Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Lenten Discipline

I am seeking a lenten discipline. Since I am not in a liturgical church, Ash Wednesday sometimes sneaks past me and I forget, but this year I want to really embrace Lent and grow in discipline.

What to do?

I am seeking to become more prayerful.

I am seeking to become more worshipful.

I am seeking to become more like Jesus.

I am considering taking up a prayer discipline like the Divine Hours or doing a special daily Lectio Divina...

I am open to suggestions, and will keep praying. I have until tomorrow to decide.

Micah Girl

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Let Prayer Change Your Life

I am grateful for the focus I have had on bible reading each day with the One Year Bible and exercising each day with an exercise ball, random workout DVDs from the library, and dancing to the oldies with my kids. I feel so much more centered, energetic and satisfied. I am still lacking in the discipline of prayer. It's not that I don't pray at all--I pray constantly about the little things, and remember urgent needs of people throughout the day, and occasionally have focused prayer for 5 or 10 minutes with my bible reading. And I pray with others corporately. But I need more.

I just picked up an old copy of the book, Let Prayer Change Your Life, How You Can Release God's Power, by Becky Tirabassi. I know that she has been responsible for organizing campus prayer meetings across the country that have been bearing tremendous fruit. I especially feel that I need to grow in this area so that I can lead my children and my students in this discipline and so that I can be more of a blessing to my family, friends, neighbors, church and ministry.

And so I begin my reflections on Chapter 1:

As I think of prayer I think of becoming a "prayer warrior". This is something I have always wanted to be, and have been for specific situations on a limited basis, when a family member was facing a major crisis, when a friend was ill, or when my world was falling in around me.

Positive ideas I have about prayer: power, freedom, battle for good, holiness, transformation, miracles, closeness to God, usefulness, submission, eternity.

Negative ideas I have about prayer: time consuming, not outwardly active (sitting still). Is God really going to answer me anyway? Doesn't He do what He wants for His good purposes with or without me? Am I trying to prove I'm more spiritual than others by praying? Do I think I can make God do what I want?

In Luke 11, the disciples ask Jesus to teach them to pray. It was something they saw Him doing, and they wanted to be like Him. He taught them that God is their loving Father, holy and worthy of glory, and that His reign is coming and should be their goal. They should ask God for daily needs, pray for forgiveness and give forgiveness, and ask not to be lead into a place of temptation. He went on to tell them that boldness is answered in prayer, that they should ask, seek, and knock with trust that their Heavenly Father will hear them and give them good things. He urged them to ask for the Holy Spirit.

Tirabassi talks about prayerlessness as sin that can be overcome spiritually like alcoholism and suggests 4 steps:

1. Let God convince you that prayerlessness is sin
2. Admit your helplessness
3. Confess your sins and accept God's forgiveness
4. Be encouraged that you are not alone in the world, but may be a trailblazer for others.

Lord, guide me to be a woman of prayer, a woman of discipline, a woman who grows more like You each day.

Micah Girl

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Is this the same Aaron?

I am reading through Leviticus now in the One Year Bible. Not usually a page turner. Today, however, I actually read ahead into tomorrow's reading.

I was awed by the fact that Aaron--the same Aaron who was responsible for the golden calf and the spiritual (and possibly physical) adultery of the people of God while Moses was up on Mount Sinai--this same lack-of-leadership Aaron is now being ordained as a priest and the father of the Aaronic priesthood. Now I know this was going to happen, of course, but sometimes when you read through the bible anew (and systematically) you make connections that you've never seen before. I feel like I know Aaron so much better now and he is so much more than just Moses' brother and the priest. He is a flawed sinner with major spiritual failure in his life. And he is redeemed to lead people in the worship of God.


Aaronic blessing:
May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord make his face shine upon you.
May the Lord be gracious to you and grant you his peace.
As he did to Aaron!

Micah Girl

Saturday, February 18, 2006


So much of how I spend my life has to do with facilitating:

I facilitate collegiate ministry.
I facilitate a local homeschool group.
I facilitate learning situations for my children.
I facilitate community through hospitality.
I facilitate spiritual growth.
I facilitate bible studies.
I facilitiate worship services.
I facilitate a team working environment.

I enjoy facilitating networks of people, drawing people into relationships, opening up lines of communication, creating opportunities for people to grow. I like to bring together all the elements and let them come together in an organic way.

Most of the time that I am doing these things I am improvising. It's not that I am not prepared for things, it's just that I don't feel that I have to control every detail of an event or a person's life. I think, I pray, I plan, I organize and then I let things just happen.

I even cook like that. I put together elements that I think would taste good together--olive oil, onion, cilantro--oh, let me throw in some grated carrots, saute, add some chicken, throw in some beans. Taste the broth that's forming around the chicken--needs some salt, some tomato, some broth. Thicken it with a sprinkling of oatmeal. Toss in a dash of dijon mustard. Et voila! Throw it on some basmati rice and let's call it a meal.

I feel so blessed that I am in a stage of my life where I have the incredible freedom to just be. To just be me, to work hard, to improvise and to enjoy. Life is very sweet.

Micah Girl

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Christian Carnival CIX

Christian Carnival is up at Pursuing Holiness. My post about God's truth is among the entries.

I'm tied up in meetings and ministry today and won't have time to really check it all out until later.

Micah Girl

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Demystifying Poverty

Demystifying Poverty is very thought-provoking and challenging, especially to people like me who are seeking to lead missional lives and invite others along for the journey. But do I really get it? I think that Jamie Arpin-Ricci does get it.

Micah Girl

Insanity or hilarity?

You know that hysterical laughter that comes from deep in your throat and causes you to have trouble breathing and question your sanity because you are sitting alone in the living room? Well 101 Ways to Annoy People made me laugh so hard that I started to cry. I would be curious to know if this has the same effect on others. Purely as a scientific inquiry, of course.

Micah Girl

Sunday, February 12, 2006

If all truth is God's truth, what about wisdom?

The bible is the ultimate source for wisdom and it's our guide for discerning if something is wise or not. It is not, of course, a geology textbook, an automotive repair manual, a guide to the stock market, or an index to 19th century French poetry. And there is wisdom to be found in all of these sources as well.

The more we are informed by God's Word, and His Holy Spirit, the more we can discern God's wisdom in all that is around us. Saint Augustine famously said, "All truth is God's truth." So the wonder of the internal combustion engine actually points back to him, because He created all the elements that someone figured out how to combine into an engine that could move a car. And a mechanic who can fix my engine is much wiser than me. And if that mechanic is a servant of God, and fixes my engine out of his love for Christ and his desire to serve others and to provide for his family, if he charges a fair price, and if he treats his co-workers with respect, then he is truly wise.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,
and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
Proverbs 9:10

To become truly wise I must start with the fear and the knowledge of God. That is my foundation. Without this foundation, all of my wisdom is for naught, because it is not everlasting. With this foundation, God reveals Himself to me in my day-to-day duties, in my reading, in my working and in my playing. And all of my accomplishments, whether small or great, will point back to Him as the source of all that is good in my life.

Micah Girl

Saturday, February 11, 2006

How much should you weigh? OR True confessions

How much should you weigh?

I am 5 feet 7 inches tall and my healthy weight range is 118 - 159 pounds. I am outside of that healthy weight range, but would be extremely happy in the top end of the range. I am a size 14 and if that is snug I slide into a 16 but they are usually too loose. I feel pretty darn good as a 12. If I am ever a size 10 again, I will possibly go into shock and not recognize myself.

I already am a very healthy eater whose biggest weakness is whole wheat bread, which apparently goes right to my belly, so I am carefully monitoring all my carb intake. I am looking to intensify my workouts (which, as I previously mentioned, I love) with some more cardio so that I can kick my sorry metabolism into gear. Then I hope that I will be able to post that I am losing a healthy one pound each week until I get into the heart-healthy top end of my healthy weight range.

I signed up for the Self Challenge to see if that will provide me with some additional encouragement and accountability.

I will persevere...
Micah Girl


I have been exercising every morning this year (with maybe two or three exceptions) and it's become such an important part of my day that I actually look forward to it when I am going to sleep. I think about whether I will work out on my exercise ball with free weights, or whether I will put on a different DVD and try something new.

I have never in my life worked out every single day, even when I acted and used to dance, do Pilates and Alexander technique. I am addicted to it (in the healthiest way possible) and yet have not lost a single pound.

I am eating healthy foods and watching my beloved bread intake. I am not eating junk. I am eating lots of fruits and vegetables. I am toned, stronger, more energetic and sleeping better.

And not a single pound lost.

It's a good thing I'm addicted to the exercise, otherwise I'd be giving up at the lack of weight loss.

Micah Girl

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Widsom's Story In Her Own Words

Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom.
Though it cost all you have, get understanding.

Proverbs 4:7

Wisdom tells her story:
"The LORD brought me forth as the first of his works,
before his deeds of old;

I was appointed from eternity,
from the beginning, before the world began.

When there were no oceans, I was given birth,
when there were no springs abounding with water;
before the mountains were settled in place,
before the hills, I was given birth,
before he made the earth or its fields
or any of the dust of the world.

I was there when he set the heavens in place,
when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep,
when he established the clouds above
and fixed securely the fountains of the deep,
when he gave the sea its boundary
so the waters would not overstep his command,
and when he marked out the foundations of the earth.

Then I was the craftsman at his side.
I was filled with delight day after day,
rejoicing always in his presence,

rejoicing in his whole world
and delighting in mankind

"Now then, my sons, listen to me;
blessed are those who keep my ways.

Listen to my instruction and be wise;
do not ignore it.

Blessed is the man who listens to me,
watching daily at my doors,
waiting at my doorway.

For whoever finds me finds life
and receives favor from the LORD.

But whoever fails to find me harms himself;
all who hate me love death."

Proverbs 8:22-30


Micah Girl

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Mary & Condi

Random questions:

Am I the only one in the world who thinks that Condoleeza Rice looks and sounds like Mary Tyler Moore? Especially 70's era Mary Richards of WJM? Is anyone out there with me? Every single time I see and hear her on the news I have flashbacks to the MTM show which I watched faithfully as a little girl and then in repeats for years. There's something about the perky flipped-up hairdo, the long lean body, the fashion sense, the confidence...

What do you think?

Micah Girl

An extravagant life

Reading through the One Year Bible often brings out interesting paralells because I read a section of the Old Testament, The New Testament, Psalms & Proverbs each day. As I was reading through the description today of the ephod that Hebrew priests were to wear I was amazed at the detail and also the jewels involved. My first reaction was "How costly!" (I'm cheap.) Then I thought about the fact that God Himself designed it to bring glory to Himself, to reflect something of His character to the people of God. Also, when using such fine materials they are likely to last a long time and be used over and over. It made me think of the beautiful cathedrals that cost a fortune to build, but still stand and point their spires up to God.

Then in the New Testament reading I read about the woman anointing Jesus's feet with expensive perfume. The disciples apparently complained about the cost. In another account it points out Judas in particular as the cheap one. (Ouch.) Jesus assured them that this beautiful act of love would be remembered forever. And He was right.

And so, it seems, that God is reminding me that I am called to an extravagant life. Not in my home, or my car, or my wardrobe, but in my worship. A sold out, high value, give it all away, nothing held back worship of my Creator.

Micah Girl

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

A spacious place

From today's One Year Bible Reading:

Psalm 31: 7-8
I will be glad and rejoice in your love,
for you saw my affliction
and knew the anguish of my soul.

You have not handed me over to the enemy
but have set my feet in a spacious place.

A spacious place is a common reference throughout the Psalms. Whenever I read it, I remember all the times that God has saved me from the walls closing in on me, the roof crashing down on me, and the terrors of night assailing me. I look around me, at my life right now, and remember that this is my spacious place, and that though I will not see perfection this side of heaven, the blessings I enjoy now are a foretaste. And my spacious place is good.

Micah Girl

Monday, February 06, 2006

Blogging interrupted...

Life is interrupting my blogging, rather than blogging interrupting my life. This is a good thing.

I have been helping out a good friend who had to travel for a death in the family and then had a serious car accident while away. She is okay, thanks be to God, but it reminded me how precarious our life is. We took her three kids to church with us yesterday so that she could rest and her sweet husband could take care of her and relax a little, too. During the service I had her three year old on one knee and my three year old on the other. As we were praying and singing and worshipping I was overcome with gratitude that her little angel on my lap was not grieving the loss of her mom, and was just lonely for her. I have been feeling a little sorry for myself lately, about how I don't have close friends or family right nearby, and then this happened and I was reminded that I do indeed have good friends right in my little local church and that by loving her and her kids as I would have her love me and mine, I have a good friend. And the Lord was merciful and did not take her from her family or from me suddenly.

Micah Girl

Friday, February 03, 2006

My heart tells me to pray.

I am eager to see your face,

so don't hide from me.

Psalm 27:8-9

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Christian Carnival CVII and the carnival I like to call "my life"

Christian Carnival is up at Attention Span Check it out--it's a well-timed Winter Olympic theme. My post Eternal Friendship is there. I haven't yet had the opportunity to peruse the other entries.

I have had a crazy week so far--busy work day on Monday, busy homeschool day yesterday including a new sports training class for the kids, and today babysitting 3 kids (in addition to my own three) along with my regular day of homeschool, visit to the art museum, searching out a new rental space for church and cooking a big dinner.

Tomorrow--joy of joys--jury duty (cue scary music here) and then a long night of collegiate ministry.

Maybe Friday I can catch up on my life. Although some things have fallen through the cracks, the good news is I have kept up with both my One Year Bible readings and my daily workout! Thanks be to God.

Micah Girl

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