5 Disciplines – Week 3 ~ Spirit

 Week 1 & 2 Update:  My week 1 personal goal was to lose 5 pounds in 5 weeks and so far I’m at 2 pounds lost…right on target.  My week 2 personal goal was to pray over my to-do list each day.  I made some really long to-do lists…I’m not sure what I was thinking lol! I fell really short at getting everything done that I wanted to get done…old habits die hard…I’m still learning to pray “thy will be done” and not “my list be done.”  I’m using the “Plan of Attack” from Saturday’s post this week – we’ll see if I do a little better? How are you doing with the first 2 week’s challenges?  Let me know in the comment section – this is your accountability :)!

Onward into week 3!  The Discipline of the week is – Spirit.

My son just took his Karate test to earn his second degree orange belt last Thursday evening.  One lesson he is learning through his training is discipline.  He is always to address those over him as sir or mam.  He must always obey completely or he hits the deck for one push up.  The three lessons they repeat each week are in respect, discipline and tenacity.

Tenacity – I like that word!  Tenacious means:  persistent in maintaining, adhering to, or seeking something valued or desired.

As disciples of Jesus, we must persistently seek after God.

How tenacious are we in our walk with God?

It’s hard in this fast paced, fast food, facebook type of culture to simply turn off all the distracting dings and just sit at the feet of Jesus.  Let’s be honest, we have 10 times more distractions than our grandparents ever had.  And that means we are going to have to be 10 times more tenacious to maintain our walk with God.

“Life Management is really spiritual life management”. ~ Elizabeth George

I know that we may be tempted to say we don’t have time to read God’s word but let me suggest that reading God’s word does not have to take time.  Let me explain.  If you want to do an indepth study or read through the Bible in a year or journal long passages – it’s going to take time… lots of time and truthfully it’s going to be the best time of your life!!!

But grace reminds us that in some seasons of life we truly are up to our ears in bottles, binkies, babies and blankies.  Others of us have plates so full they look like platters!  Clearly – just from our first two challenges – many of us are overwhelmed by the daunting task of trying to get organized and take care of our own health…and so if you think I’m about to pour on *guilt* because you are not reading your Bible daily…breathe a sigh of relief.

The Bible does not command us to have a daily quiet time!

The Bible gives us examples to follow:

~Jesus got alone early in the morning with God to pray. (Mark 1:35)

~Daniel – a tenacious man of discipline – prayed three times a day – morning, noon and night. (Daniel 6:10)

~David – the writer of the Psalms – poured out his heart to God in all seasons of life – morning, noon, night, in times of fear, weakness, sadness, joy and delight.

David’s Psalm 63

1 You, God, are my God,
earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you,
my whole being longs for you,
(see his tenacity!)

6 On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through the watches of the night.
7 Because you are my help,
I sing in the shadow of your wings.
8 I cling to you;
your right hand upholds me.

 Cling tenaciously to God.  Circumstances are going to stand in the way!  Don’t let your grip slip!

Week 3’s Challenge:
Purpose to not read ANYTHING else before you have read God’s word for at least 1 minute in the morning Do not read the newspaper, facebook, a spiritual devotional  or check your email.  Go straight to God’s word first.  And in case you think 1 minute seems a bit stingy with our time – I want to suggest – that once you get started most likely you will go for much longer than 1 minute.  But I want this to be doable.  After reading your Bible, I encourage you to leave your Bible in the kitchen open and everytime you walk past it, pause to read it for 15 seconds and then go on.  Squeeze all the nourishment you can out of the scriptures you are reading. 

If you feel like you have NO clue where to start reading in God’s word, I recommend you go to I John or the Gospel of John. I currently am having my quiet times in the book of Mark – the shortest gospel.  Come back tomorrow when I share my personal reading plan for the summer.    You can print it and read along with me!

Alright my tenacious friends!  Who’s in?

Who is willing to commit the first minute of everyday to time in God’s Word?  Leave a comment letting me know your commitment and if you are a blogger, write about this challenge or the past 2 week’s challenges and link-up below!

 Walk with the King,


  1. Great challenge! I will shoot for it this week; I am very guilty of turning off the alarm on my phone, and then hitting the app button for email or Facebook! Of course it will help if I do my time management goal as well of getting up & getting ready before my kids awaken! Last week I set a different goal, but realized that this is really the best thing I can do to help my day go great! (So I changed it). So here’s an updated list of my goals:
    1- 2 hours of yoga/exercise weekly
    2- get up before the kids & get ready for the day
    3- Read God’s Word before reading anything else.

    1. Smartphones are such a bad thing^^
      I do the same every morning and then I always get stuck doing something random (like playing Doodle Jump….) and the next thing that happens is that I’m in such a hurry I don’t have time to eat breakfeast properly-just a slice of bread and a glass of orange juice while standing around in the kitchen.
      Ok, I’m still a student and don’t have to care for a family with kids but that’s just not the right way to start a nice day.
      So I’m definitely in for this challenge!

  2. OH, that’s a challenge I definitely need to take, because I always like to check my email first thing in the morning!!! Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather 🙂 🙂 🙂

  3. I love this challenge. I too am quilty of waking up and spending a few extra minutes in bed checking facebook or my e-mail. I love this and will start it tomorrow. Thanks so much for these challenges!

  4. Great challenge, Courtney. I have to set boundaries for our family around the computer. No computer or anything else until we are fed spiritually. Great goals. Love you.

  5. I have the One Year Bible gadget on my iGoogle page, so I’ve been trying to get in the habit of reading that day’s selection in the morning before checking email, Facebook, etc. It’s too easy to skip it at night when I’m tired.

  6. Thank you so much for this challenge!! I am definitely guilty of getting up and grabbing a cup of coffee and heading to the computer to read my emails and Facebook. I will “definitely” be making Gods’ word my priority first thing.
    Also to be held accountable to someone – I have started a healthy eating plan in which my total goal is to lose 35 pounds, but by the end of May my goal is 10 pounds. I am going to be walking 30 minutes a day. I know with God all things are possible and He is faithful to listen to our prayers.
    Ladies….hold me accountable please!!!!!!

    1. Accountability is a big thing! My bestie and I talk about that all the time. I need someone to hold me accountable each and every day!

  7. I am so doing this! I will post my linky in the morning! Thanks so much! I wanted to suggest doing a “six list”. Where you make a list of six things to do each day and you make it the night before. Just an idea that I am going to start again.

  8. Still working hard to keep on track with my previous weeks committments. I haven’t done great but am trying! This has been part of my time management goal and I have been doing fairly well with starting my day with a devotional reading but will change it to delving into the passage surrounding the focus text and then read the devotional.
    Thanks for these challenges and thanks for the encouragement. I know it is irrational to think I’m the only one that struggles with these things but sometimes I convince myself of that. It is great to know I’m not alone and that others are also trying to change. And when I fall short I am forcing myself to not call myself a failure and give up but to look to Christ to give me the strength to try again.

  9. I really like this! I just finished Matthew’s Gospel and am working my way through Mark now. I like the idea of just keeping it open in the kitchen and just taking a few seconds with It. Very nice. Will do! Thanks for these challenges 🙂

  10. Im in!! I read my bible in the morning but after I have read a few devotionals that I love and then with a single click I am on facebook or searching the net for what to have for dinner and I have then lost my bible time! So thank you for the suggestion – tomorrow morning it will be bible and a nice cup of coffee first!! Excited to see your bible plan tomorrow!! Thank you for your devotion in helping us find our way!!

  11. i am in , thanks is good to be part of this group i just join so is my first challenge but intent on caching with the others to. i purpose not to stop but add to the week each challenge.

  12. Im in! thanks for the reminder! So easy to get sidetracked. A great challenging verse
    Ps 143:8 ” Cause me to hear thy loving kindness in the morning;for in thee do i trust:cause me to know the way i should walk; for i lift up my soul unto thee.”

  13. Im in! thanks for the reminder! So easy to get sidetracked. A great challenging verse
    Ps 143:8 ” Cause me to hear thy loving kindness in the morning;for in thee do i trust:cause me to know the way wherein i should walk; for i lift up my soul unto thee.”

  14. My week 1 goal was to remember ALL of my daily supplements. Stuff happened and I made a rash decision to STOP all of them until further word from God.
    Week 2-I’m not sure I commtted to anything in particular, but I did try making lists. As you say, it’s hard to let go of the list and grab on to His will. Sometimes I wonder if the things I think to add to my list aren’t His reminders of what needs to get done anyway?
    I’m in for week 3! I read my Bible on my Nook and it can be challenging not to read something else first. Reading in the Psalms right now.

  15. I like this challenge, I have already promise myself to read my bible early in the morning before i do something else. this is such niutrition to my soul

  16. I am in!! I’m getting ready to head back to work after maternity leave, and have been feeling guilty for not having quiet time with God in a LONG time. I’ve been floundering with where and how to start again. Thanks for suggesting this doable first step, which I know will lead me onto others!

  17. First of all, just want to say I love this blog, Courtney! Thanks for helping me to continue to
    “walk with the King”! I saw you said you were struggling with your to-do list. Don’t we all!!!! I found some great help from another study I did. I did Glynnis Whitwer’s (Proverbs 31 Ministries) “Clutter Free Challenge” back in January 2012 (it’s still in her blog if you want to look at it: http://www.glynniswhitwer.com ). On days January 10-16, 2012, she starts off with talking about how we need to go to God before we make our list—as we’ve talked about here. Then she has some awesome practical tips on how to tackle creating/organizing a doable to-do list. She suggested using a notebook/binder, but I am an iPad girl myself. I used her suggestions and made the lists on a free App: Crush apps “Paperless: Lists and Checklists”. I am sure there are other apps that would also work, or if you like paper, you can do it the way Glynnis suggested. It has made my lists manageable and doable. It has really worked GREAT for me and thought ya’ll might like to look at it….

  18. I’m in! My BFF and I were talking about this same thing just last night! When I woke up, my flesh wanted to check Facebook, but my spirit drew me to the Bible app on my phone and now I know why. Thank you for this challenge!!

  19. I commit to reading the Bible first!! I just started following this blog and already feel that God lead me here. Thanks for this challenge!

  20. Thanks for the challenge. Can’t wait to see your reading suggestions – I am in between reading schedules!

  21. So far, so good with the challenges. My first week I struggled to get me 3 workouts in, but I managed. This past week, I certainly got them in, and I have been working on my “lists”. I don’t get everything done, but as the Lord leads me, things get done as He needs them done. This week’s challenge should be pretty easy. For years now I have been spending my first 15-25 minutes doing some quiet time for the Lord. For Lent, I added prayer journaling and haven’t stopped! I find it give me focus for the day, and it forces me to think of others rather than me list for the day. My goal is to journal everyday- even if it is only one or two sentences.

  22. Thank you for breaking it down to such an easy baby step. Anyone can do 1 minute and as you say that sometimes stretches into more minutes. Looking forward to seeing your reading plan, also.

  23. I’m in – My husband has started getting up early to have his quiet time before he goes out the door to work and I usually waited till later in the morning – but I’m going to commit to having at least 5 minutes before I move on to the details of the morning.

  24. I’m late getting started with this but better late than never. I always start my day with prayer but never specifically reading the Word of God from the bible so I’m gonna start on tomorrow making it priority # 1. I believe in seeking God early in the morning while he can be found and I want to do all I can to show just how much I love Him and yearn to get closer, and closer and closer!!!

  25. I am very excited for this challenge! I always want to start with God’s Word but I always check fb and other things on my phone first thing. And I have a Bible app on my phone soooo it’s definitely a problem! lol. And then I immediately start stressing over planning homeschool, working out, what we will eat for the day ect. I am not a very good planner at all! :/ It helps to have some accountability!

  26. Just what I needed this morning! It’s been on my mind and my heart that I let myself get so distracted so early in the day. Then, it’s a struggle the rest of the day to find the “right” time. I have been leaving my Bible open on the kitchen countertop recently — every little bit counts! Thanks for the challenge!

  27. I’ve actually been doing this for the past several weeks since I am doing a study of the Psalms on another website. My days are truly different than the days I don’t begin in God’s word…they are much smoother and things fall into place more easily. I am more focused and go about my day with a different perspective. I do have to admit that I get my cup of coffee first, though! So, I read and sip!

  28. Ok, week one challenge didn’t go so great last week. Very thankful for a new week :o)
    Week two challenge: I bought myself a new planner and made a plan of attack for the things I wish to accomplish this week.
    Week 3: I know I have to start by going straight to the Bible in book form. If I try to read it on my phone or the computer I know I will never make it to the Bible. I have all my Bible study things set out on the counter so I can get up, get coffee, and spend the time in the Word without having to hunt everything down. I am working though the book of Romans, which I should finish up right about the time the GMG Proverbs 31 study starts :o) My day runs so much smoother when I take that first bit of the morning and devote it specifically to God.

  29. Thank you Courney for making this a “doable” challenge. What a GREAT idea to take even one minute a day to get into the WORD.

  30. Your blog was one of the first things i did today. It was something I think God knew I needed today. I have been thinking about it all morning. Getting started is honestly the hardest part for me. With everything not just my morning time with God. Once I get started though i seem to accomplish everything i had on my list and usually more. That getting started is what i struggle with. So you have inspired me I did it this morning to get started. I just have to give myself the encouragement to start and then i will get so much done. Thank you

  31. Love this challenge! I am on board!! And my prayer is that my 1 minute will turn into many more minutes!!!

  32. I love this Challenge. I’m in and so excited for what God can do in my life with just spending one minute in his word.

  33. Excellent plan, Courtney. I’ve just downloaded YouVersion to have my Bible Reading plan on my phone…then I have no excuse to not read the Word before my emails!

  34. I’ve been getting interested in having a Bible installed on my computer. Or is there somewhere online one can read it for free?

    I would like to read Scripture in the morning before anything else, but I am thinking I’d like to do it on my computer. I think I would read more of the Bible that way, if I also did it in between other computer-related tasks.

    1. Replying to myself: I realized I can use Biblegateway.com to read passages of the Bible. I just read Acts 14. I’m reading Acts right now, because I’m teaching it in Sunday School, and I haven’t read it for awhile. Want to get it all clear in my mind.

  35. Thanks for the idea about leaving HIs Word open in the kitchen! Love it! Started doing it this morning. Proverbs is a good place to park your bible for a good ‘nugget’ or two of wisdom to chew on as you go about your day!

  36. Week one challenge still going GREAT! Haven’t broke down on the 6+ glasses of water yet! Week two is also good. I not only created a plan of attack “To Do List” to help with scheduling and other tasks, but built in a section of prayer. On the left side of my form I have the days of the week (form is weekly). In the middle I have the tasks I want to complete each day (Monday: Light load wash/Zumba Fitness@Curves Tuesday: Toilets, Tubs, and Towels/Boot Camp @ Curves Wednesday: Bible Study/Backpack Ministry Preperation/White Clothes, etc.). The first task for each day of the week is my devotional. I have a line out from the word devotional so I can write down what I read that morning. The far right side of the page has a spot for prayer concers (specific people, families, vbs, my church, husbands job, etc.). There are lines for me to add more as needed through the week. I’ll try to upload it somehow. Can’t wait to try Week 3’s challenge this week. I’m already in a devo every morning (Resolution for Women currently), but don’t read straight from the bible first. Also, I do get dressed and ready for work before starting. I want to make sure I’m not late and sometimes I’ve gotten so wrapped in a bible study, the bible, or praying with God that I’ve ran behind. Good problem to have I guess!

  37. This one minute first challenging is definitely do-able!! I just discovered this site Friday when catching up on some emails…I love the on-time God I serve! He’s constantly reminding me of His Word!! Thanks for presenting the challenge!

  38. This is a challenge I cannot say no to! I have been wanting to get more into my daily readings and this is the simplest and best idea I have heard! First read of every day! Thank you!

  39. Thanks for this excellent challenge. There is so much good stuff to read out there! Just look at all these good blogs and devotions… It is certainly overwhelming. I too have been convicted in this area. Indeed, when it comes down to it there is only one word that really matters… God’s word. Seek Him first!

  40. You’ve already challenged me to have quiet time for me & God and I started this in Jan. 2012 so far I only take off on Sat & Sun and have been reading 3 devos and praying during my quiet time. Now, you’ve really hit home with me on this #3 challenge. I’m determined to do it & join your summer bible study too. For too long, I have put Got last in my life. HE is the reason I have Life. Thanks so much for the encouragement & challenges. I need to seek him 1st in my life!

  41. Great challenge! It’s so easy to roll over and grab the iPhone to check messages. I put a perpetual calendar in my bathroom and that’s how I am now starting my day. I blogged about it too. Thank you! Great challenges!

  42. I have three important words regarding this challenge: Thank you Courtney!

    This challenge has been such a blessing! Although I went my own way around it (in a very stressful, busy week) I cannot believe how many stresses and burdens were lifted just through reading His word.

  43. Loved this challenge,it took sm decipline to not read anything else before the word of God but Istuck with it did it all week except sunday,but honestly felt my day go better,sensed his presence more,and was more productive in my day…truly seek ye first the kingdom of God and all thses things will be added unto u.

  44. I enjoyed the message on tenacity. I have personally been challenged. I have been asked to speak at a local men’s conference and I was wondering what I would speak on, I have my answer. Spiritual tenacity, what an important quality for everyone to cultivate and maintain.

  45. i love this so much, one minute with Jesus is what i love to be doing every of my life. i should live for him God bless u so much. ur book on proverb 31 women is changing my life foe good and pray that i should train my children in the fear of the lord amen

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