Reading Through the Bible

A lot of people set out in January to read through the Bible. I have been doing it for years. I wanted to share a couple of things that I learned over the years that really helped me establish this discipline. 

 Photo by  Ben White  on  Unsplash

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

  1. Establish the Time and Place - For me it is in the morning. I set my alarm (I was a little late yesterday thanks to the UGA game) for 5am and I set a backup alarm just in case I turn off the alarm and go back to sleep. I get up and walk to the couch with my Bible and my journal to begin the day. 
  2. Find the Right Plan - I think the YouVersion App is great. There are a ton of reading plans at our disposal. The reading plans that take you through the year just never worked out for me. I would start them and it would be a struggle to stay on task by March. Five or six years ago I was introduced to the Moravian Daily Texts (you can subscribe here). The plan works on a 2 year cycle. I read through the OT and NT every 2 years and I read through the Psalms every year. There are 100s of reading plans, take a look around. BUT REMEMBER...
  3. This is a Discipline - I realized after getting married and having children that if I was going to be intentional in my time alone with God, i couldn't just squeeze it in when I had some free time. I had to discipline myself to do it at a specific time. There were days that I didn't want to do it, but I sat down and now it has become a predictable pattern of my life. 

I want to encourage you to spend time in the Word and prayer everyday. This is a crucial discipline for a follower of Jesus. At the same time, remember GRACE! God is not more in love with you when you read your Bible everyday and looking to smack you in the back of the head when you miss a day. That's not the heart of the Father. If you miss a day, you miss a day. It's not about the checkmark on a spiritual to-do list, but a relationship with the God of the Universe. If you will take the time to DISCIPLINE yourself in this area, I promise over time it will become a DELIGHT.

Sunday Recap 1.7.18

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What a start to the new year! Yesterday was an amazing day. We started a new series that will carry us to Vision Day and I cannot tell you the joy it brings to hear a congregation sing like you did yesterday. Such an amazing time. Such an amazing atmosphere.

Here are the Songs from Yesterday: 

I struggled writing my notes to Jody's message because he was dropping bombs. I would write down his statement and immediately start writing down a few thoughts that God was sparking as I was listening. Challenging message for sure. If you missed it, I suggest you take an opportunity to go back and listen. It should be loaded on the app and our website by the middle of the week.

Here are just a few things that stuck out in the message:

  • The answer is not balance....it's PERSPECTIVE 
  • The question is how does God view my body? When we begin to see as God sees, we are more likely to do as God says. 
  • Our bodies were created BY God FOR God to HONOR God. 

 

Sunday Recap 12.3.17

Photo by Jad Limcaco on Unsplash

WOW! There are a lot of words that come to my mind after yesterday. One of them was FUN. It was so much fun to have the kids singing with us on stage and to play a little "get us in a good mood" Christmas music. i'm glad people laughed at the video and it is my prayer that Father would increase our joy and expectation as we walk toward Christmas Day celebrating the gift of our Savior. 

Usually I post a few quotes that stood out to me or some extra notes of mine that I wrote down based on the sermon. Today I just want to remind of us of the 2 reasons Jody said we can have HOPE as believers. 

  1. We're absolved of our past
  2. We're assured of our future

Take time to reflect on that this week. That is the kind of hope that can bring tears to our eyes, laughter to our hearts and put a little pep in our step. 

Here are the Songs from this Past Sunday:

This is going to be a fantastic December. You definitely don't want to miss it. 

Sunday Preview 12.03.17

I apologize for being slack in this area. It is not really about being slack, but strategic with my time. There were some other opportunities that I pursued for a few weeks and I chose to let this slide. With that said...

IT'S DECEMBER!!!

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I am more pumped about this Advent/Christmas season than I have been in a long time. Without a doubt Jody's messages will be on point and my encouragement is to guard against the potential of going through the motions. Fight the pull to just show up and not engage with Holy Spirit. Resist the ease of complacency that accompanies familiarity. My prayer is that we will see with fresh eyes the beauty and joy of the season. I pray that we would savor Christ. Be amazed by the gift. Embrace the unthinkable that a Holy God would clothe himself in flesh and dwell among us. 

Here are the Songs for this Sunday:

Also for this season I have written an Advent Devotional guide. You can download it here

What is Advent?

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It was in the last 5 or 6 years that I really began to dig into the church calendar. It has become a personal tool that I have used to grow in my walk with Jesus. It helps my rhythms throughout the year and helps me to focus my attention and affection during each season. 

Let me be clear that I believe the church calendar to be a tool to use and not a weight to carry. I consider it when planning worship services, but it is not my primary concern when deciding the songs, prayers or Scriptures that may be read.

So as we get ready for this new year in the church calendar, I thought a quick background on Advent would be helpful. Here is a brief description from The Worship Sourcebook:

The season of Advent, a season of waiting, is designed to cultivate our awareness of God's actions--past, present, and future. In Advent, we hear the prophecies of the Messiah's coming as addressed to us--people who wait for the second coming. In Advent we heighten our anticipation for the ultimate fulfillment of all Old Testament promises, when the wolf will lie down with the lamb, death will be swallowed up, and every tear will be wiped away. In this way Advent highlights for us the larger story of God's redemptive plan. 

If you are interested, I wrote an ebook to help us Pause during this Advent season and hopefully see God's action not only in the past and our past but also in our present. You can get it right here