But don't let it faze you. Stick with what you learned and believed, sure of the integrity of your teachers -- why, you took in the sacred Scriptures with your mother's milk. There's nothing like the written word of God for showing you the way to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another-- showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God's way. Through the word, we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us. (2 Timothy 3:15 to 17)
One of my favorite memories of summer vacation was and is having time to read for the sheer enjoyment of reading. I used to wait for Oprah's summer read lists. I always would treat myself to one or two books on her list and make sure I had a "summer vacation."
That vacation might just be going to the backyard with my book and a drink. However, whatever my summer vacation destination was, I got to enjoy being transported to wonderful places through the words of gifted writers.
As we begin summertime, I wonder what books you will read that will transport you to places unknown -- to places that challenge, places that delight you, thoughts that expand your horizons. I wonder if the Bible is included on your summer reading list.
I know that might seem like an odd idea if summer reading time is meant for the sheer enjoyment of reading. However, think about it a moment. Where else can you find in one book stories about creation of the world, romance, healing, war and struggle for power, and even maybe wedding tips? Where else do you find hints about raising children, even if they have decided to start a whole new mission that is not mainstream? (I am guessing Joseph would have preferred if Jesus followed in his footsteps and became a carpenter.)
I know many of you might prefer short stories rather than long novels. For those of you who would like daily Bible readings delivered to your computer, check out www.christnotes.org/dbv.php?do=add_to_site or www.thedailybibleverse.org.
For those who would like daily assurance of Jesus' love, check out www.sharingfaith.org. If you want to challenge yourself to not only have the Bible as a summer read, check out www.biblegateway.com/resources/readingplans. This is a plan to read the Bible in one year.
If you are the type who would like some reflection on a Bible verse, check out these sites: www.lhm.org/dailydevotions.asp, www.backtothebible.org/devotions.html, and www.luthersem.edu/godpause/daily_view.aspx.
My prayer is that this might be a great summer with great reading, including the Bible. I look forward to you sharing your summer Bible adventures with me.
Statements of Faith is a series sharing lessons from local church leaders and members. To submit a column for publication, contact the Hays Daily News at (785) 628-1081.