Friday, December 31, 2010

Already...and Not Yet (part 2)

So it's the last day of 2010 Already! It's the trend to speak of the top things of the year passing away and then to look forward with a resolute heart (hence "resolutions") to the year to come.

So not to be left out... My 2010 Tops:
1) Road trips! I loved driving across country from Chicago to SLO and through Utah twice this past year!

2) Becoming a cyclist with my DH, who has always been a cyclist (hence great legs!) We rode almost 2,000 miles in 2010!

My Resolute Heart for 2011:
1) Cycle 3,000 miles

2) The dreams, desires and goals of this year would be guided by listening well to
the Holy Spirit Who lives in me.

I would really encourage you to write down your resolutions, your goals. Commit to them. Review them. Step toward them daily.

You can write them here!

Now seriously people, I want to know what your thoughts are!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Je t'adore

What does this mean? It's not all that mysterious-- "I adore you" in French. No offense please, but I don't mean I adore You, but I am exploring how I express my adoration for God to God. Daily. During various activities. In many ways.

I have found that when I am alone in the house (or the men are all still asleep--it is vacation for those still in school!) I speak out loud to God. I include Him in what I am doing, like vacuuming or washing dishes. When I have forgotten where I left something I will say out loud "I wonder where that is?" and when the picture of where it is sitting comes to mind then I say out loud, "Thank You Lord!" and go off to find the misplaced item. Sure enough, there it is!

Sometimes I stare out the window at the birds hopping from one plant to another seeking bugs. I am especially drawn to hummingbirds and have learned to listen for the whirring sound of their wings when I am gardening. Being still in the yard has given me many close encounters with hummingbirds and I am filled with both awe and joy then I whisper Thank You to Him Who sent them my way.

Other times the warmth of the sunlight streaming through the window draws our cat to lounge on the floor, basking in comfort. That picture reminds me of being "in the Light" and I am moved to thank God again.

I am trying to learn how to show God love. He has poured out His love for me in so many ways, the most significant is His Presence. I am learning to be present to His Presence.

What ways have you learned to show God you love Him?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Already...and Not Yet

(above photo is from Zion National Park, Utah. Taken August, 2010)

I have been offline intentionally; college son home for the holidays; AFS German son in town for two weeks; high school son home during break. Enough said.

I have found time for reading though and am musing a bit about what I've read and what the Biola student has shared from his courses this fall. This post's title sums it up: Already and Not Yet. This references the inaugurated Kingdom of God actually. I am already a part of God's Kingdom through the completed work of Christ at Calvary. But His Kingdom has also not yet been completed in our time frame and I am also not yet complete in my sanctification. I am no theology student but my take aways from my listening have been deepening me as I think more about what I have been reading.

Sacred Pathways by Gary Thomas is a book written to encourage and help each one of us to discover the spiritual route we were individually made to travel, marked by growth and filled with the riches of a close walk with God. I don't know about you, but whether I am greedy or it's hungering and thirsting for righteousness, I want more of God! I don't want more head knowledge; I want Him.

In Thomas' book he shares 9 different pathways of connecting with God. Now lest you think this is merely a metaphysical book, his foundational premise is the Word of God. The full counsel from Genesis to Revelation showing the Trinity in action and His people relating to Him throughout time. In fact, one particular statement referencing Mark 12:30 has prompted me to share my musings and invite you into the conversation. (go read the link; it will make sense of what follows!)

Quoting from Sacred Pathways: "Complete Christians-which all of us are called to be- should exhibit adoration, belief, divine guidance and service."

Part of this mysterious journey called "Life" is discovering what it looks like for me to love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. I like Thomas' words: adoration, belief, divine guidance, and service. I want to explore each of these ideas to identify ways for me to acknowledge God throughout my day. For example, in what real, practical ways can I or do I show God that I adore Him?

How about you? Please let me know what ways you adore God in your days. Join me in this journey!

Friday, December 3, 2010

First Week of Advent: Your Preparations?

The first week of Advent is almost over. What have you been doing in the area of preparations?

If your life is like mine, you've spent time converting the seasonal colors from golds, oranges, browns and reds to your family's traditional holiday colors and decorations. Could be lots of busyness or it could be a sweet time of memories and reflections.

The season of Advent is intended to help us slow our rhythms down and focus our hearts toward Christmas. The first week's emphasis is on HOPE.

I am full of HOPE for a quiet season inside me. I want to go deep under the surface of activities and be at peace. Today has been a terrific start of that internal peace for me; walk on the beach, time of reflection and time of recognition of the One Who calls to me in the middle of the hustle and bustle quietly.

So what do you HOPE for at this time?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Opera Company of Philadelphia "Hallelujah!" Random Act of Culture

You may know I love learning! I also like to know answers to "Why...?" Lately on Facebook there have been posts to a food court impromptu singing of the Hallelujah Chorus. I got to thinking about why that piece of Handel's Messiah has become so famous and why we stand at its singing. So here is a little history for you...

And now a different treat courtesy of singers in Philadelphia: