Saturday, January 28, 2017

Prayerful Review of Friday Week 4

What made me feel most alive and in tune with God's plan:

  • Teaming with my Kingdom Community to go to the mosque
  • Obeying God by baking bread on "Love your Neighbor" Friday
  • Having George working from home. :)
  • Feeling free to "break the fast" because my Muslim friend offered me the bread I had baked for the women at the Friday prayer time. Then I ate the leftover Middle Eastern food from the guys lunch.


    What made me feel most dead and not in tune with God's plan:
    • Nothing comes to mind from the day
    Ways to show my love for God and others today: Prayer walk with George once the fog clears. Take care of my body by resting more today. I think I was too busy this week and run myself down a bit. Continue to pray for Molly's support so she can go back to the Dutch Bros time.

    Follow up from yesterday's commitment:

    Friday midday mosque visit (this probably will not be tough but want to show love to our Muslim neighbors). Be a listener. Should I bake bread, Lord?

    YES! I baked bread and Bread = Love in Syria. It was sweet. Then Mostafar brought my hubby and Nancy's hubby out to lunch, and George brought back all this yummy Middle Eastern food. So good to break the fast on Friday!
    Gifts God has given not already covered in feeling alive:

    The Kingdom Community this year is such a gift and balm to my soul after many years of ministering to mostly young people. Ahhhhh. I feel so supported and loved and understood. Thank you Jesus for directing me to do a lighter version of our Kingdom Community!



    Friday, January 27, 2017

    Prayerful Review of Wednesday and Thursday Week 4

    What made me feel most alive and in tune with God's plan:
    • Moving my body in Pilates (cannot believe I get paid to workout)
    • Riding my bike to work in the sunshine and crisp winter air
    • Walk with Kim (soulmate who knows me)
    • Time with Paul on the way to and from the oral surgeon
    • Delivering books to shut-ins
    • Time in Genesis
    • Writing my prayer letter (finally)
    • Contact with our prayer warriors who responded
    • Reconciliation and love with a sister in Jesus and having two of my "go to girls" show up there and know that they pray for me!
    • Following God's lead to walk to Calvary and pray only to run into Jennifer and have her invite me to their noon prayer time!
    • Going to pray for internationals at Suburban and seeing 20 people there, mostly college students - seeing our new pastor's wife had already invited a woman from Chile over to their house for dinner. The new college pastor, and his interest in reaching out to internationals! That is an answer to prayer!
    • Rest after two really busy days!

      What made me feel most dead and not in tune with God's plan:
      • Still devastated by sin of a member of the body.
      Ways to show my love for God and others this week:

      Follow up from last commitment:

      Pray and fast starting Wednesday night for Thursday morning meeting (may be tough conversation - not tough at all! So reassuring and nothing but love!

      Continued commitment to love:
      Friday midday mosque visit (this probably will not be tough but want to show love to our Muslim neighbors). Be a listener. Should I bake bread, Lord?
      Gifts God has given not already covered in feeling alive:

      Corporate and individual prayer continues to be the most life-giving thing to me.


      Wednesday, January 25, 2017

      Prayerful Review of Monday and Tuesday of Week 4

      What made me feel most alive and in tune with God's plan:


      • Sweet, sweet time of prayer for the "Turkestan" with my Kingdom Community
      • Prayer led by Jamie for the "Night to Shine"
      • Three great Pilates classes on Monday.
      • Being active all day on Monday
      • Time in Genesis
      • Talking about Honor and Shame and the 10 Commandments with Kingdom Community
      • Prayer walk up to Coronado and Aztec
      • Text from Kim when I was just thinking about her
      • Celebrating Michael's birthday with just our family
      • Hearing all the interactions my Kingdom Community is having
      • Riding my bike to and from OSU on Monday
      • Facebook fast - It may be longer than this week
      • A pleasant interaction with someone I have had to pull back from due to it being "deadening" for me. I felt like it was good to have this limited interaction.

      What made me feel most dead and not in tune with God's plan:
      • When one member of the body suffers, we all suffer. Devastated by sin of a member of the body.
      • Too much sitting on Tuesday and too many people - I could feel the energy drain from me as I sat for my fourth hour in the second meeting of the day. Also, complaining of others does drain me, and that was happening with this new acquaintance.
      Ways to show my love for God and others this week:

      Pray and fast starting Wednesday night for Thursday morning meeting (may be tough conversation), and Friday midday mosque visit (this probably will not be tough but want to show love to our Muslim neighbors). Be a listener.

      Follow up: Tuesday night meeting was good. Heart prepared for the bad news. I loved my son on his 25th birthday (not hard to do). :)
      Gifts God has given not already covered in feeling alive:
      • A thriving ministry and life as exemplified on Monday and Tuesday.
      I love doing this because I see that I really am most alive when I am praying and even praying with others has been a delightful addition to my life these days. I have been more intentional about trying to pray with another person at least daily. That has been fun and life-giving. I want to be involved in those things are life-giving to myself and others.

      Monday, January 23, 2017

      Facebook Fast

      My church is having a "Prayer and Fasting Week." After I am done teaching my classes until Wednesday night, I will actually fast from food, but since last night, I have been fasting from Facebook. So, I am going to log here when I had the thought to post, and what it was that I was going to post.

      Jan 23 1:34 pm. Wanted to post how great it felt to do Pilates at OSU today.

      (By the way, I WILL make one exception during the fast to post A BIG HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY 25 YEAR OLD SON!)

      Jan 24 6:22 am. Was tempted to "check in" because it is part of my morning routine. Wanted to post my chapters in Genesis, but I am not even doing that. Natural inclination on my part to pass on what I am learning, especially from God. I know I would go on and get bombarded with news that is junk though. SO tired of the negativity. By the way, one of my Pilates students told me how to turn off the news on my iPhone. I am so happy about that. I also turned it off on start up page. Chrome never had news, but Edge gave it to me without asking. I had tried to turn it off before, but I did not do it for my "start up" page. (I wish I could go back to Chrome, but this whole computer does work better with Edge, and they don't bombard me telling me that I should use Edge.)

      Jan 25 5:30 am - I wanted to post something nice about George. I cannot remember what it was, but it wasn't that big a deal to not post it. I am not missing Facebook one bit. Sad to say. I wish it would go back to how it was in the beginning. It was more social. Now it is too political.

      Jan 26 7 am - Rereading Divine Conspiracy and wanted to post about how much I have grown to love this book. :) YUMMY READING!

      (Finding after four days that I am in no way missing any of the negativity and STUPID NEWS that keeps clogging up my newsfeed on Facebook - I do not know how to turn off the news that keeps on popping up.)

      Jan 26 1:40 I took the most gorgeous picture of the sun shining down on the Crescent Valley and wanted to post it. I suppose I could just post those things to Instagram which tends to be more positive on my feed and not laden with bummer news.

      Jan 26 evening - there was something, but I cannot remember. I thought, "I should share this." Then I remembered that I am on a Facebook fast! :)

      Jan 28 morning - I wanted to post "Happy Birthday Pride and Prejudice" and the funny "rap." I was really tempted to do it.

      I had a friend write me asking me about my Facebook fast because of politics, but I don't remember writing that I was taking it because of the politics. I did it because of my week of prayer and fasting that my church embarked on. I knew I would not be able to food fast until Thursdays because of teaching physical activity classes. So I wanted to do something, and this has confirmed that I am not addicted. I like to use Facebook to connect positively with people. I did mention politics and negativity in this post, but that was not my motivation for the fast. It has been a side-benefit though.


      Prayer Review of Week 3

      What made me feel most alive and in tune with God's plan:



      • Sweet, sweet time of prayer for the Persian world with my Kingdom Community
      • Prayer to kick off the Week of Prayer and Fasting with 25 people I love
      • Listening prayer leaders meeting and talking with Graham and Nicole
      • Walking to church in the sunshine
      • Time in Genesis
      • Talking about Honor and Shame with Kingdom Community
      • Beautiful teamwork speaking at a workshop with the four other women who do what I do up in Portland
      • A day to catch up on studying at Hillsboro Library
      • Beautiful interaction with one of the library employees
      • Walking at Dawson Creek
      • The sunset from the second floor of the library
      • Spending time with George in the car to and from Hillsboro
      • Working with my mother-in-law to clean out Aunt Dot's house and finding treasured memories
      • Good Pilates teaching week
      • Meeting new International students at Free Lunch
      • Helping the Free Lunch people clean up
      • Praying with the Free Lunch people
      • Nice talk with Jordan at Free Lunch
      • Riding my bike to and from OSU

      What made me feel most dead (and small and not God's beloved) and not in tune with God's plan:
      • Blindsided by the news that our college pastor was terminated
      • Horrible negativity on Facebook. I must take a break for my heart is hurting for all the negativity and vulgarity.
      • News that slaughters and disrespects. Must take a break.
      Ways to show my love for God and others this week:

      Prayer and fasting for meeting Tuesday night, Thursday morning (both have the potential to be tough conversations), and Friday midday mosque visit (this probably will not be tough but want to show love to our Muslim neighbors). Be a listener. Love on our son on his 25th birthday.
      Gifts God has given not already covered in feeling alive:
      • Once again, my wonderful family. I love them so much. They are my daily joy to be around. I love having Michael here, and I love that Paul stayed the weekend with us.





      Sunday, January 15, 2017

      Prayerful Review of the Week

      I have not done this since the third week of December. While I would love to do this daily, I think it is more realistic to do it weekly. :) These are questions from Trevor Hudson who wrote Beyond Loneliness. This was part of the supplementary material he supplied through the Renovare Book Club

      Prayerful Review of Week 2:

      What made me feel most alive and in tune with God's plan:

      • Celebrating Aunt Dot's life at the Memorial.
      • Seeing my son's talent on display in the slide show he created.
      • Laughing hysterically in the car with my family.
      • The beauty of pure white snow across fields.
      • The dancing light on snow and ice.
      • Times in Genesis and the gospel.
      • Praying the Scriptures.
      • Talking with friends on Facebook.
      • Meeting with my Kingdom Community after a long break. Hearing them tell Bible Stories!
      • Two new classes of mostly 20-something students is so invigorating for me.
      • Cross-country skiing in my neighborhood in freshly fallen snow.
      • Reaching my goal of losing 10 pounds in a month. :)
      • Eating really healthy fruits and veggies and lean meats.
      • Watching He Named Me Malala documentary.
      • Getting back to weight training doing The FIRM Time Crunch.
      • Walking to my first day of class.
      • Doing my Dial a Book Deliveries.
      • The thrill of new books from the library.
      • The validation of friends who know me well and for many years.
      What made me feel most dead (and small and not God's beloved) and not in tune with God's plan:
      • The non-validation of friends who do not know me well. (Well, one of them did try to validate me once she was over the shock of seeing me share my feelings.)
      • Lack of compassion (and anger) from one of those friends. The shaming was something I don't usually encounter.
      • Feeling like I cannot be myself around them for fear that they will shame me and make it about them rather validating my concerns.
      Ways to show my love for God and others today:
      • Worship at Suburban.
      • Pray for those two friends and try to find a way forward for me that is honest and true.
      Gifts God has given not already covered in feeling alive:
      • My family is a daily gift. I love our peace and laughter. I love that my kids are best friends.
      • The godly heritage of George's family displayed at Aunt Dot's service.
      • Coming from a great town, El Segundo.




      Thursday, January 05, 2017

      3. The Coming of Mr. Quinn by Agatha Christie


      15820798This is a perfect story to read at the New Year since that is when the events of this mystery take place. It is a short and sweet introduction to the brilliance of Agatha Christy. I thought I read one in high school, but I cannot remember the name. So maybe I never have! It is short and sweet but fun!

      Wednesday, January 04, 2017

      2. The Road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson


      I read Notes from a Small Island by the same author just last month. I thought it might be too much, but it was just more about the place that I love! He went to more places that we have been to, and one of his favorite places was Avebury Stones. It was also probably our favorite place too. He also made me feel better about not going inside the Manor House there and just walking around all the cool places like West Kennet Long Barrow and Silbury Hill! We saved ourselves a lot of money that way! (Here is my own travelogue of the Avebury Stones: http://carolhomeschool2.blogspot.com/2016/07/travelogue-day-9-worcester-cathedral-to.html.)


      I know some people think he is a curmudgeon, but I think he is just hilarious. I also learn so much about the history of places when he writes these little travel memoirs.

      I kept thinking he was going to end up in Little Dribbling, but alas, it is a fictional place!

      1. A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett


      What a delightful book! I cannot believe I had never read it. The whole time I kept wondering if they had made a movie out of this. Then, as I was drifting off to sleep with the "sleep timer" on this audiobook, my subconscious kicked into high gear. I had seen a movie on this book! It was with Shirley Temple and was one of my favorite movie memories as a small child! There is one particular scene that is simply delightful.


      I give two thumbs up to this little gem. I really liked the audiobook that I got free a long time ago and had forgotten about.



      Sunday, January 01, 2017

      2017 Seven Simple Scripture Steps

      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 with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. (Mark 12:30)

      (Love, worship, and adore Him with all of my being)

      5. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. (Mark 12:31)

      (Serve my sweetheart, sons, and students [training, Pilates, TOAG, Tahera, and Bible Book Club people])

      6. Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercise self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore, I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27)

      (2017 self-control resulting in strong and svelte at 22 BMI)

      7. So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of  God. For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. Therefore, let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience. (Hebrews 4:9)

      (Regular rest periods - sabbaticals and Sabbaths)







      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...