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Do you remember that Verizon commercial?  Illustrating all the different locations where Verizon gets service?  It was catchy, clever and certainly memorable.  Sometimes I feel as though my prayer life is like a Verizon commercial!  I need to pray for ___, and ____, or and don’t forget ___.  Did I remember ____, oh and _____, and didn’t she ask for my prayers last week??????  So many people to pray for, so many needs, such a long list, I don’t want to forget anyone who asked for my prayers……yikes!  Prayer is stressful!

Really????

St. Luke tells of a story of Jesus approaching a town called Naim.  As he got near the gates he saw a man being carried out, the only son of a widowed mother.  St. Luke tells it like this, “The Lord was moved with pity upon seeing her and said to her, “Do not cry.”  Then he bid the dead man to get up and we all know the rest of the story.

Did you notice?  The woman didn’t even have to ask…..’the Lord was moved with pity’.

Forget the lists, forget the proper posture, forget the formatted words and forget the timed prayer sessions.

Lift up your eyes, open your heart to Him and let Him heal.  “The Lord was filled with compassion”….and she didn’t even have to ask!

Is this me?

 

Unknown(Thank you Prior Lake American for creating a visual of the way that I am feeling)

So I’m thinking’…..as I have my Noah snowsuit on……

Should I start building an ark with skis?

Should I start eating those chips because comfort food adds layers of blubber?

Should I take a mental vacation to the Caribbean?

Or should I take some quiet time to reflect…..what can I learn from this weather? Silly question?  Our God who counts the hairs on our heads, watches each sparrow that falls to the ground, and catches our tears as they fall, isn’t random.
There is something for me to glean…
Open my heart O Holy Spirit and help me to learn the wisdom that you offer as gently and freely as the falling snow.

 

 

jesus_lover_of_my_soul_edited-2

So, I’m thinking that this post is going to sound like a cross between spirituality 101 and a fairy tale.  For years I have struggled with the false-self/true-self model.  Not that I didn’t believe that it had validity – too many of my respected mentors speak of it, but I just couldn’t wrap my self around understanding it totally – not that anything spiritual can be totally understood!

It’s just that I didn’t really know what a true self is – because if my false self is the face that I project to the world, than, not only is it depressing,  but then where is this illusive true self and how do I get it to surface?

Once again, my understanding came from a child……who defined a ‘soul’ as the part of you that lives forever with God.  Not only do I love that simplicity, but that definition was an ‘ah-ha’ moment for me.

In order for me to not make this a too-long post, I will highlight my ‘ah-ha’s’

  • I have a soul inside of me that is both beautiful and perfect (the true self that God created???)
  • It is the ‘me’ that is eternal and is united with God both now and forever
  • It is the ‘me’ that God sees – the rest is just fluff and really inconsequential to God – (that point may get me into trouble)
  • I can access my soul anytime I become quiet
  • My soul is where I meet God – we reside there together
  • My soul – my true self – my eternal (noun) – God’s creation is loved.  Beyond all measure, beyond all time, beyond all space, all words and all actions.  My soul is who God created – my ‘me’

A Christmas Question

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How will you celebrate Christmas this year?

1)  Is your shopping done?  Are your presents wrapped?  Is the eggnog made?  Are the Holiday cards sent?  Are you counting the days until DECEMBER 26TH???  Happy Holidays!

2)  Are the family invitations out?  Have you decided which service you’re attending?   Is the manger set up?   Is the menu planned?   Are you counting the days until CHRISTMAS DAY?  Merry Christmas!

3)  Have you read the Prologue to John’s Gospel?   Have you carved out some ‘time apart’?   Have you counted your Blessings?  Are you counting the days until CHRISTMAS EVE?   Be Still and Know….

Do You See What I See?

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Ok, I drew an outline around this, but I think that we can all agree that this is a ‘heart-puddle’.  It was in my driveway this morning and I had the privilege of seeing it and reflecting on it on my morning walk.  You see, the more that you look, the more that you see…..All of God’s creation speaks to us, and it is always a message of love.
A tall barren tree speaks to us of detachment
A crispy leaf on the ground speaks of dying to self
A breeze speaks the language of the Holy Spirit
Branches pointing upward speak of lifting our hearts to God
Rain speaks of washing away the false self and beginning again
And a ‘heart-puddle’ speaks of His LOVE.
Advent….we wait….we listen….we prepare….and most importantly……HE WAITS FOR US…..

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Right now I have two different kinds of granola bars in my office.  Each morning at about 11:00 when my stomach tells my brain that I’m hungry, I look at the granola bars and think, ‘why do I keep buying granola bars when I don’t even like them?’

Well, I tell myself a variety of reasons:
- other people like them
- they are kind of a yuppie (do we even use that word anymore?) thing to eat
- they are quick and easy
- they are sort-of healthy

But the truth is, no matter what the reason, I don’t really like them, so why do I keep buying them?  I began to think….how many other things do I keep ‘doing’ out of habit, or because it is socially or politically correct?

The truth is, I am reaching a time in my life where I can break free of non-life-giving actions.  It may take some energy to stop and examine my habits, but it requires far more energy to continue patterns that do not nourish my soul (and body – no more granola bars).

There’s a lot of ‘yucky’ stuff that comes as we age, but there is also a lot more freedom, if we embrace it.  Maybe this has to do with the false self/true self, but perhaps it is time to reveal the ‘real me’ to the world – AND MYSELF!

 

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