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Archive for January, 2013

Bits and Pieces 1/28/13

January 28, 2013 Leave a comment

puzzle%20piecesWebsite Lists All Free Books Available On Amazon:  I love reading books on my Kindle for iPad, and it’s so much better when they’re FREE.  Freebook Sifter is a website which lists all the free books on Amazon.  The link provided here opens to Christian fiction, but if you click on the e-book tab, you’re able to choose any kind of book you like. Click here for Freebook Sifter.

Did Jesus Sing While He Lived Among Us? The answer from several New Testament passages is yes! I’m sure He also laughed, and I suspect what made Him laugh was an inexpressible joy we’ll only know when we see Him face-to-face. Here’s a great article about Jesus and singing by Tony Reinke. 

It Could Have Been Me:  This is such a great reminder that  all our steps are ordered by God. Whatever comes our way (or doesn’t), may we thank Him daily for His grace.  Read Lisa’s blog post on “When It Could Have Been Me” here.

How Much Money Am I Supposed To Give Away? The short answer Tim Challies gives is “enough that it matters.”  His full response is insightful and could serve as a springboard for a family discussion on giving. Read it here.

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Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts

January 11, 2013 1 comment

Trusting GodTrusting God: Even When Life Hurts by Jerry Bridges is a MUST read if you are hurting, but even if “hurting” is not a label you would pin on yourself right now, it’s still a book you should read.

By exploring God’s Sovereignty, God’s Wisdom, and God’s Love, Bridges not only enables you to understand and know God better, he also provides you with the tools to maintain your house of faith when you go through pain and suffering.

“Why did God let this happen?” is a question Bridges explores in great detail.  His answers are insightful and full of Scripture.  I’ve always believed God is in control at all times and in all ways, but after reading this book, I’ve added a new word to that concept–God’s loving control.

Having A Dinner Party?

January 10, 2013 2 comments

table settingI’ve discovered having a successful Quiet Time is a lot like having a dinner party.  To have a successful dinner party, you’ve got to plan well.  I do that by asking myself several questions.  Who will I invite to the party?  What will be the main course?  What will I use for a table decoration? Will I use the good china or my everyday dishes?

It’s the same with having a daily devotional time. I have to plan for a successful outcome by asking some pertinent questions. What version of the Bible will I use?  Will I read the Bible through this year or study one book at a time?  Will I record my thoughts in a journal? What’s the best time for me to be alone with God? 

I seldom have a party without something unexpected happening. There might be a quick solution to the problem, like making a fast trip to the grocery store when the ice maker stops working.  Sometimes, however, there is no easy solution, and things just don’t turn out the way you’d hoped, although your guests will probably not notice when things go wrong.

You need to expect the unexpected during your Quiet Time too. There will be days when the telephone rings, the dog needs to go out, or the kids wake up early. At those times, you might be able to resume your appointment with the Lord.  On the other hand, some interruptions don’t have quick solutions, and your daily devotional time may seem like a failure, although I doubt the Lord will ever feel your time with Him is ever a failure.

My most enjoyable dinner parties aren’t necessarily those rare ones where everything turns out beautifully. Instead, it’s the one where I forgot to make the gravy because I was hearing about my friend’s hurt feelings or the one where I decided to stop looking for the wooden salad bowl so I could hear a funny story from someone who never tells funny stories.

Having an enjoyable daily Quiet Time may not always involve high moments of ecstatic wonder or theological insight. A pleasing time with the Lord may be consumed with painful confessions or heartbreaking requests. Yet, in the end, the real reason for having a Quiet Time, like the real reason for the dinner party, is to set aside time in your day for sharing yourself with a friend.

Complimentary words from guests as they leave your home when the party’s over are always nice to hear. But, listen to these complimentary words from the writer of Psalm 119 after spending time with the Lord, “How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103)

Make 2013 the year you followed through on your commitment to have a daily Quiet Time.  I think I’ll try to have a few more dinner parties too!

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