Weekend Daybook: listening, resting, reading, and practicing edition

Seven days of collecting what I've been up to lately: places, people, books, podcasts, music, links & more for your weekend downtime.

(1) photo from this week

on a study and reflection retreat this week and the timing couldn't be more perfect. Also: thank you,  @roseberrytea , for the loan of your Irish Book of Common Prayer. We've been enjoying it for each of the Offices!

on a study and reflection retreat this week and the timing couldn't be more perfect. Also: thank you, @roseberrytea, for the loan of your Irish Book of Common Prayer. We've been enjoying it for each of the Offices!


(2) songs on repeat

  1. Jesus, See the Traveler, Sara & Ruby Groves

  2. The Kingdom Is Yours, Dee Wilson & Brittney Spencer (lyrics and chord chart here)

 

(3) projects I’ve been working on

  1. Spiritual practice stories on Instagram - I fully intended to write a blog series during Epiphany on spiritual practices that have been life-giving for me. It didn’t happen on the blog for a variety of time-related reasons, but I’ve been grateful for the IG platform to share what I’m learning and to hear back from you. Even if you don’t have an Instagram account, I believe you can view what I’ve shared about the practice of silence and noticing without judgement.

  2. Last weekend we facilitated a weekend intensive for those seeking inner healing for relational, emotional, or sexual wounds. I had the privilege not only of caring for a small group of women, but also speaking on the subjects , “How Jesus on the Cross Bears the Sins Committed Against Us (our wounds)” and “Becoming Secure in the Father’s Love”. I’m hoping to share a tiny portion of that teaching in an Instagram story this week. You can read a portion of my own journey toward healing in this post I wrote during Holy Week last year.

  3. I’ve been posting the lectionary readings along with art, music, prayer, and suggested practices each Sunday in Epiphany. I’ve gained a deep affection for this season in the church calendar. I love reflecting on the groundbreaking teaching of Christ as the world first got to hear him represent the Father.


(4) meaningful conversations during Black History month

  1. This account is full of beauty, truth, and goodness. Don’t miss it: Black Coffee With White Friends on IG

  2. Perhaps the most helpful resource yet to help me understand the meaning of “whiteness”: Can “White” People be Saved: Reflections on Missions and Whiteness | Willie Jennings via Fuller Studio. Explore more on the complex intersection of race, politics, and society.

  3. Sad, convicting truth told in love: To All the White Friends I Couldn’t Keep by Andre Henry

  4. In 1963, more than a dozen African American girls, including Carol Barner-Seay, Shirley Reese, Diane Bowens, and Verna Hollis, were arrested for protesting segregation in Americus, Georgia. At StoryCorps, they remember being held in a small makeshift jail for nearly two months.


(5) books I’m reading

  1. (Re) reading for Epiphany with Apostles Reads: Walking On Water: Reflections on Faith & Art by Madeleine L’Engle.

  2. I read the devastatingly beautiful The Sparrow five years ago and am finally getting to the sequel: Children of God by Mary Doria Russell.

  3. A big part of my final assignments for my spiritual director certification: The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism by Bernard McGinn.

  4. Brian gave this to me for Christmas 2017 and I lost track of it for over a year! Glad to finally be enjoying Word by Word: A Daily Spiritual Practice by Marilyn McEntyre.

  5. A beautiful book on the essence of my work: Holy Listening: The Art of Spiritual Direction by Margaret Guenther


(6) meaningful perspectives on current events

  1. Please don’t miss this one - Gary Haugen, president and founder of International Justice Mission, speaks at the National Prayer Breakfast and demonstrates how to speak truth to power - with the U.S. president sitting two people away - to speak truth with self-differentiated, non-anxious authority. I want to memorize this speech and repeat it to myself daily.

  2. I’m done letting anger separate me from pro-life work. Simcha Fisher steps up to speak on my behalf.

  3. A Debt to Education via Plough - With four kids just finished or trying to finish degrees, this one hit home. Help us, God … “All debt forms us, but it’s important to recognize how student debt shapes our conception of ourselves and our society.”

  4. Related - The Fleecing of Millenials via NYT . (and when, oh when, will someone have the integrity of intelligence to include the economic effect of abortion in this list of things economically screwing the millenial generation?!?)

  5. On the subject of quality of life for all - Why Conservatives Should Oppose the Death Penalty via American Conservative. “The state is not God, and capital punishment is not infallible.”

  6. While the government argues budgetary earmarking for Immigration Reform, let Christians consider this: How Does the Bible Orient Us Toward Immigration? The recordings at this link include the every plenary session with Dr. Danny Carroll that Brian and I attended with clergy from our diocese this past November. If I were pope for the day, I’d make it required listening for every church in the U.S. right now.


Emmett's Baby Shower1.jpeg

6 years ago

Decorating our house in Austin for our godson Emmett’s baby shower. (Our friends Blake & Krista made this gorgeous book page wreath for the book-themed shower.)


May your weekend include some rest and some fun with friends and family. Peace...

p.s. This post may contain affiliate links because I'm trying to be a good steward, and when you buy something through one of these links you don't pay more money, but in some magical twist of capitalism we get a little pocket change. Thanks!

On the Ninth Day of Christmas: 9 All-Time Favorite Musical Moments in Christmas Movies

My Christmas daybook for these 12 days of celebrating. We'll be spending Christmastide with some favorite short films and video clips. Join me, won't you? 

For an introduction read this post: Christmastide. You can see previous Christmas Daybook 2018 posts here.

Note: If you're reading this in email, the formatting usually looks much better at the website. Just click the post title to get there.


I realize I may be the only blogger in the Western world still creating posts about Christmas. So be it. It’s my own version of resistance and I’m taking a kind of stubborn pride in not giving up until we’ve celebrated all 12 days here at A Sacramental Life. God, forgive me for my pride, but sustain anything holy in my resistance. Are you still with me?

Today: nine (+) of my all-time favorite musical moments in the Christmas movies we watch year after year. Have you ever considered Christmas carols as their own form of resistance to the what Walter Brueggemann would call, the empire? This is why I could never completely withhold from singing Christmas carols during Advent. The world is subconsciously (or otherwise) bowing the knee to King Jesus with every verse of “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing” or “Joy to the World” streaming through mall intercoms hither and yon. Not all of my favorite Christmas movie carols can be found in a hymnbook, but hidden even in the humanistic poetry of White Christmas there’s a holy longing for peace, justice, and beauty.

That’s why I’m still listening to Christmas carols and watching Christmas movies on January 2nd. Who’s with me?

  1. Ding, Dong, Merrily On High & Deck the Halls - Little Women

  2. Christmas Time Is Here - Charlie Brown Christmas

  3. Snow - White Christmas

  4. One More Sleep Til Christmas - Muppets Christmas Carol

  5. The Spirit of Christmas (Ray Charles) - National Lampoons Christmas Vacation

  6. White Christmas (The Drifters) - Home Alone

  7. White Christmas - White Christmas

  8. Hark the Herald Angels Sing & Auld Lany Syne - It’s A Wonderful Life

  9. Silent Night & Adeste Fidelis- Joyeux Noel


Read: Psalm 33; Genesis 12:1-7; Hebrews 11:1-12; John 6:35-42, 48-51

Pray this poem/prayer for the beginning of a New Year:

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow;
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rimes
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.
— "A New Year's Poem", Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)

Do:

 Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Write thank-you cards or New Year’s greetings


[from my 2013 post: “12 Ways to Savor the 12 Days of Christmas”]

“When I was growing up my mother always sent her annual family newsletter at New Year's. Makes sense, right? Some years I set up a card-writing station on our dining table so that throughout the week we all take turns writing thank you-cards.”

Here’s some excellent encouragement from Rachel Marie Stone, via Englewood Review of Books: Write A Better Year End Letter. If you’d rather just have a good laugh about not sending any cards, read Simcha Fisher’s How To Write An Honest Christmas Letter.


(See all Christmas Daybook posts from 2017 here.)

On the Fifth Day of Christmas: 5 Must-See Carol Collaborations

My Christmas daybook for these 12 days of celebrating. We'll be spending Christmastide with some favorite short films and video clips. Join me, won't you? 

For an introduction read this post: Christmastide. You can see previous Christmastide Daybook posts from 2018 here.

Note: If you're reading this in email, the formatting usually looks much better at the website. Just click the post title to get there.


Watch:

  1. Holst: In the Bleak Midwinter - Arr. Kanneh-Mason, Per. Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Isata Kanneh-Mason

  2. The First Noel with Leslie Odom, Jr., feat. PS22 Chorus (2018)

  3. A Christmas Song in the Silo, Bruderhof

  4. “Go Tell It On the Mountain” (Holidaze at CMT), Charlie Peacock, Ruby Amanfu, Sam Ashworth

  5. Someday At Christmas, Stevie Wonder, Andra Day

 

Have you been introduced to the amazing Kanneh-Mason siblings? The first performance that caught my attention was Sheku Kanneh-Mason’s cello solo at the wedding ceremony of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle earlier this year. I didn’t realize Sheku is the third-eldest of seven prodigously gifted classical musicians. After you listen to this brother/sister duet of In the Bleak Midwinter (arranged by nineteen-year-old Sheku and recorded earlier this month at Abbey Road Studios), head over to this link: CBS Sunday Morning - The Kanneh-Masons The family that plays together. [H/T again (!) to Victoria Emily Jones at Art & Theology blog].

Here’s four more favorite Christmas carol collaborations. Enjoy!

 

O Lord, thank you for the gift of music the rich tradition of carols we pass from generation to generation all throughout the world. Let such melodies penetrate my heart’s defenses, gently revealing old wounds unto their eventual healings, gently stirring eternal longings unto the restoration of hope. Amen.
— adapted from "Upon Being Moved By A Song Or A Piece of Music", Every Moment Holy by Douglas Kaine McKelvey

Do:

Sing Christmas carols.

[from my post 12 Ways To Savor the 12 Days of Christmas]

The Anglican worship service sings only Advent hymns during the month of December.  We try to follow suit at home. Although -- I'm not gonna lie -- long about December 2 this year I caught Brian singing "Santa, Baby" in the kitchen one morning!  The Sunday after Christmas our church worships with a liturgy of Lessons and Carols, or in the words of our former beloved worship pastor, the last gasp of Christmas. With the frenetic pace of December, don't you love the idea of Christmas caroling at a nursing home or around an elderly friend's old upright piano during the last week of Christmas?


(See all Christmas Daybook posts from 2017 here.)

Advent Daybook, 8: Messenger

Advent Daybook, 8: Messenger

An Advent daybook for these 24 days of prayerful expectation. Join me, won't you?

For an introduction read this post: Advent Daybook explained. You can see previous Advent daybook 2018 posts here.

Look: Piero di Cosimo (Piero di Lorenzo di Piero d'Antonio), The Young Saint John the Baptist, 1480

Listen: "Prepare the Way” from 30 Songs of Contemplative Worship, Simply Taizé

Read: Malachi 3:1-4, Luke 1:67-79, Philippians 1:3-11, Luke 3:1-6

Pray: “Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.” (Book of Common Prayer, Collect for Second Sunday of Advent)

Do: Attend a live performance or listen to a quality recording of Handel’s Messiah.

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Advent Daybook, 6: My God, My God

Advent Daybook, 6: My God, My God

An Advent daybook for these 24 days of prayerful expectation. Join me, won't you?

For an introduction read this post: Advent Daybook explained. You can see previous Advent daybook 2018 posts here.

Look: A Senegalese woman kneels in front of a grave, 2017 (source)

Listen: “Comfort, Comfort Ye My People ” from Advent & Christmas 2015, The Many

Read: Psalm 22, Isaiah 3:8–15, 1 Thessalonians 4:1–12, Luke 20:41—21:4

Pray: "Lord our God, Almighty Father in heaven, we stand before you as your children, whom you want to protect through the need of our time, through all sin and death. We praise you for giving us so much peace in an age full of trouble, and for granting us the assurance of your help. Even when we suffer, we do not want to remain in the darkness of suffering but want to rise up to praise and glorify you. For your kingdom is coming; it is already at hand. Your kingdom comforts and helps us and points the way for the whole world, that your will may be done on earth as in heaven. Amen.” (source)

Do: Find joy in giving a simple gift to a friend or stranger you’d like to bless.

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