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The Good Portion

Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving.  And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:42

There is sitting at his feet, and there is everything else. His word is the good portion, other things are distraction. They are distraction even in the shape of a welcome wagon for the Lord of the universe. Christ’s implied question to Martha—to anyone—is clear: Are you here for what you’re doing, or are you doing what you’re doing because of me?

Pick Your Portion is an effort in sitting at the Lord’s feet, listening to his teaching. Our aim is to provide a pause among the everyday fragments of life, reminding ourselves and others to stop and long for God’s voice as it echoes all around. We’re here to be mindful—among relationships and responsibilities, troubles and anxieties, grocery lists, meeting requests, and laundry piles—of the good news of our Redeemer. This site lives in wonderment about who God is and what, through Christ, he has accomplished.

Readings & Responses

Every weekday on our blog, a Pick Your Portion contributor responds to one of several passages from a daily Bible-reading plan. We’re following a plan together because:

The portion is the point.
Anything else we could write about is secondary to our hope in Christ. We want to be sure we’re gathering around his story and teachings, first and foremost.

The portion is the starting point.
It’s possible to treat Scripture as though it were answers for the questions of life. We want to treat life as a response to the gospel Answer that’s found in Scripture.

The portion is good.
We believe that all of Scripture puts God’s good news on display. The Old Testament looks forward to Jesus, and the New Testament looks back at him. Both see God’s Son as the turning point for all of history and for every human heart.

The reading plan we use for Pick Your Portion is often referred to as the M’Cheyne Bible Reading Plan. It was assembled by Robert Murray M’Cheyne, a Scottish minister who lived in the mid-nineteenth century. This plan assigns four (or more) passages of Scripture from four different parts of Scripture to each day of a year; by the end of the year, a reader will have read the Old Testament once and both the New Testament and Psalms twice.


Pick Your Portion was founded by Lisa Velthouse. The idea began germinating on February 24, 2012, when Lisa picked up her Bible after several days of not having opened it once. She turned to Luke 10 for no specific reason, other than that her M’Cheyne Bible Reading Plan bookmark told her to.

The passage—Jesus, Mary, Martha, distraction—resonated plainly. It brought calm and fresh breath to an otherwise fractured day.

…the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” Forget the laundry piles and dust buildup, forget the to-do lists and meeting requests, forget responsibilities and emails and work, forget even hospitality and service. The good portion zooms in on the purpose of everything. He proves where the realest—the only—meaning is found.
This site was built as a reminder that we choose every day, every hour, every minute which portion will be ours: whether it will be Christ or distraction. The contributors here serve as a testament that in making Christ our portion, we find he is good.
We say “Welcome,” but more importantly, he does.