Advent

We like sheep

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We like sheep? This phrase kept running through my mind this morning after only a few hours of sleep. Not the smartest of animals.  Following each other into dangerous places. Over cliffs, etc.  The question now is how far is the fall?  Time will tell.  Will electing someone who is proud of assaulting women, makes fun of the disabled, clearly ethnocentric and narcissistic, racist, a war monger, fear monger, a liar and a cheat (have I forgotten anything?) have any consequences? Of course it will, but what they will be we have yet to see.  “When the wicked rise to power, people go into hiding.” Anyone remember this verse from Proverbs before you voted?

My world seems less safe today than yesterday. Yet I cannot give into fear.  I have to practice what I preached on Sunday: “Don’t let your hearts be troubled, don’t be afraid…” I remind myself today of the Way of Jesus.  It is a long pilgrimage of following him and practicing his ways.  Which are so very different from the ways of this world.  It is a way of doing good, not being overcome by evil, but overcoming evil with good.  It is a path of peace, where peacemakers, the humble, the poor, the pure in heart, those hungry and thirsty for justice, the meek, the merciful, those in mourning, and yes the persecuted are all blessed. It is a way of forgiving and being forgiven. It is the way of loving God and loving our neighbors as ourselves.  

Thank goodness and thank God advent is just around the corner.  Maybe some will search their souls during this season and align themselves with the Good Shepherd and his ways.  It will help as we encounter the consequences of our choices.  Maybe listening to Handel’s Messiah will help us get through some of this darkness.  I’m starting early – today. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LmeyG5LlFWU

Here’s some sheep verses in case you are interested.  

Isaiah 53:6

We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Matthew 9:36

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

Mark 6:34

When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.

1 Peter 2:25

For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

Categories: Advent, Faith, God, pain, Paths, Peace and Reconciliation, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Musings of a Mother

 

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Musings of a Mother (Revised for Advent 2015)

 

He’s a puzzle, a mystery, a riddle

This person I know so well yet not at all

I only see a part not the whole

I can’t get inside his head or his heart

I don’t know why he does this or that

Says it that way instead of this way

He could avoid a lot of conflict

if he said things a little differently

or not at all

 

I admit I am perplexed and mystified

I even wonder at times if his mind is overloaded

Some what imbalanced

He always has so many people

clamoring about him

he doesn’t take care of himself

What’s a mother to do?

 

Yet, he is the one the angel

called me to bear

The one we have been waiting for

I know

I said yes, and I did what I was asked

I was not ashamed

I knew where he came from

 

But what kind of deliverer will he be?

How is he going to save us from our enemies?

He says we should love them!

He is so gentle and kind

This babe I once wrapped in rags

Where were the angels when I wreathed in pain

like every other woman?

I heard later they were off singing to some shepherds

sending them to us

They worshipped him and

mentioned peace on earth

I wish I could have heard the angels sing

 

The angels did come again

Just in time to warn us to get out of Bethlehem

before Harod’s treachery

A terrorist slaughter of babes

Then we were refugees in Egypt

until the angels came again to send us back to Israel

 

Those were somewhat ordinary times

under the heel of Rome in Nazareth

We lost our precious Joseph in those years

broke our hearts

We made it somehow

until the day cousin John by the river

pointed to the Lamb of God

 

I will continue my daily watch

Pack up and move with him

as any mother would

He is so weary and spent

He may need me again

Before this day is through

 

 

Categories: Advent, Faith, God, Hope, Love, Poetry, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Let’s Trump Evil with Good and Win a Big Chocolate Bar!

 

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Let’s Trump Evil with Good and Win a Big Chocolate Bar!

 

Here is how to do it.  I have 5 big bars of Trader Joe’s Chocolate for the first 5 people who invite a Muslim friend, co-worker, or neighbor to dinner.  I ask that you simply invite them, cook a simple Halal meal, which could be vegetarian if you don’t have access to Halal meat.  Now ask your guests questions about their life and listen.  Please just listen and learn some things you’ve never known before.  This is how we make friends, how we make peace and defuse the crazy phobias flying around these days.  The first 5 people that get back to me with their address (US only please) and a simple description of their time I will send a 1 pound chocolate bar. I suspect you will receive an invitation in return and make a life long friend.  I hope this is true. How about taking this challenge?  Especially if you have never done this before.  

 

Let us be world changers together and truly “Love our neighbors as ourselves”. “Doing unto others what we would like them to do to us”, takes some thought.  What would it be like to be a Muslim in our country right now?  How could I do something to help ease their fears and anxiety?  What if I was in a foreign country where words were flying across the airwaves and threats being made about people of my faith? A simple invitation of hospitality might be a start.  May God bless you!  I hope to hear from you soon!

 

Categories: Advent, borderlands, Faith, God, Hope, Hospitality, Love, Peace and Reconciliation | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Winter Solstice

IMG_2879Winter Solstice is rapidly approaching.

The darkness continues to fret away

the light at both ends of the day.

 

How much darkness can we bear?

What can we learn with this weight

heavy on us?

We often rush too quickly to

shop, to decorate, to party.

 Like an olive press,

There is rich value

that only flows with the pressure.

 

Can we stop and feel for a moment?

Lay aside the many distractions of this season?

Lament the loss in our pasts?

Hope for light in our future?

 

We will be better and stronger for it,

if we can resist the strong pull

to neglect our souls.

 

© 2014 Julie Clark

 

Categories: Advent, Faith, Hope, Life, Poetry, Seasons | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mary

Not through the edict of a king or prince

Not through the strength of a warrior or general

But through the womb of a woman

The earth shook and changed for ever

 

She was humble, young and gentle

Yet given the power to carry

The Light of the World

Fragile as glass, at it’s first flickering

 

She simply said yes

And submitted to the Greater Power

The Blessed Will that desired

Peace on earth, good will toward all

 

Life was born

Conquered evil, brokenness and death

Once and for all

Through the womb of a woman

 

© 2014 Julie Clark

Categories: Advent, Faith, God, Hope, Life, Peace and Reconciliation, Poetry, Seasons | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Advent: Peace

Prepare the way

prepare the home

prepare the table

prepare my heart

Fix those potholes

line the streets with

flowers and lights

Clean every corner

dust and sweep

gather and hunt

Fill the house with

color and fragrance

flowers and fruit

to center the table

 

Now the hardest part –

my heart

Dark and dusty places

replaced with light and

fragrance from hidden

fruits sown and grown

the greatest is love

centering all

 

In that clear night sky

long ago

the angels could not contain

the joy

and sang of peace

the world is yet longing for

Where will this peace be found

if not first in our hearts

cluttered with care and

discord

Prepare ye the way

© 2013 Julie Clark

Categories: Advent, Faith, God, Hospitality, Love, Peace and Reconciliation, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Advent: Gifts

When your best

isn’t good enough

 

When your acts of kindness

go unnoticed or

fall flat like a pancake

missing the plate

onto the dusty floor

 

When the recipient

of your kindness

doesn’t appreciate

your efforts

 

Remember

how God’s kindness to us

was spurned

 

At the inn:

“No room here, try the stable.”

 

At the cross:

“Crucify Him!”

 

He knows

He sees how we suffer

He can relate

When our deeds

go unnoticed

 

He on the other hand

appreciates our every effort

and receives each with

a warm singing heart

and outstretched hands

Thank you is his response

to our feeble gifts

 

May our thank yous

ever increase

as our hearts expand

to become

grateful people

© 2013 Julie Clark

Categories: Advent, Faith, God, Life, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Advent: Musings of a Mother

He’s a puzzle, a mystery, a riddle

This person I know so well yet not at all

I only see a part not the whole

I can’t get inside his head, his heart

his skin for that matter

I don’t know why he does this or that

Says it that way instead of this way

I admit I am perplexed and mystified

I wonder at times if his mind is overloaded

Some what imbalanced

Yet, he is the one the angel

called me to bear

The one we have been waiting for

I know

I said yes, and I did what I was asked

I was not ashamed

I knew where he came from

But what kind of deliverer will he be?

How is he going to save us from our enemies?

He is so gentle and kind

This babe I once wrapped in rags

Where were the angels when I writhed in pain?

I heard later they were off singing to some shepherds

who came in awe to see him

I will continue my daily watch

Pack up and move with him

He is so weary and spent

He may need me again

Before this day is through

© 2013 Julie Clark

Categories: Advent, Faith, God, Parenting, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Advent: The Seed

Take a seed, any seed

If you didn’t know what it was

you would write it off as a speck of dust

blowing in the wind.

Yet,

the wind

the rain

the earth and sky

all together working

with the DNA

encased in the hard shell

and the far-reaching possibilities

of that seed are immense

as the stars in sky

and the sand

on the shore.

 

Each of us

a seed

blowing on the wind

falling then planted

growing.

The potential for good

is great

for making a difference

on the earth

among all people

to be peacemakers

lovers of God and man.

It’s all there from the beginning

locked away and waiting

to be released

in the right time.

 

Seed of David, Seed of God

Son of Man, Son of God

bringing peace on earth

We hear

heaven is coming

and we will see the King.

Even so

come.

© 2013 Julie Clark

Categories: Advent, Faith, God, Life, Love, Peace and Reconciliation, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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