Monthly Archives: January 2016

Book Review: The Practice of the Presence of God

The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence … I was given this book in the 1982 Whitaker House edition for Christmas by my father.  It has been “translated” into modern English and colloquialisms, which is normally a death-knell, but in this case – it worked.   The book itself is extremely short – it’s the size of my hand and only 93 pages long, including a short biography.

I found this book a great blessing, and I can but think that I will be turning to it often to remind myself to practice responding to the presence of the Lord in all times, concentrating myself on serving Him, and turning my mind and heart to loving Him.   The book consists largely of letters that Brother Lawrence wrote to his friends.  They are largely on the same topic, and though one could easily read the whole book in a sitting, I found myself reading a letter and putting the book down for a day or so while I digested.

I want to say that I dwell in this presence, but of course that’s ridiculous.  Sometimes in prayer I sit in the presence of God, and I bliss out.  But even for a few moments, I can feel the pressure of life calling me back – and my flesh, freaked out by the bliss, not in control, it yanks me back.  Soon enough I find myself back to “normal”, as Paul says – married women are concerned with the things of this world, not things of the Lord.

I regret that.  But this book reminds me that this blessing is something to strive for, a “discipline” to return to.  Nothing comes easily, even communion.  One day I will be in His presence for all of time… until then, any moment I can spend with the Lord is a jewel in itself, and should be appreciated as such.

So, I will try not to envy Brother Lawrence, but to learn from his example.  And I will refer back to this little collection of letters, certainly.

Highest recommendations.

Daily Witness: God is good

I was the recipient of a mild rebuke this New Year, as I prayed to see what God had to say to me… and He said, “so, where’s the faith?  Don’t you think I’ll take care of you, if you’re obeying Me?”

So, I wanted to remind myself of the ways He takes care of life and service.

Made some phone calls for the ride ministry at church today.  First call went off flawlessly – no fuss, no muss.  Sweet.  Next call, I just felt like I needed to call this lady back… and she was crying when she picked up the phone.

So we prayed a bit, and I let her talk and it was a blessing to minister to her.  She’s looking for a church home, and she’s hurting, and our church is really GOOD at ministering to the hurting.   That makes me happy.

If God hadn’t pushed me to call her, I wouldn’t have – I normally don’t call people back once they have my phone # (so many flakes) if they want a ride.  (Seriously – if I call you and say, “do you want a ride to church?” and you say, “yeah, I’ll think about it, maybe later” … I’m not going to bug you).  And obviously God’s timing for the phone call itself.

And instead of having to call all over tarnation for the ride for the other lady, God hooked that right up.  I was feeling guilty for not having hooked her up earlier, so that was just grace.

The third call was just a call, volunteer dude had gotten my email and not written me back.  Whatevs – I did get the pleasure of “hey, it didn’t go into the spam box!”  I worry about that.  I prefer email, but I worry about the Great Spam Box of Doom.  (Much like voicemail.  But then again – if you’re not going to call/email me back when I’m just putting you on the list, when I actually NEED you to contact me because I have someone who wants to get to church, how useful are you going to be?)

Have been having a few bumps and lumps on the personal side, and God gave some grace there, and I appreciate it.

It’s awkward sometimes to talk about the Providential stuff in our daily lives, and then we forget, because we don’t talk about it.   We forget to watch for it.  And then we miss out on joy.

When you start to look up and notice the cool stuff, you are struck by how God loves you – active verb – in everyday life.  And then you notice more, and that helps you love Him a bit more and it helps you focus on Him a bit more, and it just makes life an amazing place.

Every day is like this, every day has Providential blessing scattered all through it, God’s special gifts for each one of us.

I just wanted to share.

I just wanted to remember – God’s got this.