Tag: Word

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.

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.

Psalm

The splendor of Your holiness
Is like a newborn star,
Whose brilliance light the universe,
Whose beauty shines so far.
The glory man cannot embrace
Displays Your greatness, hides Your face.

I pray, O Lord, that I would be
Your light of hope for men
That all who come could only see
Your grace, Your love for them.
Exemplify Your mercy, Lord,
Redeeming lives with every word.

Holy Spirit, breathe new power.
Renew my passion for
Your people in this very hour.
Please, call us all toward more.
And God, please, multiply Your life
For everyone who seeks Your light.

Moving On

On a cold May afternoon,
When the sky was dark and gray,
And my heart was filled with gloom
From the long and dreary day,
I was waiting for a word
In my wrought-up frame of mind,
But the message that I heard
Said, “Keep moving. There’s no time.
Holy Spirit’s on the move
Spread your wings and ride the wind.
Lift your eyes and see my truth.
Trust My Love, that lives within.?
When I heard my Father speak
He dispelled my foolish doubt.
He gave strength when I was weak.
With His love, He drew me out.
Though the road seem long and hard,
I will hear the still, small voice.
When my Shepherd is in charge,
I’ll stand strong and make His choice.

Prayer

O God, who walks beside me,
O LORD, who holds me up,
Please, come now, lead and guide me.
Please, fill my empty cup.

I’m weak and I am lonely
In darkness and in doubt,
But You, the One and Only,
Bring light to lead me out.

Dear Father, take this off’ring—
My sacrifice of praise.
Dear Jesus, I am kneeling.
Please, cover me by grace.

I’m thirsty for Your righteousness
And hungry for Your word.
Please, fill me with Your holiness
And give my soul rebirth.

I’m tired, Lord, of waiting,
But I’m learning to be still
With Holy Spirit helping,
Father God, I want Your will.

The Pen

It’s nice to know that although my words get old,
His Word is forever fresh and new
Under the influence of the Holy Spirit.
That, of course, would be the key point.
I may be a writer, and a decent one at that,
But it’s crystal clear to me
That inspiration comes only from Him.
In reality, I am the pen through which
The ink of His Holy Spirit flows,
And that is only true when I stop
Struggling with verbalizing my thoughts
And let go my attempts to control.

A pen doesn’t attempt to be coherent,
Nor does it struggle to move itself.
A pen waits patiently until the Writer picks it up,
Then it relaxes completely in His hand,
Letting Him move it where He wills…
Simply grateful for the pleasure of being,
And of being used for its intended purpose.
The Author could compose a single word, a page, or a chapter
Before putting the pen back down to rest
In its accustomed place…
Out of the way, but ready at hand when needed.

Father, help me to be out of the way,
So people can see You working,
But ready and available when You need me.
More than that, Lord,
Please help me to rest when I am to rest, and
To trust You every moment when
It is time for me to relax so You can use me.

Hebrews 4:12

Hebrews 4:12

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