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Book Review: Take Action Bible

The “Take Action Bible” has the following features:

  • NKJV Bible
  • Paperback binding
  • 48 full-color pages
  • 15 real-life stories with ideas on how to put your faith in action.
  • 52 Take Action ideas (located in list form at the end of the book).

The Bible quality is such that it would be more of a gift Bible or a travel Bible (where the user doesn’t want their daily Bible to get wear and tear). I would not use it everyday, because it is awkward to page through, since the color pages are thicker and a much different paper quality than the Bible pages. The Take Action notes are on the color pages. In some ways, I’d prefer this be a small pamphlet with 48 pages of Take Action tips to go along with my preferred Bible than incorporated within the Bible itself. The Take Action portion is a short story with a thought or principle passed on. I had hoped the devotional / take action portion would be incorporated more as a devotional or pinpoints verses that detail scripture related to Taking Action. Instead it was like two items placed together, but not truly incorporated into one seamless package.

I received a review copy from the publishers, Thomas Nelson. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

 

Example: Goals and Bible Setup

Current Bible Reading Goals:

  • Read one Proverb / day.
  • Complete Old Testament (in NKJV Bible) by the end of the year.
  • Complete New Testament (in NIV Bible) by the end of the year.

To guarantee that I reach my goal I set daily, weekly, monthly and bi-annual goals. I setup my reading plans on a bi-annual basis (or sometimes more frequently if I’m in a rut and need to switch things us).

The goal amount is calculated using a simple calculation based on the number of pages in the Bible. Below is an example of my Old Testament reading goals (after the formula is my September Goals):

End Page = 1328

Pages per day = (End Page – Current Page) / (Days left in the year)

Pages per day = (1328 – 1140) / 122 = 1.54

For my actual daily goals I like to round-up to increase my likelihood of reaching my goals, since there will inevitable be one day of the week where my reading time is shortened. So, I set a goal of 2 pages / day.

Pages per week = 1.54 * 7 = 10.78

Pages per month = Pages per day * (Days in the current month)

Pages per month = 1.54 * 30 = 46.2

———–

Tracking my reading goals has been an area where I’ve tried lots of methods and finally found a system that works for me. In the past I  have written down my daily reading and that just seemed cumbersome to me. So instead I found a way to keep track of where I’m at with no writing required.

———–

If you are like me, you wake up a little groggy in the morning. You make some tea or coffee then sit down in a cozy spot for your devotional time. I can easily get a little distracted (cloudy headed) about what I to do once I have the Bible in my hand. So below is my low-brain approach for setting up my Bible.

Note: The only portion of my devotional time that I’m discussing here is  Bible Reading. I’ll detail the other aspects when we get to that portion of the study.

Old Testament Study:

Grab Bible, which I leave by ‘my’ chair  🙂 – This one is pretty new, so it doesn’t show my usual wear and tear. (I often grab my MP3 player as well to listen to audio w/ the reading.)

Turn to Tab #1 Shown above. Begin reading at the blue marker (which is set on the Proverb of the day). Set the Tab and Marker on the next Proverb of the day.

Turn to Tab #2. Begin reading at the blue marker.

Continue reading until (at a minimum) the orange marker is reached. Reset the Tab and Markers to the start and end point for tomorrows reading.

The Weekly Goal is shown by the above marker.

The Monthly Goal is shown by the above marker.

The 6-month Goal is shown by the above marker.

The Weekly, Monthly and 6-month goal marker are updated once they have been reached.

This is a lot of explanation for a pretty simple system that doesn’t require any writing or tracking. It helps me always know what I’m wanting to accomplish and keeps me in the Bible on a daily basis.

Read the Bible – Goal Setting

One thing I’ve noticed is that most of us are more consistent in making goals in all other areas of life, but not related to our Spiritual life.

I know, I know . . . Goal setting and God, just don’t seem to go together.

I’ve heard people say:

  • “I don’t want my Spiritual Life to feel forced.”
  • “I prefer to spend time with God when I’m in the right-mindset.” “
  • “I want to give plenty of room for the Spirit to lead.”

All of these are good points, but . . . more often than not when we don’t plan a consistent devotional strategy, it simply means that nothing is done. When it comes to handle our physical health or finances most people recognize the need for a plan of action. Yet, in the very critical area of spiritual health – this is forgotten.

What kind of goal should you set?

SMART ones:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Timely

Decide in advance what your study plan will be, some examples are as follows:

  • Read-thru Bible
  • Study all verses in Bible that relate to a specific theme.
  • Follow a Bible Study / Devotional Book + the Bible

A typical goal is to complete the Bible in a year. The best way to start is to calculate the milestone; how many pages would need to be completed daily, weekly, monthly, bi-annually.  Then day-to-day work toward reaching your goal.

Prayer: Proverbs 3:5-6

Today is a day to simply pause and talk to God: ask him to guide you down the right paths, listen to what he is saying and seek his strength for all the pathways you are led down in life. We will also use Proverbs 3:5-6 as a meditative thought before beginning to pray:

Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.”

An example of a prayer I might pray as I read and reflect on this verse is as follows:

Father God – As I read the words of Proverbs 3:5-6 I can’t help but come before you humbled. You have been such a wonderful father to me, yet I still struggle to trust in you without wanting to lean on my own understanding , logic and reason. The longer we walk together, the more I am aware and challenged to allow you to lead and control more and more areas of my life.  I am so thankful for your patience, as I learn to lean on and trust you more, you’ve given me an abundance of grace. Help me to also be willing to give others grace for their minor infractions. Cleanse my heart from the pride that often gets in my way from fulling trusting your guidance.

Oh Lord, Please show me, what am I holding back from you? Which parts of my life am I  still trying to lead or seek my own understanding? Help me, when I’m confused by the outcome not always going my way and want to try and understand – Why?

You know that I am very guilty of trying to seek understanding, even when I walk in your ways. Please forgive me for . . .  [ this is where I would just talk to the Lord about real things going on in my life and ask guidance on how to improve how I handle them. I also will seek Wisdom on upcoming issues. Anything I can think of that I really would like the Lord to help with — these are the things I’d talk to him about. Maybe people I’d see in the upcoming days, problems that I foresee and don’t want to worry about, etc. ]

Help to change me Lord. Please work in me so I will have a good testimony in all areas of my life. Allow me to acknowledge your works as you lead me in the right paths. Alert me to anythings I may be hanging onto and trying to lead on my own.  Thanks for allowing me to be your child and being my father – I love you! I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to walk toward the purpose you have for me. In Jesus Name,
Amen
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