Super Bowl Players Share Their Love For The Bible

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I’m always on the look out for things to help me in my walk with the Lord and studying His Word. You Version is an excellent tool to help you stay connected to God through His Word no matter where you are. With today being Super Bowl Sunday, I thought you would enjoy hearing from several of the players as they share with us how You Version has helped them.

What tools have you found helpful? Won’t you tell us?

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A New Year, A New Plan

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I realize that it is January 8th, and I have yet to post anything here about the new year. I apologize. We have been facing unusual circumstances in our family, and it has left me out of sync. But not when it comes to my personal devotions.

I’ve been reading God’s Word each year for a long time. Some years I have read it through beginning to end. Some years I have broken it up and read the Old Testament alone or the New Testament alone. This past year I read a different method that had me reading through 4 separate parts of the Bible each day–and I must say I loved it.

But this year is different.

I believe the Lord is going to direct me each day where He wants me to focus my reading. I want to take more time to enjoy Him, not just His Word. I don’t know about you, but often each morning I awake with a worship song on my heart. I’ve always thought of this as God singing over me fresh mercy as I sleep. Many times the song is vaguely familiar, and I have to look up the lyrics. I usually discover words that are exactly what I needed to hear.

Our God is personal like that. He knows our every need before we do. The problem is we aren’t always asking or listening.

So this year I want to hone my listening skills. I want to read what He wants me to read. And as an aid to what I’m reading in the Bible, I’m also reading commentaries by Charles Spurgeon, one of my all-time favorite pastors and teachers, to help me dig deeper into the meaning of the text.

What are you reading this year? Have you found fresh mercy as you’re digging deeper into His Word? Won’t you share your part of traveling this ancient road? I’d love to hear from you and be encouraged.

 

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10 Reasons You Should Memorize Scripture

I recently read an excellent article on the importance of Bible memorization. To be honest, I have not purposed to practice this discipline. But after reading this article, I’m compelled to do so, not from guilt but for my good.

I encourage you to read it for yourself and see if it has the same effect on your desires.

10 Reasons To Memorize Large Portions Of Scripture

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The Final Day of 2013

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It’s so rewarding when you finally reach your destination after a long trip on the road. I know we haven’t kept in contact this year as much as in the past, but I’ve prayed for you on your journey as often as the Lord brought you to mind.

This year was a different journey for me. And I didn’t complete my goal, but I did finish what I believe God said to me throughout the year. I’ll share it with you at our annual celebration dinner.

If you didn’t finish your initial goal, I pray you aren’t discouraged. God is in the delays.

Please comment and let me know how your year has gone. Details will follow about our dinner.

Happy New Year!

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First National Bank of The Grace Of God

On any road trip it’s always good to have enough money to pay for your expenses. This is what keeps you going–literally. Without cash we stay home! Or we look for our bank along the way to make a needed withdrawal.

What about our journey on this ancient road? Where are the banks, so to speak, along the way where we can make needed withdrawals if our funds are getting low?

I believe the bank we draw from is the Grace of God. It’s so easy for our journey to become more about checking off our assigned reading for the day, than it is about what we’ve been given. It’s the grace of God that teaches us to say no to ungodliness. It’s His grace that fuels a right motivation to read His Word in the first place. And it’s that same grace that picks us up when we’re tempted to just go home and call it quits.

What’s in your wallet today? Is it full of evidences of God’s grace? Or are you carrying around receipts of regret? May I encourage you to clean out those receipts, make a withdrawal from God for as much as you need to get back on the journey. It doesn’t matter if you’re behind, because God is never late. He’s always right on time, even when we don’t see it.

Only three months left on this year’s journey. Won’t you take a minute to share with us the view out your window? I hear the weather is going to cool down a bit, making our journey all the more enjoyable.

 

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Christmas In July–Why?

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As I was considering what to write today to encourage us on our journey, I imagined us on a road trip together, maybe even along historic Route 66. Up ahead we see lots of cars stopping. On the interstate this can only mean one thing–an accident has occurred and you’re definitely going to be delayed. But on a two-lane highway, like Route 66, brake lights can also mean there’s something ahead worth stopping to see.

Imagine a Christmas in July sale, and not just a junky store, but one where they sell the finest of Christmas decorations and at an incredible savings. So, along with the crowd we stop and walk inside only to find the shelves empty. We wonder if we’ve missed it, when we hear the quiet voice of a white-haired man talking in the corner. Sitting on an old milking stool he captures the attention of everyone in the musty room. Let’s listen in…

A Savior is born! Glory to God, Peace to man!

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. 6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

Some of the most familiar and happy words of Christmas are these from Luke 2:

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (Luke 2:11–14).

I want to exult with you this Christmas over the wonders in this text, with our focus mainly on verse 14: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

It Was a Real Day

“For unto you is born this day . . .” (verse 11). It happened on a day. A day in history. Not a day in some mythological, imaginary story, but a day when “Caesar Augustus was the emperor of Rome and Quirinius was governor of Syria.”

It was a day planned in eternity before the creation of the world. (continue reading…)

Yes, this stop was greatly needed for we have been reminded of the reason we have the Holy Bible. It’s purpose is to tell the story of Christmas, how Christ who was with the Father agreed to come to Earth to rescue us. May this story stir your resolve to continue reading the greatest book ever written.

Art Credit: www.new-mexico-catalog.com

Categories: Billboard of Truth, Encouragement for Bible Reading, John Piper, Travel Log | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Don’t Ditch Your Plan

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Have you ever been stuck on the side of the road waiting for a service truck to come help you out? It can be frustrating to say the least, especially if you’re going somewhere important.

It can be this way in our Bible reading as well. Life can become hectic and we get behind. Or we can be reading a section of Scripture we just don’t understand. Regardless of which you’re facing, the important thing to remember is the privilege it is to travel at all. Even where we’re stuck, there’s a good chance God has something for you to discover in this place. You would never walk away and leave your car stuck in a ditch. Neither should we walk away from the Bible plan God has marked out for us this year.

What is your current struggle? Where are you stuck? Why not comment and ask those of us who are traveling with you? It may be that someone is able to help lift you out of the rut.

Let’s be an encouragement to each other.

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Off To A Good Start

Photo Credit: Dartmouth66.org

Photo Credit: Dartmouth66.org

2013 is now in it’s second month. Time to check in and see if your journey is going along as planned.

I wake up nearly every morning eager to pick up my Bible and see what God wants to share with me on this day. I’ve found my enthusiasm didn’t come immediately. Instead it came slowly and surely after following the Lord’s lead in this one area for years. It’s like the Lord has stored up blessing for us in His Word, but we have to sit still long enough for it to be poured out on us.

Are you finding it easier to sit still and wait? Do you feel like His silence is His judgment? The Truth is you will never experience God’s judgment in this way. He poured out all His wrath on Christ, so that we would be blessed–forever. What a Savior. He is the One who draws you by His Spirit to come and sit at His feet. He may speak or He may simply enjoy your company. It’s totally up to Him. But one thing is certain…if we don’t sit and wait, we’ll never know.

How is the view from your window this February morning?

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A New Year – A New Plan – A New Perspective

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2012 is over.

There are many, including myself, who were quite happy to kiss that year goodbye. Yet, in regards to my Bible reading God met me in amazing, undeserving ways, and I’m sure He met you too. He is faithful to care for us even when we are not faithful to Him. We are His–forever! It isn’t dependent on what we do or don’t do. Christ did everything for us so we can be free to receive His love and mercy each and every day.

Using our traveling metaphor, I feel as if my car sputtered through 2012. It was an uncomfortable ride stopping, going, darting forward and stalling out. I wanted to get out and forsake the whole trip, but God wouldn’t let me. It was as if He wanted to teach me something in my weakness. And that He did!

Most of you know my Mom died on December 15th after only 3 weeks of being diagnosed with abdominal cancer. It went unbelievably fast, yet felt at the time like life was moving in slow motion. It was strange and very emotional. On Dec. 3rd, I realized I hadn’t even looked to see what New Testament book I was to read for the month of December. I looked it up and turned to 2 Timothy:

I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
(2 Timothy 1:3-7 ESV) Emphasis mine.

This book was Paul’s final letter before he died. It was as if God took me through an entire year of a Bible reading plan to get me to this month. I clung to every word finding rich encouragement from Paul to me. He was reminding Timothy of that which is most important in life. He was encouraging him to continue pressing on no matter the setbacks. I was so affected that God in His kindness would care for me in such a special way. I love God’s Word. I love encouraging others to read it daily for rich mercy in their time of need. But to have this kind of fuel poured into my struggling car for free, no less, brings tears to my eyes.

God knows us intimately. He knows exactly what we need. He is willing to have us face 11 months of struggle in our reading plan in order to get us to the 12th month where the doors of Heaven will open and rain fresh mercy down on us.

So I encourage you, to pray to God for direction in how He would have you read His word this year. Then, stick to it. You never know when the sky will open and a refreshing rain will descend.

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Four Corners

I love this devotional sent from Family Life Today.

Four Places at Once

There is a proper time and procedure for every delight. ECCLESIASTES 8:6

If you were to point your car southwest of Cortez, Colorado, drive exactly 38 miles along Highway 160 and then hang a right on Four Corners Monument Road, in about a half mile you’d run into the only spot in America where you can be in four states at the same time: the intersection of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. It’s out in the middle of an empty desert, surrounded by dust, rocks and boulders.

But that doesn’t stop upwards of 2,000 people a day from visiting Four Corners and waiting in line just for the thrill of having their picture taken
standing in four states at once. Truly the American way, huh—trying to be four places at one time!

Truth be told, it’s a picture of the way many of us elect to live our lives. We are constantly pulled in several different directions. Our pressure-filled, rush-rush, hurried lifestyle has a way of leaving us winded, dazed and addicted to the next item on our activity list.

It leaves us little time for serious spiritual reflection. Little time for anything more than snap judgments. Little time to share our dreams with each other as a couple. Little sense of where we’ve been and where we’re going. What’s more, I fear that by crowding out any room for meaningful communication, original thought or spiritual insight in our family schedules, we’re fueling in our children a raw addiction to activity, constant motion, continuous noise and endless sensory stimulation.

I urge you to stop and check the speed limit on this road you’re on. Imagine a life that allows for real living . . . the kind you’ll never find at Four Corners.

DISCUSS

What cutbacks and other restrictions could you impose on yourselves that would make your lives dramatically more manageable three to six months from now? Start by finding one thing you’ll say no to.

PRAY

Ask God to give you both the tenacity and the wisdom to build some margin into your lives and family.

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