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Shortly after I finished Seminary I felt this need to write. Not just once in a while, not because there was a deadline, not just because of something that I read and wanted to share my opinion about but I felt this need to write about everything that I was thinking, experiencing and reflecting on the God’s role in our everyday ordinary lives.
It was exciting to get up every day excited about what I would actually put down on paper. Sometime in the middle of the night I would get up and begin writing. While on one family vacation I filled an entire journal of devotions for family members in the Thomas, Dobbins, Shegog, Chaney tribe.There was never an expectation of publishing but a desire to be inspiring to my family. It was a driving passion for my daily journey at that time.

As a result of the burning passion write at that time in my life I have journals, yellow padPDA and Planners and notes better now in folders and notebooks all over my office. As email, projects escalated this joy for writing diminished and even experienced a crash and burn.

For the last few months I’ve been attempting to rekindle that fever and that passion that I had 20 years ago so that I can finish a current writing project. I have gotten up early and starred at my computer. I have read relevant books and even pulled out a couple of the old yellow pads and studied the lines as a possible way to reignite process of thoughts landing on paper. Reading my past journals didn’t help much because my thinking has evolved. (This happens with age). I was about to give up and then it snowed on Tuesday.

I watched children in the sub division playing in the snow. Snowball fights, sledding down the hill, building snow architecture and enjoying each minute of it.  I saw men in my neighborhood eager to show off their new snow blower toys and the more traditional among us out with shovels cleaning the sidewalks and driveways. This excitement and community bonding event was in full effect and faded as the snow began to melt Thursday.

This snow event helped me to realize that my attempt to rekindle my old passion for writing is a futile attempt. My new goal is the find a greater passion and a new excitement about writing. For this season I will get excited about the project that is before me and focus on how God can give me joy in this season before moving to the next season.  I’m not sure where this journey is will leave me but I’m inviting you all to take the journey with me.

Ecclesiastes 3Common English Bible (CEB)

A season for everything

There’s a season for everything
and a time for every matter under the heavens:
    a time for giving birth and a time for dying,
a time for planting and a time for uprooting what was planted,seedling sprout
    a time for killing and a time for healing,
a time for tearing down and a time for building up,
    a time for crying and a time for laughing,
a time for mourning and a time for dancing,
    a time for throwing stones and a time for gathering stones,
a time for embracing and a time for avoiding embraces,
    a time for searching and a time for losing,
a time for keeping and a time for throwing away,
    a time for tearing and a time for repairing,
a time for keeping silent and a time for speaking,
    a time for loving and a time for hating,
a time for war and a time for peace.

 

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In the ABC hit show Scandal Jeff Perry  plays the role of Cyrus Beene.  Cyrus is the White House chief of staff who is famousImage for his rants and raves.  The stress level that he endures as President Grant’s right hand person is already extremely high but in Cyrus’ attempt to make sure that everything  goes just right he often blows a gasket.  (http://abc.go.com/shows/scandal/blogs/scandal-sheet/cyrus-beene-best-rants). The culmination of this stress, intense desire to succeed, work a holic  syndrome, micro managing details and managing President Grant’s relationships was a heart attack.

As we look at Cyrus Beene and realize that he is a fictional character whose rants and raves are over the top, the reality is many of us readily recognize glimpses of our own behavior and related stress in the life of Cyrus.  We have all experienced  times where dealing with co-workers can be annoying, dealing with children can provoke you to lose your temper, and when you have been working toward a big event  you can be exacerbated to the point of giving up when other team mates are not pulling their weight.  Life events including graduating, getting married, getting divorced, moving, and many other life events can cause stress in our lives.

“Indeed, stress symptoms can affect your body, your thoughts and feelings, and your behavior. Being able to recognize common stress symptoms can give you a jump on managing them. Stress that’s left unchecked can contribute to health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes.  (The Mayo Clinic)”

I just do not see this as the life God has designed for us.

Paul teaches us in Philippians 4:6-7

“Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (NRSV)

The life events that would stress us need to be taken to God in prayer if we want to experience peace. We are encouraged to give thanks for the nuisances, disappointments and annoyances that could cause debilitating stress.  We need to seek God’s wisdom and voice for guidance when we are not sure what to do next.

Next time you see someone stressing and going overboard in expressing their frustration simply say “Don’t go all Cyrus on me” or “Don’t worry about this, God’s got this

Journey

On paper

Understanding myself within

Recording the events of life

Nurturing my creative soul with spewing words

Always able to rant and rave, love and cherish without fear

Lines without structure, sentences without plot, paragraphs without pace; no rhyme, no reason

Ejecting the rules of grammar, punctuation and spelling, allowing originality to brightly shine

Nibbles of inspiration radiating streaks across the page, waiting for me

To capture and create, mold and shape

Rebuild with structure, pace, plot

Ideas are born

Evolving into

Stories

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“people move on”

By Melody Copenny

people move on and leave no obligation, no need, no want to mend with you what you have made broken.

people move on and get on with their lives, their living, their relationships, their hopes and their dreams, while you sit and wonder and reflect on the unseen, the undone the unintentional ways you neglected, missed, hurt, and devalued the love they gave and wanted to give to you.

how do you fall out of love?

how do you fall out of like?

how do you fall out of a friend?

how do you find the way to mend?

one day you awaken from your haze, from the fog of new relationships, new friends, new living that has captured your heart, soul and mind, pulled you away in a blur of excitement and sheer joy for the newness, but also made you forget about the oldness, the familar, the ones who’ve made you who you are, shaped your heart, quieted your soul, spoke truth into your mistakes, loved you when you were quite unlovable at times and you REMEMBER.

you remember the friend you forgot to be.

you remember the missed birthdays and holidays that were empty and the memories you didn’t get to see.

you remember you didn’t love, you didn’t give, you didn’t listen, you didn’t hear, you didn’t invest, you didn’t reveal.

was it on purpose that you forgot to be there?

no.
it wasn’t.

you weren’t malicious in your mistakes, but you were neglectful. you didn’t know how to be the friend they needed and the woman you were becoming at the same time. you didn’t know how to balance it all. so you packed one piece of your life into that box, and this piece of your life into another box and thought the two didn’t need to collide. but they did and they do because the best of both of those worlds have now made you into the person you were always destined to be.

and He knew that, He always knew that and He’s been using people and this uncanny, uncontrollable, at times unimaginable organism called relationship to be the primary tool in shaping your character, your living, your heart, your soul.

and now you understand it all. time and maturity have become incredible teachers.

but it’s too late.

and life simply moved on.
without you.
their life simply moved on.
you missed it.
you missed them.
you missed him.

you see the train of their life moving forward, past your stop, a stop that the train used to make frequent pauses at, but now steadily moves on, as if your stop no longer exists.

you run to the train gate, with arms out, hands waving madly, feverishly, hoping to get a glance of the friend who has moved on, hoping they will see you from the train’s cabin, see the tears in your eyes that are running down your stained face, and look upon you with grace and slow the train of their life with forgiveness and permit you board on their train and you go to them and you sit and you look into each other’s faces and you say ‘i’m here, i’m finally here’ and they say, ‘i know, i’ve missed you a great deal,’ and you say, ‘i’m so sorry, i just forgot to be there, forgot to be there’ and they say, ‘i know, i know, but i forgive you’ and you say, ‘thank you for the grace and for not giving up on me and closing me out of your life for good,’ and they say, ‘i wanted to, i wanted to so many times and came very close to it, but He kept reminding me of the grace i live in because of Him, a grace that must be duplicated time and time again because He gives it time and time again to me’ and you smile because you know that grace all too well and you remember the point of it all, the point of this life and it being relationship with Him first and then relationship with people second and how He uses it all to make us all more like Him.

and the train moves on, but by grace, you’re now on it with your friend and no longer heartbroken to watch it and him pass you by as it goes to new stops to visit new friends and forgets you ever existed, no the train hasn’t forgotten you, you have been remembered and you are on it, on it with intention, on with maturity, on it with a love and grace that has taught you how to be the friend you are to the friends you have through the person He’s making you to be. you won’t get it right every time. but you will be present. you will be there. you will be available. you will be engaged. you will be stronger. you will be wiser. you will be patient. you will be loving. you will be hopeful. you will be a friend.

~ m

© 2010 Melody L. Copenny
All Rights Reserved.

written by m. copenny
from the forthcoming poetic compilation, “we are each other’s sticky notes” by melody l. copenny

SUNDAY, JANUARY 31, 2010

Melody is a gifted servant of God who disciples college students in Florida.  Check out her blog  Writing to Be Real

The New Worship Question:
To Tweet or Not To Tweet

By Kami L. Rice

The Rev. Matthew Johnson discovered Twitter a year ago at a conference. He marveled at the way the odd collection of questions and comments projected on a screen and referred to as a Twitter-feed turned “a rather large and passive event into an interactive and oddly relational experience.”

In an e-mail interview, Johnson called the moment “revelatory.” After downloading the Twitter application to his phone, the associate pastor at The United Methodist Church of Geneva (Ill.) “held the conversation in [his] hand while the lecture happened across the sanctuary, and imagined the room getting smaller and larger at the same time.

He thought Twitter might be just the tool for his church’s alternative worship service. Intended to be very interactive, the service can be intimidating for people who do not like speaking in front of others. Perhaps, he thought, Twitter would help include introverts in the conversations.

The latest social networking application to grow from buzz to roaring phenomenon, Twitter is everywhere. Users share information in very short bursts, called tweets, of 140 characters or less. They open accounts in order to follow updates from other Twitterers and create a list of their own updates that can be viewed as a Web page by non-Twitter users. New Twitterers can learn the process simply — and follow others whose tweets provide ongoing tips and instruction.

READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE

Today marks a significant anniversary in my blogging journey. After observing the blogging trends, following the leadership of Rev. Jay Voorhees and Rev. Theresa Coleman I began blogging on WordPress one year ago. I had dibbled and dabbled with Blogger previously and began to see the possibilities of reaching out in ministry through the blog.

I am humbled and amazed that over 14,000 people have logged on to read my ramblings and reflections. I have grown with the comments and challenges of the few who are brave enough to leave a comment. The articles that I thought were profound were never read and others that were random thoughts have been popular beyond belief.

I will be blogging with purpose for the next year. To communicate about our new worship service The Grace Cafe and to share our community evangelism events. I will also be writing about church redevelopment and reviewing several of the books that I am reading. I welcome your input and pray that this blog has been a blessing to you.

Most Popular Blog – Faith vs Positive Mental Attitude/ The Secret

Personal Favorite Blog

Mr. Wesley’s Good to Great Strategy

Once again thank you for reading

Guided By Grace

Pastor William T Chaney Jr

The Grace Cafe is an organic emerging community.  Check out our blog.  Grace Cafe

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