The Wonder of It All (5 Minute Friday)

Photo Credit
This great mystery I’m living holds my rapt attention for sure. 
Moments. 
The wonder of the moment. 
Present. 
Connected with every other moment in time.
That I still walk out my door and look up at the sky and am amazed.
I see the moon and stars, and crick my neck in the seeing, not caring.
I walk the beach and each stone captures my gaze, I stumble in the sand,
 looking to the waves, then down at the sand, the stones, the sky.
Fighting familiarity that would like to befriend me.
No thank you.
With the wonder of a wide-eyed child I will walk through my days.
Whether I am 8, 18, or 80.
I will live in the lap of the mystery and wonder of a Heavenly persuasion.
I will keep looking up. 
This is the last five minutes of writing together at Lisa-Jo’s until next year!
Oh my!
Hope to see you there!
It’s like a Writer’s play date!
Five Minute Friday

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Announcing The 12 Days of Blog Posts (Weekends and Wednesdays in December)

Photo by Keith Williamson via photopin cc

On the first day of Blog Posts, blogger gave to me…OK well, so much for my singing at the start of this entry! But you get the point, right? I am feeling festive and in the spirit of the season just thought I would end the year in a special fun way. Um, at least it seems fun to me. I hope you will enjoy it.
During December, I have 12 Posts going out, on weekends and Wednesdays,
 some of which you may have read already or maybe missed the first time around! 
These will be a mash up of guest posts I’ve written and shared, groups of posts and stories I hope you really like (anyone remember Rocky and Bullwinkle?).
Here’s the catch. First if you have read the post before, you might remember it- BUT I will be sharing something about what prompted it, back-story, or an otherwise unique blurb related to the post!
Of course you have permission to pick, choose and also to skip (gasp) as this will be a busy place this month, and really I want you most of all to be reading Him and enjoying your family and season much as I do love having you read here!
Well with that in mind, I bring you greetings of the season and announce,

The 12 Days of Christmas Blog Posts!
(Weekends and Wednesdays in December)

Other December surprises and gifts:

A special guest featured (shh! she’s a surprise!)
here and the return of The Inspiring Women Series on December 3rd!
Here She Is!

Join Susie and I as we host  Random Journal Day on December 7th
My RJD Share for December

Linking up with Emily and Prodigal Magazine for A Broken Hallelujah on December 10th
My Broken Hallelujah

A Christmas Tradition shared at 5 Minutes for Faith on December 11th
A Theatrical Christmas Tradition shared…

A fresh Guest Post I wrote for Beautifully Rooted on December 13th
sorry, will keep you posted 
Here is the Guest Post at Beautifully Rooted– Rescheduled and live on 12/13/12

Oh, I will also be sharing a final word on the lessons I have learned from Less this year,
as well as some thoughts on the new word God has already laid on my heart for 2013:
Release.


Whoohoo! 
It is going to be a great month! 
Greetings of the Season!

Of course I will be enjoying the season, 
so will be spending more time with visiting your blogs instead of replying back here!

You can always catch me on Facebook !


and Twitter @breathoffaith!

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Linking with some favorite places:
Winsome Wednesday @ My Daily Walk In His Grace
Friendship Friday @ Create with Joy
  Faith Filled Friday @ Beholding Glory
Fellowship Friday @Christian Mommy Blogger
Weekend Blog Hop @ Mommy Only Has Two Hands
Weekend Wonders @ The Thriftiness Miss

What’s On My Nightstand {November}

I have not joined here at What’s on My Nightstand since August
 so I will just link what I finished since that time.
Meanwhile the books keep coming and I am still plugging along at my snail pace. 
What I finished:

When To Speak and When to Shut Up by Dr. Michael D. Sedler 
Everything by Mary Demuth
The Be-Tween You and God Devotions for Girls by Sandra Byrd
The Jesus Calling Storybook by Sara Lloyd Jones

*All of my Book Reviews are listed under The Contact tab at the top of my blog!

Current Bible Study:
Women of Faith : Encouraging One Another
I am doing this with my Ladies Bible Study at church and although I enjoy the ladies and all we share, I find this particular topical study to be lacking the depth I love from other bible study books/teachers I have used. It is rare for me to share negative comments but I have to say that I would be hesitant to use another of these WOF study booklets (I already have one that someone gave me).
If you are looking for a topical surface study (and let’s face it, it might have been good for me when my girl was a baby and I was grabbing my Bible Study Time on the fly.) without serious depth or additional input/commentary then this might work for you.In my opinion it skims the surface and sometimes the questions are flat and/or unclear.

What I am actually reading:
The Secrets of Intercessory Prayer by Jack Hayford

For the Christmas Season:
God In The Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
So looking forward to reading this one!

What is awaiting me on The Nightstand: 
Finding God in The Hobbit by Jim Ware (PDF attached)
Breath of Life by Marja Meijers
Chasing Silhouettes by Emily Wierenga
Writing to God” 40 Days of Praying With My Pen by Rachel G. Hackenberg
Bless Back by Julie Saffrin
Poem Crazy by Susan Wooldridge
 Jesus Today by Sarah Young
Bless These Lips by Sharla Fritz
Reach -How To Use Your Social Media Influence For The Glory of God
by Laura Krokos and Angie Pratt

The One Book I Feel I Must Read:
The Life of Pi by Yann Martel

What’s the best book you have read most recently?


What's On Your Nightstand


Contemplative Sunday {So Great A Salvation}

Credit 

I am feeling contemplative as the day comes to an end. As the weekend closes and Monday is pressing in even now. I do not feel pressured still. Yet, there is much swirling around this little mind here tonight. I am considering the moments…absorbing the lessons I feel God trying so patiently to impress upon me.
I wonder of my slowness to learn. 
My donkey mind. 
And still God used a donkey. 
Today I had to teach a lesson on the building of the Tabernacle 
to my Sunday School children.
I asked God to allow something of this rather monumental lesson 
to be relevant to these little ones. 
My group ranges from ages 5 to 9. 
And then there’s me.  
We have been sojourning with Moses and I am weary with these Israelites…
I found myself a little more frustrated today.
After all it’s been a vacation week for us all. 
Attention spans were at a low. 
My patience also. 
God did supply, yet smack dab in the middle of untied laces, 
hands that were busy playing with anything on the table before them, 
and dropped crayons. 
God got their attention and mine.
For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day shall be your holy day, 
a Sabbath of rest to the Lord. 
Whoever does any work on it must be put to death.
Exodus 35:2
I check their faces after reading the words.
We are all absorbing the blow of it.
They are shocked but they seem to accept it.
I’m still sitting dumbfounded after they resume their coloring. 
They get the point after all…they are children.
They know God means business.
But really, the Israelites have been slow to get it.
It is I, the adult who needs the reminder.
God takes our obedience seriously.
I know this. I do.
Yet still I feel the resistance within my own self.
Am I also so slow to get it?
The fact is sin is easier to see in others.
I watched it today as the children bantered.
“You interrupted me.”
“It’s my turn, not his.”
“I’m bored.”
“He took my crayon.”
“I ‘m not the one out my seat, he is.”
The lesson loomed large.
We went from the Outer Court, to the Holy Place and Holy of Holies.
We gazed upon the Golden Lampstand, the Table of Bread, The Alter of Incense.
We saw the Ark of the Covenant.
The Mercy Seat.

I have their momentary attention…

Holiness.
Forgiveness.
A costly, bloody combination. 
Daily shedding of innocent blood traded for guilt and sin.
Gentle lambs. 
Hands placed on them, a transfer made in time; 
an act foreshadowing the Lamb
that would end the days of blood stained worship once and for all 
by the tearing of His own flesh, shedding of His own blood.
The Living Tabernacle.
Grace is never late, always right on time.
Finally, the blessing…
The Israelites had done all the work just as the Lord had commanded Moses.
 Moses inspected the work and saw that they had done it just as the Lord had commanded. 
So Moses blessed them.
Exodus 39:42-43
Obedience.
Grace.
One relies on my will.
My will.
The other is available…if I choose to receive.
He has already supplied all I need.
so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people;
 and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin,
 but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
Hebrews 9:28


If Israel can turn from grumbling and complaining,
 giving all they had to the point of building the Tabernacle in the middle of nowhere,
what is it for me to yield and obey today?

As my Pastor preached today, 
how then can I neglect so great a salvation?

We ought, therefore, to pay the greatest attention to the truth that we have heard and not allow ourselves to drift away from it. For if the message given through angels proved authentic, so that defiance of it and disobedience to it received appropriate retribution, how shall we escape if we refuse to pay proper attention to the salvation that is offered us today? For this salvation came first through the words of the Lord himself: it was confirmed for our hearing by men who had heard him speak, and God moreover has plainly endorsed their witness by signs and miracles, by all kinds of spiritual power, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit, all working to the divine plan.
Hebrews 2:1-4
(J.B. Phillips)

Lord, that I may not be slow to respond to that which you have graciously 
provided and revealed, but have eyes to see, ears to hear and hands,
 feet and heart to do what you will without hesitation. 
That my tongue may be quick to reply,
“Yes, Lord, your will, not mine.”
That I may be found faithful, as you are faithful.

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Everything by Mary Demuth {Book Review}

Everything

What You Give and What You Gain to Become Like Jesus

By Mary DeMuth 
Published by Thomas Nelson

I applaud Mary Demuth’s candid and honest sharing in Everything: What You Give and What You Gain to Become Like Jesus. Although Mary has written a number of other books, this was the first time I read her writing. I felt as though I was sitting in the presence of a wonderfully honest sister in Christ who was not afraid to tell it as it is and boldly go in those places many fear to tread. 
Mary takes us through her own journey through discouragement leading us into understanding why that path is a place that ultimately brings joy and intimacy with the Lord when we allow it.
Mary asks us to consider our options in difficult times. We can turn to the Lord in our brokenness and pain, growing in intimacy and relationship with God or we can hang onto our  dismal position, growing in bitterness, anger and resentment toward God and others. She does not make light of trials but beckons us to lean into the One who longs us to lean hard on Himself. She advises us in three realms our head, heart and hands. In each of these parts of the book she tackles how we can best live out our faith instead of leaning on our own understanding. She directs us to the deep tenets of our own Christian view through questions for reflection and discussion. The goal is radical obedience and trust. Transformation by grace has never been an easy path. Challenging the easy, breezy gospel of success and  happily-ever-after with truth is what shines through in Everything. If you are ready to stop accepting the superficial Christian life and want to feel affirmed in God’s will for you as a real life believer, right now, then read on and be sharpened , friends. 
Practical and challenging.
If you are ready for Jesus to be your Everything, you are ready to read this book!
I received this book from Booksneeze for the purpose of review.
All opinions expressed are completely my own!

I review for BookSneeze® 

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