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5 Tips for Studying Difficult Bible Passages

bible study guest post Jun 13, 2019

This is a guest post by Cyndee Ownbey. Cyndee writes at her site Women’s Ministry Toolbox, and is passionate about pointing women to Christ and teaching them how to dig into the Word of God.

Have you ever blown anything out of proportion? Made something harder than it really was?

Several years ago, we visited Stone Mountain in Georgia. There is a high-speed Swiss cable car that “provides a stunning view of the Confederate Memorial Carving as it transports guests more than 825 feet above ground to the top of Stone Mountain.” Our boys could not wait to ride it!

That sounds like great fun unless you’re terrified of heights! The longer we stood in line, the more nervous I became. I worked myself into such a panic that I felt like I was going to pass out before we even got in the cable car. I purposefully positioned myself in the middle, held on for dear life to the handrail, closed my eyes tight, and prayed. My heart raced. My legs shook, and my hands were so...

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Good Gifts

prayer Jun 11, 2019

It seems like the days are passing especially quickly this summer. Things I looked forward to for so long have already come and gone, and things that I am still looking towards are right around the corner! I don’t want to get caught up in the rush, and miss out on the little gifts God has placed in my day. Let’s take a second together today to thank God for those little gifts. Let’s ask Him to help us slow down long enough to see them.


You are the author of every good thing. The Bible says in James that every good gift comes from You. We are surrounded by such good gifts, if we would only take the time to see them. This doesn’t mean life will be perfect, but God it means that You are with us, giving us good gifts, even in the mess.

Help us to look for You this week. Help us to see You in the good gifts all around us. Help us to see You in that first sip of coffee in the morning, and the sunshine of summer. Help us to notice little joys that make...

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Journal Prompt: Gratitude

journal prompt Jun 08, 2019

Over the past month, I have been so overwhelmed with the to-do lists and the craziness. I could blame this on the final days of school, and the transition to summer, but y’all, I don’t even have kids to blame it on!

But one thing that I have found always calms me down is gratitude. Spending time acknowledging the gifts I have been given, and giving thanks to the One who gives them.

So I challenge you today to take 10 minutes and sit down with your journal. Take the first 5 minutes and list as many things as you can think of that you are thankful for. Then take the next 5 minutes and thank God for those things. Take note and see if your whole spirit is calmer afterwards. I would bet it is.

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;

his faithful love endures forever.” -Psalm 107:1

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Read the Bible Like it Really Matters

This is a guest post by Elizabeth Cravillion. Elizabeth writes to shine a light on the hard places of life on her website

2019. An impressive time to live.

We can practically have anything we want. I’m sitting in a Starbucks coffee shop with an Earl Grey latte with almond milk and honey. I drove here in my husband’s Silverado listening to a classic Easton Corbin song in a ball cap and my silver Allbirds. I get to customize all my choices.

2019. Unlike our parents generation, we’re allowed to talk about our feelings and our mental health. Self-care is on trend. We’re bringing dark things into the light. Hashtags create a way for people to share their stories, even if from behind a screen.

You could argue that we are healthier as a society than we’ve been for a long time.

Problem? When we focus on one thing, we fall off balance and let other things slide.

Generation X zoned in on appearances. Studying the Bible with stacks...

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story May 11, 2019

This post originally appeared on Laura Fox’s blog, Dandelion Centerpieces. Laura blogs about her life with her husband and 3 kids, and how she finds God in the middle of it all.

I remember as a child how long the route to my parents’ room was in the middle of the night. Darkness seemed to expand the hallway to three times its usual size. I imagine it’s the same way for my kids when they break into a dead sprint with my door as their goal. I sleep with one ear listening for the sound of a doorknob, pitter-patter, quickly I find I am the big spoon with tiny cold feet jammed between my calves and a sharp reminder to keep up on the toenail trimming.

There are many reasons they come to me at night, but the most common culprit that pulls them out of bed to flee to the safety of my arms is


Shadows. Unfamiliar noises. They each went through a phase where they were afraid of their ceiling fan because “it has eyes.” They are currently going...

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How To Get It All Done (Hint: Don't)

story May 10, 2019

I am in a stage of wondering how everyone else gets it all done. Have you ever been there? Seen the pictures with the perfectly staged meal, the clean kitchen and the happy husband? Being totally honest, I think we all feel that other people somehow have it all together and we are the only ones who didn’t get the memo about how to do it all.

I follow Erin Moon on Instagram, and she one time said that life is like spinning plates. Some of them are paper, and some of them are china. At some point you are going to drop a plate, so just make sure the one you drop is paper. So maybe all of those pictures we see from other people are simply the plates they have chosen to keep spinning. We don’t always see the plates that fell.

Right now, my main china plate that I am choosing to keep spinning is having fun with my husband, Rhett. I will drop all of the plates to go to a Braves game or just on a drive to get a slushie with him. That means my house is not even close to...

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The Enemy of Your Bible Reading Plan

bible reading May 07, 2019

Have you ever started a reading plan, and then life gets in the way? Maybe school starts picking up, or work gets crazy. Maybe your kid gets sick and it throws your whole schedule off. Sometimes life just happens. But ultimately I think there is one thing that keeps us from picking back up where we left off and finishing the reading plan - perfectionism.

I tend to have really lofty goals. But whenever something gets in my way, and I miss a day, I tend to beat myself up, and never finish the plan. Where as if I went into the plan knowing that sometimes life happens and I will miss a day, would I beat myself up so bad?

If we know that we probably won’t achieve perfection, maybe we can give ourselves a bit more grace, and simply pick up where we left off.

What if we broke the cycle of falling off the wagon, and started a new cycle of finishing, even if not perfect? I know it would help me with that extra push to keep going, even if I missed a day.

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Monday Prayer

prayer May 06, 2019

Monday’s are one of my favorite days of the week. I know, I know. That isn’t typical. But there is something about a fresh start every Monday that just gets me excited. Here is a prayer I am praying for each of us as we walk into this fresh start.


We seek You out at the start of our week. We are looking to You to guide us and be with us as we face today. As the King of the Universe, only You know the course this week will take, and we want to follow You, wherever You lead. Please show us the next right step we should take.

As we take these steps, help us to be a light. Help us to put You on display through our lives, and help us to love others in a way that reflects your very nature.

We are Your people. Help us to live like it.

But God, we know that we are only human, and we will make mistakes. We are thankful for Your love that covers even the worst mistakes, and never stops loving us. Meet us right where we are. We know you will, because You are faithful,...

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Journal Prompt: Psalm 103

journal prompt May 03, 2019

Sometimes we can become so familiar with passages of Scripture that talk about characteristics of God, that we can become numbed to the facts about who God is. I don’t want to be numb. I want to stand in awe of who He is.

Today’s journal prompt is from Psalm 103. I want you to open your Bible, and read that Psalm. Then make a list of every single thing that Psalm says about God.

Example: His name is holy. He forgives my sins. He heals diseases. He redeems my life. He crowns me with faithful love. He crowns me with compassion.

This is just the first 4 verses. There is so much to stand in awe of our God about in Psalm 103.

Go make your list. Then thank God for who He is.

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What To Do If You Fall Behind On Your Bible Reading Plan

bible reading May 02, 2019

I have read Genesis and Matthew more than any other books in the Bible. Why is that, you ask? Well, they are the first books of the Old and New Testament, and I have started a reading plan to either get through the whole Bible, or the New Testament, and never finished, so I would start back over at the beginning. But you don’t have to get caught in that cycle like I did. There are other options than simply start over when you fall behind on your reading plan. Don’t give up, keep reading!


If you missed a few days, this is a good option. Simply add a chapter, or even a few verses to your reading each day until you catch up to the plan. If you are dead set on finishing your plan in the time it specifies, this will help you get there.


Just skip it. The perfectionist in me has a hard time with this one. But it is doable. If you want to catch up on what you missed, skim the section and see if...

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