Seeds

This week I’m sharing more quotes from my journals.  These come from scriptures, books, even Facebook posts from friends.  I don’t write something down every day but some days I come across many to record.  My journals are full of great truths I don’t want to forget or neglect.  Here are some of the recent quotes:

This is the blessedness of waiting upon God:  it takes our eyes and thoughts away from ourselves, even our needs and desires, and occupies us with our God.  –Andrew Murray, Waiting On God, pg. 39-40

Anyone can count the seeds in an apple, but only God can count the apples in a seed.  –Unknown

If you are then “risen” with Christ, reach out for the highest gifts of Heaven, where Christ reigns in power.  Give your heart to the heavenly things, not to the passing things of earth.  For, as far as this world is concerned, you are already dead, and your true life is a hidden one in God, through Christ.  One day Christ, the secret centre of our lies, will show himself openly, and you will all share in that magnificent dénouement.  –Colossians 3:1-4 (PHI)

The eye of the LORD is on them that fear Him, upon them that hope in His mercy.  Fear and hope are generally thought to be in conflict with each other.  In the presence and worship of God, they are found side by side in perfect and absolute harmony.  And this because in God Himself all apparent contradictions are reconciled.  Righteousness and peace, judgment and mercy, holiness and love, infinite power and infinite gentleness, a majesty that is exalted above all heaven and a condescension that bows very low, meet and kiss each other.  –Andrew Murray, Waiting On God, pg. 40

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Catching Up on the Journey

It’s time to share more of the quotes from my Word of the Year — “Journey.”  I see this word all the time in written form.  Here are some of the ones from Compassion contacts that I have recorded in my journal:

In my journey in the ministry, I was taught that God’s best gifts came slowly.  We could not use them if they did not…growth and strength in waiting are results often greater than the end so impatiently longed for…Perhaps you’ve been waiting for something for a long time, and you’re weary.  You’re not alone!  Let’s ask the Lord to renew our hearts and desires today and give us a fresh infilling of strength to wait on His perfect timing.  Good things do come to those who wait.    —One in Sprit, Isaac Jabaseelan, Partnership Facilitator, India

We we walk through the journey of life, we might experience some kind of pain…But in the midst of our sorrows, the Lord promises to comfort us, look on us with compassion, and make our deserts like Eden.  —One in Spirit, Patricia Medina, Tours & Visits Specialist, Dominican Republic

This has been quite a spiritual journey for me.  — Jimmy Mellado, CEO

When a new chapter of life begins, with an unknown future, it helps to have a traveling companion.  Though some prefer to journey alone, there is a desire deep inside every person’s heart for correction — a desire to be heard, accepted and understood.  —Mink Tuangporn Wiroonchatapunth, Compassion Blog, 4/11/13

As a mother, I journeyed in the minds of these sponsored children and revisited my way of educating my own children.  —Translator, Burkina Faso, Compassion Blog, 4/11/13

God, as we make our own journeys, exhausted and wondering about the impact we are making, help us to remember the questions of Jesus:  “What led you to travel?  What moved you to compassion?  What fuels your passion?”  —One in Spirit, Agus Yunus, Training Specialist, Indonesia

It has been a long journey full of struggles and scarifice towards achieving my goals, whereby I hope I am now very close.  Letter from sponsored child, Jerica Wanyaga, Kenya, Jan/2013

 

A New Journey

It’s time to reveal my “Word of the Year” for 2013 — it’s “Journey.”  This was impressed strongly upon me in December when I was writing this blog post for Compassion.

At first I honestly didn’t think I wanted this word because nearly every use of the word in the Bible is related to (are you ready for this?) — a journey.  A real-live, going across the country journey.  I thought it would be a boring word to study.  But I couldn’t get away from it.  I kept hearing the word and reading it. I am not exaggerating to say that every single TV show I watched in a two-week period used that word.  I knew it was the one God wanted me to focus on this year.  It has already gripped my life in a huge way as I sense God taking me, literally, on a journey of discovery, healing, wholeness and understanding.

Here is my first list of the uses of this word in my journal for 2013.

What dictates our giving is how God has prospered us.  “Prospered” is euodoo, which comes from euros, “easy to travel through,” and literally means “to prosper,” make good one’s journey!  The idea then is not just money, but a good journey in general.  Has God given us a good journey?  We, therefore, should give accordingly — systematically, sacrificially, and sublimely.  — J. D. Watson, A Word for the Day, 11/27

[The Feast of Tabernacles] involved the Israelites presenting offerings for seven days while they lived in huts (booths) made of palm fronds and leafy tree branches to remember their journey in Canaan.  –Ibid, 6/16

Our journey starts here and any mystery around the corner we can discover together. — Person of Interest, TV show

You’ve had quite a journey — do you feel like any of this relates to you?  — The Voice, TV show

It’s just been an amazing journey.  –Amazing Race, TV show

The journey it has been to get here…  –Collin Klein, Heisman Trophy Finalist

What a journey!  It’s been a long, winding road.  — Johnny Manziel, Heisman Trophy Winner

To win…this would be another part of my journey.  –Chopped, TV show

It is more about the journey than the outcome.  –Chopped, TV show

Having searched out the talmidim there, we remained for a week.  Guided by the Spirit, they told Sha’ul not to go up to Yerushalayim; but when the week was over, we left to continue our journey.  — Acts 21:4-5a (CJB)

And having sought out the disciples, we stayed there for seven days.  And through the Spirit they were telling Paul not to go on to Jerusalem.  When our days there were ended, we departed and went on our journey.  –Acts 21:4-5a (ESV)

How to Enjoy Daily Bible Devotions

Do you have trouble keeping a daily devotional time?  Does reading the Bible get old?  Do you get part-way through a Daily Bible Reading Plan, and then bail-out somewhere along the line?  Here are some tips that have kept me in the Word for over two decades:

  • Don’t worry about keeping a daily reading plan accurate to the date;  just keep reading, even if the year-long plan takes two years or more.  If you drop off for a few days, just pick it up again and continue where you were, rather than quitting altogether.  Ignore dates on the reading plan if necessary!  I’ve read at least a dozen different versions of the Bible clear through, but not necessarily within a year’s time.
  • img_8466Write down verses that speak to you personally.  I’ve used daily appointment calendars because they’re small and can hold many verses.  Some days I have nothing to write down, and other days several I want to record.  Because of this, I ignore the dates in the calendar and simply write out verses, overlapping days.  I’ve given an example here.  Note that sometimes I record a date or event beside the verse.
  • I’ve also used other types of small notebooks through the years, and often have to move into a second book for a single year.  When I get discouraged or worried, I grab one of the books from a past year and go for a walk.  It’s great to read all the promises & messages God has given me in the past.
  • img_84551These are probably some of the first things I would grab in our house if we had a fire, because they chronicle God’s work and presence in my life.
  • img_8486I also read several other books along with the Bible at once, such as Wess Stafford’s Too Small to Ignore, or Amber Van Schooneveld’s Hope Lives.  If I see a great quote from any of these sources, I also add them to my list of quotes.  God even speaks to me through secular novels and, of course, other peoples’ blogs.  When you’re listening for God to speak to you, He does.  You have to be alert and have a plan for recording what He has said to you.  This works best for me.
  • img_84791Finally, I have a new devotional tool this year. Chris recommended on the Compassion blog that we prayerfully choose a one-word theme for the year, and watch to see how God uses it.  My word for this year is “hold,” and God has already brought several verses and thoughts related to this theme.  I’m recording these in a second small notebook.  You can see here my Bible, notebook and Compassion’s Prayer Partner’s Calendar (I was surprised to see my own LDP student listed here on December 29)!   Some of the notes I’ve recorded are:  “Let us hold fast our confession”  (Hebrews 4:14), and “Mary kept all these things to herself, holding them dear, deep within herself” (Luke 2:19).  Yesterday in worship services, I noticed our Pastor said we hold the elements and remember Christ, so I wrote this in my notebook when I got home.  Someone also suggested we not try to carry other peoples’ problems, but hold them up in prayer.  I wrote down:  “We can’t hold someone else’s problems.  We can hold them up in prayer,” and dated it.  I also wrote that friends held and carried a paralytic to Jesus, because Mark 2 was in my daily reading.  Our son is heading to Nepal for two months, and I wrote, “I can’t hold onto my children, but must let them go as God leads them.”

These are the some of the ways God speaks clearly to my heart, and as I record them they become a blessing for me in years to come.  I wouldn’t miss daily devotions for the world!