Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Thoughts on Purer in Heart by Heather Pryor November BOM: Week One

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If you've been following the blog, you already know I was sick for the month of November and much of the month of October, because of this I am working the November BOM posts into December. The BOM book for November was Purer in Heart by Heather Pryor. If you haven't had the chance to pick up your copy there's still time.

Thoughts on Week One: 

Lesson One: The Purpose of Purity
Lesson Two: A Special Treasure
Lesson Three: Purity in  Our Speech
Lesson Four: Purity in Our Thoughts

Can I just say WOW! Heather holds back no punches with the first four chapters of her book. I suspect the rest of it is just as honest and straightforward as what I've already read.  Heather hits to the heart-of- the-matter as to why we must be pure. As I was reading through the chapters I kept thinking of the song lyrics, "purer in heart, O God, help me to be." I couldn't help but ask myself, do I truly mean those words when I sing them? Do you?

Heather uses the purification process of fine metals as an analogy for purifying our lives. Even one speck of something that doesn't belong creates something unpure. So, decidding to live a pure life is something we must take seriously and work at.

I really appreciate this book. Heather doesn't leave you without hope. She has several suggestions for making our lives purer. Here are just a few:
  • Pray the words of the Psalms. She suggests taking a lesson from the great Psalms recorded in the Bible and say our prayers using the vocabulary the Psalmists used to address God. I think this is a great idea. What a wonderful way to connect to the Bible and reach out to God.
  • Ask yourself if your behavior is royal. This is a meaningful and fun way to think about living a pure life. If a royal wouldn't say something that comes out of your mouth during a state dinner, maybe it shouldn't be said. I have often used the royal example with my daughter when she gets too loud. The evil step-mother in Ever After tells her daughter, she doesn't "think her kind of resonance would be accepted at the royal court." When I say this, my daughter always gets the point. So, next time you are about to say something ask yourself, would a royal do it?
  • Taste your talk. In other words, before you speak consider if your words are necessary. Are they sweet, bitter, or sour. Always use the best purest speech possible!
  • Monitor your thoughts. Heather recommends using Philippians 4:8 as a test for what we should be thinking. She also created a great acronym to help us remember this. 
T:  Is it true?
H: Does it honor God?
O: What is its origin?
U: Is it uplifting?
G: Does it involve guilt?
H: Is it helpful?
T: Is it a temptation?
S: Does it strengthen? 

I look forward to reading more of this book, and I hope you do, too! Please leave what lessons you've learned in the comment section.


Picking Wildflowers: Featured Poem From Every Flaw Every Perfection December BOM

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As I've previously posted I thought I'd let you read at your own pace this month and in place of a reading schedule I will be posting a weekly poem. After the last poem I posted, one of the readers stated how much she loved Picking Wildflowers, so I thought I'd share it with you.

It was written for my Papa Carl Amidon just a few weeks before he died. He had asked me if I remembered bringing him bouquets of wildflowers, and I wanted him to know not only did I remember that, but that he had made a huge impact on my life.

So, I wrote the poem Picking Wildflowers. I truly hope you enjoy it, and if you haven't gotten your copy of Every Flaw Every Perfection, look for it on Amazon. It's available in print and Kindle edition.

Picking Wildflowers 

For years I had a recurring dream.
The sun was bright and warm, and
I was free-falling, falling somewhere familiar
but forgotten; and, in that dream
you were there waiting for me
encouraging me to do it over and over again.

With each free-fall came a resounding splash,
and the reward of fresh watermelon.
When I told you, I saw the surprise in your blue eyes,
the soft smile on your lips,
and you said that was us at Third Bootie;
and I, I couldn’t have been
more than two you thought,
but I remembered.

It seems only a day has passed since
we sat together in your old blue pick-up truck,
driving off together in the cool of the early morning, and
living our next adventure.

We traveled all those back roads,
just the two of us,
sometimes hocking watermelons,
peaches, or tomatoes along the way.
What a pair we made.

I could tell countless stories;
boarding up the creek so I could swim,
setting up targets so I could shoot,
hunting for night crawlers for fishing trips, and
you encouraging me, a little tone deaf girl, to sing.

Papa, I could go on and on,
and there still wouldn’t  be enough
days or hours to tell the stories alive in my heart,
but what means the most to me
is not the stories I could tell, not my memories.

What matters most is that you are a part of me,
and I will always take that with me
no matter where I travel, or the things I do.

Because of you,
I’ll always have a field of buttercups at my feet
and an Indian paintbrush in my hand, picked just for you.

You once asked,
if I remembered bringing you bouquets of fresh wildflowers,
How could I forget, Papa?