Reading Through the Bible

I originally posted this on Facebook two years ago today. When it showed up in my memories, I decided it needs to be shared again. The Bible is IMPORTANT my friends.

Reading through the Bible is powerful, especially reading through it quickly enough that you still remember previous books while reading the current one. Im always in the process of a readthrough, though some have taken me longer than others – this time being one of those.

So I’ve set a goal of finishing my current Bible readthrough by mid September, forcing me to read more every day. Reading so much so fast makes a lot of things more clear, and in this case it has forcefully reminded me of two things I already knew, two vitally important things that we should all bear in mind.

  1. God DESPISES pride. Repeatedly, you see people being called down for their actions, but God forcefully makes it clear on myriad occasions that the root of those evil actions is pride. People often misquote one verse as “pride goeth before the fall.” That’s bad enough, but in reality that portion of the verse reads, “pride goeth before DESTRUCTION.” You can recover from a fall, but destruction? Pride is, literally, the devil’s sin – and he “generously” shares it with us so we can join him in destruction.
  2. It’s all about bringing glory and honor to God’s holy name. MANY times in Scripture, God rescued or promoted or chose to delay punishing His people not because they deserved it, but to protect His reputation. “Hallowed be Thy name,” is not just four words in a model prayer. We truly need to do our best, behave always in a manner that reflects that holiness, that brings glory and honor to Him.

Read your Bible. It’s the most awesome book on the planet.

Read the whole thing, from cover to cover. It will open your eyes like they’ve never been opened, and every time you read it through you’ll grow more than the time before.

Read it from cover to cover as fast as you can at least once. It will revolutionize your walk in ways you can’t even begin to imagine.

I was going to quit, but think about it. If you were to read a novel the way most of us read the Bible, a line here and there, you’d never grasp the whole story. Even if you read a novel the way most read through the Bible, you’d read maybe a page a day. How much of page/day 12 would you still remember on page/day 332? Not much.

But if you read through the Bible like you read through a novel, you REMEMBER, and you start seeing connections you’ve never seen before. It’s legit mind blowing, my friends!

Celebrating Jesus!

Tammy C

My Lord’s Prayer

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father

Our FATHER! Not some uninterested god who created the planet and then walked away, not an angry God who has to be appeased. No. He is MY FATHER who loves me and will love me forever, who wants the best for me, who has good plans for me.

who art in Heaven

He’s not bound by Earth. He has a higher perspective. Where I can only see what’s around me, He can see everything. Where I have access only to the resources at reach, He has it all.

Hallowed be thy name

My father is holy. His very name is holy, and I commit myself to living a life that reflects His holiness, to strive to have a reputation that reflects well on my Father. Yes, living in this world can make that a challenge, so I ask, “God, help me.”

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven

Yes! It’s GOD’S KINGDOM that I want to see here on Earth, where HE rules, where HIS will and ONLY His will is done just as surely as it is in Heaven. I know it will happen ultimately, and pray it is soon. I also pray that it be in ME today. Let God’s kingdom come in the earth that is Tammy Cardwell. Let God’s will be done in the earth that is Tammy Cardwell.

Give us this day our daily bread

Yes, please provide our physical needs for the day. Even more, let me feed on God’s Word. Let me chew on it and find in it the spiritual nourishment I need for the day. Let it strengthen me and help me grow.

And forgive our debts as we forgive our debtors

Ah, Lord God, give me the ability to always walk in forgiveness. I refuse to let unforgiveness poison my soul, and want to always forgive, whether or not the other person ever deserves it or asks… or even admits they were wrong. And Lord, forgive me for my sins as I forgive them.

Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil

Yes, oh yes. Lead me in every step I take, Father, so that I can stay far away from temptation and the evil that comes with it.

For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever

And that is the bottom line. It’s ALL about God. No one ranks higher. No one has His authority or power. He was in the beginning and will be throughout eternity.

Amen

Celebrating Jesus!

Tammy C

Hello. My Name Is…

“Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”

Princess Bride fans recognize this line and love it. In my Bible time this morning, as I was thinking about how lazy most Christians are when it comes to the Sword of the Spirit (Word of God), I remembered it. 

Inigo Montoya was able to avenge his father’s death for one reason. He spent much of his life learning his sword and how best to use it. The line would have meant nothing if all he’d done was wear the sword on his belt. 

Christians, we need to wake up! Our Bibles are not meant to be home decor items or shelf fillers! The Word is a weapon, our only offensive weapon, and learning how to use it effectively is not an option. Why? Because, like it or not, we are at war. 

We ARE at war. We can convince ourselves that we don’t need the Word working in our lives, but we’re deceiving ourselves when we do. The battles aren’t “out there.” They are right here, in our very hearts, homes, and lives. 

We need to do our part so we can confidently declare, “Hello. My name is ________. You think you can destroy me. Prepare to fail.”

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C

Do I?

I recently had to stop in the road because two little dogs had dashed into the street. One crossed the road, but the other got confused and was wandering. I prayed for the poor things, but then I realized what they’d been after and was floored.

A large dog was jogging beside a woman. He stayed right at her side, never seeming to even notice the little yapper that was chasing after him. He never broke stride, never looked away. He was doing EXACTLY what he’d been trained to do.

And he was carrying his own leash. Literally. He held it in his mouth as he jogged down the sidewalk beside a woman who obviously had total trust in him. And the two made me think.

In a sense, we’re all like that dog. God calls us to run along beside Him, but though He gives us a guide (the Word and the Spirit) that He could use as a leash to control us, He ultimately leaves the decisions up to us. What do we do? What do I do? Do I actively choose to walk faithfully beside Him, not turning to the right or left?

Do I?

Celebrating Jesus!

Tammy C

Leaving an Invaluable Inheritance

As a follow-up to last week’s post, https://tammycardwell.com/2020/02/29/invaluable-inheritance/, I’d like to suggest one thing you can do to help your grandchildren learn to love the Word. But first, a question.

Do you have someone who has passed, and you still keep their last voice mail on your phone? Or perhaps you wish there had been a voice mail you could have saved?

Voices are important, but we tend not to realize how important they are until a loved one is gone. That’s why, a few years back, I did a simple but powerful thing.

I used my phone’s Voice Notes app to record The Golden Children’s Bible for my grandchildren. I then copied those recordings onto flash drives and presented them as gifts. These weren’t professional by any stretch. They were all me, just Granna reading a book to them.

I’ve begun working on something similar for them for this Christmas. I’m recording the book of Proverbs. Again – ME, with my hesitations, flubs, and even a, “Hey, Granna doesn’t always get it right.”

With this idea of preparing a spiritual heritage for my grandkids firmly in mind, I plan to follow this with chapter-by-chapter commentaries (still in Proverbs). I won’t comment on every verse, but will share my thoughts on those that I’m particularly drawn to.

So, while I only have memories of the God-led conversations I had with my grandparents, my grands will be able to hear me share the important things any time they want – even after I’m long gone. And all it requires is a simple phone app and a little time.

Celebrating Jesus!

Tammy C

Invaluable Inheritance

Psalm 119:111 (ESV): Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart.”

In revisiting this verse today, the word “heritage” stands out. Your heritage is what you inherit. God’s Word is my inheritance.

Yes, we inherit it from God Himself, but I see more here. I see a spiritual application of Proverbs 13:22 (KJVER): “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children.”

My grandparents, both sets, left me this tremendous inheritance, an enduring love for God’s Word. I saw them love it. I saw them live it. I discussed it with them. More valuable than any money they were able to leave, it is also the only inheritance that will last forever, and I will be eternally grateful for it.

Now it is my responsibility and honor to leave that same heritage for my children’s children!

Celebrating Jesus!

Tammy C

I did a follow-up post at https://tammycardwell.com/2020/03/02/leaving-an-invaluable-inheritance/

The Light

Psalm 129:105: “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path.”

John 1:1-14, 3:18-21, and 8:12 remind us that The Word is Jesus and Jesus is The Word and that Jesus, the Word, is light – not just light, but The Light.

Know Jesus/know The Word. To truly KNOW the one, you must KNOW the other. The Word without the Spirit gives head knowledge only. To know Jesus, but not dig into The Word to learn more about Him is to have a very shallow relationship.

Know them both, have them both living inside you. Then you will see The Light obliterate darkness and your path become clear.

Celebrating Jesus!

Tammy C

My Heritage Forever

Psalm 119:111 (ESV): Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart.

God’s Word is the one thing I can invest in that is eternal. I know the “lay up treasures” verse isn’t exactly talking about The Word, but it still applies. If my goal is to get ready for eternity, then I should practice today what I will be doing a thousand years from now – obey whatever God says, fully and forever.

God’s Word IS my heritage forever! Unlike a trust, which can be broken and the money done away with, God’s Word will never “run out” and cannot be taken away from me. Even were armed men to come in and remove every Bible from my home. The Word I have planted in my heart is THERE, and there it will remain, providing a continual return on my investment.

Celebrating Jesus!

Tammy C

It’s The Word

I’m going through the Flourish journey (Passion Publishing/Lifeway) with friends, and we’re studying Psalm 119. I’m also, in my private time, working my way through Job yet again. It is amazing how much the two books teach me the same lesson.

“If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction. I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have preserved my life. Save me, for I am yours; I have sought out your precepts. The wicked are waiting to destroy me, but I will ponder your statutes.” Psalm 119:92-95 (ESV)

These verses also reflect a truth about Job. He could have written them, in fact. Job’s delight was in God’s precepts. They were more important to him than food. They were the most important thing in his life.

This passion is why his faith was so great that it prompted God to bring Job to the devil’s attention, and even though Job slipped near the end of the trial, the foundation that was his faith kept him from going under.

After all was said and done, it could have been Job who declared, “If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction.”

In our Flourish journey, we are sharing what God teaches us, and I love how He gives each of us our own, personal lessons while we study the same words. So far, my lessons have all revolved around this point: The Word is paramount, and making it the focal point of my life is essential. It’s not that I CAN immerse myself in it and make it a part of me; it’s that I MUST immerse myself in it and make it a part of me.

Everything else that seems important will eventually disappear. Only one is eternal: God’s Word. (1 Peter 1:24-25) That alone should be enough to make us realize how vital it is to our very lives.

Celebrating Jesus!

Tammy C

Get Ready

A friend asked me to tell her, in one sentence, what God has been saying to me recently. The question caught me off guard because He’s been saying so much on so many different topics that, for a moment, I had to think. How to put it in one sentence?

Then I saw it. Other than the times He’s come to encourage me and help me through something, or to answer one of my myriad random questions, everything He’s said has ultimately been about me getting ready – ready to be used.

I’m not talking about being used as a speaker or writer, both of which I’ve done before and loved. I’m talking about being used every single day of my life.

I’m to stick close to Him, constantly listening for the Spirit’s whispered, “There. He needs help,” or, “Stop. She’s crying out for someone to listen.”

I’m to be prepared and able. For those two nudges, anyone could respond, but He’s calling me to more. I’m to truly grasp who and what He is in me and who and what I am in Him, to understand the authority I have as a believer when it comes to dealing with demonic activity.

I am to have His Word firmly planted in my heart, ready to be brought out and used as the Sword of the Spirit that it is. There are two important things about a sword. You cannot use it if you don’t have it (I’m talking memorization, not just carrying a Bible) and you can’t use it if you don’t know how to use it.

I’m to stay on the offensive. This is something that’s been churning in me for a while, that as a Christian I’ve been living my spiritual warfare life on the defensive. No military leader wants to fight battles defensively. He knows the best chance of winning any battle is to stay on the offensive.

I am to live thankfully trusting, because this is where peace lies, and peace – His peace – is one of the most vital elements of all.

I am to love with compassion. I am to love like never before, being intentional about expressing the love of God to the people He puts in my path – whoever they are.

So, almost everything He’s been saying recently falls into one of these categories. Really, there’s nothing new here. But that’s the point, isn’t it? We never know what’s coming, but He does, and He wants us ready to face it head on.

Celebrating Jesus!

Tammy C