Living Faith

2011 was the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible. Many churches, including ours, are using that celebration as a way of encouraging people to read the Bible more regularly and more deeply, both together as a Church and individually at home.

At Church we have two groups reading through the Bible together using the E100 material which journeys through the whole history of God’s relationship with humanity from Genesis to Revelation. These meet on a Wednesday morning and a Thursday evening. Speak to Annie for more details.

At home we are encouraging everyone to find a sustainable and inspiring way to spend more time with God. It helps to find something to focus and inform your time, like a book or input from a website. Both prayer time and time reading the Bible are key parts of this.

  1. commit to doing something you can do and do regularly. Pray as you can, not as you can’t.
  2. Decide when and where and how often you can spend this time with God.
  3. If you don’t have a Bible you enjoy reading and find easy to understand then beg, borrow, buy or steal a new one. Well, don’t steal it…
  4. Look at some of the resources recommended below by members of St Mary’s… at least one of them will be right for you. Try a few until you find one you like.  

 

Daily Prayers and Quiet times for your computer or MP3 player

1. Pray as you go is thoughtful and peaceful and follows the Church’s year. Annie really likes it. It comes from the Jesuits and is well-established. You listen to it.http://www.pray-as-you-go.org/

2. From the Church of England, a more formal resource which you read aloud- It has the readings and prayers for the day.

http://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-worship/join-us-in-daily-prayer.aspx

3. Sacred Space takes about 10 minutes. It is meditative and quiet and helps you to pray. http://sacredspace.ie/

 

Daily Bible Readings for your computer or MP3 Player

1. WordLive is a Bible Study. Some found this very helpful.

https://www.scriptureunion.org.uk/89157.id

2. UCB is a website with a lot in it, including a short reading and thought to read. http://www.ucb.co.uk/word_for_today

 

Longer Bible Teaching

1. John Hambilton recommends: “Joyce Meyer is great and I think appeals particularly to women. She relates her teachings very much to day-to-day life, so I think people can easily relate to what she's saying and she's quite entertaining. I think she's written a couple of hundred books and has a free daily podcast".

http://www.joycemeyer.org/ourministries/broadcast/

2. John also likes the Oxford Bible Church although not been tuning in for long - good so far though... and English!

http://www.oxfordbiblechurch.co.uk/pages/audio.php

3. Richard adds that Rob Bell is also excellent, and though the podcasts are a little long they are always engaging and interesting: find it on itunes under “Mars Hill teachings”.

 

Bible Reading Guides

Most people who use daily Bible reading notes buy them from a Christian bookshop like CLC in Stockport. They tend to come out every three months and provide a reading for the day and then some notes to help explain it. The Good Book Company and the Bible Reading Fellowship have both been recommended by church members, and some of them are also age-specific for children and teenagers.

TheE100 book we’re reading through is also an excellent resource and a really good way of engaging with the Word of God. The following ideas are taken from the introduction to the book: 

The Bible is the world’s most important book. It has sold more copies than any other volume in history.

The Bible is:

A historical Record

A reference for the Christian and Jewish faith

A recollection of God’s interaction with human kind

A story of unconditional love

A plan to save the world

A guide to save us all

The Bible takes us on the most amazing journey.

It is a map to guide us on a journey…a journey from Creation to the return of Christ Jesus. In two parts, both of them important.

The story looks a bit like this (i.e these are the 20 topic headings in E100):

                        Old Testament                   New Testament
                        Creation                                  The Living Word (Jesus)
                        Abraham, Isaac & Jacob          The teachings of Jesus
                        The Story of Joseph                 The miracles of Jesus
                        Moses and Exodus                  The Cross of Christ
                        The Law and the Land              The Church is born
                        The Judges                             The travels of Paul
                        The rise of Israel                      Paul to the Churches
                        The fall of Israel                       Paul to the Leaders
                        Psalms and Proverbs               The Apostles Teaching
                        The Prophets                           Revelation

Pray, Reflect, Apply: The word is for us today!


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