Currently, I'm utilizing The Journal as a tool for Bible reading (although my consistency leaves something to be desired); the only text offered is the Bible itself, and it's up to God's spirit to prompt the learning. I kind of like it that way, a little less structured...
However, lately I'm finding the most powerful and consistent devotional tool to be following a few blogs of people who are writing honestly about their lives, weaving spiritual lessons and applications throughout their writing. It helps me that these people are real - or perhaps that the connectivity of the internet allows them to feel more real to me than Nouwen or Chambers. There is interaction and reaction to current events, and real-time activity that brings a fullness to their observations of life that are helpful to me in this season of my own. These folks are regular people, some who have chased after Jesus for much longer than I, some who are relatively new in their journey. Some are older than I am, some younger. Some are working in churches, some stay at home with kids, others lead lives in the workplace. All inspire me, and - at times - drive me to my knees and break my heart with their honest insight into their lives and their relationship with God.
One of those people is Carlos Whittaker, who blogs at Ragamuffin Soul. His post today tore me to pieces. Reading the comments opened the floodgate of awareness as to the commonality we share as broken, selfish, self-absorbed humans - even on our best days.
And in reading stuff like this, I find myself surprisingly empowered. It's stunning to find myself in complete posession of this truth, this thing that I claim to believe but somehow fail to embrace as a follower of Jesus:
"My grace is enough; it's all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness." Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ's strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become. - 2 Corinthians 12.8-10 The Message
Go read this post. And think about working on your list. I'm working on mine.
Want to check out a few of the folks whose writing inspires and elevates me? Try these - and let me know who you would recommend: