How to get more out of your personal devotions

3 reasons to read 1 book of the Bible at a time {Guest Post at Missional Women}

 

There is no one way to have a quiet time. But there is a way to get more out of your personal devotions.

Depending on my schedule, my quiet time will look different from season to season. But regardless of how much time I have allotted for personal devotions or what’s going on in my life, I try to follow this strategy. I like to read through one book of the Bible at a time.

Here’s 3 reasons you should read through one book of the Bible at a time – and how they can help you get more out of your personal devotions!

Click here to read the rest of this post over at Missional Women.

About

Melissa Deming is the creator of Hive Resources — a site to help women sweeten their walk with Christ through Bible study, ministry and missions resources, and more. She is the author of "Daughters of the King: Finding Your Place in the Biblical Story." Melissa has an M.Div. in Women’s Studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Plot move 1 in God’s story (and what it has to do with you!)

Plot move 1 in the biblical story is creation {Hive Resources}

In this series – Seeing the Story of the Scriptures - we’ve been looking at the Bible as one, unified story. At the center of that story is the King.

The story of the Scriptures is this: a good King created a good world, and although it was corrupted by sin, He is at work to redeem and restore it through His Son, Jesus Christ.

But how do we train our eyes to see this story, exactly?

FOUR BASIC PLOT MOVES

We learn to see the story of the Scriptures when we focus on its four basic plot moves.

  • Creation
  • Fall
  • Redemption
  • Restoration

How the story of Scripture moves us toward the gospel {Hive Resources}

These four plot moves are CRUCIAL to understanding the story of the Bible because they tell us how our story intersects with God’s story for the world.

Women need to understand these four plot moves in God’s story and how they apply to us, living in a broken world, today. Understanding how the story of the Scriptures explains our hurts and grievances helps us answer difficult questions that all too easily can lead us astray. Questions like: if God is such a loving God, then why is the world he created such an unloving place?

Ultimately, these four major plot moves help us keep our eyes focused on the truth of God’s Word instead of what we want to take away from it. These plot moves move us toward the gospel – God’s ultimate answer for hurts, pains, and injustice.

In the coming weeks, we’ll unpack each of those plot moves and what they have to do with you! Today, let’s look at how the biblical story opens.

PLOT MOVE 1: CREATION

The first plot move in God’s story for the world is Creation a good King created a good world, a kingdom.

Genesis 1 & 2 opens with the story of a God who creates everything out of nothing. And what he created was “good.” In fact, God declares his artistry “good” over and over again.

The author repeats himself because the Creation plot move entails the idea that God created us for a good purpose.

Gen. 1:27-28 says: “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

At creation, God created Adam and Eve in his image. He shared his likeness with humanity for two very good reasons: God intended humanity to be his representation and his representative.

Representations of the King

When we think of the image of God, this is we typically what we think of first.  We are a representation of our King.  That means God designed us to reflect his abilities – in our capacities to reason, think, express emotion, perceive and create beauty. We reflect him in these areas.

In all these areas, we differ from the rest of the King’s creation. No other part of creation bears its Creator’s likeness in this way.  When we use these abilities, we are a representation of our good King.

Representatives of the King

But there is another aspect bearing God’s image that we often overlook. Not only are we a representation of our King, but we are his representative, too – ruling over the earth and having dominion over it.

Read Genesis 1:28 again: “Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

royal representatives {seeing the story of the Scirptures} a new series at Hive Resources

For Adam, this looked like tending and keeping the garden. (Gen. 2:15). And for Eve, she was to help Adam accomplish all he had to do (Gen. 2:18). And both were to have dominion over the earth and all the animals (Gen. 1:26-28).

Adam and Eve were sub-regents under the king, stewarding the earth in the King’s name.

Today, stewarding the earth looks a little different than in Adam and Eve’s day. This is good news, particularly for those of us who have trouble keeping house plants alive (**raising my hand here**).

To figure out how we’re supposed to represent our King today, we have to focus on the principle behind the passage. Being a representative of God means showing what life in the King’s kingdom looks like wherever you are – in the home, workplace, or community.

Wherever we find ourselves, we are called to be living demonstrations of love and light, peace and grace, holiness and right living.

Today, we are short on these royal representatives. Homes are broken, communities unhinged. With words like Ferguson and ISIL/ISIS emblazoned in headlines, we are tempted to look at the world around us and wonder what can we do? I am just one person.  What can I do to make any real difference?

Times haven’t changed much since paradise was ruined and neither has God’s design; no person is needed more today than a representative of the King – individuals who desire to walk in wisdom, peace, and holy love.

The first plot move of the story of the Scriptures is CREATION – a good King created a good world, a kingdom.

And when he created his kingdom, the King established a pattern for abundant life – mankind living with and serving their King. This is where your story meets God’s story, no matter where you live or what you’re living through.

You’ve been crowned as a sub-regent of the King of Kings.  You are his representative to a hurting and broken world.

How can you be a representative of the King today? 

About

Melissa Deming is the creator of Hive Resources — a site to help women sweeten their walk with Christ through Bible study, ministry and missions resources, and more. She is the author of "Daughters of the King: Finding Your Place in the Biblical Story." Melissa has an M.Div. in Women’s Studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Ministry Monday: The Big list of ministry ideas

The Very Big list of ministry ideas {Hive Resources}

Last year, I started a series called Ministry Monday to share practical ways to be on mission as mothers, disciples, and women and sisters in Christ.

Most of the posts I shared came from real-life ministry and service projects in our now 3-yr-old Pittsburgh church plant as well as ministry ideas from our own home.

Because Ministry Monday continues to place among my popular posts, I thought I’d list them all here:

The 1 thing that always kills the Great Commission

3 ways to balance family & ministry

22 ideas for calling a family time-out

Why I don’t wear high heels to church

A app that shares the gospel in 40 languages

When Bible lessons fail

Easter devotional for families

How to teach your kids about new life with a new life tree

How to get to church without fighting

Teaching your kids about the resurrection

How to mold missions-minded children

Living and leading from grace

How to teach your child to be a dinner-table missionary

How to host your own home Bible study

 

Ministry Monday Making Better Disciples {Hive Resources}

Making Better Disciples

Grace vs. Knowledge (the motive of disciple)

Investment vs. Sacrifice (how we view discipleship)

Feeding vs. Feasting (the strategy of discipleship)

Ministry Monday MISSIONAL MOTHERHOOD {Hive Resources} #missionalmotherhood

Missional Motherhood

3 ways to live on mission and still say ‘no’

How to connect the gospel with social ministries

When you’re tempted to throw in the towel on quiet times

My favorite missional motherhood tools

simple service challenge - ideas for taking care of your church family {Hive Resources}

Simple Service

Real chicken soup for the soul

1 easy way to stir up love in your church family

The best way to encourage the mother of a challenging child

A missional meal for new moms or new move-ins

Ministry Monday Summer Edition! {Hive Resources}

Summer Edition

When You’re struggling to each your child to serve

How to transform playdates into service opportunities

How to host the BEST grandparents camp ever

Banish summer boredom with ministry ideas for kids

7 resources for a summer of faith & fun

Passport to summer missions

Have a ministry idea you’d like to share or see featured?! Leave your ideas in the comments!

About

Melissa Deming is the creator of Hive Resources — a site to help women sweeten their walk with Christ through Bible study, ministry and missions resources, and more. She is the author of "Daughters of the King: Finding Your Place in the Biblical Story." Melissa has an M.Div. in Women’s Studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Training our eyes to see the story of the Scriptures

If someone asked you to summarize the Bible in 30 seconds, could you?

Try it. Pretend a friend asked you, “So, what’s the Bible really all about? Just give me the cliff notes version.”

What would you say?

Because if we believe the Bible is authoritative and the basis for everyday life, shouldn’t we be able to tell someone what it’s about?

The Bible in less than 30 seconds {Hive Resources}

The Bible is one story

It’s hard, right? Boiling down 66 books written by 40 authors spanning thousands of years of history into just a few sentences!?

I think there are two reasons we struggle with being able to summarize the whole Bible – besides the fact that the Bible is a really big book:

(1)   We don’t know the overarching story of the Bible

and

(2)  We know how the pieces of the story go together

When we study one of the books of the Bible, we read it in the strangest ways – one chapter, one page, one paragraph at a time.

We would never go to a library just to check out one page from a book.  What good is one page?!?

The Story of the Scriptures {Hive Resources}

From just one page, we wouldn’t get the plot, be able to describe the main conflict, or even the climactic event.

In order to understand a book, we would need more than one page; we need to read the whole story.

But, very often, this is how we read the biblical story. No wonder we have trouble understanding God’s Word. No wonder we have trouble figuring out where our story fits into God’s story!

The Bible is intended to be one, unified story. Yes, we often read the books of the Bible separately, but each book plays an important part in God’s story for the world.

The Bible has one message

Not only is the Bible one story, but it has one messageone unified theme:

The Bible is the story of a good King who created a good world, and although it was corrupted by sin, he is at work to redeem and restore it through his Son, Jesus Christ.

That’s the Bible in less than 30 seconds.

The Bible is one story written by one Author with one message; the Bible is the story of a good King.

So, why is so difficult to see this story on the pages of Scripture?  Very likely, our worldview gets in the way – those filtered lenses through which we read God’s Word. And because filtered lenses often do not align with the reality of Scripture, it is very likely we’ll miss the story God has tucked into its pages.

Our eyes will be directed inward instead of where they should be directed – upward and outward. We will take center stage in our life story, instead of the King.

So, we must train our eyes to see the story of Scripture – the grand biblical narrative that stretches from Genesis to Revelation, the story of the King.

The Biblical Story

Need some help seeing the biblical story? Here’s a little longer version:

OLD TESTAMENT

Genesis 1-2: God reveals his intention for his kingdom & his servants.

Genesis 3: The King’s subjects rebel against the throne.

Genesis 4-49: The King promises to rescue his kingdom from the consequences of their rebellion.

Exodus – Deuteronomy: While the King’s subjects wait for rescue, the King extends grace in three ways (the sacrificial system, the Law, & the tabernacle) so they can dwell in his court and fulfill their role as servants to the throne in a temporary measure.

Joshua – Esther: The King’s subjects demand to be led by earthly kings & often fail to rule in the way that honors the King.

• Job – Malachi: The King’s prophets give the King’s subjects a two-pronged message of judgment and hope.

NEW TESTAMENT

Matthew – John: The promised King of Kings finally arrives & begins to set his kingdom right.

Acts: A previously-quiet character (the Holy Spirit)enters the biblical story as the King’s Helper.

1 Corinthians – Jude: The King’s Helper equips the King’s subjects to serve priests to those living outside the his kingdom.

Revelation: The King’s original goal for his kingdom is realized. His kingdom is remade & his rule is eternally fulfilled.

Is your small group reading Daughters of the King this fall? Enter to win a complete set for all your members!

Enter to win a set of Daughters of the King for your small group {Hive Resources}

About

Melissa Deming is the creator of Hive Resources — a site to help women sweeten their walk with Christ through Bible study, ministry and missions resources, and more. She is the author of "Daughters of the King: Finding Your Place in the Biblical Story." Melissa has an M.Div. in Women’s Studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Daughters of the King paperback launch & giveaway

Enter to win a set of the paperback study Daughters of the King for your small group {Hive Resoruces}

Exciting stuff has been happening around here, yet I’ve hardly had time to post about it. This summer, I turned my eBook, Daughters of the King: Finding Your Place in the Biblical Story, into a paperback!

Although I love using the Kindle app on my iPhone, you just can’t beat the feel of real pages under your fingers. I suspect I’m not the only one who holds this opinion, so my book is now available as a paperback.  I hope this will make things easier for your fall small group as you consider your next Bible study or book club.

Daughters of the King now available in paperback {Hive Resources}

To that end, I made a few improvements in the paperback – like a freshly-designed cover and discussion questions at the close of each chapter. (Pssst- at the end of this post you’ll have a chance to enter to win a set of my books for your small group!)

To help me celebrate the paperback launch of Daughters of the King, my friend Kristen from Celebrate Every Day with Me, threw a big bash at my house a few weeks ago.

Paperback launch event of #DaughtersoftheKing {Hive Resources}

I am such a fan of her site, that I knew I needed her eye for detail and fun! She’ll be posting about some of her ideas in the coming days, but I thought you might like a sneak peak at our tea-themed soirée.

Many of these ideas can be replicated for your own women’s ministry tea or kick-off event to your Daughters of the King fall Bible study. Here’s a little inspiration to get you started.

Ideas for planning your next womens ministry tea {HiveResources}

On our menu we offered a variety of cakes and a fruit tart that disappeared in seconds – all made by my amazing culinary friends (thank you notes are forthcoming!) I made scones with fresh clotted cream and strawberry jam. (The day after my party, I had the best breakfast! You can’t beat cake with morning coffee).

I served one of my favorite hot teas, Ginger Peach Tea, and coffee for all my addict friends.  We set up the food as a buffet and everyone was able to serve themselves, picking and choosing what made their heart sing.

Hosting a womens ministry tea - ideas and printables {Hive Resources}

Kristen oversaw every detail, like this amazing wreath made out of vintage book pages. (Yes, she is planning on offering a tutorial on her site very soon!) Imagine how cute it would be for a back-to-school party!

Her best idea, however, was the Daughters of the King photo booth, complete with glittered crown and scepter props. She even included white gloves and paper tea cups!

Daughters of the King photobooth {Hive Resources}

We had a lot of fun playing with our crowns, but if you’ve read my book, you know that our spiritual heritage in Christ is not fully represented by such symbols of royalty. As I write in my book: “A Daughter of the King is known not by the crown she wears but the message she bears.” 

So, as a part of the launch, I asked a friend who works with a local rescue ministry in Pittsburgh – Living in Liberty – to come to the launch and share about the hope they provide to victims of trafficking. During the party, we were able to raise over $300 in book sales for this crucial ministry. So, thank you to everyone who purchased a book at my party!

Daughters of the King paperback launch party {Hive Resources}

Host your own tea

The launch party was a special night for me, but it can easily be tweaked as a tea or book club event for any women’s group. Here’s how:

(1) Purchase your copies of the Daughters of the King or enter to win a set below.

(2) Gather your tea cups. I found most of mine at auctions and thrift stores. While I loved visiting antique shops, they tended to be a little pricey. Estate sales are also a gold mine for adding complete sets of tea cups to your collection. If your group is large, then ask each lady to bring 3 things to the party – two tea cups and a friend.

Kick off your next fall Bible study with a tea {Hive Resources}

(3) Select a local ministry in your area or within your church and suggest a donation to be collected at the party. If possible, invite a representative from the ministry to share at the event. For easy donation collection, coordinate withe the ministry to use the paypal app and free reader for participants to donate via paypal, check, or credit card.

Download your own Daughters of the King Printable Pack {Hive Resources}

(4) Print out some of these free printables  to decorate your tables or to set up your own photo booth. This above printable pack (click image to download) includes book quotes, menu cards, and more! You can download an invitationready to be customizedHERE.

Now, for the giveaway! Enter below to win a set of books for your small group (up to 10). Contest HAS ENDED. Winner announced below! Thank you to everyone who entered!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This post contains affiliate links. For more info, click here.

About

Melissa Deming is the creator of Hive Resources — a site to help women sweeten their walk with Christ through Bible study, ministry and missions resources, and more. She is the author of "Daughters of the King: Finding Your Place in the Biblical Story." Melissa has an M.Div. in Women’s Studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

3 ways to live on mission and still say ‘no’

Ministry Monday MISSIONAL MOTHERHOOD {Hive Resources} #missionalmotherhood

When we train disciples to fulfill the Great Commission, we train them to say yes.

Yes to serving.

Yes to going.

Yes to doing.

But sometimes being missional also means saying no.

When saying no can be missional (Melissa Deming for @MissionalWomen)

No to too many good projects.

No to serving in worthy areas that you aren’t gifted for.

No to keeping your same service schedule during a difficult season.

In my own life, I’ve discovered three ways that I can live on mission and still say no:

Click over to the full post to learn what they are!

About

Melissa Deming is the creator of Hive Resources — a site to help women sweeten their walk with Christ through Bible study, ministry and missions resources, and more. She is the author of "Daughters of the King: Finding Your Place in the Biblical Story." Melissa has an M.Div. in Women’s Studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.