Staff Picks: K-Love, YouVersion Devotions, and More

February 16, 2017
Note: Throughout this series one of our staff members will be giving you a recommendation and/or a brief review from the world of music, movies, TV or literature. Hopefully this will serve as a way to see inside the head of our staff members and direct you towards some listening, viewing or reading material for your own personal growth and enjoyment. Today’s post is from our worship director, Dana Ott.

Hey Hopers! This week’s Staff Picks is kind of a “potpourri of ideas ” that I have found to be incredibly encouraging. Unlike digging into a good book, my “recommendations” this week are things that require little commitment and can be done anywhere at anytime.

I felt pulled into 3 or 4 ideas that I wanted to share so instead of choosing one, I’m gonna share them all – maybe you’ll gravitate toward one of them this week and you’ll be encouraged in your walk with Jesus. The first one is the power of music and the almost miraculous way God speaks to us through song. I have a slew of favorite Christian artists I love to listen to, such as Kari Jobe, Bethel Music, Hillsong, Paul Baloche, Elevation Worship, and Chris Tomlin to name a few. And there’s something amazing that happens when you soak in the music and lyrics about who God is and about how He loves us.  I also love how God uses Christian radio, like KLOVE (106.9 FM) to speak to me — most often it’s when I’m driving and not paying attention to anything else…well, except the road! Keeping my radio tuned to a Christian station and my CD player playing life-giving, God honoring music can literally set the tone for my whole day. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of great music that doesn’t fall into the “Christian music” category and while that’s part of my musical diet, it’s definitely not the meat and potatoes, ya know what I mean? If Christian music hasn’t been a part of your ‘diet’, consider the benefits of including it – it’s super easy and there’s lots of stuff out there in lots of genres from the kinds of songs we do here at Hope any given Sunday to classic hymns to Christian rock and even rap! So find something you like and allow God to use it to speak to you!

Another way to be encouraged in your walk with the Lord, is to read a devotion and short section of God’s Word every day! Lots and lots of teaching has been done on how valuable it is to read the Bible — and I heartily agree! However, these days it’s simpler than ever to include an encouraging word for almost any circumstance you find yourself. My favorite is the YouVersion Bible App – it’s on my phone and my Ipad and not only can you read the Bible in any version from King James to The Message (and more!), you can search “Discover” and find hundreds of devotions on numerous topics like Depression, Marriage, Anxiety, Prayer, Finding Peace, and lots more. There are 5, 10, 14, 21, 31 day plans and some that are longer. They are designed around reading scriptures that speak to the topic and some include ideas to journal your thoughts and prayers. I have used different devotional books over the years and I love that too — having a book with pages and a place to highlight and underline is great. But the YouVersion Bible App makes it so simple to be challenged and encouraged every day. Some days it’s hard enough to make the choice to set my mind on good things, so this certainly is a great tool for me!

The last thought that was rolling around this week is a bit of a “commercial” but I’ll share it anyway! If you can’t make it to mid-week Bible Study or Sunday morning services any given week, don’t forget that Mark’s messages are on the website and are normally uploaded and ready to go the same day – whether Sunday or Wednesday nights! The Wednesday night series we’re finishing up called “Find Rest” has been so incredible as well as the Sunday series on “The Words of Jesus”. I suppose I’m a little biased, but I like to listen online even after I’ve heard the message in church! In any case, it’s a great resource not only for myself, but when someone tells me about a situation they’re struggling with…I love that I can say, “Hey, you should listen to the message from last Sunday – it spoke right to that need.” Of course, we all know that being with our church family is BETTER than listening online, but how cool is it when your circumstances or illness keeps you away?

So, while this week’s blog wasn’t quite the norm, maybe one or more of these “recommendations” will be something God uses to express His love in your life…and all you have to do is listen!