Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Making Our Lives Available to Others
One of the arguments we often use for not writing is this: "I have nothing original to say. Whatever I might say, someone else has already said it, and better than I will ever be able to." This, however, is not a good argument for not writing. Each human person is unique and original, and nobody has lived what we have lived. Furthermore, what we have lived, we have lived not just for ourselves but for others as well. Writing can be a very creative and invigorating way to make our lives available to ourselves and to others.
We have to trust that our stories deserve to be told. We may discover that the better we tell our stories the better we will want to live them.
What I gleaned from this devotional thought is the more we share our story, the better we will become at living our story. I believe this to be true. The more I share my life and daily happenings through blogging, personal friendships, and journaling the deeper I can go in the reflective process, which can lead to embracing the good in my life and letting go of the not so good. When I am journaling, I believe I am sharing my story with God, which does bring heart transformation.
A few questions to ponder and if you are bold to comment on:
What stops you from writing or blogging about your story?
How has sharing your story enriched your own journey?
Those who would like to go deeper with Henry Nouwen concerning our life story check out a Nouwen blog titled, Home Tonight. Another blog I would like to mention, for those who have a passion for prayer at marked by faith, yipeng has pulled together a list of prayer resources.
For the curious: I have finished one of the two papers I need done by Friday. The paper I just finished was to describe a current ethical situation I have recently experienced. This was a great task to view my own ethical values. I am now moving on to reading 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus to see what Paul has to say about pastoral ethical values. Thank you all for your prayers and encouragement, I will make it through.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
My husband and I went to a marriage retreat at the Quest Camp at Christopher Lake in Northern Saskatchewan this past weekend. The lake was still covered with ice. It was wonderful to go on a hike through the forest with my husband enjoying the outdoors after the long Prairie winter.
Walking in the forest was amazing and healing for my soul. After 27 years of being married this was the first time we have been on a retreat geared towards our marriage. I found it very relaxing and a great time to reconnect with my best friend.
I was viewing several blogs from the southern States tonight and spring has truly blossomed there. Here spring is just beginning.
A great Quote from the Wizard of Oz: "A vacation is what you take when you can't take what you have been taking any longer!"
Over the last month life has not been easy in my home, I have alluded to this numerous times in earlier posts. My youngest daughter, 21, is bi-polar and has made choices in her life that have caused chaos to enter our family. It is amazing how our decisions not only affect us personally they affect those around us, if only we could realize the impact while we are making daily choices.
I have noticed recently several of my blogger friends have written about how the negative words of our mouth and heart have a huge impact on our life. My daughter’s self-talk can be such a downer, for herself and our family.
In the book of Psalm and Proverbs the words of our mouth and the meditations of our hearts are a central theme. God knows how he wired us!
What I have experienced is how the negative talk has affected every aspect of my own life. What I am learning to do is rise above the chaos and negativity by journaling about everything, getting it out of my heart, mind, and soul onto paper. Sharing my journey verbally with others at times can be helpful, but when it is intense and is full of prolonged grief and sadness, it can become exhausting to share.
Here is what Henry Nouwen has to say about writing to release the negative impulses that are caused from a stressful life:
Writing to Save the Day
Writing can be a true spiritual discipline. Writing can help us to concentrate, to get in touch with the deeper stirrings of our hearts, to clarify our minds, to process confusing emotions, to reflect on our experiences, to give artistic expression to what we are living, and to store significant events in our memories. Writing can also be good for others who might read what we write.
Quite often a difficult, painful, or frustrating day can be "redeemed" by writing about it. By writing we can claim what we have lived and thus integrate it more fully into our journeys. Then writing can become lifesaving for us and sometimes for others too.
Tamara has been in the hospital for the last month and will be coming home on Friday. My prayer for her is that she will realize how her thoughts and words reflect everything about her life. My desire is that my positive attitude will override her negative responses, to bring about change. I do need to remember as she reminds me daily, it will be small steps toward wholeness.
I have not posted about this situation because it is still such a sensitive topic. I asked Tamara if I could post about her disease and she thought it was a great idea. In her words, "Mom, my illness has affected our family and others."
Concerning the picture at the beginning of this post: On Friday, I purchased a beautiful journal, titled Spirit of Flight by Josephine Wall. My first thought when I picked up the journal was how the picture reminded me of the character profile of Sarayu (the Holy Spirit) from the book, The Shack. It does feel like my life is in total chaos, but I know God is creating a beautiful garden. The journal will be my safe place to release my fears and concerns I face daily, as I walk along side my daughter through her journey.
Sorry for the long post. My desire is to write further about brain chemistry disorders in the future. I currently have two books I would like to write reviews on: This is Your Brain on Joy, by Dr. Earl Henslin and Blue Genes, by Dr. Paul Meier. As for my papers and classes the journey has been slow for me. My prayer is now that the chaos has stilled, I will be able to focus on writing.
One more thought from Henry Nouwen: Writing, Opening a Deep Well
Writing is not just jotting down ideas. Often we say: "I don't know what to write. I have no thoughts worth writing down." But much good writing emerges from the process of writing itself. As we simply sit down in front of a sheet of paper and start to express in words what is on our minds or in our hearts, new ideas emerge, ideas that can surprise us and lead us to inner places we hardly knew were there.
One of the most satisfying aspects of writing is that it can open in us deep wells of hidden treasures that are beautiful for us as well as for others to see.
Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
The wise in heart are called discerning, and pleasant words promote instruction.
Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
Love to all of you.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
I just listened to her message again, and I can see how God's Spirit has been working in my life over the last three month's. I do not want to be one of the sleeping virgins Jesus talks about in Matthew 25. I desire to be fully awake to what God is doing in our world.
Jesus wake our spirits up, let us be in tune to what you are doing in the world. Let us all be awake and walking fully alive in our new life in Christ. Amen!
And remember the cream is rising to the top!
Oh, one more thing...The new song on my player fits the posts I have read today! It is kinda lame but to the point, and it made me smile!
Love to each of you!
P.S. Blogger won't let me change the font...so this message is bold in many ways!
Sunday, April 19, 2009
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.”
Basically, be open to whatever God brings your way, to do your best through His Holy Spirit, bringing glory to Him! Amen.
No longer can we just give only parts of ourselves, we need to give all that we can to further the God's kingdom here on earth. It is time for the body of Christ to walk in complete maturity. Not in fear of stepping out, but through God's power, love, and self-control.
"For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline."2 Timothy 1:7
In what way have you made a difference in someones life? Have you given your best in all you have accomplished today?
Love to all...
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Genesis 1:6 - When The Skies Were Created
And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
Through the power of God's word and wisdom, the skies were spread out to divide the waters from the waters. (Job 37:18; Psalm 33:6; 136:5; Jeremiah 10:12).
The You Tube clip is amazing on how the Sky is yet another body of fluid. I am in awe! Check out it onProvident 360
I have always wondered what divide the waters from the waters meant...Amazing!
I believe God is going to use Provident 360 to touch many around the world. I felt a call to pray for the nations while visiting.
Another site to check out for the prayer warriors among us: Way of a Pilgrim
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. "The LORD is my portion," says my soul,"therefore I will hope in him." Lamentations 3:22-24
My focus this weekend will be on the wonderful hymn, "Great is Thy Faithfulness." God truly has been faithful each morning! His sweet mercies flow upon my home and life daily. I can honestly say, after journeying through the last two weeks of my life, I have placed my hope in Him.
Great is Thy Faithfulness
Great is thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
there is no shadow of turning with thee;
thou changest not, thy compassions, they fail not;
as thou hast been thou forever will be.
Great is thy faithfulness! Great is thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
all I have needed thy hand hath provided;
great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!
Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
sun, moon and stars in their courses above
join with all nature in manifold witness
to thy great faithfulness, mercy and love. Refrain
Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
thy own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!
Father in Heaven thank you for your faithfulness each day. Thank you that you do not change and your mercies are new each always. Hide us under the shadow of Your wings where we can find refuge from the storms that come across our souls. Thank you that we can trust in Your faithfulness moment by moment. Where we find strength and hope to continue on in Christ finishing this race of life well. Jesus in your name I pray. Amen.
Tonight listening to DAB (Daily Audio Bible) Brian Harden asked a question:
"What is it in your life you are not willing to give up to follow Christ?"
A few other thoughts from Brian's message:
1. Following Christ means we will be willing to put all areas in our life into order and we must be ready to give up everything to follow Him. This means giving up anything that has become an idol in our life.
2. To become people of prayer we must be willing to align ourselves with God and be specific in our requests. These are principle keys we need, to accomplish great things in advancing the kingdom of God.
I long to be a person who is constantly soaking in God's word, willing to be open to the Holy Spirit revealing the idols in my life, to be a woman of prayer, and most of all to follow Jesus with all my heart. I am asking God to reveal what has been separating me from Him, or what has been exalted in my life that has become an idol.
Love to all who read my meandering thoughts.
Oh, for the curious, the picture was taken last year in Victoria, B.C. Canada.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
"Take care and be earnestly on your guard not to forget the things which your own eyes have seen, nor let them slip from your memory as long as you live, but teach them to your children, and your children's children. " -- Deuteronomy 4:9
My life over the last few weeks has been full of difficulty. Through the deep waters of struggle and uncertainty, what I have noticed, is how God is using me to touch others with His love and peace.
Over the years, even though I dislike hardship, what I have experienced is God's faithfulness, and closeness during the struggles of life. I have also been aware lately that this is when my witness of what Christ has done for me has been the most evident.
If you are experiencing a hardship in your life, I encourage you to keep your eyes focused on Christ, He will not leave you or forsake you. God is faithful and always with you. And through the craziness of the struggle God will use you when your focus is on Christ to bring hope to others who are trying to make sense through the "why's" of life.
Psalm 32:7 (ESV) You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance.
Jesus thank you for all that you have done on the cross and for the power of your resurrection. You have given to us the same power through Your Holy Spirit.
Many struggle in this world, often alone. Jesus be with those who are broken today, encourage them and give them hope. You are our hiding place and our hope in this world full of hardship.
Thank you for being our deliverer and redeemer. Keep our eyes focused on You and grant to us eyes to see and ears to hear what You are saying to us today. In Your name Jesus I pray. Amen.
"Have you heard the good news?
The risen Christ has come among us;
He is risen from the dead and has brought us new life.
Do not let your hearts be troubled, do not be afraid,
He casts out fear, clams our doubts, dispels our confusion,
He comes with infinite love and compassion,
he is the way the truth, and the life,
He opens a doorway to God’s resurrection world,
and calls us to new life in God’s everlasting love."
By Christine Sine
Love to all who read this...robin
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Resource from Mustard Seed Associates A Journey Into God's Resurrection-Created World. An Easter Celebration Guide
A summary from the web page: This Easter guide provides a focus on different areas of celebration for each of the seven weeks of Easter—the celebration of God’s love for us, Christ’s call to compassion, hospitality, community, health and wholeness, the blossoming of creation, the communion table feast. The last section focuses on the celebration of Pentecost.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Since 1999, I have felt the hunger and passion to pray for my nation and the world. My prayer is God will continue to draw me to be a watchman on the wall. I pray the spirit of intercession will fall upon me in even a stronger way.
I feel called, but have no idea where God is leading me with this deep passion, so I will continue to pray on my own in my prayer closet until He reveals more.
If you have thoughts on 24/7 prayer and watchmen for the nations please comment.
“If men would pray as they ought to pray, the marvels of the past would be more than reproduced. The Gospel would advance with a facility and power it has never known. Doors would be thrown open to the Gospel, and the Word of God would have a conquering force rarely if ever known before.” E. M. Bounds
Saturday, April 04, 2009
Without complaining or whining, my spirit knows it time to get serious about the papers that are due in three weeks. I am blessed to have an office at home and at the church to escape to during my hiatus. I am still going to listen to the Daily Audio Bible DAB during the break from the internet.
If you are lead to pray for me, please pray the young adults in my home will pick up some of the workload like cleaning bathrooms, vacuuming, and preparing meals. If they do not we are going to go hungry and live in a mess!
I posted a month ago about a young mom and her two children who moved into my home. They are still with us and life has been full. They will be moving out April 9th. Please pray the mom can retrieve her belongings (long story). Pray all the details for this young fatherless family will fall into place.
I need to finish my class well, there are four papers due by May 1. My next class starts on May 1 and there are two pre-class papers due on May 1. I am feeling overwhelmed. I am two classes away from a degree in Ministry. I thought when I started this journey by the end of the course writing would become easier...NOT! I feel more under attack now then in the beginning. I need to finish this race well.
I was asked to speak on April 16 at a senior's Easter banquet. I need inspiration!
I did ask Sasha (the mom) last week if she noticed anything different about living in our home. I asked her this, from a question I read in a devotional last week: "If someone was to enter your life for a week what would they experience?" Well, Sasha has been in my life for a month and her answer blessed my heart. She said life with us is full of peace, there is no chaos. Even when things are confusing there is peace. Evidence God's peace is within us, and within my home.
I will miss everyone...but I will be back and perhaps will have a good story to share. I do have many rambling around within my mind but no time to write them.
With Love and Pax (Latin for Peace)
On Monday March 30, I received the Spanish Dart Award from Alleluibelle at Humble as I go.
Alleluibelle you have been a true encourager of the heart. I look forward to your comments and reading your blog. If you are reading this post Alleluibelle has a wonderful heart that loves to Praise her God, her site is worth checking out.
"Spanish Darts Award" is also known as "Premo Dardos", which means "Prize Darts" in English. It's given for recognition of cultural, ethical, literary and personal values transmitted in the form of creative and original writing.
Here are some important things that went with this award:
1. Accept the award by posting it on your blog along with the name of the person that has granted the award and link to his/her blog.
2. Pass the award to other blogs that are worthy of this acknowledgement, remembering to contact each of them to let them know they have been selected for this award.
I am still new to commenting and building community on the net. There are several blogs that I enjoy reading and here a couple that I frequently visit and get excited about. I proudly pass this award on to:
A Journey Through His Garden, Yvette is an amazing writer/poet. Her heart is open to what God is doing in the world. Her poetry is remarkable. Love to you Yvette as you continue to write and explore the world around you.
The Heaven’s Declare, Joanne sees the creative beauty of God’s handiwork within the cosmos. Her pictures reveal that our God is a mystery and more than we can comprehend. Love to you Joanne as you continue to see God in your work.
My Big Three, Monica enjoys taking on creative writing challenges. She loves God with all of her heart and soul. Her writing inspires and encourages. Her big three are: The Advancement of the Gospel, The Building Up of His Church, and The Glory of His Name. Love to you Monica as continue to take on the challenges before you.
I am excited to have found a community of believers who love to write about their journey with their Heavenly Father. I look forward to growing with and getting to know each one of you better through your blogs. There are several blogs from High Calling Blogs who I could have given this award to.
My prayer for the three ladies I have awarded the Spanish Dart Award to, is that God will use their blogs to touch the lives of many who need to know and experience the love of our God.