So, I have decided to follow the lead of others and kind of use this as my own personal journaling space. I have almost always found it easier to type my thoughts with a keyboard, as opposed to writing my thoughts with a pen or a pencil. Plus, I will be able to get your feedback and I will be challenging myself, by opening my mind up for others to peer in.
This year, I inadvertently made a New Year's Resolution. Honestly, I didn't mean to!!! I bought this journal with a One Year Reading plan (for the Bible) and decided to try it out. I have wanted for a long time to read through the Bible, but always got side-tracked. I intend to be in it for the "long haul" this time. Honestly, I've had to catch up a couple of times, but I have in no way felt the experience to be a chore. In fact, I have felt completely the opposite. I truly look forward to my daily reading and am really disappointed when I miss it. And, for the first time, I am totally intrigued by the Old Testament. I find myself bummed out that I can't go on to the next chapter until tomorrow. And I have enjoyed many opportunities to tell people what a great experience it has been and several friends have joined me (and others had already made the commitment).
So, here I am, at the end of the first month of the adventure. I'd love to tell everything that I have learned so far, but I will just start with something that struck me today:
These are the words of Stephen ("a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit"):
Yet that doesn't mean that Most High God lives in a building made by carpenters and masons.
Now, I could stop right there and talk forever about how God can't be confined by a building, but that He is everywhere; He sees everything; His Holy Spirit is inside of those who choose to accept Him; We can't box him in, but I will continue in the passage:
The prophet Isaiah put it well when he wrote,
"Heaven is my throne room;
I rest my feet on earth.
So what kind of house will you build me?" says God.
"Where I can get away and relax?
It's already built, and I built it."
Acts 7: 48-50 (The Message)
So, is this the place where we get to spend eternity. Is it THAT house? I kind of picture this as God's place to kick back and just breathe. Do you have a place on earth where you can do that? Do I? Sometimes my car is that place. Often, when I arrive home and park my car. I turn it off and just sit for a few minutes in the silence. I find it very peaceful. I'm not sure if I'm listening for God or just "rinsing out my thoughts." There is so much noise, all the time that I just look for the quiet places whenever I can. I have a feeling that when we seek quiet, God directs us. I have so many things to do in a day, and people to call, that I really need that time--even if it is just a few minutes a day--to get quiet, rid myself of the bothers of the day, and listen to God. That is one of the real blessings I have received in my daily readings: Time devoted to hearing what God has to say, by reading his word and listening to his direction in my life. I believe it helps me to be a better friend, a better employee, a better leader and most importantly, it brings me closer in my relationship and walk, with God, my father.
God, Thank you for the positive influences you have placed in my life. I praise you for the amazing stories that describe your glory and power and majesty and everything about you. Help me to continue to diligently seek your Word, your guidance, and your comfort and protection. I praise your name and I seek to be your servant. Bless me, bless my friends, bless my enemies. Be glorified and exalted! Let me see you daily, and let me be an example of your love and grace more and more each day. I love you Lord! In Jesus name, Amen.