Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Balm of a Psalm

I have stress in my life. School deadlines loom, coming up, as always, much more quickly than anticipated. Procrastination once agains doles out its consequences. Too many responsibilties leave me wishing for a (healthy) day off from everything.

But today I feel ok, and part of it has to do with Psalm 143, the Psalm for the week in my devotional book:

1 Hear my prayer, O Lord; give ear to my supplications in your faithfulness;
answer me in your righteousness.
2 Do not enter into judgment with your
servant, for no one living is righteous before you.
3 For the enemy has
pursued me, crushing my life to the ground, making me sit in darkness like
long dead.
4 Therefore my spirit faints within me; my heart within
me is
5 I remember the days of old, I think about all your
deeds, I
meditate on the works of your hands.
6 I stretch out my hands
to you; my
soul thirsts for you like a parched land. Selah
7 Answer me
quickly, O Lord;
my spirit fails. Do not hide your face from me, or I shall
be like those who go
down to the Pit.
8 Let me hear of your steadfast
love in the morning, for in
you I put my trust. Teach me the way I should
go, for to you I lift up my soul.
9 Save me, O Lord, from my enemies; I have
fled to you for refuge.
10 Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. Let
your good spirit lead me on a
level path.
11 For your name’s sake, O
Lord, preserve my life. In your
righteousness bring me out of trouble.
12 In your steadfast love cut off my
enemies, and destroy all my
adversaries, for I am your servant. (NRSV)

Now, usually I'm not a big fan of this type of Psalm. All the "smiting of enemies" and "destruction of adversaries" doesn't mesh well with my peace-loving and peace-making personality. Today, however, having spent yesterday just trying to breathe deeply to abate my stress and anxiety,
it occured to me who my enemies were. They are not people, they're feelings.

Not all feelings, of course, but those destructive feelings that leave me (and many of us) frozen and feeling awful and vulnerable to illness: Stress, Anxiety, and Helplessness.

So as I read it, every time I saw the word "enemy" or "adversary" I thought "stress." I found myself more and more relaxed and comforted as I went through the verses. Save me from my stress, God. Adonai, rescue me from my anxiety. It just about brought me to tears.

May this Psalm also be a blessing and comfort to you in your times of stress, trouble, and anxiety.

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Saturday, February 23, 2008

Look at me--a "real" blogger!

Ok, so the other day I mentioned very quickly being a "founding blogger" at a group site. Well, here's the rest of the info.

The site is Everyday Citizen, and is basically what it sounds like--a site where everyday people blog, mostly about current events, politics, culture, stuff like that.

Today I wrote my very first post for them (gotta love avoiding writing a sermon), and you can find it on my Everyday Citizen "home" page here.

Enjoy! (Oh, and pray for inspiration from the Spirit as I try to move this sermon along. Don't worry, it's not for Sunday!)

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Remember "Polly?"

Ok, this is simply a plug to try to get something I want. When I was a kid, Sunday night, once a month or so, Disney would show these great made-for-TV movies. Michael Eisner was always the host, walking around Disney Land and running into Mickey. My dad was great and taped them for us, and some of them became true favorites, like 1989's "Polly."

Not to be confused with the later theater release featuring a parrot, this was an adaptation of "Pollyanna," featuring an almost exclusively African American cast including Keisha Knight Pulliam as little Polly, and Phylicia Rishad as Aunt Polly. They made it a musical, and it was a huge hit--for Disney and for our family.

However, they've never released it on video or DVD00at least not here in the US (apparently they released it on VHS in the UK--why they felt a story of African Americans set in the South in the 1950s would sell better over there than here, I don't know). And although I've now discovered that I can watch some of my favorite musical scenes on YouTube, it's just not the same.

So here's where you come in: Disney has a site where requests can be made for movies to be released on DVD/video. Here's the one for "Polly." Go and request it, and tell all your friends, neighbors and co-workers to do the same. Post it on Facebook and MySpace. Even if you haven't seen the movie, join the campaign. It's that good, and you won't regret it, I promise.

This movie was far too great a success for them to have waited this long to release it (Keisha is a day older than I am--meaning she was 10 when the movie was premiered). Tell Disney you want "Polly"--and "shine a little light!"

Update: They did make DVDs of both Polly and Polly Comin' Home, available exclusively to Disney Movie Club members. I joined just for these movies, which I have since given as gifts to my two sisters but have yet to purchase for myself. Go figure.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Just a quick check in

I am a bad, bad blogger. It's been almost a month since my last post...and this one won't be really of any significance. I apologize. It is my last semester of seminary, I just got a new second job, have a final 15-20 page paper due in about 2 weeks that I haven't even chosen a topic for, nevermind starting, and my senior project is due April 1. Yikes. But I'm trying to breathe deeply and take everything one step at a time.

So I just wanted to check in, and hopefully soon I will post something deep and meaningful. I will tell you about the new group site where I'm a "founding blogger" (although they haven't gotten a post from me yet either). And I will talk a little about my Lenten journey.

Until then, blessed be!

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