Chartreuse Ova

scrambled lamentations, psalms, parables and ramblings of a Christian mommy

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas. It is at our house.

Although last night's Christmas Eve program was an inspiring time of reflection (and all the participants did a wonderful job of sharing their gifts), it was the morning fellowship that I will remember today even as I celebrate this newest of Christmas Days.

Yesterday's morning service was lovely, simple, sacred and mostly spontaneous. An opening prayer, music of praise, and an open mike welcoming anyone who would come forward and speak. The Spirit led and the people responded.

What does Christmas mean to me? A special Christmas memory. They came. They spoke from the heart.

Thanksgiving to God for this most precious gift of Jesus. a song of thanksgiving, a few favorite Bible verses, stories of life and joys, healing, and comfort.

Testimonies of old men (he said it, I didn't), our young ones and those somewhere in the middle. Each one was welcomed to declare Jesus and to share their special vision of the manger. There was much faith and love within a tiny, diverse community of Christians.

And the people kept coming and the words flowed freely.

We worshiped.

God watched.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Life at Warp Speed

Grump, Grump, Grump.

Is Christmas not about Peace, Love, Joy, Light, family, and Jesus any more?

I look around and I see very little of that...just lots of blur of meaningless activity.

I came across this link in my inbox today. It seems to reflect the frenzy.

So if you haven't checked, Watch "It's a Wonderful Life" off your holiday must do list yet, here's your opportunity.

And it only takes 30 seconds...leaving lots more time for the dash to the mall and all that other necessary Christmas stuff.

Perhaps I'm anti-Christmas. I wonder if we wouldn't show more respect for the birth of our Lord if we deleted the Christmas holiday hoopla & show from our secular and church calendars.

I long to simply gaze into the eyes of a newborn child who came to earth just for me...and just for you. If there is time for anything more than that, fine. If not, that is all I need, all I want. And I suspect all that God requests.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Ten Things I Love Meme

For this meme, you are given a letter and must list 10 things you love that start with that letter. Christine of the Sacred Art of Living assigned me "E" (for Eggs) for the "Things I Love" meme.

Ten things I love beginning with E:

Easter. I love it all. The holy celebration, the welcome of Spring, the chocolates, even the eggs and bunnies.

Early Mornings. Quiet evenings are nice, but I prefer the freshness and potential of a just-born day.

Earth beneath my feet...especially barefoot.

Equality, when it exists and when I realize it doesn't but still have hope.

Endorphins, Exercise, and Energy. The three in one package.

Eccentric people. Interesting, authentic and much more than the label.

The End of a good book or movie even though part of me never wants the final scene to arrive.

Education and life-long learning.

Eagles, painting themselves across a canvas of sky.

Well, that's actually, another E

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Facing Our Giants

Last night, I saw the movie, Facing the Giants.

The movie is about a high school football coach and his team. Even though I'm not a big football fan, I wanted to see this movie. No, I felt like I NEEDED to see this movie.

But I didn't think it would happen. The film wasn't widely distributed, only one theater in WI is currently showing the film. But God knew I NEEDED to see this.

I got an e-mail. Well, actually everyone in our tiny church family got an e-mail.

"I'm going, anyone else want to carpool?"

I called. We went. Just the Lady with the Plan, her two kids and I.

And as I suspected, the movie had its cheesy moments, its corny jokes, and was basically the oft-repeated story of a down in the dumps team that comes together to win big under a coach who develops a strategy for success. It was less about a brilliant coaching plan and players who discover their talents and more about a coach and team who discover God's plan for football and life and young men who commit to giving their all not for their glory, but for God's.

Fairly early in the movie, a short parable is told. One I'm sure I've heard before...but suddenly new.

It is about two farmers who needed rain. One prayed. One prayed and went out and prepared his fields in anticipation of the rain.

That one tiny video clip was playing over in my mind as I awoke this morning. Only seconds within the larger movie, but it evoked powerful questions. For me, for our church.

Are we preparing the fields?

Are we open to hearing the Word of God?

Are we praying and ready to receive whatever God gives or do our prayers float away as idle chatter without true faith?

Is it about God or about winning the football game, attaining more prestige, having more fun, or collecting many trophies and treasures?

Are we ready to step out of the safe locker room, prepared to leave our ALL on the field? And then when "we win, we praise God," and when "we lose, we praise God."

I thought I was going to see a movie about football and winning by a miracle. Half way through the movie I realized it is really the story of David and Goliath. And that is the story of winning for God. And the story of winning by faith in God. And winning by the grace of God. It isn't a miracle, it just is.

And that realization leaves me with one final question.
Are we ready to pick up the smooth stones God has provided?

Monday, December 11, 2006

Morning Thoughts

I started to write this morning. All negative. All questions and complaints.


Start over.

Enjoy a few minutes of grateful solitude.

Check on Little Sprout, still sleeping, still snuggling with one of her stuffed animals. That always brings a smile.

Soon doggie boy will be up to go out. For Real this time. Not just standing at the door while the cold pours in to fight the furnace. The bladder will win. Or the squirrel that taunts him daily...but he'll go.

And I hear the water running in the bathroom. Usually Darling Hubby is up and about.

The quiet solitude is fading away.

May the gratitude for these simple blessings continue on through the day.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Fa-la-la-la-la, La Friday Five

The RevGals' Friday Five is all about Christmas music.

1. A favorite 'secular' Christmas song.

"Rockin around the Christmas Tree". I also like "Do They Know It's Christmas". Obviously, they evoke different emotions.

2. Christmas song that chokes you up (maybe even in spite of yourself--the cheesier the better)

I always have one long answer. This is the one this week.

"I'll be home for Christmas". No cheese, just tears. Good tears.

My grandma's second husband spent the month before Christmas in the hospital. There were assurances that he'd be home with us for Christmas and then when that didn't happen, that he'd be discharged by New Years. He never came home. He died a few days after Christmas and his funeral was in the afternoon of New Years Eve . I heard the song with Grandma the next Christmas and she said she never wanted to hear it again, that it was just too cruel. I remember she was very upset...more angry than sad. I didn't understand immediately...when I did, it made the song suddenly very sad. Perhaps it is ironic that a few years later. she went Christmas Day was dawning. Despite missing her, the thought of her being Home for Christmas after a long, difficult journey has always been comforting. It's been a long time, but the song still chokes me up and often brings tears...and a soft smile as I picture her celebrating.

3. Christmas song that makes you want to stuff your ears with chestnuts roasted on an open fire.

I have a few. If shoes, reindeer killing grandmas, and chipmunks are involved; they're on my DO NOT PLAY list.

4. The Twelve Days of Christmas: is there *any* redeeming value to that song? Discuss.
It is fun song. However, I don't understand why the maids are stuck with the milking while the lords get to leap and the ladies are dancing.

5. A favorite Christmas album
I don't think I have one. We tend to listen to much of our Christmas music on the radio, so I enjoy specific songs rather than a whole album.

Friday, December 01, 2006

World AIDS Day

I remember you. I loved you my funny, caring, high school friend. We lost touch, when we both moved eventually to the big East Coast city with it's tall towers; me to the little midwest college town surrounded by corn fields.

Then I got word of your death and I knew. No one had to tell me. I knew and I didn't want to know and I didn't want to hear.

My blog buddy Kievas' words reflect many of the things I want to say about World AIDS Day...but for now I just need to be silent and remember you.

Advent Adventures

Thanks to Songbird for the RevGals Friday Five:

1) Do you observe Advent in your church?

No, yes, no, yes....
No, the community church (Assemblies of God) I currently attend does not. But I loved Advent as a child in the United Methodist church and then it disappeared from the calendar when I attended a Congregational Methodist Church with my parents. I rediscovered it in the Roman Catholic church before my marriage & child and again it disappeared when our family found our current church home. I miss it.

2) How about at home?
I am trying to teach Little Sprout about Advent and start the tradition this year. She likes candles...but for her it is still less about Advent and more about how long till presents.

3) Do you have a favorite Advent text or hymn?
No, I can't say I do. Any suggestions?

4) Why is one of the candles in the Advent wreath pink? (You may tell the truth, but I'll like your answer better if it's funny.)
Because a newborn baby is pink. Can I get a collective, "aaaahhhhh, that is so sweet". Now what I can't figure out is why the others are purple? Didn't someone consult an interior decorator before choosing the color scheme?

5) What's the funniest/kitschiest Advent calendar you've ever seen?
Not really funny or kitschy, but it did catch my eye. I found The Tea Advent Calendar, which is not really a calendar at all. It's a box of 24 different teas...I wonder if there is such a thing as the Coffee Advent Calendar?