The New Year is quickly approaching and many people will make resolutions that they may or may not keep. When I first entered 2013 my goal was to have a personal devotion time in addition to the daily Bible reading I had with my husband. It was great for the first couple of months, but slowly the days in between my personal readings grew longer until finally several months passed.

I don’t think I’m busier than anyone else, but I think I am more distracted. Other things grab my attention—Facebook, TV, shopping, etc. A quick look on Facebook can turn into two hours of nothing. I am so tired of wasting time, yet I continue to get drawn into it.

The other day I noticed that Christianbook.com had a clearance sale. Some of their Bible study materials were selling for 49 cents so I bought a few. My intention is to rekindle the passion I have for The Word because the fire that once burned in my heart has become a smoldering pile of ashes.

I felt that my trip to Nepal was a spiritual awakening for me. I didn’t realize that I had ventured so far away from God until He drew me back again. I think it’s our tendency to slowly move away from God and not even realize it.  We go to church, we participate in ministry, we do lots of good things, but our relationship with God is strained—it’s like being married and doing all the things married people do—buy groceries together, visit with friends, etc., but when they are alone they don’t even talk to each other in any meaningful way.

Today when my husband and I were reading through Revelations, we came across this passage:

“I know all the things you do, and that you have a reputation for being alive—but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what little remains, for even what is left is almost dead. I find that your actions do not meet the requirements of my God. Go back to what you heard and believed at first; hold to it firmly. Repent and turn to me again…” (Rev. 3:1-3, NLT).

I had read these Bible verses many times before but this time it was like God was talking to me. I am like that wayward child—the prodigal daughter— but because He loves me, He is shaking me awake so I can realize how far I have strayed from Him.

I don’t know what kind of relationship you have with God—perhaps it is rich and full, and God doesn’t have to chastise you—this is a blessing. I am just thankful that God has not given up on me, and that He continues to draw me to Him even though I am a broken pot not worth keeping.

Buried in the ashes of my heart are bits of coal that can glow red when the proper material is introduced.  My deepest desire is to serve God and to know more about Him, and my goal is to read and study His Word more intentionally in the coming year—everything is possible with God.

Copyright © 2013 Dr. M. Teresa Trascritti

I’m alive!

I never thought I would ever say, “3 miles? No problem!” or “6 miles? I can do that!” There was a time in my life when I could barely run 15 minutes on a slow setting on my treadmill and one mile was a long distance for me. I compared my running with my Christian walk. There was a time when reading one Scripture verse every day was difficult and I only prayed at meal time. I can truly say that God has “shook me” so that I take my relationship with Him more seriously. I don’t think it is a coincidence that I am able to accomplish more now than I ever had before.

I was weak in every aspect of my life— my marriage, my teaching, my time with God, my time with my children, my personal discipline, my self-control, etc. Everything I did was based on my own efforts and strength—there was nothing supernatural about it. The turning point for me was when a voice in a dream said, “You are weak… it [demonic forces] will overtake you.” I knew then that I can’t do anything without God—I needed to build that relationship with Him—I couldn’t continue having occasional conversations with Him when it was convenient for me and my schedule.

My desire is to stress to you the importance of reading your Bible and praying to God everyday (even when you don’t feel like it). Now I read a one-year Bible in the morning with my husband then pray, and I read a certain book of the Bible at night. I say this not because I want to appear “holy,” but to say that if I can do it then you can too. I do it because I need to grow spiritually strong—I don’t ever want to face a spiritual attack without proper “armor.”

In our reading today we came across these passages: “You will experience all these blessings if you obey the LORD your God: Your towns and fields will be blessed. Your children and your crops will be blessed. The offspring of your herds and flocks will be blessed. Your fruit baskets and breadboards will be blessed. Wherever you go and whatever you do, you will be blessed… The LORD will guarantee a blessing on everything you do and will fill your storehouses with grain… If you obey the commands of the LORD your God and walk in his ways…” (Deu 28:2-6, 8-9, NLT).

I think if we have a sincere desire to follow God and we build that relationship with Him by reading His Word, praying to Him, and studying the Bible, then He will bless us. I know He has blessed me more than I can even imagine possible. He has breathed new life into my withered body and dying spirit and I can truly say that I am alive.

Today I ran 13.11 miles—all things are possible with God!

Copyright © 2013 Dr. M. Teresa Trascritti