Monday, February 6, 2012
Pointers for Focus
1. At the outset, invite the Holy Spirit's help. Ask for understanding and the ability to apply what you read. It is His pleasure to teach and counsel you. It's an amazing privilege that God has given us.
2. Keep notepaper beside you. That way you don't have to keep distractions flickering for attention. When you jot them on paper, it allows you to refocus.
3. Plan to let your voice mail get the phone during your allotted time. You can always return the call later. Often times it's a sales call or an appointment confirmation reminder.
4. Set a timer if you are on a tight schedule and you won't have to keep looking at the clock. With some practice, you'll get a better idea of your time flow.
5. Either choose a time when your children are asleep, or clearly explain that except for blood you are not to be disturbed. (I think of Susanna Wesley whose "At Prayer: Do Not Disturb" sign was her apron thrown over her head.) Whether or not you have young children, the challenge is to find a suitable time and place that works with your household traffic and schedules. Then lovingly but firmly communicate -- to roommates, husband, children-- your priority to be fed by the Living Word.
6. Start with short times and keep them as regular as possible. The more often you do it, the easier to find a rhythm that works for you.
7. Use a study bible with an easy to understand translation. Explanations from culture, geography, and history all enhance the meaning. It's easier to apply the reading to your life when you understand it!
7. A devotional is often a great asset. And... if you search the scriptures for nuggets before you read the comments, your insight will stick much longer than if you passively read someone else's discoveries. Although, I must say I have learned a great deal from others.
In my next blog I'll tell you what helped me with consistency.