|In this, our second main section,
we invite you to undertake a number of practical exercises each of
which involves reading and interpreting the Scriptures. Some may seem
elementary, but if you approach them in the way we have already
suggested in Approaching the Bible we
are certain the Lord will use them to enhance your confidence in your
ability to understand and apply the Scriptures, and that by doing so
you will experience something of the Bible's power - its unique ability to speak to you, today.
However, there is one recommendation we do make for you to gain the greatest benefit from these exercises. It is that you transcribe the references we have given, preferably by writing each one out by hand. It is one thing to read the Bible for yourself; it is quite another to copy Scripture. We are convinced there is great benefit to be gained from manually transcribing the Word of God, as the remarkable events related on this page testify.
(Visitors from Biblical Meditation return to Main Text.)
|The following article appeared on the front page of the Christian Herald for 4 March 2000. We reproduce it as it appeared in the paper, apart from the addition of the two Scripture references.|
Woman transformed after copying from the Bible
Report by KAREN CARTER
A project to write out the Bible by hand led to a "miraculous" change in the life of woman who had suffered severe exhaustion and depression for over a year.
The conditions had left Sandy Watts, of Bristol, without a desire to speak or the ability to write. "I couldn't be bothered with anything," she said.
But a plea from the Bible project organiser at her home church prompted Sandy to have a go, with God answering her prayer for help in ways she could never have expected.
Steve Goddard, of Fishponds Baptist Church, had launched the scheme last autumn in response to information from Open Doors. "Many believers in the persecuted church write out the Bible," he said. "I thought it would be a good idea if we could do the same, helping us to identify with Christians in places like China. In fact, it also helped us to work together as a church, with God doing wonderful things for many people along the way."
After getting the go-ahead from Fishponds minister, the Rev David Plumridge, Steve divided up the 1,189 chapters and organised a rota of some 150 "scribes".
Sandy said: "When Steve first mentioned it, I couldn't read or write because my mind had just blown with stress. Speech was also really difficult, because I didn't really want to speak to anyone."
But the former secretary knew that God was with her when Steve dished out the first passage for her to copy: "It was Ezekiel and the dry bones. At first I didn't think much about it, but then I realised it was a passage that had been given to me several years previously when I was ill with a blood condition. Steve had no way of knowing that this particular passage had meant such a lot to me. At first the writing out of the passages was so hard - I used to have to keep my finger on a single word, copy it, and move on to the next one.
"But then I really knew that God was helping me because when Steve gave me the next passage it was Psalm 116 - another one that had been extremely important to me earlier on in my life. It was like God was saying to me: 'I've helped you before and I'll do it again. Don't worry, just trust me.'"
Sandy went on to do several further passages. "As I continued, so God began to work, because I hadn't been able to co-ordinate at all, or spell even the simplest word. I have been a secretary all my life and it was quite frightening to think that I couldn't do any of it.
"I'd also found it very difficult to speak to people, and I hadn't been able to go to church over the past year. I'd walk in and just walk out again - and yet just a couple of weeks ago, the Lord gave me the strength to stand up in church and give my testimony.
"I had felt so far away from the Lord and yet I never lost my faith and trust in God. I know I was crying all the way through, and I suppose this is his answer. At one time I really thought I was going mad, and I couldn't imagine myself ever being right again, so it's sort of miraculous to think that simply writing out God's Word can bring about these changes.
"I believe these passages were not just given to me at random, the Lord knew just what I needed to fix my feet firmly on the rock, and go forward in my life with him."
Steve Goddard, who's now preparing to hand over the
finished Bible to Open Doors on 12 March, said: "It just shows the
power of the Word of God."
|We gratefully acknowledge the kind permission grandted by the Christian Herald to use the above article.This periodical has since ceased publication.|
It's for You, Too!We are convinced that what God did for Sandy Watts he will do for anyone who applies themselves to transcribing his Word, for the Bible has power - an intrinsic dynamic not to be found in any other book, which is able to inform our minds and change our entire outlook.
We now invite you to embark on the first of the exercises compiled with the aim of helping you to develop your ability to read and interpret Scripture for yourself. We have called this first exercise, Getting Started.
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