Friday, May 11, 2012

Devoting time

Imagine that you are suddenly forced to question your deepest beliefs, your lifestyle, and your relationships. That happened to me not very long ago. When I uncovered the multitude of lies that had been so carefully packaged and presented to me as shiny clean truths, I felt even my faith in God's existence waver. If there wasn't a "true church" and if all my major life decisions for the past twenty-seven years had been based on a lie, could there even be a God?

I wanted to give God a chance so I kept reading the Bible. I borrowed books about Christianity from the library.  I found out that former US president Jimmy Carter had released a book called "Through the Year with Jimmy Carter."  It is a daily devotional--according to Wikipedia, a publication that provides a "specific spiritual reading for each calendar day."

I had a free sample of the book sent to my e-reader and found that I really liked it.  Each day started with a scripture from the Bible, then an experience Jimmy Carter had that related to the verse(s), then a simple prayer regarding the theme. The sample was over three weeks long. I wrote each day in a journal about what I learned and thought and felt. The prayer part felt a little pagan to me at first.  It was someone else's prayer.  Using "You" to address God was really strange to see.  But in time I relaxed and read the prayers anyway.  I tried to say them with real intent and feeling.

I had always admired Jimmy Carter for his humanitarian work and that was what drew me to his devotional. I later discovered Oswald Chambers and his work, "My Utmost for His Highest."  No prayers here, just a verse and a mini-sermon each day.  It has been very powerful to read--Mr. Chambers pulls no punches.

The idea of a daily devotional started out strange to me but I have found it to be very useful, inspirational, and motivational to read the experiences and thoughts of other Christians.  I look forward to it each day.  It helps me learn Christian doctrine. It helps me feel less alone.

I highly recommend giving a daily devotional book or calendar to any ex-Mormon to whom you give a Bible. 

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