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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A New season, new and old trails, new book to discuss!
So glad to be part of this journey...
Our new book:
Getting Your Feet Dirty
By  Don Everts

Our First hike of this season will take place this coming Saturday, May 19
Great Seneca Green Way
Meet at trail head off of Brink and Whitman in Gaithersburg MD

Please consider sharing your views of the material read here on the blog :)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Thankful

After finishing 4 miles through beautiful trails near home, alongside my daughter complaining that she hates hiking, I sing: "Oh the Lord is good to me, so I thank the Lord for giving me legs to walk and lungs to breathe, Oh the Lord is good to me!"

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Worship and Service

We completed all chapters of our book. The discussion today was on service. Our chapter brought us to consider ways in which we can serve others as a group. The neat serendipity of divine appointments was given to us by trail angels who had previously painted "warning yellow" on roots and rocks that might cause us to stumble along the Seneca Creek Greeway Trail. As we hiked back, on this totally brr cold morning (28 F when we started), a group of volunteers was working hard to clear the creek of debris. All around us were people doing acts of service. How do you see this G2 group practicing acts of kindness and service to others?
Worshiping the Creator is easy to do when surrounded by such powerful beauty. The creek and its gurgling sounds sang Hosanna with us. The birds chimed in as we lifted others in prayer. When is it difficult for you to worship? What circumstances may drown the natural sounds of our grateful, soulful worship? Busyness?  Sorrow? Self? What brings us back to our knees, hands extended in worshipful surrender?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Humility

We've had more people tell us that this chapter hit them more than all of the others...

What about you?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Simplicity

We began our morning with a bit of shiver but the layers were shed at some point. How amazing it is to get out of bed when it is 20 degrees outside and be thrilled to have done so! Call it perseverance or insanity, I do believe that we belong to a VIP group. This kind of camaraderie belongs to those who value the Creator more than His creation. With our eyes set on Him,  we treasure the way creation speaks and worships, and we find peace as we walk. Our bodies, minds and  souls are nourished and encouraged as we rise and hike.
Any thoughts on hiking without trail blazes? We did not get lost, did we? So in life, how would we manage such situation? What is your internal compass? What guides you when life is a blur, a fog, when you are not sure which bend on the road to take?
Please listen to this song:

http://youtu.be/ls-CNruapm4

Our discussion also included simplicity. Perfectly ordained, after hiking some of us went to Market at Cedarbrook Community Church, where the whimsical Christmas decor was made and created mostly with recycled items (by Edi). All this talk brings back to mind the creation story and how God ordained man kind to care for the earth, giving us authority over plants and animals.  What then, do we make of the serious "stuffitis" inflicted upon each of us? Out of our abundance, are we meeting the needs of others as well as caring for all of creation? Are we so engrossed with the comforts of the now that we just "gorge" on more stuff? I am oh SO guilty of it! What do you make of it?
OPEN the WORD and read Psalm 19!
In His love and warmth,
Edi

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Family and Community

I am re-gifting this morning!  As I sit here in front of the computer with my mind on the trail, I give to you, my faith family, my hiking community, the gift that I have treasured the most: The WORD!
Jeremiah 15:16 says:
"Your words are what sustain me; they are food for my hungry soul. They bring joy to my sorrowing heart and delight me."
2 Peter 1:3 says:
As you know HIM better, He will give you, through His great power, everything you need for living a truly good life: He even shares His own GLORY and His own goodness with us!"
Hebrews 10:25 says:
"Let us not give up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another..."
As we are given "divine appointments" with others on the path of life and on the trails, let us continue to focus on ENCOURAGING one another! I have been greatly encouraged by all of you in our conversations on the trails and the emails we exchange. Have you? Please share...

Perseverence

What a fabulous chapter! Insightful and oh SO true! To persevere, to use that intrinsic power to not give up...  I agree with the authors that this is a trait that can be taught, that it can be learned by following the example of those influential role models in our lives who never "give up". How does a follower of Christ apply these principles to The Walk of Life? How do we differentiate between being stubborn and self-centered and being a person of perseverance? Life itself can be filled with failures and success, achievements and disappointments, health and illness, plenty and want, stress and peace. How do you practice being a person of perseverance in the face of adversity? One of my "life philosophies" has been to focus on what is eternal. Am I focusing my energy and passion on Christ's example? Page 43 of our book also suggests this important principle. Your insight is MOST important! Please comment.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Prayers

To me, the most touching and personal aspect of chapter TWO is defined on page 29. The story of Moses and Joshua (Exodus 17: 9-14), the story of Mom extending her arms up to God in prayer, the fellow hikers supporting her arms as she prayed, these are all very vivid examples of community. That is the heart of G2! Yes we gather to hike and enjoy nature. But most of all, as members of the body of Christ, we are a community of believers. Not only we are to offer our prayers on behalf of others, we are also to humbly seek the prayers and support of our community when the need is present. There are times when we need a "Joshua" to hold our tired arms while they are extended to heaven in prayer. What are your thoughts?

The Path

The Walk, Reflections on Life and Faith from the Appalachian Trail

As we read the first chapter, and perhaps the second one as well, lets consider the trail blazes (markings). Those blue, white, green, yellow or red small rectangles painted on trees, rocks or posts that guide us through a path. When life throws us an unexpected "curve", when our own pride leads us to leave the path, How do we find the way back? What is the importance of relying on the blazes, even if we know the path extremely well? Analogy: If I grew up in the Christian Faith, if I know the Bible stories well, if I presume to be gifted spiritually, If I pray often, does that mean that I can daily ignore the "blazes" of God's Word and His daily guidance?
What is everyone's thoughts on the subject of following the "blazes"?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Thankful for mosquitoes because they feed the bats and frogs!




This is our pooch and our peeping toad!

Rain

We had a great beginning to our season. As our discussion guide we will read "The Walk, Reflections on Life and Faith from the Appalachian Trail" by Randy Motz and Georgia Harris.  The C & O canal tow path at the Monocacy Aqueduct was lovely as usual. The rain, or the prediction of it, did not keep Ann, Catherine, Chris, Georgia, Randy, John and Edi from a beautiful day in communion with God. His great cathedral is always wide open for us to come out and fellowship. Mud, mosquitoes and pesky weeds at our feet reminded us to be thankful in ALL things. The river was swollen and lovely.  This coming week, take a moment to meditate and receive what God might want to impart to you. What is the correlation between walking on a trail and your faith walk? I leave you these words from the book we are about to explore together: "Natural beauty is the lifeblood of the spirit and is the food that nourishes and renews the soul. It allows you to see the world anew with childlike eyes, able to see the entire world at once, drawing you ever closer to the creator." Do you agree, disagree? Are you inspired by God's creation to get closer to him? Please comment.
Blessings
Edi

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Walk

Starting this month we will begin the journey again of walking, worshiping and reading. Our discussions will be around "The Walk" by Georgia Harris and Randy Motz. A great read and a good way to parallel the spiritual trail and the trails we hike. Hope lots of you my friends will join us in discussion and in communion out there in the greatest of all cathedrals! The crisp autumn air invites us to come outside and breath! The colors of fall will soon explode in brilliance, boldness and worship. Sign up or just show up. Either way, if you are not yet in our mailing list and you are interested, please let me know so I can keep you informed.

Blessings,

Edi

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Healing Power of Being Outdoors






One thing  I have known for decades: earth, trees, grass, flowers, animals, snow, fresh air, rain, sun, cold, heat, clouds, rivers, lakes, streams, wind, breeze, mud, sand... These are all anti-depressants! For many a years I visited with friends in the garden, digging, weeding, making mud, emptying out our sorrows. For many a hikes did I feel God rejuvenate my soul and clear my mind while on his mountains out there. Many scientists have researched  how the chemicals in our brain work and even though they have stated how positive and beneficial it is to be out of doors, a person must have experienced some darkness before placing true value on LIGHT. Remember also to laugh or even think of yourself laughing, for the mere thought of joy and laughter can help your brain release the feel good chemicals we all need. So, here I state, from bench and front line, that indeed there is refreshing healing in God's beautiful creation out there! For the next month or so stay focused on walking, hiking, boating, laughing and anticipating our next G2 hiking adventures. We will officially resume our walks and talks in September. Look for us at Cedarbrook!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Family Moments

As I spend hours thinking of my family I feel the need to share this experience with those of you who might come upon this blog. Thanks for sharing the road!Sunday November 11, 2007 was a day when I felt God`s presence in a supernatural way. I read the Bible in the morning, again in the afternoon and again before going to bed. This was not at all a common practice of mine. Now I know that God was preparing me for what was to come.We began our last “Patriarchs of our faith” lesson (Beth Moore Bible Study) filling in the blanks … ´´some moments are family moments``. This related to Joseph`s command for all people to leave his presence so he could be alone with his brothers when he revealed his true identity to them. The author helped us relate personally by giving us the example of a family moment when her young sister-in-law died suddenly. She described the scene at the hospital when the family huddled, cried, sobbed and held each other. She then spoke of her own mother`s death and her daughters surrounding their grandmother.  I wrote on the upper corner of my book: ´´Lord, I was not there for my mom when she died. I did not hold her hand when she breathed her last breath. Please let me be there when my dad dies``. I did not know why I wrote it, but I spent the rest of the day inviting God`s presence in all the things I did. When I read the Scriptures before bed I went back to the Patriarchs lesson and I finished reading the book of Genesis. I read the narrative of Jacob`s death and Joseph`s plea with Pharaoh to bury his father in Canaan. Pharaoh replied: ´´Go bury your father``. I highlighted this sentence and went to sleep.
            The phone rang a couple of hours later. My sister`s words were: ´´daddy has left us``. During the first hour of Monday, November 12th 2007, my father, Jonas de Carvalho Lisboa, went home to be with Jesus. He had a sudden heart attack and died within 5 minutes of the first symptoms. He lived in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Between sobs and questions the Word of God came back to me, the morning Bible study flooded my thoughts, the words I wrote on my book, they all came back to mind. My husband immediately got on the phone with the airlines to try and get me a ticket out as soon as possible. Hours later, my flight out to Brazil was booked for 3:30pm from Baltimore to Rio. I would arrive in Rio at 8 am, Tuesday. The custom of our country is to bury the dead within 24 hours. I would not arrive in time. It took several phone calls but my family arranged differently and dad`s service and funeral would be postponed till my arrival.
            As my mind spun with questions I remembered that I did not have an active passport. Early Monday morning I tried to contact the State Department. Being a government holiday, all departments were closed. I don`t know how unusual this is but someone did answer the phone. I explained my situation and asked him to help me. He said he was just the security person and there was nothing he could do for me. He did tell me to call back at 10 since there might be a possibility of an agent coming in that morning. I know I had the prayers of many of you with me. The entire time I was reminded of Joseph`s plea to go bury his father and I knew God had given me the same word pharaoh gave Joseph: ´´Go bury your father``. A passport agent from the State Department did come in and granted me priority to meet with her. She was only going to be in for a couple of hours. My husband, my daughter and I made it to Washington DC by 11:20am. We found a little photo shop downtown and I had my passport pictures taken. I went up to meet the lady who was to help me. And so it was that, on a government holiday, the passport processing that usually takes 30 to 40 days took 40 minutes… We arrived in Baltimore exactly 2 hours before my flight. There were absolutely no lines or wait for the final ticket purchase, for check-in OR for security. It was as if God Almighty – El Shaddai - was parting my own red sea in front of me. With these somber words He reassured me over and over again: ´´Go bury your father, I am with you``. I arrived 2 hours late for dad`s viewing but was on time for the service. I cannot possibly describe my feelings. So much healing has already taken place in our family but so much more is yet to come. I know that only God`s grace and the way He prepared me and reassured me of His presence held me through all this. I questioned Him…How about my heart’s desire to be there with dad for his last breath?
Mom had died 13 years past... 10 years ago dad was blessed with a new family. His second marriage was a gift not many receive. His wife and her son and her entire extended family took dad in; they loved on him as if he was their own. I would venture to say the last 10 years of his life were the earthly crown dad received as a taste of heaven. Emerson, my step brother, Dilma, my step mom, her mom, her sister, her brother-in-law, her nephew, one of dad`s best friends, ALL of them were there with dad when he went from here to eternity. When dad felt shortness of breath they were all there around him. When he collapsed they all surrounded him, touched him, and prayed with him. They stood in the gap for me, held his hand for me, and together they ushered dad into heaven with prayer. God Almighty had granted me the desires of my heart after all… I felt a supernatural peace about it. In the same manner that God`s presence was supernaturally strong in my life on Sunday the 11th, so it was for dad. The account of his loved ones and his pastor is that of a happy, blissful day. Sunday evening he and Dilma went to church. As usual they sat near the front. Dad could not carry a tune. He praised and worshiped but tried not to sing too loud. Most of the times dad prayed while the congregation sang, with his eyes always closed. Dad was very traditional in his ways of worship. He enjoyed new songs but preferred old hymns. At the last minute the worship leader invited the congregation to sing ´´The Holy City – Jerusalem``. This was a divine last minute addition to worship and it was not on the program. Dad`s pastor, the worship leader and dad`s wife all accounted that dad`s countenance was that of a person having a vision of heaven. Tears streaming down his eyes he sang from the top of his lungs, his eyes wide open, looking up. It was very unusual for him… The service before his funeral was one of those glimpses of heaven. The words spoken,  the worship with hundreds of voices, the simplicity that reflected his living… What happened there was healing, for in many ways what was said of dad helped me see him in a different light. I cannot nullify wrongs done in the past in my present grief. I can receive God`s balm and the gift to understand in dad`s death what I did not understand in his life. As the ultimate touch of El Roi, my God who sees my pain, we three sisters huddled, just like Beth Moore described in her word picture of a family moment, at dad’s grave site. It was not planned but it all came to memory as a reassurance of ´´I am your God and I will go with you``. As we comforted each other our stepbrother asked if he could join us. And the four of us huddled and cried and sobbed and prayed to our God who sees our pain. Emerson stood in the gap for our beloved brother who departed before our mother and was buried there in the same grave site. There was divine restitution and our father was buried by his three daughters and one son. There was such healing at that moment, that family moment… Go bury your father… I did, my God, I did…and you went with me…and I then I understood what you meant by “not even death can separate me from your love”.

Edilene Lisboa McHenry                                            Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 11/16/2007