Life Among the Eagles
In Learning to Soar Avery T. Willis, Jr. and his grandson Matt Willis compare the transitions of life and the trials we encounter with eaglets and their growing patterns. This is an excellent book with many examples of how God uses trials to move us out of the patterns of life in which we so often tend to become stuck. The style of the book is very easy to read with Avery writing the main dialogue and Matt using examples from his experience as a young adult. Matt and Avery write well together taking their cues from each other and expanding on the topic in ways that broaden the scope of their readership and better define ways to live through trials. One of the features I especially like are the questions at the end of the chapters. They helped me to stop and consider what I had read and how it applied to my life. In Chapter two the authors include an excellent list of ways to discern whether God is stirring your nest. All in all this is a very encouraging and easy read. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is experiencing trials of any kind.
Labels: Book Reviews
I lost my Spiritual Director. This is a major change in my life. I've been with the same wonderful woman for three years but she changed jobs and moved away from my area. I miss her very much. In three years of sharing God and life events together on a very deep and personal level you become attached to each other in some very good ways.
This week I found a new Spiritual Director. She has a sweet, gentle spirit that permeates the space around her. I found I could share with her in the same way I could with my dear Sister Paula. It is interesting getting to know someone new but especially when that someone is a person who may be working with you and guiding you spiritually. You share on a deeper level than you would normally in a first meeting. There is a purpose to the meeting that usually isn't there in most introductions. It's too bad all Christians don't listen and share on the level we did at our meeting. There would be far fewer misunderstandings and hurt feelings if we did.
I have had time to mourn my loss and now I am eagerly looking forward to starting new and seeing myself and where I am spiritually through new, fresh eyes. I also think I will start looking at those I meet, whether old friends or new acquaintances, through new eyes of my own and start listening on a much deeper level than I often do. There are a lot of lost hurting people around me and I don't want to miss perhaps being that healing touch so desperately needed.
It's been a long time since I've written. I could say it's been a long time since I've been able to write. Sometimes I hit long dry spells and this was definitely one of those. It has been growing in me for a few weeks now that I needed to start writing again. So here I am.
We are struggling with a difficult family issue right now so I am asking, no begging for prayers from anyone who comes across this blog. It's been so long since I've written that any regulars I may have had are long gone, I am sure. But if you venture here for some reason please pray for my family. We need it desperately.
I will do a better job of writing. I will probably change the look and maybe even the name of the blog in the near future. If you are still checking this, thanks for sticking around.
Michael Jackson when he was king of pop
I found this on another blog and had to share it. I don't know what it was about this song but it's one of those things where I even remember where I was when I heard this for the first time. I just thought he was the cutest thing! Isn't it sad what we do to ourselves out of fear and pride. To see him now you would never know that this is the same person.
This just really brings the verse to mind that says we are like grass, here today and cut down and burned tomorrow. As hard as it is to grow older at times and to feel older at other times, that isn't what is important. What is important is how we are growing in Christ. It is him in us that makes us beautiful long after the world thinks us beautiful. Even though I work very hard to keep my skin healthy and as young as possible, it is Jesus I really want people to see in me. He is the only fountain of youth that really works. Now if I can just remember that! I hope you enjoy the musical memory. Then say a prayer for Michael and all of the lost souls out there searching in all the wrong places.
I'm trying something different today. If it works. I'll comment on it later.
An interesting article on Atheism
I was leafing through the complimentary USA Today this afternoon in my hotel room just outside of Disney World, when I came across an article entitled Atheism isn't the final word, by Don Feder.
It was an excellent article. I am quoting some of it here. Hopefully it can be found on the USA Today website under April 16.
Early in the article he listed several new books with eye catching titles such as Atheist Manifesto: The Case against Christianity, Judaism, and Islam
and The God Delusion.
However, what caught my eye after the title was the statement that the author welcomes the phenomenon of the influx of these books on atheism. He goes on to say, "Let the godless write their books and the faithful answer them."
He goes on to talk about how Christianity has outlasted the Soviet Union's attempts to destroy faith in any kind of God and China has a thriving house church movement in spite of their "war on God."
The real meat for me was in the following statement. "A universe that isn't God-centered becomes ego-centered. People come to see choices through the prism of self: what promotes the individuals well-being and happiness. Such a world view does not naturally lead to benevolence or self-sacrifice."
The buzz word for where we are in the 21st Century is post-Christianity. We are no longer the Christian nation we were meant to be. We've become so open we have let our Christianity drain right out of us and in it's place there are either religions foreign to many of us or atheism. We look at our nation's children and wonder what has happened to make them so angry and lost. Today another school shooting has terrorized and destroyed lives. We live in a lost society.
I am amazed at how angry and almost violent a person will get when traffic is not moving fast enough to suit them. I am amazed at how people would rather destroy long term relationships because they aren't getting their own way than make compromises to keep those friendships intact. I am saddened when I find myself falling into those thought patterns of what about me or what do I get out of this? I find myself at a loss as to how to deal with our young people who use their Ipods and mp3 players to mindlessly allow sexual lyrics, angry tirades and anti religion pour into their minds as they block out the rest of the world.
I am not one who thinks we should be out pushing for school prayer or forcing religion down other people's throats. I am one who believes that our world was much better off when we had the ten commandments in all of our community buildings and judges who believed they were good rules to live by.
As Christians many of us have sat idly by and let the atheists in our world spill their lies and half truths onto the pages of books that are on the New York Times best seller list. It is time. Time to get up out of our apathy and do something about restoring truth to our society.Let the godless write their books--
Are we the faithful going to answer them?
Spring has Sputtered!
It is April. You would never guess it though looking out at the snowflakes and frozen tulips. It feels and looks more like February with flashes of shivering color here and there. Nature can be so cruel. I have a mother duck nesting in my flower bed who I am sure is wondering what on earth she's doing on a nest in midwinter! She is very diligently sitting and protecting her eggs, however.
It was so wonderful in January to have temps in the 70s and sunshine. Now I assume we are paying for it in spades! The only salvation for me is that we head out for Orlando, Florida on Sunday for four days in sunny Disney World. Well I'll be in the sun. My poor husband will be in meetings. There is such joy in working for yourself and being able to take random vacations--with your partner's blessing.
It was interesting on Easter Sunday. While there were a few spring colors, everyone was wrapped from head to toe in an effort to keep out the frigid cold. Easter egg hunts went amazingly fast and were finished inside with stiff fingers and blue lips.
God promised that the seasons would always change. Fall would follow summer, Winter would follow Fall and Spring would follow Winter. Every year it happens. The dead grass becomes rich green, the tree in the front yard explodes in white blooms and the tulips erupt from the ground and turn their pretty heads up to the sun.
It may be spring on the calendar but I have a feeling that this year it is going to feel like summer explodes out of winter and we'll just skip spring entirely. We do that sometimes here in Indiana. It also means it's going to be a really hot summer. Even so, it's really nice to know that God keeps his promises. I am so ready for spring. I guess I'll get mine in Florida this year.
Open minded or vacuous?
On Friday mornings for the past four years I have met two of my closest friends at Starbucks. When I say morning I mean early, as in 5:30 am early, right as they unlock the door. They now make our drinks as we walk in the door. Not really but close enough. This time has become so precious to me. It is a time to talk, laugh, cry and study God's word with people I can be totally transparent with. That is such a blessing.
We have studied articles, books, workbooks and now we are listening to a cd collection. At least we were until today. I consider myself an open minded person. I try very hard to listen to the point of view of different people and then make up my mind about how true it is and whether that can be a part of my beliefs. For the most part this has served me very well and I have learned wonderful things from people. There are at times, however, people who open their mouths and immediately I know that what they have to say is not healthy for me to even listen to. Other times it takes me a while to figure it out. This is what has happened with the CDs we have been listening to.
The CDs are done by an Episcopalian priest who happens to be female. The idea was to see Jesus in a deeper way, in a different light so to speak. I'm all for seeing the familiar in ways that reignite the joy in the story. Unfortunately this priest has taken a little bit of truth and worked it together with her ideas of eastern mysticism to the point of being almost unidentifiable. Each lesson finds her mixing more and more mysticism in with less and less truth. Now I am one of those people who will watch a really bad movie all the way through in the hope that it will finally get better. So I listened each time to my lesson and worked to find the good in what she had to say. Today, one of my small coffee group stated she was taking a sabbatical from listening to the cds because she needed to refocus. Then another one of us made a few statements about how difficult the teachings were. Listening to them talk, it suddenly dawned on me that each time I sit to listen to the lesson of the week, I feel this feeling that I am not doing what I should be doing. The Spirit is telling me each time that this is not good for me to be listening to this woman. I know I am really slow sometimes. I felt it but had kept putting it aside in hopes of being open minded and learning something -- something from the lessons. Now it was very clear that this was the Spirit I am putting aside. So I said that to my friends and immediately we decided that since we were all getting the same feelings and thoughts that this should end right now. I am tempted to take the cds and break them in half just as a protective measure.
How open minded can we be before we become vacuous? How much information do we need to hear or read before we know this is not good information and I don't have to hear it in any way to make a healthy decision for myself? These are the questions on my mind today. I think that this will become a part of my petition to God that he give me the wisdom to recognize the Spirit moving in me to start or stop doing something. I've been asking for the wisdom to know what to do. Now I will ask for that same wisdom to know when to stop. For me that seems to be an important lesson.
Yes it took a while for us to finally come to the right conclusion about this study. I think that is okay, though because we've learned something about the Spirit in this process. I am so grateful for my friends and for our freedom to say, this doesn't feel right without being thought a bit strange. Instead we are all willing to believe that God is leading us and today gave us a strong lesson on the teaching of the Holy Spirit: one that we won't soon forget, I'm sure. We decided that we are going to go straight to scripture for a while and read the book of Luke. It will be a way to clear our palates after a very strong and unsavory experience.
God is so good! Today the three of us have been deeply blessed.