Saturday, September 27, 2014

#Biblein90 Challenge : week 5

I really can't believe this is the 5th week of the #Biblein90 challenge! Although it's been challenging, at times, to keep to such a rigorous reading schedule, I'm really enjoying it and the time is flying by.

My biggest takeaway from this last week is how far the Isrealites fell throughout the Old Testament. They, as a people group, literally saw the hand of God at work. He parted the Red Sea for them, God led them through the wilderness and delivered them into peace and prosperity. And yet, they continued to turn away from Him, break His commandments and even worshiped idols and other gods. At some points, I felt like I was watching a train wreck. Not that I've ever actually seen one, mind you, but I just feel like I'm watching something terrible, yet can't stop it and can't look away!

During this week's reading, this verse popped out at me:

"May the Lord our God be with us as He was with our ancestors. May He not abandon us or leave us  so that He causes us to be devoted to Him, to walk in all His ways, and to keep His commands, statutes and ordinances, which He commanded our ancestors." 
1 Kings 8:57 

Solomon prayed this blessing over the Isrealites during his consecration, when he assumed the role as Isreal's king. As much as the people of Isreal turned away from God, the Lord never forgot Solomon's prayer and He continues to honor it to this very day. Through Christ, we have the same assurance as the Isrealites did so many hundreds of years ago. Powerful stuff! 

This week, we'll finish up the "Kings" books, move through Chronicles and finish the book of Ezra. When this week ends, we'll be more than 30% finished with the challenge! Here's the schedule:
9/28: 2 Kings 15:27 - 25:30
9/29: 1 Chronicles 1:1 - 9:44
9/30: 1 Chronicles 10:1 - 23:32
10/1: 1 Chronicles 24:1 - 2 Chronicles 7:10
(wow, it's really October this week? how did that happen???)
10/2: 2 Chronicles 7:11 - 23:15
10/3: 2 Chronicles 23:16 - 35:15
10/4: 2 Chronicles 35:16 - Ezra 10:44

Enjoy your journey!  

Friday, September 26, 2014

Finding my voice

I'm in the process right now of finding my voice here on this blog. I've had so many rich experiences, have learned so much from them and I've been feeling called to share them more freely with others. To help encourage women coming behind me and to offer something to the women walking alongside me in this season of life.

"They," (whoever "they" are) say that the best writers are the most frequent readers. I think the point is that reading a lot makes you a better writer, because you learn every time you read from someone who is effectively using the written word.

My favorite authors these days are visionaries and super-inspirational - Jen Hatmaker, Jennie Allen, Christine Cain, Lysa Terkeurst. They're all incredible - they have such obvious callings and hearts for the Lord. Add to that, they're all incredible speakers. I love how they communicate! Ha - which completely and totally reveals my not-very-secret identity "Comms Nerd." There's a reason I majored in journalism!

And here's the thing about these ladies … I've let myself be intimidated by all of them.

I know it sounds completely and totally strange …. I've met only one of them in person (after I saw her speak earlier this year - and she was completely lovely and oh-so-NOT intimidating!), and I've seen the others speak only via video or webcast.

And here's the other thing. I used to work in Corporate America, as a communications professional, who helped executives or other folks get ready for speeches, press appearances or big employee meetings.

I know, in my head, how much dad gum work it takes to get up on stage and speak.

But, in my heart, I imagine they all just leapt out of bed one morning (maybe after a big slumber party in Austin?) and floated magically onto a stage to share their beautiful heart stories via naturally articulate turn of phrase.

And because, of course, I can't do that, why should I try, right?

Is anyone laughing out loud at my silliness?

Imagine how many messages I've missed the opportunity to share, just because I'm scared that I can't speak as well. Or write as well. Or just share as well.

You know who else was afraid to speak? Moses.

But, where I've hidden, he persevered.

He took action. He worked for the will of the Lord. And God was glorified. He parted an entire ocean. Because Moses answered the call. Moses worked through his fear.

I didn't have a burning bush. I don't really need one.

From now on, I'm going to stop comparing myself to my sisters-in-Christ, who, though incredible speakers all, are just human. Just like me, just like Moses.

I'm going to start following in their footsteps and, in those of Moses as well.

Wherever this might lead, wherever my messages might take me, I'll be following Christ and sharing from my heart.

And dear friend, if you're reading this, and it's resonating with you in some way, won't you join me? Let's stop comparing ourselves to those we wish to emulate and just start being authentic, true and open. 

Let's just start. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

#Biblein90 Challenge : week 4

I had so much fun with this last week's reading - some of my favorite Bible passages were included in last week's assignments - Ruth, Hannah, Samuel, Samson. Stories of God's faithfulness, redemption, sacrifice … all there.

This week, we'll be reading further into the history of God's relationship with the Isrealites:
September 21: 1 Samuel 16:1 - 28:19
September 22: 1 Samuel 28:20 - 2 Samuel 12:10
September 23: 2 Samuel 12:11 - 22:18
September 24: 2 Samuel 22:19 - 1 Kings 7:37
September 25: 1 Kings 7:38 - 16:20
September 26: 1 Kings 16:21 - 2 Kings 4:37
September 27:  2 Kings 4:38 - 2 Kings 15:26

Enjoy the journey!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

#Biblein90 Challenge

At the beginning of September, I started a challenge to read through the entire Bible in 90 days! I started the challenge on my public Facebook page and on Instagram (I'm using #Biblein90 as my hashtag), which was great, but my posting got a little sidetracked last week :( We had friends in town, I tried using a scheduling app to post reading assignments and …. it didn't work!

I'm not exactly sure what happened … within the app, it shows that the posts went out, but they're nowhere to be seen.

If that impacted you, I'm really sorry! I hope that you were able to keep reading - and that you had a chance to download the entire reading schedule that I originally posted. If not, please just pick up when you can - and don't give up!

Just in case I can't get to all the posts this week, here's the schedule:
9/14: read Deuteronomy 8:1 - 23:11
9/15: Deuteronomy 23:12 - 34:12
9/16: Joshua 1:1 - 14:15
9/17: Joshua 15:1 - Judges 3:27
9/18: Judges 3:28 - 15:12
9/19: Judges 15:13 - 1 Samuel 2:29
9/20: 1 Samuel 2:30 - 15:35

I've found that I don't always like the ending verse - it'll cut off at a strange point - the middle of a compelling story, or in the middle of a lineage history (so and so was the father of so and so … and so on), so I'm treating those as more "suggestion" than anything set in stone.

So one last time - I'm really sorry if my over-reliance on technology caused anyone to stumble! Please please don't let me be the reason you don't continue on this amazing journey of reading through the Bible in 90 days!

Love, hug and prayers from NJ!!