Tag Archives: Tips

Four ways to get the most out of reading your Bible

By: Michael Simmelink

How many Christians have you met that are satisfied with the time they spend reading the Bible? My guess is a miniscule percentage. Perhaps it’s even zero. It’s a tough thing to get into the Word on a daily basis, but there aren’t enough excuses in the world to make us think it isn’t necessary to healthy spiritual growth. My goal here is not to suggest what plan to follow as you read through the Bible. There’s plenty of resources out there for that. You can follow the link here and also here to check out the various ways to explore all of God’s Word. That means even Numbers and Song of Songs for all you who think the Old Testament isn’t important – you best be checking yourself.

1. Print out a plan and follow it

“But I think God speaks to me better when I just open my Bible to a random page and start reading!” Yes, sometimes God chooses to speak to people by popping out certain parts of Scripture, i.e., Martin Luther and Saint Augustine. However, it’s much more likely that you’ll stick with something if it’s written out and planned ahead. It will let you know when you’re on schedule and inevitably fall behind. Most good plans have a grace days spaced out.

2. Get accountable

It seems like everyone wants you to have an accountability partner for everything. Someone to keep you accountable for working out. Someone to keep you accountable with lust. Homework, swearing, drinking in moderation, the list can grow and grow. But it’s entirely true that these things are easier when you’re not doing it alone, so don’t make it harder than it already is. Find a friend and start on the same reading plan. Text each other questions to see if the reading has been done.

3. Set a time

Saying you’ll find time to read the Bible will not last. It just doesn’t. Set aside time in your schedule to make sure you can open the Good Book. It doesn’t have to be daily at 5 a.m., but force yourself to make the time in your schedule. After practice on Monday. In between class and lunch on Thursday. Before work on Saturday. Let your accountability partner know so they can text you at the appropriate times.

4. Have a reason to think as you read

Give yourself some questions to think about as you read each day. Steve Addison writes in “What Jesus Started” about a friend who always asked four questions of any section of Scripture: What does this teach us about God? What does this teach us about humanity? Is there a command to obey? Is there an example to follow? Simple, general, but thought-provoking and action-based questions like these give you something to think about and take away.

What consistent Scripture reading comes down to is a commitment as an individual. No one can make you be disciplined, but hopefully these tips increase your eyes’ time between Genesis 1:1 and Revelation 22:21.

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5 ways to Survive Finals

Photo cred: ninewaysofknowing.com

Photo cred: ninewaysofknowing.com

By: Tyler Farr

One of the best things about college is that there are so many different things that you can do over the course of a school year. There are campus wide games, dances, sporting events, and random acts of fun, all of which will help you create the memories that will last you a lifetime. So, I am going to take a minute and remind everyone that as the school year comes to a close—HAVE FUN. I know that this time of year is crazy, stressful, sleepless, and even insane, but I cannot stress enough that having a little bit of fun will make the hard times better. So, here are 5 tips for finishing off the semester.

1)      Take random adventures: Is it raining outside? Grab some friends and dance in the rain. Hungry? Make a meal with your friends. While you are studying for dead week and finals just remember that the random memories are the ones you remember most.

2)      Take little breaks: Our brains can only work so hard, so if it’s taking a 15 minute nap, or watching part of a show, make sure that you break up your studying blocks. You might even be able to get some packing in.

3)      Go outside: While you might not be the most productive, being outside lets you soak up some vitamin D and makes you happier. Giving yourself a little bit of time during your study grind to be outside will make it easier to buckle down later.

4)      Have an All-Nighter: I would not suggest this the night before a final, but staying up late with a few friends studying will spark the most random and fun conversations. It is a college staple, and you might end up doing something that you will never forget.

5)      Find your study spot: Make sure you know where to go if you really have to pull up your bootstraps and study. It varies for most people, but even spending an hour a day in this spot will make you more productive.

Remember, dead week and finals week do not have to be the end of our existence. Yes, it’s hard, but you also need a little time to remind yourself that you are sane. Good luck, don’t procrastinate, and study hard!

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Seven Ways to Survive an Overload Credit Semester

By: Tyler Farr

I may be insane for overloading, but if I want to graduate in May of next year, sacrifices have to be made. This would be my sanity and my free time for the next two semesters. Between my six classes, soccer activities/workouts, and two jobs, I have to balance a lot. Twenty credits into the semester, I’ve come up with some tips to help me get through the sleepless nights and panic attacks.

1)      Space it out: Have to read a novel in a week? Break it down and be diligent. Whether it be 20 pages a day or 50, if you are sure that you do your part every day the load won’t become daunting the day before class. Like the book I have to read tomorrow…

2)      Set realistic goals: I would love to get straight A’s, but I know that most likely it won’t happen. I am going to aim for the best that I think I can do, and then adjust my standards as the semester goes on. As much as I would love another boost to my GPA, this semester is not about perfection.

3)      Have fun: Whether this be reading a good book or going out with friends, this is the key to your sanity. You will not be productive if you are brain dead, and your friends will not love you for neglecting them for four months. Do not say no to every invitation to go out, and take a break every once in a while.

4)      Exercise: I get plenty of this from my soccer workouts, but take a break and get your blood flowing. The endorphins will make you happier, and you will feel better. Morning workouts or yoga are the best because it gets your metabolism running and wakes you up without caffeine. This could be just a walk around campus, weight lifting, or even a Zumba session. You can study on the elliptical too, if you are skilled enough.

5)      Keep your favorite snack food on hand: For me it’s cosmic brownies, and the chocolate indulgence has saved me more than once from a breakdown. Do yourself the favor and make sure you have a good stock. While it is not always the healthiest solution, it sure makes you feel better.

6)      Spend time with God: For me it’s my nightly Bible reading. He will provide comfort and support when you feel overwhelmed.

7)      Minimize distractions: I have sacrificed my Netflix account and try my best to stay off of Hulu. Yes, Pinterest, Facebook, Tumblr, etc., are there just waiting for me to log on. I just have to stay away and do my best to stop myself from the hour long Facebook breaks. If you have a huge paper due, have your friend change all of your passwords. It sucks, but it is necessary.

I often fail at these tips, but I am making progress. So if you have to make the commitment to a semester that will make you want to pull your hair out, this is my suggested best practice. Good luck and happy studying. Don’t worry, your hair will grow back.

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