Home > Crossway Blog > Archive for December, 2011

Archive for December, 2011

I’d Love to Read More, but…

by Dave Kraft
(original post)

Leaders are readers.  There is no way of getting around it.  Any leader worth his salt knows what he doesn’t know and does something about it. Leaders are life-long learners and one of the best ways that I know of to keep learning is to keep reading. When you stop reading, you stop learning and when you stop learning, you stop leading with effectiveness.

We all have our excuses why we don’t read as much as we say we want to or think we should. The first thing I would say in this regard is get off your “but”

I would love to read more, but…

  • I don’t know what to read or how to read
  • I am a slow reader,
  • I am too busy…just barely keeping up with what is already on my plate.

You will never “find” the time to read. I have never met anyone who was walking down the street and found some time lying there for the taking. We all have the same amount of time as the CEO of a Fortune 500 company or the guy flipping burgers at the local McDonalds…168 hours a week.  You have never had less than that and you will never have more than that, no matter how many times you say to yourself, “I wish I had more time.”  With reading, as with most other important things in your life that you never seem to get to, it is a matter of priorities and values, not time. You will always make time for what you think is truly important.

Here are seven things that you can begin doing to build the habit of reading more:

1. Set a specific goal

For over 15 years I have had a goal to read at least two books a month (24 books a year). Just yesterday, I discovered that for the last 14 years I have averaged 29 books a year.  This didn’t happen by accident or by wishing. What gets measured, gets done.  Perhaps you should start with a goal to read one book a month and tell someone about your goal. There’s nothing like accountability to keep you moving.

2.  Make Time

To make (not find, as you will not find) time, you will want to decide what you will sacrifice so that you can read. You may want to watch less television, go to bed 30 minutes earlier so you can get up 30 minutes earlier to read, cut some time out of an addictive hobby you have that is eating away at your finite 168 hours a week. If reading is to be a priority for you, you’ll make time for it!

3.  Build the habit with a set routine

Not all routines are bad…(one of the lies of the enemy.)  Find the time of day and days of the week that will work best for you and build a consistent habit to read at those times.  Shut down your computer and turn off your iPad or cell phone so you are not distracted. Find a place that can be your reading place.  Don’t try and read where you normally work.  If you were to faithfully and consistently read just 20-30 minutes a day, consistently, you could finish two 250-300 page books every month. I know it works, for I have been doing this for 15 years. During your lunch hour, early in the morning or just before bed are times that have worked for a lot of people.

4.  Start with the Bible

Why not start with consistent Bible reading. Don’t read other books and neglect your Bible. There are dozens of Bible reading plans out there to pick from.  Don’t read the Bible so you can say you read your Bible regularly. Read it because you want to hear from Jesus, build a thoughtful theology, gain perspective, develop courage, preach the Gospel to yourself every day, be reminded of how much He loves and cares for you and has a plan and purpose for your life, build an intimate relationship with Him.

5.  Get recommendations on books to read

I have leaders whom I deeply respect and admire. Some are friends or co-workers and some are authors.  I always have a keen eye open for books they recommend.  I also have 6-10 favorite authors and read anything they write. Ask some of your co-workers or leaders you know what they have been reading recently and get some top-notch recommendations.  I generally don’t read what is on the best sellers’ list or what everyone else may be reading. I have to be motivated. I read what I am pretty sure I will enjoy and profit from.  When I am reading a magazine article, I always have an eye open for a book that is referenced or highly recommended and, in a couple of minutes, it’s on my iPad. I made the shift from paper to electronic about three years ago (but that is a topic for a future article…maybe.)

6.  Don’t read primarily for entertainment, but for growth

I mostly read to learn and grow as a leader.  It is not that I never read something for the pure joy of read, but the bulk of my reading diet is non-fiction. I love to read business books (just finished the story of In-N-Out Burger), sports-related books (read the story of Duke’s Coach K and Pat Summit of Tennessee’s Lady Vols). But most of my reading is centered on the church and on church leadership as that is where I work and spend lots of my time. I want to honor Him better in the way I do the work He assigns me. Suffice it to say, you will be more motivated (as you probably were not in school) to read if there is a good reason to read what you read. Follow your hobbies, your interests and your passions as you choose your books.

7.  Start tomorrow…don’t wait

The biggest waste of time is the waste of time getting started.
Related Posts:

Dave Kraft if author of Leaders Who Last.

December 7, 2011 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Life / Doctrine,Sanctification,The Arts,The Christian Life | Author: Angie Cheatham @ 8:52 am | 0 Comments »

Free Download: Bringing the Gospel Home

The holiday season is upon us! For some, this means more days off work and more time with family. And if you have unbelieving family members, the joy of celebrating Christmas can be mixed with anxiety and hopeful expectation—this is perhaps the best time of year to talk about Jesus.

After all, there are songs on mainstream radio proclaiming the birth of a King, whom people are coming to adore, a savior who can save us all from Satan’s power. This is the time of year when people are most open to going to a church service or watching your kids sing in a Christmas program. Yet, even during this special time of year, sharing the gospel with family can be difficult. Why? We’re up against some tough obstacles (just to name a few):

  • Our world is fallen.
  • People are slaves to sin.
  • The Devil is not sitting idly by as we tell people to turn from darkness to the light of Christ.
  • There can be challenging family dynamics or strained relationships.
    (adapted from Bringing the Gospel Home)

Evangelism is never really comfortable, natural, or easy. And that’s not the goal of evangelism anyway. Rather, “[the goal is] evangelism that heralds accurately and powerfully the goodness of the gospel—regardless of the difficulty for us proclaiming it or the resistance from those who hear it,” explains Randy Newman, author of Bringing the Gospel Home.

Knowing many of you will have the opportunity to share the gospel this month—whether it’s with family, friends, or neighbors—we encourage you to download a free copy of Bringing the Gospel Home: Witnessing to Family, Close Friends, and Others Who Know You Well.

Read, be encouraged, apply, and pass it on!

Note: This promotion is no longer available.

Related Posts:

December 6, 2011 | Posted in: Uncategorized | Author: Angie Cheatham @ 11:11 am | (9) Comments »

5 Bibles That Make Great Christmas Gifts

With Christmas shopping it can be hard to know what to get your friends and family, especially if you’re looking for something that gives significant, lasting value.

If you think about it, a Bible is one of the most personal and valuable gifts you can give. Several of us at Crossway are still using Bibles that we were given years ago!

Consider giving the gift of God’s Word for Christmas. Here are 5 specialty Bibles that might bless someone in your family:

1. ESV Seek and Find Bible

This Bible for 5-9 year-olds features the full ESV text along with 120 illustrations of major Bible stories. Accompanying each illustration is a retelling of the Bible story in simpler language, reflection questions, memory verses, and other features. It’s a colorful Bible that helps kids work through the entire Bible in a way they can understand. The Seek and Find Bible is available in three editions and is priced at either $28 (hardcover) or $35 (TruTones).

2. ESV Grow! Bible

The ESV Grow! Bible is for kids ages 8–12. It also includes the full Bible text alongside numerous features like “W Questions”, “Cross Connections”, and “4U” applications. This colorful and engaging Bible is available in three editions, priced at $28 for the hardcover and $35 for the TruTones.

3. ESV Student Study Bible

Adapted from the original ESV Study Bible, the Student Study Bible includes condensed study notes, character profiles, special facts, articles, and more. It was designed for students, but features a depth of content and simple design applicable to all ages. Each copy of the Student Study Bible comes with free access to an online version hosted at ESVBible.org. It’s available in three print editions – $38 for the hardcover and $55 for the two TruTone editions.

4. ESV Study Bible

The ESV Study Bible is one of the most comprehensive single-volume Bible resources out there. It’s a high-quality, lasting resource that you can “grow into” for many years. Like the ESV Student Study Bible, each print edition includes access to the online version at ESVBible.org. With twenty-seven editions and three sizes to choose from, there’s an ESV Study Bible for every walk of life. Prices range from $45 for the personal size hardcover to $240 for the premium calfskin leather editions.

5. ESV Journaling Bible

This Bible invites participation from the reader in a different way. Each page features ruled lines in the 2″-wide margins, perfect for those who like to make notes in their Bible. Five editions are priced between $35 (moleskine cover) and $130 (cowhide leather).

Want to give a Bible, but aren’t interested in any of the above options? Browse all of the available ESV Bibles at Crossway.org.

We hope this Christmas is a special celebration of Christ for you and your loved ones!

| Posted in: Uncategorized | Author: Andrew Tebbe @ 9:39 am | 1 Comment »

“Give Thanks, Give Bibles” Campaign Impact

We’re excited to announce that, as a result of your partnership in our “Give Thanks, Give Bibles” campaign, Crossway will be sending nearly 400 Study Bibles to Christians in the Global South via Desiring God International Outreach! Thanks to everyone who “Liked” our Facebook page and shared what we were doing with others. Please pray with us that these Bibles will be a blessing to our brothers and sisters and be used in the spread of the gospel!

Want to partner with Crossway on similar efforts? We invite you to join Crossway Impact, our new rewards program for readers who want to make an additional impact with the books they’re buying.

Crossway Impact is designed to serve our readers by offering the following annual benefits.

  • 3 FREE books (choose print or e-books from a monthly list which must ship with a purchase of any amount)
  • 25% OFF all books and Bible purchases on Crossway.org
  • Free shipping on orders over $50
  • Exclusive monthly offers

Crossway Impact also gives you an opportunity to make a difference with every book you buy. We’ll send 5% of everything you spend to a ministry of your choice—ministries that are planting and building healthy churches, equipping Christians for life and ministry, and carrying out Gospel-driven initiatives around the world.

For the first year of the program, we’re making these benefits available to as many Crossway readers as possible by letting you determine the value of your rewards (worth at least $40 in free books alone!). That means you name your own membership fee, whatever you can afford.

Sign-up for Crossway Impact today.

December 2, 2011 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Bible News,Company Updates,ESV,News | Author: James Kinnard @ 2:17 pm | 0 Comments »

FamilyLife Today Interviews Brian Borgman, Author of “Feelings and Faith”

Brian Borgman, author of Feelings and Faith: Cultivating Godly Emotions in the Christian Life recently spoke with Dennis Rainey and Bob Lepine on FamilyLife Today.You can tune into their three-part conversation or read the transcript here.

Part one of the interview focuses on sanctifying your emotions. Dennis Rainey says,

I think every single person who is listening to our broadcast can benefit from a better biblical understanding of how they were made—their emotions. This will help husbands and wives as they relate to each other. Parents are shaping their children to better understand their emotions as well. I think what Brian Borgman has done here is going to be very helpful.

Part two addresses controlling your emotions and combating sin with Scripture. Borgman, Rainey, and Lepine also reflect on Martin Lloyd-Jones’ words:

I regard it as a great part of my calling in the ministry to emphasize the priority of the mind and the intellect in connection with the faith. I am equally ready to assert that the feelings, the emotions, the sensibilities, obviously, are of very vital importance. We have been made in such a way that they play a dominant part of our makeup. I suppose that one of the greatest problems in this world, not only for Christians but for all people, is the right handling of our feelings and emotions.

In part three, Borgman discusses faith-led feelings. He says:

We cannot determine the will of God by how we feel about something. We cannot determine what’s true by how we feel about something. It’s actually very dangerous to rely on your feelings and then translate that into, ‘This is what God wants me to do. This is what God wants me to believe, and this is how God wants me to obey.’ We know the will of God through the Word of God. It’s the Word of God that’s infallible, not our feelings.

Related Posts: