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Posts Tagged ‘Bible’

“Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth” (John 17:17).

I have this in a frame over my desk…

But recently, I read a devotional that reminded me we have a gentleman God who knocks and asks to enter into our lives, our souls, and our thoughts. The writer asked if our daily Bible time had become bone dry? Were we praying for the Holy Spirit to join us and reveal the meaning to us?

I thought about how many times I yawn as I sip my coffee, crack open my Bible, find the passage of the day, read it, and then check it off my to-do list. My feelings would be crushed if I knew readers treated a book I wrote in this manner.

When did I lose the idea that this is a love story?

I truly believe “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness…” (2 Timothy 3:16)  I have known times in my life a passage has pierced my heart with the truth of it’s message as if God reached down and typed it onto the page.

Perhaps you have as well.

We are blessed in the western world to have the Bible in so many places and in so many translations. It is on my coffee table, on my bookshelf, in an app on my phone, and bookmarked on my computer. Framed verses scatter the walls of my apartment. Some are taped to my desktop monitor and secured with a magnet on my fridge.

I am surrounded by the Word, hemmed in, armored. Do I take that for granted sometimes? I confess. Yes, I do.

Forgive me, Lord. Speak to me anew. Enter in…the door is open.

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courtesy of faithshare.com

courtesy of faithshare.com

For the past several days we have had waves of rain in North Texas. Thus, I have been carrying a pop-out umbrella in my purse…just in case.  It caused me to ponder… how’s my spiritual umbrella?

Umbrellas do not stop the rain or even slow it down, they divert it.  They act as a circular barrier. They move with you so, as you go, the rain drenches the umbrella instead of on you.

Now, some  people find it a hassle to carry an umbrella. They dash through the rain trying to stay as dry as possible. Others stroll along as they get soaking wet as if accepting that as their fate.  Not me. I want protection.

Scripture is our umbrella. It will not stop the stormy days in our lives, but it will shield and protect us when they rumble through. God’s Word covers us in a peace that isn’t affected by circumstances. But we have to be prepared. It is up to us to carry it with us. We can choose to dodge the rainstorms of this life on our own, or resolved that we are inevitably doomed to get soaked. Or, we can open up God’s Word and seek shelter underneath it’s Truth.

Look at an umbrella. It is cloth covering spikes that start in the center and branch out. Christ is our center and branching out of Him are peace, trust, assurance, mercy, grace, everlasting life – all the reminders we need when we are faced with a sudden downpour of negativity, hurt, tragedy or despair. His love is our refuge, our shield, our strong cover against trouble (to paraphrase Psalm 46:1).

The next time your life darkens and thunder rumbles, what will you do? Dash to find shelter on your own, trudge through it with a frown, or  pop open the Word of God and be sheltered?

 

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There is was – the key in my mail slot. I had a package waiting in one of the six large lockers. It took every effort not to whoop with joy in the middle of the maIMAG0085il station at my apartments.

Recently I discovered the favorite author of my childhood, who passed from this life over 20 years ago, had written two more books while I was busy raising a family, working, and living my life. So, I ordered them from a used thrifty book store, excited, yet a little saddened,  that they had been reduced to $3.99, the price of a modern eBook novel. To me, her writing was much more valuable than that.

When I opened the package, there was no smell of fresh ink. The cover was dog-eared and a bit tattered on the edges from sliding in and out of bookshelves. The binding had been cracked numerous times, and a slight yellowing border of age eked around the pages..

None of that mattered, because the words were there. The personality of her writing, the way she described scenes, her unique dialog techniques had not faded with time. As my eyes scanned the pages, memorizes swirled between the words. It was as if I’d begun a conversation with an old friend I had not seen in decades. I cuddled down into the story.

Do I react the same with with God’s living Word? They say a person who has a tattered Bible does not have a tattered life.  And while my favorite Bible is getting on in years, I have more and more relied on my phone app instead. Not tot say I don’t enjoy having easy access to the Bible in my purse, but I have begun to miss my old friend with the dogeared pages, highlighted verses, and scribbles in the margins. So, I went to the shelf and cracked open the binding. As I cocked my head to read, a warmth cascaded over my shoulders into my heart. Prayers answered, revelations revealed, sorrows comforted. My life reflected there. My faith restored.

A plaque in my room reads – The Bible is the only book whose author is present each time it is read.

My favorite author left this earth two decades ago. She will never write again, But my Lord, who left earth two millennia ago, is still present in my everyday world, and writes on my heart.  I see evidence of Him each day in creation, in words of a song, a smile of a friend, even on Facebook.  Yet nothing beats cuddling into His Word. His Word still breathes life into me.

It took an old paperback in my mail locker to remind me of that fact.

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IMG_20131030_091447_725Have you ever heard the term, “it’s going to be a red letter day?

It means the day is going to be special, outstanding, worth remembering. Here is what the source of all sources (hmmm) Wikipedia says:

The term originates from Medieval church calendars. Illuminated manuscripts often marked initial capitals and highlighted words in red ink, known as rubrics. The First Council of Nicaea in 325 decreed the saints’ days, feasts and other holy days, which came to be printed on church calendars in red. The term came into wider usage with the appearance in 1549 of the first Book of Common Prayer in which the calendar showed special holy days in red ink.
 

My first real Bible- the one I was given when I confirmed Jesus as IMG_20131030_075636_787my Lord and Savior- is precious to me. It is the first one I read cover to cover, eager to absorb all the heavenly wisdom it contained.  In it, all the words attributed to Jesus were in red letters. They were special. Our Lord had uttered them. They stood out from the page and made the rest of the words fade into the background. The red letter words were the ones worth noting.

As I grew, I began to realize they were not just words. They were not just wisdom. The Bible is alive, a breathing extension of my faith. The old acronym – Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth –  is true. With the Holy Spirit’s help, these words are God-inspired,  breathed into me to guide, instruct, correct, convict and comfort me. (2 Timothy 3:16)

I want today to be a red letter day- a special holy day because I choose to include the holy in it.  I want it to be a day where I  read, hear and act upon the words of Jesus. A day where He dominates the page of my life. A day where my thoughts, words and actions, solely for my benefit, fade into the background while what I think, say and do for Him and for others stand out.

Who knows? Maybe that will make it a red letter day for someone else- someone I least expect!

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Absolutely awesome video.

Even if you are not an American- if you love God and freedom, it is worth watching this powerful, short video.

Super slight of hand magician with a meaningful story of faith.

click here –    http://stg.do/91qb

Freedom is not free – it has already been paid for in sacrifice on a cross, and in the battlefields.

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13

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This is Ash Wednesday- the beginning of Lent. Lent was the time the early Christians spent in study, reflection and penitent contemplation before being baptized on Easter. Today, it is often a time of taking on new things to replace old negative habits.

I heard a woman speak at a conference recently about how modern day life can eat into our spirituality. She handed out the following questions.

What if . . .

We treated our Bible like our cell phone?

What if we carried it around in our purses or pockets?

What if we flipped through it several times a day looking for messages – and then responded back?

What if we turned back to go get it if we forgot it?

What if we treated it as if we’d be lost without it, afraid to be out of touch?

What if we gave it to kids as a gift?

What is we used it when we traveled, and In Case of Emergency (ICE)?

My pride balloon inflated because I have a daily Bible verse on my favorites’ screen and the whole Bible as an app on my cell phone.  But, when she asked if I looked at it as often as my text messages and email, it popped. With each question I saw the pieces float down in humility. How about you?

Unlike our cell phones, we don’t have to worry about our Bible being disconnected – Jesus already paid the bill.

Unlike our cell phones, we don’t have to worry about it being stolen.

Plus, with Christ, there are no  dropped calls. You always have 4 bars- at least.

Can you hear Him now?

 

 

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