Two and a half years ago I posted, “Nan-Sense: It Makes Sense to Me.” I’ve collected a bit more Nan-sense since then! Here are a few examples from this month. Perhaps in reviewing these truths with you, they will become more firmly planted in me.
- I’ve been studying Hebrews, chapters 10-13, using Chuck Swindoll’s study book, Hebrews, Volume II (1983). One question invites readers to consider their personal vision. From the dictionary I chose the definition, “a mental image created by the imagination.”
My vision for my character includes these qualities: a) a quiet and gentle spirit (1 Peter 3:4), b) contentment whatever the circumstance (Philippians 4:12), c) consideration of others before myself (Philippians 2:3), d) rejoicing always (Philippians 4:4), and e) practicing God’s presence (John 15:5).
Slowly but surely, that vision is taking shape, by the power of the Spirit. (Although I still have a way to go!)
What is your personal vision?
- One morning I glanced out the kitchen window to see a young squirrel perched at the very end of a dead tree branch. I could observe him quite closely because our house is built into a hill. The kitchen/family room, along the back of the house, is at the height of a second story.
Although I was looking almost straight ahead at him, he was about fifteen feet off the ground. His tail curled up gracefully over his back, and he appeared to be resting comfortably—no nervous glances, no shivers of fear.
God reminded me: He has equipped squirrels with claws that grip so tightly, they have no fear of heights. He has equipped me also with his shield of faith and sword of the Spirit. I have no need to fear either. This, the morning after the horrific tragedy in Paris.
God, help me to be faithful to use that sword and shield!
What small moment experience has made an impression upon you recently?
- Not long ago, I finished reading The Boys in the Boat (2013), by Daniel James Brown—the story of the eight-oar crew that won Olympic gold in 1936, in Berlin. Reviewers have used such adjectives as “suspenseful,” “riveting,” and “inspiring.” All accurate.
Now most readers would not expect to find statements of spiritual significance in a secular book. But often times I do, and this selection was no exception. From p. 53:
“It is hard to make the boat go as fast as you want to. The enemy, of course, is resistance of the water…but that very water is what supports you and that very enemy is your friend. So is life: the very problems you must overcome also support you and make you stronger in overcoming them” (George Yeoman Pocock, shell-builder*).
Sounds like George knew James 1:2-4.
What have you read lately from a secular source that had spiritual significance?
- Last, I heard this quote on the radio, though I doubt this is a word-for-word rendering:
“Don’t worry that you don’t have strength before you start. God gives strength as we journey.”
Sound truth, right? Yet often I’d like to see my life-path at least a few miles ahead, and feel strong enough now to handle anything on that life-path.
God doesn’t work that way.
“Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself,” Jesus taught (Matthew 6:34). Why? Because knowledge and provision ahead of time would cancel out the need for faith. And faith is one of the most precious treasures a person can possess.
What have you heard recently that spoke to your heart?
Join the conversation below with your observations!
*The long, narrow boats used by crews are called shells.