Tag: hearts

Posted on LinkedIn as a response to a recommendation to read

I’m a pretty avid reader (think 3-5 books a week), and I have been since I was five years old. The thing that trips me up about that is that I have found my time consumed by books that DON’T MATTER in the grand scheme of things, primarily because my favorite reading material is sci-fi/fantasy with mystery/thriller/action books a close second. Those things are just stories about fictional characters, and it’s just another kind of addiction/method of escapism. I know this. I have known this for years and years.

I do read non-fictional books as well, although not as many. 98% of those are Christian in nature. When I do read those, I find God speaking to me in a lot of different ways… but even those have not helped me as much as the people recommending those books thought that they would, or that I thought they would (help me, that is).

What I have found, though, is that reading the scripture gives me an almost tangible sense that God is breathing new life into me. Even if it’s something I’ve read repeatedly hundreds of times in my life time (Psalm 23 for example). When I’m desperate for a touch from the Lord, I don’t pick up a book that some really anointed (no sarcasm at all here!) spiritual leader has written. I do go back to the basics and reread the book of Genesis, or Isaiah, or various Psalms, or the gospels, or some of Paul’s letters, or even Revelation (especially when I need hope).

I realize the value in reading, and it is a sorely neglected skill. DO read. Do read recommended books. Maybe something that spoke to the person making the recommendation will speak to you. But first and foremost, READ THE BIBLE. It was my favorite storybook when I was a child, and that’s exactly how I think people forget to read it. We’re always looking for something from God in a verse that we want to speak to us, relevant to our situation. We’re usually studying it to dig out deeper meanings or to find support for things we feel God has put on our hearts.

How often, though, do we just sit down and simply read HIS story? It’s the story of His glory… how often He showed up and moved or spoke or breathed into a situation and changed that situation by simply being there. If you can just take it in, over and over again, then without even intending to do so by human effort, you will find yourself hiding His word in your heart.

Today was one of those days when I woke up flat on my back and couldn’t get up. I couldn’t do anything but lay there and cry for a few hours. But when I talked to the Lord, the scriptures whispered back to me. When I said, “I can’t handle this, Lord,” He said, “My grace is sufficient.” When I thought of how dark my life looks right now, Psalm 23 wandered through my heart: “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me. Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me.” When I just wanted to scream that despair was overwhelming me, I heard, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for…” Even now, I keep hearing, “The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? Of whom shall I be afraid?”

Reading matters. Reading the Word matters even more–not just to obtain something for a sermon or a song, not just to find an answer for an argument against Christianity, not just to find something that speaks to us when we’re looking for answers, but just because IT’S GOD’S WORD. When we know it well, He DOES use it to speak back to us when we need it, and He can use it to speak through us for someone else’s benefit in song, sermon, or just daily conversation.

Hope this has been helpful for someone.

On My Bed

I still my mind, when I can’t sleep,
To seek my Lord’s embrace.
He whispers with a voice so sweet,
“Come, tell me all your care.”
With grateful heart I throw it all
Before His throne of grace.
In answer to my Lover’s call,
I give Him every prayer:

The lonely hearts that I can see
And others that I know
Who battle with the enemy…
For grace and peace and rest;
For any who can serve or lead,
From high down to the low,
I feel a need to intercede,
And so, I give my best.

Then finally my heart grows still
And sleep begins to come,
Now I’m content, I’ve done His will.
I let myself succumb.

Threshing Floor

You sift the wheat from the chaff,
Separate the barley from the hull,
Till all that remains is Your harvest.
You call us all to let go of the stuff, the fluff,
The unnecessary things and habits we cling to
Till all that remains is Your perfect work
Forming us to Your character
So that others can see real substance in us.
You also separate those who turn away
From those who choose to follow…
Those whose hearts are not truly committed
From those who will never look back.
These are difficult times but
The winnowing process is meant to be hard.
The winds of trouble are blowing
Through the threshing floor now…
O Lord Jesus, let me be of the substance that matters,
Not of the stuff that You are blowing away.

Make Us One

Father, make us one in Your Spirit and Your Son
That the world will know Your love is in our lives.
Remind us of Your grace; draw us all to seek Your face;
Let Your glory fill our hearts and minds and eyes.

Help us see Your light, and teach us with Your sight
To throw down every stronghold of Your foe.
By speaking what is true and focusing on You,
Your Spirit moves through us so all can know

The glory of Your name and power of the same
Will heal the sick and set the captives free.
Dear Jesus, let us speak so all will come and seek
And find Your love through all eternity.

Father, make us one in Your Spirit and Your Son.
Unite our hearts until Your work is done!

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