As part of my journey to being more intentional with my spiritual life, I want to start reading more faith-based texts so I have decided that each month I will pick 3-5 books that are focused on building a personal relationship with God; religious experience; spiritual growth; a bible study, or a devotional. There is no major rush to have every text completed by the end of the month (especially the devotionals) as I personally think that it is more important for me to actively read and mentally digest the words and the message placed in front of me than to rush towards some hypothetical ‘finish-line’.
With that being said, I thought that I would share the texts that I have chosen for this first month of intentional faith-based reading and write a bit about why I chose a particular text, and what, if anything I am hoping to garner from them.
Ruth Bible Study by Love God Greatly (https://amzn.to/2KcQVz9)
Dare to Ask by Simcha Natan (https://amzn.to/2OtvX2l)
Being a Quaker by Geoffrey Durham (https://amzn.to/2LFg0Iy)
Daily Prayer Seeking the Heart of God by Berenice Aguilera (https://amzn.to/2K9OBJ6)
Word For Today and The Word For You, by UCB Media
Word For Today and The Word For You, by UCB Media
To start with I should explain why there are two seemingly similar devotionals on my August list. I have been both a casual and in recent times, an avid reader of the seasonal devotional that arrives in my letterbox every three months. The Word for Today is timeless, scripture focused devotional that has become a mainstay of my spiritual routine, however, there were times when I found myself unable to connect with the daily reading, especially when it dealt with topics such as praying for your husband or children, as I currently have neither, so I was excited to discover that they also printed an alternative version that has the same message at its core but the delivery is aimed at a younger audience.
Although I receive a paper copy of the Word For You my prefered way to read it is through the various tweets that they send out throughout the day. I have alerts on so that every time they post I take that moment not only to read what has been written but also to take a moment to sit with God. The regular alerts are a gentle reminder that God is always with me and that I should seek Him first.
Daily Prayer Seeking the Heart of God by Berenice Aguilera
I downloaded this devotional on a whim when it showed up in my suggested reads list on my
Amazon Kindle Fire. I admit I was initially drawn by the beautiful hummingbird cover art, however, that is not the reason that it is on this list. Sometimes, I feel called to pray and the words flow so
naturally, however, there are times when I am unable to articulate what is on my heart, and my voice remains silent. In the past, I would experience shame and guilt – especially in the early years after I had committed myself to God. I felt like a failed Christian and would internalise my anxieties to the point that I would pull away from my bible studies all-together.
In more recent times I have begun to seek out prayers by others that offer me words when I feel as though I have none. I am particularly looking forward to this book of prayers as the author does not seek to impress but instead has taken the time to reveal her genuine heart and love for God.
Being a Quaker by Geoffrey Durham
If asked, I have always said that I am a non-denominational Christian, which is to say that I do not prescribe to any particular religious doctrine or means of worship. I would also class myself as a curious Christian; I am highly interested in how people worship, prayer and experience God. In my own life, I have experienced – what I understood to be – Catholic, Pentecostal, Evangelical and Anglican worship, and I had an Anglican Confirmation in 2013. However, I continue to thirst for further understanding of God and faithful expression and this happened to be the first book that caught my eye as I looked over my packed shelves. Whilst my relationship with God is true and solid, I have a much more complicated history with the church, so I am drawn to the idea of quiet worship (and the history of social activism).
Sidenote: I have been thinking about writing an article on alternatives to physical church, and digital worship so if you would be interested in that let me know on twitter @thisgirlmatters
Dare to Ask by Simcha Natan
Having recently moved from a Windows Phone to an Android I have been enjoying my new found access to some amazing apps; one of my favourites is called YouVersion. What is great about this app is that as well as allowing the user to access many versions of the bible it also has a plethora of devotionals and one that I recently completed was called, Dreaming with God. I was incredibly inspired, creatively, during the four mornings that I read through this plan and when I discovered that the author had written a book I was quick to purchase it. There is a Dare to Ask plan on YouVersion that I am looking forward to reading alongside the book.
Ruth Bible Study by Love God Greatly
I have wanted to study Ruth for a long time and had planned to start a daily reading of her chapter of the bible at the beginning of the Summer, however, there was always an interruption and I never got started. Then a few days ago I got my regular email from Love God Greatly and I discovered that the bible study for August will be Ruth! This study is going to be the focus of my faith journal/planner through-out August as I practice verse-mapping and the S.O.A.P study method and see how a more studious approach to my bible time can enhance my faith.
You can connect with me and see regular pictures from my August Reading List on my new Instagram @pray.plan.bloom
Have a blessed day