Journeyman Project Dispatches from the Life of Patrick Fowler: Christianity Explored

31Dec/150

And So It Begins: My 2016 Bible Reading Plan

51Z44tNaYHL._AA160_I am totally convinced that the one thing every person can do to grow the fastest is to spend time with God every single day. There’s great research out there to prove it—and it has proven to be true in my personal experience and the experience of others who take the challenge too.

As a pastor my greatest goal is to see people grow in big ways spiritually—so naturally, I get really excited when a new, simple to use tool arrives that helps that happen. The latest tool has become the foundation of my new personal Bible reading plan for the year: The Every Day with Jesus Bible.

Although I am a HUGE fan of the Bible app and have used their Bible reading plans with great success, I often find it distracting to read on my phone…and it can seduce me into thinking through the rest of the day before I’ve gotten into a good conversation with God. Print materials are often a better tool for me, provided I remember to keep them with me until I get my quiet time in.

I love the format of this Bible too. Instead of a straight read through the Bible, which can be a bit monotonous when you get into less applicable portions of the Bible, this Bible mixes together relevant passages from the Old Testament, New Testament and Psalms. It even includes a devotional thought to challenge me to apply what I have read each day in a very specific way.

Aside from a good study Bible, which I’ll be sure to keep close by while I do my reading, this Bible’s format really appears to be a great setup for my time with God this year. I even secured a few copies for $5 each during Lifeway’s holiday sale.

If you don’t already have a plan for your time with God this year, then I urge you to make one. Your time with God is far too important to miss, and far too important not to approach with some intentionality. Make sure you set a regular time, place, and format. No one…no one is too busy to neglect this crucial appointment in their day.

If you need a one year Bible, then let me know. I’ll get you one.
If you are new to this and need something simplier, then make sure you start each day with the Daily Bread devotional, online at www.odb.org or free in print.

But as we end 2015 and look forward to an exciting 2016, my biggest wish for you, is that your time with God each day leads to some amazing outcomes!

516-aHtQqpL._AA160_Oh, and remember: if you are a parent, make sure you do this with your kids too! Try out the Bible App for Kids or this printed version.

31Dec/150

And So It Begins: My 2016 Bible Reading Plan

51Z44tNaYHL._AA160_I am totally convinced that the one thing every person can do to grow the fastest is to spend time with God every single day. There’s great research out there to prove it—and it has proven to be true in my personal experience and the experience of others who take the challenge too.

As a pastor my greatest goal is to see people grow in big ways spiritually—so naturally, I get really excited when a new, simple to use tool arrives that helps that happen. The latest tool has become the foundation of my new personal Bible reading plan for the year: The Every Day with Jesus Bible.

Although I am a HUGE fan of the Bible app and have used their Bible reading plans with great success, I often find it distracting to read on my phone…and it can seduce me into thinking through the rest of the day before I’ve gotten into a good conversation with God. Print materials are often a better tool for me, provided I remember to keep them with me until I get my quiet time in.

I love the format of this Bible too. Instead of a straight read through the Bible, which can be a bit monotonous when you get into less applicable portions of the Bible, this Bible mixes together relevant passages from the Old Testament, New Testament and Psalms. It even includes a devotional thought to challenge me to apply what I have read each day in a very specific way.

Aside from a good study Bible, which I’ll be sure to keep close by while I do my reading, this Bible’s format really appears to be a great setup for my time with God this year. I even secured a few copies for $5 each during Lifeway’s holiday sale.

If you don’t already have a plan for your time with God this year, then I urge you to make one. Your time with God is far too important to miss, and far too important not to approach with some intentionality. Make sure you set a regular time, place, and format. No one…no one is too busy to neglect this crucial appointment in their day.

If you need a one year Bible, then let me know. I’ll get you one.
If you are new to this and need something simplier, then make sure you start each day with the Daily Bread devotional, online at www.odb.org or free in print.

But as we end 2015 and look forward to an exciting 2016, my biggest wish for you, is that your time with God each day leads to some amazing outcomes!

516-aHtQqpL._AA160_Oh, and remember: if you are a parent, make sure you do this with your kids too! Try out the Bible App for Kids or this printed version.

31Dec/150

And So It Begins: My 2016 Bible Reading Plan

51Z44tNaYHL._AA160_I am totally convinced that the one thing every person can do to grow the fastest is to spend time with God every single day. There’s great research out there to prove it—and it has proven to be true in my personal experience and the experience of others who take the challenge too.

As a pastor my greatest goal is to see people grow in big ways spiritually—so naturally, I get really excited when a new, simple to use tool arrives that helps that happen. The latest tool has become the foundation of my new personal Bible reading plan for the year: The Every Day with Jesus Bible.

Although I am a HUGE fan of the Bible app and have used their Bible reading plans with great success, I often find it distracting to read on my phone…and it can seduce me into thinking through the rest of the day before I’ve gotten into a good conversation with God. Print materials are often a better tool for me, provided I remember to keep them with me until I get my quiet time in.

I love the format of this Bible too. Instead of a straight read through the Bible, which can be a bit monotonous when you get into less applicable portions of the Bible, this Bible mixes together relevant passages from the Old Testament, New Testament and Psalms. It even includes a devotional thought to challenge me to apply what I have read each day in a very specific way.

Aside from a good study Bible, which I’ll be sure to keep close by while I do my reading, this Bible’s format really appears to be a great setup for my time with God this year. I even secured a few copies for $5 each during Lifeway’s holiday sale.

If you don’t already have a plan for your time with God this year, then I urge you to make one. Your time with God is far too important to miss, and far too important not to approach with some intentionality. Make sure you set a regular time, place, and format. No one…no one is too busy to neglect this crucial appointment in their day.

If you need a one year Bible, then let me know. I’ll get you one.
If you are new to this and need something simplier, then make sure you start each day with the Daily Bread devotional, online at www.odb.org or free in print.

But as we end 2015 and look forward to an exciting 2016, my biggest wish for you, is that your time with God each day leads to some amazing outcomes!

516-aHtQqpL._AA160_Oh, and remember: if you are a parent, make sure you do this with your kids too! Try out the Bible App for Kids or this printed version.

16Nov/150

True Poverty: Thoughts from my Trip with Compassion

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I recently spent a few days in the Dominican Republic getting up close and personal with their churches and the people they serve, and it was a stark reminder that true poverty looks a lot different that being poor.

Poverty in America is based on greed, poverty in the world is based on need. Americans hesitate to give money to charity because they see it go to people who don't truly have needs. We are jaded because people have learned how to take advantage of the system at every place so that they can get money without working hard for it. But there are people out there who desperately need us, and they need our help in a very specific, powerful way. We dare not let the poor keep us from helping the truly needy. In fact, we are commanded to take care of them!

When you reap the harvest of your land, you are not to reap all the way to the edge of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and the foreign resident; I am Yahweh your God.”
(Lev 23:22, HCSB)

True Poverty is very different than being poor.

True poverty is living in a home no larger than a closet.

True poverty sharing a bed with every member of your family.

True poverty is having a cat or dog because you can't keep the rodents out.

True poverty is when you kids walk around in one pair of clothes because the other is being cleaned.

True poverty is playing neighborhood baseball with a broomstick and bottle caps, because that’s all your community can get.

True poverty is living at the bottom of a hill where rain sends water streaming into your house.

True poverty is doing whatever a gang asks you to do, because they promise to provide for you.

True poverty is fixing a 30 year old fan for the 100th time because all your money goes toward food.

True poverty is praying with great passion because if God doesn't provide food or healing, the person being prayed for will almost certainly die.

True poverty is giving into a terrible man because staying with him at least guarantees you will have consistent food to eat.

True poverty robs us of so many unique people who would bring joy, wisdom and passion to our world…
and it should break our hearts to see true poverty. The problem is: you have to go looking for true poverty. It does not stand out on the street corner looking for a handout, most of the time. It’s hidden behind the facade of the homes that line the street, or down a neighborhood that we would never venture to, because it has nothing to tempt us. They might come to us, but we should be more intentional about going to them. If we want to help people who are truly in need: we have to find ways to find them and compassionately sort out the truly impoverished from the lazy.

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True poverty is not solved by rushing in and giving people all the things they might use to improve life, but giving them the love, wisdom, and and encouragement they need to work themselves out of it little by little. Handing a person a bunch of money without teaching them how to manage it…giving them food on a regular basis…it only teaches them to depend on you and the handouts of people.

Compassion taught me that fixing poverty means:

Empowering someone who knows the city, country, and culture of the people in need…not trying to be a hero from another country with more resources, but helping local heroes raise up more local heroes. In Compassion’s case, working through the local church.

Attacking poverty through provision, education, love and spiritual renewal. Poverty attacks all of a person, they need to be built up in every way to truly escape poverty. Through compassion, children receive food, resources, education, and love through the people and programs of a local church: and they correspond with a sponsor family by writing letters of encouragement on a regular basis.

In my opinion, there’s no better organization out there, than Compassion. In the fight to change our world, there’s no better place to entrust $38 a month than to the sponsorship of a child. I hope you can give a lot more and do a lot more than that, but its the BEST place to start. It will engage you financially, spiritually, and hopefully keep your heart focused on fixing the issue as you write to your sponsored kid.

www.compassion.com

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4Nov/150

Living with a Sense of Awe – John 1 (pg 222)

“Those living in darkness have seen a great light.”

Today is a day when I am struck by the sheer amazing fact that God chose to dwell among us. That He was willing to spend 33 years, even years as a helpless, defenseless child with us.

If I could live more in the awe that those thoughts encompass everyday, I am certain my attitude, choices, and actions would be radically different.

I need to be like John the Baptist in the first chapter of John’s gospel. He didn’t see himself as anyone special, even though he had great crowds following him and had attracted a lot of attention from the religious leaders. He didn’t claim to be a prophet, just a voice in the wilderness.

And he was in awe of Jesus. He said that he wasn’t even worthy to tie his sandal.

That’s true of me too. And yet, Jesus allows us to do so much more than tie his sandal. We are messengers of His arrival. We are workers in His ministry to the world. And we are called God’s sons and daughters.

Whew! That will leave you in awe…and I hope you can stay in that mindset.