Sometimes the smallest variation can make a huge difference to your overall experience of something (like when you add a little too much salt to your soup and ruin your whole meal).

These small changes have a big impact, and the same goes for the small, sometimes overlooked, elements in your Bible reading and prayer time.

Subtle improvements to your “Quiet Time With God”can have a huge effect on your growth rate and what you get out of life.

Join me on November 6th for our next Exclusive Online Class, Improve & Create Your Easy Bible Reading & Prayer Routine. I’ll show you simple techniques to cut friction, and help you ENJOY reading your Bible and spending time in prayer.

You’ll learn:

  • How to save at least 2 hrs each week reading your Bible but getting just as much out of it.
  • TRIPLE your prayer engagement ASAP.
  • Learn how to create a “spiritual vitamin” regimen so you can get stronger, more immune to attacks, and totally ready for what comes your way.
  • How to read your Bible in a way that lights up your brain.

…Plus, much more!

Click here to RESERVE YOUR SEAT.

time-sensitive-2

It’s Thursday, Nov 6th. 7pm.

(Even if you can’t make it, register anyway and we’ll send you the recording)

I sure would love for you to help me spread the word about this exclusive online class/webinar. So right now, please do me a quick favor…

Be a part of the team that helps “kill other people’s devotional pain” so they can get into the habit of Bible Reading and Prayer…and maximize their lives! Copy this text and post it on Facebook, tweet it on Twitter.

Just Tweet and Post this on FB:

Improve & Create Your Easy Bible Reading & Prayer Routine: http://webinarjam.net/webinar/go/6665/f707e4259f 

See you Thursday night. It will be interactive. You can ask questions, answer polls, and we’ll have a good time together.

RESERVE YOUR SEAT HERE

Dr. Linda


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.

 

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!

 

If you’re tired of daily Bible reading plans that land you in guilt city like I was, move on over to a no-pressure plan that will refresh your soul. 

When I was in college I bought a Chronological Daily Bible. Along with others I thought it would be an great accomplishment to read the Bible through in one year. I started countless other “Read the Bible in a Year” plans but never finished. Maybe you’ve done this too.

This time though, I determined, “I’m going to make this work.” After all, the Daily Bible I bought broke the reading into segments so I could finish it within a year – IF I was faithful to read everyday. And when I say read everyday, I mean read a BIG honking chunk everyday. But sadly here’s what happened…

Problems With My Daily Bible Reading Plan That You May Have Experienced Too:

It became a chore rather than something I enjoyed. I no longer looked forward to my time in God’s Word. It had become a rountine rather than a refreshing that I desperately needed.

My goal became reading to finish instead of reading to be replenished. Reading for the sake of completing rather than reading for the sake of understanding. Reading for accomplishment instead of reading for communion.

When I got behind, it was tough to catch up. Two days trying to catch up was even harder, three days – forget it. (That’s when most people give up.)

My conclusion: What ‘s the big deal about reading the entire Bible within a year anyway? Is a year the magic number that will usher you into a bigger blessing of some sort?

So here I am, a student of the Word, who has spent over 20 years in full time ministry, have a degree in pastoral theology, have taught thousands and thousands of people from the Bible, yet still I have NEVER read the entire Bible through in one year’s time. I have read the Bible from cover to cover, yes, but not crammed within the time frame of one year.

So shoot me!

Does that make me any less serious about studying God’s word? No, that makes me smarter.

No-Pressure Reading…

I will not bow to the customs and traditions and whims of men and women. I will enjoy every time I read my Bible because I do so with no pressure. It’s just me and God. Slowing down and giving him time to speak. Slowing down and allowing myself time to hear.

There are days I read multiple chapters depending on:

  • How much time I have.
  • What I am studying (If I am working or researching for a teaching or a writing project).
  • What I feel God is leading me to do that day.

There are days I read only a verse or two depending on:

  • How much time I have.
  • What God is trying to show me in what I just read.
  • When I begin praying that scripture over my life and over the lives of my loved ones and camp out there because I am so moved by it.

Know what kind of Bible reading blesses me and brings me freedom from pressure?

Taking It Slow.

When I take it slow and enjoy the tasty morsels God’s throwing into my mouth I’ve hit the sweet spot. Sometimes I read one verse and stop. I chew on that verse, thinking about it, muling it over in my mind all day long. As I do, God speaks multiple things to me about one little verse. It’s like swallowing a sip of coffee with multiple complexities. I savor the flavors being uncovered at every level.

Biting Off More Than You Can Chew

If you take too big of a chunk of scripture you can’t get as much out of it. It’s like putting too much food in your mouth and being forced to chew fast and swallow. Not as enjoyable as when you have time to savor every bite.

So Here’s a No-Pressure Bible Reading Plan:

  • Take just one bite of scripture at a time.
  • Don’t bite off more than you can chew.
  • Give the scripture time to digest.
  • Enjoy it!

So give yourself a fresh new Bible reading plan without guilt or pressure. It will taste better and will do your spiritual body good! Be free. Taste and see that The Lord is good!

If you’ve enjoyed this post, Fed Up With Daily Bible Reading Plans That Land You in Guilt City, you might enjoy this post: “How Just One Minute in the Word Can Make a Huge Difference in Your Day”. And don’t forget to sign up for your free subscription to this blog, you’ll receive fresh new posts delivered right to your inbox without any effort on your part! Subscribe here (and you’ll get a nifty little gift for doing so!).


How Cutting Corners Comes with a Heavenly Price Tag
I heard about a guy who is a great Christian. Loves God with all of his heart. Well, sort of. You see, at first glance he loves God with all of his heart. But take a second glance and you’ll see how he cuts corners. See if you’re in anyway like him.

This guy doesn’t like seat belts. They save lives, yes? Of course. And he knows that. But he chooses to not wear his. But what about that little dinging sound that would be a constant irritant if he didn’t buckle up when he got in his vehicle? Oh, no problem. He found a work around for that.

He went to the junkyard and bought a seatbelt. Brought it home and cut the belt part off of the buckle part. Took the junkyard buckle piece and snapped it into the buckle part in his truck. No dinging sound does he get even if he doesn’t buckle up because he fooled his truck into thinking he’s buckled up.

For now, he’s found a way to beat the system. Only if a cop stops him, will he have some explaining to do. And who knows, by not doing as directed, he may just loose his life. Cause, you know, seat belts do save lives!

Let’s take this into the realm of Godly living. There are folks who will do exactly the same thing with what they read in God’s Word. For some reason, they think it’s ok for them to cut corners.

Not feeling the 10 commandments today? No sweat. As long as you can find a way to cut the corner without sounding an alarm, you’re good. Not feeling like honoring your mother or father today? No biggie, you can do that under the radar too. Not feeling the whole idea of paying Caesar what belongs to Caesar (aka Uncle Sam)? Ok, as long as no one at the IRS finds out, your secret is safe! Not feeling the idea of telling your spouse where you really were last night? Hey, as long as it doesn’t hurt your marriage, and no one mentions it, your good, right?

Not so fast.

Scripture says to be doers of the word and not just hearers of the word.

God’s System Can’t Be Beat

You can’t fool God into thinking you’ve buckled up when you haven’t.  You may look all tidy and compliant from the outside of the car. But God sees the real you on the inside. And you may not hear the chime go off when you don’t do what’s right, but God does. And let’s be clear, we’re not just talking about seatbelts here. Paul lays it out in Romans 12:1-2 where he says:

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering…Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it… (Message)

And then as far as who sees…

2 Chronicles 16:9 says…
The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to them. (NLT)

Buckle up your spirit man and do what’s right even when no one’s looking. Because in case you haven’t noticed, God’s always looking even when man isn’t. And he’s dishing out strength to those who do right.

The Heavenly Price Tag:

Look, I am coming soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds. (Revelation 22:12 NLT)

 

Enough said? Yep. Buckle up baby!

That’s righteousness. When you buckle up on the inside, you’ll buckle up on the outside. And you’ll be safe in God’s eyes. Play it right. And you’ll be all-right.

Prayer Booster: God I really want to do what’s right in your eyes, even when no one else is looking but you. Help me to do what’s right simply because it’s the right thing to do. I am deciding today to honor you in all areas of my life. Amen.

Where have you been challenged to cut corners in your life? Share with us in the comment section.


How Just One Minute in the Word Can Make a Huge Difference in Your Day

You may not always have gobs and gobs of time to read the Bible every day. But let me share how even just one little minute reading your Bible can make a big difference in your day.

Consider the Illinois man who left the snow-filled streets of Chicago for a vacation in Florida. His wife was on a business trip and was planning to meet him there the next day. When he reached his hotel, he decided to send his wife a quick e-mail.

Unable to find the scrap of paper on which he had written her e-mail address, he did his best to type it in from memory. Unfortunately, he missed one letter and his note was directed instead to an elderly preacher’s wife, whose husband had passed away only the day before.

When the grieving widow checked her email, she took one look at the monitor, let out a piercing scream, and fell to the floor in a dead faint. Hearing the scream, her family rushed into the room and saw this note on the computer screen:

Dearest wife,

Just checked in. Everything is prepared for your arrival tomorrow.

P.S. Sure is hot down here!

The absence of just one little thing can make a big difference, can’t it?! So can the addition of one little thing. My friend was telling me how she didn’t have much time the other morning to read her Bible. She only had a minute. So she took one minute in the Word. That’s all it took. That one little minute set her day up – the right way.

She shared how one tiny bite of the Word is like a tiny bite of food. Think about it, even just a small bite of food contributes to our well-being. It nourishes. It tastes good. It delivers vitamins to our body. The same happens with just one bite of scripture.

God’s Word is so powerful that even just one tiny bite has value. It’s nutrition-packed! So the next time you’re tempted to beat yourself up because you don’t have time to read a whole section or a whole chapter in your Bible. Don’t! Just take a bite.

That one little bite can encourage you, lift you up, set you up, and keep you going. Just one word. Sometimes that’s all it takes.

Here are a few ideas on how to sneak in a bite of the Word:

  • If you have one minute to spare before you get to work, grab your smart phone
    and grab a bite. (YouVersion Bible app is my favorite Smartphone app.)

  • Got a pocket Bible? Stash it in your purse, briefcase, or backpack before you head out the door.
    Then you will be prepared to take advantage of a break in your day when you can munch on the Word.

  • Have a few minutes while your waiting in line picking the kids up? Grab a bite.
  • Waiting on your next appointment, your doctor, or in line at the grocery store? Grab a bite.
  • Standing over the stove cooking dinner? Grab a bite before you grab a bite!
  • If all else fails, and you’ve found yourself at the end of the day ready to plop into bed and you
    still haven’t had a bite of scripture that day…take just 60 seconds and grab a bite!

    One bite is better than no bite at all. Even just one tiny bite of the Bible will do your body good!

    Anywhere. Anytime. Grab a bite of scripture.

    Bon Appétit!

    How has just one tiny bite of your Bible make a difference in your day? What are some ways you can come up with to sneak in a bite of scripture?  Let us know in the comment section!

    (Story credit: LOL Text: Daily Funny Texts and Jokes, Appstore. Image of food: Google Images)