Greetings from Peter Mayer

Monday, November 30, 2009

What Color Is Your Joy?

H2o devos sj 113009 What Color is your Joy?

St. Andrew’s Day


November 30, 2009

Through trials and darkness fear and temptation

You look for deliverance and some revelation

With no song of spring you wait for the call

Could there be nothing at all…Oh Sing…

Joy joy joy in the morning

Joy joy in the afternoon

Joy joy joy for the child is born

This night the promise is given to you”

Sing Joy by Peter Mayer

More than a decade ago I experienced “burnout.” I knew there was something going on in me. The “fire” I used to have wasn’t as hot and omnipresent as it once was. Over the years I had heard more than once “burnout is the price you pay for caring.” And so I thought I was just experiencing “caregiver stress.” Yet, it was hard for me to say to myself or loved ones that I was “burned out.” I said things like, “I think I have some issues with burn out.” Which would be like a woman saying, “I think I have some issues with pregnancy.” For in both cases, you either are or you aren’t.

During this time I went to an event where biodots were distributed. You can read more about them at These amazing little dots measure temperature of the skin. Consequently they display a range of colors from violet (on the cool and relaxed end of the spectrum) to amber (at the warmer and stressed out end of the spectrum). I put a dot on and watched. Subsequently, I like to tell folks it turned deep amber, then black and then disintegrated and started smoking. (DISCLAIMER HERE- of course it didn’t do that, they are totally safe and wonderful) But, I happen to use hyperbole like that to make a point on average a million times a day. I was startled by what it revealed to me, my heart was heavy, my joy had run out. In the darkness my soul would wonder, “Could there be nothing at all?”

I then did what I normally do when I’m stressed, I ate something. I was eating popcorn by the handfuls and suddenly realized that I must have swallowed my biodot. (talk about even more stress). I politely asked for and received another one. At this point in the evening we had devotions. Basically, we just sang hymns. We sang old ones, new ones, familiar ones and ones that touched the very fabric of our souls. I looked down at my biodot. It had gone from amber to yellow to green to turquoise to blue and then deep violet. I was singing joy.

I have since come to realize that something Parker Palmer has written and said about burnout is quite true. He indicates burnout happens “because one is giving away something that isn’t theirs to give.” In other words, “I was hyper-functioning.” I was doing more, but actually being less. My spark was gone. It needed to be re-kindled.

And so I invite you to sing joy. Now I know that to sing may not be your gift. And if that’s the case I invite you to do something that is your gift. Try something or find something that rhymes with sing, like

  • Bing joy (it’s a search engine)
  • Bling joy (wear some joyful jewelry)
  • Cling joy (hold onto someone)
  • Ding joy (maybe you work in an auto repair shop)
  • Fling joy (throw flowers or compliments around today)
  • King joy (maybe playing checkers with someone is what you can do)
  • Ning joy (social networking)
  • Ping joy (Ping pong or making crazy noises with someone)
  • Ring joy (gather round in a circle and engulf someone with joy)
  • Wing joy (watch the birds of the air, they don’t worry, Matthew 6)
  • Zing joy (get the joy out there quickly)

I think this is what St. Paul meant when he wrote, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” (Romans 12:15)

It’s what Peter means when he sings, “Sing Joy.”

Sing Joy,


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sing Joy First Sunday of Advent 112909

H2o devos sj advent1 112909 Sing Joy

Joy created by Delia Stewart

“These days of winter have come to bury you
No sign of spring and no promise to carry you
No flowers blooming in your window sill
And the beat of your heart is too still…
And the beat of your heart is too still…Oh sing

Joy joy joy in the morning
Joy joy in the afternoon
Joy joy joy for the child is born
This night the promise is given to you”
Sing Joy by Peter Mayer

When I attempted to go online today a message showed up on my computer that I was “disconnected.” When this message happens I know I need to go to “My Network Places” and have the connection repaired. I did that and then another message appeared which stated, “connecting to the wireless network.” I immediately thought of all of you who faithfully receive these h2o devos. We are a “wireless network” connected by our love of Peter Mayer’s music, friendships garnered and gathered over the years, drawn together by the Holy Spirit, Parrot heads, parishioners, children of God, church goers, concert goers, young and old, Lutherans, Unitarians, Roman Catholics, Methodists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Jews, People of God, Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Vegetarians, Carnivores and Omnivores (the list could go on and on).
I am humbled and simultaneously energized by the “wireless network” that connects us together during these holy seasons of Lent and Advent and which holds us together throughout the rest of the year.

At this time of year which is called “Advent” (which is really all about getting ready for the ADVENTURE) Peter calls us to “sing joy.” A quick review of words in the New Testament reveals that the word “joy” is used 56 times. The word “sing” appears 9 times. “Rejoice” pops up 40 times. If you have ever heard Peter introduce the “back story” to this lovely song you know it was written at a time when he wasn’t feeling very well. So, in other words it wasn’t inspired by a mountain top experience, but rather by being in the “pits” of having a fever and cold. Yet, in the midst of all of that stuff, the Spirit gave Peter the words and harmony to create a work of art which lifts our spirits.

Delia’s angel Joy echoes those sentiments. Rusty pieces of metal, discarded and not regarded as lovely, lacy heavenly angelic types of things have been recycled into a piece of art which evokes a notion in us to watch, wait, worship and wonder for the ONE who brings joy to our hearts by sending a child to bring us all together into a holy network
Sing Joy

Monday, November 23, 2009


H2odevos sjthanksgiving 112509 Abundance

Have a little faith in angels

You never know where they might be

Have a little faith in angels

And you might begin to see

You could have a little faith in you and me

We all were born under a troubled sky

You’ve been waiting on the wings to carry you

But what you dream you got to live

The love you want you got to give

Open up that secret smile

Filled with pieces of a dream

Let’s take a chance on a moonlit while

While there’s still time to believe”

Faith in Angels by Roger Guth/Peter Mayer

Abundance created by Delia Stewart

Happy Thanksgiving! If I were limited to have only have one wish, one blessing, one holy desire to express today, it is this, “May mercy, peace, and love be yours in abundance,” Jude 1:2. But, you know what? To imagine that there are limits to wishes, blessings and holy desires is to work from a perspective of scarcity. And if you and I know anything about anything, especially the Holy One of God we know that God is a God of Abundance. Listen to this great little sound byte from Psalm 78:25, “Mortals ate of the bread of angels; he sent them food in abundance.” The children of Israel were on a journey from slavery to the Promised Land. But, they got bogged down by looking around at what they didn’t have as opposed to what was right in front of them.

Peter sings, “We all were born under a troubled sky

You’ve been waiting on the wings to carry you

But what you dream you got to live

The love you want you got to give.”

Peter echoes St. Francis here, “it is in giving that we receive, it is pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.”

The other day I called Delia (the artist who discovered Abundance) and asked her to bring me an angel. I wanted to use the angel for an object lesson during a Wednesday night homily. So, she not only brought me one angel but two. She brought Abundance and told me how the angelic pieces came from a farm. Delia wanted me to understand how “grounded” she was to just take the pieces as she saw them and reassemble them. For you see, heavenly things are rooted in earthly experiences.

It’s as Peter reminds us,

“Have a little faith in angels

And you might begin to see

You could have a little faith in you and me.”

Celebrate Abundance today and get ready to Sing Joy!



ps Delia also brought Grace who will “wing” in during h2o devos Sing Joy which begin on Sunday, November 29th.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday the 13th

It's been a busy week. I am glad the weekend is near. Tomorrow morning, I'm participating in the Home For the Holidays 5k.

The Colorado Coalition for the Homeless hosts the 1st Annual Home for the Holidays 5k and 1K Family Fun Run. All proceeds support the Coalition's work to create lasting solutions to homelessness in Colorado.

I am grateful for love, family, home, vocation and grace. In reviewing some pictures tonight I came across a favorite one of mine from Camp Arcadia. I think I call it "just chillin' "

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Getting ready to SING JOY

Hi everyone! I'm getting set to get the h2o devos out to you on Sunday, November 29.
H2o devos written by Pastor Ron Glusenkamp and are based on the music of Peter Mayer.
The theme for this season is Sing Joy!