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"Listening to the Fire" - Linda Groce is a member of the Logsden Oregon Neighborhood Church

Listening to the Fire

by Linda Groce

The temperature had dipped to 26 degrees. Certainly not weather to attract the wimp. No, definately a call for the 'strong and hearty'; or at least those wearing thermal underwear!

We heat our home with a woodstove. It doesn't have the eye-catching features of many modern stoves, but it does the job. Depsite its appearance, it is a dear friend to me.

For the past 20-some years I have had the privilege of being the one most often to warm up the house in the morning. Getting out of my cozy-warm bed, I slide my feet into my freezing cold slippers. I take my robe off the hook and head for the woodstove. I open the vents on the front of the stove, and then the door to check the fuel supply. After adding a fresh piece of wood I go sit down in my favorite chair, cover myself with an afghan, and wait for the warmth to overcome the cold. While I am waiting, I 'listen to the fire'. It draws air through the vents as the newly added wood catches. As the fury continues to build, I listen! The sound brings a comfort to my heart. Soon the chill will be chased away by the warmth of the fire.

My quiet time with the Lord has many parallels to my 'listening to the fire'. In fact, the two are often done simultaneoulsy.

This world presents us with a chilled atmosphere. the harshness of circumstances often leaves us feeling hopeless and helpless. Seemingly, we have no where to turn.

On December 3, 1973 I turned to Jesus Christ and received Him as my Lord and Savior. Early-on I discovered that I needed to spend time every day refueling the fire of my relationship with God. The Bible provides the fuel/food for my spirit. I begin each morning with a devotional reading. I then find the scripture in my Bible and read both the preceeding and following verses to understand the context in which it is given. Next I pray. As I meditate on my Heavenly FAther, His excellent greatness, his love and mercy; the fire in my heart is rekindled. I listen...

"Your Word is a lamp to my feet and light to my path". Psalm 119:105

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life".

John 3:16.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there

is no law". Galatians 5:22-23

.....My hope is renewed! My mind is refocused! My direction is re-established! Hopelessness and helplessness have vanished! The Light has overcome the darkness!

This new year presents an oportunity to establish new habits. May I suggest that you make a habit of 'listening to the fire' in 2005?



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