Well here we are after Easter, and I've got halfway through the Blackaby's book "Hearing God's Voice" - sufficiently into it, for me to give a prelim assessment!
Think my opinion is very much "coloured" by circumstances (no transport of our own so it's either "Shanks Pony" or a poor bus service - my wife and I live on a fringe of a town so not much choice locally of churches. Our nearest is a C.of.E. 10 minutes walk from home (congregation normally only about 15, swelled to 25 on Easter Day!), but the next nearest (Baptist) is about an hour's walk away. We were active in our local church in our earlier years and different town - but sadly not now - so "moribund" Christians!?
Anyway back to the book! It is quite readable (i.e. not "heavy-going"!) and the authors - a dad and his son - cover the topics of the chapters very well describing the various view-points espoused by others. I was interested in particular in the chapters on - the Holy Spirit (since we "lean" in the Charismatic direction!
). Bible reading, and prayer (on which rarely more than 20 minutes or so is spent when wife and self have our prayer-time together - but more individually during the course of each day - so I felt ashamed at how fervently others pray!)
On the matter of hearing the "still small voice" of the Lord as he guides/corrects us - I did not learn anything new!
On the business of Bible reading - I normally spend some 45 minutes each evening reading from some 6 sections - OT, Psalms, Proverbs+Ecclesiastes. prophets, then move on to the NT Gospels, Epistles. I don't like reading a single chapter if it cuts short some "story" in the OT - so continue reading till the "story" ends! On reaching the end of any section, go back to its start. Think it's important to memorize portions that touch the heart (as David said " I have hidden your Word in my heart - that I may not sin against You." I found the chapter on this topic somewhat unsatisfactory IMO. Because, I think it is important to have a quite wide knowledge of how some portions/verses shed light on others in different places of the Bible! I seldom experience now, any "urging" of the Spirit to concentrate on just some single verse - so many portions in the NT contain things of vital important!
As pastors "in the swim" of things - the authors write about doing to the best of one's abilities what is pleasing to the Lord. The life of myself and wife seems to be that of "bystanders", as life flows past us! The problem is not lethargy or apathy - but a matter of not getting involved because of our circumstances. It's sad really, we only "darken the door of a church" for services, and I turn up for the infrequent Bible study evenings - and not much else. So it's not a case of going to church just for "hatchings, batchings, and dispatchings"! The reason for such a situation is not difficult to find - neither my wife nor I have friends or relatives that pop-in for a visit now, and our only fortnightly visiting "relative" is our daughter (our only child, now middle aged, about an hours drive away from us). Our family is very small (no grandchildren etc!) and my sister's family quite far away are struggling to deal with my sister's terminal cancer condition. Without our own means of transport (precluded by sight problems etc) - visiting is a major problem. We are of the "wrong" generation to be making continual smart-phone contact, i.e. we are not like others glued to their cell phones, ambling along peering at their little screens, or exchanging trivial messages. So it all comes back to "circumstances" again - but as they say "That's just the way the cookie crumbles!".
I wonder what I will find in the remaining 1/2 of the Blackaby book!? There might be something in the book that will activate us into taking a more active role in our local church! Or is our problem one of "ennui" - "been there and done it before"!? (Experience tells us it's not "all singing and dancing!"
) It could be that we are "square pegs" unsuitable for "round holes" - having "been through" various denominations as a result of moving to different parts of the country several times over the decades (so as to be fairly near [but not too close!] to our daughter, in her pharmacy career moves) - Methodist, C.of E, Baptist, and back to C.of.E again - also "house-group" meetings in our home in earlier years.
Um! - maybe we could do with an injection of something, or perhaps more of the pills!?
Recently an elderly (93 y.o.) fellow bus-user "whizzed" past me trundling along with her shopping trolley as she headed for a nearby supermarket - while I was limping slowly along with a stick, "en route" to a swim pool I use - she cheerfully called out to me "Keep on taking the pills!"