How to Drastically Reduce Distractions During Your Time with God

Includes a Free eBook to download, print, or share

Have you lived out this scene? You pour a cup of coffee. You sit down to read the Bible. You pause to pray. And then you realize – before even cracking open your Bible – your mind is pulled in a million different directions.

6 Tips Distraction Free Quiet Time

Why does this happen? After all, you want to be fully present. You want to focus. You want to spend time with God.

And yet the distractions come. More accurately – the distractions bombard! 

It seems like every time a teach a workshop on reading and enjoying the Bible this topic shows up. I get questions about it. I receive emails about it. I see comments on Facebook about it.

We live in a distracted – and distracting – culture.

Hear this clearly: You can focus. You can reduce distractions. You can read, pray, and simply be with God without having your mind wander every 30 seconds.

However, it’s not easy. It takes practice. And it takes intentionality.

I have written a longer post – and recorded a podcast episode for you listeners out there – that dives into greater detail on the 6 Tips for a Distraction-Free Quiet Time. You can read the post or listen to the podcast here (or search “Keith Ferrin” on iTunes).

Today I want to give you – for free – the eBook version.

Get Your Free PDF!

Use the button above (or click the picture of the eBook cover at the top of this post), enter your email address, and I’ll send it to you.

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Thanks for helping me get this in the hands of people who need it. (I would guess that’s all of us!)

Question: What helps you stay focused when you sit down to read the Bible or pray? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

3 Free Websites That Make Bible Word Studies Incredibly Simple!

with Step-by-Step Video

Have you ever heard a pastor say something like “In the original Greek, this word means ABC” or “The people Paul was writing to would have understood this phrase to mean XYZ?” How does he know that? Is my pastor fluent in Greek and Hebrew? Is there some trick he knows that I don’t?

3 Free Websites that Make Bible Word Studies Incredibly Simple

The truth is, it wasn’t too long ago that you would either need a fairly extensive library – or be fluent in Greek and Hebrew – to understand what the original hearers would have known intuitively.

Now, doing a Bible word study is incredibly simple (and the tools are free).

The Best Site – Hands Down – for Christian Audiobooks (Paid and Free)

Do you listen to audiobooks? Have you wanted to, but the thought of listening to a book while on your computer seems unrealistic, and getting the file downloaded and transferred to your phone or tablet seems too complicated?

If so…your answer is ChristianAudio.com.

featured photo

I have been using ChristianAudio since 2009. (Sorry for not writing this post until now.) Think of them as Audible.com with only Christian books. In fact, over 5,000 Christian books.

Here’s a 3-minute video review and walk-thru. If you prefer to read, scroll on down a few inches and read away!

Here are a few of my favorite things… (Insert light, fluffy music here.)

The Monthly Free Book

ChristianAudio 3Let’s be honest. Lots of sites give stuff away. However, most of them give away something that is old, short, or public domain. Not ChristianAudio.com.

Every month, ChristianAudio gives away a free, premium audiobook. Oftentimes, it’s a brand new release from a best-selling author. You can see the last five audiobooks in the screenshot of my account to the right.

A Tragedy, Four Opportunities, My Whole Family, and My Birthday

with a Video from my wife and me

You may know – or may not – that Kari and I went to the Dominican Republic last summer with a team of people from our home church. On the last day, we met Noelia, a little girl with a massive smile.

She took us to her home and introduced us to her aunt, grandma, siblings, and cousins.

We were not prepared for what we heard next.

Check it out this video…

Help me give away my birthday!

In case you’re one of those I’m-going-to-skip-the-video-and-read people, here is the overview…

The Story

Kari and Noelia

Kari and Noelia on the last day of our trip.

On the last day of our trip to the Dominican Republic, we met Noelia and her extended family. The year before, her father had killed her mother and is now in prison. The house she lives in – with grandma, aunt, siblings, and cousins – is about the size of the living room in most American homes and in desperate need of repair.

Some other members of our team spent the next couple months working with Children of the Nations (the ministry we work with in the DR) to see if we could raise the money, send a team, and repair – and add on to – the house.

Bottom Line: We received approval, developed a plan alongside COTN, worked out the logistics, and we are taking a couple teams of people down there for three weeks in July to build Noelia and her family a house!

Four Very Cool Opportunities for Us

The first opportunity is…well…the one we just told you about.

The second opportunity is that Kari – who has been teaching elementary school for 20 years – has been invited to work with the summer school program to teach the children and work alongside the local staff who will continue teaching when we come back to Seattle.

The third opportunity is that I will spend part of the second week working with the in-country staff of Children of the Nations doing communication, speaking, writing, and leadership training.

The fourth opportunity is that we get to bring Sarah, Caleb, and Hannah with us! Our three kids will work alongside us on the construction site as well as in the classroom with Kari.

Where You Come In

As you might imagine, the materials for the house – as well as all five of us getting down there and living for three weeks – costs quite a bit of money. $18,000 to be exact. Whether you can give $10, $100, or $1000, we CAN work together to make this happen!

We truly believe this trip will have an impact on this extended family, the teachers at the school, and the staff of Children of the Nations for years to come!

Will you help us build Noelia a house?

My birthday is a month from today. I am asking you to help me give it away! 

Here is how you can help (pick your preference):

  • Click here to donate online directly through our family’s Children of the Nations page. (This is ideal.)
  • Call COTN to donate over the phone – (360) 698-7227
  • Donate via PayPal. (This will go directly to my non-profit ministry and ALL funds given through the month of May will go to this summer’s trip.)
  • Mail a check – payable to “That You May Know Ministries” (my non-profit) to PO Box 276, Kirkland, WA  98083

Help me give away my birthday!

NOTE: 100% of donations will go toward this project, are tax-deductible, and you will receive a receipt.

Will you help me spread the word on Facebook or click the “Click to Tweet” link below. Thank you so much!

What Does the Bible Say About Itself?

17 Bible Verses About the Bible

We write a lot about the Bible. We preach about it. We (ahem…I) blog about it. How we got it. Why you can trust it. How to study it. Ways to apply it.

When was the last time you – or I – simply paused to explore what the Bible has to say about itself.

What does the Bible say about itself?

Today will have no commentary. No video. No unpacking and applying. (Though I highly recommend you have a conversation with God about when and how you can do that!) No ranking in order of importance.

This is simply a list of 17 Bible verses about the Bible.

I have put them in the order you can find them in your Bible (except the last one). One quick note: For this post, I’ve focused on verses that speak of what the Bible is, rather than verses exploring why or how to apply it.

4 Thoughts as I Say Goodbye to My Dad

As I write these words, it has been ten days since my father’s battle with cancer came to an end. I got the call at 7:10am on Friday, April 1st (no joke).

“We lost him.”

4 Thoughts as I Say Goodbye to My Dad

With those three words, the battle was over. We knew the end was coming. We had known since last June. Now the end was here.

He died sleeping peacefully in his own bed. (The way we all dream of going.)

He died mercifully. (Only a week earlier the doctor said the tumor had likely spread to his brain.)

He died happy. (After all, the last thing he ate was one of my wife’s chocolate chip cookies.)

As you might imagine, there is a vast array of emotions passing through my heart and mind. Don’t worry, you are not about to read a blog-post-turned-6000-word-journal-entry.

While there has certainly been a lot of feeling, there has also been quite a bit of thinking.

Thinking about how he lived life…and how I want to live life. Thinking about the parts I want to emulate, and truth-be-told, the parts I don’t.

You see, my relationship with my dad was, well, complicated. The first couple decades were close and wonderful. The last couple decades were…as I said…complicated.

In these last ten days, here are the thoughts that have bubbled to the surface of my mind (at least so far):

3 Questions to Check Your Heart

"Along the Road" Video from Zechariah 7:1-6

Zechariah. There’s a name you don’t hear very often. It’s also a book of the Bible people don’t read very often. That’s too bad. There’s some good stuff in there.

3 Questions to Check Your Heart - Zechariah

As I was nearing the end of Month #3 of Bible Read Thru 2016, I spent one morning reading Zechariah, the second-to-last book of the Old Testament.

As I read the first six verses of Chapter 7, God stopped me in my tracks. Check out this Along the Road video to see the three questions God is still asking me (and might be asking you). 

Why Is There An Extra Chapter in the Gospel of John?

If you’ve known me for any length of time, you know the Gospel of John is my favorite book of the Bible. That said…there’s something about the book that confused me for a long time.

Why Is There An Extra Image in the Gospel of John?

If you look at the last two verses of John 20 you’ll see how John ends his book. Take a look…

Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” (John 20:30-31, NIV)

What a fantastic, powerful ending! (Except…it’s not the ending.)

John throws in another whole chapter. He writes “Afterward…” and keeps going.

Why would he do that? Why would he write about 850 verses, seemingly end his book, only to add 25 more verses?

My Most Important Ministry Partner

(You Probably Don’t Know Her…But You Need To)

You have read her name, but might not remember it. You probably haven’t met her. But if you have, you are glad you did. You might not have even seen a picture of her, but you will by the end of this post.

My most important ministry partner.

She has been my partner in ministry since before this ministry began.

She is the Vice President of my Board of Directors.

She is the very first person I come to with new ideas.

She encourages my dreams. (And prays for God’s wisdom in the dreaming.)

She challenges me more than anyone else. (In all the good and necessary ways.)

Her name is Kari. 20 years ago today she said “I do” and became my wife.

Today isn’t about Bible study tips…or a presentation…or a new book…or a video…or an interview.

Today is about you getting to know the person I couldn’t do ministry without.

Getting to know the person who makes doing this ministry more fun. Getting to know the person who makes this ministry better. Getting to know the person who makes me better.

It all started on April 23, 1994…

My 1-on-1 Interview with Christy Beam

The mom from the brand new movie "Miracles From Heaven"

If you’re looking for a movie that will inspire you, make you laugh, make you cry, and make you think about God’s right-by-your-side-even-in-the-suffering presence – you need to go see Miracles From Heaven. Oh…and you can watch it with your entire family. (Kari and I recently watched it with our three kids and they all loved it.)

This is my eye-opening interview with Christy Beam, the mother from the new movie 'Miracles From Heaven.'

Miracles from Heaven opens today – March 18, 2016.