Monthly Archives: April 2020

28 April 2020

Pacing. The Shire. (This was the April 25 playlist. I am a bit behind.)
Waltzing Matilda – Seona McDowell
The Band Played Waltzing Matilda – The Pogues
The Diggers’ Legacy – Eric Bogle
Anzac Day – Glen Moffatt
Anzac Parade – Ann-Maree Keefe
I Was Only 19 – Redgum
Anzac Dawn – Katy Soljak
In the Silence – Glyn Lehmann
Mothers Daughters Wives – Judy Small
On Every Anzac Day – John Schumann
Island Home – Christine Anu
Spirit of the Anzacs – Lee Kernaghan
Advance Australia Fair – The Aussie Bush Band
God Defend New Zealand – The Royal New Zealand Band
The Last Post – Band of the Royal Regiment of New Zealand
A-Tisket A-Tasket – Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong
Drop Me off in Harlem – Ella Fitzgerald feat. Duke Ellington
Take the “A” Train – Ella Fitzgerald feat. Duke Ellington
Mood Indigo – Ella Fitzgerald feat. Oscar Peterson
Heart – Damn Yankees (Playbill 30-Day Song Challenge – thanks Sean)

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A prayer for food

A prayer for food
Nourishing God,
we thank you for food
good, safe food
that strengthens our bodies
for the living of these days.
Remind us that
not all your children
have the food they need to thrive.
Inspire us to share.
Guide us to remake economic systems
so people can provide for themselves
and everyone have enough
of the abundance you create.
In the name of the one
who became known to his followers
in the breaking of the bread.
Amen.

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Take a walk

Perhaps it is the sun pouring through my window.

Perhaps it is because Wednesday was Earth Day.

Perhaps it is because our Gospel lesson for Sunday tells of what happened to two of Jesus’ disciples as they walked to Emmaus.

Perhaps it is having been inside (for most of the time – I have stepped outs on a few occasions when deliveries arrived and to take some mail to the mailbox) since March 18.

Probably it is a combination of all those factors and more.

I want to take my camera and go to a park and take photos.
No need for anyone to find my doctor’s phone number and call her.
I will stay in. I will stay in.

I might look out the window more frequently today.

And I will share one photo that makes me smile.

The pond at Morningside Park has turtles, among other creatures.

One day, I caught them doing yoga.

TurtleYoga

What walks do you remember?

What made you smile as you walked?

What fed your spirit? What nurtured your soul?

Where might you walk today – in real life or in your imagination?

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24 April 2020

Pacing. Stretching with NK Body Philosophy. The Shire.
Dearly Departed – Shakey Graves
Highway 61 Revisited – Bob Dylan
When Elephants Cry – Mayuka Thais
Streets of Philadelphia – Bruce Springsteen
Like a Cannonball – Van Morrison
California Dreamin’ – Queen Latifah
The Witch Queen of New Orleans – Redbone
Radium Rain – Bruce Cockburn
Redesigning Women – The Highwomen
Scarlet Tide – Joan Baez
Come on in My Kitchen – Robert Johnson
Bad Reputation – Joan Jett
I Will Be There – Mary Black
Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In – The Fifth Dimension
Heading Back to New York City – Joan Armatrading
Easy Street – Annie (Playbill 30-Day Song Challenge – thanks Sean)

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23 April 2020

Pacing. Stretching with NK Body Philosophy.
This Land Is Your Land – Woody Guthrie
Earth and Sun – Sharon Burch
Wilderness – Eric Bogle
Earth Children – Walela
We the People – Brule
Bridge over Troubled Water – Aretha Franklin
If a Tree Falls – Bruce Cockburn
I Need to Wake Up – Melissa Etheridge
Fear – Lenny Kravitz
Whose Garden Was This – Tom Paxton
Dragonfly – Ziggy Marley
New World Water – Mos Def
Big Yellow Taxi – Joni Mitchell
Clear Blue Skies – Crosby, Stills & Nash
After the Gold Rush – Neil Young
All God’s Critters – John McCutcheon
One More ayDay – Les Miserables (Playbill 30-Day Song Challenge II, thanks Sean)

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20 April 2020

Posted a day late.
Pacing. The Shire.
Shadow of the Moon – Jack Gladstone
Background – Ruby Ibarra
You Never Give Me Your Money – The Beatles
Bonaparte’s Retreat – Jay Unger & Molly Mason
Deportees – John McCutcheon
Hey Baby – M.A.C.C.
Rock Me on the Water – Annie Humphrey
Matters of the Heart – Tracy Chapman
Bluebird – Howlin’ Wolf
Come Love Come – Rhiannon Giddons
Lundu – The Chieftains
Pigs, Sheep and Wolves – Paul Simon
Astral Lady – Captain Beyond
The Trolly Song – Meet Me in St. Louis (Playbill 30-Day Song Challenge, part II – thanks to Sean)

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A prayer about being freed to love

God of our joyous laughter,
God of our ugly cries,
God of moments between and beyond,
we give you thanks that
Christ is risen.
And Christ reminds us of your love.
You love us.
You love us and nothing can change that.
By your grace in Jesus
We are freed to love:
to love you,
to love our family,
to love our friends,
to love our neighbors,
to love our enemies,
to love all people,
even to love ourselves.
When we are OK,
when we are not OK,
when we are between and beyond,
help us live in love
as you love us.
Amen

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Purple flower, guest collection #109

PurpleFlowerCarolPhillips

photo by Carol Phillips
Lakeside, Ohio
20 April 2020

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Freed to Love

John 20:19-31
The First Presbyterian Church of Whitestone

After the empty tomb; after the encounter with Mary Magdalene in the garden; the followers of Jesus gathered behind locked doors. They were afraid. Afraid without Jesus. Afraid of arrest. Afraid of death. Maybe even afraid of life:  afraid of what Jesus might ask of them if Jesus really were resurrected.

It seems appropriate to note that the disciples physically distanced themselves from the people gathered in Jerusalem. They met the qualification of not meeting in groups bigger than 10. Judas had left after the betrayal. And Thomas. Well Thomas was not there. Perhaps they could not score an InstaCamel or DonkeyPod delivery and he was out foraging. Perhaps he was grieving in his own way. We are not told. All we know is Thomas was not there.

Behind the locked door and beyond the fear, Jesus appears to them.  He gives them his peace. He breathes the Holy Spirit on them. He sends them into the world with work to do. It’s like group CPR.

The resurrection is for the purpose of re-creation after death, and re-creation before death. The resurrection is about the life to come. It is about this life. The resurrection of Jesus leads to the resurrection of his followers – the creation of the Church – so that through the power and ministry of our life together, the people of Jesus might become God’s continuing presence in the world.

“Receive the Holy Spirit,” Jesus says, and the stage is set . . . the disciples are ready to go . . . it is a new beginning in the great adventure of life in faith . . . except someone is missing. Thomas is not there. Jesus must come back and pick him up.  For no one can be forgotten. No one can be left out. The new life is for the people of Jesus . . . all the people.

Jesus returns when Thomas is present. Jesus displays his wounds. And Thomas believes. “My Lord and my God!” The words of Thomas serve as the basic affirmation of faith for followers of Jesus. And they serve as the basis for every formal affirmation that has followed.

This year, this passage resonates with me in ways it has never done before. Our lives parallel that of the disciples. Life after the execution of Jesus was not OK for first disciples. Life today is not OK for me. I venture it is not OK for you.

We grieve. Death. Dashed dreams. Lost hopes. Unmet expectations fill our individual hearts and our collective consciousness.[i] The other day, a friend responded to my “How are you” text with: “I had a long, ugly cry today.” I replied that one of my favorite songs features Rosey Grier, a gentle giant, former Pro Bowl defensive lineman singing, “It’s Alight to Cry.”[ii] We grieve.

We shelter in place. We pause. Out of a need to protect others and ourselves, we establish and maintain physical distances. We isolate and separate.

We fear. Writing in The Presbyterian Outlook, the Rev. Jill Duffield notes, “Our fear is utterly understandable. The death toll of this virus mounts. The extent of the economic fallout is yet to be determined, but we know it is, and will continue to be, huge. We’ve seen the suffering, the wounds inflicted, the crucifixion completed. No wonder we shelter in place in anxiety, with no sense of when the world will take a turn for the better.”[iii]

The similarities are striking. Psychologically, emotionally, even physically, we share  great deal with the first disciples. That’s where the Good News of this story finds us.

Christ the Lord is risen today. The gifts he brought his first followers behind locked doors, he brings to us.

The Rev. Duffield names those gifts. The Holy Spirit to inspire us. Hope in the face of fear. Peace amid chaos. Belief in life no matter how deadly the circumstances.[iv] A ministry and a mission.

And that brings us to Kelly Clarkson. I had to look her up. She won the first season of American Idol in 2002. I did not know that because I have never watched an episode of the show in all the years it has been on the air. Her victory led to a recording contract and launched her career as a singer-songwriter, actress, author, and television personality.[v] You may know more. I have told you everything I know.

Except. My friend So Jung Kim posted the news that Kelly Clarkson released a new song this week. “I Dare You.” She released six versions of the song in six different languages. Arabic, French, Hebrew, Spanish, German, and English.[vi]

Clarkson says the song is “about love and all its forms, in the face of adversity. Choosing to love instead of fear.”[vii] She believes that message will connect globally at this moment in time.[viii]

In English, the chorus says:

I dare you to love
Oh, I dare you to love
Even if you’re hurt and you can only see the worst
Even if you think it’s not enough
Oh, I dare you to love.[ix]

I believe that when the Risen Christ entered that locked room to meet the ten and then the eleven, he provided his followers what they – what we – need to take that dare.

In their fear, in the chaos, in their anxiety, the Risen Christ gave his followers the gifts they needed to love one another, to love neighbors, to love themselves, as God in Christ loved them. He freed them to love. He equipped them to love.

And he does the same for us.

Christ the Lord is risen today. The Risen Christ gives us the Holy Spirit, provides hope for our fears, peace in chaos, faith in life in deadly circumstances.[x] The Risen Christ does not magically make all our challenges and afflictions go away. Rather the Risen Christ equips us for the living of our days. And frees us to love.

Even when we are not OK. Especially when we are not OK. Jesus reminds us of God’s unending love for us – come what may, God loves us. And by the grace of God, we too can love. This day and every day, we are freed to love. Thanks be to God.

[i] https://pres-outlook.org/2020/04/2nd-sunday-of-easter-april-19-2020/

[ii] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y52bs0aX6v8

[iii] Ibid.

[iv] Ibid.

[v] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kelly_Clarkson

[vi] https://www.countryliving.com/life/entertainment/a32187398/kelly-clarkson-new-song-i-dare-you-6-languages/

[vii] Ibid.

[viii] Ibid.

[ix] https://genius.com/Kelly-clarkson-i-dare-you-lyrics

[x] https://pres-outlook.org/2020/04/2nd-sunday-of-easter-april-19-2020/

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Purple flower guest collection, #108

IMG-2108

Photo by Lisa Sisenwein
19 April 2020
Sleepy Hollow, New York

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