Greetings from Peter Mayer

Sunday, April 24, 2011

alleluia h2o devos fia 042411 EASTER SUNDAY

H2o devos fia 042411 ALLELUIA
Easter Sunday


“Welcome child into our family
Washed in water, reborn and free
A sign on your forehead and your heart
The cross that never will depart
Allelujah Allelujah
Allelujah come and sing
Chrorus
Stirrin' up the water
Stirrin' up my soul
A Light comes to the darkness
Come and make me whole
Oh Stir it up, stir it up, Oh Lord
The call goes out to near and distant lands
Come all you children into my hands
Grow like branches on the living tree
Washed in water, reborn and free
Allelujah Allelujah
Allelujah now we sing”

www.petermayer.com/songs/stirrin-up-the-water



I spent some time working on my Easter sermon yesterday. I also spent time working on hot cross buns. You can find the entire photo album on my facebook page, Pastor Ron Glusenkamp. I hope the sweetness of the Gospel message and the sweetness of the “Alleluia” along with the sweetness of the hot cross buns reminds you of the great joy we have because Jesus is risen from the dead. As Peter sings, “washed in water, reborn and free.”

It’s bee a wonderful Lenten journey. I’m so thankful for your participation along the way.
Major thanks and “alleluia” in recognition of Peter for the sweetness of his inspiring words. Kudos and “alleluia” for Delia’s creative and redemptive artistry of angels. Words can’t really express my indebtedness to Cynthia for all she does to get these h2o devos out to you each and every day. Thank you dear friends.



In today’s sermon, I say the following:
“In his book, Barefoot Disciple- Rev. Dr. Stephen Cherry writes, “Abundance thinking generates both humility and hope. If you believe that the resources are there but that they are not yet apparent, you set yourself and others the interesting challenge not of creating them, but of creating the context in which they can and will be offered. Sometimes this will involve asking, and maybe asking big. Presumably Andrew did actually ask the little boy with the packed lunch if it was okay to share it.” (page 144-145)

As you know I’m asking BIG around BE THE BLESSING DAY, May 22. So far,more than 500 people have signed up. http://www.bethany-denver2.org/outreach/btb-be-the-blessing/

On June 1st we begin our $1 a day or pound per day (or both) for 100 Days for Metro CareRing. Our goal as a congregation is to raise $20,000 and 20,000 lbs of food.
(put in avenues of hope graphic) www.metrocarering.org this celebration will be on
9 10 11, September 10th, 2011. On a metro Denver basis we want to raise $120, 000 and 120, 000 lbs of food! We hope to bring healing and love to the streets on the day before the 10th anniversary of 9-11.”

We are called to “go and tell.” It seems to me that we meet Jesus in the “going and telling.”

After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 4For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. 5But the angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. 6He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. 7Then go quickly and tell his disciples, 'He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.' This is my message for you." 8So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9Suddenly Jesus met them and said, "Greetings!" And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. 10Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me." Matt 29



Monday, April 25th is WORLD MALARIA DAY. As Rev. Andrea DeGroot-Nesdahl says our efforts around this disease can be, PREVENTABLE, TREATABLE & POSSIBLE. Read more about how you can make a difference
www.elca.org/Our-Faith-In-Action/Responding-to-the-World/ELCA-Malaria-Campaign.aspx
Tuesday, April 26 is NATIONAL PRETZEL DAY.

Father Dom has graciously shared his recipe with us in the past. Here it is

Quick Pretzels
Yield: 16 pretzels
2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
1 Tbls. brown sugar
1/4 c. warm water
1 3/4 c. warm milk
1 1/2 tsp. salt
4 1/2 c. flour
1 egg, beaten
Kosher or coarse salt (optional)
**NOTE: This recipe has been adapted for high altitude baking- in two areas. So
if you are in lower elevations that original recipe calls for:
1.5 cups warm milk instead of 1 3/4 cups of warm water
and 4.5 - 5cups flour instead of 4.5 cups
• Combine yeast, brown sugar and water in a small mixing
bowl; stir to dissolve. Let stand until foamy.
• In large bowl, stir together warm milk and salt. Stir in 4
cups of flour, one cup at a time. Mix in yeast mixture from
small bowl.
• Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead 5
minutes, adding as much of the remaining 1/2 to 1 cup of
flour as needed to form a smooth, elastic
dough that is slightly sticky. Cover with a
towel and let rest 5 minutes.
• Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
• Cut dough into 16 pieces. Roll each piece
into a 12 to 14 inch rope. Twist each rope
into a pretzel shape and place on a lightly
greased baking sheet.
• Brush tops of pretzels with beaten egg and
sprinkle with salt.
• Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes
or until golden brown. Remove from baking sheet and let
cool briefly on wire racks. Serve warm.

Note: You can make these pretzels with water, but I like the flavor and
texture of milk-based pretzels better. Serve the pretzels warm with pizza
sauce or cheese sauce for dipping. If you divide the dough into few portions,
you can make larger pretzels. Just be sure that all the pretzels on
one baking sheet are the same size, so they will bake in the same amount
of time.
Notes from Father Dom ...

”Pretzels get their name by a circuitous route. They were originally meant to be
a Lenten bread, made with only water, flour, yeast and salt. The classic shape is
meant to suggest arms crossed in prayer, which gave rise to their Latin name,
bracaella, "little arms." This word became bretzel in Old German, which eventually
shifted to pretzel.
I have made these basic pretzels with people of all ages, and everyone loves them.
The freshmen in our high school especially enjoy making pretzels and eating them
fresh out of the oven. I made these with my nephew Jordan's second grade class
and they turned out beautifully, so don't hesitate to try making pretzels with children
of any age.”

As Father Dom states, “bread is very forgiving”


Ps “have a little faith in angels”

Alleluia!
rtg

Saturday, April 23, 2011

STILLNESS h20 devos fia 042311 EASTER VIGIL

H2o devos fia 042311 Stillness




“And you're Still in One Peace
Still in One Peace
We are blessed we are broken
Given one more chance to be
Found in you we are
In One Peace”

www.petermayer.com/songs/still-in-one-peace
Some how, some way, I made a mistake and confused a name of one of Delia’s angels. So, back on April 2, 2011 I wrote about what I thought was “Stillness.” Come to find out that angel (pictured below) is actually named “Dance.”


And this one, for today is actually named “Stillness.” Maybe I should “morph” or conflate the two of them into something called “The Dance of Stillness.” For that is where we find ourselves today, this day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
Peter sings, “We are blessed we are broken.” All this week I’ve been watching and listening to Biblical stories told by Dennis Dewey. I saw 5o young people receive their First Communion on Maundy Thursday. They were surrounded by family and friends. Their expectation, anticipation and joy is contagious. On Thursday evening, we “stripped” the altar. The paraments are gone. The candles snuffed out and removed. The palms carried off and placed behind the wall. The communion vessels lovingly tended to, washed and cleaned, still on the shelf until Easter. Our processional cross wrapped in palms carried off and resting. The purple drape on the cross has been pulled down and replaced with a black shroud. We are still.
The Psalmist sang, “Be Still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)
Today in my “stillness” I plan to make some hot cross buns. It’s a tradition that our daughter Hannah Grace and I started a while back. She’s in Minneapolis and I’m in Denver. I’m gonna see if I can’t SKYPE some of the action to her.

Peace,


rtg

Friday, April 22, 2011

+Redemption h2o devos fia 042211 GOOD FRIDAY+

H2o devos fia 042211 Redemption
Good Friday



The question gets asked at least once a year. “Pastor, why do we call it ‘Good Friday’ if Jesus was crucified on that day?” A full, complete and unadulterated answer would take up more gigabytes than any of us have access to on our computers and in “clouds.”
However, in a word, the answer because of the Word made Flesh, Jesus Christ, the answer is: “Redemption.”

“Redemption” is what Good Friday, originally called “God’s Friday” is all about.
“Redemption” has a bent or crooked nail on her front.
“Redemption” is the process of “buying back” or “bringing back” something or some one or some bodies from slavery, imprisonment, junkyards and even death.

On this holy day and most days, the answer to our question is “Redemption.” And
“Redemption” happened and happens because of Jesus.

Peter sings,
“Only You can break down the walls that hide me away
Only You can turn the night into day
Only You can stop the darkness from over taking me
Created the land the sky and sea
I know it in my heart to be true
The answer to me is only You”

www.petermayer.com/songs/only-you


Listen to how Peter tells the story

“We better lock him up the crazy man
He’s causing trouble, brewing storms
Traded fashion for compassion
The revolution fought with kindness not a sword
The word went leaping off the pages
Breaking in the windows and leaping over walls
All you asked for was a cool glass of water
And you got a waterfall
Chorus
Tears of sadness for the hands that kill
Tears of joy when life is born
Heard a bell ring freedom and my sails are filled
In a rusty nail a cross and a temple curtain torn
Chorus
Oh Oh Oh Oh hear the news
Love is loose hey ey
Love is loose in the world
Oh Oh Oh Oh the universe is singing
Loose hey hey God is loose in the world”

www.petermayer.com/songs/loose-in-the-world

TGIF- Thank God it’s FRIDAY
TGIF- Thank God I’m FORGIVEN!


Peace,
rtg

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Lovin' Spoonful h2o devos 042111 Maundy Thursday

H2o devos fia 042111 Lovin’ Spoonful


Refrain
From a raindrop to a river
From one word into a song
Source of all gifts, Friend and Forgiver
Bring us together, to pass it on
He has called us, all creation
Every woman, child, and man
To bring our gifts in celebration
To be transformed in the Savior's hands
To be transformed in the Savior's hands
Refrain
In the Word the walls will crumble down
And all are welcome to enter in
In the blood of Christ the great sacrifice
The withered branches bloom again
The withered branches bloom again
Pass it on
Break the bread, lift the cup
Pass it on
The broken will be lifted up
Every gift grand and lowly
Every purpose great and small
At this feast they are made holy
By your name you have been called
By your name you have been called
Refrain

www.petermayer.com/songs/pass-it-on

We begin these three days. In our tradition it is seen and understood that there is one service which is spread over three nights, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Vigil. There is a strong sense of “to be continued.” Tonight we welcome 50 of our young people to celebrate their First Communion. I reminded them and their parents just a few weeks ago that the Lord’ Supper is the “real, meal, deal.” It is authentic, it is bread and wine, it is given for the forgiveness of sins.”
As Peter sings,
“Pass it on
Break the bread, lift the cup
Pass it on
The broken will be lifted up”


Delia’s angel “Lovin’ Spoonful” adds a touch of joy to the meal we celebrate tonight. She echoes the love and respect that Mary had when she anointed Jesus. There is an extravagance which reminds one of the Wedding at Cana, the Feeding of the Five Thousand with five bagels and two pieces of sushi and points to the Feast on the Mountain top when God will wipe away every tear from our eyes. (Isaiah 25)
I asked Delia “what’s up with the red paint on ‘Lovin’ Spoonful?’” She said,
“The red on Lovin' Spoonful was already there on the metal, just a splash of paint - I didn't put it there. Definitely could be viewed as her heart:)”

So tonight we pray and hope for “just a splash” of good news.
Peter sings,

“In the Word the walls will crumble down
And all are welcome to enter in
In the blood of Christ the great sacrifice
The withered branches bloom again
The withered branches bloom again”

“Maundy” comes from the Latin word “mandatum” which means “commandment.”
On this night we hear and receive the commandment that Jesus gave to us,
“I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. 35By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13

It’s time to “spoon it out.” Share, pass it on, reach out and touch someone, just do it!

We pray together,
Holy God, source of all love,
on the night of his betrayal, Jesus gave us a new commandment,
to love one another as he loves us.
Write this commandment in our hearts,
and give us the will to serve others as he was the servant of all,
your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.
Amen (ELW)

“Pass it on
Break the bread, lift the cup
Pass it on
The broken will be lifted up”

peace,
rtg

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Fellowship h2o devos fia 042011

H2o devos 042011 Fellowship



“Beside us to stay
Surprised us with grace
Recognized us for who we are and whose we are by name
Chorus
Joy Joy you shine on us
Lord light my way
Peace now to set us free
Love light my way
Bind us in these chains of love
Lord Light my way
Send your blessings from above
Lord Light my way”

www.petermayer.com/songs/light-my-way
I asked Delia to share with us some thoughts about “Fellowship” I initially asked her about the chain that’s on the front. She wrote, “Not sure what kind of chain that is on Fellowship - could be a bike chain - very old and rusty found at the junkyard, of course! The wings, which to me seem to welcome or want to give you a hug, are old
hinges that were from my grandfather's farm. My dad had put them aside
for me. The part that's "hugging" used to be wrapped around a fence
post.”
“Fellowship” is about communion, isn’t it? I mean most congregations have a “fellowship hall.” It’s the space where massive amounts of donuts are consumed with huge quantities of coffee which has been heated and reheated so many times in aluminum containers that even a rookie barista would know that it’s time to let that coffee go down the drain. But, week after week, people come back again and again for “Fellowship.” Delia is right, the “wrap around part of us” wants to hug or be hugged or do both!
Peter sings, “bind us in these chains of love.” The “chains of love” connect us to our past, our present and our futures. As we head into the dark parts of this holy week, it is our prayer, “Lord light our way.”
May you experience “Fellowship” today.
Peace,
Rtg

PS 0n the topic of GRACE- Deb from Denver wrote, “Grace opens doors for complete strangers.”
Brenda from Castle Rock wrote, "Grace" looks like she's a swimmer, about to dive into a pool. Sounds like grace to me, jumping right in to the pool of life.”

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Passion h2o devos 041911

H2o devos fia 041911 Passion



“Tears of sadness for the hands that kill
Tears of joy when life is born
Heard a bell ring freedom and my sails are filled
In a rusty nail a cross and a temple curtain torn
Chorus
Oh Oh Oh Oh hear the news
Love is loose hey ey
Love is loose in the world
Oh Oh Oh Oh the universe is singing
Loose hey hey God is loose in the world”

www.petermayer.com/songs/loose-in-the-world

There is a “Passion” in Peter’s music. It comes from the heart and goes right to our hearts as well. His music is about life, death and ultimately new life. It’s about humanity and the divine. People often like to put music, artists and art into categories and boxes. Some folks like to do the same thing with parts and pieces of our lives. It doesn’t always work so neatly or cleanly in the ways that we’d like. My sense is that our desire to classify and identify is really about our need to be in control. If Holy Week teaches us anything it teaches us that we are not in control. And yet, the Good News is, “God is loose in the world.”
“Tears of sadness for the hands that kill
Tears of joy when life is born
Heard a bell ring freedom and my sails are filled
In a rusty nail a cross and a temple curtain torn”

Delia says, “Passion” has a large square spike or nail that I found at an estate sale, digging around in the garage. I thought it was very cool. If you take a closer look, there's a cool pattern on the top of the spike.”
There is a cool pattern to this week of “Passion” as well. We gather around the blessing of the Word. We are mindful of our journey to the upper room, the garden, the judgment halls, the way of the cross and to the tomb.

For God had so much “Passion” for the world that he gave his only Son so that whoever believes in him may not perish, but have everlasting life.

“God is loose in the world.”
rtg

Monday, April 18, 2011

Grace h2odevos fia 041811

H2o devos 041811 Grace



“From a raindrop to a river
From one word into a song
Source of all gifts, Friend and Forgiver
Bring us together, to pass it on
He has called us, all creation
Every woman, child, and man
To bring our gifts in celebration
To be transformed in the Savior's hands
To be transformed in the Savior's hands”

www.petermayer.com/songs/pass-it-on
Sunday’s services featured the amazing gifts of Biblical Storyteller, Dennis Dewey.
www.dennisdewey.org

He told us the following: The Prologue of John; The Entry into Jerusalem; Stories from John: The Wedding at Cana; Cleansing of the Temple; Nicodemus; The Woman at the Well; The Man Born Blind; The Raising of Lazarus; and Jesus is Arrested. Dennis concluded his storytelling by having us all sing “Jesus Walked This Lonesome Valley. Rick Seaton played the organ and Dennis played the piano. It was an amazing morning for of light, love and “Grace.”
Dennis is our artist in residence this week. If you are near Denver, be sure to check out the following times and dates when Dennis will be telling more stories from the Bible.
Monday, April 18 – 9-10am during Bible Study and 7-8 pm at night
Tuesday, April 19 – 11-noon for the XYZ Senior Group
Wednesday, April 20 – Noon Worship
Wednesday, April 20 – 6:30 – 8 pm at Calvary Baptist Church to hear the Gospel of Mark
Thursday, April 21 – Maundy Thursday worship at Atonement Lutheran Church
Friday, April 22 – Good Friday worship at noon and 7:00pm
“Grace” is in motion. Her wings facilitate her gliding through space and time. Today I saw “Grace” as people saw themselves as a guest at the Wedding of Cana when Jesus said, “I will serve no wine before my time” (well, that comes from the GRSV- Glusenkamp Revised Standard Version). I saw “Grace” as people heard their voices in the words of Mary and Martha who both said “Lord, if you would have been here my brother would not have died.” I saw “Grace” as we all “saw” the blind man receive his sight. I saw “Grace” as the children of the parish waved their palm branches to welcome the King of Kings who comes in the name of the Lord.


I wanted to share with you another picture from the V+A Museum in London.
This is from the 12th century as the following note states.



(I always take pictures of the notes describing the things I am taking a picture of because as much as I think I’ll remember it, normally I don’t.) There is a “Grace” to the notion that we are all welcome to drink from the chalice of love and peace. And so today, I say “Grace” for YOU!
(put in pix of note)

Send me a note at h2odevos@earthlink.net to let me know where you saw “Grace”
Let’s pass it on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
rtg

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Growth h2o devos fia 041711 PALM SUNDAY

H2o devos fia 041711 Growth
Palm Sunday, Passion Sunday



“Follow me to the place where dreams come true
Follow me and we can see this through
Follow me until the end on this you can depend
Follow me and I will follow you
Follow me down the long and lonely road
When I'm lost and the night is black as coal
Follow me until the end on this you can depend
Follow me and I will follow you
And I'm depending on you
And I'll be looking out for you
Be it near or be it far
By a river or under a star
Follow me and I will follow you”

www.petermayer.com/songs/follow-me

The wings of “Growth” are horse shoes. It’s appropriate that we contemplate on something so foundational and down to earth as horse shoes on this day of Christ’s entry into Jerusalem. Foundational and down to earth is what this day, Palm Sunday or Passion Sunday is all about. Jesus comes into town riding on a donkey. By Friday, that day we call “Good” Jesus is crucified on a cross. We wonder how it all transpired so quickly.
All sorts of different roles come to mind, hero, rebel, Messiah, subversive, criminal, Lamb of God.

The next two photos are from an exhibit in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
The exhibit represents the simplicity of the mission and ministry of Christ, as well as the Royal robes and garments of the representatives of the Church of Christ. The items are from a period of time, 1300-1500. In the side view we see a cross in the background.
Jesus’ love of humanity was so foundational and down to earth that he made the entry into Jerusalem knowing that he would be the Perfect Passover Lamb.




One of the followers of Jesus anointed his feet at dinner. This action portrayed in a choir book from 1380 (also at the Victoria and Albert Museum) shows this colorful event..



Here this woman, a follower of Jesus assumes the role of a prophet and anoints Jesus as “king.” He wasn’t going to be a king in the normal sense of the word. She also wasn’t a prophet in the normal sense of the word. This king would be more like a pauper. In fact, he trades places with all the paupers of the world (you and me). Martin Luther is reported to have said on his death bed, “yes, we are all beggars.” And so we go through this holiest of all weeks with our hats in our hands. Our hands are open to receive the gift of grace, forgiveness and new life.

Peter sings,

“Follow me down the long and lonely road
When I'm lost and the night is black as coal
Follow me until the end on this you can depend
Follow me and I will follow you”

Hey, everyone loves a parade!
Peace,
RTG
Ps here is a photo of fresh baked pretzels

Willingness h2o devos fia 041511

H2o devos fia 041511 Willingness




Rising up falling down goin' round in ageless circles
Spotlight upstaging all our wanderings
Chasing dreams and desires
They don't know their distance from the fire
That shines on everyone
Walking to the sun


www.petermayer.com/songs/walking-to-the-sun

I often think a lot about “capacity” as well as “volition.”
In other words, does some one or an organization have the ability to perform a particular activity? And also, does some one or an organization have the will to perform a particular activity? Often there is the “capacity” but perhaps not the will. At other times, there is the volition, but perhaps the ability is lacking. Then there are those moments and time when capacity and volition are totally in alignment and in sync with each other.

“Willingness” comes to mind as we enter this week of “march madness.” Here we have the Lord of Life riding into town on a donkey. He is hailed as “hero” like a lion. However, by the of the week he is treated is like a “criminal” a “scape-goat” of sorts. Another way to look at him is to see him as the perfect Passover lamb.

Jesus is walking to the sun, the dawn of Easter day. However, before that joy and light appears there is darkness, sadness and loneliness. And yet, Jesus exhibited “Willingness”
to empty himself out in order that the world might be full of love, grace and forgiveness.

Here’s an old, old song about “Willingness”

5Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
6who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,
7but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
8he humbled himself
and became obedient to the point of death —
even death on a cross.
9Therefore God also highly exalted him
and gave him the name
that is above every name,
10so that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11and every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Phil 2

“walking to the sun”
rtg

Entertaining Angels h2o devos fia 041411

H2o devos 041411 Entertaining Angels



“Open up that secret smile
The one you never let me see
Give me more than a moonlit while
That we've forgotten to believe
You say that love songs bring you down
Can't depend anything
But I've seen a silver bird leave the ground
Rising high on a borrowed wing
Chorus
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”

www.petermayer.com/songs/faith-in-angels


Peter’s line, “You never know where they might be” succinctly summarizes the following verse from Hebrews 13:2,
“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.”

So, today be on Angel Alert. “You never know where they might be”



Drop me a note at h2odevos@earthlink.net and tell me about an angel you bumped ito today.

rtg

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Freedom h2o devos fia 041311

H2o devos fia 041311 Freedom



“Follow me to the place where dreams come true
Follow me and we can see this through
Follow me until the end on this you can depend
Follow me and I will follow you
Follow me down the long and lonely road
When I'm lost and the night is black as coal
Follow me until the end on this you can depend
Follow me and I will follow you
And I'm depending on you
And I'll be looking out for you
Be it near or be it far
By a river or under a star
Follow me and I will follow you”

www.petermayer.com/songs/follow-me



What a great line this is,
“By a river or under a star
Follow me and I will follow you”

We are at the point in our Lenten journey, experiencing The Blessing of Being Plugged-In that we stop just a moment to think about where we are and where we are going.”
“By a river or under a star
Follow me and I will follow you”

We are involved in the holiest dance of our lives. It’s a “chain of love.” It’s about “strirrin’ up the water.” It’s about being “still in one peace.”
“By a river or under a star
Follow me and I will follow you”

Jesus said, in Matthew 4:19
"Follow me, and I will make you fish for people."
He also said, in John 8:32

”and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free."
We are free to follow. That’s not something that our society and culture readily acknowledges or affirms. And yet, that’s the call we hear as we pass through the days and nights,
“By a river or under a star
Follow me and I will follow you”

“Freedom” has a key for a necklace. She has a license plate for wings. Her body is a spike. Sometimes there is the call to stay in place. At other times the key is to follow the call to go “on the road.”
As Peter sings,
“By a river or under a star
Follow me and I will follow you”

blessings,
rtg

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Creativty h2o devos fia 041211

H2o devos fia 041211 Creativity



Hey ey Hey ey this mercy moves
God is loose hey ey
God is loose in the world
Hey ey hey ey the universe is singing
Loose hey hey God is loose in the world

www.petermayer.com/songs/loose-in-the-world

It’s my understanding that in the Hebrew Scriptures also called the Old Testament that the major word used to convey what we understand to mean “create” is used only when God is the subject. So, in other words, “God creates” but humans make, put together, manufacture, assemble, produce and do all sorts of other things. “Creativity” is then something that is divine, holy and quite unique.

David prayed this prayer after he was caught in what I like to refer to as “Bathsheba-gate”

10Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and put a new and right spirit within me.
(Psalm 51)

David knew that some major cardiac care was needed. He needed a heart-transplant in order to move forward. Not only did he need a new heart, but he also needed some spiritual CPR.

Peter sings, “God is loose.” This past Sunday we heard the story of Lazarus. He was unbound and became “loose.” Our God is unbound and is “loose.”

“Creativity” just might mean that we have the eyes to see, the ears to hear, the hands to move and the heart to feel that “God is loose in the world.”

Blessings today for you
rtg

Monday, April 11, 2011

Surrender h2o devos fia 041111

H2o devos fia 041111 Surrender




“I've believed betrayed swayed and discussed
Still I feel like a wrapped up Lazarus
Haven't made sense of the Mystery
But it makes sense to me
And I'm Still in One Peace
Still in One Peace
We are blessed we are broken
Every day a chance to be
One together again”

www.petermayer.com/songs/still-in-one-peace


Every time I hear Peter sing this song, “Still In One Peace” it makes me feel so very hopeful. Yesterday at church, my colleague, Pastor Ruth Ann Loughry preached an amazing sermon www.bethany-denver2.org/church-life/sermons/?sermon_id=192
all about hope, renewal, walking through the valley of the shadow of death. She took us through the valley of dry bones to the valley that Mary and Martha were walking through as they grieved the death of their brother Lazarus and then to our own valleys.
After venting their anger, grief and pain to Jesus, Martha and Mary were able to “Surrender.” They were able to “give up” and “give in” to hope, life and resurrection.



The other day I found the “bent halo with rust and a dent.” And it made me think about why I like Delia’s angels so much. It is because she sees beauty in what we normally see as “junk” or trash. She sees wings when we see rust. When pieces are bent and have a dent she re-imagines the graceful lines of heavenly hosts that fly into our lives. So, with here gracious permission she is willing to re-assemble, re-cycle, re-use pieces and parts of stuff that you have around in your basement, garage or in my case, sitting on my desk.
So, here’s the deal, for the next 7-10 days, with a cut-off on Wednesday April 20th, send you “junk” to

Pastor Ron Glusenkamp
%Bethany Lutheran Church,
4500 East Hampden Ave,
Cherry Hills Village, CO 80113.
All stuff set becomes the property of BLC and we will then auction it off for ELCA Malaria Campaign. If you write a note about the stuff you are sending that’s helpful, too. Delia will “weld” the angels together.
Right after Easter we will conduct an online auction. Depending on how much stuff we get, will determine how many angels get made.
It’s all about being “Still in one peace.”
rtg

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Delight h2o devos fia 041011 The Fifth Sunday in Lent

H2o devos fia 041011 Delight
Fifth Sunday in Lent (a)



“They say happiness
Is just around the bend
‘Til I'm there
It's good to have a friend”


www.petermayer.com/songs/good-to-have-a-friend

Today our congregation begins its reflection on The Blessing of Being Plugged-In. We are playing off the notion of “being unplugged” (i.e. Sabbath) in order to be “engaged.”
It is our hope and prayer that we will truly celebrate as Peter sings, “it’s good to have a friend.” That friend is Jesus. And of course, we have the opportunity to be-friend others in our world today. When you know, feel, sense, realize and experience friendship there is a “Delight” that comes your way. We have a graphic that blends the Nike “swoosh” with the cross. In other words, as the Letter to James said so succinctly and eloquently, “JUST DO IT.”

“27Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” (James 1:27)

http://www.bethany-denver2.org/2011/04/be-the-blessing-pamphlet/

Our Faith Formation Team and Be The Blessing Team is in the process of formatting, tweaking and revising our hopes and goals for May 22, 2011. Today we are having a service fair featuring the 20 plus partner ministry sites where we will be friends on May 22nd. We are grateful for your “Delight” and prayers.

This weekend also marks the release of the movie Soul Surfer. A young woman from our congregation, Anna Sophia Robb has the lead role. If you haven’t checked this movie out, I encourage you to do so. It’s about faith and determination.



The Psalmist sang about “Delight” in the first song of the hymn book of the people of God, Psalm 1,
“Happy are those
who do not follow the advice of the wicked,
or take the path that sinners tread,
or sit in the seat of scoffers;
2but their delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law they meditate day and night.
3They are like trees
planted by streams of water,
which yield their fruit in its season,
and their leaves do not wither.
In all that they do, they prosper.”

At our 10:30am service this morning we are celebrating families who have loved ones serving in the military. Our congregation has created a response to what these families are experiencing as they go through the deployments of their loved ones. Our Health and Wellness Cabinet, inspired by the marvelous book Welcome Them Home- Help Them Heal (which was given a lift by Wheat Ridge Ministries) www.wheatridge.org
www.welcomethemhomebook.com
has gathered around the idea of
OPERATION ONE NATION.



These efforts have led us to work with an amazing group called Project Sanctuary. You can learn more about them by check out www.projectsanctuary.us/

There are many ways to “plug in.” I pray that you strengthen and deepen your efforts at being a “friend.” May you find “Delight” in doing God’s work.

As those theologians from Illinois, The Blues Brothers used to say,
“we’re on a mission for GOD!”

peace,
rtg

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Direction h2o devos fia 040911

H2o devo fia 040911 Direction
+Dietrich Bonhoeffer February 4,1906-April 9, 1945+
www.ushmm.org/museum/exhibit/online/bonhoeffer/






“You can run you can hide
You can die of thirst by the river side
Don't leave me out on the blue river
You can run you can hide
You can live your life by what's denied
But don't leave me waiting on the blue river
Save your strength for the good fight
Save your tears for the sorrow
Spend your love it's alright
Before it's gone gone gone tomorrow”

www.petermayer.com/songs/blue-river

Thanks for your prayer, notes and support for me going unplugged for 24 hours. I must tell you that I must have reached for my Blackberry 100 times and that was just during the first FIVE minutes of going unplugged. Here’s what I found out. People are very understanding and supportive when you state that you are going to do something like this.
Folks really get it! I felt your love throughout the 24 hours. It was hard. At one point I forgot that I was supposed to send an email to someone and so I dictated something to my lovely wife, Sue Ann. She graciously sent it. I must also say that about 18 hour into it, I took a sneak peak at some phone messages from colleagues at work. So, I wasn’t totally “pure” or absolutely unplugged for 24 hours. However, I did feel better. I felt like there was less stress, more focus and a different kind of energy. I felt the Blessing of Being Unplugged.

I’ve been reading the first chapter of Joshua again and again these past few days. Part of it is due to the fact that our church council, worship and music ministry team and vision team are all reading a book called, Borderlands Churches-A Congregation’s Introduction to Missional Living. The author is Gary V. Nelson. I find the book to be one of the best that I’ve read in years. It is inspiring, hopeful, scary and wonderful. His advice is that we need to “crossover” just like Joshua and the children of Israel did. So there is this image of the blue river, the Jordan right in front of us.



Just yesterday, I visited with a man whose wife died a few years ago. Due to medical ailments and life situations he recently moved into a senior living facility. Yesterday was his birthday. I asked him what he wanted me to read and he told me, “Joshua 1.”

After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, the LORD spoke to Joshua son of Nun, Moses' assistant, saying, 2My servant Moses is dead. Now proceed to cross the Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the Israelites. 3Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, as I promised to Moses. 4From the wilderness and the Lebanon as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, to the Great Sea in the west shall be your territory. 5No one shall be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you. 6Be strong and courageous; for you shall put this people in possession of the land that I swore to their ancestors to give them. 7Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to act in accordance with all the law that my servant Moses commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, so that you may be successful wherever you go. 8This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth; you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to act in accordance with all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall be successful. 9I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." Joshua 1

He said, “that gives me great comfort, for I know that God is with me wherever I go.”

He has “crossed over” with the help of family, friends, facility staff and church members.

Peter sings,
You can run you can hide
You can live your life by what's denied
But don't leave me waiting on the blue river”

The words ring true, “Be strong and courageous.” We just gotta “wade in the water.”
That’s the “Direction” we’ve been given. That’s the way we need to go.

Peace,
rtg

Friday, April 8, 2011

Kindness h2o devos fia 040811

H2o devos fia 040811 Kindness



“You say that love songs bring you down
Can't depend anything
But I've seen a silver bird leave the ground
Rising high on a borrowed wing
Chorus
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”

www.petermayer.com/songs/faith-in-angels

Today’s devo is what my sainted mother Levera Glusenkamp would call “leftovers.”
It is made out of things that have been in the refrigerator (i.e. desk, computer, notebook).
It is all good stuff. There is some of “this” and some of “that.” Nothing has reached an expiration date or even “smells bad.” And do since this is being written two days in advance for Friday the 8th (and I haven’t had time to go to the grocery store- Metaphorically speaking that is) then you as my virtual congregation and family are gonna be treated to “Levera’s Leftovers.” I’m thinking today about the angel of “Kindness” who appears with a casserole of food just at the right time. I’m thinking today about the angel of “Kindness” who lends a hand or “wing” without expressing any kind of judgment. I’m thinking about the angel of “Kindness” who helps us when we are lost.

There are some wild numbers and statistics out there about SCREEN TIME and kids!

(Source: Henry J. Kaiser Foundation, "Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8-18 Year Olds," January 2010)
Children ages 8–18 spend the following amount of time in front of the screen, daily:
• Approximately 7.5 hours using entertainment media
• Approximately 4.5 hours watching TV
• Approximately 1.5 hours on the computer
• Over an hour playing video games
These data lie in stark contrast to the 25 minutes per day that children spend reading books.
Today's youth also have the following media in their bedrooms:
• More than one–third have a computer, and Internet access
• Half have video game players
• More than two–thirds have TVs
o Those with bedroom TVs spend an hour more in front of the screen than those without TVs
You can learn more about this by checking out the following resource which makes wonderful suggestions about reducing screentime:

www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/obesity/wecan/reduce-screen-time/index.htm


8Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. 9Six days you shall labor and do all your work. 10But the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God; you shall not do any work — you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. 11For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and consecrated it. Exodus 20
27Then he said to them, "The sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the sabbath; 28so the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath."Mark 2
Judith Shulevitz in her article, “Bring Back the Sabbath” paraphrases Rabbi Elijah of Vilna about the importance of the Sabbath by stating, “We have to remember to stop because we have to stop to remember.”
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9404EEDE1F3DF931A35750C0A9659C8B63&scp=5&sq=sabbath&st=cse&pagewanted=4
Note to readers- the following lines are from my noon day Lenten sermon on
“The Blessing of Being Un-plugged.”
And so it is on this day at this time in this place and space that we “remember to stop because we have to stop to remember.”
And what is it that we remember? In summary and in short we remember that God is God. In fact, I can shorten that assignment by 33 1/3 %, we remember that “GOD IS!”
That is the purpose of that wonderful creation song, Psalm 8. Just listen to those words again:
3When I consider your heavens, the work | of your fingers,
the moon and the stars you have set | in their courses,

4what are mere mortals that you should be mind- | ful of them,
human beings that you should | care for them?

5Yet you have made them little less | than divine;
with glory and hon- | or you crown them.

6You have made them rule over the works | of your hands;
you have put all things un- | der their feet:

7all | flocks and cattle,
even the wild beasts | of the field,

So, it is on this day at this time in this place and space that we “remember to stop because we have to stop to remember.”
And we remember that Abraham Heschel wrote eloquently about THE SABBATH. It’s a classic book which sings the beauty of taking time to be refreshed, renewed and regeneration.
Heschel wrote, “The meaning of the Sabbath is to celebrate time rather than space. Six days a week we live under the tyranny of things of space; on the Sabbath we try to become attuned to holiness in time. It is a day on which we are called upon to share in what is eternal in time, to turn form the results of creation to the mystery of creation; from the world of creation to the creation of the world,” (page 10).

Our theme this week is The Blessing of Being Un-plugged. The big idea is:
“Un-plug in order to Re-charge.” Over the past few days I’ve been writing and praying about Stillness, Energy, Balance, Patience along with Wisdom and Understanding.

Most of us here are old enough to remember a time when Sundays/the Sabbath were very, very un-plugged. And I am not advancing a argument to go back to times when no store was open on a Sunday. But, what I am suggesting, is that if you are aware of something that is taking your energy, that is draining your resources, that you might want to “Un-plug in order to Re-Charge.”
www.sabbathmanifesto.org/unplug/
01. Avoid technology
02. Connect with loved ones
03. Nurture your health
04. Get outside
05. Avoid commerce
06. Light candles
07. Drink wine
08. Eat bread
09. Find Silence
10. Give back
On Saturday the 9th, I’ll let you know how the 24 hours of unplugging went.
Thanks for your prayers.
Rtg

PS- “Have a little faith in angels”

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

WISDOM + UNDERSTANDING h2o devos fia 040611

H2o devos fia 040611 Wisdom + Understanding

Wisdom

Understanding



“Heaven help us all
If we should fall from Love
Heaven help us all
If we should fall from Love”

www.petermayer.com/songs/heaven-help-us

I was out making home visits today. At one facility three health care attendants came into the room that I was visiting because the resident had told them that her pastor was coming to visit. As we sat there for a couple of moments in awkward silence I asked the three workers what it was they needed or wanted. The first one said, “I need a prayer for my husband and for my mother.” The next one chimed in and said, “I too want a prayer for my mother and for me, too.” The third one was quiet. And so I asked if we all could grab hands, making a circle or more accurately an oval. We prayed a simple prayer as I just recited what had been told me while repeating their names and their requests.
There was an amazing sense of energy and joy in the room. What had been filled awkwardness and shyness (both mine and that of the health care attendants) had been transformed in the hands of God’s love and grace. The resident had been talking about God and her church. She would be surprised to imagine herself as an evangelist, but that is how I see her. She is a “good newser.”

I am always mindful of the words of St. Paul in Romans 8:26,
“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words.”

This devo entitled, “Wisdom and Understanding” is as they say, a “two-fer.”
It is going to be for TWO days, today and tomorrow. The reason that it is a “two-fer” is that at 9 pm tonight, Wednesday night, I’m gonna go UN-plug in order to recharge. That’s right, I’m going to experience and learn about The Blessing of Being Un-plugged.

At baptism we pray for the gifts of the Spirit:
“The spirit of the LORD shall rest on him,
the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the spirit of counsel and might,
the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.”

Isaiah 11:2

It takes “Wisdom + Understanding” to be a faithful person in our world today. I’ve unplugged before, but I ask that for this 24 hour period that you pray for me to receive a portion of “Wisdom + Understanding.” I want you to know that I’m going to be praying for you.
As Peter sings,

“Heaven help us all
If we should fall from Love
Heaven help us all
If we should fall from Love”

peace,
rtg
ps I’m going to write Friday’s devo on Wednesday and send it to Cynthia on Wednesday

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Patience h2o devos fia 040511

H2o devos fia 040511 Patience


“While speed is not listed as one of the ‘fruits’ of the Spirit in Galations 5:22, patience is.” Kirk Byron Jones

“They say Joy will be
Just around the bend
‘Til I'm there
It's good to have a friend”

www.petermayer.com/songs/good-to-have-a-friend

This week our Lenten journey takes us to The Blessing of being Un-plugged. Our big idea is “Un-plug in order to Re-Charge.”




I need to grow in my ability to be a more patient person. I remember that my first modem had a baud rate of 2500. Of course, that was back in 1988. I remember what a marvel and miracle it seemed to be. It was fast enough back then, but today it’s not even in the ballpark.

Kirk Byron Jones writes in Addicted to Hurry, “Patience is a necessary tool for living in a world characterized by increasing complexity and paradox. Without patience, despair and cynicism become our most preferred options. Patience-alert waiting-readies us for creative breakthrough and imaginative problem solving (p.9).
“By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness,” (Gal 5:22)
I often comment to folks that when we are anxious or hurried in our minds about healing or recovery that most of us deep down in our hearts want what I refer to as Mc-healing or Mc-recovery. In other words we think it should be “fast” just like “fast food.” But, you know as well as I do that healing and recovery takes “Patience.”
Today I am connecting the notion of “Patience” with the idea of friend. For I truly believe that a friend is someone who reveals their patient side with us. They give us time to sputter and putter around. They give us a space and place to blossom and grow. A friend is patient. A friend is kind. A friend is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude.
4Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant 5or rude” (1 Cor 13)
Today I hope that my friends remind me of the angel of “Patience.” Today I am going to dis-connect some of my dependency on hurry and slow down.
Peter is right when he sings,
“It's good to have a friend”
rtg

Monday, April 4, 2011

Balance h2o devos fia 040411

Balance h2o devos fia 040411

"I could live without you but my song is still about you
Nothin's gonna change my mind
First you say you'll leave me then you say you need me
Somewhere in between we're fine


This bittersweet concoction of fear and grace
Chases me inside
But what's the harm in hoping that time won't erase
This momentary rhyme"


www.petermayer.com/songs/somewhere-in-between




Peter is so, so, so right when he acknowledges the "bittersweet concoction of fear and grace chases me inside." Our lives are full of moments in which we sense fear and at other times grace. Sometimes we experience both at the same time. We live, I suppose, as the title of the song states, "Somewhere In Between."

It's all about "Balance" isn't it? We strive to do our best. We are at the same time a single actor or actress who has many simultaneous roles: daughter/son, wife/husband,

sister/brother, parent/child, friend/teacher, chauffeur/cook, nurse/neighbor, etc., etc., etc.

My friend, Kirk Bryon Jones, has a new book entitled, Say Yes to Grace- How to Burn Bright Without Burning Out. Check out the link to find a cool interactive introduction to his book.
kirkbjones.com/say_yes_to_grace.html


Here's what I love about Kirk's writing. It is all about being expressive. It is not oppressive.

Kirk is an engaging speaker, writer and child of God. You can read about his other books at kirkbjones.com/kirk_books.html


A few of my favorite KBJ's books are:

Rest in the Storm: Self-Care Strategies for Clergy and Other Caregivers (Judson Press, 2001)

Addicted to Hurry: Spiritual Strategies for Slowing Down (Judson Press, 2003)

The Jazz of Preaching: How to Preach With Great Freedom and Joy (Abingdon Press, 2004)

Holy Play: The Joyful Adventure of Unleashing Your Divine Purpose

Any or all of these would be a lovely, sweet, low-fat addition to anyone's Easter basket.



The Wholeness Wheel is a way of regaining and maintaining "Balance" in one's life, family, congregation and community. In the center we are reminded of "who we are and whose we are." The external "tire" is Spiritual Well-being. Between the center and the external "tire" is the "somewhere in between" that we live, love, work, play, cry, laugh, eat and sleep.

May the angel of "Balance" wing her way into your life today.

Peace,

rtg

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Fourth Sunday in Lent (a) Sermon ANNOINTED by Pastor Ron Glusenkamp

Fourth Sunday in Lent (a)
April 3, 2011
Pastor Ronald T. Glusenkamp
“Annointed”

The angel for today's message is Abudance




PSALM 23

1The LORD | is my shepherd;
I shall not | be in want.

2The LORD makes me lie down | in green pastures
and leads me be- | side still waters.

3You restore my | soul, O LORD,
and guide me along right pathways | for your name's sake.

4Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall | fear no evil;
for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they | comfort me.

5You prepare a table before me in the presence | of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil, and my cup is | running over.

6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days | of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the | LORD forever.
From Sundays and Seasons.com. Copyright 2011 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #26681.


Grace to you and peace from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

The psalm appointed for today is the 23rd Psalm. I want to say once again a line from that beloved psalm that summarizes the spiritual place, the physical space and the amazing grace that we are blessed with on this wonderful day.

“you anoint my head with oil, and my cup is | running over.”

Our cup(s) indeed do run over today as we celebrate all the blessings that have come our way. Our cup(s) indeed do run over today as we plan and meditate on how we can “Be the Blessing” in our community. Our cup(s) indeed do run over as we give thanks for that amazing gospel lesson, for the fantastic first lesson and for the 23rd Psalm that is really a GPS (God’s Positioning System) for us as we walk through the “valley of the shadow of death.”

I invite you to take in hand the ELW and turn to the section where the psalms are to be found. It is like the last red tab. Theologically the Psalms are the first hymns of the people of God. So that’s why they are presented and listed in that format. The first 150 hymns in the ELW are the 150 songs from the Book of Psalms.
This week we focus our attention on The Blessing of being Un-plugged! Our big idea is “Un-plug in order to recharge.” I don’t believe there is any passage in the Bible, there isn’t any song on our I-pods, there isn’t any slogan or card from Hallmark that “recharges” or “restores” the soul as much as the 23rd Psalm.

“you anoint my head with oil, and my cup is | running over.”

And so, just take a look at this marvelous poem. Six verses. It’s in many ways a psalm of being “un-plugged.” It’s about you and your relationship with God. It’s very intimate and private. It’s authentic. It’s affirming. It’s available. It is about you and your relationship with God. And what’s great here is that even if you or I have strayed from the flock to wander off, there is a point of access and welcome. Even if you and I are so busy or tired from doing whatever we do, there is a time for still waters. Even if we go into the valley of the shadow of death, there is light, life and love. It is about you and your relationship with God.

At the same time, it’s about us and our relationship with God. We don’t live in a world by ourselves. We live in and around one another. One of the riddles and rhymes of our global society and community today is that the world at the very same time gets smaller and larger. We can communicate, literally “reach out and touch someone” with our phones and send pictures around the globe in a few seconds. And yet, we don’t even know the names of people who live next door to us. We don’t know their story of where they came from or where they are going.

Individually and corporately we say, “The Lord is my shepherd” and looking around we acknowledge, “The Lord is our shepherd.”


Let’s read the psalm together:

1The LORD | is my shepherd;
I shall not | be in want.

2The LORD makes me lie down | in green pastures
And leads me be- | side still waters.

3You restore my | soul, O LORD,
and guide me along right pathways | for your name's sake.

4Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall | fear no evil;
for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they | comfort me.

5You prepare a table before me in the presence | of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil, and my cup is | running over.

6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days | of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the | LORD forever.
From Sundays and Seasons.com. Copyright 2011 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #26681.

Read quote from Lent for Everyone- Matthew-Year A by Tom Wright, (page 72)


“you anoint my head with oil, and my cup is | running over.”

This morning you have the opportunity to receive a sign of the blessings which have come to you. As you come up for Holy Communion you can be marked with the sign of the cross (in oil) and hear these amazing words, “Child of God you are marked in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. You are blessed to Be the Blessing.”

Being anointed is what the prophets did to the people who were going to become king.
That’s what the OT reading for today from 1 Samuel is all about. You and I through the waters of Holy Baptism have become part of God’s royal family. We are blessed to Be the Blessing.

A famous civil rights leader always used to respond with these words when he was asked “what gave him the right” or “who elected him” to raise such complex issues of justice, love kindness and to walk humbly with God.” His response was, “while others have been appointed, I’ve been anointed.” At first hearing that sounds a little arrogant, full of hubris and pride, but you and I have been called, we’ve been anointed and our cup overflows.

Take in hand if you will the BE the Blessing insert in your bulletin. Scan the front page and the open it up to pages 2-3. Check out the organizations, our partners listed there who are ready, willing and able for us on Sunday, May 22nd. There is a handy chart that lists the following: project description; project time frame; and age notes. Next Sunday, April 10 and Wednesday April 13th you will have the opportunity to “sign up” for where you choose to BE the Blessing.

www.bethany-denver2.org/outreach/btb-be-the-blessing/

Turn to page 4, a couple more sites are listed. We have FAQs with answers.

Today come up, to “taste and see” that the Lord is good. Take a time to be anointed!
Pray this week about where God is calling you to BE the Blessing.
Celebrate that “you anoint my head with oil, and my cup is | running over.”

Amen

Energy h2o devos fia 040311 4th Sunday in Lent

H2o devos fia 040311 Energy
Fourth Sunday in Lent



“Only You can break down the walls that hide me away
Only You can turn the night into day
Only You can stop the darkness from over taking me
Created the land the sky and sea
I know it in my heart to be true
The answer to me is only You”

www.petermayer.com/songs/only-you

Jane E. Brody of the NYTIMES has a column called Personal Health. In her column of January 31, 2011 “Scientists See Dangers in Energy Drinks” there is plenty of info regarding the current state of conversation about “energy drinks.” www.nytimes.com/2011/02/01/health/01brody.html

Now in the spirit of full disclosure my favorite delivery system for caffeine is coffee. I don’t normally drink soda or pop, but I like coffee. In fact, I LOVE coffee. And I was quite interested that this conversation about “caffeine” in drinks has been going on for at least 100 years. www.nytimes.com/2011/03/29/health/29caffeine.html

Today is the Fourth Sunday in Lent. We are more than half way to Easter. In about 21 days our outlook and perspective will be renewed and refreshed. But, today, this day, I’m thinking and praying about “Energy” as we start our contemplation this week on The Blessing of Being Un-Plugged. The big idea is “Un-plug in order to Re-Charge.” I acknowledge the seemingly counter intuitive nature of that idea, in other words, “disconnect” in order that one might have more “Energy” or power. Can that actually happen, I mean, “Un-plug in order to Re-Charge?”
St. Paul was a complex guy. But, there are sometimes when because of his struggles it seems that our struggles have more clarity and light. In 2 Corinthians 12 he writes about his “thorn in the flesh.” Now, scholars aren't sure what his “problem” or “issue” was (and you can make your own guesses) but something was zapping his “Energy.” 8Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, 9but he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness." So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.

St. Paul “un-plugged in order to Re-Charge.”

There are lots of “energy drinks” out there in the grocery store and in the “spiritual landscape.” In other words, there are lots of products, systems, techniques and programs which promise a form of energy and life. But Peter sings about the answer to the questions. Peter reminds us that Living h2o comes from Jesus.

“Only You can break down the walls that hide me away
Only You can turn the night into day
Only You can stop the darkness from over taking me
Created the land the sky and sea
I know it in my heart to be true
The answer to me is only You”

Jesus said in Matthew 11:28
”Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”
I echo the words of the psalmist who sang,
“taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34).
Rtg

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Lovin' Spoonful h2o devos 042111

H2o devos fia 042111 Lovin’ Spoonful


Refrain
From a raindrop to a river
From one word into a song
Source of all gifts, Friend and Forgiver
Bring us together, to pass it on
He has called us, all creation
Every woman, child, and man
To bring our gifts in celebration
To be transformed in the Savior's hands
To be transformed in the Savior's hands
Refrain
In the Word the walls will crumble down
And all are welcome to enter in
In the blood of Christ the great sacrifice
The withered branches bloom again
The withered branches bloom again
Pass it on
Break the bread, lift the cup
Pass it on
The broken will be lifted up
Every gift grand and lowly
Every purpose great and small
At this feast they are made holy
By your name you have been called
By your name you have been called
Refrain

www.petermayer.com/songs/pass-it-on

We begin these three days. In our tradition it is seen and understood that there is one service which is spread over three nights, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Vigil. There is a strong sense of “to be continued.” Tonight we welcome 50 of our young people to celebrate their First Communion. I reminded them and their parents just a few weeks ago that the Lord’ Supper is the “real, meal, deal.” It is authentic, it is bread and wine, it is given for the forgiveness of sins.”
As Peter sings,
“Pass it on
Break the bread, lift the cup
Pass it on
The broken will be lifted up”

Delia’s angel “Lovin’ Spoonful” adds a touch of joy to the meal we celebrate tonight. She echoes the love and respect that Mary had when she anointed Jesus. There is an extravagance which reminds one of the Wedding at Cana, the Feeding of the Five Thousand with five bagels and two pieces of sushi and points to the Feast on the Mountain top when God will wipe away every tear from our eyes. (Isaiah 25)
I asked Delia “what’s up with the red paint on ‘Lovin’ Spoonful?’” She said,
“The red on Lovin' Spoonful was already there on the metal, just a splash of paint - I didn't put it there. Definitely could be viewed as her heart:)”

So tonight we pray and hope for “just a splash” of good news.
Peter sings,

“In the Word the walls will crumble down
And all are welcome to enter in
In the blood of Christ the great sacrifice
The withered branches bloom again
The withered branches bloom again”

“Maundy” comes from the Latin word “mandatum” which means “commandment.”
On this night we hear and receive the commandment that Jesus gave to us,
“I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. 35By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13

It’s time to “spoon it out.” Share, pass it on, reach out and touch someone, just do it!

We pray together,
Holy God, source of all love,
on the night of his betrayal, Jesus gave us a new commandment,
to love one another as he loves us.
Write this commandment in our hearts,
and give us the will to serve others as he was the servant of all,
your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever. Amen (ELW)

Stillness h2o devos fia 040211

H2o devos fia 040211 Stillness



“Tried to run fast enough
Tried to fly high enough
Thought that I could dive deep enough
To lose your hold on me
The end of the road the bottom of the glass
The grip of fear that holds you fast
Lost in the valley no song to sing
When you're brushed by an angel's wings

And you're Still in One Peace
Still in One Peace
We are blessed we are broken
Given one more chance to be
Found in you we are In One Peace”


www.petermayer.com/songs/still-in-one-peace

On Sunday we begin our week contemplating The Blessing of Being Un-Plugged. Our “big idea” is “Unplug in order to Re-Charge!” As we divided up the preaching responsibilities for our Lenten journey it was unanimous among Pastor Ruth Ann, Intern Jess and Joni that I be the one speaking about this particular topic. My sense is that it was for reasons which are prescriptive and also descriptive. For as some of you know, I have four twitter accounts, three blogs, at least a couple of e-mail addresses, my Blackberry and then also a family cell phone and an I-pod or two. So, in some ways it was like a technological duel presented by them. “Hey, RTG can you walk the talk, besides talking the walk?”

And I know that I’m hyper connected and “wired” in so many different ways. So, I’m hoping and praying that Peter words are a prayer,

“Given one more chance to be
Found in you we are In One Peace.”

I want the angel of “Stillness” to brush her wings against me this day.

I recently read that four out of ten people admit to texting while going to the bathroom. I am not saying “as they are walking to the bathroom” but as they do what they do in a bathroom. I believe this is taking the concept of “multi-tasking” just a little too seriously.


There is a group that sponsors a National Day of Unplugging. You can learn more about them by checking out :
www.sabbathmanifesto.org/unplug/
They have put together ten principles to guide people like me through the maze and daze of technology. Avoid technology
01. Avoid technology
02. Connect with loved ones
03. Nurture your health
04. Get outside
05. Avoid commerce
06. Light candles
07. Drink wine
08. Eat bread
09. Find Silence
10. Give back
I’d be interested in hearing how you feel about these ideas. Drop me a note at h2odevos@earthlink.net

Judith Shulevitz has written in her NY Times article, “Bring Back the Sabbath”
http://bit.ly/fcpEGx “Religious rituals do not exist simply to promote togetherness. They're theater. They are designed to convey to us a certain story about who we are without our even quite noticing that they are doing so. (One defining feature of religious rituals, in fact, is that we often perform them for years before we come to understand what they mean; this is why ministers and rabbis are famously unsympathetic when congregants complain that worship services or holiday rites feel meaningless.) The story told by the Sabbath is that of creation: we rest because God rested on the seventh day. What leads from God to humankind is the notion of imitatio Dei: the imitation of God. In other words, we rest in order to honor the divine in us, to remind ourselves that there is more to us than just what we do during the week”.

She wrote that article in 2003. She now has a book out entitled The Sabbath World- Glimpses of a Different Order of Time.

I really like what she is saying.

I’m interested in hearing from you, how do you “Unplug in order to Re-Charge!”

Peace,
rtg

Friday, April 1, 2011

Trust h2o devos fia 040111 APRIL FOOLS DAY

H2odevos fia 040111 Trust
April Fools Day




“And the eyes in his head,
See the world spinning around.
Well on the way his head in a cloud,
The man of a thousand voices talking perfectly loud”

Lennon/McCartney
www.petermayer.com/songs/fool-on-the-hill

“3when I am afraid,
I put my trust in you.”
(Psalm 56:3)

Upon closer observation of “Trust” one can see that the main body is a large bolt. I suppose Delia chose this particular piece of steel to imply that being “bolted” down tight results in “Trust.” And yet, at the same time we’ve all been in positions or places of “Trust” when the “wheels” have come off. In other words it’s not hard to feel like one has (if you pardon my English) been “screwed.”
However, “Trust” also has a necklace (or bling) if you will of ball bearings. In other words, life, the world, belief, light and love goes “spinning round and round.”

On this particular Friday, April Fool’s Day my mind immediately goes to another Friday we call “Good.” It is on that particular day when we think of The “fool on the hill” who gave his life for the sake of the world. He even said, “My God, My God why have you forsaken me,” (Psalm 22).

As someone who has been trusted and unfortunately then “fooled” and as someone who trusted and has “been fooled” I am grateful for the angel of “Trust.” I give thanks for the words of the Psalmist who sang,
“3when I am afraid,
I put my trust in you.”


I trust in God’s forgiveness and grace.

On this day celebrating fools and foolishness, I celebrate “Trust.” I “Trust” that you know God’s love is ”bolt” on you. No foolin’!

Peter was in Denver on Thursday so we were able to work on stories and songs for a project we are doing at Camp Arcadia this summer (July 9-16) called PASSAGES4PASSAGES. It will be songs by Peter and stories by me based on familiar and unfamiliar Bible passages about the various passages of life. www.camp-arcadia.com/coming-to-arcadia/schedule/family3/
We also were able to stop in at Metro CareRing and check out the marvelous good things they do with the food stuffs and donations en-trusted to them.




trust-fully yours,
rtg