God Is With Us: Exodus 3 12

January 28th, 2014

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Exodus 3 12

“[God] said, ‘Certainly I will be with you.’”
Exodus 3:12

Have you ever watched the latest news cast and wondered, “Where is God in all this?” Have you ever sat under the stars, feeling smaller than the smallest ant, and thought, “Is God out there somewhere?” Have you ever asked: “Does God see me?” “Does God hear me?” “Does God care about me?”

Yes. God cares about each of us. God sees us better than Santa Claus and hears us better than the wolf in Grandma’s clothes. In fact, as Moses discovered from the burning bush, God is always with us. Even so, we often do not see God in the midst of our lives. Sometimes we see the evidence of God’s care much later. Sometimes we struggle to see that evidence and never find it, but it is there.

As much as we might like for God to announce his presence from a burning bush, or even from a candle flame, God often chooses not to for reasons we may not understand. Yet God promises to be with us. In fact, he says just that to Moses in Exodus 3:12: “[God] said, “Certainly I will be with you.’”

There have been a multitude of writers, poets, artists, photographers, philosophers and regular Joe’s who have tried to capture God’s answer to Moses in a variety of forms. Perhaps one of the most famous attempts at depicting God with us is Mary Stevenson Zangare’s poem “Footprints in the Sand” in which she tells of dreaming about a walk on the beach. When she looked back at the footprints she noticed sometimes there were two sets and sometimes one. When she asked about the reasoning behind the single sets, sets through some of the worst times of her life, she is answered that those were times when God carried her. The poem is a beautiful reminder of God’s promise to be with us at all times.

As you read Exodus 3:1-4:22, try to remember a time in your life in which God called you to do something new and, perhaps, frightening. Then, download the Questions and Reflections and take some time to work through them before engaging in the Meditation Activities below.

 

Meditation Activites

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Find a quiet place, preferably in nature, and take ten to 20 minutes to contemplate what the above image means to you as it relates to the reading of Exodus 3:1-4:17, then choose as many of the following suggestions as you would like to express your thoughts and feelings outwardly.

  1. In your journal, write a free-flow of thoughts and descriptive images as they come to you regarding the picture and its relationship to God being with you.
  2. Using play dough, clay or some other medium create a 3-D sculpture that captures your overall feelings and thoughts of the picture and its relationship to God being with you.
  3. Tell a friend, or God, about your thoughts and feelings concerning the picture and its relationship to God being with you.
  4. Decide on your own creative way to express your feelings and thoughts regarding the picture and its relationship to God being with you.

***

For more non-fiction work, including Bible studies, check out my Non-Fiction page.

You can also purchase your eBook copy of Fear Not! Discovering God’s Promises for Our Lives for NookKindleKobo, and on Scribd or a paperback copy from Paperback edition also available on Amazon.com or in my Lulu.com store front at: Virginia’s Store Front.
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Wordless Wednesday: Psalm 46 10

July 11th, 2012

Psalm 46:10, be still and know that I am God

Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations.
I will be exalted in the earth.

Psalm 46 10 (World English Bible)

Why Time Management Doesn’t Work

February 18th, 2012

I’m getting ready to re-vision my blog. By that I mean I’m going to take a short break to brainstorm some great ideas for future posts. I want to make this a place you can stop by to pick up handy tips and inspirational messages to help you in your day-to-day life, as well as catch a weekly laugh.

That being said, I don’t want to just leave you high and dry while I work up a new plan, so I’ll be re-posting some of the best from the last year. Enjoy!

Why Time Management Doesn’t Work

Like most people, I often complain about the amount of time I don’t have. I’ve tried a variety of time management strategies with different degrees of success. Yet all the complaining in the world and no number of time management tools ever seem to keep time from slipping through my fingers. I always wondered what I was doing wrong. Was I just lazy?

Then I read Joy Held’s May 9, 2011, Monday Meditation: Time and Herding Cats. It clicked. Maybe it will for you, too.

Monday Meditation: Time And Herding Cats
by Joy Held

“Time management” is an oxymoron. We can’t possibly manage time. It does what it wants regardless of our efforts to wrangle it into submission. It marches on no matter what. Trying to manage time is frustrating because it’s a little like herding cats or nailing Jello (trademark) to a tree. Time has a mind and a mission of its own. Time cannot be told what to do and it cannot be beat into submission. But time rules the world and we will continue to know frustration until we develop a different relationship with time.

Read the rest of the post.

***

Meditation and prayer often go hand in hand. When you need ideas on simple ways to pray you can find a good resource in my book Simply Prayer, available in print, for Kindle and NookAudio book version coming soon.

Hearing God Word By Word

January 19th, 2012

There are a multitude of ways to study scripture. One of my favorites is to choose a favorite verse and meditate on it word by word. With each word added to the sentence a new layer of meaning is revealed. Let me show you what I mean using Psalm 46: 10, Be still, and know that I am God.

Be…

We spend so much time doing, we sometimes forget what it means to be. The sense of being is to rest in the hand of God. In this one word, we can feel God’s call to stop and enjoy being alive.

Be still…

Not only does God call us to enjoy the simple fact that we’re alive, but to enjoy time just doing nothing. There’s also the subtle reminder to listen to God, to others, to ourselves.

Be still, and…

From a call to quiet listening, God is adding something. What, we do not know and perhaps that is the point. We cannot see all God has planned for us. All we can see is this moment, but we can rest our hopes on God’s love of us.

Be still, and know…

At some point, the promise God has made will be fulfilled. We can know what was previously unknown.


You get the idea. It’s a simple way to find new meaning in scriptures you’ve read and heard a thousand times.

What different methods do you use to gain new understanding in God’s Word?

***

GFront-Cover-25-percentod promises to be with us through everything,
encouraging us to trust him through every situation we encounter.

Individuals and groups alike will find themselves
discovering that every day is a new opportunity to see God’s touch on their lives as they journey through scripture to uncover that:

  • No Matter Who You Are…
  • No Matter How You Feel…
  • No Matter What People Do…
  • No Matter What Happens..
  • No Matter Where You Are…
  • No Matter How Little You Have…
  • No Matter What You’ve Done…
  • No Matter How Old You Are…

Trust God!
Paperback edition also available on Amazon.

Ebook version available for Kindle, InkteraNookKobo, and Scribd or…

buy the .pdf version here

 

Vol1Cover25percent

Get six Bible based, inspirational messages by Virginia Ripple from the blog One Servant’s Heart all in one .zip file.

Messages include:

  • Called to Forgive Called to Serve
  • New Beginnings
  • No Fear In Love
  • The Boneyard
  • The Dirty Little Penny
  • The Hardest Commandment

Pay What You Want for the audiobook.

 

Simply Prayer ebook

When we find ourselves stymied by what we think prayer should look like, it’s time to step back and think like a child. God loves each of us and wants to hear from us.

Prayer can be as complex as we want or as simple as we need, but sometimes we need a little help getting started. In this book you’ll discover the basics of:

  • What prayer is
  • Why we pray
  • How to pray
  • How to know your prayers are answered

From repetitions to labyrinths to dancing to journals, it is all Simply Prayer.

Ebook version available for NookKindleKobo, and Scribd or…

buy the .pdf version here

You can purchase this book at Amazon.com or in my CreateSpace store front.

Or Pay What You Want for the audiobook.

 

Fear NotWhen life seems impossible to cope with, God reaches out to remind us of his promises for our lives. Journey through scripture to meet God in new and unexpected ways as you discover what it means to “Fear Not!”

Anyone can use Fear Not to meet God in new and unexpected ways.  Each of the eight sessions begins with an introduction, then moves on to a scripture reading (included), questions to ponder, a meditation picture and lastly a list of possible hands-on projects you can do.

The eight sessions are:

  • Session 1 … God is always with us
  • Session 2 … God is in control
  • Session 3 … God keeps his promises
  • Session 4 … God keeps us safe
  • Session 5 … God provides for us
  • Session 6 … God reveals himself to us
  • Session 7 … God gives us new life
  • Session 8 … God sends a Helper to us

Ebook version available for NookKindleKobo, and Scribd or …

 buy the .pdf version here

Paperback edition also available on Amazon.com or in my Lulu.com store front at: Virginia’s Store Front.

Why Time Management Doesn’t Work

June 22nd, 2011

time photo
Like most people, I often complain about the amount of time I don’t have. I’ve tried a variety of time management strategies with different degrees of success. Yet all the complaining in the world and no number of time management tools ever seem to keep time from slipping through my fingers. I always wondered what I was doing wrong. Was I just lazy?

Then I read Joy Held’s May 9, 2011, Monday Meditation: Time and Herding Cats. It clicked. Maybe it will for you, too.

Monday Meditation: Time And Herding Cats
by Joy Held

“Time management” is an oxymoron. We can’t possibly manage time. It does what it wants regardless of our efforts to wrangle it into submission. It marches on no matter what. Trying to manage time is frustrating because it’s a little like herding cats or nailing Jello (trademark) to a tree. Time has a mind and a mission of its own. Time cannot be told what to do and it cannot be beat into submission. But time rules the world and we will continue to know frustration until we develop a different relationship with time.

Read the rest of the post.

Photo by bogenfreund

***

There are a lot more ideas and examples on simple ways to pray in my book Simply Prayer. Ebook version available for NookKindleKobo, and Scribd.

Or Pay What You Want for the audiobook.

The Benefits of Meditation

May 25th, 2011

meditation photoAlthough I’ve always thought meditating on a regular basis was a good idea, it wasn’t until I read the following article that I understood just how beneficial it could be.

Apparently, meditating at least 30 minutes per day can alter the brain, creating higher density in gray matter where it counts (i.e. the area controlling memory, empathy, sense of self) and lower density in regions that affect how we deal with things like anxiety and stress.

All in all, even if there are no other changes within the brain than being able to cope with stress better, doing some form of daily meditation is worth the extra 30 minutes per day we need to squeeze into our already packed schedules.

How Meditation May Change the Brain

By SINDYA N. BHANOO

Over the December holidays, my husband went on a 10-day silent meditation retreat. Not my idea of fun, but he came back rejuvenated and energetic.

He said the experience was so transformational that he has committed to meditating for two hours daily, one hour in the morning and one in the evening, until the end of March. He’s running an experiment to determine whether and how meditation actually improves the quality of his life.

I’ll admit I’m a skeptic.

But now, scientists say that meditators like my husband may be benefiting from changes in their brains. Read the rest of the post.

2 Quick And Easy Meditation Techniques For Busy Lives

March 16th, 2011

image

I am one of those strange creatures called Mother who enjoys rocking her toddler to sleep — most of the time. There are times, like Sunday night (thanks daylight savings!), when it’s a real challenge. Those are the nights my little girl has a hard time relaxing. Those are also the nights I find myself struggling to stay calm.

Staying calm is essential in helping my toddler fall asleep because she’s an hsc. She picks up on my moods quickly, so if I start feeling antsy, thinking about the 101 other things that simply must be done before I go to bed, she gets even more restless. It’s taken me the better part of two years to figure out I can’t convince her to relax while my mind is busy chewing on my latest to-do list.
Thankfully, I’ve learned two meditation techniques that help me stay calm even when she’s determined to see how far my patience will go. (And they work in other stressful situations, too!)

Count on it — this is the easiest calming method I’ve found. Count to 120, then count backwards to 1. Repeat as needed. This is a great technique to use not just for calming little ones, but for keeping cool while waiting in long lines and in traffic jams.

Get focused — this one is a bit more difficult to maintain, but I think it has the best end result. Alternately concentrate on your breathing and bodily sensations. For example, while I’m rocking my daughter, I focus on the feel of her weight in my arms, the warmth of her body, the change in her breathing as she falls asleep. When she squirms or talks I focus on breathing deeply and letting my exhalations take away any stressful feelings building up in my thoughts. This works well for doctor visits and on the job, especially for office workers.

Meditation doesn’t need to be a long, drawn-out process of sitting cross-legged in absolute silence. It can happen anywhere at anytime.

What other techniques have you found useful?

Hello world!

December 9th, 2010

Hello. My name is Virginia and I’m a recovering Minister…

Perhaps I should explain that a bit more. What that really means is that I was only a year away from receiving my Masters of Divinity and becoming Reverend Ripple (now there’s a name for you :P) when institutional politics made me re-think my career choice. During my third — and last — year in seminary I rediscovered my passion for writing. It became my safe haven during turbulent times.

Since then I’ve learned a great many things about writing, book design, self-publishing and — oh yeah! — living by faith. I’m still very much human, so God’s been slowly (at times very slowly) shaping me into whatever it is God wants me to be. That brings me to what I plan to do with this blog.

Like my other blog, The Road to Writing, I’ll be posting weekly. Beyond that I admit, I don’t have a solid plan, but that’s nothing unusual when one lives by faith. Just the same, I want this to be a place for renewal of Spirit, a place you may discover God in a new and unexpected way. I plan to cover topics such as meditation and prayer, as well as topics on speculative Christian fiction, specifically fantasy. That may seem widely diverse, but I think it never hurts our spirits to indulge in a little relaxing escapism once in a while. 🙂

I’m looking forward to all the wonderful new insights God has in store for us.