sermon on Psalm 13, word clouds

[Yakima, WA] Spent the day yesterday preparing a sermon for last night’s worship (I preach and lead the worship services at our church a few times a year). Gees, I always get so stressed about preparing sermons and liturgy. Well, this time more than usually. The sermon went pretty well, though. Basically was saying — about Psalm 13 — that when the world is shitty, we have two options: atheism or to “yell louder” at God. The people of God get depressed and frustrated as much as anyone, with all the death and pain in the world, but we can either give up on God (become atheist) or we can yell louder and grit our teeth and say, “I will praise you, no matter what happens. I will believe! I will!”

It’s kind of an existentialist take on things, which I usually don’t tend toward (’cause it seems like a cop out to say “well, we just believe and do good because we think the universe SHOULD be this way”). But I liked it, in this case. It’s determination to grab hold of faith and hope and life, in the face of their seeming absence. And maybe I’m drawn to that determination more now that it’s become too obvious to me that very little emotionally or psychologically is going to be done for me, and I have to do a lot of painful teeth-gritting to get by and to get some contentment, let alone some faith.

Went out to dinner afterward at El Porton with friends from church. Enjoyed being the youngest of the group for a change (unlike my life at OSU!). And I enjoyed myself because I was finished with the service (whew) and because I like my friends. And I haven’t seen two of them in a while.

I love the great outdoors, I loved spending a few restful days in Montana (which we did earlier this month). But, wow, I also love the great indoors, the wide open spaces of the internet, time to listen to music, read, and write. Not that I wrote much today, but I did chat with Marjorie and Dennis (both in Corvallis), and I did play too long with Wordle word clouds. I tried it with some of my papers from Fuller and with some journal files, mainly. The word clouds revealed that in my journals I say “said” and “something” often. I think I like to say things like, “It was something of a…” or “It was something like…” It’s my way of circling an idea before jumping on it, I guess.

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