I have sent so many people to Dr. Grant Horner’s Bible reading program, that I thought I should just put up the link here for you all. If you’re looking for a good daily reading program, this is my favorite. I know there are dozens of good Bible-reading systems, and really, as long as we are in the Word, that’s the real point. But the thing I like about this one is it has me reading ten chapters a day in ten different books, so I am all over the Bible all the time. Don’t be daunted by the ten chapters a day. You will be surprised how quickly you can do this once you get started.
The next favorite is Handbook to Prayer, Praying Scripture Back to God by Kenneth Boa. This little book has three months of prayers, one per day. It covers adoration, confession, renewal, petition, intercession, affirmation, thanksgiving, and a closing prayer each day. Each section is filled with Scriptures as well as different suggested subjects listed for petitions and intercessions. I have really benefited from using this daily prayer book.
My favorite devotional reading is The Loveliness of Christ by Samuel Rutherford. But I have lifted many favorite quotations out of books by Thomas Watson as well. And John Bunyan. And Matthew Henry. And Jeremiah Burroughs. And Charles Spurgeon. These old preachers knew what they were talking about, and I commend them all to you. Here are a few favorite quotes from each:
Rutherford: “Of all created comforts God is the lender. You are the borrower, not an owner.”
“The spouse of Jesus will ever be in the fire; but I trust my God she shall not consume, because of the good-will of him who dwelleth in the bush, for he dwelleth in it with good-will.”
“If the work be of God, He can make a stepping stone of the devil himself for setting forward the work.”
Watson: “God is more willing to pardon than to punish. Mercy does more multiply in Him than sin in us. Mercy is His nature.”
“There is more in the promises to comfort than in the world to perplex.”
Bunyan: “If I were fruitless, it mattered not who commended me, but if I were fruitful, I cared not who condemned.”
Henry: “But while you are governing others, learn to govern yourselves, and do not disorder your own souls under the pretense of keeping order in your families.”
“And therefore Christians, whatever you have of the world in your hands, be it more or less, as you value the peace as well as the purity of your souls, keep it out of your hearts.”
Burroughs: “Christian contentment is that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God.”
Spurgeon: I have heard of some good old woman in a cottage, who had nothing but a piece of bread and a little water. Lifting up her hands, she said as a blessing, “What! All this and Christ too?”
“Somewhere or other in the worst flood of trouble there always is a dry spot for contentment to get its foot on. If there were not, it would learn to swim.”
Finally, moving from spiritual food to feeding the troops, my favorite help in the kitchen is this cookbook by Pam Anderson, Perfect Recipes for Having People Over. This has become my most used cookbook next to Hot Providence (our church cookbook that is sadly out of print). She includes lists of ways to vary each recipe, what to serve with it, and how to use the leftovers. I recently bought another cookbook she wrote called Perfect One-Dish Dishes. So far, so good. Her tamale pie was a hit with the grandkids.