My first book is available via Amazon Kindle…
Later this month I will be self-publishing an e-book through Amazon Kindle… Lord willing. The title of the book is The Starting Five: Discovering the Five Doctrines that Anchor the Christian Life. A 31-day devotional, this book will be especially helpful for new Christians who are looking to establish a strong foundation for their Christian life. But I believe it will be a good resource for established Christians as well, reminding us all of foundational truths. More details forthcoming.
In the last few years, I have become more intentional about buying more American-made products. But I had never given much thought to where my Bibles are made. Until now. I stumbled across this eye-opening post (albeit a little dated…2011), about how a large percentage of Bibles are now made in China, by a company that apparently does not support line up with my Christians values.
I took at look at the last 4 Bibles I have purchased (a NLT, MEV, and 2 KJVs) and found that two were printed in the U.S., one in Italy, and one in Korea (I’m assuming, and hoping, that means South Korea).
If you want me to recommend a Bible Publisher, I am a huge fan of the Trinitarian Bible Society (TBS), based in the UK, and whose Bibles are printed in the Netherlands. They only produce King James Version Bibles, but that is not a problem for me since that is the translation I prefer for my daily Bible reading.
TBS Bibles are the best combination of quality and value. They are not quite at the same level of quality as Cambridge, Allan, or Schuyler, which are the highest quality Bibles on the planet. But they are much higher quality than the vast majority of Bibles you will find at Walmart or your local Christian bookstore, and at remarkably low prices (a calfskin Bible for only $43!).
Another great thing about TBS is that they are not a corporation that views the Bible as product to sale. Unfortunately, most Bibles are published primarily to make money. TBS is a ministry whose primary goal is the distribution of the Word of God. This is why their prices are so low.
Forget about resolutions… Here’s some ideas for you for 2017:
- Read through the Bible (or the New Testament).
- Fast from something occasionally (food, Facebook, TV, etc.).
- Make a new friend, or two, or more.
- Eat something you’ve never eaten before.
- Write a book.
- Write an old-fashioned snail mail letter to an old friend.
- Establish a new habit of walking with your spouse or parent or sibling.
- Eat meat from an animal you killed yourself. (I accomplished this idea this week, with a successful pheasant hunt).
- Plant a garden.
- Read more. Much more.
- Get on the floor and wrestle with your kids or grandkids.
- Take some ibuprofen the next morning.
- Read a biography.
- Videotape an interview of one of your older relatives.
- Eat at local restaurants (non-chain) as much as possible, especially when traveling.
- Give away more money.
- Play a game of UNO with your family.
- Play a game of Killer UNO with your family.
- Return to playing regular UNO with your family so you will love each other again.
- Clean out your closet or garage or attic or basement.
- Watch an episode of the Andy Griffith show.
- Spend an evening with your old friends reminiscing about how good things used to be, without looking at your phones one single time.
- Enjoy a sunrise.
- Take a Sunday afternoon drive with your family.
- Pray more. Much more.
- Play more board games with family and friends.
- Learn a new skill.
- Give away some of your stuff.
- Pay for the order for the person behind you in the drive-thru.
- Make sure they are not a family of six or more.
- Take more pictures.
- Write out your goals (make them Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, and Time-keyed)
- Go to worship every weekend unless Providentially hindered.
- Design your life plan, no matter how old you are.
- Ask a trusted friend to keep you accountable about what matters in your life. Offer to do the same for them.
- Think of someone who you think is probably lonely and either call them or go visit them or meet them for lunch.
- Laugh at yourself more.
- When you go to church, ask people, “How can I pray for you?” Then, pray for them on the spot.
- Take a bubble bath. When you get in the bath, dramatically say, “Calgon, take me away!”
- Men, grow a beard at least once this year.
- Women, let your man grow a beard at least once this year.
- Teenagers, your parents really do know a few things. Listen to them. They love you. They really do.
- Go watch a ballgame at your alma mater. Wear the colors and cheer for those kids like they are yours.
- Start each day by saying the Lord’s Prayer. It’s not the only great prayer, but it is the one prayer Jesus told us to pray.
- Try to find some times to turn off your phone.
- Sing in the shower.
- Read the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution.
- On August 21st, be in a location to experience the first coast-to-coast solar eclipse in the United States in over 80 years!
- Go Christmas caroling at a nursing home or retirement home.
- Go to a museum.
- Enjoy a sunset.
- Make things right with God.
I personally own three Bibles that I have had rebound, two by Diego Caloca in California and one by Leonard’s in Indiana. I’m increasingly asked about this subject and thought it would be good to provide a list of Bible rebinding specialists. By providing this list, I am not personally endorsing all their work. As mentioned I have only used Deigo Caloca and Leonard’s, and were pleased with their work. That said, I know of other pastors and Christians who have used some of these other companies and have been pleased with their work as well.
Caloca Bible Rebinds – https://calocabible.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/CalocaBR
Leonard’s Books – http://www.leonardsbooks.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/leonardsbooks/?fref=ts
Norris Book Bindery – http://www.norrisbookbinding.com/
Panther Peak Bindery- http://www.pantherpeakbindery.com/home.html
Have you ever been robbed? A dear couple in our congregation recently had their apartment broken into, and much was stolen: computers, jewelry, credit cards, etc. I’ve never had that happen to me.
My car was broken into years ago; all that was taken was some loose change. But a couple of years ago, through identity theft, Lacey and I funded someone’s Christmas… over $800 of electronics at a Radio Shack in California! Fortunately, Discover believed us when we said we didn’t Christmas shop at that Radio Shack on the West Coast and removed the charges from our bill. All it ended up costing us was the hassle of getting new credit cards.
How should we react when we get robbed? If it ever happens to me again. I hope I respond the way noted Bible scholar Matthew Henry did after he was robbed. Henry was mugged once when he was traveling on foot, the thieves getting away with his wallet. Later, as he reflected on his experience, he wrote in his journal:
“Let me be thankful first, because I was never robbed before; second, because, although they took my wallet, they did not take my life; third, because, although they took my all, it was not much; and fourth, because, it was I who was robbed, not I who robbed.”
Be thankful in all circumstances. – 1 Thessalonians 5.18