Lynda’s Travel Tips

What is so important that I had to

get up at 4 a.m. to write a blog ?

 

I’m leaving for Louisville, Kentucky tomorrow.

I’ll attend the American Printing House for the Blind Conference.

Why am I going? It’s because my art work is in the annual international art exhibition and I won a prize. I’ll be a guest at the conference along with other artists, and I’ll get a tour of the facilities, attend a reception for the art show, and even attend the banquet where I’ll receive an award for my work. All super exciting.  And, best of all, three of my daughters will be with me on this trip.  It will take us about 8 hours to get there and we will leave tomorrow morning.

Have I packed yet?

Of course, NOT!

 

photo_16_travel-bag

If I pack too soon then I’ll have second thoughts and make myself crazy by selecting and de-selecting everything I picked out for the trip. It’s hard for me to FOCUS with so many choices available. I have to order the chaos.

I’ll force myself to pack my little weekender bag. It’s such a cute one in hot pinks and oranges – happy colors for happy packing, I guess.
Later today – I love to travel but I hate packing for a trip. I’d like to have someone come and make the selections for me, and SECRETLY pack my bag. Let someone else make my choices for me – select the clothing, jewelry, and all. Secretly. Then, when I arrive, I ‘ll be surprised at what I brought
But, I have my own way of making choices. I begin with what is most important for me.
First, I select the kick-A** jewelry I want to wear while I am away. Yep, the jewelry comes FIRST. After that, I go to the closet and find the clothing that will best show off the jewelry. Finally, I pick a pair of shoes that will WORK with it all. Keep it simple. Just one small bag.
But there is one thing I have done in anticipation for this journey. I bought the snacks! But, there’s a problem with buying the snacks too soon, too. Three of the super large size candy bars I bought for the trip are now missing. Well, my friend Rosella once told me that if you stand at the sink and eat, the food has no calories. So, I did.

Pennsylvania Spring

Gallery

This gallery contains 5 photos.

Pennsylvania Spring The final week of May in Pennsylvania Photos from my early morning walk. Rhododendrum  is a STAR at this time of year. Look for it in shady places, forests and woodlands.             Delicate … Continue reading

Goals or Intentions?

Goals or Intentions?

What’s the DIFFERENCE?

Goals are NOT Intentions. 

Intentions are NOT Goals!

by Lynda McKinney Lambert

What’s the BIG DEAL?   Well, it is a very big deal and can make all the difference in the world as to How you ENVISION  your life: what you DO;  Who you ARE;  What you will BE,

I will be important to know the differences between two words that many people misunderstand. 

The two words are not  interchangeable.

Knowing the difference can make a remarkable change in your life this year.

 

Photo_Chopra_Intention

What is a TRIGGER for Transformation?

 

I would like to explore this idea with you today!

 

 

 

 

 

Knitting15_Scarf9_4

Lynda  McKinney Lambert 

I feel like a star  and I love to sparkle.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo by Bob Lambert, 2015

Lynda’s Bio

Lynda McKinney Lambert – author of “Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage” published by  Kota Press. To order, click here:  Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage
Lynda  authors two blogs on writing, the humanities, arts, and faith.
She is a freelance writer and her poetry and essays appear in numerous books and literary journals.  She is a retired professor of fine arts and humanities and she exhibits her fiber arts in exhibitions worldwide.
Currently, Lynda  has two books in development for publication in late 2016.

If you would like a signed copy of my book, contact me for information.

Lynda’s Blogs and More…

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Knitting15_Scarf9_4
Lynda Lambert – My Pink Scarf

Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright 2016.. All Rights Reserved.

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Lynda’s 2 blogs:

“Walking by Inner Vision” Link:  Walking by Inner Vision Blog
“SCANdalous – Recollections” Link:  SCANdalous – Recollections Blog
Contact Lynda:  riverwoman@zoominternet.net
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Lynda’s Bio

Lynda McKinney Lambert is the author of “Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage” published by  Kota Press. To order this book, click here:  Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage
Lynda  authors two blogs on writing, the humanities, arts, and faith.
She is a freelance writer and her poetry and essays appear in numerous books and literary journals.  She is a retired professor of fine arts and humanities and she exhibits her fiber arts in exhibitions worldwide.
Currently, Lynda  has two books in development for publication in 2016.
Contact me:  riverwoman@zoominternet.net

If you would like a signed copy of my book, contact me for information.

Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright 2016. All rights reserved.

The Dreaming Prayer

cropped-mondsee_swan2.jpg

The Dreaming Prayer

by Lynda McKinney Lambert, 2016

 

Are you at a place in life where you are thinking, “Now what?”

Do you feel like you have reached a dead end?

Maybe nothing really works out for you?

Or, maybe you just have no idea that life can be different than what your life is right now?

Feeling hopeless or unloved?

It does not feel good, does it?  It is not where you wanted to be right now, I understand that so well.

Please be patient, my friend.

LEARNING  is a life-long journey.

Where are YOU GOING?  What will you GET? You can make the changes now to make your life  different than what it is today. I have done this. I promise you it will change forever and for the BEST.

You CAN ASK GOD to guide you and give you the insight you need, day by day.

 

What do we want more than anything else in your life?

PUT YOUR DESIRE into WORDS!

Are you facing a more mountain that is too high to even  think you can scale?  

Are you in a treacherous place where you would not choose to be standing?

Have you experienced  loss or failure?

Maybe it is time to make some adjustments in your life.

Do you need some divine help and guidance from God? 

Let me recommend something that changed my own life many years ago.

St_Gilgen

The Dreaming Prayer

 

 

 

 

First introduced by Catherine Marshall, in her 1961 book,

Beyond Ourselves

Read: Chapter 11 – “Dreams Come True.”

Catherine’s mother taught her about the Dreaming Prayer.  You see, we are really on a pilgrimage all through our life. But, we don’t know that. Someone has to help us understand it sometimes. Catherine helped me to learn The Dreaming Prayer one day in the 1970s as I read her book.

We have a DIVINE PURPOSE in our life.  We have an “inner voice” that speaks to us but we have to be quiet enough to begin to listen for it. That “still, small voice” is the voice of your CREATOR. He is speaking through the Holy Spirit, directly to YOU. But you have to be quiet and begin to listen to hear it.

The Dreaming Prayer is a prayer of helplessness. We are asking God to help us and to set our feet on the best path of his plan for us. But, best of all, the prayer will open the windows of heave for us and it is nothing but the BEST POSSIBLE life we can imagine.

Ask God to guide you in your prayer.

We need help!  We need to REGROUP.

The Dreaming Prayer will do that for you!

 

This prayer is about YOU! What is it that is deep inside your spirit that is longing to have a presence in your life? Speak it out loud to God right now as it comes to your mind.

You may ask – What if this prayer is not right for me?

 

TEST the prayer!

  1.  Does it fit  with the scriptures in the bible?  God would never ask you to do anything that is not affirmed by His Word! Seek his guidance through his word. Spend time reading the scriptures and listen for God’s voice to guide you as you are meditating on his word. He will do that for you. He will speak directly to your heart and you will know his presence in your life at those moments.
  2. Does it benefit  or edify other Christians? God will never ask you to do anything that would harm the body of Christ (other believers).  Does it lift up others as well as yourself?  Your life purpose will be a benefit to yourself as well as to those who are around you.
  3. Expect to have some closed doors. This is often God’s way of directing you to his higher purpose for your life. DO NOT KICK DOWN DOORS!  That door has been closed as  a providential circumstance in your life – Use your common sense and not your emotions.  Stay CALM when you come upon a closed door. Doo NOT panic! It will be for the good that you would not have been able to encounter if you had walked through an open door that was not right for you.
  4. Be sure what you are asking for is not for God to take anything from another person to give to you!  Never covet what another person has and never ask God to take away something from another person to fulfill your prayer. What God has for YOU will be just for YOU – a new thing that he has planned for your life that is yours alone

Go ahead, find our for yourself. Go beyond yourself. You will be so glad you took the plunge and prayed The Dreaming Prayer.

 

Note: Photos on this page are by Lynda McKinney Lambert.  They were taken in Austria on her summer teaching trips each year. Lynda says, ‘My Dreaming Prayer (my heart’s desire)  was to spend every summer in Europe.  God opened all the doors for me to live my prayer. I was able to spend my summers in Austria and visit other European countries  for many years.  I took students with me each year as I taught the course – Drawing and Writing in Salzburg.  The Dreaming Prayer has been at the center of my life since I first read about it in the 1970s.”

 

To find the book, Beyond Ourselves, click here: Beyond Ourselves by Catherint Marshall

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Lynda’s 2 blogs:

“Walking by Inner Vision” Link:  Walking by Inner Vision Blog
“SCANdalous – Recollections” Link:  SCANdalous – Recollections Blog
Contact Lynda:  riverwoman@zoominternet.net
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Lynda’s Bio

Lynda McKinney Lambert is the author of “Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage” published by  Kota Press. To order this book, click here:  Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage
Lynda  authors two blogs on writing, the humanities, arts, and faith.
She is a freelance writer and her poetry and essays appear in numerous books and literary journals.  She is a retired professor of fine arts and humanities and she exhibits her fiber arts in exhibitions worldwide.
Currently, Lynda  has two books in development for publication in 2016.
Contact me:  riverwoman@zoominternet.net
If you would like a signed copy of my book, contact me for information.
Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright 2016. All rights reserved.

One Word – EXTRAORDINARY!

For 2015,  I adopted ONE WORD

for the entire year –

EXUBERANCE

I chose to live my life in a new direction at the beginning of 2015.  I prayed for guidance and this is the word that immediately came to me.

I wanted a life that was alive with God’s promises and I wanted to know I was no longer going to be a person who sets goals or makes resolutions. or set my own life-path.

Instead, I turned my thoughts to be a person of INTENTION and EXUBERANCE. I found this new path to be one of kindness to myself, a much more  God-directed, personal life of intention. This is not a life that is focused on meeting goals and crossing off the completed ones, but instead a  sought a life of waiting on God’s leading in all I do. It is a spiritual life, not a secular life of striving, resistance  and self-serving achievements.

When I hear people say they are “setting goals and intentions” then I know they have no clue what an INTENTION really is. In no way is an INTENTION a GOAL.  A goal is self-driven striving, and an intention is leaving everything in God’s hands and waiting on HIM. It is a spiritual way of life.

I have read “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success,” by Deepak Chopra several times, and he outlines seven spiritual steps to a life of exuberance and it is extraordinary.

 

Photo_Chopra_Intention

The  “law of least effort.”

I embrace that wisdom.

Instead of doing “more”

or putting forth “more effort”

we  “do less” and not force anything and put forth no  resistance.

 

 

 As you can see, this is in no way the mindset of a person who is a goal setter or one who sets New Year’s resolutions.

 

God opened up doors for me in 2015 that were beyond my wildest dreams!

 

He actually gave me an entirely  new way of life, living in EXUBERANCE and with INTENTION.  Along with the new life, He gave me a new career in WRITING.

 

I write 2 blogs.  Occasionally, I feature  guest bloggers so that I can provide a platform for them to share their thoughts, too.  Both blogs had tremendous growth last year and I have a nice group of interesting people scheduled for this year, too. It’s so exciting to present their ideas and achievements on the blogs.

In addition, I was blessed to have my stories, articles and poems published in a number of venues – all new to me! It’s  such a wonderful experience to meet the editors and publishers and work with them. I love it!

For 2016, my ONE WORD is EXTRAORDINARY!

Here is the GOOGLE DICTIONARY explanation of

EXTRAORDINARY:

 

ex·traor·di·nar·y

ikˈstrôrd(ə)nˌerē,ˌekstrəˈôrdnˌerē/
adjective

remarkable; exceptional; amazing; astonishing; astounding; sensational; stunning; incredible; unbelievable; phenomenal; striking; outstanding; momentous; impressive; singular; memorable; unforgettable; unique; noteworthy; out of the ordinary; unusual; uncommon; rare; surprising; informal/fantastic; terrific; tremendous; stupendous; awesome; literary/wondrous;

“an extraordinary coincidence”

 

Photo15_Lynda_Feather in HandMy prayer:

Jesus, I am releasing my intentions today – the  innermost longings of my spirit.  Like a fragile feather,  I am carried  on the currents of a summer breeze.  I release myself to you, like  this  beautiful feather I found in the woods on a summer afternoon.

I release my intentions  to be carried  on the  life-giving breath of your EXTRAORDINARY Divine calling on my life. Amen.

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Copyright 2016. Lynda McKinney Lambert. All rights reserved.

 

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Lynda’s 2 blogs:

“Walking by Inner Vision” Link:  Walking by Inner Vision Blog
“SCANdalous – Recollections” Link:  SCANdalous – Recollections Blog
Contact Lynda:  riverwoman@zoominternet.net
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Lynda’s Bio

Lynda McKinney Lambert is the author of “Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage” published by  Kota Press. She authors two blogs on writing, the humanities, arts, and faith.  She is a freelance writer and her poetry and essays appear in numerous books and literary journals.  She is a retired professor of fine arts and humanities and she exhibits her fiber arts in exhibitions worldwide.
 Currently, she has two books in development for publication in 2016.
Contact me:  riverwoman@zoominternet.net

Symbols of Advwent – The Candle of Joy

Symbols of Advent

Part 3- Week 3

The Candle of Joy

Also known as  the Shepherd Candle

 by Lynda McKinney Lambert

 

GET READY!

LIGHT the 3rd  candle of ADVENT

A miraculous world-changing event will take place.

For a Christmas delight, click on the link below to listen to a Christmas song.  JOY  to you today.

 

Listen to _While Shepherds Watched Their Flock by Night”

Kings Choir performance

One thing I know for sure is this:

God comes us  in ordinary and everyday events.

 

We can be visited in unexpected times and in unique ways.  I have experiences visitations and deliverance many times in my seventy-two years of life. I bet you have, too! Pay attention to how God comes to YOU in the mundane activities of your life.

Begin to have a consciousness of God’s presence in the ordinary!

For the birth of Jesus, historical documents and texts show that  God prepared this event in advance.  We saw that preparation in last weeks Symbol of Advent – the Candle of Preparation.  Week 2 _Candle of Preparation

 

For Week 3 of Advent, we see that  sent ANGELS  to make an announcement to  LOCAL SHEPHERDS as they were working at night in the fields near Bethlehem.   Just another silent night in the fields!  An ORDINARY night, so they believed.  But then, the MIRACULOUS came to visit them. It would become a night that the  entire world would remember. Even now, over 2,000 years after the event people all over the world stop to remember it.

Blog_2014_PHOTO_Shepherds

A miraculous visitation of ANGELS, sent from the Divine, happened without warning.  The humble shepherds  were summoned to leave their fields.   The destination of their God-directed trip was a stable in Bethlehem  where the shepherds would see a newborn baby.

My extensive background in art and art history leads me to look for a connecting thread from one event in history to another. Historical context is what I seek to understand contemporary events and life in the 21st Century.

 

The one thread connecting every character in this ADVENT story is that each person was required to make an unexpected, unplanned, trip from one place to another.  Every single one!

I feel the  underlying loneliness that underlies  this miraculous story – everyone had to give up something that was familiar  and travel to an unfamiliar place to do unfamiliar things, with unfamiliar people.

Travel – Journey – Go – Trip – Excursion – Passage – Flight

 

Mary and Joseph had to leave their home at a time when no pregnant woman would choose to be going anywhere on a trip – especially by foot and by donkey. Yet, the trip was mandated by the LAW  and they had no choice but to go.

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When I was nineteen, I gave birth to my first child.  Eighteen months later, the second daughter was born. At age twenty-five, our third daughter was born. For all of those births, I was living in a comfortable home with my husband.  I had a local doctor, and when the time came, he delivered our daughters in our local hospital just 2 miles from our home. And, I remember how frightening it was – every time – when the pains of labor were intense enough that I was bent over double, unable to even stand up straight and I knew it was time to leave for the hospital and give birth.

OH, how did young Mary bear the long days of rugged travels when her body was heavy with her baby boy?

How did Mary  straddle the back of a donkey and ride those many miles with her bones and her muscles aching and cramping?

How did Joseph bear it to see her pain during the long journey to Bethlehem?

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Dear Mary,

Oh, Mary! As a mother living in the comfort of my own time in history, my  heart is sad when I remember  that you did not even have a warm bed or the comfort of your family  that night in a barn, in a city that had no room for you. You must have been so frightened – your first birth, your unfamiliar circumstances, your willingness to be obedient to the visitation you had from the Divine.

Mary, you knew you were carrying God in your womb, but how you must have wondered “why” you had to be so far from h home, so lonely, and in such a strange  place as a barn that night.

Mary, when I need strength to meet the demands of my ordinary life, I remember you.  Your courage, your love, and your obedience to God are more than enough to bring me through in victory from very inconvenience, every strange journey, every lonely day, and night.  Mary, I hold  you in my heart today as I write this letter to you, across the centuries.

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I know that in art through the ages, in songs, and now, in contemporary depictions of the Nativity, we see Angels, the Holy Family, Shepherds, and Three Kings all there together with the animals. Yet, when I read the ancient scriptures that record this event, what we see in the depictions of it are not at all accurate.

The nostalgic Christmas card scene has been pieced together over the years into a fantasy world that never existed in that way.  The centuries of lore have put together a very odd mixture of Christian history mingled with pagan practices, ideas, superstitions, and myths.  And, then add to this mixture, the cultural and racial confusion that exists to add to the fantasy.

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One evening in October 1997, I heard Him whisper to me, “Come away, my beloved!” I turned, and walked towards Him, and as I walked, I remembered the words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “When Christ calls a man (woman); he bids him (her) to come and die.”  Like one of the shepherd’s in the fields near Bethlehem, I too became a shepherd who came to see, the infant who would one day be known as “The Good Shepherd.”

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There were only a very few worshippers around the manger in Bethlehem – just a handful of shepherds.  Oh, yes, the Three Kings were on the way, most likely, but it would be quite a long time before they traveled the distance and bowed before the little boy.

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Luke 2:7

“[Mary] gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”

A lonely birth. There were no midwives, no assistance to Mary at all. The Bible doesn’t even mention that Joseph was present. Perhaps he was, but if he was typical of first-time fathers, he would have been of little help to Mary. She was basically on her own.

 


Unlikely Testimony

Luke 2:8-20 describes the experience of the shepherds when Jesus was born. Think about that for a moment. Out of the whole of Jerusalem society, God picked a band of shepherds to hear the news of Jesus’ birth. That’s intriguing because shepherds were among the lowest and most despised social groups.

The very nature of shepherds’ work kept them from entering into the mainstream of Israel’s society. They couldn’t maintain the ceremonial washings and observe all the religious festivals and feasts, yet these shepherds, just a few miles from Jerusalem, were undoubtedly caring for sheep that someday would be used as sacrifices in the temple. How fitting it is that they were the first to know of the Lamb of God!

More significant, they came to see Him the night he was born. No one else did. Though the shepherds went back and told everyone what they had seen and heard, and though “all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds” (v. 18), not one other person came to see firsthand.

We are left to wonder when we search the historical, scripture accounts – about the shepherds.  We don’t   how they knew where to go. I imagine they just came into Bethlehem and began walking about, asking, “Do you know where a baby has been born tonight?” The important thing for us to know is that they came!  They came because angels had visited them while they were taking care of their flocks at night. They had a visit from God, and they left their fields and followed the direction of the angels to go find the baby.  The shepherds became that night, the first Christian evangelists. They went out from the manger, and they told others what they had found.

***

Well, now that I have talked my way through the meaning of the shepherds, I can better understand Psalm 28. (NIV) and, here is where I find the connection between “joy” and the journey of the shepherds. I wish you a joyous journey to the Christ Child tonight, too.

 

 My heart leaps for joy,
and with my song I praise him.

The Lord is the strength of his people,
a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.
Save your people and bless your inheritance;
be their shepherd and carry them forever.

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As you complete this essay, you will LOVE the music and video I have placed here for you today – Check here!

 Come, Let us adore him, Christ the Lord

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Link to Week 1 – The Candle of Hope at this link:

Go To Week 1 – the Candle of HOPE

Link to Week 2 – The Candle of Preparation (The Bethlehem Candle)

The Candle of Preparation (Bethlehem candle)

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Note: Photos by Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright 2015. All Rights Reserved.

This essay was written by Lynda McKinney Lambert.  Copyright 2015. All rights reserved.

Please share it with your friends! Thanks!

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Next week:

Look for Week 4 – The Candle of Love (The  Angel Candle).

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Lynda McKinney Lambert is the author of “Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage” published by  Kota Press. She authors two blogs on writing, the humanities, arts, and faith.  She is a freelance writer and her poetry and essays appear in numerous books and literary journals.  She is a retired professor of fine arts and humanities and she exhibits her fiber arts in exhibitions worldwide.
 Currently, she has two books in development for publication in 2016.

Symbols of Advent – Week 2 – Candle of Preparation

Symbols of Advent

Part 2 – Week 2

The Candle of Preparation

-Also known as  the Candle of Peace –

 by Lynda McKinney Lambert

 

GET READY!

The SECOND candle of ADVENT can be lit.

A miraculous world-changing event will take place.

For an awesome Christmas delight, you may click on the link below to listen to a Christmas song.  Peace to you today.

For an awesome Christmas delight, you may click on the link below to listen to a Christmas song.  Peace to you today.

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, by Casting Crowns

Blog15_SCAN_12_Dec_Santos3Kings

 

As is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet:

A voice of one calling in the desert,

‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. And all mankind will see God’s salvation.‘ (Luke 3:4-6)

 

God prepared this event in advance. Three kings were summoned to take a journey that would end up in a stable in Bethlehem where the kings would see the promised child.

 

Blog15_SCAN_12_Dec_SANTOS_4 figures

 

 

Three Kings prepared for their journey by selecting precious, costly gifts; they intended to offer the gifts to this child-king. The gifts were selected, and their long journey by night began. The traveling kings had the best GPS system possible – the enormous, bright star in the heavens!

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“An old idea must die. The three wise men had to give up the present world view when they embraced Christianity,” T.S. Eliot

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I’ve read the book, The Road Less Traveled, by M. Scott Peck, MD. several times. I read it when it first came out, and then I read the updated version that he wrote  twenty-five years after.

I find Dr. Peck’s thoughts on miracles timely. I am certain we must have a consciousness of miracles to understand the Christmas story. This leads me to ask,

“And, where do we find this kind of belief in the twenty-first-century world view?  How is a Consciousness of MIRACLES  discovered is the Zeitgeist of our contemporary world? ” 

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Dr. Peck wrote:

“I am certain that miracles abound.

We are assisted in miraculous ways.

If we remain open, then we will see miracles.

If we routinely look at ordinary experiences, we will begin to see the miraculous.”

 

Ordinary, everyday experiences?

I have a hunch that it was through the subconscious mind (Peck says it is where the SPIRIT dwells in humans) that the three kings were inspired to start out on this most unusual journey. Some Christians would say it is through our spirit that we are inspired. Either way, I have wondered, “Were they shown images of what they would discover when they arrived?”

I think, maybe so! Each person in this Nativity Story definitely had Divine guidance and perfect timing. Was it the human spirit, the subconscious mind, or the intuition – or all of these?  there is definitely a PLACE  from which the wise men were guided as they looked into the miraculous night sky with the star that was there as a visual landmark for them to follow. We know that such a heavenly  sign was in the night sky and it did take place at this time according to contemporary astronomers.

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Miracles are found when we are open to the ordinary and everyday.

Miracles abound when we decide  to live a life that is expecting miracles  and guidance from God in our ordinary daily life.

 

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From the beginnings of recorded history in Genesis, we are told repeatedly to look towards the heavens for miraculous events in the Sun, Moon, and Stars. I intend to keep looking!

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Preparation means to “get ready.” God takes our passions and our desires and He makes a way for us to live the life we were meant to have from the beginning.

The Three KINGS had no “Plan B” – no “back-up plan.”

What have you been preparing for?

What are your dreams?

Bring them to the one who has a PLAN A for your life.

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Far away from Bethlehem, on an island in the Atlantic Ocean, Christians celebrate Christmas and Epiphany in Puerto Rico. They commemorate the ancient journey to Bethlehem.

Blog15_SCAN_12_Dec_3Kings_Musicians

 

 

A unique and particular tradition by Puerto Rican artists is the hand carved SANTOS. One theme that is popular for SANTOS is the THREE KINGS. They hold a special place in the art of Puerto Rico culture.

Santos are traditionally twelve inches or less in height. Each piece is signed by the artist who made it. Every Santos is one-of-a-kind art.

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More About the SANTOS:

Christmas music celebrates the Preparation and Hope for WEEK 2 of Advent.  Notice on the SANTOS of the 3 Kings, above, how they each are holding  a musical instrument.  Think of the importance of MUSIC in the universe – and certainly this divinely orchestrated event would have been accompanied by the MUSIC of all of creation.

Below, I give you some links to music for this holy season.

Oh Come Oh Come Emmanuel”

OH, Come! Emmanuel.

 

Below:

This link will take you to a performance of the same Christmas Carol and there are images of medieval stained glass windows. Be sure to watch the images with the music and you will see many ways a rose has been depicted in them. We discovered the meaning of the Rose in my previous essay for the First Week of Advent – symbolic of Hope.

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Link to Week 1 – The Candle of Hope at this link:

Go To Week 1 – the Candle of HOPE

 

 

 

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Here is one final link to explore –

Look close to see:

Roses appear in the hair and halo of women; in bouquets and clothing ornaments, in the colorful mosaic pictures.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Q6iesplJRM

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Note: Photos of SANTOS from the authors collection. Photos by Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright 2015. All Rights Reserved.

This essay was written by Lynda McKinney Lambert.  Copyright 2015. All rights reserved.

Please share it with your friends! Thanks!

 

Next week, look for Week 3 – The Candle of Joy (The ?Shepherd’s Candle).

 

Lynda McKinney Lambert is the author of “Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage” published by  Kota Press. She authors two blogs on writing, the humanities, arts, and faith.  She is a free lance writer and her poetry and essays appear in numerous books and literary journals.  She is a retired professor of fine arts and humanities and she exhibits her fiber arts in exhibitions world-wide.
 Currently she has two books in development for publication in 2016.

 

 

Advent…The Jesus Candle

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Isaiah 9:6…

For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

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“Jesus doesn’t just have peace; He is peace. With Jesus, we can have peace when things around us aren’t peaceful. We can have peace in the midst of the storm. We can have peace when gas prices go up and the housing market goes down. We can have peace that passes understanding because we are connected to the true source of peace — the Prince of Peace!” ~ Joel Osteen

On Christmas Day the Believers throughout the entire world celebrate the BIRTH of Jesus, the MESSIAH.  Let’s not forget, this is a JEWISH story, and the entire world received the invitation to be grafted into this story through  Jesus.  Contemporary popular culture has almost forgotten that Jesus is a Jew, and he is the long awaited Messiah who  was promised hundreds of years before  the day of His  miraculous birth.

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 In the essay I am including  below, we can see the traditional Christian thought on the birth of God, that night in Bethlehem.  Mary was carrying God in her womb.  This is called “The Incarnation.” I am also including a  link to my  essay _I Believe in Shepherds_  if you want to read what I had to say about the lighting of the Shepherd’s Candle you can go there for more information.

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You can find this essay on my blog, I Believe in shepherds at:  https://llambert363.wordpress.com/2014/12/18/i-believe-in-shepherds/

Mary_MotherofGod4 Today’s essay is the   final one  on my series, ADVENT. Today’s topic is  the Jesus Candle.   There are a tremendous amount of scripture references to Jesus as God, but I chose to include   the essay by Father William Saunders  because I think it covers this question quite accurately and provides details that are in the historic records regarding  this matter.

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In the 5th century of Christian history, long after the actual birth of Jesus, we find a new idea being developed and preached.  This was the first time that the idea that Jesus is God  was challenged.  You can read about this in the following essay, by Father William Saunders.  From the beginning of the Christian church, Mary was known  to be the _Mother of God_  because of  the birth of Jesus Christ.  I find that many believers today are often ignorant about the scriptures and the history of the miraculous birth.

You may be surprised to learn that Martin Luther was devoted to Mary as the Mother of God and even though many of his declarations of discontent with The Church, this was not one of them. Throughout his life, he held the opinion that Mary was the Mother of God and he did not “throw the baby out with the bath water” in his preaching and writing.  This was a delightful surprise to me as I did my research for this essay!

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Mary, Mother of God

by Father William Saunders

I was visiting an inner-city Church one day and in the vestibule some graffiti was written on the wall which said, “Catholics, God has no mother,” obviously referring to Mary’s title as “Mother of God.” How does one respond to such an objection? — A reader in Springfield

As Catholics, we firmly believe in the incarnation of our Lord: Mary conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Lk 1:26-38 and Mt 1:18-25) Through her, Jesus Christ–second person of the Holy Trinity, one-in-being (consubstantial) with the Father, and true God from true God–entered this world, taking on human flesh and a human soul. Jesus is true God and true man. In His person are united both a divine nature and a human nature.

Mary did not create the divine person of Jesus, who existed with the Father from all eternity. “In fact, the One whom she conceived as man by the Holy Spirit, who truly became her Son according to the flesh, was none other than the Father’s eternal Son, the second person of the Holy Trinity. Hence the Church confesses that Mary is truly ‘Mother of God’ (Theotokos)” (CCC, No. 495). As St. John wrote, “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us, and we have seen His glory: The glory of an only Son coming from the Father filled with enduring love” (Jn 1:14).

For this reason, sometime in the early history of the Church, our Blessed Mother was given the title “Mother of God.” St. John Chrysostom (d. 407), for example, composed in his Eucharistic Prayer for the Mass an anthem in honor of her: “It is truly just to proclaim you blessed, O Mother of God, who are most blessed, all pure and Mother of our God. We magnify you who are more honorable than the Cherubim and incomparably more glorious than the Seraphim. You who, without losing your virginity, gave birth to the Word of God. You who are truly the Mother of God.”

However, objection to the title “Mother of God” arose in the fifth century, due to confusion concerning the mystery of the incarnation. Nestorius, Bishop of Constantinople (428-431), incited a major controversy. He stated that Mary gave birth to Jesus Christ, a regular human person, period. To this human person was united the person of the Word of God (the divine Jesus). This union of two persons–the human Christ and the divine Word– was “sublime and unique” but merely accidental. The divine person dwelt in the human person “as in a temple.” Following his own reasoning, Nestorius asserted that the human Jesus died on the cross, not the divine Jesus. As such, Mary is not “Mother of God,” but simply “Mother of Christ”–the human Jesus. Sound confusing? It is, but the result is the splitting of Christ into two persons and the denial of the incarnation.

St. Cyril, Bishop of Alexandria (d. 440) refuted Nestorius, asserting, “It was not that an ordinary man was born first of the Holy Virgin, on whom afterwards the Word descended; what we say is that, being united with the flesh from the womb, (the Word) has undergone birth in the flesh, making the birth in the flesh His own…” This statement affirms the belief asserted in the first paragraph.

On June 22,  431,  the Council of Ephesus convened to settle this argument. The Council declared, “If anyone does not confess that the Emmanuel is truly God and therefore that the holy Virgin is the Mother of God (Theotokos) (since she begot according to the flesh the Word of God made flesh),anathema sit.” Therefore, the Council officially recognized that Jesus is one person, with two natures–human and divine–united in a true union. Second, Ephesus affirmed that our Blessed Mother can rightfully be called the Mother of God. Mary is not Mother of God, the Father, or Mother of God, the Holy Spirit; rather, she is Mother of God, the Son–Jesus Christ. The Council of Ephesus declared Nestorius a heretic, and the Emperor Theodosius ordered him deposed and exiled. (Interestingly, a small Nestorian Church still exists in Iraq, Iran and Syria.)

The incarnation is indeed a profound mystery. The Church uses very precise–albeit philosophical–language to prevent confusion and error. Nevertheless, as we celebrate Christmas, we must ponder this great mystery of how our divine Savior entered this world, taking on our human flesh, to free us from sin. We must also ponder and emulate the great example of our Blessed Mother, who said, “I am the handmaid of the Lord; be it done unto me according to Thy word.” May we turn to her always as our own Mother, pleading, “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.”


Fr. Saunders is president of Notre Dame Institute and associate pastor of Queen of Apostles Parish, both in Alexandria.

This article appeared in the December 22, 1994 issue of The Arlington Catholic Herald.

Electronic text (c) Copyright EWTN 1996. All rights reserved.

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Let me add a Christmas Carol to end this post!  Clilck on the link below to listen to a contemporary group singing, Mary, did you know?  Merry Christmas to all my followers and my family and friends.

https://faithunlocked.wordpress.com/2014/12/25/mary-did-you-know-by-pentatonix/

I Believe in…ANGELS!

Blog_2014_Advent4_AngelPHOTO Advent Week 4

The Angel Candle

Candle of Love

The word ADVENT means “coming.”  During the FOUR weeks of ADVENT we light one candle for each of the four Sundays  preceding Christmas Day.  After those four have been lit, on Christmas Day we will light the FIFTH candle to welcome the COMING of Jesus.

When we read the accounts of the miraculous birth of Jesus; we find an angel and the Heavenly Host of angels present  at every stage of the well documented historical  story.

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The angels give clarity to any possible confusion that may have developed – Angels made announcements, predictions for the present and the future, gave directions, and provided protection.

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9Then an angel of the Lord stood before them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they are terrified. 10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see–I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, 14″Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”   (Luke 2:9-14 NRSV)

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Ah, yes, from all accounts in historic texts, an angel was such a distinctly different kind of being, that every person who met an angel was immediately afraid – the angels always have to say, “Fear not!” when they encounter humans because they appear to be  frightening when they suddenly appear among human beings.  In most descriptions of angels in literature and art works, they are quite tall – the size of a human or larger. They appear unexpectedly, and with no warning – and human beings tremble at the sight of them.

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Events that take place in the SKY or the HEAVENS  will always point to coming events on Earth.  This is a historical fact. They are prophetic signs and wonders. The Nativity events began in the  SKY,  in the HEAVENS, and then the events announced by the angels took place on earth with the angels interacting with,  and fo,  humans.  We can WATCH the SKY, SUN and MOON  and KNOW when supernatural events will take place on EARTH! The coming of Jesus was announced in advance of the birth, by signs in the sky.

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Here is something interesting that you may not be familiar with – when you see an angel depicted as very small and flying about in the sky, this would not be a credible depiction, but instead, it is imagery from pagan origins and antiquity. Putti are very sensual little creatures with wings.  Often, people think they are angels but they are not.

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Angels are certainly NOT  cute little frolicking and fun-loving chubby, naked, baby-like creatures with little wings that are depicted in art works, altars, and sculptures from Antiquity to the present time. These curly haired, flying babies are pagan representations and are always associated with Dionysius in mythology, not at all Christian.  They are called PUTI, and these little beings are quite devilish and devious as they are often seen in sexual acts with humans or mythological deities.  Okay, I know, you are probably wondering, “Why are the Putti present on Christmas Cards, and other decorations at Christmas time?”  And, why do people look at them and smile and say how cute they are? I think it is because most people do not know what a Putto is and they think the Putto is an angel. Once again, this is a traditional image that has been carried over from earlier times in the history of humanity.

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I am certain that angels interact with people all over the world today, just as they did in the Nativity story. I believe in Angels!  I have had situations where I know for sure I received help from an angel in times of peril. But that is a story for another day.   How about you? Has an angel stepped into your life at some point and rescued you or helped you out of a challenging situation?

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Angels we have heard on high,
Sweetly singing o’er the plains.
And the mountains in reply
Echoing their joyous strains,
Gloria in excelsis Deo;
Gloria in excelsis Deo

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Click on the link below to listen to the song, “Angels We have Heard on High.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAMzAIH12yc

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You can visit another Blog with a great essay on the Advent Wreath. Just click here:

http://livinghopeomaha.com/special-services/holiday-worship-schedule-at-living-hope/the-meaning-of-the-advent-wreath/

Merry Christmas to You!

May ANGELS surround you day and night,

and guide your path always!

Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright, 2014. All Rights Reserved.

Visit my website at:  www.lyndalambert.com

At my Website you can click on my blog: Walking by Inner Vision

or view my art works!