What Are You Reading This Summer

What are you going to read this summer? As a librarian I find all sorts of books being checked in and out on a daily basis. You know how they say, “you can’t judge a book by its cover?” Well, I do. I usually gravitate towards books that are crisp and colorful. I am normally a non-fiction person and mostly Christian non-fiction. I love to read books that are going to help me grow and focus on Jesus. However, lately, I have been dabbling in some Fiction books as well. When I get into a reading frenzy, I have to admit I tend to stray from the most important book of all, the Bible. How can I balance the best of both worlds? I want to be consistent in reading the Bible and have my journal time with God and I want to read my other books as well. Put that desire on top of work, chores, errands and social time; well, there’s not much time at all. What do you do when you are struggling to make time for the Bible?

Here are some things that I’ve incorporated into most days of my life…Not all; just most.

  • First of all, I set my alarm for about a half hour to an hour before I have to get up for work. I don’t hit the pavement but rather, hit the coffee pot, journal and Bible. I spend that time reading and writing.
  • Later in the day is when I hit the pavement and I take that time to chat with God; to praise Him and to listen through my surroundings.
  • Lastly when I go to bed, I try to read just a small bed time devotional.

When do I have time to read the other things that I love as well? I read them in between. I read on my break at work. I read on my lunch break and I read most nights when my husband is traveling. I read at the pool, I read on the couch and yes, I read before bed. There are times when I get torn with the questions like, Am I reading too much fiction? Am I spending enough time in the Word? I really struggle with these questions because I’m a time manager. I make lists and check them off; but I don’t want my time with God to be on my list. I want my time with God to be Spirit filled and intimate.

Do you struggle with this as well? If so, what are some suggestions you can offer to others with the same dilemma. Join us as we discuss this today

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Beth

Time With Poppy Smith

Recently I had the opportunity and privilege of interviewing author and speaker, Poppy Smith. She delighted me with her fun personality and thought-provoking style of writing. With her practical how-to applications, it made me want to follow God all that much more. As I’m into my 50’s, sighing, one book in particular I gravitated to was, I’m Too Young to Be This Old. You can read the full article in Book Fun Magazine @ www.bookfun.org, April 2013 edition. This book along with God’s new calling on my life helped me cope with the struggles of being an empty nester and launching my writing from home. It helped me come to grips with my age and my health and reminded me of God seasons of change in my life. It helped me turn some old thought patterns into new and alive inspirations.

Poppy is a former Bible Study Fellowship Teacher with a Masters in Spiritual Formation. She is also an award-winning author and has written six books to help readers live spiritually successful and fulfilling lives. Poppy is British, grew up in England, Sri Lanka, Singapore, and Kenya. Her husband is an American and her complete opposite. You can learn more about Poppy on her web site: www.poppysmith.com.You can also read her personal journey for ministering to the hurting, struggling, and spiritually hungry. Don’t we all want to be able to do this as Christians? I know as a more-mature Christian woman, aka, a 50+ year old woman, I want to minister to those around me that struggle with depression/anxiety and those living in emptiness when their flock leaves the nest. Poppy’s personal emails to me and her books have helped me along this journey of my life. Thank you Poppy.

Poppy’s Books:

  • Why Can’t HE Be More Like ME?
  • Reaching Higher
  • I’m Too Human to Be Like Jesus
  • I’m Too Young to Be This Old

            Poppy’s Bible Studies:

  • Wisdom for Today’s Woman-Insights from Esther
  • Speaking Wisely-Exploring the Power of Words

Necklace of Pride

What do we do when life just doesn’t go the way we think it should? In Psalm 73 the psalmist sees how the wicked prosper, and struggles with that. I know people who do not even know God who are prosperous; they have so much. I must ask then, do they have the most important thing of all? Do they have God in their lives?

With the economy the way is we do not know if tomorrow will hold what we have today and in psalm 73:11 the psalmist is bothered by the fact that the wicked are prospering and enjoying health and security, but they arrogantly dismiss God. Have you ever witnessed the arrogant or wicked prospering while disregarding God? I have. I see so much of it and more now than ever.

How should we react? Should we be prideful because we hold salvation in our palms and they do not? Vs 6…Therefore pride is their necklace. This little nugget speaks to me because I’m a bling-kind-of-gal! I have some fun cheap pieces and I have some very special ornate pieces that were necklacemy grandmothers. I wear bling every day, even when I’m sitting around, I will put something on if not more than just a something…Now when I put a necklace on, it makes me think of my pride. Good reminder….Get it in check Beth….I love how God uses the ordinary in my life to speak to me.

So I ask again, what do we do? Vs 13…Do you ask yourself, did I purify my heart and wash my hands in innocence for nothing? Do you feel at times you’ve kept your own heart pure only to still struggle? Look to verse 17…I love this…when I try to understand all of this, it seemed hopeless, UNTIL I entered God’s sanctuary. Why do you think this act helped the psalmist? In ancient Israel, the temple represented God’s presence. We have that very same privilege of entering God’s presence 24/7. We do not have to go to a church though or any other building. We just have to be still and enter His courts with praise.meditating

How will you enter into God’s presence today? When there, will you let your necklace of pride, your frustration of the wicked prospering and the anxiety of tomorrow drag you down or will you give it to Him? Remain and Reclaim God as your Most High and Almighty. P91.