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Happy Halloween

Farmer John’s Garden

Pumpkin Garden

This is from my 2009 Retreat – it always remind me how far God has brought me

Farmer John wandered back and when he reached
the pumpkin patch, began to speak he said
“the weather’s getting colder summer’s over
and it’s almost Halloween that’s the day,
the reason you were raised when everything
about your life will change

You will have eyes to see, and for that night,
you’ll be a bright lamp burning in the darkness but
remember that candle shines for only the
briefest time in a jack-o-lantern’s heart”

The pumpkins held a meeting then
some were very apprehensive and afraid
“Could this really happen to us?
what could be the meaning?” is what they were saying
“This is home, it’s all we’ve ever known”
then one bold, outspoken pumpkin spoke

He said “I don’t need eyes to see,it
sounds like a lie to me
I like it just fine here in John’s garden
And remember that candle shines for only the
briefest time In a jack-o-lantern’s heart”

There is much to ask and to ponder
in the pumpkin patch when imposing
old October shows up at last

Then a pumpkin from the farther end
who had been silent up till then
Over the commotion, said
“What would you rather have my friends
A chance to shine, or die here on the vine?
The better way seems very plain to me

You will have eyes to see, and for that night,
you’ll be a bright lamp burning
in the darkness
and maybe that candle shines
for only the briefest time
In a jack-o-lantern’s heart
Oh, but one goblin’s smile should
make it all well worth while
you know you might even see the starlight
and knowing that time is brief,
makes it that much more sweet
when you have a jack-o-lantern’s heart”

John’s Garden (Written & Performed by Peter Mayer, from the album Million Year Mind)

These was part of my retreat last year (2009). This really hit home to me because last year was
when Matthew’s health was so uncertain and many times I and the doctors were not sure he would live out the year.

When I went to the retreat I went for some rest (I had not slept in 8 months at this point) and some
quiet time with Our Lord. I needed to some find some peace inside my soul as far as Matt’s health.
When the very last paragraph was sung, I had a deep feeling inside me that Matt would not live out
the year but I was at peace because I took to heart with:

“A chance to shine, or die here on the vine” this statement made me realize that there is something very important about the quality of life and if Matthew was confined to a bed at 20 years old then he wasn’t doing much living.

“and knowing that time is brief, makes it that much more sweet” this statement made me realize that no matter what happened Matthew’s life was filled with a lot of purpose, teaching many people (including myself) through austism, asthma and CF what truly mattered in life.

After much rest and an improved outlook filled with peace, I realized that God was waiting for me to give up my control to Him so that He could heal Matthew.

To look back now 4 years later, I can’t tell you how right I was in realizing I needed to give up my control to God so He could work in my son’s life. God has done amazing things in my son’s life, but also for my daughter who faced a health crisis last year. When I think about how far God has brought my family, it brings me to tears – in thankfulness and joy.

This song is near and dear to my heart.

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Retreat ~ Talking with Jesus

The Labyrinth:  A Sacred Path for Pilgrims

Starting early in the first Century Christians made regular pilgrimages to the Holy Land with the desire to grow spiritually closer to Jesus.  Eager to pray at the sites of Christ’s ministry, pilgrims walked hundreds of miles, praying and singing on the way.  During the Middle Ages, this practice became impossible because of wars.  To respond to the spiritual needs of the people many churches in France, England and Germany built labyrinths to enable pilgrims to make symbolic journeys to the “Holy Land” striving to unite themselves in spirit with Christ.

The labyrinth at King’s House is patterned after the one found in the Cathedral at Chartes, France, which dates back to the early 1200’s.  This labyrinth is called an eleven-circuit labyrinth because the path circles around the center eleven times.

A labyrinth is not a maze, but the two are frequently confused.  mazes are puzzles designed to trick and confuse.  A labyrinth’s purpose is to help the walker find her way.  There is only one entrance that starts at the outer edge, goes into the center which then becomes the path back out.

The word labyrinth is also a medical term for the part of the inner ear that regulates balance.  It is thought that the equal number of left and right turns in the design provide a psychological benefit to the walker in addition to any spiritual benefit one might receive in prayer.

The walk from the entrance of the labyrinth to its center represents the first part of this path.  The walk into the center represents a letting go, or “purging” of things that interfere with the relationship with God.  The center of the labyrinth symbolizes the place where the walker receives illumination or simply rest in whatever the experience offers.  Retracing the path back to the entrance provides the opportunity to integrate any insights gained in the journey.

—–

My walk and talk with Jesus through the labyrinth.  This is one of my favorite things to do when on retreat to bring me closer to Jesus, not only is it great to release my mind but the view is gorgeous.

Dear Jesus  I tend to detach from life easily and quickly if it’s not going my way.  I get so tired so quickly, sometimes are such a chore for me.  My mind never turns off Lord.  I want to follow Your will but when I am not sure what it is or which direction to go, I often get discouraged.  What is the difference between perseverance and Your answer being NO?

Once I got to the center of the labyrinth, I sat down and simply stated “LORD, I am listening what do you want me to know?”  after 5-10 minutes I heard:

Get rid of distractions, the less “stuff” you have the more you free yourself to just be.

Distractions:

  • make you tired
  • make your mind overactive
  • don’t allow you to focus on the person
  • takes you away from ME
  • makes you believe in those “things” more than ME
  • makes you irritable.
  • you were not created to multi-task
  • makes you believe you are in control
  • the “stuff” drains you
  • allows you to be so consumed, you have no time or energy to enjoy the simple day that I have given you as a gift

Make a list of all the “things” in your life, note if they fill you up or drain you and why.  Then come back to ME with your list and let’s talk.

 

 

 

My Retreat ~ Day 1, Story of Creation

It was interesting how many different cultures and even different times had a story of creation.

One of the African cultures has the story as man and woman were attached but turned back to back, so God used a lightning bolt to separate them and turn them towards each other. 

  • God then tells the man:  I have removed a sliver of your heart and placed it inside the woman’s. 
  • God tells the women:  I have removed a sliver of your heart and place it inside the man’s. 
  • He then tells them, I have placed a sliver of both your hearts into mine.  Therefore, you will always search for the missing piece of your heart in ME and then in your mate.

——-

Read “The Creation” by James Weldon Johnson.  I love how his creation story to some kindergarten children in the 1800’s started off with God being lonely so He creates all these wonderful things but then God is still lonely so He creates man.

——

Biblical Nutrition

In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth and populated the Earth with broccoli, cauliflower and spinach, green and yellow and red vegetables of all kinds, so Man and Woman would live long and healthy lives.

Then using God’s great gifts, Satan created Breyer’s Ice Cream and Krispy Kreme Donuts. And Satan said, “You want chocolate with that?” And Man said, “Yes!” and Woman said, “and as long as you’re at it, add some sprinkles.” And they gained 10 pounds. And Satan smiled.

And God created the healthful yogurt that Woman might use to keep the figure that Man found so fair. And Satan brought forth white flour from the wheat, and sugar from the cane and combined them. And Woman went from size 12 to size 18.

So God said, “Try my fresh green salad.” And Satan presented Thousand-Island Dressing, buttery croutons and garlic toast on the side. And Man and Woman unfastened their belts.

God then said, “I have sent you heart healthy vegetables and olive oil in which to cook them.” And Satan brought forth deep fried fish and chicken fried steak so big it needed its own platter. And Man gained more weight and his cholesterol went through the roof.

God then created a light, fluffy white cake, named it “Angel Food Cake,” and said, “It is good.” Satan then created chocolate cake and named it “Devil’s Food Cake.”

God then brought forth running shoes so that His children might lose those extra pounds. And Satan gave cable TV with a remote control so Man would not have to toil changing the channels. And Man and Woman laughed and cried before the flickering blue light and gained pounds.

Then God brought forth the potato, naturally low in fat and brimming with nutrition. And Satan peeled off the healthful skin and sliced the starchy center into chips and deep-fried them. And Man gained pounds.

God then gave lean beef so that Man might consume fewer calories and still satisfy his appetite. And Satan created McDonald’s and its 99-cent double cheeseburger. Then said, “You want fries with that?” And Man replied, “Yes! And super size them!” And Satan said, “It is good.” And Man went into cardiac arrest.

God sighed and created quadruple bypass surgery.

Satan smiled and created HMOs.

 

 

 
 
 
 

My Retreat ~ Friday, Day 1

Friday evening was day 1 of my “silent” retreat. It’s not completely silent as we have session and we talk during supper but other than that it is silent, which is hard with over 25 women in one building but we all enjoy it, even if we do go outside and cheat just a tad 🙂

This year’s theme ~ God’s Sacred Message:  r * u * IN?

No, there is no error in the title of the Quiet Retreat for 2011.  The second part of our title is how it might appear if you were text messaging from your cell phone.  No matter how it might appear, God wants us to know that we are incredible and asks us to be inspired, interconnected, and involved.  The question that God wants us to answer during this upcoming retreat is, “Are you in?” 

Friday night’s session was ~ IN Creation.  Exploring our relationship with the rest of creation and unpack the profound truth that our universe is permeated with the presence of Christ.

The first 3 words in the Bible:  In the beginning….those words have multiple meanings.

  • In the beginning as far as the story of creation in the Bible in Genesis
  • In the beginning as far as each cultures story of creation
  • In the beginning as far as your beginning
  • In the beginning as far as right now, with this breath it’s a new beginning…
    • Close your eyes, take a deep breath, as you exhale, guess what it’s another new beginning….it’s another breath that God just gave you.  You are not guaranteed any number of breaths. 

God called everything He created “good.”  There was one time He didn’t call it good though and that was when he created us, His image…..He called our creation “very good.”  We were better in His eyes than anything else He created.  Stop and think about that for a minute.  Doesn’t Scripture tell us this in Matthew 10:13? 

If you were to tell the story of creation to someone, how would you tell the marvelous story of God’s creation?

We miss so much in our busy lives, we miss the beauty of God’s creation.  We as adults no longer are amazed, or sit in awe or wonder about how brilliant and how great God’s creation is.  It takes our attentiveness to look, to listen, to slow down. 

When you think about creation how do you picture God?  What did He look like?  What was He like?  What sense of God do you get when you think of creation?

  • God’s personality was to pour Himself out in love as He created the world and us.  He gave Himself away in everything that was made.  God is in all things.  He is IN us. 
  • God has a radical love for us.
  • Your Creator’s message to you ~ “You are precious in my eyes and I love you.  I made you in My image.  You are never alone, for I am with you always.”

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The above was highlights from the session.  I love how the session talked about God’s creation story and how awe-inspiring we should be.  It goes right along with the A Confident Heart Bible Study.  If we are radically amazed at what God did ~ Creation ~ then how can we believe the lies the devil feeds to us.

God created us ~ He breathed His very own breathe into us, He made us in HIS image.  It brings me to my knees to think of it that way.  It opens up a whole new thought for me.  If I am made in HIS image, why in the world would I consider anything about me a flaw.  Who am I to tell God HE was wrong when He created me?  That He should have made me with green eyes, taller, curly hair, etc.

In the Garden of Eden everything was created by God and everything was beautiful.  However, God didn’t say it was complete or very good until He made man and woman – then and only then was it complete and very good!  Sit and think about that for a while.  Don’t rush ahead to the fall of man just sit and think.  God didn’t stop creating until He made us.  He breathed His very life, love and goodness into us humans calling us “very good and complete” 

How can we believe the lies and throw away the fact that God created us, we are His creation and we are His children?