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Archive for the ‘Bible study’ Category

On our Pathfinder Venture this summer we’ll be studying the bible in small groups with the young people. Our leader, Tim Ambrose, has made this great video with some very funny tips on leading a study:

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That is sooo Last Year. Well, it was for me. And here’s my confession: I failed. But I’m going to pick up where I left off last year (about a fifth of the way through I guess) and nail it in 2011. I was following a bible reading plan for Shirkers and Slackers, but I really shirked and slacked far too much.

I’d already decided to do this when I read a great post over at Stuff Christians Like which reminded me of the barriers we put in the way of reading the bible all the way through. I particularly resonated with Jon Acuff’s fourth point:

4. Make it easy.

We Christians get crazy legalistic when it comes to reading through the Bible in a year. “It’s got to be my black leather Bible, in this chair, at this time of day, with this pen in my hand, while having a peppermint mocha coffee heated to 120 degrees or my reading doesn’t ‘count’ that day.” Don’t be that guy to yourself. I’m going through the Bible with a group of guys right now and we’re reading it on YouVersion. It’s online, it’s easy to use and with an iPhone in my hand it eliminates the excuse, “I can’t find my Bible, oh well, guess I’ll skip my reading.”

I have a bit of a perfectionist streak, and it’s very hard for me to half-do something, or do it without the right pen, and I’d rather just skip it altogether. That’s why I never handed my homework in at school. That’s my excuse, anyway. How stupid is that?!

So this year I need to remember that doing a bit of something worthwhile, like reading my bible (and housework and filing) is FAR FAR BETTER than doing nothing. I’ve decided to help myself by using the online audio bible provided by BibleGateway as well as my normal paper bible. I can listen in the kitchen as I potter about and although it’s not exactly intense study, at least it’s BETTER THAN NOTHING. (The bold capital letters are me shouting at myself btw).

And in case you’re okay with starting a bible reading plan after 1st January, Justin Taylor has a great selection.

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Stuff that I have to think about hard doesn’t often make it onto the blog. I’m busy. And lazy. So despite my best intentions, my reviews of children’s bibles, about which I think I have a bit to say, are so far limited to one. And anyone who reads my Twitter stream would probably deduce that if I can’t clear mould from my windows, other stuff doesn’t always get done either.

Despite my general ineptitude, those excellent people at the Good Book Company still somehow thought that I might be a suitable person to review their newest bible study booklet. I’ve already had it a couple of weeks and wanted to share my enthusiasm for it with you.

They have come up with a great addition to the range. It’s called Beginning with God and is subtitled ‘Exploring the Bible with your child’ and ‘Bible discovery for pre-schoolers’. The colourful cover invites you to ‘Taste and see that the Lord is good’ and inside are 29 studies from Genesis and the gospels.

I haven’t test driven the studies in the Vicarage (the Urban Pastor, has though). The Engineer is already reading for himself but I really wish we’d had this book a few years ago. I reckon you could start using it as soon as your child can sit up and take notice. Once your child can look at the pictures in a children’s bible, this book would be a very useful addition to the parent’s bible armour.

Beginning with God is designed for use with the Beginner’s Bible (which must be only children’s bible NOT in the Vicarage library). But it’s based so simply on well known bible stories that I think you’d get by with whichever one you already have.

Each study page is crammed with information, and can seem a little overwhelming at first glance. But after taking my time to read them through I became excited by the format, especially the many practical suggestions about prayer and making the bible story relevant throughout the day.

The studies are broken into appetisers, a main course and a snack for the journey. The appetiser menu is a great list of ideas of things you can chat about or do in introduction to your bible time. The main course includes prayer suggestions, a simple summary of the main truth learnt from the bible story and some great questions to ask your child. The snack is an idea you can carry with you through the day to continue the conversation about the bible reading.

It's sometimes hard to know where to start

The Vicar and I tried to do most of these things when the children were young, but it was so hard to know where to start, especially with the Queen, who was first. Neither of us had been brought up reading the bible regularly so we didn’t have a clue and bumbled along asking everyone we knew for their suggestions. This book would have been brilliant for us. And having run a 2-3s creche, I also think this book would be a great resource in a small church for the littlest kids group.

The book is also packed with bonus extras – stickers (the delight of every small child), craft ideas, tips on prayer and a cut-out-and-keep sheet of ‘snacks’ that you can shove in your pocket or handbag, to remind you to keep talking about God throughout the day. At £5 it’s quite expensive, but littlies love repetition – you could use this a good few times until the kids notice!

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A Happy 2010 to everyone. All is vaguely peaceful in the Vicarage this morning, although the Queen has just declared herself ‘bored’. Christmas as a Vicar (and family) is a lot more full on than as a Curate. The Vicar had seven (or was it eight? I rather lost track) talks to prepare and deliver in the space of about ten days. My days were filled with baking, wrapping and tidying – we were out at events (nativity plays, school fairs etc) and hosting them too.

So in the space between Christmas and New Year, we’ve taken some downtime. The Vicar led and preached at a service on 27th December, but other than that we’ve been on holiday at home. It’s been made special this year by old friends visiting from Australia who have children around the same age as ours.

Borneo Girl and I were in the Brownies together so we go waaaay back. Her daughter and the Queen are the same age and have played together intensively for four days. Hence the boredness of the Queen. Our friends left a whole hour ago. Borneo Girl has promised me some Aussie recipes, so I’ll be blogging those this year.

Now everything is quiet here I am going to get my devotional life back in the groove. When I read that there was a bible reading plan for shirkers and slackers, I knew it was for me. So I’ve printed it out and I’m off to read some Matthew (it is Friday, isn’t it?).

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Although I am sadly unable to attend myself (and my theological expertise may not be up to it) I would like to encourage my more expert readers to check out this training opportunity.

I know both the speakers well and have learnt much about the Lord from them both – they are godly Christians and wonderful communicators. I am sure that the day will be both stimulating and fun. You can check out both their websites.

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I’ve got this post scheduled for today and another tomorrow so the computer can go in its box….

In the meantime, check your knowledge of the bible and English literature on the BBC website. I heard a chap on the Today programme on Tuesday talking about how the lack of basic bible knowledge meant that students of English literature were failing to grasp the depths of their subject.

Read it to do well in literature - and to find eternal life

Read it to do well in literature - and to find eternal life

My friend Starstudent was pleased to have studied the bible with me for a while, as it helped her to understand Paradise Lost in her recent literature course.

I got 9/10 on the quiz – caught out by Lucifer.

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