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 🙂

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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)
Bible, Morning devotions, Quiet time, Uncategorized

Morning Manna

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While reading my Bible and having coffee early in the morning, I see the birds getting their breakfast of seeds from the ground and feeder. I love supplying seed and watching the birds come each day. It brings me true pleasure to watch them arrive, feed and linger awhile. Add heading

I often think about the comparison of the bird’s morning feeding with the way I start my mornings. What a delightful thought to see myself similar to a little bird coming to spend time with my heavenly Father. My food, morning manna, is His Word and He is always there. He is always present, watching, providing, caring and even enjoying my coming to Him.

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Come early in the morning and start your day with the King!

Book Reviews, books

Classic Hymns Book Review

Book review for Classic Hymns: Read & Reflect with the Classics

Authors: B&H Editorial Staff

I received this book from B&H Publishing in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed here are completely my own.


 

  • This book is the latest in the Read & Reflect with the Classics series. Each of the books in the series is a different color but each has a classic fabric hardcover. Classic Hymns is a beautiful blue.  I have been using Classic Hymns during my daily devotional time for months. Packed within 234 pages are 90 hymns. That alone is reason to love it but there is more. All the words to each hymn are included along with the name of who wrote each hymn and who wrote the music. After reading each hymn you will find three sections.
  • Bible Study Questions
  • Personal Reflection Questions
  • Prayer

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If you love hymns, you will love this book. It is an ideal gift for anyone who appreciates hymns.

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Check it out along with the other books in the series at LifeWay

 

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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, Goals

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”

 

Bible, Corrie ten Boom

Corrie’s Christmas Memories

Corrie ten Boom shared her thoughts and memories about Christmas in her book Corrie’s Christmas Memories. She loved to share about the birth of Jesus and the visit of the shepherds.

When I think of this story it makes me so happy. Do you know why? Because I know that the baby Jesus was born in Bethlehem for the whole world — also for you and me. You and I know much more than the shepherds — or even the Wise Men — knew. We know that Jesus died on the cross for the sins of the whole world — also for your sins and mine. He will give us forgiveness when we tell Him of our sins. That is possible because Jesus not only died for us — He lives! He rose from the dead and has said I am with you till the end of the world. I believe it. I don’t understand it, but that does not matter. For at the same time He is with you and me, He is with the Father in heaven and there He pleads for us. Is that not a joy?

Jesus will come again, though not as a little baby but as a mighty King, who will make everything new.

The best is yet to come. We will see Him face-to-face.

But I won’t tell you more now. Would you like to know it all?

Then read the Bible!

Corrie ten Boom   from the book  Corrie’s Christmas Memories

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 Do we know more than those for whom Christmas means only “Jingle Bells” and Santa Claus or who only prepare for Christmas by getting cards off at the right time and presents wrapped? They are trying to do their yearly duty, for they have done this ritual every year, afraid of what others will think if they don’t.

Christmas is not a duty! Jesus’ coming was a free gift to all of us. The only thing we can do is to prepare ourselves for His coming.

Christmas is a remembrance of His coming as a little baby. Let us be ready for that feast so that we can prepare others too.

What a joy to know Him, Jesus Christ, who was born in Bethlehem, died at the cross for our sins, was resurrected, and is with us always unto the end of the world.

Let us do what the shepherds did, and tell everyone who will listen.

Corrie ten Boom  from the book Clippings from My Notebook

Merry Christmas!

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Uncategorized

Ruth Myers

Lately, I have been encountering stress and anxiety to an increasing degree. Most likely anyone who reads this will be able to understand the feeling because it seems as if we all are having the same experience today.

I stumbled across an old audio recording that blessed me and I believe it will bring some encouragement to you. It is about 1-hour long and the sound quality is very good. The title is Praise- Essential Not Optional. The speaker is the late Ruth Myers who served on staff with the Navigators, was a missionary and author. In the recording, she speaks on quite a few different topics that are helpful for dealing with anxiety.

Please listen, enjoy and share 🙂

I would love to hear your thoughts if you would be kind enough to leave a comment.

Ruth Myers audio recording


You can throw the whole weight of your anxieties upon him, for you are his personal concern.  – 1 Peter 5:7  (J.B. Phillips)


For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand,
Saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.   – Isaiah 41:13 NKJV


Let all that I am praise the Lord;
    with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.
 Let all that I am praise the Lord;
    may I never forget the good things he does for me.
 He forgives all my sins
    and heals all my diseases.
He redeems me from death
    and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
 He fills my life with good things.
    My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!   Psalms 103:1-5  NLT

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Corrie ten Boom

Time with Corrie

Let’s visit with Corrie ten Boom today.

(The following is gathered from Corrie’s writings)

We have a Father in heaven who is almighty. Trust Him and you will experience miracles. Is your future a friend this morning? Remember that God is in control.

We see Your miracles every day, Father, if we only open our eyes to them.

Trust in him at all times, O people

pour out your heart before him

God is a refuge for us

Psalms 62:8

She wrote the following about her parents.

“Father and Mother lived on the edge of poverty, and yet their contentment was not dependent upon their surroundings. Their relationship to each other and to the Lord gave them strength and happiness.”

Lord Jesus, with You close, what else do we really need? With Your love, we have the best; without Your love, we are truly poor, whatever our circumstances.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. – Psalms 46:1

We don’t need to know the answers because we have Jesus. Truly Jesus is the answer to our every need, question, desire and so much more. Our part is to believe and trust in Him.


So many times we wonder why God allows certain things to happen to us. We try to understand the circumstances of our lives, and are left wondering. But the Holy Spirit shows us that God does not make mistakes.

We cannot begin to understand Your aims, Father, and without that understanding, our lives often seem to be a great maze. But we know You see the end of the path. and we trust You to guide us through all the turns and blind alleys.

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Bible

Purpose of Bible Study

As we enter the season of Fall many of us are excited to be starting new Bible studies!

So, let’s stop and think for a moment about our motivation.

What is the purpose of Bible study?

Choosing to study the Bible is obviously a wise use of your time. You might describe this activity as having eternal value and it’s worth truly priceless.

However, we must always keep in mind the true purpose of studying the scriptures. For those of us who enjoy the process of study, there is the danger of becoming consumed with the study itself. Take a look a what Jesus said in John 5:39-40.

You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.                -John 5:39-40      

You search and investigate and pore over the Scriptures diligently, because you suppose and trust that you have eternal life through them. And these [very Scriptures] testify about Me! And still you are not willing [but refuse] to come to Me, so that you might have life.       John 5:39-40 AMPC

Why do you study the Bible?

This is an important question to ask yourself.

And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.   – John 17:3 NKJV

And this is eternal life: [it means] to know (to perceive, recognize, become acquainted with, and understand) You, the only true and real God, and [likewise] to know Him, Jesus [as the] Christ (the Anointed One, the Messiah), Whom You have sent.   -John 17:3 AMPC

This is eternal life:
that they may know You, the only true God,
and the One You have sent – Jesus Christ.   -John 17:3 HCSB

 

 

Surround your study time with prayer and make sure your motive is all about Jesus!

 

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