Stone Soup for Five

FREE! Weekly Review Checklist

Do you do a weekly review?

Since I've been doing it, I feel much less stressed and can usually stay on top of things better that tend to surprise me (upcoming birthdays, etc).

I've tweaked quite a few weekly review checklists and made one that I really like.



I keep a copy of it in my planner and try to do it on Saturday or Sunday to review, reflect, and plan ahead.  Click the picture above, or this link and download a copy for yourself and let me know what you think!




4 great devotionals for the non-devotional reader

I don't normally like devotionals.  In fact, I hadn't read a devotional since my high school years.  But, recently I've been really enjoying reading Puritan authors and bought the first devotional I have ever loved... which lead to another... and another...  So, of course I need to share my findings with you, because if you're not a devotional reader like me maybe these will change your mind!

The first one  I found out about when I read a quote by the author that was especially soul searching and looked him up.  His name was William Gurnall and he actually wrote a two volume work (among other things) titled "The Christian in Complete Armour."  When I found that there was an edited version for daily reading, I jumped all over it.  Every single page has been informative, thought provoking, or just plain convicting.  Here's just a tiny sample.  Each day is a full page (2 or 3 paragraphs):


March 12:  When Satan comes to tempt you, observe your behavior.  How do you respond to his enticements?  Do you stand fast on the ordinances of God and refuse to be swayed?  Or does your soul embrace the temptation as a bosom friend, glad for an excuse to entertain it?  ouch.

April 14:  Christian, this is imperative for you to realize:  When the wicked or unclean thoughts first force their way into your mind, you have not yet sinned... but if you so much as offer them a chair and begin polite conversation with them, you have become his accomplice.  In a short time you will give these thoughts sanctuary in your heart.

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Another GREAT one (which also includes some passages by William Gurnall) is a compilation of many Puritan authors called Voices from the Past.  My friend had a copy that she read during our summer camping trip each day and it was full of deep and thought provoking passages.

  Convicting and encouraging and edited to be easy to read.  Again each day is a full page of 2-3 paragraphs.  Some samples:

July 17--Richard Baxter  "Whenever you feel the least motion toward disobedience, meet it with an army of holy graces--zeal, courage, and love to God.  Quench every spark that falls upon your hearts before it breaks into flame. When sin is little and weak, it can be easily resisted."

June 9--John Owen  "His blood has a double consideration:  not only atonement and reconciliation, but also purging and sanctification.  He offered Himself not just to make atonement, but also to sanctify us by the sprinkling of His blood."

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Of course, I love Charles Spurgeon even though he wasn't a puritan, his works are some of the best out there.  The Morning and Evening devotional book has been amazing.

Each day's devotion is broken up into a morning paragraph or two and an evening one.  They are separate devotions, rarely building on each other, but full of great, great wisdom and inspiration.  Here's a tiny sample of August 30th's page:

Morning: Wait in prayer, however.  Call upon God, and spread the matter before Him; tell Him your difficulty, and plead His promise of help... but wait in faith.  Express your unstaggering confidence in Him; for unfaithful, untrusting waiting is just an insult to the Lord.

Evening:  "...this Great Physician can heal you...come then with the blind eye of darkened understanding; come with the limping foot of wasted energy; come with the disabled hand of weak faith, the fever of an angry temper, or the fit of shivering despondency; come just as you are, for He who is God can certainly restore you."

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This devotional is different than the other ones, as this one walks you through the history of Christianity talking about all kinds of people from the earliest apostles to more modern missionaries.  Each day of the week is a quick read about an event or person in history, how it affected the Christian church, and a short question or devotional thought.  I know very little church history, so I really enjoy my time with this devotional.


All of these are great devotionals and I'd be hard pressed to choose between them!  All are wonderful devotionals for the non-devotional reader!  What do you think?  Have you read any?  Willing to give them a try?




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Prayer School--How the Puritans prepared for prayer



In these prayer school posts, I'm learning and playing around with different ways to improve my personal prayer life and sharing them with you.  None of these is the "right" way to pray, and your prayer time doesn't have to be a long, meticulous time.  There is time and place for quick "arrow" prayers as well as time for longer, meditative, thoughtful prayers.  I find that I'm pretty good at those "arrow" prayers, but not so wonderful at the deeper prayer times.  So therefore, I keep trying to learn from those greater than I.

Bible Journal pages: Gospel pages

I have come to the realization that I need to grow in my understanding of what, exactly, the gospel of Christ is.  I, like I'm sure most of you, can give a quick answer for what the gospel is, but do I really know it?  Do I really believe it?  Do I really understand it and make it a part of my life?  Not usually.



Argumentative prayer? Is that even allowed?! Prayer School Session Two


Arguing with God while shaking my fist, crying "WHY?!" has never worked well for me... so why, in Isaiah, does the Lord suggest and request reasoning (arguing) together?

"Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord..."  Isaiah 1:16-18