Month: March 2015

I’ve Lost It!

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6 tips for Reading through the Bible

bible-reading

Reading through the Bible is often seen as a daunting task. But it is really easy to do if you have a plan.

Here are a few tips for those of you who desire to read through God’s word on a regular basis.

1. Find a chronological Bible or chronological reading schedule to use.

This is not a must but it does help in reading.  Books such as the “4 Gospels”, Kings and Chronicles tell some of the same stories with different details making it seem like “you’re not making head way”.  A chronological reading will have you read passages that have the same content on the same day.

It also will give you a good idea when things were written and the order in which events happened.  For example a chronological reading will “trickle” the Psalms David wrote through out his story. Placing them at the times he penned  them.  They have more meaning when they are read after you have covered the historical story that moved him to sing.

Chronological Bibles can be bought at your local Christian store or @ Amazon.com. The You Version Bible APP also has several different Chronological plans you can sign up for and its free.

2. Read for 30 minutes a day.

This will mean you will cover multiple passages (and if you sign up for a plan that reads through the Bible in a year you will cover multiple days in one sitting.)  This helps move things along and gives you a better perspective of what is going on in the Bible with the story of redemption.

It also shortens the time it will take you to read through the Bible.

3. Speed read books like Numbers, Leviticus and Genealogical passages.

Yes, skim them.  Slow down when there is a story line but when it is just a list of information about who is related to who or sacrificial policy etc… it’s ok to just skim those passages.  I’m not saying they are not important, but I am saying when you are reading through the Bible they are not your top concern and can bog you down and take away your desire to read.

They do make interesting studies… for some…. But for most they are weighty, boring and confusing.  (please don’t murder me for saying that, it’s a commandment you know)

4. Pick a translation that is easy for you to read.

If the translation you use is hard for you to read because it does not flow very well or uses words you do not understand, it is ok to pick one that is easier to read and feels smoother.  The NIVr, ESV, NLT are three very readable translations that are safe and easy to read.

5. Set a time each day to do your reading.

Life has its way of making our schedules for us.   Life will always make sure there is not enough time for you to read scripture. So, do not let it control “if you read the Bible or not”. Schedule a time each day when you are going to sit down and read it and be faithful to reading the word during that time.

6. Take Sunday Off

Yes, take a day off from reading on Sunday.  As strange as this sounds, it really helps you stay faithful to your Bible reading time during the week.  After all the Word Itself rested on the 7th day.

Yes…

I went there.

Things Change – A Ramble

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I remember the last day of each school year all to well.  My friends would rejoice over getting out of school, excited about the things they would be experiencing over the summer.  Cookies and juice would flow in abundance, freedom was just a few bells away.   Everyone seemed to be glad…

except for me.

It’s not that I was a downer to the party, or even mentioned what I was feeling to anyone, because I didn’t. I kept what I knew to be true inside… deep inside.

Things would never be the same.

The relationships that were formed during that year would last but that mix of people would never be in the same class again. Groups would change, dynamics would change, and the ones you were closest to, you may or may not see them much the following year or during the summer for that matter.

Though you desired for the relationships to remain strong, deep inside I knew that was not really possible and over time things would shift and change to correspond with the new reality that was set in motion by the mere ringing of the last bell on the last day of school.

Here lately there have been several events that have occurred in my life that has brought me back to the same feeling I experienced at the end of each school year.  Currently, my wife’s grandmother has passed away, not only will we miss her, it will also end a 19 year stretch of Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter  gatherings. But more than the holiday gatherings it will change the way we interact with that side of the family.

The mix will never be the same without her there.

In this case though, there will not be the “we are going to keep our friendships the same” speeches.  There will be too much mourning for that to happen.

Mourning that we should feel anytime a bell rings for the last time

I think people try to cover up dark feelings with warm thoughts of “we will work to keep things the same”, its an attempt to make the pain go away or relieve it a bit –  but the reality is we are fooling ourselves, for when someone leaves, passes away or something like a class ends… things have changed, will never be the way that they once were and we need to embrace the sadness of that reality.

God created us with emotions.  We are supposed to feel different ways.  Our emotions are not supposed to get out of hand nor are we supposed to cover up or suppress the bad ones…

the ones we never really want to experience.

Emotions help us if we use them right. They help us transition into the new environment that was brought about by a particular circumstance whether it was a good or bad one.

At some point we have to come to the place where we live honestly with how we are feeling.

Things change, come to an end, and new days begin more often than we want them too.  The end of somethings is sad , for others it’s a joyous occasion and each should be experienced with the right emotional balance.

Lets not cover up the reality of what has happened with phrases that are only meant to soften the blow.  Let’s express ourselves, not in a shocking out of kilter sort of way, but in a balanced way that brings closure and healing to the situation that is occurring.

So that’s my ramble – maybe tomorrow the post will flow a bit better…

until then…

 

 

Don’t Run Away

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Don’t run away

Jesus didn’t

He headed straight toward His path of pain and suffering because it was God’s will for him to take that terrible path.

What if that hurtful moment… that moment where you felt attacked was the road God wanted you on but you ran away… as fast as you could go?

What if in running, you were in reality running away from the path God had laid before you but you missed it because it was a painful path… and you allowed the pain to speak for God and the pain told you to have nothing to do with it.

Does God only give His servants good paths to walk on?

Then why did He give Jesus the path to the cross?

What if Jesus had ran away from God’s path for Him?

There would have been no resurrection… no saving of the world.

What if the thing standing in-between you and a resurrection experience is the painful path you keep running from?

What if the life you desire but never have… is that way because you keep running from the terrible path God has placed in your life to get you there?

Maybe it’s time to quit running from God’s will for your life…

even though the path He has placed in front of you is a painful one.

1 Peter 2:21-24