Welcome Y'all

Hopefully the name of this blog speaks for itself. I envision it being one of humor, exhortation, random musings, theological discussion, sports, and things that impact my life and could bless yours. Sometimes it might be a verse or a funny story, a sports score that has me up in arms or a profound truth that has hit me. I pray you find your visit here blessing your heart.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

How Do You Study the Word?

At the start of the year, I always try and find a new Bible reading plan.  This year, I looked back through some blog entries from John MacArthur on his Grace To You website about different ideas/plans to use and I think I have a good idea about the plan I will be using this year.  It's going to take me longer than a year to do it but I am excited about the charted course I'll follow in and of itself.

I will be reading the sections of the NT beginning with 1 John repetitively for 30 days.  At the end of 30 days reading 1 John, I will move on to the Gospel of John: Chapters 1-7 for 30 days, chapters 8-14 - 30 days and then 15-21 for 30 days.  As I read the chapters, I will make notes as to predominant themes of the chapter as well as things I may not understand fully or want to do further study on.  However, my plan is to rely on reading thoughtfully and thoroughly and diligently each day to try and glean the truths within the book without using a lot of extra sources.  MacArthur suggests that when reading the same passage through day after day, though it will get boring, push through and realize your mind will be taking mental snapshots of God's Word that will linger on in your mind.  You will begin to remember where certain verses are on the page as you mentally visualize God's Word after taking 30 mental pictures during the month.  He also suggested that you use the same Bible (though I know you probably have several on your shelf) at each reading so that the consistency helps you become familiar with the Scripture layout.  Makes a lot of sense to me.

I also will be reading the OT through from Genesis through at least Proverbs.  I began a few years ago reading through The Message and putting a bunch of study notes in the margins and summarizing each page with a short description at the top.  I know The Message is only a paraphrase and there are better, more exact translations, but I also know there are probably more people who will read and understand The Message than say the King James Version.  My goal is to have a bible written in today's English with detailed, theologically correct notes so that the average person may pick up this book, read it easily and have tons of study notes "filling in the gaps" they may have.  I am doing this for the sake of one or a family or a community who, once I am gone and my Bibles and books have been sold in an estate sale or given to goodwill, may run across this book and be encouraged.  They will read and understand about God of the Israelites and how He loved them in spite of themselves and Christ the Savior and King of Kings who came to save His children from themselves.  I want them to read and understand about the covenants and the sacrifice, the pain and the glory, the everyday events that were changed by spectacular miracles and the love of God who gave up His son.  I want this to be an investment in the next generation of believers who will come after me, whoever they may be...  my neighbors, my children, my grandchildren....

... or yours.

I know that there are so many plans out there but I am curious as to what you all use to guide your daily study.  Anybody have one they really like?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Chronicles of 2011

I just finished!

I try to keep a running chronicle of the happenings of the year... some are short and sweet like:

February 25th - Dentist - no cavities - Check in in 6 more months.

Some are longer characterized by facts, feelings, faces tied to particular days like:

September 5th - Papaw died suddenly today.  I can't believe He is gone... no more Papaw jokes, almost blue hair rinses, hours in front of You tube listening to Big Band music, no more of Papaw's candy he made for Christmas, no more sentimental moments of tears and memories from his 88 year old mind, hot tempered political opinions or liltingly gruff "Love you!" on the way out the door.  I already miss him so much...

I have been keeping these running chronicles for the last 8-9 years now.  It started as almost an exercise in prose that basically ended up becoming a daily journal and then modified to become a running list of events, experiences, wins, losses, and all the mundane in between.  I have loved going back through the Chronicles of yester-year to see what I have accomplished, where I was and how far I have come.  Or how far I have not come.   I see some of both.

I write this to encourage you to keep some sort of a journal this year.  It can be a sentence a day.  For those who want a little more info, maybe 4 sentences that address the "Peak" of the day, the "Pit" of the day, the "Praise" of the day and the "Prayer" of the day.  I believe that Satan will utilize whatever it takes to throw us off a godly course.  He is wily and ruthless and will stop at nothing to have our souls and our allegiance.  Really, he is primarily concerned that God the Father doesn't have our allegiance.  I think one consistent way he does this is to distract us from noticing and remembering the good that God has done in our lives.  To compartmentalize Him into a season of our lives or an area of our lives - keep Him from pervading our lives as He so desires to do.

I keep my chronicles of life handy so that I can see what the Lord has done at a glance over the last year of my life.  Where He kept me safe and where He guided me to the right job....When He delivered a miracle of family reconciliation and whose path crossed with mine to encourage a downtrodden soul.  It helps me to remember... to write them on the doorframes of my house and my heart so I may see and remember that through the peaks, pits, praises and prayers, God is there.  He is always there and has committed to be there to the end of the age... for me. (Matthew 28:20)

So take a few at the end of each day and remember the goodness of the Lord.  Chronicle Christ's love for you so you don't ever forget.