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Thursday, August 14, 2014

A Walk in a Christian Bookstore

Have you ever looked around in a Christian bookstore? Walked around and just listened to the music, scavenged through all the signs and little trinkets marked with Bible verses, glanced over all the books and their authors?

If you haven’t done this, DO IT. And if you have, KEEP doing it. Do it more often even! Even if you aren't looking to buy anything, just stop in and look around. You will find something way more important than something to buy.

In today’s blog, I am going to share with you my extraordinary experience in a Christian bookstore that happened just earlier today.

This afternoon, I was walking into a coffee shop to meet with a friend. As I was walking from my car to the coffee shop, I saw a bookstore not too far down the road and I thought “that looks interesting, maybe I will stop in there afterwards.” I really like bookstores and small town shops. I like looking around in them every chance I can get.

Well, after coffee, I went to Target instead. I guess I decided that I needed to do some shopping. After picking up a few things at Target and then walking back to my car, I was reminded that I wanted to stop in that bookstore that I saw walking into the coffee shop earlier. So I drove back, walked in the bookstore, and was pleasantly surprised when I found out that it was a Christian bookstore, my favorite!

As I started to look around, I found two items right away that I remembered that I wanted to get: a gift for my friend’s birthday and a cross necklace. But I later found much more than just these two purchases.

As I was continuing to walk around, the woman at the cash register came over and started to talk to me. We started a conversation about going off to college. Turns out that she graduated from the same college that I will be attending. She also told me about how she met her husband at college through getting involved with a Christian organization. I told her how my boyfriend and I want to get involved with a Christian organization together. She thought that was really cool.

After talking for a little bit, she went to go help another customer that just walked in, and I decided to go look at the shelf of Christian books. As I was looking, God put something on my heart. He wanted me to buy a book for my dad. So I asked the woman, who is actually the owner of the store, for suggestions. She talked me through all the books and when I told her that my dad likes history and war stories, she pulled out the perfect one to get for my dad.

As I proceeded to the cash register with my purchases, God was telling me to keep listening and talking to this woman, so I did. We talked about temptation in college, and she said something that really touched my heart –

“Sin is optional.”

We don’t always remember this. Sometimes the expectations of society make it seem like sin is something that just comes along with living in today’s world. But in the Bible it says to flee from temptation: 2 Timothy 2:22: “Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”

After paying for my purchases, the woman gave me a book to borrow and look at before I left. So I sat down on the couch in the store and started paging though the book, and then I decided to pull out my computer and start writing this. I feel very comfortable and welcome here, and it is a place I will definitely stop by again.

This is one of my many experiences at a Christian bookstore, and it has been my best one so far. I invite you to the next time you walk into a Christian bookstore, to take in all it has to offer. Don’t go in just to find something to buy, but go in and talk to the person at the cash register. Look at the books and their titles and seek out all the cute little trinkets that you can find. Find your favorite verse. Feel the calming sense of peace and welcoming.

I learned from this experience to listen to God and do what He is telling me to do. Even if it is just walking into a bookstore, or maybe even just sitting down and talking to a friend or sibling. If He is calling you to do it, then do it! No questions asked. Also, if there is something very powerful tugging at your heart, it is probably from God. The tugging on my heart to start this blog was from God!

If I didn't listen to God, I probably wouldn't have gone in the bookstore, bought the 
book for my dad, or met the woman who owned the store. I am so very glad that God led me to this place on this beautiful Thursday afternoon.

“My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of my hand.”
John 10:27-28

Listen to God and what He is putting on your heart. You are His and nobody can take that away from you.

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