Friday, March 4, 2011

Prayer to put Others First.

James 1:19 (New International Version, ©2011)
Listening and Doing
 19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 

I read this verse over and over again and it never stops speaking to me.

be quick to listen

slow to speak
slow to become angry

Normally in conversation I think to listen last, I have my own personal agenda and I am just thinking about my response. I am not slow to speak, I want to be heard, want my words to be the center of the conversation. I am not slow to become angry, I latch onto every slight and dwell on the negative. This verse is my mantra to end all that.

My Prayer:

Dear Lord please rest your hand upon my heart and soften it, humble it and help me to put other people first in conversation. Help me to let go of my agenda and to focus on the person I am with at all times. Please fill my heart with your love and help me to let go of the negative and forgive people even before the offend. Please fill my heart with loving understanding and help me to let go of the world's anger based on your love.


The Wall to What I Want - quick thought of the day

If resistance is the wall in front of what I truly want, need, desire, then should I be looking for walls? Should I seek out the things I resist?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

My Bible Study Tools

Resistance to studying the Bible is an integral part of my study. When I feel resistance I push at it from all angles including developing a plan, pushing through it with brute force, asking for help in prayer, and looking for Bible study tools to help me take in his Word at least once a day if not continually.

Tools I Use:
  1. Google Reader - I review Google Reader daily for several blogs and news feeds. I have two folders for my feeds - Must Read and Nice to Read. Must Read I read through every day, they tend to be short and sweet and connected to my primary goals. Here are the two must reads connected to my Bible study -
    1. Bible Gateway Verse of the Day - The Bible Gateway verse of the day was the first tool I picked up for ensuring I get a daily dose of the word. The idea was getting a bare minimum of the Word every day and one verse is definitely the absolute bare minimum. Very often I go beyond the one verse by expanding it to the chapter and reading the whole chapter and possibly the commentaries for that chapter if there are any.
    2. Max Lucado Text Devotional - Max Lucado's daily text devotional is a free gift for the soul. It takes the concept of one verse a day and expands upon it with a short devotional. A great way to use this tool is to recite the verse, recite the devotional, and then include a short meditation and prayer on the concept. This is a great way to inspire continued Bible study, devotion, and meditation through the Word.
  2. The Bible and Pocket Guide on my Night-Stand - I keep a copy of the Lutheran Study Bible on my night stand next to the Compact Where to Find it in the Bible Ultimate A to Z Resource so if I am ever filled with regret or am suffering from lack of discipline I can look up the word in the pocket guide and review the associated verses.
    The Lutheran Study Bible is amazing as far as the amount of commentary it contains; it includes study resources plus Martin Luther's Bible commentary. It is a tool designed from a Lutheran perspective but is an amazing Bible that would have universal appeal to any Christian.
    The Where to Find it in the Bible resource is a simple index with common words and lists of verses for each word. My plan is to have a copy of the Bible and this resource in every place I frequent, I want one on my desk, in my car, in the restroom, in the kitchen, and any place I frequently do anything thinking. If I have the resource nearby I am more likely to apply Bible study to my life.
  3. The Bible Gateway Commentaries page - A great tool for digging a bit deeper into the Bible is commentaries. The Bible Gateway commentaries page has a comprehensive list of the available commentaries on
  4. Continued prayer, letting God do the work - One of the hardest things for me to remember in my path is that I am flawed and will never be able to do what the Lord wants on my own. Through prayer I can let God take over. He works through me, guides me through the verses and teaches me his words. The Lord uses the word to speak to us and without him, the Word is just words.
My Prayer:
Father God please continually help me to persevere in your path. Help me to let go and humble myself, to remember the I can't do it on my ownand anything that I do right is by your will, and any strength I get is through you. Father God, I thank you for the gift of your Spirit inspired Word. Thank you for bringing your will into my life through your Spirit inside me. I thank you for the faith you have given me and the strength to continue to grow. I thank you my Holy and Majestic Father and I Pray these things in Jesus's name. Thank you for your precious and wonderful gifts.