There was a time in my life when I wasn’t going to church. My family and I had gotten out of the habit. Brian was deployed, I had a brand-new baby, and I wasn’t ministering within a church at the time. It became easier to treat Sunday as another Saturday – a day that did not involve church.
That doesn’t mean I didn’t miss it. I missed being around other people. I missed getting to know others who shared my beliefs. I missed being in a place of support and friendship. I missed learning. And I missed worshipping God and being encouraged to grow in my faith.
During this period, I signed up for a ‘through the Bible in one year’ course. It was a commitment, not only because of the reading involved but also because I had to arrange childcare for Grace, who was only months old. I had a feeling though that it was going to be important – crucial, really – for me to start growing again and to start looking towards God and His direction for my life.
And it was important. And it was crucial. The course involved reading the Bible each and every evening, and I took it seriously. I wrote down questions that I had, and when I arrived at my class once a week, I asked them or pointed out observations I had made about the text. On the first day, the instructor said that if we stuck with it, this read through the entire Bible would change our lives. What he meant was that the Holy Spirit would work through our commitment by speaking to us through the scriptures.
At the same time, I had started looking for a church home and had visited Orenco for a few months. I began to pray more. I started to embrace God’s call for me to ministry. All of this took place while I was reading through Genesis. That’s right – as soon as I opened the Bible, within a matter of days of this commitment to read each evening, God began to speak and to completely change my life.
This was a powerful time for me, of God’s work in my life to bring me to a renewed commitment to serve Him. While we may try to design the perfect program, or class, or Bible study here at Orenco, the real power in God’s Word comes from the Holy Spirit. This year, your pastors and elders are challenging you to read through the entire Bible with us. I am making this commitment and urge you to join me. I can’t wait to learn, to come to a deeper understanding, and to see what God will do through this experience. May we glorify Him in our efforts to understand Him better.