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More or Less Church

Joanna Depue "DJ/Deacon J" writes original songs and liturgies, does daily Farm office work and records Barbara's eMos on The Geranium Farm. A singer and dog trainer she utilizes healing touch in her private massage practice. PLEASE share YOUR original ideas for worship, special liturgies, prayers, songs, sermons and noteworthy blogs right here.
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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

To the crackpots amoung us!

Ah, imperfection. We Christians look to Jesus: perfect God, perfect man. We will not attain perfection.... not this side of paradise, probably. Yet we try, we strive.

That being said, we are each a clay pot, made by our Creator in a particular way. Since few of us escape without a crack or two at the onset or along the way it might be healthy to think that our imperfection will have a hand in bringing in the Kingdom - here and now where we are.

Here's a nice litte story along those lines:

An elderly Chinese woman had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole, which she carried across her neck. One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water.

At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water.

Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do. After 2 years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the woman one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house."

The old woman smiled, "Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side? That's because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house. "

Each of us has our own unique flaw. But it's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. You've just got to take each person for what they are and look for the good in them (and/or the good they do)!

Here's to cracked pots, each and every one of us. It's easier to forgive someone else's imperfection when we know we have a few ourselves. Be gentle with yourself and others... you never know if that crackpot will be the means to a healthy dose of humility and gratitude! Amen and amen.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Bella, Have you lost your little kitty mind???

Bella, C's cat, has grown into quite the adventurous feline, wanting to go outside to explore (as long as there is some measurable safety factor involved, like Mommy on the property).
She also fancies herself QUITE the gymnast, vaulting onto the cane seat from a sitting position on the floor. In this picture she is has 'the look'.
This look occurs when she is into something quite absurd.... or outside of the realm of acceptable behavior.
As I have stated before, I am more of a dog person. Cats, contrary to the doting nature of dogs, either have way too much adventure in their blood... or are missing some common sense connection in their brains........ I don't know (...and am certain one of the readers here will enlighten me).
C, having had dogs in the past and one certifiably loony cat, has the notion that after she has cautioned Bella ONCE against doing chin-ups on the chairs, embarking on an excursion across the kitchen table, scrambling up the front screen door squeaking or running toilet paper out the bathroom and into the living room that Bella will comply with the request/command.
When Bella persists in her illogical pursuits, C will inevitably come out with the following phrase:
"Bella, have you lost your little kitty mind?????
Whether it is a child or an animal we do what we can to instill a bit a healthy fear when significant risk is involved. Safety warnings packaged in many an appliance or toy are a way of getting our attention that we may become hurt if we operate something improperly. Our life can be a balancing act - weighing reasonable challenge against strict compliance. Healthy fear can save a life; unhealthy fear can stifle life.
A couple of months ago, Barbara called and wondered whether I would like to go along on a retreat on reconciliation and "Do what you do". I didn't put 2 and 2 together and thought is might be a quiet little retreat.... not one for Trinity that has been on the Farm's main page for bout 10 weeks. About a month ago it finally sank in.... along with the fact that I received a tentative schedule where I was blocked in - interspersed with Barbara and Ann - to do massages if anyone wanted to partake. As the weekend approached I started to have cold feet - especially when I reflected on our respective credentials.
I prayed about it, wrote a song to present and share with the group about forgiveness and reconciliation and yet felt that was weak. In the end, I gave it to God.
Why all the doubt? Just one of those old tapes we each have stored away in our minds or the attics of our homes.... the tape that repeated (with amendment) "Have your lost your little kitty mind?????????"
Sometimes we just have to get out of our own way. In the end, it all turned out quite well. The group was great, the topic lent itself to healing and the Spirit worked through me as I touched the participants who came to me.
Now, I can't say whether Bella will ever have a change of heart and amend her crazy kitty ways. She has developed a new behavior, however. Having been caught in the act of doing something a bit wild she will leave the scene of the crime and plop down on her back in a somewhat submissive position trying to look her most adorable. Hmmmm. Those darn kids, what are ya' gonna do with them?
p.s. Thank you Barbara and Ann and all the participants for a wonderful weekend!

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