Tuesday, June 16, 2009

My Morning Routine to Bring Focus to My Day: 4 Daily Readings

I'm starting each day using four books that have daily readings through the year. They are:

Through the Year With Thomas Merton. I got this book on August 28, 1990. It's lost its back cover. Merton always brings me to the heart of life in Christ. I read Merton and I am in the woods, contemplating God's creation; I am in the presence of God being sought-out by God's Spirit. There is a distinct "feel" in reading Merton, who sought after God in the quiet place, the inner temple of God that lies within. Here's Merton from today's June 16 reading: "God utters me like a word containing a partial thought of himself." (New Seeds of Contemplation - get this book and read it, slowly...)

A Year With C.S. Lewis. I would liike very much to spend a year with C.S. Lewis. In reading some Lewis every day I am taken back to 1970 and my beginning with Christ. Someone told me to read Mere Christianity, which I did. Because of what Lewis and Francis Schaeffer sparked inside of me I changed my undergraduate major from Music Theory to Philosophy. Lewis, to me, makes sense of ths change. He was creative, and philosophical. I love that combination! Lewis is logical, and mystical. Here's Lewis from today's reading: "[Miracles] come on great occasions: they are found at the great ganglions of history - not of political or social history, but of that spiritual history which cannot be fully known by men." (Miracles)

A Faith and Culture Devotional: Daily Readings in Art, Science, and Life, by Kelly Monroe Kullberg and Lael Arrington. I just got this "daily reading" book a few weeks ago and am enjoying it. Many writers have contributed to it, to include Francis Collins, Michael Behe, William Lane Craig, Dallas Willard, Hugh Ross, John Stott, Francis Schaeffer, Erwin McManus, and so on and on... Today's reading is "A Conversation With Muslims," by Erwin McManus. McManus writes: "There's only one reason for God to come [to us] himself, because in issues of love, you just can't have someone else stand in for you. When it comes to love, it has to be face-to-face. Love cannot exist where there is only distance. Love can survive distance, but only by the strength of what comes through intimacy. Like Solomon's lover, God is going up and down the streets of the city, traveling the most obscure paths and untamed wilderness, searching for the one he loves - and that one is you and it's me."

The Daily Drucker: 366 Days of Insight and Motivation for Getting the Right Things Done, by Peter Drucker. Drucker (1909 - 2005) is generally considered to be the top management thinker of modern times. Years ago I read his The Effective Executive, and was moved by it. I later found out that Drucker was a follower of Jesus, and was a personal mentor to Rick Warren. The combination of leadership brilliance and spiritual insight permeates Drucker's writings. His practical wisdom serves daily as a guide for me. Here's some Drucker from today's daily reading: "The person who invests in what already exists is, in effect, trying to minimize risk." That's quite a sentence! John Wimber defined "faith" lke this: "Faith = RISK."

After these 4 readings I'll turn to the Scriptures I preach on this coming Sunday.

It's a good start to my day. I'm reading and typing on my backyard deck that overlooks pine trees and oak trees and maple trees. There's a lot of birds at my multiple feeders. A number of squirrels are hanging around, plus a few rabbits. One of these squirrels is getting braver and approaching me as he/she gets to feel safe with me. I'm trying to get it to eat bread out of my hand. Soon, perhaps, I'll be writing out of experience like Francis of Assisi.