Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Monday Meditations - seeing the Beauty of God

Dear Friend,

My mind is full and my days are busy this week.  That's why Monday Meditations has posted on Wednesday! The upcoming conference this weekend has me busy preparing my sessions (I am sure I will share some thoughts on those talks a bit later).   A silly refrain about being 'dreadfully busy' from a Veggie Tales song keeps popping into my head!

When I was a young mother of three active preschoolers there seemed very little time to accomplish the tasks of the day.  And the laundry was never done (even today it seems there are way too many piles).  So, a 'quiet time' when there seems to be not a moment of stillness was always hard to find in my day.  There are some resources listed below that you might find helpful; It does get easier to fit in deeper Bible Studies and just more time in the Word - hang in there!

In the past couple of weeks, I have added some specific prayer requests to my list.  The issues are varied, yet truly the one thing that can change these needs is for these individuals to see the beauty of God.  It reflects his character which is unchanging regardless of our situations, needs, struggles or questions. 

That beauty can seem elusive at times.  The best way to find out more about God's enduring loveliness and character is to read his Word.  Hearing sermons or even reading what great Christian writers say about him will not deepen our personal relationship without also studying the Bible personally.  Our relationship with God, like other relationships around us, takes a deliberate, purposeful pursuit.  A quick prayer thrown out on the winds of chaos cannot accomplish this.  A reminder from Pastor Ritch in a recent sermon clarifies a common misconception - Praying is when we are talking to God and, though God does speak to us in different ways, the primary way He talks to us is through his Word.  If our understanding of God and his direction for us is based on what we feel he is saying by listening during prayer, we must be strongly cautious about those answers.  Neither is a relationship established on answers to requests or one way conversations, especially if those times are infrequent. Not only is this approach a concern, we must take heed; there is a reason God told the Israelites to set up stones (Joshua 4, 1 Samuel 7:12) and to talk about him by the wayside (Deuteronomy 6 & 11) -'lest we forget'.  It wasn't generations down the line or even wayward sons, but those who knew God well but like ourselves, had become absorbed in the culture and times.  Understanding the times takes perception that comes through difficult study - neglect is easier... Both new and mature Believers are susceptible.  When we are distracted or just get busy or caught up in the seasons of our lives, we often forget God.  Our forgetfulness doesn't change His faithfulness, His character, His beauty.  We need to be reminded daily through His Word.  Consider Psalm 27:4,
One thing have I asked of the Lord,
    that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
    all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
    and to inquire in his temple.

We must be deliberate in our pursuit, consistent in our efforts, persistent in our passion for Truth as we... Behold the beauty of the LORD.

Grace for the day,

Some resources:

Currently, I am having a John Piper spring :-)!  Pierced by the Word: Thirty-one Meditations for Your Soul and Life as a Vapor: Thirty-one Meditations for Your Faith are short yet powerful devotions.  I am just starting his book, Future Grace, and reading it after I finish my Scripture reading.  There is a wealth of wisdom is held in the writings of many theologians and inspirational writers; however, the Word of God itself is never replaced by them!

Here is a link to a chronological Bible Reading Plan that I am using right now.

If you haven't done Beth Moore studies, you can find them under Beth Moore at  I like these because she abundantly uses Scripture itself and many resources and supports, not just opinions or interpretations.  Be warned though, she is high energy and if you are watching the visual media, she moves quickly!  I believe you can even participate in an online study group for accountability and support at her website  I had a friend who did this some years ago while she was living abroad and pretty isolated from English speaking Bible study groups.

I highly recommend Jackie Wellwood's One Hundred and One Devotions for Homeschool Moms and her One Hundred and One More Devotions for Homeschool Moms.  They are short, but very applicable and insightful. They are out-of-print, but pretty easy to find used.

I received an advertisement from Door Posts, a company that I purchased mostly Biblical Character and Virtue curriculum from during those hectic years.  I will see If I can get a copy of, Thirty Days of Bible Study for Busy Mamas: Colossians 3, to review or you can check it out yourself at their website.