the blog

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A New Website…


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This site has been live for at least 5 or 6 years I think. I can’t even remember, it’s been awhile. So, I believe it’s time for a new website!

I’m gonna try and do this myself. Dangerous I know. I have the summer off, for the most part, and I’m obviously not an avid blogger (though I want to be a bit more active) so I am hoping I’ll have a little time to do this.

I also am hoping that this will bring inline the web guides to my books with the context and function of my website and blog. Also, some kind of connection with the family website I’ve set up, sharing our family journey and our plan for the future. I will probably need some help integrating my blog and website and all that good stuff but the goal is to do this by the end of the summer. We shall see.

If you happen to read this and have any ideas, helpful suggestions, or expertise to offer let me know. I would be grateful for any of the above!

Grace and peace

 

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Holy Week


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I was talking with Andrea the other day and she said, “Holy week at Nashotah is like boot camp.” TRUE THAT! It’s pretty intense around here this week. A lot is going on, for sure!

Last night was our Tenebrae service. A beautiful service of shadows. The light is gradually extinguished and darkness is slowly entered into. The service was pretty intense here at the House, it was long and very still with only the choir singing, chanting and speaking while everyone else was just taking it in. I’ve been to Tenebrae services before that were a bit different, more artistic and more participatory but the drama of the story, the story of Christ’s decent and our participation in that, in all the good and horrific ways, was truly on display last night.

And then the Triduum.
The three days of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil leading into Easter Sunday or Resurrection Sunday! Three days that are central to our salvation and life of faith. I’m thankful for a tradition that enables me to enter into this most holy of times in profound ways.

holythursday_15c_rusTonight I will be the thurifer in our Maundy Thursday service. Swinging incense like it’s my job!
Having rehearsed the service I anticipate it being intense and powerful.Having rehearsed the service I anticipate it being intense and powerful.

During the service, we will have foot washings, altar-stripping and we will participate in the Eucharist as a community. There will be extra sacrament consecrated and put on a side altar. This symbolized Christ’s time in the garden and the eventual abandonment by all his friends.  We were asked to sign up for an hour to sit and watch and pray with Jesus, with the blessed sacrament. “Could you not wait with me one hour,” Jesus asks his disciples and so too are we asked to sit and wait with Christ on the night before he is handed over to death for our salvation.

I signed up for a slot and am anticipating this hour of prayer. I’m not sure what it will be like but I trust it will be a significant part of my Holy Week experience.

You can read some great words on this by a fellow from my church. He writes about the great watch and then he writes here about the other services of Holy Week.

We’ll have a Good Friday service here at the House.
Then the weekend culminates with the Easter Vigil on Saturday night, which will be a festive celebration as we proclaim Christ crucified and risen! Then we get to say the “A” word again. I can’t wait!

Our family will also attend the Easter service on Sunday morning with our church community, Christ Redeemer. Excited to be with those fine folks for Easter Sunday!!!

(You can read more about these different services and their significance over at this Blog… christredeemermke.org)

I hope your Holy Week is a deep and sacred time for you. That you experience Christ in his death so that you can experience his resurrection!

Grace and peace
Erik

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March Madness :: Everybody’s Favorite Time of Year


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Well, it’s everybody’s Favorite Time of Year! MARCH MADNESS!!!

I’ll be playing in a few pools and will have a handful of different brackets filled out! LOVE IT!!!
Just made this little image to invite some Nashotah House folks to play along.

The theme for our league is: Canistriludium Ludus Canistri
Seemed fitting to include some fancy latin… now I just have to figure out what it means!  😉

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PS: My best translation of Canistriludium Ludus Canistri is Basketball, The Sport.
I kinda made it up… Clever right!
Or Something.

Enjoy your March!

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Lent :: A Reminder


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Lent :: A Reminder

I’ve felt it in my bones and have been reminded, both in the sermon yesterday and in the homily today during morning prayer that we are about half way through the season of Lent.

There are reminders all around.

For instance, I read this Psalm in morning prayer today…

Psalm 119:25-32
ד Daleth

25 My soul clings to the dust;
revive me according to your word.
26 When I told of my ways, you answered me;
teach me your statutes.
27 Make me understand the way of your precepts,
and I will meditate on your wondrous works.
28 My soul melts away for sorrow;
strengthen me according to your word.
29 Put false ways far from me;
and graciously teach me your law.
30 I have chosen the way of faithfulness;
I set your ordinances before me.
31 I cling to your decrees, O Lord;
let me not be put to shame.
32 I run the way of your commandments,
for you enlarge my understanding.

“My soul clings to the dust…”

I want that to be true of my Lenten experience. Really, I want that to be true of my life. To always keep my humanity and mortality before me, knowing that my every breath is a gift of God.

We are halfway through Lent but far from eternity. It is with this in mind that we let our lenten disciplines begin to shape our heart and mind and our desire toward life that is most truly situated in the reality of the Kingdom of God. This reality that we will someday day live fully.

So this day, right now, we live like we will fully live someday. Lent is God’s gift to us, helping us have space and practice to do this very thing in intentional, practical and communal ways. Hopefully we are learning to live during Lent, a little more like we should live all the time and will fully live in the time to come.

Hang in there. Cling to the dust. Resurrection is around the corner!
Grace and peace
Erik

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Lent Week #4 :: Music Monday(ish)


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Well, Lent is supposed to remind you that you’re a dirtbag right? [ from dust we have come, right…] Or least it’s supposed to remind you of your humanity and need for Christ. I’m reminded of that every time I think about my blog, or more accurately, my non-blog. I would love to blog more but I just don’t make the time for it. I have pages of blog ideas but haven’t taken the time to flesh them out. Someday I hope to blog once a week, for now… it will be what it will be.

Anyway, here is another addition of my Lenten music playlist. If you want to just get direct access to this, follow the playlist on Spotify. I’ll be adding to the same playlist every week.

This week I’m adding a little All Sons and Daughters action. Great stuff…
and this week as week focus on being aware of God, even in the midst of our lenten deserts, I would recommend their songs Christ  Be All Around Me and God With Us as well.

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Lent Week #3 :: Music Monday


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Continuing the theme of temptation this week as we read about Jesus being temp tempted by the evil one.

And here is another song from the 1st Enter the Worship Circle album. An oldie but a goodie! and there are a few great songs on this album that would be good to listen to this Lent.

Save Me | Enter the Worship Circle

and check out the whole album as well.

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Lent Week 2 :: Music Monday


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For week #2  of Lent we lean into temptation and our constant need for Jesus to lead us through, as only he can.

 

This bonus song has been on my mind since lent begun and I thought I would share.
Lent is all about rending your heart and not your garment! (Joel 2:13)
Remember that as you practice your lenten disciplines.

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Lent Week 1 :: Music Monday


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I posted this on Facebook from forgot to post it here… sorry about that!
I messed up already this Lent! Just factoring in failure my friends.

Grace and peace

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Lent 2016


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It’s Ash Wednesday

Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 12.04.13 PMI read from Fr. Alexander Schmemann’s book Great Lent every year. It is amazing. I read the following passage this morning at morning prayer / Ash Wednesday liturgy. It’s just about perfect!

“For many, if not for the majority of Orthodox Christians, Lent consists of a limited number of formal, predominantly negative, rules and prescriptions: abstention from certain food, dancing, perhaps movies. Such is the degree of our alienation from the real spirit of the Church that is is almost impossible for us to understand that there is “something else” in Lent—something without which all these prescriptions lose much of their meaning. This “something” can best be described as an “atmosphere,” a “climate” into which one enters, as first of all a state of mind, soul, and spirit which for seven weeks permeates our entire life. Let us stress once more that the purpose of lent is not to force on us a few formal obligations, but to “soften” our heart so that it may open itself to the realities of the spirit, to experience the hidden “thirst and hunger” for communion with God.

This lenten “atmosphere,” this unique “state of mind,” is brought about mainly by means of worship, by the various changes introduced during that season into the liturgical life. Consider separately, these changes may appear as incomprehensible “rubrics,” as formal prescriptions to be formally adhered to; but understood as a whole, they reveal and communicate the spirit of Lent, they make us see, feel, and experience that bright sadness which is the true message and gift of Lent. …”

From Great Lent: Journey to Pascha by Fr. Alexander Schmemann

He goes on to talk about the art of repentance among other things. As The Book of Common Prayer states; “I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word. And, to make a right beginning of repentance, and as a mark of our mortal nature, let us now kneel before the Lord, our maker and redeemer…”

May you enter into the bright sadness and the observance of a Holy Lent.

temptations-of-christ

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Christmastide | 12 Days of living Into Joy


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(this is coming a bit early [usually I do this on Monday] but I want you to be able to enjoy all 12 days!)

Nativity Cosmic IconCollect (Prayer)
The Nativity of Our Lord: Christmas Day December 25

O God, you make us glad by the yearly festival of the birth of your only Son Jesus Christ: Grant that we, who joyfully receive him as our Redeemer, may with sure confidence behold him when he comes to be our Judge; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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O God, you have caused this holy night to shine with the brightness of the true Light: Grant that we, who have known the mystery of that Light on earth, may also enjoy him perfectly in heaven; where with you and the Holy Spirit he lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

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Almighty God, you have given your only-begotten Son to take our nature upon him, and to be born [this day] of a pure virgin: Grant that we, who have been born again and made your children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by your Holy Spirit; through our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom with you and the same Spirit be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

(Click here to see a couple more Icons)

The Songs
12 Song, plus a bonus track for dancing purposes!

The Scripture
A Chronological Reading of the Christmas Story
Matt 1:18aLuke 1:26-40Luke 1:56Matt 1:18b Luke 2:1-38Matt 2:1-23Luke 2:39-40

 

Some More Advent and Christmas music for your listening pleasure.
And I’d love for you to add your favorite Christmas song to the list! Let me know if you do!

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