Your Favourite Podcasts, and Study Plan Ideas?
This post is mostly about me asking for your recommendations and suggestions for your favourite podcasts and Bible reading plans or study books.
We’re taking a couple of weeks from creating our usual output, and it’s giving us an opportunity as a family to catch up on all sorts of things, rethink things and rest as a family in a different way.
We’ve washed the car, dumped a broken sofa at the tip, rearranged some furniture and taken a look at our lives to see where we have been wasting time, or where God might be calling us to do other things.
“It’s hard to listen when you’re doing all the talking and doing!”Andy B
Busy can be great, but being too busy – for too long – is never something to cultivate, because it means we probably think we know more than God (never a good place to let ourselves arrive at)!
Stopping and listening is a fundamental and important lesson in humility. Just like being comfortable and confident to say ‘no’ is critical in life, because we’re otherwise, potentially, stealing from other people’s opportunities of giving to God, and preventing ourselves from hearing what God may be saying to us through His Holy Spirit.
When I read how God created the world and known universe in 6 days, resting on the 7th, I see a really good pattern for our working week.
6 x 24 hours = 144 hours of work, and 24 hours off. That is the pattern God tells us He used in Genesis 1.
The 24 hour day of rest was a day different from the others.
We even see how, at the end of each day, there is a pause before God started ‘working’ the next morning.
That is a great pattern and one we would, of course, do well to follow and imitate.
But I also see a principal at stake here. Because that 7th day, or sabbath, can look so very different for different people.
If you know shift work, then Sunday may well not be your weekly ‘day of rest’. We’ve been there – both Jo and I, and are grateful that it’s so much easier, these days, to catch an online, virtual service, when you’ve not been able to attend your ‘physical church’ week by week.
And we’ve been there A LOT over the past 25 years or so!
But, at it’s core, that 7th day of rest is simply a day that is not supposed to look like the other 6 days.
And while things that are comfortable can be of great value – and comfort – they can also prevent us seeing things a new. And since God’s word is a living one, growth means change, and change means growth”
Recently, I’ve been struggling to read my bible. Can you relate to this?
It hasn’t become difficult, or boring, or a struggle to engage with God! I am just in need of that 7th day approach – I need something that looks different to how I’ve been doing things.
Because ‘a change is as good as a rest’ – and I don’t want to rest from reading scripture or growing in my faith!
I’ve used an NIV Bible (1984 version) for years, and still use the very same bible for every preach or teach I create (that a kindly senior pastor helped me buy when I was on a year out doing youth work in Manchester).
It has a great concordance, and almost nothing in the way of notes at the bottom, which means I can more simply focus on what the Holy Spirit is trying to get me to focus us on and what God is saying through His own words. Rather than remembering what God has spoken to me through that particular bible previously.
But my NIV bible became something I have become too comfortable with in certain regards: I spotted familiar text easily.
I’ve switched to an ESV Study Bible, because I wanted to see scripture afresh once more, and a different version did exactly that – as planned and hoped.
We’ve mentioned we’re gonna be starting a podcast on Marriage, to celebrate our own 25th Wedding Anniversary later this year. We’re calling it Marriage Matters and you can learn more about that here. It’ll be a video and audio series, that you can catch from starts 23rd October, via YouTube and on Podcasts (and we’re REALLY EXCITED ABOUT STARTING THIS BRAND NEW PROJECT!!!!!).
But that started us on a journey to find a host for putting out our podcasts, and we’ve so far been just uploading my preaches from Endurance, and my Andy B 2 Minute Videos. But with all the videos I create, I’m after something I can listen to, rather than read or watch as a video.
So, what recommendations do you have for podcasts that you listen to and enjoy?
Bible Study Plans
I’d also value your thoughts on reading plans for the bible, and any favourite study notes you’ve fund over the years. I’ll collate and publish any that you send in for everybody to be able to see and use as a resources.
I’ve used YouVersion on my phone for a variety of some great plans, and I’ve had a small study book for a particular topic, or book, of the bible too, and think I want something new and fresh.
So what do you use and find helps you?