Tag Archives: Whatever He Says

Friday Findings: Time With God

I love those quiet times with God, still-soul-times rich with nearness and uncluttered by my words and lists. I often find them on retreat, but they can be part of each day… if I will remember and be disciplined about seeking them.

They’re when I feel most alive, and yet I so rarely stop to enjoy them. The Lord has been reminding me of this through some of my friends’ posts lately:

At Under the Cover of Prayer, Jan Cox wrote:

I think about our ‘busy’ lives and know that our quiet time with God gets left out. But I believe it is the MOST important part of our day. To be wired to God. How else can we live the life He wants? Without His godly spirit flowing through us, how can we deal with our daily lives? (Connected)

At Whatever He Says, Belinda Burston wrote:

Paul and I pray together before work, and I draw strength and comfort from that cherished time. But it’s a different thing to just coming before God with no agenda but to quieten my heart and listen for his. (Confession)

Again at Under the Cover of Prayer, Janice Keats wrote:

We can learn so much by entering into His presence. Maybe just sitting in His presence is enough. He is all we need. Time well spent with God produces a thirst for more—more peace and more of Him. (Be Still and Wait Patiently for the Lord)

Belinda’s post above ended with a familiar Bible passage as phrased in The Message, and I want to close with a portion of it as well. The wording is fresh and puts a new light on it. Drink deeply:

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. (Romans 12:1-2, MSG*)

*The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Liebster Award

Thank you to Stephanie at Free 2 Soar for giving God With Us: Finding Joy a Liebster Blog Award.

The Criteria: The Liebster Blog Award is meant to showcase bloggers who have fewer than 200 followers. This is all done in the spirit of pay-it-forward.

The Rules: You must mention and link to the person who awarded you the Liebster and mention 5 other blogs with fewer than 200 followers you think worthy of the Liebster.

The catch: I don’t think there is one. It gives us an excuse to talk up some of the blogs we appreciate.

So without further ado…

I hereby award a Liebster to the following five blogs:

Susan at Accidental Poet writes a little about this, a little about that, and a little about her knitting… and she often cracks me up.

Chad at The Lucas Adventures also cracks me up with some of his experiences parenting four young and active kids.

Belinda at Whatever He Says invites readers into daily slices of her life and thoughts. It’s like having tea with a good friend.

Mary at Beech Croft Tales posts once a month… and always gives me a smile or a new insight.

Laura is better known for her Interviews and Reviews blog, but I’m sending this Liebster out to one of her other blogs, Enjoying the Journey, where she offers encouragement for the soul.

Now… people’s schedules being what they are, I haven’t been able to confirm that all five bloggers would like to receive a Leibster Award. If any of them don’t want to post the award badge and/or link to five other Liebster-worthy blogs, they’re free to pass. But I still think they’re worthy! Stop by and visit each one, and maybe you’ll find a new favourite or two.

Advent Poetry, Writing Advice, and Lightening Up

Can you believe this Sunday’s the beginning of Advent? Over at the Kingdom Poets blog, D.S. Martin will be posting a new poem each Monday for Advent and Christmas reflection. He’s posted one already, to get us into the spirit of things: this week’s Rowan Williams post introduces us to the Welsh poet and shares his poem, “Advent Calendar”.

On a completely different topic, there’s an interesting new blog called Girls With Pens. Co-writers Lisa Hall-Wilson and Marcy Kennedy offer weekly “tips and tricks for writing for a faith-based market”. Not a writer? They’ve also begun posting weekly book reviews.

And recently at Whatever He Says, Susan Stewart shared a challenging post on “Lightening Up“.

Friday Findings

I did a guest post this week at Under the Cover of Prayer, called “Believing Prayer“.

And I’ve been musing about being quiet… still… refocusing priorities. About listening to God. Here are some inspiring posts that are shaping my thoughts:

  • From Ginny Jaques’ Something About the Joy blog: “Shift“.
  • From Belinda Burston at Whatever He Says: “Living Room“.
  • And a beautiful song by the group Selah, “Unredeemed“. Many thanks to Susan Stewart, also at Whatever He Says, for introducing me to it in her post, “Trust Him With the Pieces“.

Six inspirational links plus a fitness bonus

Stop by Devotional Christian for daily devotionals from Our Daily Bread, Max Lucado, My Utmost for His Highest, Charles Spurgeon, The High Calling and more.

I’ve been enjoying Duane Scott’s Scribing the Journey, especially his post on “Dreaming With a Troubled Heart“.

Flickers of a Faithful Firefly shares beautiful photos and inspirational thoughts. I especially appreciated her post, “Cultivating Stillness“.

I’ve mentioned Free2Soar before. This blog has become one of my favourites, with its short, poetic insights into faith and relationships.

Ever feel overwhelmed with your tasks and responsibilities? I do. Check out Susan Stewart’s post, “Psalm 23 – according to me“, at Whatever He Says.

Kimberley Payne offers a free monthly electronic Fitness & Faith Matters newsletter..

Deskbound? Here’s a 10-minute video on Staying Fit While Sitting All Day.

Love One Another

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
John 13:34-34, NIV*

Last week at Whatever He Says, Belinda posted on the importance of relationships, including the quote, “Relationship—with God and with people—nothing else matters”. It’s a powerful post, and worth reading (scroll up from where the link takes you). The novel I finished on the weekend, Just Between You and Me, made me think about it too. And the book I’m currently reading, Majesty in Motion, focuses on…you guessed it: relationships.

I didn’t plan any of this.

Did I mention our Bible study group at church is using the Experiencing God Workbook? We’re at the “relationships” section now.

God can be subtle with some people, but He knows I take a bit of prodding.

Loving one another doesn’t have a lot to do with warm, fuzzy feelings. Singer/songwriter Don Francisco called it an act of the will.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails [stops/ends]. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a, NIV*

It’s intentional, deliberate, a choice we make. A choice we can only follow through on by relying on God’s love in us.

Father, I’m so thankful that You meet us where we are, but You love us too much to leave us there. You promised to grow us to be more like Your Son. Jesus saw people through Your eyes—with Your heart. Help me learn to do that too, and to be useful to You in encouraging and loving them.

Our song this week is Matt Maher’s “Hold Us Together”.

*New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

What If, and Stepping Stones

Last Friday I said there were only a few blogs I get as daily emails. The rest I catch up on as I can through Bloglines.

It’s been a very full week (including a weekend at the Sunrise Division Barbershop competition where my husband’s and father-in-law’s chorus and quartet did very well!) Suffice to say, I got behind in those daily readings. I wanted to actually read them, not skim-and-delete.

Yesterday I caught up on posts at Whatever He Says. As always, Belinda and Susan gave me plenty to think about. It started with Belinda’s post, “What If…”–not “what if a certain thing happened” but “what if I made certain choices?”–and actually thinking through how to make and implement those choices.

Susan followed that post with one called “More on ‘What If'” and also talked about stepping stones–crossing a river on the stones Jesus pointed out, ignoring others that looked solid too.

Why not set aside some time, pour a cup of tea or other nice treat, and check these out? Then follow through the rest of them to get up to date and you’ll see some encouraging examples of what this what if/stepping stones can look like in action. I particularly recommend Susan’s “Friday Report” posted today. It’s a bit long, but it’s worth taking the time. She takes it beyond the ordering of daily activities to the working out of new behaviours and attitudes. I’ll need to read it again a few times over the days ahead. Some of us are slow processors!

Scurry Syndrome

My friend Belinda at Whatever He Says posted something the other day that keeps coming back to my mind:

I recognized that paradoxically, I was multi-tasking during my “quiet time.” There was no rush to do any of these things, nor any good reason to do more than one thing at a time. I decided to stop and savour each thing individually instead of trying to do so many things at once. (click the quotation to read the full post.)

Especially at this time of year it’s easy to slip into scurry mode, rushing, hurrying, trying to keep track of three or four things at once.

Somehow God slowed me down this Advent season, and I’ve been enjoying such a sense of peace. A couple of times this week, wisps of “hurry” stirred within me and I realized what had been missing in the peace: anxiety. No thank you, I do not want it back. I’ve been consciously stopping to pray and remind myself that everything is in God’s hands and not mine.

Let’s have a conversation: How do you keep the scurry syndrome from ruling your life?

2008 Canadian Blog Awards, Round Two


Voting is into round 2 for the 2008 Canadian Blog Awards. Check out the finalists, you might find something new that you really like. Thank you, everyone who voted for this blog in round one’s “Best New Blog” category, and thanks again, Belinda, for nominating me. You are such an encourager!

Belinda and friends’ Whatever He Says (Religious/Philosophy) and Denyse O’Leary’s Post-Darwinist (Sci/tech) are still in the running.

Click on the beaver to go vote!