Thursday, September 29, 2011

"Story" part II: inspiration doesn't come by chance

The "Campbell Discipleship Center" is nearing completion - just a few short weeks!
Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God's way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

There are so many directions I could take this morning:
  • Yesterday's "story-telling" post touched a nerve in a surprising number of people, and some very interesting dialog has ensued...
  • Our discussion at my Wednesday evening "The Men's Room" small group was - I believe - very encouraging...
  • I happened by the church at lunchtime while the painters were transforming the appearance of the new building...
  • The Tampa Bay Rays pulled out a baseball miracle last night that - with the help of the Boston Red Sox's epic collapse - made sports history...
  • I have an epiphany regarding the 2012 Presidential primary process that I'm dying to share...
Yes, the "How do I tell my own story" question is generating a lot of conversation (most of it via private email). In fact we picked up part of that discussion in my small group, because I had used some verses from Psalm 139 in the post and we're already in the middle of a study of the Psalms.

One of the guys wanted to know how I'd landed at that particular passage in my reading. "There are 150 Psalms," he pointed out, "how did you end up in number 139?"

The scriptures teach and inspire me every day
So I shared a little about how my devotional life and my work have become so interconnected. As a writer, I often have the luxury of time to follow through with a line of thought, or study. So here's how it "went down":
  1. I had already planned to write about the idea of discovering our own stories... and
  2. That led me to think about how well we know ourselves (or don't know ourselves)... and
  3. That thinking put the idea of "knowing my own heart" into my head... and
  4. I wondered what the scriptures had to say about it... and
  5. That put the words of the old hymn in my mind - "Search me, Oh God, and know my heart today"... and
  6. I knew that the song was certainly based on a Bible passage... and
  7. That's where Google played its - always - very helpful role...
  8. So a list of scriptures came up and I read them all until I came to Psalm 139... and
  9. The beginning words of the passage were so beautiful that I read the entire Psalm....
I don't write exactly "stream of consciousness"; but my consciousness is impacted by what I have been exposed to, by my natural facility with words, by my original train of thought, and (I truly believe) by the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Scripture is as important as the air to my life
I am truly thankful that my job allows me - requires of me - the time commitment to follow up and arrive at a place where I am learning and growing. It's humbling to then have the opportunity to share what I'm learning with others.

So my conclusion - this morning - is that, no matter what I'm writing about or where my day is headed, grounding the experience in God's Word and in the context of prayer is as important (when it comes to engaging "The Life-charged Life") as the very air that I breathe.
Peace - DEREK

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