Mary ‘pounded’ them into her heart

I love children’s paraphrases of Scripture. During Advent season, one children’s church boy announced, concerning the events of Christ’s birth, “Mary pounded them in her heart.” I like that!

Daily, the world pounds us with its philosophy and its fears:

      “Look out for number one.”

      “Claw your way up the ladder of success.”

      “Buy the latest ego-enhancing luxury item.”

      “Be vigilant as the terror-level is elevated.”

      “The world’s economy is falling apart.”

I have to admit that I’m a news junky: morning news shows, the evening news, and in between checking news sites and Twitter feeds. If I’m not careful, I can get pounded by the all the crime, corruption, political unrest and seemingly hopeless situations locally, nationally and internationally.

But the psalmist reminds us:

      Great are the works of the Lord; they are pondered by all who delight in them (Psalm 111:2).

Verse 4 reminds us to remember the “wonders” of our “gracious and compassionate” Lord. Verse 5 assures us that “He provides food for those who fear him.”

That’s why I have to balance all the world’s bad news with the Word’s Good News; to pound it into my heart. That’s why St. Paul urges us to . . .

      Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8).

How about you? When your mind isn’t occupied with work or family responsibilities, what do you ponder? The world or the Word? The greatness of God or the wretchedness of humankind? What are you pounding into your heart?

Copyright © 2011 James N. Watkins

Photo from The Nativity Story

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Imitation of Christ releases in 36 days!

The classic devotional by Thomas à Kempis arranged and organized into 90 devotional readings.

The Imitation of Christ is one of the great spiritual works of the Church. More than five hundred years later, it remains not just a classic, but a road map to the life the Lord wants each of us to live.”
Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan: Archbishop of New York

“This book makes me angry. Not only because I didn’t think of it, but also because I could never have done the thorough, sensitive, beautiful job James N. Watkins has done in updating Thomas à Kempis’s, The Imitation of Christ, into a modern classic of ninety riveting readings. I need this book. And so does everyone I know.”
Bob Hostetler, best-selling author of Don’t Check Your Brains at the Door

“This influential book is an incredible gift to this century. James Watkins has stayed true to the original text but in language that continues to speak from the soul of Thomas à Kempis to the soul of a twenty-first century seeker. A message for which our world has deep hunger. This is literally a soul-changing, ultimately world changing book; a must for every person serious about being a Christ-follower.”
Jo Anne Lyon: White House adviser on faith, general superintendent of The Wesleyan Church

The Imitation of Christ devotional is truly a gift to the church. Watkins provides timeless, profound truths in everyday language, introducing modern Christians to the power of Thomas à Kempis’ words and life’s work. A deeply moving, wholly convicting, and truly life-altering book.”
Mary DeMuth: author of Worth Living: How God’s Wild Love for You Changes Everything

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