Thursday, November 29, 2012

In Search of Faithful Companions

"I will search for faithful people to be my companions." 
(Psalm 101:6 NLT)

Again and Again I am struck by the intentionality spoken of in Psalm 101. In v.6, the Psalmist says, "I will search for faithful people to be my companions." 

It seems that we often view the discovery of friends (companions) in kind of a happen-stance manner. Indeed, more often than not, friendships emerge out of such seemingly spontaneous settings and meetings. You meet someone. There's some sort of chemistry or similar common interest and affinity. Then, over time, a friendship develops - perhaps...

But, the Psalmist doesn't seem to be speaking of such scenarios here. He says, "I will search." He's intentionally on the look out. For what? A companion. Person(s) who he can live-life with. And, not just anyone will suffice. He says, I'm looking for those who are "faithful." 

The Psalmist may have many acquaintances, but he recognizes that there are those who transcend beyond into the realm of companion. Those who have the access to speak into our lives, to know us deeply, and to be known by us.

He's conscious of the type of person who has access to his soul. He is aware that he will be shaped by those he "dwells" with and those who are allowed to "minister" to him (speak to him, pour into him, influence him, etc).

We all have friends… 

But, how many are faithful companions? How many faithful companions do I currently have? People who know me - my depths, my dreams, my fears, my frustrations and so forth?

What would it look like for me to "search for faithful people" in my own life?

How many people consider me one of their faithful companions…?

"A friend," wrote Henri Nouwen "is someone who asks how you are doing and then waits around long enough for you to answer." 

How many people do I demonstrate this quality to…? How many ask me and then wait around for the answer…?

We all need faithful companions! May we develop the intentionality to "search." And, a keen "eye" to see those who God is putting in our path to journey with...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Action Bible Devotional

I'm always looking for something to read with my kids, especially during the evenings. Over the years, I've tried several children's bibles, kids devotionals, regular Bible and the like. Recently, I started going through The Action Bible Devotional (published by David Cook) with my nine-year-old son. The publisher states that, "The Action Bible Devotional pairs selected stories from the bestselling Action Bible with spiritual lessons and action-adventure missions that launch kids’ faith into everyday life. Covering themes such as friendship, temptation, sibling rivalry, self-esteem, and materialism, The Action Bible Devotional offers a year’s worth of activities, questions, and ideas that will keep young readers engaged with the Bible every day."

Me and my son are a few weeks into it... 

The images are engaging, the summation narrative used for the various stories is concise and good. I particularly like the devotional reflections at the end of each selected reading. The questions are comprehendible and applicable for my nine-year-old. We've already had several good conversations (and prayer times) regarding various stories in Scripture and how they can be applied to his own life. I look forward to the future moments we'll have together as we continue to work through it... 

I only wish there were 365 devotions to go with the Action Bible, rather than merely 52 (one for each week). We are currently going through 2-3 devotions a week and using the other nights to engage other readings/Scriptures/etc...

The devotional element has several interactive thoughts, questions and means of personal engagement:

  • Each reading as a key verse
  • X-ray Vision (short thought connecting with gospel story)
  • Mission (three fun activities to make the story tangible)
  • Debrief (questions)
  • Mission Accomplished (Notes, etc)
  • Share the Adventure (Ideas for involvement)
  • Big Picture (Creative Page to write, draw, or add to devotional)