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Why I Quit Reading the Bible on my iPhone

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I guess it was a few months ago. I picked up my old faux leather New King James Spirit Filled Life Bible just to flip through the pages a bit. You know, for the sake of nostalgia. It was incredibly refreshing to read all of the highlights and notes in the margins. So refreshing, in fact, that I could hardly put it down.

This made me stop and think. Why does this feel so fulfilling? It's not like I've neglected to read the bible in recent weeks or months. I'm a regular YouVersion user, with badges and achievements to boot. But I began to see something that I was missing here. I can recall countless days where I'd read a chapter or two on my iPhone or iPad just so I wouldn't have to use the "Catch Me Up" function on YouVersion. I wasn't doing word or topic studies, I wasn't using cross references or really digging into the Word. I was simply reading the Bible like I read the Hunger Games on my Kindle...flying through to the end at light speed, munching on Cheez-Its all the way.

Why did this happen? How did the Bible end up on my chore list? Is it because my paper bible is living and active and my iPhone bible is simply electrical? No, I don't think it's that. I believe the Word of God is living and active, not the paper. So what is it?

I recently deleted as many apps off of my iPhone as I could without removing the things that make it a wonderful tool when I'm out and about -- maps, weather, urbanspoon, etc. I did this because I was always so distracted and disconnected from what was going on around me. I didn't talk to people as much or watch the birds fly or whatever else I missed. I was constantly pulled into some social media or news app or gaming experience when there was so much going on around me.

The point is, our little devices are causing a kind of self-inflicted ADD. Even when I'm reading the Bible or doing something productive on my iPhone I'm constantly tempted to switch over to whatever app is nagging at my attention span.

The Word of God deserves a special place in my life. Not on my kindle, not with my Cheez-Its, not at light speed. And after a month back with my paper Bible, it appears to be the only fool proof way for me. So that's it, I've gone back to paper...and it's awesome!

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Start... (Update)

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Last summer I wrote a post about branching out and doing something that I enjoyed, even though it seemed like a stretch. (You can read that post here: "Start...") Here is an update to what I've been doing:

Shortly after writing about helping people with their finances, I had a few different meetings doing just that. It was great! Like I said before, I am good at this and enjoy helping others, but if I'm honest pretty much everything I know I learned from Dave Ramsey.

I've listened to Dave for about a decade now and I can attribute all of my success with finances to him. So I figured I should take this a step further. For the past few weeks I've been leading a small group in our Financial Peace University class at Rockford First. It is so fun to work with people face to face and to see how big a role finances play in our lives. Like Dave says, finances are 20% head knowledge and 80% behavior. These principles apply to more than just money and they are changing lives. I'm blessed to be a part!

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Start...

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Life today has a way of pushing the things that are important aside to make room for so many things that are completely unimportant. I feel as though I am constantly working to weed out the meaningless addictions that life in the US has afforded me. From the internet to TV shows to sports to movies to all of the above on a handheld device. It's basically a full time job trying balance all of the countless distractions that come my way.

Recently I've been thinking about what I like to do. What would I do if I didn't have my current job (which is great and I'm not trying to leave or anything!) and wanted a hobby that meant something? I mean more than playing golf or camping or hiking -- which are things I love to do for fun and recreation. And today I had an idea! I think I might enjoy doing some minor financial planning for people on the side. I recently started reading Jon Acuff's new book, Start. So I think I'm going to just do it! I don't have a ton of extra time so I'll definitely start small, but I'm gonna start. And I think the best way to start is to help out with FPU at our church. I love Dave Ramsey. I like budgeting and finances and all the other nerdy things you can imagine at this moment as I type this. I like teaching and helping people. So I'm going to do it. And hey, if you're interested in my services let me know!

You've heard the saying, "We MAKE time for the things that are important to us."

I want to encourage you today. MAKE some time to figure out what makes you tick, what you like to do when the power is out or the President has taken over all your favorite channels. MAKE some time to love life in a way that doesn't involve your phone, tablet, etc. and your addiction to social media. MAKE time to BE who God created you to BE. If we would all just get a little better at this, I think we'd raise the bar of happiness and fulfillment in our lives to a whole new level. I'm with you Kid President!

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Why Worship?

If you have 10 minutes to pray, spend 9 minutes worshiping and 1 minute praying. I don't recall where I heard this, but it has revolutionized my prayer life. Of course the main reason to worship the Lord is because He deserves it, but the following are a few other reasons to make worship a priority in your prayer life. When you worship:

  • It puts God in His rightful place in your heart. Especially in our technologically advanced culture, our minds are so full of stuff. From TV, Netflix, Hulu and YouTube, to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., there is so much to fill our time and thoughts. If you aren't careful these things can get in the way of your relationship with God.
  • It helps you to see from God's perspective. When you give God more space in your heart and mind, you realize that your problems are so small to Him. Many times this is where you find that peace that passes understanding, because you realize that God is in control and that he has the bigger picture.
  • It brings you to a place of rest in your circumstances. When you find peace in your troubles, you also find rest in the Lord. When you worship, you are telling God that you trust him regardless of how you feel.
  • It opens the door for faith. When God gets bigger in your life, when you begin to see from His perspective and when you find rest in your troubles, your faith will increase. Your trust breeds faith, and faith breeds action. This is where you find breakthrough.

So don't forget to worship the Lord and then pray prayers that move mountains.

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