Caleb, Mimi, and PoppyC had a blast last night and today. Part of what we did is try to make the Monday Morning Minute video together. It was fun. We weren’t very good. 🙂 That’s okay. I’ll try it again in the morning. For now, let me share the basic thoughts.
I don’t imagine that there is some huge following that reads my blogs and does the 40 Day Adventures that I do. Honestly, I do them mainly for me. I felt like God said to do it and it keeps me focused and disciplined in my spiritual walk. But… I do get a surprising number of comments from people who say it is helpful, and that I should do another one. Some say. I need this to keep my devotions on track. So here’s the plan.
I am not doing a 40 Day Adventure in January. I am instead inviting you to 31 days, 1 month, to Lay the Foundation for a year of Spiritual Strength and Spectacular Growth. There are 4 basic steps I invite you to take with me. (I’m not going to write as much.)
- Keep Track– You cannot expect what you do not inspect. Making some simple commitments and then journaling them will so more than anything to develop discipline and powerful positive habits. I am attaching a sheet that I use every day. Down through the years, this has evolved for me to become a simple, 1 page that I fill out at the beginning of every day to track how I am doing, plan for the day ahead of me, and, at the end of the day, look back and see what God has said to me. I will put an attachment for a Google doc. You should be able to go to that “live” and fill it out that way. (I do it in Evernote.) I will also leave an attachment at the end that you can print off. Each morning I have my devotions and quiet time, try to do some exercise, and then fill out this page, How am I doing physically? Eat and sleep. What is God saying to me spiritually? A reflection on my devotions. What is ahead for me productively? A quick look at my daily goals and appointments. It takes about 6 minutes and it sets the tone for the day. Here is it is: (I can’t get this thing attached. If you email me, or leave a message here, I will email it to you.) Wait! Here’s a link to Google Docs. Try this first. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1CQ97ira6-ie9T4lPYEAX2EJA3tUCKBxhA5k4WvQbr4s/edit?usp=sharing
- Keep Fed– I have recommended the Daily Audio Bible App to you for several years now. It is a good, steady way to read through the Bible in a year. If you haven’t used it, I urge you to download it and take a look. HOWEVER, this year I am doing something different. I am going to read the Bible chronologically. We will start with Genesis and end with Revelation but all of the way in between we will take the Bible in the historical order that it happened. To do that I am using a different app. This one is called The Bible Recap. Here’s the URL. https://thebiblerecap.com/ Each day the scripture reading will be listed, 3-6 chapters and the app will be a brief, 6 minutes commentary by Tara Leigh Cobble. It’s good. By the way, if you want to join me for a 40 Day Adventure during Lent, I will be using this app.
- Keep Committed– I can’t think of a better way to do this than make some kind of sacrifice to get closer to God. In other words, fasting. There are two possibilities for this. I plan to start January 1 and go for 31 days, the entire month. Or, my church, (so I will be emphasizing it) is doing a 21 day fast starting January 7 and ending January 28. In either case, I am not suggesting a full-on, no food fast, I am suggesting that for however many days you choose, you give up ONE thing, maybe Monday lunch, or no caffeine, or a fast from social media. Whatever it is, make a commitment to surrender one thing to remind you regularly of your desire to go further and deeper in your faith.
- Keep Connected– There is something about doing this together, as a group. I invite you to be connected with us as we do these things together. One way to do that is a Monday video and a Friday Blog. Go to https://www.branchesblog.com and subscribe today to get notified of the vlogs and blogs. I am trying to keep the vlogs at 5 minutes and the blogs to 1 page. (not doing great) but I will try to be brief. By reading together, responding, listening to the same thing, we will build a community that will encourage our walk. Watch for the vlog and blog to keep connected.
It’s going to be good. I hope you will spend the month Laying the Foundation for a Year of Spiritual Strength. Happy New Year!
PS One more thing, JUST FOR MEN. Men, I have an additional invitation for you. A 21 Day Challenge to begin the year going further, faster, and deeper in your faith with me and my friend David Robertson. I’m doing this. Look at this link and think about joining me. https://myvirtualmentor.org/inner-circle/