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Archive for the ‘Sabbath’ Category

…and spiritual disciplines: don’t let me neglect spiritual disciplines.

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Matthew 19:23-25
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is very hard for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. I’ll say it again—it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!”

How so? Well, for starters, the camel must have a few things taken off it’s back for that to possibly work, and even then, it’s not easy. Accordingly, those who are rich may need to give up a thing or two to get where they want and need to be.

Which brings me back to the topic of the moment. I have some goals, and I’m having trouble working toward them. It seems I may be trying to carry too much thru the gateway that is my mind. The goals? More reading; books that is, for one. I have a few patiently awaiting my attention.

Social Media? I may admit to being hooked on it. Does that surprise you?

The Socratic method is a way to seek truths by your own lights. I admit to enjoying the new realm that is Social media, especially the FB. It has largely taken the place of television, which is OK, but also much more. I learn a lot about others, but in writing/blogging, I’ve also learned some things about myself. But to seek truth by my own light? Hardly: my bulb burns too dimly for that.

There are some things I want to pursue, and greater effort toward some spiritual disciplines may help: Prayer, study, service, blessing, fasting?

I could stand to lose a few pounds, and these disciplines should only serve as a reminder/aid. I feel like I may be getting a little soft, both up top and around the middle.

So, for the strategy: a Facebook Fast. I’m going to delete the FB Apps from my iDevices, at least for a season. Perhaps until the holidays? I don’t know. When I’ve hopefully lost 10 pounds, I will plan to be back. I may have to get Little Frau to help me know what all is going on. It certainly won’t be the first time!

So, here we go. I hope to keep Blogging, so watch for it off the grid if you are a reader. I may even tweet from time to time.

This camel is going on a diet. Hopefully what is left behind will pull me thru when the time Is right.

After all, the gate is only the beginning.

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Isaiah 45:5 I am the LORD, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me,

The tune lyrics below from The Sidewalk Prophets has been following me around the past few days.

Isaiah was quite the “walking path” prophet in his own right and day, and his words, ultimately those of the LORD, have been before me this morning.

May we be strengthened this morning, and acknowledge and worship Him
fully. He loves us, anyway…

The question was raised
As my conscience fell
A silly, little lie
It didn’t mean much
But it lingers still
In the corners of my mind
Still you call me to walk
On the edge of this world
To spread my dreams and fly
But the future’s so far
My heart is so frail
I think I’d rather stay inside

But You love me anyway
It’s like nothing in life that I’ve ever known

Yes You love me anyway
Oh Lord, how You love me
How You love me

It took more than my strength
To simply be still
To seek but never find
All the reasons we change
The reasons I doubt
And why do loved ones have to die?

But You love me anyway
It’s like nothing in life that I’ve ever known
Yes You love me anyway
Oh Lord, how You love me

I am the thorn in Your crown
But You love me anyway

I am the sweat from Your brow
But You love me anyway

I am the nail in Your wrist
But You love me anyway

I am Judas’ kiss
But You love me anyway

See now, I am the man who yelled out from the crowd
For Your blood to be spilled on this earth shaking ground
Yes then, I turned away with a smile on my face
With this sin in my heart tried to bury Your grace
And then alone in the night, I still called out for You
So ashamed of my life, my life, my life

But You love me anyway
Oh, God… how you love me
You love me anyway
It’s like nothing in life that I’ve ever known

You love me anyway

Oh Lord, how You love me

How You love me

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There was a pop song in the 70’s that said “if a picture paints a thousand words, than why can’t I paint you?”. Thanks to a Facebook app discovered just this morning, I think I just did.

What an experience and personal story emerges from staring into a collage like this.

Friends. Family. People from a distant past. People you knew once, if just a little, that you have so much more in common with today. People you have gone into battle with (granted, in the relative, blessedly safe, life on American soil perspective). People you can count on. People you want to be there for.

If you are a Facebook user, I would encourage you to get on today, run the app, and just see what stories emerge for you.

There is another song, this one heard first by my ears from the Hardeman Auditorium stage of Oklahoma Christian University in 1985, that sums up much of the sentiment found today in this collage: Friends, by Michael W Smith. Friends, who will be friends forever, no matter what.

Before we share in those lyrics, there was another line uttered on the Hardeman stage just this past year, this one in a comedic sense: “So sad to be all alone in the world”. This picture collage is a great reminder today that “alone” is not the word of the day: “friends” is.

May you have a blessed day, in whatever day you may read this. I know mine has been already.

Packing up the dreams God planted
In the fertile soil of you
Can’t believe the hopes He’s granted
Means a chapter in your life is through
But we’ll keep you close as always
It won’t even seem you’ve gone
‘Cause our hearts in big and small ways
Will keep the love that keeps us strong

And friends are friends forever
If the Lord’s the Lord of them
And a friend will not say never
‘Cause the welcome will not end
Though it’s hard to let you go
In the Father’s hands we know
That a lifetime’s not too long to live as friends.

With the faith and love God’s given
Springing from the hope we know
We will pray the joy you’ll live in
Is the strength that now you show

But we’ll keep you close as always
It won’t even seem you’ve gone
‘Cause our hearts in big and small ways
Will keep the love that keeps us stron

And friends are friends forever
If the Lord’s the Lord of them
And a friend will not say never
‘Cause the welcome will not end
Though it’s hard to let you go
In the Father’s hands we know
That a lifetime’s not too long to live as friends.

Words: Deborah D. Smith
Music: Michael W. Smith

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Psalm 127

A song of ascents. Of Solomon.
 1 Unless the LORD builds the house,
   the builders labor in vain.
Unless the LORD watches over the city,
   the guards stand watch in vain.
2 In vain you rise early
   and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat—
   for he grants sleep to those he loves.

 3 Children are a heritage from the LORD,
   offspring a reward from him.
4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
   are children born in one’s youth.
5 Blessed is the man
   whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
   when they contend with their opponents in court.

The attached link from author Rick Boxx has more to say on this idea, but I especially appreciated the words in this excerpt:

Work is good. God ordained it. We should do it to the best of our ability. Work is one way of being good stewards of our abilities, talents and gifts. However, work taken to excess is counterproductive and can carry negative consequences. So consider this advice: Take time to relax and enjoy life the way God intended – work in balance with an adequate amount of rest and leisure activities.

okc.cbmc.com/FaxofLife.aspx

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