Seeking the Beloved on Christmas

I’ve been meaning to write a Christmas message for the blog and not getting it done.  This morning I received this lovely gift from a dear friend and sister in Christ:

Amazon.com: Seeking the Beloved: A Prayer Journey with St. John of the Cross eBook: Wayne Simsic: Kindle Store.

Starting to read, I came across this to share with you all:

“If prayer is fundamentally an expression of love— a single-hearted reaching out to the Other in a love relationship— it is more simple than any technique or way of praying. The most important thing in prayer is the heart’s inclination in relation to God.”

Simsic, Wayne (2012-03-28). Seeking the Beloved: A Prayer Journey with St. John of the Cross (Kindle Locations 119-121). The Word Among Us Press. Kindle Edition.

Praying for the inclination of all our hearts, and wishing you a blessed Christmas!

Carmen

When God comes through…

“Pray with thanks when God comes through beyond all you could have imagined.”

From my morning readings in “You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream”, by Holley Gerth.

Reducing the risk of crop failure has created a more sustainable community by Gates Foundation
Reducing the risk of crop failure has created a more sustainable community, a photo by Gates Foundation on Flickr.

And pray with hope while you’re waiting for Him!

Reaching for Faith – Stitched!

Here is the fully stitched piece.

You can see that the canvas has gotten somewhat distorted during stitching.  Blocking the piece will correct this.

Reaching - Unblocked 2 by Carmen CS
Reaching – Unblocked 2, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

Prayer: Father, the process of going through life can stretch us.  Thank You that Your grace and love can always bring us back to our full beauty, as You intended us to be.

God is an artist …

God is an artist and he is beautiful. He has woven his image into the fabric of our lives, which explains our drive to create things which are beyond us and which we don’t always understand. Perhaps more important, he has issued a call to us that carries with it the possibility of obedience or disobedience: the call to respond to his beauty with creative worship. … God calls us to create a space in time for ourselves and others to meet with God, to gaze upon his beauty and to worship him.

– From my morning readings in “Scribbling in the Sand – Christ and Creativity” by Michael Card.

Stained Glass Window Full of Light and Color

http://www.flickr.com/photos/stockphotosforfree/7190209497/in/photostream Photo by Stock Photos for Free with Some rights reserved under Creative Commons Attribution License

We can answer that call with art, with craft, with music.  We can answer it with hospitality, with service, with fellowship.  It doesn’t matter how we answer it.  What’s important is that we answer it.

Pray for wisdom…

“Pray for wisdom when you’re not sure which way to go.”

From my morning readings in “You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream”, by Holley Gerth.

bible with stained glass reflection by melanerpist
bible with stained glass reflection, a photo by melanerpist on Flickr.

I’d go further.  I say pray for wisdom even when I think I know which way to go.  Pray for wisdom.

Reaching for Faith – Stained Glass 2

There are many books that can give you fancy stitches for a variety of looks.  My favourite is

The Needlepoint Book: A Complete Update of the Classic Guide: Jo Ippolito Christensen: 9780684832302: Amazon.com: Books.

Sometimes it’s just fun to mix it up!

Reaching - lower right by Carmen CS
Reaching – lower right, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

Prayer: Father, help me to find creative ways to enjoy my life and service.

Words of praise…

“Pray words of praise when things go well.”

From my morning readings in “You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream”, by Holley Gerth.

Praise by EL@Seattle
Praise, a photo by EL@Seattle on Flickr.

Words of praise are so important.  Just praying them can change our hearts.  If I always go to God asking for things, I don’t recognize, I don’t notice what I have.  And I have so much!

If I don’t pray words of praise when things go well, it’s so easy for me to get discouraged.  To fail to notice progress.  To give up on my dream…