Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Highpoint of Worship

What's your favorite part of a worship service?

I define "worship" as a response to who God is, what He's done, and what He's promised. That makes it include a good deal more than singing. Giving money to support the work of the church (be it salaries, missions, or helping the poor) and listening and learning as someone teaches from the Word can definitely be worship.

For me nothing tops baptism: When someone responds to the gospel by promising to follow Jesus for the rest of their days. (We're obviously credobaptists.)

It's saying, "This is what I believe, and I'm going to be different because of it." And yet I think we all know it's not a one-time thing. It's a commitment, a choice, you have to make every day. Every minute of every day.

But it doesn't hurt to make a big deal of it every now and then.

We don't all need to go back through the baptismal waters, but we can stop and plant our flag and say to our flesh and to our Savior, "I'm going to follow Jesus for as long as I live."

When's the last time you consciously renewed that commitment?

What's wrong with today?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Here's a worthy new year's resolution: Learn to think better.

Amazon is offering the Kindle version of Critical Thinking: Tools for Taking Charge of Your Professional and Personal Life for free at least today. That title's been hanging out on my wishlist for some time.

Again, you don't have to have a Kindle to read Kindle books. They offer pc, mac, and smartphone reader apps for freem, so go ahead and pick up this title. Even if you never get around to reading it, you're not out anything.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Deeper Bible Reading Plan

'Tis the season when many people start Bible reading plans geared toward covering the whole Bible in a year.

I think that's a worthy goal, but I also think it's too fast to really absorb what you're reading. It's also often too much; many people become discouraged and quit entirely.

That's why I'm excited that someone's put out a structured, year-long Bible reading plan that covers about half of the Bible.

It reads fewer chapters a day than Bible-in-a-year plans. It's reads many chapters repeatedly (good for depth and greater understanding). It skips difficult (aka "boring") sections — for example, no Leviticus (not that I don't love Leviticus). And it's tailor-made with appropriate sections to read before Easter and Christmas.

I think it's a great idea, and if you're thinking about trying a daily Bible reading plan, especially if you've never successfully completed one before, I recommend giving this one a try.

The reading plan can be found at the Grace Evangelical Free Church's website.

An interview with the creator can be found at Scriptorium Daily.

Best of all, the first week repeats the first chapters of John and Genesis, so you're really not even behind if you start soon.

Related articles:
7 Tips for Reading the Bible in a Year
5 Questions to Help Your Devotions