pilgrimage of discovery and creativity i create worship/prayer experiences and i love to design these for churches, retreats, etc. i also lead retreats and workshops on experiential worship and sabbath.
find out more here!
Bob Carlton Milky Way Galaxy/Third planet/ Northern hemisphere/ Western continent North America/ United States/Left Coast/ The Great State of California/ Bay Area San Carlos/ Roslyn Avenue/ brown house/ blue jeans, waving
next week the season of lent begins with ash wednesday, march 9th, but the day before we get to celebrate with our spatulas and syrup! check out some ideas for celebrating pancake tuesday with your family, church community or youth group! at YMtoday.com.
without an IHOP within a 30 mile radius...the chef and i will be cooking some pancakes at home.
check out Youth Ministry Today on facebook too! and they are recommending a great resource for EASTER and LENT (if i do say so myself : ) )check out the Journey to the Cross Prayer Experience in SACRED SPACE
i almost forgot that it's read across america day! celebrating the birthday of Dr.Seuss! which happens to be today!
our family has a long tradition of reading out loud as a family...and it continues today even though the our small people have gotten much taller. we read out loud when we drive on long trips and even read the entire Lord of the Rings Trilogy out loud as a family! so hated the long journey to Mordor .
we all loved reading Dr. Suess! so in honor of his birthday, grab a book and a friend and read out loud together today! and check out this website for some great ideas for your kids too!
my favorite Dr. Suess book...THE LORAX! next in line GREEN EGGS AND HAM.
so what's your favorite Dr. Suess book? and/or what is your favorite book to read out loud?
i am so excited that "the king's speech" won for best picture! director, screen play, and best actor! it really is an amazing movie ...as colin firth said he was surprised it won because there was "no action, no sex, no young actors, just two middle aged men becoming friends" ...the power of story wins!!!!
sure missed billy crystal...and loved that a 93 year old can steal the show
but my favorite part of the whole evening was PS 22 chorus singing "somewhere over the rainbow"
these kids and their teacher ROCK!!! the power of song won the hearts of the america. not to mention youtube!
if you are having a bad day, check out PS 22 chorus and you'll be smiling!
so i'll be posting the scripture and questions, and responses we use each week for thinplace...so you can play along too!
one of my favorite things about thinplace is that we gather around a table...eating dinner, laughing getting caught up with things that are happening in our lives...
and we gather around a coffee table for art, journaling, discussion and experiential prayer. so you don't need a big room or a big building, just a little hospitality!
the gospel passage for sunday is matthew 5: 38-48
we opened by praying part of psalm 119 together
33 Teach me your decrees, O Lord;
I will keep them to the end.
34 Give me understanding and I will obey your instructions;
I will put them into practice with all my heart.
35 Make me walk along the path of your commands,
for that is where my happiness is found.
36 Give me an eagerness for your laws
rather than a love for money!
37 Turn my eyes from worthless things,
and give me life through your word.
38 Reassure me of your promise,
made to those who fear you.
39 Help me abandon my shameful ways;
for your regulations are good.
40 I long to obey your commandments!
Renew my life with your goodness.
LECTIO: (latin for Listening) read the passage three times (preferably with both male and female voices, but you can do it on your own too)
Listen to the passage and allow the holy spirit to highlight a word or phrase..is there an emotion or feeling, or memory around this word or phrase? what is the response God is asking of you from this passage?
how is the passage speaking to you today? ...what questions or problems come up for you from this passage?
after listening to the passage, you have 30 -40 minutes to journal, create with the art supplies, or just be still
then we'll come back together and we'll see where God has taken us. you can use the MESSAGE version to contrast our reading.
Matthew 5: 38-48 NIV (2010)
38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Matthew 5: 38-48 THE MESSAGE
38-42"Here's another old saying that deserves a second look: 'Eye for eye, tooth for tooth.' Is that going to get us anywhere? Here's what I propose: 'Don't hit back at all.' If someone strikes you, stand there and take it. If someone drags you into court and sues for the shirt off your back, giftwrap your best coat and make a present of it. And if someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously.
43-47"You're familiar with the old written law, 'Love your friend,' and its unwritten companion, 'Hate your enemy.' I'm challenging that. I'm telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.
48"In a word, what I'm saying is, Grow up. You're kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you."
feel free to write /create from anything that God inspires you...sometimes God takes you in a completely differnt direction than you expect ...sometimes i've been inspired by the psalm rather than the gospel. there are no rules, except to be open and to listen...feel free to use the questions if you want to
THINGS to CONSIDER WHILE JOURNALING:
Got any enemies today? Any one who is bugging you to death that you’d just like to “kill”? how would you go about loving them?
Who do you think of as an enemy? Do you think of terrorists, your parents, a teacher? Why?
Why is it so hard to give to someone who asks? Is it hard to give to a friend who needs to borrow money? What about a homeless person? Is it different?
What do you think it means “to be perfect” when it comes to living out loving others, especially people you don’t like very much, or those who have hurt you?
5. Anybody, any enemies you need help forgiving tonight?
take the time to have people share what they wrote or created...or any questions that came up during the listening/journaling time.
"what came up for you? what did you hear? where did God take you?
1. have a bowl filled with chocolate hearts and a bowl /basket with foam or plastic hearts found at michaels or hobby lobby...
Pass around chocolate hearts...take out two...one for you and one for a person who has been "your enemy" this week...a person who's driven you crazy this week...
eat the chocolate heart and thank God that he loves you abundantly, and unconditionally...take time to thank him for the good things that have happened today, this week....
take the second chocolate heart...pray for the person who's been your enemy this week...that they would feel God's love..take the heart and give it to them when you see them next.
TAKE HOME the plasic/foam heart of a reminder to love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.
YOUTH GROUP OPTION: if you did this with youth group, you could create a station with a map of the world and/or with photos form current events and have participants place small foam hearts on the map while praying for enemies in certain places in our world. could also be done using an ink pad and a heart stamp
The heart of Jesus
Nearest the Father’s heart
A wellspring full of love
Richness for my poverty
Wholeness for my brokenness
Home for my wandering
Fullness for my emptiness
Loving care for my selfishness
Healing for my hurts
Faith for my mediocrity
Courage for my fears
The heart of Jesus
Nearest the Father’s heart
Drawing all of me to him
Reaching from his heart to mine,
Tender, compassionate, true,
Wanting one thing only:
My loving response. Amen
By Joyce Rupp found in Fresh Bread. P. 37
on a personal note...i realized while journaling that it might come up that it would be very hard to "turn the other cheek" to someone who is abusive....and it might also come up "how do we love our enemies" when they have hurt us physically..or love those who've abused/hurt others"?
bible, experiential worship, journaling, lectio divina, love your enemies, prayer, worship
February 17, 2011
thinplace begins tonight!
What is thinplace?
Thinplace is an evening set aside for reflection…
An evening set aside to create, write, and just be with God.
We will have food, dinner usually, chocolate always.
Time: 6:30pm Thursday evenings , starting February 17th.
What to bring? A journal if you have one, but we’ll have paper and pens.
Art supplies if you want to, but we’ll have art supplies available to use for your creations.
We’ll listen to a passage from the Bible…and then you’ll have time to write and/or create or just be still.
More info text or call…513-382-8484
No obligations, you don’t have to come every week, drop in when you can.
***The word thinplace is a celtic term for a place where the veil between heaven and earth is thin, a place where heaven and earth seem to touch. A place where you experience God and can feel his presence most easily. It might be the beach, or in the mountains, or watching the sunset. The Celtic Christians believed there were specific physical places that were thinplaces and these became places of prayer and often a monastery was built near by.
After visiting some of these thinplaces, in the UK and Ireland, Rob and I wondered how we might experience thinplace in everyday life? So we began hosting thinplace gatherings in Cincinnati about 3 years ago.
They came to Bethsaida. Some people brought a blind man to Jesus and begged him to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village; and when he had put saliva on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, "Can you see anything?" And the man looked up and said, "I can see people, but they look like trees, walking." Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he looked intently and his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. Then he sent him away to his home, saying, 'Do not even go into the village.'
I think Jesus needed to take me out of the village in order to heal my blindness…
In order to help me see again…
To help me see my gifts
To help me see my passions
To help me see how blessed I am and have been
Yet, like the blind man, I can still only see trees…
I don’t see clearly
I don’t see clearly yet, what He wants me to see.
I don’t’ see clearly the people around me…who they are, what they need, what I can share with them.
If I’m true to who and what God has called me to be…then it really doesn’t matter what the place is, or where I am or who I am with. I am called to love, to bring light, to bring love and encouragement to all …everyone is a gift and everything that comes my way is both a gift and an opportunity…
the question is
DO I WANT TO SEE?
And am I WILLING TO SEE? Especially to see as Jesus does.
To see beyond skin color, to see beyond economic benefits or lack of them, to see beyond the bitterness and brokenness of others …
AM I WILLING? Do I really want to see?
Jesus, I really need you to spit into my eyes today…to make mud from your saliva and let your living water bringing healing to my blindness.
help me be willing to be willing.
Help me not to be afraid to respond in fear.
Help me see and live out love…to everyone who comes my way, and even more importantly …to first love myself as you love me. AMEN
Mike King Early in my ministry, I tended to be a person who avoided conflict. I became skilled at navigating away from confrontation. I just wanted everyone to be happy and love one another. Too often, my unwillingness to confront and be decisive in dealing with an issue head on actually added to the problem. I mistakenly assumed that my empathy for others would create space for them to heal, mature, and become more productive.
three years ago, rob and i started a gathering called "thinplace"
“thinplace“ was the overall name for several gatherings that met in cincinnati throughout the month. but since a friend has asked how she might begin her own in her gathering in her new town, i'll focus on one aspect to begin:
"thinplace journaling" became our regular house church like gathering that we hosted on sunday nights. the idea was to engage scripture through journaling and art, not through a bible study or a sermon/teaching.
usually our focus was the gospel passage from the lectionary...but we also used the church year to base our scripture choices off ...for example...during epiphany (the season of the church year after Christmas…Jan. 6-til Lent begins) we focused longer on the birth narrative, the visit of the magi and on the life of jesus as a child rather than jumping forward into his ministry.
our desire was for people to "get" the story...to engage the gospel in it's context, not just certain verses or certain themes. Everyone was encouraged to bring a journal and a bible but we also had paper, pens and bibles available along with art supplies.
We began thinplace gatherings with food, snacks and/or dessert and sometimes we would start with a pot luck dinner. in the beginning, i hosted the food because i wanted people to know they were welcome and expected and as time went on, everyone was invited to bring things to share. everyone got to participate and share their gifts.
As people gathered we would check in and introduce each other. Then we would introduce the format we used and what to expect. There was a hand out with the opening psalm, the gospel passage of day and few questions to consider while journaling and a closing prayer. we used lectio divina as our listening process for the scripture passage. At this point, we would ask for three readers and then open by praying a psalm together.
Then the readers would read the passage slowly and we would all listen and allow holy spirit to speak through the scripture and highlight it for each of us. (usually we had both male and female voices)
There are more traditional forms of lectio but this is what we used :
1. Listen to the Scripture, allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you. 2. First time through, what is the word or phrase that jumps out at you...that
stands out to you? 3. Second time through, what is the feeling or emotion around this word orphrase? Or what is the memory around it? 4. Third time through, how is Jesus is asking you to respond to this passage, or to the word or phrase?
As time went on we also encouraged questions that came up in the passage. Such as What didn’t make sense? or what do you wish you knew more about?
After the three readings, people got comfortable, and spread out to the other room. Everyone was silent and journaled and/or used the art supplies available to respond to the scripture passage. The room was quiet for 30 minutes, then we came back together to share. People were invited to share if they wanted to. Or to ask questions. We made sure that people didn’t do much “cross talk”…ie didn’t allow folks to criticize or condemn what someone else experienced. It was always amazing to see where the Holy Spirit took people and to learn from each other. After everyone who wanted to got to share, we would close with an experiential response that had something to do with the scripture passage and then prayed the closing prayer together.
At thinplace journaling, the coffee table became the “altar” piece…the place where we set up a display or symbols to convey the passage of the day…and where the experiential element would be set up. Also there often would be a “take away, “ a symbol, that would remind us of what we’d learned that week. Once we passed around gold glitter and sprinkled ourselves as a reminder that we wanted to get the dust of the rabbi…(a la rob bell ) on us..the glitter represented our desire to follow the king…and get the dust of the king on us!
On a personal note, I’ve followed Jesus a very long time and studied and taught the bible but I can say that through journaling from scripture and having the opportunity to create from a passage, God definitely taught me amazing things and I remember so much more of it!
TO GET STARTED:
gather a group of friends and their friends
pick a place
you need 1. 5-2 hours could be longer if you like to hang out and talk before and after
have food! Especially chocolate
use the lectionary and/or the church calendar for the scripture to journal from
have questions that could spark journaling but are just considerations not “have tos”
start small…try it for a month or two and see how it goes
think about what you want the group to “take away” from the passage and that’s where you start with the experiential element…
what’s naturally in the passage? Touch, taste, sounds, colors, items?
How can you respond to the text in order to remember it?
8. start a collection of prayers, written by others, fathers and mothers of the church , and those written by your community to use as closing prayers.
we used many from Celtic Daily Prayer
9. Start early to share the job of curating the gathering…help others learn to “lead” and create so it’s not all on one or two people.
many people have asked me how the heck did you get to st. helena, CA? and i have some friends who are just figuring out that i now have dual citizenship in ohio and in california.
so it began this week last year. i'd just finished the "warmth in winter" conference in nashville and driven back to cincy in 10 inches of snow.
that was sunday.
early monday morning rob and i hopped on a plane and headed west to celebrate our anniversary with second honeymoon...it was the big 25th anniversary (which is impossible since i'm only 26! ) anyway, we chose to go to the sonoma coast and rented an amazing little house on the bodega bay harbor called "birdwatch." we planned to take some day trips up the coast and into the sonoma and napa valleys and do a little wine tasting along the way. rob said the only "un- romantic " thing he wanted to do during the week was tour the CIA...the culinary institute of america...better known to foodies as greystone. since i'm not a foodie and since i'm not addicted to the cooking channel or food network, i didn't really "get" the CIA.
i just said "sure' let's go.
Little did I know that the tour of the CIA would begin this new chapter of adventure in our lives. Rob took the tour with another guy and his friend and they were like little kids in a candy store…you could just tell they were meant to be there!.
and if you are a foodie and love to cook..you couldn’t resist a brand new Viking kitchen on one end of the building, and an entire floor of viking everything on another, and a room for just making chocolate !
CIA greystone reminds me of Hogwarts, with it’s thick stone walls and tower…it used to be a Franciscan winery.
So when we got back to Cincinnati, I encouraged him to apply…thinking in my head we’d head west fall of 2011 after Hudson graduated from high school…
Rob had been in culinary school in Cincinnati for the past year and a half. (“Having dated cooking for 20 years he decide to give her a ring” rob) but CIA is the Harvard of cooking schools …
Since my business card reads” a pilgrimage of discovery and creativity” …and we aren’t getting any younger (according to rob) we did a world wind update of our house and planned the adventure to begin in august of 2010 instead. Sadly our house is still waiting for the perfect people to move in, but we did find an amazing guest cottage to rent (thanks to craig’s list) here in napa valley.
We are really enjoying being close to San Francisco and being on the west coast again. Rob is working his tail off in class and I’ve continued to speak and write and travel back and forth to ohio and wherever else I get invited to go! i'm working part time at the napa valley toy company...a great place to meet people and learn what's cool in toyland!
It really is a pilgrimage…and the joy is in the journey…even when you least expect it and don’t have a clue how it all will work out in the end…
For me, it’s great to be in a place of vista and beauty and I love the fact that people think “local” and sustainable without the need of definition! I’m learning about living in a small town and in a rural setting again and realizing that it takes time to build relationships…and it takes work not to gain weight in the land of food!