Jan 8 2013

Let the Word Get into You this New Year

by Doug Wolter

With the New Year upon us, many of us have a desire to “get into the Word.”  I’m with you.  There are many good reading plans to help guide you in this pursuit.  But this year I’m coming at it from a little different angle.  This year, I’m leading my church through the Gospel of Mark.  My goal is for us to meet Jesus and to know him personally and deeply.  To be “apprenticed by Jesus” as Zach Eswine says.  For that to happen, I’m seeking to slow down and soak up the book of Mark.  Instead of getting into the Word, I’m wanting to let the Word get into me.

If you’d like to join me (especially if you’re a member of Oak Hill), try this approach to reading the Bible this year.  Try reading through the Book of Mark on your own.  Go at your own pace.  When you’re finished, do it again.  And keep a journal.  Meditate on what you read.  Talk about what you read with others.  In addition, if you are a member of Oak Hill, take the sermon note sheet with outline and discussion questions each week and walk through it with your spouse or a couple of good friends.  Get into the Word … and let the Word get into you this year.

Dec 26 2011

Read Less, Meditate More in 2012

by Doug Wolter

I commend to you this Daily Bible Meditation Guide written by my good friend, Dr. Eric Johnson. Here’s a blurb from the introduction:

The purpose of this Bible reading schedule (shortened considerably from schedules that get through the Bible in one year) is actually to limit the amount of Bible we read daily. Reading quickly through many verses may not be as profitable as savoring deeply a few verses. So the aim of this schedule is not to read less, but to meditate more.

You will also benefit from Dr. Johnson’s thoughts on the “what” and “how-to’s” of meditation.

Oct 7 2011

New ESV GROW! Bible for Kids

by Doug Wolter

ESV Grow! BibleI just got a copy of the ESV GROW! Bible from a friend of mine. I love it!  It’s designed specifically for children ages 8-12. One of the coolest features is the “Cross Connections” boxes that are scattered throughout to help kids understand the centrality of the cross in all the Scriptures. Another feature called “4U” is great for explaining the text and how to apply it to a child’s life.   I can’t wait to read it with my 7 and 9 year old girls.

ESV Grow! Bible from Crossway on Vimeo.

Click on the Bible to the right to view the text.

Sep 1 2011

Resources on Seeing the Story of God in the Bible

by Doug Wolter
Michael Wallenmeyer has put together a good list of resources on the Story of God in Scripture:

My buddy, Cam Potts, also pointed me to this great resource that “provides a beautiful, powerful, yet simple explanation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ using 4 major themes found in the Bible: Creation. The Fall. The Rescue. The Restoration.” Check out the website for more info.

Mar 2 2011

The Almighty Bible – A Review

by Doug Wolter

The Bible is not a boring book. It pulls us in and captures our imagination as we see ourselves in God’s big story of creation and redemption. But we live in a culture that is ever-changing. And though we must never change the timeless message of the Bible, our methods should always be open to change as we adapt to the culture we live in.

Recently I received a free copy of Genesis and Exodus from the folks at The Almighty Bible. These guys are on the cutting edge of communicating God’s story in fresh, new ways. There’s even an Almighty Bible app for your iphone or ipad!

As I made my way through these books, I was highly impressed with the quality of the illustrations. Each page will appeal to young people (especially 10-13) as they see familiar characters of the Old Testament come to life in a vivid way. Ours is a visual culture, and for those who are new to the Christian faith or struggle to read on their own, these books can serve as a bridge to understanding the Bible’s beginning message.

As a family pastor and father of three, I recommend The Almighty Bible with some reservations. First, the authors have chosen to summarize the actual text of the Bible in order to make it more concise for their readers. For example, at the end of the story of Joseph, they sum up Genesis 50:20 with these words, “God meant it for good to save many people.” In doing so, they omitted the first half of that verse that reads, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good …” Joseph’s brothers meant it for evil, but God meant it for good. That’s an important contrast for young people to see–namely, God’s sovereignty reigns over human sin.

Closely related to this, I think there’s a tendency in our media rich culture to move away from the written Word of God. As I read through these books, I felt as though the pictures were primary and the text was secondary. Don’t get me wrong. I love the use of visual art and creativity, but if this becomes the steady diet of a new generation, will our kids be interested in reading and understanding the actual text?

Finally, while in one sense these books capture our imagination, in another sense they limit it. Think about it. When C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia were made into movies they instantly brought the story to life and at the same time stopped our imagination. Why? Because one man interpreted Lewis’ books for us and left us with these images every time we think of these stories.

In conclusion, The Almighty Bible is breaking new ground with other graphic novels like The Gadarene by John Piper. These novels can serve as a fresh, new way of communicating the stories of Scripture, but we must be careful not to lose the message with the medium.

  • Check out The Almighty Bible for yourself
  • Read Sam Luce’s review of the books here
  • Take a look at John Piper’s graphic novel called, The Gadarene

Feb 25 2011

Husbands, what do you hold and look at the most?

by Doug Wolter

Be honest.

A. Your iphone/ipad
B. Your kids
C. Your wife
D. Your bible

My guess is that many of us hold and look at A & B the most. I wonder what would happen if we flipped that around and held and looked at C & D more.

Feb 18 2011

NEW Jesus Storybook Bible Video on Saul’s Conversion

by Doug Wolter

The story of Saul’s conversion is such a powerful reminder that the gospel is “not about trying, it’s about trusting; it’s not about rules, it’s about grace – God’s free gift that cost him everything.”

A New Way To See from Jonathan Michael on Vimeo.

(HT: Tony Kummer)

Feb 11 2011

66 Clouds: The Bible in Word Clouds

by Doug Wolter

This is a pretty cool website that “brings the Bible, design and technology together in a fresh and beautiful way.” Below might be just the gift you’re looking for with Valentine’s Day coming soon!

Song of Songs PosterSong of Song Poster (Framed)Song of Songs (Pomegranate)
A limited edition “Pomegranate” colored Song of Songs 11″ x 17″ poster is now available. Makes a perfect gift for that special someone.

(HT: Cam Potts)

Jan 10 2011

I Want My Kids to See Jesus in Every Book of the Bible

by Doug Wolter

Jan 7 2011

A Bible Reading Plan that Encourages You to Read Less and Meditate More

by Doug Wolter

My guess is that many of you have already seen a plethora of Bible reading plans posted on various blogs, most of them encouraging you to get through the Bible in a year.  Though I certainly commend this practice (I’ve done it myself), I’ve often wondered if we should approach the Bible differently.  Instead of reading quickly through many verses at a time, maybe we should meditate on a few verses more deeply each day.  If you’re like me, you rarely take time to just slow down your mind and soak in the truths of God’s Word in such a way that it goes down deeper into your heart. That’s why I was excited to get a copy of this Daily Bible Meditation Guide written by my good friend, Dr. Eric Johnson.  Here’s a blurb from the introduction:

Down through the ages, Christians have taught that we need to drink deeply from the fountain of God’s word and we need to savor its truths if they are to satisfy our deepest longings for greater intimacy with God and if we are to experience a greater healing of our souls from his hand. The purpose of this Bible reading schedule (shortened considerably from schedules that get through the Bible in one year) is actually to limit the amount of Bible we read daily. Reading quickly through many verses may not be as profitable as savoring deeply a few verses. So the aim of this schedule is not to read less, but to meditate more.

I encourage you to download this Daily Bible Meditation Guide .  You will also benefit from Dr. Johnson’s thoughts on the “what” and “how-to’s” of meditation.