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The "Beat-Up Bible" Challenge

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I am an admirer of "beat-up Bibles"--Bibles that are well-read and are therefore well-worn.

How much use does your Bible get?

I challenge you to use it daily, and one way to do that is to read through the Bible in a year. It took me several years to make it through the Bible in a year. The first year I read through the Bible was a struggle but I made it. And then the next year I did it again. Each time I've read through the Bible it has gotten easier and more enjoyable. Now I can't imagine not doing it. 

Let me give you a few things that have helped me and others in reading through the Bible in a year.

Find a plan you will stick with.

There's no plan that's perfect and easy all the time. I prefer one that has daily readings in both the Old Testament and New Testament. This is the plan we provide you with, but there are plenty others.

Find a translation that's easy for you to read.

I will never understand the whole Bible and neither will you, but some translations are easier to read than others. If you choose a paraphrase (like The Message or The Living Bible), keep in mind that sometimes accuracy is sacrificed for readability, but they can still be great ways to expose yourself to all the Word.

Read the Bible.

Don't let the great be the enemy of the good. The purpose of being in the Word daily is not to understand all of it but to expose yourself to all of it. All Scripture is profitable, but not all Scripture is profitable for every person at every moment. Deeper Bible study is good and important, but don't let the desire to understand get in the way of exposing yourself to all of it at a broad and consistent level.

I hope you'll join me in reading through the Bible in 2015. However it turns out for you, I'd love to hear about your experience.

Watch Dr. Lincoln's tips below

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Becoming a Praying Church

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For My house will be called a house of prayer

We want Shandon Baptist Church to be "a house of prayer" (Isaiah 56:7). That begins with each of us being a person of prayer. Will you join me in committing to praying daily in 2015?

Watch or read Dr. Lincoln's tips below.

Tips for taking your prayer life to the next level in 2015

1. Set a goal for prayer.

In 2014, mine was 60 minutes of prayer weekly, which meant 10 minutes of prayer 6 days a week.

2. Get by yourself.

Set aside dedicated time alone to be in prayer without distractions.

3. Be quiet & still.

Worship music may help you. It distracts me. Whether there's soft music playing or silence, makes sure that your environment is as distraction-free as possible. Put your phone in another room if possible--or at the very least, silence it.

4. Pray out loud (or journal).

I like to pray out loud like I'm talking to a friend. It keeps my mind from wandering quite so much. I know others who like to journal their prayers. Find a method that works for you.

5. Pray "developmental" prayers.

Set some spiritual goals for 2015 and pray about them regularly. Over the past year I've been praying about 2 specific ways I'd like God to help me grow, and I've seen His faithfulness to help me in these areas.

God bless you as you seek to grow your prayer life this coming year.

Your pastor,

Dick Lincoln

Download the new Prayer Guide for January, February & March 2015.

Hard copies are available at the ministry stations in the Gathering Place at Shandon Baptist Church.

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