An Invitation

“Pondering From the Pacific” [https://ponderingfromthepacific.wordpress.com/ ] invites you to move over to that site to continue following the post that had previously been available on on this site, “A Simple Desire”. Sometime later this year “A Simple Desire” will no longer have new posts but function as a repository of the posts from 2007 until fall of 2017. At this point, posts from “A Simple Desire” are no longer posted to Facebook, but posts that are on the site “Pondering From the Pacific” are posted. It is the same sort of content that has been posted on this site since 2015, that is scripture passages from the Revised Common Lectionary. And it is the same author at “Pondering From the Pacific” who has been posting on “A Simple Desire” since 2010.

I did notice a drop in followers, seemingly overnight. And while I can understand that, considering the changes that are taking place, I am hopeful that those who have been following here at “A Simple Desire” would move over to the new site, which actually had its start in 2012. It is now going to be my only active blog site come fall of 2017. Thank you for your interest over the years! And shalom!

Should the two become one? [What does it mean to pray about something? Part Two]

(This post appeared on my other blog, “Pondering From the Pacific”, on July 17th. It was the second part of a two part reflection on my decision to move from posting on “A Simple Desires” scripture and reflections on the Revised Common Lectionary, and have only one blog as my sole blog. You can see the first part at What does it mean ot pray about something. Part One that I wrote on July 4th on the blog“Pondering From the Pacific”. The readers/followers there have been aware, if they have chosen to read it, that I have been thinking about this. Just recently I started making pragmatic plans and preparations. I discovered that some aspects at first seemed difficult, but with perseverance and not a small amount of luck, the arrangements have been working out very well. I chronicled that in the post Pragmatism, Theology, and Relatively Minor Miracles! . I wrote and posted that July 30th. I imagine that will serve as unofficial notice of the move. I have already started posting the August entries for the Revised Common Lectionary posts on “Pondering From the Pacific” The official move date will be sometime later in the fall. I invite you, before the official move, to explore the site [https://ponderingfromthepacific.wordpress.com/] and sincerely hope all of you will move the move with me. )

 

It started with an idea, a vague unformed idea. And from that idea came a desire. Not a simple desire but a rather complex one, actually. When I first started this blog [meaning “Pondering From the Pacific] (my second one, in addition to the blog “A Simple Desire” that I inherited since after a time I was the only one writing it) my reasoning was that I was not just a ponderer and writer based on scripture passages, but an observer of all facets and aspects of life. And I wanted an outlet for my other thoughts and observations. I had hoped there would be time for me to write for both blogs. But time is an elusive thing. More fleeting than I thought it would be.

Back in 2012 when I started this second blog that you are now reading, “Pondering From the Pacific”, my other blog “A Simple Desire” commented on scripture that was also posted on Third Way Cafe,  a website that MennoMedia created and ran as a part of the media outreach of Mennonite Church USA – to give the context. Third Way Cafe posted on a daily basis “A Sip of Scripture” and that was the source of the scripture passages I and others had been wrote about. (In 2010 I went solo.) However, at the close of 2014 I switched from using their scripture passages to writing on the Revised Common Lectionary. And starting January 2015 I posted exclusively on the Revised Common Lectionary changing from a daily posting to posting 4 times a week. However, that did not result in posting more often to my other blog – this one. As I said above, time was more fleeting than I hoped it would be.

So for 5 years I have been straddling writing two blogs; giving most of my attention to one and sadly neglecting the other. My idea was to try somehow to combine my writing efforts. And the desire was to have a blog that was from start to finish my very own. Not something I inherited from someone else, but for good or for bad was all me. Much as I appreciated the gentle soul who handed over the blog “A Simple Desire” to me without any backward glances (and the other writers who made worthy contributions), I always felt I was standing on the shoulders of another. I had made the choice when I became the solo writer to continue host the postings that were not mine but the efforts and thoughts of  others. Good thoughts, inspiring thoughts .  .  .  . but not mine. I felt more and more strongly that I wanted something that was just mine.

But I will admit it was scary thinking about truly foraging out on my own. “A Simple Desire” as a blog has amassed a formidable following. I remind myself in the past seven years since it has been just me, it has grown in readership; that has truly humbled me. And since writing on the Revised Common Lectionary, the growth has been even greater which I am also humbled by. How can I just walk away from that?

The issue is complex because I do not want to eliminate the work of others, pretending that their work has just disappeared; I want to honor their contributions. But I also want to move forward under my own power and see what I can do. In the past weeks and months I have been torn over what to do. And more importantly when to do  .  .  .  .  whatever I decide to do.

My fledgling plan is to move my posting on scripture passages over to “Pondering From the Pacific”, clearly announcing my intentions, and hope that the readers (my readers) will follow me over the the new site. “A Simple Desire” would continue, but I would not add anything new to that site. In this way I hope to honor what has been written in the past, but move forward into my own future, on a site that is truly my own. Just me. It is scary to think about – well maybe not scary in the chills up and down one’s spine; but daunting to make such a change. And why? For my own self-image? That’s not why I started writing either blog in the first place.

On the other hand, I don’t feel the need to be part of a “bunch.” I am ready to stand out on my own, come what may. I am pretty sure I can handle it; and what I can’t handle .  .  .  . well, let’s just say that my faith is strong enough for whatever may come, in spite of what my pride and self-image might quake at. Actually, that might be exactly where my crux point is – my faith on the one side and my pride/self-image on the other. And I am pretty sure I know which side is going to come out on top. Shalom & Selah!

Season after Pentecost (Proper 8 [13]) : The Psalm Passages – Rescued from the shakes

How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I bear pain in my soul, and have sorrow in my heart all day long? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
Consider and answer me, O LORD my God! Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death, and my enemy will say, “I have prevailed”; my foes will rejoice because I am shaken.” (Psalm 13:1-4)

The previous three or four days before I sat down to write this were as good of health days as I have had for a long time. But the morning of the day I sat down to write, I felt the familiar aches and pains that meant another “flare” was coming. While I try to live my live so that I am an enemy to no one, and no one would consider me any enemy, I do have an “enemy” of sorts – my own body. I have several autoimmune diseases.

An autoimmune disease means that for some reason your own body attacks itself; there are many types and kinds of autoimmune diseases. Sometime arthritis is considered an autoimmune disease; it may come with old age or it may start its “corrosive” action at an earlier age. Type 1 diabetes can be considered autoimmune; my type is type 2, but it seems in a causal relationship with my autoimmune diseases. I am part of several support groups that are composed of people who have autoimmune illnesses or who know/support people in their lives who have one or more. In any case when I have flares, which are gradual or sudden increases in symptoms, I am shaken. And it does seem like my “enemy” has prevailed. But the psalmist and I are not alone, as the support groups attest to.

“But I trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, because he has dealt bountifully with me.” (Verses 5 – 6)

This trust in the Lord and having been dealt with “bountifully” does not mean symptoms go away or that I feel better. “Better” is only a relatively term, and as I have learned again lately, does not last long. I am still able to keep to some sort of a regular schedule and list of accomplishments only because the sum total of my strength, stamina, and endurance does not lay only within my one body but also in the Lord. Over the years where my ability fades off and the Lord’s ability steps in to carry me through has blurred over the years such that I am not sure where one ends and the other begins. And that is why I trust the Lord and trust in the Divine’s steadfast love.

In a sense, we all have an autoimmune disease – we call it “sin” and “human willfulness.” We do things that are hurtful to our soul and spirit, and the soul and spirit of others. We “attack” harmony and the shalom that the Divine wishes for the world. And when the Lord God rescues us and all of humanity, that is the salvation that the psalmist rejoices in. I do too, for that matter.

So I am at peace; the Lord is with me, both for my health and my salvation. The enemy will not, in matters that are most important, prevail. Selah!

 

Addendum: Fifteen minutes after this posting appears, it will also appear on my Pondering From the Pacific blog. Since the posting touches (and more than touches) on my health, I thought it good to post it there also. I hope over time to bring the two blogs closer together in content and focus. Shalom!