Thursday, April 16, 2015

Reflections on Deuteronomy 6:6-9

This week I bought a Moleskine journal and set it up to use with the bullet journal method. I also installed YouVersion Bible app on my phone, and began a parenting devotional plan in my new journal.

Yesterday I completed the first lesson on Deuteronomy 6:6-9, using the SOAP method that I have described on this blog before.

First I read the Scripture and translated it into pictures.


Then I made the following observations:


  •  I need God's Word in my own heart first in order to teach it to my children.
  •  It will take diligence, which means lots of repetition. I will fail but I must begin again and not give up, but continually renew my efforts. 
  • Binding God's word on my hand could be literal as the ancient Hebrews interpreted it, but I also thought it could mean to consider God's Word before taking any action. 
  • Similarly, wearing it between my eyes could mean allowing God's word to permeate my worldview and color every thought.

I jotted down a few ideas for application:

Home -- incorporate Scripture into my home decor, clothing and jewelry.  Post notes on the refrigerator, bathroom mirror.  Encourage scripture memorization.  Incorporate Scripture into teaching moments.

Away -- Praise and worship music in the car. Talk about God's creation as we drive.

Bedtime -- Bedtime prayers. Talking about how we saw God at work in our day.

Anytime -- Always be on lookout for opportunities to refer to Scriptural principles and contrast with other worldviews.

What struck me most through the day as I attempted to apply it and reflected on my efforts at day's end is how many distractions there are in my world. There's so little time in the day, and so many competing good things to think and talk about and spend time on.  I thought in particular about my kids' books and screen time and how that is a part of creating their worldview and felt a little overwhelmed by the distance between the standard set in this Scripture and the way we are living at the moment.

I wrote this prayer:

Triune God, you are the only perfect parent. Fill my heart with your truths and nudge me to continually renew my efforts to teach them diligently to my children at all times, in all situations, throughout their lives. I fall far short of this goal moment by moment and it is only by your mercy and grace that I will have any measure of success. Thank you for entrusting me with these precious souls. Amen

Simplicity

In 2010 I wrote the following intending to post it on this blog:

Our 700SF 1BR/1BA condo is listed for sale. It goes up on the MLS tomorrow, and our agents are coming by to take pictures. Although prices are still depressed compared to the 2006 inflated levels, there is buying activity going on, and we're expecting a lot of showings.
All that to say that we've been working hard for the past 10 days or so on "staging" our place for sale. Besides rearranging and removing some furniture, the primary activities of staging have been extreme decluttering.
We rented a 5'x10' storage unit to keep all the stuff until we're ready for it again.
Rather than a feeling of sacrifice, I've been surprised to find the functioning of our day to day lives has not been significantly different without the items in storage. In fact, I love the way our house feels without them. If it is so extraneous, it makes me wonder why I've been holding on to it? Why did I live in such a cramped way just for the sake of hoarding things I might need someday when we might live in larger quarters?
Our bedroom is the first room to be absolutely finished. I love to be in there. It feels cool, relaxing and spacious. 
I'm very encouraged to continue allowing the Holy Spirit to build the discipline of simplicity into our lives.

In February this year, we packed up to move in with my parents while I waited for a heart transplant. Enough clothes for eaxh of ua for a week or so, a basket of toys for the kids.

Once again, I wondered if I could live with such a "barebones" inventory in this situation, why do we have so much more in our day-to-day lives?

Yet I forgot the lesson all too quickly.

We will be returning home in a week or so.  While we've been gone, I started thinking of all the things I'd like to acquire and add to my possessions.

Coming across this old post has reminded me of the joy of simple living and to pursue it as a spiritual discipline.

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