Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Ordering My Private World

I'm reading a new book (not newly published, but new to me) and highly recommend it to anyone who would like to learn about one man's method for developing yourself as a more complete person from the inside out. The book is by a man named Gordon MacDonald and it's called, "Ordering Your Private World."

It's a great book written by a man who has years of life experience and wisdom that, consequently, spill out onto the pages of his book as he offers practical suggestions on how to live a life that is more in tune with God's plan. The root problem that many people have in developing their relationship with their creator today, MacDonald says, is that we are so "driven" and spend so much time pursuing things that are external in nature, few of us have ever taken the time to create order and routine in the realm of our private worlds. Too often we let the external world and the demands that it makes on our time, energy, thoughts, and emotions (even those demands that are inherently good) steal away from the time, energy, thought, and emotion we should be putting into our very private, very intimate relationship with God. To quote an editorial review of the book:

"Never admitting to have it all together, but rather using his own personal struggle as a way for readers to relate to his principles, Gordon MacDonald's classic book invites readers to bring order to their personal life by inviting God's control over every segment of their lives. His premise is that if the private world of a person is in order, it will be because they are convinced that the inner world of the spiritual must govern the outer world of activity."

I've read a lot of different books that have, at their heart, the same goal for their readers: to draw us closer to our creator in our day to day living; however, they are usually a lot more philosophical and preachy than they are practical and helpful. So far, MacDonald has been the exact opposite.

Some of the main principles from the book are (taken from a reader review on

1. Busyness is not always of God.
2. Driven people focus on the external while ignoring the private world.
3. We must not let busyness upset us or cause us to neglect our inner life.
4. The importance of solitude and time alone with God.
5. Jesus used His time wisely.
6. The characteristics of a called person.
7. Specific steps and encouragement to discipline the mind.
8. The importance of prayer and intercession for others.

That's all on this book for now, but if you (like me) sometimes feel like your faith has become a series of actions (being a nice person, attending church service, saying short prayers at meals and before bed, doing occasional good things for other people, and reading the bible on occasion) this book offers a lot of insight into why despite participation in a lot of good and worthy activities, many of us are not where we would like to be in our relationship with God.

Monday, December 17, 2007


Today in Oklahoma it is a balmy 48 degrees. It seems that Ice storm 2007/snow storm (that never was) 2007 has finally left us. We lost power at our house Monday night, and it FINALLY came back on Saturday afternoon. In our excitement and running around our house for joy Saturday afternoon we broke a ceramic potted plant, and some Christmas decorations! (note to self: don't jump and run too hard when your house has a crawl space and not a solid foundation!!)

This is our house the first day. A few tree limbs down, but now there are a lot more.

This is the neighbor's house and their tree that fell all in our driveway

During this time we lost all of the food/condiments in our fridge/freezer, outside plants (and maybe some inside ones...I am trying to bring them back), Michael's car got a flat tire and today I noticed the gutter on our house is hanging down. (From all of the ice it was holding, I'm assuming).

In spite of these things, I am thankful that we had many friends and family around we could stay with rather than have to turn to shelter or freeze in our house (we could see our breath when we were inside!). I am thankful that our power went off when it did, and that we left that night because otherwise my car would have had a huge limb fall through the windshield (and that perhaps, might have been my breaking point! :) I am thankful for the time we got to spend with Michael's grandparents! I am thankful that even with all of this stress I turned my paper in to my committee for their final review!! I am going to one of the shelters tonight to do some crisis counseling. I am happy that I can give back to people. We are so blessed by the support system we have with our family, friends, and our faithful God!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Because we all need a little laughter from time to time

Quotes and things I want to draw your attention to in this video:

"I wanna knoe wer da gou at. I want da gou" Translation: "I want to know where the gold is. I want the gold"

The "Irish" guy that is suited up in his protective leprechaun gear directing traffic says a few gems:

1. That the flute has been in his family for thousands of years.
2. He then follows that up by saying that it was his great grand father's flute. Thousands of years? Great grand father? The math just doesn't work.
If you look closely, you'll notice that the leprechaun flute is actually a scaffolding connector piece. There is absolutely NO possible way that any musical sound can come from his flute.

And finally... "Could be a crackhead!"

P.S. Let us not forget the amateur sketch:

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Happy Christmastime!

This picture is at the Merry Christmas Pops (a Christmas tradition in our family of more than a decade). We enjoyed the Christmas symphony while Michael checked for updates on the OU game. :)
This year has really just flown by, and we are so thankful for so many blessings this year! Enjoy this wonderful time of year!