Why Should I Read the Old Testament?

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Why should I read the Old Testament?

For years I coasted along in my relationship with God based solely off reading the New Testament. I’d basically known all of the Old Testament children’s stories well enough to know how sin entered. So, I knew Jesus saved us from that.

It wasn’t until I disciplined myself to read through the Old Testament, that my relationship with God grew drastically. Many of times before, I read Genesis and flipped through Exodus. It was always Leviticus that I would give up. I avoided the hard parts of the Bible. With that being said, I worked out some study methods that helped push me through Leviticus and also with understanding the text. It was then that I realized things I had been saved from. Genesis introduced sin to me, Exodus introduced it to God’s people through the 10 Commandments. But, Leviticus introduced me to the practices that were done in order to be cleansed from sin.

Another reason I love the Old Testament is that it explains a lot in the New Testament. We hear about lepers and unclean things, but the Old Testament clarifies that. We hear of the festivals celebrated in the New Testament, but the Old Testament tells the reason behind the celebrations in detail. In Numbers I learned how grossly my actions are similar to the Israelites in the desert. In Deuteronomy I saw how important it is to constantly remember all that the Lord has done. It only gets better from there. There are many places that scripture points to Christ in the Old Testament as well. I try and mark these so that I can reflect back. I’m still not finished with the Old Testament. I’m going slowly through each book in order to truly try and comprehend. Meditating on what I’ve learned.

When I look at the New Testament and what Jesus has done for us, I truly want to serve Him with my heart, out of love. I see the hardship that He delivered us from. I truly did not get grace until I started reading through the Old Testament.

-K

 

 

TIPS AND TRICKS!

TIPS AND TRICKS!!!!!

Okay, today will come off either GENIUS or juvenile, but either one I’ll take. lol

I’m going to share some tips. Some will be for using the bible as your go to resource and others will be to help with reading your bible and understanding it.

Let’s start with:

1.WASHI TAPE…..AHHHHHH! LOVE IT!

I love washi tape. If you are not familiar with washi tape, it is tape you can put on paper and pull back off. It is decorative and you can find it at Hobby Lobby, Lifeway, Michaels, Walmart even has some.

Here is how I use washi tape…for REMEMBERING. There are several verses in the bible that tell us to remember His word. Plus, I need to remember His word when I’m going through a trial or even having a bad day. I put a key in front of my bible with washi samples. Each design/color represents a characteristic. As I find verses that relate to these characteristics that are personal for me, I tab the edge of the page and underline the verses related. When I deal with anxiety, instead of worrying my head off, I glance at the edge of my bible and look for the dotted washi tape for anxious verses and my smooth gold tape for His promises. Remembering that God is faithful to do what He says and that I must trust Him. You can even quote the verses in your head throughout the day. The enemy hates this because it makes him flee.

2. ACT IT OUT!!

If you know me…I’m animated. When I was little, I remembering writing out comedic skits that I could possibly perform for someone one day. I never did..but I thought they were pretty stinkin’ funny.

ACT IT OUT brings empathy into the picture. Picture this, you are about to read John 5:5-15. About a paralyzed man who had no one to put him in the healing pool of water. Jesus approaches him. You act it out. You are the paralyzed man. Most great actors really get into the role of the character they are portraying. Really taking on how this person feels, their pain, isolation. Put yourself their shoes. Now, you see Jesus and He asks if you want to be healed. You can feel the desperation of the paralyzed man, who for years was lame. Watching others around him using their legs and possibly complaining over the littlest stuff. Now, put yourself in the shoes of the on looker. Say you saw Jesus talking to a lame man or a man with leprosy…back then, you didn’t touch those people. You would be disgusted to be near them. But then you play the part of Jesus, who talk to, listens, touches, heals, the forgotten, ignored. You have compassion for the lost and hurting. Woah…my heart right now is exploding…was this post for me today? Goodness!

We’ve lost empathy in this world today and taken up selfishness. Maybe we need to get back in our bibles and role play.

3. DIFFERENT TYPES OF STUDIES IN THE BIBLE

*Character Studies – studying a character. Finding them through out the bible and studying who they were and what God did through them. You may be surprised to find those who were “big wigs” had sin just like us.

*Topical – What topic do you want to further learn about. I love this when I need to confess a sin and remember what God tells us in the bible about how to respond. (ex. Love, Fruit of the Spirit, Contentment, Repentance)

*By Book – Read an entire book of the bible. Just read it through. This is awesome for context clues. Instead of pulling scripture out of context, read the entire book to see what your favorite scripture is really referring to.

*The entire Bible – I’m doing this now. And I’m taking my time. If it takes me 10 years, so be it. If I try and rush through it, my mind will not process what I’ve read. That’s where all these studying tips and methods have come from. I just finished Numbers…I’m really proud of that. I skipped to Isaiah and I will then go back to Deuteronomy. The laws were heavy, but I will push through.

*Chapter a Day – If you are reading through a book, do it by a chapter a day. Soak it in, read it several times, highlight it, cross reference it. This will feel like a sense of accomplishment finishing each chapter.

I hope any of these tips or tricks helps in your journey through studying God’s word.

GREEK and HEBREW WORD STUDYING

GREEK/HEBREW WORD STUDYING

What I’m about to say is going to sound like Greek….because it IS!! I’m sorry, I couldn’t help myself.

I learned about studying words in the bible, based off the original language it was written in, in my first precept bible study in 2014. This bible study changed the way I looked at the bible. I learned that there were 2 different desires in the bible and several different styles of love. And to be able to find out which one was being used in the text changed the interpretations dramatically.

This study takes a lot of patience and searching. Making sure you are finding the right number and word. I have a concordance, which can be purchased at any Christian bookstore. I’m sure the library has a few too…I would assume. But, if you are a techie, there are a few apps and sites you can go to. One is Blue Letter Bible. You can type in the passage you are searching for and hit enter. It will take you to the chapter you are searching and will list each verse individually. You will then click on the reference (the book and number beside each verse) rather than the verse itself. It will then pull up a box with each word separately pulled apart. When you look to the right of the word you will see either a G with numbers beside it or an H with numbers beside it. You can click the number (this is the Strong’s number) and find it’s meaning here. If you really want to outdo yourself…you can listen to the word in its original language. I suggest this for teachers. Don’t get caught mumbling and sounding like a first grader sounding out big words like I did when I taught Sunday School. haha! I had a very forgiving group. They thought I was funny…at least that is what I have convinced myself to believe.

Some study bibles have a built in concordance in the back. Beside words in the text will be printed a small Strong’s number and you can look it up in the back. I love these types of bibles. I have an NASB study bible with this option. Eliminates having to have the giant Strong’s Concordance, but doesn’t offer as much information as the Strong’s.

Another option is the E-Sword app. It’s $0.99 and well worth it for a quick option on your phone.

Journaling

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JOURNALING
Journaling looks different to many people. There is no set way to do it. I will list a few ways I’ve done it and you can go from there!!
*BIBLE DOODLING
-Write out scripture in fun writing
-Draw out the pictures in your head from the passage you’ve read
-Write out genealogies (Just the practice of writing this out makes reading through it less daunting. I like to write down each person’s name. Plus, God had each of their names in there for a reason.)
-Write out characteristics
-Write out laws to understand them better.
-Write out prayers


*COMPOSITION BOOK OR NOTEBOOKS
-This is where a lot of Bible Study notes and deeper study goes for me. When you run out of margin space and have a lot to say or want to write out scripture. A lot of my tips will probably go best in this little gal.
****Keep this in mind guys…if you are focusing more on how beautiful your drawing looks only to Instagram it perfectly..then you aren’t doing it for the right reason. Maybe this isn’t the type of study for you if you are tempted with pride and bragging rights.

I enjoy doing this type of doodling because I’m a visual person and have a problem remembering what I read. Drawing it out leaves the image and story in my mind and helps me recall stories from the bible when I see pictures. We have to be intentional with the “pretty” and “popular” bible study techniques.

ESTABLISHING A QUIET TIME

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ESTABLISHING A QUIET TIME
Making a time and place to focus on God and be quiet and still is so important in our daily lives. You become who you spend the most time with. When we spend time focusing on Jesus and His life on a daily basis, we will become more like Him.
When I first started getting up early 5 years ago to study my bible quietly, I sat at my kitchen table. We were in a smaller house and that was the only place I had to lay all of my stuff out. I’ve always had a journal to write down things. I learn by writing. If I read a verse that speaks to me, I highlight it underline words in it and write it down in my journal (composition book or notebook). I still have those notebooks and journals. But the kitchen table is made of wood and you can see several spots where the pen made indentions from me writing notes on paper. I truly miss sitting in that spot. When I first started, I would sit for hours, because everything was so fresh and my eyes were open to see the beauty and understand what I was reading.
I’m going to go over some tips for establishing a quiet time.
*A PLACE:
This needs to be somewhere private if at all possible and a place that is available everyday. The environment should not be busy with “to do” tasks laying around. When I sat at my table years ago, I made sure the table was clear and I put only things I needed for my bible study time. I sat with my back against the kitchen. I wasn’t distracted by anything in there. For this very reason I can not have my quiet time in my office, because I will fixate on what all I have to do.
Place ideas – bedroom, basement, backyard, garage, laundry room (this one is mine), living room, patio, table, or even your closet.
*SET A TIME:
Make an appointment with God. I suggest finding a time that you are most attentive. Mornings are good for me because I tend to start tasks and snowball from there until I hit the bed. So I start off with bible study first so that I don’t feel distracted later in the day. If I have a break in my day, I try and read too. One thing I heard from a preacher that now I’m remembering is… you are setting up this appointment, Jesus will definitely be there. It’s up to you to show up or leave Him waiting. That broke my heart.
*SET YOUR INTENTIONS:
I’m an alarm freak. Like I mentioned before, I get distracted by the tasks in the day, so I have to set alarms that go off throughout my day to remember the smallest tasks. They are part of my daily routine. My 5:00 a.m. alarm is intentionally set for bible study.
*WHERE DO I START?
Very common question and can be answered differently by different folks. If you are reading the Bible for the first time, like really reading it, I started with the stories I was told as a child. I admit, I cheated by looking at my daughter’s story bible. That was a wonderful experience to read those stories. There were so many lessons to learn from each character. I also started in Genesis where a lot of those stories are found. Now, if you are a new believer, I suggest reading John first. Know the story of Jesus and then discover Him throughout all of the bible.
*GET RID OF DISTRACTIONS
This is iffy. I use my phone for study sometimes so when I’m not using it, I put it on silent and flip it over. But if you can put it in another room, you’ll be doing even better. Also, have a post-it pad near by. If you think of something…right it down, so you can have all those randoms ready to take on after bible study.

*WHAT DO I NEED?
*Well for starters, a Bible. I suggest a notebook or journal too. And pens. That’s it for basic Bible study.
If you are a deep thinker…you get another list:
*bible
*pens
*highlighters
*color pencils/twistable crayons
*post it tabs
*journal
*concordance
*washi tape
*post its
*index cards
*START READING
This one is self explanatory. Open your bible and start reading. I find when I leave my bible open, I may walk by my desk and start reading again. So I suggest leaving your bible open, that’s my own personal opinion. I’m a visual person.
Up Next -We will be starting on bible study techniques you can try out during your study time. I will have several. You can try these all out and see what works best for you. What you learn best by doing. If it is a distraction from you understanding God’s Word, then it’s probably not the technique for you. Find what feeds you Truth.

Eternally Focused.

I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was 21. I worked as a receptionist at a family doctor’s office and the doctor asked if he could evaluate me. I never knew the symptoms I had weren’t “normal” activity. What is normal anyways? I started medication and after few months I found out that he was planning on letting me go because I wasn’t catching on before the medication. But he gave me a chance. Unfortunately after I that job, I became self-employed as a photographer and didn’t have insurance to pay for medication. I had to learn how to live without it. As a photographer it was easy, creativity is a perk. But as a business owner, I needed reminders.

I found planners, writing down everything, post-its, and colorful flair pens were my best friends.

When I became a follower of Christ, I hit a wall. Reading…not my strong suit. Especially retaining what I’ve read and remembering it. But as a Christian, I knew a personal relationship with Christ involved me knowing His Word. So I brought along my trustee friends for the ride. Flair pens, post-its and all. Adding a lot more to the mix. And now Bible study is my favorite thing to do.

I’m writing to share my journey of constant refocusing on Christ and His Word. Join me. We will have a colorful, fun time seeking Jesus!!!

Much love,
Kasey