Philippians Chapter 1 — What Stands Out

Recently I read a book about spiritual disciplines (Sensible Shoes by Sharon Garlough Brown — Book Review) that made me think about something I haven’t done for a while –lection divina.  This is a practice of reading a short portion of Scripture prayerfully, several times, and noticing what word or phrase stands out for you– what’s going on in your life, and what might God be saying to you through this right now.

Here’s what jumped out for me in the first chapter of Philippians:

“I thank God every time I remember you.”  Philippians 1:3

I’m seventy now, so I have a lot of people to remember;  family members and friends from my youth who are still important to me;  my husband, Terry, who has been my life companion;  spiritual mentors and soul friends who have walked with me through different parts of my journey with Jesus; co-workers who helped me and taught me about teamwork;  my children and grandchildren who have made joyful memories for me;  even difficult people who caused me pain have been part of shaping my life, and through them I have learned to be humble, understanding, empathetic and forgiving– after all, I have sometimes been a difficult person, too.

This month of Thanksgiving is a good time to remember and give thanks for all the people God has sent into our lives, whether they’ve been there for a reason, a season or a lifetime. We are not meant to live alone.  Every person in your life is a gift. Pray for them.  Cherish them.  Remember them.

“It is right for me to feel this way about you, since I have you in my heart; …. all of you share in God’s grace with me  God can testify how I long for you with the affection of Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 1:7-8

For more lectia divina see these posts:

What Stands Out–Jude

What Stands Out? Hebrews Chapter 10

What Stands Out?

 

Before We Forget edited by Nathan Millican & Jonathon Woodyard–Book Review

This book is a series of brief essays written by pastors about the challenges of shepherding a congregation.  One of the editors calls it “an exercise in the discipline of confession.”  Remembrance is also highlighted as a key spiritual practice.

“We want to remind ourselves of God’s work in our lives as He has conformed us into the image of Jesus and molded us into (hopefully) more faithful followers and more careful and helpful shepherds.”

Topics discussed include:

  • Insecurity
  • Pride
  • Taking the Pastorate for granted
  • Character
  • Sexual purity
  • Patience
  • Reconciliation
  • Suffering

Each theme has one chapter written by a young pastor, and one by an older pastor.  If you are not in ministry yourself, you should still read this book for a better understanding of the problems pastors encounter. The ministry is not easy;  it requires the ability to properly order priorities, persevere in the face of difficult circumstances and lead others while also acknowledging your own sins and shortcomings.

 

The topics covered are relevant to all church leaders, and in fact every Christian.  I especially liked the chapters on patience and reconciliation (which probably needs I need to work on these things!)

VERDICT:  5 Stars.  Very interesting and readable.

If you would like to purchase this book follow the link below:

https://www.lifeway.com/en/product/before-we-forget-P005815461

The Lutheran Ladies received a free copy of this book in return for a fair and honest review. Disclaimer pursuant to FTC 16 CFR part 255.