Pastoral Musings from Rain City

it's about 'what is church?' it's about whether 'emergent' is the latest Christian trend or something more substantial. it's musing on what it means to live the city, in America, in community, intergenerationally, at this time in history...

Friday, July 22, 2005

A daily Bible reading journal

My commitment to the Aidan way as a form of practicing spiritual disciplines includes a commitment to the daily reading of the Bible. There are many ways to do this, but I find it helpful to read and then write my obsevations, or questions, or applications in a journal, perhaps followed by some prayer. Here's what a typical entry from my own study journal looks like (with the very private considerations edited out):

Judges 2 and 3. There seem to be two different messages in the early chapters of Judges. On the one hand, Israel is condemned for failing to drive out all the occupiers of the land. And yet, elsewhere God says that He is the one who allowed them to remain, in order that he might test them and train them in the art of war.

Another mystery in these early chapters has to do w/ the sovereignty of God – He raises up oppressors. He raises up judges. Where human freedom appears, however, it is only a reminder that Israel prostitutes herself before other gods. So God seems to be pulling the strings, causing nations and leaders to rise and fall, but he seems to be doing so, not capriciously, but on the basis of Israel’s obedience. So, when the day is done, the call to faithful love and obedience on the part of Israel becomes my calling as well, embracing my freedom to choose even as I also embrace the mystery of God’s sovereign power.

Lord I thank you that you've given us the dignity of choosing whether or not serve and love You. Now grant that this day you will open my eyes to the beauty of your creation, seen so clearly all around, so that I might see Your glory and choose to worship and celebrate your life and companionship. I pray for Phil in his preparation, and pray that your mighty anointing would fall on the Bethany Community so that we might stand as a place of hope and mercy, of beauty and healing in the midst of our city. Lead us there Lord as we turn to you and invite you to express your life through us. This is my prayer in your matchless name. Amen.

However one does it, the critical thing is to start. Make a commitment to opening yourself up to hearing from God on a regular basis. I'm interested in creating forum here for people to share how they 'do' or 'don't do' daily Bible reading, in hopes that by sharing our practices or lack of practices, we'll be encouraged to turn over a new life. After all, it is July, and the 2nd half of the year is just beginning. What better time for a fresh start!


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