Read The Bible Daily

I’ll bet you read the title of this one and said, “Sounds great, but I don’t have the time.”

Or maybe….

“I already have done that!”

Or maybe……

“I’m not sure how that will help me stay grounded in God.”

There are lots of things that you might say or think, and I’ll bet that I have thought the same thoughts you have and are thinking right now.

Here’s what opening the bible every day for me does.

It reminds me that God is in control. It tells me that he has it covered, and it is my job to do my best.

He wants me to do my best not to get angry or upset. He wants me to try not to yell or shout. He wants me to stand up for what’s right and speak clearly when given the opportunity to.

You see, just opening the bible gives me so much peace that I know that every word I read brings me more peace. As long as I allow it to.

Here are a few of my tips and tricks for reading the bible.

  1. You don’t have to do it in order. What I mean by that is that you can skip from chapter to chapter or book to book.  You don’t have to start at Genesis and go straight through to Revelations. 

It’s okay to read Daniel, then go to Matthew, then go back to Job, then read a few verses out of Judges.

  1. The bible is truly the living word.  What I mean by that is that the bible is as true in today’s world as it is when it was written. 

And boy has the world changed since it was written.

The other thing that I mean by it is the living word is that you can read the same chapter or verse and get different values out of it. even if you just read it yesterday or a week ago or a month ago or a year ago.

God works in mysterious ways. And one of those is giving us a different meaning when we read the same thing, especially His word.

  1. You don’t have to read a whole chapter or book every day! 

I know, mind blown right? 

You can get massive value out of just reading one verse.

That’s not to say that you wouldn’t get more value out of reading more. I’m just saying that when you read God’s word there is always value if you look for it.

  1. When you open the bible and read it opens up a line of communication with God. 

Think back to the last time that you read the bible for more than one day a week.

How close did you feel to God?

From my personal experience, if I don’t read a little bible every day I feel like I am drifting away from God instead of walking closer to him.

Just like how when I write a devotional I feel extremely close to God!

When you read the bible it is like having God on a phone call.  You are more likely to pray, more likely to hear him, and more likely to be calm and peaceful.

  1. Last but not least pray before you start reading.

This one might seem redundant but I promise you it is not. This one is probably the most important step when reading the bible.

Why???

Because when you open your mind, heart, and soul to hear what God is really trying to tell you then what you read will be worth 1000X what it is if you simply read the words.

Let me give you a quick example of this last one.

The other day I was getting into a bad habit of reading one verse a day.

I would simply open the bible app and read the verse of the day.

Better than nothing I know, but I was reading it so that I could say that I read the bible that day. not to gain wisdom and understanding.

then it hit me like a ton of bricks, Dan you could be getting so much more out of this! Why don’t you ask for God to guide your thoughts and allow the words to “wash” over you like a river so that you absorb them not just hear them?

So, I listened!

I stopped right then and there and prayed for God to allow his word to wash over me.

Right then and there I re-read the words I was just reading. The results were amazing.

Before I was just hearing the words.

After that quick prayer, the words turned into a vision. I could see the story God was teaching me.

Not only that, after I got done reading I could see how everything I just read was applicable to my life today!

God gives us so much more, all we have to do is ask for it!

Before we move into our take action part of the devotional I wanted to remind you of the 7 secrets that I use to keep God close to me.

  1. Pray, multiple times a day
  2. Read the Bible daily
  3. Listen to Christian music
  4. Look for God’s hand in everything
  5. Talk about God
  6.  Proclaim your faith publicly
  7.  Surround yourself with believers

Take Action

This is an easy take-action day.

Today all I want you to do is open the bible.

You don’t even have to read it.  The hardest part of the battle is simply opening it.

If you struggle to find time to open the bible, then keep one by the toilet.

I will bet that you spend at least 30 minutes a day in the bathroom on Facebook. Lol

Choose to open the bible instead of social media.

Prayer

Lord, God today we come to you with hearts that are full.  We are so grateful that you gave us your word.  We are grateful that you allow us the opportunity to read it as often as we need. We are grateful that you give us wisdom and guidance through your word!  God today I would like to ask a few favors.  First off, if you could help everyone who reads this to open the bible daily.  Then help guide them to at least one verse that would change their perspective or life.  Second God, I pray that you would bless us with an abundance of knowledge. Not worldly knowledge, but godly knowledge. The knowledge that we can use to benefit you and the purpose you have for us in this life.  Lastly God I pray that you would help everyone to share your word. Help us to share the words of encouragement that you give us with the world.  helps us to have the courage and strength to share you with everyone we meet.

We ask all these things in your precious Son’s name.

Amen.

A Little More

The other day we were at the county fair.

Fair is one of our family’s favorite times of year for a couple of reasons.

The kids usually have some pretty great projects that they have worked on and they get the chance to show them off. 

It’s always fun to see your kids shine.

For me, fair holds different memories and emotions than it does for Jenna.

I grew up going to the fair.  Mom and dad ran a kitchen for the Grange, and they still do.  So, from a young age, I was at the fair all the time.

Later when I actually got to 4-H age, my brother and I had the opportunity to enter projects.

Dad had one rule.

No animals until we were at least 12. And NO beef until we could walk them ourselves. (so 14ish)

As our kids started in 4-H Jenna and I had a little different mindset.

Animals are ok at any age. AS LONG AS YOU DO THE WORK!

That last part is the key.

We were and are not going to be the parents that raise the animal, feed it, groom it, wash it, walk it, etc.….. 

We are there to support our kids, not do it for them.

This way they get a real feeling of accomplishment when the project is finished.

Don’t get me wrong, we were always there to help them.  If they took 2 lambs then we would walk one while they walked the other.

When Billy decided that it was time to take beef we helped him break them to lead and would remind him that his calves were hungry when they needed to be fed. But we would never just go out and feed his calves (no matter how bad we wanted to).

This year we did the exact same thing.

We helped Jacob buy a pattern for a Shirt that he wanted to make in sewing. And we took him to buy his fabric. We also reminded him to call Grandma Cindy to help him get started on his project. And we reminded him that he needed to finish it so that it was done and ready for the fair early.

We helped Brianna by buying her cake mixes and making sure she had what she needed to make the frosting for the cakes she decorated. She had to make 5 cakes this year so we would let her know that it was a good time to make a cake. And she would do it all, with very little help.

When Nathen said he wanted to make another notebook cover for his drawing, we helped him find the pictures he wanted to tool in the leather. Then I helped him get started on the project. I would also say, now is a good time to go work on your leather for a little bit. Are you interested?

Then we would go downstairs. I would help him get started and then I could work while he worked on his leathercraft.

This year Billy turned 16.  He took one project and that was Market Beef.

He picked out his steers in December and I helped him break them to lead in January and early February.

Since he was old enough to do the rest himself. I told him that this year it was all on him.

Of course, we still reminded him several times that his calves were hungry so we would go out and check their feed situation.

If he asked for help, we would help him.

But other than that this was 150% his project.  This would be his 3rd year taking steers so he should know what he’s doing and how to do it.

Right?

As we got closer to the fair, about 2 weeks away, he loaded up the scale we have and went out and weighed his animals, and then went around to the neighbors to weigh theirs if they wanted to.

I absolutely love how helpful our kids are and how selfless they can be.

Anyways, Billy said that one of his steers was going to be light and the other one should make weight.

When we loaded the calves in the trailer to go to the fair, I noticed that they both looked a little light. I asked him if he had been feeding them as much as they could eat. (not that he could do anything about it now)

Like all teenagers do he said, “YES DAD I HAVE!” with a tone of a 500lb silverback gorilla protecting their family.

If you have kids you know the tone I’m talking about.

Yeah, that one.

We got into the fair and the first thing you do is weigh your calves. If they aren’t at least 1000lbs then you don’t get the opportunity to sell an animal.

Almost always there are a few calves that don’t quite make the cut.

This year there were 5 animals that were under that mark. And both of Billy’s were in that.

As a parent my heart sank the second he gave me the scale ticket for the bigger one and it read 989lbs.

11 pounds short of the cut.  Just 2 gallons of water and he would have made it. Oh man, there is nothing we could do.

Then he weighed his second steer and it was even shorter of the mark.

We felt his pain, possibly even more intense than he did. He will never know how much our hearts broke when and how much we felt like we had failed him.

My mind immediately went to, “if only I would have given him more guidance” and, “I should have been down there more. At least once a week minimum to help him do it right.” and, “This is 100% my fault because he is just a kid.”

Then I stopped for a second and prayed. “Lord, help me to understand why this happened, was it because of me? Is it a lesson he needs to learn early? Is there anything that I can do now to help?”

As I sat there listening while holding one of his calves my heart sank even lower. Billy was absolutely heartbroken.

The Fair was a little different this year, to say the least. We all learned some pretty hard lessons.

As parents, we learned that even if we don’t love what our kids are doing we need to be there 200% to support them.

Don’t do it for them, simply support them through the process.

I know in my heart that with a little more guidance Billy could have done WAY better.

We also learned that when your kids fall short, it is like you fall short too!

When Billy came to me with the first scale ticket I was taken back to my first fair and that same scale when my lambs didn’t make weight the first year I took animals.

Jenna and I made a decision at the fair this year.

We are going to put our “wants” on hold and devote more time to our kids while we have them.

Even though our plans are for our family, we need to be 100% sure that we are doing it for the family. Not because it’s something that we want!

I will say that life is not always fair, and that’s a GREAT thing.

Always remember to Never Give Up because FAIL means “First Attempt in Learning” END is not the end in fact END stands for “Effort Never Dies” and IF you get NO as an answer just remember that N.O means “Next Opportunity”

Stay positive in everything you do and know that God is working for you throughout your entire life.