As a teenager and then as a young adult what little bible study I did was always guided by a lesson plan or a study book which would lead me through what I was meant to read and what the scriptures meant. Now I am sure these guided studies have helped a lot of people but having realised how little of the Bible stayed with me I realised that these types of studies don’t work as well for me. I say that because shortly after reconnecting with my faith I started to do an online study which would take me through the Bible in a year, yet after a couple of months I found myself doing them to keep up but not really taking it in because again I was being told what the scripture meant.
But it was then, on several Christian blogs, I found mention of the SOAP Bible Study method and I have to say that right now I am a huge fan of using the SOAP Bible Study Method, although in my case I add a P before the SOAP, as in prayer to open my mind and heart to what God wants me to learn and remember. Continue reading
Many, many moons ago when I was a lot younger and my family would go on holiday, the maps would come out and be spread across the dining room table. Routes would then be meticulously planned along with little detours if there was a place we wanted to visit, okay that should be if my parents wanted to visit. But it was a skill that we were pretty good at, thinking about and planning out which way to go so we got to where we were going on time. Of course times have changed and whilst my parents still use maps most people will use the systems in their cars or on their phones, following the instructions of a device which tells them what is best instead of thinking about their route for themselves.
Jump from my childhood to my 20s and I got a job working in the I.T. department of an insurance company where I learned core programming skills and went on to become a web developer. Those web development skills have stayed with me like those map reading skills Continue reading
I have mentioned before that for my 21st birthday, many many and a few more years ago, the pastor and his wife gave me a New Century Version youth bible as a present, maybe they were hinting at something with it being a youth bible. Anyway, inside the front cover alongside all the presented to, by, on this date stuff they had inscribed 2 Tim Chp 1 – 6 & 7.
This is why I remind you to keep using the gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. Now let it grow, as a small flame grows into a fire. God did not give us a spirit that makes us afraid but a spirit of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:6-7 (NCV)
It is because of that inscription 2 Timothy 1:6-7 has stuck with me all these years even when I wasn’t overly connected with my faith because I always thought that the pastor had judged me spot on. He knew that I was someone who preferred to be behind the scenes, in fact often hiding behind the scenes, and I was not the most courageous or confident of young Christians when it came to talking about my faith. Continue reading
Looking back on my life you could say I was a bit of a know it all as a child or at least the sort of child who would quickly think he understood something and would not be told any different. It makes me wonder how on Earth I would cope if I was a parent to a child who was anything close to how I was when I was younger as I am sure I must have frustrated my parents no end when it came to being told anything.
One of those things I thought I knew was the story of Jesus feeding the multitudes with a few fishes and some bread because I don’t know how many times as a child I heard the story of Jesus taking a few loaves along with some fishes and performing a miracle. Yet years later I discovered that there were two separate occurrences of Jesus performing this miracle first feeding five thousand (Matthew 14:13-21) and then later on feeding four thousand (Matthew 15:29-39). Yes, I took time to read the Bible rather than just half taking in what was being said in church.