Friday, May 10, 2013

My Living Idiolect

I am finding it a challenge and an (enormous) inspiration to take inventory of my 'spiritual idiolect.'  What persons and teachings have formed me over the years, I ask myself... what ingredients make up my own 'spiritual stew?'

One thing I know for sure is that it all starts with Scripture.  The word of God, as taught through the Church, is the foundation upon which all else in my life rests.

No:  not 'rests.'  Grows.  My spiritual idiolect is not a static thing, set into place like a lump of immovable concrete.  It is living, active, growing day by day.  Even the parts of scripture that inspire and challenge me are not the same as time goes on;  I am drawn to ponder different ones as situations shift and bend with the passage of time.

There are verses I have clung to as to a life raft; they've carried me through trials and kept me afloat.  There are some that seem to sing with the very voice of God, reminding me that scripture is indeed living and active, sharper than a two-edged sword. (Hebrews 4:12)

Tonight I look upon my Bible - my worn, tattered, thirty-five year old Bible - with reverence.  How much we have been through, this priceless friend and I.  I find I want to hug it (it wouldn't be the first time), and definitely I want to thank God for the gift of it.  Yes, it is a sharp sword, but I love it for the sharpness.   It has divided light from darkness, pierced through my blindness, challenged and comforted and corrected and inspired and taught..... 

"I have come to rate all as loss in light of the surpassing knowledge of my Lord Jesus Christ.  For His sake I have forfeited everything; I have counted all else rubbish so that Christ may be my wealth."  (Philippians 3:8)

"I put no value on my life as long as I can finish my race and complete the service to which I have been assigned by the Lord Jesus, to bear witness to the gospel of God's grace."  (Acts 20:24)

"We know that God makes all things work together for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His decree."  (Romans 8:28)

"I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall be ever in my mouth."  (Psalm 34:2)

"Though the fruit tree blossom not nor fruit be on the vines, though the yield of the olive fail and the terraces produce no nourishment, though the flocks disappear from the fold and there be no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord and exult in my saving God.  God, my Lord, is my strength; He makes my feet swift as those of hinds; He enables me to go upon the heights"  (Habakkuk 3:17-19)

Thank God for the gift of scripture.  I cannot imagine being "formed" without it.  May it ever be the basis of my life.

Painting:  Guido Reni, St. Matthew and the Angel


  1. I'm thrilled your doing this! I hope this catches on with more CSBN members. Blessed Mother's Day!

    1. Thank you, Connie - and a blessed Mother's Day to you too!

  2. Nancy, I can only give a hearty Amen to how thankful I am for my worn out Bible and all that we've been through together! Neither can I cannot imagine being formed without it.
    This is wonderful. Blessings always +

    1. Thank you, Caroline - and amen to your amen! :)

  3. Most inspiring & uplifting, thank you Nancy, from: Pauline, Limerick, Ireland

    1. Thanks so very much, Pauline. And it's nice to hear from you who live in one of my own "ancestral homelands" :)!

  4. Ohhh...this will get me thinking. Thanks, as always.

  5. This is such an inspiring post, Nancy. Romans 8:28 is my all-time favourite bible verse - it almost feels like a motto. I'm doing a bible-in-a-year reading program at the moment, on the iPad, and the digital version is keeping me persevering but there's nothing like holding your own comfortable bible, is there?

    God bless, Nancy:-)

    1. Thanks, Vicky. Romans 8:28 is one of my own favorites also, very much so.

      I suppose if one felt like "hugging a Bible," (and in a few times of crisis, I have), the iPad just wouldn't be the same ...!

      God bless you too!

  6. Nancy ... both of your blogs are flourishing! You have added so much since my last visit.

    Your blog sidebars are filled with so many wonderful resources. Thank you for taking so much time and care to include all these wonderful gems--your blogs are treasure troves of faith!

    I have always loved your posts and this one has made me think about my Bible usage. I have several Bibles and tend to go back and forth between them. The image of you and your singled beloved Bible inspires me.

    Many blessings,

    PS. I'm sure you can handle the quote generator, it's easy!

    1. Ahhh, Holly, I am so happy to see you here again, you who gave so much encouragement when I was asking "blog..? whaaaaa...?? how....? ... could..."...

      I go back and forth between Bibles also. I "keep one at every station!" Everywhere I might sit in the house, there is a Bible close at hand: living room, family room, bedroom, several in my office/study.

      But it's the Bible I got when I first dug into Scripture that is my dearest old friend. I covered it back then in a zippered case to protect it. I still remember its shiny gold edged pages. Now no one would know "gold" had touched it, and the pages are highlighted and marked (yes, marked) with dates and prayers, and some are torn from where I put little tabs on them so I could find various books, and I love it more than ever. It's kind of like a Bible and diary in one. My bibliary. :)!

      Now to go generate quotes!

      Hope you're headed into a great summer, Holly, and I'll be reading along!