Bible thoughts

The Speed of Life…and Yoga: Part 1

This is the first in a three-part series on “The the Speed of Life”

I don’t do anything slowly, except running. I’m a slow runner. Everything else I do quite quickly with little attention to detail. (These qualities make life quite, er, exciting! when you’re married to an engineer-minded perfectionist). I even do my p90x yoga on double speed. While listening to NPR on my ipod (don’t hate me because I like NPR, please).

So when this whole season of Advent comes along I get a bit tripped up. Slow? Quiet? Contemplative? Candles?

Background: I was raised in an evangelical Protestant home, attending a non-denominational Christian church. In college I was exposed to and appreciated a more charismatic expression of the Christian faith. El Guapo and I have chosen for our family to worship at churches that express God’s truth and love in a fairly balanced setting (well, balanced for us anyways). Love Jesus, Love others. Repeat.

This works well for us. We are comfortable with it. Then…friends around me start saying words like “Church Holy Year”, “St. Nicholas Day”, “Feast Days”. They light candles and are still (as in quiet and thoughtful) through seasons of “Advent”. They fast from things during “Lent”.

I’m sorry, what? I mean, I get that there are certain times of the year that we, as Christians, take the time to more intentionally recognize and honor Jesus’ birth and resurrection. I feel the cultural battle for my children’s attention and Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. But what are these things my friends speak of?

Previous Preconceptions (is that redundant?): People who recite liturgy and “do things” because that’s “how they’ve always done it” don’t have real faith. They are caught up in traditions of men (I often quoted Matthew 15:1-9 as proof that traditions of men get in the way of God’s true heart for us). I grouped these people (most commonly found in denominational churches as well as Catholic ones) together. Real faith was found in those churches that have stripped themselves of traditions (and most often candles, robes and quiet moments). I’m being real here. I can’t say I speak for all evangelical Christians. Just for myself. This is what I thought for a long time. (Please notice that I am using past tense here, thank you : )

Then I met Gina. And Annie. And Mattie. And The Campbells….

I have a lot to say on this-so I will continue this conversation in two more parts. As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Peace to you as we travel on this journey of life together,

La Gringa

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Bible thoughts, Motherhood

All Sons & Daughters-my favorite worship duo

*New to LaStradaTostada? Check out this post (click on the link) to get a quick update on all we have going on! *

I love music (and not just kid’s songs about tangled, messy hair as it may have seemed by my last post : ) Music fills me up, energizes me-especially if it lifts up the Lord with their lyrics. This past year (as in January 2013 until now) I found myself with some very intense goings-on. Life has been real and Leslie and David (of All Sons & Daughters) have written a song, “Called Me Higher” that stirs my soul as none has done in a long time. Their heart for the Lord using their music can be read here.

So without further ado…I’ll leave you with the lyrics below and the link to the youtube video of the two of them singing this beautiful song here. We saw them in concert-was that in February?- at a little church in Parker. I cried. (true). I had them sign my arm (not true). I danced. I soaked up all the Lord had for me. (both true).

May you be blessed by these words, the sound, the call to live a higher life through Jesus… (one more thing-they have another one called “Oh How I Need You”. Also good-and very fun to dance to : )

Called Me Higher by All Sons & Daughters

I could just sit
I could just sit and wait for all Your goodness
Hope to feel Your presence
And I could just stay
I could just stay right where I am and hope to feel You
Hope to feel something again

And I could hold on
I could hold on to who I am and never let You
Change me from the inside
And I could be safe
I could be safe here in Your arms and never leave home
Never let these walls down

But You have called me higher
You have called me deeper
And I’ll go where You will lead me Lord
You have called me higher
You have called me deeper
And I’ll go where You lead me Lord
Where You lead me
Where You lead me Lord

And I could hold on
I could hold on to who I am and never let You
Change me from the inside
And I could be safe
I could be safe here in Your arms and never leave home
Never let these walls down

But You have called me higher
You have called me deeper
And I’ll go where You will lead me Lord
You have called me higher
You have called me deeper
And I’ll go where You lead me Lord
Where You lead me

And I will be Yours, oh
I will be Yours for all my life

And I will be Yours, oh
I will be Yours for all my life

And I will be Yours, oh
I will be Yours for all my life
So let Your mercy

And I will be Yours, oh
I will be Yours for all my life
So let Your mercy light the path before me

Cause You have called me higher
You have called me deeper
And I’ll go where You will lead me Lord
[x4]

Where You lead me
Where You lead me Lord
[x2]

La Gringa

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Bible thoughts, education

Giving Credit, Where Credit is Due

Do you believe in God? I mean really believe there is something more out there? The girls and I have been studying (with a fine toothed comb I might add-thanks to Genevieve Foster’s book) the ancient world and their attempts at answering some very important questions-ones that continue to come up thousands of years later:

1-What is this world we live in and how was it created?

2-How can we live in it with other people and be happy?

3-What will happen to us when we die?

Foster goes through several major people groups and their beliefs at the time. One thread remains-they all believed there was something more to life than themselves.

So were these people just dumb and we’ve evolved to where we are today-a world where atheism is growing ?

They didn’t seem stupid.

The girls and I study our faith and others’ attempts at answering the top three questions. Why do we believe this guy named Jesus was savior of the world? How do we know Isis isn’t the Goddess we should be following? If we did explode into this universe what purpose does that give us for living here?

I’m curious how you believe and how you pass this on to your children. There are some interesting things going on in our courts today that could affect how we teach our children. I’m very interested to hear your perspective.

So what do you think?

La Gringa

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Bible thoughts

Perspective part one

I’ve read two books this year that are rocking my suburban world. They are making this momma think, a lot. It’s also challenging me to make some changes in our daily lives-maybe even our long-term. Now let me stop and make a very good point (well, I think it’s a good point-but I’ll let you decide). The Bible is a book that changes my perspective every time I read it. These books I’m about to review are using the Bible as their guide. Technically, the Bible alone should bring me to the conclusions these books do. However, the way these authors word things help me to see the specific nature of what God has called us to in the Bible. Wow. I’m not sure that was very clear. :

Radical by David Platt

Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream

This is a great book that, well, just as the cover image depicts, turns your world upside down (or right side up : ). Our library has it as an audio and an ebook-so there’s really no excuse for you not to read/listen to this book! This book continues to challenge me on my attitude towards and during church. David Platt is a pastor of a mega church trying to bring perspective to a lot of people who are looking for big screens, expensive programming and comfy chairs.

I’ll review the 2nd book in another post…stay tuned!

La Gringa

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Bible thoughts, Motherhood

Mark 6:38

“And he [Jesus] said to them, “How many loaves do you have? Go look!” and when they found out, they said, “Five, and two fish.”

Praying that God would use your 5 loaves and 2 fish today. Praying that he multiplies our energy, patience, love to feed the multitudes in which we are blessed to be with today.

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La Gringa

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Bible thoughts, education, Food, Uncategorized

Homeschool appetite

I just realized, thanks to the Lord and my time with him this morning, that I home school like I eat!!

Crap.

You see-I don’t always eat that healthily although I know what is good for me, I enjoy a cracker over an apple, cookie dough over, well, anything. I enjoy eating everything. I don’t often savor the flavor-okay, that’s not true, I enjoy really good food, but I often choose to eat a lot of it-and then feel really fat and bad afterwards.

I do this with our school lessons, too! I get really excited about something and we “eat” a lot of it at once. Then we put it down and move on to something else-without really being able to digest the things prior.

I’m still getting a handle on this idea-and what the Lord wants me to do with this new wisdom He’s imparted to me…

Excuse me while I go make breakfast-I think we’ll have a very balanced meal…at least today.

La Gringa

p.s. that pizza was really good, by the way. It was in Brooklyn. I want to go to there.

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Bible thoughts, Book Review, education

Quiet Times for Kids

Above is a fun photo of some of our kids. She has 6 (and prego with #7).

My best friend from college has written a curriculum for kids that gets them into God’s word all by themselves! Isn’t that cool? She’s got some great idea for Christmas and Advent, too-just in time! Check it out here.

She offers a free trial download which I recommend. Just in time to put volume 1 and 2 on your Christmas lists! She is also offering 50% with the coupon code-I think it’s “halfoffsale” but watch the video-it shows up at the end.

Here’s how she describes her curriculum:

Quiet Times for Kids is a series of independent bible study resources specifically designed to develop quiet time habits in young children that will benefit them for the rest of their lives. Quiet Times for Kids is created for ages 5 and older and provides a great way for children to study their Bibles and develop independent learning skills while they’re at it!

Happy studying!

La Gringa

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Bible thoughts

Keeping your house clean

I had a friend stop by yesterday. She admired my clean house. I admire it to.  I have to admit, one for sure way to keep your house clean is to put it up for sale! A bit extreme-but it sure motives like nothing else!

She also compared a clean house to sin. Yes, sin. You know, that stuff that gets in between you and God. It separates us from Him and all the blessings He has for us. The way I like to visualize sin is turning our back on God. Even walking away from Him if it’s continual.

So where does the clean house come in? you ask. Let’s say we start with a clean house (a life virtually free from sin). You’re on top of things as they come in the door. If they don’t belong there-out they go (just ask A where her crafts end up if she leaves them hanging about for too long). If, after a while, we get lazy and start allowing “stuff” (a.k.a. sin-work with me here) to stay around the house because we are too busy, too tired, too whatever to put it where it belongs it piles up. So much so that we begin to get complacent, overwhelmed. We shove it somewhere in hopes it won’t be seen, hire a house cleaner so we don’t have to deal with it-or put it on the market! Think about the sock drawer or the piles that need to be filed, or under the kids’ beds! Okay, don’t think about that for too long-you might get depressed!

How often does unconfessed sin in our lives leave us feeling bedraggled and useless? I have to say, having a clean house all the time gives me so much more time for other things:  Blogging!, reading, writing notes to friends, having people over. Staying on top of our sin produces the same types of things: a renewed purpose in life, joy, wisdom, perspective from the Lord!, true rest and peace-regardless of the circumstances.

What are we waiting for?! We don’t need a priest in whom confess our sins-that’s what Jesus is for! Love that! God is so accessible!! Here’s a great verse of encouragement for you today-and here’s to a clean house and heart for both of us!

1 John 1: 8 & 9: If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Praise God!

La Gringa

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