Seeking hearts and dog-eared pages…

Bible old and well used

I was given my first Bible when I was five years old and just learning to read.  It was a blue King James Version and my first opportunity to read the Word for myself.   My parents weren’t worried that it was perhaps a difficult version to read, it only mattered that I was putting God’s Word into my heart.  God would do the rest.

I cherish the memories of reading my blue Bible every night after being tucked into bed.  There was something comforting about meeting with God in this way and even as a young child, these moments were instrumental in helping me grow in my understanding of God and His purposes and plan for my life. There were passages that I found particularly interesting and found that I would reread them over and over.  I still remember them to this day. (My favourite is Psalm 27:8 “When thou saidst, Seek ye my face, my heart said unto Thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.”   See?  I remember it best in the King James Version.)

Personally, I have enjoyed reading the Bible in the format offered by Biblica.  It has allowed me to approach scripture with fresh eyes but with the same seeking heart.   I am equally excited to see so many others in our church community dig into the Word with the same.  As a member of CrossRoads staff, I have a wide view of all the places people like you are engaging together to read the Word and discuss in community what they’ve read.

One place I am particularly excited to see this is happening in the Junior High/Senior High youth groups.  Did you know on youth nights, our junior and senior high kids are working through the Bible campaign?  Here are a few thoughts on their experience as they read through the New Testament.

When asked about what we learned about loving others in the reading, one of our senior high girls noticed Jesus’ mercy through reading Luke. She commented that she needs to show more mercy to her little sister.

Discussing the issue of speaking in tongues provided an opportunity to dig a bit deeper into the subject of the Holy Spirit.

The Apostle Paul could be considered defiant.  Further discussion pushed out the idea that Paul was determined to preach the gospel and share the love of Jesus regardless of the circumstance. 

I love that teens are exploring the biblical texts together with other teens and leaders who care deeply about putting the Word of God in their hearts and minds.

And if that isn’t enough, Biblica has provided wonderful tools to help engage our youngest community members with a children’s format!  When you sign in online, you are given access to The Kid’s Audio New Testament which is an abridged version of the NiRV.  It is presented in 10 minute snippets – one for each day of the campaign – and specially geared to help parents engage even their smallest in a discussion about what they have heard.  At the bottom of this page are screen shots of what to look for at www.biblica.com\CBE-NT so you can get started.

My blue bible has long ago fallen apart from wear and tear.  I have owned many Bibles since (and still own) in varying versions and colours.  I have the Bible on my Kobo and on my iPhone.  The Books of the Bible New Testament is yet another way I get the privilege to access the Word of God.  (Christians in other countries are not this blessed.)  There may be nothing more precious than the gift of God’s own Word to His Children.

And perhaps, when the Community Bible Experience campaign is over, might I suggest that you give your copy of the New Testament away, perhaps to a child to read.  You never know.  It might end up dog eared and battered just like my blue one – but by then the words contained within the book will be imprinted on someone’s heart.

Blessings,

Deborah Carpenter

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