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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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Answered Prayers

I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions. I haven’t for a long time now, but I do usually pick something in my life that I need to work on and pray for the Lord to help me in that area.

On January 1st of 2016, I asked God to make me a more compassionate person. I realized that I rated very low on the compassion scale and I wanted to be more tenderhearted and sensitive. You see, I’m usually a get-over-it, you’ll-be-fine kind of person. So I prayed and asked God to teach me how to give more compassion to others in 2016.

Did you know that God doesn’t think the way that we do? You probably did. Actually there is a verse that goes with that,For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LordFor as the heavens are higher than the earth so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Well, in MY mind, God was going to make me more compassionate by sending someone to me that really needed compassion and mercy and I would suddenly acquire tons of compassion and have this wonderful opportunity to show it to them. I had it all figured out. But as the verse says God’s ways are not my ways.

Instead, he made it so that I was the person who needed compassion. I needed the people around me to be sensitive and tenderhearted and compassionate. I needed people to care for me, encourage me, and show me gentleness and comfort.

And that’s when it hit me. I didn’t know what compassion was before. If God had done things my way, I wouldn’t have known what to do because I didn’t know how to comfort someone or show them compassion. I needed all those people to teach me and show me first before I could learn to show it to others. I desperately wish I could have learned another way but I know that God’s will is perfect and he is always good.

I am thankful that God placed those people in my life to be living examples of compassion. So you see, God really does answer prayer. I have learned so much about how to comfort others who are going through a difficult situation. I definitely still have a lot to learn and I still pray for compassion often but I am thankful that God didn’t do things my way. I am thankful that his thoughts are not mine and his ways are higher than mine.

 

(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 February 10, 2017 in The2016Story

 

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Bearing Burdens

I’ve had to do some serious thinking lately. I’ve been thinking about sin, bearing burdens, consequences, and death. (I know, a real pick-me-up here) Let me share some stories with you.

Story 1

One of our summer staff is going through a tough time. She was always very close to her cousin and they had many childhood memories together. Her cousin knew all about the gospel in her head but it never made it to her heart. She began to have mental problems which caused terrible physical pain for her. The problems were imaginary but the pain was real. She was suffering greatly so she decided to take her own life. My friend was heartbroken as she traveled from another state for the funeral. She has ended up staying here for a couple of weeks while her mom ministered to her family.

Story 2

During the time she is here, we had a mini summer camp weekend at the farm. A lot of our summer staff came and that brought in one very loved individual. This particular young man is about to begin his 4th year on summer staff so you can imagine the connection we have there. The camp started on Friday night and lasting till Sunday afternoon. On Sunday morning, this man’s grandparents showed up at the farm with some terrible news. His 16-year-old sister had committed suicide the night before. (No, not related to Story 1)  He of course, left camp and rushed home to be with his family. What I found out later was that on Friday, before he came, he had found his sister hanging from a tree and had cut her down and saved her then. She had recently began to suffer from emotional and mental problems. She felt alone in the world and so she didn’t want to be here anymore. Me and about 24 other staff members attended her funeral today.

Story 3

On Monday, one of our full-time staff went to the doctor because he wasn’t feeling well and found out that he has cancer. They don’t think it is very critical and he will be having surgery tomorrow to remove it. He is 23 years old.

Dear friends, please be praying for these three situations. It feels like our staff are being hit all at once. We are standing strong in the faith but these are heartbreaking situations that the Lord has given us at this time. The grief we have felt for these people is amazing considering none of us personally knew the ones who passed. The Bible talks about bearing each other’s burdens and weeping with those who weep. We have certainly been doing so. Please keep the families of the first two stories in your prayers and pray that the surgery goes well tomorrow. Thank you

 

2 Corinthians 1:3-4: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”

 
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Posted by on April 2, 2014 in prayer

 

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Farewell for the Summer

It’s been super busy around here as I prepare to leave in 15 days!  Everything has been winding down and I’m getting excited!  I’m done with THIS now and I’ve learned much through it.  I’m grateful for the opportunity to be a blessing and servant of Christ!  My house cleaning has also ended and homeschool co-op teaching is done as well.  I’ve had my last flute lesson and I’m babysitting one more time for a Bible study.  I’ve had my last day in the church nursery and I’ve stopped teaching Sunday School.  I’m finally done scheduling blog posts for  while I’m away!  Spring cleaning is done and the garden is planted. Everything is preparing for summer!

Of course, I’m still busy.  No matter how much is over with, it seems I’m still busy.  I like this kind of busyness:  playing games with my siblings and enjoying their company before I leave them for the whole summer, falling asleep when Bethany reads to me for her literature,  watching as Becca grows up into a beautiful young lady, packing for camp, going to garage sales, and learning more about the Lord!

 

Here’s what he’s been teaching me lately (besides how much I will miss my family this summer!). I’ve always struggled with praying.  It just seems like it was always a routine and something to do and get it over with. I’ve always talked to God throughout the day but the sit-down-and-only-pray thing threw me off.  Ashamed to admit it, but I always got bored. How sad!  Talking to the Creator and Savior and I get bored?! This year I’ve been focusing on learning more about prayer.  I’ve learned something:

Prayer is not optional.

 

“Pray without ceasing.”  1 Thessalonians 5:17

If you notice, it’s a command, not a request.  It doesn’t say to pray when you feel like it or when you’re in trouble or when you’re feeling joyful.  It says to pray without ceasing= all the time.  I need to be in the spirit of prayer at all times. NOT just when I feel like it.  I think that’s what I’ve been doing most my life- only praying when I wanted to.

He’s also been teaching me how sweet prayer really can be!  I’m so thankful for God’s lessons!

This is probably farewell for me until August.  Maybe I’ll be able to pop in from time to time to say hello but don’t count on it!  In the meantime, I’ve scheduled two posts per week- nothing fancy, just the catechism question, songs, and some quotes.  I’m also probably going to turn all comments off since I won’t even be here to read them.

Thanks to all of you for reading!

 

 
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Posted by on May 18, 2013 in camp

 

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“I’m Dreaming….”

Well, it’s 11 days till Christmas and we’ve had NO snow! Now, I believe in the power of prayer, so I’ve just one simple request to make:

Would whoever is praying for it not to snow- Please STOP!!!

Anyway, I’m going to pray for it to snow before I go to bed tonight.

 
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Posted by on December 15, 2012 in Christmas

 

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Disappointments

My heart sank as soon as I turned on the radio this morning. Caroline and I just stared at each other.  “HOW?” she said.  This was her first time to vote and she had high hopes.  We had excitedly watched the debates.  The first time I voted, everyone I voted for won. Caroline was so disappointed that the same thing didn’t happen for her.  It’s so easy, when everyone around you supports the same candidate that you do, to forget that there a lots of other people in this nation.

So all we can really do is pray for our president.

 
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Posted by on November 7, 2012 in prayer

 

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Please Pray!

“Lord, I want to pray for our country today. I pray that You would cause this people to repent and turn from their wickedness and seek Your face.  Lord, I pray that you would put a man of character in authority, one who loves You more than anything and wants to honor you before himself. Lord, please give our leaders wisdom and understanding. Help them to be righteous and honest.  Above all, Lord, let your will be done today and always. Amen.”

 
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Posted by on November 6, 2012 in prayer

 

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