5.8.2015

Make Your First 5 Count

Have you ever felt something stirring in your spirit that wouldn’t go away?

I have one of those things on my heart right now. And it all started with my middle daughter, Ashley.

Ashley is a driven and responsible girl. Last fall, she went off to college and while she’s always excelled academically, the same couldn’t be said for her spiritual life.

As her mom, my heart broke over her struggle in her relationship with the Lord. I just couldn’t understand it — she grew up going to church, learned Bible lessons and saw my husband Art and me read Scripture each day.

But no matter what we did or said, we just couldn’t make it connect for her.

If you’re in that place right now with your child or in your own walk with the Lord, I understand. I think for Ashley, the Bible felt complicated and disconnected from her everyday life issues.

As I cried out to the Lord on behalf of my daughter, the word that kept coming to mind was poverty. Poverty might seem like a strange word for this situation but when I saw the lack of spiritual nourishment in Ashley, the parallels from physical to spiritual lined up.

I chased down this thought a little more — what causes poverty? A lack of access to what you need.

Ashley had “physical” access to the Bible. We have many copies in our home.

But she lacked “personal” access. She wasn’t personally digging into the Bible herself. Therefore it wasn’t nourishing her parched spirit.

So where was the disconnect? As I wrestled with this, God brought me to the book of Proverbs.

“My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding — indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God” (Proverbs 2:1-5).

There is one word in this passage that’s repeated over and over: understand! Solomon says if we want fear of the Lord and knowledge of God, then we will crave understanding.

That’s what she needed… to crave understanding of the Scriptures!

Meanwhile, at school, Ashley was invited to attend a Bible study. She was challenged by her leaders to spend the first 5 minutes of her day in the Word.

After admitting she hadn’t been reading her Bible and hearing many of her friends talk about the benefits they were getting, she finally gave it a try. Each day, little by little, her interest in the Bible grew. Her life and attitude was being transformed.

I recently visited her at college and could hardly believe my eyes.

She’s a completely different girl.

At one point during our time together, I asked her, “What finally made following Jesus wholeheartedly click for you?” She said, “Mom, I’ve made friends who love Jesus. I saw a joy in them that I wanted. So, I started doing what they do even when I didn’t want to. At first I thought getting up to read the Bible was unrealistic. But as I kept doing it, the Lord started changing my thought patterns. And when I started thinking about life from the standpoint of Truth, I had so much more joy.”

I can hardly type these words without crying.

As Ashley began to share with me what was happening, I also had a light switch go on. Her spiritual poverty was going away the more she personally accessed truth and gained understanding.

In that moment, the burden on my mama heart turned to a vision for a hurting world. What if Proverbs 31 Ministries could help every mom recommend a tool to really facilitate their daughters getting into God’s Word for at least 5 minutes first thing every morning?

What if we could bring the Word of God to college students, moms, daughters, business owners and grandmothers across the globe in a way that made the first minutes of every day life-changing? So, the minute they pick up their phones in the morning, instead of getting distracted by other things, they can get invigorated with Truth.

We must exchange whispers with God before shouts with the world. Instead of immediately checking in with social media with the first moments of our day, we can truly make God first by giving Him our first thoughts.

With God’s vision and your help, Proverbs 31 Ministries is striving to eradicate Biblical poverty. And we want to start by developing a free mobile app called the “First 5” to:

• Bring life and Truth to the First 5 minutes of every day.
• Provide a healthier alternative to hopping on social media in the first moments of our day.
• Give us the opportunity to share hope with the people in our lives who struggle with putting God’s Word first.

We need people whose hearts are burdened like ours to bring the Word of God to women across the globe.

Together, all hands in, we can change lives with the Word of God! Will you join me? I’m so excited to do this together. Click here for more information.

Comments

  1. says

    This is a great idea! I can’t wait for it to launch! I was glad to give to this project. If I can be of any further help, I’m all in!

    • says

      My wonderful husband, Ron Smith was brought up going to church. Unfortunately, attending church wasn’t something that was made fun for him. It was something that he was being made to do, rather than encouraged to do. Thus, he gets bored, listening to long-strung preaching. I really wish he’d come to church with me more.
      He feels like he doesn’t belong, like others want to avoid him as if he has a contagious disease—people’s assumption that being blind—having a physical disability—is something they’d catch just by being close to him.
      He doesn’t read the Bible as much as he used to. Moreover, we’ve got an audio Bible, and he found it easy to understand and listen to—as it was relaxing. I hope that I can encourage him to get into the word of God more and allow God to speak to his spirit more and more.
      The top thing I wish my husband and I would do more of is praying together. When we first got married this is one thing we would do before going to bed and getting up in the morning. Since then, we’ve moved away from actually doing that.
      “Have you ever felt something stirring in your spirit that wouldn’t go away?

      I have one of those things on my heart right now. And it all started with my middle daughter, Ashley.

      Ashley is a driven and responsible girl. Last fall, she went off to college and while she’s always excelled academically, the same couldn’t be said for her spiritual life.

      As her mom, my heart broke over her struggle in her relationship with the Lord. I just couldn’t understand it — she grew up going to church, learned Bible lessons and saw my husband Art and me read Scripture each day.

      But no matter what we did or said, we just couldn’t make it connect for her.

      If you’re in that place right now with your child or in your own walk with the Lord, I understand. I think for Ashley, the Bible felt complicated and disconnected from her everyday life issues.

      As I cried out to the Lord on behalf of my daughter, the word that kept coming to mind was poverty. Poverty might seem like a strange word for this situation but when I saw the lack of spiritual nourishment in Ashley, the parallels from physical to spiritual lined up.

      I chased down this thought a little more — what causes poverty? A lack of access to what you need.

      Ashley had “physical” access to the Bible. We have many copies in our home.

      But she lacked “personal” access. She wasn’t personally digging into the Bible herself. Therefore it wasn’t nourishing her parched spirit.

      So where was the disconnect? As I wrestled with this, God brought me to the book of Proverbs.

      “My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding — indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God” (Proverbs 2:1-5).

      There is one word in this passage that’s repeated over and over: understand! Solomon says if we want fear of the Lord and knowledge of God, then we will crave understanding.

      That’s what she needed… to crave understanding of the Scriptures!

      Meanwhile, at school, Ashley was invited to attend a Bible study. She was challenged by her leaders to spend the first 5 minutes of her day in the Word.

      After admitting she hadn’t been reading her Bible and hearing many of her friends talk about the benefits they were getting, she finally gave it a try. Each day, little by little, her interest in the Bible grew. Her life and attitude was being transformed.

      I recently visited her at college and could hardly believe my eyes.

      She’s a completely different girl.

      At one point during our time together, I asked her, “What finally made following Jesus wholeheartedly click for you?” She said, “Mom, I’ve made friends who love Jesus. I saw a joy in them that I wanted. So, I started doing what they do even when I didn’t want to. At first I thought getting up to read the Bible was unrealistic. But as I kept doing it, the Lord started changing my thought patterns. And when I started thinking about life from the standpoint of Truth, I had so much more joy.”

      I can hardly type these words without crying.

      As Ashley began to share with me what was happening, I also had a light switch go on. Her spiritual poverty was going away the more she personally accessed truth and gained understanding.

      In that moment, the burden on my mama heart turned to a vision for a hurting world. What if Proverbs 31 Ministries could help every mom recommend a tool to really facilitate their daughters getting into God’s Word for at least 5 minutes first thing every morning?

      What if we could bring the Word of God to college students, moms, daughters, business owners and grandmothers across the globe in a way that made the first minutes of every day life-changing? So, the minute they pick up their phones in the morning, instead of getting distracted by other things, they can get invigorated with Truth.

      We must exchange whispers with God before shouts with the world. Instead of immediately checking in with social media with the first moments of our day, we can truly make God first by giving Him our first thoughts.
      We need people whose hearts are burdened like ours to bring the Word of God to women across the globe.”~Lysa TerKeurst
      Incredible! How so incredible this thought is on this Friday morning! We need to help the “spiritually dead” person in our life crave more of whatever the Lord may have in store for them, especially as they begin their day.
      “I want to be a woman who trusts that God has a plan, even when I don’t understand.”~A Confident Heart by Renee Swope
      Incredible! What a powerful thing to remember this morning! We should want to be someone who seeks after the Lord he has something planned for each one of us, even though we may not completely understand it right away..

  2. Cheryl says

    What an awesome idea and a great way to make use of social media that the younger generation seems to be using more and more! I also struggle with getting my daughter to read the Bible more….from sending her devotional books to read to sending her short Bible verses. And it’s not that she’s a bad kid, but just easily influenced into other more wildly things that she knows she shouldn’t. I even went to a local Christian church when I went to visit her at college, hoping we could meet a group of young people who would envelope her with God’s love and invite her in. Unfortunately, it was too small of a church and was mostly made up of older people and that didn’t mesh well with a young college student. I just keep praying that somehow she will get that yearning for God’s word that it sounds like your daughter got. This app is a great way to do it and I’m going to text my daughter right now to get that app so she can just spend 5 minutes a day… Thanks so much! 🙂

    • says

      Cheryl ~ I can totally relate. I am sending my daughter off to college VERY soon and pray every day that she has a desire to know God’s Word more and more. You’re daughter is in my prayers as well.

  3. says

    Giving God the first fruits of our day just makes so much sense.

    I just read this verse today and it is ringing in my ear as I read what you wrote: Consecrate them in the truth. Your word is truth. John 17:17

    • Sandy says

      Hi Angela… I don’t know what’s going on with you today, but I know that feeling and I’m praying. God is good even when we can’t see it and loves you even when we don’t feel it.

      Hang in there sister,
      Sandy

  4. Dee says

    Oh my gosh, this post is such confirmation of what God has been doing in my life this week as I turn my heart back to Him. Thank you for sharing and for being His hands as you typed this for me to read.

  5. Susan says

    I desperately covet your prayers right now for my daughter, Allison. I related immediately to Lysa’s post. I am praying for a renewal, a return, and a transformation for my daughter. I am claiming Romans 12:2 for her. Please pray for her. Thank you.

  6. Sandy says

    I love this! I checked out the video and loved it even more! My first born will be starting college next year and even though she’ll be living at home the first two years of it, I’m always looking for ways to help her find time in her crazy schedule to spend with the Lord. Like me when I’m busy, she tends more toward less frequent LONG quiet times with the Lord and I love the idea of something she can do quickly every day to get started on the right foot. I’ll be praying for this endeavor and thank you for doing this!!!

    Sandy

  7. says

    I LOVE this idea! What a beautiful way to serve up the truth daily. Thank you for your obedience to God’s nudging and for paving the way for mamas like me. I’m years away from sending my little ones off to college, but they too will benefit from your faithfulness as I get to be mentored from afar by women, like you, intently seeking Him.

  8. Mary says

    Thank you for sharing this. The First Five app is a fantastic idea. I’m so thankful that your daughter connected with that small group. The app you are planning will be a great tool for students, working women, long distance commuters on public transit, so many others to connect if there is no small group available. DAILY! That is the key. Thank you again. Sending my five for the new app today.

  9. Kimberly says

    Yes! I feel the same way as Ashley. I don’t feel like reading God’s Word. Please pray for me. thanks

  10. says

    Hi Lysa, Loved your post today as usual! I spend time with the Lord before social media each morning and it truly sets the course for the day! So happy for your daughter:)

    Holly

  11. R^3 says

    I feel a connection to Ashley’s story, but my experience was a bit different. I was going through college and struggling with my spirituality as well. I’m glad that being surrounded by other Christians and being inspired by their joy was enough to open her mind, but for me, I originally felt more disconnect when I surrounded myself with others Christians. Statements similar to: “I started doing what they do even when I didn’t want to,” scared me. I felt that they could be dangerous. I understand now that they (other Christians) wanted me to feel the joy they do, but at the time it felt like I would be joining a club of the blind leading the blind. And it was hard for me to connect to the bible because I felt I had to take it literally and could not disagree with anything.

    I found my connection when I realized that I was allowed to feel around for what I truly believe and was not forced to look at one point of view. One pastor gave me this very special gift. She sat down with me one day and let me know that it is not wrong to question what is in the bible (specific interpretations of the bible) or the beliefs of the church. This made me feel more comfortable reading the bible and interacting with other Christians. In the end, most of what I believe coincides with the bible (interpreted in a specific way) and the church, and I can find joy and comfort in the Christian community, but for me it did not come from reading the bible alone or conforming to all other Christians. It came from someone telling me that it is okay to not take the bible literally, it is okay to ask questions and come to my own conclusions and that I will still be accepted and loved. A particular book that (although I did not agree with all points on, because –you know– I have to question everything) helped me during this time was– Making Sense of the Bible: Rediscovering the Power of Scripture Today by Adam Hamilton. It also encouraged me to read my bible.

    We all have our own ways to find our spirituality, and I am so happy that Ashley found hers, but I thought that others that are struggling may connect from knowing an experience similar mine too. Are there others?

    Blessings,

    R^3

    PS– as an aside, Unglued is the the best, and I thought that Brene Brown’s book– I Thought it was Just Me, ties nicely with it.

  12. Rebecca says

    Can totally relate to this post. Grieving choices my daughter is making. Praying fervently everyday for her to remember what she has heard for years but in a new way now. I think your idea is stellar. My daughter is very tech savvy and loves apps. Thank you for reaching out to a younger generation – we are fighting a huge battle these days.

  13. says

    Hi Lysa! This is a fantastic idea. The more free access to the Bible, the better. In the meantime, have you heard of YouVersion? It’s a free Bible app also, and has hundreds of reading plans and studies available, as well as dozens of versions of the Bible for reference. There are daily verses and you can also connect with friends. Our church uses it too, for live events. Just thought it might tide you all over until yours is ready to go. All the best to you!

  14. says

    Thanks Lysa! I LOVE this idea. I have a 2 year old and a 4 year old. I always spend my time with the Lord when they are watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse after their breakfasts. But the breakfast routine is so hectic, I really need a few minutes with the Lord before I start the day. They wake up really hungry and sometimes fussy, and usually by the time I start my quiet time, I’ve already been impatient and irritable. I like your idea of turning to Him first thing!

  15. says

    Hi Lysa,
    I also wrote to Leah as I have come in contact with Proverbs 31 Ministry through my daughter in law with “Made to Crave.” I am an American who blossomed late in life with the Lord. I was a divorced person as missionary in Tanzania sent out by my church in Oklahoma for 4 years and met my widowed British husband there as he was speaking at a conference. I am now married to him since 2008 and we are in a lovely Cotswold area of England serving as Pastor and wife. As you know, England does not have mega churches really. BUT, God is doing something big in our area of the world. We just planted a church 2 miles away. There are regularly 40 women who attend the monthly women’s bible study who are longing to grow deep in their faith. I have been teaching in this setting for almost 5 years monthly. I connected with your and Leah’s teaching and encouragement as it is BIBLICAL. I find that many American teachings are inspirational but lacking in scripture; which bothers me. I would appreciate your prayers .
    I want to plug in to what God is doing in Prov 31 ministry and beyond; to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus so that I can feed my sheep! Thank you for all your resources! I have a feeling I will be quoting you all alot in the coming months!
    Finally, concerning the topic of which you wrote on this blog, I am a mother of two adult sons, and grandmother(Bibi in Swahili) to two fabulous children! The pain of it though is my younger son(31years) is same sex attraction and is to be married to another man in the coming year. I have cried and prayed for over ten years with this; there is much more you can imagine- with my being able to cope, knowing how to just “be”. Through God and his mercy and grace, Ed and I are working through all the implications and complications with this latest development that has arisen with his plans to get married. Yikes! We have gone around and around as to whether we should go. Will it dishonour God? Will it appear we are compromising our faith? Will I be alienated from my child? Not to mention all the struggles with not knowing how far God’s grace goes into these situations. I remember my son telling me when he was 20, “I don’t want to feel like this! I want to like girls, but I don’t. And I can’t see myself alone for the rest of my life!” Although this is a child who was not grounded in the Word, he was raised in a Christian home with a single divorced mum who did her best with what she had at the time(which wasn’t much, I had my own healing and issues to work through as well) My heart breaks. I can cry at the drop of a hat if I allowed myself to go that route. ANYWAY, Ed and I have prayerfully considered this gut wrenching situation, and we are going to the wedding(no date yet) We must love him first. He knows exactly where we stand theologically.That we don’t agree with this lifestyle or that it is God’s best for him. But we must love him first. Reminds me of Jesus hanging out with the “sinners” of his day.
    I wish he realized that this same sex attraction doesn’t make him a unique case, just broken like the rest of us. . We are all in need of a Saviour; EVERYDAY. Oh how the church has not known how to handle this! And, it will get even messier with marriage laws coming through. I am sure you are already experiencing this in your ministry.But it is NOT the end of the story! We have a transforming, “love us where we are Creator God!”
    Well, thank you for your time to read this. Many blessings to all of you who have given their lives to proclaim the gospel and to disciple women all over the world! And thank you for your prayers.
    Workers together for HIS kingdom,
    Kathy Larkman

  16. Rhonda Dickson says

    Thank you, Lysa, this was so encouraging! Does this translate to guys? I would love this kind of app for my son, Michael, who is living away from home & going to college. He knows Jesus, but has lost the joy of his salvation.

  17. says

    I have been out of church for way to long. I decided to go to a new place on Wednesday and it was a younger bible study. A girl mentioned this idea of devoting the first part of your day to god instead of jumping right on facebook but she also mentioned how as humans we are so prone to facebook and social media and how it’s a struggle and she is right. Last week i deleted my facebook and I’ve been off every since.. so that is an accomplish for me, I am reading my bible as much as i can, and im only listening to KSBJ or other christian songs.. as I go through some personal trials and tests from god but it’s bringing me back to him which is where I know i need to be. Please pray for me and I pray for everyone else on here as well as we go through our journeys. God loves us all.

    Please feel free to email me if you need someone or need encouragement.

    ahawkins@parkersu.com

  18. kylie says

    I’ve only come across ‘Made to Crave’ and Lysa Terkeurst, so far I’m loving it. My kids are young (15, 13 and 11) they live with their dad whom is an atheist. My boys hate church and my eldest refuses to come with me. I don’t push it as I don’t want to force him. I pray for my 3 that they will be found by God, and discover that Jesus just wants to hang with us. It’s not about religion but relationship 🙂 P.S any Australians who follow Lysa?