 8, 2012


I've been thinking a lot lately about the different prayers found in the BCP. There are just so many in there that are so good. I posted on this already, but I get caught up by one every now and again. This morning, I did Morning Prayer with a group of colleagues at a Fresh Start meeting.  In going through this service, we read Canticle 14, which takes excerpts from the Prayer of Manasseh, an oft overlooked book in the Apocrypha.  I could not help but think about how apt this canticle is for the season of Lent. 
O Lord and Ruler of the hosts of heaven, *
God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,
and of all their righteous offspring:
You made the heavens and the earth, *
with all their vast array.
All things quake with fear at your presence; *
they tremble because of your power.
But your merciful promise is beyond all measure; *
it surpasses all that our minds can fathom.
O Lord, you are full of compassion, *
long-suffering, and abounding in mercy.
You hold back your hand; *
you do not punish as we deserve.
In your great goodness, Lord,
you have promised forgiveness to sinners, *
that they may repent of their sin and be saved.
And now, O Lord, I bend the knee of my heart, *
and make my appeal, sure of your gracious goodness.
I have sinned, O Lord, I have sinned, *
and I know my wickedness only too well.
Therefore I make this prayer to you: *
Forgive me, Lord, forgive me.
Do not let me perish in my sin, *
nor condemn me to the depths of the earth.
For you, O Lord, are the God of those who repent, *
and in me you will show forth your goodness.
Unworthy as I am, you will save me,
in accordance with your great mercy, *
and I will praise you without ceasing all the days of my life.
For all the powers of heaven sing your praises, *
and yours is the glory to ages of ages. Amen.
-BCP pp. 90-91
I think that, in addition to this blog, I will try to say this prayer everyday.  This will help me to remember the penitential nature of Lent and keep God's mercy and grace at the forefront of my mind. 

If you have any prayers that you fall back on from time to time, let me know.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


One of the pleasures I have had over the past few months is the opportunity to work with YODAH (Youth Of Dayton Are Here).  Many of you may already know that youth ministry is what first led me to hearing the call to ordained ministry.  When I moved to Dayton after accepting my current position as Priest-In-Charge of St. Andrew's, I was hoping to find ways to still be involved with youth ministry.  YODAH provides that for me.

This group was formed about three years ago when there was a realization that, instead of having small churches with few to no youth struggling to support a youth group, all of the churches in the Dayton Deanery can come together to support a combined youth group.

We meet every Wednesday night from 7-8:30 pm, and youth from around the Dayton Deanery are invited to come together for a time of fun, laughter and discipleship.  These meetings include games, Bible Study, prayer and opportunities to share and grow in one's faith.   Every third Wednesday of the month, we meet from 6-8:30 pm and have a potluck dinner.

I am blessed to be a part of a great leadership team and to have a group of youth who really enjoy coming together as they continue to grow as followers of Jesus and discover God in the world and in themselves.  If you know of any youth who are looking for a group to be a part of in the Dayton area, please let them know about YODAH.  We are always happy to welcome new members to our group.