Practicing Christian

My journey to getting it right….

Lord, Teach Me To Pray

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I came across this image in my Internet travels and it immediately struck a chord with me. I have never been one at ease with daily prayer. Sure, I was taught the standard mealtime and bedtime prayers every child learns in their early Christian education, but their simplicity never seems enough as one grows and deals with the complexities of adulthood. I try with the written routine of devotional and fall out of habit, and then I look around at friends able to bring forth the most fruitful prose with ease…and feel inadequate and incapable in my efforts.

Even these six simple actions seem paltry, especially compared to the major woes and tragedies Life seems to keep tossing into my orbit. And yet, it is something I feel is within my grasp…something I am able to do. Some that I HAVE been doing thinking it’s not enough. I suppose it’s just in our nature as humans to think there is more we can do to make sure God notices us, particularly if His timing seems slow to nonexistent. And that repeating the same paltry actions is only ceremonial and incapable of changing anything.

Still practicing…..

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Devotional reading for November 20, 2014

(One of the hiccups of sharing directly from the app–since it started me in the middle things are slightly out of sequence. Still, I must have flagged it for a reason.)

http://bible.com/r/x.T Today I am reading day 29 of Life Application Study Bible ® Devotion:

Job 21:22 (NLT)
But who can teach a lesson to God, since he judges even the most powerful?

Although baffled by the reasons for his suffering, Job affirmed God’s superior understanding by asking, “Who can teach a lesson to God?” The way you respond to your personal struggles shows your attitude toward God. Rather than becoming angry with God, continue to trust him, no matter what your circumstances may be. Although it is sometimes difficult to see, God IS in control. We must commit ourselves to him so we will not resent his timing.

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Bible In A Year* (….and a half, by now)

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So I re-started this journey through the Bible sometime last year, as I chronicled here. After many, many date shifts and catch-up days I have managed to muddle to halfway through. It’s a little more difficult now that the phone reminders have stopped; once my plan calendar reached (this date) and the last chapter of Revelation they considered their work finished. Updates to the YouVersion app allowed me to discover a tab for the entire plan laid out by month instead of just by day, and in that view, you can click on any of the individual days you missed. Right now I’m wading through Leviticus for the Old Testament and Mark’s gospel in the New Testament, plus the typical Psalms and Proverbs passages. Can I tell you that reading about all these ceremonial specifics and qualifications is EXTREMELY TEDIOUS? I have to believe there is some practical purpose for reading about sin, guilt, burnt and praise offerings in this day and age….but as I’m not bringing livestock to the altar unless it’s those big wooden figures we use for the Nativity, I’m struggling to see the point. And to say that my mind wanders is a gross understatement.

Nevertheless, I continue to try. Being partially unplugged for this Consecration Fast effort (the social media component I’ve handled fairly well, but I’m probably taking liberties with the diet) has helped to free up some time so at best, the falloff has been maybe two or three days. Discovering the audio on the app is a mixed blessing–it helps in those chapters full of unpronounceable names and even adds the readalong book experience I enjoyed as a child, but more often than not I’ll play it just to listen and wind up falling asleep on it and having to listen several more times to ingest it all. Bible by osmosis is not what the goal is.

Of course, once I DO manage to get through it the first time, I’ll need to go back for deeper study and analysis. But this is a daunting enough task as it is. I’ll just focus on these small samples for now until I’m ready to sit at the grown-ups’ table.

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Devotional reading for 1/16/2015

http://bible.com/r/x.1O Today I am reading day 86 of Life Application Study Bible ® Devotion:

Going to God’s house can be a chore or a delight. For the psalmist, it was a delight. As a pilgrim attending one of the three great religious festivals, he rejoiced to worship with God’s people in God’s house. We may find worship a chore if we have unconfessed sin or if our love for God has cooled. But if we are close to God and enjoy his presence, we will be eager to worship and praise him. Our attitude toward God will determine our view of worship.

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He WILL Come….Right?

Been going through my music collection and replacing some tracks that “mysteriously” disappeared from my phone during the last upgrade/SD card swap…lots of favorites on Mandisa’s True Beauty album, but this one struck me tonight, particularly with all of the turmoil I’ve been dealing with and this numbing sense of loneliness I feel.

That I managed to find an ASL rendition is a plus, as I appreciate the dual poetry of language and motion.


He Will Come
Mandisa, from the True Beauty release (2007)

If what you thought was the truth, is a lie
And what you thought to keep on breathing has died
You faced the lonely nights and wrestled with the dark
And you reach to find the love to fill the space inside your heart

It’s hard to put it into words, the way you feel
It’s a naked emptiness that lingers still
Are you a victim of the past without a trace of hope inside?
And it all goes by so fast without a way to make it right
If you worry, don’t worry

God will come and wrap His arms around You
It wouldn’t be too much for Him
To love You as He found You

And it may seem like You’re too far gone
But He loves you like His only son
And He will come, He will come

From the bounty of a river, there’s a flow
From the beauty of the Father’s heart’s a home
That never leaves you empty, no, and never leaves you bare
So come and bring your guilt and shame, come and leave it there
If you’re weary, He’s willing

God will come and wrap His arms around You
It wouldn’t be too much for Him
To love You as He found You

And it may seem like You’re too far gone
But He loves you like His only son
And He will come

Oh, you don’t have to be worthy
You don’t have to be anything
But willing to fall into His arms
Willing to fall into His arms

God will come and wrap His arms around You
It wouldn’t be too much for Him
To love You as He found You

And it may seem like You’re too far gone
But He loves you like His only son
He will come

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Church, Here’s Why People Are Leaving You. Part 1 | john pavlovitz

http://johnpavlovitz.com/2014/08/15/church-heres-why-people-are-leaving-you-part-1/

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A Holy Experience – A Letter to the North American Church: Because it is Time

http://www.aholyexperience.com/2013/06/a-letter-to-the-north-american-church-because-it-is-time/

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Habari Gani? Kwanzaa begins

[This is a repost from my main blog, The White Trash Princess Diaries. I have been observing Kwanzaa through my church for almost 20 years now, and have been in charge of the celebration for at least the last 12. I normally try not to cross-post content, but I found an e-book that does a great job of blending scripture and profession of Christian faith with the reflective and community affirming principles associated with Kwanzaa. I will be sharing excerpts from that book, Kwanzaa For Christ, by C. D. Holmes Miller. (I have the Nook from Barnes and Noble, but I imagine Amazon has it available for the Kindle as well if you’d like to get your own copy.) I invite you to take the journey with me this year.]

WTPD: Habari Gani? Kwanzaa begins

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What Jesus Taught Me About Walking Away From People | Storyline Blog

Food for thought.

http://storylineblog.com/2013/10/24/what-jesus-taught-me-about-walking-away-from-people/

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Making Time–The Bible In A Year Challenge

So I’m trying once again to read the entire Bible in one year….I signed up online once before but it was tied to my old email account that I got hacked and locked out of, and I believe the website I was using shut down. Since my Nook died I decided to download the YouVersion Bible app onto the smartphone I was bullied into getting, and when I saw that they offered various Bible study reading plans I figured why not? (The fact that my Katrina pastor kind of shamed me back into it with a post that said, “If you have time for Facebook, you have time to read the Bible” might have factored into my decision a LITTLE….)

A little disconcerting that it started me on the same plan day as everyone else–instead of coming in at the beginning of Genesis and Matthew, I started with Job and 2 Corinthians. And not just Job–the END of Job, where he’s sitting in sackcloth and ashes and giving in to cursing God and then God gives him what-for. Interesting place to just jump in. The Hee-Haw song Gloom, Despair and Agony On Me kept ringing in my head as I was reading, especially since the next few days of reading was Ecclesiastes. Not exactly the most fulfilling and motivating reading here.

On top of that, the app is giving me awards and incentives and such–medals for completing my day’s reading or bookmarking or highlighting a verse. As I suspected, I started with a bang and then petered out, falling behind a few days….and it’s only been less than a week. I managed to catch up within one day on Monday….and then fell behind again. What’s more demoralizing is that my app sends me emails:

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Um, yeah. Thanks. I KNOW.Though the option is a nice touch to help folks overwhelmed with daily reading not throw in the towel. I may wind up needing it.

I figured since I’m supposed to be “practicing” I should share my journeys and struggles and well as the reposts that inspire me. That’s the whole reason I started this blog in the first place. Hopefully I can recommit to this as well as the reading challenge and get to the “practiced” stage–build those Spirit Man muscles!

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