Tag Archives: Bible

What’s your battle cry?

When you feel like the world’s crashing down on you and you feel very afraid and alone, what’s your battle cry?

Here’s one of mine:

“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?”
– Psalm 56:3-4

When I’m afraid, I need to know that there’s someone I can run to, someone bigger than me, someone more powerful than me, who loves me and is looking out for me. How about you? Do you have someone to run to? Just so you know, His arms are wide open for you, too.

Bible “OOH!” Moment for the Week

I’ve read this verse a lot of times:

“Is anything too hard* for the LORD?” -Genesis 14:18

But I often miss the footnote. Don’t miss this one.

* or wonderful

Nelson’s Complete Book of Bible Maps and Charts, 3rd Edition

I am such a bookworm, I get excited every time I get a new book. This time around, I decided to review something that some people would view as different from my usual fare…but I just couldn’t resist. I think it’s the geek in me. :)

I love the Bible, and I love getting deeper into it by learning more about it. Nelson’s Complete Book of Bible Maps and Charts got me excited when I saw it, because when I browsed through it, I saw that it was packed with all sorts of information about the Bible. Outlines, summaries, maps, charts, photos…you name it, the book’s got it. Do you want to visualize what Solomon’s temple looked like? Do you want to see what the hill of Bethsaida looks like? Do you want to see the maps of Paul’s journeys? Do you want a breakdown of all the events in the life of Jesus? All these and more, you can find in this book.

I love that it’s printed on nice paper and that it’s in full-color, but I’d like to see them create a more dynamic layout in the future editions. The book is so rich with Bible trivia, and the team that prepared this book did such a great job analyzing the books and making charts that explain the themes in the Bible, that it would be a shame to miss them. What’s great about this book is that it’s intended for nonprofit and noncommercial use in classrooms, seminars, and small group studies, so you can make copies (no more than 1,000 units in each setting and not to be sold) for your students or peers. If you have the book, you can also download the digital maps and charts for free on the Thomas Nelson site.

This book is not for everyone though, because the overload of information can be way too much for some people who are not all that interested or those who have short attention spans. Admittedly, I had a difficult time sitting through one chapter. But just like the Bible, this one’s meant to be read throughout one’s lifetime and serve as a reference book for years to come. I think it’s a must-have for everyone who teaches out of the Bible, whether you’re a pastor, Sunday school teacher, or small group leader. But even if you’re just curious and you want to know more about the Bible, I highly recommend it. I already know it’s going to be one of the most useful and important books in my collection.

NKJV Greatest Stories of the Bible

If you ask me, as much as I love hundreds of books and movies, I still believe the Bible holds the greatest stories in history. The problem for me is that there are far too many stories for me to keep track of (I can’t remember where to find them all!). Enter the NKJV Greatest Stories of the Bible collection. In theory, it sounded like a good addition to my little library: all the greatest stories of the Bible in a storybook format. So when I had the opportunity to review it, I welcomed the chance.

My first thought? I wish it had illustrations. Now THAT would really make it a storybook for keeps! Sadly, the entire book is just filled with text. However, I like the fact that the stories are easy to find, thanks to a simple but comprehensive index at the back of the book. Want to remember what happened to Daniel in the lion’s den but don’t know where to find the story in the Bible? Just go and check the index! Easy as 1-2-3. I like it. It’s also nice to open it up before I go to sleep, as if I were to read a bedtime story to myself. (And when I have kids one day, I’m sure I’ll do the same for them, too!)

However, I’m not a huge fan of the NKJV translation. While it’s essential for some people, I still need time to get used to it, having been used to the NIV/TNIV, NLT, and The Message. I like exploring different translations of the Bible though, so I’m still going to give it a chance.

I hope they come up with a small gift book or pocketbook version that can be carried around. Unfortunately, the bulkiness of this book ensures that it’s not leaving my room anytime soon. Here’s hoping I don’t forget about it!

On humility.

frustrationYou know those days, weeks, months, or seasons that frustrate you because you feel like nothing is going your way? How do you respond?

“Before a downfall the heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor.” -Proverbs 18:12

Sometimes it’s easier to live in denial, but we have another option: to simply embrace those days and let God change our hearts to prepare us for better things than we could ever imagine.

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100 (out of a million) reasons to read the Bible!

My favorite way to do it: Reading on a calm and sunny day, sitting on the grass, under a big leafy tree :)

My all-time favorite way to do it: Reading on a calm and sunny day, sitting on the grass, under a big leafy tree :) (Illustration by Peter Banse)

Around a month ago, I remember one of my favorite pastors (and one of Victory’s founders), Steve Murrell, encouraging people to keep reading the Word. “It’s an acquired taste,” he said. The statement got laughs from the audience, but at the same time, most of us definitely understood was he was saying! When I first started reading the Bible, it took me some time to really get into it. At first, it was tough! But today, I can’t let a day go by without reading it. I love it.

I’ve taken to posting at least one Bible verse every day on my Twitter and Facebook updates. It started because I would find great verses during my quiet times that I wanted to share, so I would post them every so often. I didn’t realize that many of my friends would actually wait for them every day! So that encouraged me to post them daily. :) As it turns out, some people didn’t realize that the Bible had lots of good stuff. I tell you…that’s an understatement! :)

I came across this list tonight and decided to share it, as an ‘appetizer’ for those who are thinking about picking up a Bible to read (I suggest starting with the NLT, Message, NIV, or TNIV versions!). I named this blog post the way I did because I think these 100 verses also give a sampling of great reasons to read the Bible. According to the uber-useful site, Bible Gateway, these are the most popular verses that get searched on their site:

  1. John 3:16: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
  2. Jer 29:11: For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
  3. Rom 8:28: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
  4. Phil 4:13: I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
  5. Gen 1:1: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
  6. Prov 3:5: Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
  7. Prov 3:6: in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
  8. Rom 12:2: Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
  9. Phil 4:6: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

You can read the rest of the list (and how they came up with it) here. Great and powerful stuff! :) I love His Word!