Introduction to 2009 Edition of Reflections, entitled Reflections, Volume 2
The original edition of Reflections was printed in November of 1992. Seventeen years have gone by, and I feel that I have more such sayings that I need to write down. My outlook now is more mature than it was then, and I feel the Lord has given me deeper insights into many things. However, part of me wonders at my audacity in writing such things. I feel very much as if I am a beginning Christian. More than I was back then, I am less self-confident and more aware of my deficiencies. However, the Lord has written these little truths on my heart and I feel it is better to share them than to withhold them. If any of it is of value, it is because it is really not my own wisdom, but that which the Spirit has spoken softly to my heart over a period of years. I do not claim it to be pure verbatim dictating from God, merely truths that reside deep in my spirit that I am trying to articulate in a few words.
Let God fill your heart with love: love for Him, love for others, and the secure conviction of His love for you. This is the greatest wealth of all.
Practice thankfulness all day long by thanking God for every good thing that comes your way.
Remember always every good thing God has done for you in the past. As the children of Israel erected monuments, so must you erect your monuments of God’s grace and provision.
Always assume that any doubt that enters your mind about the goodness and love of God is from the devil. Reject all such thoughts, and if you entertain them for long repent of them. They are spiritual poison.
Learn to be quiet, to still your mind now and then so that you may hear from God. Do not expect that every time you do so you will receive something from Him, but give Him the opportunity to speak to you as He chooses. Beware of becoming too passive, of emptying your mind for long periods. There are other voices than the voice of God, so you must be cautious. There is a kind of passivity that opens up some people to the demonic, but there is also divine protection for those who trust and learn how to let the Spirit guide them into stillness of mind and openness to God’s voice. Remember, God does not always speak in the ways that we might expect. Sometimes all He does is impart an awareness of His presence, His peace or His love, not a word of guidance. It is not good to seek too much for guidance, but it is important to be open to it. If you have kept the communication lines between you and God free of the static of sin He will impart things to you. Do not try to force anything, be open for whatever He sends, and always question anything that comes that violates scriptural principles.
Avoid becoming too frantic, too overwhelmed with tasks. Have lots of open spaces of peace in your life. There are times when you must be busy, but plan to have times for things like a stroll through the woods, or along a beach. Now and then, take time to enjoy the beauty of the natural world. Take a walk in the woods, along a body of water, look at interesting architecture, watch birds, or look at flowers. God has put many beautiful things around us. We should be appreciative; we should take the time to look and enjoy and thank Him for what He has made. The frantic life is not a healthy life. Inevitably there are times of stress because that is the nature of life, but there are little islands of peace to which we must all retreat for our own good and so that we may be more useful to God and others.
Learn to see God’s hand in everything that happens to you, in the events of daily life. Don’t strain too hard to see them, just let Him show you.
Immature Christians tend to think that all bad things come from the devil. They don’t. Some things are sent from God and sometimes we will see the reasons for them and often we aren’t meant to.
I never ask to be made strong, only to be enough aware of my weakness and insufficiency that I may be open to receiving God’s strength.
I think I have a few good desires that God has given me. One is to be a friend of God. There are others: to love what He loves, to hate what He hates, to be gentler in speech and manner, to be courteous with everyone, never to be rude or insulting, to be freer of mental static that I may hear God’s voice more clearly, and to grow in my capacity to grieve for those things that grieve the heart of the Father. I pray that He may help me by His mighty power to do those things. I know in my heart that these are good prayers and that He hears me.