Guest blogger! April 9

Good morning all!  Today we have another guest blogger and I am excited about it. Kathryn Karr and I met when I moved to McMinnville.  She was attending the CoOp but it turns out that we had lots in common including a United Methodist background.  We became good friends right away.  Kathryn has a deep spirituality which I think you will find in her post.  Enjoy!

Psalm 143

Lord, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy;
in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief.
2 Do not bring your servant into judgment, for no one living is righteous before you.
3 The enemy pursues me, he crushes me to the ground;
he makes me dwell in the darkness like those long dead.
4 So my spirit grows faint within me; my heart within me is dismayed.
5 I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works
and consider what your hands have done.
6 I spread out my hands to you; I thirst for you like a parched land.
7 Answer me quickly, Lord; my spirit fails.
Do not hide your face from me or I will be like those who go down to the pit.
8 Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.
9 Rescue me from my enemies, Lord, for I hide myself in you.
10 Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.
11 For your name’s sake, Lord, preserve my life; in your righteousness, bring me out of trouble.
12 In your unfailing love, silence my enemies; destroy all my foes, for I am your servant.

I am a loyal fan of the Advent and Lenten blogs. I look forward to them all year. They contain new perspectives, enlightened observations, or an uplifting message at just the right time. 

In looking at the lectionary for April 9th, there are three suggested readings, Matthew 22: 23-33 discusses Sadducees’ question to Moses: “…if a man dies without having children, must his brother marry the widow and have children for him?” Jeremiah 32:1-9 which tells the story about Jeremiah in a real estate transaction. What to do with this material? Who can make this stuff up? Thank the Good Lord for pastors who can tie the pieces together and create a message out of a real estate transaction. Fortunately, the third reading is Psalms 143. 

“I thirst for you like parched land” Last week, for the first time in over a year, we worshiped at the Coop. What love poured forth! We didn’t realize how thirsty we were until we received your lavish welcome. The unfailing, unconditional love of Christ is abundant at the Coop and you guys practice what you preach! We’ve decided, in an effort to resist against a spirit growing faint, we will not let a year elapse until we make the trip into town to worship among you again. Being with you reminded me that the Lenten blog, the leadership, the sacred space, and each one of you fill holes in each of us. Pastor Courtney and Mark translate the scripture and you help translate every day events, guiding us on the path to be more like Jesus. 

In striving to be a servant of God, there are countless ways to share the love of Christ: share our aims, decisions, behavior and how all of these reflect our priorities and our beliefs. I write this as Dixie prepares for a second Moth StorySlam. For those of you new to the Moth, it is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling. Since its launch in 1997, The Moth has presented thousands of stories, told live and without notes, to standing-room-only crowds worldwide.

Moth shows are renowned for the great range of human experience they showcase. Each show starts with a theme, and the storytellers explore it, often in unexpected ways. Since each story is true and every voice authentic, the shows/stories create a unique, intimate, and often enlightening experience for the audience. By the time you read this, Dixie may have been selected to tell a story on the theme “Happy” and what I know is, I’m happy to be among you and happy to feel the presence of God in each of you. 

One of our favorite Moth episodes is of the Rev. Al Sharpton. In this story, he talks about his start as a preacher and ultimately, having to decide if he really wants to emulate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In striving to be a servant of God, Rev. Sharpton shares his decision that led him to more clearly act out his faith.
Are you a servant of God? How would you tell your story?

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