A couple of weeks ago I told you about my blogger friend, Annie Jefferies, who visited us, with her husband, Don, on their way to mission work in Missouri where they are now assisting in a tiny community. They take meals to those who cannot cook. They round up heaters for those who don't have heat. They take people where they need to go, and, with the nun with whom they are working, they pray, quite a lot.
When they were here Annie shared with me several of the books she was taking with her to assist in her prayer and devotional life. Among those was the Catholic Women's Devotional Bible. Now before you say, "hey, Sue, I am not Catholic, or I am not a woman," let me assure you that this devotional Bible can be used by anyone. It is no more Catholic nor feminine than any other devotional guide I have come on.
Actually, I tell a lie. It does have more devotional stories about biblical women than biblical men, but that's about it! And, well, it does include what we Protestants call the Apocrypha, but those books are inspired by God as well, so, I think they are justified in any Bible.
You know, we all, or most all, feel we have read the Bible through-and-through at least once, and many of us have, but this guide provides a wonderful way of reading, beginning with Genesis and covering a few chapters each day and also including devotions from time-to-time.
It's been a long time since I have read or heard the Old Testament, except for the Scriptures which we hear read each Sunday. And, for those who might be interested, our Anglican service consists, among other things, of an Old Testament, a Psalms, a New Testament, and a Gospel reading each Sunday.
So, my beginning with the Old Testament is quite good for me - remembering the old stories told or read to me by my parents and those I heard in Sunday school, and extending all the way through my college courses. Now I can begin again.
The devotional I read today talked about "holy reversals." I had never heard the phrase, "Don't curse it, don't nurse it, don't rehearse it, but disperse it, and God will reverse it."
I had to take some time to let all that sink in while reading the rest of the devotional, but, when it had truly sunk in, I realized how much I curse, nurse, and rehearse those things I feel have slighted or wronged me, and how I do not send to God those things so that He can reverse them.
If we curse when bad things happen with a "woe is me" attitude, we are simply making ourselves feel worse. If we nurse those mad things, we make them grow bigger and bigger. If we rehearse them again and again, we keep thinking about them, and that only makes us get more angry - so we start all over again.
But if we turn those things, large and small, over to God (disperse them to Him), then He will take them on His shoulders and allow us to grow in His love rather than in hate and anger.
Wow, what a message!
So, if you're looking for a devotional guide, I would highly recommend this one to you. It is published by Zondervan and can be purchased through Amazon.
Again, I will wish you a warmer week, and smiles and laughter! And Peace!