a scribe’s scratchings (7)

Here are some answers to some of the questions recently put to me regarding my upcoming copy-the-Bible-by-hand project. Perhaps you have some of the same questions.

Q. Where will you find the time to do this?
A. I’ll make the time primarily by getting up a bit earlier, cutting back some on my non-Bible reading time, scaling back on social media consumption and engagement, and just being a bit more self-disciplined in general.

Q. Will you write the same texts the church reads each day?
A. Yes and no. The church reading project (Immerse) divides itself into six, sixteen-week segments (32 weeks each year) of reading across the span of three years. That means everyone has twenty weeks “off” time during each of the three years. However, I’ll do my reading and writing essentially straight through (i.e. – only a very few weeks of break each year).

So, yes, like the rest of the church family, I’ll be reading the same thing each day, but for my writing project, no, my reading and writing won’t be “on the same page.” We will start and end at the same time, but the church’s reading and my writing will operate at different speeds.

Q. Some sermons will spring from this reading/writing. Will there be other connections?
A. Yes, among them: occasional mini-series in Bible classes that I lead, my weekly devotionals at St. James house, my postings on this blog of mine, pictures that I take, postings on Facebook and Instagram, some contacts with other portions of our Sunday morning assemblies (e.g. – Scripture reading, communion meditations, fun printed quizzes, etc.), and, God willing, more.

Q. What do you think will be your biggest problem(s) getting the writing done?
A. All of us have this in common: daily life brings us a multitude, and wide variety, of unexpected things. Life’s “unexpecteds,” big and small, will perhaps be the biggest challenge.

Q. Got a specific Scripture you connect with this project? A “verse of guidance?”
A. Yes. In fact, it is the passage from which I preached yesterday morning. Here it is:

“… with humility … welcome the word planted deep inside you — the very word that is able to save you.” (James 1.21 CEB)

I’ve memorized this passage and I encourage everyone who participates in the reading portion of this project to do so.

Q. I know you hate your handwriting. How do you see that working out for you?
A. I suspect most folks who put Scripture into their own handwriting strive not merely for accuracy of copy but, also to render it all in their very best penmanship. While the former will certainly have my grand attention, I will not care so much for the latter. After all, my best handwriting is not all that great. I can’t do “pretty,” but I can do “practical,” so I’ll concern myself with the practical and try to just let the rest go. Not sloppy, of course, but I’m not going to be OC about it either. I’m not doing this for looks, but for effect.

Q. What exactly will you write in and with?
A. That will vary through the course of the project as I’ll use different pens for different groups of the Bible’s literature. We’ll begin our reading (and my writing) in Luke-Acts and so I’ve decided to write that portion with a favorite rollerball pen and some journals given to me by my daughter and son-in-law.

this went thru my mind

 

Commission: Called and Commissioned by Rubel Shelly

“The idea of leaving God’s work in the hands of a few talented professionals just isn’t biblical or practical.”

Dogs: Canaan Canine Faces Threat in Israel

“First-century rock drawings in the Sinai and more than 700 fifth-century B.C.E. canine skeletons … attest to the historical prominence of the Canaan dog, a pointy eared breed that has lived in Israel since Biblical time. … An online petition is raising awareness to protect Israel’s official breed, but a court decision could mark the end of an effort to sustain the ancient pedigree.”

Health: 4 Critical Gauges for Your Life and Work by Michael Nichols

“… a friend introduced me to 4 health gauges to assess my life and work – Physical, Mental, Spiritual, and Emotional. For more than 20 years, Bill Hybels has talked about these 4 gauges, but this was my first experience with them.”

Military service, pacifism & the American Civil WarTolbert Fanning–Advocate for Peace in 1861 by John Mark Hicks. Links to parts onetwothreefourfivesix & seven.

“Fanning, shaped by evangelists associated with [Barton W.] Stone and mentored by Alexander Campbell … was David Lipscomb’s mentor. … Fanning was a unique theological combination of Stone and Campbell and this was the legacy he left to many leaders in Middle Tennessee. … Though … Middle Tennessee voted 88% for secession in June [1861]. In this climate, Fanning attempted to persuade his readers to choose peace.”

Parenting: Brainwashing our Kids with Religion by Jared Byas

“How do you teach your kids about Jesus but also teach them to think for themselves? … For our family, we have decided that we are Christians and that we will raise our children as Christians. But along with our personal beliefs and the Christian tradition, we will indoctrinate them with a Christian faith that (1) respects religious diversity, (2) respects Christian diversity, and (3) humbly accepts they might be wrong.”

Prejudice: Ethnocentrism & Politics by Richard Beck

“Ethnocentrism is a mental habit. It is a predisposition to divide the human world into in-groups and out-groups. It is a readiness to reduce society to us and them. Or rather, it is a readiness to reduce society to us versus them.”

Productivity: 5 Reasons Why You Should Take a Nap Every Day by Michael Hyatt

“Did you know those who take a midday siesta at least three times a week are 37 percent less likely to die of heart disease? Working men are 64 percent less likely!”

Questions: 7 Suggestions for Asking More Powerful Questions by Michael Hyatt

“If you are going to be a successful leader, you are going to have to learn how to ask good questions. Here are seven tips for taking this skill to the next level.”

Receptivity & success: When to Wipe Our Shoes: What Does “Receptive” Mean? by Dan Bouchelle

“Jesus gives us a number for what defines receptivity: one.”

Sabbatical: My Monthly Trip To The Monastery by Brian Jones

“I’ve found that if I don’t get away about once a month and “clear my head” by refocusing and reprioritizing what’s on my plate, I lose my mind.

Self-control & spiritual disciplinesWhat Neuroscience Tells Us about Lenten Disciplines by Rob Moll

“Neuroscience sheds light on how fasting and other spiritual disciplines work by training our subconscious mental processes. We think of ourselves as entirely the activity of our conscious thoughts. In reality, our brain has thousands of sub-conscious processes going on all the time.”

The tree of lifeThe Tree of Life by Richard Oster

“What one discovers is that nations of the Ancient Near East also had traditions about sacred trees, trees of life. … This reality does not “prove” that Israel’s understanding of the tree of life was borrowed from anyone else, but it does suggest at the least that the belief in the sacred tree was part of the religious lingua franca of both Israel and the Ancient Near East.”