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Showing posts from April, 2020

Dietrich Koller's Enneagram Sermon on Christmas

The scene is the Enneagram sin's coming to see the Christ child in the manger. As each sin approaches, they seem to hear Jesus speaking to them. These were all taken from Dietrich Koller's Christmas sermon re-written by Richard Rohr and and Andreas Ebert in their book The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective.  The build up to the scene is quite poignant too as each sin reveals its perspective on a baby coming to save the world. Quite telling.
One: To Anger Christ says, "You're furious about God and the world, about how sloppy people are, about the arrogance of rulers and the stupidity of the ruled. And above all about your own defects. Give me your resentment. Break your rage into pieces and put them into the coal bucket, so their flow can warm the stable. I'll give you my patience. It saves the world, slowly—but surely. Have patience with yourself. And forgive your fellows their imperfect condition. Forgiveness is the only thing that changes them. Have trust. The go…

Baptism Testimony

I didn't used to want to be baptized. I was too stubborn. I was determined to be the upright, genuine Christian who wasn't baptized—something of a superior class, I suppose. All that physical symbolism was for the archaic layman or the really emotional sort or the person who's afraid baptism is necessary for salvation. It's not for me. It's not for the steady, reliable believer who's doesn't have a big conversion story.

I was in preschool when I prayed the prayer. In 6th grade, I gained a deeper understanding of sin while bickering with my siblings in the backseat of the family van. When I was 16, I began a daily quiet time with the Lord. And now at 36, I'm hearing the Lord asking me to make my faith work.

Make the rubber meet the road. Get out of "morbid introspection and into deeds," out of "anxious hesitation and into the storm of events" (Rohr & Ebert, 129-130). Stop retreating into my head to figure out God and salvation an…

Desperately Avoiding Desperation

To have Christ
Is to be desperate,
Like a blind man tripping in the streets,
Like a prostitute caught in the act
With wails of admittance
That she has nothing left.

But such a state
I so desperately avoid
For it is the unraveling
Of my life's work,
Who wants to be broke?
Who finds comfort in emptiness?
Who volunteers to be naked?

No one chooses Christ.
And while "blessed are they
Who are poor in spirit,"
Who aims for a life
like that?

Rather, I patch up my selfishness with a stringent regime.
I forget my neediness by seeking out yours.
I hide my anxiety behind a facade of glowing accomplishments.
I escape my ordinariness by acquiring your envy.
I rectify my ignorance by endlessly mulling.
I stuff my fears by circular mistrust.
I ignore my sorrows with activity's flurry.
I deny my fragility with a flux of power.
I avoid making waves by sinking beneath
And drowning another sort of death.

But to have Christ
Is to be made desperate,
By noise or trick,
Treatment foul or s…

Comstock Chronicles: Schooling

These days schooling is something like a three-ringed circus with monkeys and an elephant balancing on a ball and a tiger jumping through a flaming hoop. And no one quite knows whose act it is or when the person selling peanuts will come down the aisle.


The preparations and set-up exude a false sense of hope that today things will go smoothly, today the work will get done. We go out onto the side porch where I've put a table and chairs for the big kids. We have their workbooks and folders in a bin along with their pencil box. I've fenced off the porch so the baby is contained and I've lain out a mat and a box of fairly new toys for Baby Benny.

At school time the kids drag their feet to their places and fight over their supplies. Someone gets scratched and rude names are called. While I sort this out, Benny has discovered that the side door isn't shut and he's gotten inside. I run after him and when I get back the children have forgotten their quarrel and are stick…

Did Jesus Have a Personality?

I'm finally finishing up The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective by Richard Rohr and Andreas Ebert. Earlier this year, I posted a list of great quotes from the first part of their book. The middle part of their book explains each type. The last part talks about out callings, root sins, arrows, subtypes, wings, and other technical bits.

They also have a section showing how Jesus embodied each of the Enneagram types without falling prey to their sins. I thought I'd share some of the quotes from that section as I found them particularly inspiring.

ONE

"For ONEs, a key paradox of the Gospel is that we become perfect by accepting our own imperfection. We must recognize that it is part of the process of growth, that we make many mistakes." (Rohr & Ebert, 234)

"Jesus did not suppress his anger or hide it behind a friendly fa├žade." (Rohr & Ebert, 234)

"Jesus' parables about growth (Mark 4) are an invitation to all perfectionists not to be always in …

Comstock Chronicles: Someone Else Made Easter Happen

I enjoy watching the people go by wearing their different masks: bandanas and surgical masks and painters masks and pretty masks with flowery prints someone sewed. I saw a mask with a clear window for the deaf or hard-of-hearing. I liked that one. You could see a person's smile through it. As it is, all I can see is people's eyes squinting.

I also enjoy walking past the houses these days. They feel alive and happy with activity. I wonder what the people inside are doing. I used to pass the homes and feel their emptiness and abandonment since most of them seemed unoccupied during the day. They felt like hotels where the people only came home at night to sleep and watch T.V.


With an increased work load, I had made absolutely no Easter plans aside from having the children stuff last year's twelve plastic eggs with last year's Halloween candy. They were quite content to do that, especially as I told them they could stuff as much candy as they could fit into each egg.

Then,…

Is God Ashamed of Me When I'm PMSing?

I've just emerged from a hormonal fog of teenager-sulks, bitter-resentment, martyr-like acts of self-pity and enraged-selfishness. It's been pretty bad, and I probably owe my family an apology.

I think I have some excuses though. It rained nearly every day this week so I was stuck in a loud crowded house. The children's ipad programs for school haven't been working. The oven broke, and I burned a pizza cooking it in a pan. The deep freezer in the garage died, and I had to dump out rotten meat. Benny pulled his noise machine off the dresser and onto his head, and yes, the machine broke. My older son put his foot through a screen, and we were on the tale end of our week's grocery supply.

It was not a good week to be hormonal.

Several times I thought, gosh, I'm being really bitchy. I hope everyone still loves me after this. I hope they don't resent me for existing like I am them right now. At least God doesn't resent me. Or does he?

Was God disappointed th…

Why the Enneagram Numbers Quarantine

Type 1: The Reformer
    I quarantine because it's the right thing to do and everyone ought to be doing their part for society by following the same procedures.

Type 2: The Helper
    No, I'm not concerned about myself, but I quarantine for everyone else. I want to help my neighbors feel safe, and I would absolutely die if I found out I had passed on the virus to someone else.

Type 3: The Performer
   I quarantine because that's what's expected of me, right? Plus, think about how bad it would look if I didn't.

Type 4: The Individualist
    I would've loved to quarantine before all this started but now that everyone is doing it, I'm not so sure I want to follow along. I guess I'll quarantine but somehow find a way to still remain exceptional.

Type 5: The Observer
    I might quarantine. I might not. I probably will while researching the facts about this virus. When I know enough, I'll make a final decision.

Type 6: The Guardian
    I quarantine becau…

A Harried Mother's Daily To-Do's List

1) Change out of my sleep wear into one of my numerous daytime outfits.

2) Brush not just one side of my teeth but all three.

3) Prepare breakfast, lunch, and if I'm feeling industrious, dinner too.

4) Gather up all the crumbs and smashed food after a meal and, while considering how I'm too full to eat them, throw them away.

5) Gather, rinse, and load all the reusable cutlery and dish-ware into the fully automated, grease-erasing, grime-wiping, 3-cycled dishwasher and press the start button.

6) Read, answer, or respond to 1/24th of the new facebook posts, 1/12th of the e-mails in my inbox, 1/8th of the news, 1/3 of the children's squabbles, 3/5ths of my texts, 3/4ths of the children's questions, and 9/10th's of my husband's statements. (Calculations not entirely accurate)

7) Collect paraphernalia all across the great expanse of my property that has been deposited there by the fully-functioning, completely-healthy, spritely 20-month-old boy I am raising.

8) Subd…