101 days ago I returned from our annual visit to the New Wine summer conference in Somerset. Full of enthusiasm and feeling filled afresh with the Spirit, the next day I felt inspired to start a new reading plan. And so I embarked upon Bible in One Year.
Today I completed Day 100. I must admit, I wasn’t sure if I’d stick it out, as I’ve tried reading plans before and drifted off. But this time felt different. And it really has made a difference to my relationship with God. Every day he speaks to me through his Word in fresh, exciting and relevant ways. Verses leap out at me that seem hand picked for my circumstance.
If you’re not currently reading the bible daily, here’s a few tips get the ball rolling and keeping on track:
- Pick a reading plan. There are lots of plans available (check out You Version Bible app), and each reading comes with a devotional or commentary to help you delve deeper beyond the words on the page.
- Make yourself accountable. Why not get a friend to follow the same plan at the same time so you can discuss what you’ve read.
- Find a quiet place to read, without distractions.
- Make time every morning for your reading. It should be your first priority. It’s the best way to start the day. How can you put Gods word into practice if you’re about to go to bed?
- Pray before you read. Ask God to speak to you in new ways through his Word.
- Pray after you read. Ask God to help you put his Word into practice in the day ahead.
I found within a few weeks that my daily bible readings have become embedded in my routine. The Old Testament has been put into context in a way that I didn’t understand before. Psalms and Proverbs are offering daily encouragement and praise. Familiar New Testament parables and details of Jesus life, death and resurrection have new meaning and connection.
I’m already wondering what I’ll do once I reach Day 366…
Listening to RT Kendall speak this morning on the subject of forgiveness has given me a lot of food for thought. I realise that my perception of what it means to truly forgive is considerably short of Gods expectation of us. I have some work to do, but today I stood up and made the commitment to forgive in a way that I haven’t in the past.
Joseph (Genesis 45) has shown us what it means to forgive, by graciously forgiving his brothers. There are many lessons to be learned on how he dealt with his brothers after the ordeal that they put him through several years earlier.
“Freely you have received; freely give.”
Matthew 10: 8
I’ve been thinking about Lent for the past few weeks, and what I should abstain from this year. In the past I’ve given up alcohol, chocolate, sweets and social media. I have a sense that God want’s me to do something a bit different this year, so I’ve signed up to 40acts. If you haven’t heard of it before, here’s a little taster of what it’s all about:
This week has been quite an eventful one, full of challenges. After completing the London Winter Run on Sunday, my usual hip pain was surprisingly mild following the 10k. However, I’d already booked in to have ultrasound guided injections on Monday. It wasn’t as painful as I anticipated, however I did have to jump on the treadmill for 10 minutes to check whether it had worked. I don’t think my legs were quite ready for exercise again so soon.
Wednesday was an early start to get the first bus to the train station to get in to London. The company I work for sends a couple of volunteers over to Whitechapel Mission once a week to help cook and serve breakfasts to the homeless. This is the second time I’d signed up for the rota, and on this occasion I was on egg duties. By 9:30am I’d fried approximately 200 eggs to varying specifications.
I became a Christian in 2009 after doing the Alpha Course with my husband at our local church. There were a whole series of events which lead us to that church and consequently doing the course, which I’ll write about later. But as I’ve been reflecting on my journey of faith over the past 10 years, it occurs to me that what I know now is vastly different to what I knew then. There were a lot of assumptions and misconceptions that I had. I occurs to me it might be helpful to my friends both in and outside of the church to share my observations. So grab yourself a cuppa, this post is a bit longer than usual.
They are completely my own views, and I’m sure some with have had similar experiences, and others not.
Before becoming a Christian I didn’t know that:
1. I wasn’t a Christian.