Memorize Scripture For A Song. Well, Practically For A Song.

Memorizing Scripture will strengthen your faith.  And we want to help you.

So from now till the end of the month we are offering individual Hide the Word Scripture Memory CDs for only $4.00 each plus shipping.  That’s less than a burger! And much better for your soul.  

Simply go to Forever Grateful Music to order or to listen to samples.

And if you can’t afford to buy a CD, email me and I’d love to send you a complimentary one.  Have a great Christmas!

Mark

The Heavens – A Wonderful New Devotional

This morning’s post is taken from my friend Kevin Hartnett’s delightful new devotional, The Heavens, Intimate Moments With Your Majestic God.

NAMED AFTER ITS CODISCOVERERS, ALAN HALE AND THOMAS BOPP, the magnificent Comet Hale-Bopp was easy to see with the naked eye during the months of March and April in 1997.  Comets are bodies of dirty ice and rock that travel around the Sun in long elliptically shaped orbits.  Some, like Comet Halley, return with relative frequency.  But most comets (like Hale-Bopp) take thousands of years to complete just one trip around the Sun.  Based on its orbit, this celestial visitor was last seen around the era of the Old Testament Patriarchs (circa 2000 BC).  Because of their unpredictable appearances and motions, comets have been viewed by many cultures throughout history as heralds of doom.  The English word disaster literally means “bad star,” from the Greek aster.

Has a dirty ice ball of unpredicted and unwelcomed events careened into your life?  Do circumstances seem completely haphazard or out of control?  Are you fearful of what tomorrow might bring?  If so, then be comforted by the knowledge that God is sovereign over all.  Nothing is haphazard in His universe or beyond His control.  Try to imagine the magnificent mind of God, working every circumstance–even the horrible death of His own Son on the cross–for the good of His sons and daughters.  His timing may be beyond our comprehension, but trust that He has a grand design for your life.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to his purpose.  Romans 8:28

The Heavens (published by Thomas Nelson) is a beautiful combination of doctrinally rich meditations, poetry, and majestic photos of stars, galaxies, and other celestial phenomena.  Kevin Hartnett works for NASA, and the beautiful photos in his book are both from NASA and some he took himself.  Kevin is also a poet and wrote the poems and the devotionals.  About every 10th devotion has a longer poem; then spaced about every 10 are devotions on attributes of God (Sovereignty, Omniscience, Unchangeableness, Transcendence, Holiness, Omnipresence, etc.).  Somewhat equally spread throughout the book are two other categories, one about particular constellations (The Lion of Judah (Leo), Justice (Libra), The Twins (Gemini) etc.) and ones about Jesus (e.g. Christ, the Morning Star; Christ, Our Bridegroom Christ, the Center; Christ, the Substance, etc.)

You can get The Heavens here or in Family Christian and Lifeway book stores.

“Walk Humbly” Is Here!

htw9 cover

“Walk Humbly” (Hide the Word 9), the ninth in a series of albums designed to help people memorize Scripture, is now available.

Walk Humbly consists of 20 scriptures (including references) set word-for-word to contemporary music, and I don’t mean muzak.

Memorizing Scripture has been one of the biggest blessings in my life.  Often when I’ve faced temptations or trials, God has brought Scriptures to my mind that I’ve memorized.  Sometimes I’ve recalled verses that have enabled me to encourage or strengthen others.

I’m able to memorize verses much easier when they’re set to music.  You can memorize Scripture while doing other things, like driving, canning pickles or roasting coffee.

A number of the verses on “Walk Humbly” have to do with humility.  Other Hide the Word albums focus several verses on themes like trusting God in trials (“Through the Waters” – Hide the Word 8).  Every HTW album includes several gospel-specific verses as well.

Today we’re giving away a free Scripture song from “Walk Humbly,” 1 John 1:7.  Listen to it by clicking the player below [RSS readers may need to click through to the post].

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Download it for free by clicking here.

Please check out the samples from this and other Hide the Word albums at forevergratefulmusic.com.  We’ve priced the CDs to make them affordable, and you get a 15% discount if you purchase a set.  If you can’t afford a CD, email me your name and address and I’ll send you one free.

5 Tips For Better Blog Reading

As a follow up to yesterday’s post, here are a few practical tips for better blog reading.

Clean Out Your Reader
If you’re like me, you blog reader can become obscenely cluttered. I see a blog that looks mildly interesting, click on the ‘subscribe’ button, and “bang” (it really makes that noise) it shows up in my feed reader. The result? I end up with information overload. I’m forced to skim lots of blogs without really getting anything out of any of them. If this describes you, do a purge on your blog reader so that you’re only focusing on blogs that are important to you. Currently my blog reader contains ten feeds, which is very manageable for me.

Do Some Real Reading
The tendency with blog reading is to skim, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, if blog reading is to have any real value in our life, we need to do some real reading. Find one or two well written, God-centered, Christ-exalting blogs and read them faithfully every day. For me this looks like reading Al Mohler’s blog every day. Other possibilities: Challies, Between Two Worlds, Desiring God, Josh Harris.

Do Some Skim Reading
Okay, I know this sounds like I’m contradicting myself, but there is a place for skim reading blogs. I can do a quick skim of the blogs that really matter to me to see if there is anything that I should stop and read. And of course some blogs lend themselves to this more than others. For example, I subscribe to a number of ‘productivity’ blogs. It’s easy to scan these for any useful information.

Subscribe To One Secular Blog
There are a number of blogs written by non-Christians that are a means of common grace to me. As I mentioned, I like reading blogs that focus on productivity. Most of these blogs aren’t written by Christians, and yet by reading them I’ve gained some great ideas on how I can be more effective in serving the Lord. Using discernment, find one secular blog that you think will motivate or inspire you. Examples: Lifehacker, Life Remix (Note: I don’t endorse all the content on these sites)

Take Everything With A Grain Of Salt
The blogosphere is full of opinions and ideas. Some are good, some are terrible, and some are heretical. Before you read a blog, read your Bible. By doing this you’ll gain discernment, which will help you navigate the murky waters of the blogosphere.

These are just my opinions on blog reading. I hope you find them helpful…

Free Sermon Downloads

Sermon downloads are now free at Sovereign Grace Ministries. Here are some must listen sermons from C.J. Mahaney:

A Biblical Understanding of Sleep – C.J. Mahaney. Click here to get it.

Cravings and Conflict – C.J. Mahaney. Click here to get it.

Enjoying Grace and Detecting Legalism – C.J. Mahaney. Click here to get it.

The Main Thing (Part 1) – C.J. Mahaney. Click here to get it.

The Main Thing (Part 2) – C.J. Mahaney. Click here to get it.