Like I stated yesterday, I love to read. I am therefore also emotionally connected to books. Truly, I am emotionally connected. I almost never get rid of them. I am willing to lend, but (thanks to a thoughtful friend) they are each stamped with a lovely "From the library of Colleen Daigle" stamp.
While we are going through the process of adoption, I have promised to not buy any books. This has been especially hard, but I have stuck to it pretty closely. After I completed the James Bible study by Pam Gibbs, I squashed the desire to run out and buy another Bible study by relying on something that I heard during the Senior Adult Retreat that our church hosted in the fall. Yes, Larry and I did attend the Senior Adult retreat. All of the church staff and their spouses were invited to attend. It was wonderful to soak up wisdom and I would love to go again. One of the women that spoke, shared about her daily quiet time and how she always starts by reading a hymn from one of the older hymnals. She went on to point out that each of the hymns has a scripture reference under the title.
BINGO!!! Who needs to buy a devotional/Bible study when there are 734 hymns, responsive readings and benedictions in the hymnal, each with a nugget of scripture attached to ponder, stew in and soak up? By going through one per day, I have 2.01095 years worth of devotionals without spending a penny! Isn't that just perfect, considering our adoption agency recently announced that the wait times have been extended to 18-24 months?! ***Please note, I did not steal a hymnal. I have one from one of the churches where we attended which purchased all new hymnals and encouraged each of the members to take one of the old ones homes. Just sayin'!***
An added bonus in all of this came about 3 weeks into my hymnal/devotional journey. Larry came home with a piano one afternoon. Just like that. He just showed up, as if it was as common as the mail. We hadn't discussed my current quiet time literature. He just happened to have a piano donated to the youth group garage sale and knew that I had always wanted one. So, for the bargain price of $100, he bought me a piano. (Just a little FYI, he also sold 2 more pianos...one for $25....so, we paid a fair price...don't be judging!)
The advent of the piano kind of messed up my method of going through the hymn in numerical order. As a little girl, I took piano lessons for several years. So, I was completely distracted from my first plan and took a new approach determined by what key I could sit down and play first. I started hopping around from page to page...willy-nilly style.
I stumbled on this precious jewel. The reference is to James 2:17.
In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
Let Your Heart Be Broken
by Bryan Jeffrey Leech
Let your heart be broken for a world in need.
Feed the mouths that hunger,
Soothe the wounds that bleed,
Give the cup of water and the loaf of bread.
Be the hands of Jesus, serving in His stead.
Here on earth applying principles of love,
God still rules above,
Living illustration of the Living Word,
To the minds of all who've never seen or heard.
Add to your believing deeds that prove it true.
Knowing Christ as Savior,
Make Him Master, too.
Follow in His footsteps, Go where He has trod.
In the world's great trouble, risk yourself for God.
Let your heart be tender and your vision clear.
See mankind as God sees,
Serve Him far and near;
Let your heart be broken by another's pain,
Share your rich resources...Give and give again.
Gorgeous, is it not?! The words were written by Bryan Jeffery Leech. When those stanzas are read and then compared with the scripture in the second chapter of James, I am overwhelmed by the notion that risking ourselves for God, giving, giving again and serving others as a "living illustration of the Living Word" can only be accomplished by putting our faith in Him.
All of the money-saving, coupon-clipping, book-reading, webinar-watching, Karyn Purvis-listening in the world won't accomplish anything, if I am not relying fully for God's patience, provision and protection in this process. While I am still doing all of those things, I am not sure that we could endure this process without absolute confidence that God had put a burden for a world in need in our hearts and more specifically, for a little boy in Ethiopia.
May we be constantly reminded that Jesus is not just our Savior, He is to be our Master, too. Please, Lord, help me to risk myself for You. I want to be a living illustration of Jesus to people who haven't seen or heard. I want to let my heart be broken.