Tag: speaking

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.

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!

I Type On

My fingers meander over the keyboard leisurely
While my thoughts follow along…
Sometimes slowly…
Sometimes tripping over each other…
It doesn’t matter how, only that they do.
Meanwhile, my fingers keep wandering,
Wondering what will come next.
There are moments when it seems
These things just write themselves.
At other times, every word is a struggle.
Nevertheless, I write. I must write.

Occasionally it feels like
Compulsion rather than inspiration,
And I wonder why I bother doing it,
But the satisfaction in the end result
Is like a carrot on a stick,
Or a fresh baked cookie just out of the oven
Smelling sooooo… wonderful,
I can hardly wait to finish a piece
To get that taste of accomplishment.

On the other hand,
The pleasure in the process keeps me
Putting more words down on paper—
Well, at least figuratively anyway.
I like the gentle rhythm of speaking,
Because even when I say nothing out loud,
The words sound in my head
Like a speech or a song, or even…
(And here I laugh behind my hand)
…A poem!

Next project on my list:
Write a new poem,
And another,
And another…
Because I can’t “not write.?
Folding my hands and thoughts into stillness
Is very difficult for me.
So I’m content to let my fingers
Tap out random thoughts and words
For now.
Eventually they will shape themselves
Into some palatable form.
In the meantime,
I type on.

Lion Led

Softly treading steps beside me,
In the darkness of my way,
Reassure my fearful, anxious
Heart that I am not astray.
He whose breath still warms and guides me
Never lets me walk alone.
Even when I’m filled with weakness,
Judah’s Lion leads me on.

In this darkness, I am learning
How to trust implicitly.
Sometimes silent, sometimes speaking,
Father God rules all I see.
Now I find that I am yearning
For His presence in my need.
Even when my world is breaking
His great grace still supersedes…

Down here in this shadowed valley,
Isles of light yet shine ahead—
Reminding me that darkness will not
Last for long, despite my dread.
Day will come and light will rally
With the morning, bright and strong.
Till it comes, though, I resolve that
Judah’s praise will be my song.

 

 

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