Monthly Archives: September 2010

21 Things I Learned by Reading Individual Bible Books in One Sitting

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My goal is to read the whole Bible in 2 months. More than that, my more complete goal is to read each of the 66 books in one sitting whenever possible. Some of the books took 2 days or so to read. I figured if I could spend hours at a time reading a novel, I could certainly do the same with the Bible.

I am almost done with month one and I will start Esther today.

Read on for what I’ve learned or have what I’ve been reminded of so far. . .

  1. The Bible is a story.
  2. It is more than literature and more than history. It is about God. It has the ability to change my thoughts.
  3. The story is more alive – like a movie in my head – when I read it in chunks.
  4. The story is in my head during the week.
  5. God is involved and wants to be involved in the lives of men and women.
  6. There are lots of names – more than just in the genealogies.
  7. As I take the time to read the names, it makes me curious about the people attached to the names.
  8. God cares about individuals. Why else would so many individual names be in the Bible?
  9. I am spending time with God.
  10. God is spending time with me.
  11. People are more alike than different.
  12. Good parents have bad (adult) kids. Bad parents have good (adult) kids.
  13. The God of the Old Testament cannot be defined or confined to a single definition.
  14. It is easy to be disobedient. It takes diligence to obey.
  15. I found myself rooting for the “good” kings, hoping they wouldn’t do something sinful and thus tarnish their example.
  16. It is worth my time to read the Bible.
  17. I am seeing the big picture of the Old Testament. I am looking forward to seeing how this will influence my reading of the New Testament.
  18. I am not getting lost in the details. I am not stopping to underline, take notes, write questions, or research the passage I am reading.
  19. I am seeing the themes of the books more easily.
  20. It has been cool to catch the flow of the drama because I am not starting and stopping so many times.
  21. This concentrated reading schedule has wakened a deeper desire to know more about the Bible. I am looking  forward to when I can underline, take notes, write questions and do research.

Your Turn . . .

  • Have you read the Bible this way?
  • What did you learn?

Try This . . .

  • Bible Summary has an index of tweets of the Bible, one tweet per chapter, one chapter per day. Go here for the tweets.
  • The PodBible is the Bible read by real people, many with an accent (at least according to this American).

5 Small Group Myths Busted

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Myths abound about all kinds of things. Weird Facts has the 10 most popular science myths. There are even myths about small groups. Continue reading for 5 of them and see them “BUSTED.”

Myth 1: Small groups last too long.

Myth 2: Small groups are in the evening and I don’t like to go out at night.

Myth 3: I’m not smart enough to be part of a small group.

Myth 4: Small groups are only for those who want a study group.

Myth 5: I’m very shy (weird, talkative, beautiful, etc.) and no -one will like me.

Myth 1: Small groups last too long.

Most CNC small groups have a start and end date. They last from 5-12 weeks. Even if you do belong to an on-going group (like the Family Friendly Group or Ray’s Romans class) you have the option of attending as it fits your schedule and preference.

Myth 2: Small groups are in the evening and I don’t like to go out at night.

Yes, we do have some groups that are held in the evening (like The Joyous Crafters, The Revolt College Group and the Pastor’s Class). But there are also 5 groups that will be held on Sunday mornings. Check out the Small Group brochure for information on these groups.

Myth 3: I’m not smart enough to be part of a small group.

Not true. No one is given a Biblical literacy entrance exam. The requirement for a group that is doing a study is that you are interested in the study and that you spend some time each week doing the homework. How much time you study is up to you.

Myth 4: Small groups are only for those who want to study.

Again, not true. Not all the small groups are a learning-type group. I.e. The Prayer for Healing group is just that. It’s a group of folks who pray for those needing healing. The P.E.P. Breakfast Club is a time for those 55+ to get together at the Waffle Shop to talk, eat and have fun.

Myth 5: I’m very shy (weird, talkative, plain, etc.)and no -one will like me.

It is hard to go to a group, or anywhere, when you are not comfortable with yourself. But let me assure you of something. CNC folks are among the friendliest and most accepting of all folks I’ve met in 6 states and 10 countries! Give us a chance to prove that myth wrong.

Small Groups start the week of October 10, 2010. Brochures are in Rudat Hall on Sundays or in the office during the week.

Contact me with questions or ideas at the office (635-5992) or leave a comment.

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I’m Having a Small Group Attack

Using Your Learning Style to Feel Close to God

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“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” As Tirzah reads these words from Psalm 22 (Mark 15:34) , tears slowly slide down her cheeks. She too feels a distance between her and God. She is confused as to why there is this silence, this lack of connection. Tirzah’s friends offer varying advice.

“There must be sin in your life. Confess it and you’ll feel joy again.’

“You need to regularly practice the spiritual disciplines. This will whip you into emotional/spiritual shape.”

“Your life is too full. Cut back on your activities and commitments. Spend more time with God. You’ll soon feel His touch in your life.”

“Practice gratitude. God has blessed you. Concentrate more on the good things in your life than on the bad. Then you’ll sense God’s closeness.”

At other times in Tirzah’s life, these ideas might have fit. But not today; none of these point to the root of her distress. Instead it’s not about what to do but about knowing herself. Tirzah has a unique learning style, love language, gift mix, personality, etc. about which she knows nothing. A little knowledge, in this case, can be a good thong.

Tirzah, like each person, has a unique learning style: auditory, visual or kinesthetic. The adept teacher adapts material so that students are taught according to their learning style. This type of preparation helps the student to connect to the teacher and to the material. This helps the student to learn and to feel heard and valued.

But not all the work is not on the teacher though. Students can modify their environment according to their learning styles so that their learning and connection to the teacher and material are enhanced.

Likewise Tirzah and all Believers can also modify their environment according to their learning styles so that their connection to God is enhanced. But Tirzah didn’t know her learning style. So she went to this site to get the information. With this new knowledge and a few changes, Tirzah was able to once again connect with God.

Below are the four learning styles and some suggestions. You and Tirzah can use these ideas to connect more meaningfully with God.

Auditory

1. Ask people to pray for you out loud.

2. Talk to God out loud.

3. Listen to and sing praise songs and hymns. Listen to audio Scripture/sermons.

4. Recite Scripture.

5. Have a set time of silence after reading your Bible. Listen for God’s response.

Visual

1. Read: Christian literature, biographies, devotionals, the Bible. Browse the Christian bookstore for ideas on what to read. Or go to a secular bookstore and visit the religious section. At either place you will find many reads that will invite your eye in for a closer look.

2. Decorate with items that nurture your spiritual nature: cross, photos/pictures with Scripture, posters, mugs with scripture. The Christian bookstore has a wide selection of such things.

3. Write in your journal. Take notes of the sermon. Doodle while at a conference.

4. Get into nature whenever possible. Marvel in the God who made the stars, ocean, mountains, flowers.

5. Put Scripture memory verses on a card (business-size or index) and review them often.

Kinesthetic

1. Go to camp, conferences, or retreat. This is a time for worship, connecting with others including God and listening to talks that are relevant.

2. Create in response to a spiritual lesson at church or from own quiet time: color, knit, sculpt, scrapbook.

3. Give away something in response to God’s love: tithe, material objects, your skill/time/talents. Your church and community can use all of these.

4. Pray while walking, in the bath tub, or when baking.

5. Be physical during worship. Stand, raise your hands, clap, sway, kneel, shout “Amen.”

Your Turn

1.My learning style is visual. Know yours? If not go here and here to determine your learning style.

2. Have you ever thought of enhancing your relationship with God by honing in on your learning style? If yes, tell us about it.

3. Did you try any of these suggestions? How did it go?

4. Have anything to add?

Related Posts

10 Ways to Get Closer to God

14 Ways to Determine God’s Will

How to Hear God’s Voice

Rev Up Your Personal Bible Study

Which Gift Do You Wish You Had?

How to Be Happy, Healthy and Holy

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I never expected to hear a nun, the speaker for the evening, say,

“Fat People Are Harder to Kidnap” (bumper sticker).

I never expected to be hugging strangers – 17 to be exact. We were only supposed to hug 12 but I got into a hugging conga line and I got carried away. I am more of a serious person than one given to laughter. And so I never expected to laugh a good portion of the 40 minutes Sister Anne spoke to us. But all that occurred.

I went with my long-time friend, Geri, to a women’s event at her church, St John the Baptist Catholic Church. Sister Anne Bryan Smollin, PhD was the instigator of the unexpected. She is a “popular international speaker on wellness and spirituality who receives enthusiastic reviews for her enormous energy, keen insights and sense of humor.”

Oh yes, words, laughter and insight tumbled onto the audience like the waters tumble down the cliffs at Niagara Falls. I definitely had to be in the moment in order to process her rapid-fire speech of jokes, experiences, and wise observations.

The main theme can be summed up in a three-part sentence: Seize each moment by paying attention to life as it unfolds, by taking care of yourself, and by choosing happiness. My lecture notes give a few details on how to do this. They are, obviously, lacking Sister Anne’s vocal energy, but I think you’ll still learn a useful tidbit or two.

Three Myths

  1. You are not supposed to enjoy work. Supported by the TGIF culture.
  2. People who laugh often are lazy, no-good, and un-focused.
  3. As you get older, it is inevitable that you will get sicker.

Two Things Needed For Health

1. Slow down to enjoy and live in the moment now.

  • Seize this moment.
  • Many live with blinders on and miss the holy in the moment, the surprises.
  • Look for the unexpected in each day.
  • Look for the things that will bring joy, and touch your heart and soul.
  • People of gratitude live in the moment. Before retiring each night, recount 3 blessings of the day. Doing this will help you sleep better and wake up happier.
  • We are called to be Resurrection people so live like you are alive.
  • Slow down and see the scenery.
  • Be connected with others. Rejoice in each other’s goodness.
  • Let go of the clutter of old hurts, memories, and whatever it is that is holding you back.

2. Make the choice to be happy.

  • You’ll have to do this (on your own) because this is a lonely culture. It won’t easily support your happy choices.
  • Give up the cross, we need the wood.
  • Many are rigid in their relationships and things. It is their way or the highway. You don’t need to agree but to accept others.
  • Make 3 mistakes a day on purpose. If you do more, you get bonus points. 
  • Choose to be happy, healthy, holy people.
  • We all need a hobby just for ourselves.

Take Care of Yourself

  1. Take care of yourself so that you can take care of others.
  2. Written on a friend’s mirror: “You are looking at the face of the person who is responsible for your happiness today.”
  3. You need balance.
  4. Grab the joy and grace of each moment.

Four Ways of Healing

1. Laughter.

  • It bonds us together.
  • It helps us know we can deal with life.
  • Brings pain relief.
  • Helps us sleep better.
  • Research shows that memory retention is enhanced 250%-700% more when laughter is part of the learning environment.
  • Read the work by Norman Cousins . He prescribed 4 hours a day of laughter for himself. He healed himself of terminal cancer.
  • Home work – Find 2 laughing buddies.

2. Crying.

  • Don’t hold back the tears.
  • Both laughter and crying release negative energy and emotions.

3. Yawn/stretch/smile.

  • It only takes 15 muscles to smile.
  • Gets oxygen to the brain.

4. Touch.

  • We all need touch to survive and thrive.
  • 4 hugs – survive.
  • 8 hugs – maintain.
  • 12 hugs – growth.
  • Sister Anne had us get up and hug 4 people, then 4 more and then 4 more. Not only did we get our touch requirement met, there was also a lot of laughter, some of it nervous but most of it was joyous.
  • 13 calories a kiss. This is the kiss on the cheek type of kiss. She did not have us kiss others.

Two Skills We All Need

1. Smile.

  • Smiling lights up the brain and can help you remember what you forgot. Go in to room and forget why? Stand there and smile. It just might help you remember why you went there.
  • There are 80 ways of smiling.
  • Bless each other with our smiles.
  • Smiling, laughter and pounding on thymus gland plumps it up and makes it work. Stress will shrink it.

2. Eye contact.

  • Keep eye contact in our homes, schools, places of worship, wherever we are.
  • This shows respect and dignity to others.

Boosting Your Immune System

  • When we do a kind act for someone, it boosts our immune system.
  • When we witness a kind act, it boosts our immune system.
  • Give something away each day; kind word, note, compliment.
  • Whatever you give away comes back.

NOTE: Sister Anne has written three books. You can find them at AveMariaPress.com.

It seems that everything that is good for me takes work. I.e. jogging, flossing, keeping an organized schedule. I’m sure you can add to this list. Well, this night I engaged in something that was good for me. It was unexpected. It was fun. And it wasn’t work – at all.

8 Routes to Receiving Prayer at CNC

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We, the people of Cordova Neighborhood Church, believe that prayer is important. Click here to read Prayer Impacts Us in 5 Ways. We believe that God is powerful, caring, and answers prayer. Because we believe this, we offer eight ways you can get prayer at CNC.

1. Prayer for Healing on Wednesdays nights. You will find this faithful group of prayer warriors in Room 5 in CNC’s Children’s Education wing (aka Big Kid’s Club.) Prayer is available from 7:00-8:30 pm each Wednesday.

2. Prayer Chain. A group of folks receive prayer requests via email. To get your request to the prayer chain, contact Roberta in the office: email – office at cnchurch Dot org) or call 635-5992. If you’d like to be part of this confidential ministry, let Roberta know.

3. “Please Pray For” section on the communication slip. Each Sunday you have the opportunity to share requests via the communication slip located in each Sunday’s bulletin. Write down your request, tear the slip out of the bulletin, and put it on one of the offering boxes. The staff prays weekly (usually Tuesday mornings) for these and other requests.

4. Prayer during Sunday service. At some point in each service, we are invited to go down front for prayer. This is usually towards the end of the service when the worship team leads us in singing. You can also ask a host to get a “prayer” person to pray with you in the pews or at the back of the sanctuary.

5. Prayer after the Sunday services. You can ask one of the prayer people to pray for you after either service. You can ask any staff member for prayer as well.

6. Prayer from the elders. Call the church office (635-5992) to make an appointment for one (some) of the elders to pray for you. You can even request that anointing with oil accompany the prayer.

7. Prayer in small groups. Each small group offers the opportunity to learn Biblical information and to learn about each other. Prayer is a natural response to this learning. CNC small groups are a safe place to ask for prayer.

8. Prayer with CNC people. You don’t have to get prayer only from a lay leader, someone on staff, a designated prayer person or a pastor. Anyone can pray with you at any time.

Dear Reader, take action and ask for prayer in one of these 8 avenues. We all have something in need of prayer. The Lord, our King, is waiting to respond on your behalf. “Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.” Psalm 24:8. Please let someone encourage you today.

Your Turn

What would you add to this list?

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Prayer Impacts Us in 5 Ways

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C.H. Spurgeon wrote in his book Prayer that prayer encourages us to believe in God. According to Spurgeon prayer impacts us in at least five ways.

Prayer . . . . . . . . . .

1. Promotes learning. It is important to study the Scripture and it’s important to pray about it as well. Prayer opens up the meaning of Scripture and its application. Martin Luther once wrote, “To have prayed well is to have studied well.”

2. Promotes deeper experience. Faithful prayer will help you develop in your spiritual life past the common experiences of “repentance, faith, joy, and hope” (182).

3. Brings deliverance. When you find yourself in a difficult situation, pray and wait. Because of who God is you can wait knowing and “expecting that God will show [you] reserved mercies that [you] know nothing of at present” (185).

4. Makes us useful. “Work as if all rested on your toil” and pray for God’s help. The work’s effectiveness is then “super-charged,” so to speak. Spurgeon says it is prayer plus effort that make us most useful in all areas of work (187).

5. Gives comfort for intercessors. Indeed answered prayer brings comfort and encouragement to believe in God’s power and care. Answered prayer encourages intercessors to pray more. “You cannot guess how greatly God will bless you. Only go and stand at His door, for you cannot tell what is in reserve for you. If you do not [pray] at all, you will get nothing” (188).

These are all lessons I am learning. What have you learned about prayer lately?

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I’m Having a Small Group Attack

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Every once in a while I get cravings. You know, the usual: chocolate, ice cream, fried foods, and small group.

Small group? Yep. Small group. It’s been months since I last attended a small group and I am having a craving for small group interaction, learning and accountability.

Fortunately, CNC has a new round of small groups starting the week of October 10th. Pick up the updated Small Group brochure in Rudat Hall on Sunday or from the Office today.

Sign up for the small group that looks good. We’ve got a small group for every taste! Contact me if you have any questions or ideas.

Watch this video for an explanation about  “Small Group Attack.”

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