Save Time Using a Blog Reader

200 blogs every day, all in less than an hour! That is how many blogs a noted Christian leader wrote that he followed. I was skeptical until he noted the advantages of using a blog reader. I now see how such a feat is very possible. If you are not familiar with a blog reader, basically it is a program which allows you to sync all of the blogs you want to follow into one program. This means you can read all of the blogs you want in one place instead of having to go back and forth to the different websites. I think this is a very helpful tool, and it saves both time and energy.

The most popular blog reader used to be Google Reader, until Google decided to discontinue it. After Google discontinued their reader, many of us switched over to Feedly (feedly.com), which is probably one of the more popular replacements for Google Reader. Feedly is very handy because there are Apps for Ipad, Iphone, and Android services. This means that you can load all of your blog articles on any of those devices as well! The layout of Feedly is also simple enough not to be distracting. All you need to get started is an account at Google. Once you have that, follow these simple steps.

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Shepherd’s Conference 2014!

Every year Grace Community Church hosts about 4,000 people for their annual Shepherd’s Conference in Sun Valley, CA. Like years in the past, this year’s lineup of speakers is very impressive.

  • John MacArthur
  • Albert Mohler
  • Mark Dever
  • Steven Lawson
  • Tom Pennington
  • Phil Johnson

While these main sessions look promising, there are also many other break-out sessions which look just as helpful! I plan on blogging about some of the highlights of the conference. I won’t be doing a complete overview, just sharing some of my thoughts from the week. The conference starts on Wednesday morning at 9:00 AM and finishes up Friday night. If you are interested in viewing the conference schedule, or viewing it on live stream, you should be able to find that information here.

So I will check in later this week when the conference begins! Stay tuned!

 

The Benefits of Trials

2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4)

I want to continue the discussion from yesterday’s post. First, I need to admit that I am not enduring any great trial right now. My life is comfortable and I am at peace. Perhaps I shouldn’t be blogging about the benefits of trials then, for one is surely bound to come my way now! Yet, even though I feel very blessed by God and I see so many undeserved good things poured out into my life, I realize that this is a timely subject to meditate upon. I have been in times of my life where I felt the fire of purging. I think it was probably during those times in life when I came up with the following list of what benefits trials accomplish in our lives. I will list them here for you without much additional explanation.

1) Trials promote humility.

2 Corinthians 12:7 – “So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited.”

2) Trials bring dependence on God.

 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 – Because we realize we are not in control, we cast ourselves upon God’s mercy

3) Trials cause us to long for God.

The psalmist often cries out to God when in trouble. Sometimes we get too caught up with this world – it is easy. When life becomes painful, we long for heaven and its peace.

4) Trials cause us to examine ourselves and eliminate sin.

Psalm 119:67 – “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word.”

5) Trials cause us to learn from the Word of God things which we could not learn otherwise.

Psalm 119:71 – “It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.”

“Most of the grand truths of God have to be learned by trouble; they must be burned into us with the hot iron of affliction, otherwise we shall not truly receive them.” – Spurgeon

“Read a truth in tranquility, read it in peace, read it in prosperity, and you will not make anything of it. Be put inside the furnace… and you will then be able to spell all hard words, and understand more than you could without it.” – Spurgeon

6) Trials cause us to not cling to the world or its pleasures.

When the sweetness of this world is lost because of the suffering we go through it, we realize what is important – the things of God – and we pursue those with our whole heart instead of letting our affections being seduced by worldly delights.

7) Trials give us heavenly reward.

2 Cor. 4:17-18 – “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”

8) Trials give us the experience to comfort our brothers and sisters.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4, v. 4 – “who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

Luke 22:32 – “But I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”

Experience is a great teacher, and it helps us be sympathetic to others who go through the same things.

9) Trials give us assurance that our faith is genuine.

1 Peter 1:6-7 – “In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith – more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire – may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

God already knows whether our faith is genuine or not – but we do not know. God shows us.

Think about it, are there other benefits you see from your trials?