Leah's Ideas for Educating Yourself Spiritually

Posted by  | Monday, April 28, 2008  at 11:12 PM  
I have been a follower of Jesus Christ for 10 years now - I can hardly believe it's been that long! In the beginning, I didn't know very much at all about the Bible or the Church. I soaked up everything I could from the people around me. As I've grown in my faith, I've learned new ways to educate myself. I wanted to share with you all a few ideas and resources to use as you seek to educate yourselves spiritually.

1. Take advantage of your situation. The three years that my husband spent in seminary were a rich time for me as well. We lived just down the road from classroom upon classroom of GREAT teaching and a library stocked full of GREAT books. I was able to complete 2 semesters of Greek and 2 semesters of Hebrew with two of the best professors in their fields. I audited these classes for free and studied alongside my husband. I also sat in on many classes with my husband. He would invite me to come up to a class that he thought was going to be particularly interesting and we would have great discussion afterward. Look around you and see what God has put in your path.

2. Speak up. I often find myself in the midst of a conversation about the Bible or some theological topic that my husband and others are discussing. For a long time I would never say anything because I felt inadequate to participate in the conversation. But I've learned to speak up and voice my opinion on things - I've learned so much more by doing this.

3. Read and re-read. Once Samuel was born, my Bible reading time definitely looked different (Hollie was spot on about that!). I found that I didn't have any consistency in what I was reading and would most often find myself reading haphazardly in whatever book I opened to. I decided to just pick one book and read it over and over again. I picked the book of Colossians and read the whole thing each day for a month. It was so much easier to know exactly what I was going to read when I sat down. Then I decided to read just one chapter of Colossians each day for a week. I was amazed at how much I learned by doing this. It gave the Holy Spirit opportunity to let different things sink in that I hadn't seen before. If you find yourself knee deep in diapers and burp rags, this can be a real lifesaver of a way to read each day.

4. Check out these blogs. There are lots of great blogs out there to read that will really stimulate your thinking. Two of my favorites are The Assembling of the Church and Dave Black Online. Not only can reading these get you thinking about certain topics, it can also give you great material for conversations to have with your husband and friends.

5. Read some big books. I admit that I haven't been able to do this as much since my boys came along, but I have learned a LOT from reading some of Ed's theology books. My favorites are Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem, Christianity through the Centuries, and any of the books that are like Four Views on ________ or Three Views on ________. Now, I didn't read any of these cover to cover (yikes!). I like to pick a topic that is of interest to me and flip to that section. It is really interesting reading, I promise!

6. Use an Inductive Study Bible. I love the New Inductive Study Bible. I got mine back in my freshman year of college. It is a great way to study your Bible. Read more about it here if you've never heard of it before. You basically color code key words within the text and take notes as you read. The Bible gives all the instructions for each book right at the beginning of the book. It is great for me because the writing and coloring help me to stay focused and it adds a tactile element to your studying.

I hope that at least a few of these ideas help you and equip you to grow in the Lord. Please share if you've tried any of these suggestions in the past or any other ideas you may have as well.


Shannon said...

"Read and re-read" - I so agree. And for those who do not have little ones yet... I implore you - read and study now! :)

Also, I can testify that Grudem's Systematic Theology is a good one. I actually got this for Jeff for our 1st anniversary gift; he'd given his away years earlier, and talked about it so often I knew he'd enjoy having it again. And when I picked it up and started perusing, I could understand why.

Thanks so much - great post!

The Simple Shepherdess said...

I just looked at you link for the Inductive Study Bible. Wow, this is what I've been wishing existed for the last few years. Now, I know, it EXISTS! Yay. I e-mailed a link to dh. I hope he gets the hint;) Though, I did just say it out right, so there's no way he could miss it, lol!

Thanks for these tips. I'm also off to find a copy of Systematic Theology, since you are the umteenth person to recommend this to me:)

Alan Knox said...

Wow... you mentioned my blog on Prayer of Hannah. I'm humbled and grateful! And, I miss you and your family very much! We all can't wait to see you!


ChezDeshotels said...

Leah, I know this is totally off the subject but I was wondering if you could post ot tell me how to find your instructions for making a ring sling...I printed it wnen that was a topic but I can't find it. I went back and looked at the posts but couldn't find the link to your instructions and where to buy the rings I I would appreciate it so much. I was wanting to make some for my sisters who are both expecting soon.

Thanks so much

Leah said...

Check out my Babywearing Blog for all of the sling making instructions. And you can order the rings from Sling Rings. Good luck!!

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