It is a blessing, I suppose, that I usually do not think through my time limitations before I jump headlong into some great new idea. If I did, many things that have turned out to be pretty big blessings would surely have never gotten off of the drawing board.
A few years ago, it occurred to me that even though I preach to my church on Sunday morning and evening, teach a Sunday School class and preach most Wednesday evenings, they would benefit from a daily Bible devotional sent to them by text each morning.
The Do Drops Daily Bible Devotional was born that day and began being delivered the very next.
Many devotionals use the tried-and-true "tell a cool short story and then apply a bit of Scripture" formula to it, which I have absolutely no problem with. But I wanted to take a different approach, walking through Scripture a few verses at a time and drawing a daily application, a "Do" based on the truths of the text.
The members of my church immediately fell in love with them and began eagerly looking forward to them each day, even texting me by early afternoon to find out where it was if I had not yet sent the one for that day.
On a side note, in perhaps my most bone-headed publishing blunder ever, it did not occur to me to save them and compile them into actual devotional books until I was all the way up into the book of Joshua. I am on volume seven now, and if I live long enough to finish the entire Bible, future generations are doubtless going to be looking at the set in bewilderment and wondering why I started in Joshua and wrapped all the way back around to the book of Deuteronomy to end the series.
Anyway, as news of the daily text began to spread by word of mouth, people began to contact me and ask to be put on the list. And for a while, that was feasible, and I did so. But sending texts gets very time-consuming when the list starts getting up into the hundreds, and I knew that something had to be tweaked in the process. And so we purchased an email app that will send thousands a day for us individually and transferred most everyone except our church members over to the email list. They still get the same devotional on their smartphones each day, only now in their email box rather than by text.
Dana and I pay for the yearly email app out of pocket; everyone gets the daily devotion for free.
We are in the book of Job now, one of the most interesting yet least understood books in the Bible. Here is one of the recent devotions from Job.
"Up until this point in the text, Job has been addressing and arguing with his friends. But beginning in verse eight, a unique change takes place.
"Job 7:8 The eye of him that hath seen me shall see me no more: thine eyes are upon me, and I am not. 9 As the cloud is consumed and vanisheth away: so he that goeth down to the grave shall come up no more. 10 He shall return no more to his house, neither shall his place know him any more. 11 Therefore I will not refrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul. 12 Am I a sea, or a whale, that thou settest a watch over me? 13 When I say, My bed shall comfort me, my couch shall ease my complaint; 14 Then thou scarest me with dreams, and terrifiest me through visions.
"Notice the words 'thine' in verse eight and 'thou' in verses twelve and fourteen. Both the grammar and the details let us know that Job has now stopped talking to and about his 'frenemies,' and is now talking to God. He views God as one who is intently watching him at every moment and not for good reasons. In verse twelve, he asks God if He looks at him as if he is as dangerous as the ocean or a whale and therefore has set barriers up that he cannot pass. And then, in verses thirteen and fourteen, he lets us and his friends in on another part of his torment.
"Job was having nightmares.
"This poor man was going through it! How awful would it be for your waking hours to be a living torment and then to find your sleeping hours filled with nightmares!
"Now, there was nothing his three attackers could see that would let them know that. All they could see were ten graves and a body covered in boils. And they based everything they said on what they could see. Maybe, just maybe, if they had also known about the nightmares, they would have had a bit more pity.
"But isn't it usually like that? We never really know all that a person is going through, now do we? So, since that is the case, just to be safe, DO extend a bit more mercy than you think is warranted, just in case you don't yet know everything that a person is facing!"
I got some tremendously good feedback on that one; apparently, the tendency to be shortsighted and unmerciful is one that hobbles us all.
And so, as long as people are getting help, the Do Drops will continue to fall each day. If you would like to be on the list, let me know.
Bo Wagner is pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church of Mooresboro, North Carolina a widely traveled evangelist and the author of several books available on Amazon and at wordofhismouth.com. Email him at email@example.com.