As I was researching Bible Study methods for TOOLS for a LIFETIME, something absolutely wonderful and amazing happened.

In 2011, I found myself on a journey towards the biggest challenge to change that I had ever faced. Well, I take that back. I had faced this challenge before and failed, miserably. However, this time, I realized I would succeed only if I allowed  God to direct my path. So,  I began to read the Bible more and attend women’s Bible study. The study on Esther, by Beth Moore literally lit a match and started a burning desire for the Word of God in my heart. I wanted to study it and know it like she did!

It was frustrating. I didn’t know where to begin or even how to start.  So I hunted and hunted for every book I could find on how to study the Bible (still do! ) And I prayed. One day, as I prayed, I heard the Lord say in my heart “Search for the treasure.” Not knowing exactly what He meant other than knowing that I would search for the treasures in His Word, I decided to read the Bible from cover to cover. I started in January 2012 with the NIV One Year Chronological Bible. I highlighted and marked every Scripture I came across concerning any kind of treasure. I found beautiful Scriptures that gave me strength and courage and in September of that year I wrote in my journal:

“I believe the treasures are the hidden things that He will reveal to me as I read, study, and meditate on His word”.

Treasure, is a word to which I still pay close attention, but for the most part, the search had faded after I finished reading the Bible that year. But the desire to study and learn still burned and I knew God would reveal the hidden things to me as I continued in the pursuit of Him.

Then it happened. God, in His own wonderful and beautiful timing revealed the “treasure”. He knew that I needed to be in a certain place in my life, pursuing the dream he placed in my heart,  before I could understand His words to me in 2011.  I read the following paragraph by Howard and William Hendricks in LIVING BY THE BOOK.

“The Bible does not yield its fruit to the lazy. Proverbs 2:4 gives an interesting insight concerning the richness of God’s Word. It admonishes us to “seek (wisdom) as silver, and search for her hidden treasures.” In other words, biblical wisdom is like precious ore. It’s not found lying around on the surface, but at a deeper level.”

In the very moment that I read this  paragraph, I believe my chin hit my chest as my jaw dropped and my heart leaped. I had misunderstood all this time and thought I was looking for the word “treasure” in order for God to reveal the deep and hidden things (Daniel 2:22) he wanted me to see. What God revealed to me  is that personal Bible Study is a treasure hunt! I will find treasures more precious than the diamonds in South Africa or the oil in the Middle East, but I’m not going to find them on the surface. I have to dig.

I find it ironic that I actually had the revelation in 2012 when I wrote in my  journal. It just took a little more digging before I could see that the treasue God has for me is joy of the  treasure hunt, the joy of Bible study and the precious gems in  His Word.



My favorite form of exercise is running. However, due to some bad habits concerning diet and exercise that managed to creep into my lifestyle in the last couple of years, I’m out of condition. I am running again, just not as frequent or as enthusiastic as before.  My current long distance run doesn’t even measure up to my previous short runs.  Not to mention speed… the turtle wins every time!  It seems the more I want to run and the harder I try, the worse the results. It’s frustrating, it’s exhausting and I wonder if it’s time to give up this once favorite form of exercise.

Last weekend, during another attempt to run longer and faster and lacking any great success, it felt as if the Lord whispered something in my ear… “Running when you are trying to get back in shape is like Bible study when you don’t know how or are out of practice.” What?  Then it dawned on me…..


To build back up, I can’ try harder and faster…. It is methodical, it’s planned, it’s slow and steady with intervals of short sprints. It’s running at the right time with the right warm-up and preparation. It’s as much mental as it is physical. Then, as I obtain strength, speed and endurance are natural by-products.


Many of us long to spend more time in the Bible. We want to know what it says and we want to understand it, so we plow ahead fast and furious and end up frustrated, exhausted and wondering if we should just give up.

Effective Bible study is approached the same way as training to run or for any other activity in which we wish to excel. It is methodical, it’s planned, it’s slow and steady with intervals of short sprints. Then, as God begins to open our hearts, eyes, and ears, as we meditate on his Word, we gain the endurance that comes with the knowledge and wisdom God has placed within our reach.

If we read the Bible at all, we often read our daily devotional or current reading plan just to be able to place that check-mark on our to-do list for the day. What happens when we do the dreadful thing and get behind? Well, of course, we read several days’ assignments all at once to catch up! It’s our duty after all to read the Bible in order to be spiritual, right? I know I’m alone here… am I?

What do we actually accomplish with this style of Bible reading because it sure doesn’t classify as “study”? Sure, God blesses us anyway when a Scripture stands out and meets our need at just the right time. He is faithful like that! But, at the end of the day, were we able to put what we read into action? Did the Lord reveal something to us as we read? Did it touch our heart or lead us to repentance? Did we leap for joy at the promises? Did we see an amazing attribute of our God? But most importantly, did we get a little closer to Him today?

Bible study is not a race. It’s not about how fast we can read or how often. Although reading the Bible through every year is great life plan, it’s not even about that. It’s not about how much we get out of the Bible, it’s how much of the Bible gets IN us. It’s not even about information or knowledge for the sake of knowledge.  It’s about transformation.  The Bible will teach us to live prosperous and successful lives, it equps us for all good work. It teaches us righteousness and above all, it brings us into an intimate relationship with the Author!

In summary, the TOOLS for a LIFETIME tip for today: Slow down.

Read smaller portions. It can even be one or two verses that you want to etch on your heart.  Mediate on them (think about them). Take your time until you know them in your heart. It may take a week or more of reading the same passage over and over again. Remember, it’s not a race. Turn them into a prayer. Turn them into praise! If it’s a passage of history, ask God how it applies to you today. Ask Him to show you the timeless truth.  Don’t read just to read. Read to be transformed.

Joshua 1:8 (NIV)

 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV)

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Romans 12:2 (NIV)

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.





Father, create in me a pure heart and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Search me, O God and  know my heart. Test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 51;10, 139:23-24)

I begin this post today  with this  prayer from Psalms . Why? Because, honestly, I’m a little scared. God has placed a wonderful desire in my heart to learn to study His Word. But, the desire is not just for me to hold on to for myself; it’s a  desire to share and teach others what I have learned.

Disobedience to His call will kill the desire, pride will kill the desire, procrastination will kill the desire, doubt, sin, unfaithfullness and many more things will also kill the desire….all of which I am guilty.

God placed A Heart Him on my heart a few years ago as a tool to share the things that I have learned with others. I have not been faithful to the call.  I pray to change that with this wonderful second chance (or is it the third, fourth or hundreth chance?) I may not have been faithful to the call but God is always faithful!

Tools for Lifetime  are tips and methods that I have learned over the last few years from well known teachers. Each teacher has a style and method all their own, but I have discovered that they flow together beautifully. Each method I learn builds on or enhances the understanding of the one before, until BOOM, it makes sense and, above all….it WORKS. Scripture has opened up like never before. It’s mind blowing! It’s exciting! (see the SLOW DOWN post coming soon!)

Tools for a Liftime will be a small group at my church. However, I pray that those of you who read the posts will know that, from the bottom of my heart, the posts are not intended to be an “advertisment” for that group . My desire is that somehow, through these tips that are posted, God will stir a hunger in hearts and begin to open doors for people who want to read his Word and understand what it says.

Ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you.

I love you all and may God give us hearts that are open, eyes that see, and ears that hear.