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.
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.
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.
This man has had an influence on me, his search for the supernatural move of God is not matched by many, in my opinion. I first came in contact with his ministry when I worked at a call center, answering calls for Christian ministries. Sid Roth’s ministry was one I felt more comfortable with answering the calls for, as this ministry looked to be good. The guests he had on his show where good and their products interesting. There, however, was a lot of products from his guests on his show, all sounding wonderful. If I had bought them all, I would end up going bankrupt and would have to be a recluse to study all the materials 🙂
A year or so, before hearing Mark Virkler on Sid Roth’s show, I had stumbled across Mark’s book and found it very helpful. I got to hear him for the first time on Sid Roth’s It’s Supernatural.
Below is a sample of my journaling and a card with the steps Mark Virkler felt where necessary to hear God’s voice. I did find the process encouraging and reassuring, having gone through the process, it did feel like I had union with God. I stopped the process because of the recommendation in the book, that you need people to be accountable too. This I found difficult, as I didn’t have a large circle of trusted advisors to go too.
This was Mark’s advice, “note that we are looking for spirit-led counsel and not what other people are thinking in their minds. We never ask what a person thinks about our journaling. We ask, does your spirit bear witness that this came from Christ? Also, we are going to several people (two or three), and not just one. Finally, we take what they have suggested and we present it back to God in prayer, saying God, show me any truth in what they are saying. When submission is done right, it is a wonderful blessing. When it is done wrong, it is a terrible curse. Do it right!” pg 44.
Here is a typed extract from my journal for those who may not be able to read my writing.
I know what is best for you. You are struggling with your place in life, knowing where you fit in, don’t worry about this, abide in me. Out of this remaining in me will flow the course of your life. So make time, and make me your Lord and God the number one priority. I know the way, I am the truth, I’m the life that sustains you. Draw near to me, I have said, those who wait upon me will renew their strength. You always try to do things in your own strength, let me teach you to be empowered by the Holy Spirit. Everything has to flow out of the Spirit, being led by him, a comforter, peace giver, teacher. He knows the plans I have for you, so be led by the Holy Spirit, enabled by Him to become all that I have envisioned for you to become.
Songs that get you in the right frame of mind to approach God:
In the Secret in the quiet place
Turn your eyes on Jesus
Make the words of theses songs a prayer before you approach God, to seek the Lords counsel.
Mary Morrissey’s book Building your field of dreams came along at the right time for me when I needed some inspiration and motivation. Raising the question, what is my dream? Addressing also, am I living the life, I would love to live? Taking action and responsibility for my life. Response and ability, how am I responding and using my abilities, taking action steps, and using the gifts that God has given me?
The following are some of the underlines from my copy of Mary’s book, from when I read the book.
“My whole life hasn’t been written yet. I’m writing it now. I can be whatever I want to be. The present does not dictate the future.” pg 7.
“Many of us have lived lives paralyzed by unexplored yearnings.” pg 10.
“If you are feeling restless, that feeling could be God’s voice speaking to you, saying, “I’ve got more for you; don’t settle. Don’t live a little life. There’s so much more for you to experience. Don’t settle.” pg 11.
“This deep inner restlessness is called divine discontent… it is a persistent, loving nudging that guides you to awaken to your own true desires.” pg 11.
“I’ve learned that one way to bring mt greatest longings to the surface is to notice how alive they make me feel. If my desire is sincere – even if I’m worlds away from the reality – just talking about the desire brings forth an energy.” pg 13.
“You have to do what gives you life.” pg 184.
“I define co-creation as partnering with God in order to build the kind of life you want to live… you’re building a dream. With God at your side, encouraging and guiding you through every step of the process, you create a life that is beyond anything your imagination can conjure on its own. pg 20.
“For with God, all things are possible. With men, this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. All things are possible to him who believes; Whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you received them and you will have them. Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you. I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly.” Every one of these positive statements from Jesus contains within it a qualifier: with God!” pg 24.
“How can God assist you in a dream that you have not specified?” pg 30.
“Your emotions, relationships, home, career, – every part of your life springs forth from intention” pg 31.
“You want to be confident that you have chosen to pursue the dream closest to your heart.” pg 33.
“How do you know you have chosen a dream God will join you in manifesting?” pg 33.
“You are testing to confirm the presence of God in your dream.” pg 33.
“1.Does the dream enliven me?
2.Does the dream align with my core values?
3. Do I need help from a higher source to make this dream come true?
4. Will this dream require me to grow into more of my true self?
5. Will this dream ultimately bless others?” pg 33 – 44.
“The dream that you envision for your life is a gift. You cannot experience that gift unless you receive it.” pg 57.
“You have a dream for your life. Let go of life – chocking thoughts so that your mind can sown with the seeds of inspired insight.” pg 196.
The book has so many nuggets of insight, that can be an inspiration and motivation to enter into the fullness of what God had planned for your life.
How do you talk about yourself? This can be easy, and difficult. I’m originally from Scotland and now live in the USA. I have been here in the US since 2001.
The journey has been an adventurous one with the Lord. Having its roller coaster experiences, its twists, and turns, smooth, but mostly turbulent and feeling like I have been shaken around.
Through the process of discerning the Lords call on my life. I have been given or gained several hats, these I have put on at different times in my life. I have been a stone mason, an artist, stained glass artisan, a student in England, Scotland, and in the USA, an Associate Minister, Worship leader, Worship planner/ designer, Visuals artist, a Counter-top fabricator, worked in telecommunication at a call center, a researcher, Librarian.
The list goes on and on, and the last item is my present occupation, working at a Library in a seminary. This role primarily is to serve, by helping to aid the development of future pastors, and aiding them in their vocational call, with their research needs, in their studies.
My vocational call is still in the discerning stage, and this has felt like a very long discerning process. My priority presently is the care of my family, looking after my younger sons and helping my lovely wife, she being the main earner for the home. So, I run the home, and work part-time at the library, giving me quality time with my kids and the opportunity to write when I find a free moment.
I have created a couple of coloring books, that I have designed and self-published. I’m presently in the process of writing a fictitious novel, The Anam Cara: A Celtic Tale of Tobar’s Transformation. This about a teenager trying to find his way in life. Not having done a good job of it. His life takes a turn for the better, when he is moved to yet another family. He is introduced to Brendan and through him to the Monarch of the Universes. Tobar is assigned an Anam Cara, after having been in the care of Bren, a father role figure. This older man, demonstrated, a love and care, Tobar had not previously experienced.
The outline of the book or the premise of book, is based on having and Anam Cara. Someone who come along side you, giving support, spiritual counsel and direction. On a personal note, I have had an aimlessness life, not certain of my life direction. This is reflected in my character Tobar’s life, having no intentional aim for his life. I begun to have more of a focus, or aim in my life, with having been introduced to God. Resulting in a desire to be helping people have an encounter with God.
My new focus is touching on spiritual formation, contemplation, this is a relatively new direction for me. I have had an attraction to Celtic Christian Spirituality, for a number of years and contemplative practices. Through these practices and insights, I hope to bring a restoration of the people to God, that brings about a transformation and restoration of spiritual interest, and to kindle a deeper relationship to God, but ultimately only God or the Monarch of the Universe as the Divine is named in my book, can bring this to pass.
Here is a sample of my book read aloud, it is still a work in progress. I actually shared this segment as part of a sermon a few weeks ago, hope you enjoy, for those who take a moment to view the video.
The following is my latest coloring book, some history of the Celtic Saints and a number of Celtic Crosses that Mark Condy has designed. This book was created to slow people down, to help take a moment in the business of life. To enjoy the therapeutic practice of coloring. Why do we let the kids have all the fun of coloring, let’s revisit the practice of our childhood, and enjoy coloring and with doing this, be adding some color to your life?
My Website has a link to where you can purchase the coloring book if you so desire.