Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Little Recommendation for Morning Quiet Time

“…It is Love that causes us to rise up from spiritual sleep and open ourselves to God. Love is the call; and Love is the transforming power… God begins His greatest work when the inner man is opened to Him. He touches us with His Spirit, and His touch sends out flames that we perceive in flickers of holy awe, wonder, overwhelming beauty. God works to draw our will into His own, so that we come to want with all our heart to be made one with that flame—and the flame is Love. This is how the very life of God enters into us.—when our selfishness is consumed in the unquenchable love of the Father.”

St. John of the Cross (1542- 1591)

Searching for a book to loan a friend, I came upon a collection that has had great significance in my spiritual life.

David Hazard’s devotional series Rekindling the Inner Fire was (is) transformational.

In it, the author has unlocked the riches of Christian classics spanning the centuries, making them accessible for even the least cerebrally-oriented among us.

When I first started my spiritual quest in earnest, it was highly unlikely that I might grab St. Augustine’s Confessions or Thomas a Kempis’ Imitation of Christ off the shelf of my local bookstore. Much more of a chance that I’d be drawn to something contemporary and conversational with a flashy cover and title.

But then I stumbled upon the first of Hazard’s small but intensely powerful devotional books. They are thin, unassuming little paperbacks. You’d never imagine what deep treasures lie within.

Hazard has prayerfully chosen passages from Christian classics, both ancient and more recent, and edited and paraphrased them into contemporary English.

He introduced me to great thinkers such as St. Augustine, Theresa of Avila, Julian of Norwich, John of the Cross, Francis of Assisi, Thomas a Kempis, Amy Carmichael, Hannah Whitall Smith, and Andrew Murray.

But he did it in such a way that a harried mother of three busy young girls could work it into her daily schedule. Each book contains a collection of short devotionals from the works of the author in question. Around two pages each, followed by a short prayer. I could handle that, even with an 8:00 a.m. carpool.

I will be forever grateful. For when those girls got older, I was drawn to go back and dig deeper into those classics of which Hazard had given me a little tempting taste.

I was thrilled to discover that most of them are still in print and available on Amazon.

As you can see from the top, I’m back into John of the Cross. Maybe I’ll go back through the whole series again.

Something new comes out every time.


Does anyone have other recommendations for deep devotionals on the run?

Sometimes it seems like all the forces in the universe join together in order to prevent a morning quiet time.

For instance, the peaceful scene at the top has just been marred by a goose fight.


To see how loud a goose fight gets, turn up your volume. (Didn't grab the camera 'til it was almost over.)

Now there's a jack-hammer next door. Guess that's my signal. Bye for now.


Laurel said...

Fighting geese. Jackhammers. Nature channel meets "How Stuff is Made." You are truly living the dream.

Kim said...

no kidding.

thanks for the acknowledgement!

(ADHD challenges.)

Anonymous said...

I love these "classic" devotional writers! I can linger over one or two words and come away with such deep insight!

A devotional that I ran across several years ago gave me a unique experience with the gospels. "Becoming Fire" by Jeannie Miley invites the reader back to the time of Jesus. Even more, the reader is literally transported back to that time and place and "enters in". It changed the way I read scripture!

Blessings to you!!

Anonymous said...

Great pictures! I appreciate your advocation of the Christian classics. Here's another that has been a blessing to me:

Have a great day!

Kim said...

Elisabeth Elliott is one of my favorite writers - and her book, "Keep a Quiet Heart" is a compilation of thoughts reflections of scriptures, songs, stories of how God has spoken to her in every day situations. She speaks with authority and simplicity.


Kim said...

Thank you all for these awesome recommendations!

I'll add them to my list.

I've also been enriched by readings from Madame Jeanne Guyon and Brother Lawrence.

it's amazing how relevant these classics remain.

Truth: the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow!

Love, Kim