Friday, March 20, 2009

Don't Let Me Go

This was the devotional I wrote for the Pastoral Care Conference I held at work a few weeks ago. I thought that I'd like to share it with you too.

I was doing my nightly Bible reading this past week, and I'm currently focusing on the book of 2 Thessalonians. I read through the book several times with a different focus each time, looking for new ways of seeing it and trying to gain something new. I'm on my fourth time through the book, and every time I read through it, a certain set of verses caught my attention. 2 Thess 1:11-12 So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do. Then the name of our Lord Jesus will be honored because of the way you live, and you will be honored along with him.

What really stuck out to me was the last half of verse 11: May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do. One of my study methods is to write down every promise of God within the book I'm studying and substitute I or me or you or we, so the verse became: He will give me the power to accomplish all the good things my faith prompts me to do. That's a powerful promise. Especially when you add the promise after it from verse 12: Then the name of our Lord Jesus will be honored because of the way I live, and I will be honored along with him.

The next night I came across 2 Thess 2:16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say. Converting that to a promise for me it becomes: God our Father, who loves me and gives me eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, will comfort me and strengthen me in every good thing I do and say. Again a promise to strengthen me when I'm doing good.

One of my favorite verses in the whole Bible is Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Those are words I can hold on to, but these promises also have an expectation of me: to listen to the things my faith prompts me to do. And I know that if God is inspiring me to do something, he'll also give me the strength to carry it out.

Don't Let Me Go by David W. Pierce is a beautiful story of a father's quest to strengthen his relationship with his daughter so that he can learn to let go. When Chera Pierce was a little girl, her father, David, and she would play a game in the mirror in which she would interview The Man Who Lived On Top of a Volcano. When she turns 15, she asks her father to climb a mountain with her, and that journey brings both of them to meet that man for real. Pierce and his daughter run a series of marathons and climb several mountains, including Pike's Peak and Mount Rainier. They learn an amazing amount of lessons about each other, faith, and that while you only spend a short time on the summit, you spend far more time training and then traveling to get there. And any good journey will leave you changed forever. Pierce has a wicked sense of humor and portrays their travels with both humor and honesty. Runny noses, 30 mph winds, and blisters, they traveled through it all, and when they were through, Pierce was able to let his little girl go knowing and loving the woman she had become. This is a wonderfully told tale, especially for anyone with children.

The winner of a copy of Don't Let Me Go was Gail Brue. Congratulations Gail! Next week I'm throwing a huge celebration to mark the third anniversary of Christy's Book Blog. There will be a crazy amount of giveaways, so make sure you come back Monday!

Today's pic is Mia's 100 day project for school. Every kindergartner had to bring in a project made from 100 of any item. Mia picked her favorite candy: M&Ms, so we helped her make a picture with them. A couple of fallen off, but you still get the idea.