Monday, January 11, 2016

Gifts Found in October 2015 - Part 3

I continue Part 3 of the "Gifts Found in October", be sure to read those found in the first and second weeks of the month in Part 1 and Part 2.  So the journey continues...

October 15th
3 Gifts Re-Read

1.  The Gift of Scripture - Many scriptures, especially those we consider "favorites" or more well-know, are read again and again...and re-read again and even again!

Each time we read them, the meaning may be different, depending on our situation, things we've learned, even things god is revealing to us.

So, I continue to read and re-read those favorites!

2.  The Gift of Lectio Divina (Divine Reading):  In the series we are doing at church, "A Prayer Series for Congretations Discovering Who God is Calling Them to Be" by J. Kristina Tenny-Brittain...

We used the practice of Lectio Divina as a tool for hearing God's voice.  The book says, "People have been practicing Lectio Divina since at least the sixth century AD.  In it's most basic form, it comprises four parts: reading, reflecting, responding, and resting.

Before beginning Lectio, we offer a short prayer to ask God to clear our minds and speak to us through the exercise.  Then we read or listen to a short passage of scriptures; first once and than a second and third time.

With each reading or hearing, we become conscious of a word or phrase that 'jumps out' at us; this leads us to the reflecting part.  In the responding part, we respond to the word or phrase in our mind with a prayer or praise or petition to God.

Finally, we rest, we sit quietly in God's presence with our thoughts, perhaps jotting down what we're going to do with them or because of them."

This is intentional reading of the scripture.  It is a gift that I want to try using far, I'm not spending enough time really into the scriptures!

3.  The Gift of Fiction - I've read many books, different authors, and different styles.  Most of them I read all the way through 'til the end; some I give up on, but not very many.  And, there are a few books that I would go back to and re-read.

Thank you, God, for authors of fiction that capture our attention so much that we want to re-read them!

October 16th
3 Gifts Burning

1.  The Gift of Desire - Have you ever wanted - desired - something (or someone) so much that you felt your insides were on fire?  Me neither...

but, desire - yes, perhaps there have been times when something very important made my heart feel its' fire...its' burning desire!

Maybe for an important recognition; a job or project you wanted so badly, your insides were on fire with desire...

Found on Pinterest

Yes, that kind of desire!

2.  The Gift of Scripture - From Psalm 37:4 - "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart."

So, whatever my heart desires?  He will give it to me - to us - as long as we " the Lord."

3.  The Gift of Love - Just this - a quote from Robert Frost...

Found on Pinterest

So...Love - Desire - Love to be Desired - Desire to be Loved!

Dear God, may it be so!!

October 17th
3 Gifts Ugly-Beautiful

1.  The Gift of Babies - America's Funniest Videos...the place to watch the funny, and the not-so-funny.  Tonight's series of "Baby Poop Faces" was so cute, funny, and such "ugly" yet "beautiful" baby's they are showing exactly what they're trying to do!

So precious!  Thank you, God, for precious little ones!

2.  The Gift of Fashion - Just looking at the designs made on Project Runway make me admire the designers.  Some are just plain "ugly" to me; yet are highly praised and loved...and "beautiful" in the eyes of the designers and the judges.  Not anything I'd ever wear!  I'll stick with my comfy jeans and shirts!  Guess I'm just not "fashionable"!

3.  The gift of Loss - How can loss be a gift?  An "ugly" thing, loss - when it's a child who has gone missing; when it's a child who has been abused...such an "ugly" thing.

And yet, what comes out of loss, and abuse - maybe not really "beautiful"; but, God uses our loss, our past "abuses"; and makes something good, something "beautiful" - like a special garden that has emerged from the place where abuse has been.

Thank you, God, for the beautiful life of a precious child, gone too soon.  And, to her family who has tried to bring love, hope, support - something beautiful from the horrid thing that happened to her.

October 18th
A Gift Shared, Saved, Surrendered

The Gift of Ministry - As we, at Riverside Ave. Christian Chruch, go through the process of searching for a minister, there have been many who have shared in worship by filling the pulpit, preaching the word.

So far, when the time allowed, we have heard from a couple of well-known female ministers and a couple of well-known male ministers (know to our congregation).

Will our future bring us a female minister?  Who knows...God alone has this person prepared...

October 19th
3 Gifts Unexpected

1.  The Gift of Affection - No matter how hard I try, it just doesn't seem to be hard enough!  As tired as I was after a full day of shopping, it was still not appreciated...when asked a question while I was washing dishes, I kept washing and answered - probably too quietly - and thought he'd walked off with his answer...

Instead, he got in front of me waving his arms and shouted, "Hey!  I asked you a question!"  I re-answered and told him he didn't need to act that way and yell at me...

He took the trash out, and when he came back, he gave me a big hug, and apologized!!  He never apologizes to being the way he is to me...but, he did!  Definitely Unexpected!

Thank you, God!  I know he has it inside of him...somewhere!

2.  The Gift of Friendship - An unexpected call from a friend...already planning to meet for dinner - but needing a "favor" - and, of course I'll pick her up at work and take her to get her car!!  That's what friends are for!  Thank you, God, for my friend, Myra!

3.  The Gift of a Visit - It should not be unexpected...I should know - without a doubt! - that when I sit down at the computer, a certain cat will:

  • jump up onto the back of my chair, causing it to jerk me backwards;
  • jump from there onto the table where she proceeds to stand between the laptop and the larger monitor, eventually spreading out nearby to lie down;
  • she is usually laying to the left of the laptop, with her head near my hand, making it difficult for me to type.
I guess I should not be surprised!  It is expected...

Oh, she comes again!!

October 20th
3 Gifts Unconventional

"unconventional, adj. not usual" according to "Webster's Student Dictionary."

"conventional, adj. ordinary/usual."

1.  The Gift of Friendship - We may only see each other a few times a year, but when we get together after not seeing each other for weeks or months...we pick up where we left off, catching up on things, on life!

It is "not usual"; a bit unconventional?  We share each others' joys and concerns; and vow to not let the next time be so far off!

Thank you, God, for my friend!

2.  The Gift of Giving - Shopping is definitely a usual thing - quite ordinary...conventional.  But, shopping for others - not as in for birthday, Christmas, or other gifts - can be quite unusual...unconventional...

I met up with a friend from our Disciples' Women and went shopping for socks for men and women at a local vet center; and for women and children at the City Rescue Mission.  We spent just over $180 (of a $200 donation) and bought 193 pairs of socks!  I have not quite $20 to buy a few more...

I am excited for us to deliver these gifts!

3.  The Gift of Health - It's unusual - unconventional - that a toddler is not sick with some kind of cold or virus.  Most times when I babysit for the little ones (my grandkids), they have colds and runny noses.  When they play and cuddle, it is all a usual happening, even when they are sick.  What is unusual is when they cry more or just can't sleep; or if they do go to sleep, wake up crying.

This is what happened with my little two-year old cuddle-but: he just couldn't sleep for the stuffiness, and the fever incresed as the evening went on.

As I rocked him and cried out to God, he relaxed and went to sleep; but couldn't rest in my arms...when mommy and daddy came home, they were able to "take it from there" - giving him tylenol, and bathe him with a cool washcloth (he is too squirmy and fussy for me to try to bathe him!).

I thank God for His calming touch, and for hearing my cries.

October 21st
3 Gifts Under-Valued

1.  The Gift of Time - I value the time I have to spend with family and friends; but don't always realize the value of that time - correctly.  I choose - sometimes haphazardly - how the time spent will be...

But, I realize it is a gift, and am thankful for my time with my family and friends.

2.  The Gift of Prayer - Prayer is undervalued!  I don't "use" it as I should, when I should.  God wants to hear from us, often...even to be persistent with our requests.

I thank God for His listening to our prayers...the persistent ones, the regular ones, and the infrequent ones.  And, as we pray often, we become more and more able to hear His voice!!

3.  The Gift of Self - Focusing the majority of my time and attention on others, I tend to not place value on myself and taking care of me!  I do have times I spend with my family and friends, doing things I want to do...but still seem to "under-value" my worth, my time, my health...

Thank you, God, for me!  Help me to remember how important taking care of myself is for the sake of me as well as my family and friends.

So ends Part 3 of "Gifts Found in October 2015"; Part 4 coming soon {better late than never!}

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