Tuesday, January 10, 2017

How to spend a day with God

On New Year's day in a talk, I encouraged people to spend 40 days reflecting on the landscape that might lie ahead of them (Numbers 13) and suggested scheduling a day with God. Afterwards, someone came up to me and said 'I wouldn't have a clue how to spend a day with God.'

Here are a few suggestions of how you might do that. 

1. Kit

A Bible
A book or two
A journal or a tablet
Some music
A hat, coat and gloves

2. A Place

Depending on your disposition you might like to be indoors in one place or outside. I have been going to the same place on and off for 25 years which is a park with a cafe in the middle of it. I tend to do my reading and writing/reflecting in the cafe and walk and pray/worship outside. But I have also been to retreat houses, museums, art galleries, mountain villages, rivers and all sorts of other places to spend time alone with God over the years. 

3. Books to read

You can take anything really but these are some that come to mind:

4. Lives to reflect on

Biography is such a powerful thing and can be such an encouragement. People who follow Jesus are imperfect beings but looking and learning from those who have gone before is good. 

5. Questions to ask

Ron Klug's 'How to keep a spiritual journal' is full of journalling ideas and questions. 

The Chapter in Klug's book called 'Looking forward' suggests

Envisioning your future
  • Before I die
  • I have a dream
  • Spiritual legacy
  • Dying and rising
Clarifying Major Life Purposes
  • If you were guaranteed a slary for the rest of your life, how would you spend your time?
  • What changes would you most  like to see in your life?
  • If you knew you had only one year to live, what would you do with that time?
Setting goals

'We are engineered as goal-seeking mechanisms. We are built that way. When we have no personal goal which we are interested in and means something to us, we have to go around in circles, feel lost and find life itself aimless and purposeless. We are built to conquer environment, solve problems, achieve goals and we find no real satisfaction or happiness in life without obstacles to conquer and goals to achieve. People who say that life is not worthwhile are really saying that they themselves have no personal goals which are worthwhile. Get yourself a goal worth working for. Better still, get yourself a project. Decide what you want out of a situation. always have something to look for.'

Maltz Psycho-cybernetics quote in Klug, Page 94

6. Bits of the Bible to Read

A Character ( we are about to preach through the life of Abraham)

A Theme

A Psalm

A Letter

A Gospel

Rick Warren's 'Bible Study Methods' is a great resource for this and again any one of these could be a day.

7. Talks to listen to

There are so many to choose from, My preachers of choice to name a few are Keller, Gumbel, Lloyd Jones, Chandler, Piper, Rich Nathan, Hybels and Ponsonby.

Talks I have listen to recently:

Forging stronger families  (personally I could spend a day reflecting just on the content of this talk

8. Worship

I love a couple of worship albums called Glory revealed I and Glory Revealed 2 and I've walked around the park on many occasions with these songs in my ears. Scripture set to music.

I hope this is a bit of a primer and offers a few resources and ideas for a day in the wilderness with God.

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Saturday blog-sweep

 Some interesting books for pastors The State we're in Attack at dawn Joseph Scriven Joy comes with the morning When small is beautiful