With 2018 only a day away, we want to issue a challenge. In keeping with our thoughts about new year goals, this challenge will help us accomplish at east one of our 2018 goals. The challenge is this; to read the Bible every day in 2018! Now let's be careful, we didn't say "read through the Bible" in a year. No, we're shooting for something a little more practical and less overwhelming. This challenge is to simply READ your Bible every day!
As you know, we're not huge fans of the resolution tradition. Resolutions look great on paper, but too often we drop the ball, and after a couple of weeks the resolutions as no more. Now, if you have the will power to get it done, great. But for most of us, well..
This year, we want to do something that we hope will help you. For a great number of us, the start of the new year leaves us wanting to read through the Bible in 12 months. Genesis to Revelation, 12 months. Cover to cover. And some of us do it. But many of us don't. We get started, and it's great. But then we miss a day, then two, then three, and before we know it we're a week behind and we think, "Oh, well, maybe next year." Fail. Right? But we can do better. We should want to do better. So let's do it better.
Instead of making a new year's resolution to read through our Bible, failing after a couple of weeks, let's try doing it a little differently. What if we gathered to read the Bible together?
Here's what we're thinking...
Change the Why
First, let's change the why. If we're reading the Bible simply to accomplish a goal so we can SAY we read the whole Bible, then what are we getting out of it. It becomes just another check on a daily check list. But if we change the reason why, say from reading the Bible in the year, to getting to know God more, then we we have a knew reason to read the Bible.
Don't read the Bible just to read the Bible. Instead, read the Bible to know God more. We teach that God wants to be number one in our lives. We encourage our students and our kids that God should be at the center of who they are and all that they do. Reading for the sake of reading is nothing more than a chore. But when we read to know God more, to see his story and discover how we fit into it, then the reading becomes more of a want then a have to.
So let's read the Bible to know God.
Third, if it takes a village, then perhaps we should start a village. Think about it...isn't always better to learn new things in a group? Go back to your days of high school and college. Remember study groups? Think back to your youth group days. Small groups, cabin groups, maybe mentorships or discipleship. We learn better when we learn together.
Jesus knew this. It's what he did with his disciples. He call 12 guys together and share life them. As part of this sharing, he taught them, challenged them, convicted them, and loved them. It's the model that many of us in church leadership preach, and even more practice! So what would it look like to be part of a small online community where you were reading the Bible and then sharing thoughts or lessons where others might learn from you or encourage you?
What do you think? Would you be interested in joining a group of like-minded friends to read the Bible, share our thoughts and encourage one another? No more pressure with reading a selected number of chapters a day and crossing them off your do to list. No more isolation or lone ranger readings. No more chore or check list. Instead, a group of friends getting together on a regular basis to read, study and grow together.
Does that sound like something you might be interested in?
Here's the Plan
Starting Sunday, January 7th, we will share a selection chapters and verses to read. This selected reading will be our topic for the week. Monday through Friday, you will have the opportunity to read the verses and share comments. We will post a few questions to consider, to help you process through the reading. From time to time we might also share some resources that help us understand what we are reading. We will start in Genesis and work our way through the Bible reading, discussing and learning until we reach the end.
The community will be hosted here on the blog. We are creating a unique page that will allow you to visit each week, see the readings and share comments. And, here's the best part...if you miss a week, don't panic, just go and do the section you missed, read the comments, and continue on! So what do you say, are you in?
The new Bible Challenge Page goes live this weekend. Our first reading will be posted on Sunday, January 7th! We hope to see you then!
- the higham family
It's fun when you come across a children's book with a great story. You know the kind, one that makes sense and actually has a story that you enjoy reading over and over again. But what do you do when the story is told through pictures? No words. Just pictures.
Well if it's Mark Ludy's, latest book Noah, A Wordless Picture Book, you will order it, and read it again and again and again!
Okay, so you don't actually read a 'wordless' picture book. I mean, there's no words, so you really can't read it. But this book is one that you will be drawn to for more than a story. Noah, A Wordless Picture Book, is an incredible telling of the Biblical account of Noah and the Ark through pictures. Noah is one of my most favorite stories from the Bible, so when I was given the opportunity to review this book I jumped on it!
One look at the cover and you think, wow. But when you open the book, you will be amazed.
The illustrations are breath taking. Page after page, filled with immense color and detail. I have looked at this book about a dozen times and I still don't think I've seen everything drawn into each scene.
When it comes to stories taken from the Bible, I get a little nit-picky about the story. But I love that Mark has created a world that takes you back to the days of Noah with careful illustrations that keep to the Biblical account and yet allows room for you to wonder and imagine.
As a father of 5, I like that I can tell my kids the story of Noah while partnering it with the pages of Mark's book. Together you can sit and look at each page, and find something new to see and talk about.
So what more can I say? I LOVE THIS BOOK! Mark Ludy is a gifted artist, and has brought the great story of God's love through Noah and the Ark to the pages of a really great book. I encourage you to get a copy of Mark Ludy's book, Noah, A Wordless Picture Book, and share it with your kids.
You can use this link to order a copy of Noah, A Wordless Picture Book, by Mark Ludy!
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Noah, A Wordless Picture Book
By Mark Ludy
Published by Plough Publishing House
Thanks for reading. And enjoy the book!
Product Review Disclaimer: This a solicited book review for Plough Publishing House. Plough provide a copy of Noah, A Wordless Picture Book, by Mark Ludy, and asked that we take a look and share a review. Our comments and thoughts concerning the book are our own. For more about product reviews, endorsements, and affiliation links, please see our full disclaimer by clicking HERE.
Amy and I are always on the look out for tools and resources that will help our teens develop a passion for God and His Word. As a youth pastor, I am often asked by parents, what resources I would recommend for their teenagers. So when a tool comes along that I like and use, it makes good sense to me to share it with parents.
So on today's blog post, I want to share a resource that I really like, and have given to my own teens to use in their spiritual journey. The resources is the, One Minute Bible for Students, from Doug Fields and John R. Kohlenberger iii.
Each of our two teenage boys have received the One Minute Bible for Students and a journal. And in full disclosure, they never really took to the journal. However, they have used the One Minute Bible for Students. Likewise, the One Minute Bible for Students is still a resource that I often pass along to parents of students in our ministry.
So if you are looking for a way to encourage your teenagers to read God's Word, have a quiet time, and begin developing a life of prayer, Let me recommend to you, the One Minute Bible for Students, and a simple prayer journal.
We have provided links to the One Minute Bible for Students and a couple journal options here for you through our Amazon.com affiliation. You should know that when you click on these link and order the One Minute Bible for Students or the journals offered, we receive a percentage of the sale as payment for recommending these items here on the blog. That small percentage is then used as income which allows us to continue to operate TheHighamFamily.com blog. So thank you for helping us provide quality resources to families! To learn more, please see our disclaimer by CLICKING HERE.
- the higham family
Hi we're Jay & Amy, and we've been married for 19 years and are super blessed to be busy raising our 5 kids; 4 boys and 1 girl. AND are now expecting number 6 in June of 2016!! We juggle the adventures of life and ministry and share what we are learning as it relates to marriage, family, raising kids, serving in the church, and chasing after Jesus. Raising a family is hard work, especially in today's culture. But our hope is to encourage you and your family, as we live for the glory of God.
Who's responsible for the discipleship of your kids?
While each of these might be a resource and a help, none of them are designed to take the place of the primary discipler.
So who has the task of teaching, training, and leading?
As parents, WE are the one's charged with our children's discipleship.
Read Deuteronomy 6:1-9...
6 These are the commands, decrees and laws the Lord your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, 2 so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. 3 Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you.
4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
We might not be Israel, but we need to realize that the journey of faith begins in the home as parents teach their children about who God is. We are the ones who are suppose to be teaching our children. We are the ones called to live by example. We are the ones who will one day stand before God to give an account of our actions and obedience.
Yes, be sure to go to a good Bible teaching church.
Yes, make sure your children are participating in the Children's ministry provided.
Yes, get your teenagers to youth group every week!
Each one of these can help you in tremendous ways. But don't make the mistake in thinking that the Church is all that your kids need. They still need you!
- the higham family
Thanks for taking the time to read The Higham Family Blog. Each week we try to share new content about something we are learning, something we love, or something to offer encouragement to the family. We love to hear from our readers, so please share your thought in the comment section of each post.