Tuesday, February 9, 2010

God is Good (all the time)! All the time (God is Good)!

Finally have gotten my butt into reading mode again...
I read an article recently that commented on how the infiltration of the Internet into virtually (haha) all aspects of our lives has changed the way neural synapses are made and thereby how we process information. We are so bombarded with Internet and its links and advertisements and distractingly flashy ways that we are unable to genuinely concentrate our mental faculties on one medium for any significant amount of time.
If you're interested, take a look at the original article here:

I am hoping, however, that I may preserve my ability to process and appreciate the written word by jogging my mind with various forms of literature.
As tempting and "convenient" products such as the Kindle and IPad seem, I really hope I do not grow tired of the delicious satisfaction of holding a book or magazine in my hands... feeling the crinkly/smooth/aged/dusty/soft pages and even the particularly musty perfume of certain books... Mmm.

All that said to lead into my main thought of the day- :)

I've been REALLY sucked into Internet usage lately and as I've mentioned to some friends already, I really do not feel this should be so!
I appreciate the fact that Facebook and email and instant messaging services can help us all remain in contact, and I have definitely taken advantage of this aspect of social networking sites to encourage and spur others on and vice versa... But as a friend commented recently, "the biggest temptations are rooted in something good."

I have personally tried to be proactive about this life-sucking time-wasting by (trying to) regularly getting into the Word (PRAISE GOD, He is drawing me in and teaching me discipline in this area!), devotionals via My Utmost for His Highest, buying The Economist and reading it throughout the week, picking up books more often (I'm currently finishing The Tipping Point and about to start Gandhi's autobiography!) and recently subscribing to Voice of the Martyr's monthly newsletter.

All this seems like a lot written down, but it really has been such a GOOD way to use my time. I want to be more informed about the world in order to pray into the areas of need, and in order to have the strength to do this I draw on God's Word!!!

As I fumble my way through this VERY enlightening year of "stretching" and transition, I am learning so much that I feel as though my heart and mind will explode. Or at the very least are getting into confused knots and tangles. There are so many areas I want to be used in...serve in, that I am very overwhelmed and its quite easy to just turn off my mind to it for the time being and shove it away into some corner of my consciousness. But instead of this I want to turn my mind ON to God's voice and rely on His guidance and not my own! After coming across Mr Terry's blog last night and being quite moved, I unexpectedly read this same passage (Numbers 9) in my Old Testament reading for today as part of my natural progression through the Bible!
It's not about me and my timing, but my readiness and willingness to obey Your call, on Your time.
God is SO good.

Last, but definitely not least, I want to talk a little bit about Voice of the Martyrs and what I've drawn from my readings this morning.
After reading Tortured for Christ (by VOM founder Richard Wurmbrand) in October, I realized that persecuted Christians EXIST today and that we Christians with religious freedom have an urgent responsibility to be praying for and supporting these brothers and sisters!
I had been lazy in reading the newsletter and praying for a couple weeks but was blown away when I finally picked up this month's issue. To read the words of Christians who are TRULY living (and dying!) for Christ is a deeply humbling and challenging thing. Here are some quotes I highlighted:

No matter what our educational level is, how well known or little known we are, in the light of eternity we have only a moment of time on this earth to offer our lives in service to Christ. --Tom White, Director of VOM

"Then my brother tore up the Bible. He and my father began screaming and beating me... For an hour they kicked me, slapped and pulled my hair...Then they beat me with a stick, shouting, 'Leave the Bible; don't talk to Christians.' ... When the head of the phone office heard from my phone conversation that I had converted to Christianity, he took me into a room and, holding a gun, he raped me." -- daughter of a Muslim teacher/leader ('imam') who later married a Christian man

"This pastor, uncultured theologically, did not even know that he was thinking the same way as Kierkegaard, the most eminent Lutheran theologian who, from another standpoint, also denied that a Christian can ever speak academically about Christ. A Christian is a person who is madly in love with Christ. Juliet could not make an eloquent speech about the anatomy of Romeo's body. She could only caress him and express to everyone her burning desire for him." -- excerpt from Richard Wurmbrand's With God in Solitary Confinement

Lord, more of You! Less of me.


Lisa said...

OOHHH Ashley!!
This entire blog was completely delicious and so inspiring!! I am so so blown away and blessed at how much you are growing and receiving so much of God's Spirit in your life right now!! Sigh I wish i could have heard all of these things face to face. How I miss you so~ I was struggling for a while but I want to come back BECAUSE of God's amazing daily grace. Ashley Ashley!! I'm learning so much about myself right now, my inadequacies and how frail my faith can be but I have hope. Hope that I will change and hope in a better day in God's house! :) I should definitely crack into some reading as you say. That first paragraph about not being able to focus on one thing is really scary to think. Anyways I want to ask you to pray for me! I had my South African mission trip interview on Sunday and we find out in a week if we are picked to go! (they are having a very strict choosing process). So if you could pray for me and if it God's plan for me to go then I would be sooo grateful. Hollar at me sometime eh??? LIKE EMAIL~~ I should email you too~~ :) miss you and love you forever and ever!

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