Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Windy End of Winter

When I was on retreat last weekend I took a walk about the grounds. As you can hear on the video the wind was gusty. It was cold, too! Maybe a wind chill of low 30's? But look! On the end of that branch is a flower. Even as the wind whips about it the flower is preparing for the future. Spring is on the way!!

 Yesterday morning there were 5 daffodil blooms on our back hill. Later in the morning there were 8! This morning there are at least 20 in bloom. Winter was a disappointment with no snow here to speak of. Spring is going to burst out even though the snows did not come through.

I planted snow drop bulbs last autumn, but I have not seen them bloom yet. Also bought some tiny daffodils, I think they were called "Tom Thumbs"? I hope they bloom soon. Can't quite remember the exact location in the front flower bed!
Watch for surprises and delights throughout your day!

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Glorious Weekend

I had no idea that Mount Saint Joseph was a location. I knew there was a college there and a convent in that area. When I was told that was were the retreat would be held I kept asking 'Where?" while thinking, on the convent grounds? or some place at the college? It turns out the convent has their own post office and thus their own ZIP CODE!! The retreatants slept in the building where I have made a few private retreats in the past. The retreat meetings were right next door in a very nice meeting room.

I spent Saturday morning through lunch on Sunday with a group of fabulous women! We ranged in age from early 20's to 65+. There were 4 leaders from the Ignatian Spirituality Project, 2 Co-dependent mothers, and 11 women with addiction problems...all in recovery, and all of us seeking a closer relationship with God as we understood Him.

These women provided in-depth, honest sharing from their hearts that when compared to the average church group would make our sharing look like a sham of openness. There was no hiding behind facades, excuses or tales. During my retreat time I read that those who 'share in levels of brokenness together perhaps form deeper bonds than at any other time in human experience'. Well, that mission was certainly accomplished!

Many of the women were blessed by the quiet, the sacred space of the grounds and the delight of seeing deer in their habitat, undisturbed and unafraid.







In an atmosphere of not judging, advising, or fixing, hearts were opened and shared and there was great humility and honor. We were all  seeking a closer walk with God and found ways in those few hours to "get there." We ..........were blessed by being in the sacred space of the Convent grounds.

Much to my surprise, I cried a couple times. I found deep gratitude towards my husband renewed and deepened. I received grace and peace to continue my own recovery as an Adult Child of an Alcoholic and as one prone to Co-Dependency. Strengthened in my resolve to pursue Christ in every way, I returned home to begin the next part of this great adventure. 

The 'exercises' and meditations were fruitful and powerful. In one exercise we were told to choose a small rock out of a bowl. I carefully selected one with a crack on one edge and a ragged place. Usually I would choose a smooth stone. I had chosen this one on purpose thinking we would get to keep the stone. I knew it would remind me that the broken, ragged places in my past did not have to hinder my growth into wholeness. The stone could remind me of my ability to overcome those obstacles through the strength and guidance of God. Imagine my surprise when we were told to place the stone in a glass with the others(YIKES! Give it BACK?)  and tell what we were willing to lay down and not take home with us. I named the stone "my resistance to wholeness."

If you have an opportunity to support this program or participate by driving participants to and from the retreat house, baking snacks for the coffee area,  providing cosmetics and 'goody bags', or just making a donation I can only say "DO IT!" The Lord uses this program in marvelous ways. It has been developed and fine tuned for ten years and in my estimation is a Winner!

https://www.facebook.com/IgnatianSpiritualityProject

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Hillsong United - From the Inside Out - With Lyrics

Last Sunday at church we sang this lovely worship song. I had not heard it before! WOW! What a blessing. It sums up so much of what Jesus and I have been dealing with. I still can't get enough of Jesus Culture "You Won't Relent" either!

Friday, February 24, 2012

A RETREAT WITH THE LORD AND SOME HOMELESS WOMEN

Thanks to the graciousness of my husband and the hospitality of the Sisters of Charity, this weekend I get some silence and time away Thursday evening through Saturday morning! Then Saturday through Sunday I will participate in a retreat for homeless women with addiction issues through the Ignatian Spirituality Project. As I understand it we will look at the first three of the twelve steps through the Ignatian retreat process?
The Convent of the Transfiguration is opening their retreat center for two of these retreats this summer. (By the way, Transfiguration Spirituality Center is looking for folks to sponsor each woman financially see http://tscretreats.org/)
Check out the details about the format here:  
http://www.ignatianspiritualityproject.org/
 Rich Mullins wrote a song shortly before his death about Jesus as The Homeless Man. Here is a link to the video.The lyrics I listed below.  The video is noisy and homemade. The song was eventually recorded after Rich's death by The Ragamuffin Band on "the Jesus record."

You did not have a home, there were places You visited frequently
   took off Your shoes and scratched your feet
'Cause You knew that the hole world belonged to the meek
  But You did not have a home. 
No You did not have a home.
And You did not take a wife.  There were pretty maids all in a row
Who lined up to touch the hem of Your robe
But You had no place to take them so
You did not take a wife...

Birds have nests, foxes have dens
But the hope of the whole world rests
On the shoulders of a homeless man - You had the shoulders of a homeless man
You did not have a home.

You had no stones to throw   You came without an axe to grind
Did not tow the party line
No wonder sight came to the blind
You had no stones to throw.

You rode an ass's foal   They spread their coats and cut down palms
For You and Your donkey to walk upon
But the world won't find what it thinks it wants
On the back of an ass's foal
So I guess You had to get sold

'Cause the world can't stand what it cannot own,
and it can't own You 'cause You did not have a home.

Birds have nests, foxes have dens
But the hope of the whole world rests
On the shoulders of a homeless man - You had the shoulders of a homeless man
You did not have a home.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Off for a bit ..

Rowan yesterday, part of today and all day tomorrow. I cannot blog for a few days. Hope you are enjoying the stuff I post! Of course, Bob's comment will run something like he has known for a ling time I am off a bit :-) beat you to the punch line!!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Called Forth From the Cave

Though I was inspired to write this down in 1982, it continues to be reinforced in my life over and over as TRUTH.  Do you know that a Mina in the New Testament was valued at about $16.00 in today's currency? See if you think this writing speaks truth about your Christian journey, too??

I have been told so many things 
     and dealt so many blows.
But now my heart begins to sing
   an old song, soft and low.

He's taught me by His Word and way
   the first few miles of loving.
I've many lessons yet to learn
  but first I must begin.

Our culture and sophisticated ways
   just keep us from each other.
Barriers come into play
   where open meadows belong.
   
My soul is crowded about
   by specters of loneliness.
The risk of vulnerability has become
            more inviting than the haunt of ISOLATION.
It is as though I am breaking out
   of an ancient inner prison.
I must get close to as many as will let me.
   The risk is not to be counted.
We've got to touch,
   We're not so unalike.
We are all made in His image,
   but we are not our own.
Like calls unto like,
   deep calls unto deep,
And the power of His Spirit
     is knitting us together.
The pleasures of His bounty
      are not to be hoarded - but shared.
How can we assume
       to participate in His Spirit
           behind a crumbling wall of self? 
      
Jesus walks through walls. 

In some ways, I am scared 
   of investing my minae,          
But I tremble at the thought of just
   burying them in Jesus' name.
Father, You have called me to this,
   slowly, as I crept from the mouth of that cave.
You alone can put me over.
   To You I belong.
Show me how to be Your child,  
   how to represent You well. 
I look for help to none other,
   teach me, as You did Your Son.

You alone have made me worthy,
   You alone will see me through.
Help me with Your love and mercy,
   deep compassion, grace and truth. 

Now I stand before You yielded.
   Make me into something new.
You have plans
    now please reveal them.
Show me how to touch and move.
    Give me holy eyes to see with,
Holy ears and holy hands.
     Help me learn to only speak when
I have heard what You command.

Others may not understand,
     few will ever know.
I'm willing to live by Your plan.  
     You are the final goal.


My intimacy with You
    will effect those in this realm.
I'm burdened by this bounty
     I've collected from Your stores.
Show me where to give it
     so I can discover more.



 
           

Monday, February 20, 2012

A Network for Grateful Living

http://www.gratefulness.org/word/index.htm
Last autumn I came across this web address

I cannot figure out if it is possible to link it to the blogger, so you will have to click on it for yourself.

What a blessing! They send me one e-mail a day reminding me of the value of gratitude with pithy quotes that keep me in awe of God's goodness to us!
Hope you enjoy it. Even if you choose not to have the daily e-mail, you might want to look at their site.
They even have e-cards!

Enjoy!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Lamb Who Rolled

When we were in Ireland last year I made a video of some lambs on a hillside. Right after I put the camera away the lamb that was twitching (maybe from bugs bugging it?) rolled down the hillside. I was sorry not to get that on film, but what a hoot! I could not see too many sheep while in Ireland! I ate none. Bob ate plenty. So much for Shepherd's Pie and me.
Enjoy! Oops error on the first try :-(





Saturday, February 18, 2012

"His love waters our thirsty soul."

As you might know I have been studying the "I ams" of Jesus. Also beginning to study a book with a friend entitled When the Soul Listens FINDING REST AND DIRECTION IN CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER " by Jan Johnson. She quotes A. W. Tozer's reflection upon God's love. I thought you might enjoy resting in this description!

"When our soul is dry, contemplation connects us with
 the One who 'is  eternal {so} His love can have no end;
because He is infinite, it has no limit;
because He is holy, it is the quintessence of all spotless purity;
because He is immense, His love is an incomprehensibly vast, bottomless, shoreless sea before which we kneel in joyful silence.'" His love waters our thirsty soul.


Friday, February 17, 2012

La Nina Winter?


This has been a dismal winter as far as snow and drama from the weather! Of course, I am VERY content to skip the ice storms we are so prone to, but last year was dramatic with lovely deep snows. Those snows made the spring flowers all the more glorious.

Just a little snow where the sun could not reach.


My daffodils began coming up several weeks ago. Even the hyacinths have popped out the tops of their leaves. I kept telling them, "Go back! Go back! Too soon!" But to no avail. As the sun stays with us longer each day and the temperatures rise well above the 'normal' or average for the season, the bulbs keep pushing up through the soil and leaf litter.

The first daffodil bloomed and before I could get out there to cut it we had snow and ice. I was able to bring it in a few days later. The stem was bent, but it sits in the window sill glowing now. Isn't it interesting that snow flakes have six points and so does the daffodil?

I cut two more this morning and took them to the homeless shelter. One had frost damage on the tips of the bloom, but I think it will open okay. One was bent to the ground. I just now saw a third flower bent down on the left side of the photo!

Spring is coming and the surprises abound! Maybe not as astounding is the past two years, but glorious none the less.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Reflections on February 14, 2012

"The origin of St. Valentine, and how many St. Valentines there were, remains a mystery. " Catholic Online

So where were you on the 'Hallmark money making day'? Our first adventure outside of the house was to the lawyer's office, signing legal documents for Power of Attorney, Health Power of Attorney, and Living Wills together. Wow! what an eye opener! Forty two consecutive Valentine Days together and here we were doing starkly old people things! But then, we are getting older. And these are responsible things. We had most of those documents, but they were outdated and erroneous in the addresses, etc.

It was not disturbing to be doing this task. Just calming in a sense. When my Uncle died recently, his passing drove home to me the point that in my family of origin I am now part of the oldest generation. Yes, I have cousins on the other side of the family who are older than me, but for the most part I am now an 'elder.'

Been listening to Richard Rohr's Falling Upward. A very catholic book, yet universal in the ways he points out how we learn to live in the second half of life. By second half he means after the busy furor of establishing ourselves in finances, home making, business position, parenting, etc. How do we LIVE from the center of our beings toward eternal things? He mentions that some of us never do begin the second half of life. Some of us stay stuck in the first half. We need to know how to be elders! I know for a fact that I am beyond the first half. Rohr points out that there is no 'little soldier" inside to direct our path for this part of our lives. We have no road map for this part of the journey. Mind you, I am only on disc 3 of 5, but I know the Holy Spirit can and will guide me through the current part of the journey.

So while the check out boy at the grocery was lamenting that he strongly dislikes Valentine's Day and the Hallmark hoopla, I was able to assure him that St. Valentine would probably have had nothing to do with the holiday either. As I left his lane I assured him that God loves him BEST.

And I was at ease staring my day with legal end of life documents. I do want things to be easy on my loved ones when I die. And this was one small step towards easing what distress I can. I know that I will be missed and mourned whether Bob dies first or I die first.

Best of all, when I die, I will be with my Lord forever. That is Good News! Then I went on to training for being an Election Official at the Ohio Primary election. Now THAT was a room full of old people! I looked like rather a young'n for a minute there!
Rest in His love, whatever your age!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Bejeweled? or just Forgetting?

Last Spring I began this entry. Guess it is time to finish it up! At the time I was undergoing injections of cortisone to reduce the inflammation and pain from a bulging disc. I was also entertaining ideas of the aging process and my evolving body in the midst of this aging. Respond for encouragement if you would.
I have been reading "The Awakened Heart" by Gerald May. He always has interesting ideas! He says in the section called Forgetting:
"If we want something badly enough, you would think we would remember it. He talks about our desire for food and other physical needs.
"But we have immense freedom with our desire for love. Real love can never be coercive; God relentlessly keeps us free even when we wish it were otherwise. If we were not able to say no to love's invitation, we would not be able to authentically say yes.
"God has an infinity of hiding places ... but we have only one hiding place, and there we can hide only from ourselves. because we live and move and have our being in God, we can hide only in our forgetfulness."
Now that got me thinking for certain! With my recent pain experiences I have had ample opportunity to try to hide from the reality of the experience, the fears about the future and the uncertainty of when this will end and I will once again be "comfortable." (I almost hate that word now!) In Genesis the first thing Adam and Eve did was hide from God when they had sinned. I, too, find it hard to stay in His presence when I am distracted by pain and fear. It is easier to enter what May refers to as forgetfulness. He goes on to outline what he calls the Ways of Forgetting:
"Look closely at how forgetfulness happens. At first it might seem like a sudden thing; a new thought flashes into consciousness and completely replaces what was there before. But like everything else in the brain and body, forgetting and remembering are transitions. They may happen quickly, but they take long enough to be noticed if you watch with bright, gentle eyes. With some reflection, you can see the transition into forgetfulness happening in two ways. The first is losing yourself, sinking into such absorption or dullness that you have no self-awareness at all. It can happen with an activity or relationship in which you become completely preoccupied, or when things are so routine and dull that your whole consciousness goes on automatic pilot. Either way it is entrancement; you might as well be a robot.
"The second way is the opposite; instead of losing your self-awareness, you become self-conscious. Although you are wide awake and not the least bit entranced, you are so self-preoccupied that you forget love's presence entirely. When self-consciousness reappears, it seldom traps me, says May. Instead it feels like something in me stretching; It is an occasion to yield once again to trust."
I know that I have not always used this recent pain experience to draw closer to the Lord. Often I wanted to just escape my mind and body. Video games and other numbing activities felt good! (Thus the picture from Bejeweled!) But they did not provide a good platform for quieting my soul or listening to my Lord in the midst of the difficulty.
As we remember the suffering and sacrifices our Lord made for us, perhaps we could look for new ways to try to stay present to Him in the midst of our own struggles.

I, for one, will be asking Him to teach me just that.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love and Sustaining It

NPR had an interesting interview with the author of a book of contemporary love stories. Here is the link to copy and paste in your browse. I do not think they made a way to embed it, though I could post it on facebook?!?!?!

http://www.npr.org/2012/02/11/146592554/in-a-storycorps-booth-love-is-all-there-is

"At the end of the story it says "Perhaps the best advice he's come across came from an 85-year-old man who described a drive he took with his wife shortly after returning from service in World War II.
Along the road in Philadelphia, he spotted a sign that spelled out "Things to Always Say to Your Loved One" in order to sustain a happy marriage: "You look great. Can I help? Let's eat out. I'm sorry, and I love you."
The man took those rules to heart, he says. Those simple statements "guided their marriage for 53 years, two months and five days. That pretty much sums it up."
This anemone is open in shallow water. It filters the water for nutrients and is able to close if threatened. It reminds me that rich rewards are to be had if I will risk staying open to those who I am in relationship with or to.






The anemone here is closed  so completely that it took the surrounding stones with it. What a wall of resistance! If I choose to close up around those I am in relationship with I will not receive the blessings God intended from my knowing and letting myself be known to this other person.

Regardless of what you say to your loved ones this Valentine's Day, please, stay open to receive the blessings God intends by putting them in your life.

Monday, February 13, 2012

In Awe of our God!

 APOD gives us daily photos of the cosmos. This video is 5 minutes long, but you need not watch the complete video to be in awe of our mighty Creator. I was left breathless by the video. I hope I did not violate anything by linking you to this awesome recording!

 Video Credit & Copyright: Christian Mülhauser; Music: Elemental by Pulse Faction; Path of Stars by Jonathan Geer

Aurora 2012 from Christian Mülhauser on Vimeo.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Eras and Music Converging in the Present

Long ago and far away there was a method of sharing sermons and encouragement called taping. Someone would set up a microphone attached to a tape recorder. When the speaker was finished the one with the equipment would make copies of the talking and sell or give them away on cassette tapes for the buyer to listen to at their leisure. :-) So old school!

I have quite a few of these old tapes. I have been trying to review them in this age of high tech so I can remember why I kept them in the first place! During my reviewing I came to some talks by Matilda Kipfer from meetings with Women's Aglow. Matilda taught us wonderful applications such as "when you wash the china, pray for China. When you sweep the floor spread around the Glory of God." She was always refreshing and inspiring. On this particular tape she encourages us to" hunger for God's Kingdom, not our own kingdom." Her power prayer hit me right in my life NOW:
" I do not want Jesus to die in vain in any area of my life."
If you pray that earnestly, you may be reminded of areas that you perhaps have not yet yielded to Him completely like I was. As I continued to confess that prayer the Lord began another deep work within me. Matilda says we should ask the Father to "work me over even in my sleep." She says the Church is to reflect the glory of His being. Our ministry is to release the life of God.

A few weeks after that, my friend, Tiffany, shared the music group she had heard about at a conference on the Holy Spirit.  Since the song was no longer available at Amazon as a download I purchased the CD. Powerful. holy stuff. Reminds me so much of "Refiner's Fire" that I have prayed/sung for years.



Song of Songs 8:6-7 (NRSV) Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death, passion fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, a raging flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If one offered for love all the wealth of one's house, it would be utterly scorned.
Matilda declares that Hell is afraid when I declare, "I do not want Jesus to die in vain in any area of my life." She encourages us to accept the responsibility and receive the responsibility of a whole person." I pray you will continue to ask the Lord Jesus to make you complete and entire in every way, lacking nothing." HEB 7:25, JAS 1:2-4 EPH 3:20


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Rest in the Word of Light

A short collection of Bible verses about the light. I suppose some would say I need a drawing of light on a larger scale, but a single candle speaks volumes to me!

Psalm 119:130 (NRSV) The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.


Isaiah 60:19 (NRSV)  The sun shall no longer be your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give light to you by night; but the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory.


Luke 1:78-79 (NRSV)  By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us,  
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace."


John 8:12 (NRSV)  Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life."



John 12:35-36 (NRSV)  Jesus said to them, "The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness may not overtake you. If you walk in the darkness, you do not know where you are going. While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of light." After Jesus had said this, he departed and hid from them.
Psalm 119:105 (NRSV)  Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.


Shine on, children of God!




Friday, February 10, 2012

One of Rowan's Favorite Songs











When this song starts up in the car Rowan immediately starts looking around. I think maybe he likes the opening melody. I, on the other hand, appreciate that God's love is relentless and He pursues me with a holy love I can barely comprehend. The song is entitled Birmingham (We are Safe) by David Crowder Band.  Long instrumental opening, but worth the wait I think!! Enjoy and soak up His love!

Your love is relentless
And I'm glad for it, I'm glad for it
Your love is relentless
I am glad

Your love is relentless
And if not for it, if not for it
I'd perish for sure
If not for it

(Pre-Chorus)
Savior for the faithful
We're in the hands of God

(Chorus)
Love has come
And we are safe
Hope has come
And we are safe

(Bridge)
We're in the hands of God, yea...
We're in the hands of God, yea...

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Garment of Royal Beauty

I have studying a mix of materials that all seem to be blending, over time, into a seamless garment of royal beauty. Last Spring I began reading Self Abandonment to Divine Providence also translated as The Sacrament of the Present Moment. I am also revisiting materials regarding Codependency and the 12 Steps. Throw in there a life long desire to cover The Imitation of Christ  and I have a heady mix going on.


I found the Imitation in a CD format, so I have been listening to that as well as looking up references in the printed version. Thomas a`Kempis wrote in Imitation "Inward Christians put their spiritual progress before all other concerns, and those who diligently attend to themselves seldom have much to say about others." Wow! He knew that self-care was important for the believer. How often do I put off my time with the Lord for silly things like getting the clothes into the dryer?
In the Sacrament of Present Moment  Claude De Caussade teaches: "If we do not concentrate entirely on doing the will of God we shall find neither happiness nor holiness, no matter what pious practices we adopt, however excellent they may be. If you are not satisfied with what God chooses for you, what else can please you?
Does the food prepared for you by God Himself disgust you?
Well, can you say what other food would not seem stale to someone with so perverted a taste?
We must realize that we cannot be really fed, strengthened, purified, enriched and made holy unless we fulfill the duties of the present moment.
What else do you want?
Why look elsewhere?
Are you wiser than God?
Why do you seek anything different from what He desires?
Do you imagine, considering His wisdom and goodness, that He can be wrong?
When you come across something ordained by this wisdom and goodness you must surely be convinced of its excellence.
Do you for one moment imagine you will find peace by resisting the Almighty? It is rather this resistance, which we often keep up without realizing it, that is the source of all our trouble."
It seems that present moment living is all the rage in some circles, but when I realized that De Caussade was promoting it in 1750, I have to ask, "How did we lose that idea?"
JPdC taught that the present moment is a sacrament from God and that self-abandonment to it and its needs is a holy state. How fitting for the 12 Steps! Step 3 reads "Made a decision to turn our will and lives over to the care of God as we understood God." That also requires obedience to the working of God within us in the most consistent way we possibly can. 

“Life can be found only in the present moment. The past is gone, the future is not yet here, and if we do not go back to ourselves in the present moment, we cannot be in touch with life,” Thich Nhat Hanh said. I cannot pronounce the man's name, but has me beat to pieces in his understanding of centering and getting still and quiet. For you see, I cannot even enter the present moment unless I can turn my attention to it. Taking charge of my attention and where my mind and soul go is my job.


When I entertain the "What ifs?" and "If only's" I leave the present moment for the future or the past. Yet God is present to me right now through the power of the Holy Spirit if I will but PAY ATTENTION. Sounds so simple. Very difficult to do at first try. He keeps showing me that if I will, as Brother Lawrence taught in  "Practice of the Presence of God" (1690s) I will find it the most delightful way of living and source of fulfillment and joy. I have been trying Lawrence's way of following God for decades.


This clock at Spring Grove Cemetery intentionally does not have hands, for the dead are no longer bound to  chronos, the measured, sequential time. And we who are alive can rise above that chronos way of living by entering the present moment and staying with Christ in it, abiding as He calls us to do. This is known as kairos time, the ordered but unmeasured sort of time, a life changing time.


So I continue to study and quiet myself and try to use what Richard Foster called "the center down silence" to quiet my heart and open my full attention to Christ. Does any of this resonate with your walk with the Almighty?



Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Light of the World 1




 "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness 
but will have the light of life." John 8:12
When I was young and first allowed to go to the library by myself I checked out a book written by a woman who was blind. The book told me of her everyday struggles and how she overcame them. To this day I wish I could remember the title. I'd love to go back and read it again as an adult! 

What an awful thing it would be to walk in darkness. Never knowing for certain what was where and which path was clear. My mother had a friend who was blind. I was fascinated by how she negotiated life and terrified of her all at the same time.
In this chapter of Connelly's book he challenges us to look at the discourse about Jesus claiming to be the Light of the World, John 8:12-30.

One reference Connelly does not use is one I have often been challenged to consider John 3: 19 regarding my own behaviors.  
"And this is the judgement, that light has come into the world, and 
people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil." 

If we are serious about following Christ and serving Him in this dark world, we must be willing to let all of our deeds be seen by the Lord under the scrutiny of His light. The Holy Spirit can and will lead us and guide us in this sort of exercise. The goal is not self-flagellation or shame. The purpose is to see where flesh crops up and where the leading of Christ prevails. Unless we are willing to see ourselves in His Light we may deceive ourselves as to Who we are serving.  The Word says I am to love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul and mind. My flesh is to be crucified with Christ. Coming to His light begins the process of seeing myself as clearly as I am able.
Are you walking in darkness or residing in His Light? Who is directing your steps most of the time? Some people pay for exposure to tanning lights. Our Lord offers the light of life to us for free as we exchange our life for His. I know from experience that His ways are higher than mine and His thoughts are higher than my thoughts. 

Oh lead us clearly, Gentle Shepherd, I pray.








Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Come Aside By Yourselves to a Deserted Place

Francis J. Roberts wrote a book entitled "Come Away My Beloved" and challenges us to stay in an intimate relationship with Jesus. On Page 178 using Mark 6:31 he writes a conversation where Jesus says, " 'When I said, "Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price' (Isa 55:1), I was not challenging you to fevered service but to contemplative fellowship and collective communion. Only thus are souls made strong, hearts made pure, and minds refreshed."

Have you given much thought to or have you purposed to find a place where you can go to Jesus and rest awhile?

Years ago, under Dan Cooksey's instruction I learned a principle I call "I DO." It simply means Jesus calls us to Intimacy, Dependence upon Him, and Obedience to Him. By often saying "I DO" to the Lord and reminding myself that my purpose as a Christian is to live out "I DO" in every aspect of my life I begin to participate in contemplative fellowship with Christ.

Roberts continues with "Your busyness wearies Me. Small wonder you are yourself fatigued! Your fretfulness grieves Me. I long to take it from you and give you instead the balm of Gilead...I will endow you with life so dynamic that you will serve Me before you have time to even think about putting forth the effort to do so..."

I pray you will use some time each day just to rest in Jesus, contemplate His call to you, choosing thereby to use your life for intimacy with Him. I am certain that doing this will lead you to an easier obedience to Him and clearer dependence upon Him for all things in life. He challenges us "to contemplative fellowship and collective communion." What might that look like if you put it into practice in your everyday affairs?

Monday, February 6, 2012

I am Living Water

Here is a great song by Fernando Ortego entitled "Jesus King of Angels." Our visit to Niagara Falls recently was prompted by the video camera my husband bought for me. I had always said, "Do not bring me back here unless I can borrow a video camera to record the view behind the falls." So he bought me a camera in anticipation of our trip to Ireland and promised to take me back to the view behind the falls.
When you arrive at the Park you purchase a ticket to take an elevator down, don a raincoat, and walk in tunnels behind and next to the falls. The camera was overwhelmed by the crashing roar of the waters, so I added the music to try to convey my sense of wonder while watching 600,000 gallons PER SECOND go over the precipice at Horseshoe Falls.
The Scriptures compare the sound to the voice of God.
Pause in wonder and worship as you watch.


(I have no idea where the Google ads come from or how to delete them! Try to ignore it and it will go away.)





Sunday, February 5, 2012

OOPS! Old brain makes another error!
My husband pointed out that I have been serving Christ since 1976 not 1996...Thank you, Dear, for that correction.
Thisis me last August with the sleeping Grandboy.

I Ams 5 Food Colors

 One of the new trends in dieting is to "eat
all the colors." How would that translate into a healthy spiritual diet?

I believe God likes variety and expects us to like it too. That means embracing change even in our life with Christ!


If I try to put God in a box and decide He will bless me if I do x- y-z everyday, He is most likely to quickly jump out of that box. One author said, "God likes to flatten boxes and use them as a dance floor!" He sure does!
So introducing variety to my spiritual life is good for us.

Some days He reminds me of a spiritual song or hymn. On really GOOD days, I can find a recording of that hymn quickly and worship with it. He sends me to great places of deeper understanding and comfort in that way.
Has a song come to your mind lately?
Have you looked for the lyrics?
Maybe the Lord is trying to tell you something!

So how does that work for me? When I first gave my heart back to the Lord in 1996, He directed me to this song. I do not even remember when I first heard it! This morning when I got up it was in my heart again. So I looked it up on You Tube for you. Now this is an OLD video of the original song, so brace yourself. No digital polish here. But there are many other listings of the same song on You Tube. If you would like to read the lyrics as it is sung choose one of those.


Jesus knows how to feed us and provide us with water the gushes up within us to eternity.
Ask Him how to enrich your diet. I would love to hear how He feeds ooyou in the comment section!  Thanks for reading along :-)



Saturday, February 4, 2012

I Ams 4 Healthy Diet



To feast upon the things of God requires some study and diligence on our part. Jesus gives us spiritual food that endures for eternity through reading or listening to things such as the Word, daily meditation upon titles like "My Utmost for His Highest" "Jesus Calling" "Come Away My Beloved" "God Calling". Authors such as Henri Nouwen, A.W.Tozer, Elizabeth Elliot and countless others, lead us to deeper understanding of our God and His will and His ways.