Biblical Womanhood · spiritual growth · Uncategorized

The Blessings of Reading Through the Bible in a Year

In a couple of weeks, I will have completed another read through the Bible. That’s saying nothing about me, but I do want to say something about God’s Word – it changes me!

The reason I started reading through the Bible many years ago is because I had not really gotten the “whole story” in my head. I had broken up segments of the Old Testament happenings I’d heard since my childhood. I knew some of the psalms and loved Paul’s epistles, but reading all the way through the Bible has taught me and profited me so much!

  1. Reading through the Bible has shown me the thread of redemption that is woven throughout all of Scripture. After the fall of man,, we see God providing, not just Adam and Eve’s present needs, but telling He would provide a sacrifice for mankind. Then all through its pages, we see pictures and types of Christ, coming to save us from our sin. From Abraham, Joshua, Moses, Joseph and the psalms, we are pointed to His suffering, death and resurrection!
  2. Reading through the Bible has given me a greater love for God’s Word. I see the way Scripture commentates on itself. I see Christ on each page. I see the way the Word is knit together like the yarns of a scarf through the weaver’s shuttle. It’s a Book like no other book! It is alive! It is powerful! It is life-giving!
  3. Reading through the Bible has caused me to grow spiritually. Oh, how dear it is to open my Bible and hear God speak Truth to my heart! The Spirit of God teaches me His character, gives me hope for the future, and convicts me of sin so I can get it right. All of this causes growth.
  4. Reading through the Bible has given me a greater desire to memorize Scripture. Because I see its value to change me, I know it’s essential to have it hidden in my heart. Psalm 119 is full of reminders why I need to memorize – it gives comfort, it gives me words to answer others, it guides me, it keeps me from sin…and so many other reasons.

I will definitely be reading through the Bible in 2022. Whitney shared on her blog this week that she’s going to be doing The Bible Recap. That is a chronological reading. I’m praying about whether to do that or to repeat the Bible in a year on you version. It takes you through the old and New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs. I love the variety. Through this plan I’ve also seen the redemption thread woven so beautifully.

Have you ever read through the Bible? If it seems daunting to you, realize you just take it one day at a time. I believe having a plan doesn’t overwhelm you, but it keeps you on track. Pray and ask God to give you a hunger for His word, and then make a plan to dive in come January 1, 2022.

You can go here to see a tool that has helped me as I’ve read the Bible.

Godly Character Traits · spiritual growth · Spiritual Refreshment

One Thing We Can Do To Grow Spiritually This Year

We are a family of “Foodies.” We plan out our meals. We anticipate them. We enjoy them. We record them. When a new, “successful meal” is complete, I make sure I’ve marked that recipe for future use. I have a written copy of that recipe either on-line, in one of my cookbooks, or in my recipe box because I want to be able to go back and re-do that menu!

I make notes about how I may have tweaked the recipe, a substitution I made, or even what I learned I need to do the next time I make it. I love flipping through my recipes and bringing up old recipes I’d forgotten about! Without that written reminder, it would have been lost forever because we eat lots of meal in a year’s time!

But even more than my physical food, the greatest “food” I partake of each day is the manna of God’s Word – the Bible. It is a feast that is never complete. There’s always more. It’s rich, sweet, and nourishing. I need it. I look forward to it. I remember it.

For many of us, we enjoy the taking in of God’s Word, but we do little in regards to making a memory of what we’ve read or what we’ve learned. Simply put – we don’t write anything down after we’ve read the Scriptures.
Here are four reasons I’m choosing to journal when I read God’s Word this year ~

  • It helps me remember the Truth I just learned. There’s something about putting it in ink that just cements it better in my heart and mind. That leads to the next reason…
  • It helps me meditate on those Truths throughout the day. As I’m driving, I’m thinking about what I wrote down. I talk to the Lord and ask Him questions about the things that come to my mind as I ponder it.
  • It helps me dig deeper into those Truths and add notes – things from commentaries or quotes from other authors that are a blessing.
  • It helps me see my spiritual growth. Just like the physical growth of a child isn’t seen day by day, but you see it when you compare it to last year’s growth chart, neither is my spiritual growth seen daily. However, my journal serves as my “growth chart,” if you will. As I look back a month or a year later on what I’ve written, I see how the Lord has increased my faith, taught me lessons, and revealed more about Himself to me. It’s so encouraging!

I‘ve had seasons when I didn’t journal and I truly feel I didn’t grow like I should have. See if you resonate with my reasons for not doing so. I think there are four basic explanations as to why most women don’t journal ~

  1. I’m not a writer. I think that can mean two things – 1. I don’t enjoy using a pen…it’s just not my favorite thing to do the process of writing. It’s tiring. It’s messy 2. I’m not really good at expressing myself creatively.
  2. I used to, but I’ve just gotten away from it. I got tired of the habit.
  3. It takes more time and that’s one thing I don’t have!
  4. I really don’t feel like I need to do that. I’m good with just reading. I can remember it without writing it down.

As we think back to all the physical meals we’ve eaten this past year, there’s no way we could give a commentary on each one. How could we answer, “What was the best part? What did you enjoy most?” However, if we had each recipe card in front of us, we could be reminded and have something to share, right? Let’s make the analogy – As we think back to all the spiritual meals we’ve been exposed to in this past year, (preaching as well as personal devotions) could we share one truth we learned from each one? Only if we wrote something down.

Oh how much more value there is in God’s Word than our physical food! Job said it well in Job 23:12 ~

Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.

Could you and I really say that? It will show in how we value the Bible. Ask God to give you a greater love for His Word so that you will treasure it more than ever before!

Next Wednesday I’m going to share some practical answers to our four excuses and also share a guide in Bible journaling that can be simple, and effective!

Refresh your response to God’s Word,

Blog info · Celebrations · spiritual growth

Two Celebrations!

I love celebrations and today I’m enjoying two!

The first one is my daughter, Alli; it’s her 29th birthday! God gave us Alli, our third daughter, during our tenth year of marriage; a special gift we didn’t think we would be able to have. But God in His grace and kindness to us, sent us a daughter to fill our home with music and laughter (lots and lots!) through Alli!

She was the child who was sure life was a stage. She enjoyed nothing more than entertaining Whitney and making her laugh!

From a very early age, Alli showed a love and a gift for music. She was denied the joy of learning to play drums (!), but started taking piano lessons when she was five. After that, she went to violin when she was around ten. Every instrument she’d see, (especially strings) she would want to try to play. She took cello lessons and then taught herself guitar. Her keen ear and natural ability were God-given gifts, and we sought to give her every chance to develop those talents.

One precious memory was the day during home school that she began asking questions about salvation. As we talked, I could see that she had a clear understanding of her sin and her need for a Savior. After excusing herself from my presence, she came back a little while later and announced to me that she had gone off on her own to ask Jesus to save her! Though she had some difficult days in her late teens, that decision to trust Christ kept her tethered to Him, even when she struggled personally. How thankful I am for the Spirit of God that lives inside His children! She responded to His conviction and made things right with the Lord after a brief time of straying away.

Since then she has been resolute in following the Lord and living for Him. Perfect? No, she has her parents’ old sin nature! But like all sinners, she gets it right and moves towards Christ.

What a joy to watch her serve with her husband in our church, and also as she is training her sons. I truly have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. III John 4.

Happy 29th Birthday, sweet Alli!

The second celebration today is regarding my blog! This week marks my 12th blogging anniversary! It was started 2,750 posts ago! What? Thank you to each of you who read, comment, follow and encourage my heart here.

This has been such a joy to me. I have met the sweetest women around the globe through this simple blog. I’ve been blessed to have some of you come to Tennessee and visit our church! Some I’ve gotten to know just through messages, and some have continued our relationships that began in person.

This blog was started for my church ladies, and is still my focus. I wanted a way to reach out to you, BCBC, ladies on a weekly basis. I pray I’ve ministered and encouraged you through the years by this means. I love each of you and long to serve you and point you to our Savior!

Would you give me a gift today? I’d just love to hear from you! Tell me how long you’ve been reading and where you’re from, would you? You might also add what content you enjoy when you stop by.

Also, how about sharing my blog with a friend? That would be a great gift to me! Thank you!

I hope you get to celebrate something or someone this weekend! Again, don’t forget to leave a comment before you go!

Time for cake!

Coronavirus · Encouragement · spiritual growth

What Do I Do Now? Everything’s Been Cancelled.

fog

Would you just stop and think for a minute…

How many times in the recent months have you sighed (and maybe even complained) about how busy you were?

My hand is up.  I am guilty.

I said there was no time for (xyz).  I thought to myself how I wish I could just stay home and get some things done.

None of us could ever have imagined the state in which we find ourselves.  Like every other “event” on my calendar, the ladies’ events I was planning on attending this spring have both been cancelled.  Continue reading “What Do I Do Now? Everything’s Been Cancelled.”

Bible study · Prayer · spiritual growth

Suggestions for Books, Journals, Planners and More!

2019 collage

Remember the Disney song, When you Wish Upon a Star?  The song tells us that when you wish on a star, your dreams come true.  It’s cute for a Disney movie, but if that was a reality  we’d all be driving brand new automobiles.  I just checked and my 2005 Jeep is still Continue reading “Suggestions for Books, Journals, Planners and More!”