Do you include summer Bible reading when you gather your stack or armload of things you plan to read? I suggest that this is a perfect time to devote some time to reading the Bible, the most important and powerful book of all time!
If you are a student, have students in your family, or even teachers and professors, you know that in the summer months there is this lure to stretch out in a comfortable place outside with a book. It's that reward for having worked so hard at studies and required reading the other 9-10 months of the year, is't it?
If your children go to a summer Bible camp, they will be introduced to the concept of daily personal Bible reading and prayer. That's wonderful. But if you don't help them to keep up that habit at home, they may lose it soon. If you appreciate the Bible you would be wise to help your children to do more Bible reading, either aloud to you, or on their own on the shaded grass in the back yard, or in a lounge chair by the pool.
If the child or youth complains that the Bible is too boring, look at your family Bible and see if it isn't black and heavy and foreboding-looking. Then the answer would be to get them something more appealing. BiblicaDirect has a Bible out now that looks like a camper's Bible. There's another one that looks like it's all about the great outdoors. (Which it IS!)
What can make Bible Stories come alive more then reading them outside, where skies, trees, grass, the sound of birds, etc., all add a natural ambience that inspire the imagination?
My earliest memory of a Bible story is when I was betwen two and three; a Sunday School teacher was telling our class the story of Joseph, dressed in his coat of many colours, and hiking off to find his brothers. I happened to be looking out a window at that time, and saw the rise and fall of some green fields before me. My imagination vividly put Joseph on a half run over those rising hills, maybe flapping his arms for the joy of being alive. Joseph has been my favourite Bible character ever since!
If you make a little effort to have summer Bible reading outside every day for a couple of months - well, there is no telling what a great impact it will have on your children.
Perhaps there are no children at your home this summer. But think for a moment of the inner city kids who get sponsored to go to camp, have some spiritual adventures there, and come home all excited, only to find their parent or guardian has no Bible, and no one makes an effort to encourage them in their new faith commitment, which they may have made.
What if you ordered a case or two of Bibles, and sent them to a camp you know of, with instructions to give a copy to the children who really need them when they are sent back home? That would be a wonderful gift that could totally change the lives of a number of children!
If you know of such kids in your neighbourhood, or connected to your church, you might even treat yourself, by offering to meet with them on a regular basis - (if daily is too much, try weekly), and just sit outside, or on a porch, to read a Bible together. I say "treat yourself" because you will benefit richly in ways you can't imagine now.
For that matter, why not ask a Sunday School teacher, or the Superintendent, if you could buy them a stash (case) of Bibles to be given out as needed? I help in an English as a Second Language (ESL) class which is part of our Sunday School. Someone there has already done that. There is a cupboard under the stairs where we have bi-lingual Bibles. We never know how long a student will continue to come, so as soon as we find out that they have not got a Bible and would be willing to read it, we give each student a Bible. I think that's a wonderful plan!
The NIV Heart of the Outdoors Bible, published by Biblica, has inserted a number of photos of ourdoor activities with the adventure stories. Even some of sportsmen, who are out fishing, or boating, etc. Eyes are drawn to photos and graphics, but it is always the words that persuade and touch people. These Bibles will be read! Someone like you and me just needs to see that they get out there where the potential readers are, right?
Do some brainstorming. Besides campers, hunters, fishers, swimmers, bug-collectors -- Who do you know that enjoys being outdoors as much as possible during the summer, and who needs to discover the adventures in the Bible, but then, yes, be drawn to grasp and understand the eternal truths. It is in the Word that we find life and salvation. The Bible is powerful enough to convict and convert and transform lives all by itself. But of course, if we are nearby, we can encourage them on with our words and loving actions too.
Naturally, you will want to have a summer Bible reading plan of your own first of all. However, if you wish to share the blessings, consider giving some Bibles to others too.
You can order individual Bibles, caselots of Bibles, both hard-cover or paperback, in a number of languages, and even two-languages opposite each other, all from BiblicaDirect.com
Make summer Bible reading a new adventure - and tradition!