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What I learned about God and myself after Reading the Entire Bible in 40 Days

I can’t believe The 40-Day Bible Reading Challenge is over. Don’t worry, you haven’t missed out. You can grab a FREE reading plan, here.

We began around February 14 —a day of love and we concluded on the eve of Easter—another day of love.

Some days the reading was easy and delightful. Other days it felt brutally hard. Some days the Word came alive, anew, afresh. Other days, it felt stale, dry, and distant. Some days the discipline boiled down to checking a box. Other days I didn’t want to stop reading.

Along the way, I learned a few things about myself: Continue Reading...

Dear Church: How Letters to the Early Church Still Ring True Today

We're about to the cross the finish line for the 40-Day Bible Reading Challenge as we read through The Message Bible. Up next, we're going to be diving into a bunch of Epistles.

The majority of the New Testament is made up of Epistles (all except the Gospels, Acts, and Revelation). These documents are written for a specific occasion or event. Epistles often shed light onto a doctrinal disagreement or address a behavior that needs correcting within the early church.

On the surface, the Epistles may seem straight-forward, but sometimes these letters aren’t always easy to interpret. [Tweet this]

For example, read 1 Corinthians 11:6 on the topic of head coverings:

“For if a woman does not cover her head, she might as well have her hair cut off; but if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, then she should cover her head.”

There are several different ways to interpret this passage: Continue Reading...

OPEN PURSE

It’s time to check off Week Two of reading for the 40-Day Bible Challenge. Whether you’re reading the entire Bible or listening to an audiobible (free copies here!) during Lent, we’re excited you’re joining in. We never expected nearly 2000 people to download the free 40-Day Reading Guide in the first 24 hours. You can grab your copy by clicking here.

Reading the Bible in 40 days provides a wildly different perspective than a slow read. [Tweet this] I must confess:

Some days I fall behind.

Some days my eyes glaze over.

Some days I wonder, “What did I just read?”

Some days I think, “I haven’t heard that story in eons.”

Some days I can’t shake the images, words, stories, and language. Continue Reading...

 

love letter

(Yes! It's the FINAL DAY to take advantage of the free gifts that come with pre-ordering the book! Click here for details.) 

Oh, Sweet Friend,

Today is the day. The long awaited day. Merry Christmas!

Wonderstruck: Awaken to the Nearness of God is no longer a thought or idea but a reality, and one that happens to arrive on the day we celebrate the arrival of Christ. The thought alone nearly brings me to tears.

Over the last few years, I’ve invited you into this journey—writing the book, realizing what was lacking, and rewriting it. Word. For. Word. Then wrestling the words and ideas through another 50 or so drafts.

I have ached and cried and listened and laughed with many of you along the way. . . and you with me.

Above all, during this time, I’ve been praying for you. I’ve been praying that the Holy Spirit will awaken something so holy and beautiful and breathtaking inside of you as you read. If you read Wonderstruck and think, “Margaret wrote a nice or fine book.” I have failed miserably.

My prayer is that when you finish reading you cannot, you will not stay the same. My prayer is in a handful of pages God will awaken you to His presence in a whole new way. The book isn’t about my story—it’s about your story, and how God is chomping at the bit to reveal His power, glory, and might in your life.

Now this is a tall order. One only God can do. So I pray and pray and pray for you.

As you pick up and thumb (or index finger, if you’re a Kindle or Nook user) through a copy of Wonderstruck, may I encourage you to do the following:

Sip. Don’t gulp. Allow the words and imagery to ignite your imagination. Permit your mind to wander. Give yourself permission to pause and reflect. You don’t have to finish the section or chapter in a single sitting. Allow yourself to savor the stories and Scriptures, the colors and hues.

Invite the Holy Spirit. God graciously gives us the Holy Spirit. When we pause to invite God into our lives, our hearts, our thoughts, we can’t help but become more sensitive to the work He is doing in and through us. Ask God, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to speak to you and be expectant for how He answers as you read and as you go through the day.

Pray for wonder. The original title for this book was And I Prayed for Wonder, and those words represent the heartbeat of the book. Not that I would pray for wonder, but you would pray for wonder and live wide eyed to how God might answer. Don’t just do it today, but tomorrow and the next and so on until God answers. And when He does, keep on praying, because you never know how God is going to expand your capacity to know and experience Him more.

Join with a friend and take the 30-Day Wonder Challenge. At the back of the book, you’ll find a 30-Day Challenge with simple activities to awaken you to the wonder of God all around. Some are simple. Some will ask you to be silent. Others to dive into the Scripture. Still others to take photos. And more. But all ask you to begin living awake to the presence of God in your life. Grab a friend and do it together so you can share the joy. Take a dive into the Wonderstruck Bible study together come the new year.  I assure you, God is closer and more intimately involved in your life than you ever imagined!

On this day, know you are loved and I’m wildly grateful for you.

Praying for wonder on your behalf!

Much love,
Margaret

 

*Original photo found here 

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