How I Study the Bible

Each of us probably have our own methods of how we study the Bible, and I’d like to share mine. I study using the Inductive study method combined with tips featured in Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin. I usually have a notebook that I write my study down in so that I can review it later.

  1. I pick a book of the Bible I want to study. Usually I go with whatever book my church is studying, or I’ll pick one that I haven’t had a lot of experience in. In either case, praying and asking God which book of the Bible to study next is the best thing to do!
  2. After choosing a book of the Bible to study, I search for answers to these questions to build a background and context to read the book in (historical context, etc.)
    1. Who wrote the book?
    2. When was the book written?
    3. To whom was the book written?
    4. Where did it take place? Where was the author when they wrote it?
    5. What genre is the book?
    6. Why was it written?
  3. I then set about to prayerfully reading the book. I usually do the study chapter by chapter, and I answer these questions for each chapter. As I work through each step, I reread the chapter, which helps me begin to memorize the text (I really want to begin memorizing big chunks of the Bible, but that will be a slow process for me.)
    1. I look for Repeated Words and Phrases.
    2. I look for Attributes of God mentioned in the text.
    3. I look for where the text Makes Points.
    4. I look up Definitions for words that either I don’t understand or that would be better explained if I looked up the word in the dictionary.
    5. I look for Confusing Ideas that need further prayer and study.
    6. I look up the Cross References and write those down.
  4. Then, I turn to the application step. I answer these questions as I prayerfully apply the text to my life.
    1. What does this teach me about God?
    2. What does this teach me about self?
    3. What is my Response now that I know these things? (I write my prayer to God about how I need His help in making changes and growing in my walk with Him.)

That’s how I study the Bible. I have found this method of studying really helps me learn and grow. What ways do you study the Bible? What have you found doesn’t work for you? Are there any books, like Women of the Word, that you would recommend for deeper Bible study?

My Sponsored Children: Lourddjany

I would like to introduce you to my sponsored children with a little more information about them. I will have six posts including this one, and I encourage you to consider sponsoring a child yourself because it changes lives – both the child’s and yours!

My sixth sponsored child is Lourddjany. I share her with my mom. We chose to sponsor her after our church went on a mission trip to Haiti and shared that we could sponsor children through Haiti Outreach Ministries. Mom and I are looking forward to receiving a letter update from Lourddjany soon.

Lourddjany

Lourddjany

Age: 4
Birthday: December 8
Country: Haiti
Grade: Kindergarten
Number of siblings: 0
Her language: Haitian Creole (She will also learn French and English in school. Just think: learning three languages starting in preschool!)

More children, like Lourddjany, need a sponsor. Because I sponsor her through Haiti Outreach Ministries, I will share what sponsorship looks like through both Haiti Outreach Ministries and Compassion International.

  • Sponsorship through Haiti Outreach Ministries looks like:

“Your donation pays teacher salaries, and includes uniforms, books and school supplies, a hot lunch and a health care exam for all primary students. All children are taught in a Christian environment, in addition to traditional classes, children are taught Bible stories/studies. Every child also receives a birthday gift and Christmas gift. Secondary student sponsorship includes the cost to transport them to an appropriate secondary school until HOM/MICECC completes our own secondary school. The first module of the Secondary School in the Baryé Fe neighborhood will be ready to welcome 7th grade students in fall of 2015.” (via their website)

  • With sponsorship through Compassion International, the children receive ongoing Christian training through local churches, education opportunities, key life skills and training, vocational programs, health care, supplements to fight against malnutrition, recreational activities, and protection from danger.

Please consider sponsoring a child from Haiti, where Lourddjany lives, through either Compassion International or Haiti Outreach Ministries. Please pray that more children from Haiti would be sponsored.

My Sponsored Children: Berekyah

I would like to introduce you to my sponsored children with a little more information about them. I will have six posts including this one, and I encourage you to consider sponsoring a child yourself because it changes lives – both the child’s and yours!

My fifth sponsored child is Berekyah. I chose to sponsor him after my church went on a mission trip to Haiti and shared that we could sponsor children through Haiti Outreach Ministries. I am looking forward to receiving a letter update from Berekyah soon.

Berekyah

Berekyah

Age: 3
Birthday: December 11
Country: Haiti
Grade: Preschool
Number of siblings: 2 sisters
His language: Haitian Creole (He will also learn French and English in school. Just think: learning three languages starting in preschool!)

More children, like Berekyah, need a sponsor. Because I sponsor him through Haiti Outreach Ministries, I will share what sponsorship looks like through both Haiti Outreach Ministries and Compassion International.

  • Sponsorship through Haiti Outreach Ministries looks like:

“Your donation pays teacher salaries, and includes uniforms, books and school supplies, a hot lunch and a health care exam for all primary students. All children are taught in a Christian environment, in addition to traditional classes, children are taught Bible stories/studies. Every child also receives a birthday gift and Christmas gift. Secondary student sponsorship includes the cost to transport them to an appropriate secondary school until HOM/MICECC completes our own secondary school. The first module of the Secondary School in the Baryé Fe neighborhood will be ready to welcome 7th grade students in fall of 2015.” (via their website)

  • With sponsorship through Compassion International, the children receive ongoing Christian training through local churches, education opportunities, key life skills and training, vocational programs, health care, supplements to fight against malnutrition, recreational activities, and protection from danger.

Please consider sponsoring a child from Haiti, where Berekyah lives,through either Compassion International or Haiti Outreach Ministries. Please pray that more children from Haiti would be sponsored.

My Sponsored Children: Joseph

I would like to introduce you to my sponsored children with a little more information about them. I will have six posts including this one, and I encourage you to consider sponsoring a child yourself because it changes lives – both the child’s and yours!

My youngest sponsored child is Joseph. I have sponsored him since April of this year. I am looking forward to getting to know him better and watching him grow up. Thus far I haven’t received any letters from him or his caregivers, so I can’t share a lot of information, but here’s what I have.

Age: 1
Birthday: September 18
Country: Kenya
Favorite hobbies: Playing toy cars
Number of siblings: 0 (He lives with his mother.)

Joseph

Joseph

I have sent him 3 letters so far, and I look forward to when I receive the first letter from him and his family!

More children, like Joseph, need a sponsor. With sponsorship through Compassion International, the children receive ongoing Christian training through local churches, education opportunities, key life skills and training, vocational programs, health care, supplements to fight against malnutrition, recreational activities, and protection from danger.

Please consider sponsoring a child from Kenya, where Joseph lives, through Compassion International. Please pray that more children from Kenya would be sponsored. Please also pray for the people of Kenya as they are affected by a drought right now. The drought is creating a water and food shortage and making food prices rise.

P.S. Compassion Bloggers have recently taken a trip to Kenya! You can review their journey at their website.

My Sponsored Children: Midkenson

I would like to introduce you to my sponsored children with a little more information about them. I will have six posts including this one, and I encourage you to consider sponsoring a child yourself because it changes lives – both the child’s and yours!

My third sponsored child is Midkenson. I have sponsored him since March this year. Midkenson hopes to be a preacher someday.

Age: 3
Birthday: September 23
Country: Haiti
Favorite color: Red
Favorite sport: Football (Soccer)
Favorite pet: Goat
Grade: Not quite in school yet, but he will soon be in preschool!
His language: Haitian Creole or French
Number of siblings: 1 sister (Her name is Séniale.)

Midkenson

Midkenson

We have sent 6 total letters between us; so far I have received 1 letter from him.

More children, like Midkenson, need a sponsor. With sponsorship through Compassion International, the children receive ongoing Christian training through local churches, education opportunities, key life skills and training, vocational programs, health care, supplements to fight against malnutrition, recreational activities, and protection from danger.

Please consider sponsoring a child from Haiti, where Midkenson lives, through Compassion International. Please pray that more children from Haiti would be sponsored.

My Sponsored Children: Burusi

I would like to introduce you to my sponsored children with a little more information about them. I will have six posts including this one, and I encourage you to consider sponsoring a child yourself because it changes lives – both the child’s and yours!

My second oldest sponsored child is Burusi. I have sponsored him since May 2016. I chose to sponsor him after the girl I was sponsoring through Holt International was adopted.

Age: 6
Birthday: September 27
Country: Kenya
Favorite Color: Green
Favorite Sport: Football (Soccer)
Favorite activity: Playing toy cars
Grade: Preschool
Favorite school subject: Numbers and Reading
His favorite teacher at school: Madame Joy
His language: Kiduruma (also spelled Chiduruma), but he responds in his letters in English. Kenya’s two official languages are Swahili and English.
His best friend: Mkuruto (Burusi met Mkuruto at school, and Burusi thinks he is funny.)
Number of siblings: 1 brother (His name is Ruwa.)

Burusi

Burusi

We have sent 25 total letters between us; I have received 5 letters from him.  He is not quite writing yet, so he has some help from the child development center staff. Here are a few quotes from his letters…

Burusi says he is writing this letter 3 days before his birthday and hopes you will wish him a happy birthday. He says he thanks you too, for the gift which you sent him, and with which he bought a goat, 2 pairs of clothes, a hen and sweets.

 

Burusi says his favorite color is green and that he likes playing marbles with his friends at home.

In every letter, he sends me a drawing too, like this one…

Burusi's drawing

Burusi’s drawing

More children, like Burusi, need a sponsor. With sponsorship through Compassion International, the children receive ongoing Christian training through local churches, education opportunities, key life skills and training, vocational programs, health care, supplements to fight against malnutrition, recreational activities, and protection from danger.

Please consider sponsoring a child from Kenya, where Burusi lives, through Compassion International. Please pray that more children from Kenya would be sponsored. Please also pray for the people of Kenya because of the drought in effect right now; it’s creating a food shortage along with rising food prices.

P.S. Compassion Bloggers are taking a trip to Kenya right now! You can follow their journey at their website.

My Sponsored Children: Edith

I would like to introduce you to my sponsored children with a little more information about them. I will have six posts including this one, and I encourage you to consider sponsoring a child yourself because it changes lives – both the child’s and yours!

My first and oldest sponsored child is Edith. I share her with my mom. We have sponsored her since a For King and Country concert at Southeast Christian Church in September 2014. I enjoy getting to know her better and encouraging her as she grows up.

Age: 14
Birthday: January 24
Country: Ecuador
Favorite color: Purple
Favorite sport: Football (Soccer)
Grade: 8B
Favorite school subject: Language
Her language: Spanish
Her best friend: Edith’s Mom
Number of siblings: 5

Edith

Edith

We have sent 62 total letters between us; I have received 8 letters from her. Here are a few quotes from her letters…

The funniest moments are when I am traveling with my family. I call them crazy travels because they are planned in just a few days.

 

Let me tell you that my favorite song is One by Tercer Cielo (Third Heaven). This is a group of youngsters. I have learned some new songs, and they are beautiful. My favorite singer is Redimidos (Redeemed) or Tercer Cielo.

Edith also likes to draw, and she has sent me a few drawings like this one…

Edith's drawing

Edith’s drawing

More children, like Edith, need a sponsor. With sponsorship through Compassion International, the children receive ongoing Christian training through local churches, education opportunities, key life skills and training, vocational programs, health care, supplements to fight against malnutrition, recreational activities, and protection from danger.

Please consider sponsoring a child from Ecuador, where Edith lives, through Compassion International. Please pray that more children from Ecuador would be sponsored.

My Top 10 (and a Bonus): A Book-list on Biblical Literacy

An important topic to me is Biblical literacy, the ability to read and understand the Bible. Over the years, I have seen all too well what happens when a church congregation doesn’t understand what the Bible says nor takes the time to actually read the Bible. Error creeps in, and we lose what we desperately need – the Gospel. Therefore, I’m recommending these resources for an introduction to the topic of Biblical Literacy and how to read and study the Bible.

  1. Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin
  2. Knowable Word by Peter Krol
  3. Word Centered Church by Jonathan Leeman
  4. How to Study Your Bible by Kay Arthur
  5. Inductive Bible Study by Richard Alan Fuhr, Jr. and Andreas J. Köstenberger
  6. Searching the Scriptures by Chuck Swindoll
  7. How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth by Gordon D. Fee
  8. Read the Bible for Life by George H. Guthrie
  9. How to Read the Bible Book By Book by Gordon D. Fee
  10. Knowing Scripture by R.C. Sproul
  11. How To Get The Most From God’s Word: An Everyday Guide To Enrich Your Study Of The Bible by John F. MacArthur Jr.

Are there any books that you would add to this list?

 

My Child Sponsorship Journey & what got me to blog again…

I have been sponsoring children with my mom since I was 16. She was the financial sponsor, and I wrote the letters. We sponsored a girl named Dilcia from Honduras first through World Vision; when she dropped out of school, we prayed about it and decided that it was time to end our sponsorship with her. We felt that the sponsorship program had let us and the girl down.

Later, Mom and I heard about Compassion International, another sponsorship program. We tried sponsoring a little boy named Jesús – this time from Columbia. He was very nice, and I enjoyed getting to know him very much. But as my college education neared, Mom let me know that we couldn’t sponsor him anymore. Jesús was near and dear to my heart, so it hurt when we let him go. I look for Jesús from time to time on the children listed on Compassion, but I have yet to find him. He would be about 17 years old now.

After college, I was living at home again with little direction in life besides working at the library learning more about God in church and the Bible. I needed something that would help me live for something other than just myself. Mom and I went to a For King and Country concert, and there they had Compassion International packets. We asked for a girl, and we received Edith from Ecuador. We are still sponsoring her, and it is wonderful getting to know her better and encouraging her as grows up.

Later, at a college-age youth conference that I was invited to, they were promoting Holt International sponsorship with a focus on helping orphans until they were adopted. I chose a little girl named Sunisa from Thailand to sponsor, and this time, it was with my own finances. In April or early May of 2016, Sunisa was adopted. I needed to find another way to sponsor a child, and I hoped to write to the child.

Therefore, I went searching for a child on Compassion International again. I chose Burusi from Kenya. During the months leading up to sponsoring Burusi, I had read I Will Always Write Back by Caitlyn Alifrenka and Martin Ganda, their story about becoming penpals and how Caitlyn helped Martin gain entrance to a university in the US. While Martin was from Zimbabwe, Africa drew me in, and that is one of the search options I chose when looking for Burusi. Burusi also was born in September like me, so that also spurred me on to choose him.

(By the way, I just celebrated my one year sponsorship anniversary with Burusi on May 21st! That same day, Mom and I added our two newest children through Haiti Outreach Ministries.)

Almost a year later, I decided I needed to sponsor a couple more children. I chose Midkenson from Haiti and Joseph from Kenya through Compassion International. They grabbed my heart when I saw their pictures; they were too cute to pass up. I also thought it would be easier or less expensive for me to travel to Haiti should I ever get the chance to meet one of my sponsored children, so that influenced my decision to choose Midkenson.

A few weeks ago, some friends at my church shared their mission trip highlights to Haiti at Haiti Outreach Ministries. Our church has supported their ministries for many years, and they have taken numerous mission trips to help out. One thing they talked about during their highlights was meeting their sponsored children. I went home and talked to my mom about it. She decided she would sponsor a little girl named Lourddjany, and the more I thought about it, I couldn’t pass up the chance to sponsor a little boy too. My little boy is Berekyah, and I hope to meet both of them one day.

That should be all the children Mom and I sponsor for right now… that is until I get a raise! Haha! 😉

This week (June 1 – 9), some Compassion Bloggers are taking a trip to Kenya, and when I saw information about it on my Twitter timeline, I looked it up and decided I would get back into blogging, this time about different topics I’m passionate about such as child sponsorship.

If you would like to learn more about child sponsorship through two of my favorite child sponsorship ministries, please see these links:

I highly encourage you to pray about sponsoring children and if God calls you to sponsorship, please say “Yes!” You’ll be just as much blessed by it as the children are through these ministries.

Blogging again…

I’m back to blogging. I previously had a blog on libraries, but it got to be a hassle finding things to write about. This blog will be devoted more to my current interests, such as the Gospel, Biblical literacy, sponsoring children through Compassion International and Haiti Outreach Ministries, book reviews, and other things I find worth writing about.

So, welcome to my new blog!