Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Reading During Ramadan

One of my favorite activities every Ramadan is to read because my routine changes somewhat.  Many of my Muslim friends are preoccupied with fasting, praying, reading the Qur’an or Islamic books, and getting together with their community for evening meals which means that it is not the most conducive time to visit them.  In a few days their routines will once again go back to normal. One of the feasts that God often prepares for me during Ramadan every year is putting books before me to refresh, lighten my spirit, feed me spiritually, or stimulate thinking. Here are some from this month of Ramadan:

Refreshing read:   Sanctuary – creating a space for grace in your life,  by Terry Hershey
Creating a sanctuary for refreshment, meditation, and restoration has always been alluring to me probably because being involved in ministry among Muslims is tough front line spiritual work. My whole being craves a sanctuary experience. In a sense I use Ramadan time as my sanctuary refreshment season to prepare me for the challenges ahead. The greatest sanctuary for me is found in just being with God but there is something mystifying and satisfying also in creating a sanctuary environment and lifestyle.
Lightening my spirit read:   Footprints – 50th anniversary treasury, by Margaret Fishback Powers
If there is anything I crave during Ramadan it is finding something – usually a good book – to lighten my spirit. I never want to get so seriously minded in serving the Lord that I lose touch with the little joys life can bring.  Sinking into a book that lightens my spirit and makes me smile or laugh or be in awe is therapeutic. Footprints was a delightful read that accomplished lightening my spirit. Ah…that felt great!

Feeding my soul read:    Devotions for the Beach – and days you wish you were there, put out by Thomas Nelson, author unknown.
This was not a heavy intellectual devotional book but it did have an interesting way to transport me to another realm namely the beach which was a lovely “trip”. That was a surprising gift of imagination! The author was creative how to find all kinds of spiritual truths and analogies from whatever might be part of the beach realm. It was a nice addition to reading alongside my Bible every day.
Stimulating read:  Heretic – why Islam needs a reformation now, by Ayaan Hirsi Ali 
Definitely my mind was stimulated big time reading this book.  It made me think deeper through many issues.  The book left me with being even more convinced of Ephesians 6: 12, “For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms.” That fact is never addressed or acknowledged in the book but it became very clear and convincing and left me thankful that we have a Savior who is the hope of the whole world.

Dear heavenly Father,  thank you for what You used to bring refreshment, lighten my spirit, feed my soul and stimulate my thinking and beliefs this Ramadan. In Jesus’ name,  Amen.