Hide the Word (Week 2) and Some Tips for Your Quiet Time

scriptureWell, how did week one go? I am so excited to be hiding the word right along with you in 2015. Hearing from y’all via Facebook and email holds me accountable and encourages me to continue opening God’s Word early each morning. {And I mean early thanks to those middle of the night/early morning baby feedings.}

I hope that you are taking your time when reading. This is not a race. Each day’s reading does not have to be done in one sitting. Just ¬†a few tips to keep in mind while you’re reading…

Take your time! If you zoom through each day’s reading, check it off of your list and it makes no difference in your life – it was all for nothing.

Think about what you are reading. What does it mean to be “made in the image of God?” {Genesis 1:26 – Day 1}

Don’t be afraid to stop and look up another passage. For instance, when I read Genesis 2:7, I was struck by the idea of “God breath.” My mind then went to Ezekiel 37 where God was again breathing life where there was none. And, again, in Isaiah 42:5 and Job 33:4. It’s like a treasure hunt; the more you dig – the more you find.

Read out loud. This is especially important when reading familiar passages. When reading about Noah or Moses, it is easy to mentally skim the passage without even realizing it. But, if you read out loud and slowly, you will be amazed at the things you never knew that you never knew. Do you know who buried Moses? For the longest time, I didn’t. Then, I read out loud and slowly. It blew my mind, y’all. Oh no, I’m not telling. You start diggin’ for yourself. ūüôā

Those are just a few tips that I hope will make your attempt to Hide the Word a little more enjoyable and productive.rise and shine

Love y’all so much! Keep leaving me comments, sending me notes on Facebook and emailing me to let me know how it’s going!

Reading for Week 2

January 8: Job 17-20

January 9: Job 21-23

January 10: Job 24-28

January 11: Job 29-31

January 12: Job 32-34

January 13: Job 35-37

January 14: Job 38-39

Hide the Word 2015

There is just something so invigorating about a brand new year! I don’t really make resolutions; I’m far too fickle for them. And, for the most part, folks tend to make resolutions about things they have little desire to do but feel some obligation to do.

But, if there is something I can get really fired up about, it’s God’s Word, y’all.¬†psalm 16

I’ve been reading through the Bible with my girls and we have made it into Exodus. It has taken us quite awhile and that is even with me skipping the part about Noah getting drunk and naked because no mama has time for that. The girls are loving it and I’m loving seeing them loving it. I am teaching my 2 year old the Psalm 119:11 song and I caught her singing it to herself over breakfast. *love*

For this new year, I want to read the Bible chronologically because that is something I have never done. We all need to hide a little Word in our hearts. As I read today’s reading, I was struck by the fact that God’s first act of creation was to dispel the darkness. God has always been about bringing light to his people.

God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. – Genesis 1:4

Satan wants God’s people to be in the dark. He wants us to hide away with our pain and our pasts. He wants us to cower in fear and shame. But God said, “Oh no. I’m bringing the light.”

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. – Isaiah 9:2

I wonder how many of you feel trapped by the darkness. How many of us are stumbling, searching, seeking? We want to walk on a new, brighter path. But how do we find this new path?

By knowing God’s Word.

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. – Psalm 119:105

So, if you would like a little light for the path, hide a little Word in your heart. And why not start today?

Here is the reading plan for the first week of Hide the Word 2015.

Y’all are loved!

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January 1 (Genesis 1-3)

January 2 (Genesis 4-7)

January 3 (Genesis 8-11)

January 4 (Job 1-5)

January 5 (Job 6-9)

January 6 (Job 10-13)

January 7 (Job 14-16)

For When Your Heart Needs Proof

scripture doodleWhat do you do when times are difficult? When you’ve trusted until you’re tired and you’ve endured until you’re empty? What’s your response when well meaning folks toss Romans 8:28 your way like it’s a magic cure all for whatever ails you? Or, better yet, when they send you a pretty picture of a waterfall with some catchy cliche.

Go with what you know.

Fake it til you feel it.

What’s a person to do when you don’t know what to do?

If you’re Zechariah, you say, “Prove it.”

And Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.” – Luke 1:18

Prove it. Because what you’re saying does not match up with what I’m seeing.

Oh, it’s easy enough to judge him. But who hasn’t, at some point, yearned for just a little tangible reassurance.

When you’re trying to pay your bills from an empty bank account. If you could just prove it, Lord.

When you’re sitting next to someone you love and they’re fading fast. If you could just prove it, Lord.

When you feel completely alone in the midst of a crowd. If you could just prove it, Lord.

Sometimes, God chooses to offer a little proof. He does not have to do that. He does not “owe it to us.” His love for and commitment to us was heart sugar cookiesettled on the cross and, if he never did another thing, we can never question his devotion. God loves us and his son has the scars to prove it.

Yet, sometimes, he takes pity on us doubting Thomases. He hears our cries for proof and he shows up and let’s us touch the scars (John 21:24-27.) A healing takes place. A check shows up in the mail. And we feel better – for the moment.

Then, another trial comes. A period of darkness comes upon us. Suddenly, we need proof again. And the time after that and the time after that. We begin to place our faith in the proof. That isn’t faith at all.

Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” – John 21:29

As much as our hearts may long for proof, that is not where the blessing is found. The blessing is found when we believe that our God is a promise keeper. The blessing is for those who knew that God would provide even before the check came in the mail. The blessing is for those who believe God is good even as t hey say good-bye to someone they love. The blessing is for those who believe what God says and not the lies of this world.

“Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from The Lord.” – Luke 1:45

I have been Thomas more often than I care to admit. Show me and, then, I’ll believe.

Zechariah and I would have gotten along really well.¬†I hear what you’re saying, but I’m going to need some proof.

Who I long to be, however, is a woman who believed what the Lord has said. I long to be Mary, a young virgin girl told that she would give birth to the savior of the world who then says, “Alrighty then. So be it.” {That might be the Stacy paraphrase.} She didn’t doubt or question or demand proof that God could do what he said he was going to do. Scripture says that she was blessed because she believed the Lord was going to do what he said he would do.

Lord, let that be me. Some days, I’m just not there. But, mercy, how I want to be.

Summer Scripture Challenge (Week 1)

Ella BibleThis summer I want to do some Scripture memorization and I thought it would be fun if y’all did it with me. ūüôā I read Scripture quite a bit and I love to highlight and look up word meanings and such. Here’s the thing, though. I’m not great at memorizing it and that’s sad. We are called to ponder and meditate on God’s Word. We should, as did the psalmist, hide God’s Word in our heart.

I have stored up your word in my heart,
    that I might not sin against you. РPsalm 119:11

I love me some post-it notes and highlighters when I read the Bible. Those things do me no good, however, if I am unable to carry any of those truths with me throughout the day. So, I have selected a passage to focus on and memorize this summer (June/July.) You are, of course, welcome to choose any passage you like. It sure would be fun, however, if we all memorized the same one.

The passage I am going to be memorizing is 2 Timothy 2:14-26 and the breakdown will look something like this:

Week of June 9: Memorize verses 14-15

Week of June 16: Memorize verses 16-17 and review 14-15

Week of June 23: Memorize verses 18-19 and review 14-17

Week of June 30: Memorize verses 20-21 and review 14-19

Week of July 7: Memorize verses 22-23 and review 14-21

Week of July 14: Memorize verses 24-25 and review 14-23

Week of July 21: Memorize verse 26 and practice reciting the whole passage!

I will be checking in each week to let you know how it’s going on my end and to give you a little insight into how I am attempting to hide God’s Word in my heart amid potty training and dentist appointments and baby preparation and meal planning and laundry doing and…well, you get the point.

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Email me at servantslife {at} gmail {dot} com and let me know that you are joining the challenge and what passage you chose so that I can check in with you!

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Here are a couple links that will help you get started:

Why Memorize Scripture?

{How to} S.O.A.P. Your Quiet Time (This is a great tool for Bible study and the writing out of the Scripture is also a HUGE help in the memorization process.

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This week’s verses (from the ESV):Sarah Bible

Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. Р2 Timothy 2:14-15

I believe memorizing Scripture and always being prepared to give an answer for the hope that we have is an important part of “rightly handling the word of truth.”

Monday: Read verses slowly and out loud. Write verses in journal.

Tuesday: Post verses around home or office – wherever you are most likely to view them several times a day. {Mine are on post-it notes over my kitchen sink.}

Wednesday: Write out verses again. {Writing things out greatly increases your chances of remembering.}

Thursday: Recite your verses out loud to your children, a friend or to yourself!

Friday: Write those babies down one more time! {From memory this time!}

Saturday and Sunday: Meditate and ponder. {What do these verses tell us about God? Also, don’t forget the S.O.A.P. method from the link above – what are some ways we can apply these verses to our lives?

Let’s do this!

 

Recreating the Garden of Eden in 2014

I see y’all with your resolutions and your One Word declarations. I read about your plans for Scripture memorization and blessing counting and, to be honest, I feel like a bad Christian. In this season with all of its freshness and new beginnings, I’m just feeling a little dry.¬†Ella Bible

So, I begin at the beginning and I remember. We were only dust, dry and frail, before God breathed.

Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. РGenesis 2:7

That was the beginning of life. We were physically formed, but we were breathed into existence. Here I sit, feeling like life has sucked the breath right out of me, and I want it back. I don’t want dry bones. I want God breath. But, how?

How does one go about recreating the Garden of Eden? How is it possible to go back to the place where God filled a person with his holy breath? Then, I see it.

Then he said to me, ‚ÄúProphesy to these bones and say to them, ‚ÄėDry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign¬†Lord¬†says to these bones: I will make breath¬†enter you, and you will come to life. – Ezekiel 37:4-5

Sarah BibleThere, in the valley of dry bones, the word of the Lord brought with it the very breath of God. And the breath of God brought those dry bones back to life. It was the Garden of Eden all over again. New life. New breath.

The Spirit of God has made me;
    the breath of the Almighty gives me life. РJob 33:4

No weight loss or diet resolution can bring dry bones to life. No commitment to being better organized can ever breathe life back into us. Only God has the life restoring, spirit refreshing, body energizing kind of breath. So, how do we get it?

All Scripture is God-breathed… – 2 Timothy 3:16

Just open the pages and take a deep breath. If you read through the Bible in a year – great. If you memorize a verse a week – fabulous. Those things will be icing on the cake and icing, my friends, is a really good thing. ūüôā But, if you feel like you are just a bunch of dry bones walking around, I would encourage you to just open the pages of Scripture and allow God to breathe life back into you. It is what he has done from the very beginning.

Just breathe.

That seems like a good resolution for 2014.

Y’all are loved and adored.