Saturday, 24 July 2010

Quiet times

My life is filled with activity. Toddler groups, cell meetings, visits, planning meetings, holiday club preparation, study, reports and chores (why is the ironing basket never empty?) My life is busy with doing but hopefully not consumed by it. There are quiet times.

We have been looking recently at the spiritual discipline of solitude and one of our soldiers has loaned me Reaching Out by Henri Nouwen. It is a blessing. Here is one quote,

"Without the solitude of heart, the initmacy of friendship, marriage and community life cannot be creative. Without the solitude of heart, our relationships with others easily become needy and greedy, sticky and clinging, dependent and sentimental, expolitative and parasitic, because without the solitud of heart we cannot experience others as different from ourselves but only as people who can be used for the fulfillment of our own, often hidden needs."

And now I have finished Deuteronomy it's Joshua, here we go!

It is a bit ironic that perhaps I am studying solitude on the one hand and the action packed life of Joshua on the other. But maybe its not so ironic after all. Maybe Joshua relfects very well the need to take care of the inner life in the midst of working out a demanding call. He was commissioned to lead the people, defeat his enemies and claim territory for God. I can see some parallels there with Christian leadership.

Yet we actually meet Joshua in chapter 1 of his book having his quiet time with God. God is talking and Joshua is listening. I suppose Joshua 1:9 is one of the more quoted promises of the Bible but if we look back at v 8 we find a warning that success depends upon spending time absorbing the word of God that he had given to Moses.
"Do not let this Book of Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night , so that you may be careful to do everything written in it."

Warren Wiersbe makes this comment, " It wasn't enough for the priests to carry and guard this precious book (the Book of the Law) Joshua had to take time to read it daily and make it part of his inner person by meditating on it. The Hebrew word for "meditate" is "mutter" It was the practice of the Jews to read the scripture aloud and talk about it to themselves and to one another. This explains why God warned Joshua that the Book of the Law was not to depart from his mouth."

I think I'm going to love doing Joshua almost as much as Deuteronomy!

God bless


Thursday, 22 July 2010

Timeless truth

A rock like no other
I love the word of God and the way in which it is always relevant to our day and our times.
Some of you will be glad to know that I have finished reading Deuteronomy!! But before I leave
In recent days we have had a number of bereavements in the Corps. There is a sense of loss but we have cause to rejoice as well as grieve because of the glorious hope of the Resurrection.

In Deuteronomy 32:31 Moses reminds the people of God have a sure and reliable foundation that those without faith in him do not have.
"For their rock is not like our Rock."

He goes on to say in v 39
"See not that I myself am he! There is no god beside me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal and no one can deliver our of my hand,"

Strength for the day
We have all been very busy with all the usual activities, family committments and holiday club looming large on the horizon. Life has been full, rewarding but physically tiring.

What great promises to read in the light of that from Deuteronomy 33:25 and 27!
"Your strength will equal your days." (NIV) or "As thy days so your strength shall be." (AV)
"The eternal God is your refuge and underneath are the everlasting arms."

God bless


Thursday, 8 July 2010

Carol Young reading.

Contestants on University Challenge always introduce themselves by name followed by what subject they are studying. My name is Percival Boddington Smythe reading Physics, Higher Maths or Ancient Greek or something equally mystifying.

It is not one of my ambitions to appear on the programme as I am a realist. I only ever answer about three questions in the whole contest. However on this blog I would like to introduce myself as:

Carol Young reading.

Reading what? Well all kinds of things but I am always reading something. Carol Young reading sums up a big part of my existence. Not that I am one to boast of course but I have actually read War and Peace! However don't test me on it. I can't remember any of the Russian names!

Anyway apart from drone on about the joys of reading I wanted to pass on some gems of wisdom from the books I am reading today.

"We have to treat the body as the servant of Jesus Christ: when the body says "Sit" and He says "Go" go! When the body says "Eat and He says "Fast, fast! When the body says Yawn and He says, "Pray", pray!" (Oswald Chambers Daily Thoughts for Disciples)

"As I complete this book we have lived 8 years without our boy. I think of him every day. I miss him. I still have moments where I sit and shed a tear. Instead of being overcome with grief, I have overcome grief with the comfort God gives me. Rocky will not come back to me but I will go to him. In the meantime, life is enriched in beauty and opportunity because of the comfort of God." ( Steve Redman "At least it's not raining" The story of one family's fight with childhood cancer)

"I've learned that whenever you need to change something, start small but start now!"
(Wayne Cordeiro The Divine Mentor)

"Whatever your lips utter you must be sure to do, because you made your vow freely to the Lord your God with your own mouth." Deuteronomy 23:23

God bless