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Christian and Socially-Conscious…One Woman's Expression

Archive for the tag “Charles Swindoll”

Reduced Growth

Have you ever hit rock bottom?  Okay, okay…maybe not rock bottom, but have you ever felt like you had?

Rest

He must become greater; I must become less.  –John 3:30

Recently, I listened to this teaching https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Lea0aLUN5Y  given by Priscilla Shirer.  (Yes!  She is one of my favorite Bible Study teachers.)  This teaching reminded me of some of the lessons I received while reading Charles Swindoll’s book entitled, Great Lives: Moses: A Man Of Selfless Dedication (Great Lives Series).  Remember, I blogged about it:  Book Review: Moses

The idea of becoming less is what is on my mind.  Becoming lessYES!!–how painfully necessary such preparation demands; how awesomely miraculous such experience propels.  I understand it with greater clarity now….  I understand why I had to grasp reduced growth.  I needed to know, to really be conscious of, the importance of uninterrupted fellowship with God—not just singing gospel songs and saying prayers, not just attending church services and reading the Bible, not just doing a Bible Study and joining a ministry.  All of these things are independently great, but I needed to get it on the basic level of trusting Him to sustain me in every way, every picosecond of every day.  Okay, Okay….Has anyone else wrestled with trust issues, or am I the only one?  (LOL!  The struggle was real.)

girl pouting

Once I got it, however, I respectfully and humbly understood that God and I are not peers.  We are not equals, nor is He a little bigger or a little stronger.  God is greater.  I am less.  He is serious and I need to be too if I want what I say I want….all that He has promised me.

Woman Praying

Without hesitation, I could share with you example after example illustrating God’s continuous (meaning “never-ending”) attention to my survival.  If you have ever hit rock bottom, or felt like you had, you know the value of someone caring that you live.  Let’s face it, people regularly pass each other and avoid making eye contact.  Saying, “Hello,” isn’t even an afterthought.

oh no

Yet, to know that even when you think you have nothing to give, nothing to barter; that even in that space and time that there is a God who still cares enough to ensure that you will eat, be housed, be clothed, be protected; that you will not only smile but you will laugh and laugh often; that you will breathe and breathe with ease because you had found rest within His greatness, all of your trust issues supernaturally fall by the wayside.  They become annoyingly heavy to carry.  You realize that in God’s peace, in His security, you do not have the weight of the world on your shoulders.  You never did.  What you called hitting rock bottom was your place of surrender.  I have been there.  It is a process necessary for rebuilding.

Blog Work

 

Don’t you just love His masterpieces!

 

Book Review: Moses

Someone asked a question to which the answer came with an analogy using a reference of Moses’ life.  Yes, the Moses from the Bible.  It was in that moment, the seed was planted.  I wanted to read more about this Moses.  Clearly, I was missing some key and necessary points for my spiritual growth.  The time had come for me to meet this man, to discover  some commonalities we share, and to gain guidance—or at the very least, points for consideration.

It did not take long for the planted seed to sprout.  I guess you could say, it fell on good soil.  Seriously, I longed to know more about Moses immediately.  Within days my curiosity turned into a clear instruction, and my instruction manual came in the form of “Moses: A Man of Selfless Dedication” by Charles Swindoll.  (See:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/moses-charles-r-swindoll/1111384112?ean=9780849913853)

Admittedly, this has been a timely read for me.  It came when I was wrestling with returning to a place I had left.  You see, I rarely return to things once I have concluded to depart.  Are you like that?  It is not like I consciously choose not to return.  I simply do not think to do so.  Something major has to draw my attention back to something once I have checked out.  For me, that “something major” most likely has to be God-inspired.

Rest

Oh, how foolish I feel now having read this book admitting that I was wrestling with a God-inspired return.  Sometimes I have to laugh at myself.  If you find yourself in a similar position, this book is definitely worth reading.  It does not stop there though.  I gained so much insight (and confirmation) reading this book in the areas of leadership, walking by faith, trusting God even when dealing with the rabble, maturity, temperament, and so much more.  Without giving too much away, one of the things that I have found myself thinking more about is the idea that God parted the Red Sea.  Ok.  Ok.  I know, we have all heard of this before, but in reading this book, at this time, it dawned on me that GOD PARTED the Red Sea.  The visual scene became real.  I begin to think about the tsunami that happened in 2004, not for the scientific nor religious discussion but purely as a modern day reference that ocean-sized water can be pulled back.  In some way, it made it easier to visualize the parting of the Red Sea—the crossing and the demise.

Think about it: The same God that did that for Moses and the people he was divinely instructed to lead, is the same God that is alive today.  I think, sometimes, we devalue the greatness of that.  Earlier, I began to think about the biblically referenced miracles and became so excited about my future and about the promises God has given to me.  That same God is my same God.

Upon reflection, this book has been a great source of encouragement for me.  It has reminded me to relax.  I do not have to know the route before starting the journey.  I just need to follow God and be obedient.  This book has reminded me that blessings will come to me.  They will chase me.  Frankly, that is how I prefer it.  This book has illustrated that there will be obstacles, frustrations, and failures, but the making of thick skin should never thicken my heart.

Woman Standing On Rock

As I type this, I am smiling.  Earlier, I received a phone call.  On the other end of the line was a person who I had never met, yet he had a blessing for me.  This man did not know he served as confirmation, but I knew.  I am headed in the right direction.

If you are looking for a book to read.  I recommend this one.  It has blessed my life.

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