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“Read your Bible, pray every day, and you’ll grow, grow grow.” This is a song my grandkids and I love to sing and it is so true. Another way of putting this, and a popular saying with most of my pastors, “Seven days without Bible study makes One Weak!” All this to say that I am a firm believer in daily Bible study. As a fellow senior home care giver, I realize this isn’t always easy. Some days it is downright impossible. But as much as is possible, I highly encourage it and practice it myself.
I have ebbed and flowed over the years. Some years, particularly when caregiving for my young children was extremely demanding, I have only managed five minutes a day. Other years I have spent an hour a day. The vital part is the daily, and next vital part is to do as much as the Lord allows. Currently my goal is half an hour and sometimes I make that, sometimes not, and sometimes I do more. Some days I am up and running with no time to sit down and study, so I whip out my handy dandy mp3 player that is loaded with great sermons (I list some of my favorites in the article, Six Great Ways for a Caregiver to Have Church At Home ) and listen as I am driving. When I do sit down to study, my current favorite study guide is a Kay Arthur Bible study on Colossians which requires a lot of in-depth homework, including reading commentaries (after you’ve done a ton of study and work on your own). I have two great websites and one great book set that I rely on and thought I’d share them with you.
The book set is Thru the Bible by J. Vernon McGee. It is a wonderful resource and has been for many many years. I started out buying each of the individual books – usually covering one book of the Bible. This should fit any budget as they run about $7 – 9 each. (Frugal Tips for Care givers – Because this series has been around for so long, you should also be able to find most, if not all, used for even less. I would start with Amazon. If you can’t find what you want there, you can also try Alibris. You might call your local used bookstores as well.) For the most part, he goes verse by verse through the King James Version of the Bible, with his comments interspersed. This is not a normal commentary, per se. He originally gave the messages found in these books on the radio. They then took the messages from the radio, put them into book form, and did it all in an easy-to-read, somewhat folksy manner. I really enjoy them and they are usually the first place I start. (Frugal Tips for Care givers – If you try one and decide you would like the whole series, I would check out ChristianBook.com . In past years, they have offered the entire series in a hard-bound set of five books. When it is in stock, they also have a set of six that includes a complete index. The cost for the five volume set, through them, was only $49.99 which, if they currently have it in stock, is a MAJOR savings over the same set at other stores, not to mention the cost of buying each book separately.) Then again, I have the whole set in my cell phone now through Laridian and it was about that price as well and a lot more convenient. 🙂
The next commentary I turn to is on the computer. David Guzik is a Calvary Chapel pastor in Southern California. He has written a complete commentary of the Bible that is available for free (although donations are accepted and wonderfully appreciated). He gives interesting and insightful comments, accompanied by quotes from a wide variety of Biblical scholars such as Charles Spurgeon. I love using the written commentaries, however he also has audible files of his sermons for many of the books of the Bible. They are wonderful for downloading into an mp3 and listening while on the go. You can also purchase a CD with all the New Testament commentaries and many of the Old Testament commentaries, along with many of the audio files for only $20. In addition, many of his commentaries are available in book form. His work is Biblically based, solid teaching, and very interesting.
For a broader spectrum of commentaries to pick from, both old and new, I also enjoy Austin, Texas’ Precepts site . Here they have many of those listed above, and others including Charles Spurgeon, John McArthur, Oswald Chambers, and the Intervarsity Press Commentaries.
With all these resources at easy reach, Bible study is even more interesting and definitely fruitful. You get a great combination of words of encouragement coupled with inspirational Bible verses, leading to strong growth. It certainly makes it easier for a Sandwich Generation senior home care giver to stay consistent in daily or almost every daily Bible study. So come join me as we “grow, grow, grow.”