Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Wednesday Words’ Category

Before I go on a blogging break, I want to write a brief “Wednesday Words” on quiet times during the holidays. Honestly, I used to have such a hard time with holidays because when schedule and order disappeared, so did my quiet times. Here’s my encouragement:

No matter how busy you are, try to find at least 5 or 10 minutes of time to be alone with the Lord. Read a passage or two, pray, and sit quietly. This “revival” will give you the strength to love and serve during this busy season. You might need to wake up a few minutes early or go to bed a few minutes later than usual. You may have to go outside (yes, you might freeze, but it’s worth it!) to find a quiet place. The bathroom works, too. But spending time alone with the Lord will transform your outlook and focus during the holidays. If you have anything that has helped you in this area, please comment. I really appreciate suggestions, encouragement, and stories of how God has used these times to minister to your heart.

Seeking Him,

Ella

Read Full Post »

dsc06318_2.JPG

Maybe this should be called Thursday Thoughts because, yet again, I have posted it on Thursday. However, I am afraid that if I called it that, it would move to Friday (a day late) and I would have to call it Friday (hmmm… what’s a good word to go there?).

So, I apologize that this is late again.

Today, I want to talk about something that has helped me tremendously in my quiet times: accountability. Accountability is being held accountable by a friend, sister, mother, etc., for doing your devotions. It can be helpful to have someone that will “check-up” on you (and you can check up on her, too).

The purpose is not “devotion police”. The purpose is to encourage one another. It helps to know that someone else is doing her devotions regularly. In addition, it is great to know that someone cares. However, please do not become prideful if you are consistent and she is not!

Encourage one another with Scripture, prayer, and sharing what you have read and learned. This cements what you have learned in your mind, and it is wonderful to get someone else’s input, too. I know girls who give each other verses written on different index cards to read and meditate upon each day. This is a wonderful way to supplement your devotions! You could also do a study together on a concept, reading separately each day, and coming together later (maybe once a week) to discuss.

The main point is that you have someone to urge you to fight against fleshly desires (sleep, school-work, computer, and whatever else tempts you to neglect your time with the Lord). It is also encouraging when you go through “dry spells,” times when the Word seems dull, prayer seems meaningless, and you feel distracted and weary, to have someone who is joyful in the Word.

So, I encourage you to find someone who will help you stay consistent and faithful in your times with the Lord. May you sharpen one another in your pursuit of Christlikeness.

“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

“Iron sharpens iron,

and one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17

Read Full Post »

images_2.jpg

First, I want to apologize that this post is a day late. I was sick yesterday, and so I slept a lot.

Today, I want to talk about methods of reading the Bible. You need to have some sort of plan when you open the Word! In addition, as much as you might want to stay in the Psalms, Gospels, and Epistles, you need the rest of the Word, as well. “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17, emphasis mine)

I am going to talk about several helpful methods below. In addition, realize that there will be times when you will want to take a break from your normal reading through the Bible and do a word study, concept study, or character study (more about those later!). But today, I am going to just give some ideas for splitting up the Bible.

1. Read straight through. This can be wonderful, but I suggest that you at least read a Psalm per day, along with your daily reading. Sometimes those genealogies by themselves may be draining (although, there’s a lot to learn even in the “difficult” books!). You may find it helpful to jump around after you finish a book. For example, when you finish Numbers, instead of going to Deuteronomy, go to Mark (just an example). Just keep up with what books you have finished.
2. Old Testament and New Testament readings. Read one (or more) book(s) out of each section beginning with Genesis and Matthew. You could also read a Psalm or Proverb with these each day. This is one of my favorite methods. It helps you see how the Bible fits together.

3. This is what I have been doing for almost two years. It is borrowed (although I tweaked it) from Nancy Leigh DeMoss’ inspiring book, A Place of Quiet Rest. Here’s what she says: “Some time ago, a dear, older servant of the Lord recommended an approach to Bible reading that I have found to be a great blessing. He suggested dividing the Bible into six major sections, beginning in Genesis, Joshua, Job, Isaiah, Matthew, and Romans. Each day, read one or more chapters consecutively in each of those sections. Mark where you end up in each section so you can pick up at that location the next day.” That method has been a blessing to me, too. Instead of doing it the way she suggests, I split it in half so that I am reading a book from the sections beginning with Genesis, Joshua, and Job one day, and the others, the next. But that’s because I wanted a slower approach. I love this method because it helps you get a good idea of how Scripture fits together. But for some, it’s too much page turning.

Whatever way you decide to read the Bible, remember that the overall message of the Bible (or, as our youth pastor says, the scarlet cord that runs through the Bible) is the message of redemption through Jesus Christ. It all points to Him! Read the Bible understanding that. And please do not think the the Old Testament is just law and the New Testament is just grace. They are both the law and grace. So, read prayerfully, and read understanding the Jesus Christ is the central theme.
Two last things-

1. If you want a checklist or Bible plan, you could google “Bible reading plan.” There are lots!

2. I HIGHLY recommend this article by Noel Piper. It’s only about a page long, and her suggestion is incredible. I also enjoyed reading what Carolyn McCulley said about Bible study in her recent post.

May the Lord open the eyes of your heart as you read His Word!

Read Full Post »