Thursday, March 8, 2012

Studying is Not a Dirty Word, Linda Maynard

When I saw this week’s subject, I have to be honest, I was like, could I just “opt out?" "NO...that was not an option I chose."  I decided that I will be honest and vulnerable. I try to live my Christian life that way…not being who I “think I should be.” Somehow, in the deep part of me, I believe that pleases God, to be Linda, just as He created me to be.
You see, I have ADD (it’s the Attention Deficit Disorder without the hyperactivity).I know that there may be among those who read this, that don’t believe in the reality of such a diagnosis. Perhaps they see it as an excuse for not applying myself, not trying hard enough and/or being distracted. I mean “just pay attention! Then there are those who would claim that” by golly…doesn’t she know “by His stripes she is healed!” They may look at my admitting this as negative confession and admonish me to be positive and speak words of life. To all who may feel some of those feelings…I have heard them all. To tell you the truth, all it does is make me feel “less than”. I know one thing for sure, in the eyes of my Wonderful Savior…I am far from “less than”. I don’t hold judgment against anyone though. I ask God to speak to them. I ask God to correct any wrong thinking or defensiveness or pride I may still have.

With that said…when I hear the word study…I cringe. I just have not had much success in a lot of study “methods” that I have tried or have been suggested to me. Also, I have not ever been consistent, as to how I do get my Daily Bread from God’ Word.

The way I mostly start my time with the Lord is writing a personal letter to Him…pouring out my heart in honesty and praise and trust and adoration. I guess it could be likened to a psalmist. I sit quietly as I listen to Him. My words often have questions and include scriptures. As I listen, I am led to search the Word of God for relevance, as to what I wrote or ask the Lord what I should study that day. Sometimes the area that I focus on is not only for that day, rather becomes an ongoing theme for me to explore for days upon days.

At times the “theme” is a person that I want to know more about. I look at every account of that person’s life. I try to imagine myself living their life…in the circumstances and the times that they lived.

Then there are times that the focus is a struggle I am going through. For example, if it is fear…I scour the word for every counteractive word against fear and I write them on an index card. (I also add artwork as well J) I either carry them with me or have them on my windowsill and read them out loud. I think that there is power in declaration of truth.

Then there are times that I am assigned to do a teaching for our Life/Home group. Those times I cherish, as I feel I am digging deep into the Word. I am doing it to “give” and yet I am the one who “gets” so much more. I know that you Teachers of the Word know just what I am talking about.

Bible study groups do not take the place of personal study, but I have found them valuable in expanding my understanding of certain scriptures I also am a person that loves community and I am strengthened by our common endeavor to know the Word better.

I have been assisted by Personal Bible Study books, as well as commentaries and dictionaries and different translations of the Bible.

I once heard something that I thought was profound, speaking of the Bible as nourishment.  This Minister said…The Word is the menu…but Jesus is the meal!”

So for me, if my pursuit of knowing the word becomes rote and just a study method, only to gain knowledge…it has little or no life. But, if my study leads me to Jesus…THE WORD… then I feel I am pretty much on target.

I don’t want to study about Jesus…I want to know Him. That is exactly where I was before He became my Lord and Savior…only acknowledging His existence but never being in relationship with Him.

“Thy Word is a Lamp unto my feet and a Light unto my Path”


Joyce Lighari said...

Hmmm, I posted a long comment yesterday and it's not here... I remember saying how much I admired Lin and that I knew her personally and she is underestimating her ability to teach and study - I said it better then but I did say it :) and want it on the record

Linda Maynard said...

Thanks Joyce...we do ( I do) sell myself short sometimes. I know that.
Thanks for your reminder

Kerry Luddy said...

Somehow I missed this post, Linda. What an encouragement, and it helped me to know you better! xx

Anonymous said...

This was good. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Thank a lot.