Listening to the Bible, Why Not?

You remain curious about the contents of the Bible, but you do not own one, or the thickness of the one you possess tends to intimidate you and to keep you away from it. Listening to the Bible could perhaps be a way to expose yourself to biblical contents.

Hence, we do invite you to listen to and read the Bible for yourself, perhaps starting-out with Paul’s second letters to the Corinthians while reading it, possibly a few times, for ex., in the English Standard Version Dramatized available from Bible.Is.

Your word is a lamp at my feet and a light on my path (Psalm 119.105, ESV)

Having listened to 2 Corinthians from Bible.Is as suggested above, you may now want to listen to the entire New Testament, starting-out with the Gospel of Matthew, doing so through ESV.org. Whatever your preferences may be, please be sure to be listening to the Bible or reading it as a regular practice of your daily life. This would be a means by which you will grow day after day into a better knowledge of who God is, and of the infinite love He has toward you.

Please feel free to leave a comment in the box below. You may also communicate with me through one of the means indicated under Questions or Comments.

Daniel Garneau,
B Th, B Com, MA,
Published: March 5, 2018;
Edited: June 20, 2018.

 

Reading the Bible Seems Heavy to you?

You are amongst those who find little or no motivation for reading your Bible? You are under the impression that the pages of the Bible talk to you no more? It is as if the words were going in front of your eyes without leaving any imprint into your heart or mind? Reading the Bible seems heavy to you? Why not ask God to speak to you as you read? Perhaps you could start-off by asking God to guide you into His Word? You might want to pray so that God will help you see the basic root of your lack of motivation. You could be well advised to ask him to instruct you in how to go about reading in new ways. For example, perhaps you could become more intentional in asking God to reveal Himself to you as you read, to provide you with insights that you need for going about your life now.

Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting! (Ps 139.23-24)

From a practical perspective, there would be several routes that you could take, one of them – not for everyone: only for those trying to learn a foreign language – would include being brave and reading the Bible in a language you are currently trying to learn. There are good starting points do do this in the French and Spanish versions of this blog’s article titled, Listening to the Bible, Why not?  If French happens to be a language you are attempting to learn, be brave and read – Lire la Bible ne vous dit plus rien? -, the original French language version of this article. See if you can at least partly understand portions of the Bible verses that are quoted there, and look them up in your own Bible. Perhaps you will be able to understand more of them than you suspect.

The basic argument in the original French version of the present article is that the Bible is a very personal book from God to any human being who wishes to commune with Him. Along those line, you might want to read Scripture Engagement and visit the resources that article is pointing providing various means of personally interacting with the Bible. Or you might wish to browse through the Psalms and some of my own interacting with them – in Spanish this time – in an article titled, Venir a la Biblia para encontrar a Dios.

None of the above seems to really fit your own situation or the type of person you are? Why not think about something that you feel would work better for you, and then share it with the rest of us, in the comment box at the bottom of this article. Or perhaps you have found ways to get your motivation back after a while. Please share it with us below.

You wish to get involved and discuss about life-related subject matters, feel free to join our trilingual Community of dialog about the Christian Faith (French, English, Spanish). You are welcomed to share with us some aspect of your hard-gained life experience.

Daniel Garneau
June 20, 2018

Answering Hervé-Cyrille from Benin

This article provides advice to those who meet Christ through the Web, and are wondering how they might proceed in order to grow in their new-found Christian faith. Here is some of the most basic advice to be heeded, in a nutshell. First, ask God to help you understand as you read the Bible. Second, make sure you take into account the context of the Biblical passages that you read or that other quotes to you. Third, Consider what God says in His Word to be more important than what others say about it. Fourth, Find believers to gather with, and a church that teaches the Word of God.

… Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith,
who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame,
and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12.1b-2, ESV)

Full text of article available under:  Réponse à Hervey Cyrille du Bénin (French).

Other articles that might be helpful for meeting the same needs as this article does:

You wish to get involved and discuss about life-related subject matters, feel free to join our trilingual Community of dialog about the Christian Faith (French, English, Spanish). You are also welcome to share below some aspect of your hard-gained life experience.

Summary created: August 28, 2017.
Updated: January 11, 2018; July 23, 2018.

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Research keywords: Advice to those who meet Christ through the Web; Advice to new believers; Advice to new Christians; Help for starting the Christian life.

Intelligence and Christian Faith

When I came to the Lord as my personal Savior as a young adult in 1977, I believed myself to be very limited in terms of intellectual capabilities or potential, such as are involved in the proper understanding of written material of any degree of complexity. Yet I wanted to understand what God was teaching in his Scriptures.  I titled this article, Intelligence and Christian Faith because it was God who provided me with the abilities I was asking of Him so I would understand His Word and be able to explain it to others.

You have said, “Seek my face.”
My heart says to you,
“Your face, Lord, do I seek.”
(Psalm 27:8, ESV)

One day I read a passage of Scriptures that said that it is God who gives wisdom to the wise and understanding to those who have understanding. My French language Bible used the French word “intelligence” for “understanding,” and I took it to mean that God provides one’s mind with the abilities one would otherwise be lacking to comprehend what God’s Word, and God’s teaching, is all about. Based on this interpretation of things, I said to God that if He wanted me to understand His Word, He would absolutely have to make me capable of doing so, for it would otherwise not be possible for me to get it.

I consider that Christianity removed a barrier that would otherwise have prevented me from believing that I could one day achieve what I had to heart to know through systematically and regularly reading the text of the Bible for myself through the years. As I applied myself to understand as best I could what I was reading, I made progresses that would otherwise not have been within my reach. Also, God helped me through His Spirit, but He also helped me through His Word to believe He would intervene. This had a mobilizing effect upon me for several years until it had become and felt natural for me to study the Bible and whatever other text I wanted to understand, no matter how complex.

The original version of article may be read at :  Intelligence et foi chrétienne (French).

You wish to get involved and discuss about life-related subject matters, feel free to join our trilingual Community of dialog about the Christian Faith (French, English, Spanish). You are also welcome to share below some aspect of your hard-gained life experience.

Translation provided on August 25, 2017.
Comments opened on January 5, 2018.

Research Key Words: Christian Faith; Intelligence and Christian Faith; Intelligence; Understanding; Intellectual capabilities.

God Answers Prayers!

God answers prayers in ways that are sometimes surprising…

I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
(Psalm 121.1-2, ESV)

I would never have imagined that He would answer my prayers by leading me to create the web site  Savoir et croire .ca, and its Forum chrétien la Rencontre.

The entire text of his testimony is available in French : Dieu répond aux prières !

You wish to get involved and discuss about life-related subject matters, feel free to join our trilingual Community of dialog about the Christian Faith (French, English, Spanish). You are also welcome to share below some aspect of your hard-gained life experience.

You may communicate with me through the indications under Questions or Comments.

Daniel Garneau, B Th, B Com, MA,
Updated: February 6, 2018; July 21, 2018.

Being a Christian?

Being a Christian is about being. From who we are flows what we like and dislike, what we do and don’t do. To become a Christian, one must start by knowing who God is. Reading about the life of Jesus as told in the four gospels is a good place to start, but then the rest of the New Testament also provides very important insights about what it means to be a Christian. Also, reading the same books Jesus read (Psalms, Isaiah, Genesis, Jonah, Jeremiah and the rest of the Old Testament) will provide bits of understanding about God, as one reads more and more over the weeks, months and years.

Whoever abides in me and I in Him, he is that bears much fruit (John 15.5)

My own road from agnosticism to belief in Jesus Christ as my Savior involved a key step, which occurred after reading in the Bible that anyone who seeks Him will find Him. Once I read that, I prayed to God that He would make Himself known to me. That was a very important attitude quite early in  my quest after God or rather His seeking me out.

The above is an adaptation of an answer I gave to the question someone asked, and which I would sum up in these terms: What are the rules for being a Christian? The thread was titled «Important things I need to know in Christianity» at Christian Forum Site. To read the thread itself, go to my profile (member name : DanielGarneau), click the Postings tab, and search for my posting dated October 27, 2014.

If what Christianity is all about is of interest to you, you may enjoy visiting the section of www.savoiretcroire.ca called Believing and from there Christian Faith. Many short videos provide information about some key aspects of what it means to be a Christian. The testimonies found at www.savoiretcroire.ca, under the Autobiography and Learning, could also help you along in your searching for God.

You wish to get involved and discuss further about the above topic, please consider doing so at Christian Forum Site. I will be happy to engage with you there.

We also would like you to feel more than welcome to join our nascient (as of this writing) trilingual Community of dialog about the Christian Faith (French, English, Spanish). Additionally, you may simply share your response to this post in the comment box below.

Updated: May 11 and 17, 2016; January 5, 2018.
by Daniel Garneau, B Th, B Com, MA.

Bird’s Eye View

My preceding testimony,  God’s Outworking in my Life, provided a detailed view of some of the major events that drew my attention to God in the first place, and that contributed to make me want to stick with Him throughout the years of my life. The testimony you will read below is simply titled Bird’s Eye View, because, as its name suggests, it provides an overview of the same without entering into specific details. These titles are intended to reflect that both testimonies are complementary of one another.

Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful (Joel 2.13)

I became a Christian in 1977. I clearly understood that I was leading a life that displeased God, although I had been considering myself as doing no harm to anyone up to that time when I began reading the Bible for myself.

Changing my attitude, ways of thinking, of doing, and of being, required a decision on my part which I was not willing to make at first. I believe today that this refusal on my behalf was what eventually led me to declare myself an agnostic.

But, as a self-declared agnostic I could not explain how a God that does not exist could have answered one of my «If you exist, then you must…» type of prayers which I had made earlier on, when seeking God, and asking Him to reveal Himself to me.

That answered prayer nagged me until such a day I realized agnosticism was not a valid world view, and decided to turn away from the life I had been living, up to then, and to begin living in ways taught by the Word of God.

This led me to become dynamically involved with sharing my faith all around me, up to a point when I joined a «servant in training» program, preparing for what turned out to be a Church Planting pastoral ministry.

I was devastated, when I came to realize – in 1987, after eleven years of training and ministry – that there were issues in my personal life that would not just go away, and that I had to make a choice that involved stepping out of full-time Church leadership, and going back to secular work.

I stayed in the small Church I had been the founding pastor of, but soon realized people kept coming to me with situations that the new pastor was teaching and leading in ways that were sometimes opposite to what I had done. So within the same year that I had left full-time Christian ministry I also felt I needed to move to a different local Church.

From 1988 to 1997 my family and I worshipped and shared about God and His ways in a nondenominational Christian assembly called Assemblée chrétienne la Bonne Nouvelle (Good News). It was a good Church, and it helped us in our spiritual walk. But a situation came up that led our family to join a start-up local Church involving leaders that were from the same denominational background that we were.

So, from 1997 to March 2017, we were involved in a second non denominational group, La communauté chrétienne des Deux-Rives. The name has to do with the premium value this local church lays on the notion of community, and to the fact that its participants are spread out on the North and South shores of the Quebec city area, Quebec, Canada. From that community church we moved on to our current Église vie abondante.

It was not until 2008 that came about a life-changing insight, which I am convinced was from the Holy Spirit of God, and which led me to confess my sin in a specific area of my life I had progressively let myself slip into with the passage of time. As a result of this, and of several other factors that were part of God’s doing, I began to experience a deep and permanent joy I had tasted a little of before, but that had not been my daily lot.

My family, and the people who had known me for years, asked me what had happened. But I could not explain it apart from the above. I do know that even when we are convinced that nothing will ever come of our life again, because it did not turn out as we wanted, God is there doing His work, and leading us to greater knowledge of Him. My article Can Married Couples be Restored is a direct outcomes of this life-changing event.

In light of one of what I am trying to accomplish through www.savoiretcoire.ca, perhaps concentrated on the page titled Autobiography and Learning, and documented more in-depth in my master’s thesis (French only), it might be appropriate to add that the current synthesis is an example of the level of abstraction that one can choose for presenting  autobiographical material, in cases he or she does not wish to provide some of the specific details, yet is determined to stay true to what actually occurred in his or her life.

Please check out www.christianforumsite.com, where a draft of the above testimony was first published as part of my profile. I’d be happy to engage with you there.

Daniel Garneau, B Th, B Com, MA
Updated: Sept 2014; Aug 2015; May 2016; Jan, Feb, and June 9, 2018.