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Archive for May 6, 2005

To Do One Thing Well

Mary Oliver challenges me. She opens my eyes to a world of stunning glory, and yet a world I cannot fully understand. In the midst of life and death, she finds wonder, and remind me of my longing to live well.

The Kingfisher

By Mary Oliver

The kingfisher rises out of the black wave
like a blue flower, in his beak
he carries a silver leaf. I think this is
the prettiest world—so long as you don’t mind
a little dying, how could there be a day in your whole life
that doesn’t have its splash of happiness?
there are more fish than there are leaves
on a thousand trees, and anyway the kingfisher
wasn’t born to think about it, or anything else.
when the wave snaps shut over his blue head, the water
remains water—hunger is the only story
he has ever heard in his life that he could believe.
I don’t say he’s right. Neither
do I say he’s wrong. Religiously he swallows the silver leaf
with its broken red river, and with a rough and easy cry
I couldn’t rouse out of my thoughtful body
if my life depended on it, he swings back
over the bright sea to do the same thing, to do it
(as I long to do something, anything) perfectly.

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A Post?

Wow. I missed April! Not one post. But I have been studying. I’ve been faciliating two different bible studies. Between working full time, working on various ministry projects and faciliating these studies, I have been in constant motion. I did finish some studies notes for 1 Peter – “A guide for dwelling in earthly places as
heavenly pilgrims.” These notes were developed for my own study but I started handing them out because I thought others might find them useful and now I’ve posted them. Unfortunately, I didn’t include a reference section (which I still need to add). When preparing this study I consulted JND Kelly, Ramsey Michaels, the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture, and I prepared against the backdrop of NT Wright’s thoughts. Reading 1 Peter reminded me of the value of immersing ourselves in the stories of the Old Testament. When we don’t keep the stories fresh in our minds, we can easily lose teh wonderfully rich allusion present all throughout the text.

I am also faciliating a study on Galatians – “The Good News That’s Too Good to Be True.” I’ll post those notes when I finish.

I must say that I absolutely love study the Bible. Not to argue the texts; not to knock people in the head; not to garner spiritual brownie points–but to encounter the Word of God, the revelation of Jesus Christ. When the Holy Spirit quickens my heart to the presence of Christ, I am overwhelmed by His goodness. God is better than I could even imagine him to be.

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