Thursday, October 23, 2014

Book Review: While Love Stirs (2014)

While Love Stirs. Lorna Seilstad. 2014. Revell. 341 pages. [Source: Bought]

While Love Stirs is the second book in the Gregory Sisters trilogy. (The first book is When Love Calls.) Charlotte Gregory is the middle sister. She is a recent graduate of Fannie Farmer's School of Cookery. She is hoping to find work in a restaurant, as a chef. That is her big dream. It won't be easy. She knows that. Her sisters know that too. But she's determined to find a way to cook for others. Her dream may need to undergo some compromises…

Charlotte Gregory may not have been able to find a job as a chef in a hotel in her hometown. But there is someone at the gas company who believes in her, and wants to hire her to tour and lecture. She'll be helping to advertise and promote the gas company's gas stove. She'll be demonstrating how wonderful it is, how easy it is, how revolutionary it is. She'll also be showing off some of her cooking skills, advocating cooking by recipe and precise measurements. She'll meet plenty of interesting people…

But the one person who may change her mind about many things--her heart, her future, her goals--is a young, handsome doctor named Joel Brooks.

When the novel isn't focused on Charlotte, readers get a chance to know the youngest sister, Tessa. Readers learn that she wants to be an actress. I didn't exactly "love" Tessa's chapters. I was much more interested in Charlotte's story. I found it entertaining. I liked her taking part in a cooking contest. I liked the scenes where she's demonstrating and lecturing. I liked many things actually.

I definitely have enjoyed both books in this series. Recommended.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Book Review: Loving Jesus More

Loving Jesus More. Philip Graham Ryken. Crossway. 176 pages. [Source: Crossway.]

The goal of this book is to help people grow more in love with Jesus.

Phil Ryken's newest book has a great goal. He wants his readers to LOVE Jesus more. Ryken sees things realistically. He knows most--if not all--believers struggle with loving Jesus, with loving Him MORE. It is oh-so-easy to love him less--less than at first, less than we should, less than we ought. Ryken sets out to show how readers can, in fact, love Him more. 

The book focuses on two things: God's love for us, which, is the source of our love for him, and, our love for God, which, spills over into our love for others. 

I believe the book does its best to be practical and relevant. I am not doubting it is practical and relevant. But it isn't exactly new or surprising information. The things he discusses while remaining relevant are things that the reader most likely already knows. (Things like living an obedient life, not clinging to favorite sins, going to church, loving and forgiving others, reading the Bible, etc.) 

It is in the "putting into practice" what one already knows that would show actual results. The book is good--great, even--if and only if it challenges readers to change their beliefs and behaviors. If the Spirit uses Ryken's message to reach hearts and awaken the conscience. I believe the Spirit can use books and sermons. I believe the Spirit also uses the Word of God itself.

Perhaps because I loved Philip Graham Ryken's Loving the Way Jesus Loves so very, very much, I was disappointed by Loving Jesus More.

Favorite quotes:
Once we have the Holy Spirit, it is vitally important to leave our lives open to his influence. If we want to love Jesus more, and if the Spirit is the source of that love, then we should do everything we can to keep the channel of his grace wide open. The Bible gives some very specific instructions about our response to the Spirit. It tells us some things we should be sure to do, and also some things we should be careful not to do. On the positive side, we are told to “walk by the Spirit” (Gal. 5:16) and “keep in step with the Spirit” (Gal. 5:25). This principally means following the words that the Holy Spirit has revealed in the pages of Holy Scripture. But it also means following the leading of the Spirit through his inward work in our mind, heart, and conscience… On the negative side, the Bible tells us not to “quench” (1 Thess. 5:19) or “grieve the Holy Spirit of God” (Eph. 4: 30). The Bible talks about quenching the Spirit in the context of prayer, worship, and the ministry of God’s Word (see 1 Thess. 5:16–21). We quench the Spirit whenever we sense him leading us to do something and then fail to follow through.  It is also possible to grieve the Spirit, which we do whenever we persist in rebellious sin. After all, the Spirit is a Holy Spirit, and therefore as he lives in us, he wants us to be holy. The context in which the Bible tells us not to grieve the Spirit is noteworthy. “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths,” the Scripture says. “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice” (Eph. 4:29,31). Bad language, hate speech, and words that tear people down grieve the Spirit of God. All of this may help to explain why we are not falling more in love with Jesus. When we do not turn to God in prayer or encourage people in the gospel, then we quench the Spirit. When we curse God or speak against other people, we grieve the Spirit. As a result, we choke off the channel of God’s love.
Most of all, the assurance of God’s love will come by going back to the gospel and listening again to the good news about Jesus Christ. If the gospel is what we are having trouble believing, then it may be tempting to ignore it. Instead, we ought to go back to the lowly manger and not stop until we have gone on to the bloody cross, the empty tomb, and the glorious throne of God, where Jesus reigns as the King of all kings. When we go back to the story of Jesus like this and see him again in his gospel, we know that we are loved. We know this because everything Jesus has ever done for our salvation is a demonstration of his affection.
The more trouble we have seeing Jesus, the more we wander into foolish thinking. The consequences are devastating: sinful patterns of self indulgence, angry conflicts with other people, and bitter thoughts about ourselves as well as others. If these are some of the struggles that we have— habitual sin, broken relationships, self-loathing— then we must not be seeing the love of Jesus the way that God wants us to see it.
The whole drama of our salvation is a love story from start to finish— the love that has appeared to us in Jesus Christ. Truly, it is a love that will never end, because nothing in time or eternity can ever separate us from the love that God has for us in Jesus Christ (Rom. 8:35–39).
If we ever wonder why we do not seem to love Jesus very much— at least not as much as we should— maybe this is one of the reasons why: we are not reading the Bible in one of the ways we should. We are reading it in worship services, perhaps, or reading it for a class or study group. We are reading the Bible for content and maybe for application, but not for a relationship. If we want to love Jesus with all we have, we should read his Word the way a lover would, as a message from our beloved. Whenever we open our Bibles, we should pray, “Lord Jesus, I am not just here for these words; I am here for you, and for the love message you want to send from your heart to mine.” God has promised to meet us in his Word, which makes Bible-reading a place to rendezvous with our Savior.
One of the best ways to test our grasp of God’s grace is to see how we respond to the people we think of as “sinners.” What do we say about them? How do we treat them? What are we doing to reach out to them with the love of Jesus? Sadly, many Christians do not care enough to get involved in the lives of people in spiritual trouble. They do not touch “sinners,” and they do not let “sinners” touch them. Our calling as Christians is to share the love of Christ with people who need his grace. In the same way that Jesus came to seek and to save the lost, and in the same way that he has touched our own lives with mercy, we are called to reach out with his love… But what would happen if we really believed that God has grace for sinners— not just for us, but for everyone? What would happen if we embraced lost and difficult people instead of avoiding them? What would happen in their lives, and what would happen in our lives? The way for us to make the difference in the world that God is calling us to make is to believe that he has grace for sinners. 
© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

My Year with Spurgeon #42

Charles Spurgeon
“Boast not thyself of to-morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.”—Proverbs 27:1.
GOD’S MOST holy Word was principally written to inform us of the way to heaven, and to guide us in our path through this world, to the realms of eternal life and light. But as if to teach us that God is not careless concerning our doings in the present scene, and that our benevolent Father is not inattentive to our happiness even in this state, he has furnished us with some excellent and wise maxims, which we may put in practice, not only in spiritual matters, but in temporal affairs also.
Boasting never makes a man any the greater in the esteem of others, nor does it improve the real estate either of his body or soul. Let a man brag as he will, he is none the greater for his bragging; nay, he is the less, for men invariably think the worse of him.
To-day hath no brother, it stands alone, and to-morrow must come alone, and the next and the next, also, must be born into this world without a brother.
I never knew a man who was always hoping to do great things in the future, that ever did much in the present. I never knew a man who intended to make a fortune by-and-bye, who ever saved sixpence a week now.
I think I have given up resolutions now; I have enough of the debris and the rubbish of my resolutions to build a cathedral with, if they could but be turned into stone. Oh! the broken resolutions, the broken vows, all of us have had! Oh! we have raised castles of resolutions, structures of enormous size, that outvied Babylon itself, in all its majesty.
There are great many things we may do with to-morrows. We may not boast of them, but I will tell you what we may do with them if we are the children of God. We may always look forward to them with patience and confidence, that they will work together for our good. We may say of the to-morrows, “I do not boast of them, but I am not frightened at them; I would not glory in them, but I will not tremble about them.”
We may be very easy and very comfortable about to-morrow; we may remember that all our times are in his hands, that all events are at his command; and though we know not all the windings of the path of providence, yet He knows them all. They are all settled in his book, and our times are all ordered by his wisdom.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Monday, October 20, 2014

Book Review: An Arrow Pointing to Heaven

Rich Mullins: An Arrow Pointing to Heaven (A Devotional Biography). James Bryan Smith. 2000. B&H. 272 pages. [Source: Bought]

I first read this one years ago, probably seven or eight years ago. I was inspired to pick it up again after watching the new film, Ragamuffin. I was thinking about writing up a post about the movie itself, but, a few sentences in this book review would probably do just as well.

My thoughts on the film. First, I think this one is a movie for Ragamuffins by Ragamuffins. The point of the film seems to be humanity's brokenness: a need for a Savior, a need for honesty or transparency, a willingness to be vulnerable in community, in the church. It is biographical film about Rich Mullins. The film goes to ugly, uncomfortable places. Places that God is more willing to go than His followers, perhaps. There were scenes that were difficult to watch. There were scenes that I loved, however. The book does a better job, perhaps, of contrasting highs and lows, light and darkness. I did think the movie focused more on the darkness and the misery and the ugliness of life. When the movie was good, it was GREAT. I'm thinking in particular of the scenes where Rich and Brennan Manning are together, and he has been given the assignment (by Brennan) to write a letter to himself from his father.

My thoughts on the book. An Arrow Pointing to Heaven is not a traditional biography, a chronological biography. The book shares some details of his life, from various points in his life. But. It's a devotional biography. It is arranged topically. These are topics or subjects that were important to Rich Mullins. These were topics that came up again and again in his writing, in his songs. Each chapter gives readers a glimpse into Rich Mullins' life, a chance to see what was important to him, and why. The book keeps God very central. It is rich in lessons Mullins learned about the God he loved and served.

The table of contents:

  • First Family: Understanding His Roots
  • Creed: Being Made in the Church
  • The Love of God: Encountering the Reckless, Raging Fury
  • Boy Like Me/Man Like You: Trusting in Jesus
  • Calling Out Your Name: Seeing God in The Beauty of Creation
  • Bound to Come Some Trouble: Growing Through Struggle and Pain
  • My One Thing: Finding Freedom in Simplicity
  • Growing Young: Dealing With Sin and Temptation
  • Brother's Keeper: Learning to Love One Another
  • That Where I Am, There You May Also Be: Meditating on Death and the Life to Come
  • Social Aspects of the Beatitudes (by Rich Mullins)
  • Scared of the Dark (by Rich Mullins)

From the introduction:
Rich Mullins was a man who stood among the ruins--the ruins created by his own faults and failings, the ruins that result from the ravages of time. In the midst of the ruins he pointed to heaven, to the God who bundles our brokenness and heals our wounds. (2)
From "The Love of God: Encountering the Reckless Raging Fury"
It is hard to love an angry God. It is also difficult to see ourselves as God's beloved children if we believe we are worthless. (60)
Whatever else we may think we want, the thing we need is God's love. (63)
The love we are longing for is a love that loves not in spite of but in light of our weaknesses and failures. We long to be loved as we are, with all of our defects known. Only then will we truly feel that we are loved. But this kind of love belongs only to God. We humans are too limited to give it. That is why finding it anywhere except in God is impossible. (63)
Comprehending the love of God was difficult for Rich, but it is no less difficult for any of the rest of us. There is no one who can understand how much and how passionately and how tenderly God loves us. There is nothing that is beyond God, but there is much that is beyond us, and grasping this love is one of them. (66)

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Week in Review: October 12-18

I want to invite you to join me in Celebrating the Bible this November.


  • Psalm 90-150
  • Proverbs
  • Ecclesiastes
  • Song of Solomon
  • Isaiah 1-29

KJV (Rainbow Study Bible)

  • Deuteronomy
  • Psalms 28-106
  • Obadiah
  • Jonah
  • Mark 8-16
  • 1 Corinthians
  • 2 Corinthians
  • Galatians
  • James
  • Revelation


  • Psalms 42-90
  • Matthew
  • Mark 8-16
  • Titus
  • Philemon
  • James
  • 1 Peter
  • 2 Peter

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Celebrate the Bible, Coming This November

Join me this November to celebrate the Bible. I would encourage you to read and meditate and study Psalm 119 with me. I would encourage you to pick up your Bible and read something. Even if you choose not to dedicate the month to the longest Psalm in the Bible!!! My goal is not to have you fall in love with Psalm 119. My goal is to have you fall in love with God's Word. I want you to "taste and see that the LORD is good!" I want you to join with me in saying, "Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together!"

I'll be sharing some resources below. But I'll also be sharing resources throughout the month of November.

Week One, November 1-8

November 1, read Psalm 119
November 2, read and mediate on Psalm 119:1-8
November 3, read and meditate on Psalm 119:9-16
November 4, read and mediate on Psalm 119:17-24
November 5, read and meditate on Psalm 119:25-32
November 6, read and meditate on Psalm 119:33-40
November 7, read and meditate on Psalm 119:41-48
November 8, read Psalm 119 OR read OR listen to John Piper's Scripture the Kindling of Christian Hedonism. It is available to read. It is available to watch as video. It is available to listen on their site, or you can download it.

Week Two, November 9-15

November 9, read and meditate on Psalm 119:49-56
November 10, read and meditate on Psalm 119:57-64
November 11, read and meditate on Psalm 119:65-72
November 12, read and meditate on Psalm 119:73-80
November 13, read and meditate on Psalm 119:81-88
November 14, read and meditate on Psalm 119:89-96
November 15, read Psalm 119 and/OR read J.C. Ryle's Bible Reading

Week Three, November 16-22

November 16, read and meditate on Psalm 119:97-104
November 17, read and meditate on Psalm 119:105-112
November 18, read and meditate on Psalm 119:113-120
November 19, read and meditate on Psalm 119:121-128
November 20, read and meditate on Psalm 119:129-136
November 21, read and meditate on Psalm 119:137-144
November 22, read Psalm 119 and/OR listen to Alistair Begg's sermon How To Know Your Bible and/OR read John MacArthur's post How To Study Your Bible

Week Four, November 23-29

November 23, read and meditate on Psalm 119:145-152
November 24, read and meditate on Psalm 119:153-160
November 25, read and meditate on Psalm 119:161-168
November 26, read and meditate on Psalm 119:169-176
November 27, read Psalm 34
November 28, read Psalm 19
November 29, read Psalm 119 and/OR read Charles Spurgeon's sermon "Christ's Indwelling Word."

So why did I choose Psalm 119 for this little project? Well, I LOVED hosting "Give Thanks" last November which focused on reading the book of Psalms. So I wanted to do something, host something this year. But ever since I've read Kevin DeYoung's Taking God At His Word last spring, I've wanted to do something focusing on the Bible itself.
This book begins in a surprising place: with a love poem. It's not a new poem or a short poem. But it is most definitely a love poem. You may have read it before. You may have sung it, too. It's the longest chapter in the longest book in the longest half of a very long collection of books. Out of 1,189 chapters scattered across 66 books written over the course of two millennia, Psalm 119 is the longest.
I can think of three different reactions to the long, repetitive passion for the word of God in Psalm 119. The first reaction is, “Yeah, right.” This is the attitude of the skeptic, the scoffer, and the cynic. You think to yourself, “It’s nice that ancient people had such respect for God’s laws and God’s words, but we can’t take these things too seriously. We know that humans often put words in God’s mouth for their own purposes. We know that every ‘divine’ word is mixed with human thinking, redaction, and interpretation. The Bible, as we have it, is inspiring in parts, but it’s also antiquated, indecipherable at times, and frankly, incorrect in many places.” The second reaction is “Ho, hum.” You don’t have any particular problems with honoring God’s word or believing the Bible. On paper, you have a high view of the Scriptures. But in practice, you find them tedious and usually irrelevant. You think to yourself, though never voicing this out loud, “Psalm 119 is too long. It’s boring. It’s the worst day in my Bible reading plan. The thing goes on forever and ever saying the same thing. I like Psalm 23 much better.”
If the first reaction is “Yeah, right” and the second reaction is “Ho, hum,” the third possible reaction is “Yes! Yes! Yes!” This is what you cry out when everything in Psalm 119 rings true in your head and resonates in your heart, when the psalmist perfectly captures your passions, your affections, and your actions (or at least what you want them to be). This is when you think to yourself, “I love this psalm because it gives voice to the song in my soul.” The purpose of this book is to get us to fully, sincerely, and consistently embrace this third response. I want all that is in Psalm 119 to be an expression of all that is in our heads and in our hearts. In effect, I’m starting this book with the conclusion. Psalm 119 is the goal. I want to convince you (and make sure I’m convinced myself) that the Bible makes no mistakes, can be understood, cannot be overturned, and is the most important word in your life, the most relevant thing you can read each day. Only when we are convinced of all this can we give a full-throated “Yes! Yes! Yes!” every time we read the Bible’s longest chapter.
© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

Bible Review: Rainbow Study Bible

Holman Rainbow Study Bible KJV Edition (New, Improved User-Friendly Design) 10/1/2014. B&H Publishing Group. 1632 pages. [Source: Review copy]

The introduction states,
"The Holman Rainbow Study Bible is a simple yet thorough Bible based upon the premise that every verse of every Bible falls under one of twelve thematic headings. Each of the twelve headings is assigned a different color; then each verse of the Bible is color-coded to the heading to which it is most closely related…The Holman Rainbow Study Bible allows the serious Bible student the opportunity to study and teach the great Bible themes while avoiding a time-consuming or complicated system."
How is the Rainbow Study Bible different from other Bibles? Is it a necessary or beneficial publication? Who is the best match for the Rainbow Study Bible? I hope to answer these questions in this review of the Rainbow Study Bible.

The Rainbow Study Bible is certainly different from other Bibles. There are two things which make this Bible unique. 1) Every verse of the Bible has been color-coded. There are twelve themes and colors. The themes are: God, Discipleship, Love, Faith, Sin, Evil, Salvation, Family, Outreach, Commandments, History, and Prophecy. Each theme--or subject--covers many sub-categories*.

Examples of the twelve themes:

5 OT: Ex. 3:6, 2 Chr. 16:9, Ps. 84:11, Is. 42:1-8;  Amos 4:13
5 NT: Matthew 20:28, Acts 11:15-16, 1 Cor. 8:6, 1 John 4:4, Rev. 22:13

5 OT: Gen. 22:3-12, Judges 2:7, Ps. 92:1-3, Jeremiah 32:38-40, Malachi 1:5
5 NT: Luke 9:23-25, Acts 17:11, Romans 12:1-8, Hebrews 12:1, Rev. 7:9-12

5 OT: Dt. 7:7-8, 2 Kings 2:2-6, Ps. 23:1-3, Is. 49:13, Hab. 3:17-18
5 NT: John 21:15-17, Acts 5:41, Eph. 3:17-19, 1 Peter 3:8-9, Rev. 5:4

5 OT: Numbers 14:19-20, 2 Samuel 7:18-21, Job 19:25-27, Ez. 18:30-32, Jonah 2:1-7
5 NT: Mark 8:22-25, Acts 12:5, Philippians 1:3-6, James 1:3-8, Rev. 14:12

5 OT: Ex. 12:29-30, 1 Kings 19:1-2, Ps. 1:4-6, Is. 42:18-20, Hosea 10:13
5 NT: Mt. 8:12, Acts 16:19-24, 1 Cor. 2:14, 1 John 2:15-16, Rev. 9:2

5 OT: Gn. 3:1-5, Joshua 23:16, Ps. 115:4-8, Is. 5:20, Zechariah 11:16-17
5 NT: Mark 8:32-33, Acts 17:16, 2 Thess. 2:9-10, 2 Peter 2:1-3, Rev. 13:1-8

5 OT: Ex. 13:21-22, 2 Samuel 6:9-12, Ps. 27:4-6, Jeremiah 17:7-8, Malachi 4:2-3
5 NT: John 3:14-15, Acts 4:12, Eph. 2:13, 1 John 3:2-3, Rev. 21:1-4

5 OT: Deuteronomy 11:19, Ruth 3:1-6, Proverbs 4:1-4, Jeremiah 29:6, Micah 7:5-6
4 NT: Matthew 1:1-17, Acts 16:1-3, Eph. 6:1-4, 1 Pet. 3:1-7

5 OT: Ex 20:22, 1 Samuel 7:3, Ps. 19:1-6, Ez. 33:1-9, Jonah 3:4, 
5 NT: Mt. 5:13-16, Acts 4:13-20, Romans 10:14-15, James 4:11-12, Rev. 14:6-7

5 OT: Ex. 34:1-3, Joshua 1:10-15, Job 42:8, Is. 66:20-21, Jonah 1:1-2
5 NT: Mt. 23:8-10, Acts 9:6, Romans 6:3-4, 1 Pet. 2:13-14, Rev 1:19

5 OT: Gn. 9:8-17, 2 Samuel 7:4-17, Ps. 91:1, Ezekiel 37:5-8, Malachi 3:1
5 NT: Mark 13:1-4, Acts 11:5-14, 2 Cor. 5:10, 2 Peter 1:19-21, Rev. 4:1

5 OT: Gn. 1:1-2, Joshua 2:1-7, Job 1:3, Is. 7:1-2, Amos 1:1
3 NT: Mt. 3:4-5, John 19:12-14, Acts 10:23-24, 

2) This Bible also uses underlining to emphasize the word of God. When God--Father, Son, Spirit--is speaking, his words are underlined in both testaments. Yes, some Bibles offer readers "Words of Christ in Red." But this Bible goes beyond that.

Genesis 1:26-31:

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.
And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Acts 13:13

Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.
And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.

So the Rainbow Study Bible certainly is unique. It is not just another Bible. 

Is it a necessary or beneficial publication? The second question is definitely trickier. The Rainbow Study Bible is perhaps a little too different to be a great fit for every believer. I could see how some would LOVE it and others dismiss it. (About the color-coding: Too distracting, too overwhelming, too intimidating. About the KJV: too hard to understand, too intimidating.)  

Did I find things to love about the Rainbow Study Bible? Yes. 
  • I loved the size of the font. 
  • I loved the weight of the Bible.
  • I loved how it opens and holds. The pages lay very flat. The margins are wide. No text is hard to read.
  • I loved that it was easy on the eyes. Some might find the colors distracting. I found them soothing on the eyes. 
  • I liked the book introductions. They were concise, but on task.
  • I liked the visual drama. For example, there are a few places in the Bible, where the drama of the story itself is communicated by the colors. Like in Job. Like in Revelation.
  • I liked some of the supplemental study aids. One is called "365 Popular Bible Quotations for Memorization and Meditation." I liked this idea very much. I think it is a good resource. As is the "Harmony of the Gospels." 
Who is the best match for the Rainbow Study Bible? 

I think a love or appreciation for the King James Version of the Bible is a must, if, and only if you choose the KJV Edition of the Holman Rainbow Study Bible. In February 2015, the Rainbow Study Bible will be released in a NIV Edition. 

I think you have to have an open heart/mind to thinking about reading Scripture in a new way. You have to relax a bit. At first it may seem odd and confusing. And even after you get used to it, you may find yourself at times questioning how a verse is color-coded. Scripture is complex. Verses have layers of meaning. One verse might clearly fit one theme and only one theme. But more often verses could fit several themes all at the same time. Some patience and understanding is definitely a good thing. 

I read the following books in the Rainbow Study Bible before writing this review: Deuteronomy, Ruth, half of Psalms, Obadiah, Jonah, Mark, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philemon, James, and Revelation.

*Some of the subcategories:

Love: joy; kindness; mercy; mourning; lament; comfort; compassion; peace; sympathy; humility; charity

Faith: prayer; miracles; courage; confession; repentance; fasting; healing; hope; confidence; conviction; belief

Discipleship: obedience; praise; service; worship; spiritual formation; commitment; fellowship; spiritual gifts; fruit

Salvation: blessings; deliverance; holiness; Heaven; the tabernacle; angels; eternity; resurrection; second coming; judgement of the godly; grace

Outreach: teaching; counseling; questioning; instruction; testimony; ministry; preaching; evangelism; gospel; doctrine; sayings

Commandments: offerings; law; priesthood; feasts; Sabbath; tithing; baptism; Lord's supper; church; deacon; growth

Prophecy: promises; covenants; revelations; vows; visions; dreams; oaths; pledges; inspiration; fulfillment; future

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible