Friday, March 27, 2015

When Your Bible Time is Stale

When bread gets stale, it gets hard.  If it's fresh bread, mold will begin to grow pretty quickly.  After a few days of sitting on the counter, it's no good and needs to be thrown out.



Our time with our Lord can sometimes become stale like that bread. 

The longer we stay away and allow the Bread of Life to sit on the counter, the harder it becomes to go back to it.  We forget about it, and move on with the everyday tasks of life.


Unlike bread, God's Word never grows stale on its own. It needs a catalyst to come alive, and it needs a catalyst to die.

We know that the Holy Spirit is the Catalyst by which it comes alive. But what causes it to die?

We do. Our attitude.


Apathy. Blatant disregard. Lack of respect.

My bible time had become dry and stale. It was no longer appealing. I kept trying to "make" it happen. But the fact is, when I did try to read, I was just going through the motions.

I continued to write blogs and even look up scripture, but I Googled what I wanted and moved on. I never really sat and chewed on the Bread.

So what do you do when God's Holy Word no longer stirs your desire or ignites your fire?


CHANGE!

  • Change your routine
If you've been getting up at 5AM to read your bible, and now you're falling asleep halfway through the first line, try lunchtime. Or before bed. Just as our bodies change as we age, so do our preferences and tastes. Try different times and see what works.

  • Change your thinking
A friend let me borrow some teaching cds/dvds recently. One was a dvd on how to study your bible. My first thought was, "Oh, I already know how to do that. I won't watch that." Sure, I may know. I've learned all kinds of ways to study the bible over the years, and implemented many. But by limiting my thinking, and refusing to even listen to it, I may be missing something new and refreshing (we won't talk about the sin of pride here that is evident to all reading...that's a topic for another day).
  • Change your methods
I recently read a blog by Elisha Wolter, who mentioned a new method of studying a specific scripture verse. I found it so fascinating, because it involves using different colored pens, drawing and writing all over the paper *and* a thesaurus! 

I also love how Patsy Paterno actually draws a picture in her bible---right over the words, and then paints it! 



I decided to try both of these methods because they were completely out of the box, and you know what? It ignited the fire! (I did not paint; I used colored pencils).
  • Change your approach
I used to condemn myself for not picking up my bible, then pick up a book that had scripture verses in it that expanded and expounded on those verses. Or I'd get in the car and sing along to a Psalm put to music (Sons of Korah is a great band for that. Watch the video for Psalm 91 here). Who says we have to sit down and actually read scripture from the bible? Why can't it be through music or a helpful book by an anointed teacher of the Word? 

  • Change your bible

I've gone through many bibles over the years, but I always come back to my first one. It's all marked up and I know what side of the book, and sometimes even the part of the page a specific verse is. It's comforting. And comfortable...which can often make it boring. I heard about a journaling bible, one that has a 2" margin on which to write. It's also a different version that the one I seem to be married to. So I ordered it. 

  • Change the location of your apps
I know...it doesn't seem at all relevant to the topic, but it is. One of the biggest time suckers for me was a game I'd installed on my tablet that I somehow got addicted to. Instead of heeding God's voice that I heard in the din, I gave in to playing Panda Pop for hours! I finally uninstalled it from my tablet. I moved Facebook from the main screen of my phone to the third screen, replacing it with the Bible app. Get rid of the digital temptations if you can't limit yourself.



If it's not working, change it up! Eat fresh bread! It's like Manna.



Blessings Along the Path,
Mare

sharing this post with Blessing Counters, The Weekend Brew, Sunday Stillness, Grace and Truth

16 comments:

  1. Such good suggestions, Mare! If our relationship with the Father feels stale - you are right - we need to make a change! Shalom!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for mentioning my blog on yours Mary! I found this post very refreshing and inspiring. Thanks for reminding us all that God's word needs to be ignited in us and alive! Blessings to you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank YOU, Elisha, for posting that great new out of the box way of looking at scripture!

      Delete
  3. Great tips Mary! I've also added times when I choose to take a deeper look at a shorter section to give my study time new life. Praise God for the gift of His Word. Thanks so much for linking up at CMB. Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks, Deb. There are so many great bloggers out there who have a lot of good things to say! I just sort of "borrowed" what they had to say, and added a few of my own. Thanks for taking the time to stop by!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Mary,
    Excellent ideas. I bought a new Bible at a sale for 2$. It would be a great one to paint in. Or even painting in my journal. What kicked started me was God giving me the SIMPLE method. It has made the Scriptures digest into my soul. I also used coloured pens after printing out big chunks of Scripture.
    Bkessings,
    Janis

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Janis, as an artist, you may be more apt to paint in your bible. I'm a terrible painter, which is why I use colored pencils. I'm not much better at that either, but it's less messy! We just have to be willing to think outside the box sometimes! Thanks for stopping by.

      Delete
  6. Great insights! Thank you for sharing!

    I recently purchased the journaling Bible and I LOVE it! Instead of relying on commentary notes in my Bible, they are notes that the Holy Spirit has pressed upon my heart. Another Christian blogger, Gari Meacham, writes down the down the date when a verse speaks to her. I love the idea of my Bible being left as a legacy for my children and grandchildren.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mine was back ordered. I can't wait to get it! Thanks for stopping by, Karen.

      Delete
  7. I usually read in the New Testament, but I recently re-read Proverbs and was so blessed. I like your thought to read a different version too. The first time I read the "living Bible" I was amazed how it brought light to some scriptures that caused me to dig deeper.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hazel, some of the versions are so different, that I have a hard time with them, but when I simply open my mind and heart to receive, and to get over my pre-conceived notions of what it should look and sound like, I am always blessed! thanks for stopping by.

      Delete
  8. Great ideas for changing up our Bible time. I love the journaling aspect and have ali I need, now I just need to make it happen. Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Mary...You share great tips for revving up your time with the Lord. I just recently bought a new bible to use along with my own personal bible during my study time. I know that helps. Visiting from Grace and Truth link up.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Great suggestions! I loved all of them, but the one that hit closest to home for me was the apps. I just got a new phone, and I realized after reading this that I hadn't even added a Bible app yet! :/
    Thanks for linking up with Grace & Truth!

    ReplyDelete