My Grace-Full Life

7.27.19 Praise & Prayer Prompt: I ❤️ Excel

PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• Microsoft released the first version of Excel on September 30, 1985.
I’ll be sending out invitations for the 34th-anniversary party sometime in late August.
Just kidding…
But maybe not.
I love Excel and I love to build spreadsheets.
I could totally get on board for a party centered around spreadsheets, pivot tables, and charts/graphs!
This weekend at She Speaks, much talk has been had about organizing content and I’ve heard several references to Excel being an option…
But I’ve also heard how much people don’t like it.
One person hilariously said she was “emotionally allergic” to Excel.
I really wanted to raise my hand on a couple of occasions and say, “But if you knew all the possibilities with Excel, you’d love it!”
It all boils down to intimidation.
Anytime you learn something new, you start from nothing.
You build knowledge through layers of learning.
Think about it—there are 26 letters in the English language.
And in the 2nd edition of the 20-volume Oxford English Dictionary, there are 171,476 words plus another 47,156 words that are considered obsolete.
And we haven’t taken into account slang or the approximately 1000 new words added to the dictionary each year.
Let this sink in for a moment.
26 letters make up ALL those words.
Then, ALL those words get arranged into sentences, paragraphs, articles, books, even (eh-hem) blogs!
And how is that not intimidating?
Once upon a time, we didn’t know those letters.
We started with the basics.
We learned letters and then we started combining them into words and before long, we became fluent readers!
While we may not have a vocabulary that’s 171,476 words deep, we know more than a couple.
But I have to tell you if I could build a dictionary in Excel, be still my beating heart.
Rows and rows of words…
I could add filters to sort out the nouns, verbs, adverbs, and adjectives…
Include the etymology…
A girl can dream.
Excel may intimidate those who haven’t dived in to unlock all the possibilities, but there are also people who look at the Bible the same way.
Bible study feels intimidating to them.
Maybe you understand how they feel.
Maybe you really feel that way at this moment.
But even the greatest preachers and theologians started somewhere.
No one is born with an understanding of Scripture.
It takes time and a commitment to study, learn, and grow.
It’s a never-ending process.
I promise you, Billy Graham was still discovering Biblical truth even at the end of his life.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV says, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
Everything that’s needed for life is found in the Bible.
It’s our job to get in there and discover God through His word.
To learn all the possibilities and with God—all the impossibilities that demonstrate His all-powerful nature.
He has promised to reveal Himself to anyone who genuinely seeks Him (Deuteronomy 4:29).
But the foundation for all Bible study comes down to prayer.
We need to pray for wisdom to see and understand.
Psalm 119:18 ESV says, “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.”
Bible study can be intimidating but if we trust in God’s promises to teach us, and surrender our own agendas to learn God’s truth—we can begin to grow in knowledge through layers of learning, directly through the message given by the Holy Spirit.
We can begin to glimpse at the limitlessness of our almighty God.
Today, as you pray, thank God for His Holy Word.
Ask the Holy Spirit to help you pray, study, and grow in Biblical wisdom.

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