books, Goals

Bring The Books

If you’ve read the blog post – Social Media  you may find yourself with a renewed interest in books and other activities that you enjoyed before the smartphone takeover.

Randy Alcorn recently wrote about why we should be reading more. He gives a little challenge that I hope you will decide to try.

“PLEASE turn off the television and open a great book and begin to read. Tell yourself you will read a minimum of ten minutes before watching something or looking at a device. I guarantee you that if you do this every day, some days you will never turn on the TV. An hour or two will go by and you’ll realize how much better reading is than watching.”  – Randy Alcorn

Read the entire post from Randy Alcorn – Make Reading a Priority—and Let Books Change You—in the Coming Year


Here are a few suggestions

Many websites and blogs have a recommended reading page. Do you have some favorite authors? Author websites often have a page with links to reading resources. LifeWay has a separate new website devoted to cultivating a greater love of books – LifeWay.books 


Bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas when you come—and the books, especially the parchments.   – Paul

– 2 Timothy 4:13


We are quite persuaded that the very best way for you to be spending your leisure time, is to be either reading or praying. You may get much instruction from books which afterward you may use as a true weapon in your Lord and Master’s service. Paul cries, “Bring the books” — join in the cry.

– Charles Spurgeon

“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me._ - C.S. Lewis

Bring The Books!

Do you have a reading suggestion or a comment about books?

Please share

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Goals

Social Media

Last year I found benefit in taking a break from social media for a while. I’m not and have never been one of those people who is constantly looking down at their phone. But I felt like too much of my time was given to social media and wanted to see what the results would be if I just stopped it.

See these posts — Social Media Break  — Returning From Social Media Break


There were those who began warning early on of the dangers of social media addiction. Remember the video – Look Up – from Gary Turk? That video is from April of 2014. In the years since that video was released many more people have fallen under the spell of constant social media. Today the consequences are becoming clear. We now know enough to conclude that too much social media is very damaging. Information is showing up in books, articles, Ted Talks and individual life experiences convincing us that we must not continue in this pattern.

Social media robs valuable time and delivers very little of worth. Instead of promoting social involvement, as the phrase, social media would suggest, it is actually an anti-social activity. Look around when you’re in public areas and you’ll notice people with their eyes locked on the screen of their cell phone.

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There is good news. Take a little time to learn about the harm of social media and what can be done about it. Explore the helpful links included in the rest of this post.

Quit social media | Dr. Cal Newport | TEDx Talk


Manoush Zomorodi    Ted Talk


Cutting the Cord: Cell Phone Addiction by John Eldredge

What I Gained When I Lost My Social Media Addiction

25 Websites Other Than Social Media To Upgrade Your Life


Let me conclude this post about social media with a favorite quote. I always find this quote to be helpful in determining if something is beneficial or not.

“Whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, takes off your relish for spiritual things, whatever increases the authority of the body over the mind, that thing is sin to you, however innocent it may seem in itself.”    ~Susanna Wesley

social media

What do you think?

Please take a moment to share your thoughts on this subject

 

 

 

Bible, Bible reading plan, Goals

Bible Reading Plan

Do you have a daily Bible reading plan for 2019?

This year I’m using The One Year Bible. It is ideal for reading through the entire Bible over the course of a year with each day including a portion from Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs.img_20190108_104257939 - edited

With so many different ways to go about reading the Bible, sometimes it is confusing to choose a plan. I invite you to join me in reading along in The One Year Bible if you are not currently using a different plan.

See below for links to access this Bible. It is available in paperback, e-book, and online.

Links ↓

The One Year Bible – ChristianBook.com

Link to complete – One Year Bible Online

Joining me? Let me know!

Have a different plan? Please share your Bible reading plan

Check out the – Bible Study Page – for links to more great Bible resources

bible reading plan

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goals

Welcome to 2019

January is the month that many are setting goals, and making resolutions for the year. Often the idea is to eliminate a bad habit and/or start a new habit. According to statistics most of these fall by the wayside before March. I don’t say that to discourage you but to emphasize the importance of not giving up on your goals. If you fail to maintain your new habit simply start over regardless of the date on the calendar.

If you would like some help in reaching goals you might want to read a post I shared last year → 2018


This year I’m setting out to re-establish a great habit that I had years ago. Even after a habit is solidly established it can still be easily lost if it is not maintained. The habit I want to start again is daily journal writing. In hopes of strengthening my commitment, I bought a very nice refillable journal.

img_20190103_173306091

How about you?

Sharing your goals can help you become more solidly committed to making it happen.

I look forward to reading about your goals in the comments below!

Happy New Year ♥

Teach us to realize the brevity of life,
so that we may grow in wisdom.   -Psalm 90:12 NLT

Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.

 In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.  – Proverbs 3:5-6 AMPC

2019

Goals, Jesus

Appreciate

 We turned our clocks back one hour this past weekend.

I love it when we Fall back into Standard Time!

I went to bed Sunday night happy about the time change. I fell asleep with the expectation of jumping into Monday feeling great. But, that’s not what happened. Instead on Monday morning, I woke up with an awful headache and nausea which lasted the entire day. So much for expectations…

So apparently I had some type of 24-hour virus.

Once I returned to feeling normal, it didn’t seem like normal anymore. No longer being sick seemed marvelous! Each ordinary day this week, after Monday, there has seemed to be so much to notice and appreciate. I am sure you’ve had this same experience after a bout of sickness or pain. This happens because returning to a life free of sickness, pain or _____causes fresh appreciation and a feeling of true gratitude. When we are living in a state of appreciation and thankfulness we are seeing things clearly. If only we could continue in this attitude but it always seems to wear off quickly.

Take a look at the definitions below.

Appreciate

a. to grasp the nature, worth, quality, or significance 

b. to value or admire highly 

c. to judge with heightened perception or understanding: be fully aware 

d. to recognize with gratitude


Since we are only two weeks away from Thanksgiving I am hopeful that I might be able to maintain this attitude. I would love to live with thankfulness, wonder, gratitude and fully appreciating every single day.

The only way I believe to make this happen is to ask Jesus to make me more aware of His Presence with me as I read His Word each day. What could inspire more of an attitude of appreciation and joyful thankfulness than knowing I am invited to walk through each and every day with the King! And so are you!

I am praying that this Thanksgiving season we will not be satisfied to be thankful for a day but will pursue a lifestyle of thankfulness and appreciation that spills over wherever we go.

Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in [union with] Him [reflecting His character in the things you do and say—living lives that lead others away from sin],  having been deeply rooted [in Him] and now being continually built up in Him and [becoming increasingly more] established in your faith, just as you were taught, and overflowing in it with gratitude.  – Colossians 2:6-7 AMP

Let the [spoken] word of Christ have its home within you [dwelling in your heart and mind—permeating every aspect of your being] as you teach [spiritual things] and admonish and train one another with all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God.   – Colossians 3:16  AMP

Appreciate


Here is a link to a post I wrote two years ago about the time change Redeem the Time

 

 

Bible, Goals, Jesus

Fruit Display

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.  Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.  Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.  If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.  If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

-John 15:1-8 NKJV

So much in this portion of scripture to study and apply to our lives. Jesus is speaking to us as much today as He was when He said those words to the disciples.

If and only if we are truly abiding in the Vine will there be fruit to bear. Notice we do not make the fruit but we are bearing the fruit. I like to think of this as the fact that as branches we are displaying or holding the fruit. I picture anything that has the purpose of displaying something else. When you look at a vine full of fruit you will notice the fruit, not the branch that is holding the fruit.

Keeping this in mind should help us be quick to give all glory to God. Let’s live each day seeking to bring attention to Jesus, not ourselves.

You're invited to an

 

 

Bible, Goals, Morning devotions, prayer, Quiet time

First 5

“Ten minutes spent in the presence of Christ every day, aye, two minutes, will make the whole day different.”  – Henry Drummond
If you have read only a few posts here on Every Day with the King, you surely know there are no subjects mentioned more than starting your day with Jesus and Bible studies. Today I would like to suggest an option that is designed for when you have very little time and yet is very adaptable for when you have more time. So whether you have 5 minutes or 30, this is designed to fit your life.

It is – First 5

If you are not familiar with First 5, please take the time to check it out. The app is free. Join and get started today. You will find the daily reading each morning on the app. If you want to order the Experience guide you will find lots of material to expand your study. The guide is completely optional.

The app includes many features to explore. Past studies are always accessible along with the current study. You can comment and be involved at what level is best for you. There are community groups. These are groups where you can meet to discuss the study right there on the app.

The First 5 studies are extremely well written and presented. My favorite thing about First 5 is that it is designed to make everything about starting your day with Jesus so simple!

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Check out the First 5 Help Page to find so much more information.

Have you experienced First 5?

Leave a comment below 🙂

Bible, Faith, Goals

Simple

Do you feel overwhelmed with   (fill in the blank)  

  • too much information
  • too many choices
  • too much stuff

I could keep adding to the list but I’m sure you get the idea of what I’m talking about. We seem to be drowning in too much everything! It is the cause of a huge amount of the stress people have come to accept as normal.

Recently this overload has been recognized as the cause of terrible stress, resulting in poor physical and mental health. One of the biggest problems is the overload of social media. Are smartphones really a smart idea?

Great that the problem has been identified. Next comes the challenge of what to do about it. It is pretty easy to find some help today. There are books, articles, videos, even entire websites devoted to returning to a simpler lifestyle. You will easily find much on the subject of living better with less, minimalism, and many practical tips to make much-needed changes.


However, I do not think we have explored the problem from the Christian perspective. Many of us are living with an overload in areas like Bible study, prayer, Church activities… There is a constant flood of information, too many choices, and excessive social media options available to the believer today! The availability of all things “Christian” sounds good, but is it all too much? I think so. What do you think? The explosion of instantly available materials, social media and more in the Christian world has contributed to our loss of focus. We begin to drift from the simple basics of our faith.


Here’s what I asked on Facebook this week ↓

Question:
What comes to mind when you think of the word SIMPLE? 

I was writing this post and wondered if SIMPLE was the right word to use. After reading comments that people shared I feel encouraged. I think I’m starting to hear the rumbling of a move toward returning to the simple basics of the Christian life! 🙂


First, let’s define simple

1. easy to understand, deal with, use, etc.

2. not elaborate or artificial; plain:

3. not ornate or luxurious; unadorned:

4. unaffected; unassuming; modest: a simple manner.

5. not complicated: a simple design.
6. not complex or compound; single.

7. occurring or considered alone; mere; bare: the simple truth; a simple fact.

 (Go to Dictionary.com-simple to find more on the definition of simple)
Looking at definitions causes me to wonder why simple has been so undervalued. It seems that it should be especially desirable for followers of Jesus.


 Let’s take a look at a portion of scripture that might be helpful in understanding how we go off track.

Then the foreign rabble who were traveling with the Israelites began to crave the good things of Egypt. And the people of Israel also began to complain. “Oh, for some meat!” they exclaimed.  “We remember the fish we used to eat for free in Egypt. And we had all the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic we wanted. But now our appetites are gone. All we ever see is this manna!”

 The manna looked like small coriander seeds, and it was pale yellow like gum resin.  The people would go out and gather it from the ground. They made flour by grinding it with hand mills or pounding it in mortars. Then they boiled it in a pot and made it into flat cakes. These cakes tasted like pastries baked with olive oil.  The manna came down on the camp with the dew during the night.

Numbers 11:4-9  NLT

 How could it be that God’s provision of daily bread from heaven was not satisfying to the people? Manna was not good enough? These verses seem to indicate an influence from other people and a looking back at the world they left behind. God set these people apart but instead of praising God for His care they craved something more… Simple manna didn’t seem like enough.
Today there is a call from the world to join in a quest for the latest new thing. The push is for constant updating. The result of this influence causes us to think we need to read the latest book, use the newest prayer model, follow the latest Christian social media, join multiple Bible studies… Meanwhile, maybe you never got around to just sitting down with Jesus and reading His word for you today.
Sometimes what we need is to let some things go and cling to what truly matters. Is Jesus enough for you_
In 2 Corinthians 11:3 Paul warned against drifting from the simplicity that is in Christ.
God’s word is never outdated.
Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.
The Holy Spirit has a training course that is perfectly designed for you!
We have the written word = Bible

                         Living Word = Jesus

Jesus said

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and over-burdened, and I will give you rest! Put on my yoke and learn from me. For I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30  J.B. Phillips New Testament


Let’s listen to someone who never seemed to forget the power of the simple basics.

Click on one of the links below to watch ↓
Apparently, some are now debating if Billy Graham’s theology was too simpleWhat do you think? Who wants to join me in a return to the simple basics?
Please comment below ♥
Is Jesus enough for you_ (1)
Goals

2018

2018

Are you ready for the new year?

Plans, resolutions, goals… It can seem a little overwhelming.

Maybe you’ve experienced beginning a new year with a goal to improve some area in your life, only to give up in a few weeks. I know the feeling 😦

I am not one to easily give up if I truly desire to do something. That is why I developed a process to help myself and others reach goals successfully.

What do you want to change or add to your life in 2018?

Please keep reading to find help for reaching your goals.


Step 1          Discovery

Pause to think and pray.

Grab a notebook and pen. Ask yourself a few questions. Write down your answers and any other thoughts you have about improving your life in the coming year.

  • Is God prompting me to make any changes?
  • What has been missing in my life that I could add for the new year?
  • What needs be decreased or eliminated from my life?
  • What are the causes of stress in my life?

Step 2          Decision

You have completed step 1 and now know what needs to change in your life. This leads to a pivotal point in the process. Knowing is worthless unless you wholeheartedly desire to make the change. How much do you want to change things? I can’t over-emphasize the importance of your complete commitment to making the change.

Step 3        Declaration

You’ve gone through discovery and made a decision. Now it’s time to nail it down.

  • List your goals
  • Write out a declaration of change in your notebook
  • Share your commitment with someone

Once you have completed the steps above, you are ready to start the exciting part.

Time to make a plan and prepare. I hope you like to plan because it is absolutely necessary. Preparing can be exciting and fun. It also needs to be practical.

Prepare to succeed 

  • Planning
  • Write it down

Start writing down everything that comes to mind concerning actions for your desired changes. Your plans need to be on paper.arm-1284248_640


Would you like to share your goals? If so, please leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you.

My goals are about improving my physical fitness in 2018.

Let’s prepare for a great year together.

 

 

Bible, Christmas, Goals, Jesus

The Shepherd’s Way

It seems that often the shepherds are overlooked. Maybe because they don’t seem as interesting as the wise men who followed the star. We picture the wise men in royal robes surrounded by mystery.

The shepherds were uneducated men of low status. They would certainly not stand out in a crowd. These ordinary shepherds bring to mind a lowly shepherd boy by the name of David. He was not special in appearance but God selected him to become King. But more importantly, the shepherds remind us that Jesus is the Great Shepherd who will be returning as King of kings and Lord of lords.


Please open your Bible to the familiar passage in the Gospel of Luke or read below in one of my favorite versions.

There were some shepherds living in the same part of the country, keeping guard throughout the night over their flocks in the open fields. Suddenly an angel of the Lord stood by their side, the splendour of the Lord blazed around them, and they were terror-stricken. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid! Listen, I bring you glorious news of great joy which is for all the people. This very day, in David’s town, a Saviour has been born for you. He is Christ, the Lord. Let this prove it to you: you will find a baby, wrapped up and lying in a manger.” And in a flash there appeared with the angel a vast host of the armies of Heaven, praising God, saying, “Glory to God in the highest Heaven! Peace upon earth among men of goodwill!”

– Luke 2:8-14   J.B. Phillips

As far as we know these shepherds were not looking for or expecting anything out of the ordinary on that night, as they were caring for their flocks. But, their lives were forever changed in a moment, when their eyes moved from watching sleeping sheep to seeing and hearing angels! 

When the angels left them and went back into Heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Now let us go straight to Bethlehem and see this thing which the Lord has made known to us.”

 So they came as fast as they could and they found Mary and Joseph—and the baby lying in the manger. And when they had seen this sight, they told everybody what had been said to them about the little child. And those who heard them were amazed at what the shepherds said. But Mary treasured all these things and turned them over in her mind. The shepherds went back to work, glorifying and praising God for everything that they had heard and seen, which had happened just as they had been told.            Luke 2:15-20    J.B. Phillips

As soon as the angels leave, the shepherds go without delay to find Jesus. We don’t know what they said or how they reacted when they saw newborn baby Jesus lying in a manger. I am certain that they knelt in silent worship.

Next, they begin telling everyone. Then they go back to work. This amazing beyond description experience has just been theirs but yet they have to return to the same old life. What is different is inside of them. They return to work but they are glorifying and praising God!

The Shepherd’s Way

  1. Go
  2. Tell
  3. Return
  4. Glorify and praise God

Thinking about the response of the shepherds leads to some questions for us.

Are we eager to spend time with Jesus?

Are we telling others about Him?

Are we living praise-filled lives that bring glory to God?


Merry Christmas

Please click on the link below to watch a beautiful film

Joni and Friends Blog – film “The Shepherd”