Mondays…oh Mondays

Monday mornings can be a mixed bag for me.  Sometimes Mondays come and I get “right on it,” eager and ready for the week ahead.  Other times, after looking at my overbooked calendar with regret and disdain, I simply have dreaded Mondays.  Within those dreaded days, a very small percentage of Mondays are like today.  They are a downer.  A discourager.  A drag.  These days don’t happen much, but it does happen.


Now, please don’t get me wrong- I’m really okay, but it has seemed that today was going to be one of those small percentage Mondays for me.  I do realize that self pity and self centeredness is essentially self worship (idolatry), and certainly idolatry is sinful and repentance must come.  In my repentance of my sin, I first and foremost ran to God.  


I had to spend more time with a healing God.  I went to prayer.  I listened to music.  I especially ran to God’s Word.  As I struggled and pressed through the Bible reading, prayer, and meditation time, I found myself fighting for joy to take over my day and upcoming week.  My priority this morning became to focus on God and not my pity party, on God’s righteousness and not my self centeredness, the Lord’s glory and not my own.  I refused to let discouragement come in and take control, but instead focused on Christ alone, knowing that He brings joy. “Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning” (Ps 30:5).  I trusted that pressing on and pressing forth will result in a joy that goes further than simple happiness. 


This morning was one of those mornings that brought me joy in the presence of the Lord.  Even more, in my prayer and reading time, I ran across a puritan prayer that especially helped me and may may help others.  As a result, let me share it with you:
May I never give Thee rest until Christ is the pulse of my heart, the spokesman of my lips, and the lamp of my feet (Valley of Vision, p. 273).


May His words and His ways be my words and my ways- all for His glory!


Fran

Book review: Where is God? by Dr. John Townsend

                When I first received this book by Dr. John Townsend, I have to admit that I wasn’t too terribly excited.  Although I have heard Townsend on the radio and have glanced through a few of his books in the Boundaries series, I was still not quite sure what Townsend’s approach would be as he dealt with a question often asked by many, “Where is God?”  For example, was I in store to read nothing but Freudian psychology “baptized” with Scripture?  Was I going to hear nothing but heart-wrenching stories aimed at gaining an emotional connection with the reader, but with little dealing in weightier matters?  After reading his work, I was pleasantly surprised that neither was to be the case.
                Townsend begins his book by discussing a two-sided spiritual experience while on a trip to Antarctica.  His experience had him feeling exalted at the snowy scenery, but frightened when his sightseeing team encountered danger.  This experience helped him to identify with those who ask, “Where is God?”
                Townsend tackles the hard issues in this book.  He is brutally honest and open about sin as the cause of some issues and recounts his own life and experiences of those who he has ministered to in the past.  He is extremely biblical.  As he travels from chapter to chapter, however, I began to find that Townsend was not attempting to provide solutions, only observations about struggles and sin.  That is, until I read chapter nine.
                Chapter nine is probably the best one in the book and the turning point for me in my assessment of the work.  This chapter, entitled, “The God Who Transforms You,” brings biblical insight and wisdom to the forefront.  That difficulties and trials bring character to the believer is clearly taught in Scripture, and Townsend expands on this concept to allow the reader to understand this important concept as he moves on to his next concept.  During trials, Townsend writes, one is to do the opposite of what may “feel” right: run to God and His Word.  Build your character in Christ, Townsend rightly claims, and you may be more equipped to deal with the difficulties of life. 
                Even more, Townsend continues from this chapter with the same sort of biblical advice for the various issues he identifies.  He offers Scripture, application, and real life examples.  Finally, Townsend concludes the book with a practical wrap-up of sorts to help the reader apply all of the material to his or her life.  Though it is a bit short in content, the chapter is helpful and useful for the reader. 
                All in all, this is a good read.  For those that are looking for answers to struggles, Townsend brings the reader back to God and His healing power.  I highly recommend this book to those wanting to learn and understand more about their own struggles and how they may turn it over to God.

http://www.thomasnelson.com/consumer/product_detail.asp?sku=0785229191&title=Where_Is_God&author=Dr._John_Townsend

Changing to this blog

In preparation for the decade of ’10, I am consolidating my blog to this spot.

Earlier blog posts can be found at:

http://www.firstmthealthy.org/templates/System/details.asp?id=28539&PG=xCast&LID=2503

and

http://ministryofgrace.lifewithchrist.org/index.html

My plan is to have book reviews and articles on this blog as well as Twitter/Facebook links

Until then,

Fran

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