Tuesday, September 27, 2011

She Wears Purple

I've created a new blog to run alongside this one, She Wears Purple. You can find a link on my sidebar. My recent posting schedule not withstanding, I plan to post to both of them. Maybe I'll combine them eventually, but for now I like the idea of having one blog dedicated to just daily musings about this and that, sometimes silly nonsense and other times more serious thoughts, and the other dedicated only to my Christianity.

Not that I separate the two in real life, by the way. My salvation defines everything I think and do and am, but I like to have my thoughts organized.

Ok...so I like every single area of my life organized. Ok, Ok! I'm over the top about my lists and organization, but God is helping me! ;-)

Hope to see you there!

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Great News!

I could just repost my last short post where I begged off because things are busy.

I'll add to it though...my daughter extended her stay here by another few weeks! Yay! Still want to squeeze in lots of stuff but we have a bit more time to do it.

One of the things I want to do with her is hike to the top of Sweeney Ridge. The picture is the view from the top out toward the Pacific. I did not take this picture, by the way...image credit below. You can see both the San Francisco Bay to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west from the top. Good cardio on the way up, too! Always a benefit...

Also, my other daughter has a blog. She just started it yesterday, so please head over and say hello. You can click to it here.

Ok...that's it for now...I do want to get back here soon though.

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Places to Go, Things to Do, People to See...

Not a lot of posting this week. It's my daughter's last week here for her last long visit prior to her wedding and I want to spend as much time with her as possible and also I'm pushing hard to get some work done for Into-Africa. So...see ya on the flip side!

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Friday, September 2, 2011

Shadow of the Almighty

I've been fascinated by the life of Jim Elliot for years. Recently I've been reading  Shadow of the Almighty. I'm only about a third of the way though so far but I can't put it down. Can I just say...


I cannot even express how convicting and inspiring his writings are.

Makes me search my heart to see what my motives are for everything I do and drives me to want to be all I can be for Jesus, who was and is and will be all He can be for me.

This in itself is amazing. That God would do such a thing for me.

And you.

And every single person who ever lived and ever will live.

Makes me realize that so much of my life is just fluff.

Pinterest? Fluff. 100%. Unequivocally and without a doubt, fluff.

Blogging? Fluff. For the most part. Some aspects of blogging can a great blessing and very helpful, (note: you might want to right click and open this link in a new tab or window because for some reason that site won't let you click your back button to come back here) and for that I am grateful but mostly it's fluff.

Exercise and eating right? Not fluff, so much, but profitable for only a little in light of eternity, as the scripture tells us in 1 Timothy 4:8. For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come. I love Elliot's take on fitness: that he wanted to keep himself healthy in order to perform his physical best on the mission field. He wanted to be prepared to do hard physical work in third world situations and be in strong health to facilitate the preaching of the gospel.

Jim Elliot focused everything in his life...and I do mean everything...around knowing God as intimately as possible this side of Heaven and writes continuously of his experiences as he reads and studies the Word of God. 


Read it.

Thank you Shanna, for giving me the book.

This all brings me back to the idea of focus, as I've mentioned in a couple of previous posts and will be exploring further. What should be the priorities of our lives? What is truly significant?

More later....

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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Without Complexity: Part One

Read my first post about focus here. 
When I wrote that post I didn't intend to make it into a series, but I feel inspired to do so with the following post and some others along the same lines that I have brewing. You can find links to all of the posts in this "Without Complexity" series at the side bar to the right. 

My thoughts lately have been about living an uncomplicated life; about learning how to be an uncomplicated person. Our lifestyles as Americans have become way too complex and stressful. If the trends in many of the blogs that I read are correct, I'm not alone in thinking along these lines. We so easily lose sight of our purpose in the busyness of life. 

I've been inspired lately to simplify the way I live. This includes everything from decluttering my physical surroundings to the way I think and process life. At the moment I am contemplating the issue of focus. This is the beginning. Are we able to focus on the important, or the task at hand and finish it without being bogged down and caught up in tangents?

My son unknowingly taught me a lesson recently. He was helping me edit and process some of my photos. We were uploading some of my images to his computer and I mentioned that I had other pictures on my flash card that he hadn't yet seen but would be interested in. They didn't pertain to our project, but I knew he'd want to see them nonetheless. He went straight to the images he was after for our current project and didn't even have a quick glance through the others. I silently noted his single-mindedness. We finished our project quickly and efficiently and moved on from there to other things. We didn't get bogged down, sidetracked or distracted because he was focused on the project at hand.

I find that I can waste much time being distracted. The things that capture my attention aren't wrong but they are usually things that keep me from finishing a project in a timely manner, or sometimes even from finishing at all. I've been susceptible to distraction for most of my life. I tend to flit around from here to there and back again and spend a whole day accomplishing nothing of any value. Value, of course, is subjective, but I can fritter away a lot of time with nothing I value to show for it. And more importantly, I can fritter time away with nothing of eternal value (value in God's estimation) to show for it. I want the testimony of my life in general to be that I pleased God and was productive in the things that matter.

In the past, and especially as a child and teenager, I often didn't complete projects that I started. My tendency has been to find the easy way and discontinue pursuits that required me to learn something new or perfect a skill in order to excel. Not that I haven't excelled at certain pursuits...it's just that I tend to stick with what comes easily for me and avoid challenges. This is another subject altogether: challenges and the growth that comes from rising to meet them. I won't go there for now, instead I will focus (!) on the subject at hand!


I lacked focus. And apparently I still do. (See above paragraph!)

I believe that a short attention span in adults is usually a result of lack of discipline of the mind. The causes for this are myriad and the purpose of this post is not an expose on those causes. I'll save that for another time. Maybe. (Again! Focus!)

So. My focus for the present is just that: focus. Single mindedness. How to obtain discipline of mind.

The Bible tells us that a double minded man is unstable in all his ways (James 1:8). It also tells us in another portion of scripture that the people who know their God shall be strong and do exploits (Daniel 11:33b) (emphasis mine). This means that the first key to doing exploits, or productivity, as I perceive it, is to know God. When I am double minded and vacillate between this and that my productivity is minimal. Productivity isn't the be all and end all of life, but I believe it's a critical element in maintaining one's dignity as a human being. So the key here is knowing God. The bottom line in all of life, really, is knowing God.

Photo credit: http://www.c4rlh.com/iphone/free-wallpapers/