How do I read through Leviticus?

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Do you have difficulty reading through certain books of the Bible?

Here is my short-list:

  • Revelation
  • Ezekiel
  • Some of the minor prophets (about 9 out of 12…)
  • Parts of Exodus
  • Leviticus

Prophetic books containing apocalyptic language are an obvious challenge. It takes research into the symbolism, a knowledge of the historical time frame, and a good hard look at the context. You can’t just glide through them like you do through the Psalms or Proverbs where the meaning is obvious and the verses highly quotable.

The book of Leviticus is not apocalyptic, it’s laborious. Twenty-seven chapters overflow with detailed rules, regulations, and instructions. It’s a bit like reading the United States Tax Code, only it makes abundantly more sense.

If you are in the midst of your daily bible reading and find your eyes glazing over Leviticus, try the following: Continue reading

Why I Ditched My Bible Reading Plan

A photo by Ben White. unsplash.com/photos/BtNxJsFOjtQ

 

Three days ago, I ditched my daily bible reading plan. Not the habit, mind you, just my appointed plan… We had a “falling out” of sorts. Continue reading

Progress Report – February 2016

 

imageBefore I dive into today’s post, I need to address a couple “adminy” things:

First, I apologize for my spotty posting schedule and slow response time on your delightful comments. From about 7 am to 9 pm everyday I am like a machine—get up, read, pray, then dive in to packing, painting, paperwork, cleaning, prepping, scheduling and trying to be helpful to my children. It’s been a nonstop whirlwind of activity. I am hopeful that once we get to Texas and back into a routine, my posting will be back on a regular track.

Second, I want to remind you of all the different ways to connect with Elihu’s Corner. Many of my readers follow the blog through WordPress, but you can also like the Facebook page, follow me on Twitter (@elihuscorner), or get email updates. In fact, I’d love for you to comment below and let me know which means of communication you prefer. I will continue to use them all, but it’s nice to get a pulse on what people use most! If you haven’t had a chance to check out my social media spots, I hope you’ll take some time to do so. I am thankful to all of you for your great comments, reblogs, Facebook shares, retweets, and for simply taking the time to read.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming….


Remember those goals/resolutions you created at the beginning of the year?

You do?

Wait… you don’t?

Where’s your list of goals?

“oh, right…. that list was in my head.”

“Goals? What goals?”

“My New Year’s Resolutions? Well… Uh…”

That’s where a lot of people are by this point in the year—all those great plans are often under a pile of papers or covered in dust.

If you are on track with most of your goals for the year, congratulations! Keep up the good work!

If you still have your list of goals and have fallen behind, there’s no time like the present to rev them up again. My goals are still up on the bathroom mirror. (I just put a reminder on my list for today to take them down!) I am behind on a few, but I know why: my whole house is in disarray due to a move within the next 10 days!

I’m still on track with most of my goals:

Read Bible every day. Check. 

Pray daily. Check.

Walk 3-4 times per week. Check.

Now memorizing…  Well… I’m still working on Hebrews 12. Last time I wrote a progress report, I had only memorized 2 verses. I have 12 under my belt now. I’m still way behind (I was supposed to be done by the end of February)  Unless I select really short chapters from here on out, I may not be able to make my goal of 6 chapters this year, but that’s ok—I’m willing to revise my goal! If you’re interested in memorizing scripture, click here.

If you’ve lost/forgotten/fallen behind on your goals for 2016, fear not!

You can do the following:

  1. Make new goals for the remainder of the year. I have found that some of my greatest earthly accomplishments were attained by making a goal, creating a reasonable plan to achieve said goal and throwing all my energy into getting there. When I was 12, I decided that I wanted to go to medical school, so I made it my aim to earn straight A’s through high school and graduate in the top ten. I achieved both goals (ahem, both latter goals… not med school), graduated Salutatorian, and had an excellent SAT score. I worked myself raw. I would spend hours working on homework and studying between band rehearsals, performances, lessons and practice. I am not a good test taker nor am I a genius so I had to work extra hard. The point is, determination and sweat can get you far. For more on goal-making, read “Setting Goals That Last.
  2. Adjust your current goals to a more achievable level. As I mentioned earlier, my goal of memorizing 6 chapters this year may need to be revised simply because my situation has radically changed since January. Small adjustments/tweaks are ok. You’re still aiming in a specific direction.
  3. Pray. This list is not ordered by importance, in fact, I saved the most critical point for last. Prayer is paramount, especially when our direction becomes clouded. Lately, all the discombobulation of moving has made me feel “off-center.” When I am “on-center” my mind is fixed on God, my prayers are regular, my study time is full of discovery, my meditation is meaningful, and my heart rests in the peace of God. Because I am still praying and studying, I’m not falling apart or flying off the handle, but I’ve had trouble meditating on God and His Word. I am restless and distracted. I get sidetracked mid-prayer and have to restart. Many of my prayers have been asking God to help me refocus on my greatest treasure—Him! Without committing our works to God both in prayer and action, all the blood, sweat and tears are meaningless. Oh you may achieve a great deal—I’ve read numerous biographies of famous geniuses and giants of industry, many of whom neglected (or rejected) God and family—but you will miss the mark on what matters most. I said above in point one, “determination and sweat can get you far.” They can. But the question is, are you climbing the right ladder? Pray. Daily. Commit it to the Lord and seek Him first.

If daily bible reading, daily prayer, or daily devotional time with your family is among your goals, there’s no time like the present to commit. Today is all we’ve been given—make the most of the opportunity!

How are you doing on your goals for 2016?

What is your progress report?

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I’m still hammering out the next post in our Comparison Cure series, but as it is the end of the month, I thought it might be a good time for an accountability post.

Resolutions are a standing joke. People make them and then they break them. Usually within a week…

Tomorrow is the last day of January. One month down, eleven to go. How are you coming on your goals? You may be shifting uncomfortably in your seat, but there’s no need! I’m here to encourage you to pick up the pieces and keep going! If you’re on track, bravo! If you’re way behind, it’s time to lace up those shoes, dust off that bible, break out those knee pads and get crackin!

There are three things we need to do in order to reach our goals:

1) Keep the goal visible.

This year, instead of putting my goals in a journal tucked comfortably away between pages of random notes and assorted thoughts, I put them on my bathroom mirror as a daily reminder. It’s really helped. Some goals haven’t even been touched yet, but I know that I need to get a game plan in place to start working towards them. Ultimately, this is about building good habits.

2) Pace yourself.

There is a vast difference between sprinters and long-distance runners. A sprint requires a burst of energy exceeding our normal output. A long-distance run requires a steady, disciplined pace. It takes endurance.

Hebrews 12 uses the words endure/endured/endurance in the first seven verses. There is a reason the word “endure” is used repetitively. The Hebrew writer is telling us not to give up; we need to press on.

Life is heavy and the race isn’t over until we die. Some people spend the entire race running on treadmills, lounging, running in the wrong direction or alternating between sprints and walks. We have to pace ourselves for the goals—glorifying God and reaching heaven. It’s easy to get worn out, especially on those long, uphill grades.

So it is with our more menial goals. Set a reasonable pace: you may have to sprint on occasion, but do not wear yourself out with a reckless pace and be on the look out for sluggishness. If you have set for yourself a goal that will burn you out before you get anywhere, you may need to adjust it.

3) Check your progress.

As I mentioned in my post, “Setting Goals That Last,” it’s important to have a method of measuring or tracking your progress. If you are wanting to lose weight, how much? How often do you track it? One of the most helpful things I did when I lost 25 pounds was to weigh in once a week and take body measurements. There were days I’d feel as though I was making no progress, but once I checked my measurements—even if the scale told a different tale—I saw progress (even if it was minute at times).

Lest you think I’m some organized superhero, I’d like to share a brief progress report on a few of my own goals. I have a long way to go!

Elihu’s Progress Report

  1. Read the bible every day to grow closer to God. 29 days out of 30. Outstanding! I’ve missed one day this month.
  2. Pray alone daily. 21/30. Needs improvement.
  3. Walk a minimum of 3 times per week. (Results unavailable due to poor tracking) Needs improvement. This one started off well, but between sickness, inclement weather, travel, etcetera it just hasn’t happened. So I went for a walk yesterday and I’m planning three good walks this coming week! I started tracking my activity with my Fitbit last week and monitoring my food intake. have been trying to keep moving during the day so that even if I don’t get a walk in, I still burned calories. I can still make this happen!
  4. Memorize 6 Bible chapters (1 chapter every two months). 2 verses out of 29. Needs improvement. For January and February, I’ve been working on Hebrews 12. In thirty days, I’ve only memorized two verses. Two! There are 29 verses! So, I know what needs to happen. I need to either adjust my target or ramp up the effort. I have 31 days left to memorize 27 verses. It’s time to recruit help from the family. I need people to quiz me and hold me accountable.

I don’t know how it is for everyone, but January has always been an odd month for me. It’s like a warm-up period. Don’t allow it to suspend your momentum.

How are you doing on your goals?

Leave a note in the comment Section!

If your goals include bible study, memorization or prayer, check out these old posts:

3 Steps to Daily Prayer in 2016

5 Benefits of Memorizing Scripture (and 4 ways to do it!) 

4 Ways to Study Your Bible in 2016