Thursday, September 27, 2012

5 Tips for Reading Chronologically

Don't miss our 2 Big Announcements
at the bottom of today's post!
Deuteronomy 32:47
"They are not idle words for you - they are to be your life."  (The Bible)
This is my Chronological Bible. 
Notice the tabs at the top:  Psalms, Proverbs, and my current spot
See below for more detail.

As my grandmother Revelle used to say, "I'm tickled to death," that so many of you are interested in reading the Bible Chronologically!  You will LOVE IT!!! 

Please know that today's post is not meant to dictate your quiet time.  I simply want to share with you a few tips and traps to avoid when reading Chronologically.

Tip #1:  BE CAREFUL of having the mindset of "reading the Bible through in a year."  If this is your mindset,  I'm concerned that you will miss many messages the Lord may be trying to get through to you. 

I started reading my Chronological Bible in May of 2011.  MAYBE by the end of this year, I could say that "I've read the whole Bible."  But keep in mind, having read the whole Bible does not impress the Lord.  He's far more concerned about the everyday life application of what we've learned.  This is what gets His attention!

Tip #2:  Aim to read the whole day's reading.  But read slowly and methodically with your circumstances in mind.   If you get too far behind (last year, I was 2 months behind at one point), don't fret.   I'll often jump forward when I go a day or two and nothing has seemed to jump out at me. 

Tip #3:  Get a notebook or a Journal and record what jumps out at you each day... 

This is an example of what I'm talking about it.   Notice that I was led to highlight key words that jumped out at me today.  God was speaking to me through this text today.   Please note:  There are other days, that I take pages of notes.  Today was quite short because my time was shorter today.

By the way:  I'm now 3-4 days "behind."  But God is speaking!

Tip #4:  The Prophets, Psalms and Proverbs - All are good - so good.  But I'm sorry, I can't read 5 Proverbs or 10 Psalms at a time and retain what I'm reading.

So throughout the year, I'll attempt to read a Proverb a day.  And I often begin my quiet time in the Psalms. (They are very uplifting.)  So when I get to this point in the Chronological Bible - I personally skip forward.

The Minor Prophets are a challenge as well for me.  (Sometimes Major ones too!)   To help me in this area,  I've been using other study Bible translations to gain further understanding when something grabs my interest or when I'm just plain clueless. 

But please note:  If I'm bored because I don't get it and I can't understand it - and I'm sick of the doom and gloom - I start reading New Testament.  Specifically a Gospel.

Tip #5:  Don't forget the goal: 
The goal is to hear from the Lord each day!
And to apply what you are learning to your everyday circumstances
And as a result:  For your lives - your families - your schools - workplaces and social circles to be different because YOU ARE different!  You're different because the Word of God has become your life - not just a book of idle words you pick up once a week for church or Bible study! 
This is the goal!!!
Quiet Time Workshop:
October 12th
At our next ISI luncheon,
I'll be leading a quiet time workshop.  If this is an area that you need help - please make plans to attend!
More on this later... 
But mark your calendars now:  October 12th!
It will be from 1:20-2:15pm.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Reading the Bible in a Year

Hebrews 12:24
"To Jesus, the Mediator of a new covenant."

A little over a year ago, I purchased a Daily Chronological Bible in an easy to understand format: the New Living Translation.   As a result, I HAVE LOVED IT!    God is speaking to me through it and I'm growing spiritually.

The One Year Chronological Bible

Not only that, but I've loved the historical aspect of the Old Testament as well as learning when events occurred chronologically in time.  For example:   Did you know that Nehemiah and the building of the wall around Jerusalem was one of the last events that is recorded in the Old Testament?

You probably did.  But I didn't.

This morning, I began the New Testament.  But first I pondered the lessons I've learned in the Old Testament.  Some of my favorites were:
  • Noah
  • The Patriarchs
  • Joshua through the Judges (This was interesting.  I had never read about Deborah and Samson...)
  • King David -  Now this section of Scripture was absolutely refreshing.  I saw first hand the clear distinction of a common thread that runs throughout all of Scripture:  Obedience brings blessing.  (Still stands true today.)
One of the things I loved about David was that he wasn't perfect.  But when he genuinely repented, God forgave David and his fellowship with the Lord was restored.  (He does this for us too!) 

Then the flow of blessings began again as he daily chose to live in obedience.  David's offspring were beneficiaries of his obedience.  (Don't you want that for your children?)

Then there was
  • King Solomon, David's son.  Solomon was a recipient of David's radical obedience
Scripture says that Solomon's blessings exceeded that of anyone prior to him. (1 Kings 10:11; 2 Chronicles 9:22)

But when Solomon began choosing disobedience, there became a clear clogging of the blessing flow.  This disobedient sin cycle would impact many generations of kings to come...  (Like it or not, our disobedient sin cycles WILL affect our kids and grandchildren.)
  • The generations of Kings:  Honestly, this section was totally depressing.  Each generation  jumped into the sin cycle that their parents had committed.   I think this sums it up perfectly, "Have you no Respect for Me?" says the Lord.  Why don't you tremble in My Presence?  Your wickedness has deprived you of these wonderful blessings.  Your sin has robbed you of all these good things."  Jeremiah 5:22,25
Much of what I read in this long section made me think of current day America...  More on this later...

Today, I began the New Testament.  HALLELUJAH!  It opens with this phrase, "This is the Good News about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God."

Giddy up, it's time for some Good News!   I've loved the Old Testament, but reading it has made me ever the more grateful for my Jesus. 
  • Grateful that I live on this side of the Cross. 
  • Grateful, that I don't have to kill a bull each day, drain the blood and hope it's sacrifice is enough to atone for my sins. 
  • Grateful for Jesus - that He is the mediator of a new covenant between God and man.
Join me and read the New Testament chronologically.  Send me notes.  Let's discuss it!
Click HERE to Order your Chronological Bible. 
It'll be shipped straight to your door!
The One Year Chronological Bible

Monday, September 24, 2012

September's Luncheon - Pornography Redemption Recap

How Our Marriage Survived Pornography, 
Rita and Kevin Bragg;
Luncheon Recap September 14th.
Revelation 12:11
They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony...  Italics mine

Sorry it's taken me a week to give you a recap of luncheon details, but Jury Duty threw my schedule last week.  If you were not there - you will want to order the CD.   Click HERE to order  (Until we get "September's tag up by the end of this week, click on August and send a note requesting September.  We'll get them out to you ASAP!)

Women at the luncheon were strengthened, encouraged, blessed, and equipped by the courageous and transparent testimony of Kevin and Rita Bragg. They boldly went where few in the church dare to go.

Rita's Story:
They both shared - but Rita went first, sharing how "the revelation" all came about.  As a woman, her introduction  to the life change that would soon follow was like a rug being pulled out from under her - it was abrupt and sudden.  Without warning, Rita had taught VBS one morning and the next morning she was confronted with the fact that her husband would be "going public" that Sunday and resigning his position at the church.

With no money or place to live - they shared the story of how God intervened on their behalf and did what only HE COULD DO.    His provisions were nothing short of miraculous.

One of the interesting things Rita said, (she said many), but I thought about our current culture...
  • The book, 50 Shades of Grey - is female porn.   
This book is a hot topic in our culture.  I have not read it - just sharing...

Kevin's Story

His thoughts were insightful and helpful.  Here are a few highlights:
  • Pornography addiction is chemical - all it takes is 1 look.
  • It's God's kindness that leads to repentance...  It was his wife's kindness (ultimately) that led to repentance.  (Repentance= turning from the sin)
  • "Secrecy kills; honesty heals."  Anything kept secret in a marriage - kills.  Honesty, not matter how hard eventually brings healing.
  • Turning from pornography has required reprogramming his mind - behavior modification does not work.
  • One of the way's he's learned to reprogram is to remember that a woman or a man in a pornographic image is someones daughter... Or son... When it's thought about in that prism - you begin to pray for that person.
  • Every man and woman needs an accountability partner - someone they can share their deepest, darkest and most ugly secrets without fear of judgement, but will hold them accountable. 
He also said that every computer - especially with kids in the house - needs "guard rails."  Below are a few of the suggestions he made.  "Some are free, but you get what you pay for," he cautioned.

Rita and Kevin boldly went where few in the church dare to go.  Their transparency is authentic and brought healing to many; hope to others; and yet education to many others.  Thank you Rita and Kevin for your willingness to overcome evil by the word of your testimony.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Are you that Jesus Person?

Deuteronomy 32:46-47
"These are not idle words for you [the Bible] - they are to be your life."

FYI:  I was released from Jury Duty!!!   My civic obligation was not necessary - thank God for answered prayer!

I met with a friend yesterday, and I could tell by her eyes something was wrong. 

I inquired.  She proceeded to tell me that:
  • she had been misjudged -
  • she was not given the benefit of the doubt -
  • she was accused -
  • the list could go on. 
I was infuriated.   My friend's heart is pure.  Her motives are as well. She was accused of evil and there's not an evil bone in her body.  And for someone to treat her in this way - I felt like a Mama Bear wanting to grawl at this person that hurt my friend.

And then it dawned on me...  The person that hurt my friend is a "Jesus Person."   Not only that, but she's a leadership Jesus person.

The UPS guy
Later in the day, the UPS guy arrived at my house with a shipment of books.  As he was carrying the books to my door, he asked what kind of books were in the box.  Bibles were in the box.  I went on to tell him that I'm a Christian writer and speaker and the founder of a nonprofit women's ministry called Knowing God Ministries. 

Barely taking a breath I asked, "Do you know God?"

With a funny look and a strong Russian accent he replied by telling me that he was once a Baptist Minister.

He went on to say that he had two degrees from Seminary.  And because of his love of the Scriptures and his determination to preach the Bible, the people in his small town North Carolina church had ran him off - he and his wife.

I wanted to cry for him.  I apologized and prayed silently, "Lord what do I say?"

Deuteronomy 32:46-47 came to mind.  (Thank you Holy Spirit!)

Then I told him, "I too have a love for the Scriptures.  In fact, Knowing God Ministries is founded upon Deuteronomy 32:46-47 which says, 'These are not just idle words for you [the Bible], they are to be your life,'"

With a smile on his face and tears in his eyes, he said goodbye.

I woke up this morning thinking about the leadership Jesus girl  that had shattered my friends' heart and the Jesus people who threw out their pastor because he wanted to teach the Bible.

Why do we do this???

If you haven't made up your mind what you think about God and Jesus and all this religious stuff... And you've been offended by "that Jesus Person,"  please give us the benefit of the doubt.  We are not perfect people.

And if you're reading this, and I have been that Jesus person to you, with all of my heart, I humbly ask you to please forgive me.

"Lord, forgive us when we misrepresent Who You truly are.  Forgive us when we are such a poor representation of Your grace, kindness and forgiveness.  Help us to live our lives in such a way that others want to know our Jesus."

Keep in mind:  You will never see a fish on the back of my car!  I'm trying... But I'll surely misrepresent Him if I do.

Message from the Christian Action League of North CarolinaChristian Action League of NC

We are happy to invite you, your friends, family, neighbors, and fellow church members to join us for an exciting event this coming Friday, Sept 21 at Christ Baptist Church in Raleigh. 

Please join us at 7:30pm for "Why the Church Should Vote"!  Every election we struggle over who to vote for and sadly many do not vote - in 2008 17 MILLION evangelical Christians did NOT vote!  If you are struggling with what to do as Election 2012 approaches or if you want to be equipped to minister to those who are, please attend this event!  You will hear from NC Supreme Court Justice Paul Newby, attorney Joe Knott, and Rev. Mark Creech.
For more information, go to:

Monday, September 17, 2012

Jury Duty

Esther 4:14
"...for such a time is this."
In the corner of the jury lounge.  Brought lots of work with me.
Today, (Monday) I have jury duty.  The timing could not be worse.   I’ve just come off of a major weekend and there’s always lots of follow up.  
But this morning and Saturday morning in my quiet time  – the Lord seemed to reiterate that it is not an accident that I’m here.  Saturday, I read, “I have called you to tell the truth and to render verdicts in your courts…”  (Zechariah 8:16)
“Oh great,” I thought.
And when I called on Friday night – to see if I had to report, the message said, “Jurors # 1-332 must report.” 
I’m #332!
And in my quiet time this morning, I was reading about  Esther in my Chronological Bible.   Her cousin, Mordecai told her that she was placed in the palace “for such a time as this.”
At the time, I didn’t understand how this applied to my day…  But as I opened the courthouse door this morning, I heard in my heart, “for such a time as this you are here.”
I’m trying hard not to complain and grumble but to look at the God side:
·         I’m sitting in one chair and have been all morning.  Kind of boring, but my body and mind is resting.  If I were at home – I’d be working relentlessly.
·         I’m actually taking time to plan and think things through.  I’m not sure about you, but when I’m super busy – I fly by the seat of my pants – sometimes attending to the urgent not the important.  I’ve had time this morning to think through what’s important and to properly plan.
·         I’m hungry.  But I’m praising Jesus there’s a Chick-fil-A 312 feet from me outside the courthouse.  (Yes, I googled the closest Chick-fil-A and Starbucks!)
SO, not by might, nor by power by the Spirit’s power in me, I will sit quietly and contently to see what the Lord has for me.   Still praying that I will be released!
Are you in a place you’d prefer not be?  Unless you’ve intentionally jumped out of God’s will – be at peace and be content.  Don’t fight Him and do not grumble.  (Remember, the Israelites spent 40 years in the desert due to unbelief and complaining.) You’re exactly where God wants you to be.  Look for His fingerprints in that place… For such a time as this – He has placed you.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Three Short Segments - Win prizes!

Today is different! 
3 short segments you will not want to miss 

Segment #1.  Bold Courageous Testimony -

Segment #2.  Next Step Speaker Services Opportunity

Segment #3.  Multiple Blessings - Opportunity to win amazing prizes such as

Art work; 2 hours of interior design services; free in home organization consultation and much more!



Wednesday is the last day to receive preregistration rate of $20.*
For Friday, September 14 Luncheon
Proverbs 4:4
"Wisdom is supreme, therefore get wisdom.  Though it cost you all you have, get understanding."

“I was a mom who thought I’d never deal with pornography in our home.  I was naive, and I was wrong.  Our son now has a redemption story, but it was devastating at the time.  Every mom needs to know how to safeguard her kids and how to respond when the unthinkable happens.”  ~Amy Carroll, Proverbs 31 Speaker

Keep in mind that this is a strong Christian mom who did all the right things in her household.  Devastation can bring redemption.  Don't miss this rare opportunity to hear words of wisdom, understanding, hope and encouragement.

Wednesday is the last day to receive preregistration rate of $20.
After Wednesday @ 5 - the rate goes to $25.  We must be good stewards to our hosts and give an accurate head count.  Even if you think you can attend, go ahead and register.  We will give you a credit for another luncheon if something comes up.
For Friday, September 14 Luncheon


For those of you with a dream and a calling to speak, my friend Amy Carroll has created Next Step Speaker Services.  Everyone can sign up for their free weekly speaking tips, and Next Step offers individual coaching as well as group conference calls.

On Thursday this week, Amy is leading a group call helping speakers to sharpen their message development skills.  Here are the details:
Brass Tacks: Message Development Essentials–Amy Carroll
Date: September 13
Time: 8:00 pm Eastern Standard Time
Developing a strong message is the beginning of building a growing speaking ministry. Amy shares the essential basics of a strong message along with tips she’s learned along the way from other speakers with decades of experience. She’ll guide you to write like a speaking pro as she leads you to:
  • Embrace scripture as the spring board for a fresh, personal message.
  • Identify the core idea in your message to give it laser-like focus.
  • Compel your audience to passionate response to the truths you’re sharing.
  • Create the opportunity for life-transformation in your audience.

If you’re interested, don’t miss it.  Sign up today!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Are You a Leader in Your Circle of Influence?

Are you called to speak?  Don't miss the exciting opportunity below!

Deuteronomy 32:47
"They are not just idle words for you [the Bible] - they are your life."

Friday of this week, we'll hold our monthly luncheon.  This one is exceptionally unique:  we will devote an entire luncheon to a subject that's permeating a soul eating cancer into our culture...

The subject is pornography.

One of our goals at Knowing God Ministries is to real and relevant -  confronting issues that women face with Words that are not just idle words, but Words that are to be our lives. 
The issue is nauseating - at least it is to me.  I'm the one who would naturally like to turn a blind eye.  But the Lord has quickened my heart with the thought of what better way to fight the enemy than to bring to light what he would rather stay hidden in darkness and behind closed doors???

One of my board members, Amy Carroll, a Proverbs 31 Speaker and founder of Next Step Speaker Services*(See below)  sent me a note last week with a plea to any woman who is a leader in circle of influence saying:

EVERY woman who is a leader in her circle of influence should attend this event.  Leaders MUST know how to deal with this topic, because it WILL be something they have to help someone through at some point--and statistically sooner than later. 
So don't think you that just because you aren't dealing with the issue of pornography - that it has no relevance in your life.... 

How many places are willing to deal head-on with this subject???  Don't miss this very rare opportunity to be informed and armed with wisdom for everyday life...

Wednesday is the last day to get the preregistration rate of $20
Friday, September 14, 2012
General Session:
Pornography - How Our Marriage Survived
$20/preregistration by Wednesday, September 12th.
$25 after 9/12 and at the door
Pornography: His and Her Perspective - Q & A
$5/with lunch
$10 workshop only
MacGregor Downs Country Club
430 Saint Andrews Lane
Cary, NC

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Denial to Pornography?

Matthew 10:16
"Be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves."

A friend of mine has a middle school aged son who plays lacrosse and needed a piece of equipment.  She told him to look online to see if Dicks Sporting Goods had the needed equipment.  (She was in the room with him.) 

So the 8th grade boy typed in what he thought his mom had said.  However, he didn't realize the importance of the "sporting goods" part in the name.   To my friend's horror, a slew of vile images popped up on the computer screen. 

Pornography is a huge issue that our innocent children can so easily stumble upon...

One woman sent me a note last week saying, that she this is "not her issue in marriage right now."   My thought was, 'Good!  I pray it never will be.'  But Internet porn is growing.  

I read a startling statistic yesterday:
50% of Christian men
20% of Christian women
37% of Pastors - are hooked on Internet porn.

I've also noticed other women in our culture just accept pornography as the way it is - a part of life.

And neither should you!

We must be wise women.   You may not be dealing with this - I pray you NEVER DO.  But vile images are often sent as email to our husbands or sons.  Vile, repulsive images seared on the minds our boys...If you are not already, I encourage you to wake up to this issue.

We must learn how to protect our sons -
We must learn that IF WE EVER have to deal with this issue - THERE IS HOPE.

Luncheon Date: 
Friday, September 14, 2012
Click HERE to register
General Session:
Pornography - How Our Marriage Survived
$20/preregistration by Wednesday, September 12th.
$25 after 9/12 and at the door*
Pornography: His and Her Perspective - Q & A

$5/with lunch
$10 workshop only

MacGregor Downs Country Club
430 Saint Andrews Lane
Cary, NC

First Time Attending?
Do you want to come but are nervous about coming - perhaps alone? Let us know so we can expect you and personally welcome you. Possibly pair you with one of our team members.

Contact Kelly Hollis @
What Do I wear?
Anything but short shorts and denim!

About our SpeakersKevin and Rita Bragg both grew up in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

Rita grew up in the home of a family who was actively involved in church. Kevin's parents divorced when he was eight in the midst of his Dad's battle with alcoholism. Following the insistence of his grandmother, Kevin became the church organist at the age of twelve.

Rita and Kevin's relationship began when Kevin accepted a staff position at Rita's home church. After 3 years of dating they were married.

In the summer of 2006, Kevin was confronted with an addiction to pornography which started at the age of twelve. As a result, the family left their ministry position and entered a season of recovery and restoration.

In October 2008, Kevin returned to ministry and in the summer of 2011, the Braggs became part of Hephzibah Baptist Church in Wendell where Kevin now serves as Worship Pastor. Their testimony is one of grace and restoration, not just for a fallen minister, but for a marriage, for a family, and for the next generation.

Rita and Kevin have been married for 16 years and have three boys, ages 11, 9 and 5.
Hope it's a good week:)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Friends with the Opposite Sex


Ephesians 4:27

Do not give the devil a foothold.

We've been talking about a specific kind of friend in these last few posts - a Jesus friend.  But just to make sure we are on the same page, 
A Jesus friend is a WOMAN if you are a woman. 
A MAN if you are a man.

Do you remember the scene in "When Harry Met Sally," when Harry told Sally that "no man can be friends with a woman that he finds attractive. He always wants to have sex with her." 

There's a lot of truth in that comment.  Ask any man.  If he's honest, he'll confirm it.  Except I call friendship with the opposite sex something else: "giving the devil a foothold."

If you are a married woman, the only male "friend" you should have is your husband. 

Now, I'm not talking about being friends with men. Being friends and being friends are two totally different things.   

What do I mean by being friends?  

It is completely inappropriate to call or email or connect with a married or single man on a regular basis without their spouse's knowledge.  

And it is doubly inappropriate if you are an attractive, single woman to connect with a married man on a regular basis.  

And even when it's business - YOU MUST put up boundaries.  I have a good friend whose husband made it his policy to intentionally NOT hire attractive assistants.  He is a believer; a devoted husband and father.  But he's honest enough with himself and his wife to know that working with an attractive woman would be too much of a temptation for him.

You see, this is how the devil works - you give him a foothold and he will do his best to make "nothing" into "something." 

This is also how fantasies begin.  You go home... And that particular day your spouse is not satisfying you the way you think they should be satisfying you.  You slowly begin to think your married to a slub... 

Then you remember that kind, well groomed, well mannered man that must be Mr. Perfect.

Then sexual thoughts can come into play.  Sexual immorality starts in the mind then leads to more... And let's be real - hot animal sex outside of marriage doesn't just happen in the bathroom of a restaurant at the very beginning of a relationship.   It starts innocently...  Perhaps with an email... a text or two or three...  More correspondence...   more meetings... 

Do you see what I'm saying? 

If you have a friendship with a married person other than connection here or there or brief business - BURN THE BRIDGE.  The other side may begin to look promising - oh, but girl, it's scorched earth on the other side.  And if you DO go there - there may be no way back to the other side...

Don't give the devil a foothold.