Thursday, January 29, 2015

A Simple Lesson - Application

In this day and age there is information everywhere and it's much more accessible than it was in the past. The information available today runs the gamut from worthwhile - how to be a good friend, to useless - DIY hacks.

Since there is nothing new under the sun, a lot of worthwhile information is found in the Bible.

However, because we are inundated with so much we have become obese with information. We're not using the information we have received. We are at the point where we need to start applying the information that we have gathered.

Be better people, don't lie, don't steal, enjoy life, live peaceably with all, and don't be anxious.

These are simple lessons that are found in the Word that are foundational to our growth.

But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water.Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit. Jeremiah 17:7,8 [NLT]
Remember, "Large streams from little fountains flow, tall oaks from little acorns grow."(excerpted from a poem by David Parks)

Let's start applying the Word. How do you apply scripture to your daily life?

Monday, January 12, 2015

Singing Without Hearing

Apparently, it's very hard to sing and sing well without hearing the music. This musician does not know how she does it, but she does, and will continue to do so until she can't.

Reading this article in today's newspaper, just made me smile.

I hope it does the same for you.

"Why would God give me a gift only to take it away?" He (her father) had no answer except to say there must be a different path ahead for her.

God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. 1 Peter 4:10 [NLT]
We don't always know the why, but we can still figure out the how.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Lessons Learned from Daily Bible Reading

As I mentioned in the previous post, 2014 was the first time that I successfully read through the Bible in a year. Now that I have accomplished this, I'm trying to figure out what to do next. It's similar to the feeling you get after you've completed a marathon. I ran a half marathon approximately 6 years ago. While it reinforced that I had no desire to run a full marathon, after my recovery I realized that I really like running. At that point in time, I wasn't sure how to incorporate running in to my life since I was no longer training for an event. By doing research and talking to like minded people, over time I figured out what I wanted to do for myself. That half marathon may have been the spark that started my recreational running journey.

I think my Bible reading may be going through a similar transition; I'm not sure what to do next but I do know that it's important to me and it will be part of my life on a regular basis. As I ponder what next, I reflect back on some of the things I learned while reading:

God is a God of order - the book of Genesis establishes the beginning and Revelation outlines the end. Between these 2 books there are lists of generations, delineation of laws, counts of people and tribes, instructions for building the tabernacle and concrete laws for living. There is nothing haphazard to what is written in the Bible

God cares about you - the people in the Bible were not perfect. But the stories that are written there could easily take place in the 21st century. There's scandal, bad choices, rape, adultery, gossip. But they all point to the fact that nothing you are going through is too difficult for God and that he cares about your redemption and salvation.

Sex is an expression of love - Sex has been with us from the beginning of time. Of the 66 books there is 1 book totally dedicated to the interaction between a husband and her wife. To me this forms a ratio for how often we think and talk about sex. It's important but its not the be all and end all, so for example, we don't need to use sex to sell gadgets.

None of your choices surprise God - throughout the Bible different people and circumstances are used to demonstrate the principle of reaping sowing. We can learn from those that made foolish as well as wise choices. We see that when you make a foolish choice, it's not the end of the road,
there's always a second chance. We see that wise choices reap beautiful results. We learn that a person's character is essential in determining the kind of choices they make.

God made us all - and He can us us regardless of our perceived flaws. So many imperfect people were used by God; some even vocally doubted that they could do what they were called to do. In spite of their flaws they relied on God and not their own strength to do the work assigned to them.

There's so much more; and as I recall the lessons I'll be sure to blog about them.


........And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled. Romans 15:4 [NLT]

What lessons are you learning from reading the Bible?

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Bible Reading in 2014

For the first time ever, 2014 was the year I actually read through the entire Bible. I had started down this road before many times in the past; if I was reading in chronological order by the time I got to Numbers I was done. I tried some reading plans but couldn't stick to them.

So what finally made the difference in 2014? Technology, determination and discipline. First I got an iPhone and one of the first apps I downloaded was the youVersion Bible app. Then I got an android for my birthday last year. As I played around with both of these tools, in particular the android, I realized that I enjoyed reading on it. Though this is not a plug for the youversion app, I found myself exploring its different features particularly the plans. By January I determined that I would use one of their plans and read through the entire Bible in a year.

Was it easier with the the technology? Yes and no. It was easier because I could take the android anywhere with me; and the print on the screen was much easier to see than using my actual Bible. I also received daily reminders. However, I still had to make the time daily to get this in. There were days that I missed, but I was able to go back or just double up on particular days.

What did I learn? Reading the bible in a year was like running a marathon. Sometimes it felt great and I felt inspired; sometimes I could really relate to the characters; many times I got a new perspective. Sometimes I was rebuked, and convicted in my spirit to make a change. But there were times when it felt tedious, and I simply asked God to make it clear to me in time.  Revelation 22 was the last chapter I read in the New Testament and Proverbs 31 was the last reading for the Old Testament. My year ended with these thoughts - I'm striving to be a virtuous woman knowing that when I get to heaven it will all be worth it.

All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 2 Timothy 3:16 [NLT]

Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled. Romans 15:4 [NLT]

Ingesting God's word is one of those things that is good for you. I hope you take the time this year to read through the Bible. Are you reading?