Monthly Archives: December 2014

By Far, THE Best Article of 2014

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Do yourself a favor. Read this article and ask God to give you the grace and strength to apply it in 2015.

Lighten Up, Christians: God Loves a Good Time” by N.D. Wilson (from Christianity Today)

“Wherever we go, we are the mascots of the gospel, the imagers of the infinitely creative Father, and the younger brothers and sisters of the humbled and triumphant Word. We speak in this world on behalf of the One who made up lightning and snowflakes and eggs.”

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Bible Reading Plans for 2015

Beginning Monday (December 29th) and going through the end of the year (today), I want to bring to your attention several ways to help you read through the Bible in 2015. If you click here, you can see a very large list of plans – provided by Justin Taylor. It is where I found these plans and where you can find more traditional Bible reading plans. You can link to several additional plans here from Tim Challies’ blog.

If you have read through the Bible before, I don’t have to tell you how invaluable it is. If you haven’t, I urge you to give it a try. It is hard. It takes discipline. But this is how anything of value usually functions.

The plans I want to highlight for you, I think will help in motivating you to read through the entire Bible in a year. Let me know which one you choose and how things are going throughout the year.

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#3. The Bible Reading Plan for Shirkers and Slackers.

It takes away the pressure (and guilt) of “keeping up” with the entire Bible in one year. You get variety within the week by alternating genres by day, but also continuity by sticking with one genre each day. Here’s the basic idea:

Sundays: Poetry
Mondays: Penteteuch (Genesis through Deuteronomy)
Tuesdays: Old Testament history
Wednesdays: Old Testament history
Thursdays: Old Testament prophets
Fridays: New Testament history
Saturdays: New Testament epistles (letters)

 

Bible Reading Plans for 2015

Beginning yesterday and going through the end of the year, I want to bring to your attention several ways to help you read through the Bible in 2015. If you click here, you can see a very large list of plans – provided by Justin Taylor. It is where I found these plans and where you can find more traditional Bible reading plans.

If you have read through the Bible before, I don’t have to tell you how invaluable it is. If you haven’t, I urge you to give it a try. It is hard. It takes discipline. But this is how anything of value usually functions.

The plans I want to highlight for you, I think will help in motivating you to read through the entire Bible in a year. Let me know which one you choose and how things are going throughout the year.

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#2. The KINGDOM Bible Reading Plan

  • Proportionate weight is given to the Old and New Testaments in view of their relative length, the Old receiving three readings per day and the New getting one reading per day.
  • The Old Testament readings follow the arrangement of Jesus’ Bible (Luke 24:44—Law, Prophets, Writings), with one reading coming from each portion per day.
  • In a single year, one reads through Psalms twice and all other biblical books once; the second reading of Psalms (highlighted in gray) supplements the readings through the Law (Genesis-Deuteronomy).
  • Only twenty-five readings are slated per month in order to provide more flexibility in daily devotions.
  • The plan can be started at any time of the year, and if four readings per day are too much, the plan can simply be stretched to two or more years (reading from one, two, or three columns per day).

Bible Reading Plans for 2015

Starting today and going through the end of the year, I want to bring to your attention several ways to help you read through the Bible in 2015. If you click here, you can see a very large list of plans – provided by Justin Taylor. It is where I found these plans.

If you have read through the Bible before, I don’t have to tell you how invaluable it is. If you haven’t, I urge you to give it a try. It is hard. It takes discipline. But this is how anything of value usually functions.

The plans I want to highlight for you, I think will help in motivating you to read through the entire Bible in a year. Let me know which one you choose and how things are going throughout the year.

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#1. The Bible Eater: A Plan for Feasting on Christ

“Here’s how the Bible Eater works:

  • Old Testament: Read 2 to 3 chapters per day and take 4 days off per month. Read 1 to 3 designated one-sitting Old Testament books each quarter.
  • New Testament: Read 1 chapter per day and take 4 days off per month. One gospel is assigned to each quarter and Romans and Hebrews are assigned twice across the year.

Follow this rhythm and you will get through the entire Bible in one year.”

 

 

 

 

 

Top 10 Books of 2014

If you happened to get an Amazon gift card for Christmas this year, then you will be eager to spend your gleanings on books. You may not like E-books (yet), but – for you “penny pinchers” and “bargain chasers” out there, you can purchase more books electronically than you can the old fashioned way for less money. Fact. And, speaking from experience, E-books are much easier to pack & move if the Lord ever leads you to move from your current location.

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I love seeing what various people have read throughout the year and what they recommend to other geeks like myself. Below is a list of 10 of my favorites from this year. They are in no particular order. If you want a description (sorry I didn’t include one here), click on the link, scroll down a bit, and read the “Book Description” provided by Amazon.

And, by the way, I do NOT endorse or commend every word on every page of the books listed below. They are 10 of my favorites from the year. I think you will enjoy them and/or learn much from them. Read them with a Holy Spirit infused maturity and a biblically Christian worldview perspective. Deal?

What were/are some of your favorites from 2014?

 

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

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Killing Jesus: A History by Bill O’Reilly

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Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity by Nabeel Qureshi Unknown-3

 

 

 

 

Ask It: The Question that Will Revolutionize How You Make Decisions by Andy Stanley

 

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The Stories We Tell: How TV and Movies Long for and Echo the Truth (Cultural Renewal) by Mike Cosper

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Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand

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The Pastor’s Kid: Finding Your Own Faith and Identity by Barnabas Piper

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Crazy Busy: A (Mercifully) Short Book about a (Really) Big Problem by Kevin DeYoung

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Autopsy of a Deceased Church: 12 Ways to Keep Yours Alive by Thom Rainer Unknown-3

 

 

 

David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell

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Christmas Isn’t Just for Church People

“In the same region, shepherds were staying out in the fields and keeping watch at night over their flock. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them . . .” Luke 2:8-9a

Go Tell it On the Mountain

God sent the birth announcement to shepherds because shepherds were not allowed in church.

The shepherds were such outcasts in society that they couldn’t even enter the temple.

They were not allowed in, though the very animals they were in charge of keeping would be used for religious sacrifice.

They were looked down upon by church people and not allowed in.

But God . . .

God went to them, FIRST. God shared the news with them, FIRST. God went to them because if He hadn’t there is a good chance they would have never known.

The reality that God went to the shepherds with the birth announcement shines some light for us on God’s heart. God loves all people and desires all to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4). Christmas isn’t for church people. Why? Church people already KNOW about Christmas!

Christmas is for those who don’t think they are worthy to come to church. Christmas is for those who aren’t worthy. Christmas is for outcasts and sinners and the broken and lonely.

It’s Christmas Eve. Many of us church people will be attending a Christmas Eve service. We should. I hope you go and reflect and worship and grow in your love of Jesus tonight. But let’s remember God’s heart for those who aren’t church people, yet. Let’s be intentional today. There will be those you see today who can’t get to a Christmas Eve service because we are buying last minute items from them or ordering food from them for our stomachs. Say a word to them about Jesus. Ask how you can pray for them. Thank them for serving your city by working.

There will be those you can invite to the Christmas Eve service tonight. Those who would never come unless they are invited. Call them. Bake them some cookies and take them to their house . . . invite them to come with you to the service before you leave.

Family members will be coming in today who do not consider themselves worthy to be “in church.” Love them. Be gracious to them. Invite them to church in a way that expresses there will be no judgment if they say no.

The fact that God went to the shepherds first is a reminder that the message of Christmas isn’t for church people. It’s for those who aren’t there yet. Sure – church people never outgrow their need to marinate in and understand the Gospel. But let’s remember – there are those who have yet to hear it for the first time and/or understand what it means for them. The heart of the Father is also for those who would  never even think about attending tonight’s Christmas Eve service.

So, Go – Tell it on the Mountain. . .