January 15 – Scripture of the Day

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Remember the saying, “save for a rainy day?”   Well in today’s scripture, we would more accurately say “save for a drought.”

The scripture for today is Genesis 41:34-36 which says: 34 Then Pharaoh should appoint supervisors over the land and let them collect one-fifth of all the crops during the seven good years. 35 Have them gather all the food produced in the good years that are just ahead and bring it to Pharaoh’s storehouses. Store it away, and guard it so there will be food in the cities. 36 That way there will be enough to eat when the seven years of famine come to the land of Egypt. Otherwise this famine will destroy the land.

After being sold into slavery and ending up in Egypt, Joseph found favor with Pharaoh and was not only released from prison, but made governor over the whole of Egypt.

God had told Joseph that there was going to be 7 years of bountiful crops, followed by 7 years of horrible drought. Knowing this, Joseph put a plan into place to save some of the harvest from each of the 7 good years, so there would be food to sustain the people during the 7 year drought.

Saving for a rainy day.

This is wise advice. We all know that unexpected things happen in life; accidents, costly repairs or otherwise.

If we are wise, we will have “saved for a rainy day” and have money put aside to pay for these times.

But astonishingly, even though we all realize these things happen, very few Americans have enough savings to cover these common incidents.

In fact, According to CNN, 76% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, meaning they have little or no savings to fall back on in case of an emergency, such as a job loss.

That’s a recipe for disaster.

Financial expert Dave Ramsey recommends an emergency fund of 3-6 months of expenses, just for such emergencies.

That’s wise advice…that we also see in scripture.

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Today’s reading: Genesis 40:1-23; 35:28-29; 41:1-57
Tomorrow’s reading: Genesis 42:1-45:15

New for 2015 – Quote of the Week

If you’ve looked around the blog at all, you’ve noticed that I am intentionally and purposefully taking 15-30 minutes each day to read the Bible.  Then, I am posting the verse(s) that speak to me daily.

Today starts another new series of posts for the blog: inspiring quotes of the week.  Every Monday I am going to post an inspiring quote.

I’d love to know what you think of them…. be sure to post a Facebook comment below!

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The Year of Less

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For me, 2015 is going to be the year of less.

See above: Those are my goals.

Most of these are really just building on some life changes I made in the last year.

As I have written, over a family holiday in Florida for Thanksgiving 2013, I began to read about minimalism, and simplicity. You can read about that and find links to some of the best minimalism/simplicity information here.

As a result of that reading and learning, in the last year I have significantly reduced the “stuff” I have, donating, selling or trashing A LOT of stuff that was just sitting around.

As a result, I’ve also been much more conscious about what I buy, what I spend time doing, and the reasons behind both.

For me, it’s been eye-opening. I am striving to live much more intentionally, with reason and purpose behind all I do.

So, all of the things I am striving for in 2015 are in that vein. As the graphic above shows, I am trying to slow down, simplify, and live more deliberately.

One of the specific goals I have is to climb Mount Marcy in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. Without going into great detail, last September I spent several days hiking and climbing in the Adirondacks, and quite frankly, the mountains kicked my backside.  Bad.

The reverse is going to happen this year; the mountains are in for a whuppin’.   Courtesy of yours truly.

One of the things I have done to achieve that goal is change my eating habits. No, I am not dieting. I have changed how and what I eat.

Thanks to help from friends, my cardiologist, and others, I am eating lower glycemic foods, drinking more water (Sodastream!) and eating more green vegetables and proteins. Less sugar, less carbs.

All the changes I have made in the last year have been fantastic. And I am looking forward to an amazing 2015.

What are your goals?

Busy is the New “Fine”

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For as long as I can remember, when someone used to ask how you were doing, the default answer was “fine.”  It didn’t matter if you were actually fine or not, that was the response.

Now, I recognize that the interaction of “How are you?” followed by “Fine” was really more of a generic greeting.  It was’t ever really even a shallow discussion about how one was actually doing.

Nonetheless, today the most common response to “How are you?” seems to be “Busy.”

I’m busy.

I think there are a multitude of reasons as to why this is the case, but one of them is that we feel important if we appear to be “busy” to others.  If we’re busy, we must be in demand doing important things.  We must be important to be busy.

Well, if you as me that’s a bunch of malarky.  BUt there’s likely some truth in there.

Another possible explanation is that we are, in fact, actually overly busy.  And I’m concerned that is too often the case.

I saw recently some data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  It showed that for the “average” adult with children, we spend nearly 9 hours a day working and less than 8 hours a day sleeping.

After taking care of other responsibilities, like caring for children and the household among others, there is relatively little time left to rest and relax.

Gee, I wonder why we feel worn down and overwhelmed?

We need rest.  We need time to unwind.  We need time to “defrag.”  We need time to sit quietly and think.  We need time to simply recharge.

That’s why we should stop glorifying busy; because it’s not glorious at all.  It’s tiring and stupid.

We’ll all be better for it.

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Scripture link:  Mark 6:31
Bureau of Labor Statistics Information 
Photo credit:  Pixabay.com

Most Popular Kindle Bible Passage

stress-philip-4-6-7-_640pixabayIf you ask me, Kindle books are one of the best parts of iPads, tablets, etc.  Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I prefer a real book in my hands, but its hard to deny the convenience of electronic books.

Not surprisingly, Amazon doesn’t release much of the data they collect on Kindle books, like purchase, shares, highlights, etc.

However, a recent article in the Atlantic provided a little data about the most highlighted passages of a few books including Pride and Prejudice, The Hunger Games, Harry Potter —  and of most interest to me — the Bible.

The best selling Kindle bible is the NIV translation.  Aand the most highlighted verse?

Drumroll please…..

It’s Philippians 4:6-7.

The NIV translation reads:  “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Another really, really good translation of this passage IMHO is the Message:  

6-7 Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

It’s the day before Thanksgiving.  Let us replace our fret, replace our worry… with Thanksgiving.  And true thanksgiving comes as a result of faith.  Faith in something bigger than ourselves.

Article link:  The Most Popular Passages in Books, According to Kindle Data
Scripture link:  Philippians 4:6-7
Photo credit:  Pixabay.com