Thursday, February 26, 2009

Stretching my Comfort Zone

I'm not one that enjoys being the center of attention or up in front of large groups of people. I know some of you are surprised by that since I have been leading a Bible study for 14 years, have spoken at retreats and been on worship teams. I have found my little comfort zone and I don't often breach it.

This week Pastor Glenn asked me to share in Sunday Service. Gaaahhhh! Fear! Trepidation!! Increased blood pressure!!! The topic? Spending time in the Bible. How can I NOT talk about that?! It's what I've been intensely passionate about for the last 14 years. I would somehow be ignoring my gift if I refused to share what I have learned. Fortunately I only have to fill 4-5 minutes - TWICE!!! (Two services- aarrgghh!)

So I will share about how I grew up in a Christian home that valued the Bible. As a kid I remember watching my mom read her Bible - it was modeled for me. Went to Sunday School. My Grandma Bennett insisted that I learn the Books of the Bible, the 23rd Psalm, the Lord's Prayer and a variety of verses. Later on I went to Northwest Christian College where I took Bible classes, New Testament and Old - learned a lot about what the Bible said.

Then I will talk about the fact that 16 years ago I got into an in-depth Bible study on Sermon on the Mount. They called it a Precept Upon Precept class and it taught me the inductive method of Bible study. That's when I came to understand that God's Word is living and active and transforming. God speaks to us through His Word. I learned not only WHAT the Bible says, but WHAT IT MEANS, and WHAT IT MEANS TO ME. I also realized that the knowledge moved from my head to my heart. I now realize that there is always more to discover in Scripture. There are layers upon layers and I never will KNOW all the wonders that are in the Bible.

I also will say that studying the Bible isn't easy. It would be great if we could just put it on our Ipods and have it sink into our brains while we do other things. It would also be great if we could learn one concept and move on to the next, but we have to keep being reminded of what we have already learned. Bottom line, we have to WORK at it. It's hard for God to use it to speak to us if we aren't putting ourselves in it. It's like training for a race. You wouldn't show up to do a marathon if you hadn't trained. Neither should we go around speaking for God without doing the necessary preparation.

So there it is. My 4-5 minutes of fame. Pray for me. I have great things to say if I can drag myself up to the microphone.


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