Sunday, 17 November 2013
“We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19
I love books. I buy far too many and read far too few. Many lay in stacks next to my bed, full of good intention but with no free time to be opened. Others lay covered in dust having been opened and found lacking. Yet I tend to keep them. It’s a sickness.
When my daughters were young, I taught them upon entering bookstores, they were to pick up a book, crack it open, stick their noses in real close to the freshly inked page and inhale deeply. The amazing smell of paper, ink and glue would enhance their experience. To this day they still do this. No matter who is watching. I love them. My kids I mean. Oh, and the books too.
As much as I love books, my friend, Donna takes bibliophilism to a whole new level, (bibliophilism is a love of books – I didn’t find that in a book . . . I found it on Wikipedia). She has books in every room of her house and confesses without repentance her addiction to the written word. Smart girl that she is, though, she spends more time devouring the Word than other people’s words. So that’s okay.
I heard of another woman who loved books. She would bring them home in multiples. One day she was very disappointed to realize that one of the volumes she brought home was not at all what she had hoped for. It was dry, lacked relevance and had symbolism that she could not embrace. Very poorly written and a waste of money, she thought. She put it on one of her shelves and forgot about it.
Years later on a rare night away from her stacks, she found herself at a party and engaged in a fascinating discussion with a young man. It was pretty much love at first word. They talked for hours and found they had much in common; he was a writer and she a librarian. A match for sure! It was hard for them to part ways at the end of the night and she floated home, not feeling the pavement beneath her feet.
Too excited to sleep, she decided to peruse her vast personal library to see if she could find any books written by her newfound friend. And indeed she did! It was covered in dust, abandoned. That’s right — it was the poorly written find from years before. She sat down with a cup of tea and began to read. How wrong she had been! It was the most meaningful, insightful and eloquent novel ever written . . .
What happened? Had the book been magically transformed? No?
She had fallen in love with the author.
Many of us have a book on our bookcase covered in dust. A love letter, written to us personally and ignorantly ignored. We don’t open it often.
Because we haven’t fallen in love with the author. And it grieves Him.
It’s a conundrum to be sure. What comes first, a love for the Word or a love for Him? I think the answer is found in 1 Peter 4:19. We need to ‘meet’ the author before we can truly embrace his writing. We need to fall in love with the One who loved us first.
Ask Jesus to be your Savior and Lord of your life. Begin an amazing relationship that will last an eternity . . . live your own love story that includes an everlasting happily ever after. The Book will become completely engaging once you fall in love with the Author.
Tune in online to hear Lori discuss Falling In Love with the Author with radio host Carrie Cooper of U2HaveHope on November 23 at 4PM (CST) at KDKR (also available to listen to after the fact here).
Receive Lori’s daily devotions coming soon on iDisciple.org! Email Lori at Lori@LovingKindnessMinistries.ca to receive a special sign in code.
Photo thanks to George Hodan
Friday, 8 November 2013
Preach the message, be ready whether it is convenient or not, reprove, rebuke, exhort with complete patience and instruction. 2 Tim 4:2 (NET)
There is a lady, Erica Schmidt, who has been missing from our neighborhood for over a month. Her daughter was one of my teen’s teachers in elementary school so this touches our lives and hearts as well. It’s an urgent need for this family to locate their matriarch; posters, news bulletins and social media are all engaged in the search. My heart aches and I am reminded to pray and keep my eyes alert whenever I come across the written pleas. That’s what these posters and social media posts do – they stir us up and keep us vigilant.
I thought about how when a child or loved one goes astray or is missing, we lose all awareness of what is socially ‘acceptable’ but instead, we cry out in malls or street corners, ‘Help! I’ve lost my child!’ and go on to describe them in detail. Suddenly strangers become trusted team members as we rally together and search.
But here’s the thing. As we walk through life, we come into contact with so many who are lost and don’t know it. We smile (hopefully) and order coffees, pay for groceries, or pass by some silently throughout our day. Unlike those displayed on flyers, these folks are not marked as missing yet are lost sheep poster children.
I am not suggesting that we all buy soap boxes and stand yelling for all to repent, but I am challenged today to realize what 2 Timothy is saying; to see the need as urgent and live with intention. Spread the Gospel and when necessary, use words. Love on people. I need to work this out as often I am so self-absorbed and running through my tight schedule, I get perturbed when waylaid or inconvenienced. Lord, forgive me.
Please keep an eye open for Erica Schmidt, (click here for the Find Erica Facebook page). Her family has been diligent in their quest to find her . . . we need to step up our search party efforts as well . . . and not just for Erica but for all who are lost.
Thursday, 7 November 2013
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2 (KJV)
I love a great story. Don’t you? Personally I prefer autobiographies or biographies. Full of truth, grit and the kind of grime only found in a life well lived. This requires two things: someone who has actually lived an amazing life, and an author who can convey all the action and details without adding or taking away from the truth.
Sometimes I wonder how my life would read. Would people get past the first chapter? Or would they toss my story unfinished in a goodwill box, having found it lacking any character development or significant conflict.
It’s a tough question to ask, but a relevant one. How are our lives unfolding? Are we living brave, exciting lives or are we boring our readers to sleep? A few years ago I know that my life was quickly becoming an insomnia remedy and decided to shake up the story line. The first thing I did was sit down with the author of my faith. It made good editorial sense.
“Lord, I really don’t think we are doing a good job at captivating people by my story. I mean, it’s a well written, safe book, and I know my name is written down in the great library of heaven, but beyond that, it’s a bit of a snoozer. Definitely not shaping up to be a best seller . . .”
Now here’s the thing, my author is famous for writing the biggest, most successful book ever. Once he saw me on my knees, willing to accept any and all twists to the plot, he did not disappoint.
Who is the author of your faith? Are you allowing Him to write and take your story wherever He thinks it should go? Or are you holding tight to the synopsis you planned out for yourself twenty years ago? Tear it up. Let Him develop you into the character He wants. Live your best story.