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What I Needed (WIN) #4:

This week’s Weekly Truth phone lockscreen

Remember the last WIN post I wrote? Well, I’ve come across another big blessing, and it’s big enough to warrant its own post rather than be tacked on to the WIN #3 post as a late addition. It’s the SheReadsTruth website, together with its very active Twitter hashtag, #SheReadsTruth (surprising, no?), and its reading plans on YouVersion.

So, you know there are a few pieces to this puzzle, but you don’t know what the picture is yet. “Well, tell me what it is already,” you say?

SheReadsTruth is about women reading, learning and sharing God’s Truth with each other. Funnily enough, it was through the Soul Detox reading plan on YouVersion that the community started, about the same time or just after I was working through that same plan, and my sharing a couple of the days online had also generated some comments back to me. That must be a special reading plan!

How does SheReadsTruth work? For starters, we’re all literally on the same page, with a Bible passage and devotional/thinking points that make up that day’s reading. So far, the first three reading plans have each been reading through a book of the Bible (Galatians, Ephesians and Philippians), and the fourth plan (Colossians) actually begins today as I’m writing this! You have a couple of options for how you want to follow along: through the YouVersion reading plan or by a daily email straight to your inbox. From there we become a community, discussing the day’s reading, asking questions, encouraging one another. Saturday is  “She Shares” day that is essentially a review day to reread all of that week’s Scripture and to post links to our blog posts, tweets, and even Instagram photos to share how God has worked on and changed us during the week. It’s also an opportunity to share prayer requests with each other. On Sunday a verse is chosen from out of the previous week’s reading and a designed image is included for you to set as your phone’s lockscreen to keep God’s Word before you as a loving reminder.

Does this sound like a community you’d like to be a part of? By all means, please join us. Every person involved is a blessing and encouragement to all the others; and the more we learn about God, His love, and His plans for us, the more His light can “brighten the corner” where we are. Enough lights in enough corners will brighten a whole room.


What I Needed (WIN) #3: The little reminders


YouVersion’s latest Instagram photo and tweet

It’s all so hard to remember–bring in the laundry, what to get at the grocery store, take a shower–those kind of things. And that God’s in control, that He’s got a plan that will happen, that I’m not alone, that He loves me as His child–yeah, those things as well.

That’s why I’m so thankful for the little reminders He puts in my path. Ever heard someone say something like, “I was having a big problem with [such-and-such], and then just out of coincidence [this-and-that] happened and it was fixed”? For a Christian, we don’t call that coincidence; there’s a word for it that was used years and years ago but we don’t hear much of it now: providence. That’s talking about what God does to change a circumstance (or our minds) in a particular situation: His intervention, protection, and guidance.

This is something I see happening in my life regularly, and more so now with such constant access to social media. At least once a day I’ll read something on Twitter that makes me stop and say a quick prayer of thanks to God for getting my attention so He can show His love for me. Then there are the Facebook posts, blog entries and other various things that reach my mailbox and my consciousness. Even the odd news story can come up on the TV or the Internet that brings a little blessing with it. I know you’re probably thinking, “What news is she watching and reading?” But take the current Olympics, for example. There’ll be an interview with a successful (or maybe not so successful) athlete, and you can be surprised by what’s on their mind: who they thank, what they had to go through to get there, and what they will do once they get home again. You can tell when someone genuinely gives thanks to God or when it’s just lip-service. What about an evening news story about a nightly ministry to the homeless, providing food, blankets, or even a roof over their heads if it’s available? Listen to what the volunteers say. Besides making us count our blessings, there could be a single sentence in the interview that grabs your attention, one that could really apply to something you’re feeling or dealing with at the present. The point is that if we just look and listen, God makes Himself clear and wants us to be open to hearing what He has to say and show to us.

So I thought I’d take this opportunity to provide you with some sources of these great little reminders as well.
YouVersion on the web, mobile device and Twitter. It was YouVersion’s most recent tweet, the above Instagram photo, that prompted this blog post. They don’t tweet all that often, so when they do it’s an unexpected blessing.
Paul David Tripp on Twitter. He also has a website for his ministry, but it’s his tweets that are daily reminders. Everyday he’ll post three consecutive tweets that almost always speak to something I’m thinking about or feeling.
Sermon Audio on the web, mobile device and Twitter. The name is rather self-explanatory, but the Twitter account will post links to a daily selected sermon on their site (and they have thousands), Bible verses and news stories of spiritual significance.
Bible Summary on Twitter. This is an individual (@chrisjuby on Twitter) who is summarising the Bible one chapter a day. Anything that brings God’s Word to mind is a blessing, and just under 25,000 currently are being blessed by this account daily. It’s really difficult to tell a story in 140 characters or less and still be understood; Chris does a very good job summarising the greatest story of all!
CSLewisDaily on Twitter. Daily quotes from the brilliant mind of the much-loved author of the Narnia series and Christian apologist C.S. Lewis.

These are people and groups dedicated solely to delivering blessings from God’s Word, but that’s not to say that they are the only online sources for these little reminders, far from it. Many, many people on Twitter write about their lives and goings-on, and God uses them to occasionally provide a little blessing to their followers. A sample of these people that I follow includes: Tom Achtenberg (@BarefootTom), Luke Foster (@bloodpaid), and Jonathan Pait (@jpait). Why not follow them, too.

To make it even easier, subscribe to my public Twitter list Little Reminders. You’ll get tweets from the above “Big Five” Twitter accounts automatically sent to your Twitter Lists feed. If there’s a Twitter account that you think should be added to the list, then feel free to let me know. Get ready for a blessing through these little reminders!

What I Needed (WIN) #2: Fear and Trust

I’m on Day 20 of 35 in the Soul Detox Reading Plan from YouVersion. In fact, this whole week in the plan is about toxic fears. I normally consider myself not terribly fearful. I don’t mind trying new things and normally enjoy a challenge; knowing something will be tough doesn’t put me off it. But on some hard reflection over the past few days, I realized that I do in fact let fears of the “what ifs” determine my mindset and, as a result, my life.

Fear is, like so many things, an act of faith, but it is placing your faith in things or people that can’t make the situation better. So where does our faith belong? Take a look at Psalm 34: 4-10. We’ll find the solution there.

We have to play “hide and seek” in a way: hide ourselves away in God’s Word and seek His face. God promises that if we cry out to Him that He will answer and deliver us from our fears. That doesn’t mean that we won’t have to face them or that the situation will change to remove whatever the thing is that we’re afraid of, but that we won’t be conquered by the fearsome thing. We will be delivered from the fear itself. Then we will “see that the Lord is good!” We will not be without any good thing that He has planned for us. So if I place my trust in God and what His Word says, I not only can be relieved of my fears, but I also will receive all the blessings He’s got in store for me. That’s a pretty good promise!

What’s my other option? I can cling on to my fears, thereby saying God can’t handle it. And since He’s promised that He can and will deliver us if we let Him, my doing anything else but trusting Him is the same as calling Him a liar.

In the end, I need to have a greater fear of sinning against God by not trusting Him than the fear I have of any thing or situation.