As page 310 draws to a close, it feels like it has been a Sunday. I suppose it was getting up and spending the morning doing some prayer teaching at a church then spending the afternoon with my family that just had a “Sunday” feel. I was privileged to be able to do some prayer teaching at the Buchanan Christian Church this morning and spent some time with a group of great people talking about developing a lifestyle of prayer. As I teach, I always pray that God will encourage those listening as much as He has encouraged me.
As I packed up resources last night to have them ready to take with me today, I thought about how each book God has given me to write has its own story. I was able to share a couple of those stories with the group today, including the story of the first book I published, “Seeking God”. This is a book of sixty original poems with corresponding prayer points written specifically for each one. The book went from one poem to a finished manuscript in two months time as I found myself seeking God for direction and purpose in my life. The poems were so unexpected and out of the blue that there was no doubt they were gifts from God. The big question in my mind was “Why?”. While the flow of poems was a great encouragement to me as a reminder of God’s presence, I couldn’t imagine them having any value beyond that. When I submitted the manuscript to a Christian publisher that specializes in prayer focused material, the response back was that poems don’t sell and have no real value in today’s marketplace. Fortunately, they gave me the name of a printing company and provided some guidance on publishing the book myself. So, three months after the first poem arrived in my mind, a finished book was published and available in print and Kindle editions on Amazon. I still didn’t understand why poems and couldn’t really figure out their purpose, but they were God’s gift to me and throughout the entire process I knew at some level that I was supposed to share them. So share them I did and in the process God gave me the idea for writing a second book and then a third, and fourth, and on it goes. I am convinced that none of the writing that has taken place after that first book would even exist today if I had not been obedient in both writing and sharing those early poems.
The Bible says that God is the giver of every good and perfect gift and I believe that most, if not all, of those gifts are given with the intent that we share them. I think many times when it feels like God is not giving us anything good, we probably need to spend some time examining just what it is we did with the last thing God gave us. Perhaps we’re not receiving because we’re not sharing what we’ve already been given.
A couple days ago I wrote about my worn out shoes. Well, yesterday I received a sales flyer that had those “most comfortable” shoes on sale so when I got home from the morning of teaching we headed to the store to pick up a new pair and then we spent some time photographing some shoreline scenes along Lake Michigan. It was such a beautiful day as we worked our way along the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. The sun was shining brightly which added to the beauty of the day but made photographs a little challenging. The brilliance of the sun is so overpowering that it is difficult to photograph the details of the landscape beneath it. God’s Son ought to be even more overpowering in our lives so that His brilliance washes out any details that are not of Him.
I pray that you and I would seek to live and grow in a lifestyle of prayer. I pray that we would seek to know God so that His voice and will are familiar to us. I pray that we would recognize and acknowledge the gifts God has put into our lives. I pray that we would be obedient in using the gifts God gives us for the purposes He desires. I pray that we would know the joy of walking in the light of the Son each day that we live.