Does anyone else, (or have you ever) bought magazines and books on subjects like, cooking, gardening, redecorating, fitness, diet yadayadayada and you look through them for awhile, even mark pages with the real intent of making a change in your life, or starting a project and then you don’t do anything about it? Well that’s me in spades.
Knowing that about myself I have to be on my guard not to let that happen to me when it comes to reading the Bible.
The Bible’s not meant to be a dust catcher, or a nice way to pass the time. It’s meant to change your life. I have found a surprising number of Bibles at Half Price Books, many with really sweet and sincere inscriptions. A lot of them I’ve noticed from grandparents to their grandchild. I’ve gotten into the habit of opening them and reading the front page…it’s kind of interesting and a bit sad. Don’t think the grandparent expected it to turn up on a discount book shelf or in a garage sale…but on the other hand it is getting spread around.
So I’m going on record that as I continue my journey with the Bible i’m going to make efforts to have it work itself into my my thinking, my dealing with people, with money and ultimately show up as a part of my life.
If i was asked what ‘theme’ stuck out at me during my first pass of the Bible earlier this year I could say without skipping a beat…God hates arrogance.
The arrogance I’m talking about is the type that when we are successful, or good things happen, we make the mistake of thinking we did it on our own instead of giving God credit.
Over and over again I saw stories of how, when times were good people, including key players, forget that God was the one who got them there. Instead they’d at best forget about him…and at worst they’d start worshiping their idols.
During my second time through I have to say I still see the verses about arrogance, maybe they don’t jump out at me quite as much as they did last time, but I still felt them pulling at me. I make sure to pray that I never allow myself to forget to be grateful to God for everything in my life like I did in the past.
Back in the Spring of this year a fellow youtuber (Kristin from Living Able) suggested that I read the Bible in Chronological order. Now considering I thought the Bible was written in chronological order that came as a surprise. But in any case when i started my second pass of reading it in July I went to Google and typed in ‘The Bible chronological order’ or something to that affect and sure enough there were numerous lists out there.
I selected one (then my brother sent me one as well when I mentioned it to him) and printed the list and started reading.
I’m still in Old Testament, finishing up 1-2 Kings and 1-2 Chronicles and some of Psalms but I found reading it this way really helped me. First off Kings and Chronicles are largely the same stories so by reading it in one book and then reading the same story immediately in the other book it made the stories make more sense. To be honest first time through when I’d come to a story I already read I was kind of confused thinking I was rereading the same part of the Bible. I hadn’t realized there was so much repetition I guess.
Psalms also was MUCH easier to follow reading it this way. Now right after I read a story about David, say with his problems with Saul, the stories of his being in fear of his life, sad or angry as to why he was being chased down when he did nothing wrong, made sense. Then when there was a happy story about David and you read the Psalms he wrote about worshiping and praising God and singing with joy, again it made sense because I had a better sense of where he was within the story line. My first read through of Psalms put me off a bit. it seemed to be depressing, then happy and joyful, then despondent and I just didn’t get it. (Others might have but it was confusing to me)
So anyway just tossing it out there again that I am really glad i’m reading the Bible this time in chrono order. Gives me a bit different perspective on things. Thanks Kristin!
During my first pass of the Bible and then again in my second pass once again I see the importance God puts on everyone having a day of rest…a Sabboth.
Now I remember growing up nothing was open on Sundays. When car dealerships were thinking about opening it was a huge deal. Now when you see places like Chic filet and Hobby Lobby still close on Sunday some people question it, they look at it as being inconvenient.
So I decided to, as best I could, consider Sunday as the Sabbath. Being in real estate admittedly will admit to checking my emails every few hours to make sure there is nothing time sensitive. But other than that I focus Sunday on God.
I don’t watch television or read anything that isn’t God-centric. It’s setting the stage for my week. I’m finding, even though i’ve only been doing it a couple of months, that it centers me and gives me a sense of peace and well being I didn’t have before.
Now I know everyone can’t set aside the entire day to focus on God, but you might consider setting aside an hour or so. You might be surprised how it makes you feel.
This may sound odd (or maybe it’s not some hard and fast rule) but though I saw some people/churches used the cross while in the Catholic church I went to the crucifix was the more common symbol. It was the focal point of the church, on our rosaries and in our homes.
I knew many other churches had crosses in their churches and on necklaces but I never saw the pattern that led me to see that Catholics use crucifixes and Protestants use crosses.
It’s only a couple of weeks ago it came up somehow and it was explained to me that Protestants (All??? or most??? not sure) use crosses as they want to celebrate Jesus is no longer on the cross. The focus is on the fact that He resurrected. While they (at least this group of people anyway) saw the crucifix focused on the death and not the resurrection.
I saw simply as a design preference…duh…
Sometimes in life you have to shake things up to move forward. I guess it took me awhile to figure it out and to step out of my comfort zone and sometimes that is exactly what you need to do. Even if you feel you are on track with your life…are you really? Look at all aspects. Are your relationships are solid or have you gotten into a rut and maybe you are taking that special someone for granted . Maybe it’s your relationships with your kids or other family members. Have you taken time out to see how they’re doing lately? How about your body, has that working out 5 times a week slipped down to 2 or 3, or maybe…none? On conversely has your diet or budget starting slipping away again without you stopping and thinking about. Maybe you need to shake things up a bit…
For me on my current journey of Faith it’s reading the Bible and building a relationship with God. Now I didn’t have a robust ‘salad dressing’ to begin with as I refer to in the video but I did believe in God. So I’ve had to do a lot of shaking for some people maybe only a shake or two will have you back on track. Maybe you’re reading the Bible. But ask yourself, are you reading it with the gusto and full heart you used to? Are you getting the most out of it? Are you praying for understanding. If not welcome to the world of a lot of believers.
So I suggest everyone look around their life and make sure they can say they are living it with the full robust taste of a well mixed salad dressing and if you’re not…shake things up!
This is Day 6 of SSSVEDA which is doing a video every day for the month of August. My topic today is how I am combining my exercise with worship.
I’ve known for a long time that i needed to exercise but I HATE exercise and I’ve never managed to find something I could stick with. So when I went to the doctors recently it was no surprise that she told me I have to get out there and exercise. She said do something you enjoy. Problem is I don’t enjoy any physical exercise (so you can imagine my kids’ surprise when a couple of years ago I told them I was going to walk the 500 mile Camino de Santiago in Spain…they thought I was out of my mind) The doctor ignored me and said I needed to get out at walk an hour a day. Tell me who has an extra hour a day laying around?????
Anyway I knew she was right. At 63 it was vital I get my muscle tone back and blood pumping. So I decided I’d check out the neighborhood hiking trail. It had been over a decade since I walked around the pond and back then it wasn’t impressive. No trees to speak up and it wasn’t pretty.
Imagine my surprise when almost two weeks ago I took the walk and found it was lovely out there. This might work. Maybe I could do it a few times a week…
So I got up the next morning before sunrise (and before the 108 degree Texas weather hits) and took a walk. I had a playlist with vertical worship music (the music that talks TO God not ABOUT God) and hit the path.
To my great surprise It was lovely…peaceful, quiet and very spiritual. I use the time to pray, worship and simply…be…. I’m hoping adding the worship factor will motivate me to keep at it but only time will tell.
Now you don’t need a pond…just find your own quiet space and time and commit to your own Worship Walk….or maybe find a place in nature where you can sit and watch the sunrise…i’m telling you seeing some of the beautiful skies and being in the quiet moments in nature makes you feel closer to God even before you say a word…