Steve to Earth - Encouraging you the way I like to be encouraged.



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Posts Tagged ‘closest friend’

Pages for the Ages

Though I do it occasionally, it’s rare for me to read a book straight through. My favorite books have short 2-3 page chapters that don’t have to be read consecutively to be understood. My shelves are crowded with partially-finished volumes on subjects that include gardening, graphic design, computer coding, faith and the arts, so when the following suggestion arrived in my inbox, I was unsure if I had anything constructive to offer. I’ll let you decide.

The Suggestion

One thing I would love to see on your site is a list of your favorite books – the ones that have clarified your purpose and strengthened your relationship with God.

My Reply

As far as books go, you might be surprised at my answer. My reading and study habits are a little weird. I rarely ever read a book straight through. In fact, I rarely ever complete a book. I think I’m allergic to books that have long chapters and no pictures. I also glean from a very broad spectrum … from self-help to the arts. It all flows together for me. I’ve always learned from everyone … no matter who they are. That philosophy has improved my listening skills, broadened my horizons and helped me to be a much better writer.

If you just really want to get to know Jesus … I recommend John (friendship), Mark (power), Luke (healing) and Matthew (I’m still working on this one) … probably in that order … read very slowly … out loud. Oh, and read between the lines. Notice not only how He treats people, but also how He doesn’t treat people. Pay attention not only to what He says, but also to what He doesn’t say.

Thirst with Him by the Samaritan well. Believe that if you just reach out and touch the hem of His garment, you will be healed. Reach out and touch the hem of His garment … and feel the power that leaves Him and flows into you. Weep with Him in the garden. Leap for joy as He walks away from the empty tomb. Be a participant in the story … not just a casual observer.

Then read Psalms … slowly … out loud. Sing those songs.

Then study the prayers of the prophets and kings in I & II Samuel, I & II Kings and I & II Chronicles. Pray those prayers. Pray them again.

I could go on.

That’s the good stuff. All other books are written by people just like you and me. Learn from them, but develop a relationship with Jesus that is unique to you and Him. He didn’t go to all the trouble to make you unique so that you could be like everybody else. He loves you just the way you are!

I loved what you said about your reaction when you realized that you believed in God, but you didn’t yet believe some of His promises. You have a good heart … a soft heart … moldable in the Potter’s hands.

One night when I was studying with Brady, I told him that it really hurts when you read a parable and realize that you’re the bad guy. He said that what’s really sad is when you read a parable, and you don’t realize that you’re the bad guy. Realizing it … learning from it … letting His teachings change you … is what being a disciple is all about. That’s what His closest friends did when He was on earth with them. That’s what you’re doing. It sounds like you’re becoming one of His closest friends.



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