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Where Do I Begin? (An answer to a great question I was recently asked)

Most things in life have to start somewhere.

I see this all the time with work especially. I’m an Independent Writer (thanks to my brother-in-law for tweaking my title from freelance to independent. Sounds fancier.) who finds time somewhere in the middle of wiping hineys and making dinner to touch base with the nether-world of people who are out there in the world WORKING. It’s fun to hear adult voices and talk strategy and refine processes. I am honored that people trust me with their words.

I ghost-write quite a bit and that is an interesting process. Writing to sound like someone else’s voice is a trick and a challenge that I like to overcome. But it has to start somewhere. Reading someone’s samples or talking on the phone, listening intently to their goals and what they want to produce and convey. It takes time, but eventually, somewhere along the road, we find the voice that works and sounds the most like what they want to sound like and then it’s published. Yay.

Finding someone else’s voice is a process that has to start somewhere.
A good friend messaged me the other day and asked a truly inspiring question. It was one that reminded me how important asking good questions is. My friend was looking to start somewhere. She went out on a limb and asked me. I was so glad she did.

“Karen, I want to start reading the Bible. Where should I start?”

Gosh, such a great question. Asking where to start reading the Bible is such a genius question. She could easily do the open-the-Bible-and-just-see-where-it-opens-to method. Which totally works! OR she could start in Leviticus. But then she might start crying and put the Bible back on the shelf. She could start in Revelation but be totally confused by the horses and angels flying around. AND I COMPLETELY BELIEVE GOD WORKS IN ALL THESE BOOKS, NO MATTER WHERE YOU START. But I think knowing where to start is a great, beautiful, valid question.

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To which I answered, the book of John and Psalm 139.

The Old Testament is rich and beautiful, so next I would suggest the book Ruth, and then the book of Nehemiah, and then Genesis and then Romans and then 1 John. If anyone was wondering.

But the question that I think even precedes the question of where do I start? Can be the question of why? Why do we read the Bible?

Why do you read the Bible?

I remember in seminary one of my fellow classmates asking those of us around the table at lunch a question his professor had asked that day: If you could only have one – prayer or the Bible – which one would you choose? Most people, including myself, said prayer, because it was communication with God. But that professor’s answer was the Bible. Because that is how he got to know the God he was praying to.

Reading the Bible, knowing Scripture, seeing the thread of God’s great plan all throughout the Bible, is how we get to know HIS VOICE. Like a ghost-writer attempting to find and write the correct tone and phrasing that my clients want me to use, as Christian people, our tone and word choice is most beautiful if we reflect the heart of God.

It is in the Bible that we hear WHO God is and WHAT He is about. We learn His voice.

We see His compassion shining through.

We see His commitment to justice, mercy and humility.

We see His power and ruling over His domain.

We see a GREAT King humbling Himself to come save His people.

Christians get a really bad rap for claiming Christ as King, and then saying REALLY DUMB THINGS. I do it all the time. Which, ah hem, is why we need a savior in the first place. God’s word is a tool and opportunity to learn how He would respond. What He would say.

May you start somewhere. Read a passage here and there in the Bible, with a desire to hear God’s word. And when you get to the parts of the cruel deaths and plagues, keep reading. I hate it, too. But keep reading. We can’t just hunt and peck for what we want to hear. There is a full story that is written in the Bible – and being lived out in real life – that will one day all come to fruition.

May the peace of Christ be with you as you seek to find His voice.

Where do I like to begin?

Psalm 139: “You are fearfully and wonderfully made…”

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