Posts Tagged ‘encouragement’

The 45 Minute Solution

March 2, 2010

When confronting “the blues”, dullness, boredom and the like, I was once given a transforming recipe by a mature and wise pastor.  I call it the 45 Minute Solution.

First, spend 15 minutes a day reading the bible.  Ask the Lord to speak to you through the bible, and you can even ask Him what book of the bible to read.  Personally, I like the gospels, epistles and psalms, but I have never read a book of the bible where I didn’t find a little nugget of gold that met my exact needs at that moment.  Just be aware that God will speak to you if you ask Him and your soul is open and willing to hear Him.

Second, spend 15 minutes a day pouring out your heart to God.  Ask Him for everything you need, lay all your burdens before Him, and don’t forget to thank Him for all the ways you have seen Him help you.

Third, spend 15 minutes a day encouraging someone else’s faith, sharing the hope the Lord has given you.  You can do this through spoken or written words.  You can’t encourage someone else without the encouragement strengthening you, too.  As an old proverb says, the fragrance remains on the hand that gives a rose.

Try this for a couple of weeks.  I promise it will be life changing.

How to Use the Bible to Help Yourself

March 15, 2008

Someone told me when I was young, I should mark up my bible.  Now I had always been taught as a child to take care of books, and this idea was pretty foreign to me.  However, the idea was to underline any passage that I found particularly helpful, hopeful, inspirational or encouraging.  Then after I had read and underlined the bible at least once, I had a ready source of whatever I would need.  I could just open the bible anywhere and turn pages, reading underlined passages, until I found all I needed…until I was satisfied.  Thats not how you do your daily bible reading, or how you study the bible, but its an emergency, 911 way of getting help when you really need it and maybe when you feel so low, so afraid or distraught you can’t really concentrate very well.  Nowadays I always read the bible with pen in hand and have marked up several versions.  I have found when I have that pen, I read the bible expectantly, just excited to find out what God has for me today.

If you need some help right away, but you haven’t yet read the bible, look in the book of Psalms for encouragement.  You can start just about anywhere and by the time you have read a half dozen psalms, you’ll find some comfort and reassurance.  If you are just looking for the answer to a question, look up the topic in the concordance (index) in the back and you will likely find what you are looking for.  Just be advised that not all the answers to life’s questions are given to us.  Some of it will just have to wait till we get to heaven and our heavenly minds are intelligent enough to take it all in.  I can’t understand the theory of relativity (and a lot of other things) now, but I will then.