Developing a Reading Strategy

Developing a Reading Strategy

We’ve looked at how to find time to read. But that’s only part of the battle.

It’s good to read more, but we also want to read well. We want to think about what we read and how we read it.

And a reading strategy is an invaluable tool to maximizing the benefit we receive from reading.

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How to Find Time to Read

How to Find Time to ReadReading is important.

Whether it’s platitudes like “leaders are readers” or biblical exhortations to remain studious and devoted, reading is something that most people appreciate – and something they want to do more of.

Yet it’s difficult to find time to read. Good intentions get swallowed up by the busyness of our days.

What are some ways we could read more? How can we find time to read?
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We Have Been Given a Spirit of Self-Control – Episode 10

Spirit of Self-Control

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Duration: 14:44

Once we start trying to make the most of our time, we inevitably come to realize how inconsistent and undisciplined we are. Who doesn’t want more discipline and self-control?

But Paul told Timothy that “God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”

In this podcast episode, we’ll take a brief look at the concept of self-control and self-discipline. We’ll also talk about the link between faith and self-control.

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Avoiding Time-Wasters May Be the Wrong Approach

Avoiding Time Wasters May Be the Wrong Approach

So often, when we think of being a good steward of our time, we think of avoiding time-wasters.

We don’t want to spend too much time on facebook or twitter. We don’t want to procrastinate. We don’t want to aimlessly click around reading blogs. We don’t want to gossip and chatter unnecessarily. We don’t want to go grab that next cup of coffee just to put off tackling that tough task.

But if avoiding waste is what we concentrate on when we steward our time, we’re missing so much.

In fact, Jesus’s words on stewardship provide a very different picture of what a successful steward looks like.

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Anything but Love Will Fail as a Motivation

In the Christian life, our deeds are important. But even more important are our motives.

Even the most sweeping actions and sacrificial gifts are nothing if done without the proper motivation – they leave us, as Paul says, like a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

There’s only one motivation that will provide us the fuel necessary to endure – only one motivation that will count for anything in the eyes of God.

That motivation is love.

If you struggle with maintaining the discipline to keep going or if you struggle with focusing and managing your time – love is the only motivation that will allow you to succeed.

It sounds easy to say but hard to live out – mainly for the reason that we, as Christians, are so good at deceiving ourselves. We think we’re acting out of love when we’re not.

I have problems acting out of love. I imagine you do too.

Here are some ways that not serving out of love will cause us to fail – and thinking about these behaviors will also help us diagnose our own hearts to see if we are truly acting out of love.

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Repost: Vocation – How God Prepared David to Battle Goliath

This week, I’m going on vacation with my family. I thought I’d take this opportunity to republish some old posts from the previous year that I like and thought were worthwhile. Feel free to leave comments on the original posts. I hope you enjoy these, and I’ll be back with brand, spanking new posts next week.

Often, a particular post is one of my favorites because it’s something that God is continually showing me. That’s certainly the case with Vocation: How God Prepared David to Battle Goliath. These are truths I’ve had to constantly remind myself of.

We are called to pursue excellence in all the stewardships that God has given us. We tend to neglect the smaller areas that we feel aren’t as glamorous – but if we aren’t faithful in those “small” tasks, how can we ask for God’s blessings in other areas of our life?

I want to continue that thought today by taking another look at one of the most well-known biblical stories. God worked through seemingly insignificant responsibilities to prepare David for greater things.

Read the rest right here.

One Trick to Becoming a Creative and Productive Powerhouse

How to Be a Creative and Productive Powerhouse

I’m guest-posting today for Jeff Goins, who blogs about writing and creativity. He challenged his readers to wake up early and write every day, so I’m guest posting on some practical strategies to help us wake up earlier. Check it out.

I wanted to share another tip that has helped me tremendously with my writing and a variety of other tasks.

I’m sure you’ve noticed that being in the right mental state – being in “the zone” – can have a profound impact on how quickly and how well you work.

Sometimes we seem particularly creative, and our brainstorming and writing will flow with ease and power. Other times, we crank through Email at high speeds with focused concentration.

These mental states are important, but how do we fully utilize them?

Do we just have to act fast when we get in the zone? Or can we create these frames of mind on demand?

I believe we can be fairly creative and focused on cue. And one of the easiest ways to do this is by exploiting one psychological trick.

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Don’t Believe the False Promises of Time Management

False Promises of Time Management

We’re surrounded by many good things – wonderful gifts that God has given us.

Everything from pleasures to beauty to tools to concepts, enabling us to live our lives in a way that is pleasing and honoring to Christ.

But we can sometimes get our perspectives off kilter. We begin to trust in the gifts, not the giver. We allow the gifts to make promises to us, and we fall for them hook, line, and sinker.

It happens all around us today – it may be happening in your heart now. And it happened in biblical times, too. Take for instance, the warnings in the book of Hebrews.

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One Creative and Quirky Trick to Fight Procrastination

The Nothing Alternative

In Willpower, the authors discuss the concept of The Nothing Alternative to procrastination. I had heard similar tricks before – but for some reason, it struck me this time.

My first impression was that it’s a goofy trick. So much about it was illogical.

But after implementing it a little over the past few weeks, I’ve been won over by the benefits.

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Sharpening the Saw: A Christian Model

Sharpening the Saw as a Christian

Time management books, systems, calendars, planners – they’re all geared towards one thing: what you do.

Think of the millions, if not billions, of dollars spent on software and tools and seminars to get people doing. Doing more things. Doing better things.

The entire system sits in stark contrast to a Christian model of productivity. We need to understand the role and importance of who we are – not just what we do.

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