ep.04 | Bible Study with Amy Ward
Today I’m chatting with Amy Ward, an empty nester, cancer survivor, writer, professional crafter and—today’s focus—a lover of truth and teacher of the Bible! Amy and her husband live in Columbus, GA, which is where I connected with her a few of years back. She taught me so much about studying the Bible and how to communicate it’s truths to other women! I could not be more excited to share our conversation about Bible study and teaching with ya’ll!
Amy and I cover the following questions in our conversation on Bible study:
- Tell me a little about your relationship with the Bible. When did you first begin to love it? How has your study developed over the years? Who taught you how to study?
- What encouragement would you offer to busy mamas who are up all hours of the night, tired, and who don't have much time to study the Bible? Does studying the Word look different in different seasons of life? What are some creative ways to incorporate studying the Word during a busy day with your children/spouse?
- Tell me about the process and how it developed for you. Some people feel like it’s cumbersome. How did you develop the skill of studying the Bible?
- What would you say to a sister who believes she's using a good method of study, but her time in the word seems flat? Is she doing something wrong?
- Why is continued study of the Word important? How does it impact us practically?
Three questions I ask every guest:
What are the top three resources you'd recommend for Bible Study?
What are your three, simple joys?
Who was the most influential person in your own journey with Jesus?
Note worthy quotes:
“What does this text say? What does this text mean? Who is writing this? What are they saying? Who are they writing to? What’s the context in this author’s realm of influence? Where are these people living? Why is he writing to them there? Where is he writing from? etc. You just begin really observing the text. You’ll find that you’ll read the text so many times in observation.”
“If you’re a young mom and you’ve got babies taking a nap or you’re up with a sick baby at night, grab your phone that has the Bible app and begin to read, maybe even reading it aloud to the baby, whether it’s midnight, three in the morning, or while they’re taking a nap. Read the text, then begin to hone in on one chapter at a time. Read it, then you read it again.”
“Ideally we would be able to sit down for six hours straight, but babies are going to need their diapers changed, meals need to be prepared, you need to do housework and laundry and go to the grocery store. You just have to make it work to the best of your ability. Don’t compare yourself to anyone next to you. Just do what you can do with the time that God allows you.”
“Pray: help me understand it. Help me apply it. Move it from my head to my heart to my hands.”
“It’s okay if you can’t read 15 chapters in a day or if you can’t even read 5 verses. Just go at the pace you can and don’t beat yourself up.”
“A lot of times application comes via conviction of the Holy Spirit. You see how someone rejoices over pain or trial and you think to yourself, ‘Wow, when was the last time I rejoiced in a trial in my own life?’ but more than that even rejoicing in His care for you and His knowledge that this would be a circumstance in your life that doesn’t surprise Him, but He’s blessing you with it so that He’s allowing you to turn and trust in Him in the midst of the hardship. That’s the epitome of rejoicing to me. Those applications come as you’re observing.”
“The middle piece, interpretation, can be difficult for some people, because that’s where you have the ability to do some cross referencing and chase rabbit trails. The interp really allows you to understand, ‘What does this text mean?’”
“Not every word is a key word, not every phrase is a key phrase, and depending on our circumstances some words may mean more to us than they do to our sister, depending on what they’re going through.”
“When you’re learning anything new, you have to give yourself a lot of grace, a lot of room to learn, and a lot of room for practice.”
“If you’re too focused on the method than the message, then stop.”
“Generally when you’re doing an inductive study and you’re trying to hone in on the 5w’s and an h you want to mark/highlight the things that set them apart, so that when you go back you can easily see where you need to dig a little deeper.”
“At first you’re flying over many miles above the terrain and then you lower the plane and get a little closer, then you land the plane and you really begin to see the geographic setting of where you are. That’s the whole point of inductive. You begin at one point, you observe, interpret, and apply.”
“None of us are born knowing how to study the Bible. None of us are born knowing how to read. Like any skill worth it’s investment you have to invest your time, make it a priority, and be intentional. That means setting aside the time, getting supplies to help you figure things out, and making it a priority.”
“Inductive enables you to observe the text and allow the text to interpret the text. So many good Bible studies out there have so much conjecture and so many personal stories involved in the telling of something you may have read in your Bible, but it’s really all about the author’s life, story, or interpretation that it dissolves what the Holy Spirit is wanting you to see. Sometimes we end up reading a book about the Bible instead of reading the Bible. Some studies that we find on the Internet or in Christian bookstores are well meaning, but I do think so often we have a tendency in our consumer society to want to consume what someone else has studied as opposed to Inductively studying the text for the text for yourself. Looking straight at Scripture and really allowing the Holy Spirit, the Resident Tutor who resides in a believer, to open your eyes and to see things in a fresh light.”
“Mountaintops and valleys are part of our Christian life. We need the valleys to appreciate the mountain top. Dry times in the Word are valleys. They won’t last forever. I would encourage a sweet sister who feels like God is distant not to give up, but to talk with the Lord about how she feels. There’s a passage in Psalm 51 and he says, ‘Restore to me the joy of your salvation.’ I cannot tell you the number of times I have prayed that one little sentence in my walk with the Lord and it always refers to my time in the Word with Him.”
“There’s no magic formula or spell. I can’t say that the next day my sister who is feeling dry will wake up and feel alive, but I will encourage her to be in a dialogue with the Lord about how she feels, asking Him to be really present in the dryness.”
“Until we take our last breath God is not done with us and every season of life that we go through affords us new opportunities to learn. We’re not done growing in our walk with Christ no matter how old we are. If we feel like we can study the word for five years and then we’re good, we’re fooling ourselves.”
Amy’s Recommended Resources
NISB Study Books by Precepts Ministries
Amy’s Simple Joys
A cool breeze (a rarity in Georgia)
Fresh herbs for cooking (flat leaf parsley, basil, and rosemary)
The end of the day front porch review with her hubby
Amy’s Fav Office Supplies
Note: If they use a workbook such as She Reads Truth for their notebook, which is great, take it to an office supply store and have them make it into a spiral bound book that lays flat. They could have them add blank printer paper into the end of the book or a sheet or two at the end of each week for extra paper needs they may have.
connect with amy
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