The idea that you have to be right with God in order to worship him is bogus! You don’t have to search your heart for every trace of sin before you worship Jesus. Relax, and come to God just as you are.

Did the woman caught in adultery ask forgiveness before she gained an audience with Jesus?

Nope.

Did Zacchaeus, the sinful tax collector and thief get his life cleaned up before he and Jesus talked about their dinner plans?

Nope.

Did the sin-entrenched woman with the alabaster jar get her life straight and ask forgiveness before Jesus allowed her in his presence?

Again, Nope.

I love what Joseph Prince said:

“You don’t have to worry about your sin because you are worshiping your forgiver.”

Approaching the Communion Table Dirty

People are even afraid to come to the communion table without first searching their hearts. The following scripture is so misunderstood:

1 Corinthians 11: 28 – 32 NLT:

So anyone who eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord unworthily is guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.That is why you should examine yourself before eating the bread and drinking the cup. For if you eat the bread or drink the cup without honoring the body of Christ, you are eating and drinking God’s judgment upon yourself. That is why many of you are weak and sick and some have even died. But if we would examine ourselves, we would not be judged by God in this way. Yet when we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned along with the world.

This passage is not about repenting and trying to find every little sin that we have forgotten. It’s about searching our hearts to believe that Christ paid for our sin. It’s about believing we’ve been forgiven. If we haven’t accepted Christ’s forgiveness through his sacrifice on the cross, then what’s the point of taking communion?

Communion is to remember what Christ did on the cross. That’s what we are examining at the communion table. You examine the cross. If we believe that he died on the cross to forgive us our sins, we won’t be judged. There is no reason to judge someone who’s sin has already been wiped away.

Examine What You Think About the Cross

If you examine your heart and find belief that Christ paid for your sins, you will not be condemned. You’re dirt free! His death paid not only for your sins, but also for your healing. So again, by examining what he did on the cross, you will find no reason for your body to be sick or weak.

The idea that you have to be “right with God” to worship puts the whole deal on you. 

It nullifies the work of the cross. Newsflash: you’ll never be perfect. That’s why you need a savior. You are “right with God” because Christ made you right. His death paid for your cleanliness. So anytime you come to him, he sees you clean. He sees you righteous. He paid for your past sin, your present sin, and yes, your future sins. It was ALL taken care of ONCE.

Look at the “continuous” cleansing we are promised as believers:

1 John 1:9 AMP:

If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].

Believers Are on “Continual Wash-Cycle”

See that word, “continuously”? It’s like God throws us in a washing machine the minute we believe and we are on a “continual wash cycle”! Awesome! That’s why Jesus on the cross, said, “It is finished.” He forgave you once. That’s all it took.

So if anyone tries to make you feel guilty over your lifestyle, remind them that there is no condemnation in Christ. If they try to tell you that God won’t let you in his presence to worship if you’re messed up and still trying to get your act together, don’t believe them. Just quit behaving that way and enjoy the continuous cleansing. The more and more you believe that God has made you righteous, the more and more you’ll start behaving “right”.

Don’t let your imperfection keep you from worshiping God. He loves you unconditionally. (I Cor. 13) Nothing can separate you from his love (Romans 8:39). He even saved you while you were still a sinner (Romans 5:8).

Believe in his saving power and you will always be allowed in his presence. It’s not about you being right, it’s about his righteousness. That’s the key to worship! Remember that, and you will always have an audience with the king!

If you’ve enjoyed this post, “You Don’t Have to Get Right with God to Worship”, give this one a read: “If You’re Feeling Far Away From God Here’s How to Get Back.”

 


Is it God Speaking to You or the Devil? How to Tell
Some people can’t tell whether it’s the devil or God speaking to them, but wouldn’t it be great if you knew how YOU could tell the difference? Read on and I’ll show you!

I was at a restaurant called, “Pollo Tropical” one time, and I noticed a lady sitting at a nearby table all alone. She was minding her business eating her Tropi-chops. I wanted to mind my business and eat my Tropi-chops! But guess what? God was speaking to me…and he wanted me to say something to her.

He said, “Just tell her I love her.”

That’s it. Just one line.

I didn’t want to! He said again, all I want you to do is, “Tell her I love her.” That’s it. So I started to wonder…. is this really God speaking to me or is it the devil putting this thought in my head? After all, if I approach this lady and tell her, “God said…” She might think I’m crazy.

So I’m sitting there arguing with God and myself. And I said, “What if this is the devil telling me to do this?” Then God said to me in a deep inner way, “Do you actually think the devil would ask you to tell someone God loves them?”

Hmm, probably not!

What I learned is that even if it’s not God’s voice, but it’s a good thing, just do it anyway, cause 9 times out of 10 if it is a good thing – it’s God’s voice.

Because I sat there so long, the lady got up and left. I lost my chance to encourage her and let her know God cared. All because I took too long trying to figure out if it was really God speaking to me.

Remember, according to John 10:10, the devil’s M.O. is to kill, steal, and to destroy. So, if what you hear is killing, stealing, or destroying in any way, then it’s not God.

If what you hear is:

  • doubt
  • unbelief
  • discouragement
  • fear
  • failure
  • evil

It’s the devil.

God NEVER talks about: 

  • doubt
  • unbelief
  • discouragement
  • fear
  • failure
  • evil

If you feel that God is speaking to you, and the thought is loving, positive, kind, full of mercy, or grace, it’s probably God. Measure the thought against what you know about God. Does the thought agree with his character? If so, it’s probably God, so go with it!

If you’ve enjoyed this post, “Is It God Speaking to You or the Devil? How to Tell”, You will enjoy this post, A Sure Way to Know if Your Steps Are Ordered by God”.


Get Yourself a Christmas Prayer-Present that Will Help You Get Everything Else

Want to give yourself a Christmas “prayer-present” that will give you what YOU need?

Think about it, prayer is a Christmas gift that will keep on giving to you. Yet, sometimes prayer is a tough activity. Sometimes prayer is a struggle. Sometimes you might not even feel like your prayers are working. That's why I have designed something for you.

I'm going to tell you what I've had cooking over the last few months that will help you with your prayer life. But let me ask, what could you give yourself this Christmas that will:

  • Help you get the things you need.
  • Help you pray for the important people and issues in your life.
  • Gently nudge you to have a daily talk time with God.
  • Deliver scriptures to you daily that you can munch on.
  • Help you maintain the relationships that are at the center of your life.
  • Help you express your needs to God in a different way.
  • Give you more variety in your prayer life.
  • Help you draw closer to the Lord.
  • Help you keep Jesus at the center of your life.

Want a little hint? Of course you do! Answer: Prayer Rock-It!

  • How many times have you thought, “I need to pray more?” Prayer Rock-It will help you carve the time out of your schedule.
  • How many times have you wondered, “Is there anything out there that can help me pray in a way that will bring me results?” Prayer Rock-It will lead you to pray effectively.
  • How many times have you asked, “Is there a way to make my prayer life more interesting and exciting?” Prayer Rock-It will give you the variety you crave in your prayer time.
  • How many times have you decided, “I will pray everyday.” Prayer Rock-It will help you stay on track.

What's Prayer Rock-It?

Simply put, it's booster fuel for your prayers.

Who needs it?

Anyone who wants to get results when they pray. Anyone, like you, who wants an effective prayer life. It's kind of like a gentle nudge. Though I prefer a kick! Cause it will kick your prayer life in a new direction.

Prayer Rock-It is that something extra that will boost your prayers as it fuels your prayer life. It will add variety to your prayers. You'll be praying in a way that is fresh and life changing. This truly will be the gift that keeps on giving. You can give to others with your prayers. Give someone the prayer support they need because you'll have a bank of prayer scripts coming to you everyday. Pray them as they are or use them as prayer starters. Like I said, this is booster fuel for your prayers.

Here's a Snapshot of each Prayer Booster:

Icon - Mail

Prayer Rock-It will deliver a “Prayer Booster” to your inbox Monday through Friday, 5 times a week.

Also included are bonus boosters based on current events that touch the world around you. (Like the Newtown School Shooting, Holidays, Political Events, National Catastrophes, etc.)

The Prayer Boosters target a specific need or situation that you and others you know may be dealing with in life. It will have four short, simple yet powerful parts:

  1. Picture This
  2. Scripture This
  3. Pray This
  4. Speak This

It's clear. It's easy.

No fluff. No King James jargon.

Simple prayer scripts in today's language.

Powerful and effective.

Free Bonus - Hand Drawn Red

That's not all. When you sign up you'll receive these bonus items:

  1. Bonus #1 – My book, “Grabbing God's Attention, The Art of Praying Like a Pro” (Listed on Amazon Kindle for $7.99 but it will be yours free with your Prayer Rock-It subscription.)
  2. Bonus #2 – My mini ebook, “Answering Tough Questions About Prayer” which will give you solutions to your biggest prayer dilemmas.
  3. Extra Special Bonus – If you're among the first 100 people who subscribe to Prayer Rock-It, you will receive direct access to email me personally the first month with a prayer need and I will personally research scriptures for you and write a prayer for you and your unique situation.

You're worth it.

Don't worry about the price. I've worked it so it's less than a quarter a day. That's doable. That's something that you can handle yet still get priceless inspiration, motivation, and a boost to your prayer time. It's 4.97 a month. You'll receive Prayer Boosters Monday through Friday, 5 times a week. Plus bonus boosters as the needs arise. And let's not forget the bonus books I'm including. That's a lot of boost for your buck.

Click on the button below to join Prayer Rock-It:

Get Started Today - Button Green

Here's What Others Are Saying About Prayer Rock-It:

“Prayer Rock-It helped me realize all scripture is God breathed, what better way to pray then praying Gods promises back to Him. Then speaking and affirming the prayer out loud helped me believe it and made it real. I know I am on my way to financial peace.” -Karen Lebron

“Prayer Rock-It helped me change my life with feelings of rejection and loneliness. Dr. Linda’s prayer boosters are simple, and they come straight from the Father’s heart. Her articles have touched my life and continue to lead me in a place where I don’t have to complicate my communication with God; they help me keep it simple. Dr. Linda’s Prayer Rock-It is an expression of mentorship in my spiritual life and have also become my helper in my daily walk with God.” -Robin Landis

“As leader of a Prayer Ministry I have a need to be more focused and spiritually grounded. Prayer Rock-It has helped me to do just that! I am personally grateful for the encouragement our ministry receives through Prayer Rock-It!” -B. Archie

Buy yourself the gift this Christmas that keeps on giving. Fuel your prayer life with Prayer Rock-It and make your prayer times more potent, exciting, and effective.

Now, let's go get you that Christmas present you deserve.

Click on the “Join Now” button below.

Join Now - Button Green

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See you inside Prayer Rock-It!

Dr. Linda

 


How Would Your Life Change If You Could Launch Your Prayer Life in a New Direction?
Imagine…

Your needs being met.

Imagine…

Your prayer life becoming stronger.

Imagine…

Your faith being stirred.

Imagine…

Your Prayers Rocking It!

Coming Soon…

You can gain access December 20th. Click here.

Get ready to launch with us!

 


My List of Top Electronic Bible Study Tools
I get a lot of questions from you, my readers, asking about my favorite Bible study tools. Reading the Bible and having amazing tools at your disposal has never been easier with the invention of e-readers, tablets and smart-phones. This post gives you a list of my top electronic Bible study tools and apps with short descriptions and links so you can grab them for yourself.

You might find something here that will make your Bible reading more interesting and certainly more enjoyable. And you might find some sweet gift ideas (I have added Amazon links for your shopping pleasure.)

YouVersion on iPhone

What I love about electronic devices is that they make reading your Bible more convenient and definitely more accessible than a hard copy of a Bible. Why wouldn’t you want to make the switch? You do so with newspapers and magazines. You opt for email over regular mail. Why? It’s faster and at your fingertips.

It’s your option. You choose. I say, give it a shot; you can always go back to holding your Bible in your hand if you choose.

So without further ado, here’s “My List of Top Electronic Bible Study Tools”:

1. Amazon Kindle – As I have shared with you before, my Kindle is my FAVORITE Bible study tool. Before I had my kindle, I used to carry 5 different Bibles out to my reading chair every morning.

Imagine how that worked when I traveled! I spent a lot of extra money at the baggage counter because my suitcase was always over the weight limit. The only thing good about that was that it provided a good workout lifting and lugging!

Now my Kindle is all I need. I have 9 different Bible translations on it and countless devotional books. What I love about reading my Bible on my Kindle is that I can jump around to different passages by clicking or touching (I now have the Kindle Paperwhite which is touch screen) the hyperlinks within the biblical text.

Kindle Paperwhite

With my Kindle Paperwhite, there’s no more leafing through a big Bible when cross-referencing. And the search feature can’t be beat. Trying to find a topic in scripture is easy with the Kindle, just enter the keyword in the search box and your Kindle will pull up the passages for you. If you’re in the market for a Kindle Fire, it’s a beautiful device that offers all of the features mentioned above in a tablet e-reader.

Not interested in a Kindle?

No sweat. Let’s not forget, you don’t need a Kindle to use the Kindle App. You can download it on your smartphone, tablet or computer giving you the option to purchase Bibles, devotional books, and Bible studies galore. You purchase them right from Amazon and read them in the Kindle app.

2. iPad – My second favorite Bible study tool. What I love about having an iPad and a Kindle is that Amazon has the Kindle app that you can grab for free and put it on your iPad and iPhone. With this you can read whatever books you have on your Kindle on your iPad or iPhone. So for Bible reading this is a gem.

When I’m out to lunch with a friend, I sometimes want to share a verse of scripture with them that I read that morning. So I go to the Bible I was reading in my Kindle that morning but I do it in the kindle app on my phone and it flawlessly syncs and goes right to the page and verse I was reading. Sweet!

3. Apps for Apple & Android Platforms:

There are tons of Bible related apps, which are available for both Apple and Android products. YouVersion is probably the most popular. I use it because it has a ton of Bible translations and the option to read two versions at once in parallel view. Here’s a link to the YouVersion for Android users.

You can highlight, and copy in YouVersion. From there, tweet the verse you’re reading or post it directly to Facebook and other social media apps. You can email the link to someone as well, so it’s got some great sharing features.

The YouVersion app also has reading plans. And plenty of them! From Joyce Meyer to C.S. Lewis. And love this feature or hate it – when you miss a bunch of reading days in a row, the app will gently remind you via email. No pressure, you can dismiss the reminders if they start to bug you.

There are many Bible reading apps available in iTunes or for Android users. I have the Olive Tree app, which is great if you want to import various Bible versions into one app.

Or you can purchase stand-alone Bible version apps from Olive Tree. I have the both New Living Translation Application Bible App from Olive Tree and the Amplified Version Bible App from Olive Tree. I find myself going back and forth comparing both versions.

4. iPhone – Lots of people are using their phones to read the Word. It’s great because you pretty much always have it with you. Stuck in a doctor’s office, pull out your phone and read your Bible. Stuck in line at the grocery store? Pull out your phone and read your Bible. Stuck in traffic…well, maybe that’s not such a good idea unless someone else is driving!

Other great iPhone and iPad Bible reading apps that I use:

  • BlueletterBible.com is a Bible search engine with commentaries, study helps, and more. You can use it on your computer, tablet, or smartphone.
  • Biblegateway.com Another great Bible search engine with tons of translations, commentaries, and study helps. The user interface is a little prettier than the BlueletterBible but looks aren’t everything!
  • Strongs Concordance for the iPhone – Full search features. Study the root words in the Greek and Hebrew. No more lugging around a Strong’s Concordance – those suckers are too big! Love that I have all of this study information at my fingertips!
  • Evernote– Evernote is the best note-taking tool I have ever encountered. This is pure gold. And no, I do not get paid to say that! Evernote, as Michael Hyatt says, is my digital brain. I have it on my iPhone, iPad, and my Macbook. When I write a

    Evernote on iPad

    note about a passage of scripture or just copy a scripture down that I want to commit to memory or go back to for encouragement – it goes right into Evernote. The search features can’t be beat. I use Evernote to record Bible study thoughts, prayers, and it can also be used for journaling.

  • DayOne Journal. Again, this is an app from the Apple store, which gives me the ability to have it on my iPad and iPhone. In it I list prayer requests, things that God is speaking to me, and yes, I cut and paste my favorite scriptures in it like crazy. You can upload pictures to it, and email your entries to a friend. And it’s password protected. DayOne has a very friendly interface and it’s fun to work with.

If you’re a Twitter fan, and you have a Kindle, you’ll want to follow @GospelBooks. Why? Cause they let you know about FREE Christian Kindle Books you can scoop up. They’ll tweet about free and discounted books everyday. Be sure to check their timeline regularly so you don’t miss a steal or a deal.

So there’s a list of my fav’s. Hopefully you will find some great gems that will help you in your Bible reading and Christian growth. What are some of your favorite Bible study apps and tools? Share with us, we want to know.

If you’ve enjoyed this post, My List of Top Electronic Bible Study Tools, you will want to check this related article: Why I Made The Switch to Bible Reading On My Kindle.

 

Many Christian believers have bought into the idea that the blessings of God – our inheritance – will not be given to us until we get to heaven. Do we really have to wait that long?

Let me give you a little hint…

It’s NOW! Let me show you how you can get access to it today. If you are facing challenges, lack in any area, addictions, fears, sickness, low finances, broken relationships, then hang on. Christ has left you with protection, deliverance, prosperity, restoration, and provision.

My precious grandmother “Bert” died 9 years ago. Her real name was Alberta, but who wants to be called Alberta when “Bert” is such a hip grandma name?! In her will she left her children and her grandchildren money. Yay! So when I received my inheritance from her, I dug into it right away. In fact, I used it to pay my post-graduate fees. At that time I was just finishing up my Ph.D. Thanks Gram!

When I opened the envelope containing my inheritance, do you think I slid that check back in there and said, “Cool, but I’ll have to wait till I die to use this.”? No way! I took that check to the bank pronto baby! I tapped it right away.

That inheritance was mine because she died. While she was alive, it was not mine. But when she died, that inheritance became mine because she left.

Ephesians 1:11 says, Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God…

This scripture says that we have an inheritance (again, this is talking about the blessings of God).

When does a person receive his inheritance?

After the person who left it for him dies.

News flash:

Jesus died.

And left you an inheritance.

This verse states our inheritance has already been received. We already have it. We get it when we believe that Christ paid for it on the cross and believe that he has cleansed us of our sins.

Ephesians 1:14 AMP says, That [Spirit] is the guarantee of our inheritance [the first fruits, the pledge and foretaste, the down payment on our heritage], in anticipation of its full redemption and our acquiring [complete] possession of it—to the praise of His glory.

Here’s Where We Get Stuck

People misunderstand the phrase in the verse above, “in anticipation of its full redemption and our acquiring [complete] possession of it”. They mistakenly believe this means we will not have full redemption or acquire complete possession of it until we get to heaven. But is that what it says?

Nope. It states that we first receive a taste of it when we receive the Holy Spirit. So let me ask you, “When does a person receive the Holy Spirit?” Answer: When they become a child of God. That’s when they get their first taste of God’s blessings. And that’s when you got your first taste.

How the Tasty Blessings Increase

You got a taste of it when you were born again and received the Holy Spirit, but the more the eyes of your heart are enlightened or believe, the more you begin to understand ALL that God has for you. We’re talking about all of the blessings you are entitled to because you have an inheritance that you can tap into!

When you begin to walk in Christ, your belief grows and you start tasting more. The error some make is thinking that the more and more you walk with God, the more you experience the blessings he has for you. But let’s debunk that myth.

Truth is, the more and more you believe the blessings are yours through Christ, the more you will experience them. It’s like belief is the way to get your blessings out of probate. Belief is the probate key. Sweet!

Galatians 3:9 says, So all who put their faith in Christ share the same blessing Abraham received because of his faith.

And what kind of blessing did Abraham get? For starters, he was fruitful. Not just with children but with livestock, cattle, money, and land. Everywhere he went he prospered. Read the book of Genesis for yourself and you’ll see. If you have the same faith as Abraham, the blessings of Abraham will start working their way into your life. I encourage you to quit thinking you will not receive it until you get to heaven.

So Let’s Recap:

An inheritance is released when a person dies. Jesus died. That’s when you received your inheritance. The only reason you don’t have it fully is because you haven’t fully believed that it’s yours right now for the taking. You don’t have wait till you get to heaven to possess it….Unless you want to.

Me? I’m taking mine now cause I believe!

So to get your full inheritance on this earth here’s what you do. You pray and ask God to open the eyes of your understanding like this:

Pray this prayer based on Ephesians 1:17-20:

“Father, I am asking that you give me a spirit of wisdom and revelation so that I can know you better. I pray also that I will have greater understanding and belief in my heart. This belief will help me to know the hope that is mine in receiving the blessings that you have for me right now. Show me the inheritance that I don’t have to wait to possess. I ask you to open my eyes and my heart so I can fully comprehend how rich and amazing the blessings are that you have given me. Things you have promised but that I haven’t received yet simply because I haven’t believed I can have them now. I declare right now that I will begin to believe and step into the richness of my inheritance that you have given me. In Jesus Name.

Now, go dig into your inheritance!

If you have enjoyed this post, “Stop Waiting to Receive Your Inheritance as a Believer – Get it Now!” then you would like this post: 4 Reasons Why You Don’t Always Receive God’s Promises Before You Get to Heaven & How to Change that Fast!

 

If you’re having a tough day or having a tough season – here are 7 scriptures that will help you make the most of every moment. With these scriptures you’ll be ready to charge right into your day!

Read them. Think about them. Get em down and let them nourish you. God’s Word will energize you and help you go the distance today.

1. But you, Lord, are a shield around me…the one who holds my head high. – Psalm 3:3 NLT

2. If God is for us, who can be against us? – Romans 8:31 NLT

3. No weapon formed against you can come successfully against you – Isaiah 54:17 NLT

4. But don’t be afraid of those who threaten you. For the time is coming when everything that is covered will be revealed, and all that is secret will be made known to all. – Matthew 10:26 NLT

5. No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. – Romans 8:37 NLT

6. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:38-39 NLT

7. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. – Philippians 4:13

Grab one of these scriptures and charge into every moment with assurance you’re gonna make it!

If you’ve enjoyed this post, “7 Scriptures That Will Help You Make The Most of Every Moment”, you will be encouraged by this post: “How Just One Minute in the Word Can Make a Huge Difference in Your Day”.

 

Why do I prefer reading my Bible on my Kindle every morning rather than holding a bible in my hands? Yeah, I know, some say you just can’t beat the experience of holding your Bible in your hot little hands. It just feels good…and holy…and right. It’s by far the superior reading experience! Well, hold on and let me explain why I switched.

I thought I would have those very same thoughts. In fact, I had my Kindle for a week before I decided, this was crazy. Why would I want to continue to tote 5 Bibles around with me or even just one when I can carry a 3 ounce Kindle and have all of my Bible translations at my beck and call? I was silly NOT to read my Bible on my Kindle. Before you get all nostalgic on me just let me offer some of the pluses.

Advantages to Using a Kindle for Bible Reading:

  • I have 9 different Bibles on my Kindle; this is by far, my greatest joy! Think about it, to have all of my Bibles on one small, thin, light device is perfect when I travel. I used to add at least 25 pounds to my suitcase toting my Bibles and books. Now, my Kindle slips into my backpack, briefcase, or purse and it’s available anytime I need it. No more lugging books, commentaries, and study guides. I can research and study anytime I have a few minutes or when inspiration hits.
  • When I am in a meeting, I can pull out my findings or search for documentation without lugging books in my briefcase or backpack.
  • The search feature is by far quicker than trying to page through a big Bible. I type what I am looking for in the search area and my Kindle does the searching for me.
  • Searching for the notes I made is super sweet. Type in a keyword used in my note – and voila, my kindle takes me to that place. Much easier than looking for notes in the margins of my Bible.
  • On those rare occasions when I don’t have my Kindle with me because I left home with just my iPad, my Kindle is still with me – just in a different format. My iPad Kindle app seamlessly syncs with my Kindle so I never lose my place. All of my notes, and bookmarks are available on both devices. Win-win!
  • On even rarer occasions when I don’t have my iPad, my iPhone has guess what? Yep, my Kindle app too. And yes, all synced up and ready for reading. And because I always have my iPhone with the Kindle app with me, I always have my commentaries and notes. Whether I am in line at the grocery store, waiting at the doctor’s office, or killing time before my next appointment my Kindle, in one of 3 forms, is with me.  Win-win-win again!
  • Highlighting on my Kindle is a breeze and want to know what’s even breezier? Easily finding all of my highlighted passages in one place. They are all gathered together in a neat little file called “My Clippings” and I can also find the same file on my iPad, iPhone, or desktop. Flawlessly synced to boot! This is in addition to the text staying highlighted on any of my devices as I read.
  • Now, what about those who say, “Well, sooner or later you will forget the order the books of the Bible are in because you use the electronic version instead of searching through the hard copy of your Bible.” To those I say, “SO?” Electronic devices aren’t going away guys. So get with it. Nine times out of ten I am using an electronic device which allows me to page through the table of contents or even search for the book and chapter that I want. The need for memorizing the order of the books of the Bible, though still important, isn’t as necessary. Do we still use our fingers to eat now that we have the invention of the fork at our disposal? I guess some still do, but that’s their game. My point is – they don’t have to.

Disadvantages to Using a Kindle for Bible Reading:

  • At first, I was going to be sassy and tell you there aren’t any. Still love me? 😉 Honestly, it all boils down to what works for you.
  • If you aren’t willing to try something new, then Kindle Bible reading won’t work for you.
  • If you’re opposed to learning new technology, then Kindle Bible reading definitely won’t work for you. Stay an old dog refusing to learn new tricks. Yes, I still love you. 😉
  • If you absolutely love holding a bulky Bible in your hands for whatever reason, keep at it. But if you are willing to expand your horizons and experiment with something you may find foreign at first, you just may like it. Then love it. Disadvantages are in the eyes of the beholder. You choose.

Practical details:

  • Price: The new Kindle Paperwhite is a great deal starting at $119.00. I got one as soon as it came out. The Kindle Paperwhite is touch screen, which makes jumping to hyperlinked scriptures easy. So cross-referencing is super fun and fast, like lickety split! Touch the verse that is underlined and you’re right there. Touch the back arrow and you’re back to the previous scripture where you started.
  • The older Kindle Keyboard is still available on eBay for cheap. This is the Kindle I started with years ago and it was love at first sight! I will say though that I love my Kindle Paperwhite even more. The built-in light makes it lovely to read in bed or in a dimly lit room. My husband’s thankful that a lamp on our nightstand no longer bothers him when I’m reading and he’s sleeping. Makes me happy when he’s happy!
  • If you are interested in any of the Kindle models, click here and you will be taken to my Amazon store where you can learn more about them and purchase it securely. (And too, you will be helping me, as I will get a small percentage of the sale. So, thanks in advance!) The Kindle Fire link is also listed here for your convenience. And ohhh, is that Kindle Fire sweet! Full color and like a little tablet.
  • If you order from Amazon you will receive your Kindle in about 3 to 4 days (based on the publication time of this post). If you’re willing to venture out you can get a Kindle at Best Buy, Staples, Target, and Office Max. My assistant, Tanya, and I called around. Once we found that Best Buy in our area had them we boogied over there pronto. They held them at the front desk for us and we walked out with 2 highly coveted Kindle Paperwhites from Amazon’s first shipment. Can you say FAVOR?! 🙂 Yep! And I pray that for you too!
  • If you’re in the market for a gently used Kindle, you can find some really good deals on eBay. I found one for my mother last year for $60 including a nice case. She too, has become a Kindle fan. As soon as it came in, I downloaded a free ESV Bible on it for her to read.

Stay tuned for my next post about Bible reading on electronic devices. I will share how to use the iPhone, iPad, and other mobile apps to read your Bible. I’ll give you a list of apps I have tested and use that are great for Bible study, prayer lists, devotions, and keeping notes. We’ll also explore the iPad verses the Kindle for reading in general. Will be fun, so check back or even better….subscribe so you get my free updates via email.

So there you have it. This is why I made the switch to Bible reading on my Kindle and why you might too. No matter which you choose, Kindle or a handheld Bible – just keep reading your Bible. It’s good for you. And we all need God’s goodness in our lives! Dig in and enjoy!

 

It happens to all of us at some point in life – feeling far away from God and not too sure you can get back. If you’ve ever been in that spot or you want to be ready if it happens in the future, let me show you how you can get back to God when you feel far away.

A game we love playing with our kids is “spooky.” It’s basically a ramped up version of hide-and-seek because we play it in a pitch dark house or outdoors when there is no moonlight. I’m talking pitch black. You can’t even see your hand in front of your face kind-of-dark.

My kids love this game so much that even now as teenagers, they still beg us to play. Now that they are older, dare I say, adult-size (my son is 6’4″) they are super creative with their hiding spots. Sometimes I’ll find one of them perched up on top of the refrigerator. Yes, on top! Or on top of the credenza. Thank God the furniture is strong enough to hold them.

The person who is “it” seeks out the people who are hiding. Seeking, in this case, means looking intently through the pitch dark. We’ll run around feeling our way through the night, examining every piece of furniture with our hands hoping to bump into a body. And also listening for any type of noise that might indicate a person holding their breath – lest a faint exhale give away their whereabouts.

This is What It’s Like When We Seek God
It’s the hunt, the seeking, that makes the chase so enjoyable. It’s a great picture of how you can get close to God and stay close to him. We’re searching for our prize, a relationship with God who loves us deeply and passionately.

And the kicker is this – he wants to be found! That’s why there’s a reward for seeking. And ANY time you seek, you find. There are no losers in this game. Anyone who is on the lookout for God wins.

Feeling Far Away?
The enemy would like to make you think you’re not good enough to find God. Or that you’re not righteous enough to find God. This is where he loses. If you can get it in your head that righteousness is a gift, not a reward for obedience, you will find him.

Look at what Hebrews 11:6 says about it:

It’s impossible to please God without faith because the one who draws near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards people who try to find him. CEB

The verse above says you are rewarded for seeking, not doing everything perfectly. Righteousness is free. You recieve it the moment you believe in it. You can’t do anything bad enough that will push God away from you. Even when you mess up, you and God can still be tight!

Here’s More Proof

Gal 2:16
Yet we know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law. And we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be made right with God because of our faith in Christ, not because we have obeyed the law. For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law. NLT

Even in the midst of your anger, God still loves you. Even in the midst of your cheating, God still loves you. Even in the midst of your lie, God still loves you. Even in the midst of your mistake, God still loves you. Even AFTER you’re saved and you mess up, God STILL loves you. Because it’s about what Christ did, not what you did. And because of that…

You’re not as far away as you think.

In fact, it’s all just in your mind. You’re only far from him if you think you are.
And better yet…you’re as close to him as you think you are.

Ask yourself:

  • Are you on the lookout for God?
  • Are you seeking him?

Know that you belong to Christ simply because you believe in him and you will never have to experience feeling far away again. But you’re only as close as you think you are. If Satan can make you believe you are far away from God – you are.

If you have faith that you will find him when you go after him, you will get him. You’re as close to God as you think you are.

Think close and you’ll be close. He wants you. Go get him!

If you enjoyed this post, “If You’re Feeling Far Away From God, Here’s How to Get Back”, you might enjoy this post: Don’t Be Fooled By Your Scars – Here’s What They Reveal About You.

 

How good are you at protecting those you love? Read this guest post by Amanda Beth to find out. It’s an excerpt taken from her latest book, The LOVE Walk,  A 15 – Week Devotional on 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.

The original Greek word for protect in 1 Corinthians 13:7 is pronounced stegō. It means: 1) to protect or keep by covering, to preserve; 2) to cover over with silence; 3) to keep secret; 4) to hide, conceal the errors and faults of others.

To protect someone means to protect all that concerns them. This includes protecting their reputation. I learned what it means to protect someone’s reputation by seeing how my husband protects mine.

My husband continually builds me up to others. Sometimes I think he makes me sound better than I am. I’ve even seen him make himself look bad in order to protect my reputation. He goes out of his way to make me look good. He does it because he loves me.

Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Romans 12:10 (NLT)

If we want to sincerely love others we have to protect their reputations. We don’t protect people’s reputations when we gossip. Proverbs shares many verses on gossip and the reasons why we need to avoid it.

Proverbs 18:8 shares the most important reason. Solomon must have thought so too because he repeated it again in Proverbs 26:22.

The NLT version for these verses read:

“Rumors are dainty morsels that sink deep into one’s heart.”

Gossip contaminates our hearts. When we put others down we take ourselves down, too. Gossiping may seem harmless and feel innocent at the time, but it gradually hardens our hearts toward others. It is impossible to love others when our hearts are hardened.

Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. 2 Timothy 2:16

Proverbs 16:28 shares another reason why we need to avoid gossip:

A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends.

I wonder how many friendships have been destroyed over gossip. I wonder how many families have been divided over gossip. Gossip spreads like wildfire and doesn’t go out until someone puts it out. The more it spreads the more people it deceives.

Years ago I had someone spread gossip about me. It made its rounds through many people. By the time it came around to me it was almost comical. The story was twisted so far from the truth that you knew each person had to have added something new as they shared it with the next. What hurt most was that I had done nothing wrong in the first place. The one who started it didn’t agree with something I was doing, so they took it and twisted it to make me sound bad.

Proverbs 26:20 says, “Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down.” Every one who shared the gossip threw their wood into that fire to keep it going. All it would’ve taken was one person to stand up and say, “I’m not going to accept that.” The fire would’ve ended there and never spread to me.

We may not be the ones who spread gossip, but how many times do we sit in the middle of gossip and just listen? To protect someone’s reputation means that we’ll have to stand up in others’ defense when they’re being talked about.

I remember calling my mom once to talk about someone who wronged me. I expected her to listen to my complaints, but instead she started saying positive things about this person. At first I got irritated. But after hearing the things she said about that person my heart started softening.

God used that conviction to help me turn from gossip so He could pour His love into my heart for that person. That moment I saw the reason why God wants us to protect people’s reputations—it transforms our hearts.

Do not go about spreading slander among your people. Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor’s life. I am the LORD.

—Leviticus 19:16

People’s lives can be dramatically affected by gossip. We are to build people up, not tear them down. When we build others up and protect their reputations, God will protect ours.

 “The LOVE Walk” is a fifteen week devotional created to encourage and support you in your love walk. Each devotional focuses on a different characteristic of love as described in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8:

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails….”

Each chapter includes an encouragement, a prayer, verses to meditate on, and one verse to memorize to support you in your love walk. Additionally, at the end of each chapter there are questions to reflect on for personal evaluation or group study.

Follow this link to purchase a copy of “The LOVE Walk.”

 Amanda is a wife of sixteen years, mother of four children, and author of You Can Have a Happy Family” and “The LOVE Walk”. God has done an amazing work in her and her family since He rescued her twelve years ago. Because of His unfailing love, she is passionate about sharing His love with others. Every Monday she shares the wonderful benefits behind the truths in God’s Word on her blog (SharingTruths.com). Every Wednesday she prays the Word of God over prayer requests on her Facebook page (http://tinyurl.com/AmandaBeth). And every Sunday she is a guest contributor for Christian Blessings (PTL.com). She also shares messages on marriage and parenting on her website (AmandaBeth.net).

We would love for you to leave your comments and interact with Amanda Beth. Has your life ever been affected by gossip? How has someone you love protected you? If you’ve enjoyed reading this post, How Good Are You at Protecting Those You Love, please share it – chances are your friends will too!