The Challenge of Cultivation

Happy New Year!

This year I long to be more faithful in cultivating my relationship with my heavenly Father.  I woke up to a bright new day…a fresh beginning, and suddenly it occurred to me how depressed I have been over the past year or so.  Perhaps it was the death of our beloved Dalmatian, or maybe it has to do with my stumbling forays into directorship of Classical Conversations.  But this morning as I drove back home from Target, listening to U2 on the radio, I noticed how vibrant the colors around me were at the same time that I became aware — again — of a special feeling of closeness with my Creator.  I’ve been wandering in the desert for awhile, but for today, I feel as if the Lord is filling me up with the Living Water.  It’s refreshing beyond belief!

The best way I know how to become closer to God is by reading the book he set down before me.  I like to use different translations.  I enjoy looking up the original languages to try to discern deeper meaning.  I realize not everyone feels the way I do about language.  Some people are “set in their ways” regarding the translation of the Bible that they read.  But my mind keeps going back to the days when the Bible was not accessible to the common man because it was written in Latin.  There was lots of bloodshed over the translation attempts….but now, today, I can read at least twenty different English translations of the Bible at Biblegateway.com.  I also like using YouVersion because I can set up two different translations of the same verses on the same screen.

Why all the Bible talk?  Today I’ve begun a new challenge of cultivation — I want to read and blog about the Bible — all of it –and how the Holy Spirit teaches me through its words.  A dear friend of mine posted a chronological yearly reading plan.  My goal this year is to not only follow this plan, but also to blog about it.

My inspiration comes from the movie Julie and Julia, about a woman who decides to cook all of Julia Child’s recipes in a year and blog about it.  Blogging about it kept her accountable.  I know it won’t be easy.  I know many of my blogs will be very short due to time.  But this is important to my spiritual growth.  Perhaps my efforts will spur you into similar endeavors to cultivate a deeper relationship with the Lord.  We are so fortunate to have easy access to His life-giving words!  Why do we not take advantage of them more often?  Our collective inattention to the scriptures is one of the reasons our country has had such a moral  backsliding.  Our children need to see us engaging in Bible study; they need to see how it impacts life in practical ways.

How is that accomplished?  I’m not sure, but I’m ready to find out!

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