Thursday, January 05, 2017

Fresh Start

"I'm speechless, in awe - words fail me. I've talked too much... 
I'm ready to shut up and listen." Job 40:4-5 The Message

As 2017 begins, I make a fresh start, too! For this year, my devotional guide will be Richard Foster's A YEAR WITH GOD, Living Out the Spiritual Disciplines. The divisions focus on the spiritual disciplines and each day begins with Scripture and then Foster's commentary. If you have not read any of Foster's writings, I encourage you to do so. He is most known for Celebration of Discipline but I particularly like Prayer, Finding the Heart's True Home which I have read at least 6 times, each time finding new truths and guarantee it will greatly impact your prayer life. Foster's introduction suggests encouraging "one another to discover the footprints of God in our daily existence, and to venture out with God into areas where we have previously walked alone or not at all."
The aim is not external conformity, whether to doctrine or deed, but the reformation of the inner self - of the spiritual core, the place of thought and feeling, or will and character. Richard Foster
 As the year begins, I too begin again. My heart's desire is to listen to God, to increase my awareness of Him in my daily life. Foster writes in the first devotion to "challenge yourself to look for God in new places." A YEAR WITH GOD stresses, "The Spiritual Disciplines in and of themselves have no merit whatsoever. They possess no righteousness, contain no rectitude. Their purpose - their only purpose - is to place us before God." I do pray that you will find a devotional book for the year or perhaps you will choose several different ones to guide you in contemplating the Scriptures and God's presence in your life. As I study and listen, I will share some of what I hear, learn, and hopefully, put into practical use. -dho
Holy Father,
Open my heart, for I long to hear Your voice. I listen for Your instructions, meditate on Your wonders. I collate my random thoughts and lay them at Your altar. Through the silence, I hear Your whispers of mercy and compassion and tenderness. Inside my longing heart, prayers of praise rise to You. My soul finds satisfaction in the shadow of Your protecting wings that exists nowhere elseHoly Spirit, bring His presence and His peace. Amen.  ~ dho