I was listening to a talk back radio program the other day and they were talking about obsessions we have as kids. My kids have been through interesting phases already. My Brooke has just moved out of Barbie, polly- pockets and Dora and is currently into Horses. Ethan is currently going through a star wars and lego phase. As I grow in confidence in my walk eg with God I have found there are something that are core to who I am and other things that are simply a fad or a phase I am going through.
My devotional life can be effected by phases and in some ways it is the phases that I go through that help keep it fresh. In some seasons my walk with God has fitted into a formulae almost like the perfect chemistry experiment but simply add one ingredient such as kids or illness, or urgent demands of a working life and that formulae has ended up as a fizzer or an explosion all over my life. As I have grown in confidence in my own walk with God I ahve discovered that it is imperitive to keep the core ingredients core. But at the same time there are ingredients that add flavour and zest and it is those thing that I must keep in order to stay fresh. I cannot treat those core things as a passing phase but neither can I allow it to merge them to become stale or a simply a form of religious Hosus Pocus. There are some key things I do all the time that are fundamental to me being a vibrant, flourishing woman of God walking in His purpose and there are some things that I do in phases that simply help make the journey brighter and more enjoyable. There are things that I will add to my formulae that help make this journey a richer experience. A great example at the moment of the extras…the phases is reading BLOGS. A blog (a blend of the term web and log) is literally a website that gathers content on a regular or irregular basis. Reading blogs are not core to your relationship to God and may simply be a phase but they can add flavour, texture and zest to the the mix of life that help me grow stronger, wiser and more authetic in my pursuit of Godliness.
Like books, a Blog can span every and any topic and their relevance has as much to do with the reader as it is to do with the author. For those who have no inclination to read blogs I can assure you that should you find a topic or author of interest you may just discover a new passion for yourself. You name the topic and there is blog for it and probably even an award for the best one. Blogs don’t require huge amounts of time and don’t require a long attention span. You don’t have to spend any money to read them and you don’t even have to store them somewhere. Believe me there are some blogs that I wouldn’t waste my time on. Some blogs are written on topics I have no interest in and others are written by authors who write rubbish and there are some that simply are not written in my language. I love that as a reader, I can decide what blogs I like dependant on the topic, the intentions of the writer and the credibility of the author. My favourite time to read blogs and seek out new blogs is in the still of the morning when no one is up. That means it doesn’t happen often. Usually it is often just once or twice a week and I might read four or five in one go. Some of them, I subscribe to which means they get sent my email and I can read them when I have some time. Others I simply go seeking wisdom because I know they will have something inspiring to say. I try and keep my blog reading to topics that feed my faith but I also have some favourite that read relating to the things I like and do in life such as blogs by mums for mums, I like reading theology blogs, devotional blogs, marriage blogs, parenting blogs, and Pastor’s wives blogs, fitness blogs, blogs about music and worship and places to visit, cooking blogs and even blogs about the best kids iPhone apps. I focus on those things that that inspires me to be live my life with faith and substance.
Sometimes as Christians we can treat God’s word a little like reading blogs. Some of us have no inclination or time for it; some of us don’t know where to read to find what it is we are looking for; and wish there was a Google button in our Bible to help direct us. Some of us even treat God’s word like a passing fad. There are some exceptions however: In reading the word of God, we don’t get to choose which author we like besthas has more credibility and leave out the books we don’t like. The fact that God is the author helps give it credibility without him ahving to win some award or credit rating. We don’t have to worry about being connected to the source or our line dropping out as the word of God is always up to date despite being written so long ago. The word of God like a blog, is interactive but not just a matter of opinion. In the still of the morning or while I am having my morning cuppa before getting the kids moving in the morning I have to prioritise my day and work out where my non-phase bible time is going to slot in. before I check facebook, twitter , a blog or my messages…it’s my Bible that has to be core and fundemental tot he mix. The rest is peripheral. Reading my Bible is not a once a week down time thing. It is my life source. I log into YouVersion ( my iPhone Bible application) and find out what God wants me to hear for my day, for my season, for my relationships, for my parenting or ministry, to confront and attitude or feed my soul. I am not looking for a message in an archive somewhere…I want something fresh and new and full of grace and mercy as he promises. I know that as I open up the word of God it will feed my life and confront my circumstances. Eating a meal can have a huge amount of purpose: it can be social, it can bring joy and comfort and be a celebration but the core reason for eating a meal is to sustain our life. So too, we can read God’s word for many different reasons but at the core it is there to sustain your life and your walk with God. Reading his word is not based on formulae. When and where and how changes with the season or the day I am facing. Today it may happen when I can’t sleep or while the kids are getting dressed for school or while I am cleaning up the kitchen (YouVersion has audio); it may happen on my way home from School drop off or when the family is tucked in. Some days I ahve to plan for it and others I ahve more flexibility and can slot it in randomly. There are some days I miss something but I know when I go back and seek out what he has in my inbox for me it will be just what I need in order to make a decision, find direction, bring encouragement, stir faith, keep my mouth in check, tame my mind and bring life to those around me. God has just what you need for that challenge, that relationshipn and even that person you are burdened for. His word is more than just a passing phase….
The evangelist, Reinard Bohnke wrote on his Facebook status last week: `The gospel is not a story which has been preserved like the story of Alexander the Great. It isn’t a mummified relic of the past. There’s no such thing as old electricity, or old wind, and there’s no such thing as an old gospel. The gospel is as ageless as life. It is not an antique, preserved by the church like the bones of a saint. God preserves the church. “In Him we live and move and have our being”.
God’s Word is LIFE. ‘ Reading blogs is a bit of a phase that I hope I don’t phase out of. I enjoy it but it is no substitute for the reading the best `blog’. The author has creditability, what I read there has relevance for whatever I need wisdom and faith for, It is current and up to date regardless of when it was written. It is interactive but the opinions of the reader have no sway on the authority of what is written.
Just out of interest I have listed some of the regular Godly women blogs I visit. You may enjoy having a browse. I haven’t listed the hundreds of others blogs I visit as they may jsut simply be a waste of your time. I encourage you though…these blogs (like mine) are not core to your walk with God…so let Him be your first priority and let the word of God come back into the mix as a core ingredient….