Tuesday, June 18, 2013


So, a week ago we enjoyed our first vacation since moving out west. In truth it was a "stay-cation." (I really don't like that word, but it is the perfect description for the vacation we enjoyed.) We're still new enough to the area that we had lots of places to explore. I didn't get pictures of everything we did, but here are a few from our "stay-cation" adventures...we thoroughly enjoyed spending time together and exploring our new home.

Garden of the Gods

Garden of the Gods

Jeremy enjoying the "penny" arcade.
A cute, though admittedly touristy town.

Awesome museum that we only saw about half off.

The last day of our vacation!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Help Thanks Wow

When I was at the library the other day I picked up the newish book by Anne Lamott Help Thanks Wow: The Three Essential Prayers. I first read Lamott for a college class. And since that time I've read a handful of her non-fiction books (my favorites being Operating Instructions and Bird by Bird).

She's an author that I do not agree with theologically in many respects, but at the same time, she always makes me think and sometimes she makes me laugh (both admirable qualities, in my opinion). She doesn't presume to know everything or to be a perfect person that's got it all together, in fact she's pretty much the opposite.

Anyway, back to Help Thanks Wow. In the Thanks section I was struck by these thoughts:

You breathe in gratitude, and you breathe it out too. Once you learn how to do that, then you can bear someone who is unbearable.

Gratitude begins in our hearts and then dove-tails into behavior. It almost always makes you willing to be of service, which is where the joy resides.

At church my pastor has been preaching on the Christian life with an emphasis on the Fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5: 22-23). Lamott's thoughts on gratitude and joy and bearing other people fit in well with the many things I've been considering from the sermons of the last few weeks.

As an aside, have you ever pondered the fact that the Fruit of the Spirit is divided into three sets? Love, joy, peace are involved with our relationship with God (upward-focused). Patience, kindness, goodness are involved with our relationship with others (outward-focused). And faithfulness, gentleness, self-control are involved with our relationship with ourselves (inward-focused).

I agree with Lamott that Help and Thanks and Wow are integral prayers in the life of a Christian. Personally, I employ these prayers quite often. And sometimes when I can't find the words, I just breathe out those prayers, knowing that God can read between the lines.

C. S. Lewis once wrote: I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time, waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God. It changes me. I think that pretty much sums it up!
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