Posted in Living BOLD, My Faith

Habit Reflections

I have been doing a study lately, called “Habits” by Life Church, on the YouVersion Bible app.

Habits Devotional

Photo by Susanne Jutzeler on Pexels.com

Though it is a short, well written devotional, it is so convicting! A sword of the Spirit piercing right through my heart.

Yes, I did choose to read this on purpose, because I know I needed to hear truth about my habits from God’s Word.

Our habits don’t just happen – they are triggered by a desire or need we seek to meet.

Habit Loop

Today’s devotional talked about the habit loop: cue, routine, and reward.

For example, you sit down to watch TV at night (cue), grab a tasty snack (routine), and your body feels better from positive chemicals released in your body (reward).

Photo by Valeriia Miller on Pexels.com

Ouch!! So convicting! This has been a constant struggle for me to break this habit.

Since our bodies store more fat from food we eat at night, and the food keeps me awake, I’ve been reminding myself of a different reward. Better sleep!

However, when I get the snack craving, mint gum works for me. It actually tricks my body into thinking I’m not hungry.

Also, sometimes you think you are hungry, you are really just tired or thirsty – same chemical in the body is so confusing sometimes!

Scriptures to Reflect

1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV

“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

Photo by Harrison Haines on Pexels.com

James 1:12-25 ESV

“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.

Photo by Mike on Pexels.com

But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

Photo by Andre Mouton on Pexels.com

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror.

For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.

But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

Ephesians 4:22-24 ESV

…to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

Psalms 26:2 NIV

Test me, LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind;

Photo by Immortal shots on Pexels.com

Be Encouraged

Know you are not alone in having bad habits to break. Don’t be afraid to make the first step, just because you might mess up. Get back up, and try again. God is faithful to help you and give you a way out, to resist temptation.

Photo by Key Notez on Pexels.com

Remember, life isn’t just the here and now – with Jesus, it’s forever.

Helps put your life in perspective and ask yourself,

“Will this affect my eternity?

Will this still matter to me later in life?”

Be wise with the time you have in this life – don’t waste it.

Advertisements
Posted in Book Reviews

"Epic Devotions" by Aaron Armstrong

Epic Devotions by Aaron Armstrong, is a great kids devotional, in connection with The Gospel Project for Kids curriculum.

Content

Each devotion includes a Bible passage to read, encouraging kids to read the Bible. Also included, are a quoted verse, the event description to establish context, foreshadowing to Christ’s coming and the Gospel, and a life application section.

Life Application

I like that there’re several options for application: an explanation of relevance to the passage and reader, a step of action, a question to challenge the reader to share the gospel, and a memory verse.

The memory verse is most often from a different part of the Bible, encouraging cross-referencing and knowing God’s Word in its fullness.

“The Gospel Project”

This kids’ devotional has great illustrations, in connection with “The Gospel Project for Kids.” This way, kids can grow into the devotional, if they are already familiar with the curriculum and illustrations.

Review

Each devotion is lively and biblically authentic, and includes more scriptural accounts than most devotionals for kids.

This book is the real deal!

About the Author

Aaron Armstrong is an author, blogger, and Brand Manager for The Gospel Project, based outside of Nashville, Tennessee.

He has written several books, including Epic: The Story that Changed the World as well as the screenplays for the documentaries Through The Eyes of Spurgeon, and LUTHER: The Life and Legacy of the German Reformer.

He writes daily at BloggingTheologically.com, and his writing has appeared on numerous websites including The Gospel Coalition, For the Church, Crosswalk.com, and ChurchLeaders.com.

Posted in Book Reviews

On-the-Go Devotional: 200 Devotions for Teens by Leslie Hudson

Book Review

On-the-Go Devotional: 200 Devotions for Teens, by Leslie Hudson, is a great book to get teens into God’s Word.

Content

No matter busy they are, these short, and to the point devotionals are organized in an appealing and user-friendly way.

Each day is focused on a topic, and includes a verse of Scripture, explaining the passage and how to apply to everyday life. It also gives teens actions steps for that day.

Topics include, for example: humility, worry, joy, freedom, faith, hope, friends, family, salvation, etc.

Recommendation

It only takes one to two minutes to read, but is quality content, highly valuable for teens today.

I highly recommend this devotional for any teen!

Posted in Book Reviews

New Every Morning by Phil Barfoot

Book Review

New Every Morning, by Phil Barfoot, is a 365 day devotional, specifically focused on the aspect of worship.

Content

Each devotion is written by a different worship pastor, from across the country.

While the devotionals are insightful and very interesting to read, the font was so small, it hurt my eyes, and I had to stop reading it.

Recommendation

My recommendation to the publisher is to increase the font size, so people can enjoy this well written devotional.

About the Author

Phil Barfoot

Dr. Phil Barfoot is an internationally known composer, author, and music ministry professional. He has written and created more than 40 major choral collections and musicals, including High Praises, which won a Dove Award for choral collection of the year.

He is also the author of The Ultimate Idea Book for Music Ministry, used by more than 7,000 churches and universities in the U. S. and Canada. 

Phil has created and composed some of the best-selling choral music in Christian music. 

He is currently the CEO and President of Celebration Concert Tours International, a Franklin, TN based choir company. He is also the CEO and President of CCT Music, a Christian Music Publishing Company. He and his wife, Sheri, have three grown children, Amy, Aaron and Adam. They reside in Franklin, TN.

Posted in Book Reviews

The Insanity of Sacrifice by Nik Ripken

Book Review

The Insanity of Sacrifice, by Nik Ripken, was both challenging and inspiring.

This 90-day devotional is uniquely written by experienced missionaries with persecution and sacrificial experience.

Content

I like how the author shares their journey to learn lessons of sacrifice and challenging the reader to consider the same principles.

The devotions are just the right length, begin with a scripture, and end with a prayer.

Recommendation

I would recommend this book to anyone desiring to grow in their walk with Christ seriously and earnestly.

About the Author

Nik Ripken is the world’s leading expert on the persecuted church in Muslim contexts. He is a missions veteran of 30 years, having served primarily in North Africa and the Middle East.

He is the author of The Insanity of God and the new book The Insanity of Obedience. He and his wife have done extensive research on the persecuted church, and on Muslim background believers, in approximately 72 countries.

Posted in Living BOLD

Number Your Days: Use Your Time Wisely

I wanted to share a recent insight I learned from my devotional reading today.

Frequently, I use the free Bible app, since it has devotionals and other easy to use features that enhance my Bible reading time and understanding.

Today, I continued reading the plan Breathing Room, by Sandra Stanley, and a quote in the devotional struck me:

Knowing that your time is limited forces you to limit what you do with your time.

Sandra Stanley, author of Breathing Room
Photo by Jordan Benton on Pexels.com

Stanley is referring to make time for what is important, knowing that your time is limited, and precious. She recommends making “breathing room” in various ways, so you can enjoy your life as a benefit of honoring God’s holy Sabbath.

Below are the Scripture Stanley referenced, to accompany her devotional:

So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.

Psalms 90:12
Photo by Wendy van Zyl on Pexels.com

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

Ephesians 5:15-17

Personally, I highly recommend this devotional. It contains scrumptious and nutritious food for thought, that is sure to grow your faith.

Happy reading and observe your restful Sabbath day!