May 22, 2015

The Road I Walk Is Quite A Journey! by Alan Anderson

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Years ago the Beatles brought out a song called "The Long and Winding Road". I know I date myself when I refer to the Beatles but good music never dies! A line of the song goes, "the long and winding road that leads me to your door." I feel at times that my life is on a long and winding road. I believe I know where it leads but sometimes I wonder as I wander. At times I may wander off the road and take the odd detour. I may also lose my way and become somewhat lost or misdirected. My journey of life kind of reminds me of John Bunyan's story "Pilgrim's Progress". Anyway, I digress. 



Dear writer friends, what is your road like?  Where is it leading you?  Perhaps like mine you come to a hill on the road that looks insurmountable. The hill may also be made of gravel and has potholes all over it. The potholes fill with water when it rains and it becomes difficult to walk on. In spite of such perceived obstacles or drawbacks or things that may slow us down, we must keep on keeping on.  Even the grief in our lives, 
our grief journey, our road paved with sadness and dips of despair, leads somewhere.  I thought of this many times after hearing of the “miscarriages” experienced by my daughter and one of my daughters-in-law.  Where does this part of the road lead?  What is the purpose of this part of my life’s journey?


I live by the faith that devotes itself to the words of Jesus when He said, “I go to prepare a place for you.” That is good enough for me. The road ultimately leads to love we have never experienced before. It is the place where God lives!  It is the place where my grandchildren who were never born live!  Some day I will be there as well!  Wow, what a road I’m on!


May 21, 2015

Not Flatlined ... by Jocelyn Faire

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I am like a little pencil in God’s hand. He does the writing. The pencil has nothing to do with it.
~Mother Teresa

The breathings of the heart.
For this months prompt ... I would like to share an excellent resource that was recommended to me in
my current Creative Writing course.
The book is called Writing the Mind Alive, The Proprioceptive Method for Finding your Authentic Voice, by Linda Trichter Metcalf and Tobin Simon.
I have fallen in love with this method of reflective journaling. For many of you who also journal your way through issues, this will be a resource you want in your library. Initially when my mentor suggested this method of writing, I did the google search on Proprioceptive Writing (PW) and had some reservations, thinking this sounded new agey. (And old fundamentalist habits want to steer clear of new agey.)

A lot of my own writings and journaling have been the conversations God and I have. This PW method added a steroid boost to writing the breathings of my heart. What Metcalf explains as the difference between journaling and PW is the reflective nature of the writing. The writer is instructed to ask the question—“What do I mean by ______” and then fill in the blank with what is being triggered in the writing. It is structured in a clear methodical way which includes the use of music, blank sheets of paper, a candle (this was where I thought it to be wonky). I veered from the method slightly to accommodate my musical tastes, I selected my own background music, and began with one worded song by Steve Bell—The Lorica, with lines that invite the Trinity to be present in the writing. I have been doing this for a month now, they recommend trying this five times a week, for half an hour each day ... and I must say there are times, 45 minutes passes without notice. I think because of my journal practice this deeper level of writing has been a fairly simple but exciting way that has
opened myself to hear the spirit.
If any of you have practiced PW I would love to hear from you. And if you haven't tried it, check it out ... it has been like the spring flowers to bring fresh breath into the breathings of my heart.

God said to Moses, “I AM who I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you.'” Exodus 3:14 NIV

From a recent writing at the end of my session:

You hold my right hand.
The longing, the aching I felt on Mother's Day as we sang
Better is one Day in your courts than thousands elsewhere.
Brittany has had ten years of one day in your court
And I have had thousands elsewhere ...
And yet, the longing to be with you, to be with her
Help me Jesus ..... I AM
You answer with I AM?
When I say help me, you say I AM
When I say walk beside me, you say I AM.
When I say Live in me, you say I AM
When I say Are you listening? You say I AM
Your name says it all, is that what you are trying to tell me? I AM
Thank you Jesus, that brings me a smile, Me too.
And when I can already hear the doubts, the unbelief question on this experience,
this feeling, and I say Help thou my unbelief, and you say I AM.
And I say Thank-You and you say ... Your welcome.

Jocelyn blogs at http://whoistalking.wordpress.com
 She is the author of Who is Talking out Of My Head, Grief as an out of Body Experience. 

May 20, 2015

Breathings-of-My-Heart, Where Are You? by Joylene M. Bailey

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Sometimes I can’t hear the breathings of my heart for the screamings of my head.

From the moment I wake up in the morning the incessant yammering begins running through my brain.

Two deadlines to meet by Sunday. Gotta get crackin’!

Get groceries for the Care Group dinner on Friday.

Meet Christine for lunch.

Go through that box in the closet.

Find my pearl necklace for the wedding. Who was the last person I lent it to?
Answer that email.
Library books due. Pay the credit card bill. Make sure his dress pants areironed.Findoutwherethatsmelliscomingfrom.Mailthatpackage.Gotothebank.Takethecattothevetwatertheplantsphonemomdefrostchicken...

STOP!!!



I go to my favorite chair, open my Bible, ask God to speak. 

I listen to the breathings of His heart. 

Aahh. 








And then …


There you are, breathings-of-my-heart! 




May 19, 2015

Paint and Pen - by Linda Aleta Tame

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The breathings of my heart are included in the pages of my journals.  My personal struggles in life and relationships, and my spiritual growing pains are recorded there, along with new revelations, joys and praises to the Lord.  I've decided to share a few excerpts from entries in my journals. Today, a little breeze has taken my heart's breath and brought it here to you.


September 7, 1990

I have often tried to paint pictures, but somehow I want more meaning in them. I want to express you Father - but how do you paint love?  How do you paint truth or wisdom or faith?  Something happened to me yesterday afternoon.  I visited the art gallery and was profoundly affected by the works of aboriginal artist, Colleen Cutschall.  The exhibition was called, "Voice in the Blood," and her pieces used symbolism and imagery to express her native spirituality.  I thought, "I want to paint my faith."  Then in the evening I went to hear a travelling minister. We sang "Sweet, Sweet Anointing," and I desired you so much Lord.  

The speaker began to prophecy to individuals.  For me, he said, "You see things in pictures.  Anyone can see a picture of Moses with his staff parting the Red Sea, but you see truth in pictures.  God is going to show you how to draw and paint pictures of spiritual things, so others might see."  So, Father, my heart, hands, head are submitted to you for your glory.  In Jesus name, Amen.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006 - Jerusalem

Entry to the Museum of Psalms 

I visited the Museum of Psalms today.  Oh...oh....oh!  As I was viewing the first painting, an elderly Jewish man asked if I would like some explanation about the paintings.  I eagerly welcomed his help.  He spoke with so much wisdom and love concerning the painting.  I asked if all 150 paintings of the 150 Psalms had been created by one artist.  He nodded.  He went on to explain the meaning behind the colours and the Hebrew letters visible throughout the piece.  Then he motioned to other paintings around the room on the walls and even on the ceiling.



He said, "And somehow I painted these by accident," and he gave a slight smile. I asked if I'd heard him correctly.  He lowered his eyes and nodded.  Then our eyes met, and I was overwhelmed by the beauty and the depth of the Spirit that HAD to be in this man to create the Word on canvas the way he had done.  I was unable to contain my tears, though I didn't try that hard.  I wanted to cry.  I wanted to feel and sense the magnitude of the moment.  He saw my emotion and said, "I understand.  This can be emotional.  Take a little time to sit or view alone."  The tears just kept coming.  The Lord gave me a word in 1990 that I would someday paint my faith.

November 25, 2006 - Jerusalem

Yesterday I went back to the Museum of Psalms.  Moshe Tzvi Berger was glad to see me and invited me to sit on the small love seat across from his desk in the reception area.  Then began a lovely conversation about his life and his reasons for painting.  He spoke about his desire to share the loving kindness of God, whom he referred to as HaShem (The Name).   He said his art speaks of HaShem's loving kindness.
Psalm 146 - Hallelujah!  Praise, O my soul the Eternal.

I said I wished I lived in Israel, so I could learn more from Moshe.  I knew he could teach me so much.

"I am not a teacher," he said.  "I am an artist, and that's a different profession," but I had to wonder.

"Today I learned more things I needed to know, just by sitting with you awhile."  I wanted to understand the heart of the creator of these masterpiece paintings.

Then he said, "More important than anything else - more important than art - more important than anything - is love.  Without love, all else is useless.  You must love your husband first, then your children, your family, and then others. When you love your husband, children, others, you show your love for HaShem.  This is the one thing you MUST remember of all I've said today."
                      ________________________________________________________

A journal is an incredible source for writing inspiration, and for faith building!  The breathings of the heart in a journal are acts of writing, and that's what writers want to do!

Here Comes the Son  2014
12 x 16 Oil on Canvas -
Linda Aleta Tame
View a video about the Museum of Psalms on Youtube.


May 18, 2015

The Breathings of My Heart through Poetry - by Gloria Guest

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For me, writing the ‘breathings of my heart’ as encouraged by William Wordsworth has often been a tentative sharing around the edges of my life; sometimes in one of the life lesson columns I used to write for the newspapers or perhaps in one of my blogs. Or maybe at a writers workshop or two where I opened up a part of myself I never had before.
My writing journey has been a long process of learning to trust God, myself and others and many days I still feel as if I am only on the beginning steps. Although I can write vulnerably and have, I am still hesitant to share it in a published format.  I often wish to be further up the ‘published’ staircase than I am, but it can all seem so daunting.  And so, a vital part of my journey has been learning about the gift of hope. 
It was Alexander Pope who penned the words, “Hope springs eternal,” in his 1733 Epistle, An Essay on Man. His words still ring true today.
In fact, Pope’s words remind me of a day a number of years back, when it felt like hope literally did spring right out of the desolate prairie, just for me.
I can still see myself sitting on that solitary hill on a cold spring day, ruminating over too many hopeless situations that were going on in my life.
And then I saw it; one simple little sign of life.
The following is a poem I wrote that came from the ‘breathings of my heart,’ that day on the hillside. In fact William Wordsworth himself  shared his own heart with us through his incredible gift of romantic English poetry. I find poetry to be a genre that winds more gently around those vulnerable places in my heart, wooing me to write and even share the 'breathings of my heart'  with others.

Hope

Signs of Life
Purple stems protruding from prairie earth
With snow still visible on the ground
A day when my heart seeks shelter and solace
How brave and fierce the Crocus is!
Not grown in potting shed or tended in gardeners plot
It’s undaunted courage inspires me and woos me
I cup them to my face
And inhale their fragrance of hope
While Creators breath midst prairie breeze
Surrounds my searching soul
During trying circumstance

                                                        Gloria Lynn Guest