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Meditating for Babies

17 Apr

Spring Break 2020 began March 13th this year, and I decided to do a little overhaul on my spiritual life during break. I picked up my well-worn copy of Oswald Chamber’s My Utmost for His Highest and began eating from that always restorative banqueting table. My sister-in-law, Robin, recommended a Bible reading app called Read Scripture, which I read every night when I go to bed. This app includes amazing videos created by The Bible Project which tie together Bible themes across the Old and New Testaments.

My friends Vicki and Gary gave me a copy of Moving Your Invisible Boundaries and I decided to slowly read a chapter in the morning and one in the evening while putting into practice the suggested exercises. Part of the premise of this book is that we are limited by some of the beliefs in our hearts. For example, if I believe that I am worthless it will affect my actions. However Dr. Jim Richards points out that we can change the content of our hearts by meditating on God’s Word.

As Spring joyously bursts forth so is my renewal in the Word of God.

If I were to rank how I best get to know God, I would make a ranking like this: 1) Studying the Word, 2) Reading the Word, 3) Praying, and 4) Meditating on the Word. Dr. Richards made me aware of the importance of meditating on the Word and so I’ve started—-wait for it—-Meditating for Babies.

I have a notebook in which I have lists of verses (mostly pertaining to our identity in Christ and in His death, burial, and resurrection). I write one of these verses on a page in my notebook, and then I put on a little water sound audio clip that goes for 10 minutes. (This is why I call this meditation for babies. I’m setting VERY achievable goals for myself.) Somehow, the audio track seems to keep my brain on track. I meditate on the verse of the day with a pencil in hand until the audio clip runs out.

I am NOT trying to set myself up as some sort of spiritual giant here. It’s more like when you put off repairs on your car until it’s going to cost you a small fortune to get it back on the road.

I’m not quite sure what to think about a lot of what is going on with Covid-19. I do ache for people who have gotten sick, who’ve lost loved ones, who have canceled weddings, and for all those who’ve lost jobs when living paycheck to paycheck–not to mention all of the people working in essential positions who are juggling family, work, and restrictions. But for me, our shelter-in-place allowed me to easily continue my new routines until they become firmly established. I pray that you will find spiritual benefit during this time too!

Say It!

19 Nov
1st Thessalonians 5:11

In this verse, we are commanded to encourage one another and build up one another.

Encourage, or parakaleite, means to aid, help, comfort, and encourage. It comes from two words that mean “call to the side of”. We call someone alongside us so that we can encourage them.

Build up, or oikodomeite, means to build, rebuild, construct. Metaphorically it is to establish and confirm.

Recently, a couple of events happened that showed me that I don’t do this enough. A friend, who I hadn’t seen in twenty-some years, came up to me and said, “I was just talking about you yesterday. We were having some parent/step-parent issues at my school and I told them that I was in the car with you and your sons and step-sons once when your step-sons began complaining about their mother. You stopped the car and turned around and told them that you NEVER wanted to hear them talk about their mother that way!” Maybe it’s a small thing to you, but to me it was the most affirming thing I could have heard at that moment. 

I’m not telling you this to make myself look good, but to tell you how much it blessed me. This was the first incident that made me realize that I don’t always SAY IT! I may think it, but I don’t SAY IT!

The second incident happened in my homeschool classroom. We were reading King Lear, and I told them that when I read Romeo and Juliet in high school I went on to read most of Shakespeare’s plays. At that moment I realized how much my English teacher, Mary Francis, would have liked to have known that. She might also have been thrilled that I read most of John Steinbeck’s novels after we read The Grapes of Wrath.

I believe that Mary Francis would have been delighted to know that she fanned that flame. It’s so easy to encourage and build others up if we just take a moment to be intentional. SAY IT!

STC 22292, title page

Philippians 4:8 Visual Verses

4 Aug

I’ve been teaching the High School Girls’ Sunday School class at our church for a few months, and I love it! We have a curriculum to follow, but they said they wanted to learn more about mental health and so I’ve been making these visual verses that we look at the last five minutes of class. Since I think of mental health as thinking Biblically, these verses seem to fit the ticket.Capture

2 Timothy Visual Verses

31 Jul

I’ve been teaching the High School Girls’ Sunday School class at our church for a few months, and I love it! We have a curriculum to follow, but they said they wanted to learn more about mental health and so I’ve been making these visual verses that we look at the last five minutes of class. Since I think of mental health as thinking Biblically, these verses seem to fit the ticket.

2tim1-7.png

James 1:8 Visual Verses

28 Jul

I’ve been teaching the High School Girls’ Sunday School class at our church for a few months, and I love it! We have a curriculum to follow, but they said they wanted to learn more about mental health and so I’ve been making these visual verses that we look at the last five minutes of class. Since I think of mental health as thinking Biblically, these verses seem to fit the ticketjames1-8

Romans 12:2 Visual Verses

25 Jul

I’ve been teaching the High School Girls’ Sunday School class at our church for a few months, and I love it! We have a curriculum to follow, but they said they wanted to learn more about mental health and so I’ve been making these visual verses that we look at the last five minutes of class. Since I think of mental health as thinking Biblically, these verses seem to fit the ticket.

Deep Calling Unto Deep

6 Oct

Mike and I live across the street from the Atlantic Ocean (I just love saying that!) and one thing that amazes us is how different it is every time we see it. You can always sense God’s mighty power in it, but usually, it is a subtle power. Yesterday, we saw the results of the hurricanes and tropical storms that have passed through. The normal sea greens, turquoise blues, and blue-greys had been replaced by sable browns and blacks because God had stirred up the deeps of the ocean. It was ugly, just as the sins in our lives are ugly.

Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did He in heaven and on earth, in the seas and in all deep places. Psalm 135:6

 

I’ve been thinking much about the storms in life and how hurricane Matthew last year and hurricane Irma this year are physical examples of the storms we experience in life: death, illness, relationship issues, financial troubles, emotional issues. In the same way that hurricanes churn up the depths of the ocean, storms in our lives churn up the depths in us.

He revealeth the deep and secret things; He knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with Him. Daniel 2:22

Because God is merciful and loving, He wants to reveal what is in the darkness, what is buried in the depths, so it can be dealt with and we become more like Him in the process.

O my God, my soul is cast down within me [Due to a storm in life?]; therefore will I remember Thee from the land of Jordan and of the Hermonites, from the hill of Mizar. Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of Thy waterspouts; all Thy waves and Thy billows have gone over me. Yet the Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me and my prayer unto the God of my life. Psalm 42:6-8

As the ugly things are revealed, the proper response is repentance proceeding from a humble teachability and dependence upon God–even with issues of character. Here is a link to a video of the churned up ocean.