Monday, January 30, 2012

Invitation

As I was reading about Jesus cooking fish for the disciples after His resurrection, I asked Him, "What is Your invitation to me?"

  • Come have breakfast with Me, everyday. Receive what I have prepared for you, sustainanace, meat and bread, manna for your soul. I've gone ahead of you and prepared it - it is waiting for your arrival.
  • Look for me in surprising places, places you do'nt expect to see me, (yes, go on a God Hunt) and you'll be blessed.
  • Leave your "work" to companion with Me throughout your day. You'll go back to your owkr but take little moments to be with me. I desire your presence with Me, your awareness of Me. That creates intimacy with me. Walking with Me is one of those times
  • Lunch with Me too - it 's a good time to read "other" books that I can speak to you through that you might not have time for during your morning time with Me
  • I want you to delight in Me, in My company with you. I will prepare moments and call you away to Me. Remember those are priority moments that will keep me as the first ting in your life.
  • Eat small . . . let Me fill you to fullness.

Jesus, how I love You, love the way You always speak to me whenever I come to You and ask "what's up?" I pray I will come to You more throughout my day.































Thursday, January 05, 2012

52 Books







Books I Read in 2011

Spiritual Mentoring                      Anderson and Reese
Her Daughter’s Dream                Francine Rivers
Preparing for Jesus                      Walter Wangerin
Dream, Visions, Prophecy           John Paul Jackson                on tape
Sarah’s Key                                Titiana de Rosnay
Epic                                             John Eldredge
Swan House                                Elizabeth Musser
Seeking God Together                 Alice Fryling
Romancing Miss Bonte’               Julie Gael                             on CD
Small As An Elephant                  J P Jacobson
Safe Haven                                  Nicolas Sparks
Snowflower and the Secret Fan  Lisa See                               on CD
The Time of My Life                    Patrick Swazey                   on CD
Reliving the Passion                     Walter Wangerin
Contemplating the Cross             Tricia Rhodes McCary
Jesus Calling                                Sarah Young                       6th time
Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand      Barbara Simonson
School of Essential Ingredients     Erica Bauermeister             on CD
Quiet in His Presence                   Jan Harris
The Mountain Between Us          Charles Martin
Hunger Games                             Suzanne Collins
Coming Home to Your True Self  Albert Haas
The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society  Shafer/Barrows
A Good Life                                 Robert Benson
The Beach Trees                           Karen White
Bel Canto                                     Ann Patchett                       on CD
Joy for Beginners                          Erica Bauermeister            
The Hawk and the Dove              Penelope Wilcock
One Summer                               David Baldacci
In Constant Prayer                       Robert Benson
Catching Fire                               Suzanne Collins                  on CD
Cloud of Unknowing                   Anonymous
A Tale of Three Kings                 Gene Edwards
The Touch                                   Randall Wallace
Mockingjay                                Suzanne Collins                  on CD
Searching for Eternity                  Elizabeth Musser
Emotionally Healthy Spirituality    Peter Scazzero
A Thousand Splendid Suns          K Hosseini
Life In Spite of Me                      Kristin Anderson
A Million Miles in 1000 Years     Donald Miller
One Thousand Gifts                    Ann Voskamp
Beautiful Boy                              David Sheff                          on CD
Still Alice                                    Lisa Genova                         on CD
Words Unspoken                       Elizabeth Musser
Lost December                          Richard Paul Evans
Promise Me                               Richard Paul Evans               on CD
Spiritual Disciplines Devotional Valerie Hess
Surprised by Oxford                  Carolyn Weber
Christ the Lord: Road to Cana   Anne Rice                            on CD
Home for Christmas                   Andrew Greenley
Preparing for Christmas              Richard Rohr
Language of Letting Go              Melody Beattie





Guest Post

This is a guest post by my friend Angela. She is sharing about her experience at my Advent Retreat. Deitra

Anticipation

Each year when Christmas is over I think about how much I wish I had been more focused on preparing my heart throughout the Advent season instead of getting caught up in all the crazy hustle and bustle that Christmas has become. The parties are great, the gift giving is nice and thoughtful, being with family is the best but through it all I feel like every year my thoughts are anything but centered around Christ and how the significance of his birth and entrance into this world can truly, continually change my life. So this year, instead of simply wishing my heart were more focused on Jesus, I decided to actually do something about it. This sweet lady, Deitra, has become a dear friend of mine throughout the last year and a half since I met her and have had the privilege to be mentored and receive some much needed spiritual direction from her.

Almost every month she holds day-long retreats at her house, each centered around a different theme. In July I signed up for her Advent retreat scheduled for the first week of December and eagerly anticipated this day, knowing that it would be just the springboard my heart would need to cultivate the deeper focus I long for. The day came and went and I was NOT disappointed. Every time I go to her house, whether for one of her retreats or for one of her study groups I used to be a part of, I ALWAYS come away refreshed and feeling closer to the Lord. I knew that God would have something special in store for me during this Advent retreat. He did! At the beginning she passed around a basket of rocks, each with a word written on it. We were instructed to pick a rock without looking at the word. My word was Anticipation. How ironic....as i was attempting to focus more on anticipating the coming of Christ while also anticipating the arrival of our second child. She gave us a folder of materials, showed us a stash of Advent related books, and set us free to go into any room in her home for some solitude. The first chapter of the book I chose to look at "just happened" to be titled Anticipation. Hmmmm....must be a concept I really need to unpack and contemplate. So i did just that for the next 3 hours. It was a beautiful, peaceful time that set the tone for the weeks remaining leading up to Jesus' birth. One of the pieces of material she gave us in our folder encouraged us to write a Cinquain: a simple structured form of poetry which encourages you to get to the heart of what you are experiencing in just a few words. I am no literary genius and certainly not anything close to a poet so I wondered what I might possibly come up with but decided to give this cinquain thing a try. It was to be 5 lines and there were instructions about how many words or how to structure the phrase for each specific line. I sat with my word (Anticipation) for quite a while, contemplating it and its special significance in my life write now as I prayed and read through my Bible and some other materials. I came up with a long list of words or phrases that came to me when I thought of Anticipation, and then I narrowed it all down into my Cinquain:

ANTICIPATION:
Peaceful Unhurried
Savoring, Beholding, Waiting
Eagerly Expect, Prayerfully Rejoice
Readiness

To you it may just be a mumble jumble of words, and that's ok. To me its a picture, a reminder of what I wanted these weeks leading up to Christmas to be like, as well as the weeks leading up to the arrival of the little one growing inside me.