What does it mean that only God and his Word remain unchanged as the world shifts and slips away? What are the everyday implications that God and his Word are true; right now and all the time? What place should Scripture have in your life and why does it matter?
Bible Gateway interviewed Raechel Myers (@RaechelMyers) and Amanda Bible Williams (@BibleWilliams) about their book, She Reads Truth: Holding Tight to Permanent in a World That’s Passing Away (B&H Books, 2016).
What is She Reads Truth?
Raechel Myers: The She Reads Truth website (@SheReadsTruth) and app are the landing places for a community of women all over the world who want truth in their every day. Have you ever wanted to read your Bible but weren’t sure where to begin? Or perhaps desired a community of people reading the same thing as you—asking questions and engaging the text together? This is She Reads Truth. We work through books of the Bible, topics that matter, and seasons on the church calendar. From one reading plan to the next, we read truth together every day.
Amanda, what effect has having “Bible” as your maiden name had on your life?
Amanda Bible Williams: It’s funny—it never really occurred to me that my last name was unusual until I went to college. Even then, it just meant constantly having to spell it for people: “B-I-B-L-E, like the book.” Some of my oldest friends use Bible as my nickname, which, admittedly, can feel like a high bar to live up to. But it’s actually really sweet to have this added layer of affection for the book and the word itself; it’s been a part of me for so long on so many levels, and I love that. Not long before my dad passed away, I added Bible back into my author name—both for practical reasons (turns out common names have their challenges too) and personal. He died the month She Reads Truth began, and carrying his name with me as I write and work helps me know he’s a part of it somehow. Amanda Bible writes about the Bible; I think he’d get a kick out of that.
What do you mean when you write “God’s Word is more than a foothold”?
Amanda Bible Williams: A foothold is utilitarian in its purpose; it helps us steady our feet so we can keep from falling, so we can hang on and keep climbing. While God’s Word is that, it’s also much more than that. There are times in life when I cling to a verse of Scripture just to hang on and get from one moment to the next, and that’s okay; it’s appropriate, even. But when I remember that each promise from God’s Word is not just true in itself, but as part of the fullness of God’s covenant promise to his people, it changes me. I see that the foothold is not really what’s holding me up; it’s the immovable mountain the foothold is connected to. God has never once wavered from his covenant. His Word has never, ever stopped being true.
How and why do you contrast the impermanence of life with the permanence of the Bible?
Raechel Myers: It doesn’t take living much life to quickly realize that things rarely stay the same. From the glory days of high school, to a cross-country move, to a season of rest sweeping in behind one of stress and uncertainty—life, for better and worse, is always changing. The good and the bad are both constantly passing away. Think of it like a time-lapse video of a mountain, or a skyscraper in the city. Clouds blow by, the sun rises and sets, cars or wildlife speed by, but there is one fixture that remains unchanged. That’s the permanent thing. That time-lapse video is our ever-changing life on earth. The permanent thing is God and his Word.
How have you come to the conclusion that the Bible, an ancient book written over time in a foreign culture, is true and applicable to modern life?
Raechel Myers: I’d say it’s a combination of faith, study, and personal experience, and I believe it takes all three. God’s Word tells us it’s living and active and important even now for our teaching and training, and trusted sources agree. I’ve lived both believing and not believing that the Bible is true, but my opinion never changed its trueness. In fact, it’s trueness changed my opinion.
What is the chapter about that’s titled “What’s in Your Cup”?
Raechel Myers: That’s chapter 1! I don’t want to give too much away, but I’ll tell you we do a lot of talk about this cup as the container of our present circumstances. When we look in our cup, we may find something different today than what we found yesterday; what’s in our cup is always changing. But every day we learn to raise our focus from the truth of what’s in our cups to the truest truth of God’s unchanging Word. We begin to realize that the only One who has authority to put anything in our cup is God himself, and we’re invited to pray, asking that he might take the hard stuff away. Sometimes he does, and sometimes, as with his own Son on the cross, our Lord will ask us to drink it to the dregs.
What’s the message of the chapter titled “The Stack”?
Amanda Bible Williams: Well, one message is that I’m not the best housekeeper. There’s a perpetual stack of stuff—papers, mail, magazines, you name it—that lives and grows on the far end of our kitchen counter. I say “grows” because it has an actual life of its own; one I apparently cannot control. But the real message of chapter 2 is that God’s promises are wholly different than ours. Our promises are inherently subject to our humanity, while God’s are inherently permeated by his perfection. In that stack of stuff in my kitchen, I’ll find a lot of “paper promises”—attempts to give and take guarantees from the temporary world around me. But the only permanent, unbreakable promise is found in God’s Word.
What’s your favorite Bible verse or passage and why?
Raechel Myers: As we wrote this book, one passage that particularly inspired me was 2 Timothy 4:3-4 — For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.
In chapter 4, I talk about our own bent as humans to find a “close enough” truth that works for us, satisfying our “itching ears” with false teaching that invites us into the work of saving our own souls. But Christ did not die for truth-adjacent. The salvation he offers is an invitation, yes, but not one that needs our help. Of course, I have a good time sharing stories of times in my life where “close enough” didn’t cut it; like the very expensive mistake I made by confusing Radio City for Music City (thanks to the kind folks at Ticketmaster®, it all worked out). In the end, we realize that the only thing that will do is truth itself.
How should a person unfamiliar with the Bible begin to read it?
Amanda Bible Williams: In a word, expectantly. People have all sorts of wonderful methods when it comes to reading the Bible, and those can be so helpful and good. But the bottom line is that any time we read Scripture, no matter the method or circumstances, we’re reading the very Word of God. It’s alive and at work, like Hebrews 4:12. So open your Bible, ask the Holy Spirit to guide you, and read. You can confidently expect God to meet you there.
For whom have you written your book?
Raechel Myers: We like to call the women of the She Reads Truth community the “Shes.” Amanda and I considered dedicating She Reads Truth to our daughters—the most important Shes in our lives. But, to be honest, this entire book was written to and for the Shes who read truth with us every single day. This book is what we would say to them outside the bounds of a 500-word devotional. It’s our long-form “why” and “how” and heart for what we need to constantly remind each other. God’s Word is for you and for now, Shes. And it’s not going anywhere (Isaiah 40:8).
What’s coming next?
Raechel Myers: This is the most fun question because the answer is something we’ve been working on for two full years already. (Some projects take a very long time to get just right!) I won’t say exactly what, but readers of Bible Gateway might get a pretty clear idea by simply searching “She Reads Truth” in the Bible Gateway Store. I’ll give you a hint: At SRT we value “beauty, goodness, and truth” in everything we do, most of all when it comes to God’s Word. Wouldn’t it be cool if we could bring all of that together in a project with the very source of beauty, goodness, and truth? Yes; yes it would!
Bio: Raechel Myers is always on the lookout for beauty, goodness, and truth in everyday life. Co-founder and CEO of She Reads Truth™, Raechel has a bachelor’s degree in housing and environmental design, and is not afraid to paint a whole house over a long weekend. She longs to cook artisanal meals, but loves Chinese takeout. She lives south of Nashville, Tennessee, with her three favorite people.
Amanda Bible Williams likes words and books more than just about anything. She holds bachelor’s degrees in English and psychology, nearly a master’s in religion, and a deep love for a farmhouse east of Nashville, Tennessee, where she lives with her husband and their three children. Chief Content Officer of She Reads Truth™, Amanda spends her days happily rearranging sentences and explaining that her maiden name really is Bible.