Tag Archives: bible

Some Lenten Advice (that I’ve gleaned and want to share)…

http://www.morguefile.com/archive/display/13324

I want share this bit of advice I just read by sharing the actual article.

We all make it somewhat of a game, the MY Sacrifice is Bigger than Yours thing, right?

“I’m giving up cookies.”

“Oh, really?!  I’m giving up cookies AND candy!”

“Is that all, you two? I’m giving up desserts AND hair products AND all songs that mention sweets and hair products.”

You get the picture, right?!

For so many years I “gave up” something and come Easter Sunday I was glad to get the coffee or candy or whatever back, but I didn’t feel stretched or that I’d grown at all, you know?

I have adopted the idea over the last few years of adding something rather taking it away.  This year, I signed up for Dynamic Catholic’s Best Lent Ever program.  It’s still a bit of a mystery (slightly terrifying), but I’m committed and adore what Dynamic Catholic stands for so I’m sure I’m in good hands (God’s anyway, right?).

Another idea is to immerse ourselves in the Word of God. This one has some personal relevance as the Holy Spirit keeps whacking me over the head with it, in the form of a suggestion from a priest, articles here there and everywhere. I like a guy with a sense of humor, don’t you?!

Another idea which has plusses and minuses is the 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge. I mean it cleans out the crevices and corners of our homes, but what about our hearts? Are we doing it to clean our own cobwebs or are we trying to give what others truly need? This article really nails how we should be approaching this task.

So, I’m not saying one way is better than another, I’m just sharing that there are so many options out there and pain isn’t to be avoided as it affords a chance to grow closer to God and just plain grow.

May we see one another on the other side of these 40 days in the desert refreshed and renewed.

photo courtesy of MorgueFile – http://www.morguefile.com/archive/display/13324

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Relativity

soda - morguefile

Yesterday was the Super Bowl (or as the priest put it the fourth Sunday in Ordinary time). And, I have to say there wasn’t much super about it. I mean the food and company were terrific, but couldn’t really care much about the teams and my knitting was just more interesting. Just sayin’.

On the other hand, I went to our parish’s “Jesus, Mary and a Cup o’ Joe” book/bible study where we are working with Fr. Robert Barron’s “Catholicism” book. It is always an interesting discussion as some are very well read and knowledgeable and could even be called Biblical Scholars. Some are just plain opinionated and some just like to talk. So, it’s always an opportunity for me to practice patience and humility and mind my own business. Ahem, but I digress.

It was fascinating to me to think as we looked at Exodus 3 and then compared Old Testament God with New Testament God as well as Jesus being the new Moses (that part was gleaned from the homily – nice product tie-in, God). I had this vision of Old Testament God being the Bad Cop and New Testament God (in the human form of Jesus) being the Good Cop. OT God is the one standing menacingly you’re your shoulder slamming his fist on the table of the interrogation room as he tries to get you to “spill it”. Jesus is the NT God who offers you a soda and a smile.

Another point that was brought up in the discussion was how Moses was an “outsider” who wasn’t even part of the catechized when OT God (in the form of a burning bush – what a party trick, boy!) tells him that he is part of the tribe of his ancestors, David and Jacob, etc.   Moses is thinking, “but I’m growing up in an Egyptian household where we have the god of Fire, the god of Water, the god of whatchamacallit”, you get the idea. And yet, OT God chooses him to be the one to lead his chosen people out of Egypt…an outsider. So cool!

Flash forward to Jesus’ time (NT God, remember) and he, too, is an outsider who comes along after relative obscurity and bursts onto the scene and proclaims himself to be the Messiah (whom his father, God, has chosen to lead the rest of us to salvation). He could have chosen some more prominent figures to do this job, but no, this guy was special and therefore stood apart from the beginning.

I mean even Bono of U2 fame states that if all of these people from all of these centuries and countries believe Jesus to be the one true Savior either he is positively maniacally crazy or the rest of us are OR it’s true.

This whole connectedness fascinates me. What are your thoughts?

Image courtesy of Morguefile – http://mrg.bz/9IRV4L

Nearly February

I made some oaths, no promises (certainly not resolutions, Baby!) at the beginning of 2012. They were focused on the areas of <drumroll, please> faith in the form of studying the Bible, health in the form of training to do a 5K again (it’s been a while, people) and writing in the form of working on my novel more (by way of an Advanced Creative Writing class – stall tactic, I think not) so I like to travel… long and winding roads…so, sue me.

I found the writing class on the college’s website and after corresponding with the professor (whom I had met very briefly at a local writing group) who advised me to take the Advanced class rather than the beginner given the amount of writing I had already done I went to sign up (4-year-old in tow).  It was already filled. Having no other choice, I put myself on the waiting list. I have to admit, I had mixed emotions about not getting in. Those emotions were turned topsy turvy the following day when I got ‘in’. My first assignment was due several days earlier than I had originally thought (based on info from another employee of the college, but no harm done).  I got it turned in with no issues. A bit out of practice at staying up late to complete ‘schoolwork’, however!

I am getting feedback from fellow students and the instructor and it is very humbling, but at the same time terrific. Other times when I’ve written, the work just sits there in some vacuum and never gets read by another breathing soul. Now, granted I’m having to swallow my pride… a lot. But, it’s good for the soul, right? Right?!

Speaking of my soul, I began a Bible study last week as God has been working on me to do since last fall. I kept meeting these ladies who were raving about their group, then there was a notice in our Sunday bulletin telling about another study starting at our parish. Another woman at our homeschool group was telling me about the first group and even sent me an email on it. The final straw (in a good way!) was a mom in the waiting room at our daughter’s ballet lessons who was leading one of the groups. That clinched it. I signed up for the class the night before it was to begin and got one of the 4 remaining slots. I hear ya, God. You’re workin’ it. I just need to go along quietly on this one.

Well, I was a bit nervous as this was a group of Protestant ladies, but I had been assured that there were members of various faiths who participated in the Bible study. During our small group breakout, I half kidding, whole in earnest (as my mom likes to say), introduced myself as a <whisper it>’Catholic’. They were funny and kind about it. One woman was even nice enough to come up after and share that she wasn’t a practicing Protestant either, but belonged to another faith.

I am LOVING the book that we’re using for the study. It’s a Jen Hatmaker book called, A Modern Girl’s Guide to Bible Study.  This woman is not only spiritual, but she’s laugh out loud funny in the process.  Irreverent, memorable and spiritual.  Where do I sign up?  I want to have Nachos with this woman!

The running thing is the last of the mohicans.  I’ve been inspired by many in the past, including my rock star of a marathon running husband and also a fellow blogger, writer and homeschool mom, Kathy.

I realized I had been giving myself a bit of a break because the first two items on my New Year’s list have been quite time consuming between all the writing and reading they require coupled with homeschooling and other social commitments, but excuse time ends this week.  Yes, I am tired.  Yes, I am fighting a sore throat or cold or some other bout of ickiness, but I WILL be running on that dang treadmill this week come Hades or high water (not likely here in the desert, don’t worry).

Looking at a 5K in March!  Wish me luck.