Saturday, August 21, 2010

Saturday's Thoughts

In searching for books which may touch your heart and change your life as they have mine, I have pulled Meeting God in Quiet Places: The Cotswold Parables off the bookshelf. It was written by F. LaGard Smith, one of my favorite writers. In each chapter, he is making connections between nature's wonders and a relationship with God. It's a devotional book which will move you closer to your Creator than you may have thought possible.
Because LaGard lives in England half the year, he has become familiar with the many beautiful scenes that the countryside has to offer, and being a spiritual man, he automatically connects those pictures with his God. He writes in parables, pointing out the spiritual significance of the life before him.

LaGard says in his Introduction "In Quiet Places": "The Scriptures tell us that Enoch 'walked with God,' as also did Noah. It's the way of the righteous to walk each day with God. As the prophet Micah saw it, walking with God leads us to the very heart of our purpose for living: 'He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.' How could we not be humble, knowing that our Maker has invited us to share each day with him, whether we are literally taking a walk or perhaps unable to walk at all?"  He ends by saying that it is his hope that you will "experience new depths of love and new heights of faith in your daily walk with God." I echo that hope.

The life which includes quiet villages and tranquil hills is going to teach you about yourself and your purpose for living. You do have a purpose, you know! Are you fulfilling your purpose? If you can't answer yes to that question, take some time to ask yourself, why not? I believe that many of us live a life that is stuck in survival mode. We feel lucky to get through a day, much less think about its purpose. You are the only one who can change that mode of operation. Only you can decide to make your life more meaningful and worthwhile.

I must warn you that once you make that decision, Satan will send his legions to make it very difficult for you to take that first step. Without your desire to stand firm in the strength of your conviction--that at this point in your life, you want to live a better life, and a happier and more satisfying life--it will not happen!
There are some things you can do to get yourself started if you can outsmart the voice of your ego. You'll hear this voice immediately upon deciding to change something. It will spread doubt and fear all over everything. It will also perpetrate a fatigue and mental malaise which you may never have experienced in such large quantities before. You have the advantage because you are expecting it, but you may not be expecting the tirelessness of your opponent.
It may take some time for you to get the upper hand, and you must become the Captain of your own soul in order to defeat such a force. Don't let that scare must know by now that Satan is always strong at first and wins quickly or not at all. But you have God on your side!
To fake out your ego, you can go slowly. Do something mundane, like putting a note to yourself on the refrigerator reminding you to read or listen to some Bible verses, or even just to give your mother a call, or a friend--you get the idea, I think.
I found wonderful recordings of the Bible called the Word of Promise. Actors read the scripture while appropriate music and sounds are in the background. I got my set at a Family Christian Store. You can buy the sets separately. And they have sales. All of you who work every day can still have a part of your day devoted to hearing God's word. I promise you that it will change your life for the better.


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