January 1, 2013
Forgive me for back tracking but I realize I did not start journaling until January 6th, so I just want to explain what has led up to writing this journal. My paper journal was actually a gift from Christmas 2011. It is till blank at the beginning of 2013. Yes, I was going to begin 2012 writing in it, but did not.
I always try to review the old year and set goals for the New Year. They are not always kept, but I don’t think that is a reason not to set them. We must keep striving. We must not let failure keep us from trying to reach those goals we feel are important. He will use our strivings, encouragement from others, and his word to bring us to attainment. “Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it.” (1 Thessalonians 5:24)
I remember struggling in my early 20’s to read the Bible daily. I would try to get up early to have devotions, but then ignore the early alarm. I just could not seem to do it. Many prayers were said asking for help to be faithful in this.
God used a favorite author, Elizabeth Elliot, when she said that obedience was demonstrated by getting up at the first sound of the alarm. I had never thought of obedience to God as beginning there. That thought helped me to practice a daily devotional time and yearly reading of the Bible. Three chapters a day brings you about to the end in a year. I have to admit that when I first started going back to work, there were a few years that I slipped. There were also some years where my goal was only one chapter. These were dry times because I knew I was letting busyness rule and take the place I had once kept only for the Lord.
Thankfully, the Lord has helped me resume my former reading schedule. Still, my prayer time has been less. This year’s goal is to hold on to that prayer time. Secondly, I want to commit to be thankful each day.
What am I thankful today for? The answer is Christian authors. Because of devoted Christian author’s, I can learn and grow from great men and women living in today’s world and also those who have faithfully lived throughout history.
This Christmas I was given a book entitled, One Thousand Gifts: Finding Joy in What Really Matters by Ann Voskamp. (Zondervan, 2012). The premise is to be thankful for the small things which like seeds will grow and give birth to a joyful and thankful heart. The book is beautifully written in thought and language. This year, I want to take her challenge to see God in all things and nurture a thankful heart. At the end of each blog post, I am listing a reason to give thanks. Committing to do this in this forum is one way I hope to be faithful to carry out this resolution. You may keep me focused in this area. I will be accountable to you, my readers. Thank you, Lauren, for this book. It has become a new friend.
Another book literally fell of the jammed book shelf in my dining room, The Weapon of Prayer by E. M. Bounds. (Whitaker House, 1996) He states, “We must pray to God if love for God is to exist. Faith and hope and patience and all strong, beautiful, vital forces of piety are withered and dead in a prayerless life. An individual believer’s life and his personal Christian graces have their being, bloom and fruit in prayer.” (Bounds, p.8) E. M. Bounds lived from 1835-1913. This year, that is 100 years ago and still his words are potent!
This year, I am also reading a wonderful daily devotional by Matthew Henry who lived in the 17th century. Each day there is some nugget of truth that is still vital though written centuries ago. When I was a Girl Scout, we began each meeting by singing a song that went, “Meet new friends and keep the old, one is silver and the other gold.” I feel this way about books. They truly are precious friends.
Reason to give thanks – Thank you Lord, for giving men and women both new and old, wisdom which is passed down from generation to generation. May their godly wisdom bear fruit in my life.
January 1, 2013