2009: Year of the Bible
Ask yourself, please. Here are some suggestions for your Year of the Bible.
1.If you teach in a Christian setting, read portions of Scripture aloud in your classes. Chose what fits the subject or the exigencies of the hour.
2. If you preach, never let the image humiliate the words of the Bible. Let the Bible speak, convict, liberate, and enlighten--not video clips or other special effects. See 1 Peter 4:11; Hebrews 4:12.
3. Memorize and meditate verses or even chapters of the Bible. Over many years, I have put verses on small cards that I carry around with me and read when I have time. The blank side of old business cards work very well. See Psalm 119.
4. Read and reread biblical books, using various translations
5. Employ a good Study Bible, such as The NIV or TNIV Study Bibles, The Apologetics Study Bible, or The Spirit of the Reformation Study Bible.
6. Pray through the Bible during prayer times. This keeps your mind from wondering. The Psalms are particularly meaningful here, but all of Scripture can be a focus for prayer and meditation.
7. Bring the Bible into your conversations in a natural and intelligent way. You needed even announce that you are quoting a text; simply say it or paraphrase it.
8. Don't adopt a "favorite verse" approach to the Bible. Read it for what it is, difficulties and all. In fact, consume it and let it change you. Eugene Peterson writes wonderfully about his in Eat This Book.
9. Get into a Bible study that does more than pool collective ignorance: "Well, to me, that verse means..." Get into a study of the Bible.
10. Cut out things that take time away from Bible reading, meditating, memorizing, and so on: TV watching, video game playing, oversleeping, reading junk books and magazines, surfing the scum of the Internet, and so on. See Psalm 90.
11. Listen to an audio Bible while driving. My absolute favorite is Alexander Scourby's reading of The Revised Standard Version. (He also read the King James.) However, I don't believe this was ever put on CD. I have a good copy of the cassette version of, however. He had a mellifluous voice and read perfectly. His reading of Ecclesiastes 12 brought me to tears (while driving).
I recently heard an audio Bible with sound effects in the background that made me cringe; it seemed like a movie soundtrack.
11. Try to become a "walking Bible."
Do you have any other ideas?