Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Reading my Bible

The past few weeks my Bible reading has not been where it needs to be. Instead I have spent time reading Karen Hughes' book, Ten Minutes From Normal. It's a great book and I have always admired Karen Hughes. But her book does not feed my spirit. For a long time I struggled with reading my Bible daily until my husband and I starting reading the One Year Bible together. After that I really made it a priority because I saw the difference in me and in my day. My husband has kept this up and whenever someone asks his advice on something he has gotten in the habit of asking, "Do you spend time in God's Word daily?" That is a pretty bold statement for Jeremy, especially if you know him. He's pretty quiet and does not usually say bold things. But he saw the difference it made in his life and wants others to experience it too.

It may sound like I am being critical or legalistic. I assure you I am just writing about the things God shows me and maybe what I write will be exactly what the Lord is speaking to you. It's a difficult thing for me to address in my own life. I love TV. I love reading blogs and I love reading certain types of books. Not too long ago I had a problem with buying magazines. I found myself reading People, US Weekly, InStyle, Real Simple or whatever magazine sparked my interest. My husband told me time and time again that I had an addiction to magazines. One day while I was reading the latest break up news on Nick and Jessica, the Holy Spirit really convicted me about what I was spending my time reading. Even now I am drawn to Entertainment Tonight, E News, Extra or and kind of celebrity gossip or talk. My obsession with Hollywood and fashion is a whole other blog so I better stay on target. I felt like the Holy Spirit was telling me that I wasn't making time for Him. Instead I was watching TV or reading magazines or reading something else other than His Word during every spare moment I had. I knew at that point that He was definitely speaking to me and I needed to make some changes.

Several of you took a Bible reading journey with me a few months ago. We went through the entire book of John and then Galatians, Ephesians and Philippians. I presented the idea to my blog readers because many had emailed me sharing life struggles and many did not have a routine of spending time reading God's Word. So we started reading together, ONE chapter a day. Some were afraid to commit. But I shared how important and how life changing it is to study God's word daily. Even when it may not make sense to us, our spirit soaks it up. The Word is living, breathing, it has a heartbeat. It has to change us, it will change us! There are days when I have to read while sitting on the toilet or if I really seek discipline in my life, I would get up and read before the kids woke up. There is something about getting up before my kids that helps me prepare for my day and what better way to do than spend time with Him.

I can't fight a battle if I don't have God's word inside of me. I can't fight the enemy if I can't rebuke Him with God's Word. I can't do anything without Him and reading His Word is a part of having a relationship with Him. Too often I rely on Bible Studies or Devotions when I just need to open my Bible and read! So I have gotten off track and even though I start a new Bible study with a group of women on August 1st, I need something now. I need something daily. I'm not going to post any notes how I did in the past but I want to welcome any of you to read with me five days a week, Monday through Friday. One chapter a day is what I have committed myself to and I have chosen to study Romans. If you need some accountability when it comes to reading His Word, feel free to email me from my profile page. I would love to encourage you and pray for you.

As I read I know that the Lord is going to reveal to me brand new things and I can't wait to share them with you. Remember one chapter a day is easy and it can be done pretty quick. You may be waiting to pick the kids up from dance lessons or football practice and that's a perfect time to read. You may want to try getting up early, a great way to start your day! You may need to sneak into the bathroom and read in the bathtub. There is always time for God's Word. So think about the daily things you do and the time you can make for reading scripture. It will be the best time you have ever invested!

Psalm 1:2

Psalm 119:105

Proverbs 4:20-21

(I'm starting my daily reading tomorrow. Also I wanted to tell you that I went to church with a precious woman that had a Bible held together with duct tape. She used to read my blog and I think she still may. Mary, if you are reading I would love a bible reading testimony from you in the comments! I know you are a Woman of the Word!)


Barb said...

It's always been a goal of mine to read the entire Bible. But it's really hard if you start at Genesis and go in order. My daughter gave me a beautiful student Bible for Mother's Day. I'm using their "map" to read the Bible in two years. It's really great to read it this way.

V. said...

Sounds good - I'm in!

Just yesterday the Lord talked to me about getting more into the word.

This morning, as I was out walking, I was also reading from my little New Testament ( I live in the country so I can do that!) I think it's a great way to make sure my exercise time isn't taking a priority over my WORD time. I'll just do them together!


Gwen said...

God seems to really be putting this in my face often! You think he is trying to convince me??? LOL!!!! I hear you Lord! I'm on it! I hope not to fail this time!

Amanda said...

Gwen, PLEASE don't look at it as failing. If you miss a day, you miss day. It happens. It's just a great thing to make a habit of. It's life changing and it will bring change to our lives. As children of God we need to desire to know Him more and even when we don't feel like reading, our spirit soaks it up.

Karen said...

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Hebrews 4:12

Can't go into battle without your Sword.

luv u

Wendy said...

I have seen that it definitely makes a difference in my life when I am staying in the word. I have always put verses that are meaningful to me throughout the house (bathroom mirrors, etc.). This helps me hide the Word in my heart.

Tammy said...

It is so easy to let other distractions get in our way...I have struggled with this on and off. It's so hard as busy moms to find that complete time to focus...and then there's just the worldly distractions on top of that. But you are so right that we need the Word fed into us daily if we are to battle the enemy successfully and have any kind of victory in our lives.

Amanda said...

Mom, I love that scripture! Thank you and thank you for teaching me this. You taught me the importance of staying in the WORD.

Kili @ Live Each Moment said...

I can honsetly say that I am doing better than I was back when you started your John study. I'm doing the "Read the Bible in 90 days" plan (except only reading on the 5 days a week). It evens out to about 10-13 chapters per day and I am spending a few hours doing it, making sure to take notes as I go so I don't just skim the word. In the last 8 days or so I have finished Genesis and Exodus. Pray for me as I am having difficulty with Leviticus (only 2 more days) and I'm sure I'll struggle with Numbers and Deuteronomy!

Amanda said...

Kristina, that is awesome! I love it that you are digging so deep. Someone told me one time that when they had babies at home and it was tough, they decided to dig into God's word and learn as much as they could. I can tell that this woman is GODLY and HOLY. I want more women in my life that do this. I truly want to be like the woman that chased after the hem of Jesus. I long to touch His garment! I am so proud of you. I have never read that much at once. I love the old testament and Genesis is one of my very favorite books. Now Leviticus is a hard one but even in that, the Lord can speak!

Way to go Kristina! I am so proud of you!

Leslie said...

I was really convicted about that over the weekend. The woman that led our spiritual development sessions said you really just need to set aside the time whether it be 5 min. or 1 hour, God is responsible for what happens during that time, but you have to make yourself available. I have not been lately and I can really tell. I was much better in the states, but in the states Elise slept later.

Chappyswife said...

This is my first visit to your site. I'll be back to read more later, but wanted to let you know I, too, am trying to make the commitment to study God's word each day.

Kelly Ann said...

All I can say is:


Love you!!
Kelly Ann

Anonymous said...

Mandy you are just the sweetest little mom and wife. I am so proud of you and to see and read about your life as an adult. Your blogs make me smile so many times. But this one brings true joy to know that you are reading and coaching all these people to read Gods word. Yes my Dear, God does have a Plan. And one very special one for you.
With all my love - Aunt Marsha
PS I will also plan to read with you.

Mary said...

It's so important to read the Bible with purpose and not just as a check mark to our daily spiritual life. I know God creates a hunger in us for His Word. I love that you are encourageing women to read and really look at "how does this apply to my life?" Because, anyone can read...but it takes a Spirit lead person to be inspired, corrected, reproved and rebuked by the Word. So my prayer is that the Holy Spirit will always be my teacher as I read and that He will show me the great truths of how He wants to change me and mold me into the image of Christ. I know that's your desire too! Thanks for thinking of me.

V. said...

I blogged something on Romans 3 today...