Deep Dive

Deep Dive

Although I am technically unemployed, every day is a busy day. There is always something to do. Something that needs to get done. There are always items that need to be boxed, other items that need to be listed on eBay, and just tons of crap that needs to make its way to the trash.

But this morning, as I was going through my YouVersion reading plan, I felt compelled to do a little more with my Bible reading.

With YouVersion, I use the New Living Translation and have the app narrate to me as I read along. It helps me better retain the content (mostly because I don’t trip up over the pronunciation of Biblical names, etc.), and also, because I’ve been using this method for such a long time now, the narrator’s voice is comforting and familiar. My physical Bible, which is a note-taking Bible, is in the New American Standard translation. I use NASB because that is what was used at my Bible college.

In YouVersion, there are notes that show references to other parts of Scripture, and as I was reading through Galatians, it was impressive to see how many times the Apostle Paul referenced the Old Testament in his epistle. So I felt compelled to just go through each chapter of Galatians and use the digital notes from YouVersion’s NLT to create hand-written notes in my NASB Bible.

What resulted was a deep dive into the book of Galatians (six chapters) that took several hours to complete. It was interesting and eye-opening, and I was able to read the Word from a completely new perspective. It was such a positive experience I am thinking about doing the same for all of Paul’s epistles (there are thirteen).

With so much to do in preparing to sell the house and move, it’s true I could have used the time this morning for other tasks. However, there’s no disputing there’s no other task that would have been quite as valuable.


Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread

I don’t particularly enjoy working out alone. My wife and I have shared the experience of going to the gym together, and although we may do different exercises or use different machines, knowing we’re both there together makes the experience more fulfilling for me.

The same goes for my spiritual workouts.

At the end of last year, our dear friend Lindsey invited Lee and me to undertake a new challenge.

“Will you join me in reading the entire Bible in one year?”

“Ummm…..what?”

“The Bible. I am going to read it all in one year, and I want you to join me.”

<uneasy silence> “Ummmmm …… yes?”

It was very much a daunting task at the time it was presented to us. Yet another thing I needed to make time for in my day to day. It’s not like I wasn’t already falling behind on everything else, so sure, why not add something else to the To Do list (which in my case usually ends up being a Good Intentions list)?

But undertake it I did, with the help of the YouVersion Bible app. Every morning in the car I would start the readings for the day of the reading plan. The great thing about YouVersion is, depending on the translation, you can have the app read it to you. This is especially helpful because I find it easier to follow along as I hear someone else read, and I don’t have to stumble over the pronunciation of names and places (especially in the Old Testament). Also, I can take advantage of my commute time to take in His word.

So here we are three months removed from that awkward conversation with my friend and I’m 25% done with reading the Bible. Think about that. I’ve read a quarter of the Good Book, and I’ve done it a few chapters at a time. Not only has this plan made it manageable by spreading out the reading between Old and New Testaments, it has also opened my eyes to the amazing stories in the Bible.

I’ve been introduced to the talking donkeys, how the sons of Jacob plotted to avenge the rape of their sister, and passages that have made me blush. More importantly, I’ve made the time in my day to nourish my spirit and grow in my relationship with God. And I am finding that as situations and challenges present themselves in my life, I am able to lean on what I’ve read and learned in order to better deal with them. I’m able to reference a particular story in the Bible that provides me with a better perspective as to how I should act or not act. Like going to the gym, I am stronger now than when I started.

And I am so blessed to be doing this with my wife and friends. We turn to each other to discuss His word and better understand what we’ve read. We push and encourage each other to stay on plan and not fall behind, which is what fellowship is all about.

So if you’re feeling you can use some new perspective, insight, and encouragement in your life, I invite you to turn to a resource that’s been there for you from the beginning. Download the YouVersion app and check out The Bible in a Year plan. Or if you’re old school, open up your Bible and read a chapter a day. As the plan overview says, “The Bible is God’s love letter to each one of us. Why should you miss out on any of the things God wants to say to you?”

Daily Bread