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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The Fellowship of Christian Magicians! » » My Bible reading struggle... Personal solution! :) (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

MagicBus
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Underlying all of "Gospel magic" in my view is the necessity of the performer to be an active believer growing in Christ. In the back of my mind for years, I thought I really needed to read the Bible through cover to cover in a year. I must have started doing that countless times (at least six), usually using a "check off sheet" of some sort- trying to read daily a large OT chunk combined with a smaller NT section perhaps with daily verses from Psalms and Proverbs. You can find these fine "Daily Bible Reading" charts or "Read Through the Bible in a Year" plans all over the web. These might be all you need quite honestly.

Unfortunately, I ended up eventually with sheets partially checked off and finally giving up after falling weeks or even months behind in my daily reading schedule. Just could never seem to find the time- I would read way ahead during vacations- then fall behind again during a particularly busy work week. The thought passed through my mind more than once while performing Duane Laflin's "What Color Is Your Bible" trick that I was kinda a flop in that regard personally. We all should have a "READ" Bible, right kids? Who was I to tell them?

A few months ago, I purchased through Thomas Nelson (publisher) the NKJV version of the MacArthur Read The Bible Through In A Year Bible edition paperback. For every day- there is printed right out an OT section, a NT section, and a small segment from Psalms and Proverbs. I started out with a bang- then once again after a few months- I found myself 10+ days behind in my OT readings. Yikes! It does take discipline to read the Bible only for approximately 30-40 minutes a day!- especially when so busy with other studies, work, etc..

Then I found an expensive solution that has worked great for me personally. Maybe some of you will want to try it. Available from CBD are a variety of great very small portable electronic Bibles. I printed out the web price from CBD- but I then went to my local Family Christian Store who had the one I wanted in stock and they matched the web advertised price ($159). The one I selected was the "NowBible Color" which is about the size of a cell phone. I got the "Word of Promise" NKJV Audio Bible version- this device does come in other translations and editions- I just personally prefer the NKJV. WOW. I use it in conjunction with my "read through the Bible in a year" Bible-I use this electronic Bible to pick up the needed verses I could not read on my own (see below). Now I stay right up to date- what I don't read from my Bible directly I hear through the NowBible.

Soooo, how does the above little gadget help? It displays any verse in the Bible (and has an easy locating method)in very large print- while at the same time you can hear the NKJV verses exactly read by a large cast (including Jim Caviezel) with great sound effects and music. So when I fall behind in my reading- I have the option now of listening and/or reading the verses I am behind on through the device directly on its screen, or through it's ear phones, or through the built in speaker that comes with it, OR (best of all)on my car radio- I purchased a simple adaptor/connector wire at Radio Shack for under $9.00 (my car radio has an aux. input hole- some car radios may not)- the device then plays right on my car radio.

This electronic Bible also "bookmarks" so it can remember exactly how far you got in as many areas as you'd like, plus has many other features including a dictionary, voice notes, lots of memory for new things, on and on it goes- I have not even started to use all it's other features.

The end result- with this little bit of marvelous and very small technology- there is really no excuse for me to fall behind on my daily reading and with my goal to get through the Bible in a year minimum- as now I can read now it from my MacArthur version, or read it and hear it at the same time through the NowBible device, or hear it through my car radio, or through ear plugs while I walk the dogs or sit waiting or going someplace. Amazing. Just Amazing!

Soooo, if you struggled like I did in just trying to read through the Bible in a year, you may want to check out all the various electronic Bibles that are now available (some are not real expensive). If you have an MP3 player in your car- I believe you can buy the entire NKJV of the "Word of Promise" Bible on disc for under $20 now. Or the NT CDs only (often on sale for less than $25). Wow again. But having the "NowBible" is so easy- you can instantly start up again and again where you left off- either by carrying it with you in your pocket or connecting it to your car radio. I am just fascinated by this gizmo and it has helped me greatly- I can't wait each day to get my daily "reading" done- even if while driving to work. It would not surprise me if there are similar applications available for you ipod or droid phone.

Hope to see many of you at the 2011 FCM convention- ask me about my "NowBible"- I will most definately have it with me in my pocket right next to my cell phone. And all magicians have shirts and/or pants with lots of pockets, right?
Psalm 67!
MagicBus
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To look at the above items online, go to http://www.ChristianBook.com, then type in the search box "NowBible Color, NKJV The Word of Promise" (now sells for $169 postpaid) and "NKJV MacArthur Daily Bible" (now sells for $12.99). A well stocked local Christian book store may carry both items as well.
MagicBus
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I notice now too if you click on the picture of the NowBible listed above on the CBD web site- there is a nice video you can click on to view a demonstration how the electronic NowBible works. Nice!- I can't recommend this device highly enough if you need help in the area I was struggling with (not reading through the Bible on a consistent basis). Please don't feel guilty if you are not reading your Bible daily- that's not what I am trying to do here- just sharing with you how I accomplished my personal goal of finally doing that after being a Christian for over 30 years. Now if I could only figure out how to practice my Clarke "The Senator" Crandall dice stacking routine while driving!
MagicBus
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The NowBible Color, NKJV The Word of Promise electronic Bible price seems to jump up and down at CBD, now it is back to the $159 figure again.
Mike Maturen
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One of the problems we Christians have is that we set goals like reading through the Bible in a year (a very admirable goal) and one of two things happens: 1) we fall behind and then beat ourselves up mentally because we feel like we have somehow "failed", or 2) we read robotically to "get through it" but as a result get nothing out of it.

In my mind, if we have read, but fallen behind the "schedule" we are STILL much farther ahead than we were, and much richer for it. If we read through in a year but do it without REALLY reading it just so we can "get through it in a year", then we have gained little if anything.

Don't beat yourself up. Read some every day and let the Holy Spirit enrich your soul.

....and, if you REALLY want to enrich your soul, read the Scriptures in the Presence of the Blessed Sacrament. Nothing like a personal visit with Jesus to lift you up!
Mike Maturen
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AUTHOR OF "A NEW DAWN--Weekly Wisdom From Everyday Life"

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revmike
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While it would be great to read the Bible cover to cover every year and it would be fantastic to spend 30 or more minutes a day reading Scripture, I beleive if anybody can simply develop a habit of reading Scripture regularly they are so far ahead of most.

And yes Roger, pastors suffer the same time constraints as well, and at times our Bible Study and reading suffers as a result. Sometimes we simply have to step back and say, I will not do "this" or "that" at this time. Instead it is time to spend some time with Scripture.

Good luck, but remember, any time reading Scripture is always time well spent.

Mike
The magic is not in our sleights and illusions, but instead in our ability to bring love and joy.
MagicBus
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Thanks Mike- much appreciated. Since becoming a Christian, I think I have pretty much always had with me a Bible based biography, Christian living book or Bible study- so for sure it is okay to not feeling pressured to read through the entire Bible in one year or two years just to say with pride that "I did it". This was just something I have never done before. But for my own personality, if I don't have a clear goal to accomplish something or a way to carry it out, it never seems to get done.

I really like the "Word of Promise" audio Bible as the actors speak slowly-normally- not in a monotone- so it is very easy to listen to and or read along at a normal pace and grasp what the passage is about. Just this morning, I was listening to some Psalms read by actor Gary Sinise and verses from the book of John (who is voiced by Louis Gossett, Jr.). If you want to know exactly where I am at (along with hundreds of others perhaps using this book?)- see the MacArthur NKJV Daily Bible which is a great tool.

I have not thought this through yet, maybe some of this audio may be useable in as part of a future Gospel magic routine?

My Bible reading was often like practicing magic- I often neglect practicing altogether unless I have an approaching deadline or the "pressure" of some upcoming real shows to prepare for. I find magic practice for just the sake of practicing (to get better) very difficult to maintain with so many other things going on in life.

So anyway, carry on everyone as we all grow in Christ together each in his/her own way, I appreciate your willingness each and every one of you to chat on this site- I know that I enjoy reading the The Magic Café' posts each day and responding to some as time allows. Have a great day all- and thanks again for your participation here!
Zaose
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I would also mention those who have an Android phone (and possibly iPhone has this too) there is a free bible app called YouVersion. It's really great, has lots of cool features, and since I have my phone with me always...thus I have a bible. Multiple translations, strongs, etc.... it's great. Can be found in the market.
BillyTheSquid
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Quote:
On 2011-05-18 17:02, Zaose wrote:
I would also mention those who have an Android phone (and possibly iPhone has this too) there is a free bible app called YouVersion. It's really great, has lots of cool features, and since I have my phone with me always...thus I have a bible. Multiple translations, strongs, etc.... it's great. Can be found in the market.


Second the YouVersion applet. Totally free of charge and has the majority of the English translations (and some other translations). They did have the NLT on as a free download at one point (Thanks YV!). Also you can listen to them being read out with a human speaking rather than a text to speech module.

I too used to beat myself up if I didn't get through my alloted 3 chapters a weekday and 5 on a Sunday. Then I realised that it's not enough to read the word, you have to spend time meditating on it (not in some New Age way!), simply allowing God's Holy Spirit to speak to you through the words you read. I was told that "quiet times" were for studying the Bible. I now reckon that's wrong and a "quiet time" should be just that - somewhere where you can listen to God speak to you through His word rather than an academic study, which I keep for other times when I am in that mindset and want to discover things academically.

I was taught a four step process of meditating on a Bible passage (again NOT in a New age way!!!!). This has transformed my quiet times from a "getting through the passage asap" to "spending time alone with God, listening to what He may have to say to me":

1) Read the SHORT passage slowly, a word at a time. Each word is there for a purpose, so savour each word, as though it's a love letter - after all, it's God's love letter to us! What does each word mean to you? Repeat this again, even slower, seeking God to ask you what He wants to say to you. If you still don't pick up on anything, go over the passage again.

2) When you are struck by something in there and believe God is speaking to you about something... Stop reading and think about the word you've been given. Mull it over in your mind and think why God would want to speak to you about it.

3) Naturally move into a time of prayer with God. Note: This isn't a shopping list time TO God, but a two way conversation about what you've just read. Listen to what God says to you also.

4) Be still. Know that He is God. This can last from a minute to quite a few minutes as you just enjoy resting in His presence. After all, what child doesn't enjoy resting safe & secure in his father's arms?

Try this with, say, Psalm 23. It's a familiar passage so we often miss out on the hidden gems that are there.

There are other methods of meditating on God's word which bring it alive and, as I say, have brought me closer to God, resting not just in His presence, but His glory. But I have typed enough for now.

It's taken me a couple of years to post back in this forum after being "crucified by a few Christians" here, so I'll don my armour and see what happens this time.

Cheers,
Matt
MagicBus
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Very good advice Matt- nicely written! I have found I actually have more time for detailed Bible study than ever before because I am actually way ahead now on my "Read Through the Bible in a Year" plan as read by Micheal York, Gary Sinese and other actors who have been reading the OT to me on my car radio--- through my electronic portable audio Bible. So oddly enough, I am reading the Bible more now than ever -being freed up--- to not having to spend so much time manually reading through the OT- and just listening to it instead. The audio versions now are "exciting" too- the one I use above has sound effects (like horses galloping), music, crowd noises, even the sounds of birds chirping. So in this way, I actually have more time to slowly study any passage on my own- knowing I am finally covering the "big picture" of the Bible throughout the course of a year.

Matt- thanks so much for contributing here- great stuff!
Kif Anderson
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I have The Word of Promise - Audio Bible and have listened to it from disc one to disk 79 in less than a year while driving. It was fun and I expect to do that every year or so. However, I found the best way to read the Bible and really absorb it isn't listening to it...but making time to read a few verses in the Old, the New as well as a Psalm and a chapter of Proverbs in a 20-30 minute sitting. This better grounds me for the day than trying to make it through say 30 minutes straight.

However if one really wants to read/study the whole Bible, one of the best best ways I've found is The NKJV Chronological Study Bible Hardcover put out by Thomas Nelson 2008.

It is a great resource as well when putting together a routine for an effect...as it gives all parts of the story together (if told in more than one place...say like all four tellings of Jesus feed the 5000).
We are not cisterns made for hoarding, we are channels made for sharing. - Billy Graham
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<BR>Sharing the gospel with Comedy & Illusion www.ozandwilde.com
MagicBus
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Hi Kif- yep I listen to my audio "NowBible" every day in my car- really like it- am way ahead of year "schedule" now. I was in Meijer Saturday (a large grocery/retail chain similar to Wal-Mart here in the Midwest)- I saw they are carrying in their book section the complete NT NKJV Audio Bible on CD for something very reasonable for about $31.00. I appreciate how actor Michael York reads through long OT passages- does a great job with his expressive voice in helping keep one's attention.

By the way, as a total aside (and I may have mentioned this before), I picked up Chad Long's "FLASH" close up paddle trick using USB memory sticks- it struck me there must be some sort of Gospel application using it such as regarding knowledge and the proper use thereof, etc.. Much better than having a sharp color changing knife set which some may think as kinda scary to have in one's possession now. A review of "FLASH" can be found at page 71 of the June, 2011 issue of M-U-M, or see http://www.chadlongmagic.com for several youtube versions.
jdallassmith
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Great information...Thanks everyone for posting.
Gary Barker
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I think another key point to remember or reinforce here is God looks on the heart while man looks at the outward. I think we forget sometimes that God knows us inside and out and He understands us. He knows our thoughts, our intentions and our motives. It is right to want to be in the Word. It is vital for all of us. We must be careful that our motivation does not become duty, or ritual or legalistic. If we read because we have a passion for the Word or we long to draw nearer to God we are approaching it correctly. When it shifts to "check marks" on our daily to do list I think we are losing sight of the passion and are merely going through the motions.

It is also a given that the devil will bring to us condemnation (uniquely different from conviction) and according to Romans 8:1 (Therefore there is no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus.) this sense of condemnation and guilt does not originate from the Father. The devil uses our weakness, our being tired (which is why God encourages us to take care of ourselves through rest, diet and overall balance in our lives) and our sense of pride (accomplishment, I can do this thing and even our good and healthy goals and objectives) to get our focus off of the relationship with God and onto what we "do" for God.

This is like when we tell our families all the "stuff" we provide like a roof over their head and clothes and cars and on and on...and while that is all good that usually is not what is lacking. It is usually more about time and relationship.

I would encourage you to read through the Bible but MORE importantly to spend time with God. Some days that might be a dedicated time. Some days it might be all through out the day. Some days it might be not at all...but He didn't move. He is not going anywhere. Do not let missed time drive you from Him but rather draw you to Him.

I am glad you found something that works for you and we have all shared ideas here. I want my contribution to be for us to remember that quantity of time is never an adequate replacement for quality of time. I think a balance of quality and quantity will do well for us all until the Lord comes to take us home. Do not grow weary in doing good. Look up, He is coming back for you. Let's prepare for His return together and leave no one behind!

In love to all my brothers and sisters in Christ,

Gary
MagicBus
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I am so blessed to be in and weekly attending a very active church with a wonderful Biblical preaching pastor (www.DiscoverLighthouseChurch.com). This was not true of me even a year ago. I am finally resisting my natural tendency to be a "Lone Ranger" and am in a Saturday morning Men's Bible Study, teach an adult Sunday School class, and am in a small group that meets twice a month. In the small group, we are currently going through James Bryan Smith's "The Good and Beautiful Community" which includes a lot of 'out of the box' challenging thinking (and action). So I still have a long way to go, but I am greatly encouraged and I hope each of you are as well in your particular community.

So even though I have been a Christian for many years, it is encouraging and refreshing to know even oldsters such as myself can always be growing in Christ. How this all relates to Gospel magic, and as posted many times above, is that one's ministry using Gospel magic is only as effective as being personally connected with Christ. If one fakes their relationship with God, or one is actively involved in unrepented for and repeated sin without ever being "freed" (and of course I know all of us are sinners even after being saved)- see Galatians- then one's "outreach" ministry will eventually be affected.

Thanks again all for participating in this web forum- this technology still amazes me and it is a delight to read your postings throughout the week. So please keep it up, even if to just encourage one another. Fired Up!
Matt Adams
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Hey guys, joining the discussion a couple weeks late, but here's a couple thoughts for you.

We all know the trick to simply tell our audiences what they already know and want to believe and they will leave thinking you are a fantastic individual and very smart. (This is often the exact opposite principle for an evangelist. Haha.)

Anyway, I'm going to recommend a book to each of you. Most of us will simply discount it because we either have never heard of it and don't care THAT much...or because we have heard of it and think we don't need it. Smile

Read the Bible For Life - by George Guthrie (there's also a workbook that goes with it and I highly recommend that as well)

PLEASE pick up a copy. It will absolutely revolutionize your Bible reading. Smile It addresses most of (maybe all?) the points mentioned above and presents Bible reading in a way that I already KNEW but finally now am connecting with...

He talks about everything related to Scriptures including interpretation, what versions to use, what the point of reading is, how to differentiate between different books of the Bible (e.g. you wouldn't read Proverbs in the same way you would read a letter from Paul like Romans), putting the Bible in context, etc. etc. SO many great points that we already know...BUT, again it's said in such a way that really connected with me (and so many others!).

So please grab a copy of this life-changing book - it's life-changing because it so instructive in bridging the gap between KNOWING we should be reading and ACTUALLY reading.
Website: www.MattAdamsMinistries.com

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MagicBus
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Great quality stuff above, see http://www.readtheBibleforlife.com with a video of the author. This looks like a terrific web site with lots of related materials on life long Bible study. Thanks Matt for pointing us to this great resource.
Matt Adams
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No prob man! Thanks for posting the link.
Website: www.MattAdamsMinistries.com

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harris
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About 10 years or so, while reading the "Left Behind" series, I was convicted.

I was reading more of those type of books, and neglecting going to the source.
A few weeks ago, I finished reading the new testament. I started to go back to the beginning, but something told me to start with Proverbs. Sometimes I go straight through the chapter, sometimes I pick up a guide to help me.

I'm not good at knowing other sources, but I do know The Source and The Way.
It is a blessing to have wonderful encouragers here and in my home community and church.

Music has always been a helpful for me to connect with the Holy Spirit. May you bring up a joyous noise. Last weekend, I was blessed to be able to sit in with a Gospel Band that used 60's music with biblical words.


Harris
have harmonicas will travel
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
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