What if you could review your day through the eyes of God? How could you assess rather God was present for you during 2020? Last year was rough, but through the spiritual disciple of Examen we will learn how to reflect and pray as we spend time communing with God focusing on the question, “God open my eyes to see my day as You might see it.” Then we share highlights for Hanging Out With Jesus Podcast for 2021.
Episode #: 21 Title: Rejoicing in 2021
Theme: Spiritual Disciple of Examen & 2021 Upcoming Events
Host: Lyvita Brooks
Please enjoy this podcast on your favorite podcast platform. Although efforts were made in editing, this transcript may include a few typos. It’s difficult to catch some minor errors. Enjoy!
It’s 2021! Hey, I’m Lyvita Brooks, teacher, author and spiritual discipline equipper and encourager. So much has happened to us in 2020. But now, it is 2021. The year we couldn’t wait to get here because we just knew it was going to be better. Ya’ll I’ve got to ask…Was 2020 really all that bad? Let’s talk about it. But we are going to use the spiritual discipline of Examen to create the space for us to do so. Spelled E-x-a-m-e-n.
So you will need your calendar or planner, a pad, a pencil, Bible, some tissues and a comfy place to sit. This is podcast number 21. Now on to the intro…
4:20 -- Examen E-x-a-m-e-n – What kind of spiritual discipline is that? I’m I spelling it wrong? Nope. Examen is the opportunity to notice where God is showing up in every moment or aspect of your daily life.
Let me give you some background on this spiritual discipline, which I found to be interesting because it doesn’t come from out of the Bible but from a Society of Jesus lovers. And yet, it’s on point.
5:03 -- Back in the 16th Century, a Roman Catholic called St. Ignatius of Loyola created the Society of Jesus, and they became recognized as a religious order in the Catholic Church. We know them as Jesuits, we think of them as monks. Their mission, from what I’ve researched is grounded in love for Christ and committed to the service of faith. St Ignatius wrote a manual called Spiritual Exercises which contained meditations and extended prayers. The manual became the handbook that contained the practices and patterns set forth for the spirituality and pedagogy of the Jesuits order. There have been some changes since then, but that isn’t what this podcast is about.
6:39 -- Now the practice of examen can be found in this handbook. Now before you go thinking I’m “whatever”. Just listen and hang in with me and Jesus for a few more minutes. This practice begins with asking God to open my eyes to see my day as He might see it. (pause) Saints ya’ll get that?
7:15 -- This is a time to recognize where we have failed to follow Jesus, but also, where God has revealed His strength, His presence and His love to me during the day. Whoa!
Y’all we have got so much going on. And let’s face it 2020 we really don’t want to hear those number ever again. But let’s take a closer at last year. God is always with us but not necessarily where we expect Him or even imagine He’s be, sometimes we miss His presence or His strength cause we are so busy complaining or just busy.
8:30 -- I quote Dennis Linn, “The examen makes us aware of moments that at first we might easily pass by as insignificant, moments that ultimately can give direction for our lives.”
10:35 -- Now back in the 1500’s, St Ignatius told overextended Jesuits to never forgo making the examen. Which for them, is to sit with God each night and ask Him to let you see the world around you as nothing less than His House and the gates of grace.
12:50 -- As I was saying we are Jesuits, but Followers of Christ Jesus who are guided by the Holy Scriptures and the power of the Holy Spirit. The examen creates the space for us to open our attention to know and see how God’s moving in our lives and discerning His voice.
13:25 -- Along with examen comes questions. Whenever you do a detailed study, you begin with questions. The examen is no different, but the questions are. The number one question, the beginning of this practice begins with asking God to open your eyes to see your day as He might see it. Let’s write that down…”God, open my eyes to see my day as You might see it.” (repeat once)
Then from there, the questions are up to you. Here are a few from Adele Calhoun’s book called The Spiritual Discipline Handbook, and I’ve placed them in the show notes and comments below if you can’t get them all. But remember these are examples…
1. When did I give and receive the most love today? When did I give and receive the least love today?
2. When today did I have the deepest sense of connection with God, others and myself? When today did I have the least sense of connection?
3. For what moment of today am I most grateful? For what moment today am I least grateful?
4. Where was I aware of living out the fruit of the Spirit? Where was there an absence of the fruit of the Spirit?
17:03 -- You can do this practice alone, as a group, or a couple to reflect on what God is saying to you or y’all concerning a matter or the impact of a group. Let’s practice first, so you will be equipped with the practice of Examen. I must warn you, the negative may show up faster than the positive so be prepared, to beep it out… beep beep.
18:06 -- Let’s put everything aside. With eyes open or closed, say aloud what we wrote down earlier expect we are going to change one piece. Ready, “God, open my eyes to see 2020 as You might have seen it.” (pause for 3 minutes & repeat at 1 minute – play bird sounds)
21:35 -- Now take your journal and write down everything that comes to your mind in the next 2 minutes. (give 2 minutes with a beeper)
23:50 -- Now using one of the questions, I gave you earlier from Adele Calhoun’s book, I’d like you to draw a line down the middle, the long way, on your pad. On one section write “When I felt the deepest connection with God in 2020.” And the other side, “When I had the least sense of connection with God during 2020.” So let’s take 5 minutes for the deepest connection with God in 2020, beginning now…(give 5 minutes with bird sounds)
31:45 -- Now let’s write when you had the lease sense of connection with God in 2020. (give 5 minutes with bird sounds)
37:05 -- Now pray about your reflections. Talk to God about the good, the bad, and the ugly, the difficult and the joy. Examen invites you to pray. (bird sounds- 3 minutes) If you need more time then pause and rejoin me because I have more to share.
47:01 -- The more you participate in the spiritual discipline of Examen, the more you begin to hear Him, recognize that He is showing up in your life and become aware of the Holy Spirit moving and who God’s designed you to be. Examen (reflecting) leads to prayer (having a conversation with God) which leads to growth in discerning God’s voice and presence, and your life’s calling which you were especially designed to do. Examen is reflecting through God’s eyes leading you to pray.
41:40 -- For example, last year around September I asked you to send me your topic suggestions for 2021. Again thanks to all who did. Well, I practiced Examen, and at the time didn’t know that’s what it was called.
Well, this is what became of that conversation. Y’all 2021 is coming in with a lot of excitement.
42:20 -- First, the focus for next year is “Enduring till the End”. We are going to become fearless, bold and courageous Believers in Christ.
42:40 -- Second, how are we going to do that? By learning how to Tread on our Giants. Not just recognize them but use our spiritual weapons to defeat them. In April I will open registration for the online Bible Study that will begin April 27th. So pencil it in on your calender. Open registration for Treading on Your Giants begins April 1st. Yeap April 1st. Then pencil in April 27th is the online Bible Study. Now you have to register because it will come to your email with video, study pages and homework. There is a Study Guide that you’ll need to purchase. So pray about it and if the Lord says, “Let’s do it” turn that pencil into ink and come join me.
44:40 -- Third, Ya’ll this podcast, first aired on March 25th, 2020. Our anniversary is in two months. Got any ideas on how we should celebrate? Any suggestions, please seen them to lyvitabrooks.com/contact or put in the comment section below. Let’s celebrate! So please send that before February 1. Thanks. By the way thanks for hanging out with Jesus and me.
45:30 -- Fourth, January 31, 2021, is the official launch day for Hanging Out With Jesus Podcast on the YouTube channel. Same name, just on YouTube. It’ll have an audio wave of each episode, for now. I’m taking baby steps into the world of video. So that’s January 31, which is in two weeks. Write that in and share with all your YouTubers. I’ve been told that some aren’t listening to the podcast because they can’t find it but they’ll listen on YouTube. Now, remember we post the blog, podcast and now YouTube every 2nd and 4th Thursdays of each month.
46:30 -- There will be Freebies, such as the upcoming one called Personal Retreats. I’ll even share books I’ve published or in the making. Yelp, I’m finally putting together a collection of short stories, I’ve written, with the poems and reflections that my mother wrote through the years. I’ll let you know more about that as it nears June 2021.
47:38 -- A lot is going to happen in 2021 for this podcast, but what’s God calling you to do? Tag me on Instagram @hangingoutwithjesuspodcast, connect with me in the comments below on the YouTube page, yelp, I put this one up. Or contact me on my website: lyvitabrooks.com/contact.
49:12 -- Well Saints, I want to thank you for joining me again and don’t forget to share the podcast with others, write a review or rate the podcast. And subscribe. Let family and friends know that we are now on YouTube. But whatever you do, practice Examen. Let’s pray ….
Until we meet again, over the airwaves or live on the YouTube Channel, intentionally and daily, hang out with Jesus. Shalom!
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Music performed and arranged by the artist Charles Brooks
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