Suggestion for One Year Bible Readers
Here’s an idea for those joining me to read through the Bible together next year. 2005 will be the 18th time I’ve read the Bible cover to cover. In 1999, I started writing down a prayer for the year on the first page of my Bible. You may want to consider doing the same. Here are the prayers I wrote as samples for you…
January 1, 1999—Lord, in 1999 I pray you will take my heart and mind a level deeper into the secret chamber of the knowledge and love of God. You are all I really want in life.
January 1, 2000—Lord, in 2000 I pray that you will open my mind to love you with the totality of my being and fill me with joy and fruitful service.
January 1, 2001—Lord, show me how I can best serve you with my remaining days. Amen.
January 1, 2002—Lord, I love thinking about you. I love holiness. Help me in these two areas.
January 1, 2003—Lord, I pray you will inhabit every moment of my life with worship, faith, love, grace, truth, joy, peace, and service.
January 1, 2004—Lord, I want to know you, which comes by knowing about you. I pray you will give me a deeper understanding of your character, your love, and your holiness.
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The Spirit of Christmas
Sending this story may become an annual or bi-annual tradition! It’s certainly my favorite Christmas story. It has circled back to me several times over the years. I do not know the author, but I’m sure he or she would want you to use it in your own Christmas Bible studies, sermons, Sunday schools, and with friends….
Flurries of snow swirled on a chilly Christmas eve. A man waved through the plate glass front window as his wife and children drove away to attend the annual Christmas service. He couldn’t understand all the fuss about Jesus.
Alone, he went about decorating the family tree. Suddenly, he heard a “thump” against the window, and then another, and another, “thump . . . thump.” He looked out to investigate and there, shivering on the ground outside the window, lay several tiny sparrows attracted by the light.
Touched, he went to the garage, turned on the light, and opened the door. They didn’t move. He got behind them and tried to shoo them in. They scattered. He made a trail into the garage by crumbling some crackers. They wouldn’t budge.
He was frustrated as it sunk in that he was a giant, alien creature who terrified the tiny birds. Why couldn’t he make them understand that what he wanted more than anything was to help them?
Disheartened, he went back inside and stared out the window at the little, frightened birds. Then, like a bolt of lightning a thought struck him. If only I could become a little bird myself. . . for just a moment. Then they wouldn’t be afraid and I could show them how to find warmth and safety.
Just then it dawned on him. Now I understand. That’s why Jesus came.
There will be no Weekly Briefing next week!