The books I am currently reading are all listed in the side bar. I typically finish the complete batch of books prior to pulling out a "new" batch. In this particular batch are a couple of brand new books and a Christmas gift book from my son and his wife. The rest are all "reruns". I am continuing to read through my shelved books one more time before unloading them. I have several years' worth of books to reread, so it's nice now and then to have a new book in the batch.
In one particular new book it was noted that no electronic reproduction could be made in any way, shape, or form without written permission of the author/publisher. I respect that. My gut feeling is that if the other books I read were written in this day and technological age, they would contain the same warnings. Therefore, I will no longer quote from any of the books to avoid doing something illegal. Instead I will paraphrase what stands out to me, and perhaps a note about how it applies to me...or what I need to think about. I cannot say it as well as the author, so I am sorry that the actual quotes will no longer be available.
Four of the books in current listing are being read "devotionally". By that I mean I read a chapter per day from each book and comment on it in my journal. They are short, devotional size, chapters, and I feel like I'm getting a tidbit each day from each book. I also treat each book as though it is God himself talking to me about things I need to pay attention to, learn, grow in. So as much as I enjoy my prayer time with the Father, I can hardly wait to get to my four books to see what God has to say to me each day. From there I write my journal notes as I feel inspired. Perhaps I will start sharing that daily, or as time permits, but tonight I will recap my reading/thoughts from the first three days of December.
By the way, not sure I have any followers on this particular blog. I am still continuing my Reflections on Genesis Blog as I have 6-7 more posts to complete the book of Genesis. I will leave that blog up and running once I complete it, but there will not be any new posts after Chapter 50. I had two other blogs...a weekly menu blog and a Journey of Hope blog (my original blog). I shut both of those down. I was conscious that many people may not have sufficient food to eat in a week, and I felt that posting my menu was too much. I obviously eat too much food in a week, and need to cut back and think about those who are struggling with having even the basics of life. My Journey of Hope blog contained many of my earlier writings in life...papers I had written for classes I had taken, sermons I had preached, etc...as well as personal comments about my life. I am sensitive to others and tried not to post anything that would expose others beyond what they have already exposed about themselves. However, there was fear that could happen, since I am such an open book. Out of respect for family members, I shut that blog down. It was during a sad time in my life, and perhaps I jumped the gun too early, but I felt several urgings to do so...so I did. So, for now, this is my only "personal" blog in which I will share my thoughts. However, I will not be mentioning specific people or sharing personal intimate details of my family.
With those disclaimers, I am now ready to recap three days' worth of devotional thoughts:
Monday, December 1, 2008:
1. Depression affects a huge number of our society. I myself experienced clinical depression back in 1987-88. Often depression will cause us to not want to eat, yet not eating tends to only make things worse. We need to eat a balanced meal even when we don't feel like it. Also, how we respond to events in our lives has far more to do with how we feel than what actually happens to us.
2. God has made me unique. The sooner I accept who I am, and quit trying to be who I am not, the quicker I can get on with what God has planned for me to do.
3. When it comes to forgiveness, there are three areas in which forgiveness needs to occur:
-I must forgive others.
-I must forgive myself.
-I must forgive God, as He forgives me. Then I can build a bridge and get over it...no matter what has happened to hinder my advancement in life.
4. If I am going to learn to love, I must recognize that love is first of all patient and kind. I need to control my emotions so they do not control me, and practice extending mercy and gentleness to others by my kind words and thoughtful actions.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008:
1. When we think no one understands us, Jesus always understands. He is so focused on others, rather than on Himself, that even as He was headed to His own crucifixion on the night He was met by the soldiers in the garden, he took time to heal the ear of one of those who had come to arrest him. No pity party for Himself...He still sought to do what was best for others...even His "enemies".
2. A beautiful woman is one who serves others and shares in their lives, allowing God to shine through her. But she does it all without desiring recognition or reward. Her spiritual demeanor is like a fragrance to those around her.
3. Even when we think we are going through horrible persecution, bad things that seem to have no purpose other than to defeat us, God is using that time to draw us closer to Him so that we might better reflect who He is by our attitude and actions. Only through persecution of the early Christians did the church grow. What will God do through those who allow persecution to refine them and make them more in His image?
4. When it comes to love not being selfish, God's Word says it best:
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves. Philippians 2:3
Wednesday, Dec 3, 2008:
1. To avoid being depressed, I need to focus on my accomplishments, not my failures. I need to be patient with myself as much as with others!
2. Each "opportunity" we go through is a time for us to learn and grow and move forward in wisdom. May I be willing to say yes and seek the positive results from the adversities in my life.
3. I must get to the place where Jesus is always my main focus. It is from Him that I receive my purpose and the power I need to fulfill that purpose.
4. Love is thoughtful. Rather than rushing ahead with the words that come to mind, think about how they will be received, and choose to say things kindly and with respect.
5. God honors faith, even faith the size of a mustard seed. He can do mighty things for those who have faith and believe.