"Quiet Times"

If you attended a Christian Union (or equivalent) as a schoolchild or student, you will already be familiar with the concept – if not always the practice – of “Quiet Times”. What is it? For those who aren’t familiar, the “Quiet Time” is a (ideally) daily exercise of taking some time out, and spending it intentionally with God. It usually involves elements such as worship, bible reading, prayer, journalling, meditation, and so on. Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, and Night Prayer (or compline) are very structured way of doing this, required of all Church of England clergy as a part of […]

"Wages of Sin…"

In Romans 6:23, Paul says: For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Aside from the obvious quip (“That’s fine, thanks – I’ll sin on a voluntary basis”), I’ve been reflecting on this recently, and my own experience of sin and death. Sin, for the purposes of this post, is anything which is contrary to God’s will, plan, or nature. It must be kept that in mind that God, and Jesus’ sacrifice, are far greater than any sin we could conceieve of, or do – however bad […]

"Life Verses"

I think Life Verses are probably a bit of a marmite thing – you either love the idea, or hate it/don’t see the point. I must confess that I haven’t read any direct explanation of what they are, so I’ve inferred it from some of the youthwork books I’ve read and my own personal experience. As a concept, they perhaps grab youth a bit more readily, but I think there may be value whatever your age. In essence, and as I understand it, a Life Verse is a particularly verse from the Bible that you feel God has given you […]

"Swedish Bible Study"

(Download PDF Template) Sometimes a little bit of structure can make a huge difference, especially when trying to do a Bible study. I must confess that I find it very hard to engage with the ‘standard’ sort of Bible study, where you start off with a list of comprehension questions (“Where was Peter when he first saw Jesus?” “Who else was in the boat?”), and then move onto discussion and application. I don’t want to be negative about this approach – which can be very helpful and appropriate, particularly for complex or less familiar passages – but I often struggle […]

There are many ways to interact with the Bible – I have previously talked about Lectio Divino, or holy reading, and FIER is another technique where you try to experience a passage “first hand”. Obviously unless you are The Doctor (or possibly a neutrino), travelling through time to experience it first hand is a tall order, but the next best thing is to imagine yourself there. This can be done by choosing one of the people present in a given passage, and putting yourself in their shoes – trying to imagine what they are thinking, feeling, seeing, smelling, etc. Having […]

"Lectio Divino (Holy Reading)"

One of the ancient contemplative habits of the ancients is Lectio Divino, or Holy Reading. This is a way of engaging with the Bible and with God in an utterly different way to normal. In fact, it’s different from any other form of reading. The best and most helpful description I have come across is in “Contemplative Youth Ministry: Practising the Presence of Jesus with Young People” by Mark Yaconelli (see resources, below). The starting point is to understand that there are many different ways to read. The way you read the milk bill is different from the newspaper, which […]

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