A little summer break...

I'll be taking a little break from blogging while we study the book of Romans and enjoy the summer.


Bible Study

No real post this week.

Come to class prepared to talk about what Bible study we want to do.  What book or topic do you want to study?


Just do it.

This week I finally did it.  I started running again.  I have not be running since the middle of January.  So as I was trying to breathe and not really enjoying my run.  I began thinking, one of the main reasons I really enjoy running.  I began thinking about how studying the Bible is a lot like running - at least for me.

Running is something I know I should do.  Reading and studying the Bible is something I know I should do.

I just need to do it. No hesitating, no procrastinating, no excuses, no fear.  I just need to press on and do it.

I think the same reasons that hold us back from things like exercising or doing other things that we know are good for us are some of the same things that hold us back from God's Word.  We make excuses, that we don't have the time, we don't know where to begin, we don't know the right way to do it.

Just like in running, you are never going to get better at it if you don't get out there and do it.  You are never going to get better at reading, studying, and applying the Bible to your life if you don't do it.

What holds you back from reading the Bible? 

There is not just one way to read the Bible.  Dive in and try something, if it doesn't work for you try something else.  Maybe you have always wanted to read the Bible straight through from beginning to end.  Try it.  Maybe this never worked for you.  Try a topical reading plan.  If those don't seem right, find a study guide that will walk you through.  Just keep trying things until you find the right way for you to keep reading your Bible.

What works for you?
Is there a reading plan you have wanted to try?


Reading With Friends

 We have come so far as a society.  We can play games like Words With Friends with people all around the country, even all over the world.  We can post pictures and party invites and even what we ate for lunch instantly on Twitter and Facebook for all our friends and family to see.  But, many people choose to read and study the Bible in solitude.

Is this how we are supposed to study the Bible?  How do we get the most out of God's Word and what it means for our life?

Prior to the invention of the printing press, it was rare for people to own books, including the Bible.  This meant that people read and studied the Bible as a community.  Once books became affordable, more and more people could own their own Bible. This also began to change the way we read and studied the Bible.  We began to read the Bible on our own in a quite corner of our home.  There were no other people their to discuss and share with as we read.

How does this change our understanding of the Bible?  How does this affect our accountability to continue studying God's Word?

As society has continued to change and we move more and more from printed material to digital, how do we use new technologies to become a more connected community of believers?  Can we once again read and study the Bible together, but with and even larger community?  Can this ever replace a face to face community?

Here are some thoughts from Bobby Gruenewald, the Innovation Leader for the YouVersion online Bible...



How do I use this book?!?!

While discussing what topics people wanted me to cover on this blog, one came up that really stuck with me.

I am going to begin a series on how we read and study the Bible and apply it to our lives in today's world.

When this topic came up, I really felt excited.  Every time I really dig into studying the Bible, I love the feeling I get when I realize how relevant and true it is still today.  However, sometimes, at first glance the Bible can be confusing and even intimidating.  It can even seem like it is no longer applicable to today's world.

I believe with everything within me that the Bible is God's Living Word and is just as relevant and just as important to our lives as it was to the people that are in the event recorded in the Bible.

When we study and pray and discuss the Bible, it becomes so much more than just words on paper.

How do you view the Bible?  Is it alive and relevant to your life?
How do you read and study the Bible? Do you read the Bible?
Do you feel disconnected from the stories?
Do you feel the Holy Spirit speaking to you through the pages of your Bible?
Is it just and old and outdated book?

No matter what your views, please follow this series and  join in the discussion.


Temporal Existence and Friendship

I have been really busy at work for the past few weeks straight (part of why my post is going up so late).  I even had to work last weekend.  This and some other events, and maybe the lack of sleep, and being sick... well, I have been thinking about temporal existence.  I didn't even realize it, but those two words were just bouncing around in my head, over and over.  Temporal, from the same Latin root at temporary.  Why was I thinking about this.  Sure, we are all only here for a portion of eternity.  Then when Jodi told me about how her grandpa was starting to go to lunch and other such things with a friend that had recently lost his wife, it hit me.  We are all only here on this earth as we know it for a limited period of time.  What we do with that time is of the utmost importance.

We only have a set amount of time, and we don't know how much, to spread Christ's love to this world and to grow in it ourselves.

Let me say that again a little more bluntly.  We only have right now to love Christ and bring those we love to him.

An important part of doing this is friendship.  Friends like Ruth and Naomi.

But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.  Ruth 1:16
Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.”  Ruth 1:17
We can all use friends like this that have our back and would die for us.

We could all use friends like Job had.

When Job’s three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite, heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him. When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him; they began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads. Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was.  Job 2:11-13
Finding a friends that will just sit and be with you is an amazing thing.

So while our time as we know it is limited, what we do with that time can result in unlimited potential.

What kind of friend are you?  What kind of friends do you have?
How is this helping you in you life?  How is this helping you in your walk with Christ?
How is this helping you bring others to Christ?