I have been blessed and fortunate to always have amazing men of God in my life both as peer to peer friends and as mentors, leaders or teachers. This trend continues and the last two years have brought the chance to become friends, brothers and business partners with a few of these men in particular. This past half year especially since starting my own business I have also had the pleasure of being challenged by my two business partners daily from spiritual perspective or angle. In light of where I am at right now with the my walk it has been one of the most amazing, overwhelming, exciting and frustrating times in my life. I feel more excited about pursuing the Lord and pressing deep into his Word as well as time with him than I have in recent years. I consider this a huge blessing as so many days and times in my life I have found myself quite distracted with my drive and attention focused on other things. I am still not nearly perfect nor where I want to be in terms of time management and focus but I feel that shift taking place again which is an awesome and exciting. It is also comes as a huge challenge.
If you have read the blog… (I know your out there.. Mom, is that you? Ok, maybe this is just more of an outlet for me )… then you know that I have been on this whole kick of reading the Bible with a fresh perspective idea. I have been enjoying it immensely but it is also slow going. Well, I found a few more ways to make it even slower. This is ok and actually reminded me of something I learned once while providing worship for a summer camp in Nebraska with the Foolish Things (the band I used to play drums for). We had the opportunity to hear from a speaker named Jeremy Kingsley and one of the things he always told the kids was that you read the Bible to change, not to finish. That has stuck with me for a lot of years. Although I think a complete understanding and picture of the Bible is very important if you are only reading to gain that overview or knowledge but not to change your life or obey what it says then is there really any point in reading it? That being said, although things are slow going I think the importance behind reading the Word and truly trying to gain and understanding and grasp on what it is I believe is a huge deal and huge adventure. Knowing Christ and doing what he says is the end game and goal in it all.
Ok, so back to the things that are making this adventure a little bit slower but better for me. I have been introduced to a few new resources over the past few months and I would like to toss them out there and share them for you as they have brought some major challenge to my thinking as well as complicated and/or made my study of the word more exciting. Some quick background on how I came across some of the resources. One of my now best friends and business partners is what I am calling, and I may butcher this, a Torah believing Christian. My other partner is actually pretty much the same or really close behind in the same line of thinking and living. Although labels suck and I am not probably representing their journey perfectly it is the best and quickest way to touch on where they are coming from without me or them giving you a few hour tour of where God has taken them on that journey. One of the things that comes along with this is a that they celebrate and honor all the festivals, honor sabbath, etc. Very cool to see in action and very cool to start to take part in on many levels. I am learning a ton and being challenged daily as mentioned. Obviously I had and have a ton of questions and have been asking them. They have been very gracious to share in a very raw format where they are at and how they came to it. They have also sent some awesome resources along the way that I swear at some point in this post I will stop talking about and actually post. We have had email after email of great dialog and passing of information. in fact I think I have enough email to keep me busy for a few years in terms of studying things out. There is absolutely no pressure from them for me to agree with or be on the same page as them although the challenge to read and pray through the Bible is constant and something they and I get quite excited about.
So finally, for some of the resources mentioned.
One of the first things that I watched and found myself quite connected to and interested in was a video called A History of Hebrew: Its Langauge and Philosophy. You can watch the full video in short clips that have been put into a playlist on Youtube here… http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL0E346CF634AD0E30 The whole playlist is about an hour and thirty minutes and quite interesting. I think I landed on that from a link that my partner Andrew had sent after we were talking about the original text and language. He had sent me to the the Ancient Hebrew Research Center which is one of the sites that Jeff Benner(the creatore of the video) runs and created. He has a bunch of great resources and items on there including a course that you can take on ancient Hebrew. I think the videos were part of assignment one. I am waiting on access to assignment two still.
I also ended up purchasing one of Jeff Benner’s books on Kindle for $5 titled The LIving Words – Volume 1. It has been quite good and interesting. I am still working out going back through and really confirming all that is being said and taught. Some pretty crazy stuff to be honest. I will probably post about it in the future at some point.
One of the other resources that I have been enjoying is the Skip Moen’s blog. He post daily on a Hebrew or Greek word and where it came from and what it means. Does quick and consumable thoughts and teaching on these words. I also signed up for his 30 day newsletter series called… Thirty Days of The Hebrew Worldview. It has been captivating thus far and I have enjoyed it a ton.
I am still at the beginning of my journey with a lot of this stuff and a bit weary of some of it but I think that is healthy. I think an area where I have struggled in the past is that it is easy to take someone else’s word for something without really studying it out for yourself. Really understand what is being said and then acting accordingly. That is one of my huge goals as I move forward in my studies. Bottom line is that I want to know the Lord better and then do what he says not matter how hard or easy. I don’t want to throw something out because it does not fit my life or because a certain person did or didn’t say it or endorse it. Time to really understand what I believe. Time to dig deep. It is not an easy thing to do. It is time consuming, exciting, overwhelming and frustrating all wrapped into one.
As so many people have said in the past. If it was easy, then everyone would be doing it. Don’t get me wrong… I still wish it was easier most of the time.
If you are interested in seeing where this set of blog posts all started then read the other posts that I have written on the idea of Approaching the Bible w/ a Fresh Perspective…
- Reading the Bible with a Fresh Perspective
- Reading the Bible w/ a Fresh Perspective: Genesis
- Reading the Bible w/ a Fresh Perspective: Exodus (Part 1)