Friday, October 31, 2014

Friday Free Fifteen

I popped out of bed at 6:15 am, and I thought, "I want to immerse myself in Bible Book Club this morning!" I am still going to do that, but I wanted to do a book review (I am within 70 pages of the end so I always allow myself to write the review when I am within 100 pages of the end as it motivates me to FINISH!). Then I got intrigued that I could not write a comment on the 52 books in 52 weeks blog page. So, I am now "clearing cookies," and we will see if that helps. All that to say is that I have not gotten to the Bible Book Club, but I have . . . 

  1. Fully loaded the dishwasher and started it (Paul and I only have 1 1/2 loads during the five days that George is gone, and sometimes the dishes get really smelly! I guess I can maybe just run "half loads" some dishwashers have that capacity, and I need to read up on that. To have our dishes reduced by at least half has just changed everything!)
  2. Made a double recipe of Chai tea! (It is a "Friday Fast" day, but I drink tea before the sun rises)
  3. Checked Facebook and am praying for the Kurds in Iraq and Syria as my two Kurd friends posted how they felt about the US involvement
  4. Listened to 24 minutes of Jon Thurlow "Soothing Worship" which is so free flow, and it is not a published recording but a nice girl sent it to me because she recorded it while in the iHOP prayer room in Kansas City
  5. Posted my review of my book and tried to post a comment on that website about four times and NO GO. What gives?
So here I sit doing a Friday Freewrite. I do not know how I got out of the habit of doing these things, but I miss them! I want to become a better writer, but I have not put much effort into it as I am just editing the Bible Book Club these days rather than writing fresh things. 

How I have loved this Bible Book Club project! I started writing on since December of 2007! That is almost seven years of this wonder odyssey. It really is not a "project" because it is part of my time with God! I have made it an abiding time rather than a work time, but it is also work time, but I am always amazed at how no matter where I am in the Bible that it speaks to me for that day! It is uncanny, but we serve an UNCANNY God!

Jon Thurlow is saying, "When you are by yourself, when you are in your car, when you are waking up in the morning light, I am waiting for you to dial down and talk to Me."  God wants us to talk to Him. 

It is interesting because I met with one of the TOAG girls, and she was saying how it was hard for her to have abiding time when she had homework, but we talked about abiding 24/7/365. It was really good. It is hard to believe that your work time and your abiding time can be integrated at her age. I remember when I was her age and crying out to God to have a 24/7/365 kind of life, but it was SO HARD back then.

It is not hard now. But how many years have I been putting abiding into practice. I don't even think about "putting it into practice" because it is like breathing now. When did the change occur? I am not really sure. It just happened. 

I think The Game of Minutes and Letters of a Modern Mystic and The Practice of the Presence of God were all really valuable in this process. Thank You Lord for the example of those who have gone before me!

Well, that was an easy fifteen minutes. Now I am off to explore Zephaniah! I am so looking forward to getting to Jesus! :) I always have "judgment fatigue" when I get to this point in my Bible reading! I still have to get through Jeremiah and Ezekiel first (I am reading chronologically, by the way), but I am up for the challenge! 


39. From the Straight Path to the Narrow Way: Journeys of Faith

The beginning of this was somewhat dry because it had to explain the research methodology, but once I plowed through that part (after over a year), the stories of faith were very encouraging! I loved reading about the journeys of faith of people from throughout the world (as I love hearing anyone's journey - please tell me yours!).

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

38. Freedom Tools:For Overcoming Life's Tough Problems

I have always been curious about SOZO so this book was helpful for me to see the similarities and differences between it and the methods of listening and inner healing prayer I have been exposed to over the last thirteen years. It is very similar with slight variations. It is helpful for an initial exposure to this very important tool in being a "first-responder" of first aid for people with hurts from their past. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sunday Morning Freewrite Fifteen

I am setting the timer . . . 

I have not done this in forever. In fact, I have not been doing a lot of writing these days. I am editing my Bible Book Club posts, and that has been so fulfilling and fun. I get to read what I wrote as far back as five years ago (I am editing posts, and the majority of those were written in 2009). It is fun to see that I have GROWN! YAY! I really have. It is so fun to think that this life is so fluid. 

I am listening to "Soothing Worship" by Jon Thurlow. He is singing, "No fruit's gonna' come through you unless you remain in me."  He sings this over and over. This is SO my philosophy of life. Ever since my breakdown in 1983 and Pearl Tadema (I am sure she has passed away since she was retirement age when she counseled with me) told me something to the effect, "You are bearing fruit simply by your abiding. Jesus Christ is the end of self-effort." This was the result of reading my journals and seeing how hard I would try. 

I am looking at my Strengthsfinder strengths, and it is the double edge of llllllll;;; (to the left is me trying to get the chai tea/whipped cream I tried to get off the keys of my keyboard. Maybe I better go and wash my hands - stop timer. HAHAHAHAH). 

Now what was I saying? Oh, the double edge of the strength of "achiever"!  I think I am so much less of an achiever than I used to be.  I love abiding. I would not be able to do what I do without the Lord. I have been with a lot of people who do not rely on the Lord in the last week; and strangely, my heart is so enlarged in love for them. Is it possible to be past the "feeling alienated" stage and feel like I can offer something so real and tangible by being the hands and feet of Jesus? I do not feel like it is me in a sea of liberalism. OK, now I am crying in overwhelming love for all those people. It is not a "me against them" kind of mentality. Frankly, I am not so sure it has ever been like that for me. I just want to be Jesus who lives inside of me and offers hope and healing to others.  Crossing the liberal/conservative chasm is not that hard to do when you do not look at the world through that lens. 

So many lives. So many hearts that need filling. I do not need to defend Him with doctrinal point. I do not need to "sell" Him but just "smell" like Him. The only way I know how to do that is to abide (now we are back to what I was just saying). My eyes are continually on You, Jesus. THANK YOU for grabbing my heart. It really had nothing to do with me. It was all about You.  

"Through it all, through it all, my eyes are on You.
Through it all, through it all, it is well with me.
Let it go my soul and trust in Him.
The waves and wind still know His name."   

Simple steps. "No one comes to the Me, unless the Father draws him." 

(Since it has been a long time since I have written a freewrite, I want to remind my readers that you are to send these things without proofreading or corrections. I write like I talk. So, there will be mistakes.) 

Love you.  

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

37. Coffee and Orange Bossoms: 7 Years & 15 Days in Tyre, Lebanon

This is a fascinating memoir. I do not know that much about the people of Lebanon so I found it very interesting. The book is very personal and page turning. In the interest of full disclosure, I know the author, and I also know the person who edited his book (I connected them, and she is the author of two previous books I reviewed: The Fifth Season and Through the Veil). I heartily recommend this book! I read it waiting for and on a plane from Chicago to Portland, and I could not put it down. You really want to know how it ends. 

36. Funny in Farsi

 This book was given to me as a gift from my Iranian friend. It is delightful! It is humorous and heart-warming. Dumas (her married name is French) is a great writer! 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Matthew 4:1-11 (Luke 4:1-13): Temptation of Jesus

Matthew 4:1-11 (Creation to Christ - Discovering God)

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’ ” Then the devil took Him into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written, He will command His angels concerning You’; and On their hands they will bear You up, So that You will not strike Your foot against a stone.’ ” Jesus said to him, “On the other hand, it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ” Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’ ” Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him.

Luke 4:1-13 (Commands of Christ - Discovering Discipleship)

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led around by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And He ate nothing during those days, and when they had ended, He became hungry. And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’ ” And he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, “I will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. “Therefore if You worship before me, it shall all be Yours.” Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.’ ” And he led Him to Jerusalem and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here; for it is written, He will command His angels concerning You to guard You,’ and, On their hands they will bear You up, So that You will not strike Your foot against a stone.’ ” And Jesus answered and said to him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ” When the devil had finished every temptation, he left Him until an opportune time.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Sunday Seventeen Freewrite

  New Tea Pot and One of the Cups I have not written a freewrite for so long. I thought I would write in a different font. I am going to try...