Summer brings the gift of time for reading the books stacked over these last months. I include e book readers as well, although you are not stacking rather downloading. The pleasure of savoring a good book without interruption is one of summer's delights.
I recently read an article about "Phantom Scriptures." Ever heard the phrase? They are those "verses" people quote with authority and conviction claiming they come from the Bible. A few examples are "Cleanliness is next to godliness" and "God helps them who help themselves." They are not actually biblical texts. Amongst other issues, the article points to the growing crisis in our culture around biblical literacy.
Therefore, here is a summer reading suggestion: Download or buy a modern translation of the Bible such as the New Revised Standard Version or the New International Version. Invest in a study bible -- one that has notes, background information, maps and a wealth of reading aids. Ensure the text size and layout are appealing to your eye.
Where to begin? Go to the New Testament and begin with one of the four Gospels -- "Good News" -- Matthew, Mark, Luke or John. Do not worry about what you do not know or immediately understand. Read large chunks as you would a novel. Trust that the spirit of the God revealed in Jesus has something significant to share with you. You will hear the message God has for you! Blessings!
Jim Short can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.