Wednesday, January 26, 2011
I didn't grow up following a liturgical year so I was very interested in finding out some specifics of this ancient practice, I was looking forward to knowing names and dates of fasts and feasts, finding out more about the history of the church calendar and why we celebrate when we do. It took me 4 chapters before Sister Chittister explained that the liturgical year is made up of 4 parts: Sundays, 2 major seasons (Christmas and Easter), sanctoral cycle and ordinary time. Yet later in the book she explained the year as Advent followed by Christmas, then ordinary time, then Lent followed by Easter and Pentecost and then another ordinary time.
Sister Chittister did do a great job unpacking each of the aspects off the liturgical year and how every year our lives should continue to look more and more like the life of Christ. I really enjoyed the history and wisdom she shared discussing Christmas and Easter and how those two events are the two poles that the year centers around.
I did feel that there were too many chapters to this book, with 33 chapters spanning 212 pages, I felt like we were just starting to unpack a topic and the chapter would end and we would jump to the next topic. I do understand that there is a lot of information to unpack in the explanation of the liturgical year, but I still felt a little rushed.
After finishing the book, I did walk way with a greater knowledge and respect for the liturgical year but it left me wanting to know more. I did learn that "the meaning and message of the liturgical year is the bedrock on which we strike our own life direction. Rooted in the Resurrection promise of the liturgical year, whatever the weight of our own pressures, we maintain the course." The liturgical year is the experience in both the present and in the mysteries of the past, those combined with the promise that the reign of God will be fulfilled in the future.
I would recommend this book to anyone interested in knowing more about the liturgical year, but I would also couple that with a recommended read through Wikipedia regarding the liturgical year for some extra details.
I was given this book free through BookSneeze.com and Thomas Nelson Publishers but I am under no obligation to give it a positive review.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
The Siskow's gave me "The Duke" by Dr Grabow. My first pipe. Aaron, Derek and I have started a book club and our thought was we should smoke pipes while we read books...now Derek and Aaron need to get pipes!
Friday, January 21, 2011
This year, I set 30 goals for 30 years.
Here they are (not in any particular order)
1. Run a race
2. Read 30 books
3. Read through the Bible
4. Go Snowboarding
5. Go Camping
6. Road Trip
7. Refinish a bathroom
8. 7,000 push-ups
9. 7,000 sit-ups
10. 3,000 pull-ups
11. Run 1,000 miles
12. Bike 1,000 miles
13. Go ice skating
14. Go sledding
16. Paint living room and patch walls
17. Go to a concert
18. Tandem Bike one day of Ragbrai
19. Become more flexible
20. Invest in friendships
21. Throw 4 parties for no reason
22. Landscape the front step
23. Become quick to listen and slow to speak
24. Paint doors and trim work
25. Install new storm door
26. Install new garage doors
27. Build a desk
28. Weekend Unplugged
29. Pay off car loan
30. Take my wife on a surprise weekend get-away
I know full well that I won't get everything checked off my list, but it is fun to have a list and check off stuff that I do get accomplished. I have been setting goals since I turned 25 and it is fun to go back through my list and remember what I got done each year!
Have you set any goals this year?
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Monday, January 17, 2011
Heather and Nathan test out the orange sled!
Shay and Aaron head down the hill with a little push from Chad, but judging Shay's face, it might have been a bigger push than she wanted!
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Batterson opens up his book with a quote from C.S. Lewis "There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal" The first chapter is entitled Opening: Soul Print and he lays the foundation for the book. He starts to scratch the surface of what is to come by explaining that there is no one else like you, we are each uniquely made. He then digs into the story of an Old Testament hero, David. Through the book he draws parallels to our current life and to the life of King David.
Scene 1: Holy Confidence: Batterson looks at the experiences that we have in life, whether good or bad and how God puts those experiences in our life to grow us into the person He created us to be. Looking at David's life, Mark talks about how David took down Goliath and how God brought David to that point for that specific reason. David was great with a slingshot because he was a shepherd and he had taken on lions defending his sheep. These experiences gave David a Holy confidence that when he stepped up to Goliath, David knew he could handle the giant! Batterson then asks us, what experiences have we been through in the past that have shaped us for what we are dealing with today or might be facing in the future.
Scene 2: Lifesymbols: This chapter talks about how we can use life symbols as guide posts to remind us of how God has worked in our past. He explains how he specifically decorates his office with symbols that remind him of God's faithfulness. He poses the question "Why am I surrounding myself with meaningless things?" The art on our wall, the stuff on our desks, do they hold personal meaning?
Scene 3: The Crags of the Wild Goats: This chapter talks about how David cut off the corner of Saul's robe (1 Samuel 24:3-4). David had the chance to kill his enemy but he didn't take it because an opportunity isn't an opportunity if you have to compromise your integrity. Batterson reminds us that God is always concerned with who we are becoming. We fixate on what and when and where, but the primary issue is who you become in the process.
Scene 4: Alter Ego: This chapter unpacks how we set up identities or securities in things other than Christ. David isn't afraid of dancing in his undies as he is bringing the Ark of the Covenant back, David wants to talk the focus off of himself and show those around him that God is more important than his royal robe. The tough question is what are we hiding behind?
Scene 5: The Devil's Workshop: This chapter talks about how sin can creep in if we let our guard down. David had this issue when the his army went off to war and he found himself on the rooftop. Batterson challenges us to have accountability, have someone in our life who has permission to openly and honestly speak into your life and show us our "blind spots".
Closing: The White Stone: Batterson closes his book with reminding us that God has a name for each and everyone of us that no one knows except for him (Rev 2:17). He begins the book and ends the book the same, "There never has been and never will be anyone like you, but that isn't a testament to you. It's a testament to the God who created who. Your uniqueness isn't just a gift from God. It's your gift to God."
Overall, I really enjoyed this book, Mark Batterson asks a lot of tough questions and challenges us to dig deeper into self discovery and find out who God is calling us to become, we are each different and we each have our own soul print.
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Saturday, January 8, 2011
She was all smiles in her Santa outfit standing next to the Christmas tree.