“Describe your present personal Bible reading/devotional habit”
This question is on the Guide and Staff applications, and is asked of every person being considered for membership in the Lone Eagle Fellowship and the Deerfoot Lodge Board of Directors. Most answer that they read the Bible on a regular basis, perhaps 5 or 6 times a week.
Because the Bible is the foundation for our understanding of salvation and Christian living, DL considers the pattern of daily devotions very important to develop. At 8:00 AM, after cabins have been cleaned, each Section Chief hollers “quiet time”. Campers and staff then read their Bible and pray for 15 minutes. Woodsmen counselors provide extra assistance to those with limited ability. Sometimes a children’s Bible or a paraphrase edition like the New Living Bible is provided. Often a counselor has read the Bible to one or more campers. The long term objective is to have every camper develop the pattern of daily devotions, a pattern they continue when they are at home.
Often we learned that it was during the junior high school years that this pattern of regular Bible reading settles in. I know that this is when I got serious about reading my Bible almost every night before I turned out my light.
I have walked by the maintenance building before the 7:00 AM staff meeting, and seen the facility staff reading their Bibles, each in a different location.
Staff can sign up to use The Quiet Place, a beautiful 10 X 12 log building with a screened porch and decks, located on a hill overlooking the lake. Its primary purpose? So individual staff members can have a place where they can spend a day with the Lord, a day to read, think, pray, write notes…and nap.
I continue to read/study the Bible. To do so, on a regular basis, continues to be a very difficult discipline to maintain. My habit of reading at the same time in the same place helps me to keep at it. When I find that I have not read for a day or two…or three, I pick up where I left off. When I read I freely mark my Bible – underlines, notes, etc. When I have worked through one translation or paraphrase, I put it aside and pick up another. Through comparing translations and paraphrases I am often able to get a clearer picture of what the writer was saying.
When I read the Bible I am reminded of God’s wisdom and faithfulness, and love – and this strongly encourages me to love Him, and my neighbor. Reading helps keep me from rationalizing my decisions.
Almost every Wednesday morning Bob Mullens, father of DL campers Dan and Mark, and I breakfast together before Bob begins his work day. Presently we are studying Ecclesiastes, which, for the first time in my life, I am beginning to understand – with assistance from author Dr. Phillip Ryken.
Your spouse and your children know you watch television. They probably see you reading the news paper, magazines, books, or checking your computer, iPad or smart phone. Do they see you reading your Bible? Do they know what you are reading? Does your family know when one of you questions the pastor’s use or interpretation of a particular passage of Scripture? Do you ever talk with your pastor about your difference in understanding? Chances are high he will be thrilled that you listen and care enough about what he says to talk with him about it!
May our knowledge and application of God’s word bring courage to our daily living, and a continued peace with God.