A Devotional Life: An Interview with Ed Wrather of Burning Bush Devotional

16 10 2009

Devotional time is a time spent with God and enjoying His word. So how does one get started and put it on his or her busy schedule? These and more when R.O.C.K Ministry talked to Pastor Ed Wrather, writer of Burning Bush Devotional.

1. First things first what do you mean by devotional? Why do we need to spend time with it?
A devotional is a tool that can be used to inspire you spiritually. One definition from dictionary.com is “used in devotions.” A devotional writing may be used in a time devoted to your Lord. I try to include three elements in my devotional writings: Scripture; a story; relevance of the Scripture and story to our lives; and a call to action in some way.

2. How does Bible study differ from devotional time?

I think of devotional time as time spent with a friend drawing closer to my Lord, listening for His voice. In study of the Scriptures we may be more analytical of each word and verse. When we are studying the Bible we are focused and if the Lord has something else to speak to us about it may be harder for Him to communicate. When you are having a devotional time of reading the Bible or a devotional writing, listen for the small, still voice to speak, even if it is about something completely unexpected.

3. How does one prepare to have a devotional? How do students have devotional squeezed in their tight schedule or busy life?

A devotional time in the United States is often called a “quiet time.” It can be hard to find time with a full schedule to actually have the ideal quiet time every day or even to find a quiet place. A short devotional writing can be helpful to facilitate a few quiet moments with the Lord, especially in busy times.

4. So now, a student wants to spend time with devotions, how does he or she start? Does he or she have to buy popular devotional books or just a Bible?

There are a vast number of great devotional writings available for free on the Internet. If you have access to the Internet you can even read the Bible there too. Biblegateway.com is a great resource, and I use it nearly every time that I write a devotional. Radio Bible Class at rbc. org does have some free resources in several translations. They publish the “Our Daily Bread” Devotional, which is perhaps the oldest continuously published devotional.

5. How about you, how do you spend your devotional time? When is the perfect time to do this?

My ideal devotional time, quiet time is to spend an hour or more in prayer, Bible reading, and reading devotional writings in the morning. It is vital to do this on a consistent basis and keep a journal writing down the date, chapters in the Bible read, and if God spoke to you in some way record that too. It is a way of holding yourself accountable and can be valuable, especially if God is calling you to serve Him.
Here is an excerpt from my online testimony. This occurred in 1990 and for years I had been beginning my day with a quiet time when on this particular day God spoke to me:
One night I wrote out a prayer (This is a somewhat dangerous thing to do!) asking that if God really wanted me to preach His Word to reveal that to me in black and white so that I wouldn’t have any doubt. The next morning in my quiet time I turned in the Our Daily Bread devotional guide that I used for some of my quiet time reading to that morning’s selection. The Scripture reading was in Luke chapter 8. Another nice warm devotional thought until I realized that Luke 8 is virtually the same as Mark chapter 5. (God had brought this particular passage of Scripture to my attention six years before.)
Suddenly, I realized that God was answering my prayer that I had written out the night before, “Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought him that he might be with him: but Jesus sent him away, saying, Return to thine own house, and show how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and published through out the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him (Luke 8:38-39).”
Now I realized that God was trying to tell me something, the same thing that He had tried to tell me before. This time I was going to look into this more deeply. I got down a commentary to see what it would say about this Scripture. The commentary said, Jesus had to leave Gadara, but he left behind a preacher. I opened up the Our Daily Bread devotional guide again to read the devotional thought. That day’s devotion was about a man in South America that was saved and grew in the Lord. This man started a Bible study which eventually grew into a church, and he became the pastor of that church. There it was! For me, it was in black and white, God had called and was calling me to preach His Word.
You can read my entire testimony online at my website theburningbush. net Click on the link on the left side of the page “Journey to Fruitfulness.” I have never had any doubt about God’s call upon my life since that morning in 1990.

6. Let me ask you about Burning Bush Devotional, how did it started?

I began the Burning Bush website in January of 1998 where I posted some of my writings. By May of that year my son and several online friends were encouraging me to begin writing an email devotional, and I began to do that on June 8, 1998.

7. How do you write entries for the devotional? Pastor Ed, you have to do this everyday, do you get tired of it?

I believe that it is part of my call to do what I am doing. Currently, I am resending some older devotionals that I wrote in 2002 and 2003 and using it as an opportunity to rewrite and tweak the meaning to make them better. I wrote a new devotional today, but I do not always have the inspiration to write. At times I can write every day for months and then the inspiration suddenly is not there. It can be frustrating. I never tire of writing only of not always having the inspiration, the ideas that are needed to write. I believe it has to do with the amount of prayer support that I have. Only through God’s power can I write devotionals that have meaning and change people’s lives and that will only happen with much prayer by me and many others. Everyone who prays for me and for the devotional has a part in this ministry. It is one of the greatest joys of my life to write a new devotional which God can use to touch hearts and lives.

8. What do people say about Burning Bush? What is the impact it has to them?

Nearly every time I send out a devotional or post it online I receive some feedback about it. Here are a few comments I have received recently:
“What a great way to end the day!”
“great thoughts Ed- challenged me 2 live better for the Lord many thanks”
“This was wonderful today…God is with us each day”
“THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR GOOD DEVOTIONALS.”
“Thanks Ed, that is exactly what it is all about. I could not have said it better.”
“Well said, Ed. Thanks for sharing this! I’m passing it on, with the prayer
that it will be passed on… and on… and onnnnn.…”
“Your a wonderful blessing to many!!! …Your encouraging words really hit the heart of the matter!!! …God has given you a voice & talent in words to help others!!”
There have been so many people, hundreds of people, maybe more that have written to encourage me to keep writing, and I am thankful for every one of them

9. Please tell me about your ministry, website and how we can get in touch with you?

I am a full-time pastor of a small church in western Oklahoma that has a heart for missions and believes in what I do. The Burning Bush website has been online since January 31, 1998 and you can access the website through these links: http://www.theburningbush.net (The new website)
http://www.theburningbush.org (The old website) or you can use my name, edwrather and add . net, .com or . org
You can email me at edwrather@theburningbush.org
Edwrather@yahoo.com or wrather@dobsonteleco.com
10. Any parting words for those students and professors who might be reading this?

I have never regretted the time that I have spent in serving God, or worshiping God. However, I do have regrets about the years when I did not pursue a closer relationship with my Lord and Savior.

R.O.C.K PICKS: Best online devotionals:
Days of Praise:http://www.icr.org/signup/
Our Daily Bread: http://www.rbc.org/odb/odb.shtml

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