social spark Aisling Beatha: April 2009

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Welcome to my blog. I hope you enjoy your stay, however short, and find something that interests and blesses you.

The tabs just below will take you to posts of particular topics. So if you are looking for my posts on food, fitness or creativity, you will find them there. You will also find my posts on thankfulness or other more contemplative posts, as well as a set of posts with traditional blessings from a number of different cultures.

You can find posts with labels not included in that list via the labels list over in the sidebar.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

On Monday, I was reading some Daybook entries and I came across the blog of Liz Tolsma. One of her Daybook replies talked about their adopted daughter and how she is beginning to feel at ease with them in a deeper way.

I am thankful for...Jonalyn's attachment. Last night she bumped her head on the corner of the wall. Nothing major, but she looked stunned. I tried to comfort her, but with my bad back, I can't pick her up. Doug did and she clung to him and cried and cried. Those outside of adoption circles might think we're crazy rejoicing over our daughter's tears. But she finally feels at ease enough with us to let us comfort her and to show us her tears.

It made me think about how God is with us.
Some of us throw guilt trips on ourselves if we have a problem and our immediate reaction is not to go to God. We fear He will want to punish us, or will withhold His help from us because we didn't go to Him first. More often than not these are not spoken fears, they are things that we don't even put into words for ourselves, but our actions and reactions betray us and show what we really believe about How God responds to us.
And if we dare to actively hide from god on a situation (oh how I do this at times), maybe because we are afraid of what He will ask of us, or afraid that He will punish us for whatever that issue is, then our guilt trip only increases.

But HE isn't like that.
And as I read Liz's answer I could just see God, as this loving Father, far from being angry because we don't allow Him in at times like that, but instead being broken hearted, just SO desperate for us to give Him permission to work in our hearts, desperate for us to allow Him to comfort us.
And oh, His tears of joy when we finally respond with trust, when we finally say "Daddy, I can't cope with this alone, I need You and I believe in Your love for me, I believe that You will love me even in this." Oh the joy, the unspeakable joy.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Psalm 91

Psalm 91 (The Message)

1-13You who sit down in the High God's presence, spend the night in Shaddai's shadow,
Say this: "God, you're my refuge.
I trust in you and I'm safe!"
That's right—he rescues you from hidden traps,
shields you from deadly hazards.
His huge outstretched arms protect you—
under them you're perfectly safe;
his arms fend off all harm.
Fear nothing—not wild wolves in the night,
not flying arrows in the day,
Not disease that prowls through the darkness,
not disaster that erupts at high noon.
Even though others succumb all around,
drop like flies right and left,
no harm will even graze you.
You'll stand untouched, watch it all from a distance,
watch the wicked turn into corpses.
Yes, because God's your refuge,
the High God your very own home,
Evil can't get close to you,
harm can't get through the door.
He ordered his angels
to guard you wherever you go.
If you stumble, they'll catch you;
their job is to keep you from falling.
You'll walk unharmed among lions and snakes,
and kick young lions and serpents from the path.

14-16 "If you'll hold on to me for dear life," says God,
"I'll get you out of any trouble.
I'll give you the best of care
if you'll only get to know and trust me.
Call me and I'll answer, be at your side in bad times;
I'll rescue you, then throw you a party.
I'll give you a long life,
give you a long drink of salvation!"

Monday, April 27, 2009

Community - living life loved

Before you start reading this post, please go and read the post my amazing friend Dana wrote, HERE.

In that post she talks about the fact that we as Christians are all called to live in community, not just so we can impact the world, but for own betterment.
I quote:
" As much as God works in us to transform us from the inside out, He gave us something more to refine us. He gave us each other. The community of Christ is meant to be a tool not only as the hands and feet of Christ to the world, but for the betterment of each other through shared lives, shared work, shared struggles and shared encouragement."

She obviously had no idea how timely this post would be for me.
I have really been struggling with the whole relationships issue over recent months.
Because of various things that happened, hubby and I found ourselves still in the same church but not in a small group. We do go to a soaking group most weeks, but lets be honest, that involves maybe 15 - 20 minutes of relationship building and then the rest of the night is spent sleeping, (well not necessarily sleeping, but it's interaction direct with Father rather than with each other). I LOVE soaking, I adore it, but I need something more. I need relationship.
I am not blaming anyone at our church for the situation in which we find ourselves, it is not down to people, it is down to circumstances that have arisen.

Over the last couple of months I have begun to understand and to formulate in my head why this is so important to me, and why I am feeling so lost without it.
I had already come to the realisation that a big part of it was about encouragement. I know one of the things I am called to do is to encourage people, I LOVE doing it, but unless you know people, unless you're aware of what's going on in their lives, that becomes a difficult thing to do well. I also was aware that I NEED encouragement. When I am facing struggles, when I am facing challenges, doubts, issues of sin even, I need encouragement, I need someone who sees what is happening in my life and says "Come on, you CAN DO IT!"

Then, on Sunday morning, before I read Dana's post, I came to a further realisation about my need for relationship.
On Sunday, we had baptisms. 5 people making that public declaration of their relationship with Jesus! AWESOME morning, absolutely amazing, and it made me cry! One of the things that happens at our church when a person gets baptised is that after they have been dunked in the water people pray for them publicly, or bring bible verses they believe god wants to speak to that person through, or pictures, visions, or other "words" from Father God. It's an incredible time as you listen to what God has in store for these people.
I sat there and I cried, because I realised that another big thing about small groups, whether that be an organised group within your church, or whether it be just a group of people that you gather together yourself, is that you are able to speak into each others lives.

Before we left the group we were in before, the group that we were leading and needed to take a break from, that was one of the things we used to do a lot of, praying for each other and speaking into each others lives, what we believed Father God was saying and showing to us.

Dana explains it this way:
" This does not mean that need to let all 1,600 members of my home church in on all my business all the time. It does mean that I have gathered around myself a few groups of people who know me and in spite of that, love me; whose counsel and advice I trust and cherish and most importantly; who love the Lord and want for all of us to be more like Him. It is these people that I can trust to honestly evaluate my words and my behaviours as Christ's ambassador. It is these people that I can trust to hold me up with Truth and not stroke my ears with pretty words. It is these people who sharpen me as I strive to live in community with people who are sometimes very unlike me."

So yes, those aren't just nice, sweet, "God wants to bless you with THIS . . . " type words. It was also a time where we were able to be honest with each other, where we were able to get a spiritual kick in the pants from people we trusted as we were honest with them and they were honest with us.

BUT that was the realisation of Sunday morning, that I am also missing out on the opportunity to have others whom I know and trust spiritually, speak into my life, and to do the same in return.

And all along I have known that WE ARE A PEOPLE WHO ARE MADE FOR RELATIONSHIPS, and women, even more so than men, we are made with this capacity to love and to share, and when that is not used, is not filled, we have a hole, something is missing.

And yes, I DO have relationships online, that other people in the church might not have, but over the last few months, those have changed, those have drifted, and are not the same as they once were. So here I am. Totally acknowledging and agreeing with what Dana wrote. STILL desperate to be in close relationship with a small group of people. Willing to work on creating that for ourselves, (I have worked on getting the "visitor" areas of our home suitable for visitors over the past few weeks and discussd with hubby last night who we might invite for dinner over the coming weeks), btu not really knowing where to start.

I'll finish wiht a final quote from Dana's post:
"We spend a great deal of time focusing on the fluffy, friendly part of our Christian relationships and while we do so, we rob ourselves of one of our most valuable earthly assets. Accountability among believers is not always comfortable, easy or fun, but it is certainly one of the most loving things we can do for each other. Building a person up doesn't merely consist of words that puff up and make us feel good. It includes cutting out the weaker parts so that the entire structure is more sound. It is sometimes painful, heartbreaking, backbreaking work. Who better to entrust it to than those whose hearts are grafted with our own into the heart of the Giver of Life?"

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

CPAP Diaries April 2009


Hmmmm, still a lag between picture and sound. That lag is not there in the software i use to record and edit, it only appears once I produce the file as either AVI or in this case Mpeg1

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