Monday, February 05, 2007

being in Scripture

I have thought that one of the few things I've done right over the years as a Christian, is being regularly in Scripture. When I became a Christian, I listened to my grandmother's records of the KJV New Testament being very ably read. From there I eventually bought two sets of cassettes over the years, listening most everyday to the reading of the NIV Bible. My wife, Deb, had to get used to it. Because in my zeal to do this, I often would tune her out.

Now I read Scripture regularly, using the guide in the back of my TNIV to set me on a course of plowing through the Old and New Testament in a 1:2 ratio (before, always 1:1). And keeping at it at least twice a day, because I do want to get through the Old Testament at a "good" rate. I also enjoy, in the factory setting I now work at RBC Ministries, meditiating on a passage all day. I find that I need this regular intake of Scripture. While having some communal intake of Scripture, most of mine is admittedly by myself. Though I often share with others what I am getting out of that.

I have found it helpful to try to look at this reading, more and more, as God's Word working on me, not me working on God's Word. As formative, as in God forming me through this, in Christian formation, and not (just) informative. As I read Scripture, I do so as one hearing it, like I used to do with cassettes. Now I can easily "rewind" it or stop or think, a little. Or pray a bit, before going on. But I like to read it slow, as one speaking to me. (Really, I read all books that I consider significant, and really most anything, that way).

For me, hearing Scripture read was powerful. I guess I was that kind of learner. My first set was dramatized and my second set had straightforward, good reading. I grew tired of cassettes breaking. So gave it up, and have yet to get a set in CD or something better (not knowledgeable enough to say what). If I ever do.

If I start missing the reading of Scripture, it's like not getting enough sleep. My life will let me know, just as my body will let me know about lacking sleep. Not to get "legalistic" in this. It's really all about our relationship with God and each other. Finding our place in the Story, which is ongoing. Hopefully, more and more entering into this great drama and story, together, in Jesus.

It can be rather tedious. Because we're just not as in tune with God and his work, as we would like to be. But, oh, is worth it!!! For a great study to get you turned on to Scripture if you're struggling in this area, check out Scot McKnight's study on Psalm 119 from Jesus Creed. Great insights there, to help us see the special place Scripture/God's inscripturated Word, can have in our lives.

What is your experience about being in Scripture? How do you practice that? Or what thought(s) would you like to add here?


julie said...

oykrI have this dream - to figure out how to load my MP3 player with my audio bible. I got one with lots of memory (for just this reason).
And I got some CDs loaded, but I can't seem to get them in order... and I keep having other problems.

I agree, there's power in hearing it, but I'm back to using CDs.

Oh, what I'd pay for an MP3 player preloaded, with easy navigation for accessing recordings of scripture! Looking for a buisness start up idea?

Lukas McKnight said...

iPod? Can't get much easier than that.

Anonymous said...

I have had a similar experience with scripture. It keeps drawing me again and again. The methods have changed over the years, but the Word itself keeps doing the same things in my life: convicting me of sin, bathing me in grace, encouraging me to persevere, showing me how to grow up, etc.

Ted Gossard said...

Julie, I wish I could help you on that. I can't even burn CD's off my new computer. I keep getting the print instead of the music. But I'm behind both you and Lukas.

Ted Gossard said...

Lukas, Yeah. I need to look at that sometime. Thanks.

Ted Gossard said...

Charity, Yes. The basics are always there and so important for us. I seem to lose my "spiritual" equilibrium when I'm away from Scripture very long. But it's kind of an interactive thing which is beyond complete description or comprehension.

Thanks for sharing that.

andre said...


I like what you said, likening neglecting scripture intake to missing sleep. We don't always feel the effects immediately but the longer we go on with insufficient sleep, the less healthy we become and we also get grouchy...which is also another negative side effect of missing scripture. :-)

Ted Gossard said...

Yes, Andre. Just tonight I slept through a good portion of the William Wilberforce, "Amazing Grace" movie, sneak preview. I feel bad about that, because I think Zondervan paid for it and gave us a book and materials. Great cause to end world slavery today.

But just goes to show that lack of sleep (not to mention this cold here, it's now 0 degreees F) does tell on a person, as you say.

I especially find Scripture helpful for me when I feel like I'm "up against it" lately. When life somehow for whatever reason seems overwhelming, or I know I'm not doing well in it. It helps just to get back in, and try to be before God, in it.