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Showing posts from June, 2008

Keeping the Sabbath V

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Well, I can't say this one was as easy as last week. But, I have grown used to my reflexive nature and merely dismissed ideas and desires as they cropped up. In the afternoon I spent a bit of time thinking about what I have learned in this experiment.
1-Living in the moment is scary
It is more comfortable to make plans and create schedules hoping that each thing comes together than to sit with a sense of disappointment in one's self-my lack of domestication (read-not fond of cleaning and cooking), or feel insecure (do they really like me, if they truly knew me would they still like me?), or downright fear (how are we going to pay for this, how can I repair this relationship?) Instead, just plan something in the future and my sense of competence is restored. God will probably be in my future as he was in my past, but why do I snub my nose at him in the present? And how can I be used by him if I am unwilling to be present with him?
2-Boredom is bad
I did not miss those technological…

Prayer superstitions

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" A lot of other bigger networks didn't want me to say "In Jesus' name" because everybody doesn't believe in Jesus. Well, I was taught that most every time you have to end the prayer with "In Jesus' name" or he doesn't hear it, so that's how I was taught. Whether I believe that or not I still had to stick up for Jesus and say "In Jesus' name, Amen." "

See, even Dog the Bounty Hunter thinks so. Quote from an interview by Wittenburg Door-you can read it here: http://www.wittenburgdoor.com/dog-bounty-hunter-speaks%21

Playing on the steps again

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There is a saying often heard in recovery that the only step I need to really have is a 1st step (at which point I roll my eyes and groan-inwardly, of course). For real, I am so unmanageable in a million different moments that there is no question if I am powerless!!!! What I sometimes lack is hope, that things will be different, and maybe even better, at some point and strength to even hold on until that change presents itself and knowledge of how things SHOULD change (particularly since I have spent so much time screwing it up!).
~~~~~~~~ What I need is a 2nd step. I need to know that there is Someone bigger than me who can help, who is willing to help, who WILL help.
~~~~~~~~ There are too many areas of my life that feel unsettled right now. I feel so loosely connected to people that I envision myself as an astronaut doing a spacewalk. Yesterday, leaving one more thing, I felt like I had become disconnected from the space station and began to float away into nothing. To BE some…

Keeping the Sabbath IV

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An interesting thing happened on the way to this week's Sabbath...I relaxed into it. I looked forward to setting my phone aside and walking past the computer. I was waiting to spend some time in prayer in the morning before starting the day. I prayed later with a woman before hearing her inventory and thanked God for her courage and growth. I only winced at not having my phone when my schedule got off track and I wanted to warn my husband. Now, certainly, I do not think that it will always be like this, but what an odd contrast to other weeks.

Scriptuuurrrre SAYS-

"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him." -Matthew 6:5-8


Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. -Philippian 4:6-7

Pray without ceasing. -1Thessalonians 5:17

Anti-prayer

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I don't want all my problems taken away. I need them to remember that there is Rest. I need them to remind me that Peace and Healing are not events. And I need them to help transform my understanding of what problems are. I have the Solution and so everything else is pigeon poo. There is this Yiddish wives tale that it is good luck to be pooped on by a bird. My pain and my difficulties are gifts to me where I can lean into Strength that is not mine and learn to rely on Him. I teach myself to focus on Joy when all around me is chaos. I can bring Light to a dark world. Amen.

Please and Thank You

So, since yesterday I have been thinking about prayer. Like saying grace for instance, does that "mean" anything to God or is it just a nice pause for us to remember the Source of all. I think food seems to taste a little better and conversation seems to come a bit easier as we put everything in its proper perspective in those moments. But is that it?
<<<>>> Then what about ending prayers in "In the name of Jesus" to somehow make them "valid." Like God will grant our request because I use his code words. Is my intent to really come before God relying on Christ or is it just to manipulate God?
<<<>>> What about when you ask for things and then you should immediately thank God because they are done, will be done, if we have faith? Isn't that a bit presumptuous? Or just stupid? What makes MY will God's will? And I don't even want my will, since that is usually based on selfish, nearsighted motives.
<<…

Prayer

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Two of my favorite kids, Kenton and Brock, wanted to get their picture taken. Of course I must comply because I love them, but then strangely, for the pose, they wanted to pray... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ What is praying about? Lest you think I don't pray, I do. It's just that I don't know if I really "get it." Why do we think that to be mature we shouldn't use prayers as coins to plug into a slot machine God but then we wonder what to say? I must confess, I am not good at the supplication of the A-C-T-S. Adoration makes perfect sense since God is amazing to me. Contrition is the natural outpouring of my response to the awesome-ness of God...that I see myself to be so not God. Thanksgiving also makes sense-an amazing God is hanging out with the likes of me. But supplication? What can I possibly ask for after the first 3?! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Sometimes the conversation that seems to run between me and God causes me to pause and question my sanity. Who is talking anyway? What diffe…

Outside the Box

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Keeping the Sabbath III

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With each Sunday, it seems to get a little easier until today my mind started to inquire as to whether I was really accomplishing my goal of focusing on God more and less on these silly modern toys. Have I changed anything more than created a rote abstinence? Have I focused on God or found different ways (reading and naps) to amuse myself? I am not sure of the answer and so I will continue to chew on it as the week goes by. __________ This week being released from the phone and computer was not so painful, but it was tricky. I "forgot" a couple times what my intention was and started to pick up a phone or pull out the computer chair. (Yes, I am not a cool blogger lying on the couch with my laptop.) It spurred me to think about how many times I forget about God, forget to rely on Him and take back my will. I thought about how many times I forget my promise to try to live out of love...not just forget but obliterate my ideals before I even realize it. Today, I caught mys…

Worship

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So, since the Sabbath is soon upon me, I thought I would write a quick post. I am trying to write more than once a week, but time has just been flying! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Am I the only one who gets distracted at church. I think about God less sometimes when I am in the church service than when I am just at home reading, or blogging for that matter. Sure, the songs are about God, but I am wondering when my friend is going to show up (and not Jesus, either) and why the drummer can't keep the beat. I am distracted by the coffeehouse I have set up for socializing after. It is too hot. The band is too loud. This kid keeps crying. The dude behind me sings funny. That chick over there is waving "hi" to God like he is looking down. Why is it so hard to focus on God at his own house? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ And yet, the answer comes....I cannot do this without God help as with the myriad of other things that I have learned to lean on Him for.

Religion vs. Spirituality

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“When religion replaces the actual experience of the living Jesus, when we lose the authority of personal knowing and rely on the authority of books, institutions, and leaders, when we let religion interpose between us and the primary experience of Jesus as the Christ, we lose the very reality that religion itself describes as ultimate.”–Brennan Manning in The Wisdom of Tenderness

Loved this quote posted by JulieT found on another blog. I have been thinking about this a lot-religion (rules and regulations) versus spirituality (seeking God which often feels like playing a game of hide and seek). For anyone who has been reading my blog, I believe that experiencing God is as important as following faithfully. There are people who seem to never have fallen into the love of Christ but can quote all sorts of books and dogma. I feel bad for them. How can you follow something faithfully if it has no real value? And how can it have value just on what someone else says but you have not pe…

Keeping the Sabbath II

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I was a little more nervous this time around. I had to use phones and computers for work, but was determined to be conscious of my heart's intention and use these things as tools, not spiritual or emotional pacifiers. I prayed and gave the day to God. Still, I had a crappy day. I don't know if it would've been tough anyway, but it was one of those frustrating days where you don't know whether to cry or scream. By the end of the day I had done both. I found myself wanting to call my husband or friend during the day. I wanted to disconnect from everything into a game on my phone. I prayed, but the prayers felt hollow. I knew it was not God the Spirit that I wanted but God in flesh that I needed.Feeling how distracted I had become and how it was effecting me emotionally, I spent a little time writing. It was interesting:Why I want to call someone-to see how they are doing-because I am worried about them-can I place that uncertainty and fear and them in God's handsjust…

Did Jonah have flashbacks?

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Keeping the Sabbath

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I have a friend who is Colombian by birth, Catholic by orphanage, American by adoptions, Jewish by circumsion, and recovering by choice. In an effort to find his connection with God, he talked about becoming Orthodox. Now, mind you, his girlfriend started out orthodox but got herself removed from the services for using a pen to write. So, why he would desire to abide by strict rules does not make much sense to me. At a Memorial day picnic we decided to challenge each other-no cell phones or computer for our particular Sabbath for the month of June. He is a technology junkie so I figured it would be more difficult for him. I was banking on my sheer stubbornness. Unfortunately, Sunday was the start, my Sabbath, not his. We discussed the ground rules on Saturday afternoon and with some nervousness, I began our technology fast days(Now, certainly, to be orthodox, he would need to abstain from much more, but we are whimpy gen xers and we want to take it slow.)It started off ok, but…