8 Practical Tips for Tapping Into Your Light Source

​You know sometimes when moments in life just happen to turn into an impromptu life application lesson? If you don’t, ask my children. It happens a lot. The other night was no exception.
​I was standing in the laundry room folding clothes when my seven-year old son walked in. Our laundry room is big, but not that big and he walked in with his Wubble Bubble BallTM. (Some of you may not know what one of these things is, but basically it is this large plastic/rubbery ball that you inflate with a pump. It doesn’t bounce like a ball, but it floats in the air like a bubble. They get rather large and they are very flexible.) Since he was trying to squeeze in to talk with me, he leaned himself up against his Wubble BubbleTM and squeezed it against the glass door. He stood there talking for a couple of minutes and then he walked back into our kitchen. As he walked into the kitchen, he noticed that his clear Wubble BubbleTM was now lighting up in the dark. “Look mom, look! It’s glowing,” he said as he ran back to “recharge” it at the glass door. Back into the kitchen he ran and again he said, “Look mom, look! It’s still glowing.”
And that became a perfect moment for a life application moment.
 
“Hmmmm,” I said as I continued to fold the laundry, “How can we, as humans, charge our lights so that they shine in the darkness?"
 
“By reading our Bibles,” he said.
 
Bingo. Mission accomplished.
 
A seven-year old gets it. My seven-year old gets it. Sadly, I didn’t get it when I was seven, seventeen or twenty. I bet some of you reading this might not get it either.
 
Let me explain.
 
You can read my bio on my website (http://sandalfeet.org/about-erin.htm), but to sum it up quickly, I grew up going to church. I grew up Lutheran (in the more traditional Missouri Synod). Our service was traditional (you know, creeds, hymns and of course, not more than one hour). I know the pastor preached, but I can’t tell you on what (I do remember Scripture references being on the board at the front of the church). We didn’t bring Bibles to church (they supplied them in the pews, but I rarely, if ever, saw anyone crack one open). I never saw anyone taking notes.
 
We didn’t have a Bible at home (at least not one that I ever saw). We never had family devotionals and other than a dinner time meal blessing (“Come Lord Jesus, be our guest and let thy gifts to us be blessed”), we never said prayers. My only in-depth “Bible study” was my two years of confirmation classes (7th and 8th grade). Clearly I passed the agonizing questions in front of the entire congregation (complete horror for a teenager by the way) and my parents gave me my own Bible as a present. It was the New King James version and it may as well have been in Hebrew. I couldn’t understand a word of it. I tried. For the first few days, I perused it as I was placing my cute little bookmarks and other trinkets I had received as gifts in exactly just the right place. But sadly shortly after that, I placed my neatly organized Bible back in the box it came in and it sat on a shelf – unopened – for years until it was finally just placed in a “keepsake” bin.
 
I had a heavenly source at my disposal and I didn’t even know it.
 
It wasn’t until I was truly born-again that I had a desire to read and understand more about God, Jesus and the Bible. It was like a hunger that could not be satisfied.
 
I pulled down that keepsake bin and got out that Bible and...mostly nothing. I still could not understand that thing. I had the Holy Spirit and He was slowly helping me out (I was picking up bits and pieces here and there), but I needed something more.
 
I think a lot of “Christians” need “something more.” In light of all the recent news in this country, I’ve seen scripture thrown around like a freestyle artist throwing paint on a wall. Most of it has been misquoted, taken out of context and/or used as a way to say that the Bible “evolves” (I am at least a bit happy at that because in order to “evolve” something must be “alive” so maybe God is making headway on these people). I digress.
 
In order to know the God of the universe – in order to know the secret things He wants to share with us through His Word – we have to first be sure of our salvation and possess the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:14), but there are also some other pretty practical things we can do to get in and better understand the Word of God. It doesn’t necessarily take years at a Bible training school or seminary.
 
Here’s what I have come up with:
  1. Get a more understandable, reader friendly translation of the Bible. I personally love the New Living Translation because it puts the words into more current language, but there are also translations like the English Standard Version and the New International Version that are just as easy to understand. ​
  2. Get a study Bible. I have a bazillion copies of the Bible now and even though I love my new big print Bible, it is not a study Bible. When I am reading it, I have to keep my study Bible right next to it. I have questions when I am reading my Bible and my study Bible helps a ton. 
  3. Keep your Bible in plain sight. If you put it up on a shelf or tuck it away in a box, you won’t read it. We have them scattered throughout the house and the ones I use most are in my reading area. 
  4. Don’t be afraid to write in your Bible. Mark it up. I love looking back at notes when I come across one written in my Bible. 
  5. Download the Bible onto your phone or tablet. There are great ones out there, but my favorite is YouVersion. That way, I can access the Bible anytime I have a question, need a verse or have a few minutes. 
  6. Know some great Bible study tools. My favorite is blueletterbible.org. I can plug in any verse and I can learn all kinds of information about that particular verse, chapter, book of the Bible, etc. There’s a dictionary, a concordance, as well as commentaries by preachers, theologians, etc. that I can read. 
  7. Talk about it. The Bible is meant to be shared, discussed and learned. (Isaiah 28:10, “For it is precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little.”) 
  8. Take notes during sermons or Bible study. It is impossible to remember everything that was said without writing it down. We have what is called a “foresight bias.” (A lab study was done that basically concluded that we think we will remember things and we are overconfident about it. When asked just a short while later, the exact answer is not as easy to recall as one thought it would be. Koriat and Bjork (2005)
My Bible today looks a lot different than the Bible I received on my confirmation. Charles H. Spurgeon said, “A Bible that’s falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn’t.” So true.
​We have a Light source that allows us the ability to glow in the dark, but we have to charge it in the Light before it works in the dark. It’s dark in this world – not just because of the recent Supreme Court decision – and people need hope, direction and eternal life. That “people” means all of us. I need it and you need it. God gave us His Word for a reason and it is not to be kept out of sight and out of mind. I pray these practical tips help kindle the desire to get back into the Word (or deeper into it) and not just rely on what others say about Scripture, but also about what you learn from reading Scripture. His Word never returns void (Isaiah 55:11).

Erin Olson

Founder and CEO of Sandalfeet Ministries

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