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She Reads Truth: An Interview with Raechel Myers and Amanda Bible Williams

Raechel MyersWhat 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).

Amanda Bible Williams

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.

Buy your copy of She Reads Truth in the Bible Gateway Store

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 4:3-4For 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.

Crossway Releases New ESV Reader’s Bible 6-Volume Set

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The limited edition ESV Reader’s Bible, Six-Volume Set (Crossway, 2016), a unique publication designed for those desiring a cleaner, simpler presentation of Scripture, is now available. It features single-column text that’s free of all verse numbers, chapter numbers, and footnotes, as well as most section headings—resulting in a Bible-reading experience that helps readers encounter and delight in the beauty of God’s Word.

[Read the English Standard Version (ESV) translation of the Bible on Bible Gateway]

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“The Bible is God’s greatest earthly gift to his people,” says Dane Ortlund, executive vice president of Bible publishing at Crossway. “The Six-Volume Set is an answer to the question, ‘How can we at Crossway help Christians read the Bible in a way that reflects that truth?’ We want to do all we can to present the Scripture in a way that represents its inherent dignity and supreme value.”

[Read the Bible Gateway Blog post, Learning to Read the Bible Well: An Interview with Glenn Paauw]

Manufactured in Italy with the highest quality materials and craftsmanship, the ESV Reader’s Bible, Six-Volume Set is produced in cloth-over-board packaged in a sturdy, permanent slipcase.

The publication of the original ESV Reader’s Bible in 2014 struck a chord, introducing an innovative Bible-reading-by-immersion experience. The ESV Reader’s Bible, Six-Volume Set builds on that foundation, using a novel-like page format printed on high-quality book paper—presenting the Word in a beautiful, inviting, and readable way. Printed by a fifth-generation, family-owned, Italian bookbinding business, it boasts expert craftsmanship and an incredible attention to detail.

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Buy your copy of ESV Reader's Bible, 6-Volume Set in the Bible Gateway Store

The ESV Reader’s Bible, Six-Volume Set cloth-over-board edition features:

  • Trinité No. 2 Roman typeface—ideal for literary texts
  • Swedish 80 lb. Munken Premium Cream uncoated paper
  • Specialized permanent slipcase with six tracks specially fitted for each volume to support the book block, helping it to maintain its shape over time
  • Manifattura Tasmania 7107 cloth

“The purpose of this edition is not to draw attention to the quality of its materials and the care that has gone into its production, but through this production quality to do our part to help bring readers into undistracted, living communion with God through his Holy Word. We want to invite people into God’s Word, to experience its profound beauty, and God’s own beauty,” says Dane.

Founded in 1938, Crossway is a not-for-profit global Christian publishing ministry that publishes gospel-centered, Bible-centered content, to honor our Savior and serve his Church. Crossway seeks to help people understand the all-encompassing implications of the gospel and the truth of God’s Word—for all of life, for all eternity, and for the glory of God alone. Crossway is the global publisher of the ESV® (English Standard Version®) Bible, more than 1,000 Christian books, and an extensive list of gospel literature. For additional information visit

Bible Gateway Deal of the Day

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You love Bible Gateway for the quick access we provide for you to search, read, hear, study, and share the Bible online from wherever you happen to be. One way Bible Gateway continues to operate 24/7 is by users like you buying you’re Christian resources—such as Bibles, books, curriculum, and music—all in one convenient location: the Bible Gateway Store.

The Bible Gateway Store offers you an enormous selection of over 500,000 resources at excellent value with strong customer service and everyday discount savings. And here’s another reason to rely on the Bible Gateway Store for all your resource needs: the Bible Gateway Deal of the Day.

Every day a valuable Bible or book or other resource is available just for you at an incredible special savings! Guaranteed for ONE DAY ONLY. Each deal expires at midnight US Eastern Time.

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Buy See the link to the Deal of the Day in the dropdown menu from the Store tab on the Bible Gateway homepage

To access the Bible Gateway Deal of the Day, simply click the “Store” tab in the top navigation bar on the Bible Gateway website, and then click the “Deal of the Day” in the dropdown menu. Visit it each day to see how much you can save!

And to be notified of weekly deals in the Bible Gateway Store, be sure to sign up for the Bible Gateway Deals email newsletter.See Bible Gateway Deals in the Bible Gateway Store

Bible News Roundup – Week of October 9, 2016

Read this week’s Bible Gateway Weekly Brief newsletter
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Support Bible Gateway—Browse the Bible Gateway Store

October 12 is Fields of Faith Day (@fieldsoffaith) (#fof16)

Sotheby’s to Auction Million Dollar Bible Collection of Dr. Charles Caldwell Ryrie
Fine Books & Collection Magazine
Sotheby’s: The Bible Collection of Dr. Charles Caldwell Ryrie
Read the Bible Gateway Blog post—Theology for Everyone: The Legacy of Charles Ryrie

69% of Christians Say Sharing Bible Verses on Social Media is Appropriate
Faith in Social Media Report
Premier: Majority of Christians Say Social Media is Appropriate for Sharing About Their Beliefs

She Reads Truth: Why Women Will Lead the 21st-Century Bible Resurgence
CT Women
Read the Bible Gateway Blog post—She Reads Truth: An Interview with Raechel Myers and Amanda Bible Williams

32 Christian Leaders Publish Report on Biblical Economics
Charisma News
Read the Bible Gateway Blog post—Find Purpose and Passion in Your Daily Work with the NIV Faith and Work Bible

Long-Term Declines in Church Member Giving and Membership Continued in 2014 news release

Survey Finds Most American Christians Are Actually Heretics
The Federalist
Ligonier: The State of Theology
See the Theology section in the Bible Gateway Store

Why Most People Leave Religion? They Just ‘Stop Believing’

Are These New Dead Sea Scrolls the Real Thing?
Live Science
Live Science: 25 New ‘Dead Sea Scrolls’ Revealed
See the Archaeology resources section in the Bible Gateway Store

Book of Common Prayer Could Be Key for Christian Dementia Sufferers
Read the Bible Gateway Blog post—The Book of Common Prayer Remains a Force: An Interview with Alan Jacobs

A Curious Student Dug Through a Box in the Archives and Unearthed a Centuries-Old Geneva Bible
The Washington Post
Read the Geneva Bible on Bible Gateway

Satanic Temple Cancels Plans for After School Satan Club in One Seattle School, Starts Plans for Another

Bible on a Beer Mat: German Protestants Hope to Increase Church Talk Down at the Pub
Deutsche Welle

Illuminated Saint John’s Bible Will Be Part of Oklahoma City Museum of Art’s New Exhibit
The Oklahoman
Read the Bible Gateway Blog post—The Saint John’s Bible: A Work of Art

The Mystery of the Burnt Bible from the 1666 Great Fire of London
Museum of London
Read the Bible Gateway Blog post—A Collection of Bible Museums & Exhibits

See other Bible News Roundup weekly posts

What the Bible Says About Storms

Hurricane Matthew has wrecked parts of Haiti and now bears down on the U.S.

Big storms are ominous. They arrest our attention. They remind us how small and powerless we are.

In the Bible the storm is a symbol of many different things.

Non-destructive wind is an apt picture of the presence of God because God is powerful, yet unseen (John 3:8; 4:24). When God’s Spirit came at Pentecost the accompanying sign was the sound of “a mighty rushing wind” (Acts 2:2).

The peoples surrounding the Israelites in the Old Testament typically worshipped storm gods. These fertility religions tried to coax rain out of the local god. In contrast, the Israelites believed God to be the personal sovereign over all things.

One day God revealed himself to Elijah the prophet in an unusual way:

“Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’” (1 Kings 19:11-13).

God is not a storm, but storms do remind us that there are forces so much stronger than us. A strong storm is a reminder that we need a God who is stronger than the storm:

“The seas have lifted up, O LORD, the seas have lifted up their voice; the seas have lifted up their pounding waves. Mightier than the thunder of the great waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea—the LORD on high is mighty” (Psalm 93:3-4).

And when we see someone rescued from a storm, it reminds us of the salvation of God:

“He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me” (Psalm 18:16-17).

Certainly the most memorable storm in the Bible was the day Jesus and his disciples were crossing the Sea of Galilee:

“A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, ‘Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?’ He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves,’Quiet! Be still!’ Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, ‘Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?’ They were terrified and asked each other, ‘Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!’ (Mark 4:37-41).

Dr. Mel Lawrenz is Minister at Large for Elmbrook Church. His series “How to Understand the Bible” is on BibleGateway. His newest book is Spiritual Leadership Today.

Trading a Shallow Religion for a Deeper Faith: An Interview with Brandon Hatmaker

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Brandon HatmakerGod wants not only to save us from sin’s destruction; he’s also determined to transform us, restore us, and use us—rehab us—to reveal the coming of his kingdom right here, right now.

Brandon Hatmaker, a host and guest judge for HGTV and DIY Network, knows what it takes to rehab a home. As a pastor, he has an even greater understanding of what it takes to rehab an everyday anemic spiritual life. In his new book he explores eight essentials of Christianity—the gospel, identity, Scripture, discipleship, kingdom, mission, community, and justice.

Bible Gateway interviewed Brandon Hatmaker (@brandonhatmaker) about his book, A Mile Wide: Trading a Shallow Religion for a Deeper Faith (Thomas Nelson, 2016).

Buy your copy of A Mile Wide in the Bible Gateway Store

[Does your faith need a rehab? Learn more about, and sign up for, the Bible Gateway 7-day free email devotional by Brandon Hatmaker: Seven Days to a Deeper Faith]

What’s the meaning behind the title of your book?

Brandon Hatmaker: Recently the phrase “A mile wide, an inch deep” has been used to describe the modern church and, even more indicting, those who call themselves believers. As someone who has spent more than 20 years in local church leadership, this kills me.

Critics claim that as our churches continue to grow in size they lack in depth, that our programs and events are becoming more and more broad but only skim the surface of truth, and that most believers don’t actually live what they say they believe.

As much as I don’t want to admit it, there are elements of these accusations that ring true. From the beginning believers have struggled between shallow religion and deeper faith. In a twist of irony, it can be just as common for believers to find ourselves slipping into religious legalism as it is to find ourselves living like Jesus actually lived. The book A Mile Wide< reframes the way we look at eight key areas of faith helping us move from just doing church to actually being the church. Along the way we’ll find fullness, freedom, and I think the world will find more hope in the church they see.

How is choosing sides and having checklists forms of shallow religion?

Brandon Hatmaker: It’s easier to do the minimum requirements than it is to dig for something deeper. The problem is that checked lists and forming allies is more likely to be about feeling good about ourselves or being right than it is finding truth. We’re actually fooling ourselves thinking the checklists will result in anything fulfililng. This just may be our life-long struggle. It’s the difference between flesh and spirit. The best thing we can do is have the conversation; point out our shortcomings; and move forward together.

What is spiritual FOMO?

Brandon Hatmaker: In the book I talk about finding our Gospel Identity. One of the ways I bring it up is talking about the “fear of missing out” spiritually. I think most of us have this.

Spiritual FOMO is intrinsically a good thing. We’re wired to crave more of God. So when we feel like something is missing, it triggers a response that says, “Hey, whatever it is that I’m experiencing . . . it’s not enough. There’s something else.” And there probably is. Like most things, our desire for “more” typically comes from either a healthy or unhealthy place. Some of us have a healthy desire to know him more. We’ve “tasted and seen,” and it’s changed everything. We’ve experienced firsthand the fullness of Christ and want more. But some of us want more, because we’re at the end of ourselves. We find ourselves in this place out of the pangs of spiritual malnutrition. Maybe we’ve felt fullness before, but we’re not feeling it now. We’re scraping by each day hearing about the feast but rarely dining at the table.

The reason for our craving typically determines our response. Ironically, the bigger the void, the more desperately we search and the more likely we are to find substance. There’s an emptiness we must experience in order to strip ourselves of all earthly recovery. It’s a place where the only option is whatever God provides. It’s a pure place. A necessary place.

On the flip side, for those of us who’ve encountered Jesus deeply, when we’re hungry for more, we tend to return to the same table we’ve already experienced. We add another Bible study, attend a new small group, start a new accountability group, or attend another worship service. We’re doing more of the same things expecting different results. Like a hamster on a wheel, we’re working harder but not going any further. We’re hoping to create new depth, but instead we end up spreading ourselves thin, finding ourselves a mile wide and an inch deep. I write about three key areas in which we’re designed for more depth that will actually fight this phenomenon.

How can Christians be biblically shallow and why is that dangerous?

Brandon Hatmaker: Scripture is truth. Too many times we depend upon handed down spirituality. That can fall short in a couple different ways. First, what we’ve been told might be wrong. How can we know if we don’t study for ourselves? Second, we might even be right but lack the confidence that Scripture brings. It’s always good to press into Scripture. It brings conviction and confidence. We’ll trust that it’ll lead us to a fuller, more purposeful and fulfilling life.

What do you mean when you write, “Jesus didn’t want fans; he wanted followers”?

Brandon Hatmaker: The disciples pretty much asked Jesus to make things simple. They wanted to make it easier. But Jesus knew something they didn’t. This kingdom would come at an incredible cost. Presenting it as a low-hanging fruit might net way more early adopters who liked the advantages, but that kingdom would lack depth. And the early church had to be supernaturally strong to endure the next century without caving. The true gospel has never appealed to the masses, nor did it ever try to. Yes, this kingdom will save your whole life, but you have to lose the one you have first. There is no resurrection without a death.

There’s a danger in attempting to widen the front door that Jesus said would always be narrow. It’s not narrow because God wants to keep people out. It’s narrow because so few are actually willing to bend low enough to enter. Jesus taught the kingdom in a way that made sincere converts work for it. He drew them with depth and mystery and truth. Here we see a mysterious partnership between God’s sovereign preparation of our hearts—making us able to hear and understand—and our personal responsibility to be a good hearer; to address the soil of our hearts.

What do you mean by a “bigger gospel”?

Brandon Hatmaker: I remember driving back to Colorado for the first time as an adult. The house I grew up in, my high school, and even the town seemed smaller than I remembered. The mountains, however, seemed bigger than life. I was actually in awe seeing them again.

The mountains, obviously, hadn’t grown. Why had my view of them changed so drastically? Maybe I had grown numb to them over the years as a child. Maybe a more traveled perspective helped me appreciate their uniqueness. Or maybe that’s just what happens when you live in Texas. The Texas hill country doesn’t quite compare to the Rocky Mountains.

Likewise, our faith changes as we grow. Some things that used to be a big deal to me no longer are. Thank goodness. Many things, I know, stay the same, but it’s the gospel that continues to grow in my mind. It’s the gospel that seems most like those mountains. The gospel doesn’t actually change. We do. Our perspectives naturally shift with life experience, they shift with maturity, and they shift when we return with a greater desire for truth.

As a younger believer, my gospel was too small. As beautiful as it was, my gospel experience was fairly one-dimensional. Therefore, my gospel had remained fairly one-dimensional. My gospel saved me but I pretty much put it on the shelf from there thinking I had to tough it out the rest of my Christian life. But the same gospel that saves us continues to work in our lives to transform us and restore us. That same gospel not only works in us but eventually works through us. Our view of the gospel impacts everything, and I’ve come to realize that most of my spiritual shortfalls, my angst with church culture, and my struggles to find true significance in the kingdom comes from that same myopic place.

How does recognizing a new identity in Christ dispel fear?

Brandon Hatmaker: It’s uncanny how we allow fear to seep in. Fear of failure. Fear of change. Fear of being found out. Fear of being misunderstood. Fear of judgment. It’s good to remember that God is no stranger to to the response of fear. Throughout Scripture, whenever God revealed himself directly to his people, either as an angel of the Lord or as Jesus himself, the people’s first reaction was terror. There was something about experiencing the true presence of God that was incredibly revealing and confronting.

God’s response every time: “Fear not.” From there he would explain why. Fear not, for I am with you. Fear not, for I am your God. Fear not, for I will strengthen you and I will help you. Fear not, for I bring you great news.

In order to take our gospel identity seriously, we have to stop fearing our inabilities and start believing in God’s ability; that he’s with us and that he’s for us; that his view of us and our circumstances is more expansive than ours. This has nothing to do with what we can accomplish; it has everything to do with what we can surrender. When we truly find ourselves in Christ, we can have confidence in his love, his grace, and our future.

Bio: Brandon is an author, biker, humanitarian, TV personality, and a huge fan of the underdog. He’s founder and managing partner of The Legacy Collective, a giving community focused on partnering, pioneering, and funding sustainable solutions to systemic social issues around the world. He co-stars in the HGTV and DIY Network series “My Big Family Renovation” and has had various guest appearances on other HGTV shows (Brother v.s. Brother, Tiny House Arrest). Brandon is author of A Mile Wide: Trading a Shallow Religion for a Deeper Faith and Barefoot Church: Serving the Least in a Consumer Culture. He’s married to New York Times bestselling author and speaker, Jen Hatmaker.

More Than 300,000 Students Expected to Join #BringYourBible to School Day

Bring Your Bible to School Day website

More than 300,000 students across the nation are expected to take part in Focus on the Family’s third annual “Bring Your Bible to School Day” on Thursday, Oct. 6. This student-led event is a simple way for children and teens to celebrate religious freedom and to share the hope and inspiration they receive from reading their Bibles.

Enthusiasm for “Bring Your Bible to School Day” continues to grow. Last year, about 155,000 students participated in the event and #BringYourBible went viral when students from across the nation posted selfies with their Bibles on social media.

This year’s “Bring Your Bible to School Day” comes as confusion continues over students’ religious freedoms. The following cases have happened over the last 12 months alone:

  • A police officer was dispatched to a 7-year-old boy’s home after he shared Scripture verses and Bible stories with friends during free time.
  • A 12-year-old student was instructed to give an “All About Me” PowerPoint presentation to her sixth-grade class, but when she wanted to include a slide with her favorite Bible verse, she was told Bible verses were banned.
  • Elementary students in Kentucky were looking forward to their performance of “A Charlie Brown Christmas”— until they learned school officials planned to censor Bible verses about the birth of Jesus read by the character, Linus.

“Students don’t lose their religious freedoms when they arrive at school in the morning,” said Focus on the Family president Jim Daly. “The First Amendment recognizes the rights of students to talk about their faith in school and read their Bible outside of classroom time. ‘Bring Your Bible to School Day’ encourages children and teens to understand their religious freedoms and to be a voice of hope and bring their whole selves to the classroom.”

Newsboys, an award-winning Christian band, are joining forces with “Bring Your Bible to School Day” for the second consecutive year. Individuals who sign up to participate will have a chance to win a free trip for four to a Newsboys concert in Dallas.

Christian legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, a longtime advocate of religious freedom in public schools, is again partnering with Focus on the Family and will offer students free legal representation in the event their rights are violated.

Students can follow “Bring Your Bible to School Day” on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and find more information, including the official video and stories from students and parents, at The official hashtag is #BringYourBible.

Focus on the Family, which reaches about 238 million people in 130 countries, is a global faith-based ministry that helps families thrive. It provides help and resources for strengthening believers in their faith and sharing the gospel; building resilient marriages that reflect God’s design; equipping parents to raise their children with a thriving faith; advocating for the preborn, orphaned and life at every stage; and engaging the culture through a biblical worldview. Visit Focus at or on Facebook and Twitter.

Seven Days to a Deeper Faith: A One-Week Devotional to Rehab Your Spiritual Life

Does your faith need a rehab? Are you going through the motions of religion, but sense that there’s something missing?

hatmaker-blogWe’ve just launched a brand-new devotional to help you take that critical step from shallow religion to deep, meaningful faith. It’s a one-week DIY devotional called Seven Days to a Deeper Faith.

Seven Days to a Deeper Faith is written by none other than Brandon Hatmaker, who knows a thing or two about fixing up things that are in dire need of an overhaul. As a host and guest judge for HGTV and DIY Network (My Big Family Renovation, Brother v.s. Brother, Tiny House Arrest), Brandon understands what it takes to rehab a home—and after 20+ years of working with the local church, he has an even greater understanding of what it takes to rehab an everyday faith.

Seven Days to a Deeper Faith is written by Brandon specifically for Bible Gateway readers, and it will walk you through a seven-day journey to a deeper, more practical, and more meaningful faith. So if your spiritual life has been on cruise control for years and you’re finally ready to dive in and give it a much-needed overhaul, Brandon’s here to help. Sign up for Seven Days to a Deeper Faith and start the journey toward a life-changing faith.

And don’t miss out a chance to watch a live interview with Brandon on the Facebook on Thursday, October 6 at 1:00pm EST! Brandon will be talking about the tough but immensely rewarding task of finding true faith in Jesus Christ. Tune in to our Facebook page on Thursday to watch the interview live. And while you’re at it, be sure to take a look at Brandon’s just-released new book, A Mile Wide: Trading a Shallow Religion for a Deeper Faith.

Find Purpose and Passion in Your Daily Work with the NIV Faith and Work Bible

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We all invest a significant part of our lives in working—and how we approach all of that time in work matters to God. Combining doctrine, Scripture application, and real-life experiences, the NIV Faith and Work Bible (Zondervan, 2016) is designed to help readers answer the question “How does my faith relate to my work?”

It doesn’t matter what job or career one has—part-time, third shift, or freelance; from the shop floor, to the school hallways, to the corner office, this Bible will reveal how relevant God’s Word is to your daily work life.

“When we think out the implications the gospel bears on our work—how it changes our motivations for work, relationships at work, and the way we imagine the work itself—we are better enabled to live distinctly Christian lives in the world,” says Tim Keller, senior pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church, in his foreword to the NIV Faith and Work Bible.

The NIV Faith and Work Bible features 66 book introductions, which highlight the application of each book’s teaching to faith and work. Seventy-five Deeper at Work stories deliver strength and encouragement from the real-life experiences of people facing the same daily challenges and opportunities that readers face. Forty-five Core Doctrine articles feature teachings from Christian leaders throughout the ages to help readers learn the biblical basis for integrating their faith and work, and a 31-day reading plan through the biblical narrative helps readers grasp Scripture’s overarching storyline. The NIV Faith and Work Bible features a foreword by Tim Keller and includes four thought-provoking essays by David H. Kim, Richard Mouw, Nancy Ortberg, and Jon Tyson, which connect the gospel to readers’ daily work lives.

“Our hope is that once readers’ eyes are open to understanding the connection between faith and work, the gospel will come alive for them in brand new ways,” says David H. Kim, general editor of the NIV Faith and Work Bible. “We hope that this Bible will make readers excited to engage not only in their work, but also the world around them with a renewed sense of purpose, grounded in the unique hope of the gospel.”

General editor David H. Kim oversees all the ministries of the Center for Faith & Work as Executive Director; he is also the Pastor of Faith and Work at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City. Prior to this role, David served as the Director of the Gotham Fellowship, developing and teaching its intensive curriculum while providing spiritual direction to his audience. Prior to joining CFW in 2007, David was a Chaplain at Princeton University, where he also served as the Founder and Executive Director of Manna Christian Fellowship for over 12 years.

Zondervan is a world leading Bible publisher and provider of Christian communications. Zondervan, part of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc., delivers transformational Christian experiences through its bestselling Bibles, books, curriculum, academic resources and digital products. The Company’s products are sold worldwide and translated into nearly 200 languages. Zondervan offices are located in Grand Rapids, Mich. For additional information, please visit

Searching the Scriptures: An Interview with Chuck Swindoll

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Optimal physical health requires optimal nutrition. The same is true spiritually speaking. Without sufficient and regular biblical nutrition, our inner life begins to suffer the consequences. We become shallow and selfish, more demanding and less gentle, and quick to react impatiently, rashly, and angrily. These are telltale signs of inner malnutrition.

[Browse the more than 70 books by Charles Swindoll in the Bible Gateway Store]

Bible Gateway interviewed Charles R. Swindoll (@chuckswindoll) about his book, Searching the Scriptures: Find the Nourishment Your Soul Needs (Tyndale House Publishers, 2016).

Buy your copy of Searching the Scriptures in the Bible Gateway Store

Below are the time stamps for the audio interview above at which point Dr. Swindoll begins to answer each question.

00:45 Why is this book characterized as the capstone of your life’s work?

01:48 Explain your analogy in the book between studying and understanding the Bible and making a meal and getting nourishment from it.

03:32 Why do you believe length of time is important when studying the Bible and what are the consequences when we fail to set aside ample time to study it?

05:29 What are the key principles of Bible study you learned as a student at Dallas Theological Seminary?

07:20 How is breaking down Scripture into smaller sections a better way to understand what God is saying?

09:05 Why do you say the Bible is put together like a newspaper and what is important to consider about the Bible’s layout?

10:51 What do you mean when you say some people are playing with the building blocks in the nursery when it comes to understanding the Bible?

12:29 What is the Vision 195 Ministry?

13:58 Describe your online Searching the Scriptures quiz.

15:42 What are your thoughts about Bible Gateway and the Bible Gateway App?

16:28 Is there anything else you’d like to say?

Bio: Charles R. Swindoll has devoted his life to the accurate, practical teaching and application of God’s Word and his grace. A pastor at heart, Chuck has served as senior pastor to congregations in Texas, Massachusetts, and California. Since 1998, he’s served as the founder and senior pastor-teacher of Stonebriar Community Church (@Stonebriar) in Frisco, Texas, but Chuck’s listening audience extends far beyond a local church body. As a leading program in Christian broadcasting since 1979, Insight for Living (@IFL_USA) airs in major Christian radio markets around the world, reaching people groups in languages they can understand.

Winner of the Christian Book Award Lifetime Achievement Award, Chuck Swindoll is the bestselling author of more than 70 books, 12 of which have won Christian Book Awards. His titles include Searching the Scriptures: Find the Nourishment Your Soul Needs, The Church Awakening: An Urgent Call for Renewal, Faith for the Journey: Daily Meditations on Courageous Trust in God, The Owner’s Manual for Christians: The Essential Guide for a God-Honoring Life, The Grace Awakening: Believing in Grace Is One Thing, Living It Is Another.

Chuck’s extensive writing ministry has also served the body of Christ worldwide and his leadership as president and now chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary (@DallasSeminary) has helped prepare and equip a new generation for ministry. Chuck and Cynthia, his partner in life and ministry, have four grown children, ten grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

Browse the editions of Swindoll's Great Lives from God's Word series in the Bible Gateway Store   Browse the editions of Swindoll's Living Insights Commentary in the Bible Gateway Store   Buy your copy of Abraham: One Nomad's Amazing Journey of Faith in the Bible Gateway Store   Buy your copy of Living the Psalms: Encouragement for the Daily Grind in the Bible Gateway Store   Buy your copy of Strengthening Your Grip: How to be Grounded in Chaotic World in the Bible Gateway Store