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The Bible is Enough for You

Confession: I've never read straight through the Bible. Nor have I completed a "Bible in a year" reading plan. I've read the entire thing, but broken in bits and pieces. And I know I need to put it all together to get a better grasp on the big picture.



So that's resolution Number One this year. It's the perfect place to start the year, because I firmly believe Jesus' truth in Matthew 6:33, "But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you." (CSB). With that in mind, I'm switching up the order of my posts. Devotional first this month, ladies and gents!


January Devotional


January is a time of refocusing for me. After the indulgences of the holiday season, it's wonderful to slow down, take stock, and clarify a vision for the new year. And this year, that means more time in the Bible for me.


Because the Bible is enough. No other book is alive and fueled by a living spirit (Hebrews 4:12). The Bible is the right book for the brand new Christian and the 30-year veteran. But many believers believe they need experts, guided devotionals, and pastors to interpret the words for them.

Though those can be wonderful helps, their greatest weakness comes when they attempt to dumb down the words of God. They often try to feed new believers on "Christianity lite" (to borrow the term from Paul Carter). Or they add to it, with a dozen analogies and applications that fit their own lives, but may not be right for their audience.


And none of it is necessary. The direct word of God is food for everyone. You can preach the gospel to a mixed room and both the baby believer and the strongest saint will walk away with spiritual truths at their level.


A few tools certainly help our understanding of the Bible. I loved the book Help! My Bible is Alive! by Nicole Unice as a starting point for reading the Bible on its own. After that, I keep a few tools around like my study Bible and the Blue Letter Bible app, which has a built in concordance and Bible dictionary. And it's important to choose a solid translation that's readable for you (I use the Christian Standard Bible). This year, I'm using an audio version of the yearly Bible reading plan, read by Max McLean and loving that.


That's it, though. In a season of gym memberships, diet plans, travel goals, reading challenges, and more... The Bible is enough. It's all you need this year.


I once heard about a homeschooling family using the Bible as their sole curriculum for a year. They studied the dimensions of the ark and built scale replicas for math, they studied ancient kingdoms for history, the psalms for poetry and language arts. Science experiments, spellings lists, and social studies all came from the Bible. Because it's enough.


So whatever resolutions you have on your list (or don't have, because resolutions are cliche and you are not), bring them back to the Bible. Sure, go on that diet, but let the Bible guide you; maybe you'll try the Daniel fast or study the verses on the stomach (there are plenty). Yes, exercise more, maybe while listening to an audio Bible. Absolutely, read 50 books, but read the Bible first.

Seek Him first. He is enough.


Author Life


In other news, I have a some Book Two announcements! Information drop incoming.


I got the manuscript back from my editor and I am so excited about the improvements. This is my first time using an editor and she made a few amazing catches that I think really helped strengthen the story.


Also.... We finally settled on a title! Untold agonizing went into this. Unlike Outside of Grace, which had its title from the start, Book Two went through more than 60 test titles. In the end, I took my top five to my publisher and they helped me out. I think it's a perfect fit, and I'm so glad to check one more thing off my list. So, coming to shelves in August 2024 (drumroll please)...



Reaching for Grace


Not only a title, but we have a synopsis! It will be undergoing a bit of review and a few edits still, but here's the gist of it.


After a vagrant upbringing, free-spirited Wren Atwood has fought to beat the odds. She has a career as a massage therapist, a stable church community, and now her lifelong dream is coming true, with a little blue house to call her own. But the first person to congratulate her is the last person she wants to see: pompous businessman Daniel Hollis. 

A successful entrepreneur, Hollis has returned to his hometown in Ridley Bay to find the attention he craved as a child. Though no amount of success can buy love from his family or health for his sister.

When a hurricane rips through the Texas coast and forces Wren and Hollis together, the walls they have built are exposed, along with the family secrets they hide. As Wren turns to her toxic family for help, and Hollis fights for his sister, it becomes clear their own efforts will never be enough. When nothing can repair their pasts, what can rescue their futures?

I've submitted the final manuscript to my publisher and we're now directing our focus towards final copyedits, back cover copy, and cover design. I'll also be swapping reads with several authors to exchange reviews.


So whether reading was on your resolutions list or not, I hope you'll save a spot in your fall lineup for Reaching for Grace!


 

I'd love to hear from you! If you make resolutions, what are yours? Can you incorporate the Bible into it? And what do you think of that shiny, new book description? 🫣

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