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Delighting in my God, I desire to dwell in His pleasure and to help others experience true delight.

"Delight Yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him, and He will do it.
And He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your judgment as the noonday.  
Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him;..." Ps 37:4-7a

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Church Family is Worth Our Commitment

Five Minute Friday - The prompt for last Friday was Join and I am joining later that usual.

Every Wednesday, A Holy Experience hosts a community link up and last week's post topic was The Practice of Relationship.
I am sad to admit that though I thought of myself as an active member of my church, teaching or attending Sunday school, helping out where I could on Sunday morning, even hosting our church’s home group, I had not really joined the family.  Oh, I was a member of the larger family of God, but I had not become a part of my church family.
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Recently a sister in Christ from my church and I were talking about the differences between our generation and that of our parents.  What she said has stayed on my mind.  
“We are different from our parents generation because for them, church was more than just another activity in their lives; church was their family.  It was a priority.  It was the center of their social life.”

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Physical Fitness in Home School

Clipart source

“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”  (1 Corinthians 10:31 KJV)
No matter when we start our school year, most of us tend to have a sense of beginning or or transitioning to something new in September.  Children usually move to a new grade, classes gear up, new programs begin.  Even as home schoolers we have many patterns ingrained in us that adhere to the common cultural norms like this and there is nothing wrong with that.  Having standardization works in a number of ways.  However one area that I hope we can break out of standardized thinking is in ‘the check in the box’ mentality to learning in general and physical fitness in particular.  
There are some subjects we want our children to learn simply to have a familiarity with the information, to help them be well-rounded, or to give them a taste of it to see if it might be something that would help them find their bent.  Exposing them to that subject matter and moving on works fine.  Other things we know we have to build upon like reading, writing, and arithmetic.  In the early years these are foundational for what will come later, and most of us understand that these are not learn and dump studies.  Spiritual development is a category all to its own.  As Christians we should train our children to have their faith inform all of their studies and not fall into the trap of  just exposing them and laying it aside. Bible study is more than a separate compartmentalized subject which may be foundational for more Bible study, but rather it is applicable to all of life, throughout the day, across all subject areas.  

Friday, August 17, 2012

Stretching for Health

This week's Five minute Friday prompt is 'Stretch.'  
Click here for additional stretching help.

Alright, stretch a little higher.  Expand those abs.  Nice deep breath and relax.

My twelve year old daughter and I began a daily strength and stretch exercise program.  Well it isn’t really a program because we are using a variety of dvds, but we do have a regular time and we are trying to be committed.  My favorite of the ones we are using is called “Classical Stretch” with Miranda Esmonde-White which my friend Mindy told me about.  Within three days of regular stretch and ab work, I noticed a significant improvement in my mobility.  It was great to be able to move more fluidly again and my racquetball game improved as well.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Lifter of my Head

It was a beautiful day, among the best of the summer;  so I was especially enjoying my afternoon walk.  As the sun was shining, there was a spring in my step.  Taking a deep breath of the outdoor air, I noticed in the rear view window of a car:

“Amen!” I say! “Thank you, Lord.”

Then I think.  “Lord, when did it turn around for me or rather how?  How did I leave that state of loneliness, feelings of isolation and depression?”

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Five Minute Friday - Good Morning, Lord.

This weeks Prompt at Five-minute Friday is Connect.

Good morning, Lord.  Thank you for this day.  Thank you for granting me another day to walk in this world with You and to be a conduit of Your love here to my family and the world around me.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Confessions of a Chronic Multi-Tasker

I am a multi-tasker.  Even when I am relaxing I have to be doing at least one other thing to make the best use of my time.  So taking time just to be be alone with the Lord can be a challenge for me.  Because I so need that rest with Him, I do notice if I have missed my quality, devoted, quiet time each day alone with God.  I don’t have a problem praying while driving or listening to sermons in the car, but taking that time in the morning to do nothing else but commune with God, that singleness of purpose both stretches me and relieves me simultaneously.

Give ear to my words, O Lord; 
Consider my groaning.

Heed the sound of my cry for help, my King and my God,
For to You I pray.

In the morning, O Lord, You will hear my voice;
In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch. Psalm 5:1-3

Living the busy American lifestyle that we do, especially in the greater metropolitan Washington area, I find myself feeling overwhelmed by the torrent of what must be done more often than I like to admit.  So, I like the efficiency of doing phone business while walking, eating meals while cleaning up, folding clothes or working on the computer while watching tv.  I think I can more successfully reach the shore of ‘isle complete’ if I bail out my boat while simultaneously rowing in the midst of the deluge of so much to do.  

Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness!
You have  relieved me in my distress;
Be gracious to me and hear my prayer. Psalm 4:1

Nothing wrong with multi-tasking.  However, like so many things in life, it is a strength and a weakness.  It can help one be more efficient and more effective, but it can also can cause one to miss some very important facets of life.  If I don’t stop work on my computer while talking with my daughter, if I am taking phone calls or responding to every text message while meeting with a friend, if I am working through my sudoku puzzle while having breakfast with my husband, am I giving any of them the attention they or I need?  Sometimes multi-tasking does not stem the tide of flood overwhelm at all, but rather adds to it.  In fact the rain and reign of ‘to do’s’ can fill the boat faster than I can empty on a regular basis. 

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;

And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.  Psalm 139:23-24

I don’t need a special label like ADD to experience the distractibility of a thousand things to think about or to do.  With so much going on about us and within us seemingly non-stop, is it any wonder that there is difficulty shutting down, getting sleep, having peace.  Restlessness rather than restfulness is the product of multi-tasking overload. 

 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10

Praying without ceasing, also a Biblical principle (1 Thessalonians 5:17), is so important as we go through the day and is multi-tasking at its best.  I do want to thank the Lord for the parking spot I just got close to the door or far from it;  I want to pray for the unfriendly cashier who needs some Holy Spirit intervention.  I want to seek the Lord throughout the day to stay connected to the power and peace that only comes from Him.

Seek the Lord and His strength;
Seek His face continually. Psalm 105:4                                              
The only way for that power and peace to be there for me to draw from, however, is if I am being completely immersed in prayer and the Word with Him regularly.  And I am learning also how perhaps my church worship has been marred by not truly preparing my heart before hand or being fully engaged as I think of those within church with whom I have business.  By the prompting of the Holy Spirit, I began joining in the prayer group before church.  How I have seen a significant difference in my whole-hearted attention to the Lord and the richness of my worship with this little change.

Make me understand the way of Your precepts, So I will meditate on Your wonders.  Psalm 119: 28

As a chronic multi-tasker, the singleness of focus, especially with God is essential to my well-being on a number of levels.  For a number of years, the Lord has been teaching me the importance of stopping and centering on Him, investing myself in my devotional time, my worship, my prayers without accomplishing anything else.  There is nothing else that sets me free, nothing else that empowers, nothing else that provides the peace that passes understanding.  It is in the exclusivity of devoted time with my God that I find all of this and the delight of my heart.

Therefore, let everyone who is godly pray to You in a time when You may be found;
Surely in a flood of great waters they will not reach him.  Psalm 32:6

Friday, August 3, 2012

Here is Where I Want to Be

Link up at  Five Minute Friday.  Today's prompt:  Here

"Where is the best place you have ever lived?”  

“Well we have always decided to make where ever we are living, right here, the best place we have ever lived.  In fact, my husband goes one better, he makes right here, where ever he is the best place to be.”

That is a delight attitude.  Where ever God has placed me, that is the place I need to be, right here right now, making the most of every opportunity.  I would like to say that is the way I live.  Unfortunately, I fall prey too often to the bitterness and pettiness that rises up in my selfish self when something doesn’t go my way.  But getting back on track each morning with the Lord and as frequently as I possibly can by being attentive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit helps to keep my attitude mostly in check.
Here is where we are with the people we are with in the present, not waiting for a better offer to come along, not dwelling on past failures or losses, but living now rather than wallowing or wishing.  That’s not to say the past and future aren’t important and shouldn’t be considered.  However, when you can be here, you are also preparing for what’s to come and appreciating what has come before, building on lessons learned to take you on a better course forward.  
I want to know how to stop, to be, to breathe in the beauty about me.  I want to love, to enjoy, to bless those I am with.  I want to be here, right here, rather than anywhere else this moment.   

Five Minute Friday