From a Bible Book Club reader:
Just finshing up a year long study of the Old Testament with Carol Ann Weaver. She said I would look at advent hymns with new eyes after studying the OT in its entirety and boy! was she right! Meditating on the words of "Come Thou Long Expected Jesus" and "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" (one of my favorites!)...can't wait for Advent this year!Thus why I do this crazy thing called the Bible Book Club and why I am writing a twenty minute free write today.
It makes all the long hours worth every single millisecond. I stood there making my tea this morning, and God was saying, "YES! This is why I have put this crazy idea in your heart and mind." I see no other way we can really know God than to read what He has said to us about Himself. Sure, you have to struggle through His wrath and see the consequences to seemingly innocent people, but we must struggle through that wrath to really understand His mercy.
My soul is well-watered this morning. I had this Holy Spirit twinge that has not subsided since I awoke to this delightful message on Facebook. What a rewarding journey the Bible Book Club has been for me. (I am going through a brain blip right now, but the rules of free writing saying that I do not remove my fingers from the keys. It is a Holy Spirit raptures kind of brain blip though. I am basically having this soothing peace inside my heart. It is warm right in the center of my chest, and I know He is right here with me as I type. I know that some people believe that God is dead, but NOPE, He is very much alive. There is NO DOUBT in my mind that He is 100% real and true, and I wish more people knew - Thus why the Bible Book Club is there).
Claudia was so sweet to tell another person at our Imagine Coffee and Conversation time yesterday why I do the Bible Book Club, and how great it will be for it to be there "in perpetuity" once I finally finish this second cycle in December of 2013.
What an all-consuming time thing it has been, but I would not trade the time for all the tea in China (and I really like tea, by the way). It has fed my soul, and I always miss it when I take breaks. I have taken some breaks this year (more than all the other years ), and it has been good for my back and fitness to walk and pray more this year than other years (although I try to do that daily).
Anyway, this reader's post on Facebook made me SO excited for CHRISTMAS! I had forgotten that I had posted two advent hymns in today's post until she posted on Facebook. It made me go to Handel's Messiah posts, and I cannot wait until I go through Messiah again starting the day after Thanksgiving. I think I went through it four times last Advent season, and it was such a "near to God" time for me. I had those songs in my head as I awoke every morning.
I love this well-watered life, Lord. Thanks for being Living Water, Jesus. You are really real, and You came to do what You said You would do: GIVE US LIFE ABUNDANTLY!
OK, here is a free-write side note that is maybe along that line: why is the divorce rate higher among evangelical Christians than both mainline denominations AND atheists and agnostics then? I just reread some of my posts for 1 Corinthians (working ahead), and I read the Barna Group statistics on that one, and I am flummoxed. Having this abundant life marriage myself, it is hard to fathom, but George is walking with God, and I honestly think that most evangelicals think they have it but they don't even know that half of it. I am not saying that arrogantly or in a "Neener, neener neener, I have it, and you don't" kind of way. I say it with sadness in my heart. There might be a wife that really gets it, and a husband who is barely living that kind of life or visa-versa. George says it is more the husband being "barely" there as a husband and father when it comes to walking with God. He has seen it in the failing marriages that are so prevalent all around us in our churches.
Really not a "I have it and they don't" kind of thing. People just don't get the GOOD NEWS. Seriously. We don't get why Jesus died. We don't get this amazing MERCY we have been given. And we are "prone to wander" and "leave the God we love" at every turn in our lives. That is why I write so furiously everyday to say, "STAY here in His Word. It isn't just a "trifle" for us. It is our "life" (quoting Moses' final word to the Israelites.).
And it isn't that much of a sacrifice.
Twenty minutes. Done. Press without Proofreading!