Categories
Devotionals

Penciling in God

There is one for those datebook/daytimer fans out there. To start with, check out D*I*Y Planner It is a great site with lots of good advice on getting and staying organized. One of the coolest parts ( for you daytimer fans, anyway ) are the amazingly useful and attractive D*I*Y Planner datebook insert templates as well as the dozens of community submitted templates. If you’re the creative type, there are component pieces available to help you create your own daytimer pages when the available one’s don’t quite fit the need.

Now that you know the best place to get datebook fillers, take a moment to pencil God in to your schedule. Add worship services, small groups meetings, and any other faith-based activities you participate in. Then carve out some regular time for prayer, devotionals, and personal bible study time and add them to your datebook as well. The point is to make God a first-class priority in your schedule. It’s easy to say God is a priority, but a quick look at our schedules often prove otherwise. A great side-effect of actually blocking out the time, it that it is less likely you will schedule other activities over your God time.

Categories
Media

Junk-mail for Jesus!

Does your letter carrier come to your house with a wheel barrow full of credit card offers, used car flyers, Buy-one-get-one-free pizza postcards, and StuffMart sales ads? Since you have to sort through the pile so you don’t accidentally throw out the phone bill, when not get some junk-mail with a message that encourages your faith?

We get a number of catalogs, ministry newsletters, and Christian business fliers in the mail each month that one member of the family or another has signed up for or ordered product from over the years. So, now sorting junk mail not only includes the latest bargains in flat-screen TV’s and laundry soap, but also the current hot releases in Christians music, books and movies, as well as what is happening in ministry in Southeast Asia.

There are tons of sites on the web where you can signup for catalogs and newsletters, for example signup for for the Christian Book Distributors catalog online and get great ideas for books and movies.

One newsletter we get that I tend to read cover-to-cover is from Voice of the Martyrs

If you already get catalogs and newsletters that you enjoy, please share – especially ones that can be easily signed-up for over the web.

Categories
Scriptures

Burning the Word, digitally

I have been following a one year bible reading plan since January and have found it really helpful to have the scriptures read to me before I read them myself. While there are some great audio bibles available for sale, there are a number of freely downloadable audio bible in MP3 format.

The first place to check out is AudioTreasure where there are two different King James versions, a recording of the World English Bible and a number of non-English recordings. The files a fully downloadable for playing or burning to CD.

Another great source for audio bibles is BibleGateway audio resources with six different English translations available and a number of non-English recordings. BibleGateway is setup to let you listen individual chapters on-line or the case of some stream the Old or New Testaments. While realtime streaming is nice, a clever shell script with a few programs like curl and mplayer should be able to grab the SMIL stream definition file, grab the streams one at a time and transcode them to MP3 format. But, I’ll leave that for another time.

I keep copies of the MP3 on my laptop and usually burn a CD of the book I’m currently reading for listen in the car. There is something about hearing the Word and reading it that works better for me than just one or the other. Maybe it has to do with how we process written and spoken language differently so doing both exercises different parts of the brain.

Categories
Featured Prayer

Post-it Prayers

During a small group meeting a year or so ago, the topic of conversation turned to 1 Thessalonians 5:17 “pray without ceasing” and how one goes about doing that. The problem with trying to remember to do something, such as praying, is it that, once you forget, it’s lost until something brings it to mind again.

While sitting at my less-that-tidy desk the next day, I hit on an idea. I bought a pack of the little Post-it Notes and flipped thought them, writing just the word “Now!” on each little page. Then I divided the stack in to smaller stacks of 8-10 Post-Its and handed them out at the next group meeting with suggestions to stick a note some place where you will see it often; on a mirror, a car dashboard,  a refrigerator door. Then, whenever you see that word, “Now!“, take a minute or two to pray.

It has been a year, and I still spot the “Now!” Post-It by my desk and take a moment to Praise His name or ask Him for a little wisdom or grace for the task at hand. A more interesting side-effect has been with the long gone Post-It that was on the dashboard of my car. Even though the reminder is gone, the habit remains and my little VW Bug has become a house of prayer! Whenever I’m driving back and forth to work or off on an errand, I find myself talking to God.

In a recent post for another blog I have, I posted a picture of my desk and, if you look carefully, you can see my little, yellow reminder, calling me to prayer.

Categories
Uncategorized

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