Week Thoughts

I have had quite a few things weighing heavily on my mind this/last week. Here are the chewing-overs. I don’t think I have any conclusion to share, just thoughts. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

Syria

I can’t really begin to wrap my mind around the whole issue. I remember the feel of Cairo, the smells, the traffic, the vibrancy of the people. When I think of what is happening in Egypt, my mind is overwhelmed. Even more so with a country like Syria – someplace I’ve never been (that list is pretty big, so not a big deal). I’ll be honest, most of my understanding of Syria is from Old Testament studies in church. I know very, very little of modern-day Syria.

So, when this came out, I jumped at it. I’m glad someone thought out that most Americans know very little about the country, what is happening there right now, and the ramifications of it. I do not claim to be an expert on any of it. What hits me and provokes me the most thought are: chemical warfare, children, national sovereignty, tyranny…the list could go on. I often throw myself into interaction with people from other countries. What I’ve found is that they are more than not just as patriotic as the average American. We get all, “Go USA!” in our little circles, but most of these people, even after they’ve come to the States, are fiercely in love with their homeland. I want the people of Syria to be able to make their own country and be proud of it.

I hate bullies, which is what seems to be happening with the Assad regime. When I was a kid, I can remember two specific incidents when I stood up to a bully – not for my own benefit, but for a friend or younger child. I was willing to do what it took to keep them from picking on my friend. I wanted the world to be a better place for them – for all of us – and that sense of justice has always been one of the primary gears working through my actions. Those children…I get sick when I think of what is done to children around the world…Syria is just such another place.

I get that we need to ensure that nations and groups keep chemical warfare out of their arsenal. That is a big deal. I get ticked off when I have to drive/walk through someone’s cigarette smoke-cloud. I can’t imagine at all what it would be like in a chemical warfare attack. If we know it happened, there should be some kind of action. Not full-on involvement or even half-involvement, because we’re already stretched beyond ourselves (um, economic crisis???). But something needs to be done. That kind of behavior cannot abide.

Ariel Castro

This happened. Something in me wants to rejoice at justice being served. I no longer have to foot the bill for this sorry excuse of a person to continue living. And then the mercy in my beliefs and faith come up and say, “Uh, Christ died for him too. What are you going to do with that?” And honestly…all I can say is that if Ariel Castro accepted Christ’s gift of redemption, then God will reconcile the two of us into one family when we reach heaven. Right now, I don’t have that knowledge so I’m just going to leave it. Those women are still rescued and out of bondage. THAT is what I’ll just have to focus on. It’s all I can process right now.

Loss of Faith

I have some dear friends who talk about people close to them who have chosen not to follow Christ, are on the fence, or have walked away from it. I have been praying for them in earnest. And then I heard that some of my loved ones have left the Christian faith, in a fairly explosive way. Not only that, but the explosiveness has come from the feedback of believers who were in their circle and local community. My heart just breaks. I am ashamed of the brethren who are acting in a malicious way. However, I wonder how much of it is actually malicious and how much is genuine concern that is being presented as malice because my loved ones want to feel justified at their leaving.

And it also brings up the question of eternal security – once saved always saved. If the person was truly a believer, can they really recant and not be one? So were they ever believers in the first place? Or are they just walking in sin now and still have their salvation secure? I can’t answer that for these particular people – I don’t know their hearts. But it hurts me to know that the fellowship has been broken and I don’t know what to do about it. Do I do anything about it? Do I just pray? How can it be just prayer and why does that always feel like a token action or last resort when there seems to be no other good solution? Prayer is powerful. Lord, help me to trust in the power of prayer, if not to change them, then to change me.

Amish Healthcare

Did you hear this story? I am amazed that the hospital was even allowed to get as far as they did in trying to take over this child’s life. This is just another story that disenchants me to the American healthcare system. I’ve been going to a chiropractor lately and I’m trying to get my body healthier so that I don’t have to use the standard healthcare system. It seems broken. I don’t want it. I say this knowing that tomorrow, I will be going to pick out a Primary Care Physician for myself and the future fam…and also getting an antibiotic for a UTI that has got the better of me. What hypocrisy!

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2012 Elections

English: Ballot Box showing preferential voting

English: Ballot Box showing preferential voting (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This has been a frustrating election season for me. I was very fortunate that I was out of the country for the last presidential election. I definitely voted – applied for an absentee ballot and everything – but I was able to avoid all the propaganda. Well, not all of it. I did manage to get one piece of election material, for the Butler County Commissioner, go figure.

Let me mention too, that I have certain doubts about the voting process. The year following the last presidential election, I was back home and was able to vote. When I returned for the mid-term elections, I was given a provisional ballot because their records showed that I was in Japan still. Even though I was standing right in front of them with my license in hand, and proof that I had shown up in person the previous year, they would only let me complete the provisional ballot, which who knows if those even ever get counted?!

Anyway, this year has been frustrating. I remember a friend saying on Facebook that she had a conversation with a poller with the Republican Party asking if she would vote for Person A or Person B. She asked the woman if there were any better candidates? That’s how I feel pretty much across the board this time.

If you’re like me and still up in the air about who to vote for, might I make a suggestion to you? I’m not going to get into who you should or shouldn’t vote for – I want to point you to some great tools to help you decide.

A few years ago, I found this really wonderful website called Project Vote Smart.  Here’s the “About Us” from the website:

At a unique research center located high in the Montana Rockies and far from the partisan influences of Washington, our staff, interns, and volunteers are working hard to strengthen the most essential component of democracy – access to information. Project Vote Smart is a non-partisan, nonprofit educational organization funded exclusively through individual contributions and philanthropic foundations.

I think what I love most about website is that it is non-partisan. Just taking the data that’s out there about the candidates (Presidential and Congressional) and organizing them into a logical format. On the website, you can look at most of the big issues and where different candidates stand on those issues. You can research a candidate and see their voting history, organization involvement in the past, financial records, and more!

One of the neatest things is something called a “Political Courage Test.” Project Vote Smart sent the Political Courage Test to candidates and asked them to answer questions honestly about a variety of topics: Abortion; Budget, Spending, and Taxes; Campaign Finance; Capital Punishment; Economy; Education; Environment and Energy; Foreign Policy; Guns; Health Care; Immigration; Same-Sex Marriage; Social Security and ; Administrative Priorities. Then, based on how many questions the candidate answers and how indepth they answer, they get a rating on their political courage.

Might I point out that Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have not completed the Political Courage Test. In fact, they ignored repeated requests for them to complete it. Anyway, I really appreciate having the stance of the candidates in their own words on certain issues. It’s not all of where they stand, but it’s pretty comprehensive.

There’s also this super handy tool that’s even cooler than the Political Courage Test! It’s the “Vote Easy” matching tool! Check it (here):

You click which campaign you’re wondering about, Presidential is default, but you can also pick the Congressional candidates too. Then, using the topics at the top, answer questions how you would answer. THEN, the screen will populate with these fancy, awesome, cool picket boards with the candidate faces which will jump forward or backward depending on the percentage of similarity.

Pretty stinkin’ cool, huh?

Also, if you are in Butler County, OH, and would like to know what to expect on the ballot this year, you can run over to our trusty-dusty county elections site: http://www.butlercountyelections.org/

Here are the issues on our ballot this year:

  1. State Issue 1: Question presented pursuant to Article XVI, Section 3 of the Constitution of the State of Ohio
    Gov’t speak: “At the general election to be held in the year one thousand nine hundred and thirty-two, and in each twentieth year thereafter, the question: ‘Shall there be a convention to revise, alter, or amend the constitution[,]’ shall be submitted to the electors of the state; and in case a majority of the electors, voting for and against the calling of a convention, shall decide in favor of a convention, the general assembly, at its next session, shall provide, by law, for the election of delegates, and the assembling of such convention, as is provided in the preceding section; but no amendment of this constitution, agreed upon by any convention assembled in pursuance of this article, shall take effect, until the same shall have been submitted to the electors of the state, and adopted by a majority of those voting thereon.”
    Layman’s terms: do you want to vote for a convention to come together to revise, alter, or amend the State Constitution? If there’s a majority in favor of it, then a convention will be formed to decide any changes. If there are any changes decided upon, they can’t be made until Ohioans get to vote on it and get majority. (This issue was started in 1932 and every 20th yr election after that.)
    – (added 11/4/12) My comment: I did a little research on this particular issue. It has been put on the ballot every 20 years since 1932, and I wanted to see if it had ever passed and how often. According to Ballotpedia.org, in the 4 elections that Issue 1 was on the ballot (1932, 1952, 1972, and 1992), it has been defeated. My fiance and I were thinking that if it were passed this year, it would open our state to passing legislation allowing same-sex marriage or other amendments that would not be desirable to a faith-based community. We decided we would be voting “No” on this issue.
    .
  2. State Issue 2: To create a state-funded commission to draw legislative and congressional districts.
    Gov’t speak: (1) Remove the authority of elected representatives and grant new authority to appointed officials to establish congressional and
    state legislative district lines. (2) Create a state funded commission of appointed officials from a limited pool of applicants to replace the aforementioned. (There are a whole lot of details on this step…I would check out the ballot for all the details.) (3) Require new legislative and congressional districts be immediately established by the Commission to replace the most recent districts adopted by elected representatives, which districts shall not be challenged except by court order until the next federal decennial census and apportionment. (4) Repeals current constitutional requirements for drawing legislative districts that avoid splits to counties, townships, municipalities and city wards where possible, and when not possible, limiting such divisions to only one division per governmental unit, and also repeals requirements to form as many whole legislative districts solely within a county as possible. (5) Mandate the General Assembly to appropriate all funds necessary to adequately fund the activities of the Commission.
    Layman’s terms: Appointed officials can put together a new commission to realign the congressional and legislative districts in the state. It will be State funded and the commission will be made up of applicants who are then chosen by a group of random 8 state judges in the Court of Appeals, who were chosen by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio. These will not be elected officials. There are quite a few requirements on how these people will be chosen, to create “fairness” to all political parties.
    My comment: I personally am not a fan because they are not people who we are electing. I understand that population and wealth may be distributed differently than when the districts were first put together, but let’s find a way to fix that with the people we’re voting for.
    .
  3. Butler County Issue 24: Proposed Tax Levy (Renewal)
    Gov’t Speak: A renewal of a tax for the benefit of Butler County, Ohio, for the purpose of funding the Butler County Public Children Services Agency for services to abused, neglected, and dependent children at a rate not exceeding two (2) mills for each one dollar of valuation, which amounts to twenty cents ($0.20) for each one hundred dollars of valuation, for a period of five (5) years, commencing in 2013, first due in calendar year 2014.
    Layman’s terms: Renewal of a tax for Butler County Public Children’s Services Agency. Good for 5 years. Tax is existing and amounts to $0.20 for every $100.00 earned.
    My comment: We’re already paying this tax. It’s minimal. This is just to renew it. It’s for hurting kids. That’s a no-brainer to me.

There might be some city issues/ordinances that come up on your ballot. If you’re in Butler County, I suggest you check out the website and put in your address info to get a sample copy of YOUR ballot. If you’re out of this county, I’m sure there is something equivalent to it for your area. Check it out.

The most important thing is that you exercise your right to vote. Get out there and stand for what you believe. And if you don’t vote, you forfeit your right to complain about it. The only thing worse than not voting is not voting and then griping about it.

Pipes and Prayer

Clean drinking water...not self-evident for ev...

Image via Wikipedia

We have recently had the great city of Hamilton doing work on the city water lines and the attachments leading up to our office building. This is throughout the downtown area, but it feels like they have dug up the same patch of asphalt about 3 times now to do something and then fill it in again. They informed us one day that our water would be shut off for the duration of the morning and then we’d be able to use the restrooms/faucets/fountains again later. The foreman came in to the building soon after it was restored and proceeded to open one of our larger sink faucets to clear out any gunk and air which may now be in the pipes. Have you ever seen the kind of junk that comes out of pipes that have just been worked on? He then ordered us to go through the building to do the same.

Now, the neat thing about getting your pipes worked on isn’t just the cool, splattering sounds and spurts of water with air blasting from the faucet. No, I think the neatest thing is that at some point, if all goes accordingly, the water clears up, the bubbles diminish, and you see the crystal clear stream of refreshment.  Everyone take a nice sigh with me. *siiiigh* I’m not a huge fan of drinking water, but I know how good for you it is and if I’m really thirsty, nothing will suffice but a cool glass of water.

In Sunday School this weekend, we were talking about times we have been disappointed with God.  We don’t understand why He allowed something to happen or He doesn’t behave the way we expected Him to.  This can (and within reason rightly so) lead to sadness, anger – God doesn’t ask us not to feel anything.  We have emotions and we will react to events in our lives; the difference is that God wants us to bring them to Him.  He calls us to pour out our hearts to Him when we feel we are in the depths of despair.  Sadness, anger, unfairness – these emotions can lead to bitterness if they are not addressed and God promises an amazing thing when we bring our concerns to Him.

He takes them and turns them into praise to Him.  I don’t know how He does it.  There are so many times when I have been so upset with God, for whatever big or small reason, and I go to Him fully intending to give Him the biggest “talking to” of my life.  I start with a great show of accusation and tears, but then my heart starts to soften, my tone changes and now as my breath is slowing down, I notice what it is I’m saying to Him:

“God, You are good. Though I don’t understand You or Your ways, I know that You have promised to always love me and to guide me in the best path possible.  Even when things look dark or seem unfair, You are still there with me.  You love my heart, stained though it is, and You are concerned about the things that concern me.  You are writing my story, which is like no one else’s, and it is one of Your precious ποιημα, Your workmanship. (Eph 2:10) Thank You, Lord, for Your kindness, Your hope and Your love. Let me pour it out to others.”

It always amazes me. It’s not as though God says, “Pour out your heart to me – all the ugliness – I can take it, but then you’re going to be left with nothing.”  No, He is the Source of hope, the Giver of life, the Lover of our souls.  He will not just leave us emptied, but will come behind us and replace our pain with joy and peace.  (Romans 8:26) Just like the water in the pipes, let out and spurting and dirty then suddenly clean and clear, God refines our hearts and our prayers to bring Him glory and to renew our fellowship with Him.  There’s a reason why He referred to Himself as the Living Water.  His Spirit, residing in us, brings new life and healing when sin and the cares of the world make it necessary to replace faulty equipment in our hearts – lies we have been taught and have either blindly or willingly chosen to believe.  It’s a painful process, the refining, but boy, the outcome is delicious.

Review: Poem – Spring Expects Growth

I don’t usually review my own poetry, but I feel like this one needs some commentary so that in 100 years when people are finally reading my stuff, they are not coming to wrong conclusions of what my intentions were.  What’s the point of writing poetry if everyone’s going to come up with their own ideas of why it was written?  Here’s the poem to help jog your memory.

May 29, 2011

Spring expects growth,
new life and an increase.
While Winter ran rampant across the earth,
we expect God to work in the soil,
in the trunks of the trees,
in the hearts of men.
Spring brings disappointment when the Winter is over
and nothing has changed.
The garden is empty,
The trees have no leaves
and the heart is unsteady.
No blame is afforded to God –
only to the stubbornness of the soil.
It is my fault that I am the same.

Sarah ><>

—–

I wrote this poem in Spring and it wasn’t meant to convey any spiritual Truth, only to illustrate a truth in my own heart.  I’ve been doing a study with some ladies at church and this week, while we were discussing feeling frustrated and disappointed with the stage of faith that we are in, I remembered this poem.  It seems to encapsulate all my feelings of waiting and the season God has for me.  I feel frustrated that my times of waiting are so much longer than I think they should be.  I feel disappointed that I don’t seem to be making the progress “required” to move on from my time of waiting to actively serving God.

But as I thought of the poem and the thoughts that are speaking out of it, a big, glaring “LIE” was stamped across it.  This is a lie that has taken root in my heart and is permeating through my faith that A + B = C.  In faith, it is not always the case.  Faith + Time does not = certain growth.  Growth in faith is not contingent, is not comparable to the amount of time spent in waiting.  It is a lie to think that God expects you to be at a certain stage or level of faith at the end of a time of teaching or testing. (I’m saying this a couple different ways because I know we all think and process things differently.)  Those expectations are man-made and Satan-fed.

How many of us have been told by our parents, “You’re xx old now, you ought to be…?”  My life has been filled with “ought to’s.”  We have come up with a word in our Bible Study that I think expresses what God’s expectations are for his children – “verbing.”  Verbing represents the act of pursuing God or working on whatever He has for you.  Whether that task is growing your patience, practicing faith, trusting Him more, serving Him and others – the -ing signifies that the verb is continually taking place.  You are either verbing, or you are not.  What verbing does not explain is the speed or strength at which it is happening.  For example, a child may be running to greet his dad at the front door.  An Olympic runner may be sprinting a world record.  Both of them are running, but the pace is completely different. 

God is not concerned about the pace at which we are following Him.  He only wants us to follow Him.  Verbing.

You might be wondering how I can say this – as a person with the gift of prophecy, I will take you to Scripture.  Noah, preparing for the flood, took years to complete the Ark.  God did not tell him he had so much time to finish the Ark, not until 7 days before the floods were going to come and, at this point, the Ark was completed.  He had only to gather the animals onto the Ark and then God sealed it up Himself.  Verbing – Noah was verbing what God commanded.  God was not concerned about the amount of time it took, so long as Noah was faithful.

Elijah is another example.  I love the story of Elijah challenging the prophets of baal and wooping their butts – literally, they were all massacred after the victory.  And the rains came, and Jezebel sought his life so he ran and ran.  And God came to him and asked him what he was doing.  Elijah said “I have been very jealous for You, Yahweh, that Israel would worship You.”  And then God told him to go out of the cave he was hiding in.  There was a strong wind that tore apart trees and then an earthquake and then a fire, but God wasn’t in any of these things.  He was in the whisper, and the whisper asked Elijah again what he was doing.  When Elijah repeats his plan, God tells him that who Elijah is to anoint as king, who is to be prophet after him and that there are 7,000 others in Israel who have not bowed down to baal.  Elijah’s faith reached a point where it was verbing at a very slow pace, but it was still there.  He was still seeking to glorify God and God didn’t discredit him because he had just done this great thing in faith and “ought to” know better.  God still had plans for Elijah.

My final example is Jonah.  Jonah is a whole basket case of verbing and non-verbing.  He ran from God’s initial call.  Then when he finally obeyed God, he went up on a mountain to wait for God’s wrath to pour on the people of Nineveh.  And when it didn’t, he non-verbed.  He began to despair of his life.  The book of Jonah ends with God chastising him for thinking a little tree that Jonah didn’t make grow is more important than a whole city filled with innocent children who could not even tell their left hand from their right hand.  Jonah was not verbing and THAT was what God took issue with.  He was no longer trying to understand God, to know Him and to let His Word abide in his heart.  God had just caused a fish to swallow him and to spit him up after 3 days, and yet Jonah did not get the message.  God’s compassion was on the people in that great city who were finally verbing after such a long and terrible life.

I may not be verbing strong enough in some people’s opinions, but I’m verbing to God and all He’s concerned about is that.  Not with how hard, how fast, how much – just that I’m doing it.  And that’s what this life on earth is for – to be verbing towards God.  One day, when His children reach heaven, we will no longer need to be verbing – we will just verb.  And we won’t be verbing towards God, we will verb with God.  How I long for that day.

Reflections on the Planning

I love and hate that God asks us to do things that are way outside of our comfort zone.  My pastor has mentioned often that he is a huge introvert and really doesn’t like getting up in front of people.  But God called him to be a pastor and he’s an amazing one!  For me, I can’t stand planning things.  Even planning a get together with friends drives me nuts!  I would much rather someone else make all the decisions and let me know where I need to be when and what I’m supposed to do.  And yet, inevitably, I will feel God say to me, “Sarah, I think you could plan such and such.  You know, I really want you to plan such and such.  It would be great for you if you would plan such and such.”  And I start down the fairly stressful path of planning an event. 

I don’t do this often.  It’s really God who has to convince me that it’s something I need to do.  But He did so back in November of last year.  If you can’t tell, something that weighs heavy on my heart is the atrocity of human trafficking.  I’ve been in exposure and awareness mode for the last few years – learning as much as I can, attending various events, getting connected with others who are concerned about it as well.  But, as I helped out with a Fall shopping day for Stop Traffick Fashion, I really began to feel like it was something our church needed as well. 

And I cringed.  I would have preferred to tell the ladies in my church about it and then they plan it.  I would even have consented to talking about it in front of the church (another thing I’m not a huge fan of doing), but with the words coming out of my mouth, the task was placed in my hands.  Our WMU leader was really excited about the idea, because she had been reading a couple of articles recently about human trafficking in the church women’s literature.  God was in this.  I’m not saying that I did it all – by no means – Brenda Heckman and Julie Johnson (Christmas tablecloths and all *wink) and Amy Jones and Jo Collas…they are some amazing ladies.  I’m so grateful to have them as role models to learn from, especially in regards to unity of kindred women and…the dreaded – hospitality. 

I am not practiced in hospitality at all.  I can’t remember what all is needed to make people feel comfortable.  For me, I go to an event to learn something and to network…and I assume everyone else is there for the same reason.  Shocking, but that’s not really the case.  Thankfully, the ladies mentioned above organized the food and decorating and there wasn’t much for me to do on that part besides being a grunt and moving tables and chairs. 

My primary task was organizing speakers and getting the word out to the community.  I may not have done the last part as well – and really the first part, I’m thinking went exactly as it should have gone, but nothing like I planned.  I was anticipating having a speaker share at each hour something in regards to human trafficking.  Emily would share about Stop Traffick Fashion and Hagar International.  I would talk about the Christian responsibility and upcoming events in the community.  And the one I was most excited about, a Hamilton Police Officer would come and share about human trafficking in our community, state and nation. 

It was awkward trying to figure out how we were going to stop everything and have everyone listen to a speaker for all of 5-10 mins and then go on their way with eating and shopping.  The only really solid group of “fresh” people was right between 10:30 and 11:15.  So, I asked for Officer Collins to share with everyone what she had been researching.  And it was great!

I wasn’t surprised that, as a local police officer, there wouldn’t be much experience with human trafficking.  I would be surprised if even the local sheriff’s department had any experience with human trafficking.  Our wonderful local sheriff isn’t that keen on the rights of illegals – no matter what condition they are in.  So, I wasn’t surprised when she shared that she got wide eyes and remarks of disbelief or discredit from fellow officers when commenting that human trafficking may be an issue in Butler County, OH.  She talked about not finding much information within the department to go off of, so she began to broaden her scope to the state of Ohio and then to the US.  She was surprised to find that Toledo is #4 in Top Cities of Human Trafficking.  Ohio is #7 in the US for human trafficking.  It’s an issue in every city (which would include Fairfield and Hamilton…”every” being an all-inclusive term).

I think that about 50 people came to the event.  Most of them bought something from STF.  But what I’m most excited is how God brought me to a job where I would meet this police officer, who I could then coordinate with and share a concern and a need in our community with.  And that she would then become interested in the issue and maybe work on spreading it to the rest of the department. 

I don’t know what this means for Butler County.  I don’t know if we’re on the edge of something starting or if it will take a few more years for anything to get going.  I don’t know what my part will be or if I will even have a part in it.  But I know that I am available to God – even if it involves more planning – that I will keep going until He stops me. 

Japanese Earthquake Mar ’11

It’s unreal to think of what has happened in the northeast Japan.  I never got that far north when I lived there, but I did go through Tokyo for a few days around Christmas/New Year’s.  The earthquake has devastated the northeast.  I spent most of my time in the west, so the areas I lived in and became familiar with didn’t even feel the tremors.  I can’t really even express what I’ve been feeling and thinking for the people of Japan.  It’s strange to think of their clean and organized cities being in disarray and disaster.

In church, we sang “Draw Me Close to You” by the Katinas.  I loved that song before going to Japan, but we also sang it there in Shimonoseki Christ Bible Church – in Japanese, of course.  Whenever I hear it, I feel a swell in my heart for the people in that congregation.  (I have the same thing happen with “Amazing Love” and some friends in CN.)

I can just imagine God, in heaven, drawing close to the people of Japan and waiting for them to come the rest of the way.  Less than 1% of the Japanese are Christians and many of them live in the East.  Please be in prayer for the people of Japan – that God would use this tragedy as an opportunity to draw them close to Him, to make them aware of who He is and what He can be for their life.  Before it’s too late.

Bread for All Time – Bonhoeffer

I’ve had this book, A Year with Dietrich Bonhoeffer, for a while, and pick it up when I have a mind to.  It contains letters and writings of Bonhoeffer stretched out across a full calendar year.  It’s really interesting and whenever I do pick it up, I learn something good.  He was a great man of God.

Saturday, I picked it up and read the entry for February 5th.  Here it is:

“Almost all of us have grown up with the idea that the Scripture reading is solely a matter of hearing the Word of God for today.  That is why for many the Scripture reading consists only of a few brief selected verses that are to form the central idea of the day.  There can be no doubt that the daily Bible passages published by the Moravian Brethren, for example, are a real blessing to all who have ever used them.  Many people have realized that to their great amazement and have been grateful for the daily Bible readings particularly during the time of the church struggle.  But equally there can be little doubt that brief passages cannot and must not tak the place of reading the Scripture as a whole.  The verse for the day is not yet the Holy Scriptures that will remain throughout all time until the Day of Judgement.  Te Holy Scriptures are more than selected Bible passages  It is also more than “Bread for Today.”  It is God’ revealed Word for all peoples, for all times.  The Holy Scriptures do not consist of individual sayings, but are a whole and can be used most effectively as such…The ful witness to Jesus Christ the Lord can be clearly heard only in its immeasurable inner relationships, in the connection of Old and New Testaments, of promise and fulfillment, sacrifice and law, Law and Gospel, cross and resurrection, faith and obedience, having and hoping.”

– from Life Together 58-60

I’m guilty as charged.  I’ve not even respected the Scriptures enough to read the “couple verses” or passage each day.  God’s Word is precious and I’m not neglecting It out of ignorance to the strength, comfort, joy that comes from reading It.  I’m not reading it because of this lie in my mind that tells me I don’t have the time or that I know enough of it already.  That’s far from the truth, and I definitely know it.  I’m always learning something new through reading my Bible.  So, there you have it…a conviction and resolution of sorts.

Check out the martyr Bonhoeffer’s life here.