life experience

Pieces of Exhilaration

It’s hard to find hysterical joy in life.  Especially in the world in which we live.  I’ve always been a “see the sunshine in the clouds” kind of person.  I hope my positivity is contagious!  Today at a Lent study, in all the exhilaration I could muster, I lifted my hands and said:  “I’m jacked up on faith.”  The room roared with laughter, I knew they were laughing with me and not at me, but it was a bit startling; I was simply sharing how on fire I was for Jesus.

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I think we need to experience these moments more often.  Either we need to say something mind-blowing that moves the room, or we need to be on the receiving end of it.  Laughter and humanness is good for the soul!  It reminds us; particularly in regards to our faith, that the world needs to see more of Jesus — in us!

Become exhilarated for Jesus! 

 

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life experience

Learning Pieces

For the past fifteen years I have been a spiritual seeker (and hope to continue).  I have attended a variety of churches, Unitarian Universalist taught me how to care for Mother Earth, how to make change with social justice and I met a minister there who challenged my beliefs (in a good way), by asking me to define what I believed and to shake out the old cobwebs of my childhood.  With the task, I created a “mission statement” of my beliefs.  It still involved Jesus and a Christian approach to my life, so “questioning everything” was no longer filling my spirit.

I moved onto Episcopalian, which became a church similar to my protestant upbringing.  But this church was also missing the other part of my life; my husband.  We all reach enlightenment in our own time, but a longtime prayer had been, that one day – we would walk the path together.

The pieces were all coming together.

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Through the many years of soul searching; I semi-regularly attended retreats, classes and an occasional mass; all at Catholic monasteries, retreat centers or churches.  The Catholic beliefs pulled at my heart, I always felt great peace in my spirit when I was in the presence of people from this religion.   It was a calm I had never experienced before.

I began Spiritual Direction late last summer.  I was evolving in more than spiritual ways, I was coming from full-circle from cancer.  I was shaking off the old and injured parts of my psyche, ready for new.   It was there in those gatherings of discussion, did I realize that I wanted what I had always experienced in monasteries and classes, I wanted to become Catholic.

Symbolism, rituals, peace of heart, calm spirit, the focus on prayer, the great love that Jesus has for me, the desire for something so much greater than myself.

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I now attend weekly RCIA classes to become an official Catholic.  It is a place to ask every question pertaining to the Catholic church, faith, “why do they A, B or C.”  I was ignorant in the parts of Catholicism I didn’t know.  There are still questions and I haven’t got the rosary down yet, but I’m a work in progress.

And now, I walk the path; separately and together, with my hubby.  It seems that this “faith thing” is now coming together!

#beblessed  #faithisnotareligion #wisdom

 

 

life experience

Pieces of Change

I have never considered myself a particular religion.  I was baptized and confirmed “Lutheran,” but haven’t attended a Lutheran church in 40 years! Spent four years with the Unitarian Universalist church, meeting amazing people who challenged my beliefs.  Met a new friend who invited me to her church; Episcopalian, new to me, but also similar to the Catholic churches that I had explored, including retreat for more than fifteen years.  Seems that maybe I was heading the way of Catholicism, but never felt the draw to convert and join.  UNTIL NOW.

I’m on a new journey; again.  Thank goodness that God honors and encourages the soul to seek.  At least, that’s what I believe.

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So once again I put my thinking cap and glasses on, looking toward a new future, one that saves my soul, captures my spirit, embraces my faith and brings me closer to home.  Amen.

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Amazing Grace

Have you ever noticed when a phrase or word pops into your mind one day and stays for “awhile”?  I’ve had this experience with “Amazing Grace” the past few months.  I have a bracelet, the first line of the song is engraved all the way around.  The song has been played at a recent funeral and I’ve heard the modern version almost every day on the radio Amazing Grace My Chains are Gone

I don’t know what to make of it; except it’s God sending a message about His love, or it’s like when you get a yellow car, having never seen yellow cars on the road, and now you see one every day!  But I think I’ll go with the former!  Our Father has “amazing” timing!

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2014 Pieces

I found my first “Pieces Journal,” dated January 22, 2014.  It seems so long ago, but it also shows me the walk I’ve taken along Jesus; is just a moment a time, and my faith has continued to grow; year after year.  I’d like to share with you some of the earlier “scraps of paper, devotions and musings” from my journal.  May you find your own special “pieces.”

It’s in the act of faith that courage becomes reality and the Lord’s grace rushes in to supply divine power.

Dear God, I want to be gracious and lovely in Your sight.  Open to receiving.  Take me away from the things that waste my time and rob me of meditative time with You.

I am encouraged by the mighty works of God.  “Prayer” has become a powerful word in my vocabulary, and one that gives meaning to my life.  I pray for HOPE, what a beautiful gift; and, it is free!!!  He walks with me in the garden of my life.  We talk, I learn, I am blessed to know Him as my Father, and Friend.

Keep your defense strong, trust in God.  Pray when anxiety seeps in.

Take it to God.  When you are low or upset, even when it feels contrary to do so; tell Him, share your heart.

I see so many parallels in my past and current life; except now I am grateful for all of it – the hard, hurtful times along with the peaceful.  I believe it’s more than ‘equal parts,’ rather how Jesus wants to live in me; “Grateful for all of the pieces.”  In this way, everything is a subject for witnessing.

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Impossible situations are opportunities for the Lord to teach us valuable lessons that we’d never learn any other way.

holidays

Easter Blessings

This time of year brings a myriad of thoughts to Christians across the globe.  The great anguish our Lord suffered at the hands of ignorant men, the burial and the restoration.

Click on this link to YouTube for Chris Tomlin’s moving rendition of the old gospel tune: “At The Cross.”

May you be deeply blessed during this time of grief, sorrow and celebration.  JESUS IS LORD!!! 

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Icicles

Out my window I see a very large icicle, dripping.  It will likely be gone in a couple of hours, for today – the temp is heading to 40.  But it is winter here in the heartland and tonight it will get cold enough to freeze drips, turning them back into icicles.

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Icicles remind me of faith.  Two steps forward (complete melting) and one step back (hello, icicles)!  We often find ourselves on a roll of faith, everything is fine, we are filled with faith, believing strongly in God and all He brings to our life ….. and then BAM, “something” happens and now we are standing on shaky ground.  Our faith?  Sure, yah, I’ve got faith.  Faith that nothing will ever change.

We are troubled human beings.  People have lacked faith since the days of Moses.

Mark 16:14
Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.

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We are always just a moment away from circumstances changing, so we must always stand firm on our faith.  We are not icicles, we will not melt and come back again the next day, we are human beings made in the image of Jesus, a strong, solid foundation.  May your faith be strengthened today and every day.