Monday, June 3, 2013

Book Review and Bible Study Ideas From My Personal Bible Study.....

One of my Blogger friends, Terri, of HEARTS IN SERVICE has written a book called, "WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT FOR A DISCOURAGED WORLD".  I think this is so exciting for her and since I am always in need of Bible Study and devotional helps, I ordered it from Amazon.  Makes me feel pretty special to know the author of a book that I am reading, as well!

There are several things I like about this devotional book that enhance the Bible study methods that work the best for me.  I thought I would share these ideas.

1.  Intentional and slow Bible reading works for me.  If I read large chunks of the Bible at a time, or try to memorize long verses, it just doesn't stick with me.  Terri's book is made up of 52 weekly devotions geared toward today's women.  I am enjoying taking a whole week to let the Bible verses sink in, and try to put them to work in my daily life.  Depending on the length of the Bible verse selection, I may even stretch that out to more than a week or if its a short selection I will spend less time.

The first day of the week I read the Bible verse selection given in the book in my study Bible, and then I read the words of encouragement that Terri has written based on the scripture for that week.  I like to put a Post It removable stick on tab on the place in the Bible and the book, so I can go back to it easily all week. 

I write the date in the book and in the Bible near the verse selection and put brackets around it.  Each day I come back to these same verses and concentrate on a small part of it, just for that day.  I underline the part I want to focus on each morning.   Some time in the future I will come back across this scripture and know when I studied it and remember what I learned.

Last week the Bible reading was: 1 Peter, 8-12.  Each day I concentrated on different topics such as:  "live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic; love as brothers; be compassionate and humble; do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing; keep your tongue from evil; keep your tongue from evil speech; seek peace and pursue it; the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayers; the face of the Lord is against those who do evil... and you get the idea.  Concentrating on one thing a day allowed it to sink in and gave me time to think about it throughout that day.  Believe me, one of those days I REALLY needed to seek and pursue peace! LOL

I took this picture and it looks just like the one on the cover of the book!

2.  The devotionals Terri has written are based on true life situations that all of us women have encountered at one time or another, or even on a daily basis.  They are down to earth, make sense and are exactly what the title says, "Words of Encouragement for a Discouraged World".   Terri makes you feel like a friend.  Her writing reflects that she goes through the same things we all do and is tempted the same as we all are.  She is understanding, compassionate and uplifting in her writing and there is no "holier than thou" attitude there.

Pairing the devotion with the Bible reading is a great way to let it all sink in for me, especially if I allow a few days for it to work in my heart and mind.

A Peaceful Place....
3.   After reading the devotion and re-reading it, there is space in the book to answer questions, journal your thoughts, take notes or write prayers.  In this space I like to copy down the Bible verses and make notes on how to incorporate them into my life.  Writing them down helps me to remember them,   Its just one more way to immerse my thoughts, my heart and my poor old middle aged brain with scripture! LOL  If a particular passage really means a lot to me I will copy it down and take it with me in my pocketbook, so I can refer to it throughout the day.

In the garden while the dew is still on the roses...
4.  An important thing also, is to find a peaceful, quiet place and time with few distractions to do your Bible Study.  I need some alone time with the Lord with my Bible study.  So after my hubby leaves for work and before I leave for work. I turn off the TV and check that day's Bible verses.  The beauty of this Bible study method is that it doesn't take much time.  I hope that doesn't sound bad, but let me explain.  The initial time spent in the Bible and book aren't large in quantity, but the fact that I keep them on my mind and in my heart all day, make the quality of my Bible study much better.

You can mediate on a Bible verse while quilting or what ever you love...

Sometimes I feel as if  I never do enough Bible Study and I feel guilty.  Well, I've decided that a little bit done well, is better than none at all.  There are seasons in my life when I do more in depth and longer periods of time of Bible study, but I don't want to feel guilty if I don't do that every day.

But, with all that being said, Bible study can be done in the middle of a chaotic, busy day, if a person can bring to mind a particular Bible verse and then apply it to their life.  So, solitude is helpful, but not always necessary, if a Bible verse is in a person's mind and heart.  

Finally, I will quote a statement from my Church's bulletin just this past Sunday:  "The Spirit works deep within us, so deeply that we cannot always identify its presence.  The effect of God's spirit is deeper than our thoughts and emotions.  During times of solitude we can be touched in deep, hidden, and tender places and become more fully aware of the divine presence and more open to God's guidance as we are led to new places of love."

So, those are just some Bible study ideas that I currently use.   Everybody is different and there are so many different ways to study the Bible.  Its an on going, ever changing, and eternal process.  What works for me today may not be what works for me next year.  I'd love to hear your Bible study tips in the comments!

To read more about or purchase Terri's book click HERE


a8383 said...

I often feel guilty for not reading more a day too. I could never read the Bible in a year and really take into my heart what it has for me as well as when I meditate on a few verses. Good post! Thanks, Angela

Terri said...

Debbie, thank you so much for the beautiful review! I appreciate it. I find in my own life that I do so much better in reading something over and over a few times and over the course of many days to see what exactly it is that God wants me to learn from the passage. Journaling helps me tremendously in this area which is why I added that part to the book.

Thank you again!

Little Penpen said...

Thanks for the post! I am a 'hit and miss' type Bible study person. More lately, more miss than hit. :( I'm sold on this book,and just ordered it! Thank you!!

Nita in South Carolina said...

What a great post. I have started a binder and whenever I come across good Bible study ideas I keep a copy in my binder for times when I need some inspiration. This will definitely go in the binder!

chidimma said...

Thanks for sharing!


Auntie M said...

Thank you, Debbie. Somehow, this did not come up on my machine yesterday. I am just reading it this morning. This post has a lot upon which to reflect. You are a very disciplined student of the scripture. I know personally that you apply it to your life.

And a super review of Terri's book.

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