a new study Bible…

CSBMy wife says that I have a problem.  That problem is that I love collecting and reading different Bibles.  She has threatened to hurt me if I buy any more.  While not prone to violence, I think I may believe her!  Just kidding.

Anyway, earlier this year I made the switch to the Christian Standard Bible for my main personal Bible.  I really like the fact that it is a great mixture of accuracy and easy to read.  Falling right in the middle of most of the very literal and easy to read versions.  I even got my daughter the CSB kids version because it’s easy to read to her and I know the truth of the Word is not compromised in anyway.  I highly recommend the CSB to anyone looking for a great modern translation.

A few weeks ago, I saw that CSB has released their new study Bible.  It’s a beautifully done Bible that has very detailed notes and study helps.  Not only that, but the color pictures, maps, and design are awesome.  After looking at the Bible I knew that I needed one, but didn’t want to risk my life.

I happened to be on Facebook and one of those ads where they offer you a deal on something you were googling popped up for the CSB Study Bible.  It was to click here to get a free CSB Bible.  I clicked on the link to a Lifeway page and saw that the deal was for people who work in churches, mainly pastors, to get a copy of a regular CSB reference Bible.  However, there was a link to contact Lifeway if I had any questions.  I figured what could it hurt to send a note to Lifeway so I clicked the message link.  There I informed Lifeway that I am in Full Time ministry with FCA and was wondering if I could get a free promotional copy of the CSB Study Bible.  I figured the worst they could tell me is no, so what did I have to lose?  Lifeway responded pretty quickly and informed me that they didn’t normally give away promotional copies of the Study Bible, but would be happy to send me one!

Within a week I had my free hardback copy of the the CSB Study Bible!  And I have to tell you that I love it.  The pages are thick, glossy, and high quality.  The amount of work and detail in the notes is awesome and I know that this is going to aid me both in personal study and preparation for Bible studies and speaking opportunities that I may have in the future.  The only negative with this Bible that I may have is just that it is large and heavy.  So while great for personal home and office study, I wouldn’t want to pack it to church and other places very often.  Hopefully they will come out with a more personal size version in the future.  That being said, I would highly recommend it to anyone wanting a great study Bible.  And a big thanks to Lifeway for the gift of this amazing study tool for sharing God’s Word!

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fuel ignited…

Fuel IgnitedI may have already shared something about this in the past few weeks, but I have so been blessed by it that I figured if I had, it wouldn’t hurt to share again.  Erin and I have been teaching the Teen Sunday School class at our church on Sunday mornings.  For the first few weeks I was using various teaching tools and studies that I had acquired over the past few years.  While my lessons were solid, I still felt that I needed to bring more structure to our class.  So, I began looking for a good teen Sunday School Class material to use and found “Fuel Ignited” by LifeWay.   We are currently doing Volume 1 of the series which contains twelve lessons.  The first four lessons were Biblical lessons on finding and relating to friends.  The next four lessons are on Biblical integrity, and the last four lessons of Volume 1 deal with sex and relationships.  Each weekly lesson has a video of about 10 minutes that deals with the issues we will be discussing in the lesson.  Unlike some videos which are just another person on dvd talking to the students, in this series there are mini tv show episodes that deal with the topics we are discussing and form a mini-series that continues from week to week.

My first few weeks of teaching the teens it was often really hard to hold their interest and pull discussion out of them.  However, with this material you gain the students attention right away and that leads right into discussion.  You also have a choice of lesson plans each week where you can do a discussion or an activity based lesson plan.  I personally love the discussion plan because it tends to draw more discussion and Bible searching from the students.   And each week you are also given a weekly devotional that has 7 seven days worth of mini-devotions for the students to do on the topic you are discussing that leads into next week’s topic.

Over all I am just really excited about this material, not only because of the interest it has gained with our students, but mainly because it is solid Biblical curriculum.  Each week the students are challenged to look at their walk with Christ and see if their actions and relationships are leading others towards Christ or pushing them away.  They are also challenged to grow in their relationship with Christ on a deeper level each week.

If you work in a youth group or sunday school setting with teens, I highly recommend the “Fuel Ignited” series!