Friday, August 20, 2010

Has anyone read this book? The Gentle Ways of the Beautiful Woman A Practical Guide to Spiritual Beauty by Anne Ortlund. Three bestselling works complete in one volume. Disciplines of the Beautiful Woman, Disciplines of the Heart, and Disciplines of the Home. I've had this book for quite a few years now and it is one of my go-to books when I need a pick me up. Sometimes I need a restart and this book is just that book that I love to go to. Do you have a go-to book when you need a restart or a kick start?

Here is an excerpt from the book:

This is what separates the winners from the fool-around-ers: setting your face toward truly making God the number one priority of your life.

...Let me suggest four ways; his Spirit will teach you many more.
First, practice his presence. Jesus did! He said, "Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me?" (John 14:10). Yes, Jesus was special; he was part of the Trinity; but he tells us also to abide in him! So we get our clues from Jesus: when we abide continually in the Father, the words that speak won't be spoken on our own initiative; the Father within us will do the works.
Live your life consciously before him, moment by moment. Trust him to help you do it. Psalm 16:8 says, "I have set the Lord continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken."
Second, jealously guard a daily quiet time spent alone with God. Jesus did! He sent the multitude away- and prayed (Matt 14:23). When our three babies were age 2 1/2, 1 1/2, and brand new, I found my days were just one succession of bottles and diapers, and I got desperate for times with the Lord! Normally I would sleep like a rock, but I said, "Lord, if you'll help me, I'll meet you from two to three A.M." I kept my tryst with him until the schedule lightened; I didn't die; and I'm not sorry I did it. Everybody has twenty-four hours. We can soak ourselves in prayer, in his Word, in himself, if we really want to.
Third, seek the Lord in occasional longer hunks of time. Jesus did! In Luke 6:12 he spent an entire night in prayer, because he felt the need- he, the Son of God! How much more do we need these extended times with God? Ray and I take one day a month, usually, to go out of town and pray, think, check our schedules, evaluate where we've been, see where we're going, discuss how we're doing as a wife, as a husband. The time is too short!
And fourth, be diligent in your attendance of public worship. Jesus was! Luke 4:16 says that "as was His custom, He entered synagogue on the Sabbath." Certainly the Son of God wasn't going to church "for what he would get out of it." Maybe it was often than the best. He went because he pleased the Father in all things. Be committed to public worship of God every week whether you feel like it or not, whether the preaching is great or isn't! We go for what God gets out of it. He wants us to be there, not via television or radio, but personally with the Body of Christ (Heb. 10: 25).

I truly get so much from reading this book. I highly recommend it if you don't already have this. It is a little treasure for your bookshelves! As I read more, I'll share more juicy tidbits that will help your journey in Christ. Bless y'all and love y'all!

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