Monday, October 5, 2009

Believe, Be Light, Be Love

Be Etc." by Peter Mayer

This past month has taught me more about how to Believe, Be Light, and Be Love - much deeper than this blog could truly relay, and more concretely than I ever knew possible.

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Believe, be light, be love just because
All along you've belonged
in this love song.
This now, befriend,
Come what may, with your heart begin
Believe, be light, be love.
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Believe. I believe in signs that God is always near.

Believe. I believe that my Disciple Bible Study group has helped me grow in my faith, has helped me figure out how to go about reading the Bible (I've only begun!), and has allowed me to ask questions I've been wanting to ask for years. Seeing as how faith formation is a life-long challenge, I'm looking forward to what classes and studies await me!

I also believe that our small group provides the best snacks possible, as witnessed here by Dena's fantabulous display of gingerbread cupcakes, complete with not one, but TWO whipped cream cans.

~ • ~ •
~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~
Every dream that becomes is a star or a sun

Far too far to be real, sometimes falling.

But it calls you night and day,
Longing to be more than behave,
Believe, be light, be love.

~ • ~ •
~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~

Be Light. I happened to be volunteering in the office this April when Bob Heistand had dropped by, just joyful at the recent progress of his beloved wife, Loretta (pictured above). She was recovering from a stroke, and he shared pictures and stories of her recovery, just beaming with the pride and love of a spouse. He WAS light.

Loretta passed away in the middle of September, and her memorial service at Bethany was one filled with family and love, and was another reminder to me how the power of believing can change a person's life. She clearly was the light of her family.

"And with your final heartbeat, kiss the world goodbye,
Then go in peace and laugh on Glory's side, and fly to Jesus."

Be Light. I recently sat down in my den, ready to complete my daily study for Disciple, and I'm reading up on the city of Corinth. Reading all about how it's the Vegas of its day, how they worshipped money and other horrible things, how crazy cults and new religions were springing up everywhere. A real hot bed of corruption. An unlikely place for Paul to try and plant a church, much less get these folks under control!

So, I look out my den window, and see this big, neon flashing sign on the other side of the street! Yikes! I was only READING about the Corinthians...didn't actually want to BE one! I'll obey! I'll obey!

Be Light. A moon-lit view from Bethany.

~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~
Then comes a morning when

You wake up crashed and burning,
Can't see the road is turning to

Beyond the bend, begin again.

We tangle in why, dress up in because

When below and above heaven's beside us

There for you, night and day
Longing to be more than behave

Believe, Believe, be light, be love.

~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~

Be Love. The last word could be benign, as that was the final word from the test results. Recent medical worries turned out to be a wandering lymph node (who knew). My doctor was intrigued by my recent weight loss (just hit the 40 lb mark in a little over 6 months), so we did blood work (stone-cold normal) and fit in a quick visit to the Sally Jobe Clinic (think I'll wait until I'm 40 to do THAT again). I do have to say, whomever thought to physically warm-up the gowns at the clinic was brilliant. A needed touch in such an environment. Same with the flowers above - fake or not, it's the little things when you are terrified and half-clothed and alone.

Didn't tell many people (really only two others in addition to my mom), but those who knew were love personified. I couldn't have asked for better support, better shoulders to literally cry on, or a better outpouring of love. My angels. I am truly blessed, and am thankful once again to resume a healthy life.

Be Love. Who could this be? Why Pastor Ruth Ann and Homer, of course! Where, oh where, were THESE two when I was taking confirmation/church-prep classes as a kid? The energy surge and genuine interest my pastors create and nurture is amazing, and watching them cultivate a love of learning about God is inspiring.

Be Love. Ruth Ann and I recently attended a John Michael Talbot concert - he's a Catholic monk (who looks like a cross between Santa, Jesus, and Charles Manson) who travels the country, singing and playing Christian music while accompanying himself on the guitar. Reflective, amusing, full of the Spirit, moments of worship. An evening we both totally needed - what a night!

Pastor Ron (left), Kent and Kathy
Eggleston (center), Pastor Ruth Ann (right)

Be Love. We held a service of thanks and gratitude for our retiring organist of 25 years, Kathy Eggleston, on September 27th. It really was a service to make a musician happy! The readings, lessons, sermons, hymns - everything was tailored/accented to honor this musician. Just grand. The entire Chancel Choir participated - the Denver Brass came to the worship service, too! Kathy was a key partner within that group, and they use Bethany as their primary performance venue. She also helped form the Festival of Faith and the Arts, a thriving community-based arts festival that celebrates local arts of all forms.

There was a reception afterward, and the receiving line took an entire hour to file in! I played background music with another retired pastor, Pastor Carl. Speakers from the American Organist Guild and Denver Brass and the Chancel Choir spoke for three minutes each - perfectly timed. The food was delicious and the weather so beautiful, we could spill out into the courtyard.

One of the more poignant moments was when Kathy's husband joined her in the front of the sanctuary (he struggles with Alzheimers). He was able to walk up there with some assistance and he went right to Kathy, wrapping his arms completely around her, briefly placing his head on her shoulder. Oh, the love between those two! It was amazing. Add to that a professional Brass quintet playing "Lift High the Cross" on a beautiful, sunny day in Colorado, and you have a most wonderful, musical day.

Believe. Be Light. Be Love.

Peter Mayer's Main Website
Listen to "Be Etc."
Peter Mayer and Pastor Ron's Proverbs Study
Festival of Faith and the Arts


Heather said...

1. I did NOT know J.M.T. looked like that. Huh.

2. I love that song by Chris Rice, the Fly To Jesus one. It is so, so beautiful.

3. I am so grateful you are healthy. Praise God.

Ann Herrell said...

What a way to learn so much, and grow so much... not exactly the way you would want it to happen. I'm so thankful you have such a community of supporters around you... in every aspect of your life. And I'm VERY happy to be part of it!

Bill Te Winkle said...

A wonderful blessing. Thanks for sharing your journey.

Tessa said...

Hey Brenda,
Sorry to say I haven't been keeping up with your blogs lately but am pleased to suddenly read this one..I can't explain it all right hear or just yet but, Thank you. I really needed this message. Hugs, Tessa