Monthly Archives: March 2007

How I Connected With This Woman

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Read Luke 8:43-48. What do you notice about the girl and the woman? One thing is this woman had been bleeding for the same amount of years the little girl had been alive. That’s a long time to be ill. Rewrite this story from the point of view of the woman.

I think this could be classified as a meditation exercise. I certainly came away with a deeper understanding of what the woman went through, who Jesus is and how much He cares for us.

What follows is my attempt… Read the rest of this entry

Today’s Mug & Muffin Hit the “Spirit” Spot

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Don’t you love it when an event comes together well?

When the Holy Spirit attends and ministers grace, truth and peace to those attending?That’s what happened at today’s Mug & Muffin.

26 ladies gathered to hear Jenny share with us about God’s compassion, power and involvement in the real lives of some real New Testament people.

  • The woman who bled for 12 years
  • The leper
  • The man with the demon-possessed son (who kept injuring the boy with fire and water)
  • The widow from Nain – She received her young son back from the dead!
  • The woman caught in adultery

Here are some comments from today’s event . . .

  1. I got some new things to think about and am touched that God cares so much for me that He personalized Jenny’s presentation for “me”!
  2. Jenny always touches me in a very deep place and so it was today, on a day I needed touching.  God is soooo intuitive!   How does He do that?  I wish every woman in church could  have been there.
  3. It was a truly lovely morning. What a great attendance and Jenny was, as always, her phenomenal self.
  4. I had a wonderful morning with you all! I think it was a lovely time of fellowship and a time of growing with each other. We had an opportunity to get to know others better, and MOST OF ALL, Jenny’s talk really ministered to me and touched right where I am at this time. I really felt like God spoke to me there. I don’t think I’m alone.

Passover Seder Opportunities at CNC

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Passover is Tuesday, April 3rd. Obviously it is a very important holiday for the Jews. It  also has high significance for Christians as well.  Would you like to know why? Celebrate its beauty? 

We are collecting a list of host homes who would be open to offering this celebration to our CNC family. Each host home can choose the night (first week in April) that best suits them.

  • If interested, please let me know. Tell me which night and how many people you can invite.

  • If you are interested in leading or attending, please let me know that as well.

More information will be in upcoming bulletins and on this blog.

My Puny 1 Week Attempt at Christian Meditation

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I first tried the narrative and didactic visualizations. This was a failure and I felt frustrated. I couldn’t get my mind to cooperate in visualizing the animate details of the passage either as the original event or as personal attainment. I will try this again because it seems like great spiritual power can be drawn upon in the successful use of visualization.

Personalizing and praying Scripture are things I already do and so this was a successful way for me to meditate the following night. Doing this helped me to sense God’s voice and direction for prayer.

I tried singing Scripture on the third night. I was most comfortable with singing Scripture already set in real songs. In fact, this is one of my favorite ways to worship because I am actually thinking about and using the very words of God! I did try to make up my own songs, but felt embarrassed at my lack of harmony and vocal grace. I doubt I’ll try this one again.

The last technique I tried was recording insights. I love ideas, generating them, looking for them and thinking about them. This brought me in touch with God’s voice and it felt intellectually satisfying.

Since I am not an artist, I didn’t try the diagram/draw technique. My biggest liability was an overactive mind.

I didn’t realize until this class that praying- and singing-Scripture, and personalization are considered meditation.

Types of Christian Meditation

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For this post, I’ll just list them. And when I have time, I’ll update with definitions.

I have three majour papers left and 2 minor ones and homework for Monday’s class (Theo 1).

These are from Spiritual Disciplines of a C.H.R.I.S.T.I.A.N. by Gil Stieglitz.

This is not an exhaustive list.

  • Confessionalize Scripture
  • Visualize Scripture – two types (a) didactic and (b) narrative
  • Personalize Scripture
  • Record Insights
  • Pray Scripture
  • Harmonize (singing)

Breathing Life into Your Conversations With God

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As I wrote earlier, contemplative prayer is a big deal right now.Christian Women Online has an article by Keri Wyatt Kent on this topic.

Keri suggests three techniques which she has used for a decade. Here’s a quick summary in reverse order. Go here to read a specific example of how to do each one.

  •  Being There – “Gospel meditation, or “being there,” has traditionally been called the Ignatian Method, after Saint Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556). He instructed his followers to spend time with Jesus by imagining themselves in the gospel story. Imagine yourself in the story while reading a passage.” The authors of the two books I referenced earlier would call this visualization. Unfortunately, the new agers have highjacked this term and it now tends to mean something anti-biblical.
  • Breath Prayer – “A breath prayer is a short prayer that can be prayed in the space of one breath. It expresses your love for God and your desire for God’s touch in your life. . . Sometimes, it’s a form of confession or self-examination.  . . . A classic breath prayer used for centuries comes from Luke 18:13: “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner.”
  • Deep Listening – “You read a passage slowly several times, spending time in silence between readings, letting the words sink into your soul as you listen for the one word or phrase that touches you most deeply.”

This is also called Lectio Divina which doodah referred to and has been practiced by Christians for centuries.  You breathe in God’s word and breathe out a prayer. The intent (I think) is to be so in tune with God’s Words that you hear God’s message not your interpretation. “Traditionally, this practice includes four parts: reading, meditation, prayer, and contemplation.”

I am excited about continuing this discussion with y’all. And learning more on how to incorporate some of these disciplines into my life in a lasting way. I just wrote in a paper (for school) that I need to find a community who practices these with me and holds me accountable.

Book Review:Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth by Richard Foster

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I recently read one of the book’s doodah cited, Celebration of Discipline.  Richard Foster says spiritual disciplines not only help us order and influence our inward life, they also help us order and influence our outward life.

The twelve disciplines are divided into three areas of influence: inward, outward and corporate.

These are not sure-fire methods or quick techniques that will help a seeker come into God’s abundant presence. Rather they are more like slow-cooker processes that need time and diligence to flow into our inward being to bring their intended purpose of a “life of relationship and intimacy with God.”[1]


[1] Richard J. Foster, Celebration of Discipline, (New York: HarperSanFrancisco, 1998), p5.

I loved the idea that the practice of these disciplines is effective in overcoming deeply entrenched sin (aka a stronghold). I was pleasantly surprised and hopeful to read that overcoming is not simply a matter of willpower.

This is the teaching I heard from a former church and former friends. I knew I was willing to change and despite trying many avenues some sin refused to budge. I couldn’t see the Philippians 2:13 promise applying to me. I knew that either I was wrong or God was.

 Or maybe there is a third option, maybe some of the teaching I had was wrong. While I haven’t devoted enough time yet to these disciplines, I have a tiny hope that maybe this is the way to overcoming entrenched and so unwelcome sin and having an ongoing, intimate relationship with God.

I am looking forward to learning more from you all through the Holy Spirit’s leading.