My Initial Thoughts and End Thoughts about this Book in a nutshell:I have been struggling in reading this book titled Passages by Brian Hardin. Hindrances Distractions, and Disinterestedness seemed to really hail on me as I set about reading this book. Sorry Brian my first thought through the 20 first pages was...I'm a bit bored.... I had to fight tooth and nail in order to get through finishing this book, but it is of no fault of the author. In retrospect I believe there was a spiritual battle taking place that I did not know of because of the impact it will have on my life as a believer. I'll have to reread the first pages again with my new-found perspective!
At first I hated this book, I wondered "WHY? Did I Sign Up to Read it!?" Reading the Bible in a year, I have heard this before, and quite truthfully I felt like I did not want some guy telling me I needed to. I rather liked the pace and level of Bible reading I did.
Though the deeper I got into the book, the more I understood the importance of reading the Bible for more than just a tid bit of encouragement for the day. At first it was bittersweet reading, and then it was like the sweetness and ripeness of what I was reading slowly started to hit my tastebuds.
God's Word has the power to change lives even yours. Throughout the book, I kept hearing Hardin challenge me to take on this challenge. At first I brushed it off. But because of his persistence and I have to say his ability to really pinpoint my reasons for not reading the Bible and ability to tackle them and persuade me otherwise is quite a God thing. Hardin called me out on some things I do to "fix" my self and my life. Here is one thing he mentioned that I had to laugh my little heart out at. I shake my head knowing that Hardin hit me in the gut with this one! I laughed nervously I think because this way never works and yet I keep doing it.
We're high on a mountain in the blinding snow, but we've convinced ourselves through distractions, addictions, and busyness that we're actually on a path leading somewhere. In the deepest parts of the evening, though, while we lie in bed trying to stare past the ceiling to the heavens above, we feel the emptiness of it all.... We feel the hunger of our deepest soul crying out for nourishment, but we simply don't know where to begin.
We start making a checklist.I cannot tell you how often I try to feel fulfilled in life by way of Checklist! I have tried to take control of my life and fix myself by way of Checklist and doing things apart from God and His Word. And in the end the checklist makes me feel more sunk in the black hole after a couple of weeks.
1. Get in Shape. If I got in shape, I'd feel better about myself.
2. Get more Culture. If I understood the world better, I'd be a better person and could help more people.
3. Get Organized. If things were a little more in order, life would feel more manageable.
I can taste and see the change God has done through him as a result of reading the Bible as a Whole. I can sense the thrill of placing God and His Word priority through the testimony of others...and I want it for myself. I know the thrill of watching what I want to, and it ends. I know the pleasure of spending money and shopping--and the pleasure fades.
I am persuaded that if I give God my time, my life--He will do something with me that will leave me fulfilled, joyful, and living life the way He created me to live. Hardin talked about how he started, and as he says he was shocked! He did not expect to find himself in a community where they've committed to reading along with him. He was enriched by fellowship, and even a ministry he was not exactly looking for.
When I first started reading, I did not want to be challenged. Quite frankly the Bible seemed like a dry crusty piece of stale bread. Yes, I read it. When I get in trouble or feel like my world started becoming chaos, I'll come running to God's Word to read something of hope or encouragement from God. God does not want me to treat the Bible as an h'orderve either. Snacking when I feel convenient. In fact the Bible was meant to a daily part of life impacting the way I view my role as a parent (being an example), living life moment by moment, decisions I make, etc. Above all I look forward to knowing Him more through it. I look forward to that peace and joy that comes too.
Want to be challenged? Desire to be changed? Think life is boring even in Christ? On the couch a bit depressed? Need a thread of hope? Reading the Bible as it was meant to be read as a Passage can do more than help you. It'll change you if you stay with it! I am fully persuaded in the power of God's Word (Hebrews 4:12). He created the universe by His Word!
As you can see I have greatly enjoyed it. By the end of the book, I was thankful that I too can take up the challenge of reading for the author has included several types of Bible Reading Plans in the back of the book. Whether you want to follow along with the Daily Audio Bible Schedule, read the Bible Chronologically or Historically--it's right there at your fingertips.
More about Brian Hardin
|Brian Hardin is a speaker, photographer, record producer and an
ordained minister. In 2006, he created the Daily Audio Bible, an online
podcast that now delivers 1.5 million downloads a month. He has produced
over 150 albums and works with artists and the arts extensively. He is
married to Christian musician Jill Parr.
Find out more about Brian at www.dailyaudiobible.com.
Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book for the purpose of providing my honest oopinions.