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Archive for February, 2007

30 Days

When Heidi wrote about reading the Bible in 30 days, my first reaction was complete shock. I didn’t know that it was possible to read the Bible in that short a time unless one sat around ALL day and did nothing else. Then, Kristin did it. Now I was trying to think of excuses about why reading the Bible in 30 days could only be considered pointless. But as I began to pray about it, I felt God gently nudging me to try it. I printed out the reading plan, reread this article by Noel Piper, and came up with a focus. (I also ordered an inexpensive paperback Bible since I knew this Bible would be going everywhere with me!) I was going to look for all the places the Bible spoke to me as a woman of God. I also looked for (in the Old Testament) all the times that God specifically mentioned His plan to provide a Savior. I used a green highlighter to mark these (it’s called a Bible Dry Highlighter, and it doesn’t bleed through the pages).

Excitedly, I read through Genesis the first day. The words on the page came alive. However, by the time I got to Numbers, I was having a much harder time staying focused. Some days were wonderfully rich; other days, it was a challenge to get through the reading. Still, by the grace of God, I actually finished in 30 days. And what a blessed (though busy) 30 days they were! I learned so much more about the Bible by looking at it as a whole. I grew in my knowledge of God and was astounded afresh by His faithfulness to His people. It was incredible! In case you’re interested in trying it, here are some of the practical things I discovered:

-Read prayerfully!
-Don’t read it all at once! Have different times to read scattered throughout the day.
-Read five Psalms a day, instead of reading them all at once. They add refreshment, and it also gives you two extra days (and two days of lighter reading) so that you can catch up (I’ll provide links to schedules at the end of this)

-Let at least one of your times be the same each day (for me, it was around 3:30 or 4:00).
-Continue to journal and set aside times for prayer. I failed at this often. I encourage you not to let faithful praying cease during this time. Also, journal the things you are learning. I wish I had done this more!
-Take your Bible everywhere!
-Don’t get discouraged. Reading it in 60 days would also be beneficial if you want an overview of the entire Bible. Also, don’t become prideful. It is ONLY by God’s grace that I was able to do this and learn so much about Him.

-Have people pray for you, but be careful who you choose. I told very few people, and even the ones I told thought I was crazy. They often discouraged me more than they encouraged me. If you want to, feel free to post a comment or email me. I would love to pray for you!
-Don’t think you have to do this to be a good Christian! It doesn’t make you less of a sinner, nor do you earn God’s favor by doing it! And you won’t lose God’s favor by not reading the Bible in 30 days. Prayerfully ask Him if He wants you to try this.

I copied the schedule I found on Kristin’s blog to a document and added my changes. I made a Goggle document out of it. You can find it here. The only difference is the way we split up the Psalms. Use whichever you prefer!

And I am so thankful to Heidi and Kristin for sharing so humbly their experiences of reading the Bible in 30 days. All glory be to God!

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The Modesty Survey!

 

 

For a while now, many people (including myself) have been excitedly awaiting the results of The Rebelution’s Modesty Survey. Well, the wait is over. Today, this survey has been released. You now have access to the answers of over 1,600 Christian guys to every question on modesty that you can think of!

The Rebelution presents the results of the survey as a big St. Valentine’s Day gift from 1,600 Christian guys to all Christian girls—and I can’t think of a better one!

Go check it out!

And spread the word!

Guys, they are still accepting signatures for the Modesty Survey Petition, so this is an opportunity for you to still share your voice on the topic of modesty! And girls, please be sure and read the petition to get a better understanding of the purpose of this survey and all that it entails. May the Lord richly bless your Valentine’s Day. All glory be to Him.

 

 

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It was one of the scariest experiences of my life: a missions trip to Mississippi over the summer. We went to offer Hurricane Katrina relief. I most definitely am not what one might call “the construction-worker type.” So this was a leap for me. God was so faithful in giving me strength and perseverance, as well as gatorade breaks!

On the second day, our project was to “gut” a house. We drove up to a decrepit house that reeked of mold and rotting food. After donning respirators and safety goggles, we were given crowbars and other tools and instructed to get the house down to the studs. At first, the work was difficult; the house was small and stifling. However, as we removed rotten, moldy boards and took out the windows, breezes were able to blow through the house. It was rough work. Often I wondered whether it would not be easier to tear the house down with a dozer and rebuild. However, the man who owned the house had built himself. It was a work of love. He was the creator of this house, and he couldn’t bear to see it eradicated. So we labored over the house- pulling nails, tearing out the bathroom, and prying floor-boards as rats ran about under the foundation. The odor dissipated as the breeze blew threw, and after much effort, we finished tearing the rottenness out of the house. Fresh boards could be now placed on the floor joists, and the house could be rebuilt. Unbuilding is a dirty, smelly job, but it is necessary.

One of our pastors spoke of our hearts in a similar way. Destructing is messy and difficult. As the Lord rips out our sins and idols, it hurts! But He is our Creator; we are His work of love. The effort it takes to cleanse our hearts is worth it.

In Ezekiel 36, God talks about the new hearts He will give us. But first, He must rip out the old one with its foul odor and rampant growth of sin. This is the messy, painful work. It begins when you first become a Christian. God begins pulling and prying at the structure and throwing away the rottenness so that your heart may be rebuilt on a solid foundation, the foundation it was meant for: Himself. After all, we wouldn’t want to build a house back on top of mildew and rotten boards; the house would be shaky (and gross!).

However, it doesn’t stop there! God has set His mark on us- He has put His Spirit in us-and He won’t leave His people. He will continue His work in us for His glory.

“I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries and bring you into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.” Ez. 36:24-27

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