Showing posts from November, 2017

Freewrite Wednesday

It has been a long time. Or at least it seems like it has been a long time since I wrote anything here. I have been journaling a whole lot at I really enjoy that, and I have able to be private in my journaling. It is a lot like the seven years I spent doing the Bible Book Club. I would journal my thoughts online, and 3500 pages later, I had journaled through the whole Bible! Now, I am journaling through the life of Jesus in 30 days, and it has brought such joy to my heart. I love meditating in a passage and then praying through it. God has been uncannily meeting me. The passages he has given me have been PERFECT for the days challenges. How can anyone say there is not a God.

I have also been using this website to do an EXAMEN prayer in the evening or at least in the morning. Actually, the last few days, I have been taking a break in the middle of the day so that I can do a noon time EXAMEN. I have been reading The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, and her recommends doing…

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Lord, I so wish to prepare well for this time.
I so want to make all of me ready and attentive and available to you.
Please help me clarify and purify my intentions.
I have so many contradictory desires.
My activity seems to be so full of busyness
and running after stuff that doesn't really seem to matter or last.
I know that if I give my heart
whatever I do will follow my new heart.
May all that I am today,
all that I try to do today,
may all my encounters, reflections,
even the frustrations and failing
all place my life in your hands

Lord, my life is in your hands.
Please, let this day give you praise. 

from Prayers for the Domestic Church by Edward Hays

Story of the Samaritan

Moved in my heart this morning as I meditated on the story Jesus told after the lawyer asked him to tell him what he must do to inherit eternal life. 

Love the LORD your God with all your
Love your neighbor as yourself.

Praying for a loved one who has wounds and needs care. We need wisdom, Lord. 

60. A Simple Life-Changing Prayer by Jim Manney

The "Prayer of Examen" has always been somewhat of an enigma to me. I had done a modified version of it last fall when I read Beyond Loneliness by Trevor Hudson, and I posted a lot of my "Prayerful Reviews," and have done it sporadically, but after reading this book and also talking to my new spiritual director (who is the BOMB), Fran, I thought I would be more consistent with it, and it has been wonderful. 
I like to know the "why" behind all of this, and this book helps me understand it according to how St. Ignatius understood it. Manney gave me the freedom to do it the next morning rather than at the end of the day because I just don't have the energy, but I am an energizer bunny in the mornings! The EXAMEN is a great way to look at your day and bring God into every nook and cranny. 

All that to say, the EXAMEN is NOT for everyone, and I have had a quite vibrant prayer life without it! (My favorite prayer book is Kenneth Boa's masterful guided Sc…

61. Discovering Our Spiritual Identity: Practices for God's Beloved by Trevor Hudson

Hudson's writing style is so warm and engaging. This would be a good book to go through with people who have never had basic follow up in living the abundant life offered in Jesus. I love Hudson's "Beloved Charter," (I have a PDF of this if you want me to send it to you) and his many exercises spread throughout the book. 

It would be a nice thing to do as a group. For some, it would be very basic, but it would very helpful for those new to the faith or struggling with their identity in Jesus. 

62. God Soaked Life: Discovering Kingdom Spirituality by Chris Webb

I liked a lot about this book. I loved his writing. I loved his way of making Kingdom living more accessible for everyone. The books starts out pretty strong, but I think it sort of peters out at the end. I liked 75% of the book though, but if you really want a good treatise on Kingdom Spirituality, I would suggest reading The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard. He fleshes out these concepts much better, but The Divine Conspiracy is a much more difficult book to get through. This book is a "Kingdom Light" introduction, but, in my humble opinion, Dallas says it much better. I think if you want an introduction to Kingdom Spirituality a book by John Ortberg is a better one.

I REALLY disagreed with his conclusions in "The Great Commission" chapter. He quotes some "hugely influential Dutch statesman and church founder" who makes a comment about the Great Commission. I have been in missions circles for 40 years. I have never heard of this "hugely influen…

59. The Cycle of Grace: Living in Sacred Balance by Trevor Hudson and Jerry P. Haas

This is such a simple concept, but it makes sense. This simple model is "based on the Gospel explorations of a British psychiatrist by the name of Frank Lake and the well-known theologian Emil Brunner, this model describes the balanced rhythms in which Jesus of Nazareth lived and ministered" (p. 11). These researchers observed mission workers in India burning out quickly. "They saw that under stress, the mission workers' pattern of living differed from the pattern they witnessed in Jesus' life" (p. 18). The cycle illustrates the "continual resourcing of Jesus by the Spirit for Jesus' ministry with and to others" (p.11). 

It is funny because three years ago at a Prayer Summit, God gave me a similar "Cycle of Grace," but I love the way Hudson and Haas articulate this! 

The cycle consists of: 

Acceptance - Jesus had a clear sense of His identity and that the Father delighted in Him unconditionally.

Sustenance - Jesus had ongoing sustenance …

A Prayer to Begin Each Day

This is the prayer that begins each day of the Retreat in Everyday Life based on The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius

Background in The Exercises:
It will be very profitable for the one who is to go through the Exercises to enter upon them with magnanimity and generosity toward our Creator and Lord, and to offer Him our entire will and liberty, that His Divine Majesty will dispose of us and all we possess according to His most holy will. - the Spiritual Exercises # 5  

In the Preparatory Prayer I will beg God our Lord for grace that all my intentions, actions and operations may be directed purely to the praise and service of the Divine Majesty. - the Spiritual Exercises # 46
A Prayer From the Online Retreat from Creighton University based on the above:
Lord, I so wish to prepare well for this time. I so want to make all of me ready and attentive…

Friday Freewrite

My friend is an expert on the freewrite. Some have asked what that is. I like her tips for it. I started it when my kids were small. My son, Paul, hated doing it. As a 23 year old, he does a freewrite every day. Go figure!

What Return? Don't be Afraid

What return can I make to the Lord, for all God's goodness to me! (Psalm 116:12)
This is the verse that is guiding me as I go through Week 9 of the
Online Retreat God's Love for Us - Healing Mercy

Also, Don't be afraid. I have rescued you. I have called you by name; now you belong to me. To me, you are very dear. and I love you. I promised to save you, and I kept my promise. I am God now and forever. No one can snatch you from me or stand in my way.  Isaiah 43:1,4,12,13

Have the Glory (I Want to Be the Good Soil)

I want to be the good soil
That Your Word falls into
I want to be the good soil
Bearing 30, 60, 100 times more fruit

If I choose to die
Then I find real life
Cause I’m crucified
With the living Christ

Let my manner of living be a witness that Your alive (4X)
In my life would You have the Glory (4X)

(Chorus Leader Adds this)
The only way I look like you in the living is to choose the dying, I choose the dying
If the fruit’s gonna come from my life
Then I know that its gonna come when I die to myself
Now I lay me down to sleep
Now its time to die to me

My mind was made to think about you
My eyes were made to gaze upon you
My heart was made to love & adore you
My mouth was made to give you the glory

Face to Face

My Scriptures this morning to pray through in my prayer book could not have been more appropriate for my "fear of man"!

I will regard You as holy, Lord of hosts; You shall be my fear, And You shall be my dread (Isaiah 8:13)
You are the stability of my times, A wealth of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge. Fearing You, O Lord, is the key to this treasure. (Isaiah 33:6)
May I love my enemies, do good to those who hate me, bless those who curse me, and pray for those who mistreat me. May I do to others as I would have them do to me. (Luke 6:27-28, 31)
I look to you for my daily bread, to forgive me my debts as I also have forgiven my debtors. Do not lead me into temptation, but deliver me from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. (Matthew 6:11-13a Because I love you, You will deliver me; You will protect me, for I acknowledge Your name. I will call upon You, and You will answer me; You will be with me in trouble, You will deliver me and honor me. With lon…

Unlock the Door of My Heart

Unlock the Door of My Heart
Jesus said,
    "Your sins are forgiven;
        rise and walk."
Forgiveness is an unlocked door
    to walk through
        into a wide-whoopee-open world.
Forgiveness is a seed
    to water with new dreams and wild risks
        until it bears unexpected fruit.
Forgiveness is an enemy-friend
    to be born out of,
        a quietness beneath the clamor.
Forgiveness is a flower to smell,
    a wind at my back,
        a gull to scream with,
    a pain to laugh beneath,
        a burden that carries me.
It is becoming We
        becoming Yours.
Forgiveness is a song to sing.
    O Lord, un…

An Exercise in Seeing the Many Splendored Things

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

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:

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! (
Friends wh…

God's Intense Desire

“God has an intense desire to help us achieve the end for which God lovingly created us.”

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

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?

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,

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…