Tag Archives: breakfast with Jesus

Morning Habit #5: Eat Something Delicious

Eat Breakfast

 It doesn’t have to be a decadent breakfast. Just one you enjoy. 

I love to set the tone for my day with something yummy. It reminds me to

“Taste and see that the LORD is good. How happy is the man who takes refuge in Him!” Psalm 34:8

Enjoying a delicious breakfast doesn’t require indulgence. I try to mix it up each day of the week. I am a sucker for a good bowl of cereal, but I know this isn’t always the best for me. So I make eggs a couple of days and enjoy a fruit smoothie on others. I might even make scones or a coffee cake for special occasions (thanks for the tradition, mom).

But I always enjoy my breakfast. I don’t eat low-fat breakfast substitutes or skip the meal. That sets a bitter tone for me. Its like setting a pattern to skip on the good things in life, or find a substitute for what is most delightful.

Of course, breakfast is very important to me because it is my time with Jesus. Having “Breakfast with Jesus” is a crucial reminder in the day, not just to taste of God’s goodness, but also to trust in His sovereignty. Read more about this lesson that Jesus taught Peter, and how it impacted me, here.

So, if you are wondering how in the world you can manage 10 habits every morning, here is a small suggestion: receive your physical nourishment and your spiritual sustenance at the same time. Read your Bible as your eat or prepare your breakfast.

Breakfast+Bible… might be the most delicious combination ever.

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Bible Study Tips and Resources for Beginners: 10 Helpful Tips and Resources to Study the Bible for Yourself

Looking for some helpful hints as you begin to study your Bible? Whether this is your first time looking into scripture for yourself, or you are coming back from a hiatus (we’ve all been there), let these 10 tips and resources help you along the way:

Bible Study Tips and Resources for Beginners: 10 Helpful Tips and Resources to Study the Bible for Yourself

1. Be book-oriented: I know, I know. Reading is hard, boring, and difficult on the eyes. There is no way around it. If you want to study God’s Word for yourself, you are going to have to read. If you aren’t ready, that’s fine. Keep listening to great sermons, watching The Bible on the History channel, and enjoy prayer and worship. All of these are wonderful aspects to discovering a deeper relationship with God. In fact, each of these can be great resources to the auditory, visual, or kinesthetic learner. But nothing compares to an intimate understanding of His Word. So get reading glasses if you have to, go as slow as you need to, but let yourself take in the Word of God using the incredible gift God gave you: to read it for yourself.

2. Use a real Bible: Dust off that heavy hunk of God’s Word, open the pages, and smell the paper. Inviting, is it not? Ok, maybe you aren’t the tangible type, but having the book itself in front of you can help when tackling a tough passage. Many Bibles feature cross-references (verses that help explain/connect with the verse you are reading), just look in the side note or bottom of the page.

3. Scribble it up: Once you have your Bible in hand, get a pen (or pencil), highlighter, and tabs stickers. Release yourself from the assumption that God’s word is untouchable–it isn’t. God’s word is “living and active” (Hebrews 4:12), and so should you be as you read it.

A pastor friend of mine facilitated the funeral of a wonderful, godly woman. She lived a long life and passed away knowing her destination was the arms of Jesus. The most memorable legacy she left, in the pastor’s opinion, was her Bible. Many pages were worn, blank spaces scribbled with notes and prayers, verses underlined.

Moral of the story? Know your Bible well, know your Savior well.

4. The Christian bookstore is your friend. If you are like me, your Bible might not last a lifetime. I wish I was less careless, but I tend to read excitedly, and aggressively. My Bible has ripped corners, chocolate smudges, and tear-stained pages. Every 5 years or so, I purchase a new Bible. The freshness is inviting. The blank page margins intrigue me: “what is God going to teach me this time?”

Also, if your Bible is a child’s version, teen edition, or maybe a hard-to-read translation (like KJV), it might be time to visit your local Christian bookstore to search for something relevant.

5. Journal the Journey: You might like to use a notebook instead of Bible margins to keep track of your spiritual walk with God. A very godly man keeps a journal as he reads through the entire Bible every year. He has read the Bible in a year for over 20 years! He has over 20 journals, each day features his thoughts on the same passage, every year. He can flip to January 1st, read what God taught Him through Genesis 1, and compare it to what God taught him every January 1st for the last 20 years of his life!

This kind of dedicated journaling also leaves quite a legacy.

6. Bring out the big guns: Utilize some helpful commentaries. A good commentary can help explain some of the cultural and theological background behind passages in the Bible. It is a great place to start before reading a book in the Bible (like Isaiah, for instance) to understand the audience the book was written to, the author, and the style of communication (letter, book of history, poetry, etc.)

Shane and I frequently utilize “The Bible Knowledge Commentary,” given to us by our former BCM directors when we began ministry.

Ask your pastor or mentor for one available from your church. Or check your local library. You can also find helpful commentaries via the internet. I suggest the following:

(Thanks to John Piper for these suggestions.)

7. Find the free stuff. Speaking of John Piper, this pastor has made some incredible material available for free on his website desiringGod.org. Just visit the resource library.

In fact, many published authors and pastors have free Bible study stuff just waiting to be downloaded. Search their sites for more Bible study resources like books, descriptive sermons (like a sermon series on Ephesians), and more commentaries. Here are some of our favorites, from different denominations and cultural backgrounds (all Bible based):

8. Grab that App: So, you’re living in a dorm room the size of shoebox? Don’t have the cash stash for new commentaries or a study Bible? Live on the run, day to day, barely remembering your phone? GREAT! You can still study your Bible in depth and every day with these free apps for your tablet or smartphone.

  • YouVersion: https://www.youversion.com features the Bible in hundreds of different versions and languages; reading plans (I love this feature); and free downloads of the Bible, so the WiFi can’t take it from you… ah, 1st world problems.
  • Glo Bible: http://www.globible.com/aninteractivebible/ this app has less versions of the Bible to offer, but it displays some helpful “lenses” with which to study the Bible: Content, Atlas, Timeline, Media, and Topics.

9. Bookmark a few Bible study websites: Study your Bible with your computer handy, just in case you run into verses that resemble “Riddles in the Dark” (for you Hobbit fans).

  • http://www.biblestudytools.com: great Bible study notes, commentaries, illustrations, daily Bible reading, concordances, a parallel Bible tool, and daily devotionals.
  • http://biblos.com: atlas and maps, dictionary, commentaries, reference Bible, Bible in other languages.
  • http://www.biblegateway.com: this one is my favorite for searching for verses/themes in the Bible, and in different versions. I like this site better than my YouVersion app (and that’s saying a lot!)

10. And More! What helped you to start reading the Bible? Do you have a resource you love? Help a sister out, and post it in a comment below!

Not a beginner? Maybe the reason you haven’t studied the Bible lately is something different. Check out other excuses the Bible Study Struggle.

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Embracing the Day…

I just posted a piece on trusting God over in Delight Bible Study.

I realize that I like to be a wallflower, especially during mornings. I am slow to get moving toward God, embracing the day. I am lazy with my trust…. I take my precious time. Give me coffee, let me scramble some eggs, and maybe surf Facebook before I even think about participating in God’s work for me today.

Let me cling to my wall, like a wallflower, trusting its familiarity to hold me up. Maybe after a shower I will take the leap into all God has for me today.

While I don’t think I have a chronic issue with not trusting God (I might eat those words later), I will acknowledge my slothfulness in the mornings.

Ezekiel 13:10-11 & 14 explains how humanity builds crumbling walls of false security, painting them with whitewash to make them look sturdy:

“And when anyone builds a wall, behold, they plaster it over with whitewash;  so tell those who plaster it over with whitewash, that it will fall. A flooding rain will come, and you, O hailstones, will fall; and a violent wind will break out….So I [God] will tear down the wall which you plastered over with whitewash and bring it down to the ground, so that its foundation is laid bare; and when it falls, you will be consumed in its midst. And you will know that I am the Lord.”

I think I have made a white-washed-wall out of my morning routine: I cling to Pinterest, Facebook, a few text messages, food, a shower, and maybe a nap before I step into the light of day (can you say “Not. A. Morning. Person.?).

While these things aren’t evil on their own, I cling to them to get me through the waking-up process. Anything I cling to other than God is an idol. I am a white-washed-wall-flower….. and my walls aren’t very sturdy.

So I’m taking my own advice from a Bible study written for teen girls: trust God, leap, participate for all He has planned for me, EMBRACE THE DAY!

I will abandon my walls before they crumble. I will place my trust in the Lord in the morning, first thing!

Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning; For I trust in You; Teach me the way in which I should walk; For to You I lift up my soul. Psalm 143:8

What are the walls you are clinging to today?

wallflower

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Much needed Musings

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During the Christmas season, I got out of the habit of my daily morning time with the Lord.
Actually, I took a break from all good habits. I greatly anticipated the newness of that number “13” tacked on to the back of our millennium… it is motivating, refreshing, encouraging really.

So here I am, enjoying some egg casserole and a cup of African Solstice tea. The sunshine and my teacup coordinated today, reminding me to shine forth in the joy of the Lord.

The last few weeks, I have been determined to finish writing my book. The final two chapters of Delight: a Joyful Journey toward Biblical Womanhood are “Humility” and “Trust.” Humility and trust just happen to be the two details of my humanity that I struggle with most. Just thinking about writing these concepts make me want to shrink down and crawl inside my tea cup, not shine forth. In a word, I am intimidated.

Every chapter I’ve written, I encountered a dramatic meeting with my own depravity. Chapter 1 dealt with being a woman of Decision… so I went through a month-long process of truly defining my decision to follow Christ: when did it start, where are the roots? Would I choose to follow Christ if it didn’t fit with my culture, my family? Was it too easy for me? Does that decision to follow Christ really define the rest of me?

Chapter 2, on Excellence, presented a greater challenge to face my own laziness and people-pleaseing problem. The following chapters on love, integrity, and gentleness all presented further opportunities to grapple with my selfish nature.

Still, nothing compares to the grinding sift that is writing about humility.

Here are my musings on the subject… what God is teaching me today during my Breakfast with Him:

Z110/155: LM of amoeba proteus "walking"My Pride is like a great amoeba blob of selfishness contained by a thick lining of insecurity. I think that in times my pride is “hurt,” a better picture is that my pride is “squished.” Because if I am humbled in one area, I ensure my pride is elevated in another. I do anything I can to keep the general mass of my pride from being depleted. When one lump is pushed down, another puffs up.

For instance, I was running late for a meeting Shane and I had with a friend. I have been working on “being on-time” all year: but this day, alas, I was not.

Recognizing my short-coming in this area, I immediately started spouting off about all the things I did well that day: shoveling the walk, cleaning, etc… I told Shane, “I need to outweigh my incompetence with a few successful moments, so I don’t feel like a complete failure at life.”

Really all I was doing was allowing a cushion for my pride. I may be brought low in this area, but look how great I am in a different one.

Reasoning this way brought me back to face my greatest fear: being a failure. This fear is directly rooted in pride and some form of false self-preservation.  A woman of humility doesn’t care if she fails; true perspective is she will always fail! Only Christ’s work remains, the rest just falls useless and redundant.

My fear of failure dissipates when I return to the cross. The Word of God pierces through the wall of insecurity, draining my self-filled amoeba of all my pride. My Savior, hanging on a cross for me–it takes me to my knees in humility. Undeserving wretched woman that I am, He still loves me!

That is what having Breakfast with Jesus does to me: reminds me of my own personal insignificance and the great significance of Jesus Christ. I remember that I am loved, and that being loved by the Holy God is far greater than being continually successful. My pride no longer matters.

The work is done. I will work on the chapter later, but for now, I am going to sip my tea, munch on a few leftover spritz Christmas cookies, and spend some much-needed time musing on this great God I find myself having breakfast with. Then forward, to shine bright His light, sharing the hope as a woman of humility, in progress.

(Join me in this Joyful Discovery of Biblical Womanhood at delightbiblestudy.wordpress.com, and read more about what God is teaching me about humility.)

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