Ten Ways to Read the Bible

Would you like to get more from your Bible reading and study time? Perhaps you’re new to the Bible and not sure where to begin? Perhaps you’ve been reading the Word for years yet still not comfortable with studying God’s Word for yourself. Be encouraged! It all begins with learning to really read the Scriptures.

There are three basic steps to studying God’s Word.

  • Observation —what does the text say?
  • Interpretation—what does the text mean?
  • Application—how does it work?

Although many of us may be familiar with these steps, the tendency can be to quickly read a passage of Scripture and then jump right to application—tell me what to “do”! Perhaps we employ the “skimmer” method, skimming the passage looking for the “good stuff” that can help make sense of our situation. Continue reading “Ten Ways to Read the Bible”

Confessions of a Mama of Preschoolers

How would you feel if your daily conversations were recorded and played back for you at the end of each day? Yikes! I’m not sure I’d be signing up for that service. But it would be a helpful tool in discerning whether our words were pleasing to the Lord.

I’m excited to share with you today a guest post from Jennifer Byars, a beautiful Mama of a toddler and a preschooler. She is transparent and authentic in what she shares. I believe these are words of encouragement and wisdom for young Mamas, but also a great word for us all regarding the meditations of our heart and the words of our mouth. I pray it encourages you today in whatever season of life you find yourself. (Full disclosure: this Mama holds a special place in my heart, for she is the one who first made me a Mama.)

 

Guest post from Jennifer Byars

“Recently Viv (18-month old) took a 7-minute video of her feet, a book, and the carpet…and audio of me teaching Ev to read. At first, as I listened, I congratulated myself on how patient I was and how well I praised and celebrated her. But as the lesson progressed, I heard my impatience, anger, and ugliness. Continue reading “Confessions of a Mama of Preschoolers”

A Beautiful Reminder

I have this old Bible that was my grandfather’s. When I inherited it, it was worn, tattered, and falling apart. I considered having it rebound but knew it would not be a Bible I’d use to read or for study purposes. However, I could not part with it. I have many extended family members who have been and are wonderful examples of faithful servants who love God and His Word. Many of these faithful servants of the Lord have served and/or are serving in full-time ministry. They are beautiful examples of those who walk out the Word and share Jesus wherever they are, as part of their daily life. I am very grateful for their influence and impact on my life.

Continue reading “A Beautiful Reminder”

Waiting with Purpose

Waiting…it’s part of all our lives whether we like it or not. Waiting…it’s a reality. But there is good and purpose in the waiting, in the delay. For some of you, just reading the word wait causes you to get all wiggly and antsy. Several years ago I was in a time of waiting and delay in more than one area of my life. It was frustrating. It was hard. It caused me, at times, to doubt and feel hopeless. During this time, I went to the Word, one of my favorite places to spend time. I discovered a lot about waiting. Wait does not have to be an ugly word. Waiting has purpose. Waiting is good. And there are things we can “do” while we wait. Read on. Continue reading “Waiting with Purpose”

Unstuck

Four years ago, I was in a funk! It was a difficult time and things just did not seem to be going as planned. I found myself extremely discouraged and discontent. It was nothing earth-shattering—no grave illness or life-altering circumstance. And I had many REALLY good things in my life for which to be thankful. And yet, I felt stuck. Stuck with little hope that things would change. Stuck with a case of the blahs, and a bad attitude to go with it! I had resigned myself to the situation and my pity party was underway. Summer was approaching and everywhere I turned everyone else’s life seemed to be going to well (and we know this is never as accurate as we tend to see it in our own heads). Nevertheless, with all the talk and Facebook and Instagram posts on the excitement of summer plans, trips to the beach, cruises, and “beautiful, perfect-looking” lives, my pity-party was in full swing! Continue reading “Unstuck”

Encouraging One Another to Believe, Hope and Persevere

Sometimes walking by faith and trusting God is hard. When our dreams, desires and expectations collide with our reality, it’s easy to become discouraged and give into apathy. When life seems like a tidal wave washing over us, it’s hard to endure and persevere. Many times we find comfort in the routine and change is not always welcomed.

But we find encouragement in 1 Corinthians 13 when it speaks of a love that believes, hopes and endures ALL things.

Continue reading “Encouraging One Another to Believe, Hope and Persevere”

Walk in Love: Bearing Burdens

Life hurts sometimes. We all face times of loss, disappointment, hardship, discouragement, and doubt.

Read how Paul describes his situation in the letter to the Corinthian church in the first century:

For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. —2 Corinthians 1:8-9

Can you relate to any of these thoughts or feelings? Burdened beyond your strength? Despair? Affliction?

Continue reading “Walk in Love: Bearing Burdens”

Walk in Love: Speaking Truth in Love

I like order. I like rules. I like to stick to the rules and I like it when others follow the rules too.  I have a tendency to be a “line drawer”.  I grew up with three sisters. I am the oldest, and naturally the bossy one. As a military family we moved around…ALOT!  Most of the time I was blessed (and thankful) to have my own room. It worked best given my tendency to like things in order, neat, clean, and everything in its place. It was not a desire my sisters all shared with the same conviction. At one of our duty stations, my sister Patty and I had to share a room. She was not as concerned about the order of the room. One day, in extreme frustration with the mess, I was going to teach her a lesson (for her own good, of course). This wrong needed to be righted! I drew the line!

Continue reading “Walk in Love: Speaking Truth in Love”