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Showing posts from August, 2011

Living Life in the Unexpected

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Life seldom goes according to plan.  It is funny that way. 
We work.
We strive.
We prepare.
Then in one momentary blink of an eye, everything changes!
Work ceases or is redirected.
Aspirations must be re-examined in light of new developments.
Plans are irrevocably altered.

Who are you in those moments?
Where is your head?  Where is your heart? 
What emotions are stirred just in considering such interruptions?

I contend that God is a God of those moments.  As a matter of fact, I think God specializes in them. 
Consider this...
An older woman, well beyond childbearing years, gives birth to a nation.
A shepherd, minding his father-in-law's flock, finds the fire of justice and freedom kindled in his soul.
A young boy from a nowhere town is annointed king.
A teenage girl finds herself pregnant and carrying salvation for all humanity in her young womb.
A firey religious leader finds his pious zeal transformed into a passion for the gospel of grace.
A Roman instrument of death becomes the symbol of G…

The Treasured Pearl

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"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well."Matthew 6:33
"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it."Matthew 13:44-46 (NRSV)
This quest you are on...
This pursuit for purpose...
This search for significance…
This longing to make something of yourself…
This hunger to be someone…
This desire for something more…
beats in the core of every human heart.
We innately know that for which our life longs is out there, somewhere.So we search, intently.
There at the core of all that is lies the truth that has no beginning and will ever cease to be.
So, do we have the courage to let go of all that we once thought valuable?Do we have the faith to purchase that field o…

Welcome Back

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School has most likely begun or will begin for you shortly.
I am sure that a new year brings with it many new axieties as well as more than its fair share of excitement. 

Some new things for the new school year just for you.
Some people suggested that some daily verses to read would be helpful.  To that end, you will find a new widget to the right that contains the daily lectionary texts for each day.  You will find Psalms, a First Testament text, a Gospel text, and a reading from one of the Epistles.  Click on the texts and it will take you to the reading.
There will be a weekly devotional listed here on this page as well.  Hopefully you will find these to be encouraging and uplifting.
There will also be suggestions for service and missions regularly including things that are going on at Second.
Please take a few minutes to fill out our college information form here.  This will help us stay in contact with you throughout the school year.  If you have any suggestions as to how we might su…

Inferno

Inferno
Burning
In the depths
Of the me
I seem to be.
Intensity unmatched
It rages
Singeing
Heart and soul.
Its unbearable heat
I desire to smother.
Only feeding
Its insatiable appetite
In my attempt.
It
Devours
Me.
The dross
Melts away.
The essence
Of who I am
Purified.
Exposing the who
I am
Meant to be.
by Brian Shivers

The Cost of Faith

It cost me the self I hoped I would be… It cost me the self I have yet to see… It cost me the self others wish of me…
It cost me the self of pure fantasy… It cost me the self of hideous reality… It cost me the self that has never ceased to be…
It cost me the self of mistaken identity… It cost me the self a grace kept selfishly… It cost me the self hidden in soul’s mystery…
It cost me It cost me
In dying to self, I have been born anew.

Savoring Love

To hear a voice so strong and serene
To behold a form so beautiful and complete
To caress a figure so gentle and pure
To smell a bouquet so full and sweet
To taste an essence so rich and smooth
To hear, To behold, To caress, To smell, To taste…
To savor the depth that is you with the depth that is me
Is love

by Brian Shivers

Liberty Bell

Weight of my soul Traces my face. Salty Trail of sorrow Left in its wake Rains to the ground Collecting in pools Of immeasurable grief.
The pain of my brothers The tears of my sisters The anguish of my land
A lament For the terror Of hatred. The wickedness of man against man, Evil's most vile form.
Yet off in the distance, A sound is heard, Ringing from the past Into a glorious future. Freedom Undaunted Untainted Unafraid Reigns supreme. A song of the heart Ne'er to be hushed. The human spirit's Eternal quest. Liberty Purchased by the blood Of the people. Heroes and heroines, All races and creeds, Extraordinarily ordinary Humans Chasing The toll of this bell.
Let freedom ring. Let freedom ring.
by Brian Shivers, September 13. 2001

So Well

Some people say, “Your gains determine your value.” “Success defines you.” “What you do makes you who you are.”
Well, some people have it all wrong.
For it is… …your values that determine your gain; …how you define yourself that makes you a success; …who you are that shapes what you do.
And you, Mrs. Austin,

What's Next?

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Life is a journey.  You currently find yourself in one of the seasons of life that is characterized by change at nearly every turn. There may be times when you ask, "What's next?"

What is next?  We obviously cannot know exactly.
How can we face the unknown "next" with confidence?

Let's chat!

Sunday, August 14, 7:30 at McAllister's Deli on east 86th St. near Kohls.

Why?

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Why?
Why are you?
Why are you here?

These are some of the biggest questions we can ask.

This Sunday, August 7, at 7:00 p.m. at McAllister's Deli at Keystone, we will look at the question, "Why are we here?"

Drinks and desserts are free.  Bring a friend and we look forward to seeing you there.

Laid Bare

Naked, you made me; Naked, I return to you.
Strip me of my idolatrous imaginings of who you are. Expose my worship for the selfish act it has often become. Undress my ego and the vanity that is hidden within. Uncover the genuine me you intend for me to be.
Naked, you made me; Naked, I return to you.
by Brian Shivers

Rain

You are rain On the sun-scorched land of life. And I dance Pleading with the clouds That it never end. by Brian Shivers

Prayer of Adoration based on Psalm 138

Almighty God, Your majesty is beyond compare and is evident in all that our eyes behold. We sing your praise and “give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness.” It is you alone, O God, who satisfies our hunger and fills our souls. “You stretch out your hand, and your right hand delivers us.” You are worthy of our thanksgiving, our worship and our praise “for your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.” Amen. (the quotes come from Psalm 138 NRSV)

Love's Moment

The shape of her face; The line of her brow; The green of her eyes, A glimpse into her lush fertile soul, Drawing me ever nearer, This siren I cannot resist. Breathing her breath, Lips gently separate Meeting in love’s timeless moment. This one true kiss Is an ocean breeze Upon which dreams soar. by Brian Shivers for Jennifer Shivers on Mother's Day 2004

I Pledge Thee

A rose could be given Fragrant and tantalizing. Yet even in all its elegance, Petals fall and dark hues fade.
Rich chocolates could be presented Sweet and pleasing to the tongue. Yet the flavor never lingers, Nor does its substance satisfy.
Precious stones could be offered Glimmering and wonderful to behold. Yet gold inevitably loses its luster, Becoming a simple addition to life’s box of jewels.
So, I pledge thee my heart. The entirety of my love for you Beats within its chambers. You are the passion flowing through my veins.
I present thee my soul. The riddle of who I am Held in this invisible mystery. You are the missing piece of the puzzle that is me.
I offer thee my life. Joy and sorrow; laughter and tears Combined into this long pilgrimage. You are the partner that makes life out of living.

by Brian Shivers

Mementos

To capture this moment and make it mine holding on to it forever, And never leave this instant in time, each second a simple treasure.
Yet dwelling on things that lie in the past, on moments that have gone by, Will never lead to tomorrow’s dream where promise and a future lie.
So memories serve to remind me now of happiness and joy back then; Footprints along life’s sandy beach, mementos of where I’ve been.
I now lift my eyes in front of me on the road that lay ahead; To the person I have yet to become and life’s chapters still unread.
— by Brian Shivers

In the Stillness

Still your mind. The silent echo you hear, undulating in your depths, is my love spilling from my life in a language mystery comprehends.
Still your heart. The warm pulse you feel, coursing through your veins, is my passion renewing itself on the essence that is you.
Still your soul. The quiet strength you perceive, intensifying in your spirit, is my confidence growing each day in the woman that you are.
Still your being. The gentle touch you sense, flowing across your skin, is my presence remaining lovingly with you in my absence.
by Brian Shivers