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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Beyond Begat

I’m a little proud of myself today.  Something I have failed to accomplish several times in my life no longer falls into the category of “Someday I’m gonna…”

Yes, I have read the entire Bible.  Shocking, I know.  What took so long?

Actually, I can remember a few attempts in my childhood and teen years that always lost steam in Genesis 5 when the BEGATs begin.  While quite readable as an adult and in a newer translation (I tend to read New International Version), the King James Version (among others) gets beyond my comprehension in a hurry.  Certainly a problem as a kid.

This experience of reading the Bible was good, but different from my years of more formal bible study.  In bible study, you go in depth and read cross references, answer questions and have discussion.  In reading the Bible through in 12 or 18 months, you basically read and move on.  I found this frustrating at times while realizing how much I enjoy studying the Bible.  Go figure.

I suggest starting a bible study over straight Bible reading because it will help explain and expand on the things you’ll be reading.

If you are going to attempt to read the Bible rather than study the Bible, I highly recommend a reading plan that takes you through portions of the Old Testament and New Testament simultaneously.  This provides some much needed variety and structure.  Most important, you have to stick with it.  I was pretty good about doing it daily and never got too far behind.  Make yourself do it.  Some days you will feel enlightened and others will feel more like you’re just checking the box.  Forget about it.  Keep going.  

Go to www.bible.com and poke around to find a plan that suits you.  Download the YouVersion of the Bible to your tablet or phone.  The resources there and on many other sites are endless and largely free.  No need to pay for anything.

So, what’s next?  A lot of people just start over or start over using a different reading plan.  I’ll probably end up doing that, but tomorrow I’m going to start reading a book called Alone with God as a supplement to my daily bible study.  No doubt, you’ll get a few tidbits of it yourself in these pages in the coming weeks.

Whatever you do, do something.  Go ahead, get started.


Run in Peace, Rest in Grace

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Hands on the Wheel

I’m certain that out running in the pre-dawn silence is where God speaks most clearly to me.  Today was no different.  I have been struggling with some things and I was searching for answers on what I needed to do in order to regain control of my life.  While it is a crazy time of year, I just wanted to calm the chaos.  I thought to myself ‘put both hands on the wheel and steer this stuff where you want it to go.’

Then it hit me.  Well, God hit me.

I have been doing exactly that.  I’ve been the one driving the proverbial car of my life with
both hands firmly placed on the wheel.  Every time God tries reach over and guide me, I swat His hand away.  Like saying to God: ‘I got this’; ‘I’ll let you know when to slide over’;  ‘Just sit tight until I need you.’

That is called the God of convenience.  Here’s a hint.  Try to avoid this.

Fortunately, God is quite forgiving and never leaves us.  He’ll just sit tight and let us keep going the wrong direction.  He intervenes many times before we drive off a cliff, but he allows us to be stubborn and stupid.

We live in one of three ways at various times in our lives.  There are always two hands on the wheel, but are they both yours, both God’s, or one of each?

One of each sounds really nice.  Sort of like a team.  The trouble comes when you realize your preferred route is largely different from God’s.  He won’t fight you on this.  He’s patient.  Next thing you know your hands are back at 10 & 2 going the way you came.

Life isn’t best lived under our own control.

No, life is a really long road trip.  We’re human.  Eventually, we’re going to need to let someone else drive.  The sooner we realize that the less distance we have to travel to get back home.  I’ve gotten WAY off track at times and the road back, even with God in firm control, can be a long one.

I’m sure by tomorrow or next week I will find myself driving once again, but for today…it’s God turn.  Think I’ll try to take a nap.


Run in Peace, Rest in Grace