Children’s Bible Reading Plan

Here’s this week’s morning and evening reading plan in Word and pdf.

This week’s single reading plan for morning or evening in Word and pdf.

If you want to start at the beginning, this is the first year of the children’s Morning and Evening Bible reading plan in Word and pdf. And this is the second year in Word and pdf.

The first 12 months of the Morning or Evening Bible reading plan in Word and pdf.

Here’s an explanation of the plan.

And here are the daily Bible Studies gathered into individual Bible books with Genesis and Matthew now complete (explanatory note).

Old Testament

New Testament


Jesus Gave More Than His Hair

When South African, Girda McKenna, discovered she had cancer, she asked her friends for one thing –  to sit together for a photograph.

Her eleven friends went much further than a photo. To demonstrate their sympathy and solidarity they decided to shave off all their hair. Before sacrificing her blonde tresses, one friend said: ”That is the least I can do. If I can do just a little for her to feel better, I will do it with love.” Another commented: “I am giving up my pride for a friend that is going through much, much more.”

When Girda came to the photoshoot to find another 11 shiny bald heads she was overcome with emotion and gratitude.

It’s a truly touching gesture involving a considerable sacrifice of beauty and comfort. However, think about how much more that Jesus gave up for sinners. He gave far more than his hair for a few months. He gave HIMSELF, His whole body and His whole soul. And He gave them to far more than barber with a razor. He gave Himself into the hands of wicked men, a furious devil, and an angry God. And it did it all for love and with love.

The video about Girda’s friends opens with the lyrics of Anything For Love:

And I would do anything for love,
I’d run right into hell and back.

Awfully foolish words in the mouth of a mere man. However, awe-fully true in the mouth of Jesus. He did anything and everything for love, including “running” into the experience of hell, and coming back in triumph.

Jesus didn’t just go to the hairdresser to sympathize with a sick friend. He endured hell in the place of sinners.

Now what?


Check out

Focus and Food
How multitasking affects what we eat and how it tastes.

Trinity in Old and New Testaments
Fred Sanders with a neat summary of Vos’s teaching on the Trinity in the Old Testament.

The New Calvinism: A Triumph of the Old
Rick Phillips with the first of four posts on the New Calvinism. In this one he says, Old Calvinism should avoid excessive criticism but should generally rejoice in the New Calvinism.

The Gospel of Interracial Marriage
How unity in Christ should overcome our segregated pews and segregated dating lives.

Glorifying God in the Routines
Gloria Furman does what she does best – finds the Gospel in the everyday.

Mattress Saves Cyclist Struck by Vehicle
Unsecured mattress that fell off a truck sweeps a cyclist off his bike then provides a flying bed for him to land on!

Mattress on Moving Day Saves Toddler who fell from Third-Story
Remind me to take my mattress with me next time I go out.


Should Christians Support the International Day of Happiness?

Hope you’re smiling.

If not, the United Nations Happiness Police are on your case. Don’t you know that today is the UN International Day of Happiness.

In July 2011, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a groundbreaking resolution which recognized happiness as a “fundamental human goal” and called for “a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes… happiness and well-being of all peoples.”

In April 2012 the first ever UN conference on Happiness took place in New York and in July 2012 the UN General Assembly adopted a further resolution which decreed that the International Day of Happiness was to be observed every year on 20 March.

Well, now you know. So be happy. Now!

How?

It’s easy. Only 50 action steps!

Seriously though, many of these steps reflect Christian ethics which we would expect to make a positive difference to people’s lives.

However, disconnected from the Christ of the ethics, they are unsustainable and can only have a limited and temporary impact. In fact, apart from Christ’s power, I cannot imagine even attempting to live up to this manifesto. 50 steps! That more frightening than Sinai.

But if we have experienced Christ’s free and full pardon for all our missed steps, missteps, and no-steps, we have a real basis for lasting and even everlasting joy. Christian happiness is not based on doing the law but upon believing the Gospel; not upon any of our daily steps but upon 33 years of Christ’s steps.

So, should Christians support the International Day of Happiness?

I’d still say , “Yes.”

Even when separated from the Gospel?

Yes again.

Surely every Christian wants their friends and family to be happy. Indeed, we wish the whole world was a happier place. We’re happy when people take steps to make their own lives happier and the lives of others, even if it is separated from the Gospel.

The alternative position is that we want everyone to get really sad and miserable because then they’ll turn to the Gospel! Rarely happens.

Better for Christians to welcome any legitimate attempt to promote human happiness. But not to stop there. Instead to say to happiness-hunters, “Hey, why eat crumbs when you can have a feast? Why pursue happiness mandated by the UN and refuse the happiness offered by God? Why settle for a day of happiness when you can have eternal happiness?”

One pastor I know when asked on a plane, “What do you do?” says, “I make people eternally happy!” Usually gets the conversation going.

Why not start some “real happiness” conversations today?


Ligonier National Conference: Jesus On Every Page Poem

I had the great privilege of speaking at the Ligonier National Conference in Orlando last week. My aim was to encourage more reading of the Old Testament and I did so in two ways. First, with my teacher’s hat on, I gave 15 brief reasons why we should study the Old Testament. Then, with my poet’s hat on (a beret?) I recited the poem, Jesus on Every Page. The poem starts at 19.05 and as many have requested a copy of the words, you can get that here. Click through for the video here.

You can watch or listen to the rest of the addresses here.


Check out

Ligonier National Conference Video and Audio
All the sessions for your viewing and listening pleasure.

Can God Really Be Happy?
“How you think about God will effect how you relate to him. If he’s mainly disappointed, you’ll avoid him because of shame and insecurity. If he’s too busy, you won’t want to bother him. If he’s angry, you’ll stay away because of fear. But what would happen in your life if you knew, truly knew, that God is profoundly happy?”

Our Goal Is Not Diversity, It’s Love
Trevin Wax interviews Trillia Newbell about her important new book, United: Captured by God’s Vision for Diversity

God Might Call You To Be Ignored
But like Isaiah, the fruit may come long after you’re gone.

The Most Influential Reformer You’ve Never Heard Of
Hannah More. Yes, there were female reformers too.

3 Ways To Recognize Bad Stats
Statistics guru Ed Stetzer unspins the headlines.

Weightlifter Wins Gold On Last Lift In Honor of His Late Wife
This is “powerful” on a number of levels.