Top 10 Ways to Give Freely

‘Tis the season to give. During this time of year, many people are talking about buying presents to give, but we have so much more to give than just the things we buy. Often, the more creative and thoughtful things mean so much more than something you pick up on a shelf. So this top 10 is going to help us give meaningfully.

10.) Make your own Christmas cards. It is a way to get into the spirit of the season and show people you care.

9.) Make cookies and give them to the shut-ins.

8. ) Volunteer your time and energy to community projects. There are tons of projects to help the less fortunate during this time, so get involved.

7.) Give your time. I know you’re busy, but so is everyone else––so give some of your free time to others to help them have some free time. Baby-sit some of the children from church so their parents can do some Christmas shopping or planning without having to worry about their children.

6.) Give your love. Show your family how much you love them by helping them out in special ways––show them you appreciate them.

5.) Give to the youth. As one of the older girls at church or in your neighborhood, do something with the younger girls to encourage them. Hint: Do number 9 on this list––make cookies and take them to shut-ins together.

4.) Give the gift of prayer. Pray for all the less fortunate during this time (and all year long).

3.) Give your knowledge. Right now is nearing the end of the semester and everyone has tests coming up––help everyone, and yourself, by studying with others.

2.) Give your joy. When you’re in a joyful mood, it can help others be in a joyful mood.

1.) Give God’s word. Share God’s word with everyone you see––people are more open to it during this time.

-Kim Cook

The True Meaning of Christmas

Many Christians are divided on how the Christmas holiday should be celebrated. Some people celebrate Christmas as Christ’s birth; some feel that it’s wrong to celebrate Christmas at all; and others are somewhere in between. Growing up, I can remember the topic arising and the argument being made that because Christmas is not substantiated biblically, we should reject it. I think many people assume they understand the meaning behind the holiday, without looking up its background for themselves.

Christmas History

I went to my well known (and respected) source, history.com, and was actually surprised at how little I knew about the roots of this holiday. While it is true that it has origins of Catholicism, it is based on many different beliefs that became meshed into one holiday. Over time, these beliefs and traditions have slowly changed, and the holiday no longer carries the same meaning as it once did.

Check this out: around the time of the winter solstice, Romans observed Juvenalia, a feast honoring the children of Rome. In addition, members of the upper classes often celebrated the birthday of Mithra, the god of the unconquerable sun, on December 25. It was believed that Mithra, an infant god, was born of a rock. For some Romans, Mithra’s birthday was the most sacred day of the year. In the early years of Christianity, Easter was the main holiday; the birth of Jesus was not celebrated. In the fourth century, church officials decided to institute the birth of Jesus as a holiday. The Bible does not mention the date of his birth (a fact Puritans later pointed out in order to deny the legitimacy of the celebration). Although some evidence suggests that His birth may have occurred in the spring, Pope Julius I chose December 25. It is commonly believed that the church chose this date in an effort to adopt and absorb the traditions of the pagan Saturnalia festival. First called the Feast of the Nativity, the custom spread to Egypt by AD 432 and to England by the end of the sixth century. By the end of the eighth century, the celebration of Christmas had spread all the way to Scandinavia.

The pilgrims, were even more orthodox in their Puritan beliefs. As a result, Christmas was not a holiday in early America. From 1659 to 1681, the celebration of Christmas was actually outlawed in Boston. Anyone exhibiting the Christmas spirit was fined five shillings. By contrast, in the Jamestown settlement, Captain John Smith reported that Christmas was enjoyed by all and passed without incident.

After the American Revolution, English customs fell out of favor, including Christmas. In fact, Congress was in session on December 25, 1789, the first Christmas under America’s new constitution. Christmas wasn’t declared a federal holiday until June 26, 1870.

It wasn’t until the 19th century that Americans began to embrace Christmas. Americans re-invented Christmas, and changed it from a raucous carnival holiday into a family-centered day of peace and nostalgia. But what about the 1800s peaked American interest in the holiday? The early 19th century was a period of class conflict and turmoil. During this time, unemployment was high and gang rioting by the disenchanted classes often occurred during the Christmas season. In 1828, the New York city council instituted the city’s first police force in response to a Christmas riot. This catalyzed certain members of the upper classes to begin to change the way Christmas was celebrated in America.

What that Means Today

Christmas as a religious holiday by the Catholics was in response to a holiday already celebrated by the Romans. Some people look at this holiday as something negative that we are restricted from partaking in, and others look at Christmas as a time when we are supposed to celebrate Christ’s birth, but in reality, neither is the case.

We need to keep in mind that perhaps there’s a reason God didn’t put Jesus’ birth date in the Bible – the date doesn’t matter, because we are supposed to celebrate is His death, burial, and resurrection all the time. God’s word is perfect and complete (2 Timothy 3:16-17); it’s no coincidence that His birth only takes up four chapters of the Bible, but His life and death take up considerably more. That being said, however, it is natural for many of us to think more about Jesus’ birth around Christmas time because reminders surround us. Even though we don’t know exactly when Jesus was born, we should be grateful for His birth every day because if He wasn’t born, then He couldn’t have lived and died for us. We can also use this time of year to invite our friends to church since they may be more open than usual to learning about His love.

We all give our own traditions, beliefs, and principles to everything we do. I have seen those who choose to celebrate the holiday by calling it something other than Christmas. To that, I quote Shakespeare, “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Changing the name does not change the way you celebrate it. Be proud that you are taking that day to spend with your family. To appreciate everything God has given you and to glorify Him. It may not be Christ’s birthday. It may be just a day that some man with an idea set aside for family. Either way, celebrate it by spending time with your family and friends. Thank God that we have the resources to make it through the winter. Celebrate that winter has just begun (the first day of winter is usually either the 21st or 22nd of December). Give a gift. Find someone you know who does not know about Christ and share His love with them. I have to tell you, one year I gave my best friend a Bible for Christmas. Although it was not expensive, she was so happy to have it. I really think it is the best gift I could have given her––and I know that He is the best gift she could ever receive.

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” James 1:17

Merry Christmas!
Sarah Ancheta

Giving Season

The holiday season is upon us. Let the decorating, baking, list making, shopping, wrapping, hiding, cooking, eating, and singing begin! Sounds like fun, right? But, why do we do it? Because everyone does it? Because we have always done it? Because we like to receive gifts? The answer is probably yes to all three. But the best reason is because we like to give!

The Bible tells us that we are made in God’s image. Genesis 1:26: “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness . . .” This means that each one of us has some part of God’s characteristics. One of those characteristics is giving. Our God is a giving God. James 1:17: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” This is why we like to give––because God created us with giving hearts.

Now, just because we have giving hearts does not mean we always practice giving. It means that when we do give (in the right way) it makes us happy in our hearts. 2 Corinthians 9:7: “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” The Greek word used here for “cheerful” means “hilarious.” Have you ever given a gift that made you feel “hilarious”? If not, you are missing a great experience.

When we think of giving, we usually think of putting money in the contribution plate at church, or giving a gift to a friend or family member. This kind of giving is good and makes us happy. But the Bible shows us examples of several different kinds of giving. Let’s look at some of them and see if we can get an idea of how we can be more giving in our lives.

Matthew 25:35-40: “For I [Jesus] was hungry, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me . . . And the King [Jesus] shall answer and say unto them, ‘Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.’” Why not organize a “food basket” party for you and your friends? How about going through your closet and taking some of your clothes that don’t fit anymore to a thrift store? Are there any new kids at school who need a friend? You don’t have to be best friends with people just because they are new, but at least make the effort to find out if you have any common interests, and to make them feel welcomed. Don’t forget the elderly. They are always appreciative of a visit, even if it’s just a short one.

Luke 10:35: “But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, ‘Take care of him; and whatsoever, thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.’” Being a “Good Samaritan” is something Jesus taught, but in today’s world it can be dangerous. Here are some “safe” ways you can help someone in trouble: 1) Call for help. 2) Take a First Aid, Rescue or CPR class 3) Carry a First Aid kit in your car––if you can’t use it, someone else at the scene of an accident may be able to. 4) Give blood (if you’re over 18). 5) Donate your hair to an organization that makes wigs for cancer patients.

Luke 21:1: “And he [Jesus] looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury. And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. And he said, ‘Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all: For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury [poverty] hath cast in all the living that she had.’” The widow who gave two mites was blessed more than the rich who gave more, because she gave all she had, and the rich only gave a tiny portion of their wealth. The widow’s giving was a true sacrifice, as was David’s in 2 Samuel 24:24. Jesus is trying to teach us that we don’t have to give a large amount to the church to be pleasing to God or to receive the blessings that come from giving. This widow knew the truth about giving––that God will provide for a cheerful giver in a way that will eventually allow them to give more! As you grow and enter into the working world, make giving to the church first on your list of priorities. You will never regret it.

Prayer:
Dear God,
Help us to look for ways that we can be more giving and extend the giving season to include the whole year. Give us the selfless spirit that puts others’ needs ahead of our own. Let us discover the joy of being a cheerful giver. Increase our faith in your promise to take care of all our needs if we are obedient to your Word.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.

By Cindy Morgan

Angels Among Us

How many gifts do you think you’ll receive this Christmas? A dozen? Two dozen? More? Although receiving gifts is not what this season should be about, it is sad to think about the many children who will not get to experience the innocent, pure joy of finding gifts under the tree on Christmas morning. I’m sure that most of us have never had to wake up to a room void of gifts on this most memorable of mornings. We often don’t even have to worry about not getting that most coveted gift we’ve been thinking about for months—it’s usually there, waiting for us. But do we ever pause to think about the quiet disappointment that fills so many houses every Christmas? Not the disappointment of not finding that treasured gift among the other twenty, but of not even expecting a single gift at all.

Now is your chance to help a child get to experience the joy of Christmas morning that so many of us have always taken for granted. I’m sure many of you have seen Angel Trees placed in stores and schools in your area. These trees lend a wonderful opportunity to meet this childhood desire of someone who would otherwise not experience it. The process is fairly easy, but the unseen rewards are priceless.

Begin by locating a place that offers an Angel Tree. You can often find these at banks, grocery stores, and schools. These trees are decorated with paper angels, which have information about a specific child on the back. The information will include the age and gender of the child, so select an angel you feel you would be prepared to shop for. Ask someone in charge of the tree when the gifts should be returned, how they should be packaged (most prefer them to be left unwrapped), and where they should be returned (usually back to the same location). And then . . . let the fun begin! Designate an amount of money that you want to spend on this child (2 Corinthians 9:7). You may choose to do this as a family project, with a friend, or you may allot some of your income to this project. Remember that you will be the primary gift giver for this child, so consider that when you’re out shopping. Most angels will have a short list of “want” and “need” items for the child, along with sizes for clothing and shoes. In the past, I’ve tried to evenly apportion my attention and money to both the fun “want” items and the important “need” items for the angel I’ve chosen.

When you are finished shopping, package the items however the sponsor wishes, and, most importantly, return them with your angel paper back to the appropriate location on time. If you toss or lose the angel paper in the process of shopping, there will be no way for the sponsor to locate which child you’ve shopped for (although they do often write down your name and the angel’s ID number when you select it).

And now it’s time to sit back and enjoy the thoughts of a less fortunate child getting to experience the joy of discovering unexpected and thoughtful gifts on such a memorable morning—and a parent who can delight in his or her child’s simple happiness, provided by a giving stranger.

Lisa Grimenstein

Fun Food Baskets

This month’s theme is “Pierce my heart to give.” If you’re like most young women, you’re probably thinking, I’d like to give, but what can I do? There are a lot of great ideas for giving back, not only in December, but all year round.

You might know someone who will have a tough time coming up with the food that often represents this season. That’s the first place to start! Make a food basket for that family, or person, in need. If you’re part of a local church, don’t limit yourself to just one family; ask for a list of people who need help. If this project is too expensive for you to do on your own, ask the other girls in your youth group for help. What better way is there to let your light shine and show people how awesome it is to be a Christian, than by giving (Matthew 25:25, 26, 45)?

Tips

Remember that families want to have fun! Consider adding items to your basket or bag that aren’t pre-made, but that will allow the family to have holiday fun cooking and baking together, and are simple enough not to require a lot of additional time and ingredients.

Shop sales. Ask your mom, or another experienced bargain shopper, to help you find good deals and sales on Christmas items. You can also scan your local paper for deals. If you’re pressed for time, Aldi’s is a great place to shop in order to receive items at a discount price without needing to clip coupons.

Make the bags fun. Decorate brown paper grocery bags with festive stamps to make the bags more fun, especially for families with young children, so they will be excited even before they open the bag.

Don’t be a Pharisee! The Pharisees did good because they wanted everyone to see them and think they were great, but Jesus wants us to give to glorify Him. We should give quietly, and while we may ask others for help or want to encourage others to give as well, it is unwise, and unchristian-like, to needlessly tell others what we’re doing (Matthew 6:2-4).

Share His love. If the family you’re giving to doesn’t know God, then giving a holiday basket is a wonderful way to share His love. Place a card, with a nice note, in the basket. Make sure to include your favorite encouraging scripture on the card, and be sure it mentions that you’re trying to spread His love this Christmas season by giving to and encouraging others. You could also place a church bulletin in the basket so they can receive worship information in a non-intrusive manner.

Basket Ideas

Fun Food Ideas:
1. Sugar cookie roll, cookie cutters, icing, food coloring, sprinkles
2. Hot chocolate mix, marshmallows
3. Red and green jello mixes, canned fruit, whipped cream

Breakfast Ideas:
4. Tube of cinnamon rolls
5. Juice
6. Apples, caramel dip
7. Eggnog

Dinner Ideas:
8. Pre-cooked ham
9. Canned vegetables
10. Sparkling cider
11. Tube of dinner rolls

For Holiday meal tips and recipes, visit our November Cooking Corner article.

By Alexia Hammonds

‘Tis the Season to Be Giving…

The holidays are a time when many of us are with our families. I know that some of us have lost people who we’re very close to, often making this time of year a season of mixed feelings. There are also some families who are unable to, or aren’t interested in, volunteering time or money to those in need. If that is the case in your home, ask friends to join you in one or more of these activities, or join a friend’s family as they volunteer to share their blessings, because this time of year is a perfect time to round up your family or friends and give. This year, choose to contribute money or time to help others have a memorable season, which in turn is giving back to God (Matthew 25:35-45).

Here are some ways you can give this holiday season:

  • Look around the house and find unused and outgrown coats in good condition. Donate them to a winter coat drive in your area.
  • Select an angel off an angel tree at a local school or grocery store. Choose to offer some of the money that would be spent on your Christmas presents to buy presents for a less fortunate child.
  • Spend a day with your family or friends preparing a meal for someone in the community. Then deliver it together.
  • Bake cookies and take them to several people (shut-ins, single or working mothers, etc.).
  • Make Christmas cards to send to serving soldiers in the Middle East. Also send them a box of goodies (homemade cookies, razors, and other items they may need). Look online to find a list of approved and needed items to send.
  • Baby-sit for a busy mother so that she can do some shopping, cleaning, or relaxing. (Don’t let her pay you remember, you are giving your time.)
  • As a family, shovel driveways and sidewalks in your neighborhood after a big snow.

There are many ways to give this season. Does your family already have “giving” traditions? If not, be creative and come up with additional ideas that suit your family. Be the one in your family to initiate giving! Encourage them to remember all the things they are blessed with. And when you give, whether it’s of your time, money, or talents, remember to give with a cheerful heart.

By Lisa Grimenstein

How does your family like to give? Feel free to leave a comment stating your own giving ideas.

Card Making

Instructions

1. Gather (or buy from the dollar store) some construction paper
2. Gather colored pencils, markers, or crayons
3. Have friends help out
4. Have someone in mind (either a sick person or a shut-in from church, or a neighbor or friend) that you can send the card to
5. Get creative…and begin!!

Card Making Ideas

When making cards for shut-ins or sick people, put words or pictures that encourage the person or make them smile. Mention that you’re thinking about them (and obviously you are if you’re sending them a card!) and that you hope they feel better or that things will improve for them. Get really creative with your card! For example, since it’s December, you could include some Christmas pictures. Draw a picture of a Christmas tree or Christmas lights to brighten up your card. Those of you who are really adventurous could draw mistletoe or a reindeer. You could even cut out pictures and paste them onto your card! Snowflakes are a great illustration that will last the entire season.

Caution

If you cut out pictures and paste them onto your card, make sure that you clean up; if you’re leaving them to dry and want to get them out of the way, don’t set them on top of each other…they’ll stick together (and we don’t want that)!

Credits

Card pictured above was made by Miss Jane Isaacs.  Card below was created by Davonne Parks.  Click on all images to enlarge.

Future note

If you’ve made anything using hemp, please submit a photo of it to us, by December 15, for use in our January 2009 article.

By Alyssa Sturgill

Chocolate Fitness Project

The theme for this month is “pierce my heart to give.” And I really had to ask myself what health and fitness had to do with giving. But I finally came up with an answer: time. All of you have heard of projects such as Habitat for Humanity and Big Brother/Big Sister, or their equivalents.

Spiritual Benefits

Being a Christian is more that going to church every week; it’s about living in a world of darkness but standing against it. I am not sure whether you have heard of this saying or not: we are to live in the world but not be part of it. It is a saying that I hear very often. Here is a verse that states this principle:

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:14–16).

Both the projects that I have mentioned above are ways of letting your light shine. You show your compassion and love for the world to the world. By doing something like this, you are letting your light shine, and sometimes that is enough to make someone curious. This is also an opportunity to lead someone to Christ.

Physical Benefits

Let’s move on to the physical part: EXERCISE. By participating in projects such as Habitat for Humanity, you are not only interacting with people, you are working––and while it may be fun, guess what it still is–– EXERCISE! And you thought that you were getting away without doing any. Have fun (with exercise) and show your light to the world at the same time. It also doesn’t have to be a big project like Habitat for Humanity––it could be as simple as helping clean the house or doing dishes for Mom or Dad (or someone else). I think this song by William M. Golden shows how we are to live:

1. Each day I’ll do a golden deed
By helping those who are in need;
My life on earth is but a span,
And so I’ll do the best I can.

Refrain:
Life’s evening sun is sinking low,
A few more days and I must go
To meet the deeds that I have done,
Where there will be no setting sun.

2. To be a child of God each day,
My light must shine along the way;
I’ll sing His praise while ages roll
And strive to help some troubled soul.

Refrain:

3. The only life that will endure,
Is one that’s kind and good and pure;
And so for God I’ll take my stand,
Each day I’ll lend a helping hand.

Refrain:

4. I’ll help someone in time of need,
And journey on with rapid speed;
I’ll help the sick and poor and weak,
And words of kindness to them speak.

Refrain:

5. While going down life’s weary road
I’ll try to lift some trav’ler’s load;
I’ll try to turn the night to day,
Make flowers bloom along the way.

Refrain:

Food of the Month: Chocolate (who knew?)

Chocolate is one of those things we don’t think of as having health benefits––I’m here to show you differently. Chocolate has many of the same benefits as dark vegetables (remember those?). DARK chocolate has been shown to have two heart-health benefits: it lowers blood pressure and it lowers cholesterol. Also:

It tastes good
It stimulates endorphin production, which gives a feeling of pleasure
It contains serotonin, which acts as an anti-depressant
It contains theobromine, or caffeine (mmmm, being in college, caffeine is what I practically live off of) and other substances which are stimulants

Here are some chocolate tips provided courtesy of About.com Nutrition

Chocolate Tip 1 – Balance the Calories. Chocolate is high calorie! So cut some other sweets out of your diet to balance the calories, and remember you only need ~3.5 grams to get the benefits!

Chocolate Tip 2 – Taste the Chocolate. Take your time––enjoy it and let it melt in your mouth. It’s much more satisfying than eating it in two bites.

Chocolate Tip 3 – Go for Dark Chocolate. Dark chocolate has far more antioxidants than milk chocolate or white chocolate. These other two chocolates cannot make any health claims. Dark chocolate has 65 percent or higher cocoa content.

Chocolate Tip 4 – Skip the Nougat. Avoid anything with caramel, nougat (think Snickers), or other fillings. These fillings are just adding sugar and fat, which erase many of the benefits you get from eating the chocolate.

Chocolate Tip 5 – Avoid Milk. It may taste good but some research shows that washing your chocolate down with a glass of milk could prevent the antioxidants from being absorbed or used by your body.

By Megan Skinner

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Christmas Greed

Complete this phrase: Christmas ______________________.

I’ll bet most of you said “presents,” right? I’m guessing that you meant the presents you’re going to receive.

Look at us

Do you want to know what I often think of when I hear the word “Christmas?” Greed.  During what’s supposed to be the most giving time of year, so many of us become greedy! People will literally fight for the last toy on a shelf for their child; others create page-long Christmas wish lists (and become upset if the entire list isn’t met); and some want an elaborate meal prepared for them.

We’re not like that, are we?  Think about it for a minute. Have you ever been upset on Christmas day because the gift you really wanted wasn’t under the tree?  Do you regularly expect to sit down to a wonderful holiday meal that you didn’t help prepare (or worse, complain about the food)? Have you ever been upset with someone because they didn’t spend as much money on you as you spent on them? I think that if we’re really honest with ourselves, we could name several selfish things we’ve done during this season.

I hope we can all understand the problem with this greedy mindset, and that we’ll do our best to become conscious of Christmas greed, so we’ll no longer allow ourselves to think and act in such unbecoming ways.

Look outside yourself

When we’re used to focusing on ourselves it can be difficult to change our hearts, but I have a few suggestions in mind to help with the process.

Set aside money. If you receive an allowance, have a job, or receive a check from grandma in the mail, put a set amount aside so you can give to others, as we’re told to do in 2 Corinthians 9:7: “Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” Don’t let a lack of money stop you, though! You can do so many things for free, like shovel driveways, babysit, clean a house, or volunteer at a homeless shelter or soup kitchen.

Make a new kind of list! Make a list of ways to give to other people. Your parents or the elders at your church may know of someone in need. Give to that person, whether it’s giving them a bag of groceries, purchasing a few gifts for their children, or putting an anonymous envelope of money under their front door.

Pray about it. Ask God to open your eyes and heart to others. When we’re diligently seeking His will and searching to help others, He will lead us to them.

Keep in mind

We’re not going to be perfect, and our human instinct is to feel disappointment when we don’t receive what we were hoping for, but when we take the time to give to those who have less than us, we will naturally begin to focus less on what we don’t have and more on what we do have.

The ultimate gift was already given to us by Jesus Christ, when He dedicated His life to living perfectly, and when He died on the cross for our sins, as Hebrews 12:2 illustrates: “… Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

We can learn from His perfect example and remember that the more we give to others, the less we need to take for ourselves.

Davonne Parks

Approaching a New Year

As we approach the end of the year, many of us are busy with preparations for parties, trips, and a break from school. Although you’ll be busy, I hope you’ll continue to read each day. This month would be a great time to prepare for the newness of January, and the start of a new Bible reading schedule. I recommend reading some passages on giving, since that is this month’s theme. Psalms is also a great place to go, since it touches on so many areas––thankfulness, distress, fear, and joy, to name a few. I would suggest asking for a Bible concordance for Christmas. This will help you in the coming year’s study of the Bible by directing you to scriptures on certain topics and people.

You do not have to follow the Bible reading plan provided by Pierce My Heart, but I would strongly suggest finding a plan, or coming up with one, that suits you and that will encourage you to spend time in the Word daily. “But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night” (Psalm 1:2). When I started my daily Bible reading months ago, I decided to start at the most obvious place for any book––the beginning. Although I have gone to church my entire life, I have never read through the entire Bible. I knew many stories, but since I’ve been reading, I’ve discovered so many more that I never knew about. I also realized that if I’m to share God’s Word with the lost, I need to know His Word! I’ve enjoyed this reading plan, as simple as it is. I encourage you to spend this month, amid the holiday busy-ness, studying His word so your mind and heart will be prepared to properly begin the new year.

By Lisa Grimenstein

December Suggested Reading

Dec 1: Matthew 6:1-34
Dec 2: 2 Corinthians 9:1-15
Dec 3: Psalm 1:1-6
Dec 4: Psalm 3:1-8
Dec 5: Psalm 4:1-8
Dec 6: Psalm 6:1-10
Dec 7: Psalm 8:1-9
Dec 8: Psalm 11:1-7
Dec 9: Psalm 19:1-14
Dec 10: Proverbs 1:1-19
Dec 11: Proverbs 31:10-31
Dec 12: Ecclesiastes 1:1-18
Dec 13: Ecclesiastes 3:1-22
Dec 14: Esther 2:1-23
Dec 15: Esther 3:1-15
Dec 16: Esther 4:1-17
Dec 17: Esther 5:1-14
Dec 18: Esther 6:1-14; 7:1-10
Dec 19: Esther 8:1-17
Dec 20: Matthew 1:18-25; 2:1-23
Dec 21: Luke 1:1-40
Dec 22: Luke 1:41-80
Dec 23: Luke 2:1-38
Dec 24: Luke 2:39-52
Dec 25: Mark 15:1-47
Dec 26: Mark 16:1-20
Dec 27: 2 Timothy 3:1-17
Dec 28: Titus 2:1-15; 3:1-15
Dec 29: Hebrews 2:1-18
Dec 30: Hebrews 6:1-20
Dec 31: Hebrews 12:1-3; 13:1-8