Friday, September 21, 2018

Leave it behind...

"Jesus said to (Matthew), 'Follow me.' And he got up and followed him."
Matthew 9:9

I was thinking about Matthew as I exercised in the little gym at my apartment complex (I know--I'm getting weirder by the day). He was scorned by his own people for being a tax collector for the Romans. On one hand, a guy's got to make a living, right? But on the other hand, he must have seen in Jesus' invitation something better. He must have seen a way of life that was better than just making a living and being the object of ridicule from his own folks. Pray-As-You-Go pointed out that he changed his whole life, just like that. He just got up, left his former life behind and followed Jesus into new life. He became a new wineskin; he found a new pool of water, to pull out our previous metaphors. And what about us? Are we being called to change something in our lives that could make our lives a closer walk with Jesus? Tomorrow, autumn begins. It's such a good time for renewal and leaving behind what is holding us back. There's more to life than just making a living. I admire Matthew for recognizing that and just getting up and following Jesus! Love, heidi

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Be awake!

"Love never fails..."
1 Corinthians 13:8

I had what I think was quite a mystical encounter yesterday that I will tell you, without going into details, brought me to tears. It showed me that we are all in this together--all of us. People come and go in our lives and we may not give them a passing thought. Until, that is, we look back and see Jesus in the encounter. Often I can see Jesus present in people I encounter, especially the little kids at school who holler to me from their school bus as it drives away, "Bye, Ms. G!" It's so easy to see Jesus in those little faces! But yesterday's encounter was different. I looked back and saw Jesus in me, myself. Whoa, that, right? I was able to respond and react so unlike myself and yet so needed for the moment that I could only recognize it was Jesus acting and not me. We need to be awake to these occurrences, because I think they can happen frequently if we are tuned into the Holy Spirit and do what we feel God calling us to do. Because tuning into the Spirit and hearing God's call invites Jesus to act through us. And the world needs so much of that just now. So the most passing encounter you have today may be just what Jesus needs to do in the world. Be awake! Pay attention! Love, heidi

Monday, September 17, 2018

The Daily Examen

"More than 400 years ago St. Ignatius Loyola encouraged prayer-filled mindfulness by proposing what has been called the Daily Examen. The Examen is a technique of prayerful reflection on the events of the day in order to detect God’s presence and to discern his direction for us."

So, my insurance company sent me one of those Right Track devices that plug into the car and monitor my driving. I was leery at first, but I think it is making me a more careful driver. It monitors bursts of rapid acceleration and sudden braking, as well as total miles driven and car use during the wee hours of the morning. It all makes sense to me and it makes me sort of wish I could get such a device for my whole life. Is there such a device that would monitor how closely I walk with Jesus through the day?  Actually, the Daily Examen prayer serves to give us a little check of how we respond to God throughout our days. We can pray with the Examen and ask ourselves if we excellerated too fast into harsh judgements or hit the brake too fast on living generously. We can think back and see where we felt closer to God during the day and if there were times we may have missed seeing God around each corner. There are several good Examen prayers online. Pray-As-You-Go has a nice one at the link below and Fr. James Martin has a nice podcast Examen, also link below. I access both of them from my phone, through podcasts or the Soundcloud app.  If you need to change up your prayer life and haven't tried the Daily Examen prayer, think of it as a little Right Track for your spiritual walk. It's encouraging and helpful for seeing Jesus in your day. Love from the treehouse, heidi
Pray-As-You-Go Examen
Fr. James Martin Examen