Saturday, July 28, 2007

SMART Habits Saturday

Lara's computer is on the fritz, but I think I'll participate anyway. This week has been a tough one at work, and I'm actually feeling dejected, not much in my control though, but I don't like having to give unwelcome news, or basically tell someone to shape-up. So on to this week, I think I should concentrate on what I can control and let go of the rest. As the prayer goes "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference".

Previous SMARTs
15 Minute Walkabout really bad this week (1/7)
15 Minutes with God also not good this week
2 days/week extra curricular activities 1 of 2, went to work out at the gym on the treadmill, fun but hard to get up the energy to do it. I guess I did 2, if reading counts, I did it as a second...

Friday, July 27, 2007

15 Minute Friday - July 27

So this week I had 2 ideas, the first is related to the book of John. In chapter 2, the wedding at Cana, Jesus turns water into wine. The one thing in this description of Jesus' first recorded miracle in John is how Jesus responds to his mother, here's the passage:

John 2:3-5 When the wine was gone, Jesus' mother said to him, "They have no more wine". "Dear woman, why do you involve me?" Jesus replied. "My time has not yet come." His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you."

I've tried to imagine Jesus saying this to his mom, and it just seems rude to me. Maybe it's the "dear woman" translation, it seems very formal and distant to me. I decided to look up the words as I am likely adding my own tone based on my own time and culture. Dear refers to something of value, precious and near to your heart, at least this is the interpretation I wish to allocate. So that would then mean dear woman is an endearment of a son for his mother. I wonder at why Jesus' mother involves him and why he thinks his time has not yet come. Maybe his mom sees something he doesn't. There's not mention of Jesus having disciples previously in his life, and in 3 days time he now has 5. Maybe people had wanted to learn from him before, but he discouraged them from following and now he was accepting them. I think this needs more pondering.

The second thing I was thinking about is the Lord's Prayer, have you ever really thought about it? It really blows my mind. For instance, it begins 'Our Father'. I tried to fathom that, so I tried to calculate the volume of space that 6 billion pennies would occupy, so I guesses at the width and diameter of a pennie and figured out how many would fit in house I grew up in. (The house is 1800+ sqft and I just used a volume of 100ft x 50ft x20ft. Anyway, if my calculations were correct, 6 billion pennies would fill that volume 33 times, that just astounded me. And to think of knowing and being able to identify each penny uniquely, and we're a lot more complex than a penny.

The second line "Who art in heaven" I tried to conceptualize heaven. I used to think of heaven as somewhere further out in the universe, and I still default to this. But heaven isn't within our universe, it's outside it, because the universe is God's creation not His living space, just as I don't exist within something that I might create. I don't think I spend enough time thinking about heaven, I wonder how my attitudes and values might change if I did spend more time thinking about heaven.

I'm still working on the third line "Hallowed be thy name". What it means for God's name to be holy, what does holy mean? I turned to my dictionary again for this and looked up hallowed, which has 2 definitions: to make hold or set appart for holy use; and to respect greatly. Holy means: exalted or worthy of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness; devoted entirely to the deity or the work of the deity; having a divine quality. Holiness is a difficult concept for me, the dedication, reverence, respect I see in the old and new testament of the Lord's prophets is foreign to me.

So what have you done this week with God? How do interpret the exchange between Jesus and his mother before his first miracle? What does the Lord's prayer mean to you? Should you think about heaven more?

Saturday, July 21, 2007

SMART Habits Saturday - week 3

So last week's habit of spending 15 minutes with prayer and/or bible study every day worked out well, and I've decided to have a regular feature on my own blog of 15 minute Friday's. This past week I've come to realize that if I organized myself into having commited things to do evenings and weekends, I might just work less overtime and feel less stressed and have a healthier work/life balance. Therefore, this week, I will find 2 things I want to commit to for myself during the week.

Visit The Lazy Organizer for more SMART Habits

15 minute walk about not so good 2 days only
15 minutes with God great 6 days

Friday, July 20, 2007

15 Minute Friday

This past week as part of my SMART Habits Saturday I've been working on spending 15 minutes with God every day. That being said and by Jenny V's request I'm going to start 15 minute Fridays.

Every Friday I will post on my week's journey with God and faith. So a travellin I shall go.

For the last few weeks I've been studying the gospel of John. Now a little background on this gospel, it's different from the other 3 in that it's very much about who Jesus is, John the Baptist's testimony of Jesus as Messiah and Godly love and redemption. It's quite often given to people seeking more information about Jesus and Christianity. Now to be quite frank with you, had it been given to me, I might not be a Christian, because I just don't get it, I find it really frustrating so far. I have read this gospel all the way through for an overview, and I'm currently concentrating on Chapter 1. Here's an example of something that frustrates me. One of the questions in my study guide, What did eah of the first 5 disciples find out about Jesus and how did they find out. Now, let's take Philip, Jesus finds Philip in his [Philip's] home town and says to him "Follow me". [John 1:43]. Philip, presumably spends some time with Jesus, although the next couple versus explain where it happened, not what occurred to make Philip a believer and then has Philip running off to find Nathaniel to tell Nate that they have found the one Moses wrote about in the law, and about whom the prophets also wrote [John 1:45]. Nathaniel didn't believe a Messiah could come from Nazareth, but comes to meet Jesus anyway. Jesus says Nate is a true son of Israel and when Nate questions the comment, Jesus says he 'saw' Nate praying under a fig tree before Philip found him. To this Nate replies "Rabbi, you are the Son of God, you are the King of Israel [John 1: 46-49].

Now I try to put myself in their place. If someone asked me to follow them, I'm not sure I would without an explanation, or at least some knowledge gained from my own acquitances of who the person is. So let's say I followed, chances are I'm not going to running off to my friends to tell them the Messiah has been found. And if someone told me they had seen where I was and what I was doing before I came before them, Son of God is certainly not the first thing that comes to mind. I should likely have gotten along much better with the Pharisees.

Now seeing the experience of the first 5 disciples and how they came to believe in Jesus as Messiah, this gospel doesn't explain how seeds were planted or the thought processes of the disciples or what transpired in the intervening hours. I have to wonder, if I were to write out the beginning of my own story, what would it be, what made me cross that line from seeking to believing. If I told you my defining moment of belief, it would probably seem to you, like the first 5 disciples seems to me. So here it is:

Standing in my friend Jon's living room, he playing piano and a few of us singing a new worship song we had learned recently, Je.sus (by Graham Kendrik). Over the piano is a framed poem called Footprints. By the time I reached the end of the poem, I was well aware of how much God loved me and wanted me and that this is what I had spent all these years looking for. So what might have John written about my conversion? Jesus found Kim singing praises and said "Trust me" and is that really so different from the "follow me" that John overheard Jesus say to Philip?

Take the next 15 minutes and think about your experiences with a higher power, whatever form that may take. Although it's always a journey, is there a defining moment? Would you share?

Take what you like and leave the rest.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

SMART Habits Saturday - week 2

SMART Habits Saturday is hosted by Lara @ The Lazy Organizer.

This is my second week and I think I'd like to alternate habits I want to make versus ones I should make. So this week's habit will be to spend 15 minutes with God every morning.

Here's the list:

15 Minute Walkabout 2 days last week, not so good

Saturday, July 07, 2007

SMART Habits Saturday - July 7

SMART Habits Saturday is hosted by The Lazy Organizer being inspired by Lara's blog I've decided to participate this week in a smarter habit, but oh which one shall I do, I don't want to overdo things, just one habit a week is all I need as soon there will be lots and lots of good habits.

Cleaning: Do a walk-about every day. I can't find Laura's posts on walk-abouts although I know she's posted at least twice, plus her own daily 15 minute tidy up. Actually I guess I want to do a 15 minute tidy up, since I haven't taught the dog to put away his toys yet :)