Journeyman Project Dispatches from the Life of Patrick Fowler: Christianity Explored

16Jul/130

Daily Devotional Time: Patrick’s Style

God's love must pour into my life, or I will cease to have any love to share with others. Humans are not very deep wells for love, and human love is not all that great compared to God's love. "We love because He first loved us" is what we are told. (1 John 4:19)

That's the hard part about being a pastor, you do a lot of pouring out--and if God's not pouring in, you dry up.

Here's a simple description of what I do to make sure I'm being poured into:

  1. Bible Reading - I've got a YouVersion reading plan that I read at least 5 days a week. (Two days are blank each week) Maybe its just me, but reading on a screen is easier than reading a printed Bible, and I always have the plan with me on my phone, for times when I don't get near a computer. HOWEVER, I can get lazy and just check off the list if I'm not careful. So i make it a discipline to write out my thoughts on a few verses every couple of days. I even share my thoughts with the public via YouVersion's notes system: https://www.youversion.com/users/patrick_fowler1/notes
  2. A Simple Devotional Thought - I read a quarter page devotional the moment I wake up each day--it's called the daily bread. Its free in print, its available on all the smartphones, and its pretty good. It's one way that I read someone else's minisermon or thoughts from Scripture each day. It gets me thinking about God from the first moment of my day--which is crucial for me.
  3. Reading-- I get a TON out of books, so I always have at least 2 books in progress at any time. I read a random group of books. Some on how to do ministry, some fun fiction books, and some devotional books by authors like my favorite, the great Max Lucado. Currently I am reading Lucado's Cast of Characters and Steven Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and they are both phenomenal.
  4. Prayer--I'm not a great prayer, but I take one day each week and REALLY pray for the needs of the people I know. I start the day by meeting a prayer group at a local church--something I found out about randomly. These guys get me in a spirit of prayer and teach me to pray by how they do it. They also keep me from sleeping in on Tuesdays. Then I pray for a while on my own. It makes me much more attuned to what God's up to.
  5. Relationships - I've got a small group that I meet with on Tuesdays, and a few friends I meet with specifically to talk about how I am doing spiritually. Those things keep me grounded. I need someone to look me in the face and ask if I'm doing ok spiritually.
  6. Sunday Sermons. Often times I am not able to worship during the standard church services on Sundays. I show up early for setup and stay late for teardown. So what do I do? Haha, I'm lucky. I get the sermon from Chris on Thursdays each week. I get to hear his message and be prayerfully cheering him on as he delivers it on Sundays. By then, I have had to think through it twice. It's great. And it challenges me to show up on Sunday morning living out what He challenges oneChurch to live out in the days following. Some people accuse Sundays of being shallow...but I have yet to hear a message at oneChurch that I did not need to live better than I did before. I may have heard the message before, but that doesn't mean I am fully living it out yet. It takes me a few tries to get it. How about you?

Whew, that list sounds really long. All in all, this is my best case scenario plan. Some weeks i can't meet with others in the regular meetings. Some weeks I get lazy in my reading. Some times I am just plain busy and these things suffer. The key however, is my spiritual life is a priority. I do MOST  of these each week--and God gets to  pour into my life. I love it. I wouldn't have it any other way.

The way I see it--this is my most important relationship in life. It deserves lots of time, and the best of my time.

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you - Matthew 6:33

 

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