Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Tuesday Twelve Freewrite

This new Google timer on my search page is going to be a boon to my existence! It is so convenient to do freewrites without having to search online for my old one or search for my little Flylady timer (Where is that thing anyway? I saw it recently, but I don't remember where. I am so bad at keeping track of little things.). 

I am going for a walk with Jamie today. I had been thinking that she would probably benefit from some basic discipleship time. It would be great. I think I will tell her that and see what she says.

I am texting with Ika from Indonesia right now about going on a walk. I am excited about that. I like her alot!

I need to contact T too. I have not heard from her in a few days, and I like to check up on her because she lives in a very dangerous place. 

I will do that after I finish this freewrite. 

I woke up early this morning. Yesterday, I had not gone to bed until 2 am because I was fixated on our London itinerary, and the time just flew by. I think I have a really good itinerary now, and I am excited about that. 

Ika and I are going to go to Bald Hill! I am not doing a very good job of sticking with this freewrite. LOL! I keep texting with Ika. 

Well, with my few minutes remaining, and I will say that I have eaten far too much ice cream lately. I think that May will be the day I start in earnest. Could I go a whole month without overeating? I have done it in the past (I don't think I am overeating truly because my weight is still OK - just a bit up from my ideal but still very healthy BMI). I need to bring my eating in or I will get overweight! It happens to so many at my age, and I am determined not to be a statistic! So, May it is! 

In fact, I will start TODAY with that (Even though there is another pint of ice cream screaming at me from the downstairs freezer - can I go until June 1st until I eat it? Hmm.)

Resolved. Ask me if I did it. I have it on the web for all the world to see! 

Ika and I will walk at 9 am. 

I think I am going to get to reading my book chapters for my study on Friday. :)

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Thursday Thirteen Freewrite

Google now has an online timer that comes up on the search page. Oh happy day. This will be great for my freewrites, but it will also be great for my attempts to get up every fifteen minutes to make sure my hip flexors are not in a set position for too long. 

George is home today, and I could not be happier. I have to prepare for a workshop on Saturday, get my hair done, and meet with Heather, but it is great to have him here until ten tomorrow morning.

It is Queen Elizabeth II 90th birthday today. What a great and consistent monarch she has been. Long live the queen. I am going to go and see those bells of Westminster ring in person. I cannot wait!  England, here we come!

This morning, I get to pray for more of the world again. Yay! I am very excited about. You can read my previous post about this great little prayer resource, Pray for the World. I am also going through Romans right now. I have listened up through Romans 9, but my studying has followed far behind. So I hope to catch up today. I need a "catch my breath" day because Monday-Wednesday were full and fun.

Tuesday was especially great. I am so glad that the Celebration of Discipline group has gone so well. It was a bit rocky at first when we set down some goals, and I realized that one of the people seemed not ready for the journey. Alas, she confessed on Tuesday that she was skeptical, but not she is totally on board. I saw such great glimpses of wisdom with her, but she was still a bit wrapt up in her journey of healing. Some people get so wrapped (Is it wrapt or wrapped? I think it is the latter, but this is a freewrite! So, I won't stop to check!) up in their healing that they don't integrate and invite the Lord into the process. It becomes this separate self-absorbed enterprise, and I think this can be very dangerous. Anyway, I think she sees the benefit of the integration. So, I am excited to finish out the journey with these two where I wondered about bowing out because it was not meeting the goals that I explained for the group. The turning point was also the half day in the Upper Room. It was very beneficial for all of us. 

God is very good. I am very excited.

With work on Monday and Wednesday, this disciplines group, and free lunch, it has been a busy three days. I tried to keep this day free, but this seemed to be the only day that Heather could meet, and I felt it was very important to meet with her this week. So, I will really have to focus this morning on the workshop that is starting in 50 hours! It is not like I have not done this before though. Seriously, it is like breathing for me. So, I am not too worried about the preparation for it, and Nessa is helping me. I just need to incorporate Betty Sue's great graphic on how storytelling affects different parts of the brain! So fun!

Well, I best be going. I think this ringer is going to go off any second. Nope. It goes off in 1 min and 20 seconds.

I am doing great health-wise. I am losing those pesky five pounds that came on because I focused on Pilates without doing cardio over the summer. There is such a balance between strength training and calorie burn. Yes, strength is super important in more efficient calorie burn, but you have to do the work of burning too. I have a nice balance, and I am also free of pain because of that concentration on Pilates. I need to go back to maximal strength training though.

There is the timer!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

14. Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster

This is a reread. It all started because I had linked my Bible Book Club site to a PDF of the chapter on fasting from this book. When I was editing my blog (www.3yearbiblebookclub.blogspot.com) , the PDF was no longer there. So, I searched for it. I didn't find it, but I found that there was a DVD curriculum on this book:

http://lifespringsresources.com/products/curriculum/curriculum-of-christlikeness/celebration-of-disciplne-dvd-kit (This is the only place I could find it, but it is lovely. It is really expensive shipping though!) 

So, I ordered the DVD curriculum and invited a friend (who invited a friend) to read the book and watch the curriculum. We have even taken a field trip for the solitude and prayer chapters (see my post from last week). 

The two other people in this group have the newer version, but I am reading my old copy (image above) one that I got in the 80's  that brings back fond memories of reading this book when I was a fairly young believer!

This is a foundational book for growth in Jesus. I highly recommend it! 

13. Pray for the World

It is my first absolutely free Saturday in a long time, and my first thought when I woke up was, "I get to pray for another country in Pray for the World this morning!" That should give you an indication of how much I love this little book. You see, I have been praying for the world for a long time. When Ron York of the Navigators at a conference in 1979, challenged us to pray everyday for the world, I thought, "This guy is crazy." But I stood up and committed myself to it. Most of my prayer consisted of praying for my friends already out in the world. I also had this great Asia book about what was happening there. 

2nd Edition 
Then, in probably 1983, while sitting in a chair in the living room of Randy and Mary Law, I spied the book, Operation World on their shelf (a picture of that 2nd edition is pictured here). I borrowed it and devoured it! It is a comprehensive overview of everything that is going on in the world. It has had seven editions all together (all but one is pictured below. I am not sure there are ANY copies of the first edition!), and I have devoured each one. 

Last year, Pray for the World came out, and it is a concise summary of key prayer points for each country on earth from the Operation World researchers who asked Christian leaders in every country, "How should the body of Christ throughout the world be praying for your country?" Readable. Concise. Doable. Brilliant! 

 I still use Operation World as a reference book (and I have recommended it to students who have had to do reports on difference countries - so helpful!), but I am praying through this one on a daily basis! 

Just a little note, I pray through the current book, and I marvel at the FRUIT of 30+ years of global prayer! I am so thankful for Patrick Johnstone and his vision for praying for the world in an informed way!  God is on the move, and prayer is His gift to us so that we can share in the joy of the harvest. Intercession is God's design, and it leads to greater intimacy with Him. Go for it! Operation World can be overwhelming, but Pray for the World is doable!  

1993 Edition, I think this was the 5th Edition
(also had a kids edition that my kids and I prayed through!)
Below are different editions of the "parent" book for Pray for the World. So grateful for the people who labored to get these published. 

4th Edition 
The middle one is the only image I could find of this edition. I think it is the 3rd Edition
2010, 7th Edition 

2001, 6th Edition 

Friday, April 15, 2016

12. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Klanithi

I saw this author's wife, Lucy, interviewed on PBS in February, and I put this book on hold.

It took me some time to want to finish. I almost brought it back, but I thought it was so short that I needed to persevere, and I am so glad that I did. I sat in my library yesterday and marveled at this man's beautiful memoir. 

This man was brilliant. I have a pretty large vocabulary, and I had to look up some of his words! He received a BA and MA in English Literature AND a BA in human biology from Stanford. Then, he threw in a MPhil in history and philosophy of science and medicine from Cambridge. On top of all of that, he decides to become a neurosurgeon. His reasoning for all of that made my head hurt (think ultra smart, deep person). In his final year of residency, he was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer.  It is worth the effort to read this short book as a very literate doctor as he contemplates death and life through this lens. 

He contemplates the meaning of life and what makes "us" US!

Here is his wife's interview on PBS. This gives you more insight. Paul wanted to contemplate life through literature. It is really a good interview. Watch it!


Sunday, April 10, 2016

Sunday Sixteen Freewrite

Freedom through freewriting. I think there is a measure of truth in this statement. Sometimes, that is what I start off my morning with before I spend time with God. When I freewrite, I examine my life. 

The Upper Room, Broadway Commons, Salem, OR
Today, I wanted to type out some of the things that I learned during my Upper Room prayer time up in Salem. It was good to take Shannon and Nancy. It was our "field trip" from our Celebration of Discipline cohort.

So, some things I jotted down. 

Right off the bat, God brought this poem up again:

"Though my soul may set in darkness 
it will rise in perfect light 
I have loved the stars too fondly 
to be fearful of the night."
Sarah Williams (1837-1868)"The Old Astronomers"
God reminded me of this poem that He dropped in my lap at the Pastor's Prayer Summit in February of 2015. Back then, He was alluring me into a life free of fear, and Friday's reminder was that He had fulfilled that promise. My identity name is "Boldly Beloved," and prior to that point, it had been something I had to remind myself to do. Now, I feel like I am living in it. I am abiding in Him, and the fruit of that is living out my true identity. Freedom from fear is a beautiful thing.

Then, He reminded me of a promise in Daniel 12:3:

Those who are wise will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever.
(Here is a an illustration of this that I cannot repost: http://www.heartlight.org/gallery/1241.html)

I guess I have not received that verse in the past because He gave it to me back in the early 80's. I knew I had a long way to go before I would be one with "wisdom," and I did not want to be a bright and shining star. But I received it fully on Friday. 

It goes along with the "SWAP SIXTEEN" for this year. SWAP stands for Strength, Wisdom, Authority, and Power. He gave me those words on New Year's Eve day, and I didn't flinch. I think those words, in the past, have been scary ones for me. They could bring on arrogance. I am not one to assign those words to myself, but I am one to assign them to God. And that is who we are glorifying here. It is HIS strength, HIS wisdom, HIS authority, His power. That makes those words palatable for me now. Who I am to reject them if God has given them to me? I don't anticipate I will go all Jim Jones on anyone as a results of having those words for 2016. :) 

He also talked about my "Season of Shalom." Best decision to leave my old church. Now, no politics, no drama. I was not the source of it because if I were, I would have brought the drama with me. None came with me. It was there, not in me. Thus why there has been peace. The two times in the last ten years where there was drama, it was a quick disengagement from the two families that were the source of it (with one woman being the center of it in both families) and peace was restored, while those people continued to have drama in their life. I thanked God so much for this season of peace, and He gave me more peace saying, "Blessed are the makers of peace." He reiterated that I was to keep the makers of "crazy at bay" and "stay away and at bay!" He has too much for me to do that I cannot have these kinds of crazy people in my life as much as I feel empathy and compassion for them. I cannot be lured in by them. He is the one "alluring" me, not those people. (Usually they are needy and want me to help them. Then they get me involved with their crazy.)

*I have reached my 16 minute limit on this freewrite, but I am going to keep on going.

There was a worker breaking up concrete in a parking lot across the street from the Upper Room. It could have been distracting because it was loud, but God said, "I am breaking up the fallow ground." Then God reminded me of the vision that Stacy got for me while we were praying for her. Our steps were going over places in a certain part of the world and greenery was growing up under our feet, and we were pulling people out of a pit. This was reiterated by one of the girls in our ministry who had the same vision (and didn't know about Stacy's). 

God indicated there were a few more laborers to train. I asked Him to drop them in our lap. Then, I got an email from Jordan when I was done from our Upper Room time with an indication that maybe this was a possibility for a person. 

I am praying that He will drop them because I certainly do NOT want to spend a bunch of time recruiting!

God told me to tell Nathan I am also not much into debating about theological things. I did it, and he wrote back that this is exactly what women need to hear! LOL! 

I heard SLOW TOAG. 

Storytelling and Simple Steps

Listen to God, each other, friends
Obey God by acting on what He tell you
Worship and World intercession (as an overflow of our intimacy with Him)

Does that mean slow it down or just have those components? Don't know. 

Then I got some stuff about another PUMP party. 

Then, I asked about this OSU job. Love it but must not stress about grades. Next year? Do not know. 

Also about M(oving more) EL (eating less) Training. I have been OK, but I want to get lower before we go to England so I can eat PUB GRUB with abandon! 

Fear factor turned to Faith Factor for me. Freedom from fear is attainable. 

Then I just felt God saying it will all fit together perfectly, and I could just carry on as usual. I have no fear that He will make it abundantly clear. He will drop it all in our lap in due time. 


Final verses:
"The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former," says the LORD of hosts, "and in this place I will give peace," declares the LORD of hosts. (Haggai 1:9)

I do not know what all of that means, but I certainly don't need to right now. In due time, and I am so good with that. 

Friday, April 08, 2016

1400 Post Reached in 11.4 years!

HaHa. I looked down after my book review from yesterday, and I was a nice even 1400 posts. I do not write very much on this blog because that is only an average 122.8 posts per year!

I have been more prolific in the last couple of years, but I did not write on this one very often in the early days. Most of my Trapdoor friends gave up looking at this blog because of that. I gave up on many of their blogs too because I was just too busy to check. Facebook makes it easier to check and even then, I don't check my news feed all that often so am not the greatest at following up on other people. 

I am going on a half day of prayer with two people who don't do an away one very often. It should be fun. :) 

11. Rick Steves England

It had a lot of repeat and overlap from his London book that I already read cover to cover so I did not reread the parts already covered in that book. I also didn't read the parts about the places we would not be going to on this trip (but we hope to cover them when we go to Scotland to see my places of the Wardrop clan).

I learned so much! I wish I had read it before I purchased my ticket to the Shakespeare places in Stratford-Upon-Avon because if you take a walking tour, you get a discount on the tickets! Oh well! I am not absolutely sure we will take the tour though, but it is an award winning one!

He covered in detail most of the places we are going (not all) so it was very helpful. 

Our general itinerary is as follows:

London - 4 1/2 days, and we are hitting almost all of his three and two triangle places: Westminster Abbey, Churchill War Rooms, National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, British Library, British Museum, Tower of London, St. Paul's Cathedral, Victoria and Albert, Tate Modern (and maybe the Tate Britain), Courtauld Gallery, Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, Changing of the Guard, The London Eye, Shakespeare's Globe, Harrods, Selfridge's, Trafalgar, Soho, and Covent Garden. And we are going to sit in the McDonald's that once was 84 Charing Cross Road and imagine Anne Bancroft and Anthony Hopkins. 

Then it is off to 

Oxford - 1/2 day to do a self-guided C.S. Lewis walking tour going inside Magdalen College and eating at the Lamb and Flag where the Inklings gathered. We also hope to stop by Blenheim Palace on the way to . . . 

Chipping Campden - 3 nights

Stratford Upon Avon - Day trip from Chipping Campden seeing all those fabulous places of the Bard! 

Cotswolds - We rented bikes for a full day of cycling through cute Cotswold villages.

Worchester Cathedral - I have a picture in an exhibition here and the main reason we are doing this trip sooner rather than later. 

Avebury - Spend one night in a vegetarian bed and breakfast in the middle of the ancient stones. We hope to get up at sunrise and snap lots of pictures! On the way to Avebury we will drive through other Cotswolds places we could not reach by bike and maybe even stop to go water skiing outside of Cirencester. 

Bath - 1/2 day to see the Roman Baths and walk by the Royal Crescent and the Circus. I have a Jane Austen walking tour that I can stream on my iPhone too. 

Stonehenge - We have inner circle access to the stones at sunset. There were only nine spots left out of thirty when I checked four months in advance and before they had even posted it on their website! SCORE! 

Highclere Castle - 1 night at the Carnarvon Arms and afternoon access to the castle the next day. We will spend the morning hiking up to Beacon Hill to have views of the castle from a high point. There are many hikes on the property that opens at 10:30 in the morning. 

Alton/Chawton - We spend two nights at St Marys Hall, a former Catholic Church converted to a bed and breakfast. It is close to the Jane Austen Museum (the home she lived in after her father died). We will tour that the next day at opening and then travel to Beachy Head to see the chalk white cliff and may come back to go to Pooh Sticks Bridge and other 100 Acre Woods places in the Ashdown Forest (it is not that far out of the way on our return).

Heathrow/Windsor - The last night we will be near the airport, check into our hotel and have that afternoon or the next morning to go to Windsor or go back into London for anything we might have missed. 

It is going to be fun, and Rick Steves helped me plan the fun! 

Monday, April 04, 2016

Monday Freewrite

I have all my attendance cards all organized this morning. I decided to do it first thing, rather than wait until after my other morning routine things. I always seem to take longer doing it during the first week of classes because of all the adds and drops that are involved. It looks like I am now down to a comfortable 58 students. It was up to 63 during the mad shuffle of adds and drops, and my Pilates I class was stuffed to the gills! So, I am glad that some dropped there.  I usually have one or two try to add after the drop date, but we will see this term. 

God's words for me this morning during my listening time were: Confident and unapologetic. I think I know what that relates to. I often have Pilates II students who have an expectation of what Pilates is all about. When they are exposed to classical Pilates, they often are shocked. This really is pure Pilates. Most of what is out there is an adaptation of the true Pilates method, but a court case decided that they could all be called Pilates regardless of whether they really follow what the founder intended. So, I need to be unapologetic about delivering pure Pilates! Pilates I students usually do not mind because they do not know any different. Pilates I students always end up having better form than Pilates II students (unless those Pilates II students did not do another Pilates class prior to classical or took it from a couple of classical Pilates instructors - then they have great form!). If they have been exposed to other than classical Pilates, it is really hard for them to unlearn those habits. I had to unlearn them, but I had to unlearn them for my certification, so my trainer was "harping" on me about my bad habits. So, I adapted, and the results are so much better if you adapt them to the correct forms! 

I am subbing for a Pilates Flow class. I told the person I am subbing for that she might be shocked at how different my teaching is compared to hers, but she was totally great with me teaching whatever. She said they might be relieved because hers is so different (she almost made it sound like hers was bizarre - lol). I really like the other Pilates instructors I have met though. Most of them combine it with Yoga, and I have had some students say that they don't want Yoga in their Pilates mix. Some like that though, but sometimes it is really hard to get the students who like the mix to do the breathing and the forms differently because some of them are opposite! 

No matter. I am praying this is a good term. I am still not 100% convinced of doing this for the long run. It really does dominate my time, and I could be developing my personal training business or teaching more Pilates privates with people. I just need to see how I feel at the end of Spring term. It will be interesting to see how I can balance it with my other obligations next year if we do our ministry starting in September. We will see!

This last weekend was super busy. I left early Friday morning to go up with Nessa and her sister, Petra, to a prayer gathering in Portland. It was fun and all day. Then I went to Salt and Straw with Barbie. Then, the leaders of the first day wanted to get to know me better. So, I went out with them for dinner and My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2. Then, we came back to our host's home and talked until about 11:15 pm. Then it was up early for the second day of prayer. We prayed until 3 pm and then came home and crashed. I unpacked and cleaned up everything I had left because of my flurry of getting out the door on Friday morning. I fell asleep really early. We did manage to watch The Amazing Race

Then on Sunday, we got to church early and led a Sunday School class with five people. We thought no one would come! They are an engaged group. Love it! Then, we got home and had lunch with Paul. George and Paul went shopping. I feel asleep and woke up in time to run over to Jan and Phil's to watch the Oregon State Beavers be crushed by UConn in the semi-finals of the national championship. We watched the Syracuse vs. U Washington game. OSU would have crushed both of those teams and too bad they could not have gone to the finals.

Then, we came and crashed and watched Call the Midwife, Granchester, and Selfridge. 

Big weekend, and it is a big three days. I teach eight Pilates classes Monday through Wednesday (because i am subbing for someone who went to watch the Beavers), have a Celebration of Discipline study (Nancy is leading and bringing lunch), and Dial a Book for the first time in six months. 



Friday, April 01, 2016

10. Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS by Joby Warrick

“The black flags will come from the East, led by mighty men, with long hair and beards, their surnames taken from their home towns.” The Hadith

This is a prophecy from a report of the words, actions, or habits of the Prophet Mohammed called The Hadith. ISIS believes they are a fulfillment of that prophecy. Thus why they have black flags for their movement.  

I read Warrick's first book, Triple Agent, over the Christmas break. Actually, I had tried to read this second one before that because I heard Warrick on the PBS Newshour in November. Here is that interview:


I decided to start with his first one instead, and I was mesmerized. I could not put his first book down, and this newer one is no different.

This guy gives you history, but it is no way dry or boring. He focuses on individuals within the larger story and shapes biographical vignettes that give the larger story a very human face.

Watch the PBS video, and you will see what a personable guy Warrick is. It comes through in his writing. 

Warrick tells his story without political bias. Neither Bush nor Obama comes out looking very good in this story. I knew invading Iraq was a BIG mistake. Now I know more why that was such a big mistake!

You will not be disappointed with this book. I loved it! 

Friday Freewrite Firmly Driven

I had set my alarm for 5:30 am, but I woke up at 4:24, forced myself to go back to sleep, and finally gave up and got up at 5 am. Now I am showered and making my Chai for the big day ahead.

What was just a dream last June is now become a reality as we are praying for the nations up in Portland. It should be great. I am so looking forward to it, and I am ready after a full day of rest yesterday.

Yes, I got some little things off my to do list, took a walk, etc; but I rested after my fall on Wednesday. I don't know if I said what happened in my last freewrite. I usually have to take off my shoes when I am teaching anyway. So instead of carrying them from one class to the other, I decided to leave my shoes down in the office. Not a good idea. I was coming from my successfully executed second class on Wednesday. I turned to go down the stairs, and my first step slipped forward and started tumbling down the stairs on my bum. I would have probably kept going, but I grabbed the arm rail tightly to stop my fall. Thus, I scraped my elbow and bent my arm back unnaturally. I also twisted my knee on the opposite side.

I think the best thing I could have done was to do Pilates that night so that I could unstick my body. My back did NOT get wrenched which I am very thankful for.

(Now I am thinking I already did a freewrite about this because the word "wrench" was a word I used yesterday. If you read my blog, I apologize for the repeat.)

I woke up yesterday morning OK, but I felt sore all over. They say that happens after a car accident too when you are not seriously injured. So, I laid low and just took a walk once if warmed up so that I can unstick myself.

All that to say is that I think I needed the emotional rest more than I needed the physical one. I know that I come out borderline on the Introvert/Extrovert scale, but I had serious need of "I" time yesterday. I had someone text me requesting another favor, and I just cried, "Not one more thing!" I have had a LOT of people contact and teaching at the university makes me go over my weekly people quotient more quickly!

So there you go. :) 

All that to say is that I am rested. I truly am rested. I am listening to "Soothing Worship" by Jon Thurlow, and I feel like I am syncing with the Lord well. 

It has not been 15 minutes, but my hair is drying fast, and I want to get to my time with God before I dry it. I got up to Portland with Nessa and her sister in a little over an hour, and I still need to pack my bags!


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...