Jesus is a key figure that motivated and inspired me in my life. It is obvious, but there is a danger of forgetting this very important figure, without Jesus my relationship with God, would be difficult to accomplish. Through Jesus we have a relationship with God, because of Jesus, this is made possible.
The first encounter with Jesus I have is through a Billy Graham Crusade. The invitation was given, I walked to the front of a hall and prayed a prayer to accept Jesus and renounce my sin, and accept him as my friend and Lord.
Jesus is the model to be Christ-like. I think at times Jesus gets shunted to the side and forgotten about.
I have a growing relationship, learning who this Jesus is through the New Testament accounts of Jesus found in the Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
I do neglect at times to read the sacred scriptures, those words that have a transformative effect on my life. If I only but read and believe.
I think there is a reason why Jesus at the last supper, broke bread with his disciples and drank from the cup, and instructed them t to do this in remembrance of me. As we have a tendency to easily forget. The following video is a visual liturgy to help you remember, this I made for a church service a number of years ago, and recently rediscovered it.
John 13:34 – 35New International Version (NIV)
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.”
Here is a site that I found that looks good for more info about Jesus
My first contact with Darren Wilson’s work was Holy Ghost, seeing some of the previews of the films on Facebook, and then he was offering on Facebook the opportunity to view not just the trailers but the full documentary of his work for a limited time.
I also printed off an employment opportunity reading over the job description, to go along as part of the camera crew on one of his assignments but didn’t think I had enough experience with newer technology, still a dream of mine.
He even teaches the needed knowledge in the film production, I would like to participate one day, but it never feels like I have the money, sounds like a lot of excuses, like we all tell ourselves. Darren Wilson has not lived a life by the regular rule, and conforming to the limitations of the world, but that of being open to the leading of God. He wows you into believing the possibilities of God, and interviews people and demonstrations of a God who is alive and active today, Darren function in such intimacy, it is amazing, going where God instructs.
I experienced Trish and Richard at a workshop and loved how they lead worship and facilitated the group.
Listen to this song and let the words envelop you like an embrace as if arms are being wrapped around you, by a community, and by God.
Light a candle and be still, watching and pondering the warmth of the candle, watch the flame dance. The light that it represents, is a light that is in you. This light is in you because Christ dwells in you, or a divine spark of the creator, who is always igniting new ideas and innovation, if we are open to inspiration.
Want a wonderful summer worship series? Dr. Marcia McFee’s Worship Design Studio has teamed up with Beth Richardson and her new book of Celtic blessings to offer resources for a rich 7-week worship experience. Find out how you can have immediate access to this series (and a lot of accompanying worship resources) at:www.worshipdesignstudio.com/starterkit
Published on Jan 28, 2016
Dr. Marcia McFee invites guest Dave Baker to give churches best practices for creating “guest-centered” websites that invite people to the spiritual journey of your congregation. More info below….
The process of coming to terms with my God-given dream, is an arduous process, a journey that may take a lifetime. I stumbled across Beth Booram, and her book titled Starting Something New and discovered there was a workshop being offered. The Dream Incubator Workshop, the prospect of growing into my dream was appealing.
I signed up for the workshop, and a few weeks later, went and participated in the experience at Sustainable Faith Indy, which is an Urban retreat center. This was in October 2015, joining a small group of people that were being led by Beth Booram. At this retreat, I received her book, and I have to say that I found her book excellent. It is a handful of case studies of people she has interviewed, that have discerned their God-given purpose and dream, and talk about the process of the maturation of the dream. Discerning if the dream is actually what and who God has made us become, and not be doing solely for doing sake, but allowing God to shape us through the process.
The following are a smattering of quotes from Beth Booran’s book, some of the thoughts that struck me when I was reading the book. These are the thoughts that were meaningful to me, that I had underlined in pencil as I read. These are a small sample of the wonderful insights to be found. Enjoy the sample and even consider buying her book it is worth investing in, and going through slowly and discerning your God-given dream through the pages of this book, and the leading of the Holy Spirit.
“When I think of calling, I understand it to refer to an overarching life passion and purpose.” pg17. Starting Something New, Beth A. Boorman; IVP Books; Grove IL, 2015.
“We are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life” Ehp 2:10 NRSV” pg 42. Booram.
This following extract resonated with me, encapsulating my hopes and aspirations. “I had some idea of what that’new’ might be – offering hospitality to others, creating a sacred space for conversation, modeling spiritual practices and offering spiritual direction.” pg 43. Booram.
“While calling is also God – given, a dream is a specific application or step toward living out one’s’ calling.” pg 17. Booram.
“While calling is also God – given, a dream is a specific application or step toward living out one’s’ calling.” pg 17. Booram.
“I believe that to effectively realize the creative work of God within us, we must learn to become narrow in our range of focus. It takes great attention and concentration to nurture a creative instinct. I’ve learned from my own process that it wasn’t going to happen unless I remained doggedly fixed on it and refused to be pushed off-center from it. pg18. Booram.
“I didn’t know how to both wait and persevere – something that seemed necessary if I was going to give this dream a go.” pg 112. Booram.
“it’s a desperate place to be when you want something so badly but have little to no ability to make it happen.” pg 33. Booram
It is ok to change my mind, this was a helpful tip, giving myself permission to change my mind, it is ok to make adjustments. Beth and David, (Beth’s husband) were not always in full agreement. Beth felt like she “was a flip-flopper – someone who didn’t really know what she wanted. And I wondered how others with whom I had shared my original vision would react. Would they question the clarity of my vision and the strength of my commitment.” pg 100. Booram.
This, however, was the process of discovery “having changed my mind, gone back and forth, discovered and rediscovered what I believe to be God’s path forward for me as it related to starting Sustainable Faith Indy.” pg 101. Booram. This is how I feel at times, flip-flopping, coming to terms with what I believe is my person dream from God.
These snippets give you a taste of the book’s content, as it awakens the reader to process the inner stirrings, toward discovering and cultivating the desire that is there in your very being, yearning to find a purpose worth living for, to fulfill what you are created to accomplish.
The Dream Incubator Workshop had a number of exercises to aid the participant, to awaken inspiration and personal desire, and to help conceive that inner dream and longing.
Some of the questions asked where as follows: What do I care about? What isn’t working? What has to change?
My limited answer was: A new shoot needs first a seed planted, this begins with the seed of longing and discontentment. Longing for more to enter into a place of peace and connection, to know my heart’s desire and the Fathers’ heart. As I have had aimlessness, help others overcome their fear and aimlessness, where there is a disappointment, fan into flame a hope again, so as to start running back to God, and not away.
There is a longing to be fulfilled, in myself, to produce a space to draw near to God, to know the heartbeat of God, and in my discovering help others have an encounter with God and be transformed in the process, not information alone but to know a restorative touch from God.
I have not forgotten the experience I had at Sustainable Faith Indy, with Beth Booram, and I look forward to the day when I can go on another retreat. When finances and the right time occurs, and the door opens for me to go by the leading of God.
Here is a man of deep faith who had a tremendous influence on me as a person. James Slatter, I knew him as”Jim” and it was through church, and his youngest daughter Naomi, that I received this treasure of a friend and was welcomed into a wonderful family.
It was as if I had been adopted into their family, invited along to family Sunday meals after the church service. This is how the relationship developed, around the table and being available to help look after their house and cat when away on vacation. In the last days of their time in Hawick, my hometown, they would visit Cornwall on a frequent basis, looking for a house, that they would find in Helston.
I have fond memories of Cornwall and had the opportunity to visit on a couple of occasions, once for Christmas, and another time with my mother for a summer vacation.
When they went on their excursions, I would house sit, when doing this I could listen to the extensive cassette library of different speakers, and this is when I was introduced to Derek Prince and Derek Prince Ministries. Prayer for Israel also influenced by Derek Prince. James and Pamela had a love for Israel and went to visit a few times during the time I knew them.
I use to visit on a Wednesday for lunch and Pamela would kindly cook a tasty lunch, and would experiment with different recipes on me, which was wonderful for me.
When I moved to America and them to Cornwall our friendship continued receiving letters of correspondence, and also support when going through Bible College.
Naomi who I mentioned earlier had a tremendous influence on me and also her older sister Bethany.
I had the opportunity to stay with Naomi and Drew her husband and family when visiting Scotland to visit with my family, and they provided home and hospitality for a night, making it easier to catch our flights. The song given to me when leaving Hawick is still as meaningful today, as when I first heard it.
The second song actually composed by Bethany is one I also love and appreciate. Every time I hear it, the song reminds me of Scotland. I found out years after that Bethany had composed the song, not knowing she had. It adds further meaning to me discovering where she wrote it, and she sang the song to me live at Naomi’s at our last visit in 2015. http://wp.me/p5IKWj-80
Sadly James Slatter lost his fight against cancer on April 10, 2013, and is missed by many, his family especially.
These last songs I feel would resonate with the spirit of James Slatter, looking to Jesus, Jesus being his hope, friend, and Lord. He has now met with his maker and friend.
Pamela is an amazing woman still going strong, and being an inspiration to her family and friends, having a strong faith in her Lord. Pamela and James leave a legacy with the next generations, the clan you can see has grown big. There may be a more current photo, this, however, was the only one I could find to demonstrate the legacy of family. All talented in their unique and special ways.
I’m thankful for the memories and friendship experienced, and I still believe the song given to me by Naomi, that friends are friends forever if the Lord is Lord of them.
Curtis Kneblik is a friend I met a number of years ago. By the grace of God, I walked into the retreat center where he worked at the time. He welcomed me, and listened, allowed me to ask questions. From these questions, conversations flowed, and our friendship developed.
I also had an opportunity to go on a retreat in 2010 to a Schoenstatt Shrine in Wisconsin, I had a wonderful experience with my Catholic brothers and sisters, who made me feel very much at home.
Going with this group on retreat, I learned a part of a prayer that I will forever treasure.
You know the way for me, You know the time. In your hands, I trustingly place mine, Your plan is perfect born of perfect love, You know the way for me, that is enough.
Abandonment to divine providence – Jean – Pierre De Caussade.
This book is a wonderful book, every page is a wealth of insight and inspiration. Following are a number of quotes from the book that spoke to me, which I have extracted from my journal.
“If we do not concentrate entirely on doing God’s will we shall find neither happiness nor holiness, no matter what pious practices we adopt, however excellent they may be if we are not satisfied with what God chooses for you, what else can please you.” Pg 31 Caussade.
“Nothing benefits us that does not arise from God’s will, and there is absolutely nothing that gives us more peace or does more to make us holy than obeying the will of God.” Pg 31 Caussade.
“For some, God may demand the accomplishment of things which go beyond their ordinary duties. Those upon whom he makes this demand will recognize it because they will be attracted by it and will, as it were, feel inspired. If we are one of these, the best thing we can do is to go where inspiration leads us, without ever neglecting to do what we are commanded to do and obeying always those commands which God unexpectedly give us.” pg 32 Caussade.
“If we have abandoned ourselves to God, there is only one rule for us; the duty of the present moment.”
“Submission to God’s will as it reveals itself moment by moment is self – abandonment without reserve, it is submitting with absolute docility to what God is doing within our soul.”
“I feel drawn to write, to read, to question and examine. I obey this feeling, and God, who is responsible for it, thus building up within me a kind of spiritual store which, in the future, will develop into a core of usefulness for myself and for others. This is why it makes it essential for us to be simple-hearted, gentle, compliant and sensitive to the slight breath of these almost imperceptible prompting.” pg 81 Caussade.
“Reflect on this quotation as you decide on today’s small sacrifice: “In order for a lump of clay to be made into a beautiful vessel, it must be entirely abandoned to the potter, and must lie passive in his hands. And, similarly. in order for a soul to be made into a vessel unto God’s honor, sanctified and meet for the masters’ use, and prepared unto every good work, it must be utterly abandoned to Him and must lie passive in His hand … To a soul ignorant of God, this may look hard; but to those who know Him it is the happiest and most restful of lives. He is our Father, and He knows just what is best.” – Hannah Whitall Smith, The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life.
Quotation from Day 287. A Year With God Living Out the Spiritual Disciplines, Edited by Richard J. Foster and Julia L. Roller.
Laura talked to the Labyrinth as a sacred pattern and a sacred path, and she focused on the Chartres Style Labyrinth, located at Chartres Cathedral. Laura Artress facilitates a pilgrimage to France on a frequent basis, to walk this Labyrinth. One day I would like to experience this for myself.
It’s about walking and praying, a tool to find your way, moving your body and quieting the mind, attracting all walks of life. To release, and to let go. To recieve, and let God enter your area of need.
More information can be found at the following sites which I have found very helpful.
My first exposure to the Labyrinth was at Cliff Bible College. I was on a mission team that went on tour with a Labyrinth to different churches in England.
As a team we created a Trinity style Labyrinth, I designed this with the help of my wife at college, now a number of years ago. I had not seen this design type anywhere else, until just recently.
These photos give a taste of the Labyrinth tour we as a team of student lead. Going to different locations in England. We created the touring Labyrinth with the trinity design on it, with creative use of Duck tape, on a large green tarp.
The Labyrinth has been a contemplative practice for thousands of years. We as a team added a modern spin to walking the Labyrinth, by adding stations with responses for the participants. One of the responses was carrying a rock in your hand to the center of the Labyrinth, and symbolically laying down the rock, (an act of laying down or into God’s care) that area that is hindering your walk with God. Then not walking out of the Labyrinth, as is the traditional practice, but walked across the Labyrinth to a tent like structure, where the participant reflected on the journey experienced, and when ready served themselves communion.
There are three stages of the walk:
Purgation (Releasing) ~ A releasing, a letting go of the details of your life. This is the act of shedding thoughts and distractions. A time to open the heart and quiet the mind.
Illumination (Receiving) ~ When you reach the center, stay there as long as you like. It is a place of meditation and prayer. Receive what is there for you to receive.
Union (Returning) ~ As you leave, following the same path out of the center as you came in, you enter the third stage, which is joining God, your Higher Power, or the healing forces at work in the world. Each time you walk the labyrinth you become more empowered to find and do the work you feel your soul is reaching for.
Guidelines for the walk:
Quiet your mind and become aware of your breath. Allow yourself to find the pace your body wants to go. The path is two ways. Those going in will meet those coming out. You may “pass” people or let others step around you. Do what feels natural.