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An Exercise in Seeing the Many Splendored Things

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Eight days ago I posted the poem, "The Kingdom of God in No Strange Land."

It was based on a praxis assignment for the Renovaré Institute where we were, like the poet, to see "Jacob's Ladder" running from heaven to our everyday life. I have loved it. I wrote my praxis answer more than a week ago, and there have been so many sightings of Jacob's Ladder since then. But I am going to post what I wrote. It will be nice to have it here. God continues to shine His Kingdom right where I am. 



"'Tis ye, 'tis your estranged faces, 


That miss the many-splendored thing."


These lines intrigued me. I have long believed that God is constantly trying to capture our attention, and it is because we are "estranged" that we miss "the many-splendored thing" He is trying to reveal to us. 


Ever since I read The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence in my 20's, and I was crying while walking back on a cold, winter's evening at…

I Want So to Belong

O God, I want so to belong;
teach me to accept.
I want to be close;
teach me to reach out.
I want a place where I am welcome;
teach me to open my arms.
I want mercy;
teach me to forgive.
I want beauty;
teach me honesty.
I want peace;
show me the eye of the storm.
I want truth;
show me the way to question
my unquestionable convictions.
I want joy;
show me the way of deeper commitment.
I want life;
show me how to die.
Loder, Ted Guerillas of Grace (San Diego, CA: LuraMedia, 1984) p.72.

Prayerful Review of My Week

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I have being doing the Examen prayer with George verbally since Wednesday (because he has been sick so he has been working remotely - yay). But I am going to journal about some things. :)

I don't have to be to work until 9:15, and I have already done my attendance from last week (usually I wait until the last minute and do it right before I go to teach the next class but got smart and did it last Wednesday). So, I am going to spend some extended journaling time. 

By the way, here is a handout I developed for the Examen based on Trevor Hudson's adaptations and from reading A Simple Life-Changing Prayer by Jim Manney:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/pgqxqof95pa5cam/A%20Prayer%20Review%20Handout.docx?dl=0


Things I am grateful for:
George being home more
Peace in our home
Who He made me to be (more about that in the life-giving section)
The 34 Week Online Retreat for Everyday Life from Creighton University! (http://onlineministries.creighton.edu/CollaborativeMinistry/cmo-retreat.html)
Friends wh…

God's Intense Desire

“God has an intense desire to help us achieve the end for which God lovingly created us.” http://onlineministries.creighton.edu/CollaborativeMinistry/dearlord3.html

Online Retreat Week 3 Context for the quote above:
Let’s let the background of this whole week be two wonderful imaginative reflections: To simply walk around, doing all that I do each day, more and more conscious of why I was created: To give praise to God.
To revere God: to grow in awe and love for God.
To be of service: in God’s service. To  notice the rest of creation more consciously, and how all that I notice is intended by God to help me — it is all created for me.Again, this is about gratitude. We want to appreciate, to become more sensitive to and more aware of something about God: God has an intense desire to help us achieve the end for which God lovingly created us. So, by our thinking and watching this week we are coming to know God better.

Ignatian Retreat Week For Everyday Life Weeks 1 & 2

I love these exercises! I realize how important the "Life Experiences" section of SHAPE is, and how I have not been able to do it in TOAG over the last few years due to time. Reviewing this has been so good. I remembered more and more things from my early years this time around. 

These are a few random things from the direction for Week 1:


Let this be the image: This week, let’s go through the photo album of our life. Let’s go back to our earliest memories. Let’s let the Lord show us our lives. What pictures are there? With each part of my life, what scenes do I remember? Who is in those scenes? Some photos will be of happy times, some will be quite sad, others will be difficult to recollect at all. They all constitute our story and the journey that has brought us to where we begin this retreat.
Take it easy. Go slowly. Take a little bit each day. Being faithful to this exercise will help tremendously to prepare for the weeks ahead. Write do…

The Kingdom of God in No Strange Land

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This is about finding God in everyday life. Francis Thompson wrote this while a homeless drug addict in London. Meditate on this. What do you think?

THE KINGDOM OF GOD
In No Strange Land by Francis Thompson

O world invisible, we view thee,
O world intangible, we touch thee,
O world unknowable, we know thee,
Inapprehensible, we clutch thee!

Does the fish soar to find the ocean,
The eagle plunge to find the air—
That we ask of the stars in motion
If they have rumour of thee there?

Not where the wheeling systems darken,
And our benumbed conceiving soars!—
The drift of pinions, would we hearken,
Beats at our own clay-shuttered doors.

The angels keep their ancient places;—
Turn but a stone and start a wing!
’Tis ye, ’tis your estranged faces,
That miss the many-splendoured thing.

But (when so sad thou canst not sadder)
Cry;—and upon thy so sore loss
Shall shine the traffic of Jacob’s ladder
Pitched betwixt Heaven and Charing Cross.

Yea, in the night, my Soul, my daughter,
Cry,…

It is Well - Sunday Morning Fifteen Minute Freewrite

What a great week. It was full, but I had many days of rest and sustaining sprinkled throughout the week.

It was especially full on Saturday. I was a little leery about how busy it would be, but I allowed for time in my schedule today SABBATH REST (the Cycle of Grace Sustaining after a Cycle of Grace Significance/Fruitful time).

Of course it started with time with God, Morning Affirmations and Stretch (M.A.S.S.), and a prayerful review of my previous day with GEORGE. Sometimes I write it on this blog, but most days, I just pray, and I love it when George is home to do it with him.  Thank you, Fran, for doing it with your husband and giving me the idea to do it with mine!

Then I took a Face to Face Prayer Walk before an important leader in an influential church came to visit. God spoke to me MANY years ago about this church, and I have been praying into this for that long.  It has been so wonderful to see God speak and act, and this was the culmination as God spoke to this leader to come…

REPOST OF MY 2017 GOALS

How am I doing, LORD?

January 1, 2017 POST:

Teala and I are on our 21st year of having a Day of Prayer at the sorority she is currently working at (with the exception of the two years we were in Malaysia at which time I had it remotely).

The word for the year is SIMPLE. I had all sorts of thoughts about GOALS for the year, but God said to keep it simple. So, I have "Seven Simple Scripture Steps for '17!"
1.Cease striving (be still, let go, relax) and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. (Psalm 46:10)
(Stilling my heart before Him, not rushing ahead of His plan for my day but being still so I can listen)
2. Continually seek His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things shall be provided to you. (Matthew 6:33)
(Moment by moment seeking)
3. Blessed are those who hear the word of God, and obey it. (Luke 11:28)
(Daily listening and obeying - no more, no less)
4. And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and wi…

Friday Fifteen Freewrite (Prayerful Review)

These days are so good. I made a very firm decision about staying with the Renovaré Institute. I love so much about it, and this whole INCLUSION thing is a want, but it is not a need. He finally spoke toward the end of my month of meditation in Psalm 23. 

The LORD is my shepherd I DO NOT WANT

Another way to look at the Hebrew construction of that first verse. The Message says, "I have all that I need,", and I really DO have all that I need. I even have a "prayerful community." I even have found a Spiritual Director who I think is a perfect fit for me. Nancy telling me that I have had SO MANY wise, older people who have poured into my life. Most people have never had that, and I have had them in ABUNDANCE. So, this whole INCLUSION thing is a greediness issue! 
I also asked God about this whole INCLUSIVENESS thing, and I know that Renee did listening prayer with me in 2015 at Rusty's conference about the "my high school friends leaving me alone behind the footba…

Freewrite Fifteen

12:38 pm

I have been processing and processing some more. I processed with many friends, and I also processed with two graduates of the program. I think I got to the bottom of my pain. 
I also talked with the person I most connected with at the residency. So, I loved her reflections and affirmations. So, it will send me over the edge in the direction of staying. 
Lorraine was the only one who thinks I shouldn't. She thinks I have so much already happening here and does not think I need it.
George thinks I need to just listen and obey. It is that simple. I am still trying to hear what He is saying to me. I am so happy to do whatever God tells me to do; one way or the other.
SO here I am on a Sabbath Saturday. I am SO HAPPY to just be having to do NOTHING. Yesterday ended up being a lot of things to do. I processed with someone for two hours on the phone about spiritual warfare. It was good. I talked to a possible Spiritual Director, and I think that she is a YES. I felt like we really c…

Trying to Get to the Bottom of this Need to Belong

I love so much about this Institute I am in. I love the readings we have been doing. I love the academic question every month. This last one, about living in the Kingdom of God was really, really fun for me to write (even though it took all day). I loved the interaction that I had with those who did respond to my posted question, and I especially loved the response from the grader for this portion of the institute. But the community in general didn't really respond to what I said, they all had a great time with each other talking, but other than two people, my answer was just ignored. The same was true for my practice answer. We were supposed to write about a phrase from Psalm 23 that really hit us, and only one person responded. (And that person is someone I really liked from the Institute.) 

Why does it matter to me?
I have such wonderful community here, and I can talk about these things with them. In fact, I met with one of those small groups on Friday, and we prayed through Psal…

My Belovedness Charter

My princess, I have given you the names Carol and Boldly Beloved for a reason. You are a wonderful creation of mine, and I am with you always as your victorious, quietly loving, warrior, empowering you to be bold and rejoicing over you with songs and shouts of joy (and your earthly father was listening to Me when he changed your name to Carol without even knowing it meant "Song of Joy"). On top of all this, I want you to know there is no condemnation from Me because you are in Christ Jesus, you are free from the critique of men, living only to please and delight Me as your audience of One. Nothing, absolutely nothing, will separate you from My love in Christ Jesus.

Saturday Sixteen Minute Freewrite

7:00 am, and GO!

Here is go with 16 minutes of furiously typing on the keyboard. :) 
Bummer about my toe after 30 days of walking around the campus and praying God's Kingdom come there, that I would break my toe. I must realize that GOD IS GOOD and SOVEREIGN, and there is a reason I am not to walk 21 miles this morning.

So, I am brining my bike, and I am probably going to bike three laps to their one lap around. This is a big undertaking, and I heard God say to do 21 miles, but it will be on wheels rather than on my feet!
So, here are the other things that I am thinking of this morning. Regarding the whole thing about the Residency. I do not need to feel GUILTY that I have done most of these things. I do not need to feel GUILTY that I don't have anymore false narrative floating around after 35 years of seeking God's true narratives (I think the main false narrative is that in order to fit in with the other participants, I have to act like all this stuff is new to me, and it is…

58. If We Make It Home by Nelson

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This book uses an alternating first person point of view narrative for three college friends reunited after twenty-five years apart. I didn't really identify with any of the three main character, but eventually, I found myself interested in their stories and where they would all end up in the end.

I think this is a very good first novel for this new author! I loved the Oregon setting for the adventure that these women are taken on. There were a couple of things that I thought were a bit far-fetched, and I would have liked a little more development of the "why" behind what happened in order to make it seem a bit more plausible. But all that aside, I enjoyed the book and was glad I read it!

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Kregel Publications and was under no obligation to post a review, positive or negative.*

57. Bella Poldark by Winston Graham

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Did I really not review this book! It is the final in the beautiful series of 12 books. I will so miss these characters! It is worth the 6064 pages of reading. Winston Graham does a lovely job of wrapping up all the stories for each main character. Really enjoyed the whole series.


Friday Freewrite Fifteen

Trusting God is a totally safe place to be. I am just processing on this keyboard without stopping for fifteen minutes. I am reclining with my toe elevated because I broke it. Silly me. It found the post that holds up my kitchen island. I am almost humored by it. It is not incredibly painful (at least not until about 11:30 pm last night when I had to take the "buddy tape" off because I think it was swelling beyond it). I just hope I can still prayer walk on Saturday.

This week was "Synthesis Week" for the Renovaré Institute that I attended last week in Santa Barbara. I feel sort of like I cheated. Because we have had "Kingdom Communities" in place since 2009, we know what it is like to live in the reality of a "community of prayerful love" full of Kingdom Seekers. I am so grateful for the community that we have here in Corvallis. So, I was sort of lonely at the Institute. Like I was an outsider looking in at people coming to the realization that …