The picture above is of a book that has literally changed my life ... it's my Bible. I have several Bibles that I own. I think being a pastor means you have to own at least 10 ... which I could probably track down more than that between my home and office. But, the Bible above is my favorite. It was given to me in 1994 by a group of teenagers I worked with at my home church in PA. Since 1994, I have read through it, written countless notes in it, high-lited numerous verses, spilled things on it, accidentally ripped pages of it, had a dog chew up the first 3 chapters of Genesis (a friend said it must have been a Darwinian dog), I've laughed while reading it, cried while reading it, and have even fallen asleep while reading it ... but if my house were on fire and I could only grab a few things before it totally burnt to the ground, that Bible would be one of them.
I can honestly say that I have fallen in love with God's word. I get up early every morning and spend time in it not because I have to but because I NEED to. I need my time with God. My days are always busy. Being a husband, father of 3, a baby on the way, and working at a high capacity church, my days are always full. But, no matter what is happening in my day, nothing is more important than me spending time with God.
At axis we are in the midst of a series called "Seek Truth." The idea behind it is to allow our students the opportunity to examine what they believe ... to not believe it simply because someone tells them that it's true, but to examine it and begin to make their faith their own. So, we've been addressing some difficult questions. This past Wednesday we asked the question "Why should I trust the Bible?"
I tried to address common concerns regarding the Bible like "Since it was written by people who didn't understand science, we can't trust it." "The Bible was written too far after the events actually happened to be considered reliable." "The Bible was copied and translated so many times that it surely has been corrupted." "The Bible is full of myths." And, finally, "What makes the Bible better than any other 'religious' book?" It was a great night full of information but our kids seemed to eat it up. Never let anyone tell you need to "talk down" to a teenager. True, you may have to adjust some of the language and presentation of what you're sharing, but teenagers are anything but "dumb." Don't be afraid to share truth with them. They can handle it and will often challenge what you say, which will just make us, as teachers, better.
Here are some really good thoughts talking about why we can trust the Bible and The Questions Christians Hope No One Will Ask is a good book to have as a resource.
Next Week: Why Would God Allow Evil?