Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Wednesday Morning Freewrite: State of the Well



Let's see if I can actually cover all four areas in one fifteen minute freewrite. I have not done a freewrite in so long, and I miss the process. Thank you, Julie Bogart, for introducing me to this. My kids never particularly liked it in homeschooling, but I love it.

Timer is poised at 15 minutes. So, like the "State of the Union" address, I will report on the state of the "Well" (see title of my blog to understand that one). 

Well-Tuned Body

My back has gone from having a 2-3 cm heel lift in my left shoe for 35 years to having a 5-6 mm lift! I am making progress. Those lifts were my downfall. I am loving the greater mobility and strength that I am gaining. 

I have a new strength program based on the book to the left. I saw Elizabeth Hasselbeck's workout from a clip on The View. (I do not even watch that show. So I have no recollection of how I came across the video segment from her workout.)

I had been lifting through the machines at Snap Fitness, but I kept on injuring myself doing it. I realized the longest time I went without injuring myself was when I was doing deadlifts in my Group Power class (or The Firm videos), but I am no longer at that club, and The Firm videos have really changed for the WORSE! I did get an old one that had been converted to a DVD, but I totally dislike the newer ones. This workout is overall body, and it gets at my problem areas of weakness, mostly using my own body weight as what I am lifting, so I can do them anywhere I happen to be. Win-win.


I am doing great on my weight. Kept off my 30 pound weight loss, give or take five pounds since April 5, 2013!  I am really happy. I had wanted to get to five pound below my ideal weight (168) for our trip in three weeks, and that is doable. I have been taking allergy medicine though, and that makes me ravenous! But I feel trim and wonderful. I just wanted to get lower than normal so I could eat sachertorte and apple strudel to my heart's content, but my doctor pointed out that I will be walking every day. So, I shouldn't need to worry. Good point!

Well-Educated Mind

I am officially dropping out of my Book Dames Book Club for a sabbatical while I read other things. I just cannot keep up with the reading there and all the other reading we do for our ministry involvement. I am also writing out Creation to Christ/Jesus Stories, and that is educating my mind and heart at the same time.

Also, the book club is reading books I have already analyzed and discussed but do not necessarily want to reread. So, I will take a sabbatical and then reevaluate next spring as that is when we will be done with our ministry involvement! I do love those ladies and will probably miss them. I do not miss the other book club I dropped out of two years ago at all. 

I love to read though, but it is my year of spiritual reading! That has been so beneficial to my soul!

Well Watered Soul

Speaking of my soul, I love my life. I love the year He has me on as I have focused more on prayer this year. I have been reading rich prayer classics, and my favorite one this year has definitely been God Guides. Such a simple concept to "Listen and Obey," but as that sweet disciple in the Philippines says, "Some Christians don't get it" (he said it in a very cute non-native speaker way, but I cannot find what he wrote). I would say that is true. I will also say it is a spiritual discipline to stop long enough to really listen to the Lord. That is why I am trying to be intentional about sitting down with pen and journal and waiting on the Lord to speak. Then writing it down. 



Well Adjusted Heart

I have been really well until yesterday. I got really frustrated that my son has to do a writing test for this high school when he has straight A's in college with this dual enrollment he has. I will not review all the horrors of yesterday, but some things make no sense, and the rules are so dumb. Obviously, he can write. So, it is just another hoop, but hopefully, it is the last hoop he will have to jump through to get both his A.A. and his high school diploma at the same time.

I also injured my back and have allergies. So, my mental health reached a frustration point yesterday that I usually do not reach or have not for many months! I decided that staying inside due to allergies is not good for my mental health, and I am going out and would rather feel sick in my body than sick in my heart. 

Update: After my quiet time in Mark 5:1-20, God reminded me that I did not put in a major player in my day. Must of my mental frustration yesterday was due to spiritual attack. I prayed some bold prayers in the morning, and the enemy did not like it. I give glory to God because when I was finally tired of the onslought of the enemy, I prayed a bold prayer against the enemy in the car on my way to speaking on a panel, and it lifted. I give glory to God and repent of my laziness about putting on my spiritual armor on a daily basis (Ephesians 6). I should know better. I have been in this place before, but sometimes I do not always put 2 and 2 together! 

So there you go. I have 22 seconds to spare (with a few stops and starts for various things I needed to do this morning).

I am happy today, and I plan on staying that way regardless of what comes my way! 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Luke 23:33-43 -- Remember Me

HIS WORDS


When they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. 

But Jesus was saying, Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” 

And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves. And the people stood by, looking on. And even the rulers were sneering at Him, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the Christ of God, His Chosen One.”

The soldiers also mocked Him, coming up to Him, offering Him sour wine, and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself!” 

Now there was also an inscription above Him, “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”

One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!”

But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 

And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” 

And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”

MY WORDS

When they arrived at the place called Skull Hill, they crucified Him with one criminal on His right and the other on His left. 

Jesus prayed, Father, please forgive them; they do not know what they are doing."

The soldiers divided up Jesus' clothes and threw dice for them. The people stood there staring at Jesus, and the ringleaders made faces, taunting and saying, "Jesus saved others. Let's see if He can save Himself! Sure, He's the Messiah of God. Sure, He's the chosen." 

The soldiers mocked Him. They gave Him sour wine and said, "So You're the King of the Jews! Save Yourself!"

There was a sign over Him that read, "THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS." 

One of the criminals mocked Him saying, "Are you not the Anointed One? Save Yourself and us."

The other rebuked him saying, "Do you not fear God, for you will be condemned. We are suffering because we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong." 


Then he said, "Jesus remember men when you enter your kingdom."

He said, "Don't worry, I will. Today, you will join me in paradise."

I WILL

REST because it is "Saturday in the Tomb" day since last Holy Saturday before Easter was anything but restful, I have cleared my calendar to rest and reflect. Thank You, Jesus for meeting me in the very early hours of Saturday morning with a reminder of paradise in Your kingdom!


Luke 18:9-14 -- The Pharisee and the Tax Collector

HIS WORDS

And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’ 

But the tax collector,standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’ 


I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”


MY WORDS

Jesus told a story to those who were complacently pleased with themselves over their moral performance and assumed they were in right standing before God because of it and looked down at the common people: "Two men went up to the Temple to pray, one was a religious man called a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee prayed like this: 'Oh God, I thank You that I am not like other people -- robbers, crooks, adulterers, or even like this tax collector here. I fast twice a week; I pay tithes on all my income.'

"But the tax collector was standing a distance away and could not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but kept striking his breast, saying, 'O God, be gracious to me because I am a wicked sinner.'"

Jesus said, "I tell you, the tax collector went back to his home forgiven and in right standing before God, rather than the other man; for everyone who lifts himself up will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be raised to a position of dignity and honor. 

I WILL

Pray and listen to God about this one! :) 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

3: NOAH - How God Saved One Family - Genesis 5:28-9:17



This story starts at 8:10

Here is another storyteller's version: https://vimeo.com/78321561


HIS WORDS: Genesis 5:28-9:17

MY WORDS

In place of my own paraphrase, I typed out J.O. Terry's words from a book about oral storytelling called God and Woman. 

(On the copyright page, full permission is given for the story lessons to be "reproduced, photocopied, translated into other languages, or adapted in part or the whole, for the glory of God and to the benefit of women living in oral cultures. . .")


"How God Saved One Family"

One of Seth's descendants was a man named Noah which means comfort because his parents said "he will comfort us in the labor and painful toil of our hands because the earth was cursed by the Lord." At that time there were many men and women living on the earth. They were doing things not pleasing to God. God saw their wickedness and that their hearts were filled with evil thoughts. Because of their great wickedness, God was going to destroy all people that He had created and all the animals and birds from the face of the earth.

But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord for he was a righteous man and blameless among the people of his day. It was said that Noah "walked with God." Noah had a wife and three sons: Japheth, Shem, and Ham. So God said to Noah, "I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence and their wickedness. So make yourself an ark (boat) of wood with rooms inside it. Seal it with pitch (tar) inside and out." God also said, "I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life. Everything on earth with the breath of life will perish.


But I will establish my covenant with you. And you will enter the ark with your wife and your sons and your sons' wives. You are to bring into the ark two of every kind of creature -- a male and a female of all animals and every kind of food for them and for your family" Noah did everything just as God commanded him. Then the Lord said, "Go into the ark and take your whole family because I have found you righteous among all the people. Seven days from now I will send rain upon the earth." So Noah took his wife and his sons Japheth, Shem, and Ham, and his sons' wives, eight in all, and entered the ark, along with all the animals. Then the Lord closed the door.

It happened as the Lord said. It began to rain for 40 days and nights. The heavens burst open and every living thing with the breath of life perished except those safe with Noah inside the ark. The waters continued a long time until God remembered Noah and sent a wind over the earth to dry the waters.

One day Noah sent out a raven to see if the earth were dry. Again he sent out a dove which brought back a leaf in its beak. Then Noah knew the earth was dry at last. God said to Noah, "Come out of the ark, you and your wife, your sons and your sons' wives. Bring out all the animals." 

Noah built an altar to the Lord and offered a thanksgiving sacrifice. God was pleased and promised never again to destroy the earth by water. Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, "Have many children and replenish the earth. Everything that lives and moves will now be food for you. But you must not eat meat that still has lifeblood in it." And God placed the rainbow in the sky as a sign of God's covenant with man. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, people will remember God's covenant with Noah never to destroy the earth again by water. 

I WILL (DID)

Do EVERYTHING the Lord commands me to do today. No partial obedience. Listen and FULL obey! 

(Also went and saw Noah in the movie theatre for an impromptu date. It is a Hollywood version with silly distortions for dramatic effect, but I still think it has its merits for helping me visualize the Biblical narrative.) 


Thursday, April 17, 2014

2: FALL - Genesis 3



This story starts at 4:40

HIS WORDS
: Genesis 3:1-24 


Another story of the Fall: https://vimeo.com/groups/240885/videos/78327094

MY WORDS - "A Rift in Relationship"

Now the snake was more subtle and deceitful than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "God has told you, 'You cannot eat from any of the trees of the garden'?" 

And the woman corrected him and said to the snake, "Oh no, we can eat from every tree except the one in the middle of the garden. We cannot eat or touch it. If we do, we will die." 

And the snake said, "You are not going to die! God knows that when you eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

When the woman saw the tree was tasty to eat and delighted her eyes and would make her wise -- she took the snake's bait and ate the fruit of the tree. Then she gave it to her husband, and he ate. 

Then their eyes were open, and they knew that they were naked. So they sewed fig leaves together so they could have clothes to cover their nakedness.

When they heard the sound of God walking in the garden in the evening breeze, they hid themselves from God's presence by ducking behind the trees.

Then the Lord God called to the man and said, "Where are you?" 

The man replied, "I heard You walking in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked. So I hid."

God said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you disobeyed Me by eating from the tree I told you not to eat from?"

And the man blamed it on the woman saying, "The woman You gave to me as a companion gave it to me, and I ate."

Then the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this that you have done?"


"The snake misled and deceived (cheated, outwitted) me, and I ate," she said. 

Then the LORD God said to the snake:

"Because you have deceived man and woman, 
Cursed are you more than cattle,
And every wild thing of the field; 
You will go on your belly, 
And you will eat dust all the days of your life.
And I will put war between you and the woman,
And between your offspring and her Offspring;
Her Offspring will crush and tread your head  underfoot,
And you will lie in wait and crush him on the heel." [Gal.4:4]


To the woman He said,

"I will multiply your grief and suffering in pregnancy and childbirth,
You will give birth to your babies in spasms of distress.
You will desire to control (overflow onto) your husband, 
But he will have dominion over you." 


Then to Adam He said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree that I told you not to eat from;

"The ground is under a curse because of you;
In sorrow and toil you will eat of its fruits
All the days of your life.
Thorns and thistles will grow alongside
The plants of the field you shall eat.
You'll have to put out sweat-producing labor
In order to eat bread,
Until you return to the ground,
From which you were taken, dead and buried;
You started out from dirt, 
And you will return to that dirt."

Now the man called his wife's name Eve (life spring), because she was the mother of all the living.

Then God made long coats of animal skin and covered their nakedness.

God said, “Behold, what has become [by sin] of the man who was as one of us! Formed, at first, in our image to know good and evil—how sad his condition now. What if he now, in this sinful state, should reach out and take the fruit of the tree of life and eat, and be deluded that he will live forever when he is now lost and doomed to death?" (this is help from the commentary below, but I am still mulling it over in my mind)

So God sent him out of the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he came. He threw him out of the garden and stationed ministering spirits manifesting God's presence (Shekinah glory) and a revolving sword of fire east of it, guarding the path to the Tree of Life.


MY STUDY

3:16: "Desire" in Hebrew is from the root word, šûq , which means "to water, to overflow." The harmonious partnership between man and woman was broken because of sin. 

22. And God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us—not spoken in irony as is generally supposed, but in deep compassion. The words should be rendered, “Behold, what has become [by sin] of the man who was as one of us”! Formed, at first, in our image to know good and evil—how sad his condition now. 
     and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life—This tree being a pledge of that immortal life with which obedience should be rewarded, man lost, on his fall, all claim to this tree; and therefore, that he might not eat of it or delude himself with the idea that eating of it would restore what he had forfeited, the Lord sent him forth from the garden.
Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Ge 3:22). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

I WILL

So hard to get through the impact of the fall on the  relationship of man and woman as things have unfolded over the last few days for a friend. My I WILL was to fall flat on my face before Him and cry out for a miracle. 

The enemy is so crafty. UGH! But "greater is He who is within us than he who is in the world."

MY QUESTIONS

3:5 - What would be good/bad about knowing good and evil?

Good Morning Freewrite

It is not Friday Freewrite days, but I do not care. I slept in until after 8 am today because I stayed up really late last night working on things I really enjoy. So, I am up this morning with a smile on my face and a song in my heart, and I want to tell the world about it.

I had a good day yesterday. Full but good. Got up and had Genesis 3 time (not the cheeriest chapter but has hope in 3:15), listening time, off to Dr. Myers, took his prescription to Hangar's for a new heel lift (only 12.50!), library, and then Nancy called me to go for a walk. So we walked up the hill behind her house (in a stroll as per doctor's orders). Came back and met with Sue about the new Kingdom Community starting at the end of June. (Call us crazy, but I think God wants us to do it. So, here we go again! :)

Then I corresponded regarding going to the financial class with a friend that I am helping but felt God saying that another woman needed to take over in the helping department, and I was free.

I took a bit of a break to watch the news and read up on cities we will be visiting in Europe. 

Then, I prayed through and tweaked the schedule for the new Kingdom Community, and I like it! It still needs some more refinement, but I have no problem with it. I worked on it from 8 p.m. - 2 am. Thus why I slept until after 8 am this morning.

I woke up to an email with some resolution for a friend. Tough times ahead, but I think progress is being made. 

So I am up enjoying a bowl of Nancy's yogurt and blackberries. YUM. God bowled me over as I took out the recycling and saw the apple blossoms in full bloom on our tree. When did that happen? Times and seasons. 

I am undone with His presence and love this morning. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

1B: ADAM - Genesis 1:26-2:25



This story starts at 3:42

This is the Discovering God DBS. 

For STORYTELLING, I insert the details about the creation of Man and Woman in Genesis 2 after God created the animals on the sixth day in Chapter 1.  Then I go back and talk about the 7th day of Genesis 2:1-3.

HIS WORDS: Genesis 1:26-2:25

MY WORDS

We already learned last time that on the sixth day, God created living creatures. He also did something very special on the sixth day, He said, "Let us make man in our image to rule over all the animals and creatures of the earth." 

So God formed man from the dust of the earth and breathed life into man through his nostrils, and he became a living being. He put man to care for the beautiful garden of Eden. In that garden, there were trees of every kind that were beautiful and good for food. In the middle, he planted two special trees - the tree of life (Genesis 3:22-23 indicates that if you eat of it, you live forever, but it is not stated in Genesis 2 so I leave this out in storytelling) and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

God told man, "You may eat freely from any tree in the garden. but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it, you will surely die." 

Then God said, "It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper for him." God had given man the responsibility of naming all the living creatures, but not one of those creatures was like him (made in the image of God), so none of them were suitable for him.

So God caused the man to fall asleep, and He took one of the ribs from the man and closed up the flesh. From that rib, he made a woman and brought her to the man.

The man, called Adam, was so excited! He said, "This is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh, she will be called woman because she was taken out of Man." God ordained that in the future man would leave his father and mother and become one with his companion wife.

The man and the woman were both naked, but they felt no shame about it.

God blessed them and said to them, "Reproduce, fill the earth, and take charge of it. Rule over the fish, birds, and living creatures on the earth."

Then God said, "I have given you all the seed-bearing plants and fruit-bearing trees on the earth as food. I give whatever grows out of the ground for food to the animals and birds."

God looked at everything that He had made and saw that it was VERY GOOD.

And there was evening and morning on the sixth day.


Then when everything was completed, God rested on the seventh day from all the good work He had done. Then God blessed that seventh day and set it apart, making it a Holy Day of rest. Because on that day he rested from all His creating work.


I WILL


REST tomorrow for the Sabbath. I did not have a rest last Saturday due to the invasion of women for our cooking club. 

14. The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence


I read it in January, and I read it again yesterday. It is a short book, but it is profound. I needed to refocus yesterday, and this was just what God had in mind.


Here is my previous review:

The Helper Enneagram


I laughed when I saw this "EnneaThought" for today! This is for the Type Two: Helper personality type! This is so me! Such a good reminder to "Let it Go." (Who knew a song from Frozen would be so good for me to sing to myself?) I am a people-pleaser. This is my drug of choice, but I am healthier now. I listen to God rather than my addiction. God tells me who to help and who to let go of. My heart breaks when I see people walk into walls or when I see people who are not flying to their fullest potential and functioning in their "sweet spot"! (So funny that Lisa told me I am functioning in that sweet spot when I spoke at NWH on Sunday.) 

I need to let God decide who is in my "Sphere of Influence" rather than investing in those in my "Sphere of Concern."  So healthy for me to listen to Him rather than please man.


I have so many in my "Sphere of Concern" but few in my "Sphere of Influence," and those in the SOI have to be ordained by God. I need to be proactive by listening to Him rather than being reactive and listen to man or thinking I need to help everyone around me!  

The Helper personality type is a two-edged sword; but in dependence upon God as I listen and obey, it is a mighty strength in His hands!




It is also interesting to note that the Type Two Helper coincides with the E/ISFJ personality type (and my tied or close to Type 9 Peacemaker also overlaps with ISFJ):



Old Herbaceous

This was a sweet story about a gardener in England from the time he was a boy to an old man. It made me cry it was so short and sweet.  Here...