Monday, March 30, 2009

Reader for life


"Lord, to whom would we go?  You have the words that give eternal life."  John 6:68 NLT

Wow. It's been over a month since I posted anything new. When my husband mentioned it, I told him I just haven't really had much to say. "All evidence to the contrary", he quipped. Ok, so maybe I have a tendancy to be a little opinionated and....umm....vocal. "He's right", I thought.  So why is the well that I write from so dry? I think I've found the answer.

I've become an avid-no,a voracious-reader. My husband and I are pastoring a growing new church, and I need wisdom in everything!  My nightstand is home to LOTS of books.  There are volumes on church growth, leadership, and creating community. Books about small groups, spiritual growth, and faith. There are titles by Hybels, Stanley, McManus and Chan. At any given moment, I'm reading at least two books.  But there's another book on my nightstand, one I don't read as much.  It's a large leather-bound volume, pushed to one side, behind my reading lamp.  Maybe you've heard of it.  It's called The Bible.  Oh yeah, that.  The Word of God.  The Word of life.  The Word that transforms, strengthens, instructs and corrects.  The Word that is wisdom.  That Book.  

Since I became a Christ follower, I've read, studied, prayed, meditated, believed, even memorized God's words.  But lately I've neglected them.  I've read about the Bible more than the Bible itself.  And it shows.  The last few months have been filled with amazing church growth, and so much fruitful work.  But there have also been growing pains, and a personal life filled with stress and change.  At times I find myself moody, sullen, quick-tempered, even weak in faith.  Why?  Because that really important Book is pushed to one side, behind my reading lamp instead of hidden in my heart, and on my lips. 

 If we feel dry or malnourished, maybe we need to look at our spiritual "diet" to find out why.  Perhaps we're not drinking from the rivers of living water (John 7:38)  Maybe we're neglecting the milk of the word (1Peter 2:2).  But the good news is we don't have to stay there.  I've commited to begin every day reading God's word.  Not just the devotions I read, or books about the Bible.  But reading the actual Bible every day, before I do anything else.  I don't want to be just a reader, but a reader for life!  Will you join me?

10 comments:

Chris said...

great blog. I do the same thing. read a lot about the Bible but I don't pick the Bible itself up much anymore. which is weird considering every time I do I'm rarely not blown away! Rob Bell once said "God has spoken, everything else is commentary." I need to read more from the Source and less from "commentary"

wheezy said...

Great blog post! I am not much of a reader. In fact, when given an "assignment" to read I often groan under my breath. But I have a daily devotional that I do and it says "for further study read such and such verses in the Bible". I RARELY do this. I'll just read the devotion, pray, and then move on. But why not do the further study? Why not dig deeper into the ACTUAL word of God!? Devotions are good, but the word of God is the best!
-HM

Ben said...

ooohh... You got me! I do that. Last night I said to myself," I should read some of my Bible...nah, There's some scriptures references in the book I'm already reading". You got me.
I'm with you on the morning Word time. I need it.

Leslie Oden said...

I can't wait for my Word time tomorrow, Chris, Hollie & Ben! Let's hold each other accountable. I'll Blog and/or tweet something I find in the Bible. Hope you'll share something from your Word time, too!

Jeff Williams said...

I don't read much of anything evan though I know I should. Sometimes I wonder why I'm more interested in Twitter than God's word. It makes no since to me. How can i get so decieved into thinking Its not very important evan though I know how important it is. Very frustrating having to start over again. I may not read my bible every day but I do always thank God for friends and family like you and Paster Gene who would go out of your way to write a blog because you care so much. Very encouraging! So I will read my bible tonight thanks to you.

Leslie Oden said...

That's great, Jeff! Prov 10:27 TLB says "Reverence for God adds hours to the day." Bet He multiplies back to you the time you spend in His word!

LeadHership: said...

Oh my gosh, this post is AWESOME. If your blogging sabbatical was so God could weave this great convicton in you to share w/ us....it was worth it. Thk u so much, girl.

Leslie Oden said...

Thanks, Heather! You are a fantastic encourager. I get so much from your insights, I thank God you blog more than I do! Btw, I loved your promo for Flamingo's Easter services. Praying God will show off at all of your campuses! :o)

Cara Salley said...

Great word! I'm with ya lady...gotta make time to 'seek ye 1st.' Thanks for keeping it real.

Leslie Oden said...

Amen, Cara!