Friday, June 25, 2010

Bible Intake

There is no substitute for making sure that we regularly expose ourselves to the life-giving food that is the Word of God. I think this is the bottom line--regular exposure.

Misplaced guilt can come when we get the idea that we have to spend thirty minutes to an hour intensely dissecting a passage of Scripture every day to be holy. Maybe what we need from time to time, instead, is to read a whole book--not for 30min. but in one sitting for hours. Or, maybe we need to make sure that we are caring for others with the Word (our wives, friends, unbelievers) even as we continue to give attention to our own intake.

I have no corner on the market as far as ideas for Scripture intake, but here are a few things I've been doing lately that help me hear and meditate on the Truth:

1) I listen to Bible-saturated music when I can. Specifically, I like to find music that has the words of Scripture verbatim. A Boyce College professor and frequent visitor at the church I attend, Jim Orrick, has a couple of cd's out where he sings some Psalms directly from the New King James version of the Bible. Good stuff!

2) I meditate on Scripture by copying passages down verbatim. Verbatim is a Latin word, by the way.....I think. Or it is from a Latin word. Anyhoo, since I've been working at the Highlands Latin School and their publishing arm, Memoria Press, I've seen the benefit in seemingly small things--things like beautiful cursive writing. So, I've really been enjoying the double benefit of practicing my cursive (which still needs work) by writing down Scripture passages that I read or that I want to meditate on or commit to memory. Usually I take an 8.5 x 11" piece of paper and fill-up one side at any given sitting. Perhaps I will have much of the Scriptures copied one day, and I can give it to my son, Cole.

3) I listen to the Bible being read often. Sometimes, this means listening to my own voice (apparently, it is fairly novel in the history of the world to do what almost all of us do today--read silently) as I read Scripture aloud. But, what I mainly am thankful for in this regard is the gift that God has given us lately in audio Bibles. Go to, type in a particular passage, and then listen to a brother (I don't know who he is) helpfully read the text with appropriate expression. Or, do yourself a big favor and purchase Max Maclean's Listener's Bible, available in several versions. Listening to the Bible as it is read by those who attempt to read it well can be very beneficial.

What are your thoughts or practices in the area of Scripture intake?

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