Avoiding Undigested Scripture Reading

Jul 15, 2020

When I was a young Christian, it was common in the communities of faith in which I found myself to aim at reading through the Bible in a year. I’m grateful for my vision of Scripture today because of how many times I took on that discipline. At the same time, I ended up with a great deal of undigested and unpracticed insights. It sometimes formed in me the habit of reading more than I could actually put into practice.

 

These days I find myself slowing down with scripture. I often...

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A Change in Taste

Jun 17, 2020

Over the last six months, I’ve taken some fairly drastic steps related to my eating and exercise. Mainly, I’ve cut out a lot of my usual high sugar and high carbohydrate preferences. It was quite hard at first. My cravings would arise and I would feel a compulsion to eat my usual snacks. 

 

Over time, though, I actually found that my tastes changed. What had tasted boring to me in the past now had a fresh appeal to me. The sweetness of a carrot surprised me. The crisp...

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When You Are Alarmed

Mar 25, 2020

When I’m reading scripture, I keep my eyes open and my ears attentive to lines that stir me, provoke me or arrest me. When this happens, I take time to reflect further on these words. A while back, while reading the book of 2 Chronicles, a short passage caught my attention like this: 

Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord; indeed, they came from every town in Judah...

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Comfort Abounds

Aug 21, 2019

When I was young, there was a season of years when my parents cared for foster children. Over the course of about five years, thirteen children flowed through our home. These babies, toddlers and kids (always younger than me) came from extremely broken homes. Their parental abuse ranged from addiction to drugs and alcohol to physical abuse. 

It’s a brutal reality to see a child with their hair pulled out and bruises on their abdomen, and even harder to hear that this was done by...

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The Practice of Praying Scripture: Psalm 145

Apr 24, 2019

A practice that has meant a lot to me over the years has been praying scripture very personally. In the past, I was sometimes guilty of reading scripture at arm’s length. By that, I mean that I would study what certain words meant in original languages, I would read what others thought about the scriptures in commentaries, and I would talk about the scriptures as true and good. But I wouldn’t take them in. I wouldn’t see them intersecting with my actual life as I found it at...

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Podcast 21: Practicing the Presence of God in Real Life

Oct 30, 2017

How can we step off the treadmill of busyness and make real progress toward true productivity? Where can we find space for our souls to breathe? We try filling our lives with achievements, possessions and recognition but can end up feeling emptier than ever. Where can we find real fullness? Many of us are hurried, and hurry is costing us more than we realize.

We’re here to help you become more present to God, to yourself and others, and to live from fullness rather than running on...

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Podcast 20: Guided Prayer - Psalm 16

Oct 16, 2017

Alan shares a guided prayer from Psalm 16. It’s a practice that has been key in his ongoing recovery from his addiction to hurry.

In this mini-sode, Alan shares a way of praying scripture that has become an important part of his spiritual rhythm. In a sense, it’s not just about “me praying scripture.” It’s also about God’s Spirit praying scripture into me.

It’s a way of not only thinking about and studying scripture, but also letting scripture soak...

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Podcast 11: Scripture as Unhurried Friendship with God

Jul 24, 2017

In this podcast, I'll share a little personal story about my own daily engagement with scripture in my spiritual journey. I want to talk a bit about unhurried ways I’ve been seeking to come to the Bible in recent years.

Last Spring, about 15 months ago, I began engaging a chronological Bible reading plan. I hadn’t ever read through the Bible that way and thought it might be a life-giving practice for me.

Basically, what I did was listen to the chapters for a particular day while...

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An Unhurried Practice: Reading Scripture Slowly

Jan 11, 2017

I want to tell you about an unhurried practice I've been engaging for a few months now. For my last birthday, I was given an especially beautiful present. One of the disciplines that has been an important part of my spiritual journey over the years has been reading and reflecting on scripture. For many years recently, I have read the Bible on digital devices like my iPhone, iPad or computer screen. I found myself wanting to read a physical Bible again, but my most recent NIV Bible was so...

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Psalm 84: The Presence of God

Aug 24, 2016

Psalm 84 is one of my favorite Psalms. I’m inspired by verse 10: “Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere.” (See the entire Psalm below).

A thousand days in one of the greatest places I’ve ever been does not compare to the value of a simple day in the presence of God.

I love the deep feeling captured in this psalm prayer:

My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord.”

“Yearn” is already a strong desire...

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