I snapped this picture during the middle of October.

You can see Caleb in the background and the sun coming through the window enough

to find a place to rest on the arm of the love seat.

This table tells a story of morning time.

Warm drinks mingled with tried and tested texts to fill our minds and souls.

See that blue book in the tray?

That is our precious Oswald.

Carl and I have each been reading a copy.

He has the contemporary version and I have the original.

Yes, many mornings I will read the entry twice maybe three times.

Sometimes it is the language, sometimes it is just because it is morning,

often it is due to the head space of the reader.

I love this table.

Lately the table has been replaced by couches where I will find Carl and Caleb already



I usually am stumbling into the living room attempting to take my place with them before

they finish.

Morning person does not describe me, it is a discipline I continue to desire to be

carved into me.

The table and the couches tell a story.

Yet they don’t tell the whole story.

Some mornings those books remain in baskets and

in piles.

We over sleep.

We can be lazy.

Maybe a brightly lit screen captures our attention too quickly and

way too soon.

The photo captures my hope.

My best intention.

I wish it was our always.

But I do know when we take time to read His Word,

we finish a little less hungry for breakfast.

I share this morning story with you  because over the last couple of months,

whenever I have mentioned my struggle with keeping my morning time fresh

and consistent, I have been met with such fervent nodding and sighing.

You and I are not alone.

I am learning that a bit of safe accountability is a good thing.

If Carl and I don’t get a chance to discuss our readings in the morning,

I can be sure that one of us at some point will ask,

“Did you read Oswald?”

“What did you think about that verse?”

I usually say,

“Really, you read the whole context of the key verse?”

Some days, we both shake our heads and sigh,

“Truth. Hard truth.”

Devotionals are great.

They are the appetizer before the main course.

One can’t live on appetizers.

Well, I suppose you could but I don’t think a steady diet of potato skins

and mozzarella sticks would do anyone’s body any good.

This weekend, we attended two 60th birthday parties.

Both were fun but the one I enjoyed the most had an open mic time.

Some stories were funny, some were inside jokes, many were tales of God’s

faithfulness and the importance of trusting Him even when everything within

points towards the opposite.

I left this celebration encouraged.

I felt emboldened  in my conviction to cling tightly to the Father.

I think reading devotionals is like the last party.

You may be reading about someone else’s story but when finished,

a good devotional will encourage your faith.

A good devotional should draw you to the Father and to studying His words.

Once you are ushered to His word, you get access to all those inside stories.

You get to spend sacred time.

You and the storyteller.

This is when the story gets really good.

So if you can’t find any traction in your time with God.

Start with a devotional and let it whet your appetite preparing you for the best part of

the meal, scripture.

Under a helping hand at the top of the blog is a list of my favorite devotionals.

Take a look and see if you discover something new to chew on.

Do you have a favorite devotional?

2 thoughts on “oswald

  1. Praise the Lord that Oswald’s wife put his notes into devotional form after his death. Much insight gained into the heart of a Christian brother, seminary training and how God desires us to be forgiven and spiritually healed, growing and being transformed by His wisdom into Christ likeness.

    I have read this guide many times over the last 20-some years. Read it to Pete during transplant season.

    We are so blessed to have his notes in bound form aren’t we?!
    That is such a precious memory you have of ministering to Pete during a needful time.
    Blessed by your comments.
    Thanks Jill.


  2. I have loved Jesus Calling as my current devotional. I have given a copy to my mom and it has been soothing balm through the last year of my dad’s life. She has given a copy to each of her care givers that came into her home to help with dad’s care, because they would read it whenever they were on shift with dad and would read ahead if they were not going to be there for a few days so that “they would not miss anything”. I have given numerous copies as gifts and every comment back has been this book has been so encouraging and seemed to always hit what they were needing to hear that day. I have also given this devotional to mom’s next door neighbor and they now get to discuss the current days reading together. This book is a mighty blessing in a mini package!

    You are so right Jil, it is a mighty package indeed.
    You definitely know when an offering is anointed when it is has
    given so many people encouragement.
    Your words about your mom and dad are so precious to me.
    I absolutely love the story of the caregivers not wanting to miss a thing!
    Love it.
    Bless you Jill during this tender time in your family’s life.

    ~ Helen


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