Saturday, February 18, 2012

Bible Reading

Here is the post on how I study my Bible that I've been promising for awhile now. This is just the method that I use; I'm not saying that everyone should study their Bible this way, nor am I implying that it's the best way to study your Bible. It's the way that I've found to be the best for me, but some other way may work best for you. I just thought I'd share it here on the chance that it might help someone.

I've already shared that I'm reading through the Old Testament this year. I told you in my last blog post that I'm trying to read three chapters a day. That's still my goal, but it's not always feasible. Sometimes I get so caught up in a chapter that it takes me forever to get through just that one chapter. On days like that, I just read whatever I have time for. Then, on other days, when the chapters are shorter or I have more time, I'll read more than three chapters.

I was planning on just focusing on how I study the New Testament in this post, but it makes sense to go ahead and give a brief overview of how I'm studying the Old Testament as well. It's somewhat the same as how I study the New Testament, but it's a bit different in some areas.

Let me start by sharing with you my Bible study tools. First, of course, is my Bible. I have a beautiful John MacArthur Study Bible that a friend gave me for Christmas. It's such a wonderful asset to my Bible study! I love it! The notes shed so much light on Scripture, and it has maps and a concordance as well. I also always have a notebook and a pen. I like to jot down notes and thoughts in it about the passage that I'm reading. It helps me remember what I read, and I can look back on it later to see my notes on that passage.

In addition to these, I have a couple of tools that I don't use all the time, but do use occasionally. The first one is Vine's Expository Dictionary (another gift; I received it from the pastor of my church when I graduated from college). This comes in handy when I run across words that I'm not sure about, or that I want to know more about. Lastly, I have my Bible software, E-Sword.  It's available for free from The thing that I love most about it is that you can download several commentaries and Bible versions for it, as well as other study helps, and the majority of them are free. It's a very useful tool.

Now, onto how I actually study the Bible, starting with the Old Testament. As I said earlier, I try to read three chapters a day in the Old Testament when I can. I usually read it in the afternoons before work, so it depends what time I get up and what else I have to do as to how long I can read. While I'm reading, I keep my pen and notebook by my side. If I come across something that catches my attention I use those to jot down my thoughts and any application that I gain from that passage. The pen also comes in handy for underlining verses in my Bible that stick out to me and that I want to come back to later. If there's something that I don't understand in the passage, or that I want to know more about, I first reference the notes in my Bible. If I have more questions after that, I use the commentaries that I have on E-Sword.

That's basically my method for studying the Old Testament. Pretty basic & simple, and likely pretty similar to the way the rest of you study the Bible. Now, onto how I study the New Testament.

In studying the New Testament, I concentrate on one book a month. If it's a short book (like James, Philippians, Philemon, etc.) I read through the whole book every day for the whole month. If it's a longer book (like Matthew, Roman, Revelation, etc.) I break the book into sections and read that section for a month. I use the same method of jotting down notes in a notebook as I do with the Old Testament.

This isn't an original method from me, actually. I got it from the notes on how to study the Bible that are in the front of my Bible. However, I have tweaked it a bit to work more for me. The reasoning behind it is to become thoroughly acquainted with all of the New Testament books and their content. Be advised, with 28 books in the New Testament, it's gonna take some time to get through the whole New Testament. However, I believe it will be worth it in the end.

I'd like to hear from you all. How do you read and study your Bible? What methods have you found to be most useful for you? Any tools or helps that you'd recommend?

Thursday, February 2, 2012


You know that verse in Bible that says, " Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep." (Rom. 12:15)? Well, today, that verse has a whole new meaning to me.

Last night I arrived at work to the news that the company I work for was letting 182 people go, 92 of those at the location where I work. I was not expecting this at all. We had been slow at work for awhile, and had just gotten back from a temporary three week layoff, which thankfully only affected me for a week and a half. To come back to the news that people were going to be let go was a shock, to say the least. Everyone was taken by surprise, and, naturally, worried about their job, myself included. The most awful part? Most everyone had heard about it either on the news ( or by word of mouth from those who had seen it on the news.

Thankfully, out of the twenty-eight that were let go on my shift, I was not one of the ones let go. Most of my friends were spared as well; however, a few of my friends were let go. I felt a mixture of relief and sadness. Relief at knowing that I still had a job, but sadness for all those who did not.

Our facility is rather small, and the shift that I work on is the smallest. We only had a little over 100 people before last night, so everyone knew each other. Spending ten hours a day, four, and sometimes five or six, days a week, means that you become close to many of the people that you work with. It's very much a family-like atmosphere.

It was very difficult to see people go, even those that I wasn't particularly close to. There were many tears shed last night, both by those who were let go, and by those who remained. It was a difficult, awful, horrible night.

Through it all, I am constantly reminded of the LORD's goodness and grace. I am so very thankful that I still have a job. So many times I've gone into working wishing that I didn't have to be there, but tonite changed my attitude drastically. I am determined to not longer have a bad attitude about work, but rather go in each day and be thankful that I still have a job.

Please be in prayer for all of those who have been, and will be (the weekend shift will find out Friday who stays and who goes), let go.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

February, Already?!

I can't believe it's already February!! January absolutely flew by! I meant to post at least a couple more times before January was over, but time got away from me.

Since I failed to mention what goal I was focusing on in January in my post on goals, I'll start with that.

In January, I chose to focus on my goal of reading through the Old Testament in a year. I started around mid-January or so, and so far I've made in through Genesis chapter 18. I try to read about three chapters a day, but that's not always possible. I'm trying to make sure that I actually comprehend and get something out of what I read, rather than just reading it to get through it. Some days I find myself spending quite a bit of time on just a small section of verses, reading and rereading them, finding new truths in passages that I've read many, many times.

I think I'm going to quite enjoy this goal. Even though it's off to a slow start right now, I'm sure once I move out of Genesis it will pick up pace. Genesis just has so many of my favorite Bible stories that I tend to take a long time to get through just one chapter.

The goal that I've chosen to focus on in February is getting into better shape. I live within ten minutes of our local YMCA, so I am planning on getting a membership there. In order to do this without hurting my goals of paying off my credit card and saving more money, I'm going to cancel my cable. A membership at the Y is actually $14 less than what I pay for cable, so I plan on putting that extra $14 towards my credit card bill until it is payed off. Once I get it payed off, that money will go into savings. I plan to call tomorrow to cancel the cable, and then hopefully going to the YMCA on Friday to become a member and start working out.

I've been blessed with a wonderful Y that has plenty of amenities and equipment. They have two indoor pools, an outdoor pool, two gymnasiums, a walking/jogging track, a huge strength training center, an aerobic studio, racquetball courts, multipurpose courts, sports fields, and a bike path. The things that I see myself using the most are the pool, the track, the strength training center, and the aerobic studio. In addition to these, they have tons of fitness classes, such as zumba, cycling, and water exercise. Unfortunately, due to working night shift, I probably won't be able to attend these, but we'll see. They open early enough that I can stop there on my way home from work, and they stay open late as well, so I could even stop on my way too work if I wanted.

I hope to do a post soon about how I read through/study the New Testament. It's something that I just started this year, but I've found it very helpful. Hopefully I can get that written and up before this month is over. I'm excited about it!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

2012 Goals

Since I shared with you all my "One Word" resolution for 2012, I thought I'd share my goals for this year as well. So, here they are:

1. Pay off my credit card-while I use my credit card mainly just for gas to help me build credit, I've had to fall back on it a few times when we've been slow at work in order to pay bills. So I've built up a bit of a balance and haven't been able to pay it off just yet. My tax return is going towards this, and I plan on putting a little money aside each pay day specifically for paying it off.

2. Save more money-I'll admit, I was really bad about saving money last year. I didn't put very much into savings each pay day, not as much as I should have. Some weeks I neglected to put anything into savings...not good, I know. My goal is to put at least $50 a week into savings. (I get paid weekly.) If I can afford to, I'll put more in. This isn't including what I'll be setting aside to pay off my credit card. I'm hoping to be able to save enough that I won't have to fall back on my credit card during slow periods at work so I'll be able to keep it payed off.

3. Stick to my budget-When I first got my own place I did really well at sticking to my budget. After a while, though, I started to stray from my budget and spent more money than I should have. If something that I want is more than I budgeted for, then I'll have to wait and save up for it or go without. I plan on sticking to a strict budget on everything that I can. Bills like water and electric, which are different amounts every month, are harder to budget for, but I plan on sitting down this weekend & averaging out what they were each month last year. I've been here for almost seven months now, so it should be pretty close to accurate.

4. Read through the Old Testament in a year-I want to read through the entire Old Testament this year.I'll admit,  I've never read all the way through it before, mainly because some of the books are just plain difficult to get through. So I'm making it a goal to read through it this year. I know, most people choose to read through the entire Bible in a year, rather than just the Old or New Testament, but my format for reading the New Testament (which I'll explain sometime) is a bit different, so I won't get through the entire Bible this year.

5. Get into better shape-I really, really want to get into better shape. Since I've moved out on my own I've found myself eating more, most of the time simply because I'm bored. I live on a dead end street which is off of another dead end street. Since neither road gets much traffic, they're ideal for walking. So once it's gets warm out again, I plan to start walking each evening before I go to work. I'd also like to try to walk in the mornings once I get home from work, but we'll see. I'll just start off slow for now.

6. Start school-My biggest goal for 2012 is to start school. I was hoping to start this summer, but now it's looking like I may not be able to start until this fall. I'm not ruling out starting this summer, however, because I know that God can work miracles. If it's His will, then He will provide a way for me to start this summer. If not, then I'll be patient and just trust that it wasn't His will for me to start them. There's a whole bunch of little goals that fall under this one, such as applying for financial aid, figuring out what courses I want/need to take and when I'll take them, and registering for classes (I've already applied and been accepted to Liberty University). So this goal is really a whole bunch of little goals, just like most of my other goals are.

Well, there you go. Those are my goals for this year. I chose six because that gives me two months to really focus on each one. One month to focus on getting it started and really working hard at it, and another month to revisit it and see what I've accomplished towards it and any ways I can improve what I'm doing. Granted, most of them, such as reading through the Old Testament and sticking to my budget, are things that can't be accomplished in just two months, but I can use those two months to really focus on the goal so that I will hopefully be able to accomplish it.

At the beginning of every month I will post the goal that I'm focusing on for that month, and at the end of the month I'll give an update on what I've accomplished towards that goal. I also plan to, if I have time, break that month's goal down into smaller weekly goals to make it easier to accomplish. I'm excited about what this year has in store for me!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Thoughts on Love

Tonite I was reading in Genesis chapter 2. It's a passage that I've read many times, and heard read many times. However, no matter how many times I read it, something new always seems to pop out at me. Tonite it was verses 21-24.  "(21) So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. (22) And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. (23) Then the man said, "This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man." (24) Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh." 

The verse that really got my attention the most was verse 23a, where Adam says, "This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh;." What an amazing thought! In reading that , I can just imagine the love Adam must have had for Eve. She was truly a part of him! How much love he must have had for her, and what a desire he must have had to protect and lead her. It's such an amazing picture of how a man & woman should be as husband and wife. They should love each other as if they were truly one flesh. Their love for each other should be so strong, as if they were one. I imagine that is how the love between Adam & Eve must have been.

In searching on the internet for a quote that I had seen awhile back in reference to that, I came across also came across a story that was quite similar to the quote. I don't know if the quote came from the story, or if the story came from the quote, but here's the story. It's an explanation of why God made Eve from Adam's rib.

“When I created the heavens and the earth, I spoke them into being. When I created man, I formed him from the dust of the Earth and breathed life into his nostrils. But you, woman, I fashioned after I breathed the breath of life into man because your nostrils are too delicate. I allowed a deep sleep to come over him so I could patiently and perfectly fashion you. Man was put to sleep so that he could not interfere with the creativity. 

From one bone I fashioned you. I chose the bone that protects man’s life. I chose the rib, which protects his heart and lungs and supports him, as you are meant to do. Around this one bone I shaped you. I modeled you. I created you perfectly and beautifully. Your characteristics are as the rib, strong yet delicate and fragile. You provide protection for the most delicate organ in man, his heart. His heart is the center of his being; his lungs hold the breath of life. The rib cage will allow itself to be broken before it will allow damage to the heart. Support man as the rib cage supports the body. 

You were not taken from his feet, to be under him, nor were you taken from his head, to be above him. You were taken from his side, to stand beside him and be held close to his side. You are my perfect angel. You are my beautiful little girl. You have grown to be a splendid woman of excellence, and my eyes fill when I see the virtue in your heart. Your eyes: don’t change them. Your lips: how lovely when they part in prayer. Your nose so perfect in form, your hands so gentle to touch. I’ve caressed your face in your deepest sleep;

I’ve held your heart close to mine. Of all that lives and breathes, you are the most like me.
Adam walked with me in the cool of the day and yet he was lonely. He could not see me or touch me. He could only feel me. So everything I wanted Adam to share and experience with me, I fashioned in you: my holiness, my strength, my purity, my love, my protection and support. You are special because you are the extension of me.

Man represents my image, woman - my emotions. Together, you represent the totality of God. So man: treat woman well. Love her, respect her, for she is fragile. In hurting her, you hurt me. What you do to her, you do to me. In crushing her, you only damage your own heart, the heart of your Father and the heart of her Father. Woman, support man. In humility, show him the power of emotion I have given you. In gentle quietness show your strength. In love, show him that you are the rib that protects his inner self. 

I thought that was an amazing story of why God chose the rib to make woman from. I don't know where it originally came from, but I wanted to share it here.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

One Word 2012: Share

One word, one wish, one dream, one goal, one resolution for 2012. That's all. Just one. Not a whole list, not even a short list. Just one simple word: share.

That may seem like an odd resolution to many of you. After all, sharing ins't exactly a word usually found in many New Years resolutions. It's not something we often think about. When we do think about it, we usually think about it in relation to children learning to share.

If you really think about it, though, children are the ones who share the most. We really need to learn from them about how to share. I'm not talking about sharing toys or food or anything like that; I'm talking about sharing in words. A child is always willing to share with you what they're feeling or thinking. When a child is excited about something you know it because they're constantly talking about it. In their innocence, they're not afraid of what people may think about them for what they're sharing. They're not concerned about that.

As Christians, we should really think that same way. Too often we're scared of what others may think of us, so we don't mention that we're a Christian. We try to avoid talking about the LORD or the Bible. We're hesitant to share the Gospel with others. "What if they reject it? What is they laugh at me? Maybe they won't want to be friends with me anymore." Those are just a few of the many excuses we make up for not sharing the Gospel with others.

God has recently been dealing with me and convicting me about sharing more. I need to be more willing to share. I need to share what God has done for me. I need to share the good news of salvation to those who need it. I need to stop worrying so much about what others may think of me. I need to SHARE.

Friday, December 30, 2011


Today, while I was browsing Pinterest, I came across a very convicting pin. If you're on Pinterest, then more than likely you've come across a pin that says "I will fall for a boy who will:" and then lists things that most girls typically want a guy to do for or with them. Well, this pin is almost exactly the same, except with one major difference. That list of things is scribbled over in red, and in big, black, bold letters it says, "love Jesus more than he loves me." It was a great reminder that as Christians, we should be sure that Jesus is always first in all of our relationships.

As a single Christian young lady, I should be careful to make sure that I look for, and fall for, a man who loves God and desires to keep Him at the center of our relationship. There's nothing wrong with making out lists of things that I want in a boyfriend/future husband, but at the very top of that list should be that he has a love for God and a desire to serve Him.

If God is not first in all of our relationships, whether they be boyfriend/girlfriend, husband/wife, friendship, or family relationships, then our priorities are all wrong. That relationship will not be what it could, and should, be. If God is first in all of our relationships, then our relationships will honor Him and we will reflect Him.