Bible, Quiet time

Secret Place

Many phrases are used to refer to the abiding life but one of my favorites is the secret place. One of the most well-known Psalms begins by describing the life of those who live this way.

Please read Psalm 91:1-2  in your choice of Bible versions. Below are the AMPC and YLT which seem particularly helpful in a study of this portion of scripture.


He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand]. I will say of the Lord, He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my God; on Him, I lean and rely and in Him I [confidently] trust!    – Psalm 91:1-2 AMPC

He who is dwelling In the secret place of the Most High, In the shade of the Mighty lodgeth habitually, He is saying of Jehovah, `My refuge, and my bulwark, my God, I trust in Him,’      – Psalm 91:1-2  Young’s Literal Translation (YLT)


Are you dwelling in the secret place? Are you living every day with the King?

An excerpt from Matthew Henry’s Commentary explains a little about this kind of life.

 …It is the privilege and comfort of those that do so that they abide under the shadow of the Almighty; He shelters them and comes between them and every thing that would annoy them, whether storm or sunshine. They shall not only have an admittance, but a residence, under God’s protection; He will be their rest and refuge forever…

-from Matthew Henry’s Commentary on Psalm 91

Read more from the commentary –  HERE


I thank You for the bitter things

They’ve been a friend to grace,

They’ve driven me from the paths of ease

To storm the secret place.

I thank You for the friends who’ve failed

To meet my soul’s deep need;

They’ve driven me to the Savior’s feet

Upon His love to feed.

I’m grateful too, through all life’s way

No one could satisfy,

And so I’ve found in You alone

My rich, my full supply!

– Florence White Willett

Florence White Willett quote

 

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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bible, Bible reading plan

Psalm 19

I’m reading each morning in the One Year Bible this year. Psalm 19 was included in the daily reading this week on January 23.ps. !9

Take a look at the first four verses in the NKJV and AMPC version.

The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament shows His handiwork.

Day unto day utters speech,
And night unto night reveals knowledge.

There is no speech nor language
Where their voice is not heard.

Their line has gone out through all the earth,
And their words to the end of the world.    Psalm 19:1-4 NKJV


The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows and proclaims His handiwork.

 Day after day pours forth speech, and night after night shows forth knowledge.

 There is no speech nor spoken word [from the stars]; their voice is not heard.

 Yet their voice [in evidence] goes out through all the earth, their sayings to the end of the world.      Psalm 19:1-4 AMPC


Don’t you think it is amazing that God is speaking to us each day everywhere in the world we live in?

Look anywhere and He is to be found if you want to see. Are you looking?

Elizabeth Barrett Browning says it so simply.

earth's crammed with heaven, and every common bush afire with god, but only he who sees takes off his shoes;the rest sit round a

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 exposed the problem of too much within the Christian community. 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 ↓

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, prayer, Quiet time

Coffee with Jesus

All I need is a little coffee and a whole lot of Jesus 

Have you seen the above statement floating around on social media? In a lighthearted way, it points out that Jesus is or should be the #1 priority of each day.

Let’s think about practical ways to start your day with Jesus.

You’ve set your alarm for an earlier time. Climbed out of bed and put the coffee on to brew. So now what?

Years ago I used to get out and have a walk first thing very early in the morning even before coffee. It was a brisk walk around the neighborhood while all was still and quiet. I remember it was a rich time of prayer, praise and listening for the Lord.  But I have not taken the morning walk and talk with Jesus in a long time.

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walk & talk with Jesus

However, writing about it is making me think I might just start doing it again. The summer season is the perfect time to start this while early mornings are so pleasant. Combining an activity with quiet time helps to establish it as a habit and pretty much makes it impossible to forget.

Right now the only activities I’m combining with my quiet time are pouring my coffee and toasting a muffin or bagel. I sit down with my Bible and journal ready to meet with Jesus. For me pouring my cup of coffee and spending time with Jesus go together.

Whether you call this time
  • quiet time
  • morning devotions
  • coffee with Jesus
  • breakfast with Jesus…
The important thing about morning quiet time is to start the day with Him.

I like to have my Bible, journal, daily devotional book and current Bible study all within my reach. I spend some time reading the Bible and while reading I’m listening for what God is saying to me through that portion of His word. This is usually followed by a little prayer time and writing in my journal. The subject of keeping a journal is a subject that I will talk more about later in another blog post.

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everydaywiththeking.com

Visit the Bible Study page for lots of great resources.

I can’t stress enough how important it is not to be misled into thinking that the purpose of your quiet time is to check off a list of things to do each day. Growing closer to the Lord, knowing Him more and simply sharing the start of each day with Him is the true goal. Did you meet with Jesus? Did you start your day with Him? That’s it, that’s what it’s all about.

Over time you will look forward with anticipation to the start of your day with your King and hearing what He says to you. Knowing Him more and becoming more aware of His love for you will happen day by day. Start your day with Jesus and continue it with Him.

Live every day with the King!

Coffee with Jesus

 

 

 

 

Bible, Jesus

Content and Thankful

Contentment is something everyone wants but sadly not many seem to enjoy. For believers, a contented life should not be rare.  After all, if we are serving the risen Lord and soon to return King of kings, shouldn’t we at the very least be contented and thankful?

Have you ever participated in the “one word for the year plan”?   Sorry, I don’t know the origin of the idea. The point is to select just one word that you will focus on for the year. This is supposed to be a word that has come to your mind after seeking God for the focus He desires for you. Anyway, I have done this a couple of times and one year my word was contentment. It was a learning experience and I did grow more content in my life. During that contentment year, I read some great articles, blogs and found much on the subject in my Bible. I treasured verses like Hebrews 13:5. I studied and applied Paul’s secret revealed in Philippians 4:11-13.  I had a Pinterest Board devoted to Contentment. I am glad I had that focus and still remain especially attuned to anything that falls into the category of being content.


So, I was recently surprised to sense God saying to me there was more for me to learn about contentment.

The following statement is what I believe God revealed to my heart.

Not being satisfied with what you have, is like saying God is not a good Provider.

I was instantly convicted!

Jesus loves me beyond my understanding, paid for my sins, is with me now and promises to never leave me. He is also preparing a place and will take me there. Jesus is constantly providing for me now and for the future forever with Him.  What more could I need or want to be content?

“In My Father’s house are many mansions, if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”  

– John 14:2,3  NKJV

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