I bought an old cupboard a few days ago. I wanted a cupboard with a rustic feel so I went looking for one in all the second-hand shops around town. I found one I liked, paid for it and brought it home to begin working on.
The idea was to clean it up but to keep it the rustic look. As I began to sand it down and clean it up, I believe that God showed me a picture of the work He does in our lives as He restores us.
And so a new year begins. Wow, it’s almost intimidating to think of everything that will happen in the next 365 days. All the good and bad and in between. Where will I be spiritually, seems to be the question in the forefront of my mind.
2017 was good. It had its challenges. It had ups and downs. But for the most part, last year was a good year. Spiritually, I grew in some areas and atrophied in others. Again, it was a good year, but how can I learn from last year and walk closer to the Lord this year?
I guess I’m thinking ahead and asking: “Will I be formed more in His image by the end of the year than I am now?” Here are some thoughts on approaching the year ahead…
When learning about the prophetic the focus is almost always on others. We learn how to give prophetic words, we share pictures and visions and we generally try to encourage other believers.
How often do we turn the gift on ourselves and listen for what God is saying to us? Do you hear encouraging words from God the Father?
Last week I was part of a group of guys that went to pray for a lady who had been diagnosed with cancer. While we were there I caught myself thinking, “I wonder how she feels to have all these people pitch up at her house and pray for her?”
In theory, asking others for help should be easy enough, but sometimes, it isn’t.
This was brought my attention just a day after praying for the lady with cancer. For the last few days, I have had a sore neck and I have battled at times to turn or bend without it being painful. It started last week, went away and then came back on Sunday.
I took painkillers at various intervals throughout the day and hoped that it would go away by the afternoon when I was on duty to facilitate our evening service at church. It didn’t go away and I ended up asking on our chat group if anyone could do the facilitation for me. In the end, our pastor did it, but I realised through the process that I am really bad at asking for help.
I mean really bad. It took a lot of effort to type the message I sent and, even as I type now, I still have feelings of guilt because I burdened someone else with my responsibility.
But I know what a blessing it can be to help others, so why is it so hard to let others help me?
Two weeks ago I wrote about being quiet. It has become a bit of a theme for me in the last little while and I feel like I am learning various aspects of what being quiet means.
This verse has been popping up for me repeatedly in the last few days:
Though youths grow weary and tired,
And vigorous young men stumble badly,
Yet those who wait for the Lord
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.
Isaiah 40:30-31 NASB (emphasis mine)
I think the Lord may be trying to tell me something! As I read this verse this morning the word “wait” was highlighted to me. At the time I was doing a busy mix of reading my bible plan, getting distracted, checking email, going back to a different devotional and eventually coming back to this verse. When I read “wait” I stopped and thought, “What would waiting on the Lord actually look like?” I stopped and focused on the Lord and almost straight away felt His presence.
First the details. I love to read. I regularly have at least four books on the go so that I have something to read no matter what mood I’m in. About four or five years ago I pretty much phased out reading novels because I realised I had too much to learn and not enough time to do it in. Of the many books I’ve read, these are the few that I would highly recommend to anyone.
Next the disclaimer. This is my list so it’s going to be a subjective opinion. Not every book listed is an actual Christian book, but is on this list because it helped in some way with my walk with The Lord, or it helped in some way with ministry. I’m not going to give a long description on each book, just why it made a difference to me, or how it helped. I have, however, linked each book to its Amazon page so you will find a full description there. Books are listed alphabetically by title.
And so, on to the list.
Have you ever gone off somewhere to just be quiet?
Maybe it was just closing the door to your office. Maybe you left the office to sit on the bench outside. Maybe you just wanted to get out of the house and sit in the garden for a bit, or maybe you just took a drive.
Did you notice how unquiet it was?
I teach at a high school and as I write this I am sitting on a bench outside in one of my free lessons. It’s noisy.