Sanctuary – `something set aside for sacred use’. This new book by David Strutt is a collection of daily thoughts and insights. They are designed to encourage you to come into the presence of God; to praise Him, to hear Him and be healed and restored by the wonders of His love and faithfulness.
Sanctuary isn’t meant to replace daily Bible reading but instead aims to stimulate, inspire and refresh you by helping you go deeper into God’s love.
Reflecting on the nature of God, this Sanctuary contains exciting testimonies and encouragement to pursue the Lord for spiritual gifts to be evident in our daily lives. It is arranged so you can read the entries either by following as a calendar of dates and church festivals, else at your own pace by its numerical sequence of days. At the close of each day’s thoughts there is a short prayer as a source of inspiration for further meditation.
Its author David Strutt blesses the church we attend in Liphook with teaching that brings deep insights, and I especially appreciate his occasional explanations of the Hebrew meaning of scripture. After announcing the book’s publication his large box of copies was soon emptied!
David Reveals Book’s Beginnings
Chatting recently with David in his large but cosy ‘shack’ and by a warm small fire, I enquire of the book’s genesis. He points to a light-green large yet thin, vertical wooden letter rack brimming over with small scraps of paper upon which he’d jotted notes over many years, and to lots and lots more in a box-file labelled ‘Sanctuary’. As stated in the book’s Introduction, they’re all thoughts and insights from his reading, preaching and being inspired.
With a flourish of the hand towards the box he divulges, “I knew that one day I’d use them to write a book for those who place great importance in coming into the Lord’s glorious presence each day.” The Introduction offers gems of brief encouragement – like nuggets – on ways of getting the best out of those notes, as though riding on a tandem with scripture.
About four years ago David realised the Lord wanted him to transform all the notes into a devotional book called ‘Sanctuary’. He confesses that his first attempt at doing so in a diary format only produced rather ‘wooden’ first months of the year.
Last year a very awkward misfortune resulted in one leg being immobilised. “When my leg was encased in a heavy plaster cast it was quite a struggle to walk around. And so in 2016 I debated with myself about being able to go to Dorset and eventually decided we could go in August.”
David then pointed across from where I was lazing on the sofa to the large, soft leather satchel laying across the adjacent chair. “As I went to grab that bag I heard the Lord tell me, ‘Don’t take that! Take your laptop!’ So out came the box of watercolours and in went my laptop. Instead of sitting at an easel I ended up tapping away on a keyboard. From the first day away the writing flowed non-stop and I wrote daily ’til January 2017!
“In writing I had several different kinds of readers in mind rather than write for a niche market. As well as regular devotees I wanted it to appeal to new believers, to those wary of the Old Testament and to offer a ‘jigsaw’ of prophecies that lead into the Incarnation. In leading into Advent/Christmas entries during November introduce OT prophecies, even the more difficult ones, for our contemplation.
“So I tried to link together a chain of events to help us understand Father’s heart for His creation. ‘Sanctuary’ is for diligent seekers as we all need to understand the big picture rather than see the Bible within a niche.”
In view of my frequently blogging on both topics, my ears pricked up at David’s alluding to prophecies as a ‘jigsaw’! I grinned. When launching this blog six years ago I’d wanted to call it ‘Invisible Jigsaw’ (details here), but couldn’t find a suitable graphic at the time.
Furthermore, a slight scratch to the back of David’s hand from a garden bush as we went to the ‘den’ had reminded me of a significant dream a couple of days earlier. The dream related to a formative place of my childhood (local library, as here) and my later calling to write. It closed with my looking at my watch, seeing the hands near 12 o’clock (similar to now, 12:07) and a short, narrow trickle of blood around the top’s inside edge. I awoke and understood most of the dream, plus the what and why of the last thing I was looking at – my watch; that is, ‘Richard’s Watch’!
Therefore, and as a regular reader, Sanctuary – Moments In His Presence is highly and unreservedly recommended. Published by Malcolm Down (ISBN: 978-1-910786-77-2) it can be purchased from Eden Christian Books or Amazon.
[Puzzle Globe and Book by Thanunkorn, courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net]