Sunday, August 4, 2013

Week 32: A Better Way

 This week's Bible reading plan is as follows:
  • Sunday: 2 Chronicles 35:1-36:23; 1 Corinthians 1:1-17; Psalm 27:1-6; Proverbs 20:20-21
  • Monday: Ezra 1:1-2:70; 1 Corinthians 1:18-2:5; Psalm 27:7-14; Proverbs 20:22-23
  • Tuesday: Ezra 3:1-4:23; 1 Corinthians 2:6-3:4; Psalm 28:1-9; Proverbs 20:24-25
  • Wednesday: Ezra 4:24-6:22; 1 Corinthians 3:5-23; Psalm 29:1-11; Proverbs 20:26-27
  • Thursday: Ezra 7:1-8:20; 1 Corinthians 4:1-21; Psalm 30:1-12; Proverbs 20:28-30
  • Friday: Ezra 8:21-9:15; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13; Psalm 31:1-8; Proverbs 21:1-2
  • Saturday: Ezra 10:1-44; 1 Corinthians 6:1-20; Psalm 31:9-18; Proverbs 21:3
Our S.O.A.P. this week is from the book of Psalms:

Scripture: Psalm 27:4, 5
"The one thing I ask of the Lord—
the thing I seek most—
is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
delighting in the Lord's perfections
and meditating in his Temple.
For he will conceal me there when troubles come;
he will hide me in his sanctuary.
He will place me out of reach on a high rock."

This is a request for the peace and safety of the Lord's presence and protection. As I read this passage early today, it resonated in my heart. I want to experience unencumbered intimacy with God every day, filling every thought with his perfections. I want as well to experience the safety of his grace, insulating me from the dangers that lurk beyond his embrace.

It's not that I have a problem remembering his promise...that he will never leave or forsake me. But I often wake up in the midst of stressful situations, like a sleepwalker in the discover that I have ventured into the pressures and uncertainties of life without being sufficiently tethered to God and his promises.

It's not that he has left or forsaken me; it's that I am repeatedly distracted by my tendency to worry as the first response to stress and "take the bull by the horns" and try to work out the problem on my own. Only after I've rendered myself an emotional wreck do I discover that I've been trying to manage life on my own, without God's help...again!

I want to break this pattern and find God's peace...God's holy the midst of the turmoil, like that seventeenth-century saint, Brother Lawrence. I want to replace worry and panic as my kneejerk reaction to stressful circumstances with worship and prayer.

O Father, just wanting this change is not sufficient. But it is a first step, which turns me back to you long enough to ask for your help. I think I've been praying for the wrong thing—namely, for you to take away the challenges and stressors that create such disequilibrium in my life. What I ask for today, in Jesus' name, is that you would change the orientation of my soul...away from the problems without and back to you and your abiding presence. Please use the wisdom from failed attempts to manage things on my own to break me of the tendency to react with worry and fear when storms intensify. Please, for Jesus' sake, let my first and only response be to seek refuge in you. Amen.

May God's peace and protection surround you this week.


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Week 31: Having "Eyes and Ears" that Count!

This week's Bible reading plan is as follows:
  • Sunday: 2 Chronicles 21:1-23:21; Romans 11:13-36; Psalm 22:1-18; Proverbs 20:7 
  • Monday: 2 Chronicles 24:1-25:28; Romans 12:1-21; Psalm 22:19-31; Proverbs 20:8-10 
  • Tuesday: 2 Chronicles 26:1-28:27; Romans 13:1-14; Psalm 23:1-6; Proverbs 20:112 
  • Wednesday: Chronicles 29:1-36; Romans 14:1-23; Psalm 24:1-10; Proverbs 20:12 
  • Thursday: 2 Chronicles 30:1-31:21; Romans 15:1-22; Psalm 25:1-15; Proverbs 20:13-15 
  • Friday: 2 Chronicles 32:1-33:13; Romans 15:23-16:9; Psalm 25:16-22; Proverbs 20:16-18 
  • Saturday: 2 Chronicles 33:14-34:33; Romans 16:10-27; Psalm 26:1-12; Proverbs 20:19
Our S.O.A.P. this week is from the book of Proverbs:

Scripture: Proverbs 20:12
"Ears to hear and eyes to see—
both are gifts from the LORD."

This is talking about more than physical hearing and seeing. The gifts of sight and sound are precious in themselves to be sure! But greater still is the gift of spiritual discernment. Jesus condemned the people of his generation for having eyes but not being able to truly see and ears but not being able to discern God's voice in their midst.


One of our greatest aspirations as followers of Jesus Christ is to become persons of spiritual discernment. I want to have eyes that see what God wants me to see and ears that hear what God is saying.

O Lord, please help me be a person of wisdom, discretion, and discernment for Jesus' sake. Amen.

Have a great week!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Note from the authors

Our weekly 'Bible-in-one-year' blog posts have been moved to the following site:

It is now part of our Woodhaven Community Church main web-site:

Our hope is to reach more (local) people without compromising our initial purpose with this blog, and perhaps even enhance the visual experience for our existing readers. All previous posts have been transferred from this blog to our new blog site, but new posts will no longer appear on this Blogger blog.

Thanks for your continued interest in this blog. We hope you continue to follow us - and continue to follow the 'Bible-in-one-year' reading schedule on the new site.

In Christ,

Chuck Conniry
Dick de Roover

Sherwood, July 15, 2013

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Week 28: God's Embrace

This week's Bible reading plan is as follows:
  • Sunday: 1 Chronicles 4:5-5:17; Acts 25:1-27; Psalm 5:1-12; Proverbs 18:19
  • Monday: 1 Chronicles 5:18-6:81; Acts 26:1-32; Psalm 6:1-10; Proverbs 18:20-21
  • Tuesday: 1 Chronicles 7:1-8:40; Acts 27:1-20; Psalm 7:1-17; Proverbs 18:22
  • Wednesday: 1 Chronicles 9:1-10:14; Acts 27:21-44; Psalm 8:1-9; Proverbs 18:23-24
  • Thursday: 1 Chronicles 11:1-12:18; Acts 28:1-31; Psalm 9:1-12; Proverbs 19:1-3
  • Friday: 1 Chronicles 12:19-14:17; Romans 1:1-17; Psalm 9:13-20; Proverbs 19:4-5
  • Saturday: 1 Chronicles 15:1-16:36; Romans 1:18-32; Psalm 10:1-15; Proverbs 19:6-7
Our S.O.A.P. this week is from the book of 1 Chronicles:

Scripture: 1 Chronicles 4:9, 10
"There was a man named Jabez who was more honorable than any of his brothers. His mother named him Jabez because his birth had been so painful. He was the one who prayed to the God of Israel, 'Oh, that you would bless me and expand my territory! Please be with me in all that I do, and keep me from all trouble and pain!' And God granted him his request."

Ever since Bruce Wilkinson published his 2000 bestseller, The Prayer of Jabez: Breaking Through to the Blessed Life, I haven't been able to read this passage the same way. By all accounts, this passage gives us a passing glance at an obscure person in Scripture (the man Jabez is mentioned only here), who offers a rather shallow, self-centered prayer – he asked for more land, more success in life, and freedom from pain and suffering.

The truly amazing thing about this prayer is that God answered it!

The point is that God meets us wherever we are at in life...and grants even the simplest (even selfish) requests. The prayer, in other words, highlights God's grace and concern for every one of us. And that's a beautiful thing!

Mr. Wilkinson is a devout Christian man, and he wrote the book with the best of intentions. However, a lot of people applied the book in ways that the author never intended, taking the prayer to be some sort of magic incantation as it were...that could be memorized and prayed repeatedly to get phenomenal (usually self-centered) results. Within a year of the book's publication, Wilkinson published a follow-up book, Secrets of the Vine, in which he talked about how pain and suffering often play an important role in our spiritual growth...and that trying to get everything we desire in life is often counterproductive to our relationship with God.

I resonate more with the Psalmist's prayer in today's reading from Psalm 5:
O Lord, hear me as I pray;
pay attention to my groaning.
Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God,
for I pray to no one but you.

Lead me in the right path, O Lord,
or my enemies will conquer me.
Make your way plain for me to follow.

But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
let them sing joyful praises forever.
Spread your protection over them,
that all who love your name may be filled with joy.
For you bless the godly, O Lord;
you surround them with your shield of love.

I do not want to experience hardships...and I certainly do not pray for them. However, I also realize that we have tribulations in this world. Jesus said we would. When I find myself in the midst of difficulty, I pray that I would also find myself in the fullness of God's embrace.

Father in Heaven, please help me find you in any and every circumstance. I pray in Jesus' name. Amen!

Have a great week!


Sunday, June 30, 2013

Week 27: Living the Faithful Life

This week's Bible reading plan is as follows:
  • Sunday: 2 Kings 17:1-18:12; Acts 20:1-38; Psalm 148:1-14; Proverbs 18:6-7
  • Monday: 2 Kings 18:13-19:37; Acts 21:1-17; Psalm 149:1-9; Proverbs 18:8
  • Tuesday: 2 Kings 20:1-22:2; Acts 21:18-36; Psalm 150:1-6; Proverbs 18:9-10
  • Wednesday: 2 Kings 22:3-23:30; Acts 21:37-22:16; Psalm 1:1-6; Proverbs 18:11-12
  • Thursday: 2 Kings 23:31-25:30; Acts 22:17-23:10; Psalm 2:1-12; Proverbs 18:13
  • Friday: 1 Chronicles 1:1-2:17; Acts 23:11-35; Psalm 3:1-8; Proverbs 18:14-15
  • Saturday: 1 Chronicles 2:18-4:4; Acts 24:1-27; Psalm 4:1-8; Proverbs 18:16-18
Our S.O.A.P. this week is from the book of 2 Kings:

Scripture: 2 Kings 18:5, 6
"Hezekiah trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before or after his time. He remained faithful to the Lord in everything, and he carefully obeyed all the commands the Lord had given Moses."

Nothing better could be said about a person than was said of Hezekiah here. He was God’s man, through and through.

I want to be the same! Therefore I will do my best to be God's man today, for this day is all I have to be so.

O Lord, I am yours and you are mine. Please this be true in ever greater measure as that Day approaches, for Jesus' sake. Amen!

Have a great week!


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Week 26: Hearts Purified by Faith

This week's Bible reading plan is as follows:
  • Sunday: 2 Kings 4:18-5:27, Acts 15:1-35, Psalm 141:1-10, Proverbs 17:23
  • Monday: 2 Kings 6:1-7:20, Acts 15:36-16:15, Psalm 142:1-7, Proverbs 17:24-25
  • Tuesday: 2 Kings 8:1-9:13, Acts 16:16-40, Psalm 143:1-12, Proverbs 17:26
  • Wednesday: 2 Kings 9:14-10:31, Acts 17:1-34, Psalm 144:1-15, Proverbs 17:27-28
  • Thursday: 2 Kings 10:32-12:21, Acts 18:1-22, Psalm 145:1-21, Proverbs 18:1
  • Friday: 2 Kings 13:1-14:29, Acts 18:23-19:12, Psalm 146:1-10, Proverbs 18:2-3
  • Saturday: 2 Kings 15:1-16:20, Acts 19:13-41, Psalm 147:1-20, Proverbs 18:4-5
Our S.O.A.P. this week is from the book of Acts, Chapter 15, verses 7 to 11:

"Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. 8 God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. 9 He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith.10 Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? 11 No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are."
Peter addresses the congregation in Jerusalem during a dispute about whether non-Jewish (gentile) believers in Jesus Christ should comply with 'Jewish rules and religion' by being circumcised and being forced to keep the law of Moses. Some Jewish believers had brought this issue up -- without consent from the apostles and their elders in Jerusalem. They thought that you cannot be saved, unless you're circumcised and keep the law of Moses (verse 1).

Funny how hard it can be sometimes, to let go of the 'moral rules and religion of your upbringing', and replace them with faith in Jesus Christ. These Jewish believers sure were struggling with that. But Peter is very clear in his response, our SOAP verse for today. Peter had the authority to speak out on this issue, because God had used him to be the first apostle to bring the gospel to the non-Jews, remember Acts 10 and 11. He mentions that God knows each person's heart, and that He accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them (the non-Jews), just as He gave his Spirit to the apostles and Jewish believers. I love what Peter says next: "God did not discriminate between Jewish and non-Jewish believers, because he purified their hearts by faith."

God is the one who gives us his holy Spirit, and God is the one who purifies our hearts by faith. We can partake in the new life that Jesus Christ gives without being bound by rules and religion. Purification of the heart is not a one-time thing though. It's an on-going process! I need to continually ask God to fill me with his Spirit and to purify my heart by faith. As our Father in Heaven, he wants his children to depend on him, to have faith in him. When we learn to depend more and more on him, not on our own rules, our hearts become purer and purer, and we more and more resemble his son Jesus Christ. That's what I want for myself, and for you as well...

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you that you did not discriminate, and that you gave your Spirit to us. Thank you for purifying our hearts by faith. Help us to increasingly trust you in everything. Not by our own power and strength, but through your Spirit, in the power of your son Jesus Christ. In His Name we pray. Amen.

Have a great week. Pray that the gospel of Jesus Christ may continue to be proclaimed and believed by many all around the world.


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Week 25: Faith First

This week's Bible reading plan is as follows:
  • Sunday: 1 Kings 15:25-17:24, Acts 10:24-48, Psalm 134:1-3, Proverbs 17:9-11
  • Monday: 1 Kings 18:1-46, Acts 11:1-30, Psalm 135:1-21, Proverbs 17:12-13
  • Tuesday: 1 Kings 18:1-46, Acts 11:1-30, Psalm 135:1-21, Proverbs 17:12-13
  • Wednesday: 1 Kings 20:1-21:29, Acts 12:24-13:15, Psalm 137:1-9, Proverbs 17:16
  • Thursday: 1 Kings 22:1-53, Acts 13:16-41, Psalm 138:1-8, Proverbs 17:17-18
  • Friday: 2 Kings 1:1-2:25, Acts 13:42-14:7, Psalm 139:1-24, Proverbs 17:19-21
  • Saturday: 2 Kings 3:1-4:17, Acts 14:8-28, Psalm 140:1-13, Proverbs 17:22
Our S.O.A.P. this week is from the book of 1 Kings:


1 Kings 17:12-14
12 "As surely as the LORD your God lives," she replied, "I don't have any bread--only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it--and die." 13 Elijah said to her, "Don't be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. 14 For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the LORD sends rain on the land.' "
Chapter 17 of 1 Kings is a remarkable testimony to God's faithfulness and provision in many ways. First, the LORD provides for Elijah by commanding ravens to supply food for him (verse 4). When the water of the Jordan river dries out after several years of drought, the LORD commands a non-Jewish woman, a widow from the town of Zarephath in Sidon, to supply food for Elijah. Next, the LORD miraculously provides for the widow, her son, and Elijah, by supplying flour and oil. At the end of the story, the LORD even provides life to the boy after he was terminally ill.

What is great about this story is that Elijah (and really God), meet the widow at her moment of despair. When he first meets her, she is in a desperate condition, see verse 12. She has just enough food left to make one more meal, after which she and her son are going to die from starvation. What happens next is remarkable. Elijah tests the woman's faith by asking her to first bring water and food to him, before making that last meal for herself and her son (verse 13). The woman goes home, and actually does what Elijah says (verse 15). She had faith! I think that is why the LORD selected her out of many... He met her in her worst condition, tested and affirmed her faith, and provide for her.

This story very much applies to our lives. Oftentimes we have to come to a desperate situation to find the LORD. The beautiful thing is that the LORD meets us at just the right time. He already went before Elijah and commanded this woman to supply food for him. The LORD goes before us and works in our lives and our situations. He wants us to depend on him, and oftentimes that means he has to break our pride and bring us to a point where all we can do is look up to him for help. The question is... do we have faith like this widow had?

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for this example of this widow who showed faith in you. Help us to be like her. Thank you for meeting us in our darkest situations, and for your faithfulness and provision. Most of all, we thank you for providing your Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He is the bread that gives life eternal. Amen.

Have a wonderful week of reading. Happy Father's Day to all fathers out there!

In Christ,