Obergefell – The Definition of Marriage

Before I talk about the different opinions entered in Obergefell, there are a couple more introductory points I need to make.  (If you didn’t read my first post in this series giving an overview of the issues covered in the decision, you can read it here.)

The first point we need to understand is that, in the Obergefell decision, “marriage” means “civil marriage.”  A civil marriage is the the legal union of two people (before Obergefell, in most states, the people were of opposite sex).  Civil marriage carries with it a bundle of legal rights and responsibilities that are granted by the States.  The Petitioners argued that it was unconstitutional for States to prevent same-sex couples from entering civil marriage and, as a result, denying same-sex couples the same bundle of rights and responsibilities that the States give to opposite-sex couples.

“Marriage” may also be defined as religious marriage.  For Christians (I won’t get into comparative religions here), marriage is spiritual union in which a man and woman become one.  Someone does not need to be licensed by the State to perform a religious marriage and the couple does not need a license from the State to enter into a religious marriage.    I don’t know anyone who has done it, but a couple could choose to be married in a purely religious ceremony.  They would be no less married than anyone else in the Christian sense.  But, the couple also would receive none of the legal rights and privileges given to couples who have a State-recognized civil marriage.  The Supreme Court decision does not require churches to perform religious ceremonies for same-sex couples.

This is where it becomes confusing for people.  Here in America, most people don’t think about marriage as a legal relationship and a spiritual relationship.  At least for Christians, it is a spiritual relationship first and the legal rights and responsibilities that come with it are extras.  It is easy for Christians to think that because the legal union and spiritual union are usually accomplished at the same time.  The person officiating the wedding doesn’t say, “OK, that completes the spiritual union, now we will move on to the legal union.”  The couple is joined spiritually in the religious ceremony.  The couple is joined legally when the person officiating the wedding signs the marriage license that has been issued by the State.   The signed marriage license provides evidence of their legal relationship.

What I Think about the Decision

I was not going to tell you what I thought about the decision until I had summarized the majority and dissenting opinions.  But, if you are taking the time to read these posts, you deserve to know my potential biases from the beginning.  I will try to be fair-minded, but everyone writes from a point of view.

I agree with the dissenters that the case was not ready to decide and the question should have been sent back to the States.  If you know me, you know that I did not reach this conclusion because I hate people who are gay or lesbian.  If you don’t know me, it won’t do any good for me to tell you that.  No one who wants to be credible on this issue is going to say that they oppose Obergefell because they don’t like the people who will benefit from it.

The fact that the Supreme Court split 5 to 4 on this case tells me that of 9 of the best legal minds in the country can’t decide if the Petitioners’ have constitutional rights that were violated by the States.  The majority says they do and the dissenters say they don’t.   For a decision of this magnitude, I would like the Supreme Court to be 100% certain that they have rendered the right decision.  In Obergefell, the Court is effectively 55% (5/9) certain.   55% “certainty” is barely better than a coin toss.  Is that a high standard?  Brown vs Board of Education, the decision that ended the despicable practice of “separate but equal” was a unanimous decision. The Supreme Court was 100% certain they had reached the right decision.  Likewise, Loving vs Virginia, which is cited in Obergefell, was a unanimous decision ending the State white supremacy laws that made it a crime for a white person to marry a person of color or for someone to conduct a wedding between a white person and a person of color.  Regardless of whether people agreed with these decisions (and many did not), they knew that the Supreme Court was completely certain it had reached the right answer.

To be fair, the Supreme Court is not required to render a unanimous decision just because someone thinks the case is really important.  The Supreme Court needs only a simple majority to support a decision.  But, I hope you see my point.

Next, I plan to go through the majority and dissenting opinions.  I won’t outline the decision for you.  Instead, I will go over the major themes or arguments used in the majority and dissenting opinions.  As I do it, I will point out questions and observations along the way.  The next post will talk about the introduction to Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion.

If you would like to read the Obergefell decision, or follow along with the coming posts, you can follow this link.

Do you have questions or want to raise a point?  Please leave a comments.

 

Obergefell Series Introduction

Originally published in July 2015

By now you have heard that the US Supreme Court has ruled that states must issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and states must recognize the marriages of same-sex couples that were performed in other states.  You may read a lot of information from people who are for same-sex marriage or against same-sex marriage.  Some of the conversation on both sides is inflammatory.  What I would like to do here is give a simple summary of the decision.  I hope it will help you see through the smoke to what, I believe, are the core issues.  If you want to wade through the 100-page decision, I link to it at the end of this post.  If you are interested in the issue, I recommend reading it.

First, some basic information.  The case was a consolidation of four cases from the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, which sits in Cincinnati, Ohio and handles appeals from the states of Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, and Tennessee.  The cases were from all four states.  In addition to the briefs filed by the Petitioners, the Court received 139 Amicus (or Friend of the Court) briefs arguing the two questions that the Court agreed to address in the appeal.

As additional background for those of you from outside the US as well as those who haven’t taken a civics class for a long time, the way our government is set up, the State is responsible for the health and welfare of its citizens.  That responsibility includes deciding who should be granted the legal rights that accompany civil marriage and how the State’s children will be educated, to name two examples.  Therefore, it is a big deal for the Supreme Court to step in and act as a “super legislature” that tells all the people of every state what the law requires them to do.  The Supreme Court has done that before in cases that you will recognize when I talk about them in later posts and, when you find out what the cases are, you will likely agree that the Court’s action in those cases was appropriate.

What were the questions that the Court agreed to address?  The first is whether the Fourteenth Amendment requires a State to license a marriage between two people of the same sex.  The second is whether the Fourteenth Amendment requires a State to recognize a same-sex marriage licensed and performed in a state which does not grant that right.  (I am going to leave out the citations to the decision.  If you really want to know where information came from, leave a comment.)  The Court split five to four on the two questions.

The Justices supporting the Majority opinion were: Kennedy (who wrote the opinion), Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan.  The dissenting Justices were: Roberts (Chief Justice), Scalia, Thomas, and Alito.  In addition to the Majority opinion, there were four dissents that were joined by various combinations of the dissenters.  No one dissent was joined by all the dissenting Justices.

The Court held that the 14th Amendment requires a State to license a marriage between two people of the same sex and to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state.  In the Majority opinion, Justice Kennedy relied on the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the 14th Amendment plus Supreme Court case law.

The dissenting opinions believed that the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses did not apply in these cases and that the question of licensing same-sex marriage should be left to the States’ legislative processes.  As Justice Roberts said, “[s]tealing this issue from the people will for many cast a cloud over same-sex marriage, making a dramatic social change that much more difficult to accept.”  The other dissenting opinions focused on different aspects of the argument, but ended at the same place; the question should be left to the States to sort out through the democratic process.

That is a very short summary of a very long decision.

One final takeaway, and this is where the controversy lies.  The Justices in the majority do not say in their opinion that they support the idea of same-sex marriage and neither do the Justices who dissented say they are against it.  The decision is based on the Constitution and case law.  Those who disagree argue that the majority opinion or the dissenting opinions were written out of a desire to see a certain outcome and not in accordance with the Constitution and the law.  A practice sometimes referred to as “judicial activism.”  We will likely not know the motives of any of the writers.  But, regardless of the side you line up on, I think it is important to understand the reasoning of the other side.  Not because of what it says about same-sex marriage, but because of what it says about how and when the Supreme Court will step into matters that are otherwise constitutionally the responsibility of the States.

In future posts, I will talk about the opinions in more detail along with some of the implications I see for the church in particular and everyone in general.

Here is the link to Obergefell.  The majority opinion and the dissents total about 100 pages.  I am an attorney, and parts of the decision took some thought to follow the arguments.  You may also find it challenging.  But, if you really want to get past the headlines, it is a good idea to read the full opinion.

What do you think about the decision and what questions do you have?  Please leave a comment.

 

 

The Digital Disciple’s Screen Resolution Chart – Fall 2016

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I created The Digital Disciple’s Screen Resolution chart 4 years ago to compare the display sizes, screen sizes, and resolutions of Android and Apple tablets.  I posted it on the blog and it became the lead post and lead page.  Fast forward to today, the chart has gone from about 20 tablets to over 70. I update the chart twice a year.  This edition includes PC Magazines top 10 tablets for 2016 and it is sorted in alphabetical order by manufacturer to make tablets easier to find.

I will keep the most current version of the chart on this page.

Please let me know if you find any mistakes and leave a comment if the chart has helped you.

How have you used the chart and what tablet are you buying?

The Digital Disciple’s Website and Application Design Resources

These charts and illustrations have been very helpful for people who are comparing devices and they have become very popular with device application developers and Web designers.  These charts are no longer updated regularly.  If you would like a PDF of the chart, please contact me using the Contact Me link at the top right side of the page.

Screen Charts and Illustrations:

Apple Device Screen Chart

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A spreadsheet that compare the display specifications of all current Apple devices.  The chart gives the pixel dimensions, the physical dimensions, and aspect ratios.  This chart is available in PDF format.

Apple Device Screen Illustration

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An Illustration that overlays the displays of all current Apple devices to compare their physical size.  This illustration is available in PDF format .

Display Aspect Ratios Illustration – Geek Edition

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An illustration comparing the aspect ratios of common display resolutions.  I call this the “Geek Edition” because it takes a geek to appreciate the level of detail in the illustration.  If you want something simpler, check out the next illustration.  This illustration is available in PDF format.

 

Display Aspect Ratios Illustration

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An illustration showing the relationship between the three common tablet and computer displays: 16:9, 16:10, and 4:3.  This illustration is in PDF format.

 

Display Aspect Ratio Chart

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A chart with display pixel height on one axis and display pixel width on the other axis.  This Chart is available in PDF format.

 

Display Size Comparison

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An illustration comparing the physical size of 13 common devices.  This illustration is available in PDF format.

 

Smartphone Display Size Chart

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This chart lists the pixel dimensions, physical dimensions, front size, and aspect ratio of over 45 current smartphones.  The chart is available in PDF format.

Table Display Size Chart

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This chart lists the pixel dimensions, physical dimensions, front size, and aspect ratio over 25 current tablets.  The chart is available in PDF format.  Follow this link for a larger view of the chart.

 

What is it Like to Die? Part 3 – A Different View of Death

This post was originally published in August 2014

For Christians, the Bible calls us to reverse our thinking on a lot of subjects. We are to love our enemies, pray for those who persecute us, and serve if we want to lead. When we are finished living, death is not a final punishment, but the beginning of a new life in heaven and an eternal reward. We don’t see death that way because we can only see one side of it, the side that takes place in our present reality.  To understand the Bible’s view, we need to see death from a different perspective.

As I said in the first post in this series, people have two “parts;” a physical part, the body, that will wear out and die and a spiritual part, the soul or spirit, which will never die.  When a person becomes a Christian, God’s Holy Spirit begins to live in them and for many people it is their first experience with the spiritual world. We are aware of feelings and input that comes in through ways other than our senses. It is both exhilarating and unnerving when we “sense” the Holy Spirit tell us that something is wrong or we just stop doing things we used to do. Our spirit is being changed and the change is reflected in what we do and how we think. That’s how Paul could be sure that a person who had accepted Christ would begin to bear the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Galatians 5:22.  God’s Holy Spirit teaches our spirit to be God-like and demonstrate God’s character.

When we die, our body releases our spirit. I talked in an earlier post about where the spirit will go. In this case, I am talking about those who have accepted Jesus’ death for their sins and their spirits are going to heaven for eternity with God. For those of us on the earthly side of death, all we see is the body stop working and the person we knew is gone. But, if we could see the whole picture, we would see that when the person drew his last breath here, his eyes opened in heaven where there are angels singing, there are the spirits of believers through the ages who have died before him, and he is where God dwells in His glory. The joy, peace, and acceptance are overwhelming. There is a sense of finally being home in the place that Jesus promised he would prepare for us. Here on earth, we only see half the picture, and it’s not the good half.

That is why Christians see death differently. Do we miss those who die? Of course we do do. Do we think that someone died too soon, or too young, or that they lingered too long? Sure. It’s OK to feel that way. God comforts us in our sorrow. Jesus, as God in the flesh, had people in his life die. When his friend Lazarus died, Jesus wept. But, because of the great hope we have in heaven, we can celebrate death as a graduation or passage. Death no longer means eternal separation from God. As Paul said, because Jesus paid our penalty for sin “Death is swallowed up in victory. Where, O Death, is your victory? Where, O Death, is your sting?” I Cor 15:54-55.

I don’t want to over spiritualize this.  If you have lost someone to death, it hurts and there is sense of loss that will never go away.  The way you feel is normal and you should not bury those feelings.  It is OK to grieve and take time to heal.  God will comfort you if you ask and He will restore your hope for the future.

Really, the purpose of this short series on death is you.  Do you know what will happen when you die?  I hope that you have accepted, or will accept, Jesus’ death for your sins and that you will spend eternity in heaven.  I became a Christian when I was in college.  There was this girl, I don’t even remember her name, who wanted to share the gospel with me every time I talked to her.  I humored her and I knew enough from attending church to respond to her questions and tell her that I just hadn’t made my mind up about Jesus.  One day, I thought I had her.  I said, how about all those people in other countries who will never hear the gospel, are they just going to hell?  She didn’t even flinch.  She said, “Dave, this isn’t about them, it’s about you.  God loves them and I trust he will treat them justly.  But, you have heard the gospel, you have to decide what to do with it, you have no excuse.”  I never forgot that.  It was a couple years later that I committed my life to Jesus in a little country church when I was home on summer break.  My life was forever changed.  If you are not a Christian and you have read these last few posts, you have all the information you need to make a decision.  What will it be?  I trust that God will speak to you and that you will accept the wonderful free gift of grace and salvation that He is offering.

What is it Like to Die? Part 2- My Experience

This post was originally published in August 2014

The week of June 8th I could feel a flare coming on and the medication was not working fast enough to control it. I expected that it would land me in the Cleveland Clinic, so Wednesday night, June 11, I went downstairs to pay some bills and get things cleaned up. The next thing I remember is that it was now 4 AM and I knew I needed to get to the hospital. I called Mary Ann and told her (I couldn’t walk upstairs). I don’t remember the ambulance ride or any part of the admission process, maybe a spill-over of the effects of the sedation.  I remember Mary Ann telling me that they were going to vent me. I knew that had caused problems with other RP patients and I signaled her not to do it. They warned my that I could die as a result and that it was necessary if they were going to fly me to the Cleveland Clinic. I didn’t care about dying, but I did want to get to the Clinic if we could. I signaled OK and I was out.

The next thing i remember is waking up at the Clinic 8 days later. (It had taken 36 hours for a bed to open so I remained on a vent and sedated in Cincinnati until Friday August 13th (I know, lucky for me).  I was flown to Cleveland Friday afternoon. Saturday morning, June 14, the doctor asked Mary Ann to step out of the room so he could put a line in my neck and I had a heart attack. While Mary Ann and our daughters prayed for me over the phone in another room, the “Code Blue” team gave me CPR for 30 minutes.  When my heart started, they put me in a medically induced coma to prevent or limit any brain damage that may have been caused by the lack of oxygen.  After 8 days in the coma, I responded to my name and could answer “yes” and “no” questions by nodding my head. Do you know who you are?  That was a softball, I responded to my name, right?  Do you know where you are? I knew where I was supposed to be, so I guessed right. The effect of the sedation wore off and I was “waking up.”

I’m retelling this story in case you have just found the blog and missed the longer version of the story in my initial post in this series. I also want to remake the point that I was out cold. During those 8 days, folks visited me, talked to me, read to me, prayed for me and I was completely unaware.

I have read 90 Minutes in Heaven and Heaven is for Real (both great books) and I would have expected a different kind of experience as I laid close to death. But, I didn’t hear angels singing , see people who had died before me, or get a glimpse inside the Pearly Gates. My only recollection from that time is what seemed like a short dream that I can’t even place in time.

It was night-time and I was in a strange city and needed to get home. I walked into the parking lot where my rented car was. I could hardly walk and I knew I needed to get home. It was a small red car. The cars in the lot were parked so closely together that I couldn’t get in mine. Someone I couldn’t see told me that there was a way to walk home so I started to walk. I was on a big concrete platform, like an outdoor performance pavilion and there were rows of concrete benches where the audience would sit. There was a wet slippery ramp that led down from the middle of the stage that I needed to go down. There were no guard rails. As I moved toward the ramp, I fell off the front of the stage. I was going to fall about 6 feet and land on the first concrete bench. I rolled to brace for the impact. I stopped in mid-air and “woke up.” Something told me that what had happened was not real but reflected a spiritual battle. In the end, God said “enough,” stopped the fight and spared me.

For now, I am taking the experience at face value. There was a spiritual battle going on while I was sedated and God intervened to end it. I may remember more as time goes on, but I think it is lost in the sedation.  Mary Ann is better at talking about that time and I will ask her to write a post describing her experiences during my heart attack and the days that followed.

No pithy lessons here.  I am still processing the experience and I’ll share insights as they come.  I guess the one thing this demonstrates is that we don’t always get answers.  Our job is to trust God to lead us and follow where He goes.  Even at times where we have only enough light to see what is immediately ahead of us.  Take the step you see and trust that the next step will be there.

What is it Like to Die? Part 1 – Basic Stuff You Need to Know

Originally published in August 2014

When I had my heart attack, I was dead for about 30 minutes.  I do not have a specific memory of that experience, maybe because I was sedated when it happened.  I have some impressions that I will share in later posts along with my thoughts on death and what happens when we die.  This series will “get into the weeds” a little bit and I hope you will hang with me.  It’s stuff we don’t often think about and it may be the most important stuff I say in the blog.

Let’s start with a fundamental truth: our spirit, or soul, lives forever.  Once you exist, you never cease to exist.  At death, your soul is freed from your body, but it doesn’t perish.  Take a minute to let that sink in.

Jesus told us that, when we die, our souls will be taken to heaven where we will spend eternity with God or we will go to hell where we will spend eternity separated from God.  Heaven is a place of joy and fellowship, hell is a place of suffering (we see the consequences of decisions we can’t change) and darkness.  Hell isn’t something we like to talk about, but Jesus talked about it a lot.  It is real and he doesn’t want us there.

What heaven and hell have in common is that things happen, but time never passes.  Imagine the most peaceful and joy-filled time of your life, you look at the clock and it is stopped.  The peace and joy continue and time remains stopped.  Can this go on forever? Yes, it does.  Now imagine the worst time you ever had: fear, regret, panic, suffering and pain.  Imagine being trapped in that time.  You keep checking the clock and time has not passed.  Can this go on forever? Yes, it does.

So, the big question you should be asking is: How do I make sure that, when the time comes, I am going to heaven and not to hell?  Do  you meet the entry requirement?  To get into heaven, a person must be perfect without ever having sinned.  God is perfect and he cannot allow imperfect souls to be around Him.  That’s a problem because, on our own, we are not perfect.  That’s where Jesus comes in.

The consequence for our imperfection, or sin, is eternal death. Or, as Paul says, the “wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). When we sin, we earn death. Paul also confirms that we all have sinned and fall short of God’s perfect standard (Romans 3:23). We like to think that “sins” are the “big things” that we don’t do. But, the truth is, that sin is every time we do not follow God’s law perfectly. By that standard, I can’t begin to count how many times a day that I sin.

God knew that His standard was unreachable when he set it, that is why He planned an alternative. For us, because we sin, death is the necessary outcome. But, what if a person did live a perfect life? That person would not have “earned death” and would be entitled to go to heaven and spend eternity with God. That person is Jesus. He lived a perfect life, yet he gave up his life for us on the cross. Jesus died the death that we are all condemned to die. God allows us to claim Jesus’ death on the cross as the death that we should have received for our sins. Then, because the price for our sin has been paid, God wipes out its consequences and we can enter heaven as if we had never sinned. The Bible calls us “righteous” meaning that we now have right standing before God.  When we get to heaven and are asked, “Did you live a perfect life?”  We can say, “I have accepted the perfect life that Jesus lived for me.”

The last question is, if you don’t have this right standing with God and are sure you will go to heaven when you die, how do you get it? You simply need to ask. There are many versions of the “sinner’s prayer” that you can pray. I will give you one here. There is no magic formula. You are committing you life to God and asking Him to forgive you and change you. Will there be changes in your life? You bet. Will it always be smooth sailing? No. But, I can assure you that a life spent on earth at peace with God and eternity in heaven with Him will far outweigh any temporary problems you may face.

Here’s what you can pray. Don’t be afraid to be honest and fill in the gaps.

“Lord Jesus, I need You. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Please take my life and make me the kind of person You want me to be.”

This prayer is from the Cru Web site.  If you want more information, follow this link.

If you have prayed this prayer for the first time, welcome to the kingdom of heaven! If you have prayed this prayer or something like it to recommit your life to Jesus, welcome back.  Now,  scroll back to the top of the page and click the header to go the blog main page if you are not there already.  Read the posts on daily prayer and daily Bible reading and get started.

On Death and Dying

I am not an expert on the topic of death and dying.  I have only died once and, obviously, I wasn’t very good at it because I am writing a blog post two years later.  But, the experience was still a cause for some reflection.  You can read about it starting here.  I originally wrote the reflections on death and dying from the Cleveland Clinic two years ago.

Like most of the posts on The Digital Disciple, the posts  were written to help me sort out my ideas and to share them with others who may find them later.  I know the process helped me and I hope it has helped others.

The posts approach the subject from a faith perspective.  Unless someone is talking only about the physiology of death and dying, I don’t see how it is possible to take a different perspective.  What happens up to the point of death may be physiology.  But, talking about what happens to the person when the person’s body dies involves faith.  It’s like talking about the beginning of the universe.  The discussion from the instant of the big bang may be science, but the discussion of the instant before the big bang is faith.  It’s hard to walk around the edges of either topic without crossing over.

You may have a different perspective and I invite you to share it in the comments.  Or, if you prefer, use the “Contact Me” link on the top of the page to sent me a private e-mail.

Welcome back to The Digital Disciple Blog

hs-1-250pxSeptember 8, 2016

Welcome to the relaunched Digital Disciple blog.  The blog is still about life’s journey and the lessons learned along the way.

I have begun by re-posting some pieces that I wrote from the Cleveland Clinic in 2014.  You will find them if you scroll to the bottom or select The Cleveland Clinic in the categories to the right.  I have also added a Site  Map (see the list of pages in the right column) that gives a short introduction to some of the content and makes things easier to find.

If you would like to receive e-mail notices of new posts, please fill out the subscription form on the top right side of the page.  All of the old subscriptions have been deleted.

 

A Simple Plan for Daily Bible Reading

You may have tried reading the Bible from front to back.  Genesis and Exodus are pretty exciting, but you fell asleep in Leviticus and gave up in Numbers.  You’re not alone and not without hope.

I recommend that folks try a daily reading plan where they read the Bible in a year.  That way, you are getting regular input from the Bible and you get to see God’s big picture.  You also aren’t just picking and choosing the good parts and avoiding the parts that make you uncomfortable.   I have done it for over 15 years now and it stays fresh.  I am always seeing something new.

Start by finding a Bible that is designed for annual reading, like the One Year Bible or find a reading plan that breaks it down for you.  I use the Olive Tree Bible app on my iPad and they have a host of reading plans you can select.  My preference is a plan where I am reading through the Bible chronologically with readings from the Old and New Testament each day.  There are so many choices available to you.  Visit your local Christian book store and they can help.  (I work for Family Christian and I know we have many options.)

Begin your Bible reading time with prayer, either as part of your devotional time or just ask God to open His word to you as you read it and make you sensitive to what He wants you to learn.  You will begin to see that God uses the regular input that you are receiving to shape your life and attitude for the better.  Paul calls it a “transforming” of the mind as we see life from God’s perspective and not our own.

As I said in an earlier post, the purpose for this time is to get regular Bible input that gives God the raw material to build positive change in your life.  As you read, you will have questions or ideas that you want to look into.  Keep a Bible reading journal (it could be part of your prayer journal if you have one) where you write down topics, questions, and ideas that you would like to investigate more deeply.

For the purposes of your daily reading, focus on what the Bible passage is saying and ask how it applies to you.  What truths can you apply to your life?  Does the passage identify sin that you need to confess?  Maybe it will give you direction in a problem that you are trying to solve.  Nothing jumps out at you today?  No problem, just stick with it.  The more you read the more it will begin to apply.  My physical therapist told me that the work I did one week would begin to show next week.  Bible reading is a similar cumulative process.  Give it time to build up.

It seems like Bible reading should be more complicated, but it isn’t.  It is a matter of discipline to read the Bible daily.  If you will do it, you will see the result in your life.  You can’t read the Bible daily and not be changed by it.

Now you have the two basic tools for spiritual growth and preparedness: prayer and Bible reading.  There’s more and I will talk about it in future posts.  If you are doing these two things, leave a comment with your approach and suggestions.  If you’re not, why not start today?