Begin, Believe

Timely Words

Young Mom. New baby in the house. Two older Preschoolers. Just moved. Building a house while living in it. Trying to help out at Children’s Ministry Club in a new town where I knew few people. Feeling like it was hard to keep my head above water…

Ever been there?

And then a newer friend and Club co-worker came along who meant well, but her words hurt.

“I am reading this awesome new book, and it’s so good. But you wouldn’t want to read it right now because you’re too overwhelmed. It would just discourage you.”

Those were just the words I needed at that time.

 I immediately looked into what the book was about and purchased it and read it and it changed my life.

The name of the book? Disciplines of the Beautiful Woman by Anne Ortlund.

I fell in love with Anne through that book. She taught me so much. And I read every one of her books that I could find over the next few years.

Why did my life change?

Because I also began to fall in love with God and His Words to me—His written words in the Bible. I learned a theological principle that I have never forgotten.IMG_1346

I CAN KNOW A LOT ABOUT GOD, BUT NOT REALLY KNOW HIM AT ALL.

Let’s take another look at Psalm 16. When David wrote this Psalm, he began with two verses that talk about Who he believed God is…

Psalm 16:1, 2, ESV, Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge. I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord; I have no good thing apart from you.”

 JOY APPLIED

David begins with a statement of his relationship to God. As we said in a previous post, remember that he believed that God was his Portion in life and his Deliverer in death, and that God was enough for him.

He shares three different names for God in these two verses. See the meanings below and then read the verses again, thinking of Who God is.

He takes refuge in Him as God, the Strong (or Mighty) One.

He admits that “apart from Him—LORD, “Jehovah, the great God of Israel, I AM WHO I AM”, he has no good thing.

And finally, as Lord, “Adonai, Master”—God is not only the strong, powerful God in whom he can take refuge, but also the One who is able to, and does, order his life and direct what he should do.

So, I don’t know what place you are at today as far as knowing God, and reading His Words to you:

Perhaps you have never read the Bible.

Perhaps you have read the Bible occasionally.

Perhaps you read and study it diligently.

If you are searching for God, or if you would like to know Him more deeply, I would encourage you to develop the habit of reading your Bible. If you don’t own a Bible, but want to know God better, please buy one or ask someone in your life to lend you a copy.

As you read, watch for the Names of God, or references to Who He is. Underline them and muse about them. A study of the Names of God is a great way to learn to know God more deeply. We will talk more about what to read, and where to start in a future post.

WE CAN LEARN TO CHOOSE JOY LIKE DAVID DID, AS WE CHOOSE TO BELIEVE THAT GOD IS WHO HE SAYS HE IS. HE IS ENOUGH.

WE CAN ALSO LEARN TO CHOOSE JOY AS WE GET TO KNOW GOD MORE AND MORE THROUGHOUT OUR LIFETIME.

God is the true source of Joy.

We will never have the joy we hunger for if we do not grow to KNOW HIM.

My Musings This Week:

*God uses His own words in the Bible and also the words of others (even those that wound us) for good. I want my words to others to help them grow, but not, most of the time, through wounding them.

*I need to re-read all my books by Anne Ortlund. They always inspire and encourage me. She passed away in 2013 and I felt as if  I lost a friend, even though I had never met her. I often considered writing to her (her address was at the end of each book) to tell her how God had used her in my life.

*I have had a fairly quiet week. We live in a neighborhood close to our church, and every morning when I open up my bedroom blinds I see the church building. This gives me opportunity to pray for our staff and for God’s kingdom-building that is happening day by day.

This week there are many vehicles in the parking lot as it is DayCamp. When I served at the church as Director of Children’s Ministries, this particular week was a highlight of our year, and it still is today for those who lead. As I retired, God made it clear that my time and energy would not continue to be invested in directly serving children. My health is an indication of that. I will also share more about that part of my journey in the future.

However, I was again tempted to say that I would help. Mr. Van lovingly reminded me about what we both know—God seems to always use my up-and-down-health as a way to keep me more deeply dependent on Him. This dependence involves closely monitoring my pace of life. And so I had to choose to not even offer to help. This makes me sad.

*I have, however, at my own pace, been sorting and reorganizing the room that I call my “Personal Office”, aka Scrapbooking Room, Study, and Ministry Prep space. I am the Family Historian at this time, and so when my parents moved into the Seniors’ Lodge a couple of weeks ago, I received all the family photos and memorabilia. I will share more about that at some point as well. (As you can see, there is much musing going on in regards to what I could/should share with you!) So I am creating room for the additional resources that have come my way. Photos to come of the space when I complete my task.

Your Musings this Week:

*Do you know God? Not just about Him?

*Are you seeking to know Him more deeply by being immersed in His words to you in the Bible?

*Is there an author who has impacted you as Anne Ortlund impacted me? Share with us in the comments.

Thanks for walking with us…we wish you joy this week.

Love you, Colleen

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