Thursday, October 2, 2014

Transparent Thursday--reading the Bible all the way through

For the first time since I have felt called to write this series, God hasn't urgently pressed anything on my heart. There are defintely quite a few things I want to write about; sexual immorality, drug addiction, familial strains--but I don't think this is the week He wants me to write about them. 

This week, this week has been a quiet week--quiet in the Spirit. I spent A LOT OF TIME IN THE WORD, and honestly that's what I feel led to talk about! 

I'm going to keep it short, because honestly I feel lousy today. I'm not sure if I am coming down with something or if it is just the life of an exhausted stay-at-home mom, but I simply feel crummy. 

Transparency--I've never read through the entire Bible. 

Nope, never. 

I've read through the New Testament once, about 4 years ago, and I retained a little, but nothing to the extent that I know He would have liked. 

I've read a few books of the Old Testament, and really only retained the big stories that I think the entire world knows, even the non-believers; so really what did I "gain"? 

Not a lot. 

The truth is, I've never understood the Bible. Before I rededicated my life to walking with Christ, I was scared of the Bible. I was scared of this perceived God that seemed to judge and give out terribly harsh consequences. I believed at that time that He was punishing me for my terriby sinful life and I really didn't care to know what He said or how He said to live. 

Once I did dedicate my life to Him, I tried reading the Scriptures, but I approached it still with this attitutude that He was judging me. Every verse, every chapter screamed at me that I was disgusting and shameful and could never enter the Kingdom. 

That was the enemy, I believe, trying very boldly to keep me from becoming intimate with God. Now, I know that the enemy is not omni-present, as in he is not everywhere and he was not always physcially keeping me from reading, but the lies that he placed in my life kept me from falling at the foot of the cross and walking under grace. That separation kept me from truly seeing the beauty in Scripture. 

That has changed recently. 

A few months ago I found something called "Bible Journaling" and I cannot even begin to tell you what this did to my walk, to my reading, to my intimacy with Christ. 

I long to open my Bible now, to hear Him, to see His beauty, to allow His truths to resonate within me. 

I've always been a journaler, since I was a little girl. But, what I would do throughout my entire life was STOP journaling when the shame would take me over. I couldn't handle the shame I felt and if that shame made its way to physical words on a paper, I had to stop writing. I've always stopped writing. 

Today, I want the words to pierce me deeply. I want to write what's on my heart, with no regard to what anyone else may think--only Him. I am confidant of what He says about me now, and I can rest in knowing that even if the words I write are harsh or need to be clarified more, He will show me. He isawesome  like that. He simply wants me to worship Him and be honest about what is in my heart. 

That is my focus when I read now, worshipping and praising Him. 

I have chosen a few books to read throughout the past few months, and I have been deeply changed through them. But, I have felt this urgency to read the Bible, in its entirety, cover to cover, and I was weary at first. Many churches do this as a whole, but I didn't want to rush through it. I really wanted to take my time, but yet be in a community with other people.

So, I decided to reach out to a few girlfriends, and post on my FB to see if anyone was interested in doing it with me--low and behold, women were feeling the same desire to read as I was. 

There's a website called by Courtney Joseph that is doing this currently, and Courtney so graciously created a plan to go along with the reading, as well as some study notes. 

I decided to adapt the plan to my life, and begin reading immediately. I completed Chapter 1 today and LET ME TELL YOU, the Spirit worked through me! 

I think everyone pretty much knows the creation account, again even non-believers. But, as I took my time, wrote, prayed, and used my pens and stickers, I just felt different about it. 

I mean, God created the entire WORLD out of His mouth--He spoke, and it was done. Created. No question. No lag time. Simply, created. 

How is that not amazing? Well, I think it is. 

So, today marked my journey of reading the Bible, cover to cover, for the very first time in 30 years. I am excited, and I am nervous to see what He has waiting for me. 

If you would like to join me, please, reach out and let me know. I would love to have you on my team! Holding each other accountable is such a fun, and encouraging way to do this journey together! 
You can find me on FB as: Ashley Hermsmeier or instagram as _gingermom5_ 

I cannot wait to hear and see all the way through these pages that we are less than only Three. 

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