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Tag Archives: bible reading

Deep Thoughts on Coloring Pages

I am not a creative person. There are probably several people reading this right now who would disagree with that statement but I know a crafty person when I see one and I am definitely NOT one of them. You know those people that look at something on Pinterest and actually MAKE it?! I don’t have those skills unless someone is holding my hand every step of the way.

However, with the ability to read mysteriously gone for now, I’ve had to get a little creative with my devotions and they have taken a mildly crafty turn. I’ve been using coloring books. Yup, you read that right. The person who loves a good theology book is using coloring books for her devotion time. Ironic, no? I’m sure you’ve seen them- the “Adult” coloring books that are supposed to help you relax (unless you are Type A) and these ones have Bible verses on them. So I color a page and meditate on the verse while doing so. It usually takes me at least two days per page because of the detail.

The other day, I finished up this page:

img-5513.jpgAs I looked over the completed page, I chuckled to myself about how much time I had spent on that border versus the words. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that a lot of times, that is exactly what we do with the gospel. The gospel is so simple that a child is able to understand it but we try to crowd it with extra stuff sometimes and spend way more time on that when we should just be focused on Christ.

You can find other analogies too. What if that center box represents Scripture and the border is everything else in your life. What do you spend more time and energy on? What is your focus on? Do you allow the busyness of life to crowd out your time spent with the Lord or is it the other way around?

All that to say, I guess you can learn stuff from crafts. Well, I don’t really think I learned it from the coloring book… ūüôā

 

 
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Posted by on October 11, 2017 in Devotions

 

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Stop Reading the Bible

Someone in my life recently challenged me to stop reading the Bible. So I did. About two weeks ago. Hang on; before you grab your copy of God’s Word and come smack me over the head with it, hear me out.

For probably 5-6 years running, I did the Read-Through-the-Bible-in-a-Year thing. I love plans and things that are organized, so it was great. You do your reading for the day and put a nice little check mark beside the line and Bam! you are good to go! Devotions done! And at the end of the year, you feel really accomplished because you have finished the whole Bible! Tada!

But let me ask you something. Have you ever been reading the Bible (or any book, for that matter) and you read a chapter and then realize you have NO IDEA what you just read? You read every word on the page but wouldn’t be able to tell the person sitting next to you what it was about. Yeah, me too. I’m not sure how that¬†happens but it does.

So now let me tell you the second part of what my friend said to me. What he actually said was, “Stop reading the Bible. Start meditating on it.”

There are quite a few passages in the Bible that talk about meditating on God’s Word. The most convicting one for me being Joshua 1:8:

“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”

What would our lives look like if we actually meditated on Scripture instead of just reading it? If we kept it in our minds day and night? It reminds me of how the Israelites were commanded to keep God’s law before their eyes and hearts all the time:

“And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.¬†You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.¬†You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.¬†You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Deut. 6:6-9

I think when we start to meditate on Scripture is when the above passage becomes a reality in our lives. It becomes a normal thing to speak of God and his Word instead of it being something that we do at church. His Word permeates our lives and hearts and we are filled with him.

So my devotions have changed. Instead of reading whole chapters a day, I’ve starting reading a couple verses, sometimes even just one (you do have to keep context in mind.) And I meditate on it. I read it over and over and I pray over that verse. Depending on the verse, I might pray for God to make it a reality in my life or in the lives of my friends and those I love. I pray for God to make his Word clear to me and to keep me in it always. I’m getting so much more out of my devotions now. I find myself thinking about Scripture way more often than I used to.

So my challenge for you also then is this: will you stop reading the Bible?

 

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2017 in Devotions

 

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Stolen Identity

Like I said originally, when all of this started I was leading a very busy and active life. Gradually though, I was not able to do all the things I had been doing before.

Believe it or not, one of the first things to go was my ability to sit and read. I had such bad headaches all of the time that to sit and read a book was impossible. I would wake up in the morning and open my Bible and cry because all of the words just blended together and hurt my head so bad. My housemate, Natalie, started leaving one piece of paper on the table for me each night with a verse on it. I would find it in the morning and meditate on that verse. For a while all of the papers laid out on my bedroom floor so that I would see them every day (they almost covered the whole floor) but now they are in a scrapbook.

Obviously, with the ability to read gone, school was out of the question. I called my school and put a hold on my studies. That was really hard because I had these grand plans of where I wanted to be by the end of the year and I saw them dashed to pieces.

There came the day when I could no longer work out or run. I love running. I never realized how much of a stress release it was for me until I couldn’t do it anymore. Call me crazy, but there were days when I literally sat and cried because I couldn’t go out for a run.

Although my license hasn’t actually been taken from me, Ohio law says that you have to be seizure free for six months before you can drive so I was not and I am still not able to drive and had to either walk to work or rely on others for rides (which, by the way, is very humbling.)

There were days when I felt like my job was being taken from me. When I wasn’t able to do it as well as before or I had to leave early because I felt so bad. Days when my boss sent me home¬†to rest because I looked like death warmed over and he was concerned. Everyone was so gracious to me but I WANTED to be there and I WANTED to do my job well!

And I felt empty. Like everything I loved to do in life was taken from me and I didn’t know who I was anymore. And that’s when I realized it. That’s when I realized that instead of my identity being in who I was in Christ and what he has done, it was in all the things I did everyday. It was SO hard to admit that to myself because I desperately wanted my identity to be in Christ! And I cried my eyes out because I realized that I had been putting other things before Christ. But once I found the truth, once everything was taken away from me and Christ was the only thing I had left, it was easy for me to see what I had been doing with my life.

And, you know what? It was freeing. It was freeing to realize that all I had to do was turn to Christ and I could rest assured that forgiveness was already there for me. That his grace was ready and waiting for me and I could take refuge there. And there were¬†days when I felt helpless and empty and didn’t even know what words to pray anymore, but he brought me through it and became the strong tower and refuge that he is described as in the Bible.

Psalm 61:1-3

“Hear my cry, O God,
listen to my prayer;
from the end of the earth I call to you
when my heart is faint.
Lead me to the rock
that is higher than I,
for you have been my refuge,
a strong tower against the enemy.”

(You are currently reading a post in a series called The2016Story. If you have jumped in in the middle and would like to start at the beginning, click HERE.)

 
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Posted by on January 21, 2017 in The2016Story

 

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A Year to Learn

The past two years, I have read through the Bible in a year. It works very nicely. ¬†It reminds me to do it every day and I like schedules. ¬†I decided that this year, I don’t want to do it again. ¬†Some days, I don’t think I get as much out of it as I could, since I rush to get through the required amount for that day. ¬†I noticed this especially in the OT prophets. ¬†The chapters were long and some days I would have to read 3-4 of them.

I decided instead that I was going to do an intensive study on one book. ¬†Then I had the difficult task of decided which book. I finally narrowed it down to either John or Hebrews and eventually decided to go with Hebrews. After all, I could always do John next year ūüôā

I sent out a message to every pastor I know asking for book recommendations and the response was great! The pastors at my new church eagerly opened their libraries to me and told me to take whatever I wanted.

I am sooo excited! ¬†I want to devote all of 2014 to Hebrews and read everything I can get my hands on! ¬†I want to listen to every sermon I can find on the book. ¬†All in all, it’s an overwhelming task, but I’m taking it one step at a time.

So here’s my prayer for the new year. ¬†I want to keep this excitement. ¬†I don’t want to get bogged down and lose my focus and determination. ¬†I want to learn more about salvation and propitiation.

I want this study to teach me more about my Savior.

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2014 in Bible

 

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