Week 1 40-Day Challenge Giveaway: Crossway Books Journaling Bibles

Week 1 40-Day Challenge Giveaway: Crossway Books Journaling Bibles

Today is the first day of the 40-Day (Birthday) Challenge. Each week I will be giving away books and other great prizes as part of our celebration. Today’s exciting giveaway comes from the wonderful folks at Crossway Books. Two participants in the challenge have a chance to win the new Inductive NT or the New Testament Scripture Journals.

What a great way to kick off this challenge! So grateful to Crossway for these gifts.

Here’s all you need to do:

  1. Join the 40-Day Birthday Challenge Facebook group to share stories, pictures, and win prizes: https://www.facebook.com/groups/40daybirthdaychallenge/
  2. Commit to doing something (or everything) for 40 days
  3. It begins TODAY Saturday, July 28 and ends the day after my birthday, September 7
  4. If this is the first you’ve heard of my challenge, check out this initial post: http://www.trillianewbell.com/2018/07/24/40-day-birthday-challenge/

I will draw two names from the Facebook group and announce the winners in the Facebook group on Thursday, August 2. The drawing ends on Thursday at 6:00 a.m. To win a prize you must* join the Facebook group (please commit to doing at least one week of the challenge if you join in hopes to win).

Also, don’t forget today’s challenge: Find something to do for 40 days. If Bible reading is in your plans for 40 consecutive days, you’re sure to be helped by Crossway’s generous gift!

More about the prizes:

Inductive Bible NT-coverESV Journaling New Testament, Inductive Edition

A new addition to the family of ESV Journaling Bibles, the ESV Journaling New Testament, Inductive Edition features extra space for notes in between each line of Bible text, offering a fresh and distinctive way to engage with God’s Word. This single-column Bible is designed to make it easy to interact with every individual verse, making it a great option for pastors, students, and anyone who loves going in-depth with Script

  • 3/8-inch space in between each line of Bible text
  • Cream-colored paper
  • Ribbon marker
  • Smyth-sewn binding
  • Packaging: Slipcase


journal NT- crosswayESV Scripture Journal: New Testament Set


ESV Scripture Journals pair the entirety of individual books of the New Testament with lightly lined blank pages opposite each page of the biblical text, allowing readers to take extended notes or record insights and prayers directly beside corresponding passages of Scripture. This set of 19 volumes includes each book of the New Testament—each thin and portable edition great for personal Bible reading and reflection, small-group study, or taking notes through a sermon series.


  • Thick, opaque, cream-colored paper
  • Full, lightly ruled blank pages opposite each page of Bible text
  • Wide margins
  • Lay-flat binding
  • Cover stamped with gold foil
  • Packaging: Belly Band




*During one day of the challenge, I may open the gifts up to those not in the Facebook group. But for now, the only way to enter weekly prizes is by joining the group. Although it is noted above, I’d like to ask again that you attempt the challenge for at least for one week rather than joining the Facebook group only for the prize. Thank you so much!

40-Day (Birthday) Challenge

40-Day (Birthday) Challenge

In a little over a month, I’ll be turning the big 4-0. I do not dread the years to come. I absolutely feel older—both in body and mind. My body feels aches like never before while my mind seems to be sharper. Most importantly, I sense in unique ways the nearness of God. I imagine, as there have been every decade, that I will experience both joys and deep sorrows. God has been faithful—it is my song. I trust He will be faithful over these next years, too. I’m excited and grateful.

But today is less about reflecting and more about celebrating! And I’d love to invite you to join me.

In celebration of my 40th birthday, I’d like to invite you to my 40-Day Birthday Challenge. For 40 days beginning Saturday, July 28 and ending on September 7, we are going to complete various activities, random acts of kindness, spiritual disciplines, and goals.

You can choose what you do from my list of 40 things (below) and do or start one per day. A few of these things are meant to help us begin new habits as well, like daily Bible reading and prayer. I will be going straight down the list.

And because it’s a celebration and an online birthday party, I’d also like to give away prizes throughout the 40 days. In order to be entered to win, simply join my 40-Day Birthday Challenge Facebook group. Each week I’ll draw names from that group and announce the prizes.

Here is the 40-Day Birthday Challenge summed up:

  1. Join the 40-Day Birthday Challenge Facebook group to share stories, pictures, and win prizes: https://www.facebook.com/groups/40daybirthdaychallenge/
  2. Commit to doing something (or everything) for 40 days
  3. It begins Saturday, July 28 and ends the day after my birthday, September 7
  4. You can join in any time! This is not a competition.

That’s it!

Here is the list of 40 things you and I will seek to accomplish over the next 40 days (notice some might be repeated, other things you can seek to do every day over the next 40)

40 Things

  1. Choose something to do for 40 days straight
  2. Pray for someone
  3. Fast from something
  4. Pay for someone’s meal
  5. Read the Bible (try for 40 days straight)
  6. Do a random act of kindness
  7. Write an encouraging note to someone
  8. Volunteer somewhere
  9. Take a meal to someone
  10. Leave a larger than normal tip for a server
  11. Memorize scripture
  12. Grab a friend or family to join you for one of the things on the list
  13. Start or do that thing you’ve put off
  14. Do something for your church
  15. Do something for a non-profit organization
  16. Spend the day undistracted from social media, devices or whatever tends to distract you.
  17. Write an encouraging note to someone
  18. Give someone a gift that you would love to have or tell someone something that you would love to be said to you (i.e. love neighbor as self)
  19. Tell as many people as possible who you love that you love them
  20. Fast from something
  21. Pray for someone you’ve been struggling with
  22. Spend the day undistracted from social media, devices, or whatever tends to distract you.
  23. Do something for your pastor and/or his family
  24. Invite someone over for lunch or dinner
  25. Help someone in need (i.e. someone you know or someone you come into contact with)
  26. Grab lunch with a relative or close friend
  27. Do something anonymous (gift, etc.)
  28. Visit an assisted living home
  29. Ask someone how you might serve him/her and then do it that week
  30. Pray for, cheer on, maybe even encourage that person you think is your enemy or rival
  31. Babysit for a family
  32. Take a Sabbath
  33. Do something for your neighbor(s)
  34. Thank someone who served during church (i.e. children’s ministry worker, worship team member, greeter, etc.)
  35. If you have a spouse, hide encouragement notes in places they’ll find it. If you are single surprise a friend similarly (on a windshield or send a surprise gift)
  36. Do something you enjoy—guilt free! Thank the Lord for it.
  37. Repeat the toughest thing on this list for you (Not financially toughest, rather toughest because it stretched you to get out of your comfort zone, etc.)
  38. Repeat the thing you enjoyed doing the most
  39. Make a list of prayers that you think are impossible—pray that list to the Lord
  40. Eat your favorite food with your favorite people. I’ll likely enjoy some ice cream with my favorite people (Thern, Weston, and Sydney)! Thanks for joining me!

Don’t forget to join the Facebook group for sharing and prizes! Join here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/40daybirthdaychallenge/

What’s Going On: MLK50, Podcasts, and More

What’s Going On: MLK50, Podcasts, and More

The winter has been long and cold, but bustling with exciting, encouragement, and what I believe to be transformative activity. I wanted to get you an update on where I’ve been and hope that you’ll check out the links below. I’d also love prayer for two projects that I’m wrapping up.

MLK50 Conference

There’s much that I could write about this conference, which marked the fiftieth anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination, and the work of the ERLC and TGC to put it on. I hope to do that soon. I am also praying about how I might help our online community (here and beyond) engage with the content. But for now, please take a minute to watch and listen to the sessions. You can find all of them here: MLK50 Conference Media.

Questions Kids Ask Podcast

I was invited to be a guest on a new podcast, hosted by Mary C. Wiley, that focuses on questions that kids ask. I love thinking through this topic. Raising two very inquisitive children has kept me on my toes from the moment my firstborn could speak. I hope you enjoy these episodes:

Why Should I Care for People Not Like Me?

Should I Be Excited About Good Things In My Life?

I will be on one last time this Monday, April 11. Feel free to check out her site: http://www.marycwiley.com/podcast/goodthings.

Season 2: United? We Pray

Isaac Adams and I are at it again with a second season of the podcast United? We Pray. This season includes guests like John Perkins, Michael Emerson, Duke Kwon, and more.

Listen in at: Pray Pod


I am so excited to be finishing up two projects: a Bible study with Moody Publishers and a book that will be published by IVP. These projects are due within months of one another, which means that every ounce of writing time and attention must now be reserved for completing these projects. So I will be posting less original content here and reposting a few articles that have been on other websites or in magazines. For many of you, these articles may be completely new and I’m excited to post them here.

Focusing on these two projects also means I’m in need of prayer. Would you pray that the Lord would provide wisdom and energy to knock out this work that I love so much, to use it for his glory and the good of those who might read?

Thank you for reading and don’t forget to listen in and watch MLK 50. I can’t wait to read your thoughts.

With joy,



Blog Recap, Learning to Rejoice, and More

Blog Recap, Learning to Rejoice, and More

(If you are reading this from your email, remember to click on over to the site to watch the video!)

It’s March! How did that happen?!

Today I’d like to invite you to watch this short video where I recap my article “Rethinking Busy,” explore one way we can learn to rejoice with those who rejoice as we engage on social media, and give a quick update on our book club.

Spring is around the corner! I pray the Lord brings new life and encouragement to you today and every day.



March update from Trillia Newbell on Vimeo.

Social Media: Handling the Habit

Social Media: Handling the Habit

(New Year’s resolutions were never something I was committed to in the past. However, I’m approaching 2018 differently. Over the last few weeks I’ve been sharing my goals and focus for the new year, along with thoughts and tidbits about how you might join me. You can read the introduction here, “Bible Reading in the New Year” here, “Rethinking Busy” here, and “Tools and Strategies for Using Time Well” here. Last week’s piece—“Social Media: Analyzing the Habit”—was the first of a two-part series on using social media. Today, we finish up that two-part series as well as this entire series on resolutions. )

As I said last week, I love social media. I really do. But the hold it has had on me over the past year became quite obvious as I began evaluating my time. I have no plans to completely retreat from Twitter or Instagram or Facebook. I’m not making a grand exit or even halting some form of weekly engagement. I’m simply attempting to make social media less invasive of my everyday life and work.

So what am I doing?

First, I think it’s important not to add undue burden to my readers. Any suggestions I make and any way of living that I share are not meant to be laws for you. They aren’t meant to be laws for me! As I seek to make changes, my desire is to be more effective and, in some cases, to repent where I see I’ve sinned against my God. But with repentance come grace and life, not burden. And my way (unless it’s clearly in the Scriptures and therefore not really my way) should never be considered the way. With that, here are my thoughts.

And how am I doing?

To be frank, not great. I had a goal and, as with many New Year’s resolutions, I haven’t done a great job of implementing changes so far. I have a few really good excuses (ha-ha), but for the beginning of this year, I haven’t made this change as much of a priority as it will be in the coming days. Basically, what I’ve been doing is learning about the issues and deciding what to do. The last thing I want to do is feed you stuff I’m not doing! May that never be.

With that, let’s grow together! Here are some tips and resources I’m hoping to implement. (a few of these I’m already doing). I’d love to hear from you about what you’re doing!

  1. If you are tempted to check your phone often, turn off, silence, or move it by a certain time every night and do not check it after that.
  2. Do not check phone first thing in the morning. (Caveat: I know some of you use your phone app to read your Bible. I do not. Remember that these are tips and not laws.)
  3. Check phone only at certain times during the day.
  4. Limit checking phone during “working hours.”
  5. Schedule times each week for deep, undistracted work that would include no phone. Be unreachable for a period of time. (This might require communicating with your spouse, coworkers, or others who might desire to reach you.)

One additional strategy I plan to implement is taking longer social-media breaks—a week, a month, or even longer. I suspect this will be where the rubber meets the road for me—and maybe for you too! I think taking a long break will show just how much I’ve relied on my phone. I imagine it will reveal my heart: my motives, my fears, my insecurities. Or perhaps I’m giving my phone too much credit. Maybe a break will reveal nothing at all and will instead just be a nice relief.

As to when do I plan to do it. I don’t know yet. In his book 12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You, Tony Reinke suggests not making an announcement when you take a break—just to get off the internet. When I do this exercise, I’ll take his advice and let you know later how it went!

Why I won’t exit completely

I want to love my neighbor as myself. I desire to serve my local community as best I can. This is all true. What’s also true is that both my neighbor and my local community are here, right here on the Internet. Because of busy schedules, it’s possible that I engage with many of my IRL (“in real life”) friends more on the Internet than IRL. My work with the ERLC and my ministry in general does also demand some level of social media (or internet) presence, As long as there are people on here—both local and beyond—I’d like to be on too.

I didn’t even have a smart phone until only four years ago. So I actually don’t think it would be that hard for me to say good-bye to it should society shift how we engage. But for now it’s such a sweet opportunity for gospel proclamation, enjoying one another, and learning about the culture. So for me, at least, it’s not time to say good-bye forever. Whether it’s time for you is a decision only you can make.

Finally, here are a few resources that might serve you in this regard. (Please note that I have not read all of them myself. A few are books I’ve seen recommended by people I trust.):

Connected: Curing the Pandemic of Everyone Feeling Alone Together, by Erin Davis

Engage: A Christian Witness Online, by Daniel Darling

12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You, by Tony Reinke

The Tech-Wise Family: Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in Its Proper Place, by Andy Crouch

So what about you. Do you have any tips for cutting back on social media? How have you tried? How did it go?

Fuzzy Brain and My Testimony

Fuzzy Brain and My Testimony

The right side of my face is throbbing and I haven’t stopped sneezing since last Thursday. That’s the current state I am in. Although I was just diagnosed with the flu yesterday (Monday), I believe I’ve had it for almost a week. In a few days’ time I’ll likely be running around as usual, but for now, sitting and lying down is about it. Today I attempted to write an intelligible post and realized that the task was futile. Sickness does something to your brain. I am, however, in good spirits. I laughed while typing this paragraph. Woe is me and my fuzzy brain.

So, really this is simply to let you know that we will get back to the New Year’s series and back to reading through Carl Laferton’s book Spiritual HealthCheck next week. If you are reading the book, go ahead and read chapters 3 and 4. I will do chapters 2-4 next week in one video.

My Testimony

Last week, I had the joy of sharing my testimony at Evangelicals for Life, hosted by the ERLC. There’s something so faith building about remembering what the Lord has done. If you’re interested, you can read a write-up of my testimony featured in the Christian Post here.

Maybe today you’d be encouraged to remember all that the Lord has done for you. Psalm 103 is a wonderful place to begin:

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s (1-5).

Until next week…!




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