A True Christian

The true Christian tests himself every day. Daily testing to see whether we have become better or worse, is so essential for us that without it we cannot be called Christians. Constantly and persistently we must take ourselves in hand. Do this: from the morning establish thoughts about the Lord firmly in your mind and then during the whole day resist any deviation from these thoughts.

Whatever you are doing, with whomever you are speaking, whether you are going somewhere or sitting, let your mind be with the Lord. You will forget yourself, and stray from this path; but again turn to the Lord and rebuke yourself with sorrow. This is the discipline of spiritual attentiveness.” – St. Theophanes the Recluse

 

This is the struggle of the spiritual life. Our thoughts constantly bombard us from the moment we awaken right up to the moment we lie down at night to sleep. Our minds run like machines 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Part of the spiritual struggle we face is indeed in the department of our logismoi.

We should awaken daily and seek to calm the attack of the logismoi (thoughts) that fill our mind. We must awaken to fill our minds with Christ and thoughts of Him and all things holy from the beginning of our day.  St. Paul tells us to “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.”

This is the struggle of the spiritual life.

To watch.

To be attentive.

Let us attend to the wisdom of Christ and fill our minds with thoughts of Him.

A Night of Epic Proportions or (One of the Happiest Moments of my Life)

ImageAn old facebook note that for some reason was not part of my old blog, which was transferred over. I wanted to share these reflections from 3 years ago. Enjoy.

Last Thursday was a night of epic proportions. It was a grand event in my young life. An event worth blogging about surely. Last Thursday Will Fitzsimmons was in Knoxville for the third time. He was at The Square Room again.

I was super excited to see him for the third time and this time with my beautiful and lovely lady Courtney, whom I decided to brainwash months ago with the awesomeness that is William Fitzsimmons’ music.

Well, we left home that evening to go to the concert. We arrived at The Square Room and took our seats. I decided to venture to the merchandise table where William’s wife Erin was selling his shirts, albums, and such.

Now anyone who knows me knows I have 4 tattoos. 2 of which are influenced by William’s music. So I started talking to her about the new shirts while I got the idea to show her my forearm tattoo which has a lyric by William. It says, “Love can last if you only let it grow…” She was very impressed by that. Then I decided to show her my upper arm tattoo that contains the images off one of William’s shirts. His newest album is called The Sparrow and the Crow, and on my upper right arm I have a sparrow and a crow tattooed. She LOVED it so much she decided to take pictures and asked me my name.

So apparently she decided to tell William and show him the pics because something of grand proportions happened during the concert.

I GOT A SONG DEDICATION!

Now, some might say, “Whoopie! Who cares?” But I say I do! See, William Fitzsimmons is by far my favorite musician! So how many people can say that they got a song dedication to them in the middle of a concert by their favorite musician?

I was happy to say the least!

Anyways, back to the story.

William started explaining the story behind the song I Don’t Feel It Anymore (The Song of the Sparrow) and how for him the album wouldn’t be the same without that song. That it is the cornerstone of the album and everything he wanted to say is summed up in that song. But before he played it he said, “This is dedicated to a really cool guy named Jonathan with an awesome sparrow and crow tattoo on his upper arm.”

I decided to yell out, “Thank you!” To which he replied, “You’re welcome.” So since I had already made it known I was that really cool guy I yelled out, “I love you, man!” And he replied, “I love you too bro!”

So yes, it was a night of epic proportions. A night of happiness. One of the best nights of my life.

So if you haven’t heard of William Fitzsimmons before I highly recommend that if you have any bit of great musical taste in your bones to listen to him. If you appreciate fine art and amazing lyrics then I urge you to listen to “I Don’t Feel It Anymore“. And if you want to listen to his most fantastic song I suggest “Passion Play“.

Well, thanks for listening to the ramblings of a enduring fan. I look forward to Williams new album coming in the near future and to many more concert experiences.

DISCLAIMER: Pardon the pic of us from that night; it was before I decided to man up and grow an awesome man beard. Clearly Fitzsimmons inspired that too.

My husband is not my soul mate.

The Art in Life

It might seem odd that on this, our one-year anniversary, I am beginning a post with the declaration that my husband is not my soul mate. But he isn’t.WegmannWedding161

I wouldn’t want to imagine life without James. I enjoy being with him more than anyone else in this world. I love him more than I ever thought you could love someone, and I miss him whenever I am not with him. I wouldn’t want to married to anyone else other than James, which is good, because I plan on being married to him forever, and he has to let me die first.

But I reject the entire premise of soul mates.

WegmannWedding294Do you remember those awesome Evangelical 90’s/ early 2000’s where Jesus was kind of like our boyfriend and we all kissed dating good-bye because we just knew that God was going to bring us THE ONE and then life…

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A Day’s Work

Thoughts from a friend doing mission work in Honduras.

It Is What It Is

Tuesday, July 16, 2013 is a day that I will not soon forget. I also expect that my fellow interns, Anna Rogers, Jenna Wooten, and Jason Fields, feel the same way. On that day, we got to participate in a task that very few Americans experience. We got to spend the day working side-by-side and shoulder-to-should with the people of the Tegucigalpa Dump. For those that do not know what the Dump is, it is a dark place. It’s a mountain where the city of Tegucigalpa disposes of her trash. Garbage from all over the city is hauled there by garbage trucks and dumped there. While you’re in the Dump, all your eyes can see is trash. And in the trash are cows, buzzards, dogs, and people. The cows are there because ranchers use the dump as a free feeding range. The cows are able to pick out what they…

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Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives or (The Power of Our Thoughts)

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I recently wrote two blogs on the logismoi and how to combat them, so I thought I’d share this wise man’s great words:

Everything, both good and evil, comes from our thoughts. Our thoughts become reality. Even today we can see that all of creation, everything that exists on the earth and in the cosmos, is nothing but Divine thought made material in time and space. We humans were created in the image of God. Mankind was given a great gift, but we hardly understand that. God’s energy and life is in us, but we do not realize it. Neither do we understand that we greatly influence others with our thoughts. We can be very good or very evil, depending on the kind of thoughts and desires we breed. If our thoughts are kind, peaceful, and quiet, turned only toward good, then we also influence ourselves and radiate peace all around us—in our family, in the whole country, everywhere. This is true not only here on earth, but in the cosmos as well. When we labor in the fields of the Lord, we create harmony. Divine harmony, peace, and quiet spread everywhere. However, when we breed negative thoughts, that is a great evil. When there is evil in us, we radiate it among our family members and wherever we go. So you see, we can be very good or very evil. If that’s the way it is, it is certainly better to choose good! Destructive thoughts destroy the stillness within, and then we have no peace.” -Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives: the Life and Teachings of Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica

Finding Home with No Regrets – Part 2

Renewing Eve

Read Part One here.

It was during this time that we began going to a church where the pastor was a closet Calvinist. As we got to know him and his wife, we began discovering the history of Protestant Christianity. For the first time in a long time, it seemed as though we had finally unlocked a door to really growing in our faith and in our knowledge of God. As we read the writings of Luther and Calvin and the history of the early Protestant church, we became excited about our faith again. We decided we wanted to home educate our children and teach them the things we had never been taught about our faith. We eventually had an opportunity to move to Pennsylvania and become a part of a covenantal, Reformed church that taught the things we were beginning to believe.

Our move to Pennsylvania was such a…

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