Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Am I a Christian?

“And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.” 2 John 1:6
“A brother asked one of the Elders: 'There are two brothers of whom one remains praying in his cell, fasting six days at a time and doing a great deal of penance. The other takes care of the sick. Which one's work is more pleasing to God?' The Elder replied: 'If that brother who fasts six days at a time were to hang himself up by the nose - he could not equal the one who cares for the sick.'” Aidan Readings, June 29, Celtic Daily Prayer
We can become involved in all sorts of programs and efforts on a corporate scale; church-driven social action and “mission” . . . BUT, what do our individual lives look like? Are we feeding and clothing the poor in a personal (Jesus) way? Are we reaching out to the destitute we encounter each day? Are we where Jesus would be?!
“Church” is the Body of Christ, (at least Biblically speaking.) It is people following Jesus into the dark places of our world to shine His light and love. It’s not Sunday morning in a building, (though that’s a small part of it.) It’s meeting a need that’s “right under our noses”.
If Christ is being formed in us, then we should begin to look like it, like Him, in our personal daily lives . . . at work, as school, in our neighborhoods and community . . . as individuals we should be known by our love. Granted, brokenness in the world is overwhelming to us, but it is embraced by God. It is only through His strength and Grace that we are enabled to be instruments of His love and healing.
So, begin to live the simple Gospel life, and find Jesus “right under your nose”. All those other things may be good, but “they will know we are Christians by our love.”
Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy.

Monday, June 28, 2010

just give me Jesus . . .

Not church, not religion, no, not even Christianity . . . Lord have mercy, just give me Jesus and let him teach me to love the unlovable, even myself. Anon

So much love, so little time. I was reminded of several books/authors recently by Brother Jon; Forgotten God and Crazy Love by Francis Chan & Danae Yankoski, Under the Overpass by Mike Yankoski, and lastly (but certainly not least) Tattoos on the Heart by Greg Boyle. All "down to earth" heavenly reads for pursuing the love life in Jesus.

Monday, June 14, 2010

humility

The Imitation of Christ, Book II, Chapter 2
HUMBLE SUBMISSION
Do not worry about who is for you or who is against you; rather see that God is with you in all that you do. If you have a clear con¬science God will defend you, and whomever God chooses to help no man's malice can harm. If you suffer in calm silence you will, without doubt, experience God's help, and since He alone knows the hour and the manner of your deliverance, place yourself in His hands. Truly, God desires to help you and to rescue you from your troubles. Many a time it is to our benefit if others know our defects and even reproach us because of them for they thus help us remain humble.

2. When a man humbles himself because of his faults, he read¬ily becomes pleasing to others and reconciles himself to those he has offended. God protects and defends the humble man; He loves and comforts him. God favors the humble man, showers His abun¬dant grace upon him, and after he has been brought low raises him up to glory.

To the humble man God reveals His secrets and sweetly draws and invites him to Himself. Even after having accepted his shame the humble man lives in peace, for he relies on God and not on the world's opinion. You will make no progress in the interior life un¬til you regard yourself as lower than everyone else.


Dissension, disunity and bitterness infect and destroy. In humility God saves us. [Anon E. Moose]

Man must breathe humility and reverence for God as ceaselessly as he inhales and exhales the air. [Celtic Christianity]

Humility is the land where God wants us to go and offer sacrifices, even our lives. [Lakota Christianity]

Friday, June 11, 2010

a brief family update . . .

As of June 4, 2010, Kyle and Laura Schambers are now husband and wife, and preparing to start life in Omaha, Nebraska (Laura's residency at Nebraska Med.) Kyle is finishing up his PhD in astrophysics at Stanford (maybe some on the road in Omaha?), and hopes to teach/guest lecture at both Creighton U. and Nebraska Wesleyan. Cody will be starting with Pacific Animal Productions in San Diego; training and educating animals and people! Karly and Phil are expecting our first grand baby (tentatively Anthony Cayden De Fazio) in August! And, PnP just keep rolling along as God leads. Hope life and God find you well, and if not, that He gives you strength and comfort as only He can in times of struggle.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

What mean these stones?

Land of my fathers,
how I long to return,
to touch thy earth,
and find again thy sacred paths,
well-walked with the Gospel of Peace,
veiled now in the shadow of mediocrity.
'What mean these stones' which beset thy coastline, who in twisted agony cry out in praise and supplication of Him and the renewal of the faith that bled to secure them there?
Yet we would walk again
thy sacred paths, repair thy ancient ruins, restore thy broken altars, raise up the foundations of many generations.
Hear this, you lands of the South who hold many in captivity by your empty words and well-worn myths, who neglect to see justice for the poor, the widow, the fatherless.
Look to the North -
for lo your Redeemer comes,
clothed in the poverty of the few
who dare to speak His name,
without vanity, in a whisper,
lest the earth should tremble Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord.
Poor of Yahweh, arise,
take up the ancient mantle
which has awaited your day;
clothe yourselves within its humility,
for you have been set
as a stumbling block for many.

Further as adapted from Isaiah 58:6-12:

Then shall your light break forth as the morning; healing shall spring forth speedily; and your righteousness will go before you; the glory of the Lord will be your rearguard.
The Lord will guide you always;
He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land.
The Lord will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.
Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.
You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.

So remember the words of our Lord:

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life and only a few find it. Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them.”

“Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'” [Matthew 7]

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

marriage advice

Father of the groom – advice on success in marriage and blessings:

Advice:

 Ecc. 4:9-12 – your wedding verse(s), believe it because it’s true and it works!
9 Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their work:
10 If one falls down,
his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls
and has no one to help him up!
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
And, remember the third “strand” is Christ Jesus, who will strengthen you.

 Give 100% to one another, because marriage as God created it is not a 50/50 relationship.

Love one another in marriage as Christ loves His church . . . a self-sacrificial love. [Eph. 5:22]

 Exercise the heart of the five love languages. Find out what each other’s is/are and do it, whether acts of service, gentle touch, whatever.

Grab that little book, The Heart of Five Love Languages, and use it, practice it.

 Pray together . . . out loud so you can hear each other’s hearts, and silently so you can hear God.

Begin each day with the Lord, and one another in prayer, let it be your “food”.

 Always, always . . . keep God first in your heart, and He will keep you next in each others’ hearts!

Reminders:

 This life you live is a journey, and now you continue that journey together. You have been well prepared to this point, and together you will continue in God’s love and grace.
This is what the LORD says:
"Stand at the crossroads and look;
ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
and you will find rest for your souls. [Jeremiah 6:16]

Our Lakota/Celtic heritage in the Lord teaches us to seek the Narrow Road, the Good Red Road of Jesus Christ . . . it is the Way we should go.

 Along this Way, remember to use God’s armor to protect you, and use His Sword of the Spirit, His Word to keep you from all evil and temptation, and strengthen you in your journey. [Eph. 6]


“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” [Phil. 4:4-7]

“Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” [Col. 3:12-15]

Blessings:
 Celtic Blessings

“May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields and,
Until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand”

“As you slide down the banisters of life may the splinters never point the wrong way.”
[Love this one as I once slid down a “wrong way” splintered banister and landed on my head two floors below . . . yes, that explains a lot, I know!]


 Lakota Wedding Prayer:

“It is the time for your children to find happiness with each other. It is the time to build nests. It is the time for pairing. It is the time for flying and the time for the Eagle.

In the early morning we see this, and we hear it under the warm moon. Wakantanka, there is no bird without a song. No creature without a call. No man without a skill. And into the bird you put the song, and into the creature you put the call, and into the man you put the skill.

You are good. Wakantanka, all your creatures need a partner. You made us that way. Each wing needs a mate. You made it that way. Each feather needs its likeness, it’s that way.

In secret we carry a feather. It is close to our heart. In secret there is its likeness. It is close to another heart.

On a spring day your promise will be kept. The two will meet, and your life will start in them. Your song will be in them. Your happiness will come to them. They will praise you.

He hechetu.” (That is all. or Amen.)

 From Celtic Daily Prayer:

A MARRYING PRAYER:

All we have came only from You.
Everything we hope for
will only come from Your love.
All that we enjoy You gave us freely.
Everything we ask for
is only Yours to give.
Give us the light to understand.
Put fire behind our will.
Be at the beginning of all we begin.
Excite our love,
strengthen our weakness,
encompass our desire.
Shield our thoughts, and cradle our bodies, and as we breathe this prayer, in our hearts may we feel Your presence.


 For Bride & Groom to each other (Lakota):

“Here I set my face unto you. Here I speak my heart's true vow. Here I choose to walk beside you, loving only you, my heart speaks true, for evermore from now.
I will love you in the dawning
and in the bright noon-day.
I will love you in the even.
Every day I live,
my heart I'll give.”

“I have heard God in your laughter. I have seen Him on your face. And it's clear now what He's after, for He wrote your name on my heart in flame; it's a wound I'll not erase.
We will mount the wings of morning. We will fly before the wind. We will dwell within the mystery of the glories of Jehovah's love: a circle with no end.
We will pitch our tents towards Zion
in the shadow of His love.
We will covenant between us.
We will covenant with the earth below
and with heaven up above.
We will covenant with the dust below
and the Spirit up above.”


 More marriage blessings (Celtic):

May God and your marriage bring you joy. God give you joy of one another!
Be ever
in the embrace of the Father,
Be ever
in the embrace of the Son.
Be ever
in the embrace of the Spirit.
Be ever
in the embrace of one another.
May the Lord
tie a bond of your love between you forever without loosening.

O God, make clear to us each road.
O God, make safe to us each steep;
when we stumble, hold us;
when we fall, lift us up.
When we are hard pressed with evil,
deliver us;
and bring us at last to Your glory.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

wretchedness in us and the world

While not a "new age" type, I nonetheless find some wise counsel in the words of Dr. Andrew Weil (alternative medicine guru to the "harmonic convergence" community.) Dr. Weil suggests we all take "news breaks", because he believes all the bad media is toxic to our bodies. I tend to agree, as I know how I feel after reading the paper or watching the latest news on TV. We are poisoning our minds and souls with the toxins of a corrupt and dark world, when we should spending more time reflecting on our Holy God. Read The Imitation of Christ, Book I, chapter 22 for further reflection.

On a related note; negative conversation, criticizing talk and gossip are all like the yeast of the Pharisees. It infects everything and drags us down. Better to talk of the things of God and be lifted up.

This brings me to another thing I sensed the Spirit speaking to my heart this morning during quiet time. Too often as "church" we belabor or committee things to death, failing to make decisions for our own good or that of our congregations. Even Moses had to ask for help and delegate as God prompted, so we also should seek God's wisdom and guidance in more efficient manner. Better that two or three faithful elders would meet, discuss and seek God's guidance, then, act on behalf of the whole.

There is nothing intrinsically wrong with caution and waiting upon the Lord . . . but, when He speaks we should be swift to move and not spend the next six months debating His direction. Delay can mean being "swallowed up by a whale" or worse. Will we deliberate until a young man takes his own life before we start a support group for those suffering from depression? Will we procrastinate offering support to struggling marriages until they break completely? Will we meet in committees until that young person "cuts" to deep this time?

Delay, procrastination, deliberation, debate in the face of God's direction are all the yeast of the Pharisees. Resolve today to DO as Christ commands with all authority . . . . Go, be His love and light wherever He sends you.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

humility in Christ

Lord, let it be said of me that "every single day he made a fresh beginning, and in every conflict with another he would say, 'Who am I?' and judge no one." Amen, Lord have mercy. Anon E. Moose (me)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

My Review of Womens ASICS GT-2150 Running Shoe

Originally submitted at Road Runner Sports

Women's ASICS® GT-2150 :: Millions worldwide turn to this performance trainer for consistently reliable stability and comfort. Minor updates to the women's ASICS® GT-2150™ improve support and fit, but the biggest benefit comes from the ½-ounce weight savings. 9.5 ounces


Great training/racing shoe for women

By Patti from Sacramento on 6/2/2010

 

5out of 5

Sizing: Feels half size too small

Width: Feels true to width

Arch Type: Average Arch

Pros: Cushions Impact, Breathable, Good Arch Support, Good Traction, Comfortable

Cons: Wears Out Quickly

Best Uses: Road Running

Describe Yourself: Avid Athlete

I'm a 52 yr. old former top woman road racer/triathlete, that still loves to run and race occasionally. (Raised three kids and ran with strollers for years.) These GT have always given great performance, and the only complaint I have is that I wear out the outsoles quickly, heavy heel striker! Otherwise, a great shoe and a good price for the stability and cushioning.

(legalese)

My Review of Mens ASICS GEL-Kayano 16 Running Shoe

Originally submitted at Road Runner Sports

Men's ASICS® GEL-KAYANO® 16 :: Honoring a heritage of perfect stability and exceptional comfort, this lighter update of the men's ASICS® GEL-Kayano® 16 flexes more naturally and ensures a more efficient gait cycle from mile 1 to 100. Updated asymmetrical lacing hugs your...


The Best Clydesdale Shoe

By Big Muddy from Sacatomato, CA on 6/2/2010

 

5out of 5

Sizing: Feels half size too small

Width: Feels true to width

Arch Type: Average Arch

Pros: Comfortable, Good Traction, Durable, Breathable, Good stability 4 big guys, Cushions Impact

Best Uses: Road Running

Describe Yourself: Casual/ Recreational

I'm an ex triathlete/ultra guy. Had to quit running due to ortho doc's orders, multiple knee surgeries (football, rugby, etc. in earlier years). At 60 years and 6'2", 240, I still love to get out and walk every day, and these Kayanos do the job better than anything else I've found, including NB, Adidas, Brooks and Nike. I did about 80 miles a week when I was training for "Team Clydesdale" back in the day! Been an RRS fan since 1983 or so.

(legalese)