One

“Just as the human body is one, though it has many parts that together form one body, so too is Christ. For by one Spirit we all were immersed and mingled into one single body. And no matter our status—whether we are Jews or non-Jews, oppressed or free—we are all privileged to drink deeply of the same Holy Spirit. In fact, the human body is not one single part but rather many parts mingled into one. So if the foot were to say, “Since I’m not a hand, I’m not a part of the body,” it’s forgetting that it is still a vital part of the body. And if the ear were to say, “Since I’m not an eye, I’m not really a part of the body,” it’s forgetting that it is still an important part of the body. Think of it this way. If the whole body were just an eyeball, how could it hear sounds? And if the whole body were just an ear, how could it smell different fragrances? But God has carefully designed each member and placed it in the body to function as he desires. A diversity is required, for if the body consisted of one single part, there wouldn’t be a body at all! So now we see that there are many differing parts and functions, but one body. It would be wrong for the eye to say to the hand, “I don’t need you,” and equally wrong if the head said to the foot, “I don’t need you.” In fact, the weaker our parts, the more vital and essential they are. The body parts we think are less honorable we treat with greater respect. And the body parts that need to be covered in public we treat with propriety and clothe them. But some of our body parts don’t require as much attention. Instead, God has mingled the body parts together, giving greater honor to the “lesser” members who lacked it. He has done this intentionally so that every member would look after the others with mutual concern, and so that there will be no division in the body. In that way, whatever happens to one member happens to all. If one suffers, everyone suffers. If one is honored, everyone rejoices.”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭12:12-26‬ ‭TPT‬‬
https://www.bible.com/1849/1co.12.12-26.tpt

"Spot"

I officially retired from teaching ballet nine years ago but hanging up my ballet slippers for good wasn’t in the cards even after 35 years of owning my own dance studio. God blessed me with the opportunity to teach one ballet class a week at a modern dance studio which was wonderful. I taught my one class without the responsibilities of owning and operating a small business. I did that for five years and have now retired from that as well. The skills and discipline learned from ballet have however carried over to everyday life. 

One of the first things I always taught my students was how to spot – a technique of focusing on one thing so you don’t get dizzy while turning. “Did you remember to spot?” was a common correction as a student glided or stumbled across the room. Through the years I noticed that the youngest of my students never seemed to care if they got dizzy. The anticipation of ruffled tutus, sequin tiaras, glittery wands and maybe even a ribbon streamer were enough to counter any and all ill effects of turning. Spinning, twirling, whirling around even tumbling to the ground were all part of their ballerina experience. 

Needless to say, as my students advanced in their studies, stumbling around after a sequence of pirouettes wasn’t beneficial. Spotting was an important technique for them to master. The concept was simple – fix your eyes on one point. Of course, doing that as your body was performing a pirouette wasn’t that easy, your head can only turn so far before you have to “snap” it around. And that was where it got tricky that moment when you had to move your head but needed to keep your eyes focused on your spot. That was the part that took practice and more practice until it was naturally what you did – fix your eyes, accomplish the move and end still looking at the same spot, not dizzy but able to continue with the dance.

Some days the activities and responsibilities of life can feel like we are being spun around like a ballerina.  May I suggest find your “spot”– focus on Him. There is a beautiful hymn that states “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.”.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12: 1 – 3 NIV

As for us, we have all of these great witnesses  who encircle us like clouds. So we must let go of every wound that has pierced us and the sin we so easily fall into. Then we will be able to run life’s marathon race with passion and determination, for the path has been already marked out before us. We look away from the natural realm and we fasten our gaze onto Jesus who birthed faith within us and who leads us forward into faith’s perfection.His example is this: Because his heart was focused on the joy of knowing that you would be his, he endured the agony of the cross and conquered its humiliation, and now sits exalted at the right hand of the throne of God!” Hebrews 12:1- 3 TPT

Simply trying to follow – take 2

From May of 2016 to December of 2019, I wrote a bi-monthly post for Laced With Grace, a Christian devotional site that site has closed down so I have decided to revive a site I started but abandoned a few years ago. My intention is to rewrite, update the 84 posts I did for Laced with Grace as well as share and write some new stuff here on Simply Trying To Follow.

So here goes…

This morning I read this prayer by Richard Rohr. Thought I would share it. The line that jumped out at me was “Knowing you are hearing us better than we are speaking” that is something to ponder.

Any phrases jump out at you?

“O Great Love, thank you for living and loving in us and through us. May all that we do flow from our deep connection with you and all beings. Help us become a community that vulnerably shares each other’s burdens and the weight of glory. Listen to our hearts’ longings for the healing of our world. [Please add your own intentions.] . . . Knowing you are hearing us better than we are speaking, we offer these prayers in all the holy names of God, amen.”

Add to your faith…

“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.”

Don’t fake it…

“Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle. “

“The God who made the world and everything in it, this Master of sky and land, doesn’t live in custom-made shrines or need the human race to run errands for him, as if he couldn’t take care of himself. He makes the creatures; the creatures don’t make him. Starting from scratch, he made the entire human race and made the earth hospitable, with plenty of time and space for living so we could seek after God, and not just grope around in the dark but actually find him. He doesn’t play hide-and-seek with us. He’s not remote; he’s near. We live and move in him, can’t get away from him! “

Find rest

“Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.”

Eyes to see

“Your eyes are windows into your body. If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a dank cellar. If you pull the blinds on your windows, what a dark life you will have!”

in the morning…

“Listen to my words, Lord,
consider my lament.
Hear my cry for help,
my King and my God,
for to you I pray.
In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you
and wait expectantly.”

“Come, let’s shout praises”

“Come, let’s shout praises to GOD, raise the roof for the Rock who saved us! Let’s march into his presence singing praises, lifting the rafters with our hymns! And why? Because GOD is the best, High King over all the gods. In one hand he holds deep caves and caverns, in the other hand grasps the high mountains. He made Ocean—he owns it! His hands sculpted Earth!
So come, let us worship: bow before him, on your knees before GOD, who made us! Oh yes, he’s our God, and we’re the people he pastures, the flock he feeds.”