Issue Number Eight

Don's Schedule

Please pray for these ministry opportunities in January.

  • Woods Chapel Baptist Church, Blue Springs, MO
  • Grace Baptist Church, Cape Coral, FL
  • Northside Baptist Church, North Ft. Myers, FL
  • Grace Bible Fellowship Church, Quakertown, PA

Sample Chapters from
Books by Don Whitney

Why I Am A Baptist
from Why I Am A Baptist

Do You Thirst for God?
from Ten Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health

Silence and Solitude
from Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life

Why Join a Church?
from Spiritual Disciplines Within the Church

A Spiritual MindSet
from How Can I Be Sure I'm A Christian?

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Bible Reading Resources

  • Scroll down on this page (Ministry Tools) to find a Bible reading record in .doc format for WORD

  • Scroll down this page (MBTS Students)to the section marked "Files related to meditation on Scripture" to find instructions for reading through Scripture in five places.

More Chapters from
Simplify Your Spiritual Life

New Audio Sermon
by Don Whitney

Featuring Don's New Book

Simplify Your Spiritual Life
The two articles below are from Don's book, Simplify Your Spiritual Life, which NavPress plans to release in July.

Know Why You Simplify

Why do you want to simplify your spiritual life? Is it to save time? To recover some control over your life? To get organized? Just to be less busy?

All these are worthy pursuits, but they are secondary. The primary reason to pursue simplicity in our spirituality is to maintain "the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ" (2 Corinthians 11:3, NASB). Every other motivation for simplifying should serve this one.

So we simplify, not just to be less busy, even though we may be right to pursue that. Rather, we simplify to remove distractions from our pursuit of Christ. We prune activities from our lives, not only to get organized, but also that our devotion to Christ and service for His kingdom will be more fruitful. We simplify, not merely to save time, but to eliminate hindrances to the time we devote to knowing Christ. All the reasons we simplify should eventually lead us to Jesus Christ.

Click HERE to finish reading this article.

Use a Bible Reading Plan

Imagine picking up a history of the United States and starting with the chapter on the Great Depression. Finishing that, then suppose you turn to read of the War of 1812, and then of putting Neil Armstrong on the moon. Or picture yourself taking the biography of George Washington off the shelf and reading first of his marriage to Martha, then a chapter on his final years, and then the one on the general's initial military campaign.

Not a good way to understand either history or someone's life, is it?

But that's how some people read the Bible. A chapter of Genesis today, one from Romans tomorrow, a couple of psalms the next day—such a haphazard approach is not the way to understand the message of Scripture.

To read the Bible purposefully requires a plan. The plan can be as simple as starting in Genesis and reading a certain number of chapters each day straight through to Revelation, or as involved as reading in multiple books at a sitting.

Click HERE to finish reading this article.

The Spiritual Disciplines Are For Busy People

The Spiritual Disciplines have always been what can make a Godly person out of a busy person. The Spiritual Disciplines aren't intended only for Christians who have a lot of spare time on their hands (where are they?). They are the God-given means by which busy believers become like Christ. God offers His life-changing grace to taxi-driving, errand-running moms, to hard-working, over-committed dads, to homework-heavy, extracurricular-busy students, to schedule-packed singles, to responsibility-overloaded single parents-in short, to every believer-through the Spiritual Disciplines.

[Taken from page 236 of the paperback edition of Don's book, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life. Click HERE to read a chapter from this book.]

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Family News and Notes

  • Back from England and Wales. The Lord opened a door for me to minister in England and Wales in the first days of 2003. (I'm not going to say it's a long flight to the UK, but when the plane took off from Chicago it was 2002, and when it landed in Manchester it was 2003!) Although Caffy and I spent two weeks in the UK in 1991, this was my first time in Wales.

    On the first Sunday of the year, I preached in Deeside Evangelical Church in Shotton, a town just west of the Roman-walled city of Chester and less than an hour south of Liverpool. Fine, persevering folks in the only evangelical church in town. On the following Tuesday I traveled two-and-a-half hours to the southeast, often on lonely backroads tracing through hills in the midlands of England. Cruising alongside checkerboard pastures—lined with rocks and dotted with sheep—made the trip to Swanwick a pleasure. The Hayes Conference center there was formerly a prisoner of war camp for Nazi officers during WWII. Sounds like a romantic retreat location, doesn't it? Well, the POW buildings are gone and newer facilities stand now, but long-time conference attendees had plenty of stories from the old days. Don and family

    I was invited to the UK to be one of the preachers at the Carey Conference, an annual event primarily for ministers and their wives, and organized by an encouraging old friend, Erroll Hulse. My two messages were on Christian fellowship and on family worship. Folks from Northern Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales, and the Netherlands gathered for three cold days. But they provided me with a warm welcome and made me appreciate afresh how wide and wonderful the body of Christ is.

  • Caffy originally planned to accompany me to the UK, but things didn't work out. So we celebrated January 8 apart from one another for the first time since 1976. I did phone her and send an email photo of myself holding a "Happy Anniversary Caffy!" sign but it wasn't the same. Two days later we had a belated anniversary meal together. She's back into the routines of homeschooling and homemaking, putting the finishing touches on the mural in our bathroom and preparing to paint one in a model home soon.

  • Laurelen's highlight for the month of January (except for Daddy's return from England) was her 9th birthday party. Since she was born on December 26, most of the candidates for attending her party each year are either out of town or otherwise occupied on that date. So her party has occurred as early as two weeks before or as late as two weeks after.

  • Drought in Kansas City. At this writing, all we've received in the way of precipitation in two months is three-tenths of an inch of snow. It's strange to water the yard in late December and early January, hauling out the hoses when the temperature gets in the forties, then dragging them back in before sundown so they won't freeze. On the plus side of the weather, wintertime does mean wonderful nights reading beside the flicker of flame in the woodstove. In fact, I think I'll finish this and head there right now. Blessings to you.

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