Tag Archives: Three Things

Sculpting Project: Take 5, Catch Up, or Play it again, Sam (Week 11)

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. Then secondly, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Mark 12:30-31

Using our strength to sculpt our heart, soul, and mind to love God and our neighbor.

Take 5, Catch up, or Play It Again, Sam: Sculpting Week 11

We have completed five Sculpting Projects. Ten weeks of Sculpting.
This week we have three choices to pick from.

Choice 1: Take 5

How is your will-power doing?
How is your energy level for Sculpting Projects?
Will-power is like a muscle and it does get tired.
If you are feeling low on will-power and energy it is time for a break.
Take this week off from Sculpting. Guilt free.

Choice 2: Catch Up

Catch up on a project you missed when your life got crazy in a past week.

Choice 3: Play It Again, Sam

Use this week to refine your sculpting skills in one or two of the five projects (below) we have worked on.

Project 1:Three Things: List things you love.

Project 2: Here and Now for 2-10: Spend 2-10 minutes being fully here. With your surroundings, yourself and God. (This can be done on a walk, in the shower, on a porch swing, sitting in Church. . .)

Project 3: Jesus Prayer: Spend time saying (singing) the Jesus Prayer. “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.”

Project 4: Slow Bites: Pay full attention to eating.

Project 5: Day of Kindness: Do out of the ordinary acts of kindness.

Remember to communicate by notes or conversation, or posts on-line, so your fellow sculptors don’t feel alone.


Sculpting Project Three: The Jesus Prayer, Week 1

Sculpting Group: Jesus Prayer Project Week Two

The Third Sculpting project: The Jesus Prayer Week 1

Repetition leads to habit, habit leads to second nature. St. Isihios

It was 18 below and 12:00 midnight when Evan drove me past the bank clock. Now I’m laying in the birthing room in the last phase of contractions. Breathe-in “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God,” Breathe-out “have mercy on me a sinner.” Repeat. Repeat again. Two hours later Terese arrives. I don’t remember when I first learned the Jesus Prayer but this was my most memorable use.




Two week Sculpting project: The Jesus Prayer:

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God have mercy on me a sinner.

This ancient prayer tradition from the Christian Orthodox Church came to my attention through the book The Way of a Pilgrim. On an autumn Sunday in the 1850’s a Russian peasant heard the reading of 1st Thessalonians 5:17 admonishing him to, “Pray without ceasing.” He took the verse to heart but felt very perplexed as to how to accomplish it. So he traveled around looking for someone who could help him understand the way to “Pray without ceasing”. He finally met an old monk who invited him to his cell and loaned him an ancient book of teachings from the Orthodox Fathers. The book gave instructions in the saying of the Jesus Prayer. The monk became a tutor in this prayer method and the Russian man spent the summer working in a local garden and learning the Jesus Prayer by heart. He repeated it up to 12,000 times a day, until the prayer filled his heart and dreams.

In our Sculpting project for the next two weeks we will work on training our heart to “Pray unceasingly.” Rather than 12,000 times a day I suggest a more modest goal of 5-10 minutes a day.

Two ways to sculpt with the Jesus Prayer:
1. In time set aside from activity:
Sit or walk for 5-10 minutes repeating the prayer silently or out loud. Using your breath is very helpful. Inhale: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God” exhale: “have mercy on me a sinner.”
2. In the midst of activity:
A. Select an activity you do each day that does not require much attention. Examples: getting dressed, washing dishes, bathing, walking to a location.
B. Place a reminder note or your check off sheet in a location to remind you to use this time for the Jesus Prayer.
C. Say the Jesus prayer as you do this activity.

Variation: This prayer is very similar to the one used by Blind Bartimaeus in Mark 10:46-7. If it does not feel like the right prayer for you then select another prayer from Scripture or create your own.
Key Verse: Pray without ceasing 1 Thess. 5:17


The Project: 5-10 minutes a day repeat the Jesus prayer “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.”
Communicate: Comment on this blog, talk to others, or post on face book. We need each other to successfully sculpt ourselves.

Three Things Challenge:
Over a year ago I began my list of 1000 things I love: Gifts from God. Would you like to join me in this challenge and create your own 1000 things list? Or you may wish to design your own challenge of 200 or 500 or 5000 things you love list. If you want to join in the challenge let me know so we can cheer each other on.


Three Things Project One: Week 1

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. Then secondly, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Mark 12:30-31

Goal: To sculpt our heart, mind, and soul to better love God and neighbor.

Materials: Yourself, and instructions on this blog.

Time: Each sculpting project takes 10 or less minutes a day and is done for two weeks.

Projects are based on historic and current Christian practices and supported by research on well-being from the field of Positive Psychology.

Though short in time, when done on a daily basis, these projects are powerful in their sculpting ability.

Welcome to our Sculpting Group Project One Week 1: Three Things


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About a year ago I was reading in the hammock that swings in the yard of our ranch up on the Plateau. I was half way through the book 1000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp and I remember thinking, “This is obviously a great idea, a no brainer, I should definitely start my own 1000 gifts list.” My first entries: 1. Wrinkles of white aspen bark. 2. Blue blue sky. 3. Wind blown trees that rock the hammock. I have been adding to my list on and off for the year and am at 269 as of today.

The gifts list is a variation of several practices I have read about and tried. It is a close kin to gratitude lists which have an excellent track record in psychology experiments (Robert Emmons, UC Davis). Spending a little time each day writing down what you are grateful for has been shown to have the following benefits:

Two week study: Higher levels of positive emotion (Joy, happiness, life satisfaction, enthusiasm, love.)
Ten week study: Higher levels of positive emotion Decreases in greed, envy, resentment Fights depression Better sleep Decreased pain More connected to others Exercised more More stress resilient

As Christians we can be leading the pack when it comes to thankfulness. Scripture is filled with admonitions to be thankful. And I have yet to count how many times ‘thanksgiving’ comes up in our Sunday Morning liturgy. The great thing about my 1000 gifts list is that is puts teeth into a good idea. Recognizing and being thankful for God’s gifts is a good idea, a no brainer. But how do I follow through and actually do it? My answer has been my gifts list.

The suggested sculpting project for these next two weeks is Three Things.

How to:

Each day find and write down three gifts from God. I found it very helpful to use the framework of 1000 Gifts and look for three things that I love. My gratitude lists sometime became things that I thought I should be grateful for (whether I felt deeply grateful or not.) ‘Things I love’ are things I naturally feel grateful for. And I found them much easier to think of. I love lemon bars so they can go on my list. They are not as deep a topic as God’s forgiveness, but they are genuinely appreciated so I list them. I have some deeper topics on my list too, but my list tends to be very ordinary loves. Bright starry nights, the smell of rain on dust, aspen leaves shimmering.

The second part of our project is to communicate with other members of our group. Supporting each other in our efforts to sculpt our hearts and minds will give all of us a helpful boost. Add your comments to this blog, post in out Facebook group, or talk to others about what you are doing.

As I was planning our project this week I was again on the hammock at the ranch. Our dog Wiggie was sleeping near me. Deep in thought I sensed that Wiggie had left and I heard some rustling in the grasses a few yards away. They seemed a bit loud for Wiggie so I sat up and saw a bear cub wandering through the yard. He saw me and kept wandering out of the yard. My first thought, “Where is mom?” I got up and moved to the porch as I continued to plan. I never saw mom. (Wiggie smartly had moved inside the house to sleep.) In Jesus, Cheri

First Sculpting Project: Three Things for Two Weeks

Key verses:

. . . every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights. . . James 1:17

. . . whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, gracious, excellent, praise-worthy . . . think about these things. Phil 4:8 (condensed)

Summary: Each day find three things that you love (gifts from God) and write them down.