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Re-Booting Our Quiet Time in 2016

by Cathy Baker
It is of no use for you to attempt to sow out of an empty basket, for that would be sowing nothing but the wind. -Spurgeon

I’ve attempted to sow from an empty basket for longer than I ever imagined possible. One day turned into two, and those melted into three, then four.

Maybe you can relate?

His voice slips into the background of our days. That is, until we need to hear from Him the most, and it’s then, in that quiet moment, we realize just how empty our basket really is—void of His power, strength, and wisdom.

“Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it.”

Perhaps I’m not the only one in need of a fresh start when it comes to spending time with God.

If not, I invite you to join me in asking God for a teachable spirit as we spend this month immersing ourselves in learning (or re-learning?) what it means to be still and know that He is God.

After all, if we keep doing what we’re doing, we’re going to keep getting what we’re getting.

Not sure about you, but I don’t want to settle for anything less than God’s best for me. Too often in 2015 I went to gather encouragement, soul-keeping rest, and love for the unlovely from my basket only to come up empty. I was spent, discouraged, and distracted.

While we can’t do anything to make God love us more (or less), we can draw near to Him through His Word, in prayer, and simply being still in recognition of who He is.

His nearness fills the emptiest of baskets.

Hope you’ll join me this month as we’ll peek into the quiet times of some of my dearest and most Father-loving friends every Monday. On Wednesdays, we’ll consider additional ideas to spur on our time with the Father.

Welcome to the January series, Drawing Near to God. It is a blessing to have you here.

 

 

Save the Date: Bring Your Own Candle

by Cathy Baker

Today, I’d like to introduce you to a recent favorite read, “Playdates with God…Having a Childlike Faith in a Grown-Up World,” by Laura J. Boggess. 

In this book she shares how she was once a rule-follower. She went from one extreme to another, as legalists often do. Tangled up in the to-do’s, her soul found no rest.

Holley Gerth’s endorsement rings true: “Laura Boggess invites us into intimacy  with God in the everyday moments of life. This intimacy is not about striving but rather enjoying, not about laboring but instead, being loved, not about losing ourselves but about finally being found in the ways we’ve longed for all our lives.”

In Chapter 4, titled Bird Watching, the joy of new beginnings, Laura reminds us of what it felt like in the early stages of romantic love. Remember that feeling? We thought of him/her throughout the day, we couldn’t spend enough time with our new-found love, and sometimes we couldn’t eat because of the excitement (this one has always eluded me). 

Think back to the time you first fell in love with Jesus. I know for me I couldn’t get enough of His Word, being around His people, or jotting down notes. Although my love for His Word has not wavered over the years, I admit some of the fervor has at times.  

James 4:8 tells us, “Come near to God and he will come near to you.” Sometimes it’s as simple as recognizing His ever-so-close presence in our daily lives. 

Save the Date: 
Laura shares how each time she approaches God in her home, she lights a candle. “God doesn’t need that candle to meet with me. But I do. Every time my mind gets distracted, all I need to do is glance at that flickering flame, and I am reminded that I am not alone. It is because of my own weakness that I seek out ways to bring my mind and heart into awareness that there is more to this world than what my eyes can see. God is so much much more than I can understand.” 

Similarly, I’ve added a chair nearby to remind me of His presence during my quiet time with Him.

 
You’re Invited:
How about you? Is there something you do, or have done in the past, to remind you of your First Love’s ever abiding presence? 

Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. Revelation 2:4, 5a

And the winner of last week’s drawing for the Soy Lavender Field candle is…Mary Beth Dahl! Congratulations, Mary Beth, and thanks to all those who participated. Stay tuned for this month’s drawing later in May!

Up For a Summer Challenge?

Thanks to friends Lori and Lynn, I was introduced to the book 40 Ways to Get Closer to God, by Jerry (Chip) MacGregor with Keri Wyatt Kent.
I downloaded it via Amazon, but I’ve not yet set sail on this journey, so I’m curious—would you be interested in joining me for this summer challenge?
Here’s a brief description of what awaits us:
Practical Steps to a Deeper Faith. Sometimes faith demands action.
This practical book gives Christians ideas for how to adjust their
hearts to get closer to God.

Each chapter contains a unique
challenge and a brief explanation that puts the challenge in context. The challenges are broad in scope, allowing
people with varying personality types and learning styles to benefit
from them.

Everyone moves at their own pace, but as I post about the various ways, you could join in the fun, if you wish. Or, if you’re more comfortable sharing one-on-one, email or meet me for coffee.
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. James 4:8
Are you ready for a summer challenge? Me too! 
I look forward to hearing from you.

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