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Tapestry on the Beach July 7

Tapestry on the Beach July 7

At our latest Tapestry on the Beach, on July 7, Jessica asked us to each write down “our vision for the world.” Then we each passed out paper to a different person and added on to THEIR vision, and then did the same thing 1 more time. So each of these scraps of paper represents a combinatiion of 3 different people’s vision for the world. Enjoy these beautiful words (and pictures) and think about how you can help make one of these visions a reality…today 🙂 We are a community. Let’s do this together.
Love, Mycah

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Posted by on July 16, 2013 in Christian love, food, musings

 

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Abundant

Life Abundant.

Not just existing, not just eating, or breathing or going with the flow.  LIFE with a capital L.

What kind of life would it be if we were just here to go through the motions, and then die?  A pretty depressing and purposeless life if you ask me.

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John 10:10 tells us that Jesus did not come to earth to steal, kill or destroy like a thief.  But that he came to give us life ABUNDANT.  Life to the fullest.

“Dancing to the beat of God’s heart.”

Abundant life, in the way we life and move and breathe.  Abundant life in our meal times, as we eat and enter into community.  As we play and work.  Laugh and cry.  In our choices, how we interact with others.  In the mundane…as we drive, get gas, grocery shop, wait in line, wait at the doctor, get coffee, do the dishes, listen…

“Life full of the kind of freedom and love and courage Jesus lived himself and gave his community” (Dorothy Bass).

This type of abundant isn’t about “more.” It is not about more things, more time, more opportunities, more.  But about a full way of life, full of the Spirit, full of love, freedom, and joy.  Not in a cheesy o-what-a-nice-idea kind of way, but in a very real only-possible-from-God kind of way.  The more we get to know God, spend time in His presence, the more real this becomes.  There is peace in this kind of abundant living.

“Our hears are restless until they rest in You.” Augustine of Hippo

Love, Mycah

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2013 in Christian love, musings

 

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Lent Reflection, Day 18: Leave

“All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.”  –Anatole France

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I have a hard time letting things go.  Not tangible things (even if I am a bit of a bibliophiliac.  And sort of have a thing for jackets).  But personal, interior things: memories, aspirations, failures, dreams.  I will still blush at childhood mistakes, feeling nearly as embarrassed now as I did then.  I can still mull over “what could have been” had I made another turn in the road, or had I not spread myself so thin and focused on one thing, or had I spread myself thinner and become more broadly interested.  What if I had invested more in this friendship, or studied this instead of that, or spoke more boldly, or just kept my mouth shut?

Would my life be better, or just different?  Would I feel more fulfilled, or just empty in another way?

I sometimes still mourn small decisions, so frequently aware of the doors that are closing with each commitment I take on that it takes a concerted amount of effort to remember those doors that are open in front of me, with their unexplored hallways, contents, and strange (often sudden) exits.  I remember talking to my mother shortly after committing to graduate school as I realized that the refrains she had repeated throughout my childhood–“You can do everything,” “You can do anything”–were not meant to be eternal promises, but more like imaginative exercises that ceased to be of use once I imagined all I wanted and chose something.

But once I chose something, how was I supposed to leave the rest?

Sometimes, I just wish it was just easier for me to set these things down.  Sometimes, I wish that I could leave without feeling like I had to run away, or justify my going, or defend my closing the door.  I wish it was easier to smile at those past bumbles, or failures, or dreams and be warmed by the ways in which they shaped me, inspired me, changed me.  It would be nice to close a door and feel like I didn’t have to seal it forever just to move away from it–that my knowing I had closed that door for a reason, for a specific purpose, was enough of a reason in and of itself to leave it closed.

Perhaps that is one of the reasons why I have been attracted to the Christian message–to the idea that each moment offers us an opportunity to set down those things that we needlessly carry and just walk, free of the weights that have saddled us weary in the past, and be present in the journey we are on.  That we can leave these things that are important to us, in one way or another, at the foot of another who cares about those things too because He cares about us.  That we can be freed from the constraints that have limited our actions in the past and try something new.  Or something old.  Or something true to who we are called to be.

And to do all of this knowing that we are not being defined by those doors shut behind us with their imaginary skeletons and boogiemen, but rather feeling confident that those doors are just marks of distant hallways, far, far away from where we stand now.

Then we might leave content, not feeling the need to look back over our shoulders with faces pinched in concern.  We could just leave.

 
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Posted by on March 1, 2013 in Lent, musings

 

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Lent?

Today marks the first day of the season of Lent.  A somewhat confusing 4 letter word, so let’s start with a little background info:

What is Lent?

The 40 days represents the time Jesus spent in the wilderness, resisting Satan’s temptations (Matthew 4:1-11). In these next 40 days we are committing to be with our Lord, to repent, to reflect, to fast, and prepare for the death and resurrection of our Savior (what we celebrate at Easter).

What is Ash Wednesday?

Today is a day where we repent of our sins, and return to our loving God.  The resolutions and promises we make are all with the aim of becoming more like Christ (not to impress other people, or a “holy diet”).   Lent is not about self improvement.  Lent is about salvation through self denial.

Why ashes?

If you go to an Ash Wednesday service today, you will likely receive the sign of the cross on your forehead, made of ashes.  Throughout history, ashes have been a sign of mortality and repentance.  So we receive these ashes on our foreheads, saying we are sinners and asking for forgiveness.

Fasting:

Many people choose to “give something up for Lent” such as sweets, coffee, TV, sugary drinks, facebook, or something along those lines.  We can eliminate these things from our lives to simplify, and shift our attention and time towards Christ.  What is distracting you from God?  Consider eliminating some activity, such as: worrying, reality TV, spending lots of time in front of the mirror and so on, and instead enjoy God’s creation.  However, it can be easier to “give something up” than to fully accept what Christ has given US, true grace, and freedom!  God desires transformation in our lives, so we can be freer with God, freer in how we live our lives, and freer in how we love others.  Lent isn’t simply about exercising willpower for 40 days, and then returning to life as it has been.  So instead of just giving something up (and then daydreaming about chocolate, complaining about how you want to watch TV, and suffering through caffeine headaches, all the while forgetting why we would ever make this small sacrifice), let me ask… “What in us is God stirring in our hearts and inviting us to change?”

Shifting Focus:

Maybe instead of asking “what should I give up,” we could ask, “what should I add?”  More patience?  More time with family?  Being intentional in friendships?   Reading the Bible as a community?  Praying for our city and world?  Seeking the Face of God?  Listening to the Holy Spirit? Tutoring children?  Collecting canned food?  Working to see justice?  Helping a stranger?  Serving others? In all of these things, I pray we seek to love and serve others, and in doing so, loving & serving God.

Prayer:

Praying does not simply mean sitting or kneeling alone and in silence, talking to God.  Pray in groups.  Pray with your family.  Pray with friends.  Text a prayer to a friend.  Pray while you walk, create art, listen to music, make music, brush your teeth…the possibilities are endless!  I have never been very good at “having quiet time with God.”  I just have a hard time sitting, or relaxing.  My husband recently pointed out that I need to learn how to sit and do nothing.  And in those moments “doing nothing” is when we can enter the presence of God.  While I am sure still working on the ability to “sit and listen,” I have found that I LOVE to pray when I run.  I’m out in nature, with nothing else to do BUT pray and listen to Jesus.  It’s my soul time.  And, consequently, is good for my body, and clears my mind.  God cannot be confined, explained, or reasoned, so why limit how we can interact with our Creator?

Ten Things to Try During Lent:

10. Try an electronic fast.  TV, videogames, texting, tweeting, facebook, all electronics once a week (or for all of Lent).  Instead, spend those moments praying & worshipping Jesus.

9. Start a prayer rhythm.  Pray every time you shower, hear an ambulance, pray for someone before you text them.

8.  Read one chapter in the Bible each day. (Matthew?  Psalms?)

7. Forgive someone who doesn’t deserve it (maybe even yourself).

6. Give up soda, fast food, or coffee.  Give the money to World Vision or some other organization that helps our brothers and sisters around the world.

5. Create a daily quiet time.  Spend 30 (or 5) minutes a day in silence or prayer (while sitting, or walking).

4. Cultivate a life of gratitude.  Write someone a note each week thanking them for how they have influenced your life.

3. Be kind to someone each day.  Especially the irritating, weird, and rude people.

2.  Pray for others you see as you walk to and from class, drive to and from work, or go grocery shopping.

1. Volunteer for an hour or more each week at the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission, Unity Shoppe, Habitat for Humanity, tutoring, or serving our community.

I pray you will join in with our community during this season of Lent as we seek the Lord together, so that we all may “repent and live!” (Ezekiel 18:32b)

Blessings & Love!

Mycah

Sources: Bible, Henri Nouwen, UMC, Creighton, upperroom.org, & Telford Work.

 
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Posted by on February 13, 2013 in Christian love, musings

 
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Lent Reflections

Lent Reflections

Dearest Tapestry Community,

As we enter the season of Lent, we have been praying about how we can spend this time as a community, reflecting together, and seeking Christ. We have a few opportunities for you to join in this journey and conversation:

1) Read our daily blog meditation. We will be posting a prayer, scripture, meditation, or thought, each day this Lent season. Join us at http://www.tapestrysb.com or http://www.facebook.com/elmotapestry

2) Interact though Instagram! Why not use this popular social media platform to join together as we pursue Christ? We are joining with The United Methodist Church who put together the attached “Lent Photo a Day.” Post your photo each day to your instagram, and maybe also our facebook page! Use the following hashtag 🙂 #tapestrylent

3) Tapestry on Sundays will continue at 5pm, followed by the always delicious dinner 🙂 We will have a postcard for you to take home each week with a scripture, prayer or meditation.

We pray you will join us in this season of putting aside our individual, selfish, desires, and putting our Lord and Savior first in our hearts, thoughts, words, and actions.

Blessings & Love to you all!

the tapestry team 🙂

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2013 in Christian love, college, musings, popular culture, youth

 

Making contact

I listen to a lot of public radio.  One of my favorite programs is Snap Judgment, a weekly collection of stories on topics ranging from the circus to forgiveness.  I recently heard what may be the most touching segment yet, prison chaplain Chris Hoke on what happened after the jail he worked in issued a no-contact order.  You can listen to Chris’s story here.

(I’ll warn you, this one’s a real tearjerker.  I first listened to it while I was out running, and started bawling on Micheltorena Street.  I played it later for my husband in the car, and for a minute he could barely see the road through his emotion.)

Chris begins by talking about what life as a prison chaplain was like before the no-contact order.  Tough guys, gang members and drug dealers, would come to his Bible study just for the hugs and the hand-holding–this was “the one place where [they] could receive such a healthy touch.”  In his one-on-one visits, Chris, recalls, the men never wanted to let go of his hand–even to wipe their noses.  These prisoners were big, scary, guys, but Chris wasn’t scared.  Instead, he says, “I didn’t deserve this,” didn’t deserve the way the men opened their hearts to him.  For maybe the first time, Chris understood what the word sacrament meant. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 21, 2012 in Christian love, musings

 

What I learned from reality TV

Brown husband and wives

The Browns, of TLC’s Sister Wives

It’s embarrassing, yes, but I’ll admit it:  I really like reality TV.  Almost two years ago, my husband and I started watching Sister Wives on TLC.  The show follows the Brown family:  Kody, the patriarch, his four wives, and their seventeen children.  When the first episode aired, the family was still living in Utah, where they had a church and where the kids went to a private school run by their co-religionists.  They have since moved to Las Vegas, after a bigamy investigation threatened their ability to remain together as a family. Read the rest of this entry »