Spiritual Growth

Life on the road as a trucker is hard. It’s hard on your health. It’s hard on your marriage. It’s hard on your kids. It’s especially hard on your relationship with God. Only by careful, alert management of our time and resources, can we keep our health, marriage, and family.

Our spiritual health must also be guarded and protected. There’s an old adage, ‘you are what you eat’. I would add to that. You are what you hear. You are what you see. You are what you do.

As a driver, I have many hours every day that I must choose what I will fill my mind with. Will I listen to music? Talk radio? News? Nothing? I have found a better way, a way that builds my mind and heart in God and not in the way of the world, a way to know God better in the solitude of a truck:

  • Worship & Pray
  • Listen & Learn

I know, that sounds basic, even trite. But until I made a plan and started doing it, I was stuck in the rut of complacency and lazy habits.(I still fall back into those too often!)

Worship & Pray

I have learned that when I take time each day, even several times a day, to focus on God, to acknowledge His worth-ness, to thank Him for all He’s done, and to praise His goodness, that my life goes better. Yes, the difficulties of life still happen, but somehow they don’t bother me as much. By scheduling a set time each day ( I set alarms on my phone to remind me) I remind myself in the busyness of life to shift my focus back to Him.

I have several tools that I use to help me respond to Him. Drawing from some of the oldest practices of the church, I use the daily worship routine or Orders. Northumbria Monastery has a daily feed that I follow as well as a feed from the Episcopal church.

I’ve had several people question my use of these, asking if they aren’t just rote prayers and therefore lacking in any real substance. Any worship or prayer has the tendency to become rote and devoid of meaning; even reading scripture can become meaningless. The answer is to focus on the words as I am speaking therm, making sure I am speaking therm to God. When I drift, I start over.

Listen & Learn

The biggest part of my day is spent listening and learning and thinking. I spend about an equal amount of time listening to scripture, Christian and classic fiction, Christian non fiction, along with some preaching thrown in.

One of the greatest joys this past year has been to rediscover a love for the Bible. As I have listened to it as a whole, not just reading it in bits and pieces, I have found a cohesiveness that I have never seen before.

Listening to books is different than reading in that it seems easier to picture what the author is saying. It’s like listening to a friend.

If you are stuck in a rut of spiritual complacency I highly recommend that you take a look at some of these tools that I use and implement your own spiritual growth plan.

Daily worship (Orders) apps. Orders are one way to regularly focus on God in personal worship.

Helps you remember those you are praying for.

Lots of good Christian music.

The bible in many versions and hundreds of daily devotions.

Daily Bible readings and portal to many radio teaching ministries.

Many different Bible versions and hundreds of study helps available for purchase. Best study app for the droid.

General purpose flashcard app. Useful for learning and rehearsing memory verses.

Good Christian audiobooks for purchase and download as mp3 files. Save them on a thumb drive and play them through an FM transmitter to your radio. Wait for their twice yearly sale and get the bigger books including Bibles really cheap.

I group 4-6 hour chunks of scripture into folders, then put therm on the thumb drive interspersed with fiction and non fiction books…bible, fiction, bible, non fiction, etc.

Suggested Books
English Standard Version (ESV) Bible
Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis
Classic Christianity, Bob George

Suggested Radio Teachers
Grace To You – John MacArthur
Truth For Life – Alistair Begg
Searchlight – Jon Courson


Waiting…. Waiting…. Waiting….

It seems I spend a large portion of my time waiting. Waiting at customers. Waiting for dispatch. Waiting on life. I’m currently waiting for my truck to get out of the shop. And I don’t even have a firm time commitment when it will be ready. Waiting is frustrating. It means someone or something else is in control. It feels like a complete waste of my time.

But is waiting a waste? Only if I let it be. As with most things in life, my response determines whether my experience is positive or negative. If I choose to fret or get bored, if I let anger over my circumstances control me, then I will see waiting as a bad thing. But if I choose to redeem the time, to find creative ways to keep busy, then I can even learn to enjoy the wait. Most importantly, if I can learn to seek God and His message for me in the down time, then it can truly become a bit of heaven to me.

But what about the long term waiting? Waiting for a new career. Waiting for retirement. Waiting for healing. Waiting for a loved one to come to Christ. Waiting for heaven. Waiting when there is no clear idea of when (or if) the answer will come. Then the situation is truly and utterly out of my control. Do I hope in luck or chance? Do I try to arrange things to my design? Or do I choose to trust that God has a plan and will work to make that plan happen?

Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD. Psalm 27:14 (NIV)

We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. Psalm 33:20 (NIV)

I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. Psalm 130:5 (NIV)

Resolution or Covenant?

Today many people will be making promises to themselves to ‘do better’  this year. Whether it’s to lose weight, get in shape, get organized, or any number of other good things. We lightly call these resolutions. As we all know, these resolutions last, uhh, a short time! I too have made my share and very few, if any, were really followed for any length if time.

Instead of a resolution I am instead entering into a covenant with God.

What is the difference you ask? A resolution is a decision that I make and unilaterally implement. As such, anytime it becomes hard I can choose to reject that decision without any regret because, after all, it was just my own choice. A covenant involves two persons and is an agreement between them for a particular purpose and for a particular time. So, while I may still break the covenant, I know that I will be disappointing the other person if I do. This gives me accountability and gives me pause to consider should I want to abandon my decision.

I covenant before God:

  1. As He gives me the grace and power, and

  2. Until He gives me leave to stop,

  3. I will devote myself to fulfilling my life’s mission statement:

To know and be known by GOD through regular study and worship, and to make HIM known to family, friends, co-workers, and strangers in need, by speaking the truth in love, acts of service, and sharing GOD’s provision. Ever more consistent, honest and open, quick to forgive and ask forgiveness. Choosing to make evident the Fruit of the SPIRIT in my life, asking in all circumstances, “What Would Jesus Do?

  • Practicing daily spiritual disciplines as He leads, and

  • Reviewing and refining my daily actions to conform to the goals laid out here:

Upward – My experience with GOD


Inward – Learning to live as He would have me


Outward – Relating to other people in His name



Sacred Cab

Sacred Cab? Huh? How can the cab of truck be sacred?

As I have spent the last few weeks learning to listen to God and experience Him, this description seemed to apply very well.

Sacred Spaces evoke a feeling of a sacredness of space and time, where Heaven seems to touch Earth and we find ourselves aware of the Holy, and filled with the Spirit. A higher energy is resides in a sacred space, a power beyond human control which is part of the feeling of “awe”. To find ourselves in the midst of great natural beauty is an awakening into moments of heightened spiritual consciousnessThis feeling of “sacred” invokes a connectedness, a presence of the blessing of existence. It is “sacred” when it becomes for us a “window to the Kingdom of God” and a reminder of the sacredness of all space as space created by God.

Sacred spaces present creation to us as a window to this kingdom of God, a glimpse of heaven here in this lifetime. It’s an experience of the divine in life itself, in the very landscape of all things. We see all things as interdependent within an “inclusive community” and we experience a feeling of harmony as the process of having achieved balance.

This experience comes to us so clear, so inviting, and so welcoming, like good hospitality. At the same time shadows of unknown drift off in all directions. They remind us of the Unknown who is far more than we ever dreamed. We leave the sacred space with the new knowledge that life is far more than we dreamed. Our souls go deep into the rivers of the Spirit.

The glory of sacred spaces is not just in enjoyment of that which is created, but in seeing and feeling God’s very presence in creation. <see link here>

While I have spent the better part of 40 years as a believer in God, learning (and discussing <OK, arguing>) the finer points of theology, I have always found it difficult to connect my heart with Him. I have always thought that relating to God meant assent to certain principles and dogmas. What I am learning now is to hear His heart and just relax in His presence. By quieting my mind and stilling my thinking, I can reflect on who He is and What he has done and is doing.

He seems to be leading me into an exploration of the spiritual disciplines and how they can be used of Him to order and realign my heart and actions. I am drawn to the awareness that Salvation is much more than ‘Heaven when I die’, that He desires to remold my doing and thinking in the here and now.

One quote from this week, ‘How can we expect to answer the the question ‘What Would Jesus Do’ in the difficult times of life, if we are not walking like Jesus walked in the daily life?’. As an analogy, I have an acquaintance who is an amateur body builder (and quite good). He doesn’t sit around eating bonbons and watching TV then expect to win competitions. Instead, he goes to the gym and works out. He diets properly. He refuses things that he know won’t help him in his goal. So I must learn the things I must do to re-order my mind and then faithfully do them.

Stay tuned for more to come….