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7 Ways to Saturate Your Life with Scripture

FaithAmanda Walter | Maple Alps7 Comments

If you’ve chosen to read this post, chances are you have met or are one of those Christians who aim to read the Bible every year. Bible reading plans are often printed out and laid next to our reading areas, but somewhere around February (Or 1 Chronicles - whichever comes first), the boxes stop getting checked off. The important thing is you tried, and you realize the importance of reading God’s word. But don’t let the discouragement stop you.

Since this is not a post about why you should read the bible, but rather how you can saturate your life with scripture, I will not go deep into that topic.

Just know that the Bible is literally God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16) and is God’s very word to us! It’s His love letter and His guidance for our lives, and the very key to knowing who God is.

Reading the Bible guards against false teaching, changes our hearts to be more like Christ, challenges us in every way possible, and is for each of us.

I would say that is reason enough! So how can we saturate our lives with Scripture and keep God’s word in our hearts? I am sharing 7 practical ways that have helped me personally. Please stay till the end and tell us in the comments how you practice keeping scripture in your hearts!

Saturate Your Life with Scripture | www.maplealps.com

 

Set aside times every day

I’ve caught myself go a whole day without stopping to read the scriptures. Don’t let this be you! Set timers to wake up early in the morning. Set alarms to remind you to read before bed. Whenever you feel you want to spend time in the Word, do it - but it helps to create habits. We are, after all, creatures of habit.

 

Don’t just Read The Bible - Study It

In this fast-paced world, it’s tempting (and unfortunately common) to read fast just to say we’ve done it. Resist! Take your time. Don’t just read the Bible. Study it. For more on how to study the Bible, check out this post here.

 

Memorize Scripture

“Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against Thee.”

Take time to memorize scripture. It will make it easier to resist temptation and help you discern what is good in your life.

 

Use Scripture Art in your home

Sure, you could keep some sticky notes on your bathroom mirror, but you could also try putting up framed verses on your walls to make it pretty. Display your favourite scriptures all over your home in sweet, attractive ways.

 

Listen to an Audio Bible

This is a fantastic thing to do, especially when you have a long commute. The Bible itself talks about the “hearing” of the Word, so I think this fits quite nicely. Sometimes you will hear something that you missed while reading, and when you go to read it later, it will be reinforced by what you heard. You can even find audio Bibles that are dramatized or read in an engaging way if you’re afraid it will put you to sleep.

 

Share God’s Word

Don’t hide your light under a bushel! Share what you have learned with others! This not only spreads the Good News but also reinforces what you have already learned. You never really know something until you tell someone else. That’s probably why my friend in medical school tells me all about the things she learns before a test now that I think about it …

 

Pray through Scripture promises

I talked a little bit about this before, but pray through Scripture promises! The Bible is full of promises for us to claim. Once I became aware of this, I couldn’t stop seeing them every time I picked up the Bible! God has so much He wants to bless us with - all we need to do is humbly ask!

 

bible promises www.maplealps.com
 

How do you saturate your life with Scripture?


 

On Comparing Yourself to Others

FaithAmanda Walter | Maple Alps5 Comments

Is it just me who has struggled with comparing myself to other people? I used to catch myself feeling sorry for myself when thinking about others people, or seeing their lives flash before me on social media channels. It used to consume me. I moped around in a constant pity party not seeing any value or worth in who I was and it affected every area of my life. I did not realize that comparison for me was truly just another word for envy and idolization.

I am sometimes tempted to think less of myself and watch and romanticize and covet the lives of those around me. The other extreme of comparison can lead to self-righteousness; thinking we are better than others. When I do catch myself, I find that doing the following tips help me quickly get back on track. 

Look to Jesus

The only true comparison we should care about is our comparison to Jesus. We are called to be like Him, so why do we bother looking at anyone else? As one of my favourite hymns goes, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus...and the things of earth will go strangely dim…”. To be like Christ, we must look at Christ.I could honestly end my post here because this is the key, but I will go on and share some more practical points...

 

Find Inspiration

Choose to be inspired by the stories of others. I have personally been inspired by those who have complete, sold-out lives for the Lord and who make a difference in others’ lives - including my own. 

 

Count Your Blessings, be Thankful & Choose to be Content

Count your own blessings and recognize what God has done in your life. I guarantee that if you look back, you can see His leading. Remember His leading in the past, and trust He will lead you now if you continue to surrender yourself to Him. Be thankful, and you will have a hard time complaining. 


Embrace Yourself

We are all individual beings with quirks and personalities that are unique to us. It’s unfair to compare our individuality with someone else’s.

 

"Compare" Yourself To Yourself

Challenge yourself in the areas you want to improve! Chances are, you already have! I have kept a journal for years, and once in a while I'll go back and read entries and see how much I've changed and grown. I'll pour over the stories of challenges I've overcome and am encouraged. 

 "But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbour. For each will have to bear his own load." Galatians 6:4-5

 

Steer Away from Social Media

Let’s talk frankly for a second. While “Keeping up with the Joneses” has always been a thing, social media has increased our awareness of what everyone is doing. But here’s a secret: most people just post the best versions of themselves. I was talking to a friend who was recently on a trip. I was telling her how fun her trip looked based on the photos and such she was posting. She looked at me blankly and said, “I actually had a terrible time. I only posted the fun-looking stuff to make it seem like I was having a blast. Social media only sees the best parts, not the real story.”

I have since decided to stop scrolling excessively (or obsessively) through social media because every time I do, I'm tempted to want the lives I see through my computer or phone even though reality may not be portrayed.

 

Remember that Photoshop Exists

If you, like a lot of people on this planet, struggle with comparing yourself not only to the lives of your friends, but to the images plastered on billboards, in magazines, and the stars who lead seemingly perfect lives, remember that most of the time, these things are far from reality. For years we have been trying to reach impossible beauty and lifestyle standards - all in vain. Remember that we are all unique and that the images that are thrown at us at every side are often made to appear better than they truly are.

 

Move On - You’re Wasting Time

You only have so much time in a day! Why waste even a minute loathing in self-pity and wallowing in sadness as a result of comparing yourself with others?

 

Be Happy for People

Genuinely rejoice for others’ successes and blessings. This will make it hard for you to be resentful towards them for something you cannot help. 

 

Read the Scriptures

Read God's Word! There are so many promises and verses that tell us how precious we are to God. Among those is one of my favorites that reminds that while men look at the outward appearance, God looks at the heart.

 

bible promises
 

Do you struggle with comparing yourself to others? What helps you? Let me know below in the comments!


 
 

Intentionality Spotlight: Blog Love: Transparency Blog

Faith, Intentionality SpotlightAmanda Walter | Maple Alps11 Comments

Today starts a new segment on Maple Alps: Intentionality Spotlight! Similar to Women of Intention, different bloggers will be featured in an interview style. Unlike Women of Intention, the focus will be more on their blogs themselves, as well as an area of intentionality in their life.

I am excited to kick off this series with Hanha of Transparency Blog. It has been a blast getting to know her enthusiastic self (and doing an interview with her over at her blog here too!) and I am excited to introduce her to all of you. Stay until the end to find out how you can follow her amazing blog as well!

Intentionality Spotlight: Blog Love: Transparency Blog | www.maplealps.com

 

First some easy stuff: Tell us a bit about yourself. What is your work, passions, and interests?

Hi, my name is Hanha and I am the writer behind Transparency Blog! To fit everything in one nutshell, I am basically super passionate about encouraging others and sharing the love of Christ - like I met Jesus and now there’s no turning back like the old hymn says haha. I graduated from the University of National Champions—Go Heels!— and I’m currently pursuing plans to become a physician in the near future, either in family medicine or pediatrics.

A few fun facts? I’m addicted to Grey’s Anatomy. I have a special place in my heart for tacos, and podcasts are my present obsession. In my spare time, I daydream about places I can travel and I love connecting with friends on Instagram. Come say hi!

 

You write a beautiful blog on faith. How did you come to begin Transparency Blog, and what is your goal for it as a blog? Did you always intend this to be your blog’s focus?

Thank you so much! Beginning Transparency Blog was a process. A PROCESS! I started writing when I got to college in 2012, and when I say writing, I signed into my google account and used it as an expressive means to write prayers and talk to God. I would literally throw on some worship music and just write, or should I say complain? Haha (Freshman year was rough, okay?!)

But it wasn’t until I saw a friend share a post from her own blog that I thought about the idea. So then there was the whole battle with whether or not to make my blog public. I fought insecurities like, “What if no one reads it? What if my friends judge me? And how will mine be different since everyone and their mom is blogging nowadays?” You can read more about that here, but somehow I did it, and it took about 2 years to take that leap of faith.

A year of on-and-off posting, and then pride set in. I started to research all the ways that I could make my blog famous, and lost sight of the sole purpose of my why, which was to talk about how great Jesus is. So I stopped - out of nowhere and for awhile. I basically gave up, and decided to just leave it alone.

 
clear transparency | www.maplealps.com
 

That was in 2015, but something changed this year. I made it one of my personal goals to get back into blogging, and this time I wanted to be more consistent and have the right intentions. I battled with another round of insecurities, but it only took about 3-4 months because God and some friends basically encouraged me by saying it didn’t matter if my blog grew or not, or if people read it. What mattered is that I was being obedient to what God was telling me to do, which was to write what he placed on my heart.

I originally wanted to focus my time on Instagram - posting consistently and engaging with other people, but 3 weeks in, I felt led to write more. Some captions were just entirely too long to be captioned, and it was difficult to place all the links I wanted to share. So here I am! It’s June 2017, and I finally feel like I’m exactly where God wants me to be. And I also feel like I’m walking boldly in my calling as well.

Transparency Blog has always been about writing about my faith because it’s purpose is to give Jesus all the glory that He righteously deserves. It’s why I chose the name Transparency because I want to be transparent about my life in order to encourage other believers to pursue Christ with their whole heart.

My primary goal is to honestly be obedient to whatever God has for me. But secondary to that, it is my prayer to inspire other Christians by reminding them that they are deeply loved, that they are important, and that someone cares about them. I want them to know that they aren’t alone on this journey, and that there is a community for them if they ever find themselves needing one.

 
clear transparency | www.maplealps.com
 

I love how you write so passionately and intentionally about your faith and the lessons you learn from what you read in the Bible and your life. How do you decide on what topics to share about?

Believe it or not, I honestly do not know. HA! Plot twist. Sometimes, I write what God has placed on my heart and other times I share stories and try to figure out how I can connect them back to faith. And I love sharing stories about the lives of other people. I think that we can all learn from each other, because we each have something unique to offer! Even at church, testimonies are some of the most powerful examples of God’s grace and faithfulness.  

Seriously, anything that talks about the power of God and how amazing He is, is fair game. And what’s even better is that God is alive! The lessons keep coming, and the more we seek Him, the more He will transform the renewing of our minds so that we can become more like Him. So being led by the Holy Spirit is the best way I decide on what to write about. But then again, because I’ve just recently started to get back into blogging, I’m beginning to find my niche and figure out what topics my readers want to read more about.

 

What is one specific area in your life you find that intentionality is critical? How do you exercise mindfulness in it?

PRAYER! Prayer is absolutely huge for me, and I would say worship is too. I truly believe that we are called to have a heart of worship, and I think the best way to worship is through prayer. I think that it is through prayer that God speaks to us, connects with us, and shows us just how much He cares for us.

For me, I make an effort to spend time with the Lord in prayer at least every 2 days. I’m constantly talking with God throughout the day, but I’m talking about truly taking 15-20 minutes to sit, meditate, and worship Him. That has honestly been life-changing for me. I’ve cried my hardest tears sitting at the feet of Jesus, and they are the same moments where I have found restoration and redemption through Him.

We get to witness how sufficient His grace is through prayer, and it reminds me of my favorite quote, “Once a man was asked, ‘What did you gain by regularly praying to God?’ The man replied, ‘Nothing… but let me tell you what I lost: anger, ego, greed, depression, insecurity, and fear of death.’ Sometimes, the answer to our prayers is not gaining but losing, which ultimately is the gain.”

 


 

If you could give one piece of advice about prayer to someone who struggles with it, what would you tell them?

Get yourself a prayer journal. That has also been completely life-changing for me. In my prayer journal, I write down everything, and I mean EVERYTHING! From sermon notes, to my personal prayer requests, other people’s prayer requests, my dreams, and the visions God has given me for my life.

The best and most humbling part is that God has answered every single one of the prayers that I have wrote down. Even with the specific job that I was looking for, God answered it and I sit in awe of His power. I will note that most of my prayers have dealt with the posture of my heart, but I do believe that God is extremely faithful in all things.

So if you’re struggling with spending time with God everyday and being intentional with your prayer life, then I think a prayer journal is a great incentive to start. It may be difficult at first, but as you look back on the things you’ve wrote, you get to see God’s faithfulness and provision. You also get to see how much you grow over time, even in areas that you forgot you even prayed about.

Everyone always talks about creating a vision board at the beginning of the year, but those visions and dreams do not have to stop after January 1st. Habakkuk 2:2 says, ‘Then the LORD replied: "Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it.” He says that His mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:23), so why not write what God shares with you each and every day and be a witness to His power?

When you have something to write down, it holds you more accountable to your habit. For me, it’s definitely a little awkward when I notice I’ve missed a few days. And honestly, that feeling of witnessing God provide over and over again becomes addictive. The more He answered my prayers, the more I wanted to write everything down. So I challenge you to activate your faith because God really can do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us!

 

Find Hanha at her website, Transparency Blog and on Instagram


 

8 Tips To Go Deeper Into God’s Word

FaithAmanda Walter | Maple Alps14 Comments

Until recent years, you could have found me approaching bible study like most women. I'd flip to a Psalm or open up a devotional and spend about 5 minutes trying to apply it to my life. I craved something more but just wasn't equipped to do anything about it.

While devos have their place, women would do well to strive for deeper immersion into the Word of God.

So, here are some tips I've learned over the years that I thoroughly recommend adding to your bible study routine.

 

8 Tips To Go Deeper Into God’s Word | www.maplealps.com
 

1. Pray.

Prayer is so important. If I’m being honest, though, it’s also the step I tend to forget about way too easily. When approaching God’s word, we can pray about the following things:

  • What book of the bible should I read?

  • Pray for understanding and wisdom at the beginning, and during your study as questions come up.

  • Praise for who God is and any attributes you see in the passage you’re reading.

  • Pray that God would reveal to you how to apply what you’ve learned to your life.

 

2. Don't toss out any books of the bible.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 says,

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

From the seemingly monotonous genealogies to the Levitical Law, all scripture points us to the feet of Jesus and is applicable to our lives today.

Be open to every book in the Word of God. As Jen Wilkin says, "There are no pink parts of the bible." We need more than Esther and Ruth.

 

3. Park yourself in one book.

As women, we like to move quickly. We're always on to the next thing. This ought not be so in our time with the Lord.

Make yourself a student of one book of the bible for as long as it takes. Your goal is to find Jesus among the pages, learn more about God's character and allow the Holy Spirit to open your eyes to the truths of Scripture which will shape you into Christlikeness.

This requires you to slow down. Take your time.

If this means you spend six months studying one book of the bible, that's awesome! Be okay with mulling over hard passages for long periods of time. In the end, you'll reap the reward.

 

4. Search out the context.

Context is key, y'all!

When studying a book of the bible, you must find the context.

Believe it or not, you can find out a lot about a book by reading it multiple times in a row. I do this by searching for information about the author, recipients, or themes I see and writing them down.

A decent study of hermeneutics will be super helpful for this. The bible is compiled of many types of literature, from poetry to letters. Knowing what kind you're studying will be helpful for how to interpret scripture.

Of course, there's also the option of a good study bible which has all of that information at the beginning of each book. However you decide, search out the context. This is vital to bible study and protects the reader from wrong interpretation of the text.

 

8 Tips To Go Deeper Into God’s Word | www.maplealps.com

 

5. Hold off on using a commentary until the end.

While study bibles are great for getting key information at the beginning of your study, commentaries should be used at the end.

When we use commentaries throughout our study, we rob ourselves of the chance to come to the correct conclusion on our own. There is so much growth that happens in the in between as we wrestle with the meaning of scripture. We're forced to rely on the Holy Spirit to guide and shape our mind to understand.

I always use a commentary at the very end of my study to see how my thoughts line up with a trained theologian. If you're looking for a good one, Matthew Henry's is fantastic and it's available online!

 

6. Use different translations.

Whenever I come to a difficult passage to interpret, I like to read it in a couple other translations. This can be so helpful. But remember to use a translation and not a paraphrase. Typically, I use the ESV, YLT and NASB.

 

7. Define words.

Another good practice is defining words. I write down any word I don't often use or don't know. Look at the synonyms too. I can't tell you how many times this has helped me to better understand a verse.

 

8. Be patient with yourself.

Lastly, be patient.

 

You aren't going to understand everything in one sitting. Some days, you'll walk away from your study confused or even frustrated. Learn to embrace the discomfort of not understanding, knowing that in due time God will reveal to you the truths he wants you to know.

It's in those times where we trust in God, even when we don't see what his Word is saying. Our faith is stretched and we humbly accept that he is God and we are not.

If you want to read my bible study technique, you can find it here.

Be encouraged, friends. God is with you as you seek his face through studying his Word.


This was a guest post from Brittany Allen, who blogs at God's My Healer. 

I'm a follower of Christ and wife to James. I exist to bring God glory and pray my writing is an avenue for that. I long to encourage women to think and live biblically. I thrive on seeing women open up their hearts to The Savior and to other women around them.

Connect with Brittany:
Instagram // Facebook // Pinterest // Twitter

 


 
bible promises www.maplealps.com
 

7 Ways to Increase Your Prayer Life

FaithAmanda Walter | Maple Alps28 Comments

"It is possible to move men, through God, by prayer alone." - Hudson Taylor
 

"Why pray? Why love? We might as well ask, why breathe? One is as natural and necessary as the other. Where there is love, there is communication, there is prayer. It could not be otherwise." - M.L. Andreasen

-

 

Record Your Prayer Requests and Answers

I love recording my prayer requests and answers. Just looking back at them and remembering, helps me be hopeful - especially when I’m going through a difficult situation. I know that God has led me in the past, and He has my present and future. The Bible is full of references about remembering, and this is one way I can look back and praise God for His leading.

 

Pray In Your Free Time

Find and down time in your day and use the opportunity to pray. I have a 30-minute commute, and I have started using that time to pray. It has drastically enhanced my prayer life, and it has become more natural for me to just start talking with God as I go through my day.

 

Pray When It’s Quiet

In Mark 1, it describes how Jesus rose long before the sun even had risen and went to a solitary place to pray. As we are called to be like Jesus, I take my example from Him. I have found that when I rise early for prayer, there is such a quiet and a calm and I can really focus on my time with the Lord. My whole day goes by smoother as well.
 

Make It A Habit

Be intentional about making time for prayer. Set alarms if you need to, but be consistent. I know that some people may think this may be legalistic, however, it is far from that. We schedule times to exercise, eat and wake up and work, and these things all eventually become habits with time. Why should prayer not have a special place in our day? Prayer is the breath of our spiritual life - without breath, we are dead.

 

Get A Prayer Partner

Find someone to share and pray with.

“There is unusual power in united prayer. God has planned for His people to join together in prayer, not only for Christian fellowship, spiritual nurture, and growth, but also for accomplishing His divine purposes and reaching His chosen goals.” (Wesley L. Duewell, Mighty Prevailing Prayer, Zondervan, ©1990, page 123.)

 

Write Down Your Prayers or Pray Out Loud

I used to find myself very distracted in my thoughts when praying and started physically writing out every word of my prayers in journals. I then also found that praying out loud was a great help. If your mind is wandering during prayer, why not try one of these methods?

 

Pray and Claim Scripture Promises

God has given us literally thousands of promises in His Word! They were given to us to claim in faith! Write them down and take them with you, or even better yet, memorize them so they’re always in your heart 

bible promises www.maplealps.com