Wisconsin is a great place to live. I love seeing the different shades of green in the spring when the new leaves start popping out on the trees. In the summer I enjoy walking around outside in a tee shirt and shorts and feeling a cool breeze wafting through the pines trees that surround our house. Fall is a great season too. The colors of the leaves on the trees is simply amazing to see. But then . . . comes . . . winter.
Winter in Wisconsin is not as much fun as the tourism department would like everyone to believe. Wonderful scenes of winter skiers and sleigh rides soon fade when you're shoveling snow at ten below zero. Anybody watch yesterday's Packer game? Cold!! Today's HIGH temperature is expected to be nine below. The low around -17 degrees. Up north it will be worse.
So what do we do to entertain ourselves and to stay warm when the temperatures outside are not so friendly? I guess we could buy a couple snowmobiles and ride around the countryside in the cold. My cousin and her family love to do that. Embrace it or die! Not us. My wife and I like to stay inside and read. We occasionally will go outside and do a little snow shoeing but we won't be doing that at ten below I can assure you of that! No, my wife and I will stay inside and read.
My wife likes to read romance novels. They're usually set in the south some place, on a plantation. Or maybe out west back in the pioneer days, usually someplace warm. I like to read the Bible. Nothing like reading about wandering in the desert for 40 years to warm the soul if not the feet.
I just started reading the Old Testament again. It's kind of a tradition of sorts - reading the Bible every year. It's a new year so I might as well start it off right. Right? I'm in Genesis now as you might have guessed, the stories of Abraham and Isaac . . . and the desert. Ah, the warmth of the desert. I read about Noah and how his family went on an ocean cruise with thousands of animals. That must have been nice . . . other than the smell. I also read about Adam and Eve walking through the garden, naked. I know I'm not supposed to read anything into scripture but I have just GOT to believe it wasn't winter. Winter is a good time to read.
The pastor at our church has read the Bible a couple dozen times and spoke once about someone he knew who had read the Bible once for every year he was old. Yikes. I could never do that. I'm 60 years old and have only read the Bible twice. Spiritually however I am much younger. In a few weeks I will celebrate the eighth year of my re-birth, having given my life to Jesus January 15, 2006. I CAN accomplish a goal of reading the Bible once for each year of my spiritual age. And so I shall. My goal is to read the Bible twice each year until I catch up.
The Bible is God's written Word, written by men but inspired by, and breathed out by, God. The Bible is one of the ways, probably THEE biggest way, that God communicates with us. I have learned many things and discovered many new truths by reading and studying the Bible.
Hey, do you have a study Bible? You should. Study Bibles are filled with insights from Biblical scholars and theologians. Study Bibles provide necessary background into the physical setting of the scripture, who the writer's audience was. A study Bible is an essential tool in our quest to understand God and his Holy Word.
I use the John MacArthur Study Bible. You can pick one up at Walmart. Here's a link to ChristianBook.com where you can order one for $38 - well worth the price.
John MacArthur Study Bible
Shortly after I began my walk with Jesus, I heard a song by Sara Groves - a singer, song-writer from Minnesota. She's probably frozen stiff too! The song was called The Word and it is an excellent portrayal of what The Bible is and what His Holy Scripture can do for us. I invite you to listen to this song and then pick up a study Bible this new year and read it. It contains every promise we could ever need.
The Word by Sara Groves