Improve your life in 2013…

December 31, 2012

Cover of "The One Year Bible: New Living ...

Cover via Amazon

As we say goodbye to 2012 and hello to 2013, I can’t think of a better item to advocate than “The One Year Bible,” by Tyndale.

This Bible version is unique because for each day of the year, there is a selection of Scriptures that allows the reader to go through the entire Bible in a year. The selection includes a portion from The Old Testament, The New Testament, a Psalm and a few verses from Proverbs. Because of this format, I am seeing connections between the Old and New Testaments that I never saw before. And I have all of the books of the Bible.

(I admit that I used to treat some books like bad neighborhoods. They were places that I just didn’t go.)

Another benefit is that you will get to have a real soaking in the word of God every day. It enables me to read enough Scripture at one time to help me live a more grounded life. (Well at least most days I am grounded in Him and there would be far more ugly days if I weren’t reading this Bible.) Today’s reading covered the promises in Malachi 3-4, the last chapter of the Revelation, Psalm 150 and practical role model of the virtuous woman in Proverbs 31.

I was introduced to this incredible resource in 1999 while attending a Women of Faith Conference. My original version was part of a promotional package from Becky Tirabassi (who is a great speaker/Bible teacher.) You can find a copy in your preferred translation, NIV, NLT, ESB, NKJV, at Family Christian Bookstores, Christianbook.com or most booksellers online or the city where you live. This week is a great time to get started. I am convinced that you will be blessed immensely.

Wishing you a Blessed New Year,

Home-ista Kelly

P.S. To make a habit of reading your Bible, try to connect it with a habit you already have in place. I read my Bible in the morning when I drink my coffee. I had been doing that since I was 5 years old and adding my Bible reading to that habit in 1999 made it stick within days. If you can attach your Bible reading time, to an existing habit, you have a much greater likelihood of successful adoption. Bible & Coffee

P.S.P.S. There is a smart phone app called the Daily Audio Bible. You can download and listen to the Scriptures in the same format. My husband uses it and gives it high praise.

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It’s the last few days to prepare for CHRISTmas 2012. For many of us, the road to this point has been rocky, as communities mourn over numerous tragedies, and particularly the recent events in Newtown, Connecticut.

Three Wreaths on our front door. They are connected with weatherproof scarves.

Three Wreaths on our front door. They are connected with weatherproof scarves.

I was torn whether to Blog  – and then I was reminded that the reason for this whole CHRISTmas affair – is the only hope for those who mourn.

So I am writing to remind others and myself that in the midst of senseless tragedy, God is the only One who can ease the fear, who can diminish the pain, who can bring peace – when there is no human reason for peace. The One True God is the Father of Jesus, and He is the reason for this season.

As you continue your preparations – the shopping and cooking, the eating and cleaning, the visiting others and hosting visitors, the crying and laughing… please remember that this huge celebration is a half-birthday* party, for the Son of God. We give gifts to each other to remember His gift to each of us.

Jesus gives people the way to be reconciled to God. His gift helps us to enjoy the knowledge of good and by His grace to ultimately overcome the knowledge of evil. If we receive Him, we will become the sons and daughters of God – and there is no better gift than that.

So practically speaking here are some ideas to try

Have cake with candles before or after you open your CHRISTmas gifts. (We eat the birthday cake with our breakfast on CHRISTmas morning.)

Open your home to people with the motive to provide a place of emotional “rest” for those who are weary and who carry heavy burdens.

Don’t sweat so many of the detail this year. Eat what you already have. Clean what is really dirty, but ask folks to show grace for the small things. They probably won’t notice.

Play games that create opportunities to talk.

Blow up balloons. Scatter them around the tree or in the dining room. I think birthday parties are better with balloons.Blog Balloon CHRISTmas

Be mindful that we might be allowing loved ones to partake in violence as they interact with video games, movies, and television, etc.  Becoming desensitized to violence is a dangerous thing. Instead let’s make every effort to focus on things that are good, peaceful, kind, funny, thoughtful, and godly.

Eat some healthy foods along with the not so healthy fare.

Pray.

Wishing you a joyous celebrate of His birth…

Home-ista Kelly

* Many Bible scholars believe that Jesus was born in the springtime. The winter CHRISTmas celebration is six months later, and in a sense, a half birthday.