This time of year is always hectic for me, as for most people. With four kids playing basketball, working a full-time job, making preparations for Advent and Christmas services, sermons and the like, it is sometimes hard to keep your eyes on the prize. In fact, at times I might have seemed like the original Scrooge. Bah! Humbug!
This last year has been different. Nothing’s really changed. I’m probably busier now than in years past. I have more responsibilities at work, the kids are more active in their sports, I don’t seem to have a minutes spare time. So what do I attribute this changed outlook?
Part of the change is just getting older. I just don’t get worked up as much as I used to. I’m still stressed, believe me! I’ve just learned little tricks to help keep things in perspective.
One of my coping tricks is really not a trick at all. It is something that I’ve been preaching and teaching about for the last 13 1/2 years. Stay in the Word. Now I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not always faithful at daily bible study, but recently I’ve found a resource that makes things easier. It’s called the Treasury of Daily Prayer and is a new book published by CPH. The general editor is Scott Kinnaman, who I know from my seminary days. He has done an excellent job of putting this resource together.
Previously I had a hymnal for the order of service, a Bible (of course), some devotional or other book, and the Confessions. Now this is all combined (with the exception of the Confessions). It follows the Church year, during Lent it focuses on the Luther’s Small Catechism, is concise and extremely easy to use. Throughout the year you will read most of Scripture with a daily reading from the Old Testament and from the New Testament, an appointed Psalm, and reading from either the Confessions, or a Church father, a hymn verse, and of course prayers. My suggestion for you is to check out this great resource. What’s more, for “a limited time only” they’re on sale.