Archive for the 'info' Category
I’m mentioned a few times how much I love audiobooks. I find myself using normally unproductive time (while driving, or on a plane, for instance) and growing immensely. I wanted to let everyone know about a little treasure my friend, Tony Moss turned me onto a few years back.
This site gives away a free audiobook each month, and the prices on sale items have been great. Oh, and if you are driving, try using a voice recorder to take notes. This is safer than a notebook :)
I have some big news. A number of weeks ago, when I wasn’t expecting it at all, God made a drastic change in my heart. Literally overnight, I went from a place where I could not even imagine myself dating again to a place where my heart felt free to love and remember Misty, but also begin to dream about loving someone else. There was no explanation for how quick this happened. I met again with my counselor again to bounce my feelings off him to make sure I wasn’t crazy. This whole idea wasn’t easy for me to accept at first. After a while though, it seemed so apparent that God, in his timing, had done something uncanny in my heart.
Fast forward to today and through an incredible series of events and revelations, I am dating someone. She and I are committed to loving God, to setting an example of a Godly dating relationship and to honoring Misty and Misty’s legacy as Olivia’s mom. The story of how Kristin and I have begun dating is proving to be fairly incredible. Not more than a few days have passed without my eyes welling up and my heart crying to God in humility. God’s hand in my life is overwhelmingly apparent. Maybe someday over lunch I’ll get to share it with you :)
Anyway, I’m doing well. I wouldn’t have seen this coming…but I’m really happy. I mean, I will never be totally free from the sting of losing someone I loved so dearly, or even worse, the sting of remembering what she went through. But God has changed my heart to be able to love again and the person he has brought into my life right now is incredible. For that, I’m so thankful.
For years reading the Bible was boring. I’d do it as an act of committment…and that committment was severely lacking for much of my life. It was hard to see the point when it seemed like so much of it was difficult to understand.
I’m really thrilled with how incredible my time in the Bible is at this stage in my life. I read most every day and its not a chore, but something I look forward to. I don’t say this to boast because if you know me closely, you know my life is lacking in many areas just as most of us are…I am simply trying to pass on some insight that has been helpful to me. Really, I am nobody…just excited that there are a few great tools to make reading the Bible a whole lot easier and subsequently, making getting to know God’s character much more within reach.
For me, I need a good Bible. New Living Translation (NLT) is probably the best translation on the block, though a few others are good. NLT is readable and quite accurate. I definitely need a study Bible….a good collection of notes on the text being read. The reason for this is pretty simple. I am not a university trained Bible scholar. I’m just a guy who has grown to love God and wants to live that way. So at times, there are aspects of the Bible that I may not understand. And when I say “at times”, I mean most every time I read. Study Bibles can really help bring light to the questions we have….or help guide us if we misinterpret something.
For instance: today I was reading 1 Corinthians 7:1 “it is good for a man not to touch a woman”. Well, this is actually a Jewish euphemism for sexual intercourse. This is a classic example of something that is stated one way, but understanding the history and original language can reveal the actual meaning with more clarity. I generally read a section of the chapter then go back and read the notes to see what someone else thought. The notes aren’t a replacement by any stretch, but can enhance our understanding.
So…If I were buying a Bible for the first time, there are only two Bibles that I know of on the market right now that I would select from:
MacArthur Study Bible (New King James) – Incredible collection of notes, probably the best out there that I have seen. Book introductions are incredible and help with understanding why the book was written. New King James version is a great translation, and though slightly less readable than the New Living Translation (NLT) when coupled with the notes makes for a very understandable package. I own the imitation leather version and its my main Bible that I read almost daily.
>> Buy the MacArthur Study Bible
Transformation Study Bible (New Living Translation) – I recently bought a study Bible for a friend who preferred NLT. Understandable so as it’s clearly the most comfortable to read. I surveyed all the NLT Bibles that had notes…all the study Bibles. This was the clear winner in my mind. A great set of notes that were relevant and not cheesy or stupid. A really great approach to book introductions as well. Did I not get hooked on MacArthur, this would be my main reader. I purchased the bonded leader version, which is really nice, but they also have imitation leather and a fairly inexpensive hardcover option.
>> Buy the Transformation Study Bible
Now…if you really can’t bear the thought of lugging around a thick Bible everywhere, just pick up a small and thin New Living Translation like this one:
>> Buy the Compact NLT Bible
Lastly, if you are new to Bible reading, you might want to stay away from The Message. Even in my limited reading I have found a few clear errors in the way it is paraphrased. It’s actually not a Bible…technically just a summary or paraphrase. Still, in teaching I have used it often as it sometimes does a great job of beautifully articulating the meaning. Just read it alongside a real translation.
NOTE: I am 100% sure many of you will find doctrinal pieces of some of these study Bibles that you disagree with. There isn’t a human on the planet who has EVERYTHING figured out. That’s ok. In general, most of these differences though really don’t matter. And it’s a bit crazy to to think it would be better to not study at all than to learn from a great teacher who may have a difference of opinion on something yet totally agrees with the core values and teachings:)
I’m slightly addicted to audio books. If you have been aroudn for very long, you will have inevitably observed this. I was thinking about this today beacuse I scheduled a work trip to Atlanta this month, so I will need to find a good book for the flight and time in the rental car. Well, the other day someone asked me where to buy them. Yes, this has always been a problem. You go into your local borders and all they have is 4 shelves of books by Obama, McCain, even Palin…and then some CS Lewis and the occaisional John Maxwell leadership book.
I have found a bunch on amazon over the years, but my latest favorite is:
I like it for a couple reasons. First, they have download options. When I need something last minute (this is 95% of my buying timeframe) its right there. Also, the flexibility of downloading as an MP3 saves so much time if you are ending up on an mp3 player. And most newer cards now support MP3s right in the dashboard CD player (I’m a big fan of this new feature). Oh…and they also give away a free book every month. It’s worth the visit just to grab the free book.