Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Year in Review

Welcome friends! I am glad you found my blog and I hope it is helpful to you!

I am going to try something new this month, a book give-away. If you comment on this month's blog posts, you will have a chance to win a copy of Jesus Calling - the devotional book that changed my life. So, leave a comment and check back the first week of January to see the winner!

Now on to my topic:
It is fitting to say that 2010 has been a year of miraculous change for me.  My New Year's resolution for  2010 was a simple commitment to pray.  I didn't even know for what I was going to pray or how to pray, but the story that unfolded  from that day in January until today is nothing short of miraculous. 

I awoke at 6AM as I had planned.  It was very dark outside, the temperature about 10 degrees.  I felt I was the only one awake in world.  All was quiet and still, but there was someone else awake in the house that morning and He was sitting at the table waiting to meet me for coffee.  And meet me He did!  God met me that day and everyday.  He was always there ready and waiting.  If we didn't meet, it was because I didn't show up.  But there were very few mornings that I didn't show up.  It became such a delight to me, I actually couldn't wait for our time together!

Now, I have to tell you, for my whole Christian life daily devotions were a struggle for me, no, let me be honest, they were non-existent!  The problem was, I didn't know how to have devotions.  I am ashamed to say that unless I was involved in a Bible study which required homework, I never cracked my Bible at home. 

Does reading the Bible and praying sound so borrrring you might not be able to stay awake?  Somewhere in the back of your mind do you have this idea that you must read through the Bible in a year?  Does the thought of plowing through several chapters in the Old Testament, several chapters in the New Testament plus 5 Psalms and 1 Proverb a day give you paralysis?  Yes, those were my sentiments exactly.  And yet, I knew I was supposed to be in the Word of God daily.  Secretly, I was envious of people who had the discipline to do this, but maybe you, like me, find that too overwhelming.  But it doesn't have to be like that!

When I was in college, a new song was released by Larnelle Harris called "I Miss My Time With You".  This song is written in first person with Jesus talking.  Every time I heard it, I felt a whisper across my heart from the Holy Spirit.  Many times I was so convicted I would turn it off when it came on the radio.  Here are the words that whispered across my heart:

I miss my time with you
Those moments together
I need to be with you each day
And it hurts me when you say
You're too busy
Busy trying to serve Me
But how can you serve Me
When your spirit's empty?
There's a longing in my heart
Wanting more than just a part
Of you.  It's true
I miss my time with you!

Have you noticed a common thread through all my December posts?  Christmas?  No, the common thread is about being in the presence of God in your "sacred place".  Until this year, I never had a sacred place.  So I want to describe how I found mine (the kitchen table) and what I do there.  In all my years as a believer, no one ever told me how to have a sacred time with God, but I want to share with you what I now know.
  • Set a time - be committed.  It's helpful if it's the same time each day.  Allow 30 min.
  •  Determine a place - you will need a place to write, so I recommend a table
  • Get a devotional book with daily readings - "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young is what I used
  • Read the daily reading
  • Look up and read the related Scriptures
  • Contemplate how God is speaking to your heart in regard to these verses
  • Journal - write your questions for God, your thoughts and your prayers (and don't forget to go back a write the answers God gives you
Truth be told,  we all want to see miracles in our lives.  We desire good health, both physically and mentally, loving marriages, and happy, vibrant children.  Do you want God to give you the desires of your heart?  Considering the verse below, what is the one thing we must do in order for God to fulfill His promise?
Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.  Psalm 37:4
Do you know what it means to delight yourself in the Lord?  When you meet with God each day, you will find that it becomes a delight, it becomes a part of your day that you look forward to, that you can't wait for.  As he fills you with joy, peace and strength and reveals the areas that need to change, you will find a God who longs to give you the desires of your heart...and things begin to change.
"Even now", declares the Lord, "Return to me with all your heart, with fasting, weeping and mourning."
Rend your heart and not your garments.  Return to the Lord your God for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.  Who knows?  He may turn and have pity and leave behind a blessing!  Joel 2:12,13
Before the clock strikes 12:00 on New Year's Day, make a commitment that 2011 will be a year of miraculous change for you.  Get ready!  Show up!  Be engaged!  Expect miracles!

Grace and peace be yours in abundance today~
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LindaJ said...

I'm so glad you shared your blog with me. I'm very excited that what God's been faithful to you in will bless others as well. We all are works in progress! HE alone is faithful.

Love you all!

Cheryl B said...

Nena, I so enjoyed talking with you yesterday and hearing more about what you are learning. Your transparency in your journey is inspiring and will be an encouragement to many, I am sure. I am going to look for that quiet place and time in my home and purpose to meet God there more faithfully. See you soon.