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This morning I find that I need a fresh wind, a fresh breath from the Spirit of God. My heart and soul have been stirred for weeks about creating Breathing | Space, and although I have a sense of how to do this, I realize again that only God can do the work, can give the vision, can create the plan and light the way for each step.
As I was reading “The Message” a contemporary translation of the New Testament, Psalm and Proverbs by Eugene Peterson, I realize once again that only God can do this work, and that to run ahead of God is foolhardy.
Let me share some of what I read in Psalm 19 this morning:
The revelation of God is whole and pulls our lives together.
The signposts of God are clear and point out the right road.
The life-maps of God are right, showing the way of joy.
The directions of God are plain and easy on the eyes.
God’s reputation is twenty-four carat gold, with a lifetime guarantee.
The decisions of God are accurate down to the nth degree.
God’s Word is better than a diamond,
better than a diamond set between emeralds.
You’ll like it better than strawberries in spring,
better than red, ripe strawberries.
There’s more: God’s Word warns us of danger
and directs us to hidden treasure.
Otherwise, how will we find our way? Or know when we play the fool?
Clean the slate, God, so we can start the day fresh!
Keep me from stupid sins, from thinking I can take over your work;
Then I can start this day sun-washed, scrubbed clean of the grime of sin.
I love the visual pictures in this passage… hidden treasure, sun-washed, scrubbed clean, easy on the eyes, start the day fresh.
I choose to start this day fresh, scrubbed clean and sun-washed, believing and trusting God that He will do the work. I can’t take his work over. The work of sharing his love with others is what He calls me to do, but in reality, it is his work. How he will do it through me is his responsibility. I can only be a conduit, allowing the clean, fresh breath of the love of God to flow through me over and into the hearts and souls of others today.
In my area of Augusta (30909 zipcode) I’ve discovered that there are loads of people who loves the arts… And if you read the Metro Spirit and follow the arts scene, you know that there are plenty of people who wish they could not only experience the arts, but actively participate in aspects of art.
I’ve only been back a short few months to Augusta, after living for nearly 8 years in NC, and once again I’m struck with how much interest and emphasis there is here on the arts scene. I’d like to connect with others of similar interest… to participate and experience the arts scene here, and explore how God can be experienced through art.
Last year I was not able to participate in the 2008 General Conference of the UMC, but I’ve discovered that many people and much work went into creating an experience of God’s presence through the arts. One of the co-directors of the worship plan for the conference was Marcia McFee of http://www.marciamcfee.com/. Her site is called “Creating Worship with Deep Soul.”
“She is known across the country for sensory-rich worship that appeals to “traditionalists” as well as “contemporary” and “emerging” congregants. Her experience and expertise in coordinating musicians, visual designers, liturgists and technical personnel create an exciting and collaborative working environment.” (from her site, worship.htm)
A sensory-rich worship experience is what we hope and plan to create at Breathing | Space in the future. The beginning steps of such a worship experience will be part of the small group sessions of “Essence,” our first outreach small group offering. Experiencing God’s presence through art, music, visual and tactile participation will allow participants to begin to explore what is it to be a follower of Jesus Christ.
The Breathing | Space alternative worship team will create a once-a-month worship event called breathe | deep. The first event will not be planned or advertised until there are 100-125 active and committed participants / members of Breathing | Space small groups. All who come to be part of this community will be encouraged to pray for and prepare for the first breathe | deep worship event.
The worship gathering will be designed with some of the following elements:
- visual art, imagery in worship
- creative storytelling/teaching about the life and teachings of Jesus Christ
- prayer and meditation stations
- communion – the sacred mystery
- tapestries / wall hangings
- use of technology
- natural elements
- creative writing
- music – vocal and instrumental
This worship event will be created by a team of people who are a part of the Breathing | Space community. Anyone connected with the community will be encouraged to participate in the monthly planning process and bring their gifts, insights and creativity to the planning “table”.
We invite you to commit to a rhythm of spiritual disciplines:
Daily – We live with a rhythm of daily disciplines:
- Simplicity – through simple, eco-friendly living and generous giving
- Community – through sharing meals, sharing possessions and sharing life
- Prayer and Scripture – through daily prayer and meditation on Scripture; praying for each other and gathering together for worship
Weekly – Gather with others to learn, love and be in fellowship, communion, and accountability (weekly common “table”).
Seasonally – Meet with others in times of festival, celebration and meditation, marking “holy-day” and the rhythms of the creation.
Lifelong – Study and learn together what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ, God made flesh, in a continual cycle of mystery and discovery.
Through these practices may we deepen our connection to one another, to God and to the world we serve.