2.28.2013

Revealing Heaven by John W. Price (TLC Book Tour/Review)


God is ultimately concerned about the way we live our lives while on earth. We are to share God's love, share the gifts God gives us , knowing we create our own heaven or hell here for others and ourselves while we are alive. Those who have experienced life review report God's one commandment is to live in love. ~John W. Price


When I was contacted to review Revealing Heaven by John Price, I thought to myself, No. No way, not my type of read. Yet, since Heaven and Hell are the focus and since so many seem to be sharing "Near-Death" Experiences in mainstream media, perhaps, just maybe I should take a look. I always like to consider a person's perspective, especially when they are sharing how they have come to the conclusions they hold.

So I began reading this former hospital chaplain and current Pastor/Spiritual Director's perspective.

Which kind of starts off like this...

A Priest that doesn't believe in Heaven, yet leads an Episcopalian congregation,is convinced ultimately that Heaven exists but seems a little unclear about how you get there. For sure. Or maybe he has a clue but it might not be what you think or the way he thought at first. Besides most of the Priests in his circle are not convinced of the after-life anyway. Whoa.

Let's back up, here. I am not one who likes to dabble in these types of books. Although near death experience seems to be the current trend in publishing in both Christian and Secular circles, trends just get my red flag flying on any day but when you are talking about areas which are going to rely on anecdotal stories, I tend to be cautiously curious and skeptical.

It did not surprise me that there were varying beliefs about the afterlife in the religious order and circle that surrounded Reverend Price at the time he began to explore this phenomenon. In the days that Jesus confronted the Pharisees, Sadducees and religious sects, they could not agree on what they believed about life after death either. As a matter of fact for the most part, Christ came to make the way that God's chosen teachers were blocking.

 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. 

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.

Matthew 23: 13-15

Christ came to set the record straight. God came down and said that there was a way. One way. 

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
John 14:6

I digress. Back to Mr. Price's book. He is asking us to consider the accounts that he has personally heard (for the most part) from those who have had a NDE (Near- Death Experience) and have come back to share their vision of God, Jesus, Heaven or Hell as the case may be. I am not one to dismiss the personal accounts of others, having had my own personal experience of the conversion kind. I have seen miracles and have experienced a few not so easy to explain situations. I think if we want to be heard or understood we need to be willing to do likewise. 

In the two parts of the book we hear the stories of those who had heavenly experiences encountering the after life interviewed as well as the personal story of John's journey of growth in his own perspectives about faith, spirituality, life, death and pastoral responsibility.
The second part of the book delves into the specifics of the NDE which seems to characterize almost all of the returnees. Here is where we find the Hellish experiences and impact on the returning person's life as well as those who have had positive experiences and the impact on the lives they now live.

My first thought was to share this book with my Pastor and I will. The second thought was for you to read it yourself especially if you are skeptical about the reality of Heaven, Hell or Near-Death Experience. Aren't we all guilty of sometimes drawing conclusions without carefully listening to a view that might challenge our own point of view? I propose that before you dismiss something, consider how you feel when someone dismisses your thoughts, feelings or conclusions. I tend to want to avoid those things that can't be logically explained. But consider that we (Christians) want others to consider something that isn't logical at all. Wouldn't it be wise to at least be willing to treat someone who holds a view different than yours or that you are skeptical about with the same consideration you want them to offer you? 

Here is what I liked about this book:
The fact is, this is an amazingly intriguing read. The author is sharing something which obviously has become his life's work. I found it hard to put down as he shares his first hand conversations with those who have allegedly gone to Heaven or Hell and been pulled or sent back for whatever the reason. I can respect someone's thoughts, opinions and conclusions whether I agree or disagree with their position.
I think John Price wrote well and I appreciate and respect his dedication in seeking to understand something that is possibly beyond the realm of human understanding this side of eternity. Mr. Price has dedicated his life to this endeavor and shares candidly both his initial ignorance and epiphany moments along the way. The stories of the Near-Death Experience returnees are riveting.

Here is what disturbed me:
This book is a compelling read.
If you are a Evangelical Christian, I think you are going to have a hard time accepting some of his  conclusions. As I read the book I started to find myself feeling hopeful and the author's own quest for truth and understanding resonated within me to the core. When I put the book down, I had to acknowledge the (not so) subtle message that came through to me most was the works based philosophy underlying the main point. Live a good life, go to heaven. Meanies go to Hell. When in doubt I must, as a believer and follower of Jesus Christ, default to what He said about Heaven, Hell, Life and Death. I turn to scripture not experience. I am not denying that people have these experiences. Nor am I implying that Mr. Price is wrong to seek to understand them in the context of those he ministers to and serves. What I am saying is that we should listen to what others say regarding their spiritual experience and beliefs, especially if we want them to return the courtesy to us. I conclude with a quote by Elisabeth Elliot, "If God were small enough to be understood, He wouldn't be big enough top be God". In the end God is Sovereign. As far as all else.

I will let scripture speak:

Now all has been heard;
    here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
    for this is the duty of all mankind.
 For God will bring every deed into judgment,
    including every hidden thing,
    whether it is good or evil.
Ecclesiastes 12:13-14



From the Publisher: In Revealing Heaven: The Christian Case for Near-Death Experiences, the Reverend John W. Price, a longtime Episcopal priest and member of the Near-Death Experience Research Foundation, tackles a subject that’s been long-ignored by clergy. For the first time, Price offers a pastoral perspective on near-death experiences, illustrates how NDEs can be used as both a ministry tool and a catalyst for personal spiritual development, and explains why we should see them as gifts from God. Beginning with a life-changing experience as a young National Guard chaplain, and offering numerous examples from the over 200 near-death experiences related to him in his 40+ years of church service, Price offers some surprising and hopeful lessons for Christians struggling with death and grief: One does not need to be baptized a Christian to go to heaven—anyone who lives a good life and practices kindness can experience heaven. Sins we commit in life are forgivable even in death.
God has a plan for all of us, including a specific “time” for each of us to continue our lives in heaven.
In Revealing Heaven, Price offers a compilation of experiences by “returnees” along with biblical evidence to contend that NDEs are both valid and fully consistent with Scripture. A resource for a Christian audience looking for answers about life and death, this book will also appeal to anyone seeking a greater understanding of what the afterlife means for us in the here-and-now.


I received this book from TLC book tours and Harper One in return for a an honest review.
The opinions and thoughts expressed are my own.
Thank you TLC and Harper One!



2.27.2013

Writing to God (Week 2)

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Well, week 1 (Book: Days 1-7) is behind us and we get ready to journey ahead for week 2 (Book Days 8-14) of our Writing to God adventure. If you are along for this journey I invite you to share in the comments what your favorite prompt or writing day was this past week. If you happen to be dropping in, please join in the opening conversation or jump in with the below Prompt (Creative Writing) from Rachel's Writing to God Discussion Guide. 


Opening Conversation:
What writing are you doing this week (emails, grocery lists, etc.)?



Creative Writing
Write creatively (in any genre – fiction, poetry, memoir, etc.) for ten minutes
in response to this prompt: “Tomorrow promised to be a good day.” Offer
the opportunity for group members to share parts or all of their writing after
the ten minutes.



My thoughts from the past week:

*One of the reasons this book sat on my shelf for a bit was my concern about writing from prompts daily that were written by someone else. Generally that feels confining to me, or at least that was my perception prior to this first week of writing in response to these daily prompts. To my surprise the scripture and readings are edifying uplifting and inspiring. I only had one day where I felt I was a tad bit unfocused and chalk that up to my own issues of the morning.

*I can't even pick a favorite because I find each day has really been incredibly satisfying and positive.

*A note: I generally write to God through my journals. I tend to go on, and on and ramble back and forth. This is not a bad thing necessarily but my goal and hope for this Writing To God journey is to have a more focused time of writing that leads into my morning prayer time. I pick up my journal randomly anytime to write so I really was hoping that this endeavor would limit me (in a good way) and allow me to have a richer,more focused writing/prayer time that would be set apart each day. I only allow myself to write on the one page given, as an effort in focus and supporting my effort in this area. I do think that for some, a journal or notebook would be best, especially if one has not been writing in this way before. Then the freedom to go with the prompt and explore without page limits might be best. But for me in this season, limits are needful and helpful! Do what is best for you in the season God has you!

I hope you will comment and share how you are doing on your journey here with us! Feel free to link a post if you have one related to today's prompt or a post written about your journey! Otherwise, What are you writing this week? 

Feel free to pop in here anytime during the week to add a comment or link related to your journey.
Let's keep it lively and see you here next week as well!

2.26.2013

Forgiven





He came that I might know
truth.

Have life.

Live love.

Overcome as He overcame
death.

He lives now
so that I can...
know how
to live today
and forever

I wish I could say I know all
but choose instead
to learn to know the One
who said:
 *“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, 
even though they die;
 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. 
Do you believe this?”

so I die...

to my own selfish ambitions, 
and trust

that if I crucify
the me in I

Somehow I live and never die,

because He lives, so do I. 

simple, 
grand,
 a maddening plan,
I have my part 
I take His hand-
I choose
life


by grace through faith,
I believe
I am 
forgiven.


Amen.




*John 11:25-26
Ephesians 2:8 (grace through faith)
I am Linking with Create with Joy for Wordless Wednesday (but I had a few words) 
and my friends at dVerse for some poetic justice on a Tuesday afternoon!



Here's What I am Reading, Book Babes! (WOYN)




Here's what I finished since last time:


Revealing Heaven by John W. Price-Reviewing Thursday, February 28th

Holey, Wholly, Holy by Kris Camealy- I appreciated Kris's heart as revealed in this collection of readings she put together for the Lenten season. Raw, real and inspiring.

Finally Free by Kim Tabot - This just the right size study was a perfect start to the new year.
The readings spoke to the heart of my journey this year, challenging me to let go- releasing those things God has not meant for me to carry into my faith journey. I participated in the online 6 week study and found Kim makes some excellent points about true freedom in Christ. Practical.

Lifted by Angels by Joel Miller: Review for Miller's book review Here.

31 Days of Praise by Ruth Myers: Myer's book review Here.

The Curse of Tutankhamen by Elaine Landau (Mysteries of Science)- I read this because my Girl is studying ancient civilizations and we brought a stack of books home from the library- of which this was one I was blessed to explore and thoroughly creep-ed out by the stories surrounding the history surrounding the unearthing of this mummies tomb!


Here's what I am currently actually reading:

Writing to God by Rachel G. Hackenberg- Journeying through this book for the next 40 days HERE.
 As someone who writes regularly in a journal and to God, I thought I would find the prompts limiting or that I would dread being prompted but I am thoroughly enjoying using Rachel's prompts and am pleasantly surprised with the inspiration that comes new each morning!

Love Letters to God: Deeper Intimacy through Written Prayer by Lynn Morissey
This one has been on my shelf for many years, and I know I perused through at one time- but am reading now after my friend Kel @ Nourishment for the Soul posted a blurb about it! Straight from the heart and beautiful to gaze upon as well-will review this lovely book soon!

Praying for Your Prodigal Daughter: Hope, Help and Encouragement for Hurting Parents by Janet Thompson

Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life with Words by Susan G. Wooldridge


The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children
by Ross W. Greene


Stories and Poems for Extremely Intelligent Children of All Ages
by Harold Bloom (Selections)
This one is part of our Home-School reading but, sweet!


Blog At Home Mom
by Christin Slade
(I won this book over at Amy of Gospel Homemaking's place - YAY!)



Here's what I will be reading for review:







is my next reading for review choice from Booksneeze.








my read shelf:
Dawn's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)



What's On Your Nightstand


2.25.2013

Man Plans, God Laughs on Monday!



Nobody is more motivated than you, nobody loves your child more than you do, nobody has [a greater] desire for your child to succeed than you. 
~Krisa Winn on Home-Schooling. 

I loved stumbling upon the quote above this week, and am making it my Home School theme quote. The past week has been full, of graces, blessings and mercies fresh daily. He is faithful! 

~~~~~~~~~~~~

It has been a busy week for us, as the public and private schools were on winter vacation this past week. We managed to keep to our Home School work and schedule while allowing for some fun time with friends as well. 

Monday was a great get together and we headed to local Sand Dunes that are usually awesome for sledding but due to exceedingly high winds were a little blotchy. Everyone still made the best of it!


My Girl sliding...


My Girl's exit off of sliding apparatus! 
 


Sometimes beauty, like grace walks gently into our moments as quiet as a deer... 


Though it seems to walk by, it never leaves but reveals itself
in tender, unexpected moments.
*A half dozen deer showed up as my sweet friend and I sat praying following a blessed day!




February 20th was the Hub's Birthday.
We celebrated with Peanut Butter Cup Brownies and a special Mid-Life Crisis Present for him. He wanted it, don't get your panties all up in a bunch!



Sunday we got to see the most beautiful Bride-to-be, Sandy. Overjoyed for this dear friend and her soon to be Husband.


So here are my planning pages for the Blog as I was fleshing out the upcoming weeks. How is it that I decide to make a "blogging schedule", and no sooner than I do just that, I immediately break my own plan? That is when I am reminded of a sweet Jewish client who used to speak these sage quotes, "Man plans, and God laughs". Well, this is His place, I pray I am just the Facilitator and hostess, and available to flex as He wills. 
So much for the 4 day a week schedule...
Let's say that it is a "tentative" schedule, shall we?
Because this week IS a busy week here, ok? Stay with me and I will let you know so you can pick and choose what you don't want to miss!


So Emily over at Imperfect Prose put out a DARE this for the next few Mondays...
It's a dare, friends. It's A DARE TO LOVE YOURSELF. Starting now.
I took the dare and will be linking up with Emily for her Synchroblog -which starts today:February 25th!Consider taking the dare, ok?



Tuesday is time for What's On Your Nightstand- Stop by and I will tell you all about my current pile of books. I've got a pretty busy stack for the slowest reader in the land of Blogdom.
Stop by if you can- and consider sharing What's On Your Nightstand, too!


Wednesday is our informal check in for our Writing To God  journey.  Those participating  will share how their week of writing exercises went, share a post in the comments if they wish, or just comment on the "Conversation". I will be posting a little conversation prompt, for those who may drop in to visit and want to join the conversation.
 


Thursday I am hosting a Book Tour with review of this book by an Episcopalian Priest who shares some of his perspective on how the Near-Death Experiences of many, convinced him of the reality of Heaven. This one may be the most challenging Book Review I have had to write to date. Prayers welcome as I wrap that up. 


Friday is Random Journal Day- Hooray!
 



396. Lost keys in deep snow that God returned once we asked TOGETHER in prayer!
397. A blessed, busy joyful week. 398. Active, productive and peace filled days. 399. One day at a time may be the key to everything. Maybe even one breath, one step...
400. The God who grows greater in my eyes, but who is already greater than I can perceive.

Eyes to see, Lord. Eyes to see.  May I see your greatness and glory in the details of every moment, every day. Hallelujah!

I still have more I want to share, but it can wait! 
How about you-what's new and exciting in your life? 










2.24.2013

Learning to Love Myself (I Do!)



Who doesn't want to feel beautiful? 
Be loved? 
Experience acceptance?

I do.

Who doesn't want to look in the mirror, without loathing?
Without wrinkles frowning back from the glass,
but softness reflecting joy in an easy smile.

I do.

Who doesn't want the assurance that though beauty fades,
the heart that beats within remains vibrant, unique, strong.

I do.

Beauty visits some, evades others, yet thrives where love lives.

Who doesn't want love that permeates
makes alive,
burns real
not perfect, but with singed corners, tears and crags.

Do I?

Who doesn't want to know that pain is not wasted?
His economy considers,
what many don't see, ignore, avoid, shrink back from-
hidden from some but His eyes miss nothing.




Beyond the mirror,
 beyond the scale, beyond the wounds
that scar, blind and bind.

Beyond the labels, lies I've lived,
beyond the limits of my mind.

I'm learning to love that little girl-
whose innocence was snatched away-betrayed.

I'm learning to love that young child
who ran away brazen and wild.

I'm learning to love that murderous girl,
who escaped it all in a dangerous swirl-
in the absence of real love.

I'm learning to love that mom
who doubts and fears, 
and parents through tears.
I'm learning to love that woman inside
that I know within does reside.

I'm learning to see as He sees,
through eyes of grace, 
starting with me,
and when I do, I see too,
that I have abundant grace for you.

Because He loves.

I do!








So Emily shared this amazing post (yawn, cause she doesn't do this, like...every single week, right?) called A Women's Manifesto and it really needs to be read by every woman. This means you. She also shared A Dare to Love Yourself  themed Synchroblog - well here it is in her words since, after all it was her idea and she can tell it better than I:

*For the next few Mondays, I'm going to be doing a synchroblog (a link-up), leading up to the launch of my new book, Mom in the Mirror. (releasing Mother's Day 2013).. we'll be kicking it off NEXT Monday, February 25th, and the goal will be to link up a post related to learning to LOVE yourself... are you in?

It's a dare, friends. It's A DARE TO LOVE YOURSELF. Starting now.










2.22.2013

Inspiring Quotes On Writing (Why Do You Write?)


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Today, I am about to curl up in a cozy chair and write...and my mind comes to this quote from Chariots of Fire...."I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure."

I believe God made me for a purpose and I will write today because when I write I feel His pleasure.

Why do you write, today?

Here are some favorite quotes to ponder, feel free to share your own in the comments.
I always am looking for a few more great quotes!
Happy Friday, friends. 

"A writer lives, at least, in a state of astonishment. Beneath any feeling he has of the good or evil of the world lies a deeper one of wonder at it all. To transmit that feeling, he writes." William Sansom

"Planning to write is not writing. Outlining…researching…talking to people about what you're doing, none of that is writing. Writing is writing." E.L. Doctorow

"A writer lives, at best, in a state of astonishment." William Sansom

"Write what should not be forgotten…" Isabel Allende

All good writing is swimming under water and holding your breath." F. Scott Fitzgerald

"You become a writer because you need to become a writer - nothing else." Grace Paley

"Even the most productive writers are expert dawdlers…" Donald M. Murray

"Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self." Cyril Connolly

"Write in recollection and amazement for yourself." Jack Kerouac


Happy Writing! 

2.21.2013

Dig Deeper (The Surprising Joy of Sisterhood in Christ)



I am on my way to correct the form of one of my students in Boot Camp. I start to speak words of instruction, correction and before I can finish I see her eyes averting my eyes, distancing me. I feel her feeling me, too close. In her space. She speaks, and I see her fighting to maintain composure. "My arms hurt and I don't want to talk about it." She is fighting hard to maintain the pace and we are on the last round. Surrounded by college students, I sense her slipping. This sweet mother of five is at her breaking point and feeling defeated. I give her space and come back with words of encouragement. There comes a point where the correction is irrelevant. She must get through this...I remind her she has made it through childbirth five times and that this class is hard but I bank on knowing she has the strength and endurance to get through it.

Sometimes it is about just hanging on for dear life.
The getting through it when it is so hard that you want to cry.
Or quit.

Sometimes a workout OR life can feel like one hard Boot Camp 
and we feel like the new recruit who just did not realize what he signed up for
 when he joined the ranks.

The demands are too hard.
Our strength feels too small.
We feel the pain of weakness and want it to stop.

But in the digging deep, we find there is more than we realized that resides within us.
There is a possibility and potential we have yet to tap!

Have you ever felt defeated? 

Lean in and listen.

Dig deeper. 
Deeper still.

You have more within you than you know now. 
Do the thing that is hard and see.


What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
Ralph Waldo Emerson.


Although I met Sam (my "student") in a class I teach at a local gym, in an epic turn of events she has come right alongside me (usually at Starbucks, over coffee on Sunday afternoon) in my Home Schooling adventure, giving me advice, cheering me on and lending me books. She has Home Schooled all of her children and is currently expecting Baby number six! I am so thankful for our new friendship.


I am also grateful for the way Jesus comes right alongside us wherever our own Emmaus Road leads. Yet, there we are, surprised when at last He breaks the bread, reveals Himself, disappears and leaves us full of joy-as we enjoy the precious promise of His presence unseen. We are left holding bread looking at one another.

Just as is His will.  

How this Shepherd leads me to Sisterhood when and where I least expect it, reveals His perfection, love and gentle humor. Be awake to His surprises, daily - He will introduce you to new sisters to encourage and be encouraged by as you do. 

Linking with Imperfect Prose, Intentionally Me, Faith Barista, Create With Joy.
Christian Mommy Blogger, Missional Women, Mommy Only Has Two Hands.

2.20.2013

Writing to God { Welcome & Introduction}

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Welcome to this first meeting here for our Writing to God endeavor. 

First I want to thank each and every one who has chosen to jump in, feet first...or pen first, as the case may be and join here in community. This is the first time I have done something like this online-well not counting the Random Journal Day Link Ups, although fostering community in Christ wherever He leads is a strong desire of my heart. So... welcome. I will do my best to facilitate and pray that each Wednesday for the next  weeks you will pop over at some point and share how your week of Writing to God went, if there were prompts you loved, or struggled with, epiphanies or gridlock.
Come what may, come what might- each Wednesday let's meet together and share here in the comments without pretension or guilt but just from the heart as you feel comfortable and led.
Links are welcome, as are thoughts, reflections and responses along the journey.


Speaking of interacting, would you all prefer me to have a link up for posts or just keep our sharing in the comments? The reason I initially shied from a "link-up" is two-fold.

1. Intimacy. The main purpose of this journey is for you and I first to wrap ourselves up in writing to Him. Not for this group, the bloggy world, or for any audience other than an audience of one. 
The One. So you can blog and share links but it is not mandatory or anything. However I know we are bloggers, it's what we do. I will leave this for you to decide- to blog or not to blog...
(Let me know if you want me to add Link Up or if it's just fine to share our thoughts/links in the comments)
2. Community. The second portion of the equation is to come together in community and share about the journey and process and to support and encourage one another here as we feel comfortable and led. Not out of compulsion. Consider this a place of grace- landing ground, springboard and place to embrace grace...and one another.  

Intimacy with God fosters intimacy with others and ultimately leads to authenticity in relationships. But this journey is for you and the Lover of your soul first and foremost.

This journey will be unique to you, even though we are all writing from the same prompts. 
Whether you are a seasoned writer, or a beginner desiring to put your heart on paper- I want you to ask God to take your hand and lead you on the path He has for you during the journey.

Schedule/
Welcome & Intro. 2/20-2/26   Days 1-7
 Week 1.    2/27-3/5      Days 8-14
  Week 2.    3/6-3/12    Days: 15-21
  Week 3.    3/13-3/19  Days: 22-28
     *Week 4.   3/20-3/23   Days 29-32; Palm Sunday through Wednesday (3/24-3/27) from Prayers and Prompts for Holy Week
*Week 5.  Maundy Thursday through Easter Sunday (4/1-4/2) from Prayers and Prompts for Holy Week; Days: 33-34
Week 6.   4/3-4/9  Days 35-40

*Note the book uses "days" not pages -Holy week is a marked section that follows the 40 days in back of book. I hope all this makes sense. If anything seems awry just let me know!

 I did have to adjust the date once I matched the prompts to the calendar.
Our last gathering here will be April 10th.

We are off on this journey...
I look forward to seeing you each Wednesday!

Now I am off to bed, and I look forward to my first prompt for Day 1, appropriately titled Caffeine!
If you have any questions or thoughts to share today, I will be dropping in and out with a cup of coffee between Home-school to check inhere. Oh and if you move ahead, or lag behind, please still join us here!

"In the space of Writing for God, give yourself the freedom to pray without judgement and to be creative with words as you converse with the Word Made Flesh."
~ Rachel Hackenberg

Dear Lord, I do praise you the Living Word...who became flesh and dwelt among us. I do pray for each of those who are joining on this journey, that they might grow in intimacy with you during these next weeks. That you would bring fresh vision, insight and clarity, breathing new breath into stagnant places. Wake us up, Lord. Shake us up. Remind us of the early days, when we were filled with the excitement and wonder of your love, grace and mercy. Let our faith be new, fresh and tender again. Soften us where we need softening, refine us in the fires of your truth that we may shine brighter, in the darkest days. Breathe, a fresh breath of faith into our hearts, Lord as we humbly seek your face.
I ask that each one would keep this special time of writing simple, and uncomplicated.
A holy, intimate time with you, whether 5, 10, 15 or 20 minutes or anywhere between and beyond. Let them not worry about penmanship, grammar or getting it all right but instead let pen and heart unite. Draw close to each one. Thank you for all you will do.
I ask in Jesus Name, Amen.

2.19.2013

New Dawn Rising

Photo taken @ 5:15 AM on August 25th 2012-
the day after my birthday during a morning walk.
Narragansett Beach/Narrow River


I've been wondering as of late
about destiny, life and fate

How things don't always turn out
or amount
to what we thought they would, could or should
be

a mystery
beyond me

I never thought I would be
some of the things I have been

Surprising for me to see what, how and when

Ironies, 
well beyond me

I never dreamed I would see
painted dreams

from within my head
portraits of reality

landscapes of my mind

hidden canvas
unseen
but to One
who sees all
magnificent,
brilliant,
bursting with beauty 

slow reveal
like the dawn
rising slow

horizon glow
sunbeams reaching 
beyond

touching all with radiance
gently awakening love
nudging forth grace 

right here
now
in this place
and love comes for me
and for you
with every new dawn rising...

arise 
to love's embrace.


Linking at the Pub (doors open in the afternoon)
- with something fresh from the heart.










2.18.2013

He Blinded Us With Science (A scientifically, snowy, loving week)



Well in Rhode Island we have had snow, snow, snow, wind and cold. For all of these I am thankful!
I am a snow Bunny. Well, I just like to snuggle in, read and write, so it is a great season for me. 
Oh, and taking pictures of that white stuff is fun, too!


Home-school week three was underway and Dad was home to lend a hand in the Science and Math departments- Hooray! He also happened to cook up a storm of his own- my hubby loves to cook and bake. It's like therapy to Him! So he made Thai food, caramel corn and many other deliciously exotic (not low calorie) dishes. All from scratch. Me? I tried to bake Oatmeal Scotchies over the weekend and they came out looking like granola. But, hubs said they still tasted good. Sigh. 


Hub told me to "get lost" on Tuesday morning for a much needed break. I packed up an arsenal of books, pens, paper and headed to Panera. I returned fresh and life seemed good, once again.
All went well and this mama was a happy chickie!


Walking outside in the Winter Wonderland was so beautiful...sadly I did not get down to the beach. Boo!





Then these on Valentine's Day- Aw! What girl doesn't love flowers?


Seriously, the bird watching here lately has been getting intense!
Who's watching who?




Lastly, I am so excited to begin this journey with many of you all this week!
Please, join us for the journey if you would like, but if not- feel free to  drop in and visit along the way. Starting this Wednesday morning (post will be live at 12 AM Eastern) we will be journeying together, a 40 day venture (actually 47)  to draw near to the heart of God and to seek deeper intimacy with Him through our praying pens! We will meet on Wednesdays to share a bit, laugh, encourage and enjoy a bit of community in this sweet space! I will start my journey Wednesday morning...maybe even with a candle burning. I am seeking a special time of intimacy with the Lord.  I will have my pen and paper along with this book. Mostly the Holy Spirit Himself will be present. I will be praying each of you is blessed.
For more info and links, click on the book image at the left hand side of the Blog!


#395- That I am loved, and that this Love is faithful, perfect and true. Forever love comes from above, is poured over us gently as beautiful, manna like snow flurries.