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What Verse Rocked Your World Today?

Am I the only one?

This morning, my alarm went off, as it usually does. After pushing snooze once or twice, I got up, as I usually do. Got the coffee started and unloaded the dishwasher while it was brewing, and by a little after 7, I was in my  favorite chair with my stack of morning reading. 

This year I am going through the Discipleship Journal Bible-in-a-Year Reading Plan.  Because of my wonky travel schedule of late, I'm a bit behind in the reading, so I'm presently somewhere in early April right now. I opened my Bible to the next reading - Psalm 76 - and began to read.

I got to the end of this short psalm, and was about to check off the little box, when it suddenly occurred to me that I had no idea what I had just read. If I had closed the Bible right then and there, and you had asked me, "What did you just read, Christy?" I would have had nothing to say. 

I had skimmed over the words, already thinking about the day ahead. I had been formulating in my mind what I would do first when I got to work (finish editing the latest IAM Podcast, write some checks for my boss to sign, read up on Barbara Takanaga, who spoke at last year's Encounter and whose opening I am attending this evening). But nothing of what I had just read had sunk in to my mind or heart in any way, shape or form.

Does this ever happen to you? I was reading the word of God  and it was as meaningful to me as if I were skimming the Yellow Pages. YIKES.

I didn't check off the box. Instead, I went back to the top of Psalm 76 and began to read again, only this time I read one verse and then waited as I thought about what I had just read.

I didn't even get past the first verse. 

Here's what happeend inside my head:

1 In Judah is God known: his name is great in Israel.

 Lord, I pray that you would be known here in New York City. I pray that your name would be great in New York City! Heck, for that matter, I pray that your name would be known in Staten Island. Actually, let me start with my street. Lord, I pray that you would be known on Tysen Street!

I began to imagine the houses up and down my street, neighbors whom I've seen or spoken with. Some of them are going through some really hard things. One neighbor just lost a son in a plane crash recently. Another has a son who is an alcoholic and drug user. Several I know of are struggling financially, and even on the verge of losing their homes.

Lord, I pray your name would be great here. For that to happen, my neighbors need to know the real YOU, not the made-up, crappy public opinion of who you are. The name of "Jesus" is not great here! I know several of my neighbors actually despise you, because they think they know you but they don't. So I pray that your name would be great - your name, which I know brings salvation and grace and peace and love. I pray that you would be known by everyone on my street, and that your name would be great to them.

I then started to imagine a gathering of neighbors in my apartment. I imagined making invitations and handing them out to everyone on my street: "Neighborhood Fellowship at Christy's Place. All are welcome to come. We will look at biblical principles for life (finances, family relations, marriage, conflict), share prayer needs and pray together for Tysen Street. You do not need to be a Christian to come, but we will be looking at the Christian Bible for direction. We'll pray for our neighborhood's children, schools, businesses, families, marriages, finances, etc."

I wrote down this idea. It's not something I would do flippantly, so I need to pray about whether I can handle something like this right now (I travel a lot, and there is a lot going on at my church right now).

But I think it's a pretty good idea. Don't you?

All of this came from meditating on ONE VERSE: Psalm 76:1. By the time I had prayed and dreamed and schemed all of this, I had run out of time. So much for checking off all the boxes in today's Bible reading plan!

Oh, my friends. I got to see this morning, once again, that the Bible is, indeed, alive. But just as looking at a sandwich doesn't nourish our bodies, neither does "looking at" the words on the page. We must take time to bite, chew, masticate, taste, ingest, digest and be nourished by the words. When we do, at least, when I do, ideas come, inspiration comes, excitement and hope arise. 

What verse rocked your world today?

# # #

22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.  23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror  24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.  25 But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does. (James 1:22-24)

 

Comments

Psalm 56:11
"In God I have put my trust. What can man (or Swine Flu) do to me?"

With two children in the NYC Public School System, there's been a lot of Swine Flu panic going around here lately. This verse keeps coming before my eyes to remind me that regardless of the outcome of any pandemic or any other catastrophic event, I serve a God who is fully in control and entirely loving. What more do I need?

SUCH an important verse to have and to hold. Thanks J9!

Thanks for this challenging post.
doc

Thanks for reading, Doc. Hope you're well!

Malachi 1:1-2

How has God loved you?

Unexpectedly, I'll be preaching out of Malachi over the next 5-7 weeks.

Thanks, Christy.

Bryon

I know only one person in the world who spells his name Bryon. And it happens that he's a preacher man too :-) If that's you, Op, a special thanks for reading. The folks in Big Island are blessed to have you.

On this end, Romans 12:1...the idea of not conforming to this world. The word Paul used deals with conforming to an unstable, transient system. I weighed this against the "conformity" called for in Philippians 3:10 (conformed to Christ's death). Conformity here deals with yielding not to a system but rather to something that is genuine and "durable". Am still working through the idea of Christ's death being "durable" and how this applies to daily life.

And all of this from one word and the various Greek meanings used...I'm loving it! :)

Now I'm loving it too! Thanks!

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About
A New Yorker for nearly ten years, Christy Tennant rides the Staten Island Ferry several times a week. She never tires of the boats in the harbor, watching seagulls in flight, the Statue of Liberty, and the Manhattan skyline.