Friday, January 11, 2013

A wholehearted year: studying

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I've been talking about a wholehearted year. If you missed out, start here.

Another thing God has been changing in me is the way I study the Word of God. You see, every since I became a Christian I've been very good at reading the Bible. English NIV? Check. Portuguese NIV? Check. Portuguese Almeida? Check. Biblia Viva? Check. Another round or two in English? Check, check. I've probably read through the Bible about five times in these seven years as a Christian, but it's always been a very superficial. 

So this year, instead of vowing to read the Bible in one year, I am choosing to study it. Take my time. Savour it. Check references. Go back to texts that relate. All that good stuff. Here are some tools that will certainly help me, other than the Bible itself.

The Message Remix: Solo

I've become a Kindle kind of gal, so for me to pick up a book from Barnes and Nobles and actually haul it across the sea in my luggage, it means a lot. I went into the store looking for a new Bible, considering getting the Message. I know it's not the same, but most of the passages I've come across are just so...beautiful.  

I was excited about this version, with the method of lectio divine (divine reading). For every passage, it includes prompts on read, think, pray and live. It has truly transformed my relationship with the text, allowing to spend much more time and dig in without getting distracted or fed up.

Now, I must warn you, it's not the whole deal. It mentions extended passages which are suggested reading, but it does not have the Bible in its entirety. 

Trans World Radio resources

I began making my way through Route 66, a radio program from Radio Transmundial (Trans World Radio's Brazilian affiliate) in which a pastor reads, explains and applies the 66 books of the Old Testament to our lives. I love it. 

I started listening to it while doing other things, but have quickly learned that won't get me very far, so I take the time to stop, open my Bible and follow the passage being looked at. 

Furthermore, my 2013 diary is from them, and it has devotionals and suggested readings for every day. 

Bible Study

I love reading, I love learning, I love Christ. That means Bible Study is one of my all time favorite things. I love going through the text, listening to what is discussed, taking notes to go back to it during the week. We are blessed to have an amazing Bible Study Group in my church. Now it seems God is opening a door for another course on the Bible, which I just love. I'll tell you more about it when it comes through. 

You Version

I found out about You Version through a little blog I love. Not only does it have the Bible on electronic versions in all shapes of languages and styles, it also has reading plans. I'll probably keep to the shorter ones, to avoid having a bunch of long-term plans crashing into each other. You can even pick a short reading plan based on topics such as parenting, prayer, Ephesians, and much, much more!

What is your favorite way of studying the Bible?