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Story - Beginning October 14!
What is The Story?
[from Zondervan] "The Story
is an abridged, chronological Bible that reads like a novel. There are
no verse references, and Scripture segments are seamlessly woven
together with transition text into a single grand narrative. For those
intimidated or overwhelmed by the unabridged Bible, The Story helps people understand God's Word more fully and engage with it more easily.
"Simple, accessible, and easy to use, churches are finding The Story a powerful way to engage their people in Bible reading like never before. As The Story
brings the Bible to life, the broad scope of God's message will
penetrate hearts. People of all ages will be swept up in the story of
God's love and God's plan for their lives."
Earlier in my ministry as a Pastor, I would have been very uneasy about
encouraging the reading of this type of book. God's Word is
something I am very careful about "messing with." How can you have an
"abridged" Bible? How can you leave out details or completely
skip over portions? No, I think I want the complete text, thank
you very much. Then I did something crazy - I started reading the
book. A year and a half ago, I saw the value of this resource but
was not sure how to make best use of it. A pastor friend of mine
told me he was going to use it as an extended length sermon series in
his church; 31 weeks corresponding with the 31 chapters of the
book. I asked him to tell me how it went. Result: his
church was blessed!
After prayer and seeking God's will, I feel led to use the outline of
the book as the framework for the pulpit work for this coming year
(Oct-May). I am excited about this journey our church is about to
embark upon. If you have ever been a little fuzzy about how the
sequencing of events or who were the leaders at what time period and
how this all fits into the larger biblical narrative, then you are
about to be blessed. We're going from Creation in Genesis 1 to
the New Creation in Revelation 22 in thirty-one weeks. And it is
all in story form. It is still 98% Scripture with some summary
paragraphs to segue from one event to the next. It flows
nicely. For instance, when King David sinned by committing
adultery with Bathsheba and is subsequently confronted by Nathan the
Prophet in 2 Samuel 12, we catch a small glimpse of David's
repentance. It is not until Psalm 51 that we get a more complete
understanding of his heart and mind. The Story
takes the related portions of 2 Samuel 21 & Psalm 51 and puts them
together in narrative form. This is not only helpful, but
powerful. For the person who is new to the Bible, you will see
the "mountain tops" of Scripture in one seamless story over 31
chapters. My hope is that when you pick up your Bible (which has
1,189 chapters) you will have a better sense of context concerning the
whole. In other words, the Bible will be less intimidating.
There are 4 ways we encourage you to engage this experience:
1. Personal Life: We are inviting you to read the corresponding chapter in the book The Story before each Sunday (avg. 12 pages)
2. Home Life: This is an opportunity for your family to
gather together at the supper table or whenever to talk about what
you're learning, what part of the story jumped out at you.
3. Church Read: For those who prefer something different,
on Wednesday nights before prayer meeting we will be listening to the
dramatized audio version of the chapter. Come check it out!
Listening engages different parts of the brain vs. reading. Come
as a family ... talk about it on the way home!
4. Sunday Service: Come to TRBC and experience the message
in our worship service. Our intent is that all of us are on the same
page during this 31 week journey.
Consider which of these four you will engage in, and expect a blessing for your efforts.
The book can be purchased as a print copy or you can download either a
digital copy or audio file. Please be sure and get the book
(available in NIV,NKJV & KJV). There are several devotionals
and study guides with similar titles, covers and artwork. Don't
get confused. There will be a limited amount of print copies
available at the church. Please read chapter one and I'll see you
on October 14!