So-o-o-o-o, if you’ve been reading along this month, you know I’ve been purposely slowing down. Running on empty, stopping to listen and practicing golden silence, have literally taken the rush out of my morning quiet times.
There is still, however, an area where I struggle. Reading. Reading my Bible in an unhurried pace. My mind struggles to slow down and absorb His word. I am a fast reader naturally, and a skimmer when I read for work. Those practices have shown up in my personal Bible reading.
And then there’s my study time, while preparing to teach. Who has time to dig deep, when there’s a lesson to prepare? Who has time to absorb all that goodness?
For instance, I’m trying to learn how to use a new (for me) camera. My current camera is an easy-peasy, point and shoot, auto focus, instant zoom, idiot proof camera. John has given me his old fancy camera, with zoom lens, and all sorts of buttons on it.
The first time I used it, my blood was about to boil. I was trying to zoom, while the camera was trying to focus. I was frustrated that it wasn’t instant focus and zoom.
In our speed driven society, it’s difficult to slow down and and do the hard work of learning. We get frustrated, yet we don’t put in the time.
Same with my Bible reading. I get frustrated when I don’t grasp the meaning of a passage, or the big picture, or the Old Testament/New Testament connections. And yet, I rush through my reading and my lesson preparations.
“Now Ezra had determined in his heart to study the law of the LORD, obey it, and teach its statutes and ordinances in Israel.” Ezra 7:10 HCSB
I am reading the book Deeper Waters, Immersed in the Life-Changing Truth of God’s Word, by Denise Hughes, which releases on September 1. In her book, Denise encourages us to dig into God’s Word. She says it “isn’t just for scholars in seminaries-it’s for everyone.”
Denise suggests that we:
1. Read God’s Word
2. Write God’s Word and
3. Pray God’s Word.
Read it – check!
Pray it – check!
Write it? By hand? Not type it on the computer? But…but…that will take – time!
Denise lists many benefits of writing by hand. Here are some of my favorites (from pages 89-90, Deeper Waters) :
◆ It slows our pace. We’ve trained our eyes to skim quickly over text looking for the main points. Writing by hand forces our eyes to slow down.
◆ We dive deeper into the text.
◆ We become better observers. Writing leads to noticing.
◆ Our hearts and minds are quieted. Accord to Denise “Writing the Word is a deliberate act to refuse the tyranny of hurry. It’s a way of saying the words of Scripture are worth savoring – each and every one.”
I need all those things! So I tried it. I wrote out a passage of scripture I was studying to teach. Oh, my! Not only did it slow me down, and help me internalize God’s word, I realized that I had memorized a good portion of that passage. When did that happen??
But there is so much more to this book. Part memoir, part Bible study, Denise honestly shares her struggles:
“I can’t write a book about the Bible, telling you how life-changing it is – no matter how true that truth is – without also sharing my struggle to believe everything the Bible says.” Deeper Waters, page 24.
Denise has a love of God’s Word that will overflow into your life, as you read her book. She wants to share with others the many things that have helped in her study of God’s Word through the years. She wants to mentor us and minister to us through her book. And she has certainly done that for me.
If you are interested in Denise’s book (and you SHOULD be!), you can download the Intro (I highlighted almost all the introduction!) and Chapter One for FREE, by clicking here.
Or (better yet) you can pre-order today and receive a FREE copy of “Word Writers: James” plus 18 Scripture Prayer Cards and a 365-Day Bible Reading Plan. These gifts can be redeemed here .
I also have a copy of Denise’s book to give away! Leave a comment, and tell me what YOUR struggles are as you read and study God’s Word. I’d love to hear from you. All those who leave a comment, will be entered into a drawing to receive a copy of Deeper Waters.
Lord, slow us down, so that we can dive deeper into Your Words. In Jesus name, Amen.
Grace be with you,