Friday, September 23, 2005

Book reviews

Books for September:
"Frugal Luxuries - Simple Pleasures to Enhance Your Life & Comfort Your Soul" by Tracey McBride. This book was ok.  I didn't read every word but did flip through the whole thing and got the idea of it.  It had some nice quotes throughout.

I also listened to "French Women Don't Get Fat: The Secret of Eating For Pleasure" by Mireille Guiliano on CD.  This I really enjoyed. Mireille read the book and her accent was charming and she had a great sense of humour!  The concepts in the book make a lot of sense... I have yet to get started on them though!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


So this summer my mother-in-law told me about "Mattahs".  I had never heard of them before and decided to investigate further.  There really isn't much info online about them, I only found 2 sites: and  Passion & Fire is the better of the 2 and is where my quotes are from. [link no longer working so go here instead]

It sounds like an interesting idea.  I really like the idea of banners already and so having something like a Mattah sounds up my alley too.  Now, before you have visions of me dancing boldly and gracefully with my beautiful banners... it's something that really interests me but that I don't do... yet.

The first banners or ensigns, or standards used by the Israelites were not the kind of flags that we see used in worship today. The original ensign, standards or banners were actually poles that may have had the name of the patriarchal father on it, or the Israelite Tribe name on it, or maybe something tied to the top of it to represent the authority of that Tribe.

The Rod of God was used to divide the Red Sea so that the Israelites could safely pass through to the other side to escape from the pursuing Egyptians. The Rod in and of itself had no power or authority, but under God's instruction to Moses, it was used for many purposes. It is the same for us. These rods are simply dowel rods (my MIL is carving hers out out tree branches - much "wilder"!) that have been decorated with beads, strips of leather, feathers, ribbons or fur in order to express an attribute of God's nature. Of themselves they have no power, but in the hands of God's worshippers and intercessors in the midst of worship, the power of prayer and worship is of great power before the Lord. Just as Miriam worshiped with the timbrel when they had crossed the Red Sea, the Timbrel had no power of itself, but it was an instrument of worship in Miriam's hands. So it is when we worship with the Mattah, or Rod. 

The Mattah is not necessarily a worship instrument, in that it plays music, but it is an intercessory tool that proclaims Him in our worship and the many facets of His nature.

Every time we strike the ground in our worship with the Mattah, we remind the enemy of the territory that has been taken by our Lord Jesus and His authority at the cross.

Friday, September 9, 2005


Walk through the labyrinth -

 DS1 & I went this morning. It was a beautiful sunny day, just perfect. Last time I went in 2003 it was a grass labyrinth but now they have turned it into a stone one. I loved it when it was grass - I liked the "naturalness" of it, walking barefoot somehow seemed more in touch with God. And yet the perfect order of the stones with the black ones outlining it all called to mind God's perfect order.

I had DS1 in the sling for the walk in to the centre. At certain points the sprinkler would hit us and it was so refreshing. When we got to the centre I took him out and we paused there before journeying back out. Afterwards I let him crawl all over and it was so funny to see that he was actually following the path! How incredible that a 13 month old could discern the order and the path! We had so much fun!

We took advantage of being all the wait out there to visit my grandparents. It was so good to see them again after not seeing them for a few weeks. We sat and had tea and DS1 tore the place apart!

So, overall, a great day :-D

Labyrinths are currently being used world-wide as a way to quiet the mind, find balance,and encourage meditation, insight and celebration.

The labyrinth is not a maze. There are no tricks to it and no dead ends. It has a single circuitous path that winds into the center. The person walking it uses the same path to return and the entrance then becomes the exit. The path is in full view, which allows a person to be quiet and focus internally. Generally there are three stages to the walk: releasing on the way in, receiving in the center and returning; that is, taking back out into the world that which you have received. There is no right way or wrong way to walk a labyrinth. Use the labyrinth in any way that meets what you need.

What is a labyrinth?
A labyrinth is a sacred pattern,
An ancient mystical tool,
A spiritual pathway,
A walking meditation.

The labyrinth walk is a symbolic journey to the centre of ourselves. It is a walk that can refresh the spirit and nourish an often forgotten part of ourselves. An ancient path dating from the middle ages, the labyrinth is winding its way into our urban, consumer-driven society and is increasingly featured in parks, hospitals, schools and prison yards.

A labyrinth is...
a winding path that leads to a central space and then out again by the same path.
a wondrous pathway that may become a mirror for our own lives and metaphor for our spiritual journey.
a circle and a spiral, each a powerful and ancient symbol of unity, wholeness and transformation.
a tool of spiritual growth, healing and transformation of heart, body, mind and spirit.
a spiritual discipline of setting one foot in front of the other and following a path.
a calling forth of our intuitive symbolic mind and creative meandering spirit.
a deeply healing container where we can touch our joys and sorrows.

Walking the Path
There is no single, correct way to walk a labyrinth. The only choice you need make is to enter the path.
As you begin to walk, allow yourself to find the pace your body wants to go. This pace may change as you walk. 

If you share the path with others, feel free to pass around one another. Let other people move around you as well. 

The labyrinth is a two-way path. Those entering will meet those coming out those coming out will meet those entering. You may choose to acknowledge one another with a smile or a touch as you pass, or maintain your inward focus by refraining from eye contact.

Listen to your body
Does it want to walk, dance, skip or run the labyrinth? You may even want to sit quietly in a particular place for a time.

Over the centuries, people have patterned their labyrinth walk in this way:

Going in - releasing
Seek to quiet your mind, soul, heart and body. This is a time of letting go, of releasing, of emptying, of cleansing.

As you enter the labyrinth you may find it helpful to pause at the threshold, offer a prayer of thanksgiving for this time, and set an intention for your walk. It could be as simple as

I come to...
experience the labyrinth
center in my deepest self
pray and seek God's wisdom
enjoy the movement of my body
seek God's guidance with a decision
clarify my thoughts/feelings
honor a transition in my life
release a memory, despair or grief
express gratitude to God
ask a question

Arriving at the center - receiving
Enter the center with an open heart and mind. Come to this place of rest, prayer and reflection. Sit, stand, lay down, stay a long while or a short while. Seek illumination and inspiration at the center of the labyrinth, the center of ourselves, where we commune with God.

Going out - returning
When you are ready, walk out the same path you walked in. Carry your unique experience out into the world. It may be a refreshed spirit, renewed vision, calm, peace, gratitude, understanding forgiveness.

As you leave the labyrinth, ponder what touched you, inspired you, challenged you or surprised you. A prayer of thanksgiving may also seem an appropriate closure to this time. You may also wish to let the experience unfold as it will.