Growing in the Lord

Making the heart-thrilling decision to follow Jesus as Lord of your life is only the beginning of the greatest adventure! There are tons more excitement left in this journey! I just want to warn you, if you walk with God, you are going to see the craziest, most wildest things that you never ever fathomed! It's better than any man-contrived amusement park rollar coaster...

So you ask, "Well, how do I start?" Well, I am glad you asked!! This page will help you with deepening your relationship with God. However, this page won't be in-depth. My hope is that you will get in touch with someone you know who is an old-timer Christian and ask them to help you out with your relationship with God. And go to your nearest Bible-believing Christian church and get some help that way as well! :)

In John 17:4 Jesus says, "Now this is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent." So eternal life, according to Jesus, is knowing God! And in order to know someone and have a relationship with them, you must spend time with them. Furthermore, in order to have a relationship with someone, communication is essential! Communication involves talking and listening.

So how does that work with God? Talking = praying. Tell God anything and everything that is going on in your life. Listening = reading His Word (the Bible) and meditating on it. This is a daily practice most commonly known as a "quiet time" or "devotions." Below is a description of what this means. I hope you will find this helpful. :)

Also, below that, is a more practical guide on how to have a quiet time.

To learn how to study the Old Testament, click

"Don't Skim"
(quiet times, devotions and a thing to do)
Written on February 14, 1999

What does it mean to have a quiet time? Is it just the name of this thing we do? Is it just about praying, reading something, writing it down, praying again -- and then walking away?

How about devotions? Is it just a second name for the same thing? Read a verse, some commentary someone wrote you, perhaps application that you forget tomorrow?

College has trained me to skim every time I read. As you read this, please don't skim. Take in each thought slowly. This is just the beginning...
The answer to the above questions... - probably not fully "yes."

He wants you to spend time in His Word... and He wants you to speak to Him - yes, but that's not all.

He wants you to remember your time with Him.

He wants you to revert back to it like how you revert back to those really great moments you have with friends. Or replay it over like how you reflect on delightful conversations you had with your crush object...

Keep reverting. Keep remembering. Keep reflecting.

And He wants you to be delighted to be in His presence. He wants you to be eager for your times together...
A "quiet time" shouldn't be spelled with capital letters like you were framing a label like "Literature Class".

It's not, "I gotta DO my Quiet Times."

You're not "doing time..." (like jail time)

It's a phrase that's a part of a different sentence.

"I am going to have a quiet time with God."

It's a quiet moment. A time when you sit in His glorious presence --

and just sit.

It's a time where you let the whole wide world fade away...

and it's just *you* and *God*.

And you sit.

You bask in His love like a beach bum would sit out on the beach to soak in the sun.

Just LAY out and SOAK.

Allow Him to warm you up... and mend your heart.

Allow Him to shine His light on all your "dark places" (sins)... and give them over to Him.

Allow Him to touch you with all of His Son's rays.

He wants to give you a nice tan, but you HAVE to just sit.

Sit in silence and let Him speak to you like that.

Feel His love, feel His presence.

Reflect on Jesus. Meditate on His blood.

Soak it up! Bask in His love!
And devotions? Why is it called that?

It is because it is a time where you endeavor to give God your devotion.

Your *full* devotion.

You are devoting your time to God.

You are devoting your "self" to God.

Not just enough of your mind to read some of His words and make "some" sense of it.

Devote your whole mind to Him.

Leave everything else behind: school work you need to do, chores you've forgotten, projects and papers looming before you, friendships you need to mend, people who are hurting, even.

It's just YOU and GOD... and you are devoting your whole SELF to Him first.

All your mind and all your body... your entire being.

It is the act of surrendering yourself over and over again to Him each day.

It's just you... to God.

And as you devote yourself to Him, you read His words, you hear His voice, you hear what He wants you to do.

He'll remind you of the projects He has designed for you, He'll give you the ideas for your paper and He'll assure you of the love He is giving and the heart He is mending of the people you know.

And that is how you pray. And that is how you find peace...

If you keep praying about the problems, you'll just keep on praying about the "problems..."

Focus on Him, and not the problem.

He'll take care of the problem... and He will assure you of the fact.

God is sovereign. He reigns. The King of all kings. The Lord of all lords. Father of Creation. The Beginning and the End. He's got it all down ~ all the power and the PLAN that works -- He's the CEO of life!

and HE loves you.

Devote your self to Him. Bask in His love.

And don't skim.

"Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your HEARTS on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your MINDS on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, WHO IS YOUR LIFE, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory." Col 3:1-4

How to have a quiet time with God...

1. Read over the passage you've selected for content. What is being said?
     - while you read, underline anything that immediately stands out to you.
     - write a ? next to something you want to go back to study.

2. Go back over it and study in greater detail. Look for the central message.
     - look at what you underlined.
     - study the context of your ? to understand it.

3. Now ask...
     a. What does God want me to understand about Himself from this passage?
     b. How does this relate to something I am currently struggling with?
     c. Is there a key verse to take with me?

* Write your thoughts in a journal. Pray these things back to God. If you're ever really stuck, just ask God to help you. Tell Him that you don't understand. The most amazing thing about reading the Bible is that the Author is right there with you as you read. Don't ever forget that. You're not studying a book. You're spending time with a living, loving God.

There are still more additions to come, so if you have any questions, please email me at

His servant and yours,
Mary Ann

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Last modified: October 1, 2000
Created December 28, 1999
A Lil' Ladybug Production
Copyright Mary Ann Nguyen