I used to think reading scripture was something to do to check off my "spiritual to do list." Now I think of it as an experience and an invitation into a conversation with Yahweh God. My thoughts on reading vs experiencing scripture changed when I came across this fantastic book; Meeting God in Scripture (forty guided meditations) by Jan Johnson. This book is a great introduction to the ancient spiritual practice: Lectio Divina. Grab the book if you can or ask Tamara from a copy. Here's an overview:
A FEW MORE TIPS AS YOU READ SCRIPTURE:
TIP 1: Try to read every day. But when you miss a day or two or five - don't give up! This is normal for everyone. Just start reading again. It's like eating, if you miss a meal, you don't stop eating all together. You have a snack or eat an even BIGGER meal the next time.
TIP 2: Find a regular time and place to read. A time you usually have free most everyday & a place (maybe a favorite chair) away from distractions. You'll want to put your phone in airplane mode - because it WILL distract you.
How blessed the man you train, God,
the woman you instruct in your Word,
Providing a circle of quiet within the clamor of evil...
Psalm 94:12a - MSG
Learning to feed yourself spiritual food is an important part of growing as a follower of Jesus. Here are some of our favorite resources to help you begin growing on your faith journey.
These are a few of the questions / comments I hear regularly about reading the Bible.
I'd be more than happy to sit down with you & talk about it further. But until then, below there's a few tips & video's that will help guide you as you start.
Our friend, Nell Ann Galindo shared with us today about prayer. Here's what we discussed:
Praying is a lab course -you can one of MANY GREAT BOOKS all about it. But at some point,you must PRAY!
P–praise:•recognize WHO God is. •Thanking God for what He has done for you.
R–repent: not a popular warm fuzzy one part but asking for forgiveness when we fail to live according to God’s guidelines.
A–ask: for personal needs and for others too.
Y–yield: God more important to me, my requests, my needs. His ways are higher then mine.
EXAMPLES OF WHO GOD IS:
Full of Grace, Loving, Forgiving, Almighty, Etc...
EXAMPLES OF THANKSGIVING:
Health, Family, Life, Provisions, Education, Happiness, Etc...
EXAMPLES OF ASKING: (what to ASK for):
Patience, Guidance, Wants, Needs, Safety, Wisdom, Money, Calm/anxiety, Health, Salvation, Etc...
GO PRACTICE PRAYING .... PRAYER IS LAB COURSE!
FREE DOWNLOADABLE PRAYER WORKSHEET
One thing many students struggle with is knowing how to manage money. For that reason, we invite our friend, Jennie Moyer, CPA to share @ BSM FREE LUNCH every year around April 15 (Tax Day). Here are her notes, feel free to download them.
This afternoon, Ryan Gentles discussed how to read scripture using SOAP daily.
S - Scripture:
Write down the Bible passage you'll be studying. This can be just one verse or several verses. Read it aloud & / or write it out, which will help you focus on and absorb it.
O - Observation:
Examine the text and write down what you notice.
Who wrote it?
Who is it written to?
What word or phrases jump out at you?
Is there something that you've never noticed before? (write it down)
What's happening around the verses that you've read? (immediately before and after?
Are there any words, phrases, or ideas the repeat or contrast throughout the passage?
A - Application:
How does this passage work into your daily life? Re-read the text, take a few moments to think about it again. Close your eyes, breath in & out deeply, relax. What comes to mind?
What is God saying to you?
How does it apply to your life?
Is there an action you need to take?
Do you need to confess something or make something right with someone else?
If there's an action, try to make it SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time - bound.
P - Pray:
Spend a few moments silently listening before your respond to Yahweh God out of what you've heard from him. Learn more about prayer. Consider writing your prayers down to keep your mind from wandering.
One questions I get regularly is "how do I start a conversation with my friends about Jesus?" OR "What do I do when my friends start up a conversation about faith?" When this happens I think we feel like we have to "convince" the other person in one setting. Often sharing what we believe is a long conversation that can last weeks or years. So be yourself, be real, be a genuine friend, and don't feel like every time you're together you have to talk about faith. Enjoy talking about other things you have in common too.
1 Peter 3:15 Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.
TIPS TO KEEP IN MIND:
1) Most importantly, BE a friend. Find common interests, and spend time together having fun.
2) PRAY for your friend.
3) Ask them questions. What are their spiritual beliefs?
4) Listen to what they believe.
5) Share your experience with Jesus. (Be ready to share your brief spiritual journey / story.)
6) If they asked a question you don't know... say, "I don't know... but I will find out. Maybe we can meet again & chat further." (then ask your pastor or spiritual mentor their question so you'll know more next time you chat).
7) Ask them if they want to know Jesus.
TOOLS WE LOVE:
1) SOULARIUM - starting a conversation using pictures & 5 easy questions.
2) One Verse Evangelism - sharing your faith using only ONE VERSE.
3) White board series - How do I share my faith (three parts). Short & easy to watch. Consider memorizing some of these key verses so you're ready to share these principles with your friends when you have an opportunity.