This is how it happened for years.
Every morning when I would come awake to the day, I would talk to Jesus.
“Good morning,” I’d say. “It’s me again. What are we up to today, Lord?” I’d tell God how much I loved Him. I’d apologize in advance for the dumb stuff I was certain to do. I’d ask Him to bind my wandering heart to His. And with His Spirit in me, I’d preach a little bit of gospel to my idol-factory heart.
That all happened before I touched a single toe to the carpet because I knew that in order to face the day, I had to first turn my face to Jesus.
And then I got an iPhone.
And then I starting setting that iPhone on my bedside table at night.
And then I started picking it up first thing in the morning.
And God wasn’t first anymore.
Because, in the morning, that iPhone waved a pixelated little hand at me. She made noises. She cried for attention.
My alerts were pinging, reminding me of doctor appointments and deadlines. I scrolled, double-clicked, all of which kicked my brain to the speed officially known as Cray-Cray.
Facebook yanked me by the sleeve, making me walk onto her front porch for a sec. Harmless, really. I mean, I loved the Bible verses, and the sunrise pictures, painted by God Himself. I didn’t intent to step in further, but I did. While nestled in my bedcovers, I flicked my finger up the tiny screen. Scroll. Scroll. Scroll. Soon, I was coveting my neighbor’s Caribbean vacation, was envious of my friend’s slimmed-down waist, was exhausted by another loud debate unfolding, was sad to see I didn’t get invited to the party, and was reminded that the Halloween costume we’d hastily scrounged up the night before would surely send all my Pinterest-worthy friends into a tailspin of horror.
I was falling short at life, and I hadn't even had my first cup of coffee.
That was all before 7 a.m.
That was all before God.
I knew something had to change.
I had to save my morning, in order to save my day.
I needed to tend to my soul, before the iPhone scroll. I needed to make God first in my day again.
So I kicked my phone out of the bedroom. And I didn’t pick it up until I talked to God first. Until I read His word. Now, I don’t want to get legalistic about this. Truth be told, I love my iPhone Bible-reading apps, prayer apps and podcasts. Those have helped me achieve a more ordered spiritual life that I can carry with me to airports and orthodontist waiting rooms.
The Bible is on my phone, but my phone isn’t my Bible.
A Better Way: Making God First
This year, I met Carey. She's a life coach, a teacher, and a dreamer. She knew exactly what was missing in my morning routine, and she had even been talking about the same thing on her blog. Months earlier, she had created a program called "Pin God First." Her program was designed to help women choose God before social media. She created monthly calendars, with Bible verses for each day.
The idea, she said, "is that you do not allow yourself any form of social media till you have read the assigned verse of the day."
And then, Carey surprised me this week. Carey had read Love Idol this summer, and this week, she made a Love Idol version of "Pin God First."
She took a month's worth of the verses that I quote in Love Idol, then she plotted them on a calendar -- along with some fun prompts -- and she invited her blog friends to read along with those verses in November.
And now I am inviting you.
My Invitation to You
A November to Remember: Seeing Yourself Through God's Eyes
I'm inviting you to spend the next 30 mornings with Carey and me. We'll go through one Scripture every morning, before we scroll, before we click. Every Scripture we'll read together is quoted in Love Idol, and each one ties back to our identity in Christ. (You don't have to read the book to participate in this study. But of course, you're welcome to! :) )
Each morning, you can:
1 - Read the assigned passage. (See the short passages below).
2 - Ask God to speak to you through the word.
3 - Visit us on the blog, or the Love Idol movement page on Facebook, to share what the verse means to you. How does the verse help you remember who you really are, outside of all the cultural noise?
4 - Add more of the Good Stuff to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter by encouraging your friends with the insights you've gained through your daily reading.
I'll post my own response here on the blog every morning at 5 a.m. Sometimes, you'll find a story, maybe a few short words, maybe a series of photos. That will happen every day, for the next 30 days, God-willing.
Studies show that the best way to form a habit, is to NOT break the chain. Habits form if you keep at it, one day after the next after the next. After our 30 days, we may have created a new habit of Scripture before Scrolling -- a habit that can take us into the Christmas season, and beyond.
If you want to follow along, visit us here on the blog every day. I'd love to hear your insights in the comments. Or tag me on social-media so I can find you. Also, consider subscribing to my blog by clicking here. You'll get these daily reflections in your inbox, every day, through the month of November.
A helper sheet for how to do "Pin God 1st" and what it means to pray the scripture (Lectio Divina)
Let this be the November that we remember who we really are: Loved. Preapproved. His.
Find all the posts in the November to Remember series by clicking here.