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We never grow closer to God when we just live life.  It takes deliberate pursuit and attentiveness. 

Your level of preparation determines your level of outpouring.  It’s not someone elses responsibility to take care of what’s inside of you.

Paul instructed Timothy to fan into flame the gift that was inside him. (2 Timothy 1:6)

“Your life from seed to full-grown tree is a process. We all like the idea of fruit, but rarely do we allow ourselves to build a root system.” Banning Liebscher

As leaders we need to have a strong, consistent inflow to balance our outflow.  As leaders were are giving out all the time.  Energy, time, emotions.  In order to GROW as a leader we need to stretch our capacity and ability to lead.  Read the rest of this entry »

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I am LOVING this book by @andrewbergh!!!! I’m being good and reading it day by day as andrew instructs and love the gold revealed each day, that makes the Word come alive.  This is the best book I’ve read about HOW to read the Word and WHY it’s so worthwhile.  I think every new Christian should read it to get a solid foundation in developing a friendship with God, and every older Christian should read it to get a fresh sense of wow.  This book could revitalize your walk with God.

And it’s Free! Like seriously!  Get it from here http://bit.ly/tilbook
http://www.liveinspired.space/start

From the website: This book will not only help fix this but it will encourage you on a practical day to day plan to live inspired by God’s Word. I’d like to encourage you to start the 21-day inspired life project outlined in this book. I believe it’ll be an incredible investment of your time to either empower you or encourage you to get God’s Word from your head to your heart, every day for yourself!

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7 Arrows for Bible Reading – Gospel Coalition

The seven arrows of Bible reading were an attempt at developing a tool for proper hermeneutics to power these relationships. We did not want our people to simply talk about the Bible. We wanted them to understand the Bible and know how to apply it to their lives. Each cluster would read a predetermined passage of Scripture and discuss it using these seven arrows.

The goal was for the clusters to start by summarizing the main point of the passage as succinctly as possible, ideally in one sentence.

5 Things Your Habits Say About You – Relevant

Behavioural therapists and others who study human behaviour will tell you there’s only one difference between those who succeed and those who don’t. “It’s all about their habits,” they say.

1. They reveal what you value least—and most.
2. They reveal where you spend your time.
3. They reveal the state of your mental health.
4. They reveal the state of your spiritual health.
5. They reveal the state of your physical health.

EVERYONE IN YOUR LIFE WANTS ONE THING FROM YOU by John Michael Morgan

No one ever talks about it but it’s there. Intensely burning within every person on the planet regardless of their age, sex, race, status, or job. Everyone wants it and they want it from you.

I’m talking about RECOGNITION.

Everyone wants to be recognized and acknowledged. This is why a simple smile, making eye contact, or just saying “hello” to a passing stranger matters. It matters because it matters to them!

Because of this desire we all have, you can motivate and influence those around you by simply giving someone recognition. When someone feels acceptance, recognition, and appreciation from you they are more likely to support you, help you, or anything else that you’d like them to do.

Questions to Ask When Preparing for Marriage by John Piper

Preparing for Marriage: Help for Christian Couples is a new ebook from Desiring God aimed at aiding couples – whether dating and considering marriage, or engaged and preparing for marriage – to get to know each other better in some of life’s most significant matters, and be more fit to discern God’s leading for their lives.

Along with the questions contained in this blog post, we’ve packaged three additional resources from John Piper in hopes of enriching such important preparation.

Lifestyle

  • Own a home or not? Why?
  • What kind of neighborhood? Why?
  • How many cars? New? Used?
  • View of money in general. How much to the church?
  • How do you make money decisions?
  • Where will you buy clothes: Department store? Thrift store? In between? Why?

Don’t You Want Your Daughters to be in Love on their Wedding Day? by Gary Thomas

If the main reason you’re getting married is because you’re “in love,” what happens when the infatuation fades and you don’t feel that same “in love”? What’s going to keep you in the marriage then?

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“Complaining about a silent God while your Bible is closed, is like complaining about not getting texts when your phone is turned off!”  James Goll

Exactly how I feel every-time I have a coffee: Time to get stuff done.

 

 

An Open Letter to All the People Writing (And Sharing) Open Letters About What’s Wrong with The Church

If you want to build community or grow in intimacy, just show up. Squeeze their hands. See their hearts. Pray for them. Ask about their stories. Hear the countless ways their hearts have been broken by the world and healed by God as they have walked with Jesus longer than we’ve been alive.

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23 Things That Love Is

  • LOVE IS… being willing to have your life complicated by the needs and struggles of others without impatience or anger.
  • LOVE IS… actively fighting the temptation to be critical and judgmental toward another while looking for ways to encourage and praise.
  • LOVE IS… making a daily commitment to resist the needless moments of conflict that come from pointing out and responding to minor offenses.
  • LOVE IS… being lovingly honest and humbly approachable in times of misunderstanding.
  • LOVE IS… being more committed to unity and understanding than you are to winning, accusing, or being right.

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How to Make the Most of Your Bible Study

We are pulled in many directions: work, family, ministry, fitness and many other activities tug at our schedules. The more we are tugged, the more we have to work to guard the time we give to personal study of our Bibles. When we are at last able to sit down to read, we want every precious minute to count. Whether we have 15 minutes or two hours, we want our efforts to yield the most benefit possible. But how can we make the most of the time we have to read and study?

LOVED this (How To Read The Whole Bible In 2015) that i read from The Gospel Coalition last night on how to read the Bible in a year, and also how to dig deeper and more meditatively.

I personally read the M’Cheyne Bible reading plan—read through the OT once and the NT and Psalms twice, and have done so as a personal rhythm for the past 5-7 years.  Each year I switch it up by changing what version I read it in.  Currently I’m reading the AMP version.

The Gospel Coalition article has some fantastic links to Bible Plans and extended reading and a fabulous breakdown of the themes of the Bible.

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Do you want to read the whole Bible this year?

The average person reads 200 to 250 words per minute; there are about 775,000 words in the Bible; therefore it takes less than 10 minutes a day to read the whole Bible in a year.

(For those who like details, there’s a webpage devoted to how long it takes to read each book of the Bible. And if you want a simple handout that has every Bible book with a place to put a check next to every chapter, go here.)

Audio Bibles are usually about 75 hours long, so you can listen to it in just over 12 minutes a day.

But the point is not merely to read the whole thing to say you’ve done it or to check it off a list. The Bible itself never commands that we read the Bible through in a year. What it commends is knowing the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27) and meditating or storing or ruminating upon God’s self-disclosure to us in written form (Deut. 6:7; 32:46; Ps. 119:11, 15, 23, 93, 99; 143:5). Read the rest of this entry »

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“There are four principles we need to maintain:

First, read the Word of God.

Second, consume the Word of God until it consumes you.

Third believe the Word of God.

Fourth, act on the Word.” Smith Wigglesworth

 

 

STARTING

Before you get started, think through the following:

  • When will you read? Do you have a consistent time?
  • Where will you read? Do you have a consistent place?
  • What will you read? Do you have a plan?
  • What do you need? Do you have a Bible, journal, pen and highlighter?

 

PRAYER

You should always approach the Scriptures in a posture of prayerful humility and longing. Ask God to:

  • Incline you entirely to His Word.
  • Open your eyes to see the beautiful wonders of Christ and the glories of the gospel.
  • Unite your heart to fear His name, knowing that your desires are ever divided.
  • Satisfy you with His steadfast and unfailing love.

 

READING

The first step of study is to simply read the passage a few times to get an idea of the content, context and flow. Highlight particular sections that stand out so that you can come back to them later.

 

OBSERVATION

What do you see?

Observation lays the groundwork for all subsequent study. Cutting corners in this step can cause the entire process to unravel.

What are you observing? Everything. Your goal is not to determine what is and is not significant. Everything is significant. Observation is kind of like panning for gold. Your goal is to dig up as much as possible and allow the later processes to sift the gold.

  1. Mark up the passage. Don’t be afraid to write in your Bible. Circle, underline and highlight. Write in the margins. Get creative.
  2. List 2-3 overarching themes you see in the passage.
  3. List at least two observations per verse. The more the merrier.
  4. Write down questions to think through in the step of interpretation.

 

INTERPRETATION

What does it mean?

Your observations will most likely lead to interesting and challenging questions about the text. The step of interpretation allows you to sift through the various observations in order to provide answers.

 

Who is…

…the author?
…the audience?
…being discussed?
…accomplishing the action?

Where is…

…the author?
…the audience?
…the action taking place?

What is the…

…meaning of this word?
…significance of this phrase?
…implication of this statement?
…overarching theme?

Why did the author…

…choose this word?
…include this phrase?
…use this command?
…connect these ideas?
…not say ____?

 

  1. Consider the context.
  2. Compare multiple translations (ESV, NASB, NIV, HCSB).
  3. Look up key words.
  4. Check out cross-references to see how this passage relates to others.
  5. When stumped, list out all the various options and pros and cons of each. After due consideration, use supplemental resources such as the ESV Study Bible or commentaries for helpful insights and background information.
  6. Don’t stop until you have considered how this passage fits into the overarching redemptive plan of God – the gospel. How does this passage relate to the person and work of Christ?
  7. Make sure to discuss insights and questions with your spouse and gospel-centered community.

 

APPLICATION

What do I do with it?

Bible study is incomplete until you have thought through how to apply the particular passage to your life. Some passages will be more readily applicable than others, but all Scripture is useful and helpful (2 Tim. 3:16-17).

  • List out a number of potential applications. To get started, here are a few questions to consider:
    • Is there an example for you to follow?
    • Is there a sin to repent of and/or avoid?
    • Is there a promise to trust?
    • Is there a prayer to repeat?
    • Is there a command to obey?
    • Is there a condition to meet?
    • Is there a verse to memorize?
    • Is there an erroneous view exposed?
    • What else is the Lord pressing upon you?
  • Choose one or two particular applications and prayerfully consider how you might pursue greater faithfulness in them. Be specific about what you will do (or not do) and whom you will ask (in addition to the Lord) to help you.

 

 

from The Village Church HERE

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BIBLE READING:

1. Take a passage or paragraph and read it 3-4 times.

2. Then make a list of every thing it says about God (Father, Son & Holy Spirit)

3. List anything that it tells you about yourself

4. List example to be followed, commands to obey or things that need to be avoided.

 

MEDITATION:

Then choose one or two thing that you think were most important or the best thing that you learned from the reading. Keller says that mediation is talking to yourself about God, in the presence of God (Psalm 103).

 

Keller recommends 2 ways to meditate upon the passage:

  • The Shorter Way

Ask yourself how you would be different if this truth was explosively alive in my inner being? Secondly, ask why is God showing me this passage today? What is going on in my life that i need to learn this truth?

 

  • The Deeper Way

ACTS= Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving & Supplication

Adoration: What can I praise God for in this truth?

Confession: What false attitudes, behaviour emotions or idols come alive in me whenever I forget it?

Thanksgiving: How is Jesus Christ or the grace that I have in Jesus Christ the key to help me overcome the sin that I have just confessed?

Supplication: What do I need to do or become in light of this?

 

 

“Read a text and begin to mediate on it until the Holy Spirit starts to preach to you” Tim Keller

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God’s Word needs to be alive and active in you NOW. It needs to be acted upon and listened to and done NOW.

we need to STORE it in our hearts BEFORE we need it.  in times we face trials and tests and the Word is our SWORD and SHIELD – it is an offensive weapon and a defensive weapon.  it speaks hope, encouragement, strength, peace, love and joy to our hearts.  sometimes it keeps us sane and pressing forward as we face battles.  store the promises of God BEFORE we need them – know the Word BEFORE we need to know it!

 

So how do we have God’s Word LOUD within usas the dominant voice:

 

1. Read it

So be strong and brave! Be careful to do everything my servant Moses taught you. Never stop reading The Book of the Law he gave you. Day and night you must think about what it says. If you obey it completely, you and Israel will be able to take this land. Joshua 1:6-8

Everything in the Scriptures is God’s Word. All of it is useful for teaching and helping people and for correcting them and showing them how to live. 2 Timothy 3:16

2. Let the Holy Spirit teach you and speak to you

However, as it is written:  “No eye has seen,  no ear has heard,  no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”— but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.  The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. 1 Corinthians 2:9-11

But the Holy Spirit will come and help you, because the Father will send the Spirit to take my place. The Spirit will teach you everything and will remind you of what I said while I was with you. John 14:26

This takes TIME and practice… its like learning a friends voice over the phone or working out how your husband and wife really think and feel about things or being able to recognize what the baby wants by its cry… it takes time, its relational, it’s a learning process…. It wont happen over night but it will happen. God is in the business of teaching us how to hear His voice. He doesn’t throw us in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and say SWIM – it’s a day by day process and if we’re willing to hear and learn it goes well!

 

3. Do it. Obey it. Live it…

Obey God’s message! Don’t fool yourselves by just listening to it. If you hear the message and don’t obey it, you are like people who stare at themselves in a mirror and forget what they look like as soon as they leave. But you must never stop looking at the perfect law that sets you free. God will bless you in everything you do, if you listen and obey, and don’t just hear and forget. James 1:22-25

Simple eh.

Read it. Let the Holy Spirit teach you. Do it.

 

 

 

Smith Wigglesworth puts it like this:

“There are four principles we need to maintain:

First, read the Word of God.

Second, consume the Word of God until it consumes you.

Third believe the Word of God.

Fourth, act on the Word.”

5_1

 

 

 

 

7 Arrows for Bible Reading – Gospel Coalition

The seven arrows of Bible reading were an attempt at developing a tool for proper hermeneutics to power these relationships. We did not want our people to simply talk about the Bible. We wanted them to understand the Bible and know how to apply it to their lives. Each cluster would read a predetermined passage of Scripture and discuss it using these seven arrows.

The goal was for the clusters to start by summarizing the main point of the passage as succinctly as possible, ideally in one sentence.

 

 

 

5 Things Your Habits Say About You – Relevant

Behavioural therapists and others who study human behaviour will tell you there’s only one difference between those who succeed and those who don’t. “It’s all about their habits,” they say.

1. They reveal what you value least—and most.
2. They reveal where you spend your time.
3. They reveal the state of your mental health.
4. They reveal the state of your spiritual health.
5. They reveal the state of your physical health.

 

 

EVERYONE IN YOUR LIFE WANTS ONE THING FROM YOU by John Michael Morgan

No one ever talks about it but it’s there. Intensely burning within every person on the planet regardless of their age, sex, race, status, or job. Everyone wants it and they want it from you.

I’m talking about RECOGNITION.

Everyone wants to be recognized and acknowledged. This is why a simple smile, making eye contact, or just saying “hello” to a passing stranger matters. It matters because it matters to them!

Because of this desire we all have, you can motivate and influence those around you by simply giving someone recognition. When someone feels acceptance, recognition, and appreciation from you they are more likely to support you, help you, or anything else that you’d like them to do.

 

 

Questions to Ask When Preparing for Marriage by John Piper

Preparing for Marriage: Help for Christian Couples is a new ebook from Desiring God aimed at aiding couples – whether dating and considering marriage, or engaged and preparing for marriage – to get to know each other better in some of life’s most significant matters, and be more fit to discern God’s leading for their lives.

Along with the questions contained in this blog post, we’ve packaged three additional resources from John Piper in hopes of enriching such important preparation.

Lifestyle

  • Own a home or not? Why?
  • What kind of neighborhood? Why?
  • How many cars? New? Used?
  • View of money in general. How much to the church?
  • How do you make money decisions?
  • Where will you buy clothes: Department store? Thrift store? In between? Why?

 

 

 

Don’t You Want Your Daughters to be in Love on their Wedding Day? by Gary Thomas

If the main reason you’re getting married is because you’re “in love,” what happens when the infatuation fades and you don’t feel that same “in love”? What’s going to keep you in the marriage then?

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