This is the kind of day that makes me remember how much and why I loved Fall when I was growing up. The air is cool--or cooler than it has been--in the low to middle seventies. Pine straw litters the ground and I don't even care that it's there because of the drought we've been having. It's still a sign of Fall. Early this morning I read our hometown paper on-line, especially to find the high school football scores. Our team won. It's a perfect day for football today, perfect for tailgating. My favorite college team has a game on TV beginning about fifteen minutes from now and you can be sure we'll be tuned in. We rarely win, but we are all "die hard" fans. I had planned to cook a big pot of red beans and rice today. It's a perfect day for them, but forgot to soak the beans overnight. Silly me. How could I forget something so basic? That means soak them tonight and put them on to cook when we come from church tomorrow. Eat them on Monday 'cause they're always best the second day the Cajun cook expert in my family says. I wish you could experience this beautiful day with us. It's perfect.
In my Bible reading this morning I began reading Proverbs again. As I read the verses and all the notes in the margin of my Bible I was taken back to a sermon about twenty years ago. The pastor of the church had said in a sermon that if a person wanted to grow spiritually, he/she should read a chapter of Proverbs every day. I had heard that before, but I had not heard his second instruction which was to also read five psalms every day to grow in knowledge of God. Joe was and is the most humble man I know; godly in every way; a servant leader who exemplies Christ of Philippians 2. If this pattern of Bible reading contributed to his attitude and life, I couldn't wait to start it. Thus began my journey.
I don't have words to express how the practice of that reading pattern influenced and informed my life. Proverbs have taught me that God is wisdom personified and that through the conditions, promises, commands and results I have learned--and continue to learn--to have confidence--complete trust in God. Reading Psalms teaches the most beautiful, descriptive words about God and His creation. I am urged to remember God's mighty acts in my life as I read of the psalmist urging the Israelites to remember God's might acts in their lives. I followed that pattern monthly for several years. Now I only do it a few times a year.
Those readings changed the course of my journey. They showed me a protected path--a path reminescent of a drive way or walk way under a canopy of oak trees--like Oak Alley in Louisiana. Though the path has taken many turns, through the wilderness, into the fertile valleys, over mountains, down into the depths, the certainty of the constant presence and protection of God is always with me.
Some words of a song from "The King and I" say: "You've got to be carefully taught." Isn't that the truth? Immersing oneself in the truths of Psalms and Proverbs carefully teaches.
Try the reading pattern and have a wonderful journey.