Learning Rhythms of Rest

This post is a follow-up from Women’s Retreat, where we talked about how to deal with the unrest in our souls.

Scripture teaches us that we are to have(C) Luke Cheeser periods of work and rest, from the beginning when God rests after creation (Genesis 2:1-3), throughout the Old Testament as the Israelites were commanded to practice Sabbath (Exodus 20:8-11), and demonstrated by Jesus as he and his disciples retreated to rest (Mark 6:30-32).

How can we learn to incorporate rest into our overly-stuffed modern lives?

We’ll look at three questions: Continue reading

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Bible Reading Plans

By Andrew Hoffman

gfgm2hcq92s-aaron-burdenHere are some ideas for planning your Bible reading. Please post your thoughts and plans in the comment section below. As you consider which one is best for you at this time, remember the goal isn’t ultimately to finish the Bible or keep up with the reading plan. The goal is to allow the scripture to speak into your life, to shape your thinking, your desires, your values and your approach to challenges and opportunities. The goal is for you to know God more intimately through Jesus Christ and to live in partnership with him.

Reading plans help us because they remove the potentially debilitating question of what to read next. They can also motivate us by giving us a goal to achieve. However, since the ultimate goal is to know God it might be that in some seasons you’ll want to ditch the reading plan and just sit with scriptures that will most minister to the soul.

One more preliminary thought: some get bogged down in reading the Bible because they don’t have a clear understanding of its overall message, its different genres and how to read it for nourishment. If this is you, I highly recommend our Gospel Academy course entitled “Bible.” You also might find help on The Bible Project website listed below.

READING PLANS IDEAS:

M’Cheyne’s Bible Reading Calendar. This popular plan has you reading four chapters a day, two in “secret” and two for “family.” Read the Old Testament once in a year and the New Testament twice. Online calendar

D.A. Carson. A modified version of the M’Cheyne plan with brief commentary. Daily online version

One Year Bible. Various publishers offer a Bible reformatted according to days of the year with readings from various books of the Bible for each day. One Year Bibles remove the hassle of flipping back and forth between sections. Here’s one.

Bible Sections. The Bible is divided into Pentateuch, Historical Writings, Poetic Books, Prophets and New Testament. Each section is moderately similar in length. Read a chapter from each section every day (so five chapters a day). The variety is great but you’ll need to carefully  manage five bookmarks. (I have used this plan multiple times and love it)

Alphabetical. Read through the Bible taking the books in alphabetical order at whatever pace you choose. 3.25 chapters a day gets you through the Bible in one year. This plan is great because it is simple to follow, it provides variety as you bounce back and forth through the Bible and you get to immerse yourself in one book at a time. This is my current plan.

Bible Apps. The Bible Project, YouVersion, Bible Gateway, ESV CrossWay, Olive Tree are all popular apps that have reading plan options. The Bible Project has numerous resources online to help you get into reading the Bible.

More Plans. If that is not enough, check out this list for more ideas!

Are there any reading plans you have found helpful? Comment below.

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A Light from the Shadows

By Dakota Dietz

The Aurora Borealis, Iceland

The Aurora Borealis, Iceland

A few months ago my wife Meagan and I were flying overnight to Iceland on our honeymoon. We were on a mission to catch even a moment of the famed Aurora Borealis, but God surprised us and put on a show we’ll never forget right outside the plane windows. We watched through the tiny porthole as the dancing green and white waves cascaded down, with Orion standing by and stars shooting through. It wasn’t quite a vision of the throne room (Revelation 4), but I imagine we experienced something similar to those who have approached the throne of God, ending up with their nose on the ground in awe.

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The Unlikely Adventures of the Searchers & the Misfits

Jackie Knapp, Miguel Castuera, Laura Humphrey & the Solano Kids

Solano Church is blessed with some very talented children and young people. This Christmas we wanted to create something with them that would help them communicate the meaning of Christmas in a fresh, imaginative way… And so began The Unlikely Adventures of the Searchers and the Misfits.poster-the-unlikely-adventures-of-the-searchers-and-the-misfits

The Bay Area is full of creative, culturally clued in people, and this short film hopes to engage with this part of the world. But it is a gift from the Solano Kids to all of us: to the performance artists and the microbiologists, to the jaded and the downcast, to the seen-its, heard-its and done-its, to the joyful, the fearful and the humbugs, to the hurting and the lonely, to those who love Jesus and to those who don’t know him, don’t trust him, or just plain don’t like him.

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Standing in the Gap

Dakota Dietz

standing-in-the-gap2However the election has affected our communities and hearts, something we may all agree on is that it has brought into focus the vast cultural divide in our nation. This is not a political commentary, but a personal reflection and confession on how I have engaged with the different cultures that have clashed so bitterly in this season.

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5 Reminders for Election Day

By Brent Kompelien6261650491_0cd6c701bb_b

This election is probably making you anxious about the future, frustrated with the political process, or disillusioned with our nation’s leaders. How should we respond? I want to remind us of a few important truths that should set us apart as gospel-believing Christians. I pray that these reminders help us “seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God” (Col. 3:1). Solano is a politically diverse congregation, but the following things unite us as brothers and sisters in Christ.

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Of Parsnips & Pouring Into

Laura Humphrey

The Humble Parsnip

The Humble Parsnip

My mother-in-law wasn’t wild about the idea when Peter, my now husband, and I started dating. She had fair reasons, one of which that I was not a believer. As her and her husband work in ministry, they had seen this story before, and often the outcome had been the believer in the relationship falling away from faith rather than the unbeliever stepping into it.

This woman did not fit my perfectly put-together, touchy-feely, overly-smiley Pastor’s Wife Pigeonhole. She’s a cuticle chewing, no-nonsense engineer whom no one would dare describe as touchy-feely, even by English standards.

Needless to say, when I met her as Peter’s Unsuitable Girlfriend I found myself intimidated.

Intimidated and sweaty.
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Consider the Redwoods: A Biological Parable

By Dakota Dietz

sequoias-01-with-mouse

Redwood ForesBy Dakota Dietz 

I love the study of biology because the natural world is rich with metaphors. The interactions between creatures, the coordination of limbs, organs, fluids, and tissues, the structure and functioning of the tiniest of cellular lifeforms, and the effect of mankind on the earth all have embedded within them stories of God. The Author of all that is has made creatures to be living parables. He has artfully written himself into the trees, the critters, and the environment that sustains them. From the very beginning of the verbal revelation of himself to the very end, from the tree of life and the tree of knowledge to the tree of life for the healing of the nations, God has been providing biological revelation of himself. Continue reading

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When God Derails Our Plans for the Better

As Solano looks forward to Vision Sunday on  September 25th, Aria Lee writes about learning to be a disciple who makes disciples.

By Aria Lee

This is Aria!

Aria Lee!

This summer was not what I had planned, but that wasn’t surprising considering the fact that God has derailed my plans multiple times, and always for the better. After returning home from college, I expected to spend my summer working at kids’ camp. I had a month before I was to start, so I decided I would take that time to relax, but when I relaxed, I dropped everything – including my daily fellowship with God. It wasn’t till about two weeks before I was supposed to start my summer job that God gave me a wakeup call, literally in the form of a phone call. The camp director called and told me that my job fell through, so in the course of five minutes, what I had envisioned for my summer completely changed.

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Pastor Jun Lee on Disciplemaking

Pastor Jun Lee joined our Home Group Leader retreat in August 2016 to teach on disciplemaking. Pastor Jun was instrumental in starting the One Heart Christian club at Albany High and now works with Cru at Santa Cruz. He is battling ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) currently and gives remarkable testimony to how God is using him despite (or even through) his weakness.

For the sake of context, this recording starts immediately after an impromptu and extended time of prayer with Pastor Jun and the Solano Home Group Leaders. It was a prayer time many of us will never forget and part of the emotion at the beginning of this talk is in response to it.

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